self care saturday: Massage

Hello, and Happy Saturday! I am still waiting on my Covid test results so I can come out of quarantine. If you are not on my Mailchimp mailing list, join below, then you don’t know that I was exposed to Covid at work. Even though I am vaccinated, and was wearing my mask, I did get symptoms 6 days after direct exposure. So, I have been tested 3 times now, twice with the rapid test, and yesterday with the PCR test. If this does turn out to be a breakthrough infection than it is very important for the health department to know about it. I was fully vaccinated as of March 10th. That is the two weeks post second dose. That is only four months ago, and my immunity should not have started to drop off already. I was actually quite ill for about 36 hours. So, now I wait. I really hate waiting and being in quarantine isn’t a whole lot of fun either. This post may contain affiliate links.

I try to leave Saturday for Self Care topics. However, we should try to do Self Care at the very least a few times a week, if not daily. If you can only squeeze it in one day a week then it is definitely better than nothing. This week I am talking about Massage for Self Care.

Massage has many Health benefits. Here are some.

  1. Massage can teat some disorders such as: back pain, muscle pain, joint pain, stress, anxiety, High Blood Pressure, and Insomnia.
  2. Massage can help support chronic diseases like CKD, Diabetes, and Cancer. Support in this context means it can help to alleviate symptoms. It does not mean cure.
  3. Massage can promote deep relaxation and calm.
  4. Reduce muscle tension and increase circulation.
  5. Reduce stress hormones and stimulate the Lymphatic System.
  6. Increase joint flexibility and mobility
  7. Help the recovery process for soft tissue injuries
  8. Increase mental alertness

Massage can be lengthy or short. There are many different types of massage. Some people may not like to to be touched in a massage kind of way by others, so self massage can be learnt. It is quite simple. And further if someone is really unsure about self massage something like Reiki, where the hands do not actually need to touch the body can be tried.

Whether you choose to hire someone to give you a massage, use Reiki, or self massage it is important to remember to set the mood. Be in a calm, quiet place. Decide what time of day is best for you to get your massage. I think most people find a massage at the end of their day would be very relaxing and promote good sleep. However, if you are looking to gain more energy than a massage at the start of your day may be best. Even after a hard exercise session a massage would be perfect. I prefer self massage, or Reiki, when I am outside in nature. The sounds of the birds, feel of the warm sun, make me feel calm and relaxed. If I were to choose to do it inside I would prefer a dim room with lovely candles and soft music. If candles bother you, you can always use an essential oil diffuser to add lovely scents, or they can be added to the oil of your choice. Lavender is very common as a stress relieving essential oil. Make sure people in your home know you are having Me Time and you should not be bothered for a bit. Turn off your phone, or put it away so as not to distract you. Maybe you just want to do a quick massage before jumping in the shower. That too is OK, but try to have a time for just you where you can really enjoy the massage and the self care it promotes.

Some special considerations for massage:

If you are pregnant, have skin rashes or infections, there is a possibility of broken bones, or there is a life threatening illness, in these cases a doctor’s clearance to receive a massage, or Reiki therapy would be prudent. Massage for children is probably going to be controversial. I would say at the very least parental consent would be needed and possibly present for the entirety of the massage, or Reiki session.

The video below is the only complete body self massage video I could find. Here are some Ayurvedic Oils you may wish to try in your next massage. Please note I have not personally tried these oils. I am not saying Ayurveda is any better than any other kind of massage therapies.

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funny friday: scare pranks!

Why do we find it so funny when someone is scared? I don’t know but we do. Today, is Funny Friday. That means it is time to relax and laugh out loud. Laughter is an important part of a Health and Wellness plan. You should get at least 15 minutes of good laugh out loud laughing a day. I hope you love the video below. Be sure and tell me in the comments if you laughed out loud, and why you think we laugh at other people being scared. I would love to hear from you.

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I am also working on updating my Walking Buddy Plan, Guided Imagery, Aromatherapy, Mindfulness, and I think I will be announcing a general healthy cooking option. So, be sure and watch for all of those. I already have Reiki, and Meals with Melissa updated. So be sure and check them out if you are interested in better Health with any of those topics.

