Health, Fitness, Massage and Yoga Blog

Health, Fitness, Massage and Yoga Blog

How Thai Massage Moves You Outside Your “Norm” for Deeper Benefits

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 15:46 -- sidney
Thai Massage
UNIQUE TO ITS ROOTS Originating in India 2500 years ago, Thai Massage is a healing modality with it’s roots in Yoga. The integration of yoga principles make this bodywork unique to all others. What sets Thai Massage apart most obviously is that it is received fully clothed on a comfortable floor mat instead of nude on a table. Since clothes are kept on the receivers body can be effortlessly guided into various yoga-like positions and deep stretches.

MOVEMENT OUTSIDE OF YOUR “NORM”
No, you do not need to be flexible for this! In fact, if you are tight and inflexible you likely need this all the more. Muscles that have been in a tense position or doing a repetitive motion over a long period of time essentially “forget” how to be extended and relaxed. The result is an overall feeling of “stuckness”. Your therapist will put together a sequence of moves specific for your personal needs and tight areas. The stretches move you to your edge and gently outside of your “norm” reminding your body to let go of patterning built up during the day, month and even lifetime.

DELVE INTO ALL AREAS
The various positions applied during a Thai Massage session can help access areas of the body other styles can’t quite get to. For example, bodywork to hip flexors, hamstring attachment points and large glute muscles can help relieve associated pain in the lower back or hips. Substantial flexibility can be achieved with combined movement and massage as with spinal twists and forward bends. Dynamic chest opening stretches counteract the inevitable hunching of desk work. Full body joint articulations help free up mobilization therefore increasing range of motion. This broad availability expands the overall physical benefits of Thai Massage.

BEYOND SUPERFICIAL
Other styles of massage may focus only on superficial layer muscles. Unique to Thai Massage the practitioner will use elbows, knees and feet along with their body weight. This deep pressure allows for access to deeper layer muscles. Slow rhythmic compression, guided breathing and gentle rocking also help release muscular tension on all levels.
Thai Massage


BREATHE DEEPLY
The passive stretching you receive in a Thai Massage session is oftentimes deeper than you can extend into in a yoga class or on your own. This is because here you can completely relax into it… simply breathe and let go. Similar to yoga, Thai Massage incorporates the use of breath to gently move deeeeeper… Primarily, smoothing out and elongating the breath tells the nervous system that it’s ok to just chill out. The reward of breath focus is a profoundly relaxed body and state of mind.

A COMFORT LEVEL TO MEET YOUR EDGE
All types of massage benefit most when the client can release tension without force or discomfort. Through clear communication, areas of physical tension should be met with patience and breath as well as the clients comfort level of pressure. In Sanskrit, “Ahimsa” is the practice of non-harming towards self and others. As in Yoga, Thai Massage practices mindfulness and compassion.

ROOTED IN PRESENCE
Thai massage is a meditative practice both for the giver and receiver. Usually before a session I will ask a client how they are feeling. Sometimes the response is, “I don’t know.” Does this sound familiar? Are you sometimes too busy or stressed to check in with your own body and state of mind? That’s what I’m here for! To remind you of your existence and that we are alive and breathing! Naturally, during a session focus switches away from mental stress and anxiety. This time is set aside for simple body awareness. I love to hold space for people to become more physically and mentally at ease and therefore more available to enjoy life. The outcome is a balance of deep relaxation with expanded awareness.

