I bet this one is going to come as quite a surprise and I’m sure that (at first glance) it’s going to feel counter intuitive.
Be “Unproductive”! Now hear me out on this one. Have you ever been in the situation where you “need to get something done? You have a laundry list of tasks or something with a time sensitive deadline? Sometimes you feel inspired and energized to dive right into the work and sometimes it feels like slogging through mud. Am I right?
I used to feel this way All The Time! Especially if it was a task that I wasn’t especially “inspired” by. For me most of these task required me to sit in front of a computer (not my strong suit). I love my work and I love my business but……there are definitely things I need to do that I don’t always love to do. Sometimes it can actually be a task I might otherwise love doing but today I’m just not feeling it.
I love talking and I love writing. I love talking about how great massage is and how much I love it. I love sharing that love and passion with other people……until I’m put on a deadline. In this moment, the task goes from an “I get to do…..” to an “I have to do…..” and the creative juices just come to a screeching halt. I have literally sat at my computer trying to force myself to write something and it winds up being garbage.
Have you ever felt this way?
A few years ago, I began studying something called Human Design. Human Design helps you understand how you’re wired.It helped me understand how I respond to things and how I make decisions. So much of what I thought was “broken” in me, was not actually needing to be “fixed”. Turns out it was actually my strength and I just needed to better understand how to use it to it’s fullest potential. And boy, once I did things exploded in my life in a very positive way but more on that later.
I’ve learned that I have almost limitless energy for a task IF I am inspired by it, if I feel passion or excitement for it. If I don’t, my internal generator that creates that electric spark doesn’t turn on. I am quite literally without power. I’ve learned that if I get out of my head and ground down into my body and quite literally do something physical, suddenly there’s clarity or inspiration or the block is removed. Suddenly whatever I need is so clear and the energy and focus is there for the task. This grounded space can literally be anything. I listen to my body to tell me what it needs. Sometimes I go outside and absorb some fresh air and sunlight. Sometimes I lay down for 15 or 20 minutes and just close my eyes. Sometimes I play with my dogs or take a walk. Sometimes I fold laundry. Anyone else find folding laundry very meditative? Sometimes I just need a minute or two. Other times I need an hour. I’ve learned through practice to understand what my body is telling me.
When I learned to pay attention to what my body was telling me it needed (instead of letting my mind override it), I suddenly became more productive. I was actually accomplishing more in less time. Because I was taking the time to honor what my body needed, when I did sit down to work, I was able to bang out in 10 minutes or half an hour what would have taken me 2 hours before. Much of that 2 hours would have been spent staring at the computer or starting and restarting the task 5 times. Being “unproductive” helped me increase my productivity!
Would you like to learn how understanding your Human Design can help you get more done in less time? Click below to set up a free no obligation consultation. In this consult, we will
This is a great article by Dr. Jack Newman that discusses what dietary restrictions breastfeeding mothers should abide by. Spoiler alert! You can and should eat everything within reason. Most of the messaging regarding dietary restrictions during breastfeeding is not based in science. These overly restrictive messages only serve to discourage women from breastfeeding or continuing to breastfeed long term.
"The poster below is a perfect example of anti-breastfeeding "information". This notion that you can't eat certain foods when breastfeeding is not based in science. Let's look at some of the information.
First of all let's look at foods that "okay" for breastfeeding mothers. Nothing really wrong with what they say except that you don't have to take in calcium to make milk with calcium. But the real problem is that this is a diet for people who are relatively affluent. Many mothers could not afford to eat such a diet and thus be frightened into formula feeding, which, I should emphasize is actually more expensive that the foods mentioned here. This is a stratagem used by formula companies. A prime example a few years ago was a campaign by one formula company in Brazil, supported by the Brazilian pediatric society, saying that your breastfed baby eats what you eat. Posters were widely distributed showing a baby suckling at a breast that looks like a doughnut, or looks like a hamburger.
What about the panels of foods "to avoid".
1. Sugary foods. The poster says in this section to avoid fatty foods and salty foods as well as sugary foods. We all should try to keep our sugar, salt and fat intake at a reasonable level. But to imply that if you eat a lot of sugar your baby has an increased risk of obesity is just plain wrong. Breastmilk, in fact, does not change much in response to what you eat. It changes from morning to evening, from day to day, from month 1 to month 6, and later, but not because of what you eat. But if you eat a lot of sugar, your milk will have the same amount of sugar as if you ate no sugar at all.
