Category: Health & Fitness

How Self Massages Can Benefit You

Massage therapy has been around for thousands of years, dating back to 3000 BCE in India. It was used during those times to relieve pain, heal injuries, and cure illnesses. 

Massages are still very much prevalent, with many people going to day spas or massage therapists to receive treatment. However, sometimes it can be hard to make an appointment to receive a massage. 

Why wait to book an appointment? Self massages provide as many benefits as one done by a massage therapist. 

In this guide, we’ll go over the benefits of self-massage and techniques you can use when performing one on yourself. 

The Health Benefits of Self Massages 

Massages shouldn’t be something that you get every so often or on a special occasion. Implementing self massages into your daily routine provides your body with countless health and mental benefits

Increased Blood Circulation 

Many people suffer from poor circulation and experience cold feet and had, and achiness. As you massage your body, it promotes blood flow in congested areas. The blood flows into these areas, flushing lactic acid from the muscles. 

Detoxification

When your body is massage, you promote the flushing out of toxins and impurities. Eliminating these toxins will help you feel energized. Having too many impurities in your body can lead you to feel uneasy. 

Rejuvenation 

To start your day off right, begin it with a 10-minute self-massage. Energetically massaging your body will revitalize your mind and body. It’s particularly helpful if you’ve been feeling physically or mentally sluggish. 

Taking the time during the beginning of the day to perform a self-massage gives you time to reflect on the day ahead. If you choose to take a slower pace with your massage, it gives you time to focus your mind and breath. You’ll begin your day feeling relaxed and at peace.

Increased Youthfulness

Performing a self-massage promotes lustrous and soft skin. You’ll feel more energetic as your body detoxifies itself, promoting more youthful qualities. You’ll feel increased amounts of joy, vitality, and resilience. 

Relieves Soreness

A self-massage can relieve soreness, tension, and cramping. If you stand on your feet for extended lengths of time, self-massage can provide temporary pain relief and comfort. 

Take Time to Nurture Yourself

During your self-massage time, turn off your inner critic and relax. Massage is one of the best ways to show yourself self-love and care. 

How to Do a Self-Massage

There are a few different ways you can give yourself self-massage. Tools such as foam rollers or pressure point balls can aid you during the process. Using certain self massage-techniques will give you countless benefits. 

When beginning self massages, keep in mind that a few moments of massage is enough for moderate pain/discomfort areas in your body. For more severe pain, massage for a few minutes. Massage any areas where you’re experiencing discomfort at least two times a day. 

When exploring muscles or areas that you feel pain, find the exact spot where you feel the most pain. That’s where you should apply pressure. Start with light pressure and work your way up to more strong pressure. 

After a massage, drink plenty of fluids. You want to flush out any toxins the massage released. Also, stretch out the same area you worked on. 

If you’re still experiencing a lot of pain in your body after performing multiple self massages, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional. Massage therapists, or this local chiropractor, can help you with stubborn areas. 

Self Massage Tools

In addition to foam rollers, nail beds, and lacrosse balls, have a set of massage oils on hand. Certain types of massage oils can provide additional benefits, such as reduced inflammation or muscle recovery. 

Some types of massage oil are:

  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary

You can also implement a sleep oil into your massage routine if you’re doing it right before bed. 

Foam Rollers

To help increase your range of motion and/or reduce muscle soreness, incorporate a foam roller into your self-massage routine. It’s usually used for the hips and lower back, but you can use it on your upper back and lower legs. When using a foam roller, be cautious around your neck and spine. 

Follow these tips when using a foam roller for self-massage:

  • Start with gentle and light pressure when first starting out with a foam roller
  • Reduce how much pressure you get from the foam roller by adjusting how much of your body weight you put on it 
  • When you find a tender area, slowly roll on it for around 10 seconds
  • As you get used to that, increase it to 30 or 60 seconds
  • Drink a lot of water post foam roller massage

Nail Beds

Acupressure mats, or nail beds, are drawn from traditional Chinese acupressure. The technique releases your body’s blocked Qi. As the Qi leaves your body, it removes or reduces your amount of pain. 

