We often look at wellness-oriented treatment options like bodywork, spa sessions, exercise classes, health coaches and eating organic foods as luxuries — something “extra” we do for ourselves. But each of these treatments benefits our quality of life and, ultimately, our longevity — making even a 15-minute chair massage a health necessity. Here are a few reasons why you might want to indulge in some self-love.
There are several bodywork modalities out there including craniosacral, myofascial, Reiki, Rolfing, reflexology, Swedish massage and deep-tissue massage. Each treatment addresses different needs, but they all help support overall wellbeing. Regular sessions can help:
- Reduce cortisol and stress.
- Promote the mind-body connection.
- Improve alignment, both physically and mentally.
- Prevent injuries.
- Increase energy and focus.
- Boost circulation and nutrition-rich blood to the muscles.
TIP: Find a therapist you like, invest in a package (like five sessions) to get a discount rate, and then commit to a set time every other week so you can stretch out your package over the course of several months.
Much like with bodywork, spa treatments reduce cortisol and stress levels. Spa treatments can also ward off common health concerns, saving money in the long run. For example, people who regularly get facials are less likely to suffer from skin conditions like acne or rosacea; they are more likely to identify and address precancerous spots; and they are more likely to invest in top-of-the-line, up-to-date products that can safeguard them from skin damage and aging. And getting a regular pedicures and manicures — so long as they’re from reputable businesses that use sanitary practices — will reduce your chances of developing fungi and other infections in your nails, promote joint mobility and remove dry, cracked skin.
TIP: Save money and get the express mani-pedi. You can even opt for no polish and a quick buff to cut down your time in the salon.
If you want to live long and live well, you have to exercise. But this doesn’t mean you have to go full-force every day — though you do want to get moving for at least 30 minutes, five days a week.
TIP: Vary your exercise routine to prevent boredom, overuse and injury. Also, set aside a day every week — like Sunday or Monday — to plan your exercises for the week.
Even health coaches need health coaches. A properly trained health coach will make you accountable to attainable wellness goals.
TIP: Meet with a health coach at the start of each new season to make a quarterly game plan. This will help you constantly strive for optimal health.
Many conventional whole foods — i.e. fresh, non-packaged foods — contain harmful contaminants like pesticide residues. To avoid the sticker shock that comes with buying organic produce, it helps to know when going organic really makes a difference. This list of the “dirty dozen” — the fruits and vegetables that have the most contaminants, so are worth buying organic — might help:
- Sweet bell peppers
TIP: Avoid the “dirty dozen” whenever possible. And try this DIY vegetable wash: Mix 2 cups of cold tap water, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and use to wash your produce before eating.
Becca Edwards is a wellness professional, freelance writer, and owner of b.e.WELL+b.e.CREATIVE (bewellbecreative.com).