Category Archives: Wellness

Pain Awareness Month: Living With and Healing Chronic Pain

Pain Awareness Month: Living With and Healing Chronic Pain

September is Pain Awareness Month. It’s a month dedicated to shedding light on a relatively unknown problem in society—the millions of people living with chronic pain. Many chronic pain sufferers live without ongoing chronic pain solutions and, as a result, their quality of life diminishes progressively over time, including their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

One study looked at what type of emotional and behavioral effects people with chronic pain experienced compared to people without chronic pain. The study clearly showed that pain sufferers are much more likely to:

  • Experience more stress
  • Have more bad moods
  • Become more easily agitated
  • Develop depression
  • Feel tired and fatigued

This Pain Awareness Month, we’re helping bring awareness to the types of chronic conditions that cause pain, especially back pain, and the wellness solutions for managing chronic pain.

What Is Chronic Pain?

The medical definition of chronic pain is any pain lasting longer than 12 consecutive weeks. Unlike acute pain, which comes on suddenly for a clear reason and heals quickly, chronic pain is a long-term condition, often persisting for months. Chronic pain, also known as chronic pain syndrome, can become a “tolerable pain”, whereby the person experiencing the pain can ignore it or live with it long-term.

According to the National Institutes of Health, 25 million Americans suffer daily pain. Eight million of these daily pain sufferers have pain that interferes with their everyday activities. Many people suffer with pain in silence. They’re unsure of what’s causing their pain, and their symptoms may be too vague to know how to treat them.

Chronic pain affects every person differently, making it a difficult condition to identify the root cause of. Chronic pain can’t be measured. It’s often difficult to precisely locate because the nature of chronic pain is that it can appear in multiple places throughout the body.

Chronic Pain Causes

For people suffering from chronic pain syndrome, identifying the underlying cause can be a frustrating process as the reasons for chronic, non-specific pain aren’t always obvious. But uncovering the underlying cause contributing to your pain can help you implement necessary solutions for managing chronic pain.

The following are some of the most common causes of chronic pain—all of which can be managed holistically for a better quality of life.

Arthritis

More than a quarter of American adults have some form of arthritis, a group of more than 100 inflammatory diseases that target the joints and surround tissues. Arthritis symptoms can range, depending on the underlying cause, but it’s a major reason for daily, chronic pain. Generally, people with arthritis experience joint stiffness, inflammation and soreness in one or more joints throughout the body.

Repetitive motions, such as movements performed for work or in sports, are some of the leading contributing factors to a type of arthritis called osteoarthritis—joint degeneration caused by long-term wear and tear. Some other common types of arthritis include gout and rheumatoid arthritis.

Fibromyalgia

Technically, fibromyalgia is considered a form of arthritis. Also known as widespread pain, fibromyalgia is pain that spreads across the entire body. Because it isn’t a localized pain, it’s difficult to identify a single underlying cause of fibromyalgia. It’s possible that people with fibromyalgia have a higher sensitivity to pain, so they perceive widespread pain throughout their bodies more intensely.

Fibromyalgia can cause sleep disturbances and can lead to emotional and psychological distress if not managed. Widespread pain can also make it tough to concentrate, affecting the person’s ability to work or go to school.

Sciatica

Sicatica is felt on one side of the buttock or down one leg. It’s a pain that starts at the low back and travels down the sciatic nerve, producing pain and possibly tingling or numbness. Not a condition in itself, sciatica is actually a symptom that indicates there’s a deeper, underlying health problem.

The sciatic nerve can become pinched when there’s a herniated discdisc degeneration or spinal stenosis—narrowing of the spinal column. These conditions and others can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, producing sciatica.

Different people experience sciatica in different ways and may feel their pain worsens when standing, walking or sitting.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis occurs when some components of the spine change over time. The spine’s discs and vertebrae or muscles and ligaments may start to degenerate or weaken, leading to a narrowing of the spinal column.

As the spine narrows, it puts pressure on the spinal nerves, causing pain, tingling or numbness in the area. Spinal stenosis can affect the neck and low back most commonly. Spinal stenosis in the low back (lumbar) can cause sciatica.

Wellness Solutions for Healing Chronic Pain

Many people live with chronic pain because they aren’t sure of how to manage or correct it. Life gets busy, and it’s common to sacrifice your health for the responsibility of work and family. Over time, it becomes natural to just put up with pain and you may become good at ignoring it.

But listening to your body is the important first step in healing. The reason your body produces pain is to alert you to a problem that needs addressing. Often, chronic pain is the body’s way of saying it needs greater overall wellbeing—more exercise, better diet and less stress.

As part of Pain Awareness Month, pain awareness advocates want to highlight ways to safely and holistically manage chronic pain without the use of pharmaceuticals like opioids. In many cases, you can choose alternative or complementary wellness solutions that focus on improving your quality of life so you feel less pain.

The below chronic pain solutions not only manage existing pain, but they also help correct health issues so you can prevent the condition from worsening.

