The start of November brings the beginning of the holiday season. The season for family time, gift giving, merriment and traveling. Unfortunately, this time can also bring up a lot of stress, anxiety, and angst. The average American will spend one standard work-week a year on holiday activities alone. Roughly 42 hours a year are spent traveling, wrapping gifts, returning gifts, shopping, and attending holiday parties. Not only can stress ruin your holidays, it can also cause harm to your physical and emotional wellbeing. This year, enjoy the holidays and reduce stress before it begins with these helpful tips:
- Plan ahead: Whether you’re making dinner for friends and family or braving the crowds at the mall, making a list can help save time and energy. Wandering aimlessly around the grocery store or the mall can lead to back aches and foot pain. Making a list can get you in and out of stores quickly while keeping you organized during a hectic schedule.
- Don’t abandon your daily routine: It’s important to stick with your daily habits. Make your workout schedule, meal planning, book club, etc., work with your holiday schedule not against it.
- Say “no”: Be aware of when you are stretching yourself too thin. We often feel we have to say yes to all social engagements around the holidays. In the end, this can leave you feeling run down and stressed about the next event. Instead, make plans with friends and family soon after the holiday season winds down.
- Set aside time for yourself: Go to your favorite workout class, read a book, soak in a warm bath or listen to soothing music. Make sure you are taking time to relax and de-stress.
- Add stress-relieving products to your wish list: Ask for gifts that relieve pain and provide comfort and relaxation. For great gifts for the man, woman, or recent grads in your life take a look at Gifts of Comfort for Moms and Grads and Gift Ideas for Dads.
We hope these tips help you have a stress-free and pain-free holiday season with friends and family. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter or visit your local Relax The Back store for more holiday gift ideas.
Are you one of the 31 million Americans who have suffered from low-back pain at least once in their life? There are many factors that can be associated with back pain but one in particular is gravity. Over the course of the day, gravity compresses weight bearing joints and the spine, which can cause low back pain and discomfort.
Inversion therapy is an age-old practice that involves hanging at an angle to allow the body to be in line with the downward force of gravity. This position can aide in reversing the negative effects gravity has on the spine.
By hanging at an inverted angle, one can elongate their spine and relieve pressure that builds up throughout the day. Inversion therapy helps prevent and relieve pain in the neck and shoulders, chronic low back pain, herniated discs, and sciatica. It can also help with postural problems.
Benefits of using inversion tables include:
- Improve circulation
- Relieve stress
- Heighten mental awareness
- Increase flexibility/range of motion
- Improve posture
Once familiar with the different angles of the inversion table, simple exercises can be done to relieve pressure, realign the spine and pelvis, and increase mobility and flexibility. Hold these each for 1-2 minutes, slowly building up the amount of time and degree of inversion.
- For a full body stretch, raise your arms over your head.
- For a gentle back stretch, raise your back to a slight arch.
- For a side stretch, turn your body to one side, turn to the other side and repeat.
Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained specialists and feel the benefits of an inversion table firsthand. While inversion tables generally provide relief and relaxation, it is best to speak with your doctor before use.
If you have had episodes of pain lasting longer than six months, you may be one of the 100 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain. Pain levels and consistency can vary from person to person. While some may suffer mild, continuous pain, others may have unbearable, sporadic pain.
Symptoms of chronic pain can include feelings of stiffness, soreness, and discomfort, mild to severe pain that doesn’t go away, and shooting, aching, or burning pain. Fatigue, sleeplessness, and a weakened immune system may also occur.
Cleveland Clinic pain and wellness specialists offer 9 ways to tame chronic pain without medications or procedures.
Massage therapy is often associated with relaxation and finding relief from sore muscles, but did you know massage therapy benefits go beyond simple relaxation? Studies continue to show the positive effects massage therapy has on one’s health. Regardless of the reasons we turn to massage, incorporating this treatment into your healthcare regimen can help improve physical, mental, and emotional wellness.
Whether it’s for stress-relief or medical purposes, massage therapy can:
- Improve flexibility and range of motion, which helps to reduce and ease back pain.
- Stretch and exercise tight or weak muscles.
- Decrease the stress hormone, cortisol, while increasing the feel-good hormones, dopamine and serotonin. This results in less stress, depression, and anxiety
- Improve circulation due to oxygen and nutrients being kneaded through soft tissues and vital organs.
- Allow the body to maintain a level of stress-relief and relaxation resulting in fewer tension headaches and migraines and improved sleep quality.
- Manage and reduce chronic pain naturally to improve quality of life.
Find deep down relief in the comfort of your home with these products:
- The Neck and Shoulder Massager provides the utmost versatility for a deep-tissue massage. Equipped with a heating function this design provides targeted contact to penetrate deep into the muscle layers.
- Increase blood flow and comfort to create a complete, relaxing and therapeutic experience with the Sogno DreamWave Massage Chair.
- Perfect for toe, heel, and arch pain, the 360 Moji Foot Massager revitalizes sore, tired, and aching feet.
