Keep the Pain Out of Your Back!!

 As a massage therapist I have recently noticed that there are a lot of people out there with low back pain!  It has been interesting observing pain patterns (in my practice) slowly shifting south.  I certainly have no problems working on glutes and am getting quite good at getting to those pesky tight areas but wouldn’t it be nice to get a massage just to relax rather than because of trying to relieve low back issues?

I, therefore, thought I would write this brief post to give some suggestions about preventing low back pain.  I want you to enjoy your time on my table!!!  Here are my suggestions:

1.  Watch Your Weight.  I am not talking about being skinny or malnourished.  But having more weight, especially around one’s midline, can cause back muscles to work harder to hold you erect.  This, in turn, can cause those back muscles to begin to spasm.

2.  Strengthen the Abdominal Muscles.  Again, not about being skinny but when the abdominal muscles themselves are weak, this puts an added burden on the back muscles.  If your abdominal muscles are weak AND you have extra weight around your middle, this could end up causing you pain.

3.  Exercise and Stretch.  All exercise is good but functional exercises are wonderful.  These are exercises that imitate things you do in your daily life, i.e., bending, twisting, lifting, squatting, etc.  Having strong muscles that are also fluid and flexible is an optimimum way to help prevent low back pain.  No one likes to make a sudden move and feel that sharp stab of a strained muscle!  Keeping the muscles in good working condition is always in order.

4.  Drink Water.  Keeping the muscles well-hydrated is a good way to keep them functioning properly.  Make sure your water is the best it can be.  I personally own a Kangen water ionizer and find it to be one of the best investments I have made for me.  I also bring Kangen water in for my clients (if interested in finding out more, please go to bhniwater.com).

5.  Use the 80/20 Rule.  What is this, you might ask.  We all know that what we eat is an important factor in how our bodies function.  But, sometimes it is just difficult to pass up some of those things we want that we know are not good for us.  So, try to live by the 80/20 rule which is basically ensuring that at least 80% of what you eat is healthy and good for you.  Then, when you make a less than stellar decision, the effects are not so bad because everything else has been healthy!!

So, these are the ideas I have had for keeping back pain at bay!  Our backs are important and you never realize HOW important until it hurts!!  Let’s try to keep it from getting there!!  And, hey, come get a massage every now and again!!   A massage, along with all the above, will help keep you and your back happy!!

 

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Living the Dream

Seashells for Coastal Living

Seashells for Coastal Living

This has been a crazy year!  2014 started out with me losing my job, a job that was important to me but one that had slowly started to lose it’s importance.  I was the director of a massage school and had been with the school for over 18 years.  But, as I began to feel there was something else for me to do, it seemed that circumstances were conspiring to make it so!!

I left that job on January 31 (officially) and decided to open my own business.  Before leaving the school, I took an intensive training in oncology massage and knew that that was what I wanted to do.  So, I opened my own little massage business and started paying attention to opportunities being presented!

I tried to take advantage of every networking group and every introduction!  I made connections with so many and two young women who had been in my class and I began working together to visit local cancer support groups to educate people on the benefits of massage and especially receiving massage from specifically trained therapists!  It has been a long road but it has been fun, I have learned a lot and I continue to look for the opportunities!!

One of the contacts I have made is with a local breast cancer group.  They call themselves “Beyond Boobs!” And they are a phenomenal group of women!  I have done a lot of volunteer work with them and I count one of the co-foundeds as a friend!  You can check them out in YouTube, as they do put out educational videos that are both informative and entertaining!  What a sense of humor these women have.

One of my passions is working with essential oils and herbs.  One day I had the brilliant idea that I would make my own salt and sugar scrubs, soaps and candles and use this as a way to raise donations for my favorite group!

So, that’s what I have been doing and having such a good time doing it.  I love the creativity, making things and putting my heart into it.  So, this is where my inspired life is today!  I am doing so much of what I love and what I hope helps people to feel better, all the while supporting a group that does so much good for others, as well.  And, in the end, that’s what it’s all about!!  So what has inspired you today?

Beachin’

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Well, I cannot believe it has been so long since I have posted!  I must be having fun!!

Actually, this is my favorite time of the year!  I love the ocean, the sand and the warm breezes!

I took this picture Sunday afternoon while my sweetie, Bob, and I were relaxing at an outdoor place on our local boardwalk!  It could not have been a more beautiful day!  To me, this is sheer paradise and I feel tremendously blessed and fortunate to be here!!

This is part of my inspired life and I am living Jake Owens’ summer song, Beachin’ (I was inspired to use that as my title today as I was out this morning with the sunroof open, listening to that song)!

Today, life is good!  I am living, as best as I can, for the moment and in the moment!!  I want to experience every thing and not wish away my time on this beautiful planet!!

So, here’s hoping you have many glorious moments where you are, today and always!!

It’s A New Day

It is still early in the day but it has already been magical!

