Physical Touch Therapy | Emma Simpson | Structural Integration

Why We All Need More Physical Touch Therapy

“Don’t be so touchy-feely”… heard from not too many people ever!

 

That’s because we, as humans, all crave touch – to touch more often and to be touched more often. I don’t mean this in a sexual manner either – it’s meant as being an essential element in your “love language”.

 

And we all need to be loved in different ways. Don’t we?

 

“To touch is to give life” ~ Michelangelo

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Good posture - mental emotional health | Emma Simpson, Structural Integration

What Does Posture Have to Do With My Mental Health?

Here’s what Social Psychologist, Amy Cuddy had to say about this in her 2012 TedTalk “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are”

“Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Power posing — that is, standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success.”

That is so…POWERFUL!

Interestingly, Amy’s research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions – and perhaps even our own body chemistry, simply by changing body positions.

Doesn’t it make you feel more confident when you just stand a little taller, and not slumped forward with your eyes looking toward the ground?

I sure do! I feel like freakin’ Wonder Woman, in fact!

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The Physical Effects of Low Mood and Depression | Emma Simpson, Structural Integrator

The Physical Effects of Low Mood and Depression

Depression is a very prevalent mental disorder affecting 340 million people globally and is projected to become the leading cause of disability and the second leading contributor to the global burden of disease by the year 2020.

 

While we think of depression as more a mental health issue, it also affects your physical health and well-being – in more ways than you can probably imagine!

 

Having experienced depression myself in the past, I can attest to the fact that it’s a full-body experience. Interestingly, living with chronic anxiety and depression are what actually got me into remedial massage, yoga, and holistic & functional movement as a profession as I personally experienced the healing powers of these “touch therapies” myself.  

 

Let’s learn more about some of the most common symptoms of depression, including how it can affect your entire body, especially if left untreated.

 

(Please remember that if you’re experiencing symptoms of depression — you are not alone, there is nothing “wrong” with you, and there IS support for you!)

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Full body response - how stress affects health | Emma Simpson, Structural Integration

The Stress Response: How to Curb the Destruction of Health!

This is Part 2 of a two-part series on STRESS and how it impacts your health, body AND your mind…

 

Being chronically stressed (as in being in a state of nonstop, unrelenting stress!), as so many of us are these days – you might think that it only affects your nervous system. After all, that’s where you perceive it to be in abundance – because it’s quite literally is unnerving!

 

But, the truth of the matter is that stress also compromises your digestive system, immune system, reproductive system, other major organs, and even your posture and alignment.

 

It truly IS a full body response – health, body AND mind!

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Stress - Health effects | Emma Simpson | Structural Integration

Stress Impacts Health: It’s a full body (and mind) response!

 This is Part 1 of a two-part series on STRESS and how it impacts your health, body AND mind…

 

According to the Australian Psychological Association (APA),

“Seventy-two percent of Australians admit that stress affects their physical health, and 64% of us claim it’s not doing us any good in the mental health department, either.

The three main causes for stress in Australia are: financial concerns, health issues and family issues.”

Considering that being chronically stressed has become so mainstream these days, and it is such a regular (daily) occurrence, you might think that stress only affects your nervous system?

 

After all, that’s where you perceive it to be in abundance – because it is quite literally unnerving!

 

In actuality, stress, whether the source of it is physical, mental, real or imagined – also compromises your digestive system, immune system, reproductive system, most major organs, and even your posture and alignment. It really is a full body response!

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Low Tox Living | How to Reduce the Chemicals in Your Life!

Low Tox Living: Top 3 Ways To Reduce Chemicals In Your Life

{Featured guest author}

 

Hi, I’m Sarah!

 

As a busy mum living in Sydney, Australia, I remember when I began investigating alternative natural ways to support my two young girls.

 

It was the times when they had a cough, when they needed to relax for bedtime, or when they needed a confidence boost when they were worried.

 

You know – natural, holistic kind of Mum stuff!

 

This investigation led me to using essential oils to support my family naturally – and it just made so much sense to me.

 

I made my own household cleaning products and body products (like bath salts, body scrubs, face creams, room sprays) – all out of natural, chemical-free products. I wondered where these amazing oils had been my whole life!

 

This led me down the path of becoming a qualified Aromatherapist so that I could guide other health seekers, and promote safe, ethical essential oil usage.

 

I was thirsty to learn everything about essential oils; from the plant extracts to chemistry (including anatomy, physiology, pathology) to the effective and safe use of them. As you may know, some are not safe for use in all situations – like ingesting them!

