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Can’t get enough shut-eye? Try getting regular massages. You’ll find that massage helps you sleep by reducing stress levels. It relaxes your muscles and your mind long after your massage session is over. And that makes it easier to fall asleep at night.

Many top researchers have found this to be true.

“Quality sleep is vital to health and wellness,” the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) says. The AMTA combed through all the latest studies and concluded that massage improves both the quality and quantity of your sleep. And the Mayo Clinic agrees.

“Some studies have found massage may also be helpful for … insomnia related to stress,” the Mayo Clinic reports.

Why is sleep so important? Too little sleep contributes to many chronic diseases and conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These conditions include diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression. Too little sleep can also lead to motor vehicle crashes and mistakes at work, the CDC reports.

Massage helps you relax.

“If you’re kept up at night worrying about financial problems, a rocky relationship, or other stressful issues, a massage may be the key to sounder sleep,” the National Sleep Foundation advises.

That’s because regular massage therapy sessions decrease depression and anxiety levels and improve sleep quality.

“Perhaps because [massage] triggers the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can help you feel calm,” the NSF says. And massage doesn’t only benefit adults. It benefits children and adolescents too.

Massage decreases pain.

Pain keeps plenty of folks up at night. Massage therapy helps you fall asleep sooner, and wake up less, during the night.

In one study, adults with lower back pain were given 30-minute massage sessions twice a week for five weeks. The majority reported less pain and fewer sleep disturbances.

That’s because “massage encourages more time spent in the deep, restorative stages of sleep, where your body hardly moves,” the NSF concludes.

For more info, check out How Massage Keeps You Healthy, and the Top 10 Benefits of Massage Therapy for Seniors.

The post How Massage Helps You Sleep appeared first on Health Works Institute.

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Annastazia Unce, esthetician and founder of Kimeera Spa.

Estheticians love finding new ways to promote better skin care. They also love passing on this knowledge to their clients. But some skin care tips aren’t new. They’re tried, tested and oh-so-true!

One classic tip is “drink more water,” according to esthetician and makeup artist Annastazia Unce, founder of Kimeera Spa in Silver Spring, MD. But there’s more you can do.

Here are Unce’s list of the five best things you can do today for better skin.

1. Drink Alkaline Water

Our skin is 64% water. And drinking the wrong water won’t replenish our skin. Your body is a naturally alkaline environment. So naturally, alkaline water is more easily utilized by our bodies. Acidic water passes through us because it’s not a pH your body can use.

Ever notice how often you feel the urge to pee? When you drink alkaline water, you’ll notice you won’t have to go as much. Start drinking alkaline water today to hydrate your skin from the inside out. Here are some benefits of alkaline water for better skin:

  • Detoxifies – Cleanses your body of acidic waste and toxins
  • Hydrates – Alkaline water is easily absorbed by the body on a cellular level
  • Oxygenates – It seeks out free radicals and converts them into oxygen
  • Alkalizes – Restores your body to an alkaline pH state
  • Boosts the immune system – Cells become more effective at fighting diseases
2. Don’t Pick!

Picking your skin is the worst thing you can do to it. Your skin is your body’s first defense against germs and infection. Breaking the skin compromises that natural protection. Picking can lead to many of these negative effects:

  • Scarring
  • Infection
  • Hyper-pigmentation (dark spots)
  • Hypo-pigmentation (light spots)
  • Increased breakout
  • Sensitivity
  • Stress picking

So if you see a breakout, leave it alone! Apply a benzoyl peroxide gel and keep it moving!

3. Use the right products for your skin type.

Your products play a huge role in how your skin “behaves.” Someone with oily skin shouldn’t use a cream-based cleanser. If you do, have a ton of breakouts. On the other hand, a dry skin type shouldn’t use products for an acne skin. If you do, your skin will be drier than the Sahara! Use this helpful graph to check your products.

4. Cut out the Dairy

Acne can be a real pain in the butt! I’ve had clients open up about how they’re suffering. They tell me how they’ve tried everything and nothing works.

There are so many factors that come into play when it comes to breakout. But a good place to start is cutting out dairy products. Milk is for baby cows not for baby humans. It disrupts our hormones and throws our bodies out of whack. Most people who stop consuming dairy see improvements almost immediately. If you cut out dairy and don’t see a change, you need to check out other avenues.

5. Don’t Stress

Stress is probably the biggest undercover killer of our skin. Stress weakens the immune system, slows cell reproduction, causes sleep loss, compromised diet, and so much more.

