My 10 top tips for improved posture and the health of your back

As a child, were you told “Stand up straight!” or “Don’t slouch!”. It turns out that whoever said it, they were right all along! Having poor posture when walking, sitting, working or driving can have a negative impact on your life including:

  • Pain in your back and shoulders.
  • Shallow breathing.
  • The appearance of lacking self confidence.

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What is posture?

Posture is defined as the way the body is carried. Good posture means carrying your body in a way that puts the least strain on muscles and ligaments. Poor posture can cause pain in the neck and back, and can sometimes lead to injury. Making changes to your posture is a great way of improving your overall appearance as well as your health.

Many of the reasons for bad posture can be fixed and others, like pregnancy, go away in time. Some of the reasons are:

  • Poor habits – sitting and standing incorrectly
  • Weakened muscles
  • Obesity – The extra pounds add strain to your skeleton and muscles.
  • Pregnancy
  • Ill-fitting shoes (like high heels)
  • Reduced muscle and joint flexibility (this can happen with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis)

Why Is Good Posture Important?

Good posture is good for your health in a number of ways. Standing and sitting with correct posture prevents strain and overuse of neck and back muscles, it helps the muscles work more efficiently

Good posture also has other more subtle benefits. When you stand properly, the body tends to look taller and slimmer. Good posture can also make you look more confident. And, we all know, when you look confident, you feel confident.

As most of us are seated at desks for most of the day, it is very important to have correct posture while seated.

The combination of regular stretching and massage help to improve and maintain your posture .

Are There Warning Signs Of Back Pain Caused By Poor Posture?

Back pain may be the result of poor posture if the back pain is worse at certain times of day or week. If you experience back pain at certain times of the week, but not at the weekend, this may be the problem.

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The signs to be aware of are:

  • sudden back pain that is experienced with a new job, a new office chair, or a new car
  • pain that starts in the neck and moves downwards into the upper back, lower back and extremities and pain that goes away after changing positions while sitting or standing.

Keep active

As muscles get tired, slouching, slumping, and other poor posture positions occur. This then puts extra pressure on the neck and back. In order to maintain a relaxed yet supported posture, switch positions frequently. Take a two-minute break from your desk every hour to stretch your limbs.

Keep the body in alignment while sitting at your desk and standing

  • Distribute body weight evenly to the front, back, and sides of the feet while standing.
  • While sitting in at your desk, take advantage of the chair’s features.
  • Sit up straight and align the ears, shoulders, and hips in one vertical line.
  • Any single position, even a position with good posture, will tire your muscles. Leaning forward with a straight back can alternate with sitting back, using the back support of the office chair to take some of the strain from your muscles.
  • Also be aware of (and avoid) unbalanced postures such as crossing legs unevenly while sitting, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders and craning the neck.

Use Posture-Friendly Props & Ergonomic Chairs When Sitting

  • Supportive ergonomic “props” can help to take the strain and load off the spine.
  • Lumbar Rolls or pillows offer great support to the lower back when seated at a desk.

Increase Your General Awareness For Great Posture

Being aware of posture at work, at home, and at play is a vitally important step towards instilling good posture techniques. This includes making conscious connections between incidents of back pain and what position you were in at the time.

Use Exercise To Help Prevent Injury & Promote Great Posture

Regular physical exercise such as walking, swimming and cycling will help the body stay in good condition, while specific strengthening exercises will help the muscles surrounding the back to stay strong.

There are also specific exercises that will help maintain good posture. A balance of trunk strength with back muscles about 30% stronger than abdominal muscles is essential to help support the upper body and maintain good posture.

Wear Supportive Footwear When Standing

Avoid regularly wearing high heels, which can affect the body’s center of gravity and change the alignment of the entire body, affecting back support and posture.

Be Aware Of Your Posture When Moving Or Stationary

Walking, talking on the phone, and typing are all moving activities that require attention to posture. It is important to maintain good posture even while moving to avoid injury. Back injuries are especially common while twisting and/or lifting and often occur because of awkward movement and control of the upper body weight alone.

