Thursday, February 25, 2016

What Happens to Your Body When you Get a Massage?

They're about as relaxing as they get, and in general, most can't wait until their next massage appointment. They're that good. The room is quiet and warm, you get to lay on a padded surface, and a trained professional will rub out your kinks from head to toe – even asking how well you like the pressure throughout. Really, there's no argument that massages are pretty amazing.

But what exactly do they do to make you so sore the next day? And are there any times you shouldn't get a massage? 

In general, you should only book a massage if you're healthy. No colds and no hangovers. Women who are pregnant should wait until their second trimester before going in for a prenatal session. This is due to the amount of toxins that will be pushed throughout your body. During a massage, the muscles are soothed and eased, but that also causes toxins to be pressed out of muscles and released back into the bloodstream. It's what can make you so sore the day after a massage. (When sick or hungover, re-releasing those chemicals can make you feel far worse, or sick all over again.) 

It's also a good idea to drink plenty of water so your body can naturally flush out those same substances. The more water you're able to drink, and the better you can keep the body fluid, the less sore you will be. Best of all: you should feel extra good in a few days, once your muscles have recovered and you can take advantage of your new knot-free state. 

You might find yourself especially tired. Not just because of the relaxing session you just had, but because your body is working overtime at repairing, flushing, and getting itself back to normal. 

There are plenty of healthy benefits to booking a massage, consider signing up today for a relaxing way to remove bodily toxins. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Why You Should Stretch Before Bed

If you stretch in the morning before getting up, you know it can be a great way to let oxygen into the bloodstream. It perks muscles up, allows them to breathe, and is a quick way to jumpstart your entire body for the day. And those are only a handful of perks that come with muscles that are regularly stretched. It can also be beneficial to stretch at night – essentially "waking up" the muscles before bed. 

Why? Stretching also relaxes and soothes the muscles. It helps ease them into rest, and pulls out excess tightness or tension that was hiding deep within. Focusing on the back especially will also help your spine and bones settle, which can then reduce sleeping pains. As we rest, the body often falls into awkward positions, which then cause aches and pains. But by promoting better alignment early on, you can reduce these painful layouts before they take place. 

Do You Need a Routine?

Maybe. If you have a particular area that bothers you (any time of day), talk to a doctor or sleeping specialist about stretches that might help. Either by toning, or strengthening a specific area. Or, experiment on your own and see which movements provide the best relief. Tips and tutorials can also be found online, especially when using props like a foam roller or a stretching band. You might even find that you like additional stretches from a workout perspective, not just because they help you relax. 

Stretching, when paired with a healthy sleep routine, can work to greatly increase your body's efficiency levels. As well as your ability to res and ongoing comfort patterns. Consider starting your own stretching regimen for an easy, effective way to prep your body for deep and restful sleep.  

Thursday, February 18, 2016

How the Wind Can Have a Negative Affect on Your Health

Depending on where you live, you might be more prone to windy days … or very rarely experience them. Either way, it's likely that you're wondering what the big deal is – either it's windy or it's not, Mother Nature's way of clearing out leaves. 

But windy days can actually affect us much deeper. Like with what it blows in with it.

Every time it's windy there are thousands of germs, allergens, and other microbes that make their way through the air. Pollens, molds, and more (even unpleasant scents) also get carried through the wind. In some ways, this can be considered a positive, by allowing your immune system to gain exposure to (and ward off) various triggers. However, if you suffer from severe allergies, this can cause an ongoing slew of symptoms. Even worse when you spend time outdoors during the changing season. Meaning that each time it's windy, you can develop cold-like reactions, allow further substances into your home, and even lower your immune system's efficiency.

In order to avoid the negative side effects of windy days, there are a few steps you can take. First of all, make sure you have a clean yard. Sure, neighbors' leaves and yard clippings can blow onto your property, but the cleaner it is outside in general, the fewer items that will be out in circulation (and adding air allergens). If you have severe allergies, remember to have someone else clean up; raking and bagging leaves puts triggers directly into your breathing space. 

Next, be careful about opening windows. Especially when it's blustery, which can let even more airborne germs into your home. And finally, gear up for some spring cleaning. The actual jump date to spring might be a few weeks off, but in our book, any nice weather qualifies. The earlier you start cleaning, the earlier you can start benefitting from an organized, wind-free home.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

How do CPAP Pillows Help CPAP Therapy?

CPAP Pillow from Contour - We make CPAP Easier
If you've been reading our blog, you've heard about CPAP therapy and you understand the perks. You've also heard about the add-on accessories, like cleaning wipes and the importance of keeping your mask clean. Overall, you understand how the treatment, as a whole, can help to treat sleep apnea. But have you heard about the pillows yet? Do you know what these things can do?

CPAP pillows are specialty designed to work with your treatment, not against it. With specific cutouts and a shape that cradles the mask, sleep apnea suffers don't have to worry that their equipment might get in the way of comfortable sleep. (Because let's face it, without comfort, it's pretty hard to actually sleep.) CPAP pillows also make space for breathing tubes, so you can eliminate as much stress from the process as possible. 

With CPAP pillows, you can use your sleep apnea treatment to the highest level of efficiency. Because your equipment is made to work with one another, there's no logistical issues, such as a mask not fitting or a tube that gets caught up in the fluff.

So how do CPAP pillows help CPAP therapy? By making each night as restful as possible, and by allowing the machine to do its work with a nighttime routine that doesn't obstruct. While still offering a supportive sleeping surface, CPAP pillows allow the machine to do its job. 

If you're suffering from sleep apnea, a CPAP pillow can greatly enhance your nightly treatments. Talk to your doctor about available models, or head to the Contour Living page in order to learn more, and what they can do to better enhance your treatments. 