I love the ocean! You would think I grew up in a beach town but I actually grew up in a small North Carolina town, nestled up in the middle of the Pisgah And Smokey Mountain ranges. I was 12 or 13 when I saw an actual beach for the first time! So where in the world did my love of the ocean come from?

I have no idea; all I know is that being at the ocean calms me and helps me brings peace to my soul! I live in a resort area now and the beach in the summer is awash with tourists and all their trappings, traffic and too much noise.

The exception to this is the early morning, which is lucky for me because that is my favorite time to be there! This morning I arrived around 6:30 so I was too late to watch the sunrise. The beaches at this time of the morning are quiet, with only a few people meandering around. Usually there are surfers out in the water, bobbing around and looking like seals hanging out in the ocean near the rocks. I also see a couple people with their metal detectors, looking for their treasures.

There is just something about walking along the ocean in the morning, feeling the slight ocean breeze, tinged with salt, watching the early morning sun creep higher in the sky, feeling the coolness of the water as it splashes around my feet, and breathing all this in! The other thing i love about the ocean? the mighty crash of the waves along the shore! That is real power, power In Its rawest form! It is days like this when all I can do is thank whatever forces there are for bringing me here!

So, wherever you are today, even if you are not near an ocean, I hope ou can get outside somewhere and just dig your toes in the earth!! You will be so glad you did!!! Make it a habit, do it often!

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This One’s for You

Good morning and Happy Memorial Day to all our Veterans!!!

It has been a little while since I posted but life has been very busy right now!! For instance, my 18-year old son now wants to get a car and thinks you just walk on a lot, pick the one you want and drive away!! Whoa, Nellie!! But this saga is for another post!!!

Last night I attended a Jimmy Buffett concert and what a total blast of fun that was!! It was at our local amphitheater, the weather was absolutely perfect and the crowd was maxed out, loud, and dancing was the rule of the evening! I loved the music, the wonderful way Jimmy interacted with the audience, the salute to our military (always very special in a military town) and the laid back ambiance of the entire evening! His stage props set the scene of island living and his screen visuals were palm trees, calm blue waters, ocean sunrises and waves gently lapping the shore!

All this made me realize (remember!) that I live in a city right on the Atlantic Ocean and I always loved early morning walks on the beach! I made a vow lat night to begin that practice again! For me, there is something so meditative and peaceful walking on the beach and watching the sun rise! It is a practice that helps open my mind, my heart and my spirit and I cannot believe I have allowed that practice to lapse!

So, on the surface, it was a concert! But, in actuality, it was an event that opened my eyes to something forgotten!! So, here’s to you, Jimmy Buffett, this one’s for you!!!

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Is it Destiny or Are We Floating on a Breeze?

Anyone who has seen the movie “Forrest Gump” would recognize the title of this post. Do you remember the scene where he is talking on the bench and says something like “I don’t know if Lt. Dan was right and we all have a destiny or if momma was right and we’re all just floating on a breeze.”

This is something I think about a lot! Are we destined to end up at a certain point, no matter what we do? Or, do our choices and decisions determine where we end up? It is quite the quandary but, perhaps it is a quandary we are not destined to understand until we have made that voyage to the other side!!

Since I am referencing movies in this post, have you ever seen “Mr. Destiny” with Michael Caine and Jim Belushi? This movie, although funny and cute, makes the point that just one event in our lives can change our entire direction. That makes me think back to a number of events in my life and I do wonder: if I had been raised in the big city where my parents were from rather than a small mountain town in NC, would I be a completely different person today? If I had not gone to college, moved away from home, married who and when I did, had not had kids, gotten divorced, etc., etc., etc., would I be in a different place right now, would I be a different person….or would I still have ended up right where I am? These thoughts can have you going around in circles!!

Whatever the case may be, and I certainly do not have the answer, I know that the decisions and choices I have made in my life have led me to places and times where I have had to do some heavy duty soul searching! It has not always been fun and it has not always been pretty but every bit of it has led me to this inspired life I am living!! It has all been worth it and more than likely necessary to get me here today!!

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Please Don’t Rock Your Yard!

Just had to reblog this information because I see so much of this where I live!! Get inspired and pull the weeds both out of your yard and out of your life!!!! The time is now!!

Crazy Green Thumbs

While we were in Colorado there was a trend to rip out anything that was growing and replace it with a gravel landscape. Every time I saw someone ripping out their grass to do this: I wanted to throttle them. Here is why: rock is not low maintenance. I understand those who don’t garden are looking for a low maintenance option for their yard. Please. I beg you. Do not put gravel across your property!

Please Don't Rock Your Yard!!! An example of what a rocked yard looks like after a few years.

Now it might seem counterintuitive to hear that rock is not low maintenance but rocks do not stop weeds. Sure: you might like the way it looks the first season you have it down, but gravel and rock are permanent. The problems associated with gravel and rock are permanent too.

Here are six very good reasons NOT to replace grass with gravel:

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