But how do we manage our stress and get better skin? The answer is one of the biggest hashtags trending right now: #Selfcare.

Take care of yourself. Take walks, jog, read a good book, volunteer, sleep, write, listen to music, or pick up a hobby. Do anything you can to take the edge off. Life can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be, and it doesn’t have to show on your face.

Reprinted by permission from Annastazia Unce, author of the Kimeera Spa blog.

For more skin care tips, read our Top Skin Care Tips for 2018.

The post 5 Things to do TODAY for Better Skin appeared first on Health Works Institute.

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Based in beautiful Bozeman, Montana, Health Works Institute offers students the chance to change their lives, and the lives of those around them. Our curriculum produces highly-skilled, professional graduates with the knowledge and abilities required to perform advanced massage therapy and esthetic services. Our programs center on the principles of client service, scientific theory, and whole-body wellness. We believe when these principles come together, our students receive the best education possible. When students receive the best education possible, they are set up for success when they pursue their career.

Sounds amazing, right? We think so! But how are you supposed to know whether a career in massage therapy or esthetics is right for you?

Are you passionate about…
  • Helping others look and feel better?
  • Living a healthy and natural lifestyle?
  • Problem solving?
  • Working with your hands?
  • Forging your own path?

If this sounds like you, Health Works Institute may be the place for you! We pride ourselves on being driven by passion: for others, for our work, and for education. We Do What We Love! And we want to help you do the same.

Working in Massage Therapy or Esthetics, you will have the opportunity to connect with others by helping them feel like their best self. Health Works Institute combines hands-on demonstration and practice with an interactive, engaging learning environment to best prepare our students to help others. We require our students to go above and beyond the minimum requirements for state licensure, because we feel more time in the classroom creates more successful graduates. By investing in your education, you invest in yourself!

We are excited to help you on this new career path! The coaching, theories and techniques presented in both our Massage Therapy and Esthetics programs help students simultaneously actualize positive changes in their own lives while mastering the skills necessary to ultimately help their clients meet their own life goals. We believe a holistic approach, an exceptional curriculum and an abundance of individualized coaching from enthusiastic instructors set our students up for not only a successful livelihood, but also for making a positive difference in the communities where they live and work.

The post Do What You Love: Find the Right Career for You! appeared first on Health Works Institute.

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Beyond obvious aesthetic benefits like relaxation, therapeutic massage decreases stress in the body. It also lessens the negative effects of anxiety, depression and even digestive disorders. So the benefits of massage therapy for seniors are many.

“Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension,” the Mayo Clinic reports.

“The benefits of massage therapy are wide ranging,” says Anthony Lima, licensed massage therapist specializing in geriatric massage at Judson Senior Living Communities in Ohio. “From increasing blood flow to the limbs to supporting the body’s immune and nervous systems, massage is a versatile therapy.”

From stroke recovery to improving balance, the benefits of massage therapy for seniors are seemingly boundless. But, we’ve managed to condense the primary benefits into a very bounded list of 10.

Increases blood flow to limbs

“Increasing circulation is the most important benefit for seniors,” says Lima, “Good circulation can become increasingly difficult as we age, and massage therapy really helps the flow of the blood into the limbs.”

Improves balance and gait

Falling is consistently listed as one of the top concerns for seniors, as our bones tend to become more infirm as we get older. Massage can increase blood flow to the limbs. So it helps improve proprioception, or the sense of relative position of body parts, thus improving our balance and reducing our chances of falling.

Softens hard muscles and tissues

As we age, we generally become less active and so our muscles harden and get tighter. Massage helps to soften muscles and tissues by increasing blood flow to the areas and ultimately reducing overall muscle tension.

Produces feelings of caring and comfort

Some people enjoy massage because it can produce feelings of caring and connection. According to Lima, “Many seniors are touch-deprived due to the loss of a spouse or partner. The touch of massage really helps them to relax.”

Stimulates the nervous system

“Massage therapy releases endorphins, hormones and neurotransmitters that are beneficial for the functioning of the nervous system,” says Lima. Research has continually supported that claim. It shows how therapeutic massage helps produce hormones that have enormous benefits on the body, including serotonin and dopamine (the happy hormone).

Eases stroke recovery

It used to be that bed rest was prescribed for up to 48 hours after a stroke, for fear of triggering another one. But that stance has flipped poles. Now, following a stroke, seniors are advised to get up and moving again. A major aid to this is massage therapy because it stimulates affected areas, focusing on anything that might be paralyzed.

