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Secrets of the Incredible Benefits of Massage Therapy

Massage: Get in touch with its many benefits

Originally Published: January 12th, 2021 Massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being. See if it’s right for you. By Mayo Clinic Staff


Massage used to be available only through luxury spas and upscale health clubs. Today, massage therapy is offered in businesses, clinics, hospitals, and even airports. If you’ve never tried massage, learn about its possible health benefits and what to expect during a massage therapy session.

What is massage?

Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing, and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure. There are many different types of massage, including these common types:

  • Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration, and tapping. It helps you feel relaxed and energized.
  • Deep massage. This massage technique uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. It’s commonly used to help with muscle damage from injuries.
  • Sports massage. This is similar to Swedish massage, but it’s geared toward people involved in sports activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
  • Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.

Benefits of massage

Massage is generally considered part of integrative medicine. It’s increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.

Massage benefits can include:

  • Reducing stress and increasing relaxation
  • Reducing pain and muscle soreness and tension
  • Improving circulation, energy, and alertness
  • Lowering heart rate and blood pressure
  • Improving immune function

While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found massage may also be helpful for:

  • Anxiety
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia related to stress
  • Low back pain
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Nerve pain
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain
  • Upper back and neck pain

Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort, and connection.

Despite its benefits, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

Risks of massage

Most people can benefit from massage. However, massage may not be appropriate if you have:

  • Bleeding disorders or take blood-thinning medication
  • Burns or healing wounds
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Infections
  • Broken bones (fractures)
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • A very low platelet count (severe thrombocytopenia)

Discuss the pros and cons of massage with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant or if you have cancer or unexplained pain.

Some forms of massage can leave you feeling a bit sore the next day. But massage shouldn’t ordinarily be painful or uncomfortable. If any part of your massage doesn’t feel right or is painful, speak up right away. Most serious problems come from too much pressure during massage.

What you can expect during a massage

You don’t need any special preparation for massage. Before a massage therapy session starts, your massage therapist should ask you about any symptoms, your medical history, and what you’re hoping to get out of the massage. Your massage therapist should explain the kind of massage and techniques he or she will use.

In a typical massage therapy session, you undress or wear loose-fitting clothing. Undress only to the point that you’re comfortable. You generally lie on a table and cover yourself with a sheet. Your massage therapist will leave the room when you undress before the massage and when you dress after it. You can also have a massage while sitting in a chair, fully clothed. Your massage therapist should perform an evaluation through touch to locate painful or tense areas and to determine how much pressure to apply.

Depending on preference, your massage therapist may use oil or lotion to reduce friction on your skin. Tell your massage therapist if you might be allergic to any ingredients.

A massage session may last from 10 to 90 minutes, depending on the type of massage and how much time you have. No matter what kind of massage you choose, you should feel calm and relaxed during and after your massage. Breathe normally throughout your massage.

Your massage therapist may play music during your massage or talk to you, but you can tell him or her if you prefer quiet.

If a massage therapist is pushing too hard, ask for lighter pressure. Occasionally you may have a sensitive spot in a muscle that feels like a knot. It’s likely to be uncomfortable while your massage therapist works it out. But if it becomes painful, speak up.

Finding a massage therapist

Ask your doctor or someone else you trust for a recommendation. Most states regulate massage therapists through licensing, registration, or certification requirements.

Don’t be afraid to ask a potential massage therapist such questions as:

  • Are you licensed, certified, or registered?
  • What are your training and experience?
  • How many massage therapy sessions do you think I’ll need?
  • What’s the cost, and is it covered by health insurance?

The take-home message about massage

Brush aside any thoughts that massage is only a feel-good way to indulge or pamper yourself. On the contrary, massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for another stress reliever. You can even learn how to do self-massage or how to engage in massage with a partner at home.


How to Work Remotely and Succeed

Does Remote Work Really Work? 4 CEOs on the Future of Their Workplaces

BY CHRISTINE LAGORIO-CHAFKIN@LAGORIO

Does Remote Work Really Work? 4 CEOs on the Future of Their Workplaces
Is work … a place? Founders are divided on whether to return to their old way of doing business.

Founders and executives around the globe have taken lessons learned over the past year to inform their view of what their workplace will look like in the future. At this week’s Collision conference, the future of the workplace was top-of-mind–though founders had a wide diversity of expectations about how their companies will work coming out of the pandemic. Here are a few of the most fascinating.

More satisfied, talented, global workforces

Phil Libin, the founder of Evernote, All Turtles, and upstart video-presentation platform Mmhmm, says having gone all-virtual has given his company superpowers–and he’s not willing to give those up by returning to a physical office. He has vowed with his most recent two companies that his teams will never return to offices post-pandemic. The first superpower he cited was the ability to hire talent not just locally–but anywhere in the world. “All of our job listings say ‘global,'” he said Wednesday. “I’m never putting the ‘in’ back in place.”

