Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: August 2011


If it hurts, don't do it!

Sounds obvious, but easier said than done. I can't tell you how many people come to me complaining that a particular activity, sport, or exercise causes them pain. I ask if they stop the activity once they feel the pain coming on. They say "no." "Well, why not?" There are several reasons. A person could love a particular sport or activity so much, they choose to keep playing despite the pain it causes them. Or perhaps a workout buff thinks that he or she needs to "work through the pain" in order to have an effective workout. (By now you should all know how I feel about the "no pain, no gain" theory.)

Then there are people who need to do certain physical activities for a living, like lifting heavy boxes, painting ceilings, typing, or (like me) massaging. Since our jobs require us to do the same physical motions repeatedly for hours every day, our muscles get overworked, which often leads to pain and injury. Unless you're lucky enough to have saved up lots of vacation days, you probably can't stop working long enough to allow your body to heal. Instead, you need to do everything you can to take care of yourself properly in order to manage the pain and keep it from getting worse. For instance, getting massage regularly, taking frequent breaks, daily stretching and strengthening exercises, making sure you're getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet, and managing stress.

But if your pain is being caused by recreational activities or exercise, the most important thing you need to do, first and foremost, is stop the activity that is causing you pain! This doesn't mean that you can never return to doing what you love. Rather, the rest will allow your body the time it needs to heal properly, so that you can do what you love for many more years than you'd be able to if you continued to aggravate the injury. It's like ripping a scab off every time it forms the wound will take a considerably longer time to heal, if at all, and will leave an ugly scar.

Listening to your pain is top priority. When you feel pain, your body is trying to tell you that something's wrong that requires your attention. The longer you continue to do the activity that causes you pain, the longer it will take for the injury to heal, and the longer it will be before you can return to tennis, baseball, weight lifting, running, biking, swimming, or whatever you look forward to every week. Be smart, and listen to what your body tells you because your body is smart too!

It's hot and sunny are you prepared?

Looking to get a healthy tan this summer? Sorry to tell you, but there is no such thing as a healthy suntan. Any skin coloration from the sun is a sign of skin damage. It's great to get out and have summer fun, but make sure you protect your skin!

There are tons of sunscreens on the market, but choosing the right one is about to get easier. The FDA is requiring manufacturers to test sunscreen protection against both UVA and UVB rays both of which can cause early aging of the skin and skin cancer. Sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays will be labeled "broad spectrum". So check for the "broad spectrum" label, and an SPF of at least 15.

Protect yourself with broad spectrum sunscreen, and then go outside and have fun!

Source: CBSNewYork.com

What's new with me ...

My sister's wedding was beautiful! She and her husband just got back from a relaxing honeymoon in Aruba.

Jesse and I have seen lots of summer flicks. My favorite was the final Harry Potter movie! What's yours?




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American Massage Therapy Association

Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork


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