Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: August 2022

Everybody Chill: August 15th is YOUR DAY!

August 15th is National Relaxation Day! This unofficial yet significant holiday was created in 1985 by nine-year-old Sean Moeller, who recognized that workaholic Americans needed to seriously chill out. Since then, and with the advent of the internet, we have all become overbooked, overtaxed, and many of us have forgotten how to relax. We've become so used to chronic stress and anxiety that they've become the norm.

Stress has been shown time and again to be linked to a plethora of physical and mental medical symptoms. In fight-or-flight mode, our bodies redistribute energy and fluids from our periphery and organs not needed for immediate survival (i.e. digestive organs, immune system, bladder and bowels), to vital areas such as our hearts and lungs.

The instinctive part of the brain takes over, while other areas of the brain responsible for higher level functions, like memory and decision making, shut down. When the stress response becomes chronic, we can be hit with any number of conditions and illnesses, such as irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, TMJ dysfunction, migraines, heart problems, chronic fatigue, depression, and panic disorders, to name a few.

We are in dire need of effective ways to reduce our stress, and National Relaxation Day is the perfect time to pause and take an honest look at how stress is affecting our health and wellbeing. Whereas young Moeller intended the 15th to be a relaxing day off from work, playing hooky might not be an option for most of us. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't find some time during the day to unwind. In fact, we should be taking time EVERY day to purposefully relax. This means finding ways to reduce your stress level, thereby changing the environment in your body and reducing your risk of chronic illness.

Here are some stress-alleviating suggestions:

  • Massage therapy! Relaxing massage does wonders to relieve stress and slow the degenerative process.
  • Go for a walk
  • Journal
  • Practice gratitude
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Take a nap
  • Read for pleasure
  • Craft or favorite hobby
  • My YouTube channel, Rachel Richards Massage, has over 100 videos offering guided self-massages, meditations, breathing exercises, stretches, and a whole lot more to help empower you to keep stress and anxiety in check.
  • Click here for more great ideas on reducing stress.

So now you know what chronic stress does to your health. But you also know that you can make the choice to take charge of your stress. Why wait until the 15th? Start practicing a relaxing self-care routine today. Schedule it in your calendar. Put notes on your phone, computer, desk, fridge, bathroom mirror - anywhere to remind you to take time for yourself on National Relaxation Day and every day!

Relieve Eye Strain and Tension with Self-Massage

If you're still not sure how to relax, follow along with this stress-busting self-massage to melt away tension, release the muscles around the eyes and forehead, and calm the nervous system.

What's new with me ...

Sienna has been loving the swimming pool this summer. I grew up on Long Island where summers were spent in the water, so I am delighted to have a swim buddy.

Speaking of Long Island, we went there to visit my sister and her three children. Sienna enjoyed playing with her cousins, swinging, making mud pies, and of course, shooting a film of her visit.

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American Massage Therapy Association

Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

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