Life Moves Pretty Fast

Avi Loren Fox for Katy Kern Massage Therapist Narberth-3763.jpg

Life Moves Pretty Fast

If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

It’s February. WOW! Can you believe it? 2019 is already zooming by so quickly.

Helping people relax brings me such joy so much so that I am working on expanding my practice to bring self-care lessons to you no matter where you live… Plus, this year I am working on putting my business on the road. Yes, lots happening here. But no worries, I always heed the immortal words of Ferris Bueller even though my life has become busier both personally and professionally. 

Taking the time to pause is an essential part of my self-care routine, and it’s allowed me to remain balanced especially these last few months.

Now, let’s catch up on what’s happened so far this year and what's coming up.

Avi Loren Fox for Katy Kern Massage Therapist Narberth-4082.jpg

Last Month

I Launched my YouTube Channel

First, I recorded and posted my very first video – okay, I will admit that was beyond nerve-wracking. And I am embarrassed to admit how many times I had to practice (build up the courage). However, I persevered because learning about Sensory Processing Sensitivity changed my life in such a positive and profound way. Amazingly after sharing it, I discovered it helped others as well. My video now has been shared on other’s blogs, and many have contacted me to find out more about it. In case you missed it, here’s the link to the video.

Soon I will start uploading more videos on some simple self-care tips and techniques. So feel free to subscribe and thank you to those who already did. Another WOW! Also, if there is an issue you've been dealing with or a specific area of tension (i.e., shoulders, hips, feet, etc..) you'd like to me to focus on, please feel to reach out and let me know. I will add that to the list.

Avi Loren Fox for Katy Kern Massage Therapist Narberth-3844.jpg

New Addition

CranioSacral Therapy

CranioSacral Therapy:

CST is such a game-changer in the way that I can help people find relaxation and less tension in their minds and bodies.

Nearly everyone who has seen me these last few weeks has received a sampling or full session (or multiple sessions) and discovered how deeply relaxing CST was for them. Less pain, better sleep, breathing easier, sharper focus and less anxiety were just some of the results I heard even after only one session.

Avi+Loren+Fox+for+Katy+Kern+Massage+Therapist+Narberth-3540.jpg

Upcoming additions

Stay tuned

Travel Massage & Relaxation Self-Care Coaching. Dates TBD
Los Angeles, CA
West Palm Beach, FL

Intensive Relaxation Programs (3-5 days) 
Traveling to you to help you reset with massage, CST, yoga and self-care lessons.
(United States  & UK only) Feel free to contact me for more details.

VALENTINE’S DAY YOGA

I am teaching a Yin Yoga class at The Yoga Garden in Narberth, Yin Yoga, 7:30 pm. We will focus on the heart meridian, the ruler of all emotions, where we will seek tranquility, gentleness and emotional balance. I will read from the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra translation of The Radiance Sutras:

"There are many rivers inside a human body, thousands of miles of blood vessels. That is just the physical level. On the level of the prana body, there is similar intricacy. This yukti invites us to listen to the flow of life within. There is a sound of your own heart center vibrating. You may hear it if you are finely tuned. It is the song of you, the vibration of you having this adventure in existence."

Bring your loved one, a friend or just yourself as we explore the song of you.

Katy

Your Touch Can Help Someone

Recently, I found myself in a situation where my personal life and massage experience commingled unexpectedly and think it's worth sharing to create more awareness about anxiety disorders and how it affects the people in your life. And I believe you can help if you find yourself in a similar situation.

However, before I get to that, let me share a bit about anxiety disorders: According to the ADAA.org, over 18% of adults and 24% of adolescents in the US suffer from an anxiety disorder. (Generalized Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, Social Anxiety, etc...) These disorders are highly treatable, but only a small percentage seek professional help. Learning of this and due to personal experience, I've focused my massage practice on helping people by alleviating some of the physical and mental side effects (headaches, aches and pains, sleep issues) of anxiety disorders. 

In late October of this year, someone I know who has an anxiety disorder and was having a rough time as of late tried to overdose on over-the-counter medication. While at the ER, I sat there for hours waiting for test results sitting with them as they lay in the hospital bed still in a heightened, fearful state. I will admit I felt rather helpless.

However, I couldn't just sit there and do nothing, so I did what I know best. I asked if I could hold their hand. They agreed, and I noticed an immediate softening in their energy so for the next five to six hours I touched them gently guiding them into a more relaxed state.

For someone who is experiencing an escalation of anxiety symptoms, their sensory nerves can become hypersensitive. So I started by holding their hand observing their reaction. Witnessing the calming effects, moments later I gently caressed their forearm. Every few minutes I changed the pressure or location while maintaining a slow calming rhythm which is key in a moment like this for any quick movement or too much pressure can stimulate the nervous system in the opposite direction of your intention.

