Why Proper Sleep Posture Translates to a Happier Body

Man on left side sleep position with proper posture

Your sleeping posture may be comfortable, but it could ultimately be the cause of some health issues. Improper sleep positioning has been linked to neck/back pain, poor circulation, sleep apnea, next day fatigue and even premature wrinkles. For the appropriate amount of sleep and tips to fall asleep faster, visit yourfootpalace.com/regular-sleep-promotes-healthy-minds/. For the common sleep positions and how they compare to one another, read on.

Sleeping On Your Side

Side Sleepers (Arm’s/Leg’s straight): Over 15% of adults find this position to be most comfortable. Although relatively few people sleep this way it does show to have positive benefits, notably its help for those with sleep apnea. Because the body is on its side gravity prevents the tongue from falling back into the throat passage, restricting airflow. This position has also been shown to help with acid reflux and alleviating back pain since the spine is elongated. The only downside to this is the increased likelihood of wrinkles via face to pillow contact throughout the night.

Side Sleepers (Fetal Position): By far the most popular sleep position with 41% of people favoring this pose, the benefits are fewer but the comfortability is definitely greater. This position is ideal during pregnancy (specifically lying on the left side) because it helps improve circulation in not only your body but the baby’s as well. Lying on your left side can also help relieve pressure being placed on your liver when you sleep. Although this is the most comfortable position, sleeping with your knees too tightly tucked and your chin tucked down into your chest/pillow can tighten the diaphragm, making it harder to breathe and leaving you sore in the morning. A trick to help with posture in this position is to tuck a pillow in between your knees.

Sleeping on Your Stomach

Stomach Sleepers: A majority of people find this pose to be uncomfortable and understandably so. Because you are on your stomach your neck and spine have a hard time lying flat, especially with a pillow under head, causing serious neck and back the next morning as well as trouble breathing. The upward angle of the neck constricts air flow and this is more so the case when the head is turned to either side. This angle also puts the most stress on the lower back of any sleeping position.

Sleeping on Your Back

Back Sleepers: Without a doubt, sleeping on your back allows for the greatest amount of support along the spine and neck. This support as well as spinal elongation helps to prevent upper and lower back pain as well as keeping your neck in a neutral position throughout the night. Keeping a pillow underneath the head will prevent acid reflux occurring during the night. One of the only downsides to sleeping on your back is airway blockage from your tongue. This can be a serious threat to those with sleep apnea due to the increased lack of breath. Your snoring might increase but with no face to pillow contact your likelihood of developing wrinkles earlier in life will definitely decrease.

Posture Affects Your Sleep

Although posture plays an important role in your sleep there are other factors such as your mattress and pillow type. For side sleepers placing a pillow between your legs helps to correctly align the spine. At the end of the day everyone falls asleep in the position which is most comfortable for them, but taking your health into consideration might just help you make the switch to a better night’s sleep.


https://plus.google.com/+Yourfootpalaceathensmassagespa/about

Foot Palace Massage Spa Athens


1720 Epps Bridge Pkwy Ste 106, Athens,GA 30606

(706) 521-5290

 

The post Why Proper Sleep Posture Translates to a Happier Body appeared first on http://www.yourfootpalace.com.

5 Surprising Health & Beauty Benefits of Cold Showers

happy woman effects of cold shower on mood and health

For me, waking up to a hot shower is one of the most relaxing ways to begin the day. However, there is the occasional morning where I am the last one to make it into the shower, leaving me with nothing but icy water and frustration. Despite how much we all might dislike cold showers, the benefits of taking them far outweigh the negatives. 

In addition to your active wellness therapy at Foot Palace, simply turning the shower temperature down may help to improve your long-term physical and mental health.

Improved Hair & Skin Health

Although that hot shower may be the most comfortable way to wake up in the morning it may not be the best for your skin. Hot water can leave your skin dry and itchy long after you’ve gotten out of the shower, so it’s best to use cold water to tighten those pores which helps to prevent clogging. This tightening of the pores helps to prevent dirt and sweat from being trapped inside. Not only do cold showers show positive results with skin but with hair as well. The cold water helps to tighten the follicles, leaving you with the appearance of healthier, stronger and shiny hair. 

Stress Relief

Surprisingly enough, research has shown that cold stimulation can actually lower stress levels. When exposed to cold stimuli the body increases its glutathione, an antioxidant that helps keep other antioxidants performing at optimal levels in the body. A 1994 study found a drastic decrease in uric acid levels during and following the body’s exposure to cold. According to the study repeated exposure to cold water led to adaptation of oxidative stress. 

