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Archive for March, 2015

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Massage & Fitness Magazine

Massage & Fitness Magazine

I am super excited to report that today the first issue ever of Massage & Fitness Magazine became available!  This magazine is the brainchild of Nick Ng, BA, CMT, and a host of other nationally known science-based massage therapists including Ravensara Travillian, PhD, LMP, Eric Keith Grant, PhD., Brett Jackson, BS, LMT, Alive Sanvito, LMT, and Rebecca Bishop, AS, CMT, (I’ve written about Nick’s work before, here regarding Cranial Sacral work,  and here regarding best sources for science based news. )

I am excited about this new magazine because, up until now, most massage therapy magazines provide frighteningly little science-based information.  I tend not to read them anymore because some of what is published supports myths that have been discredited in the past 5-10 years or is simply inaccurate scientifically. Health care providers have an ethical obligation to provide the most up-to-date, accurate information to clients and regurgitating pseudoscience or perpetuating potentially damaging myths does not serve massage clients well, nor does it serve massage therapists.

The first issue of Massage & Fitness has an excellent article by Alice Sanvito that explores some of the myths around massage and pregnancy. For many massage therapists, becoming certified in pregnancy massage has meant learning that massage can ‘accidentally” induce labor  yet there is no scientific evidence to support this). During my own prenatal massage training, I was told that it was best to avoid giving women massage in their first trimester  to avoid being sued if the woman miscarried. At least that instructor was honest about her reasoning. However, Alice points out that for many women, receiving massage helps them handle some of the symptoms of pregnancy including reducing feelings of nausea and giving women a feeling of being nurtured and supported

Other articles include an exploration of the science behind touch, explanations of when and how much exercise is acceptable for pregnant woman (quite a bit if already fit and the mom-to-be has no health complications), a truly wonderful explanation of massage education and the partnership of massage education and conventional medicine.

Check out Massage & Fitness Magazine here!
Disclaimer: Neither I nor Working Well Massage benefits financially from Massage & Fitness Magazine, but I do know some of the people mentioned above from social media and massage therapy advocacy. from my interactions with the editorial group, I am pleased to see that they live up to my expectations of being well-informed, clear and professional in this first edition!

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By Susan Shekut, MA, Clinical Professional Psychology, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Stress management is a big concern for most people. There are a lot of different activities we can do to help us calm down our nervous systems, help us to refocus and feel less frazzled. We can go for a walk, do deep breathing, mediate, do yoga and…we can color. What do I mean by coloring? Coloring as in using crayons or colored pencils to color a picture or in a coloring book.

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Huffington Post author Elena Santos explains the psychological benefits of coloring in, Coloring Isn’t Just For Kids. It Can Actually Help Adults Combat Stress.  Coloring is a great distraction activity when you feel overwhelmed or need a brain break from heavy-duty worries or concentration on difficult mental processes (like doing your taxes!). Ms. Santos states that, “In simplest terms, coloring has a de-stressing effect because when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on it and not on our worries.” In her article, she cites a number of sources for adult coloring books and notes that one expert recommends leaving magic markets with alcohol content aside and using good old crayons to color.

Great Adult Coloring Books For Relaxation

Color Me Calm: 100 Coloring Templates for Meditation and Relaxation (A Zen Coloring Book). On Amazon for $12.23. Click here to order. (Note the Amazon Prime copy may be out of stock, but other sellers have new and used versions available.)

Dover Creative Haven Art Nouveau Animal Designs Coloring Book (Creative Haven Coloring Books).  The art nouveau designs are intricate and give your mind a fun place to spend some time as you add color and bring the “animals” to life. On Amazon for $3.78. Click here to order.

Creative Coloring Inspirations: Art Activity Pages to Relax and Enjoy! This book combines  inspirational messages with art to color. on Amazon for $6 or less. Click here to order.

Mystical Mandala Coloring Book (Dover Design Coloring Books). Some mandalas in the book are very intricate and others are more simple. Each design provides excellent samples of meditative art.  Click here to order.

If you type “adult coloring book” into Amazon’s search engine, you can find coloring books on just about any topic you can imagine from ponds, natural parks, Victorian homes and flowers, to books with drawings of zombie, dragons and muscle cars. Whatever type of topic you find relaxing or distracting, you can find a coloring book to suit your needs. Or you can also simply go to your nearest department store like Target and buy a box of crayons and your favorite superhero comic coloring book or simply use your crayons to color black and white comics or ads in the newspaper. Or use your own black and white artwork or doodles to color.

What are some of your favorite color books or designs to color?

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