Slow Down to Go Fast

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 10:03 -- Wellness Team
Slow Down to Go Fast
Seeking considerable employee engagement has traditionally been the Holy Grail for most companies. Engaged employees love their jobs and they give of themselves day in and day out, meeting stretch goals, organizing events, spearheading company initiatives and managing complicated projects with precision and leadership. Who wouldn’t want an employee who gives 110%, hits target sales and turns in detailed, error-free reports before deadline? Evidence has started to emerge that signals a counter intuitive warning: highly engaged employees can potentially be problematic for their companies. How could this be? While their work performance outcomes are positive, these employees are often the most exhausted and, given more time on the job, they can burn-out sooner or later. Symptoms of burnout include depression, sleep problems and fatigue/fogginess. These workers have operated in a high stress environment that, over time, has worn them down and taken away their zest for achievement and productivity. One way to prevent this difficult situation is for human resource departments to watch over their employees—to provide resources that support wellness and work-life balance. Human resources departments that observe high levels of stress in the workplace and seek to counterbalance this with high levels of support find that their employees are productive, feel safe, and most importantly, stick around. Rejuv at Work offers many opportunities for HR departments to offer a variety of support: on the spot massage, yoga classes, guided meditation, fitness classes, and more. Smart employee engagement cultivates enthusiasm, motivation and productivity. It may sound paradoxical, but sometimes we have to slow down in order to go fast. To read more on this topic, enjoy this Harvard Business Review article about employee engagement/burnout.

Can Employees Use Their FSA or HSA card to Pay for Massage at Work?

Wed, 02/28/2018 - 22:05 -- Wellness Team

Most of our on-site massage services are company-paid, but some companies provide on-site massage services that require employees to pay for their own massages, either in full or partially (when subsidized by the company).

If your company provides Rejuv At Work on-site massage services that employees pay for directly, here’s some news that might be of interest!

FSA, HSA

Employees can use their tax-free Flexible Savings Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) credit or debit card to pay for on-site Massage by Rejuv At Work as long as their physician provides a written prescription establishing massage as a treatment or prevention of their condition.

According to the IRS, medical care expenses must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental ailment. Medical conditions that qualify include back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, anxiety, pain management and depression.

To ensure approved coverage, your prescription for therapeutic massage should include the following information:
- Medical necessity (example: to relieve back pain)
- Frequency (recommended number of sessions per month)
- Duration (example: 12 months)

Keep your prescription and receipts on file in case you need them as back-up.

If the above conditions are met, you can feel good about using your FSA or HSA credit or debit card to purchase on-site massage by Rejuv At Work!

Wisdom 2.0 Conference

Mon, 02/26/2018 - 08:38 -- Wellness Team

Wisdom 2.0 Conference 2018

Wisdom 2.0 Conference 2018

We strive to find balance between being effective and efficient in our work and maintaining a sense of humanness - authentic connection to ourselves and others. This past weekend, people holding this focus convened at the Wisdom 2.0 Conference in San Francisco to explore the intersection between mindfulness, compassion, and the world of work and technology.


Rejuv at Work was there to offer bodywork sessions, share the joy of our work, and learn from experts in the field so that we can ensure the best offerings. The overall feeling in the "Village" was one of relaxed excitement. People were eager to share their experiences, and visitors to our booth enjoyed a relaxing massage after participating in various breakout sessions and listening to inspiring speakers such as Byron Katie, Tarana Burke, Jon Kabat-Zinn and Jack Kornfield.


One visitor remarked, “Ok. Now I have done the emotional work, listening to those talks and having some deep discussions. Now I need to integrate it all into my body. I need a massage!” A few visitors to the booth signed up for 15 minute sessions, and came back later in the day for additional half hour sessions: It became clear that bringing a connection to the body into the conversation about life balance was important! We were happy to be a part of it.

Plan Ahead for Employee Appreciation Day: March 2, 2018

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 09:41 -- Wellness Team

Your employees: they’ve got your back. Are they crunching numbers, working a spreadsheet, making sure each tiny detail is correct? Or are they out at a dinner, creating conversation with your biggest client, carefully listening and asking thoughtful questions? Perhaps your employees operate a fork lift with agility, or crush grapes with their bare feet! Whatever feats they accomplish, your employees do it for the team, for a shared goal.


