Why is Sleep SO Important?

Why is sleep so important? Holistic health and wellness Newamrket. Registered Massage Therapist

Most of us understand that we “need” sleep, or we wish that would could get “more sleep,” however, there is so much more to sleep then we realize. Here are a few reasons why getting a good night’s sleep is so important:

When we are sleeping our bodies are healing, digesting and producing hormones.

When you have a cut or injury it is when you are sleeping that your nervous system finally gets a chance to shut off so your body can heal. Your stress hormones called cortisol get to take a break, which is why you feel good in the morning and why you wake up hungry.

When we sleep and sleep well, we feel mentally and physically healthier, plus we perform better during the day. This is partly due to the fact that many hormones are released during sleep, for instance melatonin. Melatonin controls your sleep pattern. Levels increase at night and make you feel sleepy. And while you are sleeping growth hormones get released to help you grow and repair.

Sleep can improve your concentration and productivity, especially if you are an athlete. It can improve your performance. Good sleepers tend to eat fewer calories.

And did you know that your brain is actually processing what it learned during the day and is sorting our stuff and filing it away? This is an important process for the creation of long-term memories.

Experiencing Poor Sleep?

So, what happens when we don’t sleep enough or sleep too much?? Well, poor sleepers tend to gain weight. It disrupts the daily fluctuation of appetite hormones.

They also have a greater risk of heart disease and stroke. And poor sleeping patterns can affect your sugar levels and put you at a higher risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Lack of sleep is also linked to depression, long-term inflammation of the digestive tract, irritable bowel disease, and your body’s inflammatory responses. Sleep deprived people can even lack in social skills and the ability to recognize people’s emotional expression.

Bottom line: we need to have proper sleep to be healthy as much as we need good nutrition and exercise.

Massage can help with promoting sleep and relaxation of the body and mind. Whether you are seeking the benefits of Massage Therapy and Holistic Nutrition in combination or separately Freedom of Movement is here to help. Check us out on Facebook or give us a call today (416) 738-1148.

Here’s to Your Health,

Karen

Nutritional Tips for a Healthy Liver

Did you know that your liver performs over five hundred different functions? That’s a lot of work. The liver is actually one of the body’s largest organs.

To give you an idea of just how busy your liver is, here are just some of the functions it serves. It helps to break down fats to produce energy, it removes alcohol from your blood and gets rid of by-products let over from the breakdown of medications. It has the ability to convert the nutrients in our diets into substances that the body can use, it stores these substances, and then supplies cells with them when needed. It can also absorb toxic substances and convert them into harmless substances, or makes sure they are released from the body.

The liver has an incredibly important role when it comes to the thyroid hormone metabolism. And did you know that your liver and intestines make up 80% of the cholesterol you need to stay healthy?

With all of that going on, we want to make sure we keep our livers happy and not make them sluggish.

A Sluggish Liver

Just like with any other part of our body, if we don’t care for them properly our livers will begin to function in a suboptimal way. Here are some signs of a sluggish liver: chronic fatigue, swelling in the legs and ankles, hypothyroid issues, moodiness, dry itchy skin, vertigo, waking up between 2am – 3am, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and right-sided shoulder pain.

But there are things we can do to keep our livers happy. Such as eating foods like; garlic, grapefruit, broccoli, beets, carrots, green tea, dark leafy greens, Ganoderma lucidum also known as Reishi mushroom, lemon water, turmeric, plus many more. You can do a quick Google search for a more complete list. Or stop on by for a consult with us, we’d love to chat.

Whether you are seeking the benefits of Massage Therapy and Holistic Nutrition in combination or separately Freedom of Movement is here to help. Check us out on Facebook or give us a call today (416) 738-1148.

Here’s to Your Health,

Karen

Poor Posture While Driving When commuting wreaks havoc on your overall body alignment and health

 

If you are like many people out there, you probably spend a significant amount of time commuting to and from work, as well as depending on your car for your day-to-day needs.

Driving is an excellent way to get to your destination quickly and efficiently, particularly in areas when you can’t rely on public transportation.

On the other hand, spending too much time sitting in a car with the wrong posture could pose significant threats to your overall health and undermine your body alignment.

Thankfully, there are many things you can do to improve your posture. Keep reading to find out more!

SIT CORRECTLY

Your posture in the car largely depends on how you sit. Make sure you keep your seat as high as you can while remaining comfortable and able to drive safely. Some drivers might keep their seat a bit too far from the wheel, meaning that they need to bend forward to be comfortable. Try keeping your seat closer, so you don’t need to be all hunched over the wheel. This way, you will be able to align your back in a neutral position.

Incorrect position while driving could cause a wide variety of health issues, ranging from chronic pain to headaches, sciatica and more.

TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS

If you take long car trips, you might also consider taking breaks throughout the journey. Even stopping for 5 minutes to stretch out could make a positive impact on your body, and the added benefit is that you can also recharge your focus and refresh after many hours behind the wheel.

WATCH YOUR ELBOWS

The positioning of your elbows is also critical. Make sure you keep your elbows low, allowing the arm to follow its natural curve towards the wheel. If you keep your elbows up or leaning on the side of the window, your posture will not be good.

Regular massage therapy treatments are a great way to help the body’s alignment and make it easier to correct posture related issues. Let us know how we can help!

Four Simple Ways to Lose a Little Weight at a Time Massage Therapy Newmarket

healthy-lifestyle-weight-loss

Making Big Changes in Small Steps

There is no shortage of extremism in the world today. The constant pressure to be the biggest, best, fastest, top-performer is relentless, and it when it comes to your weight loss journey, it can be downright discouraging. Luckily, there is evidence that the latter need not be a source of such stress. As it turns out, when it comes to shedding the pounds, even losing a little weight can make a significant improvement in your overall health.

Just a five percent decrease in total body weight boasts such benefits as improving heart function, increasing self-esteem and lifting your mood, preventing inflammation, and protecting your joints from osteoarthritis. With a list like that, you have plenty of amazing reasons to treat every pound lost as a victory. Here are four easy ways to drop a few ticks on the scale, make progress toward your ultimate weight loss goals, and start reaping the health benefits immediately.

  1. Drink more water. It has long been assumed that drinking a glass of water before a meal can help suppress appetite, and in middle-aged and older adults, this is true. However the reasons to drink water when trying to lose weight go deeper than previously thought. In fact, drinking water can increase energy expenditure (and thus calories burned), for up to an hour after you finish the glass. So if you’re trying to take the pounds down, be sure to ‘bottoms up’ on a regular basis.
  2. Pack your lunch. Although it can be tempting to grab a fast-food combo during your mid-day break, evidence suggests that brown-bagging it may be better for your health. Preparing meals ahead of time makes you more likely to make a healthier choice – one that will ultimately lead to better progress toward your weight loss goals. If you’ve had trouble getting into the swing of making lunch in the morning, try preparing it the night before so that you can sleep those few extra minutes. Better yet, try prepping meals on the weekend that will take you through the whole week. Make foods you can freeze, and/or use in many different ways to ensure freshness and add a sense of variety.
  3. Eat more fermented foods. These tangy treats help balance the flora (bacteria) in your gut. This can help heal inflammation in the lining of the digestive tract, which leads to better absorption of nutrients from the foods that you eat. When your body can access more nourishment from each thing consumed, it is less likely to crave excess food, especially those that are particularly sugary or laden with bad fats.
  4. Keep your curfew. Studies suggest that giving yourself a bed time can lead to a decrease in body fat. Apparently, it isn’t only the amount of sleep that affects your body weight (between 6.5 and 8.5 hours seems to be best for many), but the regularity of your sleeping schedule as well. Apparently, laying down and getting up at approximately the same time every day can help with your weight loss goals. It also ensures you an awake, alert brain capable of making more healthy decisions throughout the day. When it comes to weight loss, getting proper amounts of shut eye can be the key to unlocking your next five pound drop.

Remember, everything – including your journey to better health – happens one step at a time. Try a few of the suggestions above to take another small advance toward your personal finish line, and celebrate feeling more energized, happier, and confident right away.

The Benefits of Losing a Little Bit of Weight This Season Massage Therapy Newmarket

These holidays I’m Helping More People Lose Weight for the Upcoming Christmas Season here in Newmarket.

I put a 30-day nutritional coaching program together for my Newmarket Holistic Nutritional Weight Loss. In addition to my Newmarket Massage Therapy Programs. I am accepting 20 new patients for this program. If you are looking for someone to coach you and help you lose weight, look no further I am here to help you lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle that promotes freedom of health.

Here Are Some of the Many Benefits of Losing A Bit of Weight…

  • Strengthening Your Circulation
  • Living Better
  • Improving Your Mood
  • Warding Off Inflammation
  • Keeping Joints Squeaky Clean

30-Day Program Details includes

  • 2 Packages of Flavourful Protein Shakes
  • Nutritional Coaching
  • Nutritional Plan
  • Weigh-ins With Measurements Weekly

Space is filling up quickly, lose weight for the holiday and don’t feel guilty about Christmas eating!

Call 416-738-1148 to Book your First Nutritional Coaching Session.

Starting a New Exercise Program? Read this First Massage Therapy Newmarket

There’s no getting around it – exercise is an absolutely essential part of living life at optimal health. Luckily, there is something for everyone these days. The range of programs, techniques, and classes available is wide; from Zumba to Cross Fit, you’re sure to find something that suits your personality and interests.

