Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: May 2019

Get outta here! No, seriously. 16 surprising reasons to get outside!

During her spring break, Sienna stayed with her grandparents for three glorious days. (Don't tell Sienna I said that.) Even in the absence of my adorable but incessantly demanding daughter, I had a hard time de-stressing. At home, everywhere I looked tasks were piling up. Laundry, dishes, e-mails, bills, groceries, etc.

Jesse and I chose to clear our schedules for one day and spend time together. Always having a list of places to explore, Jesse took me to two beautiful parks in Greenpoint and Long Island City, right along the water. The warm sun and the soft cool breeze calmed and restored me. A short while into our journey, I was carefree and living in the moment. No worries about all the things I still had to do, no ruminating about past mistakes. Just being. Of course, the chores were still there when I got home. But they were no longer overwhelming.

I rediscovered nature's healing powers. I don't mean to sound like a tree-hugger or an "energy healer." Rather, I'm telling this story to illustrate the illuminating research that has given us numerous reasons why we need to step away from the computer and get outside.

If you live in the city, like I do, you have to put some extra effort into getting outside. Urban life doesn't exactly lure you into the great outdoors. On the contrary, our overworked population tends to get caught in a routine that involves two locations: work and home.

But the city has a lot to offer - especially in the spring! Go to a park, walk along the river, have a picnic, go biking, explore interesting neighborhoods, see street art, visit farmers markets and street fairs, see Shakespeare in the Park, or even take the subway to Coney Island and soak up some sun at the beach.

Spending time outside doesn't just help you tackle laundry. You'll probably be surprised to learn that getting outdoors can:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce stress
  • Increase Vitamin D
  • Boost creativity
  • Lift your mood
  • Improve concentration
  • Increase alertness
  • Lower anxiety
  • Improve sleep
  • Boost immune system function
  • Improve memory
  • Increase work productivity
  • Reduce pain
  • Restore mental energy
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Decrease the risk of developing nearsightedness

So what are you waiting for? Go on outside and improve your physical and mental health! (Well, right after you finish reading my newsletter.)

Sources: Business Insider, Harvard Health Publishing, Medical Daily, mindbodygreen

Relieve your cold and flu symptoms with this simple self massage!

You've already learned that getting outside can boost your immune system, which is great for preventing illness. But what if you're already sick? I've spoken to several people recently who are stuck at home with a cold or the flu. It's a real bummer to be hit with a runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever, chills, aches, and fatigue. If you need symptom relief but don't like to take medication, or if medication just doesn't cut it, try out this self massage designed to drain congestion, decrease pain, release tension, and provide comfort and relaxation.


What's new with me ...

With Sienna away for three days with her grandparents, Jesse and I caught up on some reading, saw the Avengers (which was AWESOME), went on long walks, and checked out new locations for Jesse's upcoming sketch meetups. (If you like to draw, you should really check it out!)

In other news, I got a note from Sienna's teacher the other day, informing me that Sienna wrote "alien in disguise" on a piece of paper and glued it to her teacher's back. I did what any sensible and responsible parent would do. I cracked up!

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Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

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