As you lay on an acupressure mat, the hundreds of plastic points apply pressure to your back. Having pressure on the acupressure points in your body has been shown to reduce pain. Keep in mind to be gentle and careful with an acupressure mat. 

Here are some tips when using an acupressure mat:

  • Lay the mat on a sofa or bed to decrease the intensity of the plastic points
  • After you’re more comfortable with the mat, you can move it to the floor
  • Start by layering a blanket or towel between your back and the mat until you get used to the plastic spikes
  • Take the process very slowly when starting out
  • Lie down slowly and gently until your weight is distributed on the mat
  • Don’t move while on the mat so you don’t scratch or pierce your skin

Tennis or Lacrosse Ball

A lacrosse or tennis ball on your joints and muscles can reduce pain, increase your joints’ range of motion, and decrease soreness. Lacrosse balls are denser than a standard tennis ball and are the ball of preference. 

Using a ball on your muscles loosen and stretch out the connective tissue that is on top of your muscles. It allows your muscles to move around more freely. Lacrosse balls can reach your deeper muscles whereas tennis balls cannot penetrate as much. 

You can lay on the floor or lean against the wall, moving around so it kneads your muscles and eliminates knots. 

Self Massage Techniques

You can perform a self-massage with the help of the above tools or with your hands. Routinely performing a self-massage will guarantee you continue to experience its benefits. 

Head Self Massage

If you have a bad headache, don’t start popping a bunch of pain pills. An easy self massage technique will relieve your head pain and all you need is your hands. 

Follow these simple steps:

  • Put your thumbs on your cheekbones and by your ears
  • Apply pressure gently, moving your fingertips in a circular motion
  • Make circles as you move your thumbs up your hairline
  • Stop when your thumbs meet in the center of your forehead
  • Repeat

Neck Self Massage

Many of us experience neck tension as we spend hours sitting in front of our computers. An easy neck massage will ease your neck pain and relieve tension. 

Here are some tips for a neck self-massage:

  • Put a few fingertips on the back of your neck, right where your neck connects to your shoulders
  • Apply and hold firm pressure
  • When you feel your muscles relax, release the pressure
  • Slowly roll your shoulders 
  • Repeat a few more times

Shoulder Self Massage

Poor posture can lead to shoulder pain. A shoulder self-massage can alleviate any pain in your shoulder. 

Follow these tips for a foolproof shoulder self-massage:

  • Put the fingers of your right hand on your right shoulder
  • Squeeze the upper part of your shoulder three times
  • Roll the fingers over the muscle from the outside to the base of your neck
  • Repeat on the left shoulder

Lower Back Self Massage

Gardening, cleaning, or heavy lifting can result in lower back pain. A quick self-massage can relieve your pain. For this massage, you’ll need a wall and a lacrosse ball. 

  • Put the ball between the wall and your lower back
  • Find the tense areas by moving your body up and down
  • When you find the sore spot, apply light, then strong pressure
  • Switch between rolling the ball over the spot and applying more pressure

 

Incorporate Self Massages Into Your Daily Routine

You don’t have to wait weeks to get an appointment for a massage. Adding self massages into your morning or evening routine is a great way for you to continue receiving the benefits of massages. You’ll not only save time and money, but you’ll feel better too. 

For more money-saving tips, read one of our other articles. 

What’s a Fair Price for a Good Dentist?

You may not like going to the dentist, but dental care is essential to good oral care. Your dentist has the best equipment to give your teeth an intensive cleaning. Dentists also have the expertise to figure out why your teeth are aching, shifting, yellowing, and more.

However, even though dentists are necessary, you shouldn’t have to break the bank to see a good dentist. Dental expenses vary, but you should look for a price that meets your budget and provides excellent service. 

Not sure how to do that? Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we’ll help you navigate the cost of dentistry.

Breaking Down Procedure Costs

When you go to the dentist’s office, you’re not paying for the dentist so much as the procedure you’re there for. The cost of procedures is the part of your visit that most affects your expenses. If you have insurance, there’s a high likelihood it covers your most basic needs. 

For more advanced operations, such as dental reconstruction, you’ll generally need to pay a co-payment. If you don’t have insurance, that’s when the price starts to build.

