Releasing Stress And Tension Through Deep Tissue Massage

Stress is not just a feeling or condition that can be annoying. It can be detrimental to one’s health and wellbeing as well. The good news is that different forms of natural therapies can help you release and avoid the negative effects of stress.

Deep tissue massage is one of the types of natural, hands-on therapies that can alleviate the build-up of stress in the muscles. This, in turn, can prevent stress or at the very least, reduce its effects on a person’s health and wellness.

Through deep tissue massage, the fibers that make up your muscles are taken apart. This is because the massage releases tension through the application of pressure and friction along the muscle so that adhesions in the connective tissues can be broken down. This process also helps restore range of movement. Deep tissue massage also flushes out toxins, breaks up scar tissue, and helps the body relax. As such, this form of massage can be both therapeutic and corrective. By concentrating on the deep layers of muscles, deep tissue massage enables the release of chronic muscle tension that can be the cause of stress.

Deep tissue massage can also make a person feel good physically – something that is highly beneficial for one’s health and well-being, emotionally, mentally, and psychologically. Once the muscles are stressed, oxygen and nutrients can build up, thereby causing an inflammatory effect and an accumulation of toxins within the muscle tissue. As a result, your muscles won’t function properly under these circumstances and you will start to feel sore and aching. The tension even gets to a point where it can affect your ability to cope raising stress levels ever higher. This form of massage loosens these muscles and helps increase oxygen and blood circulation. When normal function is restored, the toxins can be flushed from the body which reduces inflammation and tension.

Lastly, another fact worth knowing is that when treating stress, this type of massage has proven to be an extremely beneficial part of stress management. Systematic, rhythmical rubbing and manipulation of the muscles is one of the oldest and most effective forms or methods of pain relief. Massage can positively affect the nervous system and calm the body’s natural fight or flight responses since it can reduce harmful stress hormones. Deep tissue massage also stimulates the lymphatic flow around the body which can affect tissue drainage and the immune system.

Little Known Facts on The Importance of Self Image

It is not a surprise to most people that health studies point to

popular culture as a perpetrator of body image which has

corresponded to the self image and well being of women AND men.

What may surprise you is that this is not a new phenomenon.

Is the rail thin appearance of runway and magazine models a new

obsession which has started young girls and women on a path

towards starvation, malnutrition and disorders such as anorexia

and bulimia?

Actually, No.

The western world created a popular culture of ‘you can never be

to thin’ as early as the 20’s when flapper styles caused women to

starve and over exercise their bodies to attain the flat chested,

androgynous look that was popular at that time.

The fuller figure did make a comeback during the depression, but

quickly reverted in the 60’s with thinness being equated with

physical beauty.

Studies on self image indicate that women tend to consider

themselves heavier than they really are. This distorted body

image is linked to unhealthy dietary practices like anorexia and

bulimia.

Although distorted body image affects men and women of all age

ranges, it is middle and upper class women who are most commonly

affected in thinking they are too heavy and need to loose weight.

Girls as young as nine are following the paths set down by

mothers, sisters and others.

On the other hand, men with body image problems often feel they

are too thin and use of steroids by youths trying to build muscle

mass shows that they are also adversely affected by media

portrayals of the body.

Bad self image is learned. This can be clearly illustrated by a

study conducted by WHO with Canadian students. The study showed

that the confidence of children dropped dramatically through the

pre-teen years. The percentage of 11 year old boys and girls who

felt confident all of the time was 47% and 35% respectively. By

age 15 the percentage dropped to 30% for boys and a disappointing

14% for girls.

What are we teaching our children?

In a quote from Health Canada based on a research program for

VITALITY the following report was made: “Slimness in western

cultures is associated not only with success and sophistication,

but with character virtues. Conversely, obesity is the opposite

of all these things and, particularly in the case of women, is

associated with failure and a collapse of self-discipline.”

Self image is tied to several factors, only one of which is body

image. Self image is part of self awareness and starts early in

childhood, even before speech. As we become adults many tie their

self image to such factors as job success, relationships and

abilities. Body image – if a person has a negative view of

themselves physically – can be one of the most dramatic

influences.

Health Canada’s findings show that although self image may be

subject to change throughout our life, our “fundamental sense of

feeling worthy or unworthy (self-esteem) remains relatively

stable”. This means that it is while children are still young

that the most impact is made on their future self image. Creating

a safe, nurturing and loving environment can be the greatest

protection against negative body image and low self-esteem.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes

only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any

disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any

health care program.

Women’s Fitness Central – 3 Key Concepts For Body Shaping Women Must Apply to Achieve Their Goal

In an attempt to get fit, reshape your body, and meet your goals, there are key components in your womens fitness program that need to be applied.  Unfortunately, most of the myths we hear about today go against these basic concepts.  However, despite the misconceptions that have been passed down through the generations, the 3 components of body shaping women need to apply to get the body shape you want are listed below.

But before covering the 3 key components, it’s important to realize that in body shaping women need to find a program that allow two things to occur.  One is that you add muscle.  The second is that you lose fat.  The two activities go hand in hand and your results will be minimized if one action is achieved and the other is not.  If you just lose fat and do not do anything to increase muscle, essentially you get the benefit of the bean pole look and that doesn’t offer much shape to your figure.  (Of course you could then be the lucky one called on frequently to squeeze into tight confined spaces.)  If you build muscle but don’t lose fat, then you can enjoy the sumo wrestler appearance.  And well…in picturing that shape, I personally do want to look in the mirror and see a marshmallow staring back at me.  Remembering the concepts below will help you avoid this fate.