Increase flexibility

As our aging muscles tighten due to inactivity, it’s important to help them relax. Massage therapy softens up tight muscles and joints, enabling a wider range of motion in the activities of daily living.

Improves sleep

The relaxation benefit of massage extends well beyond the massage table. Lima has seen cases where therapeutic massage has helped some of his patients with dementia sleep through the night when they otherwise wouldn’t.

Immune support

“In my experience, people who get massages are sick far less than people who don’t,” says Lima. “Massage releases a lot of toxins and greatly supports the functioning of the immune system.”

Relieves arthritic pain

“Massage isn’t ever going to cure arthritis,” says Lima, “but it helps to relieve the burning conditions.” Focusing on increased blood flow to the joints and warming affected areas has proven benefits in pain relief for those suffering from arthritis.

Reprinted by permission from Judson Smart Living Blog – published by the experts at Judson Senior Living Communities.

For more information on the science behind massage therapy for seniors, check out our blog post “Massage for Seniors: What the Research Says.”

The post Top 10 Benefits of Massage Therapy for Seniors appeared first on Health Works Institute.

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Hollywood makeup artists are experts. They help celebrities of all ages look their best, with both makeup and skin care tips.

But what if you’re not a star and your 40th birthday is in the rear-view mirror? Chances are, you have drier skin, a few more wrinkles and other age-related issues to deal with.

No problem. By following these two Hollywood makeup artists’ favorite tips, your face can be red carpet-ready no matter what your age.

Their advice begins with the importance of sunscreen and daily moisturizing.

Over-40 Skin Care Tip #1: Always use sunscreen.

Sunscreen isn’t just for the beach, or playing outdoors. And it’s important to wear even on cloudy days.

Even your foundation and daytime moisturizer should have an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen, says Hollywood makeup artist Fiona Stiles. Her celebrity clients include Amy Adams, Natalie Portman and Emma Stone.

Exposure to the sun is enemy No. 1 for aging skin, she says.

“Retinols and moisturizers are amazing, but sunscreen is your best friend,” Stiles says. Your foundation should be a good quality brand, and must contain sunscreen, she adds.

Over-40 Skin Care Tip #2: Consult an expert.

Consulting a licensed esthetician – a skin-care and makeup expert you trust – can help you decide which products are best for your skin type.

So before you shop, find out whether your skin is dry, very dry, normal, very oily, a little oily or some sort of combination.

“It’s important to know what type of skin you have on which parts of your face. And remember, our skin type can change as we age,” says Hollywood makeup artist Gina Homan. She has brightened and beautified faces for numerous feature films and TV shows for ABC, NBC, Disney, Hallmark and more.

Once you know what to look for, Homan recommends checking out product reviews online to determine which ones are best for your mature skin.

Over-40 Skin Care Tip #3: Use retinol daily.

As we age, our faces start to sport fine lines, discolored spots and dull skin. That’s where retinol can help you out.

“Retinol is the best product we have for skin that’s starting to lose some of its elasticity and brightness,” Homan says.

Retinol is a vitamin A-based topical treatment available at just about any drug store or department store beauty counter. The treatment works by improving the ability of your skin to synthesize collagen, Homan explains.

Collagen is a common protein found throughout the body, especially in skin, hair nails and joint cartilage. Healthy amounts of collagen keeps your skin supple and more youthful-looking, Homan says.

Over-40 Skin Care Tip #4: Moisturize for your skin type.

Use a moisturizer every morning and every night, Homan advises.

“Use a lighter moisturizer during the day, but use a heavier formula at night,” she says. Apply a lighter formula before making up your face so your foundation will go on smoothly.

At night, the heavier moisturizer you choose should depend on your skin type and the climate in your area. If your skin and climate are dry, consult with your esthetician about the best oil-based overnight cream. If you have oily skin, you’ll need an oil-free product, Homan says.

Wash your face thoroughly to remove your night cream before applying your daytime moisturizer.

Over-40 Skin Care Tip #5: Stay hydrated.

Moisturizing is great, and using sunscreen is essential for preserving your looks. But your skin gets most of its moisture from the inside.

“Drinking a good amount of water each day is probably the most important thing you can do for your skin,” Homan says.  “A good amount” doesn’t have to mean eight 8-ounce glasses. But make it a point to drink as much pure water as you can every day.

Carbonated beverages don’t count, since they contain sodium, which actually dries out your skin.

Another way to hydrate your skin is to mist your face. This is especially important on hot days or in dry climates, she adds.

