Author: Bodywork Alternatives

create your own outdoor oasis

Create Your Own Outdoor Oasis

create your own outdoor oasisHave you dreamed of a space to unwind and decompress during the summer?  You can create your own outdoor oasis by following just a few of these tips.  We’ve collected pictures of a few spaces to inspire you to create a great space to enjoy.

Lighting:

What is it about lights and the way they make a space seem so inviting.  Simply add some stringed lights and tiki torches to your patio to create a space to unwind in the evening hours.outdoor oasis ideas stress management techniques for working women

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Colorful Fabrics:

Simply add some colorful pillows and cushions to your furniture on the deck or patio to create a more inviting and relaxing space.

outdoor oasis ideas colorful patio stress management for working women

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Keep It Simple:

Create your own private sanctuary in the corner of your yard.  This idea is simple with a few pieces of lawn furniture, potted plants and screen for decor and privacy.  Can you imagine relaxing with the feel of grass beneath your feet?

outdoor oasis chairs and screen stress management techniques for working women

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Water Element:

Consider adding a water element like this adorable miniature personal spa.  But if a spa isn’t your thing, you could add a fountain or pond to enjoy.

outdoor oasis hot tub stress management techniques for working women

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How have you created a Stress Free Space:  Outdoor Oasis of your own?

Bodywork Alternatives Onsite Massage, LLC provides on-site chair massage services for corporate and personal events such as employee corporate wellness health fairs, employee appreciation, customer appreciation, bridal parties, birthday parties, and more.  Call us for your next event!

Chair Massage Austin,  Chair Massage Boston, Chair Massage Charlotte, Chair Massage Chicago, Chair Massage Columbus, Chair Massage Dallas, Chair Massage Denver, Chair Massage Detroit,  Chair Massage Houston,  Chair Massage Indianapolis, Chair Massage Jacksonville, Chair Massage Memphis, Chair Massage New York City, Chair Massage Philadelphia, Chair Massage Phoenix, Chair Massage San Antonio, Chair Massage Seattle, Chair Massage DenverClick here for all chair massage service areas

recognize what you can and can't control dealing with stress

Recognize What You Can And Cannot Control – Stress Management

recognize what you can and can't control dealing with stress

We’ve identified Control Is The Solution For Stress Management.  However, it’s just as important to recognize what you can’t control.  Sometimes there are things that are simply outside of our control.  Have you ever tried to control other family members?  Whether it’s trying to control their messy habits or their life decisions?  It just leaves you drained and frustrated doesn’t it?  This also can create quite a bit of stress in our lives.  How do we handle these situations?

The first step is to recognize what you can and can’t control.  The second step is to accept you cannot control it.  You’ve heard the Serenity Prayer:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 

Courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference”

Very infinite wisdom.  There’s also another saying:

“There’s my business,

There’s none of my business, 

And there’s God’s business”

 

Both of these have the same message.  You should only burden yourself with the things that are your business or that you can control.  The rest of the time you are creating stress for yourself that isn’t logical.  You have no control, you can’t change it, it’s not your business, etc.  Learn to let these things go and you’ll reduce your stress.

In the previous blog post, you thought about recent events that triggered stress.  Eliminate the things that are truly out of your control.  The only thing you can control in these situations is your reaction to them.  You can lend a listening ear, you can offer sympathy and support, however don’t carry the burden of trying to fix everything for everyone else.

You may be thinking, but how am I to develop a control plan for the entire family if I can’t control them?  Of course, there are some ways to control the family if your children are younger you can set rules and instruct your children to follow them.  Then there are older children, husbands, and other family, friends, church demands on your schedule.  How do you control that?

You can start by sharing your new plans with the family and encourage them to help with ideas and provide input.  However, they may not want to box themselves in to a new way of doing things.

