Dawn Decker Bodywork

Massage Therapy, Yoga & Qigong

Newsletter Archive

5/1/12 SOOTHE INFLAMMATION (for more May/June 2012 eatingwell.com)


1. Enjoy a *MASSAGE* - Receiving just a 50 minute Swedish massage can greatly lower levels of 2 key inflammation promoting hormones, increasing disease fighting white blood cells & lowering stress hormones after just 1 massage according to mark Hyman Rapaport, MD.


2. Add more Omega - 3 fats (salmon, tuna, flax, walnuts, olive & canola oils)


3. Get your OM on - yoga & meditation.


4. Up your soy.


5. Eat your Greens - rich in magnesium helps lower inflammation (& are yummy too!)


6. Sleep more - Getting less than 6 hours nightly you are more likely to have 3 key inflammatory markers.


7. Exercise often - & at about 60-80 % of your max heart rate.


8. Keep Stress at bay - practice breathing


9. Drink Green Tea is full of potent antioxidants


10. Limit Bad Fats - check for hydrogenated oil & eat more lean proteins and plant-based proteins like beans.



Lighten up your diet with starting your day with lemon squeezed in a tall glass of water, the amazing protein of eggs for breakfast with fresh greens: Scrambled with veggies stir-fried, poached over fresh arugula, fried in an asparugus leek saute, over easy with peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach and salsa, a fritta with left over broccoli & carrots or garlic kale and onion omelette. Try some fresh chopped herbs on top.  To keep it light I always use a non-stick pan and spray olive oil

Yum!  Energy for a brisk morning walk and sustinence until lunchtime.  This is how I begin my days. 


2/1/12  BOND & RELAX

Couples Massage anyone? Dawn offers the unique expereince of massage & infrared sauna at the same time in the same room.  (then the couple exchange places)  An outdoor hot tub can complete the experience if desired.

The benefits include:


  • A comfortable way to introduce massage to someone who might not be willing to receive one without the support of another person there at the same time
  • Time with someone you don’t often get a chance to see
  • Sharing an experience with a partner
  • Receiving healing and relaxation together
  • Co-coordinating a time when a massage is convenient for both parties
  • For couples, it may renew and inspire passion



Cold winter weather can make your muscles on high alert, contracting to conserve body heat.  Did you ever notice the second you step out into the cold your whole body tensed up, shoulders up to your ears until you can get warm?  That day to day tension adds up, especially if you sit at a desk all day.  A massage, sauna and regular stretching can be hugely beneficial.

Massage therapy can be beneficial for the winter blues. Lack of adequate sunlight, dreary, freezing cold weather and the inability to be outside more often can really get you down. It has been proven to improve mood and even help relieve clinical depression in some cases when combined with a full treatment plan.

Take your health and happiness seriously and take care of yourself this winter.


12/11 - 3 SIMPLE STEPS to stay Happy, Healthy for the Holidays


1. BREATH DEEPLY with every breath, and stay mindful and tuned into your breath all day long, every day.


2. MEDITATE EVERY DAY if even for just 5 minutes. Choose sitting in the silence, and focus on your breath.  Sense your mind centering, your body relaxing your heart opening,


3. EXERCISE DAILY, whether you get a yoga class in, or just go for an exhilarating walk for 30 minutes, be sure you are taking care of your physical body every day. 


And, smile!  I hope that as you learn to stay with your breath, tune into your spirit each day (meditation), and get the exercise your body needs, you find that you are able to meet the many opportunities that life unfolds for you along your journey. 

“When you inhale, you are taking in strength from God.  When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving the world.”  ~ B.K.S. Iyengar

10/11 - RELAXATION 101

If attaining peace of mind were as simple as reminding ourselves to relax whenever we feel agitated, the majority of us would be blissed-out most of the time. Like any other worthwhile skill, though, relaxation takes practice.