Do re-check your posture whenever you think of it! I often find myself reverting to old habits particularly when using laptops!!

Create The ‘Right’ Environment & Workspace Conducive To You

It does require a bit of time but the results will be well worth it. Undue strain will be placed on the spine unless your office chair, desk, keyboard, and computer screen are in the correct position.

Avoid The ‘Over-Protecting’ Posture

Remember that it is important to maintain an overall relaxed posture to avoid restricting movements by tensing muscles and adopting a stiff posture.

For people who already have some back pain, it is a natural tendency to try to limit movements to avoid the potential pain associated with movement. But, unless there is a fracture or other serious problem, the spine is designed for movement and any limitation in motion over a long period of time creates more pain and will make the overall situation worse.

You can always spot someone in pain when they walk ahead of you in the street… so take a look at yourself. If you are frightened of pain you walk in an unusual manor. It tends to be a stiff, tense and unnatural poise.

The way to change this is to relax. Hold your head up so it is horizontal to the floor,ensure your jaw is not tense, check your breathing and walk (picking your feet up properly).

I completely believe it is possible not only to eradicate most if not all of the chronic aches and pains of a bad back. Why, because I’ve done it myself!

I really have been there and done it all with my bad back, including back surgery! For those of you who are about to switch off at the point of surgery, please allow me to continue…

Back Surgery Was Really Not The Answer!

That just took away the ‘result’ of the problem without ever addressing the cause. It’s taken me 10 years after my op to have put it together in a package to help fellow sufferers.

  • I had to address the physical aspect of the back pain and Sciatica.
  • I had to adjust many aspects of my lifestyle (mostly silly things if I’m honest)
  • I had to address the fear of the re-occurrence of pain, the ‘knowing’ when it was going to ‘go’
  • I needed prevention strategies that were easy and worked
  • I had to address the impact of my bad back and the fear of its re-occurrence because it affected me in so many ways. My back impacted on my work. My work impacted on my finances. My finances impacted on my home life and family.

I’m sure you resonate with this on some or many of these levels! I just wanted you to know that I’ve contended with the lot, and just like you I struggled.

But that is in the past now, even when I do something that in the past would have debilitated me for days if not weeks, I am in a position that I am able to do most things and indeed partake in a far more active lifestyle than I would ever have imagined, probably moreso than before in many ways!

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Many of us simply forget that efficient breathing enhances your fitness performance AND reduces stress.  As something we do naturally, it seems crazy to find myself writing about breathing. However, I’ve noted that many of my clients ‘Reverse Breathe’. Additionally, I have noted when breathing patterns are corrected that there are very obvious and dramatic results both immediately and long term.

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What is Reverse breathing?

Naturally we breathe using our diaphragm. If you watch a baby breathing you will see what I mean. However poor posture, stress, anxiety, and general tension all affect our capacity to breathe ‘properly’ Upper chest breathing causes you to expel excessive amounts of Carbon Dioxide (therefore depleting your carbon Dioxide stores). This causes you to feel tense, agitated, breathless, and can cause your nervous system to go into overdrive. In extreme cases this can result in pins and needles/ tingling in hands, a tingling feeling in the lips, metallic taste in the mouth, and cramping of the feet or hands.

Carbon Dioxide is often seen as the ‘baddie’, however it’s vital to our health and general well-being acting as our ‘natural tranquilliser’

Re-learning to use your diaphragm in breathing and to reduce your rate of breathing is an important first step in managing the symptoms of anxiety, anger, panic, AND increasing your physical activities, clearing training plateaus etc.

How Does Reverse Breathing Affect You?

I have noted that with my clients (who are keen Sports participants) the effect of reverse breathing can lead to plateauing, as well as less energy and a longer recovery period, whilst my non-sporty clients, many of whom have very stressed, busy lifestyles, feel more stressed and even more lethargic!!