The only way you can control is to control yourself.  You can lead by example and you can be true to your needs.  Initially when you are building the control plans you will need to be somewhat flexible and test out what works for you and your family and what doesn’t.  However, you will also need to stay strong to your new management and systems.  Over time, you may be able to influence others in your lives to follow along.

For example, if you set aside a certain time in the week for your exercise and stick to it maybe other family members or friends will join you or will adjust their schedule around the time you’ve scheduled.  Or the new systems you put in place to be more organized they may notice the difference and start to pick up some of those habits as well.

Next, we’ll start to build your Schedule Control Plan.

 

Bodywork Alternatives Onsite Massage, LLC provides on-site chair massage services for corporate and personal events such as employee corporate wellness health fairs, employee appreciation, customer appreciation, bridal parties, birthday parties, and more.  Call us for your next event!

control is the solution for stress management

Control Is The Solution To Stress Management

control is the solution for stress managementSTRESS.

What is the image you see in your mind when you see that word?

Is it a person buried under piles of paperwork at their desk? Or maybe it’s the vision of a face all twisted up with their hair tousled around as if they were about to pull it out?

Maybe you envision yourself driving around from work to home, to errands, and back to work again.

Regardless of the image you see, there is one thing we all have in common and that is desperately seeking the solution to manage stress. We all seek out the solution to stress looking for that magical answer. How many articles, presentations and books do you see on the topic of stress?

But before we can learn to manage stress, we need to understand what stress is. If we do not understand the underlying cause of stress, we cannot learn to manage it. So let’s take a look at what stress is:

Stress is an organisms response to a stressor such as an environmental condition or a stimulus.

Stress is your reaction.

So to manage stress, you must have control. Control is the solution to stress management.

Stress is a good thing. It triggers our fight or flight response. This is critical in a life threatening situation. But in our day-to-day lives, stress itself typically becomes a life threatening situation as it causes trauma to the body. This article is talking about how control can help us to avoid stress in our day-to-day lives. This helps with dealing with stress at work and at home.

There are two ways to control stress. You can control your response to stress or you can control the events that trigger stress. Let’s take a look at a few scenarios:

Scenario 1 – You have a presentation due for a meeting that’s starting in thirty minutes. You forgot about this presentation and now you have to think quickly and whip together the presentation in record time.

Scenario 2 – You’ve just returned home from work and your daughter has dance class. You are rummaging through the refrigerator trying to figure out what to prepare for dinner. After dinner, you are looking through your daughter’s closet trying to find her dance shoes and you’re becoming frustrated and angry. You may even be quick tempered and become short with or yell at your daughter.

Scenario 3 – You’re at work and a colleagues isn’t performing their part of the tasks on time causing your part of the work to be late. She also makes comments you find disrespectful to you in meetings. Overall, the two of you aren’t working well together and it’s causing you quite a bit of stress at work. You are irritated and frustrated and dread going to work each day.

Can you relate to any of these scenarios? Do you experience something similar? All these scenarios can cause strong feelings, increasing the heart rate, knots in the stomach, feeling angry and very reactive in this situation right?

How do you think you can gain more control in each of these scenarios? Let’s look at some ways to have more control:

In the first scenario, the first thing you can control is your response. Although you are in an intense situation, you can learn to control your breathing, take a few moments to calm the body and mind to reduce the impact of the stress on your body and your mood for the rest of the day. Another area you can control is not to forget about the presentation in the first place. Maybe learning better time management techniques will help you to avoid these situations in the first place. A control plan for your to-do list and work calendar can help avoid these situations. We will build a control plan in future blog posts.

How about in Scenario 2? This scenario has two areas of control opportunities. The first is a control plan – meal planning and activities. Within these control plans, you build systems to know what’s planned for dinner ahead of time and have a designated location for dance shoes. The second area again is your response. Yelling at your daughter isn’t going to make this situation any better. In this blog we will share techniques to help in this area as well.