Ease Depression

Cold showers have been shown to relieve depression symptoms due to the intense impact of cold receptors in the skin, which send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from the peripheral nerve endings to the brain. Thus, it produces an antidepressant effect, and boosts moods, making it a pick-me-up. A 2008 study found that cold hydrotherapy has an analgesic effect, and does not appear to have noticeable side effects or cause dependence. This treatment included one to two cold showers of 38 degrees Fahrenheit, two to three minutes long, followed by a five-minute gradual adaptation to make the procedure less shocking.

Faster Muscle Recovery

We all know taking ice baths after training can reduce muscle soreness, but a quick cold shower after breaking a sweat at the gym can be just as effective. A 2009 study analyzing 360 people over seventeen trials found that 24-minute cold water baths were effective in relieving sore muscles one to four days after exercises with a water temperature of 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 to 15 degrees Celsius.

Greater Circulation and Immune Health

Cold water can improve circulation by helping blood to surround our organs, which can then help combat some problems of the skin and heart. When cold water hits the body, its ability to get blood circulating leads the arteries to more efficiently pump blood, boosting our overall heart health. It can also lower blood pressure, clear blocked arteries, and improve our immune system.

If you enjoyed this information, visit yourfootpalace.com/10-wellness-tips-to-a-healthier-you/ for other health and wellness tips, and consider turning down your temperature so you can experience these benefits.


https://plus.google.com/+Yourfootpalaceathensmassagespa/about

Foot Palace Massage Spa Athens


1720 Epps Bridge Pkwy Ste 106, Athens,GA 30606

(706) 521-5290

 

The post 5 Surprising Health & Beauty Benefits of Cold Showers appeared first on http://www.yourfootpalace.com.

How Regular Sleep Promotes a Healthy Mind

active and healthy lifestyle in Athens

The cognitive skills we depend on in our daily lives are affected when we fail to get good sleep. Our abilities to focus, concentrate, reason, remember and make good judgment calls all suffer from lack of sleep. Our Foot Palace health team uncovered ongoing research that suggests our brains depend on a nightly bath, of sorts, to keep them functioning at their best. Not getting enough sleep or not sleeping deeply enough, hinders your brain’s ability to perform this nightly flush, possibly leading to a less productive day.

For the average person, a lack of sleep could translate to the inability to focus on what’s being said at a meeting, to gather information assemble it into an important report, or to engage with co-workers in a collegial and collaborative manner.

How Much Sleep is Enough Sleep

The gold standard for sleep is six to eight hours nightly, and evidence suggests the average American adult is getting at least that much. But just depriving yourself of an hour a night adds up and can have cumulative effects on your mental status throughout the week.

“Fortunately, recovery sleep works,” says A. Thomas Perkins, a sleep expert and director of the Sleep Medicine Program at Raleigh Neurology in Raleigh, North Carolina. “So you can be chronically sleep deprived for weeks in a row, and have a few long nights’ sleep and a nap and sort of boom, you’re caught up. In other words, you don’t have to make up what you miss in a 1:1 ratio.”

Going to bed early and staring at the ceiling does not make for more efficient sleep, and taking a hot bath raises your core body temperature, when your body actually requires a half-degree drop in temperature to trigger its nightly shut down.

And what about those people who say they just function better on less than the recommended hours of sleep?

“They’re full of it,” Perkins says. “It’s like saying, ‘I don’t need eyeglasses,’ but you didn’t realize you needed them until you had corrective lenses to compare what you’re currently seeing to what you ought to be seeing. They don’t have a reference point for normal sleep and refreshment.”

So the next time you’re tempted to work late and burn the midnight oil, remember: sacrificing sleep could actually put you at a disadvantage. Putting in regular hours with a clear mind is more beneficial than overtime on limited sleep, and you’ll feel healthier for it.

Natural Ways to Fall Asleep Faster

Give yourself acupressure

• Here are some acupressure techniques to alleviate sleeplessness:
Between your eyebrows, there is a small depression on the level of your brows, right above the nose. Apply gentle pressure to that point for a minute.

• Between your first and second toes, on top of the foot, there is a depression. Press that area for a few minutes until you feel a dull ache.

• Imagine that your foot has three sections, beginning at the tips of your toes and ending at the back of your heel. Find the distance one-third back from the tips of your toes and press on the sole of your foot for a few minutes.

• Massage both of your ears for a minute.

Use the “4-7-8” method

Championed by best-selling author Dr. Andrew Weil, the “4-7-8” breathing technique will help you fall asleep in under a minute. The method relaxes you by increasing the amount of oxygen in your blood stream, slowing your heart rate, and releasing more carbon dioxide from the lungs. 