Click HERE to book your Stress Busting | sport specific treatment

Check YOUR Breathing Pattern

  • Rest one hand on your upper chest and the other over your navel area
  • Breathe normally for a minute or so
  • Notice which hand rises first when you inhale

Results:

  •  If the upper hand rises first you are reverse breathing
  • If the lower hand rises first you are breathing with your diaphragm
  • If both move at the same time you are using a mix of both

Breathing Exercise To Reduce Stress & Normalise Breathing

Sit in an upright position looking straight ahead. (You can close your eyes if it helps). Put one palm on your upper chest and the other over your navel. (The aim is to have the lower hand rise first when you breathe in.) Breathe out gently and effortlessly. Now wait for a second or two until the body spontaneously begins the inhalation. Hold the breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly.

I find it helps if you count slowly as you breathe in…. i.e. breathe in to the count of 6 (lets say) hold for 2 seconds, breathe out for 7.  Also, I find it beneficial to increase the duration of the inhale/ exhale increase when comfortable (easy), i,e Breathe in (and out) to 7, 8, 9 etc.

You may be tempted at this point to ‘force’ a deeper inhalation, but this really won’t help! Allow your body to find its natural rate, I’m certain that as you try this you will already be feeling your body automatically relax! Continue doing this for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Your New Breathing Pattern

Your new slow, relaxed, method of breathing may take a little time to get used to particularly if you have been desk-slumped or experiencing stress for a long time, but don’t despair, it gets easier and easier to change this pattern!

Feedback using this technique has been varied….from the reduction of ‘plateau’ when training to personal bests*, to ease of training, an instant calming solution and even enhanced orgasms (really!). Breathing this way also helps relieve (and alleviate)  tension between the shoulder blades!

*Please note: Whilst breathing ‘properly’ enhances many aspects of your life, muscle tension/ lack of flexibility will affect the outcome. Did you know excessive amounts of Oxygen (relative to the level of Carbon Dioxide) in our system causes us to feel agitated and jumpy. Whereas too much Carbon Dioxide (relative to the level of oxygen) can leave us feeling sluggish, sleepy and tired!

Click HERE to book your Stress Busting | sport specific treatment

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

 

Burnout & ME. How I recovered: my story…

My Burnout felt real but was it inevitable? Did life have to happen that way? I have burnt out three times… It took me that long to figure out where I was going wrong!

I used to live in the future. I knew what I didn’t have and I knew what I wanted. I would spend endless hours considering how I would make my desires come true. I would set personal goals, then work on overdrive to achieve them.

However, rather than creating the peace and happiness I sought by achieving these goals, what I was actually doing was creating dissatisfaction with my current life by focusing on what I didn’t have.

What made things even worse was that I had to work so hard to achieve the goals that I ended up stressed and exhausted. So of course, I had to come up with another plan for how to fix that, how to feel better, what to try next…I would have thoughts like “I can’t keep doing this. If only things were like this…” Followed by “Why isn’t this working? If I just change this, or if I do it that way, it will be better.” Trying to fix it and getting nowhere created a self-perpetuating and futile thought process which just got bigger and bigger; it actually made me even more exhausted, rather than less, and ultimately removed peace and happiness from my life.

The constant cycle of thinking, thinking, thinking, without ever actually resolving anything sustainably, drove me to burn out.

Looking Without Seeing

Exhausted, I looked for answers to my dilemma. I had tried so many techniques and processes, that in the end I concluded that there was no solution. This was inevitable, my life was a mess and always would be. That was obviously just how it was supposed to be.

Oddly, the whole time I was torturing myself in this way, I was surrounded by the miracle of life, but without realising how it could/should be benefitting me, making my own life better.

I did appreciate the beauty of my children, my grandson, my surroundings, family and friends, but despite all of that, I felt huge degrees of ‘lack’ within every aspect of my life. This was confusing…How could life be so wonderful on one hand, yet dreadful on the other?

What was arguably even odder was that I noticed others having similar experiences. And even odder still, I somehow concluded that this proved life was supposed to be a grossly unfair struggle, and I found a level of reassurance in that, because it wasn’t just me. Crazy, I know!

Yet, during all of this, a part of me which I will call my inner wisdom kept nudging me and quietly hinting to me that somehow I was seeing it all wrong.