In Scenario #3, you might feel there isn’t much you can do to control a co-worker. However, in this situation you still can control your response to the situation. You can also learn conflict resolution skills which might empower you to resolve this situation. Or if it fits, you can learn new skills and seek out a new opportunity removing you from this situation entirely. We’ll share more in this blog on both of these as well.

If you implemented these ideas how much different do you think these situations would have made you feel or which situations may not have occurred at all? How different would your life be if you were able to gain control over these areas in your life? On this site, you are going to learn how to gain control. You’ll learn to develop control plans giving you time management techniques to deal with stress at work and at home.

For now, take some time to look over the past week and identify the moments you were stressed. Ask yourself why you were stressed. Ask yourself why several times until you get to the root cause of the issue. Also, identify your response to these stressful situations. You’re looking for opportunities to improve your control in these situations as we did in the above situations. Where could you have had more control and been better prepared for the tasks at hand or where could you have been more in control of your response reducing the impact of the stress on your body?

Next – Recognize What You Can And Cannot Control

Bodywork Alternatives Onsite Massage, LLC provides on-site chair massage services for corporate and personal events such as employee corporate wellness health fairs, employee appreciation, customer appreciation, bridal parties, birthday parties, and more.  Call us for your next event!

Chair Massage Austin,  Chair Massage Boston, Chair Massage Charlotte, Chair Massage Chicago, Chair Massage Columbus, Chair Massage Dallas, Chair Massage Denver, Chair Massage Detroit,  Chair Massage Houston,  Chair Massage Indianapolis, Chair Massage Jacksonville, Chair Massage Memphis, Chair Massage New York City, Chair Massage Philadelphia, Chair Massage Phoenix, Chair Massage San Antonio, Chair Massage Seattle, Chair Massage DenverClick here for all chair massage service areas

Get Control Of Meal Preparation By Prepping Ahead

Facing the task of preparing a meal after a long day of work can be overwhelming.  Preparing a meal in a slow cooker or relying on frozen meals from the grocery store are commonly used alternatives.  Another way to reduce the overwhelm is to break the meal preparation into steps and prep-ahead all or parts of the meal.

Review the meal and identify what you can prep the night before.  Are there vegetables that need chopping?  Is there meat that can be prepared the night before and just reheated the next day?  Or maybe there’s a sauce you can prepare the night before.

Chicken Breasts:

For salads or pasta, bake and cut up chicken breasts the night before and place in refrigerator or prepare several and place in the freezer for future meals.  Pull them out of the freezer the night before to thaw.

You can do the same for quesadillas, chimichangas or chicken salad sandwiches, just season and shred the chicken.

Ground Beef:

Make home made meatballs and freeze them.

Meat sauce is also easy to make the night before or in bulk and freeze.  Imagine how much quicker it is to make a lasagna, spaghetti dish, or Italian sloppy joes with the sauce made ahead of time.

You can have nachos or tacos quick and easy by cooking up the meat the night before and placing in the refrigerator.  And this is great made ahead of time and frozen in the freezer as well.

Soups:

Prepping your vegetables the night before makes it quick and easy to serve a soup with dinner.  See our blog post on prepping your vegetables and freezing them to prepare soup later.  This is a great way to use left over vegetables or vegetables that are about to go bad.

Lasagnas and Casseroles:

Consider making a double batch of your favorite lasagna and casserole recipes.  You can place the additional batch in the freezer for a future meal.

These are just a few ideas of how you can prep-ahead some of your meal and reduce the stress at meal time.  Share with us some of your prep-ahead tips.

Other posts you may like:

Spicy Tomato and Cilantro Soup

Make Ahead Salad Recipe

Spinach and Avocado Salad

Bodywork Alternatives Onsite Massage, LLC provides on-site chair massage services for corporate and personal events such as employee corporate wellness health fairs, employee appreciation, customer appreciation, bridal parties, birthday parties, and more.  Call us for your next event!