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise.
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  3. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  4. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  5. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.

Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.


https://plus.google.com/+Yourfootpalaceathensmassagespa/about

Foot Palace Massage Spa Athens


1720 Epps Bridge Pkwy Ste 106, Athens,GA 30606

(706) 521-5290

 

The post How Regular Sleep Promotes a Healthy Mind appeared first on http://www.yourfootpalace.com.

10 Wellness Tips to a Healthier You

active and healthy lifestyle in Athens

Much like babies, New Year’s resolutions are fun to make but hard to maintain. Here are a few tips that can help you stay on track.

1. Try wearing a pedometer. They say, “Out of sight, out of mind.” New research suggests that wearing a pedometer encourages people to walk about an extra mile each day, and in effect lose weight, and lower their blood pressure. Having a constant reminder helps, and you can get a decent one for about $20. Make your goal 30 minutes of walking a day or 10,000 steps per day.

2. Lift weights! Too many people neglect resistance exercise, especially women. Strength training is crucial for preventing muscle and bone loss with age. Lift weights for at least 20 minutes, two- to three-times per week. Don’t forget strength training, involving both the upper and lower body.

3. Eat more fish. Try eating least two fish meals per week. The evidence is strong that the oils in darker types of fish, such as tuna, salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring, are very beneficial for the brain and hart, and may even lower risk of cancer.

4. Drink water. You’ve heard it a hundred times before, because its true- drink more water! Water truly is essential and should always be the first thing you reach for when you’re thirsty.

5. Sleep 8 hours a night. Studies have confirmed that you really do need at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Some of the many benefits: You feel better, decreases risk for cardiovascular disease, and boosts memory.

6. Consider reflexology, acupressure and massage as valid therapies for chronic problems. Seeing a good massage therapist for neck strain may work better than taking extra strength Tylenol and/or Advil regularly. At the very least, these holistic options will help decrease stress and maintain overall wellness.

7. Keep sugar and caffeine to a minimum. Decreasing sugar actually increases your energy, by minimizing the highs and lows and preventing a sugar crash. People react differently to caffeine, but most of us are already overstimulated and could do without the additional boost. Drink green instead of coffee, the added bonus is weight loss.

8. Don’t pop too many vitamins, evidence for their benefits are low. Try getting your daily vitamins from foods and consider taking a multivitamin right before bed.

9. Don’t focus on dieting. Focus on eating, and WHAT you’re eating. If you’re hungry, just eat something- otherwise you’re more likely to overeat, especially in the evening. Instead, of sacrificing all day and gorging later, it’s better to eat enough during the day to avoid hunger pangs and uncontrolled eating at night. Eat every four hours or so, to keep your energy up and make you less hungry in the evening. And mix it up by eating different foods at every meal.

10. Don’t drink all your calories. It’s easy to drink calories without noticing: that eggnog latte at Starbucks has nearly as many calories as a Big Mac. It’s okay to have one as an occasional treat, but consider it a meal, not a drink.

Whether you need a spa treatment or relaxing massage therapy, Foot Palace invites you to melt away your pain and stress!


https://plus.google.com/+Yourfootpalaceathensmassagespa/about

Foot Palace Massage Spa Athens


1720 Epps Bridge Pkwy Ste 106, Athens,GA 30606

(706) 521-5290

 

The post 10 Wellness Tips to a Healthier You appeared first on http://www.yourfootpalace.com.

How Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Can Improve One’s Health

essential oils for aromatherapy massage

Our nose plays a huge role in our day-to-day emotional lives whether we realize it or not all through the smell of scents. The nose is a direct path to our limbic system which is our system that creates feeling and emotions. Our sense of smell is the most primitive of our senses and very powerful. We can detect at least one trillion distinct scents. The nose connects to the deepest part of the brain which triggers basic instincts, our emotions and memories. Offering your nose aromatherapy is a simple way to improve your overall health and quality of life.

What is Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy also known as essential oil therapy, is the use of naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to help promote the health of body. Aromatherapy is an alternative medicine that offers many benefits and has been around for thousands of years. Essential oils can either be inhaled through the nose, applied directly to the skin or added to a bath to work emotionally or physically to improve one’s general state of health. This alternative medicine can help boost energy levels, reduce stress, ease depression, eliminate headaches, improve sleep, strengthen the immune system, reduce pain, improve digestion, and increase circulation just to name a few.

Types of Essential Oils

The most popular aromatherapy essential oil in the word is lavender. Lavender has a long list of uses and ranges from cosmetics to well-being remedies. Lavender oil is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant that is fragrant in nature. Having a light fresh floral-herbaceous aroma. Lavender when inhaled is used to reduce anxiety and emotional stress, improve sleep and alleviate headaches. The essential oil applied to the skin can heal burns and wounds, restore complexion and reduce acne and improves psoriasis.