Misting sprays come in a variety of scents (or unscented) with natural moisturizine ingredients like lavender, aloe, acai berry, rose and coconut waters.

If you’re new to misting check out Allure magazine’s “Best Face Mists for Every Type of Skin Concern.” Or take a look at this article that reviews 13 facial misting sprays.

The post Skin Care Tips for Over-40 Skin from Hollywood Makeup Artists appeared first on Health Works Institute.

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We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat.” Sure, a bad diet packs on the pounds and contributes to diabetes and heart disease. But there actually are some foods that damage your skin.

“Poor nutrition is just as bad for your skin as cigarette smoking,” dermatologist Patricia Farris, MD, told Prevention magazine.

According to Dr. Farris, author of The Sugar Detox (DaCapo, 2014), unhealthy foods cause inflammation. Inflammation then triggers oxidative stress, which damages the collagen. Collagen is the compound that gives your skin its healthy elasticity. So more collagen leads to thicker, more youthful-looking skin.

Here are a few foods to cut back on if healthier skin is your goal.

Sugar

Sure, sugar is bad for your waistline, but it also does terrible things to your skin, according to Irvine, Calif., dermatologist Nissin Pilest, MD. Too much sugar causes inflammation that produces enzymes during a process called glycation. These enzymes attack your skin tone by breaking down collagen and elastin, leading to wrinkles and prematurely sagging skin.

A high-sugar diet also aggravates skin conditions such as rosacea and acne, Dr. Pilest explains.

Fatty foods

Most fast foods contain high amounts of fat. And a diet high in saturated fats – present in both margarine and butter – leads to more skin wrinkling, according to a 2001 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Fatty (dark) meats, fried foods and dairy products made from whole milk are loaded with saturated fats.

A high-fat diet may contribute to acne breakouts. It also dehydrates your skin. And dry skin is not a good look on anyone.

“Lower intakes of fats and carbohydrates are associated with better skin-aging appearance,” concluded a 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Low-fat Dairy

High-fat dairy products cause some skin woes. But even skim milk is a problem. Consuming large amounts of low-fat or skim milk is “positively associated with acne,” according to a 2016 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

“Dairy products have been shown to influence acne in some people by containing certain hormonal components that can stimulate oil production and lead to clogged pores and breakouts,” dermatologist David Lortscher, MD, told the Today show during a February 2018 interview.

Chips

Snack chips are a biggie on any list of foods that damage your skin. Whether made from corn, wheat or potatoes, chips are packed with refined carbohydrates. Refined carbs are highly processed grains with the nutritious parts of the whole grain stripped away.

Most chips are fried in oil and loaded with salt. And salt causes water retention, which makes your skin look puffy and tired.

A high-salt diet also raises your risk for heart disease, which increases inflammation – a major culprit in the break-down of your skin’s collagen and elastin.

Want to learn more about foods that damage your skin – and how to take better care of your body’s largest organ? Check out our Esthetics program including our detailed course descriptions. You can become a certified esthetician in only 10 months!

Health Works Institute is a nationally accredited school that prepares students for a fascinating career in skin care. We even help you apply for financial aid so you can get started doing the work you love.

The post Foods That Damage Your Skin appeared first on Health Works Institute.

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Massage is a great pain reducer. It even works on pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee. That’s the conclusion of plenty of research, including the often-cited 2006 study conducted by New Jersey’s University of Medicine and Dentistry.

Sixty-eight people with osteoarthritis of the knee participated in the study. Half were given one-hour “sessions of standard Swedish massage” twice a week for the first four weeks, and once weekly for the next four weeks. The other half received no massage treatments.

The study, published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, suggested that massage therapy has beneficial effects that can last for 2 months or longer after the 8-week round of treatment ends, according to lead author Adam I. Perlman, MD, MPH.

“Massage therapy seems to be well tolerated by people with painful OA of the knee,” Dr. Perlman concluded. “Massage also seems to decrease pain and improve function in participants who were allowed to maintain their usual treatment.”

In fact, most participants reported not only a decrease in pain, but less knee stiffness and improved range of motion.

Further research

Dr. Perlman co-authored a similar study in 2015. It’s published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. In this study, 25 veterans with osteoarthritis of the knee were treated with 1-hour sessions of full-body Swedish massage once a week for 8 weeks. And the results were similar: “significant improvement” in reported pain and stiffness.

How common is it?

Osteoarthritis is the No. 1 cause of disability in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it usually strikes the knees. While not everyone with the condition is a senior citizen, nearly 4.3 million adults over age 60 have osteoarthritis of the knee, the CDC reports.