Chair Massage Austin,  Chair Massage Boston, Chair Massage Charlotte, Chair Massage Chicago, Chair Massage Columbus, Chair Massage Dallas, Chair Massage Denver, Chair Massage Detroit,  Chair Massage Houston,  Chair Massage Indianapolis, Chair Massage Jacksonville, Chair Massage Memphis, Chair Massage New York City, Chair Massage Philadelphia, Chair Massage Phoenix, Chair Massage San Antonio, Chair Massage Seattle, Chair Massage DenverClick here for all chair massage service areas

Foam Rolling For Pain Reduction

Several years ago, one of our clients raved about the difference foam rolling was making for her leg pain.  We tried it out and have been hooked ever since.  Below are some instructional pictures and videos by bodybuilding.com we thought you’d find helpful.

Reduce Calf Pain (Great For Ladies Wearing High Heels)

foam rolling high heels calf pain reduction
Click For Instructions From Bodybuilding.com

Hip, Leg and Back Pain Reduction From Sitting

This is a great exercise to reduce tension in the piriformis.  When this muscle is tight, it presses on the nerve and causes pain to radiate down the leg and into the back.

hip pain reduction stretch exercise
Click For Instruction From Bodybuilding.com

Upper Back/Shoulder Blade Tension Reduction

This foam rolling technique will reduce the tension you feel between your shoulder blades which contributes to neck and shoulder tension.

upper back shoulder blade tension exercise stretch
Click For Instructions From Bodybuilding.com

These are just a few exercises you can do to help keep your body tension and pain free.  There are several more exercises and instruction videos available on bodybuilding.com.

 

 

Of course another great option for stress and tension reduction is to have one of our therapists provide chair massage at your office.  Ask your HR department or wellness team to call us for a quote.

Dental Hygienists Enjoy Chair Massage For Employee Appreciation Day

employee-appreciation-chair-massage-dental-hygienists-orchard-lake-michigan-detroit-troy-bloomfield-hills-livonia-birmingham-rochester

 

Here’s our team of therapists providing chair massages to the dental hygienists at their annual employee appreciation picnic.

 

Bodywork Alternatives Onsite Massage, LLC provides on-site chair massage services for corporate and personal events such as employee corporate wellness health fairs, employee appreciation, customer appreciation, bridal parties, birthday parties, and more.  Call us for your next event!

Chair Massage Austin,  Chair Massage Boston, Chair Massage Charlotte, Chair Massage Chicago, Chair Massage Columbus, Chair Massage Dallas, Chair Massage Denver, Chair Massage Detroit,  Chair Massage Houston,  Chair Massage Indianapolis, Chair Massage Jacksonville, Chair Massage Memphis, Chair Massage New York City, Chair Massage Philadelphia, Chair Massage Phoenix, Chair Massage San Antonio, Chair Massage Seattle, Chair Massage DenverClick here for all chair massage service areas

My Second Week Giving Up Sugar

sugar-free-diet-getting-started-weight-loss-bodywork-alternatives

After two weeks of drastically reducing my sugar intake – I feel awesome!  I didn’t lose as much weight this week, but I’ve lost 2 inches around my waist!  My clothes feel better, I don’t feel swollen, my energy feels even and I feel free.   I wasn’t exercising the last two weeks as I wanted to just focus on what I was eating.  However, I decided to start adding exercise back in as I’m starting my third week.

It was very freeing when I started my workout today.  Usually, I begin my workout thinking I need to exercise as much as 90 minutes so I can burn off the junk I ate that day.  But today, I was able to get onto the treadmill and set a goal of rotating walking and running every five minutes for thirty-five minutes and feel a huge accomplishment.

