The past year has been one for the books. But as they say “no, mud, no lotus”, I think that’s the saying. The point is that quite a bit of beauty can come from difficult situations if you find the silver lining and grow. I for one have learned a ton about myself during this past year.
One thing in particular that I want to focus on in the new year is slowing down. My stress level got pretty high over the past few months. I will write another blog to share more details but and it has manifested in many ways. For one, my skin. Oh man. This experience has shown me first hand that stress shows up in fine lines, dark circles, dullness and acne. It’s a friendly reminder when I look in the mirror that I need to get this under control. The other way stress has shown its ugly head has been my tolerance level. As a mom of little ones this can be a challenge even under perfect conditions but high stress leads to less patience which leads to yelling and then of course mom guilt. I have also lived in the city of San Diego for the past few months which has made me appreciate the slowness of rural life. Again, I will get more into this in another post but these are the biggest factors that have led me to the need to slow down and manage my stress more.
But enough about me. I am sure many of you are experiencing similar types of stress or definitely your own. The good news is we can’t always control what’s happening to us in our lives but we can control our reaction to it. There are many ways to help manage your stress and I prefer to use these methods before resorting to things like medication which in my opinion are given out way too frequently, although sometimes necessary.
One of the top ways to decrease stress is through relaxation and massage. Relaxation at this level increases the vagus nerve tone which stimulates parasympathetic nervous system- the opposite of the sympathetic nervous system which is the “fight or flight” mode. When the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated, the body rests, digests and repairs itself as well as putting the body and mind into a relaxed, calm state. The higher the tone of the vagus nerve, the easier it is for the body to relax again after experiencing stress and this also increases positive emotions, physical and mental health (Fallis, 2017). So let’s find ways to increase this vagus tone, shall we?!
Ok, there are lots of ways to do this but today, we are focusing on relaxation and massage. Research shows that massage and deep, relaxed breathing stimulates the vagus nerve and parasympathetic nervous system.
The Relaxation Haven (a treatment at Citron) focuses on just that, relaxation. We are not getting out deep knots in this one. We are focusing on getting your body into a state of utter peace and tranquility. The areas of focus of this treatment include:
· Light back massage with warm oil, the addition of hot stones and aromatic steamed towels
· Foot massage with aromatic steamed towels
· Hand and arm massage
· Facial Massage with warm non-comedogenic oil and aromatic steamed towels
· Scalp Massage (warm oil optional)
The addition of aromatherapy and applied heat from hot stones and steamed towels induce a deeper relaxation.
Reserve your treatment here: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/adm/adm_appt_search.asp?studioid=35920&tg=&stype=%2D9&trn=0&prodGroupId=&loc=1&lvl=&catid=&prodid=&date=1%2F11%2F2021&classid=0&view=&sSU=&qParam=&vt=&justloggedin=&pMode=0&optForwardingLink=&nLgIn=&page=
We recommend the Relaxation Haven at least once per month for optimum benefits. Making wellness practices a lifestyle will help you handle the “uncontrollable” challenges life sends our way. Our monthly Lifestyle Memberships can help to keep you a regular routine and save some cash along the way. Check them out here: https://www.spacitron.com/lifestyle-memberships
Fallis, J. (2017) How to stimulate your vagus nerve for better mental health. Retrieved from URL https://sass.uottawa.ca/sites/sass.uottawa.ca/files/how_to_stimulate_your_vagus_nerve_for_better_mental_health_1.pdf