Let’s begin with the most basic operation of a dentist’s office: teeth cleaning. Usually, insurance completely covers teeth cleaning from any dental office, so long as that office accepts your provider. If not, your cleaning could cost $70-$200. 

Additional Costs

Other dental costs that could come up include getting x-rays or an exam by a dentist. Both of these cost extra, but once again, insurance generally covers it. Otherwise, you’d likely pay $20-$250 for the x-ray and $50-$150 for the exam.

Advanced Procedures

If you’re lucky, most of your dental visits will consist of teeth cleanings or the occasional cavity filling. However, most people end up needing a little more advanced options than these. In this section, we’ll break down a few of those operations.

First, most everybody will need their wisdom teeth removed. This procedure can become a little pricy, especially without insurance. If you don’t have insurance, the average cost of removal per tooth ranges from $250-$700.

A second common operation is the root canal, which dentists perform to remove inflamed or infected pulp in the tooth and reseal it.

The less expensive teeth to repair are your back teeth, which without insurance costs approximately $900 to fix. If your front teeth need treatment, this can cost over $1,000.

What Does a Good Dentist Charge For Braces?

Many people wonder how much a good dentist charges for braces, either for themselves or for their children. This cost is tricky to determine, as more alternatives exist to traditional braces now.

However, traditional braces will usually cost up to $5,000 without insurance. With insurance, you get a break and only need to pay about $3,400.

Finding the Right Dentist

If you’re looking for a good dentist, don’t let this information scare you. Prices for operations often fluctuate from office to office. If you contact local dentists, you may find there are options to help you pay for the operations you need. 

We hope this article was helpful! If you enjoyed it, check out our other articles today!

The 4 Best Ways to Save Money on Dental Care

Dental procedures can cost upwards of thousands of dollars and even tens of thousands of dollars. Almost 56 percent of people avoid basic and preventative dental care because the costs are too much. 

However, skipping out on routine dental care can end up costing you significantly more down the road. You can miss warning signs of potential issues and may need to pay for more serious surgery. 

So, what are some money-saving tips you can practice to save on dental work?

Here are the 4 best ways you can save money on dental care, so keep reading to learn more.

1. Always Practice Good Dental Hygiene

This is the most simple, yet practical way to save on dental procedures. Always practice good dental hygiene in between visits to the dentist.

By flossing and brushing your teeth regularly, you are better able to ward off cavities and serious issues like gum disease and even heart disease. Avoid sugary foods and drinks that can help contribute to cavity formation. 

2. Look for Affordable Dental Insurance

Many companies have started to offer dental insurance along with their traditional benefits. Getting dental insurance through your work is usually a very cost-effective way to get insurance. 

If your company does not offer it, suggest they look into it. Not only would it benefit their employees’ health, but it would also make them a more attractive company to work for and help them be more competitive. 

If your company does not offer dental insurance, research online for affordable dental insurance plans. If you know that you are likely to need major or restorative dental work done, like crowns and bridges, you may need to purchase a plan now.

It is worth paying the premium to avoid sky-high costs later. 

3. Utilize Your HSA or FSA Dollars

If your company does not offer dental insurance, see if they offer HSA and FSA accounts. You can use the money you put toward these accounts to pay for many, if not all, dental procedures. 

Call and make sure that the dental care procedures you are getting are covered by HSA or FSA dollars. 

4. Ask for Discounts

Sometimes, a surprising way to save on dental costs is to simply ask for a discount. 

Some dental offices offer a discount if you pay in cash for dental procedures. They charge less because they do not have to pay any credit card processing fees. 

Dental offices sometimes run specials or will offer discounts to certain careers, like veterans, teachers, or healthcare workers. Always ask whenever you schedule your appointment. The worst they can say is no. 

Looking for More Cost Savings for Dental Care?

Dental care costs are on the rise, but that does not mean you need to start going without. By practicing good dental hygiene, shopping for the best insurance plan, and asking for discounts, you can save serious money on your next trip to the dentist. 

If you are looking for more ways to save money at the dentist, follow along for more articles on ways to save on dental procedures and cut your dental costs. 

Calf Reduction Surgery: The Basics Explained

Have you ever put on a pair of boots, only to struggle to get the zipper past your calves? Or have you had to throw away your favorite jeans because they hugged your lower legs too tightly?