Like musicians playing different instruments in a symphony, a solid organization needs people who specialize in particular areas and come together in harmony, to produce great works. Your employees perform every day at work with skill, dedication and creativity. In their personal lives, they might be busy raising children, or struggling with a divorce; they could be caring for ailing parents, paying off student loans and other forms of debt. Some of them are presidents of community organizations in their spare time, or volunteers helping children, the homeless, the elderly. The individuals in your workforce pour their energy, intelligence and passion into projects and responsibilities.



Employee Appreciation Day - March 2, 2018

In honor of these hard-working humans, why not gift them a wellness event? A massage is a moment of heaven. In the hands of a skilled body worker, the stress of the day, the week, maybe even a tough year, can dissolve into emptiness. A moment of calm emerges, and your dedicated employee can rest with a mind at ease within itself. This is a morale-boosting gift, one that says you appreciate and value their contribution and you recognize your common humanity. If not a massage, perhaps a motivating, fun and team-building exercise class, or some training in meditation, the art of letting go of stress and calming the mind. Whatever you choose, it will be appreciated! And everyone is a winner: the boss who cultivates a happy and healthy team, and employees who feel appreciated and cared for.


From all of us at Rejuv at Work, we wish you a Happy Employee Appreciation Day on Friday, March 2, 2018!

Bringing Healthy Movement into Our Lives

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 18:11 -- Wellness Team
Bringing Healthy Movement into Our Lives

Not very long ago, in a relative sense, human beings lived incredibly active lives. In a close relationship to nature, we hunted, fished, and collected our food sources, built homes to protect from the elements, lit fires, prepared food in groups and walked or ran wherever we needed to travel. Our relationship with our own human body was immediate, essential, and in many ways, precious in terms of survival.

In those times, which made up the majority of human existence so far, nobody needed a standing desk or a bright red exercise ball to help with posture at work. People did not commute for 40 minutes each way to work only to sit at a desk for eight hours, return home, pay the mortgage, and put the kids to bed. They didn’t spend hours staring into tiny electronic screens or hunched over examining letters on a page from a book. It’s hard to know if insomnia or anxiety and depression were prevalent in our history as a species, but somehow it seems that modern life, full of its triggers, jarring news reports and technological advances may play a very large role in the state of disconnection that many of us feel with our bodies, and time. We modern humans have mental capacities to work with the fast-paced circumstances of life; however, the body itself is still wired for a very different era. Sometimes it feels like we are simply brains, dragging around an inconvenient body, here and there.

Maybe we can’t turn back the clock at this point and slip back into a life of constant physical activity that would be a better fit for our biology—and maybe we don’t want to do exactly that. However, it is possible to incorporate more movement into our lives and reap the benefits. Participating in regular exercise, for example, can help to reduce anxiety and depression as well as the risk of a heart attack or stroke. It can even reduce the risk of 13 types of cancer as well as diabetes. Read all about it here!

Rejuv at Work brings healthy fitness and movement to the workplace so that employees can lift their spirits and practice preventative health care in a convenient and efficient manner. With on-site Bootcamp, Cardio Hip Hop, Zumba, Yoga, TRX and/or HIIT classes, there is no need to waste time searching for parking, to feed a meter, or try to get up at the crack of dawn to squeeze a good workout into the day. And it’s fun! After exercising, it’s easier to focus at the desk, and it builds community when colleagues work out together.  January is a great time to set a resolution to embrace the body, to be embodied, fully, working with strength, flexibility, balance and intensity. It is guaranteed that your body will thank you for it.

Happy New Year from Rejuv At Work!

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 16:57 -- Wellness Team

Happy New Year! We wish you a joyful and rejuvenating 2017. May all your positive aspirations come to fruition, and may you experience equanimity and warmth in the coming year. Last month we introduced mindfulness meditation and what makes it so compelling. Now we would like to share with you what researchers are saying about it and how it can be helpful in the workplace. Enjoy!

Part 2

What are researchers saying about meditation?

In the past 10-15 years researchers have been studying and documenting the many positive effects of a mindfulness meditation practice. Here is a small sampling of what has been discovered:

  • Better sleep: researchers found that mindfulness meditation helped to treat chronic insomnia, decreasing the total time awake and enhancing levels of melatonin.