Get a doctor’s OK

Anyone seeking massage treatments to ease osteoarthritis symptoms should consult their doctor first, the Arthritis Foundation advises.

So if you’re the massage therapist, you’ll want your client to get their doctor’s assurance that massage is safe for their particular situation. Then you’ll both feel more comfortable while you’re treating them.

“Some techniques may involve strong pressure to sensitive tissues and joints, or moving limbs into various positions that may be difficult for someone with damaged joints,” the AF states.

The foundation also advises caution for a person considering massage who has:

  • Damaged or eroded joints from arthritis
  • Arthritic flare-up, fever or a skin rash
  • Severe osteoporosis (brittle bones)
  • High blood pressure
  • Varicose veins

For more information, visit the AF’s article on the “Benefits of Massage.”

For an interesting introduction to The History of Massage, click here.

The post How Massage Helps Osteoarthritis of the Knee appeared first on Health Works Institute.

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Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana.

Is Bozeman, Montana a good place to live, work and go to school? Absolutely! With a population around 43,000, it feels like both a small town and a lively city.

With indoor and outdoor activities for every taste, Bozeman ranks at No. 10 nationwide on Money magazine’s “Best Places to Live 2017.” And Niche.com puts the city at No. 1 on its 2017 Best Places to live in Montana.

“A paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, Bozeman boasts easy access to world-class skiing, fishing, hiking, rafting, and more,” Money’s editors write. “It also offers a charming downtown area and a surprisingly vibrant cultural scene, thanks to the presence of Montana State University and a number of art and music events like the annual Sweet Pea Festival.”

Staying fit

If you like working out, you’ll find more than a dozen fitness centers and gyms in Bozeman. They include specialties in yoga, kick-boxing, climbing and jazzercise.

Healthy eats

If fresh organic food is your thing, you’ll find plenty of it at our farmers markets and at the Bozeman Food Co-op. In addition to locally grown produce and inexpensive bulk foods, the Co-op’s deli offerings are world-class. From appetizers to salads, ethnic entrees to desserts, the Co-op’s two locations have it all.

Coffee shops

Seattle and Los Angeles have nothing over on “Bozo,” as locals call it, when it comes to readily available coffee treats. Here you’ll find two locations each for Starbucks, City Brew and Café M. And then there’s Wild Joe’s Coffee Spot, Zocalo Coffee House, the Daily Coffee Bar & Bakery, Cold Smoke Coffeehouse and more.

Ethnic Cuisine

Here’s a short list of international cuisine to enjoy in Bozeman. But it certainly isn’t all-inclusive – pizza and sandwich shops are numerous!

  • Café Zydeco – Cajun specialties
  • Saffron Table – Contemporary South Asian dishes
  • Whistle Pig Korean – Classic Korean food
  • Fresco Café – Italian food
  • Mirch Masala – Indian fare
  • Santa Fe Red’s – Mexican food
  • Sweet Chili Asian Bistro – Thai, Chinese and Japanese
  • Watanabe – Japanese cuisine
  • Rice Fine Thai Cuisine – Thai food
  • Bamboo Garden Asian Grille – Chinese-American buffet
Grocery shopping

Bozeman now boasts six large chain supermarkets – all with deli counters offering a variety of prepared foods, from freshly made sushi and salads to fried chicken and burritos. We also have at least that many smaller, locally owned grocery stores.

For more info on music, farmers markets, theater, food, clubs, and a calendar of special events, check out the Bozeman Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website.

For a fun visual tour of downtown with Chelsea McKenna, here’s a short video from AllTrips. Enjoy!

Downtown Bozeman Montana - YouTube

The post Bozeman is a Great Place to Live, Eat and Work Out appeared first on Health Works Institute.

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Money is a big issue for most people looking to go back to school. But too many don’t apply for loans, grants or scholarships because they were told some myths about financial aid. These myths include:

  • It’s only for 4-year colleges.
  • It’s only for people who got good grades.
  • I won’t qualify because my credit isn’t good.

Cheer up! They’re only myths.

The truth is, if you qualify for federal financial aid, you can use it to attend Health Works Institute! That’s because HWI is an accredited school. And financial aid is available for students attending accredited trade schools, not just 2-year community colleges or 4-year universities.

HWI is accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) for both our massage and esthetics programs.

Read on for some myth-busting info from the U.S. Department of Education about the realities of applying for financial aid.

Financial aid myth #1: “Only students with good grades get financial aid.”