Because it’s not that I never had moments of peace and satisfaction. I did. The trouble was, they would never last. In my search for peace and happiness I regularly looked within and found what I sought – a beautiful space. But no sooner did I think – delighted! – that I had finally cracked the problem, then everyday “life” would intrude and (bang!) I was back on the rollercoaster of stress again. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was wrong, but I didn’t know how to make it right. I have an in-depth knowledge of the body and the way we work, but despite this, I felt it was impossible to find real, lasting peace.

 I was missing something. Then I learned something about the way our mind influences our whole life.

I think, therefore I am

 I have explained how I was constantly thinking, thinking, thinking how to make my life better. Which was not only blinding me to some of the wonderful things in my life, but also causing me intense and constant stress, until I felt I had burnt out.

 This happened to me three times at various stages of my life, before I had a key realisation: I was feeling what I was thinking.

Sydney Banks, discoverer of “The Three Principles”, said “Your thoughts create your feelings.” I am convinced this is absolutely true.

If I thought stressed, I felt stressed. If I thought panicky, I felt panicky. My body was simply reacting in accordance with my thinking.

I had learned in the past to trust how I felt, but I now realised this could actually be completely wrong.

I realised that my feelings are generated by my own thinking, not directly by my circumstances. I understood that by reacting to my circumstances, I was creating a life which didn’t align with my desires, and that I was actually creating my own dissatisfaction.

This new way of thinking instantly brought me a level of peace which I had not previously experienced. And it has not gone away. I call it my “Full-Stop” (i.e. stop thinking/worrying about your circumstances).

To my clients, I describe this stopping of thought/worry as the “Optimal Default Setting” for the mind.

The way it worked best for me was simply to remind myself that I, like every other human being on the planet, have a continuous flow of thoughts, and that these thoughts create my feelings. If I don’t like a feeling, I simply remind myself that there are plenty of other thoughts I can focus on. Or simpler still, just pick a nice thought and stop focusing on the thought that created the negative feeling (Full Stop). This also helps us to value and benefit emotionally from the good things in our lives, instead of overlooking or taking them for granted.

If I struggle to reject a thought, I look for something beautiful and focus on that and remember that in just a moment there will be other thoughts that will replace the one I don’t like. This may sound simple, but it truly works!

With my Optimal Default Setting/Full Stop idea firmly in place, I found that right there in the moment, I had clarity and peace. My mind fog, created by an over-drive of thinking, cleared instantly as I realised that I was responsible for myself and my thinking. This allowed me freedom, direction and purposeful, stress-free flowing thought.

Recovering from Extreme Stress & Burnout also know as…Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CSF), ME or Yuppie Flu?

Read “It’s all about ME” it could be just what you are looking for!

 

'It's All About ME' | By Dawn SymonsA PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR A HEALTHY BODY AND MIND

When you become embroiled in extreme stress and burnout, one of the biggest difficulties is that is that on the surface you appear to be ‘normal’, healthy and well.

Loaded popular beliefs that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME) does not exist, along with labels such as hypochondriac, attention seeker or lazy, do little to resolve the emotional conflict of this crippling neurological disease.

What I know for sure is that there are things that you can do… I know this to be true because I had to find and do them myself. I wrote this book because I burned out 3 times. Frantically chasing a solution for my problems made things even worse. But after many long years I found a solution which is the exact opposite of frantic…

Price: £6.97

 




NEED MORE HELP? BOOK YOUR TREATMENT HERE

What if Burnout ME is just a thought, what if it’s not real?

I’ve experience crippling physical symptoms of Burnout – ME – CSF, but understanding how the body actually ‘works’ has turned my life around. It’s left me wondering if it could be possible that we think ourselves into burnout? If my theory is right, then we (all) can recover!

If you are experiencing CFS -ME- Burnout would you agree that on a personal level your (Burnout) mind offers a relentless series of thoughts; “ I’m pushing myself here, I’m tired, I’m overwhelmed, I’m exhausted, etc.  In your work-place or business mind it would be more along the lines of:  “they are expecting me to do more than I can do, I can’t keep doing 16 hour days; I can’t, I can’t, I can’t… but I have to. Basically that’s what the burnout experience boils down to…..