My 3 favorite mindfulness techniques that may help lower blood pressure

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had an awesome weekend. I was able to work, technically light duty because I was not allowed to lift or pull, but I was grateful to work. I think sometimes we take for granted the importance of work and how it plays into our mindset. That doesn’t mean I think people should work themselves to death, just that it does have purpose other than to make money. This post may contain affiliate links.

This whole month I have been discussing Blood Pressure Awareness. You can see all of the posts in the series in the archives. As you may know, if you read here a lot, I have completed my Mindfulness Certificate course. I think people interpret Mindfulness in different ways and that is fine. Mindfulness is being in the present, being aware of your surroundings and how you feel about your surroundings. It is not an escape, or ignoring of what is going on around you. It is a way to become stronger, and more resilient in dealing with negative experiences and the way you react to them. It can help you relieve Stress and relax.

There was a study done that shows that Mindfulness may be able to help lower blood pressure or avoid it. Remember, that Stress is a huge driver of blood pressure. So, it would make sense that learning Mindfulness, may help lower or even prevent High Blood Pressure. As I always say, please do not ever stop taking medication on the advice of someone online. Talk to your doctor that you would like to try Mindfulness to see if it can help you. Hopefully your doctor will say, awesome and lets monitor you while you do it to see if it helps or not.

There are many different Mindfulness techniques. A lot of people use Meditation. But, to me Meditation is more about removing yourself from your thoughts and feelings, not exploring or noticing them. Don’t get me wrong Meditation super awesome and I love it, but just not really Mindful to me. A lot of people like controlled breathing patterns. This is also an awesome technique and is particularly helpful when the moment can not be escaped or left for a few minutes. Such as excusing yourself to take a few minutes to reflect and gather your thoughts. Counting to 5 before you speak so you can think of a good response instead of a hasty one is another great technique. You can read the article here.

So, what are my 3 favorite techniques for minding my emotions and being in the present moment?

  1. Mindful Meditation. To me Mindful Meditation is a type of self reflection of my day or how I reacted to certain circumstances. Since I tend to Ruminate, or go over things again and again, especially when it is time for sleep, Mindful Meditation helps me to finalize all my thoughts on the day so I can fall asleep. There are obviously several ways that you can do this. My favorite way is to hook up my Bluetooth headphones and play the video below on low, while wearing this eye warming mask. My son gave me money for Mother’s Day and I bought one. It isn’t that exact brand but pretty much the same. The mask stays warm for exactly 20 minutes, and during that 20 minutes I reflect on the events of the day, noticing how I reacted to those events. If I think I could have had a better reaction I make a note of that in my mind so hopefully the next time I will remember to notice how I am feeling and better control the situation. I find this technique not only helpful for me to fall asleep faster but to learn more about myself and the ways that I respond to situations. If you don’t like the idea of the eye mask, using a journal to reflect on your day is another option. Not only do I fall asleep faster, but the warming mask also helps my dry eyes. You can read about my dry eye saga, here.
  2. Body Scans. Body scanning is a very easy technique to learn. You can do it in a restroom, or just sitting quietly and no one will even know you are doing it. I use Self Reiki for my body scan. I can’t really do it in public, because people will definitely notice. But, I could do it in a restroom or quiet office space. This is especially helpful if you are noticing that you are having a negative response to a situation, or feeling stressed. You are in the present moment and noticing how you are feeling. You may not like the feeling, body scanning may help to reduced that stressor and eliminate it.
  3. Mindful Exercise. This will be different for everyone. Whatever type of exercise and music format will allow you to reflect on your emotions related to situations is what you are looking for. For me, and I have talked about this probably 100 times, walking in nature is my thing. Even if I am on the treadmill I tend to put on nature sounds while I walk. It allows my mind to wander and concentrate on situations, reactions and how I can reduce that stressor thereby possibly reducing blood pressure. Yoga, Pilates, Kickboxing perhaps, or jumping around to Hard Rock may be more your thing. Whatever allows you to be present in a moment, evaluate it, feel it, and then change it if need be. Mindfulness is not always about changing how you behave in a situation. Through your reflection you may find that you behaved just fine and you are OK with it. So, store it and let it be.