Exercise

A lack of exercise often worsens chronic pain. It actually becomes a vicious circle—the more pain you feel, the less you want to exercise. But the less you exercise, the more pain you will feel.

Physical activity helps increase mobility and range of motion, which are often limited by conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia. Some of the exercises you can perform to help heal chronic pain include:

  • Walking: One of the simplest but most beneficial forms of exercise, walking can help ease chronic pain. Daily walking gets your muscles and joints moving and helps reduce stress.
  • Strength Training: Chronic back, neck and hip pain can often stem from weak muscles. Building your leg, glute, back and shoulder strength can help prevent degenerative conditions that lead to chronic pain.

Relaxation

For many people, it’s during relaxation and sleep that pain intensifies because there isn’t anything to distract you from it. But becoming better at relaxation and prioritizing restful activities can help you manage pain more effectively.

Muscle tension is a major reason why people experience pain. Stiff, sore muscles need intentional care and relaxation to alleviate stress. Some relaxation solutions for healing chronic pain include:

    • Massage Therapy: Massage therapists work tense muscles with their hands to loosen and smooth fibers and tissues that have become tightened due to stress and not enough stretching. Massage therapists also use special techniques to release pain in certain joints.
  • Yoga and Stretching: A daily practice of yoga or deep stretching can help improve your flexibility, increase blood and oxygen flow to your joints, and improve your posture and alignment. Yoga, specifically, is also a proven way to enhance mindfulness and reduce the effects of stress.

Overcoming Chronic Pain

Pain Awareness Month is a way for us to discuss the widespread issue of chronic pain and the hidden issues it leads to. When people are in pain, it causes emotional and mental disruption that prevents people from living a better life. In turn, this can have an impact on families and communities.

By shedding light on the problem of chronic pain and the chronic pain solutions that are available, people can rely less on pain-killing drugs and rely more on creating a life of wellbeing for themselves.

If you’re living with chronic pain, there are chronic pain solutions you can implement in daily life to help achieve a neutral posture and relieve pressure from your spine. For back support products for work, home, exercise and on-the-go, shop Relax The Back online and find the wellness solution that’s right for you.

Sources:

  1. https://medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/spring11/articles/spring11pg5-6.html
  2. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/News-Events/Directors-Messages/All-Directors-Messages/September-Pain-Awareness-Month-2017
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3052406/  
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/risk-factors.htm
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/fibromyalgia.htm
  6. https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sciatica/what-you-need-know-about-sciatica
  7. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spinal-stenosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20352961
  8. https://www.bustle.com/p/7-exercises-for-chronic-pain-that-can-actually-help-you-manage-it-7524955
  9. https://www.painpathways.org/the-important-benefits-of-stretching-for-pain-relief/

5 Zones of Total Body Wellness

5 Zones of Total Body Wellness

Your whole body is one system that works together to maintain your health. When a single part, or zone, of that system starts to break down due to pain or disease, it can throw your whole body, including your physical, mental and emotional health, out of whack.

Each zone of your body is connected. When one zone of your body is unwell, another zone has to change how it works to try to compensate. The healthy zone can quickly become overworked and must rely on yet another zone to pick up the slack. Over time, a small problem like pain in your feet can end up causing problems in your entire body.

Knowing Your 5 Wellness Zones

Because each zone of your body is connected, you need to care for your whole body from your toes to your nose to maintain total body wellness.

Pay attention to these 5 zones of your body to maintain your wellbeing and feel great.

1. Feet

Foot pain is a common problem for Americans with nearly 8 out of 10 people experiencing this health problem at some point in their lives.

Your feet are the base of your body. They provide the foundation for your entire posture, from your knees all the way up to your shoulders and neck. When your feet are in pain, they can end up causing issues in many others areas of your body.

For example, if you avoid pressure on your feet because they are in pain, you may hold your legs in awkward positions as you stand or walk. These positions can strain your knees and hips as they are pulled out of their natural alignment.

Foot pain can also limit your activity, preventing you from exercising or participating in hobbies you love. Your entire wellbeing is connected—a little foot pain can go a long way in hurting your wellness and quality of life.

You can avoid foot pain by ensuring you have chosen the right shoes to support your feet, especially your arches. You can also do exercises to stretch out and strengthen your feet, such as pointing your toes or doing heel raises. Many people find foot pain relief by rolling a ball under their foot to stretch out the fascia (connective tissue) on the bottom of the foot.

You can also seek out a variety of foot care products to relieve foot pain:

By taking care of your feet, you can keep up with the activities you love and lead an overall healthier life.

2. Hips and Knees

Hips and knees are common spots for serious ailments like arthritis, fractures, pinched nerves or even muscle tears. These problems can have huge impacts on your mobility. Without healthy knees and hips, you may find yourself sitting around more often instead of up and doing the things you love. Becoming more stationary could lead to further issues like back pain from sitting too long or in the wrong position.

