January 07, 2019 by Jordan Nunziato
Maintaining your general health includes addressing the mind, body, spiritual, and social connections of who you are and how you live.
So, how important is it to practice good nutrition? For massage therapists, the answer is very important.
But, of course, with our access to an endless raging rapid of information on health and wellness at our fingertips, it can be quite an overwhelming challenge to know the best way to stay healthy. Keeping yourself healthy often means taking a more holistic view of how you take care of yourself. (For example, lack of sleep has been connected to weight gain in some studies.) By viewing health this way, the idea of a general health strategy being overwhelming begins to fade away. People make choices daily about their health through both action and inaction. You probably already do things now that maintain your general health. Taking a moment to look at what they are, name them, refine them and explore ways to improve them is the very foundation of health.
When we reflect on our nutritional habits, we generally consider the food we eat and the nutritional supplements that some of us include in our daily routine. This is a good start. To help you out in determining how to maintain your health as a massage therapist, here is a list of dietary elements that are musts:
To hydrate, water is the best choice. However, herbal teas, fresh juices, fruits and vegetables that are high in water content work well too. Since most of our body is water, drinking water—preferably spring or purified—should be like breathing.
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation. Eating cold-water fish, such as salmon, halibut and tuna, three to six times a week can reach the therapeutic doses of fish oil. Vegetarians may consume one tablespoon freshly ground, toasted flaxseeds plus one-quarter cup walnuts to obtain the recommended four grams of omega-3 daily in the diet, or take evening primrose oil or borage seed oil.
Fiber, such as whole-grain products, apples, and legumes such as beans, lentils, peas and peanuts, has health benefits that include protecting the heart and maintaining stable blood sugar, and reducing risk of certain cancers.
- Fruits & Veggies
Multiple nutrition studies suggest that to maintain optimal health we require seven to nine daily servings of fruit and vegetables.
Magnesium deficiency may accelerate bone loss, which would increase risk for fractures, especially stress fractures that can occur without a huge exertion.
- Vitamin C
Every massage therapist should consider consuming a diet high in vitamin C. It is required for: the synthesis of collagen; the formation of carnitine, a molecule required for the transportation of fat to the mitochondria (power house) of the cell; and production of the mood hormone norepinephrine. It also protects the body from pollutants and toxins.
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