Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: September 2020

Self-care in a COVID world: The force is with you

Newton's Law of Inertia states that a body in motion will remain in motion, and a body at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an outside force. Until earlier this year, most of us were bodies in motion. Then came an outside force called COVID-19, that slammed the breaks on our active lifestyles. In the months that followed, many of us sat at home working remotely, watching Netflix, and worrying about our future. Self-care? What's that?

Quarantine, although necessary, meant that the things we relied on to keep us going were suddenly gone. No gyms, no massages, no vacations, no meeting up with friends, no camps for kids, and no childcare for parents.

As we begin feeling the icky effects of prolonged self-neglect, many of us are wondering how to bring self-care and wellness back into our lives. Logistically, we are still limited by gym and other wellness venue closings.

But logistics are not the main obstacle keeping us from healthier lives. Remember that a body at rest will remain at rest. It is very challenging to find the motivation and willpower to start up a self-care routine once it's been stopped. But also remember that a body will remain at rest unless acted on by an outside force. Consider this your outside force.

With so many online options, you can exercise anywhere - even in a small apartment with your spouse in a virtual business meeting and a seven-year-old running back and forth and singing at the top of her lungs. Just for example.

I personally use Amazon Prime for Pilates and yoga classes. But you don't even need to subscribe to anything - there are zillions of fitness classes for free right on YouTube. You can easily find exercise routines that don't require any equipment.

Many massage therapists have reopened their practices (including me!), so book yourself a massage session right away so you get it on the calendar. If you're not yet comfortable traveling or getting a professional massage due to the pandemic, take advantage of online resources. Start with my YouTube channel for a hundred videos on self-massage, stretching, meditation, breathing, and corrective exercises.

Find what you enjoy doing. In order to build healthy habits, we have to choose self-care activities that we enjoy. Otherwise, we won't stick with it. If you love dancing, turn on some music and have a dance party at home. If socializing with friends energizes you, schedule times to meet on Zoom. If you love the sun, put on a mask and get out for a walk each day.

Carve out time for your self-care every day. If you actually write it in your schedule, you have a much higher chance of doing it.

Putting your body in motion requires that bit of extra "force." But once you get going, your self-care routine will become a natural part of your life. Find what you love, put it on your calendar, and do it. You'll soon rediscover that self-care is not a task, it's a joy!

Ease Menstrual Cramps with Self-Massage

If you hate menstrual cramps as much as I do, try out this gentle self-massage to help relieve the pain and relax the muscles of the abdominal region and lower back.

A typical response to pain is to contract and tighten our muscles. But this only intensifies the pain and thus begins a cycle. With this self-massage, we aim to break this cycle, finding ease in the body and mind.

Studies have shown that adding lavender essential oil can help enhance the effects of massage. So, if you have some, grab a little and follow along with me. If not, no worries. You can use lotion, cream, or nothing at all.


What's new with me ...

I didn't realize just how much I missed massage work until I started up again. I am so happy that I was able to safely reopen my practice. It's been wonderful to finally see everyone again, and also welcome some new faces! Sienna had a fun-filled break, including a four-day stay with her grandparents. She brought along all seven of her dolls ... oops! I mean students. Nice work, Teacher Sienna!

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American Massage Therapy Association

Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

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Available now!

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