Regular, moderate exercise is vital for maintaining healthy hips and knees. Hip pain exercise can be as simple as going for a walk. Resistance exercise can also strengthen the muscles around your hips and knees, making injury less likely. By doing knee strengthening exercises like squats and lunges, with or without weights, you can help your legs become stable and strong. You may experience less pain and fatigue in your leg joints as a result of exercise.

In addition to exercise, maintaining a healthy weight helps protect your knees, which bear all of your weight in a small space. A lower weight puts less pressure and strain on your knee joints over time.

You can also seek out products designed to relieve hip and knee pain or strengthen these joints:

The combination of regular, moderate exercise and using these products should provide pain relief and even prevent problems in the future.

3. Shoulders

Your shoulders are strong, flexible joints, making shoulder pain and problems rarer than problems in the other zones. However, if you have a job or play a sport that requires repetitive shoulder motions, you are at higher risk of a shoulder injury. Common shoulder injuries include bursitis, tendinitis, shoulder instability or even tendon tears.

Shoulder injuries can make your shoulder stiff, painful and weak, preventing you from raising your arms above a certain level. To reach up high, you may have to overextend your back, putting extra pressure on the muscles and tendons in your lower back. Over time, both connected zones—your shoulders and your back—could end up injured.

Overuse causes many shoulder injuries, so give your shoulders a break when you can. You should also frequently stretch out your shoulders by lifting your bent arms overhead and pulling gently on your elbows one at a time. You can also stretch by bringing your arms behind your back, gripping your hands together, and then bending over while bringing your arms upward. Hold each stretch for 10 to 15 seconds. Performing these shoulder exercises to stretch muscles and improve posture will help prevent injury and stiffness.

You can relieve inflammation and pain in your shoulders by using products designed to improve joint health:

Combined with rest, stretching and pain relievers, these products can help you regain motion in your shoulders.

4. Back

Chronic lower back pain affects millions of Americans every year, even keeping them out of work.

Your back is connected to every part of your body, involved in every movement you make whether it’s walking or simply rolling over in bed. Back pain can even radiate down into the hips and thighs or up into your head and neck. When you experience back problems like muscle strain, herniated discs, arthritis or osteoporosis, your total body wellness suffers.

A strong core, including stronger back and abdominal muscles, is key to avoiding back injuries. You can strengthen your core through planks, crunches and other ab exercises. Back exercises that target affected muscles groups can also help you improve your posture. Practicing good posture is an easy way to strengthen your core every day, a little at a time. When you do experience back pain, stretching out your back using a foam roller or exercises can help relieve pain

Because back pain is so common, there are many products on the market that can help you find relief. You can improve your back health by using these items:

Remember that strengthening your back and practicing good posture will also help you avoid future injuries.

5. Neck

Neck pain has become more common as more Americans work desk jobs that require them to look at a computer or smartphone each day. Holding the neck in the same position or out of alignment with the rest of the spine can contribute to neck problems. Other causes of neck problems include injury, arthritis or degenerative disk disease.

Like back pain, neck pain can radiate up into your head. Many headaches are actually caused by problems that start in the upper back or neck.

Neck pain exercises strengthen neck muscles and help prevent chronic discomfort and resulting conditions. The combination of neck pain exercises and practicing good posture is key to avoiding neck pain long-term. You can promote good posture at work or home by raising your computer to eye level so you don’t have to bend your neck to see your screen. You should also take breaks from having your neck bent and practice neck pain stretches like rolling your shoulders, bringing your ear to your shoulder or putting your chin on your chest then slowly looking upward.

If neck pain is a frequent problem for you, invest in products designed to support neck health:

These products and simple changes to your workspace can make all the difference in healing neck pain.

Achieve and Maintain Total Body Wellness

Every zone of your body needs care and attention. By understanding the zones of your body and how they are connected, you can pinpoint the real causes of pain and discomfort and find the wellness solutions you need.

When you manage to care for each zone, you’ll experience total body wellness that boosts your quality of life and supports your long-term health.

Sources:

  1. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/shoulder-pain-and-common-shoulder-problems
  2. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/do-you-have-a-stiff-neck-try-these-simple-remedies/

A Guide to Total Body Wellness

A Guide To Body Wellness

It’s important to look at your health from a holistic standpoint. Wellness is like a Jenga—everything is connected and interrelated. If one piece is comprised, the entire system becomes wiggly and under risk of falling apart. This is not something you want for yourself.

Take care of yourself from head to toe considering all dimensions of your health—physical, mental and emotional layers. Practice a total body wellness approach to prevent disease, improve ailments and experience overall health and wellness.

What Is Total Body Wellness?

Total body wellness is a holistic approach to integrative health and health management. It’s a lifestyle method that takes into consideration all aspects of your wellbeing. If you pay attention to your body’s needs and integrate all facets of your health, including your physical, mental and emotional wellness, you can achieve higher levels of vitality and overall health.

Total body wellness is essential to prevent disease, reduce the risk of chronic and acute injuries, successfully treat existing conditions and become a more productive and happier person.