If these scenarios sound all-too-relatable, the problem may not be solved through dieting. Large or bulky calves often stem from too much muscle in the lower legs, which makes slimming down the calf-region difficult.

That’s where calf reduction surgery comes in. What is this procedure, and how does it work? Let’s explore.

What Is Calf Reduction Surgery?

Calf reduction surgery originated in Korea, where men and women sought lean lower legs. The process eliminates fat and muscle from the leg to reduce the bulk of the calf. The result is slimmer, longer-looking legs.

The benefits of calf reduction surgery include:

  • Skin tightening
  • Excess fat removal
  • Better calf definition
  • Enhanced self-confidence
  • Making it easier to wear tight pants or tall boots
  • Reduction of large ankles (“cankles”)

During a calf reduction, a specialist uses invasive or nonsurgical techniques to slim and contour the lower legs. The procedure targets the medial gastrocnemius muscle as well as the soleus muscle.

Which Procedure Should I Choose?

There are surgical and nonsurgical calf reduction surgery options. The choice comes down to what your goal is and what process gets you the best results. Have a look at the different options to determine which is best suited for you.

Calf Liposuction

Calf liposuction is a surgical procedure. It reshapes the calf, reduces the size of the lower leg, and creates a more slender appearance. Liposuction sucks out fat along the lower leg to permanently remove it. The surgery requires one week of recovery. 

BOTOX® Calf Reduction

BOTOX® is a noninvasive procedure that freezes muscle activity in the calf, causing it to shrink. The treatment is administered in multiple treatments. Since BOTOX® is temporary, it allows patients to sample the shrinkage before choosing a permanent procedure.

Partial Muscle Removal

Partial muscle removal is ideal for men and women with bulky legs. The process eliminates calf muscles to reduce the size of the lower legs. Partial calf removal contours the calves to create a slender appearance that looks completely natural.

Selective Neurectomy

Selective neurectomy is a minimally invasive procedure. A specialist severs nerves behind the knee to induce muscle atrophy. Atrophy prevents the muscles in the calves from being used, which causes them to slim down.

The procedure is permanent. It is a popular choice for calf reduction surgery because it gradually reduces calf size to create slim and smooth-looking legs.

Radio-Frequency Calf Reduction

Radio-frequency is a minimally invasive calf reduction procedure. It uses radio-frequency energy to destroy nerves in the lower legs. The process reduces calf muscles to produce slimmer legs.

In addition to targeting muscular nerves, radio-frequency also attacks fat cells in the calf. The heat damages the fat cells and allows the body to naturally flush them out. 

More Tips & Tricks

Getting a calf reduction can be life-changing. It allows you to feel more comfortable in clothing and get excited about flaunting your legs. And with so many procedures available, picking the right calf reduction surgery easy.

What other topics are you looking to investigate next? From DIY to gardening tips, we got you covered. Start exploring our website now.

How Chiropractic Treatment Can Help With Headaches

 

If you’ve ever suffered from a migraine, you know how debilitating it can be. It’s hard to explain the effects to someone who’s never had one—and it’s just as hard to know how to make them stop.

Though it may not be intuitive, many people struggling with migraines seek help from an unlikely corner: the chiropractor. An estimated 35 million people visit their local chiropractor each year. It’s safe to say that their complaints range far beyond simple back pain!

Unlike many pain treatments, chiropractic care services can help address the underlying causes of your migraines. That’s in addition to their impact on your health overall, of course—but how does it work?

If you’re not sure how chiropractic treatment can help ease your headaches, here’s what you should know.

Understanding Migraine Headaches

Although migraines are associated with the head, they can often stem from other parts of the body. Tension in the neck or upper back can contribute to headaches, and neck pain or spinal pain can be key signs that your migraine has an underlying cause that can be addressed through chiropractic care.

It’s worth noting that migraine triggers themselves, from bright lights to loud music, may have little to do with your spinal tension. Despite this, taking steps to relieve your pain via chiropractic care can help.

Chiropractic Adjustments

When you seek out a chiropractor to manage your pain, you’ll find that these professionals start by identifying skeletal misalignments in your spine.