- The Kneading Back Massage Cushion penetrates deep for ultimate muscle stimulation and relaxation with heated, rotated massage heads.
Each October, physical therapists and physical therapists assistants are recognized for their hard work and dedication to restore and improve motion in people’s lives during National Physical Therapy month (NPTM). Lead by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), this month is intended to recognize the work of these trained specialists who help people restore or improve mobility, reduce pain, and stay fit and active throughout their lives.
At Relax The Back, we want to thank physical therapists and physical therapists assistants for all that they do and for referring our products to patients to aid in pain relief. The role physical therapy can play in our lives is sometimes misunderstood. These misconceptions can discourage people from seeking out a physical therapist in their area.
Move Forward PT is debunking some of these myths to help people find pain relief in their daily lives:
The situations and pressures of everyday life can take a toll on one’s overall health and well-being. From depression, irritability, and anxiety to physical pain such as nausea, dizziness, and chest pain, stress can present itself in many different ways. Finding time and ways to relax will help reduce the negative effects of stress on your body and mind, relieve built up tension, and calm emotions. Relaxation techniques can help one cope with stress management and improve their overall quality of life.
Next time you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, try one of our 10 ways to relax and de-stress. Even if you feel that you don’t have time to slow down, many of these techniques only take a few minutes.
Feelings of tiredness, weariness, and lack of energy can creep up towards the end of our workday. Studies show poor nutrition is one of the key reasons. Food fuels our bodies consequently, what we choose to eat will have an impact on the performance of our bodies.
Instead of reaching for energy drinks loaded with sugar, fight fatigue with these foods:
- Oatmeal: Fuel up on quality carbohydrates in the morning with a bowl of oatmeal. Glucose is slowly absorbed through soluble fibers, which provides fuel for our brain and muscles as well as keeping blood sugar levels stable.
- Melons: Up your H2O intake with food such as watermelon. They are a good source of energy and since they have 90% water they help to prevent dehydration.
- Nuts: A healthy dose of magnesium, protein and fiber, nuts will provide energy and keep it stable throughout the workday.
- Sweet Potatoes: With a quarter of a day’s worth of potassium and energy-stabilizing high-fiber carbs, sweet potatoes balance electrolytes and keep us hydrated. Potassium also helps fight fatigue by relaxing the body and lowering blood pressure.
- Bananas: Low in calories, high in antioxidants and healthy carbohydrates, bananas break down blood sugar for fuel. Combine them with a healthy fat, such as peanut butter, for a well-rounded energy boost.
- Leafy greens: Fight fatigue with iron-rich foods such as spinach. Lack of iron can cause feelings of sluggishness and fatigue. Iron helps maintain energy levels, keeps blood oxygenated and maintains healthy blood pressure.
- Chia seeds: Known as a “running food”, chia seeds are packed with protein and fiber (5 grams per tablespoon) to keep blood sugar levels stable. Try them in yogurt, water, or a morning smoothie.
- Whole wheat: Fiber rich foods like whole wheat English muffins or bagels keep energy levels stable while helping to fill you up. These foods also keep up stamina levels.
- Protein: Fish, beans, eggs, poultry, soy, meat, and low-fat dairy products are good sources of protein. Protein controls the release of energy from carbohydrates and fats, preserves lean muscle mass, maintains cells and assists in growth.
Did you know that 1 in 10 premature deaths are caused by inactivity and lack of exercise? The World Health Organization (WHO) lists inactivity as the fourth biggest killer in adults. Research has shown that sitting for prolonged periods of time is degrading to our health, and that our bodies actually thrive on motion. While sitting through long commutes and working even longer hours can make staying active difficult, there are steps you can take to reverse the negative effects of inactivity.
Below, we have listed our top 10 ways to stay active throughout the day:
At Relax The Back, we know the importance of living life free of aches, pains, and daily discomforts. Many of us live a sedentary lifestyle working 9-to-5 jobs, commuting daily, and spending time in front of the television or computer when at home. We are seeing little to no physical activity in our everyday life.
The decisions we make, from morning to night, have a lasting affect on our overall health and wellness. Over the next three months, we will be providing around the clock product solutions and tips for a pain-free and productive day. These tips and solutions will help you sleep better, maintain a healthy workspace, keep you moving throughout the day, and relaxing more at night. When it comes to relieving daily discomforts and improving home, office, and sleep comfort, we’ve got your back
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Does working away on a laptop and spreadsheets in bed lead to more productivity and comfort than working behind a desk? A recent poll found nearly 1 in 5 employees spend two to ten hours working from bed in a given week. A mobile-security company polled its workers to find half of the 1,000 employees work from bed. Many claim to respond or read work emails, addressing colleagues that may work in different time zones. While this may be a comfortable theory, ergonomically speaking it is not a good practice.
WSJ looks at the negative affects of working in bed. Not only is it physically demanding on your body, it also has negative emotional and mental affects. Consider making your bedroom a device-free zone and make efforts to have a more productive day while at the office. However, if you believe you get your best work done this way, we recommend using a Bed Wedge System to properly support your back while you work.