Benefits of a Total Body Wellness Approach

Approaching your wellbeing from a total body wellness standpoint helps you identify less obvious underlying causes of disease. It can take care of emotional causes of physical disease or physical problems leading to mental or emotional distress. It can identify and correct imbalances within your body and in your life overall.

Instead of simply trying to fix problems, a total body wellness approach aims to create true health and prevent future health concerns. Unlike less integrative approaches to health, total body wellness is not a band-aid. It’s a multidimensional strategy that provides whole healing helping you to lead a happy, healthy, productive and fulfilling life.

The benefits of a total body wellness approach include:

  • Preventing disease
  • Avoiding acute and chronic injuries
  • Increasing longevity
  • Boosting emotional and physical wellness
  • Achieving balance within the body and mind
  • Creating long-lasting lifestyle changes

10 Steps to Total Body Wellness

To integrate a total body wellness practice into your life, you need the right tools. Total body wellness tools target different aspects of your emotional, physical and mental health, helping you to instill well-rounded health practices that optimize your body from head to toe.

Try these 10 steps to total body wellness for deeper integration into your daily life:

Breathe

Your breath is your most powerful tool to health, yet it’s free and easy to use. Breathing techniques, such as alternate nostril breathing, abdominal breathing and 4-7-8 breath can reduce stress and anxiety, improve your cardiovascular system and achieve relaxation that promotes wellbeing.

Eat Healthy

Don’t worry. Eating healthy is not about rabbit food and doesn’t have to be complicated either. As Michael Pollan said, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Reduce or eliminate processed foods, refined sugar and artificial ingredients. Focus on real whole foods, preferably organic. Greens, vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are your friends. Pay attention to your body. Eat what makes you feel good, healthy and energetic.

Stay Hydrated

Most of your body consists of water. You don’t want to get dehydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water, 8-10 glasses (8 oz) each day. More if you are very active or its really hot outside. While green tea, green juices and kombucha are healthy, they should not replace water. Eliminate sodas and sugary drinks. Reduce or eliminate coffee and alcohol

Exercise

Exercise is absolutely important to your health, which should be your primary goal. While inactivity can lead to health issues, over-exercising can also cause health problems, injury and exercise-addiction. Find the balance that’s right for you. Exercise shouldn’t be a chore either. Neither should it hurt you. It should be challenging, but not painful. Find the right exercise forms for you that challenge your body and you enjoy. Mixing up your routine with various forms of cardiovascular and strength training activities is your best bet. As always, listen to your body.

Sleep

In our busy world, it is easy to skip sleep. Don’t do that. Plenty of regular sleep is essential to maintain your physical, mental and emotional health. Aim for 8 hours of sleep a night if you can and try not to go under 7 hours too often. Finding the right mattress and pillow can help you sleep deep and wake up rested each morning.

Pay Attention to Your Posture

Good posture can help you appear more confident helping your social life and uplift your mood as a result. However, good posture is even more important for your physical health. It increases muscle strength, correct imbalances, increase the range of motion and support organ structural and organ health.

Good posture can help with various pains, including headaches, neck pain and muscle aches. Good posture involves a chin parallel to the floor, a neutral spine, even shoulders, hips, knees, braced abdominal muscles and evenly distributed body weight. Ergonomic office furniture, the right office chair, standing desks, seat cushions, lumbar cushions can support a good posture even while you are working or driving.

Stretch

Regular stretching can benefit your posture, balance your body, improve your range of motion, reduce your risk of injury and improve your performance. It can help you after a long day sitting at your desk at work. When stretching, focus on your entire body: your neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, fingers,  back, hips, knees, legs, ankles, feet and toes. Use active and static stretches.

To help you stretch safely and properly, try the following stretch and therapy support products:

Take Care of Your Oral Health

Oral health is extremely important for your overall health. Your digestion starts there. An unhealthy mouth can also be breathing ground for bacteria and other unwanted bad bugs causing body imbalance. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, acidic food, and too much citrus. Use a straw to less direct contact between the liquid and your teeth, especially if you have sensitive teeth. Floss and brush your teeth regularly. Visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleaning.

Socialize

Humans are social beings. Even introverted individuals need time to have regular social interaction to help their mental and emotional wellbeing. Meeting like-minded individuals and having a good time can increase your energy. Laughter and hugs can lift your mood and reduce stress. Join a local community group, take a class, invite your friends over, go for a walk with family, do volunteer work and reach out to lost friends to experience regular, meaningful human connections.

Take Time for Yourself

Balancing responsibilities, work and family is difficult and you may end up sacrificing yourself to take care of everyone and everything else. But having ‘me-time’ is absolutely crucial for achieving total body wellness. It can recharge your batteries, increase your happiness and help you to be there for others more effectively.

Schedule time for yourself. Leave your worries behind. Get offline for a moment. Take a walk in nature. Relax in your recliner. Read your favorite book. Color. Do some arts and crafts. Complete a crossword puzzle. Take a relaxing bath. Practice some self-massage techniques.

