What to Expect in a Hot Stone Massage

As the temperatures outside get cooler you may find that your body is craving warmth. Why not try out a hot stone massage? If you’ve never had one, and you’re not quite sure what to expect, well you’re reading the perfect thing.

A hot stone massage is very similar to most standard massages, with one major exception. Well obviously it’s even more amazing, but the reason for that is In a hot stone massage your therapist will use smooth heated stones to perform the massage techniques, not just their hands and forearms. It’s kind of like being massaged by someone with intensely warm hands. But the great thing about the use of these stones, is that they allow the heat to penetrate much deeper into the muscle. This not only feels amazing, but also gives you the added benefit of a much deeper sense of relaxation and tension relief, both physically and emotionally.

It’s important to note that while hot stone massage can be very appealing to a variety of people, this technique isn’t for everyone. There are some additional contraindications specific to hot stone massage, including systemic inflammatory conditions, neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and any other condition or medication that inhibits your senses. The ability to give proper feedback on temperature is crucial, and any impairment in that ability makes a hot stone massage ill-advised.

While communication is always important in any massage, it’s especially important during a hot stone massage because of the heat factor. Let your therapist know if the stones are too hot or if you would like them to be a bit warmer. Oftentimes, if they feel a bit too warm to you, your therapist can either set them aside to cool for a minute, or they may simply move them slightly faster during the massage strokes so the temperature feels better to you. As the stones cool, leaving enough warmth to still feel wonderful, but cool enough to stay in one place for a while without burning, your therapist may choose to place them in strategic places, like in your hands, on your low back, under your neck, or on your stomach. The heat along with the slight weight of the stone can often provide an intense feeling of relief for the area.

While it may be cold outside, you can find one of the best ways to warm up and feel great at the same time with a hot stone massage. Book yours today!

5 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

It’s that time of year again. A time of celebration, family gatherings, holiday parties, gifting, traveling, and most of all, excitement. While many of us are thrilled and looking forward to the holiday season, that excitement is generally accompanied by STRESS. Stress to pick out the perfect dish, give the perfect gift, maintain a spotless house, show up to every party, and decorate our homes like Martha Stewart. So here’s a few tips to help you keep your holiday stress under control, so you can enjoy what the holidays are truly about.

1) Acknowledge what’s got you stressed: While there is a plethora of things that can be feeding into our high stress levels during this time of year, take the time to really focus in on the main cause of your stress. This will help you to pinpoint the problem and face it head on and hopefully early on. This may take a few moments of quiet time away from the everyday hustle and bustle of life. What does your mind continuously go back to? What is preventing you from being able to focus? Chances are that may be one of the main causes of your stress. This is where you will need to make the decision whether to take it on, cut back, or step away. Is it that you know family will be visiting in just a few weeks, and you haven’t had time to tackle your family room for deep cleaning? Is it an outdoor project you’ve been working on for most of the year and you can’t muster up an answer for when Uncle Jim asks why you still haven’t finished it? Take it on. Make a specific goal for yourself with time frames and arrange for the project to be finished. Or realize that other people’s opinions don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Is it that you have spread yourself too thin, and you have no idea how you are going to be able to keep up your weekly volunteer session at the local food bank along with your other commitments? Cut back on your hours or those other commitments. People will understand. Is it that every year you take the time to make individual place settings unique to each family member, but there is no way you will be able to complete the settings along with all your other commitments? Step away, and realize that not everything needs to be perfect. This time of year is about the joy of family and friends, giving back, and gathering together. Don’t let perfectionism ruin this wonderful season.

2) Plan ahead/ Start Early: Generally, you know the likes and dislikes of family members in advance. As you are going throughout the year, if you come across something that makes you think of someone on your list grab it! You may even find it on sale depending on the item and the time of year. If you are stumped on what to get someone, listen to clues in your time with one another. I have an ongoing note on my phone so that when someone gives me clues, I can punch it in and look back at it when I’m out shopping. Make a list early on, and slowly begin to check items off as you go.

3)Stay on budget: Yes, the holidays are fun, and getting gifts is even more enjoyable, but let’s not forget what we are truly celebrating. Family, fellowship, and friends. You show your love through daily actions, not just monetarily. Some of the best gifts have more sentimental value than anything. After making your list, shop around looking and comparing the prices. Look for online ordering that involves free shipping. Search for coupons. If you see yourself reaching for that gift that is over your budget remind yourself that it’s not about the amount that you spend on the gift, it’s about the thought behind the gift.

4)Don’t abandon your healthy habits: It is so easy with all of the holiday gatherings you are being invited to with overindulgent treats at your fingertips to allow yourself to lose sight of any healthy lifestyle you have been following. Life is all about balance. It is okay to treat yourself, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Pick and choose your favorites that you generally don’t get to enjoy and use moderation. It’s easy to overindulge on an item you don’t frequently eat. If you are traveling and used to exercising, look for hotels that have gyms, or ask your family where the nearest park is. Keeping your body in its normal routine as much as possible will allow yourself to maintain a close-to-normal state and prevent stressors.

