What's New At Connections
February 2017
Table of Contents

Last month we talked a little about "mindfulness", hopefully reminding you of the benefits to staying in the present moment.  While focusing your thoughts to the present, it's one thing to say "think positive, beautiful thoughts", but it's not easy sometimes to keep negative thoughts out of our brain.  This month, especially with many of us more "mindful" of that most powerful emotion - love - in our lives, let's uncover some of the science behind how our thoughts affect us. 

According to Scientific American, in an article called The Science of Healing Thoughts, January 2016:  "There are now several lines of research suggesting that our mental perception of the world constantly informs and guides our immune system in a way that makes us better able to respond to future threats."  The author, Jo Marchant, discusses research on the placebo effect, along with other brain studies that demonstrate the potential of psychological approaches for treating pain.

But what if we are not already in pain or distress?  Can our thoughts actually make us sick?  While the placebo effect demonstrates how positive thinking affects our health in a positive way, there is the opposite, called the nocebo effect.  The nocebo effect demonstrates the physiological effects of negative belief, fear, and anxiety.

These negative emotions trigger the amygdala in the limbic brain to send out a red alert that activates the "fight-or-flight" stress response. According to Dr. Lissa Rankin, founder of the  Whole Health Medicine Institute, when the nervous system is in "fight-or-flight," the body's self-repair mechanisms don't function properly and the body is predisposed to illness. All because you thought yourself sick.

At the Harvard School of Public Health, researcher Laura Kubzansky has specialized in studies about the effect of emotions on health.  She found that "emotional vitality - a sense of enthusiasm, of hopefulness, of engagement in life, and the ability to face life's stresses with emotional balance - appears to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease."  

But she also speaks about the importance of being in the moment.  "Everyone needs to find a way to be in the moment," she says, "to find a restorative state that allows them to put down their burdens."  Whether your mindfulness moments come from taking a walk, listening to music, meditation, or even occasionally getting a massage - try to make it a part of your daily life. 

This month our specials make great gift certificates for loved ones on Valentine's Day.  Massage gift certificates are a wonderful way to show appreciation and to receive it back!  And don't forget taking just as good care of yourself as you do for those around you.  
Manual Therapy Foundation Update
After the great success of the December Online Auction Fundraiser, we've been able to enroll several clients in the Foundation program - one for Medical Massage and one for Lymphedema Therapy.  In addition, the $1 price increase implemented back in January of 2016, puts that "extra" dollar into the Foundation - so you've all played a part in helping those in need of multiple sessions who otherwise could not afford it.  

This Lymphedema client has seen a significant reduction in her bi-lateral leg swelling and great improvement in the condition of her skin with the therapy sessions.  With her permission, we're sharing some before and after photos because we want you to know what a difference this can make in not just people's health but their quality of life.  

1st Day of Treatment
Day 12 of Therapy Sessions


She is still receiving therapy and continuing to improve, thanks to your help!

Facial Peels - All You Need To Know
So, what exactly is a peel?  How can it be beneficial if peeling from too much sun is bad? How do you decide if this is something to pursue for your skin type?  There are so many different kinds; how do you know which would work best for you?  

This month's ABC's of Skin Care discusses everything you should know about peels.  
And don't hesitate to call Mary Ann or Bethany; they are happy to answer any of your questions
Show the love this month for your Valentine (or for yourself) with the Appreciation Massage session - at a great price!

The Appreciation Massage is a relaxing, stress-reducing, tension-relieving Swedish Massage.  The 60 minute session comes with a choice of one amenity:  hot stones, foot scrub, back scrub, or aromatherapy.  The 90 minute session comes with two amenities.

60 Minutes | Just $59
90 Minutes | Just $79
Jewls Signature Facial If you or your Valentine loves facials, you can't go wrong with The Signature Serenity!  This session includes a Signature Custom Facial plus an extra 30 minutes of massage for a total of 90 minutes.  Relax, Renew and Refresh from head to toe!

Only $99 | Save $27


Having trouble getting to our office for a gift certificate before Valentine's Day?  You can customize one online with many image options and space for your own personal message. 
In Appreciation
Did January go by as fast for you as it did for us?  Perhaps it just felt that way because there is so much going on.  Being in the business of helping people to feel better, we get reminded on a regular basis about the importance of self-care.  Yet you might be relieved to know it's difficult for us, like it may be for you, to set aside the time for ourselves, even for getting a massage!

We hope you have someone in your life who reminds you when you get off track, like we do with each other.  We can't say it enough - when you take good care of yourself, you not only improve your own quality of life, you are better able to help those around you.  Every time you come for an appointment, we recognize that you did it!  You made the effort, and set aside time and money to walk in the door.  We never take that for granted.

Happy Valentine's Day to you all.

In appreciation,

Shea and Nancy
Massage Therapy Connections
9020 58th Dr E
Ste 101
Bradenton, Florida 34202