If you can notice your thinking about burnout you can draw your energy back and make wiser choices. But while you are in that burnout thinking-feeling  process, the process of absolutely believing it to be real, because let’s face it, it FEELS real; consider this… is it something on the outside of you causing you to think-feel in this way?

When you are having thoughts such as I can’t keep doing it… etc these thoughts are just part of a story we tell ourselves, and to be frank the reason doesn’t matter we can let it go.. The more that we think about the problem whether that be burnout symptoms, our unhappiness in whichever certain situation,  then real it becomes.

The reality is that we innocently blame our negative – positive feelings, behaviour and mind-set on our current situation (our boss, our partner, the weather, the economic downturn etc.), not realising that its actually just our own thinking.
The problem is that the more we think negative thoughts the more we  believe them, the more that we think-believe them then our IQ, our mindset dips.

There is scientific evidence tells us that the IQ goes down so the chances are that when you try to problem-solve and make decisions, that are going to be wrong, basically because you are not thinking clearly. But when I can notice that I do not need to do anything remember that my default system is health, peace, clarity and that I don’t have to do anything at all, and my mind clears of the jumbled, muddled thinking my IQ goes up, and it happens very quickly.

A problem will occur if you try to ‘do’ something about it, your mindset gets lost in the solution.
When you have a positive mindset you experience clarity of being, mental health, calm and are in a much healthier place to make a decision. The beauty of natural default setting is that you need not consider the past, patterns, previous experience so that you work differently and straight away the perceived burnout switches off.

I recovered from Burnout.

Find out ‘How to recover from Burnout ME’ below…

'It's All About ME' | By Dawn Symons A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR A HEALTHY BODY AND MIND

When you become embroiled in extreme stress and burnout, one of the biggest   difficulties is that is that on the surface you appear to be ‘normal’, healthy and well.

Loaded popular beliefs that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME) does not exist, along with labels such as hypochondriac, attention seeker or lazy, do little to resolve the emotional conflict of this crippling disease.

What I know for sure is that there are things that you can do… I know this to be true because I had to find and do them myself. I wrote this book because I burned out 3 times. Frantically chasing a solution for my problems made things even worse. But after many long years I found a solution which is the exact opposite of frantic…

Price: £6.97


My Reiki Moment…

I have to admit to being quite a Dawn-Fan.  She treated me throughout & beyond my second pregnancy,  has been my saviour when I have experienced acute back pain, as well as to treat more deep-seated stress or trauma-based pain. I think I have probably been treated to most of Dawn’s Maga Therapy tool box over the years – all of which have had resulted in immediate (& lasting) relief & relaxation.

My ‘Reiki moment’ was after I had injured my knee whilst running. I climbed over a stile & must have just turned or twisted in the wrong direction. I felt a deep ‘pop’ somewhere in my knee – no pain, no dramatic tear or crunch, just a slightly odd *twisted* feeling. I ran on a little, then decided it was sensible to walk the rest of the way home.

A few hours later I couldn’t stand up. The pain was incredible – it had just crept up on me & I couldn’t put any weight at all on that leg. Dawn chatted a bit (she chats quite a lot… ;)) as she placed her hand gently on my knee. Then she went quiet (which usually means something serious is about to happen). I felt heat from her hand & then a very clear & strong feeling of my knee going round in circles under her hand. It was like the inner working of my knee were rotating. I told her what I could feel & she said ‘I know. But it needs to go the other way. I need to make it turn’. Then she went quiet again & I felt the circling slow, stop, & then start to judder in the opposite direction. It juddered a little more then started flowing freely in the other direction.

The pain had completely gone away & it never came back. I have absolutely no idea *what* was going round in circles, & then changed direction… but it worked!

I don’t question why or how what Dawn does, works – but it absolutely does. I can’t recommend her highly enough

Wendy

Click HERE to book your bespoke treatment

'It's All About ME' | By Dawn SymonsA PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR A HEALTHY BODY AND MIND

 

When you become embroiled in extreme stress and burnout, one of the biggest difficulties is that is that on the surface you appear to be ‘normal’, healthy and well.