Take Control of Your Total Body Wellness

Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Creating small shifts consistently are better than massive changes at once. Small, doable steps create changes that stick and can lead to powerful changes in the long-term.

Start thinking holistically. Be proactive. Feel empowered to create a difference in your health. Take control of your total body wellness today, tomorrow and for the rest of your life.

What changes will you make this week to create total body wellness in your life? Share your goals, steps and experiences with us. We are here to support your goals. Make sure to check out our shop to find ways to support your posture, strength, flexibility and overall health.

References:

  1. https://blog.relaxtheback.com/3754/can-help-achieve-total-body-wellness/
  2. https://blog.relaxtheback.com/2996/the-mckenzie-method-for-back-and-neck-pain/
  3. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3560273?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
  4. https://shapeamerica.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19325037.2004.10603599#.WxVVqEgvw2w
  5. http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/11858/1/the-benefits-of-holistic-treatments.html
  6. http://blog.aoma.edu/blog/holistic-healing-in-modern-times
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0005796710001324
  8. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1038/oby.2001.100
  9. https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/data-statistics/plain-water-the-healthier-choice.html
  10. https://journals.lww.com/co-psychiatry/Abstract/2005/03000/Exercise_and_well_being_a_review_of_mental_and.13.aspx
  11. http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep
  12. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/why-good-posture-matters
  13. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/stretching/art-20047931
  14. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/gum-disease-health
  15. http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/we-are-hard-wired-to-be-social-248746
  16. https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/prioritizing-time-for-yourself-for-health

How We Can Help You Achieve Total Body Wellness

From everyday wellness to targeted pain relief, at Relax The Back you’ll find solutions specifically designed to improve your life from head to toe. Built on the McKenzie Method of back and neck self-care, our mission is focused on helping you improve your overall health and wellness through products that support not only your back and neck but also knees, hips, feet, and proper sleep hygiene. We truly believe with the right products and information, customers can take control of their health by creating spaces that provide support, comfort, and relief all day long, for every part of the body.

For 33 years, our core values have stayed the same; provide every customer with individualized attention to help them find solutions based on their specific needs. No two bodies are the same. We understand what may work for one person is not the right product for another.

When you visit a Relax The Back location, our consultants will speak with you one-on-one to determine the best products that will help your individual pain-relief needs—whatever, and wherever, they might be. Whether you are in need of a workspace assessment, want to relieve the pressure in your hips and knees, or would simply like to find new ways to relax at home, you will have the opportunity to try our products first-hand. Feel the difference of a foot massager in improving circulation and preventing foot and ankle injuries. Experience immediate comfort and relaxation in one of our many massage chairs, or feel what it is like when your hips and spine become properly aligned while using a portable posture cushion as you sleep.

We pride ourselves in being more than a retail store. We become partners with our customers to help them improve their lives. Our franchise owners and trained staff know the investments our customers make when purchasing quality products. From following up with a customer after a purchase to see how they are doing to working with manufacturers to repair items, they strive to find the best solutions for you. We are committed to helping you feel your best and living pain free, from head to toe.

To learn more about how you can achieve your health and wellness goals, visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with our trained specialists to learn about products and solutions that will help you live your best life. We can help you feel happier, healthier, and more productive where you live, work, and sleep. We’ve helped over a million people. Let us help you.

6 Ways To Achieve Your Health & Wellness Goals

The steps to making positive changes in your life can be simple to recognize, but difficult to put into practice. With time, planning, and willpower, you can make the changes you want to better your life.

Whether you want to reduce stress, lose weight, sleep more, or create a wellness routine, these tips can help you achieve your health and wellness goals.

  • Set attainable goals: While your goals should push you out of your comfort zone, they shouldn’t be so far-fetched that you feel overwhelmed or anxious. Set specific goals that you feel confident achieving. For example, if, overall, you want to lose weight, set small goals each week such as working out at least 30 minutes a day or eating more vegetables for your snacks. Looking to increase your strength and balance? We offer a wide variety of fitness therapy products that can help you get off to the right start through simple, easy-to-do exercises. Small victories will help you reach your main goal while keeping you motivated to continue.
  • Make it personal: No two people are the same. Set goals that are relevant to you and your lifestyle. There is also a higher chance of achieving your goals when you make them for yourself and not for someone else in your life. Create a health and wellness routine that will better your life because you want it for yourself.
  • Find support: In today’s connected world, it is easier than ever to find others who share your goals. Reach out to friends, family members, or online communities to create accountability. Having like-minded individuals around you will help you achieve your goals.
  • Sleep better, feel better: When it comes to your health and wellness, sleep plays a vital role in improving your mental and physical health, from decreasing stress and fatigue to improving blood pressure and stamina. Our Tempur-Pedic mattresses help reduce the number of pressure points on your body, so tossing and turning can be a thing of the past. Looking for a pillow? We offer the best ergonomic pillows for side-sleepers, back-sleepers, or stomach sleepers so you can feel comfortable and stress-free whenever you rest.
  • Establish realistic timelines: Take it slow. Success will not happen overnight. Nevertheless, having an endpoint helps you stay motivated as you work towards a deadline while also giving you a chance to reflect on how far you have come in your journey. Whether bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly goals, write down your personal deadlines and check in with yourself when you reach those dates.
  • Be persistent: There is a chance you may “fall off the wagon.” Be easy on yourself if, and when, this happens. It’s part of the process. If you stray off course from your goals, use that as a learning experience. Think about why you fell back into a bad habit and what you can do in the future to prevent a lapse from happening again. Eventually, your new healthy habits will come naturally.