  • Increased ability to focus and pay attention: Harvard researchers discovered that people who meditate actually grow a thicker prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain associated with self- awareness and attention.

  • Less workplace burnout: Teachers at a school for children with severe behavioral problems who meditated regularly experienced a new resiliency.

  • Decreased depression: Johns Hopkins researchers found a 10-20% reduction in depressive symptoms of those who were treated with meditation compared to others treated with a placebo.

  • Weight loss: In a clinical study, it was found that 30 minutes of mindfulness meditation every day helped patients to reduce ‘stress eating’ and lower cortisol levels.

 

How is mindfulness meditation particularly helpful in the workplace?

  • Increases Teamwork: In the competitive global economy, with its fast-approaching deadlines and multitude of voices asserting differing opinions, multi-faceted problems demand teamwork. Challenges invite employees to work together, pooling their intellectual resources to succeed. Unfortunately, when people feel fear and tension, or they are too distracted to really hear each other’s point of view, it’s common to slip into a more competitive state of mind which can lead to the formation of an unsafe cut throat culture. Meditation helps people connect with the heart, enhances the ability to listen and allows for a moment to slow down and evaluate a challenge without fear and tension. From a more human, relaxed thoughtful point of view, true collaboration emerges and people can bring out the best in each other instead of pointing fingers.

 

  • Boosts Health: Pervasive stress wears down immune systems. Health expenditures at high pressure companies are tremendous: the American Psychological Association estimates that more than 550 million workdays are lost each year due to stressful experiences at work. Meditation’s relaxing effects help employees to shed nervous tension and stay healthy. Stress also degrades a person’s ability to think clearly and focus; so, helping workers to relax can actually improve the quality of their work and reduce needless mistakes born from distraction.

 

  • Improve Work Culture: While a high-intensity workplace culture of fear can ensure employee engagement, research suggests that the tension created from working within an environment such as this over the long term can harm both employee health and company outcomes. When the principals taught in meditation practice expand beyond the cushion, they can promote the cultivation of an emotionally safe workspace. The more individuals practice self-compassion and non-judgement, the easier it is to see things from others point of view, and to respond instead of react when crucial moments arise. Meditation can bring out the best in each individual, and promoting creativity and collaboration. This can help to magnetize top talent and to reduce costly turn over.

 

  • Inspire Creative Solutions: Allowing space and time to integrate the experiences of one’s life can create more psychic space. Without so much noise in the head, it’s easier for new ideas and ways of thinking to spontaneously arise. It can also help meditators to get in tune with a sincere sense of purpose and vision. Employees who experience this kind of clarity and connection in their meditation make thoughtful decisions and bring fresh ideas to the table. With a team of clear-thinking workers, true innovation is possible.

Happy Holidays from Rejuv At Work!

Mon, 12/05/2016 - 12:44 -- Wellness Team

All of us at Rejuv at Work wish you Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year! The holidays provide an amazing opportunity to take stock of our lives and set new intentions and goals. We are here to partner with you every step of the way. We hope you enjoy this article about mindfulness meditation, and learn more about this dynamic practice and it’s capacities to support personal growth and reduce anxiety and stress.

 

Part 1

What is mindfulness meditation?

Simple yet profound, mindfulness meditation practice invites participants to bring their complete attention into the experience of the present moment, without evaluating or judging it.

In a mindfulness meditation session, practitioners simply observe their thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and the environment, letting everything be exactly as it is. If the mind drifts into moments of rehashing the past or anticipating the future, practitioners gently guide themselves back to the present, letting their thoughts float by like clouds in the sky, greeting everything experienced with a sense of hospitality and acceptance. Sometimes meditators choose one aspect of consciousness, such as the breath, as an anchor. When thoughts arise, practitioners abstain from labeling them as “good” or “bad” and simply continue to focus on the breathing process. In fact, the practice involves knowing that nothing needs to be changed. Mindfulness meditation practice invites practitioners to be curious and willing to learn, like an astronaut exploring inner-space. The more one practices, a sense of awareness, insight, and calm focus emerges and integrates into the experience of daily life.