Loaded popular beliefs that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME) does not exist, along with labels such such as hypochondriac, attention seeker or lazy, do little to resolve the emotional conflict of this crippling disease.

What I know for sure is that there are things that you can do… I know this to be true because I had to find and do them myself.

I wrote this book because I burned out 3 times. Frantically chasing a solution for my problems made things even worse. But after many long years I found a solution which is the exact opposite of frantic…

Price: £6.97

 




Have you experienced Reiki? It may well seem to be ‘mumbo jumbo’, but read what Ralph who has a been a scientist for his entire working life had to say in May 2011.

This is the exact email I received from Ralph, following a Reiki session with me.

A year or so ago I was having back and neck pain and was recommended to Dawn.  Expecting treatment to those parts of my body where the pain was, I was surprised when Dawn started work on my leg which was apparently the source of the problem.

After a period of massage I relaxed whilst Dawn very gently held my foot as I lay on the massage bench. This was when I experienced two very strange feelings.  First my knee cap felt as if it was moving up and down despite the fact that there was no apparent reason for it to be doing so. Dawn continued to gently hold my foot but did not move her hand in any way – I was watching  totally intrigued.. There was then the extremely strange feeling of something moving up and down my leg from my foot to my groin and back again.  It felt as if there were bubbles of something moving inside the leg up and  down for three or four minutes – a weird feeling unlike anything I had ever experienced before.  The movements then stopped and I have had no repeat of the pain or of the strange movements.

Wow!! I wanted to probe a little deeper here. This is the email I sent Ralph:

Thank you very much…..  I wonder can you give me an additional  line or two, from a perspective of logic and your deep understanding of science,  and consider that I believe (and you experienced) that it is somehow possible, using your hands whether on the client or off, (although I find it much ‘stonger’ if I am working hands on!) you can move ‘energy’ around the body to re-balance (the pain), and you can feel it and you know its happening you can’t see it even though you should be able to because it obvious!! And afterwards it feels much better, and that relief lasts…

I strongly believe there is something there and its just not been figured out yet. When someone experiences it it is quite incredible, it helps an individual in a very unique and beneficial way. I’m sure somehow it kick starts a ‘circuit’ somewhere that needs a tweak, that that little boost gets it up and running again and it puts ‘it’ right, whatever ‘it’ might be…. that’s the only scientific’ish’ way I can describe it, and if I write that people may well think I’m bonkers (!!) so Ralph, what do think, how would you possibly describe Reiki?  Dawn

This was his reply:

Amongst other topics I have worked on during my half century as a scientist is energy in its many forms. I fully comprehend the concepts of energy conservation, the different forms in which energy can manifest itself and the ways in which energy can flow from one point in space to another.

I am certain that there was some flow of something in my leg whilst Dawn was holding it and this something had an effect.  I think I must have experieced a flow of energy  in some form which I am unable to identify. What it was, how it started to flow and how it affected my body are all facts that are incomprehensible to me

Maybe somebody sometime will have an explanation that either fits conventional science thinking or does not.  – Ralph.

When you are stressed to the eyeballs, what will help?

Well, I feel that the basics of eating healthily, reducing caffeine and sugar intake (read more here), taking time out to relax or exercise, doing something you enjoy every day, spending time with friends/ family and laughter are so simple that we often overlook them. But in my humble experience, I do believe that it is often the simple things in life that are most effective! Maybe getting back to basics will help us take a jump away from the acute symptoms and lead us to feel happier, healthier and more in control.

As the saying goes “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” When facing major challenges look at them as the chance for personal growth- poor personal choices contribute to a stressful situation- reflect on them and learn from the mistake- we are human after all!!

I found the following statement some years ago;I thought I’d share it with you:  “Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress.  Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection.  Set reasonable standards/ goals for yourself (and others), and learn to be satisfied with a job well done”

A question I have often been asked is how does Maga Therapy relieve the symptons of stress?

