Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: May 2013

Your body is talking to you. Are you listening? ...

When we think of self-care, diet and exercise often come to mind. Both are very important, but did you know that you can tune into your own body's sensations to find out what it needs? Your body is very smart and knows how to take care of itself. It just needs you to be receptive to that information.

Many of us have busy, stressful schedules that cause a disconnection between mind, body, and emotion. If you continue to ignore your body's signals, it will eventually force you to listen. Ever "suddenly" come down with a terrible cold, get a disabling muscle spasm, or suffer a pounding headache that refuses to ease up? Some of these may be prevented if you take the time regularly to quiet your mind, acknowledge your emotions, and tune into your body.

Massage Therapy Journal reports, "... being present and better understanding what you're feeling can give you good insight into where you need to pay more attention, giving you great information on how to best take care of yourself. Being more aware of your internal sensory experiences makes noticing the cues your body is sending to signal when you're uncomfortable, tired or stressed easier to recognize. And being able to more easily recognize how you're feeling can be key in remaining healthy."

Of course, this is easier said than done. Present moment awareness isn't achieved overnight - rather it is an ongoing practice, like any other self-care routines. When you take time to turn your attention to the present moment and focus your awareness internally, you are practicing mindfulness. There are numerous books and websites dedicated to teaching you about mindfulness. A great place to start is Mindful.org. This site has lots of useful information, plus tons of articles to help you begin your mindfulness practice.

Cynthia Price, a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, explains, "Paying attention to inner body sensations as a way to discern how you are feeling emotionally, and then taking the time to attend to and process the emotions, is one way body awareness translates to self-care. When you're stressed, take time and attend to the body by using breath and attention to sensation." This is a fantastic way to promote better mental and physical health, and prevent future illness and injury. So get back in touch with the present moment, with your own state of being, and allow your body to teach you what you need for optimal health!

Source: Pubmed

One is good, more is better!

A study led by Mark Hyman Rapaport, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine, found that a single Swedish massage session had significant biological effects on immune function and hormone levels, promoting relaxation and boosting mood. But a second study found that repeated massage sessions result in increased and longer-lasting psychological and biological benefits. The research shows that "there are sustained cumulative biologic actions for the massage and touch interventions that persist for several days or a week, and differ profoundly depending on the dosage (frequency) of sessions." In this case, you can't have too much of a good thing!

Source: Massage Magazine

What's new with me ...

I suppose I should rename this section to "What's new with Sienna." My baby girl has grown and changed so much in only 2 months! She now smiles at her mom and dad, and has begun to enjoy getting massaged. She's also been sleeping for longer intervals, which means I'm getting a little more sleep too. Thanks to everyone for your e-mails, cards, gifts, and warm wishes!

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American Massage Therapy Association

Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

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