Second superpower: not commuting. “Why would I ever give up the superpower of giving every person on my team two extra hours a day?” And third: helping employees avoid the extreme expense of housing in major cities. “Why could every person on my team not live in a nice house with a nice school district, if that’s what they want?” he says.

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Remote work requires different processes than office work

Jason Fried, the founder of Basecamp and author of Remote: Office Not Required, is firmly anti-Zoom and pro-asynchronous work at his all-remote company, which makes tools for employee communication. Now that much of the rest of the office-worker world has experienced remote work over the past year, he’s hoping other companies embrace a bigger idea: that the nature and strengths of remote work are very different than in-person work.

For employees on dedicated projects, requiring focus or creative critical thinking, working remotely can be far more productive than working in an office, he says. But a lot of companies are doing it wrong–allowing the digital distractions of constant Slack notices and interruptions of Zoom meetings to disrupt the workflow afforded by solitary work at home. He advises helping employees manage their own time and get the most out of long stretches of solo work by keeping important decisions out of real-time chat. “The expectation of immediate response is really toxic,” he says. “What’s healthy is giving people long stretches of time to do their work without … the pressure to pay attention to a dozen real-time decisions at once.”

Teams have the opportunity to work smarter and more empathically

Jonathan Notaro, the founder, and chief creative officer at Brand New School, a branding agency that works in production, said this year of all-remote work has made harnessing his teams’ creativity more challenging. “So much of our work happens through discourse,” he said at Collision Thursday. “Those pieces of magic are so much harder to harvest in this environment.”

But he’s seen bright spots–and moments that made his company stronger. Having Zoom windows into colleagues’ and employees’ homes has given him insight into their personal priorities and passions, and brought his team closer. “You start to think more about their personal lives,” he said, “because it’s right there. I think that’s been a real gem from this whole experience. It’s made us all closer.” Brand New School has had to think harder about scheduling and is more disciplined about meetings after a year of remote working. Notaro said: “I feel like we’ve become more focused.”

Office work and gathering will be a lot more exciting

The founder and CEO of Eventbrite, Julia Hartz, saw her company’s revenue drop to zero as the pandemic hit in March of 2020. After two rounds of financing and a company restructuring in the first 90 days of work-from-home, her company saw a boom in digital events. Now, as restrictions on gatherings lift around the globe, she’s expecting the physical event ecosystem to flourish as well. “We are heading into a Roaring ’20s! Never underestimate the power of humans who feel they deserve something,” she said.

As for the return to work, Hartz doesn’t expect all her employees immediately to start daily commuting but says since Eventbrite was founded on the premise of gathering in person, the company will continue to operate office “hubs” around the world where employees can work and meet. “If we do it right, people will look forward to coming to the office, to see each other and to collaborate,” she said.Inc. helps entrepreneurs change the world. Get the advice you need to start, grow, and lead your business today. Subscribe here for unlimited access.

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The Benefits of Working From Home: Why The Pandemic Isn’t the Only Reason to Work Remotely | FlexJobs

Working from home 101: Every remote worker’s guide to the essential tools for telecommuting | ZDNet


How to Become a Leader

10 Traits an Inspired Leader Must Have
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Originally Published on Apr 10, 2021 ByMarie Barnes


Leading people is not an easy task. A thousand and one responsibilities fall on your shoulders. After all, leaders are the safeguard against chaos. They are the engine of a group. What defines a great leader? An upright stance and a proud poise? Intelligence and valiance? The will of steel and steadfast determination? Often, we seek something in the leaders we lack. However, different challenges require different qualities from a chief. So, we may spend days enumerating all the possible traits a leader could have. There is no limit to perfection. Instead, we will concentrate on a specific side of a leader – his attitude towards the others.

The way you treat people makes them respond accordingly. Obviously, you can choose the path of tyranny, fear, and oppression to be an effective leader. You will force people to do things, they will obey, and technically you are a leader. But this is a slippery slope. Coup d’états and rebellions are the results of such leadership. If you want to be the one that people follow deliberately and with loyalty, you should possess the next traits. 

1. Determination

Let’s start with the obvious. You must be determined enough to get somewhere and not give up on the way. A determination is an obligatory minimum for a leader. People will not follow if you cannot move forward. They need inspiration, and you give it to them through action. 

2. Responsibility

Being a leader means you are responsible for the team. Every member of your group confides in your decision-making abilities. You cannot let them down. Your purpose is to lead them. In other words, wherever your team ends up, it is your victory or failure. You are the face of your group. When everything goes to hell, you are the first to meet the devil. If you can bear that burden, the leadership is for you.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” — John Maxwell

 

3. Genuine Empathy

Empathy is how well you can understand the emotions of others. It is the key to successful relations with anyone. If you feel what another person feels, you can better navigate through the reality of that person. Understanding their pain, you are more prone to help – it is becoming personal for you. 