Long term stress can affect you in many ways as I previously noted (Read more…) With symptoms including headaches, migraines, asthma, skin conditions e.g. eczema, heart-burn, IBS, tension, aches and pains you can very easily feel anxious or depressed (also classic symptoms of stress) and wonder if there is anything that will actually help.
 
I have to explain the just how Maga Therapy can help you, and HAS to be my number one on the stress busting list!
 
It’s not just a case that someone does something ‘nice’ to you for an hour or so, nor that you were able to schedule an hour into your busy routine, there are more powerful ‘forces’ at work which actually decrease the stress levels and (albeit temporarily) will neutralise the effects (obviously, the more regularly you have one the better your body will respond and ‘learn’ to relax.
Basically (as jargon free as I can make it) the stopping what you are doing and doing nothing allows your body to produce less stress hormones (you will remember the fight or flight ones from your adrenal system from school I am sure).

Excessive amounts of stress hormones cause of the problems we suffer physically.Stress hormones are produced in the Adrenal Galnds (Read more here) and are in a ‘normal’ day to day situation useful, making us more alert or having better memory etc, however, prolonged pumping the hormones will actually prove harmful long term.

For example, indigestion and stomach ulcers can be directly linked to the over production of stress hormones because the hormones affect the digestive system, it becomes sluggish and we break food down much slower than we should, as well as having excess acids produced which in time can affect the lining and cause it to ulcerate. Of course, for all of us who have had stressful periods of life, how easy is it to skip meals and survive on coffee and cigarettes (most of us have done it!!)
 
The muscles are helped greatly by the release of tension and tightness. Fatigue in muscle tissue is reduced by removing lactic acid, this helps prevent the formation of fibrositis (inflammation within the muscle fibres), thus, muscles work at maximum efficiency!

Our skeleton is affected by Maga Therapy (MT) too! Massage warms joints, reduces pain and increases production of synovial fluid which protects bone ends.

Our heart receives the very positive assistance from MT too! It increases blood circulation bringing oxygen to muscles and removing waste products such as lactic acid, helps heat up cold extremities, e.g. hands and feet, generally increases heart function.

Our lymphatic system (this is where many waste products are removed)is enhanced by MT resulting in reduction of excess fluid in tissues (oedema) and toxins.

Our breathing becomes slower and deeper. Lung efficiency is increased so more oxygen taken in and more carbon dioxide expelled, our body relaxes when our breather becomes deeper, slower and more efficient.

Our urinary system is kick started and there is an increase of the production of urine, removal of waste products and toxins.

Our digestive system starts to work more effective thus helps prevent constipation (or if IBS an issue, it balances it and slows gut action down)

The action on the endocrine system itself is very important, MT aids circulation of hormones around the body, it can assist depression by helping the uptake of the hormone Serotonin, and relieves stress by decreasing the levels of Adrenaline.
 
So you see, Maga Therapy HAS to be the best (and immediately effective) thing you can do.  But, that’s only a small wedge of the pie.  What else?? So this time I am thinking for most of us stopping and doing nothing for 10-15 mins is an impossible task, but consider how mad that actually sound 10-15 mins THAT’S ALL!

How to prolong or ‘learn’ to relax?
 
You will notice I burn either oil or incense when treating. There are many reasons for this but the main one is that  you can recreate a relaxing ambience at home,light a candle, burn some relaxing oil, put a relaxing CD to play and your body will respond and ‘release’ your tension.

So, you have the MT treatment rationale, now you know about the music, next the lovely odours. A  few drops of your favourite essential oil in water on the burner  will create a relaxing ambiance and help you chill out, dim the lights if you can and just stop……………turn off the phone (or put it on silent with no vibrate,),  it won’t matter for a few mins to not be ready to take a call!

Do nothing at all for 10 mins. Breathe deeply (many believe breathing is the key to success when it comes to stress busting!) Breathe deeply creating a Buddha belly, this will ensure you use all of your lung as opposed to a half or so of it!

Personal Note From Dawn Symons:

One CD which is widely available is’ Sleep’ by a company called Solitudes- this CD has been designed with the alpha waves wound throughout which actually causes you to relax and sends you to sleep!

Read more stress busting tips here

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