Or, ask a representative via live chat to gain immediate answers to your pillow-related questions. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Regular Sleep Can Improve Your Mental Health

Everyone has woken up groggy, in fact, we've all done it a number of times. There's no denying that on these days, you feel less than prepared to take on the world. Rather than refreshed and energized after waking, you feel tired, cranky, and essentially like you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Sometimes, this is just an unfortunate turn of events. For whatever reason, you weren't able to sleep soundly that night, and sometimes there's nothing that can be done. 

Other times, however, you set yourself up for failure. By going to bed too late (or waking up too early), not letting your mind calm down, or not sticking to a routine, you could actually be causing un-restful sleep through your habits. Because, without enough deep, productive sleep, your body just can't function like it should. Your brain isn't as quick, causing you to be slower with reactions, speech, and even body functions. In fact, reduced sleep, over time, can cause brain damage, memory loss, and have an effect on everyday mood. Just like we need sleep after a long day, the brain needs time to rest and recharge itself. 

Think of it like a battery. It's best to charge a phone, computer, etc. on a routine – once it's low, charge it completely. Failing to do so, or charging a little here and there can lower the battery's quality. Other times, a battery can be just fine – they, like the brain, are prone to different factors. 

However, by keeping a regular charge, or sleeping on a schedule, you can do your best to combat these negative side effects. Talk with your doctor or set a regular routine in order to give the brain, and the rest of the body, as much rest as possible.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

What is the Best CPAP Pillow?

Reduce CPAP Mask Leaks and pressure with a CPAP Pillow
What is it that truly qualifies something as the "best"? Is it style? Function? Comfort? A combination of all of the above? Opinions on what contributes to best status will certainly vary from person to person. But in the case of the CPAP pillow – or even a slew of them – it can be argued that the best pillow is the one who sets out to do its specialized function. In this case: to help CPAP machine users get a better night's rest, and to not feel bogged down by their machine. 

Through years of CPAP machine usage, a number of sleeping problems, or rather discomforts, have come to light. Pillows that get in the way of the mask, even ones that push it back into one's face. Those that are too heavy, or don't allow for sufficient movement throughout the night (or if traveling). As well as pillows that can actually hinder the air tube, the very bones behind the CPAP machine itself. 

That's also why Contour Products worked so hard to create options that address all of the above, and more. 

Choose from our various CPAP pillows to find the best model for your comfort needs. However, each version comes with a few key features. They can cradle and support the head and neck, they have special cutouts to accommodate the CPAP mask and other equipment, like tubes, and they're made to sleep on either side. Who wants to worry about choosing their sleeping position when ordering a pillow? These CPAP accessories allow you to adjust and move as needed, without hindering your treatment. 

With a specialized pillow, those suffering from sleep apnea can get better use out of their CPAP therapy options. Head to Contour Living's CPAP pillow page to learn more, or start a chat with one of representatives for answers to your personalized questions. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

De-stress and Loosen Your Muscles

Whether you are aware of your stress level at any given time, it can greatly affect your personal health. Your mood, your comfort level, how well you're able to interact with others – it's all affected by the amount of stress (or lack thereof) you're dealing with. 

Why Stress Matters

When you aren't able to relax, when your mind is racing and constantly worried about something, your body follows suit. Your shoulders clench in, muscles become tense, you're tight and ready to twinge a body part any time you move too quickly. Being stressed comes with the inability to relax – that's part of the definition. When your mind isn't able to calm itself, neither is anything else; you will carry that tension for as long as you're worked up. 

However, relaxing is an important part of creating rest. Even if you're unable to sleep, you can do the body plenty of good by sitting and letting your muscles breathe. A small catnap or "resting your eyes" can provide similar results. It's a short amount of time where the body lays still, isn't exerting energy, and can catch up on its necessary functions. 

When this can't be done all on your own, it's a good idea to locate the source of your stress and do your best to eliminate it. Problem solve or move the most stressful of daily tasks off of your plate (as realistically as possible). Then look toward relaxation techniques like soothing scents, massage, exercise, or talk to a loved one about what has you so worked up all the time. Hopefully, by approaching your stress from various areas you can work to eliminate as much of it as possible. And, in the process, allow your body some much needed muscle relaxation and some hard-earned rest.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Can a Wedge Help Acid Reflux?

Using a bed wedge to reduce acid reflux
Acid reflux is painful. It's uncomfortable, it makes it difficult to sleep. And at its absolute worst, no matter what you eat or when you eat it, you can feel the repercussions. 

How you sleep, however, can work to combat these same side effects each and every night; one of the best ways – you guessed it – is by sleeping on a wedge. Whether it's a specialized pillow , or pillows that are propped up and made into their own makeshift wedge, sleeping on an incline allows you to use gravity in your favor. 

Acid reflux is caused by stomach contents (along with acid) that creeps back into the esophagus. This is most common when eating heavy or spicy foods, as they require more time and effort from the stomach to break down and digest. This slightly more vigorous process can mean acid that's felt higher into the chest and resulting in pain. 

One of the best natural methods of combatting the acid reflux process is with gravity. Giving acid a steeper slope to climb before it's felt up into the chest will help naturally keep it down in the stomach. 

A wedge also provides a comfortable sleeping surface so you can rest soundly while combatting the pains of acid reflux. (In contrast to home remedies that require uncomfortable positions or staying completely upright.) This can allow for ample amounts of sleep that are uninterrupted by pain, and all while receiving quality support. 

Can a wedge help with acid reflux? Absolutely, and with an incredibly easy fix. If you're a regular sufferer (or even an occasional sufferer), consider this simple and effective healing method. Talk to your doctor to learn more, or ask a Contour Living representative about your wedge pillow options today.