It’s cold and flu season, and it hits us all

A lot of clients will ask us if they should cancel their appointment because they feel under the weather. Our response to our clients is the same we have for our therapists.

Yes, please. Cancel if you are sick. Great! We’re done here.

Nah, we’ve got a bunch more to cover. There are lots of variables to being sick. What does that even mean and why does it matter? Let’s dig in.

What is ‘sick’?

For determining your ability to receive massage, ‘sick’ means one or any combination of the following:

  • ●Fever and related symptoms
  • ○Chills
  • ○Aches
  • ○Unusual fatigue
  • ●Respiratory issues
  • ○Coughing
  • ○Sneezing
  • ○Very runny and/or stuffy sinuses
  • ○Sore throat
  • ●GI issues
  • ○Nausea
  • ○Vomiting
  • ○Diarrhea

If you have any of the above happening, it’s best to cancel.

Massage isn’t going to help you get better

A sick body needs rest. Receiving massage is an active task. Massage causes change in the body and your body has to work to maintain stability. Getting a massage when you are sick takes attention away from rest and recovery. That’s not helping.

You’re not going to be cozy on the massage table. Sure, it sounds like a warm squishy massage table would be great. But the moment you put your already-stuffy head into that face cradle, you’ll realize the error of your ways. Gravity and pressure are not your friend here. Even if I do a great face massage to drain your sinuses, you’ll likely feel worse when you get off the table.

If you’re feeling at all dizzy or loopy, laying face down can make that sensation even worse. Remember getting ‘the spins’ when you drank a little too much? That. Only worse because you’ll be worried about puking on my office carpet and not just your terrible dorm comforter.

 

There is often some gray area, especially if you are in the recovery phase of a virus or bacterial infection. You may have that lingering dry cough well past the stage of contagion or actual illness. Or you could have seasonal allergies that make you a runny mess.

 

If you’re unsure about your situation, please call us before your appointment and we can make a decision together. 

  • It’s really, really easy to spread those germs

  • If you come in sick, you may get me (and my other clients) sick. Even with the best handwashing, coughing into your elbow, and precision skills depositing your dirty tissue into the trash bin, you’re likely to leave a few germs hanging in the air and I’m likely to breathe them in.


  • There’s a lot we just can’t control about cold and flu season. We may have been exposed without knowing and be contagious for a few days before symptoms show up. That’s just part of living in a world with other people. But we can control where we go and who we see while we are symptomatic. I know it’s a bummer to delay your massage, it’s also the right thing to do when you are contagious.

Stay healthy

You already know the best ways to stay healthy through cold and flu season. (But I’ll remind you.) Get a flu shot, wash your hands, get enough sleep, get out into the fresh air when possible.

If you feel something coming on, do your best to cancel whatever you can, keep your activities to a bare minimum and just rest. Stay hydrated. Ask for help. That’s hard to do, but worth the effort.

 

Here’s to staying healthy through this season and the whole year!

More sources on contagious factors, etc

On the 9th Day of Christmas Wee Sally's gave to me....

On the 9th Day of Christmas, Wee Sally's Gave to me......
...10 tips for running in the winter.

The weather has taken a nasty turn, but don't let that put you off your exercise routine.
1. Get Motivated
Make a date to meet someone for a run, there's no wimping out when someone is waiting.

Solo? Tell yourself that you can go back inside after five minutes if it's really bad, Usually you'll stay out there. Of course, not everyone objects to winter weather. A night run during a light snowfall is one of the most peaceful things you can experience, just remember to stay safe, and let someone know where you will be.

 

2. Arm Your Feet

To keep warmth in and slush out, run in shoes that have the least amount of mesh. If you have shoes with Gore-Tex uppers, all the better. Wear socks that wick away wetness but keep your feet warm. 

 

3. Get Dressed

You want to be warm without sweating so much you get a chill. The rule of thumb is to dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer, You should be slightly cool when you start. Think layers of technical fabrics, to wick sweat, with zippers at the neck and underarm area to vent air as you heat up. You'll learn your own preferences,  but always wear gloves or mittens and a hat.

4. Be Seen

With limited daylight, chances are you'll be running in the dark (We Scots sadly, get only a few hours of dim light per day). Tall snowbanks on plowed streets make you even harder to see. Wear reflective, fluorescent gear, and don't be shy about lighting yourself up like a Christmas tree, use a headlamp or carry a flashlight, less so you can see where you're going and more so people can see you.

 

5. Warm up Prerun

Move around inside enough to get the blood flowing without breaking a sweat. Run up and down your stairs, use a jump rope, or do a few yoga sun salutations. A speedy house-cleaning works, too. The cold doesn't feel so cold when you're warm.  If you're meeting a group of running buddies, don't stand around in the cold chatting before you run.

 

6. Deal with Wind
Start your run into the wind and finish with it at your back, so the breeze doesn't blast you after you've broken a sweat. To avoid a long, biting slog, you can break this into segments, running into the wind for about 10 minutes, turning around to run with the wind at your back for five minutes, and repeating. You can also seek man-made wind protection. Use BodyGlide on your nose and on your cheeks to prevent frostbite, Other options include Vaseline (a bit messy) and Kiehl's All-Sport Non-Freeze Face Protector.

 

 

7. Forget Speed
Winter running is more about maintenance miles than speed work.  In very cold weather, look for "inversions," places that are elevated and where the air will be warmer. Even 300 feet up, the air can be 20 degrees warmer, which makes a big difference. 
f you can't run in the middle of the day when the temperatures are warmest, run twice a day, three miles in the morning and three miles in the evening: That's better than doing one long six-mile run where you might get very cold toward the end.
 

 

8. Change Quickly Postrun

Your core body temperature drops as soon as you stop running. To avoid a lingering case of the chills, change your clothes-head to toe-as soon as you can. Women need to get out of damp sports bras quickly. Put a dry hat on wet hair. And drink something hot. Driving to a run? Bring a thermos of green tea or hot chocolate in your car.

9. Deal with Rain

"In my car, at all times, I have a spare pair of sneakers, a running outfit, and three beach towels," says Allyson Lamey, a member of the local running club "When it's raining, I slip my stocking feet into plastic bags, then put on my running shoes. The bags keep your feet dry even when you run through puddles. If you have to dry shoes overnight, crumple up newspaper and cram it tightly into your shoes, with the insoles removed. The newspaper soaks up the moisture.

10. Go Someplace Warm

For runners in the South who want to race close to home, winter is the only time when temperatures are moderate enough to go after a personal record, which is why Florida alone offers seven marathons in February. Not up for 26.2 miles? Other popular races include the Los Angeles Chinatown Firecracker 5-K/10-K, the Hilton Head Half-Marathon and 10-K, and the MyoMed Ragnar Relay Del Sol in Arizona. Or go to the Race Finder to choose your own distance and destination. What more motivation do you need?