January 24, 2020 is Global Belly Laugh Day!
Who doesn’t like a good laugh? I know that when I feel the need to self-sooth after a stressful day, I tune into Seinfeld. Thankfully this isn’t the 90s where I would have to purchase the dvds. I can’t imagine life anymore without 24-hour access to Seinfeld actually. There is just something behind sarcastic humor I enjoy. Why DO we Hto laugh? Is there a science behind it? Are there health benefits we expect to receive from laughing?
Benefits of Laughter
- Stress Relief ! Like massage, while reducing the stress hormones such as coritsone, laughter actually increases feel-good hormones such as endorphins. Doing so gives us a more positive outlook and improves our mood.
- Stronger Immune system! When we laugh, infection-fighting antibodies flush through our sytem boosting our immune system. Author Norman Cousin’s promoted his “laughing cure” when reporting how his arthritis pains diminshed and his sleep improved after watching his favorite, laughter-inducing show, The Marx Brothers.
- Improved Blood Circulation According to the American Heart Association, laughter has been linked to increased levels of what is considered the “good” cholesterol (HDL) while reducing artery imflammation! The effects of laughter, according to one University of Maryland’s Med Center, lasts up to 24 hours while preventing plaque formation further benefitting the heart and improving circulation.
How to find yourself laughing more often?
- Hang out with kids! An average four year old laughs 300 times per day compared to an average 40 year old who laughs closer to 4 times per day! Since laughter is contagious, hanging out with children could be the ticket!
- Make it part of your routine! Read the funnies while drinking your morning coffee.
- Take 30 to enjoy your favorite funny sitcom: Mine is Seinfeld, what’s yours? With access to the internet today, it’s easy to find funny clips.
Fun fact about laughter
One minute of laughter can equate to SIX minutes on a treadmill! What’s stopping you????
Ugly Scars are only for Halloween
Few of us have lived past the age of twelve without an owie or two causing a scar. My most notable childhood scar is on my left knee. The tragedy happened at age ten when I was cruising on my bicycle. I was trying to outrun a bumble bee while crossing rail road tracks with a bit of gravel coverage. It was the perfect storm causing me to wipe out! Surprisingly, no tears! The scar is a daily reminder of the catastrophe though. It’s common in childhood but far more embarrasing as an adult! Yes, a massage therapist with a broken wrist, is not a bodyworker career builder. I blame the shoes! Surgery, physical therapy, four months of recovery and yes, another scar. It was 2010 so nearly ten years ago so I’m fully recovered (bionic even!)
Could the appearance of scarring been mitigated had I had massaged the site of surgery two weeks after the operation? Could numbness of the effective area been avoided? These are questions I ask and something everyone should consider after an injury or surgery.
According to the research, the appearance and effects of scarring can be minimized if massage is performed at the site of injury two weeks after a surgery. Unfortunately, studies have indicated that if massage is performed after two years of scar formation, little affect will be realized.
Scars form as part of the body’s natural healing process but if scars do not heal properly, it can lead to reduced mobility and even shrinkage of certain body parts (my ex’s punishment)! The first stage of scar formation is Inflammation which can last up to two weeks. You can expect the injured area to be red, swollen and tender in this first stage. Stage two is the Proliferation stage when the body starts to layer scar tissue around the wound to protect it. You should notice that the scar is now red, rigid and raised. It is at stage two that massage is indicated so that the tissue heals properly. Massage should be performaed two-three times a day at ten minute intervals. All sutures should be removed and any scabs should have naturally fallen off prior to massaging. Pressure should begin light with gradually more pressure as tolerable.
The techniques can be used through six months of recovery unless you notice that there is bleeding, warmth of the scar as opposed to the surrounding tissue, redness or unusual pain. Stop massaging and contact your doctor if you experience these symptoms. Our skin is the largest organ on our body that helps to regulate temperature and acts as a barrier to microorganisms that can cause infections. That’s why making sure your wound is at least two weeks old is important prior to starting the massage practice. Always, consult with your physician for best practices.
Correctly performing the massage techniques for scarring can aid in softening and flattening the scar. The pressure of massage promotes collagen remodeling, reduces the itching that often accompanies healing and aids in injury site flexibility because of improved blood flow by oxygenating the area. Massage can reduce build up of excess scar tissue that can cause stiff and weak muscles. Excess fluids causing inflammation can be drained through your lymphatic system to redue swelling by using Manual Lyphatic Drainage (MLD) massage techniques.
Other techniques such as cross-fiber friction and myofascial release can be performed by your certified massage therapist.
Although everyone’s healing process can vary, you can expect full wound healing in 12-18 months. If scar-related issues are realized after that time, you may need surgery to remove excess scar tissue and the cycle may begin again.
Love exposing yourself to the healing benefits of essential oils? Frankensence has been known for its anti-inflamatory properties and has been used to improve the appearance of scars. Always choose a therapeutic-grade essential oil when experimenting. Ask me how to obtain the best on the market!
September Gift Certificate Idea…
3 Things you can do to Beat the Heat this summer….
Inspired by Light, Proven by Science
Have you been looking for an excuse to try our new Love of Light service? This is a great opportunity! For the month of May 2019, you will receive a *FREE 30-minute Celluma Light therapy session with the purchase of a Register to Relax Massage! Celluma is FDA approved for the treatment of acne, antiaging and PAIN MANAGEMENT! Experience safe, proven results using the low-level light therapy. This award-winning therapy uses deeply penetrating wavelengths of light energythat are absorbed by photoacceptors in the mitochondria of compromised cells to regain and restore vitality naturally. The process increases the production of ATP (the fuel that drives all cells). The resultingboost in cellular energy leads to a cascade of metabolic events which can increase micro-circulation and decrease arthritic and joint pain, muscle spasm and muscle and joint stiffness.
- Proven NASA researched technology
- Whole Body wellness system
REFERENCE: 1. The Nuts and Bolts of Low-level Laser (Light) Therapy-Hoon Chung, et al. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Vol 40, No 2, February 2012. pp 516-533.