I was aware there are sugars hiding in nearly everything I eat, but had focused my first two weeks on avoiding pop, juices, and sugary treats.  I’ve decided to start tracking all sugar I’m eating this third week.  I researched the amount of sugar grams I should consume per day.  I have found the American Heart Association has 25-30 grams as the maximum recommended sugar intake.  I’ve decided to stay below this daily amount.  I’ve also set a daily amount of calories I am allowed to eat.  I believe between this plan and exercising five times per week, I will see an average of a 2 lb. weight loss.  I will use MyFitnessPal to track my calories and sugar.  It is a free app.  I especially like clicking on complete entry and seeing my expected weight after five weeks of eating similar to that day.

Are you reducing your sugar in your diet?  Share your story with us.

chair massage-detroit-atlanta-indianapolis-columbus-philadelphia-boston-chicago-new-york-corporate-tradeshows-events

My First Week Without Sugar

sugar-free-diet-my-first-week-without-sugar

Struggling with fatigue, weight gain, and a horrible addiction to pop, I decided to give up sugar just to see.  I figured I had nothing to lose except maybe the nice large pop belly I’d been carrying around.  I had successfully stopped drinking Coca-Cola three years before, but ultimately just replaced it with coffee smothered in creamer and other sugary drinks and eventually I started to drink a different pop every day.  Completely frustrated, I decided I needed to go cold turkey and cut out sugar and sugary treats out of my diet all together.

Let me start by telling you I didn’t completely cut out all sugar.  And I was okay with that for now.  I was drinking 40 ounces of pop per day.  That is the equivalent of nearly 600 calories per day or 4,200 calories per week.  With a pound equivalent to 3,500 calories, I was consuming the equivalent of over 1 lb. per week in pop.  Eliminating pop would make a huge difference.  But as I already explained, I tended to replace it with other sugary drinks so I decided to give up all sugary drinks and sugary snacks.   I didn’t want to sneak in the sugar.

I started with replacing my morning coffee and creamer (I’d use about 4 tbsp. = 20 g sugar) with chai tea and milk – and sometimes I sprinkled it with cinnamon.  For me, this was a very close replacement and had this 1-2 x’s per day.  I replaced my pop with ice cold water with a splash of lemon juice.

I made sure I had snacks to help me through the day.  I had a granola bar (this had 7g of sugar),yogurt (this had 24 g of sugar! I will be cutting this out soon) apples with peanut butter, chips with artichoke dip, and cashews for snacks throughout the week.   Yes, some of the snacks had sugar, but I already had them and wanted to start out slow.

With a lot of determination, I made it through the first week.  I lost 3 lbs. and do feel a lot better.  I have to admit there were a few days of fatigue as my body adjusted to this new diet.  I also noticed if I started to crave a pop or sugary snack and I ate something healthy, it did take care of the craving.  I also noticed I wasn’t hungry as often.  Before, I was snacking nearly non-stop, but now that I wasn’t eating sugar I started to notice true hunger.

Today, I decided to try Vitamin Water Zero as my doctor indicated Stevia was the only sweetener she would recommend as it was natural.  Oddly, it tastes okay, but I’m not liking the sweetness after only a week of reducing my sugar.  I look forward to another week!

Days reducing sugar – 7

Pounds lost – 3

 

Have you cut sugar out of your diet?  Please share your story with us and email to contact@bodyworkatlernativesblog.com We’d love to share your story on our blog.

 

chair massage-detroit-atlanta-indianapolis-columbus-philadelphia-boston-chicago-new-york-corporate-tradeshows-events

Best Sleep Position

We are often asked by our clients the best position for sleep.  We found an article written by Jonathan FitzGordon, In this article, the author explains the best positions for sleep.

best sleep position to avoid back pain chronic pain onsite chair massage

 

  1. Sleeping on your stomach is the worst sleeping position.  It compresses the back.
  2. On the side with one leg hiked higher than the other.  This is also not an ideal sleeping position.  It twists and torques the pelvis.
  3. Sleeping on the back with both legs straight and without a pillow is a good sleeping position.
  4. Sleeping on your side with hips stacked is also a great sleeping position.

There you have it if you are looking for the best sleeping position – choose on your back or side sleeping with hips stacked.