Fortunately, I noticed a shift in their mood that went from fear and panic upon arrival to calm and content by the end. There's still work to do in regards to their mental state, but for that night, I was able to use my skills and knowledge to help them over a hurdle.

If you are ever in a situation where someone's anxiety becomes heightened, you can help. Just kindly ask permission to touch them and if they agree to it remember to be gentle and keep the pressure light to medium and shift to different parts of the body after a few moments checking in with them from time to time. By the way, it doesn't have to be skin to skin. 

Some things to be aware of touch, if you stay too long in one area, the neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) start setting off signals of discomfort and can create tension in the tissues. And the goal is to make sure they remain comfortable and relaxed. Another tip, small circular movements with counterclockwise strokes relaxes the recipient while clockwise would energize. (Between thumb and index finger on top of the hand and between eyebrows are places this works well.)

You don't need to be a massage therapist to help someone suffering from anxiety or a high-stress moment because your kind and gentle touch can make a difference.

For more information on anxiety disorders:

12 Effects of Anxiety on the Body
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Therapeutic Massage for Anxiety and Panic Disorder


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. I am here to help.

I've Reduced My Stress Levels With Massage

back-pain-1491803__340.jpg

Hello all!

First my apologies, I haven't updated everyone in a while. However,  many of you know that currently I am enrolled in Massage Therapy School. Yes, I am still teaching Yoga and now I have expanded my business to include Thai Yoga Massage. So in a couple of months, I will add in more massage therapies (Swedish, Deep Tissue & Myofascial Release), all tools to help people find relaxation.

Now for the update....

Going back to school was not only the best decision of my life, but it also helped me reduce my stress levels. HowWait! Aren't you in school full-time, raising teenagers and working? The answer is yes. But one thing made all this much easier to handle: Massages.

I've been receiving some sort of massage every week, sometimes several times a week, since August when I started up in school. The times vary, and so do the modalities, sometimes it's a 20 minute Swedish or 30 minute Myofascial Release or 45 minute Deep Tissue. While in school, we not only practice giving but we are also the clients for our classmates.       

Receiving a massage feels wonderful, I can attest to that, but  I've noticed something else. Honestly,  there's been a big shift in how I feel even far after the massage is over. In fact, people in my life have noticed a difference in me and said something. They say I look happier and more content. And I will have to agree with them. Not only for the fact that I fell in LOVE with learning these techniques and how I can help people, but how receiving massage therapy has affected me both physically and mentally.

How does it work though? Massage induces your parasympathetic nervous to take over, which allows you and your body to slow down for repair processing like rest and digest. When your sympathetic nervous system is active, like in times of stress, high levels of cortisol is released which can lead to inflammation. From there, if your stress levels are always high, this inflammation can lead to illness. Receiving massages, even monthly, allows one to get off the merry-go-round of stress
 
Here's an excerpt from an article from Institute for Integrative Healthcare that explains what happens and how massage helps.

HOW MASSAGE THERAPY REDUCES STRESS

Bunker, et.al. (2003) defines “stress” as depression, anxiety, panic disorder, acute and chronic life events, type A personality traits and hostility. One study, in particular, shows us that increased social isolation is especially stressful and leads to especially high levels of cortisol (Dickerson, et.al., 2004). These emotions may be the result of actual events in our lives or they may be only perceived by us, but they bring about the production of cortisol in the body, causing overall inflammation. We learn from Field, et.al. (2005) that cortisol is the hormone marker for stress, as it is an end product of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-cortical axis. Therefore, high levels of cortisol are the body’s tell for high levels of stress.

The Negative Effects of Too Much Cortisol

High cortisol levels in the body lead to weight gain in the midsection along with a variety of other metabolic changes which lower the immune system and stress the cardiovascular system, putting a low level but constant stress on the body over long periods of time. When stress is short term, we recover physically and move on with our lives, but when stress is long-term, it begins to take its toll on our bodies. The constant high levels of cortisol in the body causes inflammation, which eventually affects the heart and blood vessels bringing on high blood pressure, hypertension and, eventually, heart disease.....

Field, et.al. (2005) demonstrates that massage therapy is shown to reduce cortisol levels by an average of 31%, increase serotonin levels 28% and dopamine levels 21% on average. Similarly, Hernandez-Reif, et.al. (2000) explain that diastolic blood pressure and hypertension decreased after massage and that there was less reported anxiety, depression, and hostility... 

There are countless studies done on the effects of massage, but I am living proof that massage works. I am so honored to be a part of a field that has so many benefits to people. Even after I graduate, I will continue to receive massages because as we all know, life and stress go hand and hand. So if you or anyone you know is suffering from stress, please share this and book an appointment with a massage therapist in your area and get off that merry-go-round.