Do you benefit from your benefits?

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I always say – If I could turn back time I would have gotten in shape (or never let myself get out of shape) much earlier in life. I also would have taken advantage of all the benefits my previous employers gave me. Tonight I want to toot the horn of Massage Therapy which is only one of the amazing treatments I use in the ongoing battle of staying healthy and mobile.

First off if you don’t use at least your massage therapy benefits through the current company that you are employed with I have to say YOU ARE MISSING OUT! People think that going to massage therapy is only for people with achy backs, sore muscles and sports injuries – this is not true! Even if you are an avid yogi (is that the correct term?) or do nothing physical in your regular life your body can benefit from massage even if for nothing but a bit of stress relief.

Years ago I took a bad fall at the beach one day, I’m 5 foot 10 and went legs up in the air and came straight down on my right shoulder snapping my head back as I landed – I know it sounds awful but if I told you the story in person I would have you in hysterics, it was what I like to call “an ego check” (basically when your ego is getting a little big and the world needs to bring you back down to the ground). Anyways within a month or so I started to have a weird pain in my right shoulder, almost like a muscle pull/twinge. I then noticed a small lump in the muscle/tendon at the base of my skull. I got the lump checked out by the doctor and she said to keep an eye on it and if it got bigger come back. Time went by and it didn’t grow but about 6 months later I started having these odd migraines. Out of nowhere I would start to see this tiny pixilated half moon on the right side of my vision, it would be accompanied by an uneasy feeling in my stomach. I would watch the little half moon grow bigger until it disappeared from my sight, then the migraine would start. It was debilitating and I had no clue what was causing it. I went back to the doctor who recommended I go to the eye doctor to check for anything going on behind my eyes – possibly even a tumor – you could understand my concern. Luckily my eye doctor didn’t see anything and I went on my inconclusive way. I went back to my regular doctor and somehow I was whining about my shoulder being sore (funny just recalling it now I remember I could barely sleep on my right side cause of the pain in my shoulder joint) and finally we put two and two together. She realized my whole right shoulder “girdle” was balled up and the muscles were all brutally tight.

I sought out massage therapy from our family’s massage therapist Murray at Glover Road Massage/Chiropratic in Langley. This man is magic! My Mom, sister, friends and even tiny Grandmother will attest to my claims! Within two visits to Murray my headaches were gone, the pain I felt in my shoulder when I slept on it was gone and I could even throw a baseball pain free again! Unreal! Granted some of the treatment was a bit painful I couldn’t thank him enough!

To this day I still see Murray on a monthly basis usually to loosen up my shoulder as there’s a bit of nerve damage from the fall and it acts up once in a while and also to help with my left knee/hip that I injured years ago. If your company covers you for massage DO IT! Even if it’s just a chance to escape from the world for an hour and relax I guarantee you won’t regret it!

Note: You may need to pay up front then be reimbursed, if that’s the case check to see if your benefits plan has an app for your phone, some companies it’s as easy as taking a picture of your receipt! My company Great West Life has an app, I simply enter the amount of the visit, who the visit was with, amount of time of the visit and the date and within 3-4 days I’m reimbursed through direct deposit into my bank account – AWESOME!

So if you have aches and pains or are an active person you should ask yourself – Are your benefits benefiting you???????

Xoxo

Mel

My Staycation- Having Gratitude For My Body

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Good morning everyone! I had this week off work and it has been fantastic. I started my week with watching this wonderful video from Amy Poehler on Body Image http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOWqSPJZtmA. In the video she talks about having gratitude for your body and the things that it does for you. Have you ever struggled with your body image? I am sure we all have but this video has some great tips. After being inspired by that video, I decided to make gratitude the theme of my staycation week. I can be very hard on my body and tend to expect a lot from it. Over the years, through experiencing a lot of knee injuries, I am learning to be more gentle with myself. So here is a little post on how I have incorporated gratitude for my body during my week off.

Monday:

My back has been a bit of a mess lately. When I was in my early 20’s my friend and I got rear ended and my back has been messed up ever since. So I decided that I would give back to my body by addressing this pain. I hit the gym in the morning and then went to the chiropractor. I finished my day with an amazing facial at Spa Utopia. I received a gift card from a loved one awhile ago and this was the perfect time to use it. Spa Utopia is heaven for adults. I spent awhile in the steam room, snacked on dried fruits, drank cucumber water and received an amazing facial with a foot massage. I highly recommend going there if you need to relax. Make sure you go early to use the amenities and escape from your cell phone for awhile.

Tuesday:

Our sister Katie came out to visit and we hit the Fort to Fort trail in Fort Langley. It was a gorgeous day to be outside. During the afternoon I went to massage therapy with Murray Schwabe. He is amazing! If you need a great massage therapist he comes highly recommended by Sister Act Fitness. http://www.glovermassagetherapy.ca/ During the evening Katie and I went for an intense paddling practice and took in the beautiful sunset.

Wednesday:

A met up with my girlfriend and headed to Vancouver for her maternity photo shoot. The images are going to be breath taking! Check out Karolina Turek if you want an amazing photographer. I took the day off working out and gave gratitude to my body by doing some gentle stretching for my back and legs.

Thursday:

Saw the chiropractor again this morning. I am determined to get my back in shape and feeling strong before I head back to work. In the afternoon I gave my body some serious rest time. I threw on American Hustle and relaxed. You’re welcome, body… The evening was spent in the rain at paddling practice. It was still a great night.

Friday:

Woke up and hit the gym for a solid legs workout. My knee rehab is coming along nicely and I am still lifting light weights but here was my workout today:

Lunges 3 sets- 10 reps (20 pounds 😦  )

Calf raises-3 sets- 20 reps (70 pounds)

Hamstring press- 3 sets- 20 reps (55 pounds)

Leg press- 3 sets- 10 reps (90 pounds)

One leg deadlifts- 3 sets- 15 reps (20 pounds)

20 minutes on the stationary bike and I did some ab work as well.

Mel and I are hitting Nature’s Fare this morning to stock up on our favourite healthy food and snacks. I have a lot more gratitude planned this weekend such as  a walk on the beach with a friend’s dog, chiropractor, healthy food prep and more paddling.  How do you show gratitude to your body for doing the work it does for you? We want to hear your suggestions.

Mo xo

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