 

Today, I thought I would share how reducing toxic chemicals from within your home and your personal environment can be beneficial to not only YOUR health & wellness – but that of your family.

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Functional Movement - lunge

Is ‘Functional Movement’ Just Another Trendy Term? (or should you be doing it?!)

We’ve only got one body — so why not treat it well in everything we do, including moving it?

 

When we walk, run, play sports, lift weights, or just sit in front of the computer (umm, all day, every day), we should be tuning in to how we use our muscles — for optimal functioning in healthy, efficient and pain-free movement.

 

Consider this: if any part of your body is experiencing pain, it’s pretty likely that some element of your body’s functional movement system (which I refer to as myofascial slings) has been compromised.

 

This may manifest as:

  • weakness/decreased strength
  • muscle imbalance
  • poor functioning joint
  • decreased flexibility

 

And it doesn’t matter whether one or more of these show up in your ankles, hips, pelvis, knees, back, shoulders, neck or the classic “pain in the butt”…the whole body has been cleverly designed like a complex chain link system that works for you to move with biomechanical efficiency.

 

(At least that’s the idea!)

 

That’s why the term ‘functional movement’ – which I prefer to expand that to holistic and functional movement isn’t just a trendy exercise term du jour.

 

It’s a body movement concept that everyone needs in their everyday repertoire!

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5 Foods That Fight Pain & Inflammation

Top 5 Pain & Inflammation Fighting Foods

You’ve probably heard chronic inflammation is the root cause of most disease. But what does that really mean?

Inflammation is the body’s natural and healthy response to injury, illness, and infection. Think about the fever, pain, redness, and swelling that can accompany a cut, burn, or the common cold – that’s acute inflammation.

It’s your body’s way of fighting viruses and promoting healing.

However, an unhealthy lifestyle stemming from things like poor diet, stress, and lack of sleep can create low-level, ongoing inflammation on the cellular level.

This type of inflammation affects all body systems and, left untreated, is believed to be the underlying cause of serious illness, such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.

You may not even know this kind of inflammation is occurring until you’re dealing with pain in your body or perhaps a diagnosis of a new illness.

Foods That Truly Are Like Medicine

The good news is that your diet is one of the most powerful tools you have that can boost your immune system and fight the fires of inflammation in your body.

Even better news though…if you’re currently dealing with chronic pain, such as arthritis or healing from a recent injury, the foods you eat may be able to provide some relief, naturally.

Be aware that some foods can promote inflammation in the body, and you’ll want to minimise or steer clear of those all-together.

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7 Best Stretches for Chronic Pain & Discomfort | Emma Simpson Structural Integrator

In Pain? There’s a Stretch for That – 7 of Them!

I love my job. I really do.

I love that I can help people achieve pain-free routines, and sustain active healthy lives. When a client comes to see me, I consider it a sincere privilege to help them find relief and more simply – to move better.

But I do have my limitations…

Truthbomb: as a Structural Integrator and Massage Therapist, there’s only so much I can do.

There’s only so many times I can treat each individual client each week. Not to mention that I can’t follow them around all week in between our appointments to make sure they’re watching their posture or lifting that big heavy object properly.

Pain management, especially that for long-standing, chronic pain – is a joint venture between the patient and practitioner. When my clients “do their homework”, their results are much better and long-lasting.

This is why I frequently assign clients take-home strengthening exercises and stretching routines. These exercises help them manage their discomfort in between appointments AND also minimize the likelihood of an injury recurring.

 

Some of the most common issues I treat are:

  • low back pain
  • tight neck and shoulders
  • sciatica
  • tight pectorals
  • tight hips
  • TMJ pain (jaw pain)

 

And the good news is that I have an exercise or stretch to help with each and every one of these conditions.

Ready to live with less pain and move more freely? I thought so!

Here are 7 stretches for every area of your body that you might be experiencing pain in.

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Why the “No Pain, No Gain” Concept is Complete Crap!

My client was in to see me recently and told me about some knee pain she experienced in her last run.

 

While she was running, she felt a sharp twinge toward the outside of her knee. The twinge turned into a burn and by the time she saw me — a stabbing pain.

 

“Did you stop?” I asked her.

“No way. I’m training for a marathon, so I can’t. No pain, no gain, right?” she said.

 

I hated to differ with her, but no…wrong. All wrong.

 

We’ve been conditioned to think we need to push through pain in order to be successful – in so many areas of our life and of our health.

 

And while it’s normal to experience some strain and discomfort during exercise or even in our day-to-day life, pain should never be ignored.

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