2. "You might find that just a dash of pepper is enough to make your baby irritated and fussy for hours". This is pure fantasy. There is no evidence for this being true. And it is unlikely that anything in pepper or other spices would get into the milk in quantities that would bother the baby.
3. Citrus fruits? "Certain compounds" are supposed to the irritating to the baby´s gut. Oh, please! If these "certain compounds got into the milk would they not be irritating to the breast or nipple?
4. Caffeine? Babies do not excrete caffeine as rapidly as adults true, but so little gets into the milk that a cup or two of coffee will not bother the baby. Caffeine is given to premature babies as a treatment and nobody worries about how they might excrete caffeine. It's not right to deprive breastfeeding mothers from drinking coffee and tea in reasonable amounts. This poster eliminates much of what mothers like to eat.
5. Processed foods? Not a great choice for anyone, this is not specific to breastfeeding mothers. But just as above, the preservatives will not get into the milk in any significant quantities.
6. Garlic? Are they insane? Garlic does not bother babies. This is prejudice against people who eat garlic. Most of the world loves garlic and eat it when the baby breastfeeds without harm to anyone.
7. No peppermint, fennel, parsley, or chamomile? There is no evidence for this to show that the way people typically eat these can reach therapeutic levels.
8. Alcohol, no level of alcohol in the milk is safe for the breastfed baby? Except that almost no alcohol gets into the milk. See this article http://ibconline.ca/maternal-medications/. Alcohol is discussed near the end of the article, but it's worth reading the whole thing.
This poster is an appalling attempt to frighten women out of breastfeeding and enjoying what they like to eat. These restrictions on what breastfeeding mothers can eat have been debunked decades ago. Let's encourage good nutrition for everyone, and let's stop haranguing breastfeeding mothers into stopping breastfeeding by worrying them about their diets.
You can find a more about how to prevent problems with breastfeeding, including preventing fussiness, "colic", "reflux" "allergy to something in the mother's milk" and much more in my ebook called Breastfeeding: Empowering Parents: www.ibconline.ca/ebook "
Here are five ways massage can help improve your fitness routine.
1. It enhances your post-workout recovery
A good, therapeutic massage helps loosen up your muscles after an intense workout, which in turn allows you to recover from the impact better and faster than you normally would. When you exercise, you spend time tightening and toning muscles. Massage helps restore some pliability.
2. It soothes the pain of sore muscles
Those muscles can really ache after you put them through the ringer at the gym or while pounding the pavement during a run. But, massaging and stretching them can help work out the knots, flush out the toxins that contribute to the "ouch" factor and get the blood flowing again so they don't hurt so much. According to a 2012 study in Science Translational Medicine, massages helps reduce inflammation and help cells recover.
3. It makes your muscles work better
Regular exercise not only puts a strain on your muscles, ligaments and tendons, but it also messes with those connective fibers under the skin known as your fascia — which help the muscles work smoothly and efficiently when they're in good shape, according to Neumann. When the fascia gets tight from repeated exercise, the muscles have a harder time sliding past each other easily. This can impede their ability to function optimally. Massage helps to loosen those fibers so your muscles can do their job with less effort and give your workout a nice boost!
4. It can increase flexibility
When you get regular massage, your joints become more flexibly. Most people experience a decrease in flexibility begining at around age 12. Getting a massage, especialy one that includes some stretching, can keep your joints moving freely
5. It helps you feel better, mentally
Massage helps reduce the stress hormones in your body (cortisol and adrenaline) and helps your body access more of your "feel good" hormones (dopamine, seratonin, oxytocin).
Sure, it feels great to pop in and see a massage therapist every now and then. It’s a great way to pamper yourself and relieve stress during a particularly crazy time. Self-compassion and the idea of splurging on yourself for once, otherwise known as “Treat Yo-Self,” means that it’s actually really great for you to spend a little time on self-care.
However, have you considered regular, monthly massage appointments? Besides having one day set aside each month, to treat yourself with a relaxing spa session, you will actually start to see some physiological effects of regular massages as well.
Here are a few short-term, and long-term ways you may start to notice your monthly self-care trip is benefiting your health.
After Three Months of Routine Visits to Your Massage Therapist:
Lowered Anxiety and Stress Levels: Even after your first massage, you will start to notice that you feel more relaxed, which can be a major plus if you suffer from stress and anxiety. When our bodies experience stress, we tend to tense up our muscles, which leaves our bodies feeling fatigued and sore.
Just one massage helps loosen up these muscles, increase blood flow, and lower stress and anxiety. Breast cancer patients have even reported feeling less depressed and less angry when they incorporated regular massage into their schedule.