However, as you begin, maintain, or up-level your personal fitness regime, there are a few things to consider to make sure that your healthy intentions don’t become a painful reality. Putting more on your muscles than they are ready to bear, neglecting to stretch thoroughly, and improper body mechanics can all put you at higher risk for exercise-related injuries. The following prevention techniques can help you avoid muscle strains and tears; they are simple additions to your daily routine that can make a huge impact on your muscular health.

Static Stretches for Tight Hamstrings

Hamstring pulls and tears are a common injury among athletes – especially sprinters – and they can have debilitating effects. Not only are these injuries painful enough to suspend normal movement for weeks, but general tension in this muscle group can affect the low back. As the hamstrings tighten, they pull on the bone structure where they attach. This bone structure happens to be the pelvic girdle, also an attachment point for back muscles, including the quadratus lumborum and erectors. When tight or injured hamstrings pull the pelvic girdle out of proper alignment, this in turn affects the low back muscles, causing further discomfort.

Needless to say, it’s better to prevent this outcome than to be faced with having to heal it. Fortunately, there are several simple static stretches that can help. Although the static stretching has undergone some debate in recent years, there are still several effective techniques that are used by a range of athletes. They include:

  1. Scissor hamstring stretch;
  2. Hurdler stretch; and
  3. Reclined hamstring stretch

*Note that these stretches should be performed on warm muscles to be as safe and effective as possible.

Active Isolated Stretching with a Resistance Band

Using a resistance band is a great way to incorporate Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) into your routine, as it allows you to use this technique without the necessity of a partner to assist. Unlike static stretching, Active Isolated Stretching suggests that you only stretch a given muscle within its current range of motion. In addition to making it a bit more comfortable to perform, this technique is also likely to quickly increase flexibility and reduce the chances of injury.

There are Active Isolated Stretches for every region of the body, and the techniques you choose to incorporate should depend on your exercise program and goals. While the techniques are not difficult, it is advisable to learn them first in-person. A personal trainer, massage therapist, or advanced workout partner can help you determine the proper AIS protocol to fit your fitness routine.

Foam Rolling

Foam rollers are an increasingly popular way to loosen tense muscles, increase range of motion, and prevent athletic injury. Techniques using this basic, cost-effective tool can be performed both before and after workouts. (Pre-workout rolling techniques should focus on targeted muscle groups, while post-workout sessions can be more general, addressing all of the muscles worked that day.)

Foam rolling is found to be particularly effective on the iliotibial (IT) band, the taut connective tissue that runs along the lateral portion of each thigh. Rolling this area can help prevent undue tension, and also protects the knees, which can experience pain if the IT band becomes too tight, inflamed, or otherwise injured.

Healing from an Injury

Of course, if you are already dealing with an injury, there are ways to encourage your body to rehabilitate fully before returning to your full fitness routine. Massage therapy, chiropractic care, acupressure, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), are among several non-invasive methods that can get your body back into top shape, and prevent further injury in the same location. Having a team of quality practitioners to assist in the care and maintenance of your body is always wise, as they will take your recovery as seriously as you do, and help you get back to optimum health as quickly as possible.

The Benefits of Drinking Organo Gold Coffee Massage Therapy Newmarket

Maximize Your Morning: Getting the Nutrients You Need to Start the Day Right

It’s morning. Whether you had a restful night’s sleep full of sweet dreams on the perfect mattress, or a night that fell slightly short of that ideal, this is your chance to start fresh. After your digestive system and other internal organs have used all of those hours to process, reset, and rest, it’s important to wake them up with the nutrients that will keep them – and you – fueled for the day ahead.
The challenge is that many of us have the habit of breaking fast with foods that don’t provide the nutrient profiles we need to function at optimal levels. In the midst of the morning rush, it becomes all too easy to reach for sugary, processed foods. They may seem convenient as you search for your keys and head out to work, but the energy crash you’ll feel just a short while later is a tell-tale sign that breakfast was a nutritional bust. Not to worry, though; this one small tweak to the “Most Important Meal of the Day” can have huge payoffs for the rest of your day, and your overall health. Better yet, it may even help simplify your regular routine, saving time and adding an important nutritional boost in a place you may not expect: your morning cup of coffee.

But wait, isn’t coffee bad for me?