5)Take extra “you” time: It is so easy to lose sight of ourselves when we are focusing on everyone else. Make sure you take extra time to keep in tune with what you need. Take the long way home and drive in silence. Go for a walk with the dog. Take yourself out for your favorite holiday beverage. Take advantage of gift promotions when buying gifts to reward yourself and give yourself a boost. Get a massage. You must take care of you before you can do anything that comes along with the holiday season.

While the holidays can be stressful, they can also be so enjoyable. A time to gather with our loved ones and make memories that last a lifetime. Make sure you are managing your holiday stress so that you can embrace those special moments.

How Stress Affects Your Body

We all wear many hats in our busy lives. Whether you work or stay home, have children or don’t, own a business or work for someone else, if you’re human, you have stress. Period. It’s an unavoidable part of lifeAnd while you may feel the emotional weight of all that stress, the anxiety, depression, and negative thoughts most often associated with it, stress can also take a huge toll on your body.  

When you’re stressed, your central nervous system (CNS) goes into what is often referred to as the “fight or flight” response. Your body releases adrenaline and cortisol, your eyes dilate, your heart beats faster and your blood pressure increases, your muscles tense and your digestion stops to allow blood to be redistributed to those muscles needed to fight or run for your life. When the perceived threat is gone the CNS will usually act to ease the mind and body, a state often referred to as “rest and digest” because the body calms and functions return to normal. However, chronic, or long-term stress means that signal may not be sent for quite some time, so your body is staying in that state of stress for far too long.  

Maybe you really don’t like your job, and the minute you wake up in the morning you’re already dreading the work day. As you get yourself ready and out the door, the impending day is hanging over you like a dark cloud. Then traffic is rough and you’re on high alert to avoid an accident. Then your day is spent dealing with difficult coworkers, bosses, or customers. When the work day finally ends, you’re exhausted. Not just because of a long day, but because your body has been in this hyper-attentive, stressed state since you opened your eyes.  

Whatever your stress looks like, the physiological toll of it can be immense. The associated muscular tension can lead to widespread pain, headaches, and even make you more prone to injury. The regular increases in blood pressure can put strain on your heart and blood vessels leading to an increased risk of hypertension and even heart attack and stroke. The changes in digestion that occur during this fight or flight response can lead to nausea, constipation, acid reflux, and even increase your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. 

Clearly the affects stress has on your body go deeper than the eyes can see. If you truly want to tackle this worthy opponent, you need to take it one step at a time and realize different techniques work for different people, so take the time to figure out what works best for youHere’s a few tips to get you started: 

Exercise & Movement – When your body gets moving and your blood gets pumping, it releases all kinds of feel-good hormones that ease mental and physiological stress. You don’t have to hit the gym for two hours to get the benefit. Even just a brief walk or a few minutes of stretching can make a big difference for your mind and body. 

Yoga – Don’t worry, you don’t have to have the perfect poses to get the benefits of yogaThe slow, controlled movements and breathing exercises will help you to relax and focus your mind which will help reduce stress levels.  

Meditation – You don’t need to be a master of mindfulness to meditate or to see the benefits of it. Whether you take just 2 minutes or an entire hour is up to you. Regardless, taking the time to close your eyes, breathe slowly, and allow your mind to focus on something other than the things you usually stress about, will ease a lot of that mental and physical stress. 

Journal – Journaling has been shown over and over again to be highly beneficial in combatting stress. Whether you’re unable to speak your mind, or you just feel overwhelmed, getting it all out in a journal of some sort can allow you to take control of those stressful thoughts and move forward. 

Do something for you – As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. You have to take care of yourself, not just others. That may be 10 minutes a day or an hour or two every week. Whatever you can fit into your schedule, start taking some time to devote solely to something you enjoy. Go for a walk, read a book, dance around to your favorite music, or get a massage! 

While life is inevitably stressful, you don’t have to let that stress take control of your life or lead you to some mental or physical issues. You only get one body in this life. Take care of it! 

The Innate In You

People ask me all the time: how did you choose the name of your business and what does it mean?  The Innate In You was formed late 2006, at the time I was working for a Chiropractor and we would always talk about the bodies innate ability to heal itself.  This meant that your body has this ability to know what needs healing and how to heal it.  When you get a cut, you do not have to tell your brain to signal the cells to the area of your body that is injured in order to form a scab, your body does this innately!  When you have an infection in your body, you do not have to tell it to raise the temperature to give you a fever in order to kill the infection, your body does this innately.

I loved this idea and concept so I decided to incorporate it into my business.  I wanted a name that stood for people taking control of their own life, stepping into their own power, creating the destiny that they want and healing their body from within!  The Innate In You is all of those things, we provide you with the educational resources and body work in order for you to do this a little easier.

People are always trying to give me the credit for their healing, but it is happening innately within their own bodies.  You are your own healer.  We just hold a space for you (energetically) to step into that healing place with no judgment, we hold your hand while working through certain fears, we ask the body to move the way it wants to..  Whatever you are going through, it is all about you and we are just helpers along your journey and you are the healer!!