Reduced Chronic Back Pain: If you are suffering from the debilitating problems associated with chronic back pain, you know how much it can cut into your daily routine and leave you feeling frustrated, in addition to the pain you’re already experiencing.
A study found that after 10 weeks of regular massage, people experiencing chronic back pain felt less discomfort, and even needed fewer painkillers to manage their symptoms. Cut down on the number of trips to your medicine cabinet with regular trips to see your massage therapist.
Help with Insomnia: Massages increase your serotonin levels, which aides in your ability to fall asleep, and stay asleep. You may find yourself relying on sleeping pills to get some shuteye, which nobody wants to have to take.
Unlike other sleep aids which can be harmful or addictive, you’ll experience no negative side effects from a massage, and you’ll find yourself able to fall asleep a little easier - especially after an evening massage.
After Six Months of Monthly Massage, You’ll Feel:
For Patients with Diabetes: If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, regular massage could impact your blood glucose levels. Especially when massages happen at the injection or site of absorption for insulin, there have been marked improvements observed in lowered blood glucose levels.
Additionally, regular, increased blood flow as a result of your monthly massages can help with neuropathy symptoms that accompany diabetes, such as nerve pain. Make regular visits to your massage therapist to see improvements in your blood sugar levels, and feel like you’re getting seriously pampered, all at the same time.
Reduced Fibromyalgia Symptoms: Even after your first massage, if you experience the pain of fibromyalgia, you will notice decreased pain, but with regular massage, you will start to notice the following benefits as well:
There was also an uptick in confidence as well. If your child is particularly squirmy, regular massage may help them pay attention to what they need to be doing in the classroom, and at home.
What You’ll Feel After Twelve Months of Regular Monthly Massage:
Continued Improvements for Patients with Diabetes: After 12 months, regular massages, especially at the insulin injection or absorption site, can help Type 2 patients not only see lowered blood glucose levels as seen after six months of massages, but actually close to normal blood glucose levels. Additionally, you may also notice a reduction in the amount of inflammation you are experiencing as well.
Lowered Blood Pressure: A high blood pressure can leave you at risk for stroke and other major health complications, but it’s actually been proven that the relaxation or regular massage lowers your blood pressure. You can help keep your blood pressure in check, all while enjoying the rejuvenating benefits of massage, with regular sessions with a skilled massage therapist.
Additional Health Benefits: Other ways that regular massage can help improve your overall health? With improved blood flow comes improved immunity, making you less likely to pick up to cold that might be floating around your office, or at your kids’ school.
Are you training for a race, or spending a lot of time at the gym or in a pilates class? After an extended period of regular massages, you may also begin to notice an increased range of motion.
Because you are repeatedly reminding your muscles to relax and repeatedly releasing tension, you may find yourself feeling a little bendier in your yoga classes. Tense muscles make it much harder to find your full range of motion, and happy, relaxed muscles support an increased range of motion.
It’s not just one day a month to splurge on sixty to ninety minutes of pampering. Regular, monthly massages will leave you feeling healthier and happier, and truly make a difference in your overall well-being.
Our hands are our most under appreciated tool. It's amazing how much they do. It's also amazing how relaxing a simple hand massage can be! This is great for couples to build emotional connection. Also great for parents of teenagers. This can really help you stay connected with them.
Some interesting facts about hands. Each hand contains:
*30 named arteries
*Your thumb alone contains 9 individual muscles and 3 major nerves. The movements of the thumb are so complex that there are six different terms which describe it’s movements.
*Almost 90 per cent of women and 80 per cent of men in the age group 75-79 years have x-ray evidence of osteoarthritis in their hands
The hand is one of the most overworked and underappreciated parts of the human body. Including the hand as part of your regular self-care routing can have some measurable benefits.
One of the primary benefits of massage is increasing blood flow to certain areas of the body. Not only does this remove metabolic waste from muscle activity but it brings fresh oxygenated blood to the muscles. In the hand, this is especially important for people who work at a computer. The repetitive motion of the mouse and keyboard and create fatigue and strain in the soft tissue of the hand and fingers. This is especially true for people who suffer from Raynaud’s Syndrome. Regular treatment of the hand (or feet), along with other forms of treatment like medication, can greatly abate the pain and suffering from this ailment. Massage is also effective at stopping a Raynaud’s attack once it starts.
