Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's my first full spring and summer in my new house, and my vegetable garden is green and healthy, with the first buds appearing! I feel something akin parental pride as I watch it flourish and grow. I spent 8-10 hours laboring to bring that plot of healthy, grass and weed free soil into the world, and I vigilantly protect the plants from the encroaching weeds and pests.

As I stood up from weeding my vegetable garden the other day, I felt a little dizzy and dehydrated and was aware of some protesting joints. I was so focused on the task, that I had not realized how long I had been in the heat, kneeling and crawling around in the dirt. Every day I remind people to pay attention to their bodies, to be sure to hydrate and stretch to keep their muscles oxygenated and keep the toxins from building up. As I walked stiffly away from my garden, headed inside to drink a few glasses of water, I realized that I needed to take my own advice.

In the warm summer months, as we spend more and more time outdoors, we travel to vacation destinations, and our schedules are thrown into limbo, it is easy to forget to take care of ourselves. Though it may not be as convenient to maintain our wellness rituals during this time, massage therapy can play a big role thriving through the summer. This time of year, there are massage benefits that are particularly helpful, such as:

  • stress and anxiety relief - especially for parents with kids at home all day, 
  • releasing sore neck, back and shoulder muscles after long car trips or cramped airline flights,
  • strengthening the immune system, by aiding in detoxifying the body - especially after an afternoon of indulging in beverages and junk food on the lake or on the patio at your favorite bar,
  • reducing swelling and water retention - especially in pregnant women or those spending all day on their feet in the heat,
  • promoting clear thinking, good sleeping patterns and daytime alertness
  • improved circulation - especially for those working at a desk all day, in an air conditioned office
  • improved joint mobility and muscle function - especially for those musicians on tour all summer

In addition to these and many other potential benefits, my clients in the coming months will likely also end up with a few cucumbers and tomatoes from my garden to take home and put into a healthy salad. I look forward to the all the ways I can help make the summer a time of relaxation and wellness, for those around me and for myself.