Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: July 2017

The Healing Nature of Nature

Did you know that being in and around nature can reduce stress and enhance well-being? A growing body of research is showing that it is human nature to be connected to nature. It turns out that spending time outdoors can have significant physical, mental, and emotional health benefits.

Scheduling time to take outdoor breaks is especially important in today's high-stress, over-worked, and technology-driven society. Instead of surfing the web, posting on social media, watching TV, or talking on the phone, try taking a walk or sitting on a park bench. You may find you have less stress, more energy, and improved mental performance.

The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher order thinking, slows down in natural environments. Being in nature gives our nervous systems a chance to calm down, and our over-working minds the opportunity to rest and reboot.

If the weather is inclement, you can still benefit by simply looking out the window. Research has found that the need for pain medication was reduced for hospital patients with a view of a tree as opposed to a brick wall. One study found that even having pictures of nature at work was connected to reduced job stress and fewer absences due to illness.

Exercising outdoors had greater health benefits than working out at the gym. But even when you're not exercising, just being outside is beneficial. A recent study showed that people who visited a park for just 30 minutes a week were less likely to have high blood pressure or poor mental health, than those who stayed indoors.

According to research, being in nature even reduces depression. In one study, two groups of people walked for 90 minutes - one in a natural setting and the other in a crowded urban setting. Those in the natural setting experienced a decrease in heart rate, and less activity in an area of the brain associated with anxiety and depression.

There's also the benefit of maintaining healthy levels of Vitamin D, which we absorb from sunlight. Vitamin D is responsible for bone health, physical strength, mood balance, and autoimmune health.

Like massage therapy, a little time in nature can be very therapeutic, both as a curative and preventative health practice. Summer is a great time to start spending more time outdoors enjoying nature. This includes my fellow New York urbanites - there are plenty of parks and greenery in the city. So do your body and mind a big favor and get outside!

Source: Massage Magazine

Relax your tight jaw in only 2 minutes!

In our technology-driven, anxiety-ridden world, jaw tension is becoming increasingly common. Our jaws tighten up in response to anxiety, frustration, poor posture, sleep-deprivation, and hours spent sitting in front of a computer.

A lot of that tension can be relieved in just 2 minutes with this simple but effective technique. Try it out!

What's new with me ...

Hungry for Life has sold over 3000 copies and continues to be an Amazon best seller! I was honored to be invited to speak about my book at a NAMI event dedicated to spreading eating disorder awareness. Watch it here!

In addition, I am working diligently on my audiobook recording of Hungry for Life. It's quite a challenge - no matter how much I sound proof my room, nothing can drown out those NYC sirens!

Jesse just began working at Tinybeans.com, an app that helps families share photos of their kids.

Sienna begins her summer program this week, with lots of field trips and outdoor play. On weekends, she loves the sprinkler playgrounds. She also plays with Play-Dough for hours!

Check out her new photos and videos!

Call or text me today

I'd be happy to answer
any questions you have!


Fill out my online form.

Subscribe to my Youtube channel!

American Massage Therapy Association

Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

Available now!

Available now!

Did you know?