No matter which Mindfulness topic you may want to try, it is important to use your senses to notice your surroundings. Touch, Smell, Sight, Sound, and Taste are the 5 senses. Try to notice them in your everyday life it will help you to become more mindfully aware.

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Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

If you would like to learn more about Mindfulness and how it can help you in your every day life, please use the contact form at the end of this post to message me with your questions. If you are interested in a Distance Reiki session, a 20 minute session is 50 dollars. Use the contact form to message me for details.

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Wellness Wednesday: Reiki for Stress Relief or Anxiety

Stress and Anxiety are kind of similar, but different.  They can both be acute and quick, or chronic and long-lasting.  Chronic Stress and Chronic Anxiety can be debilitating and cause illness.  Learning to deal and cope with these issues is very beneficial.

Nursing is a very stressful job, especially bedside nursing.  If you are doing bedside nursing then you know what I am talking about.  But, any job can be stressful, as well as just everyday situations.  We all deal with stress, and anxiety in different ways, but some people deal with it by not dealing with it.  This can be incredibly unhealthy.

I am a level 2 Reiki Practitioner.  I offer 15 minute Distance Reiki sessions to help heal negative energy caused by Stress and Anxiety.  If you would like to purchase a session, you can visit my Etsy shopor use the contact form below to message me.  Anyone who purchases a Reiki session will have a meet and greet prior to their session.

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WordPress Wednesday

Today, you can share your link to your WordPress blog.  Please share in the comments.  Anyone who shares a link should visit the other links, and like, follow, or comment on a post.  Let’s show each other some love!  This is for WordPress blogs only.  Thank you.

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Sweating on Sunday: The Road to 12,500 Daily Steps

Updated 4/4/2021: I am no doing 12,500 steps every day with ease. I now am working towards building up to 1.5 mile run in 15 minutes. If you follow this blog, then you know my ultimate step goal is 12,500 steps per day.  I was at 9,500 per day and just increased to 10,000 per day.  That is 5 miles walking every single day.  I do take off one day a week, most weeks, sometimes two.  How do I get that many steps in a day?

1-  I make sure I walk at least 250 steps every hour.  My back yard is exactly 100 steps around the area.  I walk that 3 times every hour, sometimes more if it isn’t so hot out.

2-  When I work out of the home it is very easy to walk 250 plus steps per hour.   Matter of fact when I work I average 14-16,000 steps per day,

3-  Purchase a good wrist fitness tracker.  I have a Fitbit.  I was using Samsung app, but it was not consistent enough because I always had to have my phone on me.  That was unfeasible for me.  In the near future, I will be getting a waterproof Fitbit for when I am in the pool.  For now, I have to estimate how many steps I am taking in the pool when I do water aerobics.

5-  I walk every morning, at least a mile, before doing my regular exercise routine.

Some other tips that help:  take the stairs, park farther away from any businesses you visit, walk in the morning, and evening, remember to get up and walk at work if you have a desk job.  Turn on music at home when cleaning, washing dishes, or folding laundry.  I can get in at least 1200 extra steps doing this for a 15-minute cleaning session, just by marching in place.  Same with cooking dinner.

Don’t get discouraged.  I got my Fitbit in February and started at 6,000 steps per day.  That seemed like a lot, except for when I was working, and impossible.  It is not impossible, and it will just become a habit after a while.

With cooler weather coming I can not wait to get out and onto the many hiking trails in my area.   If you would like help in meeting your step goal use the contact form below to message me about my Walking Buddy plan.

I just finished my Reiki training, level 2.  I am undecided about the Master level class.  I will be practicing and once I have reached at least 200 hours I will make Reiki an option for customers.  I will do a later post on that.

