Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: November 2011

Love those high heels? Think again ...

Try this:

In bare feet, stand with your back against a wall. Notice how you are standing upright, forming a 90 degree angle with the floor.

Slide a book, about 2 or 3 inches in height, under both heels. If you keep your body in its original line, you will be tilting forward, decreasing your angle with the floor by about 20 degrees.

Now straighten up so you're once again touching the wall, and feel what has happened in your body. The curve in your lumbar spine exaggerates, causing the pelvis to tilt forward. To compensate, you lean back with your shoulder girdle. Your hips are flexed, your feet are pointed and your knees buckle. Your brain instantly receives this new positional information and tries to regain a sense of equilibrium by making a slew of tissue and joint changes to your entire body. Not to mention the compressional forces being placed on your internal organs.

For those who wear high heels regularly, the brain has remapped these adjustments, storing them in engrained neural pathways. When the heels come off, the body maintains these abnormal muscular adaptations. The brain will eventually reinterpret these patterns as normal, causing the high-heel-wearing gal to feel comfortable in heels, but unstable in bare feet. As she ages, she may find she has stiff hip joints, disc compression, and damaged joints and ligaments.

Sorry ladies. High heels might look attractive, but damage to your spine, joints, organs and muscles is definitely NOT attractive. Ditch the heels for a pair of comfortable flats - your body with thank you for it.

Source - Massage Magazine

Stop your stress before it starts!

By now, you probably know that prolonged stress can be devastating to the body and mind. But what can you do to manage your stress? A recent study says that prevention is the most effective way to reduce stress - even more so than relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation. The outcomes of the study suggest 6 strategies to best manage stress:

  1. Spend a few minutes every day figuring out what is causing you stress and then find a way to reduce or eliminate those stressors. For example, if you get stressed out because the subways are slow and you're always late to work, leave earlier!
  2. Replace self-destructive behavior with positive, healthy behavior. Many people drink, take drugs, or eat poorly to cope with stress. Instead, try positive coping methods - take a yoga class, exercise, meditate, and of course get massage!
  3. Keep a list of everything you need to do. You'll get more done, and avoid the stress of forgetting to do something important.
  4. Train yourself in stress management through a daily practice of exercise, relaxation techniques, and thought-management, practicing thinking more positively and productively. Without feeling stress, you're better equipped to handle stressful situations.
  5. Take some time every morning to plan out your day, in detail. When your day is planned out, you feel less stress and you waste less time.
  6. Go a step further and take the time to plan your future. This gives you a wonderful way to exercise control over your life, and the more control you have, the less you will stress!

Source - Scientific American Mind

What's new with me ...

I got my advanced certification in medical massage! The class gave me lots of new ideas and techniques - can't wait to share them with you!

I went with my sisters to see Idina Menzel in concert - she was amazing as always!

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Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

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