Through spinal adjustments, they’ll work to treat your migraines. This often happens without the need for prescription or over-the-counter pain meds. To do this, your chiropractor will place you in specific positions to apply controlled force to your joints and spine.

These spinal adjustments can help you in several areas:

  • Relieving tension and stress
  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Increasing joint mobility
  • Improving nervous system function
  • Improving overall spinal health
  • Improving physical performance

At the end of the day, your chiropractor’s care can help correct spinal issues that may be causing or contributing to your tension headaches.

This can help you feel some immediate relief from those headaches, though it alone may not be enough to keep them at bay for good. You may need further spinal adjustments to see long-term effects. You’ll also need to work with your chiropractor to understand other lifestyle changes you should make, as discussed below.

Postural Adjustments

Though spinal adjustments can help, poor posture habits can reverse the treatment of even the best chiropractor. Bad posture can have a negative impact on your spine, neck, and upper back, so it’s important to understand how to make lifestyle adjustments. Keeping tension and strain from your neck and spine can help you minimize or eliminate your migraines in the future.

The best chiropractic practice will work with you to help you understand how your posture affects your current spinal health. They can also offer advice on how to make postural adjustments.

In general, a chiropractor will make a few key recommendations to help you alleviate posture-related damage.

First, you may need to update your workspace and seated posture. Working from home during the pandemic has made many of us more likely to hunch over the kitchen table or slump on the sofa. However, this isn’t the best posture for your spine.

Instead, you’ll want to reconsider your desk’s ergonomics. Your chiropractor should be able to recommend specific supportive chairs or products for your lumbar region or upper back, as needed. You’ll also need to work on achieving a “neutral spine” posture, a feat your chiropractor can guide you through.

You should also take breaks throughout the day to avoid sitting in a single static position. Your chiropractor may recommend taking up a few specific postures to ease tension and pain throughout the day. For example, many people who suffer from migraines benefit from certain recovery postures, like yoga poses that lengthen the affected neck and upper spine area.

Last, you may need to change up your sleeping habits! Depending on your needs, a chiropractor may recommend sleeping on your back. They may also recommend specific supportive pillows or products to help you get a better rest while keeping your spine in check.

Further Care and Advice

In addition to postural changes, there are other habits that may have a positive impact on your headaches. Working with a chiropractor can mean better access to specific tips that help you relieve stress, pain, and misalignment in the long run.

For example, your chiropractor may recommend taking up a few specific activities to get your body moving in certain ways.

Some patients may benefit from yoga, for example, while others may need aerobic exercise. Some people may not be able to take up jogging, while others may find it soothing on the spine. Your chiropractor can help you decide which activities will be beneficial to your health without reversing the spinal adjustments they’ve made.

When you do experience a migraine, your chiropractor may also be able to recommend specific strategies for how to get rid of a headache. In many cases, relaxation and meditation techniques can help. Finding effective ways to soothe stress can reduce the tension in your spine and the back of your neck as well.

Finally, if a combined treatment may help alleviate your tension headaches fast, a chiropractor may be able to recommend a physical therapist or massage therapist in your area to help you further. This may be necessary for severe cases, but your doctor can help you come up with a treatment plan to help.

Know When to Seek Out Chiropractic Care Services

When you’re struggling with migraines and tension headaches, it’s crucial to remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Chiropractic care services can help you when these headaches become debilitating or impact your life in severe ways, so make sure to seek out an expert when you need to. With a treatment plan in place, you’ll find that your tension headaches may recede into the distance in no time!

For more of the health tips you need to know, be sure to check out our other handy guides.

3 Steps to Healing Your Gut

Are you suffering from gut issues like pain and bloating? If so, you aren’t alone! As many as 74 percent of Americans suffer from some form of gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort. 

Dealing with these problems can make you uncomfortable but depending on the severity of your symptoms, it can also change the way you live your life. Read on to learn three steps to healing your gut!

1. Eliminate Triggers of Your Problems

Eliminating triggers of your GI discomfort is a great way to heal your gut and make you feel better. If you’ve only had symptoms a couple of times, you may have a hard time narrowing down what may be the cause. 

If your symptoms happen more often, be sure that you are paying attention to what you do and eat before they start. For example, begin keeping a journal of your daily activities, as well as your meals and snacks. 