Jasmine oil nicknamed “queen of the night” is derived from the jasmine flower that has a strong small at night. Known to be the most popular oil for improving mood, balancing hormones and low libido. It’s “seductive” strong scent is a natural aphrodisiac that can increase sensuality and has libido-boosting qualities.

Clementine oil made from the peel of the succulent fruit with a smooth and shiny appearance is used in aromatherapy owing to its rejuvenating nature. With an amazingly sweet and crisp aroma. It offers purifying properties and uplifts the mood and enhances mental clarity.

Rosemary is one of the most powerful essential oils on the planet and is considered sacred by ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. This essential oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant and is part of the mint family. With a woodsy evergreen like scent this essential oil is used to improve memory, relieve muscle aches and pains as well as soothe digestion. Rosemary has become increasingly popular over the last few years for its ability to stimulate hair growth as well.

One of the most studied essential oils with numerous health benefits is peppermint. Peppermint is a cross between the watermint and spearmint plant and the oil derives from the leaves. This essential oil aids in indigestion, respiratory issues, nausea, fever, pain relief, blood circulation and has antifungal properties. Due to the extensive research on peppermint oil, you can purchase it in capsules and it is prescribed by alternative medicine doctors.

Benefits of Various Aromatherapy Scents

Expect a heightened experience when combining aromatherapy, acupressure (http://spainathens.blogspot.com/2016/09/acupressure-therapy-basics-benefits-techniques.html) or other massage services. Lavender, Jasmine, Clementine, Rosemary and Peppermint are only a few of many beneficial aromatherapy scents offered in the markets today. Each of these 5 aroma scents offer a different aid in promoting the health of body. As part of the Foot Palace Aromatherapy package you can chose one of these essential oils to be applied directly to your skin carried in our oil and lotions, all of which are from Pure Plant-Based Ingredients. This allows your skin to feel nourished, supple, healthy and youthful while rejuvenating your senses and physical well-being. Let your nose choose the scent to improve your senses.


https://plus.google.com/+Yourfootpalaceathensmassagespa/about

Foot Palace Massage Spa Athens


1720 Epps Bridge Pkwy Ste 106, Athens,GA 30606

(706) 521-5290

 

The post How Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Can Improve One’s Health appeared first on http://www.yourfootpalace.com.

Five Points to a Holistic Hangover Cure

holistic hangover treatment

The new year is just around the corner; everyone is gearing up for the holiday cheer. As we all know too well after all the cheer comes the next morning that can be quite debilitating. You wake up with a throbbing head, heavy eyes, a stomach ache, and the feeling of a cloud hanging over your head. We’ve all heard about the standard hangover cures – a glass of water before bed, exercise to sweat it out, hair of the dog. Everyone seems to claim that one thing will rid you of a hangover, but have you ever tried a reflexology massage? A Reflexology session is a sure-fire way to get you up and going after a binger the night before. How does it work and why should you give it a go?

How Reflexology Relieves Your Hangover Effect

Reflexology is known to relieve a slew of ailments and hangovers are no exception. A reflexology session is a great natural way to relieve the effects of being over served. There is 5 key reflex points that once stimulated will have you perked up and feeling better in no time. Liver; helps the body to flush out the remaining toxins. Kidneys; to help filter and eliminate the alcohol. Stomach; reduces the nausea and tummy ache. Head; relieves the throbbing, pounding headache. Solar Plexus; brings your body back to a neutral center ground. By stimulating these 5 key points your body will get the boost it needs to overcome the dreadful hangover. To cure that dreadful hangover and get your body back to its senses you’re in need of reflexology relief!

Spa Hangover Relief Trick

If you just can’t muster to get out of bed and make it to the spa you can try to target the most important pressure point to get some relief, the liver. Press and rub the outer edge of your right foot, halfway between the middle of your foot and your pinky toe. When pressing on this area you may notice they are “crunchy” this is a sign that congestion is in the area. Continue to press and rub until this feeling dissipates.

Stimulating these pressure points will sure get your blood moving to help your body eliminate all the poison you consumed but not without the help of H2O. Hydration is key after a reflexology session hungover or not to help your body flush out the toxins just released from pressure points.