In a word, no! Now, those who opt for drinks made with coffee that actually look and taste more like desserts will feel the effects of the added ingredients… but blame that on the whipped cream and the salted caramel drizzle. In fact, coffee itself has important health benefits that go far beyond the pep it may add to your step.
For example, Organo Gold coffee contains a multitude of antioxidants – they eliminate free radicals from the body, boosting your immune system and preventing disease. Their special blend also contains Ganoderma lucidum – commonly known as Reishi mushroom – and this is where the health benefits go through the roof.
Known as the “King of Herbs” by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ganoderma contains adaptogens. These help your body adapt to numerous stressors, and a have a normalizing effect on your physiological functioning, as well as on your mood. This means that initial kick from the caffeine won’t turn into a craving later; you’ll experience an even, long-lasting energy boost from your cup of Organo. It also means that your body will be less susceptible to disease, both acute (like colds and flus), and chronic (like malignant cancers).
Another important benefit of the Ganoderma lucidum in Organo Gold is the amino acid complex it provides. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and compose a hefty proportion of your bodies internal structure (think cells, organs, and tissues). Adding this to your morning routine ensures you have what you need to maintain optimum health and prevent cellular breakdown – it provides proper nutrition on the molecular level.

Upgrade your cup

In addition to giving you a huge health boost, Organo Gold coffee is flavorful, portable, and simple to make. An instant coffee blend with a bold, nutty taste, it gives you more energy in less time, without tasting like a typical “health drink.” One easy switch from your average cup of Joe to Organo Gold, and violà – you’ve conquered mornings!

Top #5 Benefits of Regular Massage Therapy Massage Therapy Newmarket

Summer is ending here in Aurora, Ontario and that means autumn is arriving and winter isn’t too far behind. Fall and winter present peak times for a variety of ailments including: allergies, arthritis, and circulatory conditions.
Regular massage therapy sessions with a registered massage therapist can help combat the seasonal woes as well as the stresses we put on our bodies daily. Everyone knows massages feel great and help relax you, there are a variety of benefits to massage therapy that you may not have considered

1. Fight Postural Stress Disorders

It’s a fact that human beings were not meant to sit at a desk for eight hours every day. The effects of prolonged sitting typically manifest as pain, numbness, or weakness in the shoulders and neck. Regular massage therapy sessions can help correct the spine and supporting structures to improve posture and alleviate pain.

2. Improve Circulation

Whether you sit at a desk all day or are affected by the changing weather, circulation problems can be helped through massage. Circulatory conditions often present as pain, numbness, or coldness in the hands and feet. Regular massage helps improve circulation and promote healthy blood flow to the extremities.

3. Manage Chronic Pain

Massage has been show to alleviate the symptoms of chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. Research has shown that a registered massage therapist is able to help reduce pain as well as muscle spasms in these conditions. What’s more, the research also demonstrates that massage is able to reduce pain intensity as well as perception.

4. Boost Immunity

Another season is approaching. Flu season. Massages help to promote a healthy immune system in order to combat the flue as well as other conditions. According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, massage boosts white blood cell counts which are vital to defending the body from infection and disease.

5. Relieve Stress and Fight Depression

Massage has been shown to improve mood and combat depression by lowering cortisol (stress hormone) in the body by as much as 50%. At the same time, regular massage therapy can increase dopamine and serotonin which are mood stabilizing neurotransmitters.

6. Seasonal Allergies

Pain and discomfort associated with allergies can be alleviated through facial massage aimed at relieving pressure and promoting drainage. While it won’t cure your body’s response to the allergen, massage can relieve the symptoms associated with it. Regular massage therapy has also been shown to be beneficial in reducing the severity of the symptoms.

Why Regular Sessions?

Massage, like many wellness and treatment plans, takes time to yield results. In the case of postural stress for example, it takes several sessions to alleviate pressure and retrain the body. After this is achieved, your registered massage therapist will work to maintain the progress you have achieved together.
With regard to chronic pain, regular sessions are vital to managing pain and symptoms. Research suggests that continued massage therapy sessions help reduce the severity and frequency of flare-ups in these conditions.
Book a session today and take the first step towards a happier, healthier life!

Toronto Pan American Games 2015 The Art of Massage Therapy

The 2015 PAN AN GAMES CURRENTLY TAKING PLACE IN THE GTA INCLUDE KAREN THEIMER, Founder as a Supporting Participant

As Toronto Welcomes the 2015 PAN AM GAMES throughout the GTA with innumerable participants from a diverse range of sports competitions from throughout the Pan American Countries, one (of many, to be sure) will be dedicating a considerable amount of her time to provide Sports Massage Therapy to the Canadian Equestrian Team. 

Throughout the days and weeks of competition, Karen will bringing her outstanding ability to work successfully with sports competitors, as well as with those who take a more casual approach to many of the competitions and events scheduled.

Karen’s participation, providing Sports Massage Therapy to the competitors highlights both the superior training that she has mastered; her strong interest in the area of Sports Massage Therapy and, of course, her superior talent in providing support and relief to professional athletes.  It is the same same dedication and excellent ability that she also provides to her regular clients.

Be sure to arrange an Introductory Appointment with her to explore further her Sports Massage Therapy Program or, if you’re already a customer, simply require about booking one of these outstanding sessions if you are a spots enthusiast.  To arrange an appointment or learn more about Karen’s Sports Massage Therapy Program, simply click here.