If you notice that stress and/or certain foods are causing issues, it will be best to avoid those so that you don’t have bad symptoms. 

2. Take a Daily Probiotic Supplement

If you’re wondering how to have a healthy gut, don’t overlook the importance of taking a daily probiotic supplement. The best supplements for gut health are the ones that contain bacteria that aids in digestion.

Some of the best strains of probiotics are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. It’s not uncommon for a combination of these healthy bacterias to be part of one supplement that you take each day. 

The bacteria are often found in foods like yogurt but taking these bacteria in a pill form is important. It helps you ensure that you are getting enough of them daily to help make food digestion easier on your gut!

3. Eat a Healthy Diet

What you eat can have a major impact on whether you have a leaky gut or not.  By eating a well-balanced diet, you will make the food absorption process an easier one on your body. 

Besides eating yogurt as part of your diet, foods like sourdough bread, olive oil, yogurt, green peas, apples, and almonds can help you feel more comfortable. Incorporating these foods into your diet are also healthy alternatives to processed foods that can be harder to digest. 

The combination of a daily probiotic supplement and a good diet will help you make gut discomfort a thing of the past!

Begin Healing Your Gut Today

GI pain and discomfort can change the way that you work, live, and play. Begin living your life to the fullest by healing your gut today. Identifying triggers, taking a supplement, and changing your diet are effective ways to tackle your gut problems. 

Are you interested in learning about other ways to help you and your family live happier and healthier? Check out our blog section for our posts on the signs of hormonal imbalances, improving eye health, and more!

5 Life-Changing Benefits of Yoga

Practicing yoga can not only improve the strength and flexibility of your body but can also boost your mental wellness. The health benefits of yoga are countless. You can start to see changes just after one session of yoga practice. 

Certain types of yoga, such as vinyasa or yin, have different benefits, but you should expect to see positive changes in your mind or body, no matter what type you do. 

If you’ve been thinking about starting to practice yoga, we’ll go over the top five life-changing advantages of being a yogi. 

1. Burn Calories

While there are gentle types of yoga, certain types can increase your heart rate and burn calories. One of the benefits of hot yoga is the increase in calorie burn. For the average woman, they can burn over 300 calories in a 90-minute Bikram yoga class. 

In a traditional yoga class, you can expect to burn around 183 calories in a 60-minute session. By increasing the heat, you will burn more calories. 

2. Reduces Anxiety and Stress

Studies have shown that yoga can reduce the secretion of cortisol, the major stress hormone. Yoga helps you find inner peace and be present in the moment, working to decrease anxiety and stress. 

Adding meditation practice into your yoga routine can add another tool for managing your stress. You can go through a meditation on your own or book a private, guided meditation class. If that’s something that interests you, have a look at some options. 

3. Increase Balance, Strength, and Flexibility 

The poses you do in yoga stretch your muscles, helping you feel less stiff and tired. It also increases your range of motion. 

Power yoga is a style that is extremely physical, helping those who practice it improve their muscle tone. A lot of the yoga poses that you do in less intense styles help build your upper-body strength. Downward dog and plank pose can help strengthen your shoulder muscles. 

4. Heart Health Improvements

One of the benefits of yoga for women is having a healthier heart. By reducing inflammation in your body, along with lower stress levels, yoga can help reduce the risks of heart disease. 

Daily practice of yoga slows your heart rate and lowers blood pressure. If you are someone that has high blood pressure, heart disease, or had a stroke, practicing yoga regularly will improve your heart rate.  

5. Quality of Life Improvements 

During a yoga session, you will incorporate breathing exercises. Pranayama teaches you how to focus your attention on your breathing, learning how to take deep, belly breaths. Deeper breaths benefit your entire body and can help calm your nervous system. 

By honing in on your mind-body connection, you will gain a better awareness of your body. Being in better touch with your body, you will learn to be more confident. Yoga teaches you how to be more comfortable in your own skin. 

Experience the Benefits of Yoga 

Whether you’re looking to improve your state of mind or incorporate a new exercise style into your routine, the benefits of yoga are countless. You will experience reduced stress, improved flexibility, and an overall improved state of mind. 

For more lifestyle tips, check out one of our other articles.