Your Holistic Happy Hour Hangover Treatment

No one likes a hangover, but it happens to the best of us. Next time you get a little “extra” Happy at happy hour just know, you don’t have to suffer the next day. Whether fighting the flu or a hangover, holistic treatments work, so give it a try and see the magical relief for yourself.


https://plus.google.com/+Yourfootpalaceathensmassagespa/about

Foot Palace Massage Spa Athens


1720 Epps Bridge Pkwy Ste 106, Athens,GA 30606

(706) 521-5290

 

The post Five Points to a Holistic Hangover Cure appeared first on http://www.yourfootpalace.com.

How Our Wellness Therapists Fight the Flu and Stress

girl suffering from flu and stress

It’s that time of year. The holidays are quickly approaching and if you’re like most, you’ve got a lot to do. Whether you’re preparing for travel, planning big holiday gatherings, or working overtime in order to ensure you can afford to get everything on that holiday wish list, chances are you’re already starting to feel it. Stress. It’s the one thing we all share, regardless of our family’s cultural or religious holiday traditions. It reminds us that we are short on time, short on money, and maybe even short on patience. It’s easy enough to feel the mental and emotional drain that stress causes, and that can really slow us down.

What most people don’t realize though, is that stress causes a physical drain on our bodies as well. It may not be the only reason we become more susceptible to cold and flu at this time of year, but it’s often overlooked.

A Stressed Immune System

Stress can cause a normally functioning immune system to falter, making our body’s natural immune responses suppressed and inadequate. This means that a chance encounter with a sick neighbor, an exchange of money at Starbucks, or even pushing a cart through the grocery store, becomes a potential catalyst for the misery of coming down with the dreaded flu. Where a healthy immune system might easily defeat the nasty flu virus, a stressed system is going to really struggle and leave you feeling the effects of that microscopic battle going on inside your body.

So, how can we avoid the added stress of coming down with the flu? While your doctor and local pharmacy are belting out that holiday jingle, “Get your flu shot!” there are many things you can do naturally to help prevent catching all the strains of flu that aren’t covered in that vaccine.  As Benjamin Franklin wisely advised: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Staying Healthy During Flu Season

Here are just a few tips from the Foot Palace team on how we like to keep our families healthy during flu season:

Nia: “For me, I know every person’s immunity is different, so there’s not just one thing that works for everyone. My number one thing that is most important for me is sleep!  Even if everyone else gets sick, if I have enough rest, I know I will be okay.”

According to the WebMD, she’s not wrong: “A lot of studies show our T-cells go down if we are sleep deprived,” Balachandran says. “And inflammatory cytokines go up. … This could potentially lead to the greater risk of developing a cold or flu.”

Maria: “Eat right.  If you eat right it will strengthen your immune system and help prevent you from getting the flu.”

WebMD offers this list of immune boosting foods.

Melly: “If I feel a little phlegm or scratchy in my throat I use a spoon full of lemon and sweet soybean sauce.  If there is a fever I make a soup with ginger, garlic, and chicken. Also, I don’t drink cold water until I feel better. It works well for my husband, but he doesn’t like the soybean sauce. If you don’t like it you can substitute with honey.”

Sweet soy sauce is an Indonesian secret remedy. Melly gets hers from an Indonesian market in Atlanta, but you can also find it on Amazon.

Kimberly: “Staying hydrated & upping your vitamin D. I also take Emergen-c everyday and eat more broths and soups.  Whenever I feel under the weather, I take oregano oil capsules. Oregano is a natural antiviral and antibiotic.”

Brett: “Diet is huge. What you put into your body is really important. Lots of water. Exercise. Walks in the park. Echinacea is supposedly a natural immune booster.”

What we put into our bodies is key.  There are many immune boosting supplements and antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial botanicals.  They can be taken in the form of supplements, herbal teas, and essential oils. Consult a local herbalist for more detailed information on safety & efficacy, as each individual has different immunity needs.

More important than any supplement though, is hydration! When your body is dehydrated, it cannot function as it should. This can leave your immune system lagging and susceptible to attack.

Using Reflexology Massage as Stress Reduction and Prevention

Of course, this list would be incomplete if we forgot to add our favorite method of melting stress and keeping our bodies in balance and harmony: reflexology!

Similar to acupressure, reflexology is a therapeutic method of massage that facilitates stress and tension relief by stimulating your internal pressure points and nervous system. The pressure is mostly applied to the hands and feet.

There are a few useful points to know if you want to give your immune system a quick and painless boost, but the benefit of a peaceful environment and soothing touch cannot be underestimated.

*Disclaimer – none of the tips from the Foot Palace team should constitute medical advice.

Sources:
http://www.apa.org/research/action/immune.aspx
http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/immune-system-lack-of-sleep

The post How Our Wellness Therapists Fight the Flu and Stress appeared first on http://www.yourfootpalace.com.