There are many ways to show empathy: listen more, be attentive to others, do not judge hastily. It is not about forgetting your problems and turning into the selfless altruist to the end of your days. It is about paying attention. Just give a bit of your warmth to others along the way and try to understand them. Maybe, you can help them somehow. People remember such things, and they will respect you.

4. Positivity

Positivity is a useful tool. We all have dark moments in our lives, and unless we have a light with us, it is easy to get lost in the darkness. The moodiness stretches out, everything is dull and gloomy, and irritation takes its place. We snap at each other, but nothing resolves. Ill humor is a tricky enemy: it makes you forget about good times and joy. If you can fight that with optimism, then you have a torch to lead others through the darkness. People will seek your company to get warmer, and they will be happy to have you as their leader. 

5. Open-mindedness

You should not be close-minded, being intolerant to different people or ideas. If you cannot accept something new, alien, or better because of your personal preferences, fear, or pride, you will have problems. Times are a-changin’, as Bob Dylan sang, and so is the world. To keep up with the innumerous trends and progress, you need to get on board with it. Also, it simplifies your communication with other people as their personality does not affect your judgment.

6. Ability to Learn

This is the logical continuation of the previous paragraph. The ability to grow, adapt, and acquire new skills is a must for a leader. Learning from your mistakes is another thing. Everyone makes mistakes. Leaders do as well. However, accepting your failures and learning from them is important. Do not let ignorance take hold of you.

7. Straightforwardness

Sometimes, team members can make a mistake. Do you have it in yourself to show them their fault? Can you reprimand or fire someone if the need arises? You are responsible for your team, remember? If someone jeopardizes its future, you must deal with this person. You cannot play only a good cop here. 

8. Humility

Can you bide your mistakes? Can you ask for help from your fellow team member? Your ego and pride should not stand in your way. You are not some infallible machine that should perform flawlessly. You cannot know everything. A team works as one, and you are a part of it – ask for advice or support when needed.

 

9. Approachability

Other team members should not fear coming up to you. If they are afraid of reaching out, you have a lack of trust. It might lead to secrets and unspoken words. Secrets are bombs with a long fuse, of which you do not know. To avoid that, you need to establish an open-door policy. Work on your relationship with the team: your leadership depends on it. 

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” – Winston Churchill

10. Self-care

The final point is all about yourself. To be the most effective, you should care about your well-being. Your physical and mental health are the fuel of your energy. You cannot be optimistic, think a few steps ahead, make decisions, and be an inspiring example for others when your mind and soul are in the wrong place. 

We often tend to forget about the need for rest and recreation, joy and happiness while pursuing our professional growth. There should be enough sunlight and alimentation for a plant to grow. There should also be enough good things for you to live on and succeed. 

Congratulations, if you have all those traits within yourself. You should be good at leading others. If there is something you lack, do not get upset – everything can be learned and practiced to perfection. Look it up on the internet. You can find all the answers there. 

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Marie Barnes

Marie Barnes is a Marketing Communication Manager at Adsy and an enthusiastic blogger interested in writing about technology, social media, work, travel, lifestyle, and current affairs. She shares her insights through blogging. Follow her on Medium.

Related:

Leadership Traits – List of Top Qualities of an Effective Leader (corporatefinanceinstitute.com)

 


5 New Habits to Help You Cultivate a Growth Mindset

How To Cultivate a Growth Mindset!

Originally Published on Apr 3, 2021

By Samantha Madhosingh


As we raise children, we often teach them that grit, perseverance, and resilience lead to mastery and success. They do. But what are we teaching them about their intelligence and capacity to learn?  When children believe that they have been born with predetermined skills and abilities or with a fixed intelligence that they cannot change, they are more likely to avoid challenging subjects and create artificial limits on themselves that will impact them into adulthood.

In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success psychologist & researcher Dr. Carol S. Dweck suggested two general mindsets: fixed and growth. Someone with a fixed mindset believes that character, intelligence, and creative ability are unmoving givens that can’t be changed in any meaningful way. Looking perfect and avoiding failure at all costs becomes a way of maintaining that inner sense of competence. When challenged or frustrated by a task, you may hear people say things like, “I’m so stupid because I don’t know how,” or “I’m lousy at this, and I can’t get any better.” They don’t know how to do something and don’t want to make an effort because they believe they should only do what they already know how to do or what feels easy. This risk-averse mindset can lead to an unwillingness to push yourself to do challenging things.