If you would like to use my Health Coaching services to increase your walking stamina, use the contact form to message me. Or, you can read about my Walking Buddy plan, here.

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Updated Disclaimer: 6/04/2021

Health Buddy Melissa is a Sole Proprietor website owned by me. I pay my taxes as an Independent Contractor.  This updated disclaimer date 6/04/2021 replaces the outdated disclaimer.  Please read and understand it before requesting coaching services from Health Buddy Melissa.

1-  Health Buddy Melissa  is not meant to be medical advice, or to replace seeing a doctor, or other health practitioner.  Anyone who does so, is doing so at their own risk, not mine.  I will share opinions, or engage in topics and conversations of information that can be found in publications, on the internet, and from my own personal experience.   You may see affiliate links on this blog.  I only use reputable companies to affiliate for when and if I choose to do so.  As a Holistic Health Coach I can help you with many goals such as:  learning about a chronic illness, follow a diet set by your doctor, learn about menu planning and diets to lose weight or build muscle, learn about kidney disease and ways to help manage it, communicate better with your doctor or anyone, time management, deal with difficult people and so many more. I am in the process of targeting my plans to be more specific rather than so broad. You will see wellness replacing health.

2-  Privacy-  Privacy is very important to me.   I will never sell your information, or let others have access to it.  All client info is deleted from my private email account within 7 days of our contract together ending.  If you decide to work with me after that time, a whole new account will be made.  No one has access to my private email account but me.  However, you always have to be aware that things can get hacked.  It is in the news all the time.  I have never been hacked, but a release will need to be signed absolving me of responsibility should it be hacked.  I have purchased a business email through Google Suite.  They assure me it is private, encrypted and safe. 

3-  I am a Licensed Practical Nurse, for 34 years, and that means I have been coaching people for many years already.  I am 51 years old, you do the Math.  I am a  Certified Holistic Health Coach.  I also have certificates in Aromatherapy, Reiki level 2 Practitioner, Herbalism, Mindfulness Practitioner, and Guided Imagery.  I also took a free course on Sports Medicine, but no certificate was supplied. I have a second Health Coach certificate that taught me about exercise and plans. But, I am not a personal trainer. I have taken many Nutrition courses, but I am not a Nutritionist.  I can not prescribe a diet to you legally, but I can help you learn how to eat properly to lose weight and maintain good health.  If you have a prescribed diet from a doctor I can help you to understand and modify your life to follow that plan.  

4-  As your Health Coach it is my job to educate you, motivate you, and support you to reach your health goals.  I will not provide nutrition advice, or medical advice.  It is actually illegal in many states to provide Nutrition advice.  Some states it is allowed.  That will be discussed at the Meet and Greet.  I will not make meal plans targeted to certain nutrition requirements, but I will create general meal plans, unless allowed in your state.  I will, however, teach you to do so yourself.  There is much more to health than just diet, nutrition, and fitness.  I can work with you on any goal you may have.  See some examples below.  I can not help you with serious Mental Health Issues.  I am not qualified to do so, and feel it can be incredibly dangerous.  If you just need someone to listen to you, I do have a program for that, but I will not give opinions, or advice, and if I feel you are suicidal I will recommend the hotline to you.

5-  If you live outside the USA, I can still work with you.  You must speak, write and understand English, and all times of meetings will be Eastern Time Zone.  It will be your responsibility to know what that means, and when the meeting time will be. All payments will have to be made via Paypal in US dollars only.  It is your responsibility to follow your country’s laws for dealing with Health Coaches in other countries.  A disclaimer will be required if you do not live in the USA.

6-  If you need a young, skinny, hot Health Coach, then I am not the Health Coach for you.  However, if you want someone who will care about you, and work hard for you, then I might be the Coach you need.  I will not promise big results.  The results will depend on how much effort you put into meeting the goals you will set.  Health Coaching is about you, not me.  It is not a personal relationship where I tell you all about my life.  It is a professional relationship aimed at steering you towards meeting goals you want met.  If at any time I feel the relationship is no longer professional services will be ceased.  

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