  • Lift heavy weight – Most women when asked about their goals always state that they want to get toned but don’t want to bulk up.  Here is the good news…women don’t bulk up.  It takes extreme concentrated effort, very specific targeted training, and typically illegal supplementation (IE: steroids) for a women to actually gain any muscle bulk.  Now this is not to say that you won’t build muscle because that is the purpose of resistance training.  However, the extent to which you build that muscle is limited.  Besides, if you are looking to do a little body shaping women need to add a little muscle as part of that.  So lift the weight, push yourself, and see how heavy you can go.   
  • High intensity cardio – There’s a deceitful little button on most cardio machines that’s labeled “fat burning mode”.  It’s deceitful because its label implies that by working out in that mode you are actually accomplishing a lot more than you really are.  It’s a nice easy pace with little effort.    The truth is that it takes 2 to 3 times longer to burn the same amount of calories using the fat burning mode as it does when you work out at a moderately high intensity for 30 minutes.  If you want to make cardio exercise worth your time and get some real benefit from your work, you need to put in some effort…push yourself, elevate the intensity, raise your heart rate, and above all AVOID the fat burning mode. 
  • You can’t out train your diet – The bottom line to any womens fitness program is that the diet plays the biggest role in body shaping women.  And for any significant changes to occur, calories need to be cut.  Although most of the time I wish there was another way, the truth is that you have to makes changes in your nutrition habits and reduce your caloric intake.  Maintaining your same habits in taking calories into your body and continually attempting to add more time to your workout to cause a caloric deficit may have some very short term benefits.  But in the long run, your time, energy, or body will run out long before your goal is reached.  Consider this; to work off the extra slice of cheese pizza you had at lunch, you’ll have to run on the treadmill for an extra ½ hour at a moderately hard pace.  Now I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want to have to spend any more time exercising than I have to.  Keeping that in mind, I personally think twice about whether I really want or need that second slice. 

Apply these keys in your women’s fitness program to start your body shaping women. Working with these concepts will have your body refined and redesigned in no time. 

Hasten Muscle Repair With L-Glutamine

How You Could Hasten Muscle Repair

We all know that exercising causes the muscles to become torn. Well, not torn apart because that would be dangerous, but the stress of the exercises causes small tears to appear in the muscle tissue. These tears then encourage a repair process. The muscle repair process will attempt to regenerate and add more muscle tissue to prevent the same tears from happening again.

If you look at it, then the entire bodybuilding experience is merely a way to develop a resistance to very heavy weights. The body does this by giving more muscles to the affected muscle group, thus increasing one’s strength. However, all of this are dependent on the body’s muscle repair process. For most people, the entire process requires at least 48 hours to complete. The repair process must be completed before one can work out that muscle group again, so for some – especially beginners – the process becomes detrimental to the rate of growth they want to achieve.

The good news is, one can quicken the rate in which the muscles fully recover from the workout, so you can exercise them again. A quicker recovery rate also means you can grow more muscles in a shorter period of time. So, question is: how can you influence the rate of recovery that your body undertakes?

Meet the Glutamine Amino Acid

The glutamine amino plays a very big role in your body’s muscle recovery rate. Glutamine is almost single-handedly responsible for the repair process of the body, since it is one of the most abundant non-essential amino acid in the body. However, glutamine is also used during exercises including bodybuilding. When the body is too stressed, it tends to deplete the body’s glutamine stores for use as calories, leaving little or none at all for the muscle tissue repair that follows soon after.

If you want to hasten your body’s muscle repair process, you would have to take an L-glutamine supplement. Having ample stores of the amino acid in your body, you can make sure that the body has a lot of amino acids to use for calories and a lot left for it to build the damaged muscles with. This prevents the body from cannibalizing its own muscles to produce calories, a state which is called the catabolic state. The body will lose more muscles than you build up in this state, so you would want to avoid this.

Isometric Exercises – Charles Atlas and Mahatma Gandhi?

Is there another way to build muscle and become stronger without weight training?

Well yes it’s called — isometric exercises!

And the great news is that you can get fit with isometrics and you don’t have to go to the gym or buy expensive home exercise equipment.

Sounds hard to believe you say… right?

Isometric exercises are essentially muscle contractions that are performed against a fixed or stable resistance. Isometrics was given scientific validation back in 1953, when two German researchers from the Max Planck Institute published a study that showed that individuals who performed isometric exercises had an increase in their strength in excess of 300% (over the control group.)

Dr. Theodore Hettinger and Dr. Eric A. Muller performed tests on frogs to determine the effectiveness of isometric exercise. The results were conclusive — it works!

(This system of training which Joe Weider coined the name of — iso-tension — became very popular in the United States.)

Isometric exercises has been around since the beginning of Chinese martial arts. In fact, most martial arts systems utilize one form or another of isometrics. Many of the old-time strongman utilized isometrics as part of their strength and muscle building programs. One of the most notable was a young man named — Charles Atlas.

Atlas, whose real name was Angela Siciliano teamed up with Harold Roman. Mr. Roman was considered at the time a marketing genius. It was their partnership that propelled the Charles Atlas dynamic tension training program into the history books.

Thousands of individuals clamored for the Charles Atlas is course — which parts of it used isometrics exercises as well as body weight training. One of the most notable Atlas students was Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi wrote a letter to Charles Atlas requesting help in utilizing isometric exercises in his training. Atlas did write back recommending a specific diet and exercise program. Unfortunately, Mahatma Gandhi remained as a Charles Atlas referred to him “a bag of bones” but much stronger.