To learn more about how you can achieve your health and wellness goals, visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with our trained specialists to learn about products and solutions that will help you live your best life.

Calm Mind, Healthy Heart: How Meditation Can Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease

Can a calm mind lead to a healthier heart? In addition to reduced anxiety, increased focus, and a boost in overall happiness, meditation and mindfulness can also have a positive impact on your heart health. According to a recent scientific statement by the Journal of the American Heart Association, the mind-calming practice of meditation may help reduce your risk of heart disease.

Having a consistent meditation practice can help you cope with stress, help you relax, calm your mind, and improve your heart health. Through reviewing dozens of studies performed over the last two decades, researchers found meditation has helped with a number of factors linked with heart disease including lower blood pressure and lower stress levels. One study showed 15-minutes of meditation a day reduced the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death by 48 percent.

As with any new practice, it may take time to find a routine that works for you. Set aside 5-minutes just a few times a week for meditation, then gradually increase the time and frequency until you’re comfortable with daily sessions up to 15-minutes.

Meditation techniques to try:

  • Moving meditation: Yoga and tai chi are popular forms of moving meditations that emphasize slow movements, controlled breathing, and mental focus. Check out a local studio or pick a yoga routine on sites like Gaia or Youtube that can be done at home.
  • Seated meditation: Sit quietly in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and begin to breathe slowly. Beginning with your feet and working up towards your shoulders, focus on each group of muscles and relax them with each breath. Once you’ve reached your shoulders, roll your neck gently from side to side. Focus on your breathing throughout this process. When your mind begins to wander, which can happen, do not feel discouraged. Simply bring your focus back to your inhales and exhales. Continue for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Guided meditation: Listening to a soothing, directive voice allows you to focus on the present while relaxing body and mind. Apps like Headspace and numerous sites online allow for guided meditation anytime, anywhere.

There is no “right” way to meditate. Try different techniques to find one that works best for you. If you are looking for more ways to reduce stress, visit your local Relax The Back location to speak with our trained associates. They can recommend a number of product solutions that can help you reduce stress, feel better, and live a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Targeted Solutions To Achieve Total Body Wellness 

While our neck, back, and shoulders get most of the attention when it comes to relaxation and relief, our hips, knees, and feet are just as important. From your head to your toes, every muscle in your body deserves attention and proper support.

With these targeted solutions, you can achieve total body wellness to feel your best during your daily activities and enjoy your life free of discomfort.

Neck
Neck pain has become more common as many people lead a sedentary lifestyle. Build strength in your neck to help ease tension.

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises focused on the neck muscles can be extremely helpful in preventing discomfort and pain.
  • Deep kneading Therapeutic Massagers loosens muscles and reduces aches.
  • Stay hydrated. The discs in your spine require water in order to both maintain proper alignment and take pressure off the spine, thus reducing neck pain.
  • With a memory foam interior, the Neck Sofa keeps you properly aligned for lasting support.

Shoulders
Full range of motion through your arms and shoulders allows you to feel your best every day. Alleviate shoulder stress, stiffness, and soreness to improve your overall well-being.

  • Lighten up those heavy bags. Carrying a heavy purse or bag can put stress on your shoulders and surrounding muscles. If you have to carry a lot with you, consider a two-strap backpack.
  • Quality pillows provide relief to the shoulders, head, and neck for comfort all night long. Try the TEMPUR Contour Side-to-Side pillow for a deeper, more restful sleep.
  • Before heading out, be sure to engage in some light exercise and stretching which helps to warm up your shoulder muscles for increased circulation.

Back
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missing work or going to the doctors. Relieving existing back pain and reducing recurring flare ups can lead to an improved quality of life.

  • Back cushions offer proper ergonomic support and comfort for long working days or your daily commute.
  • Take a warm bath to release tense back muscles. This will also help you unwind and relax before bed.
  • Find back tension relief and relaxation anytime with a Kneading Back Massage Cushion.
  • Improve balance, strength, and overall flexibility with foam rollers.

Hips & Knees
Proper spine support starts with the hips and knees. Whether sitting or sleeping, relieve pressure for ease of movement and mobility.