2. Increased Range Of MotionMuscles and soft tissue can shorten with repetitive use. This can come from working at a computer, working with tools, or playing an instrument. This shortening can create scar tissue with can cause compression on the nerves of the hand and wrist (carpal tunnel). It can also create a condition known as “trigger finger”.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, in 2006, 46 million Americans—nearly one in five adults—were suffering from some form of arthritis. Regular hand and wrist massage can reduce pain and improve your grip strength. Even people who don’t have arthritis can benefit from hand massage. People who work at jobs that require repetitive use of the hands and wrist, find that regular massage can help reduce or eliminate pain and reduced range of motion.
Increased Range Of Motion
Muscles and soft tissue can shorten with repetitive use. This can come from working at a computer, working with tools, or playing an instrument. This shortening can create scar tissue with can cause compression on the nerves of the hand and wrist (carpal tunnel). It can also create a condition known as “trigger finger”.
How to Give a Hand Massage
1. Clasp your fingers together and rub the heels of your palms together in a circular motion. This will be the blood flowing through the hand and help warm it up.
2. With your hands still clasped, take one thumb and massage the area just below your other thumb in a circular motion moving outward to the center of the palm.
3. Unclasp your fingers and use your right thumb and index finger to gently knead your palms, wrists, and the webbing between your fingers on your left hand then lightly pull each finger for 1-2 seconds at a time.
4. Repeat step 3 using your left hand to massage your right hand.
My interview this week is with Kelly McBride, a former maternal wellness studio owner and mother of three children ages 23, 20 & 16. In this interview Kelly talks about how she navigated the change in her role of mother as a result of her divorce. This story is so incredibly relatable to all mothers. Becoming a mother is such a change in identity. We enter this with a set of expectations of how things will be, should be or ought to be. Sometimes we get exactly what we want, and then things change. Sometimes we get exactly what we want only to realize it's not what we thought it would be. And sometimes life throws us a real curve ball and nothing looks the way we expected it. This week we will focus on three themes:
1. Being Enough. What exactly does it mean to be enough? Who is defining for us what "enoough" is? What happens when you "fall short" of these ideals.
2. Shame. Let's be real, we've all experienced some form of mother shame. Did you plan for a natural birth and had an epidural? Did you plan to breastfeed and it just didn't work for you? Do you work? Send you child to daycare? Not pick him up until 6pm? Eat takeout more than you'd like to admit. Let your kids have more screen time than you'd like to admit. It's time to stop being your own worst critic.
3. How to learn to set stuff down. Do you feel like the weight of the world is upon your shoulders? I don't mean figuratively. I mean that quite literally. If you have chronic neck, shoulder and upper back tension then you probably need to look at what in your life you need to learn to set down. A client of mine described this feeling like she "took off a suit of armor"? Easier said than done right? I know I need to eat healthy, but having some support actually helps me be successful in doing that. I'll show you how to go bed feeling like a successful mom.
May is National Salad Month. The days are getting warmer and sometimes a salad is the perfect way to end the day. Here are some of delicious salad ideas.
Artichoke, Edamame and Asparagus Salad – Antioxidant-rich artichoke and asparagus combined with protein and fiber filled edamame with a simple citrus dressing like lemon, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper delivers a powerhouse of taste and nutrients.
Mediterranean Salad - A Mediterranean diet is loaded with fiber, lean protein, good fats, vitamins and antioxidants and so is this salad. Hearts of romaine, chickpeas, yellow bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, cherry or grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese and a dressing with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, honey, salt and pepper.
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad - The fiber-filled protein in sweet potatoes give you half of your daily servings in this tasty vegetarian salad. Toss roasted sweet potatoes and red peppers over a bed of peppery arugula, top with white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper for enhanced flavor.
Salads are so easy to prepare and have a basic structure you can mix to your taste preference. Start with a base of greens, add vegetables for crunch and taste, a fruit for sweetness, and a protein which can be lean meats, fish or beans. Low-fat cheeses, nuts and seeds also make great additions. The possibilities really are endless.
Spring is upon us. It’s time to dust off winter, take a deep breath, and ready ourselves for a new season. It can be a busy time of year, but don’t stress. No, really, don't stress. Stress is a natural negative reaction in your mind and body to challenges. And while it can positively motivate you to get through certain obstacles, it can also wreak havoc on your physical and mental health. You can't escape stress, but you can change how you deal with it. When you're faced with anxiety:
*Take a deep breath and focus on why you're actually feeling this way.
*Take a walk or do any exercise where you can think about the situation and how to handle it without blowing up, figuratively and literally.
*Be proactive and schedule regular massage appointments. Massage has been shown to reduce stress significantly on physical and psychological levels.