By contrast, Dweck suggests that a person with a growth mindset thrives on challenge, seeing it as a launchpad for growth and for extending existing abilities instead of evidence of unintelligence. With a growth mindset, you focus on continuous improvement and self-awareness through ongoing feedback. You recognize that you can improve through your specific efforts and deliberate practice. You can see yourself changing and growing through application and experience. Having a growth mindset means that for you, challenges are an opportunity for growth. You understand that your brain can learn new, complex tasks (at any age) and develop with training and effort. You may start thinking things like, “I can do hard things,” “It’s ok to make a mistake; that’s how I learn,” “With practice, I can and will get better.”

“In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.” – Carol S. Dweck

So why is it vital to know about and develop a growth mindset?

The truth is that having a growth mindset and doing the hard things will absolutely help you accomplish more than you could even imagine. However, if you were born and raised in the 20th century, you were most likely not raised with a growth mindset. Before 2006, when Dweck’s Mindset book was published, children were more likely to be raised to believe that talent, intelligence, and ability are given at birth and governed by genetics. There are probably several skills and abilities that many may have given up on developing or not focused their efforts on because they believe that they lack the capacity to do them well. When they allow their default programming and conditioning to dictate how much effort is put into learning new skills without challenging norms, they will be subconsciously holding themselves back and miss out on exploring the outer limits of their talents.

I know that for me, there have been many times in my life that I just decided, “I am not good at that,” and just avoided the challenge. I, like many others of my generation, grew up having a fixed mindset. For example, I was convinced that I was no good at math. As a result, I did not like it and made little effort because it seemed too hard. My fear and loathing of all things math-related meant that I did not get my bachelor’s degree in psychology or business, subjects I really liked, because both had an advanced math requirement, and I was certain I wouldn’t be able to do it. 

The ironic thing, however, is that ultimately, I had no choice but to overcome my conviction that I was lousy at math if I wanted to pursue any degree in psychology. I was required to take a statistics class at the undergraduate level to get into a program and then a graduate-level research and statistics course. What I learned by completing both courses with an “A” was that by being willing to ask a million questions and putting maximum effort into understanding what seemed challenging, I could do things I had previously believed were not possible for me.  At the time, I did not know that I was applying the principles of having a growth mindset.

If you have a fixed mindset, here are five habits to help you cultivate a growth mindset. For the next 90 days, focus intentionally on integrating them into your daily life; being intentional means writing them down, thinking about them, and asking yourself, honestly, if you are using them.

  1. Be Curious and creative. Challenge yourself to learn something new every day and go beyond your comfort zone. You will discover new strategies to implement that will help you achieve goals you previously thought were impossible or too difficult. Keep tweaking them for effectiveness. 
  2. Be Committed to the growth, goals, & promises you make to yourself. If you want to see progress, it is essential to toss out the excuses and stay the course. Decide what you are going to do and that there is no room for excuses. Commit to your decision and then do what you have committed to for the time you have committed to doing it. Hold yourself accountable for your commitments. 
  3. Be Consistent with your efforts. Consistency is the key to developing new habits and learning new things. It is also usually one of our biggest hurdles and where good intentions fall apart. Be focused on your efforts. Decide what, when, and how you will channel 
  4. Be Courageous in the face of challenges. Setbacks and challenges are learning opportunities. They are your most significant opportunity for growth. Embrace them. Seek solutions and make adjustments. No matter how exhaustive your plan or fine-tuned the details, obstacles will surface unexpectedly and, unless you have a crystal ball, you won’t always be able to predict exactly what obstacles will occur. So, don’t waste energy on that. Instead, face obstacles when they show up with the lens of curiosity and be focused on solutions. Be agile in both your mindset and approach. 
  5. Embrace Constructive feedback & leverage it for growth & expansion. Sometimes your best prospects for personal and professional development come from utilizing corrective feedback to grow. Ask mentors and supervisors for specific feedback to give you clarity on the skills needed to move forward and the blind spots, obstacles, and pitfalls you may not be able to see by yourself.

By deliberately and intentionally focusing on these five habits daily, your life and work will shift positively in ways you can’t imagine. You will have more confidence because confidence is built through working on your skills and seeing growth and improvement over time. Making an effort is the only way forward, so be willing to do the work. Each new day is an opportunity to try again, so try again.

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15 Ways to Build a Growth Mindset | Psychology Today

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Samantha Madhosingh

Dr. Samantha Madhosingh has dedicated the last 20 years to researching, understanding, & solving the infinite possibilities of human potential, behavior, & performance. She trains leaders on how to dismantle & unlearn the stories & biases that impact progress. Leaders who work closely with her achieve mastery in mindset, communication, & relationships. Dr. Samantha has authored & co-authored four books & appeared on CW, FOX, NBC, CBS, Emotional MoJo, Daytime and Heart&Soul. Learn more at https://askdrsamantha.com.