Thankfully, massage & yoga can be a good training ground for cultivating this fine art. And the skills we learn in our practice can support us in the rest of our lives, helping us manage stressful times with clarity and balance.

Exhale. One of the best ways to bring yourself back down to earth is to lengthen your exhalations. This form of breathing encourages the nervous system to become calm and quiet, moving the body into a more restful state of being.

Falling Leaf Meditation. Try this visualization using the colours of autumn and feel your out breath releasing as you sink into deep relaxation.

Focus your mind. Sometimes when the world sends us spinning, we want to do nothing more than drop into an easy chair and stare into space. But this approach often gives the brain free rein to continue its obsessive and agitated thinking. Instead, try focusing your mind in a constructive and engaging way: Practice this absorbing breathing exercise of focusing on the exhale, letting go at home or during your massage.

"Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn."  ~ Elizabeth Lawrence


Unless you are a truly dedicated couch potato, your calves get a workout as you walk through your daily life. With every step you take, you push off the ball of your foot, and your calf muscles lift your entire body weight. Since they receive so much work, the calves are some of the strongest muscles in your body.

Any muscle, whether big or small, tends to shorten as it gets worked and strengthened. Without regular stretching, a powerful muscle group like that in the calf can become short and tight, seriously limiting the range of motion at the ankle, and this can get in your way in yoga poses.

Prepare for the fall hiking season with Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog) is one of the best poses for stretching the calves. Come onto all 4's, hands and knees (shoulder and hip distance apart , then push up and back stretching like a dog in the morning).  The next time you come into Down Dog, spend a few more minutes gently releasing your heels toward the floor to give your calves a much-needed stretch.

"What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds."  ~ Wayne Dyer 

8/11 - Desk Stretches to Avoid Repetitive Stress Injury

Chest Stretch - Sitting in an office chair, especially when working with computers, can cause chest muscles to collapse on themselves. Clasp your hands behind the back of the chair with your palms facing your back. Slowly raise your arms, keeping the elbows straight. Hold several seconds, repeat 3-5 times.

Chest Stretch, Part 2 - Lock your fingers behind your head. While forcing the elbows back, squeeze your shoulder blades together until you feel tension throughout the upper back. Release and repeat 3-5 times.

Torso Stretch - While keeping your hips still, clasp your hands together and raise your arms parallel to the floor. Twist your upper body to the left, hold for 5 seconds and twist to the right, holding for 5 seconds. Repeat each side 3-5 times.

Back Stretch - Without overstraining, stretch your right hand behind your right shoulder, while bringing your left hand up from below in back to meet it. Try to touch your hands as close together as is comfortably possible. Hold a few seconds and reverse arms. Stretch 3-5 times on each side.

Neck Stretch - Tuck your chin slowly into your neck, careful not to strain. Hold for 2 seconds and release. Repeat 3-5 times.

Leg Stretch - Sit straight in your chair, extending both legs straight out, perpendicular to your body. Hold several seconds. Release and repeat 3-5 times.

Oblique Stretch - Stand tall, clasp your hands together above your head (palms up) while stretching toward the ceiling. With a straight back, slowly lean to the right, then to the left, keeping knees slightly bent. Repeat 3-5 times.

Calf Stretch - For support, place your hands on a stable chair, wall or filing cabinet. Lean against the item with a bent leg forward and a straight leg back. Keep the heel of your back leg flat to the floor. Slowly move your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the back calf. Hold for 30 seconds. Reverse legs and repeat 3-5 times.

Finger Stretch - Place your hands flat on your desk and extend your fingers wide to their limit. Hold the stretch for 3-5 seconds. Relax and slowly bend the fingers before repeating 3-5 times.

Arm Massage - With your arm in front of you and palm flat on your desk, apply gentle massage-like pressure with the fingertips of your opposite hand. Move up and down the muscles of the forearm. Press firmly and hold for a few seconds at each spot before moving to the next. Repeat up and down the arm 3-5 times.


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