Why is this practice so compelling in 2017?

Life can present all kinds of unexpected twists and turns, and meditation helps one to cultivate a calm internal oasis of stability regardless of external circumstances. Here is a sampling of the many challenges that meditation practice can help to address:

· Stress Induced Illness

In particular, during these fast paced modern times, even though we have so many amazing medical advances, people continue to get sick due to stress-induced illness. Anxiety can creep up in subtle ways, or it can strike acutely, especially during times of major transition such as a job change, the ending of a relationship, or an expected health issue. Meditation allows people to get a grip on stress, finding the balance between suppressing unpleasant emotions and lashing out.

· Perfectionism

Another common obstacle to wellbeing and happiness can be striving for perfection or comparing one’s own life to an unrealistic idealized image of how life is supposed to be. These common mental afflictions leave us constantly chasing after something intangible and feeling unsatisfied. Meditation can help to dissolve the root of this challenge by addressing the original mental conditioning and setting it free, helping one to feel a sense of ease with life and its many unique imperfections.

· Searching for Community

In this information age, news from all over the world travels fast and we are exposed to inconceivable suffering. This can be overwhelming and leave us with a general sense of malaise. It also seems like the more we utilize digital communication in this time of technological advancement, the more isolated and lonely we feel. In the past, it was common in many socieities to remain in one village or town for one’s entire life. Nowadays, people move frequently and often have family members living all over the world. All of these factors can leave us feeling fragmented or alienated.

Meditation practice can be helpful, allowing practitioners to cultivate a home within themselves, and an open heart that builds bridges that connect with others in an authentic manner.

Yoga at Work

Fri, 11/25/2016 - 16:57 -- Wellness Team

Have you heard the news? Sitting is the new smoking. Yes, that’s right, sitting. According to Dr. James Levine, Director of May Clinic Arizona State and the inventor of the treadmill desk,

“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”

New evidence research has emerged suggesting that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, various types of cancer, and heart disease. And, similar to smoking, the results are not reversible; nothing can be done to counteract too much time spent sitting at a desk.

Why not take a break during the workday to bend, stretch, and twist? Yoga is an ancient practice that was originally developed to support dedicated meditation practitioners so that they could sit for extended periods of time. Sages understood the importance of the body as a vehicle to cultivate wisdom; so they spent their lifetimes practicing yoga. Nowadays, we can benefit from the apprenticeship, research and practice of these ancient yogis, applying their time-tested methods to help modern-day people to cope with stress. Yoga, in its current western-friendly form, simply stated, helps people to relax. When we relax deeply here is what happens in the body:

  1. Endorphins release in the brain and relax the muscles
  2. Relaxed muscles allow for better circulation
  3. Increased blood flow leads to elevated levels of oxygen in the body
  4. Accelerated blood flow allows nutrients to be absorbed in to the body
  5. Then enzymes can build up to help the body’s digestion
  6. Hormones become balanced
  7. Toxins release and cells can regenerate and become healthy

When this process which some have called “the relaxation response,” takes over, individuals experience a deep sense of well-being. It’s no wonder that the immune system receives a boost when this level of physiological stabilization occurs. Healthy, balanced employees maintain more harmonious relationships, make wiser decisions, and come up with creative ideas. They also take fewer sick days and help to cultivate a positive culture that can magnetize top talent to the company. Who knew that this positive domino-effect could be achieved by taking some time to practice yoga? Well, the sages certainly did!

 

Rejuv's 5th Year Anniversary

Mon, 11/02/2015 - 22:43 -- adminrejuv

In 2015, we celebrate our 5th anniversary of serving companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley. Read this LinkedIn post about some of the great people we have on our team.

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