Reality: A high GPA helps you get into a good school and may help with academic scholarships. However, most federal student aid programs don’t consider your grades. If you maintain satisfactory academic progress in your program of study, federal student aid will help you complete your education.

Financial aid myth #2: “My parents make too much money, so I won’t qualify for aid.”

Reality: There’s no income cut-off to qualify for federal student aid. Many factors are taken into account. These include the size of your family and your year in school. And remember: when you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA ) form, you’re also automatically applying for funds from your state, and possibly from your school as well. So don’t make assumptions about what you’ll get — fill out the FAFSA form and find out!

Financial aid myth #3: “I didn’t qualify for financial aid last year, so filling out a FAFSA again is a waste of time.”

Reality: It’s very important to fill out a FAFSA form every year you’re in college or career school. Why? Because things can change. For instance, your school or state might create a new grant or scholarship, or the factors used to calculate your aid could change from one year to the next. Either way, if you don’t submit a new FAFSA form, you’re out of luck.

Financial aid myth #4: “I don’t have good credit, so I can’t get a student loan.”

Reality: You don’t need to get a credit check for most federal student loans (except for Direct PLUS Loans). Also, you won’t need a cosigner to get a federal student loan in most cases.

Financial aid myth #5: “I support myself, so I don’t have to include parent information on the FAFSA form.”

Reality: This is not necessarily true. Even if you support yourself and file taxes on your own, you may still be considered a dependent for federal student aid purposes. If you are, you must provide your parents’ information on your FAFSA. The form asks questions to determine your dependency status. You can preview the questions here.

Want to find out if you qualify for financial aid? Go to fafsa.gov and fill out the form. Then apply for admission to a college or career school and get accepted. If you’ve listed that school on your FAFSA form, the school will receive your FAFSA information, calculate your aid, and let you know how much aid you’re eligible for.

For more detailed information on financial aid at Health Works Institute, click here. And for more myths about financial aid, click here.

The post 5 Myths about Financial Aid appeared first on Health Works Institute.

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Professional athletes and coaches know that massage benefits athletes. It improves performance, reduces pain, prevents injury, encourages focus and shortens recovery time, according to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).

These benefits are not just for professional athletes, however. Anyone participating in a regular exercise program can reap the rewards of a good massage, either before or after working out.

Massage benefits athletes in the following ways, the AMTA points out.

Massage therapy increases flexibility.

For best performance, athletes need a high degree of flexibility. Massage stretches the muscle fibers, so flexibility is promoted and maintained.

Massage therapy improves circulation.

With better circulation, athletes breathe more easily and move more efficiently. Massage helps with blood flow, thus improving circulation and enhancing performance levels.

Massage therapy alleviates muscle pain.

If an injury causes pain, you’re unable to perform your athletic best. With regular massage therapy, muscle pain is curbed, so athletes naturally perform better. In this case, less pain means more gain!

Massage therapy promotes better sleep.

Massage benefits athletes by improving their quality of sleep. And getting a good night’s sleep helps athletes perform at an optimal level.

Massage therapy boosts relaxation.

Many athletes have a “Type-A” personality. They’re driven, competitive, and have a hard time relaxing – which causes stress. And stress can affect an athlete’s overall health. So massage benefits athletes by relaxing both body and mind, thus reducing the negative physiological effects of stress.

There are several types of massage for athletes to try. But we recommend visiting a massage therapist who specializes in sports and/or deep tissue massage.

Sports massage often involves fast-paced techniques, stretching, shaking and other muscle manipulations. It’s effective as a pre-workout stretch and muscle warm-up. It’s also used as a post-workout massage to reduce soreness and increase flexibility.

Deep tissue massage includes neuromuscular therapy and the release of trigger points within the muscles. Trigger points “are related to stiff, anchored areas within the muscles or connective tissues,” the Mayo Clinic explains. Deep tissue massage is effective on athletes because it releases these hyper-irritable spots in the fascia surrounding skeletal muscle. And this allows for more effortless, pain-free movements.

Getting a massage after strenuous exercise reduces inflammation. It also promotes the growth of new mitochondria, the energy-producing units in your cells, according to researchers at Buck Institute for Research on Aging at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. So post-workout massages relieve pain, re-build muscles, and speed up recovery time.

To learn more about the massage therapy program at Health Works Institute, click here. Or schedule a massage for yourself or for an athlete in your life by booking online.

Read more here about How Massage Keeps You Healthy!

The post How Massage Benefits Athletes appeared first on Health Works Institute.

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