  • Align your hips and spine for sound sleep free from pain with the ContourSleep Posture Cushion.
  • Strengthen your knee muscles and increase flexibility with simple cardio exercises, such as walking, stationary cycling, and swimming.
  • Reduce workday strain, align your body, and improve leg circulation with a rocking footrest.

Feet
It’s important to give your feet a break. Increase circulation to reduce foot pain and relieve pressure with motion, massage, and support.

  • Exercise your feet periodically throughout the day. When standing for long periods of time, try occasionally walking in place and stretching your feet whenever they feel tense or cramped.
  • Rejuvenating rollers and kneading air from foot massagers can provide tension relief.
  • Make sure you wear shoes with thicker soles, which benefit and shield the feet from rugged surfaces and pavements. Also, wear insoles to prevent discomfort and fatigue.
  • Add cooling relief to reduce sore muscles with the freezable Foot Pro Massager.

From everyday wellness to targeted pain relief, at Relax The Back you’ll find solutions specifically designed to improve your life from head to toe. Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with our trained specialists to see product solutions that will help you live your best life.

7 Natural Ways To Beat The Flu and Colds

Cold and flu season is in full swing and this winter, the entire country is seeing an increased number of cases. Doctors and healthcare professionals say the flu season can last through April. Though cold winter temperatures create ideal conditions for the flu virus to thrive and replicate more quickly. Symptoms such as body aches, chills, fever, sore throats, and sneezing can last from days to weeks.

These natural remedies will help alleviate and relieve symptoms and have you feeling better sooner. If you are still feeling sick after a few weeks, make an appointment to see your doctor. As always, consult your physicians before starting any new treatments.

  • Take a hot shower: Relax achy muscles and breathe in steam to moisten nasal passages and scratchy throats.
  • Humidifier: Dry conditions cause the influenza virus to spread faster and more easily. Similar to the benefits you get from steam in a hot shower, using a humidifier can help increase the humidity in your home to help you breathe easier and reduce nasal inflammation.
  • Hydrate: Drinking a lot of fluids is more important than ever when you’re feeling under the weather. Dehydration can lead to new or worsening symptoms causing you to feel more even more sick. Staying hydrated helps control or prevent nausea, keep fevers down, and helps clear your head and chest of congestion.
  • Get enough sleep: Possibly the most important of all, getting adequate sleep is a vital cold remedy. Sleep deprivation can weaken our immune system’s ability to function at an optimal level.
  • Add an extra pillow: In addition to getting enough sleep, using a bed wedge system or an extra pillow to elevate your upper body opens up nasal passages, promoting sinus drainage down the back of your throat. This allows you to rest more comfortably throughout the night and it will help you sleep easier.
  • Drink hot beverages: Sooth a sore throat and nasal congestion with hot tea or hot water with lemon and honey. Warm herbal teas can also promote calmness and relaxation before bed to help you fall asleep easier.
  • Gargle salt water: While this won’t cure your cold, gargling warm salt water can bring temporary relief to a sore, scratchy throat. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and gargle a few times a day to relieve pain.

If you are having difficulty sleeping comfortably, visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with our trained associates. They will work with you to find product solutions to help you rest comfortably all-night long.

5 Resolutions To Improve Life In The New Year

With the start of the New Year, we often find ourselves reflecting on the past year and looking forward to a fresh start. While we are always advocates of New Year’s resolutions that focus on being more active, making sleep a priority, and living a healthier lifestyle, we wanted to share a few other resolutions that can help you live well and improve your life in 2018.

Add one or all of these to your list this year and be on your way to a healthier, happier 2018.

  • Get outside: Enjoy the outdoors. Studies continue to show the positive benefits of spending time outside. Go for daily walks in the morning or in the evening. Spend time by the ocean. Join a hiking group that meets on the weekends. Spending time outside can help you feel a heightened sense of well-being, relieve stress, and improve overall happiness.
  • Make yourself a priority: Whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, make time to check-in with yourself. Take note of how you are feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally. Go to your favorite workout class each week, try a new recipe to cook with your family, or journal before bed each night. Do more of the things that will help you feel happy and relaxed.
  • Travel more: The world is full of amazing cities and destinations to visit. Whether flying abroad or taking a road trip across country, make it a priority to travel this year, and when you do, travel pain-free using our wide selection of ergonomic neck and back supports.
  • Be present: It’s easy to get caught up with future plans, to get sucked into articles on our phones or computers, or to hold on to something in the past that doesn’t bring you joy. This year, vow to be more present in your everyday life. Let’s put away our phones, unplug daily, and be more in the moment.
  • Find what makes you happy: Instead of looking for ways to improve our lifestyle or health based on what we believe to be “the norm,” include things that truly make you happy. Go to the spa to relax or set aside some time for a much-needed massage. If you enjoy walking or hiking instead of yoga, add a weekly hike to your schedule instead of signing up for unlimited yoga classes. Set yourself up for success, rather than failure, by finding activities and nutrition plans that work best for you.

We hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Happy New Year from all of us at Relax The Back!

Live Well, Give Well: The Gift of Support

While Christmas may be behind us, these gifts of support will last all year long. When it comes to overall health and wellness, ergonomic supports can help loved ones find relief and relaxation at home, the office, or wherever they may need it. We’ve put together a list of our favorite support products to take the strain off of your spine and neck muscles to increase comfort.

Promote a healthy back and help your loved live their best life this new year with these support products.

  • Riter’s Real-EaSE Neck Support: Give the gift of deep relaxation and comfort in your neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Back Support and Stretcher: Portable spinal decompression is the gift that keeps on giving. Relieve spinal pressure while increasing flexibility and improving posture.
  • Cohen’s Heatable Acuback Kit: Help your loved ones feel their best. Find effortless upright posture while releasing tight muscles and joints.
  • Sacro-Ease Back Support: Perfect for those who spend time on the road. Properly align the pelvis and spine to sit comfortably anywhere and reduce pain.
  • Self-Inflating Back Rest: Personalized on-the-go posture support helps preserve your spine’s natural curve.
  • TravelLite Seat Cushion: A suitcase-friendly back support that provides instant relief with the turn of a valve. Ideal for travelers or those with a long commute.

Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with a trained associate who can help you find the perfect gift based on specific needs. We give our customers one-on-one support to ensure they are going home with the best product solutions for themselves or someone in their life. Visit us online at RelaxTheBack.com and on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more holiday tips and gift guides.

How Do You Exercise & Relax: Optimal Solutions For Your Overall Wellness

Finding time to exercise and relax during our hectic schedules can be difficult. These both play an important role in staying healthy and pain-free.

Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean hours spent at a gym. By adding simple exercises up to 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, you’ll relax away stiffness and relieve stress. When we carve out time to work on ourselves, we improve our mood, sleep quality, brainpower, and overall happiness. We also help keep pain away before it starts by strengthening and conditioning muscles that are prone to injury.

Paired with regular exercises, relaxation through massage can improve your health. Studies show treating yourself to regular massages can have a tremendously positive impact on your overall wellness. Whether you are incorporating massage into time at the office, while on the road, or at home, you’ll ease tension and find relief throughout the day.

The products below can help you upgrade your exercise routine and your relaxation regimen.

Exercise Products For Improved Health

  • Inversion Tables: Decompress your spine while improving posture and increasing flexibility and circulation. Inversion tables also help with sciatica relief.
  • Foam Rollers: Our versatile foam rollers help improve flexibility, range of motion, while relieving muscle tightness. They are also an effective and inexpensive way to gain the health benefits of massage.
  • CoreStretch: Feel stress dissipate as you deeply stretch, elongating your back muscles. Safely stretch your shoulders, hips, and leg muscles as well.
  • InLine Traction Control System: Stay comfortable while gently stretching your whole body, from your neck down to the back of your legs.

Massage Products For Ultimate Relaxation

  • Massage Chairs: From traditional style to Shiatsu massages, massage chairs reduce tension headaches, increase blood flow, help you manage and reduce chronic pain, improve sleep quality, and much more.
  • Theracane: Self-massage tools like the Theracane allow you to find relief from muscle tension, soreness, and pain, on the go.
  • Foot Massager: Tired feet deserve relief. Foot massagers provide custom massages by allowing you to specify settings.
  • Massage Cushions: Ideal for in the office or during long commutes, massage cushions release tense muscles during a soothing back or neck massage.

Visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with a trained specialist and try out our exercise and massage products. Through one-on-one support, our team will help you find the product solution to ensure you have the exercise and massage solutions that fit your specific lifestyle. Follow our 24-hour approach to comfort and wellness on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest for more tools to achieve ‘round the clock personalized relief.

Everyone Deserves 24 Hours Of Comfort And Wellness

From the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep, our decisions throughout the day affect our overall comfort and wellness. At Relax The Back, we understand the importance of living a fulfilling life of relaxation, wellness, and comfort. For more than 30 years, our mission has been to make life more comfortable and our passion is helping you experience comfort and relief so you can get back to living your best life.

Over the next 6 weeks, we will provide our community with solutions and tools to achieve ‘round the clock personalized comfort. From a weekly personalized relief giveaway, to a look into the different options of comfort for every aspect of life, from work to sleep to travel, to showing ways to be proactive in our healthcare routine, we aim to equip you with the knowledge to improve your overall wellness so you can live the life you’ve always wanted.

We’ve created this helpful infographic to demonstrate our 24-hour approach to comfort and wellness. The health benefits of utilizing these products and solutions will provide you with the comfort that we believe should be in every aspect of your day. Whether it’s using our Technogel® Pillows to improve circulation while you sleep or relieving back pressure at home in our Zero Gravity chairs, you deserve ‘round the clock relief. Make sure to stop by a Relax The Back location to discuss your specific needs with our in-store professionals, so we can find a personalized approach that works for you.

Be sure to follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.