Sleep is one of the most important things that we can do for ourselves and our health, yet most of us are not getting enough good sleep. Sleep deprivation does more than just make us feel tired. It can raise our blood pressure, cause memory loss, prevent healthy weight management, impair our immune system, and more.
For many of us, getting to sleep and staying asleep are difficult tasks. While there may be a medical reason that sleep does not come easily, there are many things that we can pay attention to in our behaviors and routines that may help to correct sleep issues.
Here in Chicago, the weather is just starting to warm up, and we are beginning to see more sunlight. I thought that the beginning of spring was the perfect opportunity to talk about the healthy benefits of sunlight.
Every generation seems to have their own ideas about the sun and exposure to it. We seem to swing between getting too much exposure and too little. In the mid 20th century, sun block was not commonly used. People would bake in the sun slathered in baby oil, crisco, or lemon juice. Toward the latter part of the century, there was a big push for sun protection with people being urged to cover up, wear sunblock, and avoid the sun's "harmful rays". At the moment, we seem to be somewhere in the middle. Healthcare professionals have been making more of an effort to learn about the benefits and dangers of sun exposure and to learn how much sun is most beneficial.
Many people already know that the sun helps our bodies to produce vitamin D, which is one of the biggest benefits of sun exposure, but there are many more. In addition to the benefits of vitamin D, getting some sun can help with balancing other hormones such as serotonin and melatonin, protect your skin, and boost your body's immune system.
The color therapy post for this month is all about the color purple. Purple is the 7th color in a standard rainbow. It is associated with the crown chakra, located just above the head. It is often considered a very spiritual color, and is associated with knowledge and higher consciousness. Like blue and green, purple is considered a cool color, and can have a very calming effect.
Let's take a look at some of the benefits of the color purple, and how you can use it to your benefit.
This month's aromatherapy topic is patchouli. Patchouli can sometimes get a bit of a bad rap, but it is actually a very beneficial oil to have around. Patchouli has a very strong, earthy smell that can be difficult for a lot of people, so I would always recommend using this or any other essential oil sparingly. Remember, a little goes a long way. Patchouli is safe for topical use, so feel free to apply it directly to your skin. If you want to take it internally, make sure to buy a brand that is safe for consumption. Patchouli is safe to use during your second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Many people suggest avoiding essential oils altogether during the first trimester.
My goal for this blog series is to highlight small ways that you can improve your health and wellness with everyday activities. Last month I posted about the health benefits of singing, and today I would like to continue the series by discussing the benefits of walking.
Walking is a great way to boost your health and wellness. Let's face it, it is really easy to be lazy. We all try to take short cuts so that we don't have to work as hard. Adding a little bit more walking to your day is a great way to give a boost to your wellness, and you can incorporate it in small ways. Let's take a look at how exactly walking helps you, and how you can do more of it.
A few weeks ago I began a new series about aromatherapy by sharing some interesting uses for lavender. Today I am going to share the next installment by talking about peppermint.
Peppermint is one of my favorite oils to use. It is very versatile and most people either like it, or at least don't dislike it. I use it all the time around the house, and it is one of the oils that I always make sure to keep in my birth bag for doula clients. Let's learn a little bit more about peppermint, how it can be used, and how you can benefit from it.
Self care is an important part of wellness that most of us tend to forget about, or just not make the time for. I am as guilty of this as anyone. Some of us eat healthy, and perhaps exercise, but there is a lot more to self care than diet and fitness. Massage is a great form of self care. It helps you to relax, release tension, and feel better overall. Receiving regular massage has been proven to decrease stress, prevent some disease, make people happier, improve flexibility, and much more.
As a massage therapist, I like to encourage people to get regular massage to increase their overall health and wellness, however, I am also aware that regular massage isn't in everyone's time frame or budget. So how do you get massage when you can't get a massage? You can try self-massage techniques. Today I am going to talk about self-massage with a tennis ball.
Today I am starting a new blog series about aromatherapy and the use of essential oils. I will be highlighting a new essential oil with each post in the series. Don't worry, I'm not trying to sell you on a brand, and I won't do any posts regarding a blend that is only carried by a specific brand. My intention is to outline the benefits and uses of many of the essential oils that you are probably familiar with, and introduce you to others which may be quite useful.
I would like to start off this series with one of the most popular essential oils: lavender. Most of us are familiar with the smell of lavender and have probably used it or smelled it at some point. Lavender is a great oil, not just for its aroma which many find to be pleasing and relaxing, but for its practical uses.
Part 4 of the Benefits of Massage Therapy Series is about the benefits of receiving postpartum massage. Earlier posts have been about how regular massage therapy can benefit your body, mind, and pregnancy, but let's look at why you should receive massage after baby.
I find that while prenatal massage is becoming more popular, many moms stop coming in after they give birth. While I understand that there are the stresses of recovering from birth while taking care of a new baby which makes it hard to find time for yourself, it is important to remember that those things make it all the more important that you DO take care of yourself.
Meet the Author
Amanda Tarver, (LMT, CEIM, PES, RMT) is a massage therapist and birth worker in the Chicago area. She is dedicated to using a combination of bodywork and education to help people live a better quality of life.