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If you’ve ever had a leg cramp, you know just how painful it can be. Sure, the pain doesn’t typically last very long, but while it does you’ll find yourself searching for fast and effective relief.

Fortunately, there are several ways to stop leg cramps before they start. With the right approach, you may never again have to deal with pain and discomfort caused by this ailment.

Here are three things you should be doing:

·      Stay hydrated: You’re more likely to suffer from leg cramps – as well as those in other parts of your body – when you’re dehydrated. Make sure you’re drinking enough water, even if you don’t plan on exercising.

·      Change your diet: More specifically, eat foods that are high in calcium, magnesium, and vitamins. This can go a long way in helping you proactively prevent leg cramps.

·      Stretch before and after exercise: Yes, it takes a few minutes to get in a good stretch, but it’s one of the best ways to prevent cramps.

As you can see, there are easy things you can do to stop leg cramps before they start. If you implement these three techniques in your daily life, you won’t find yourself dealing with leg cramps nearly as often (if at all).

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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Everyone experiences some level of stress every now and again. It can come from your job. It can come from your personal life. It can come from your finances.

As you know, too much stress is a bad thing. Not only can it alter your mood, but it can take a nasty toll on your physical well-being. Furthermore, the hidden impact of stress is very real.

Here are a few ways stress can drag you down, often without you noticing it:

·      Memory loss. Are you missing important appointments? Are you forgetting key points from conversations you just had? Stress can impact your memory, thus making it more difficult to live your day-to-day life.

·      Mood swings. You can blame mood swings on a lot of things, but stress should be at the top of the list. Even if you’re a relatively calm and friendly person, too much stress can cause you to lash out. Rapid mood swings can impact you and the people in your life, so you shouldn’t wait to take action.

·      Focusing too much time and energy on the small stuff. The more stressed you become the more likely you are to worry about every little thing that goes wrong. From a spilled glass of milk to a traffic jam, every small problem is magnified. Conversely, you add more stress to your plate, this making it next to impossible to break the cycle.

Stress can negatively impact your life in a number of ways. If this is happening to you, it’s time to take action.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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Do you often suffer from dry eyes during the cold winter months? Have you come to find that the advice of your doctor has yet to produce the results you’re hoping for?

If so, it’s time to try out a few home remedies. You never know when you’ll find something that brings you the relief you deserve.

·      Blink more often. It sounds too simple, but the more you blink the better your eyes will feel. This is particularly important if you spend many hours each day staring at a computer screen.

·      Wash away the crust. Every morning when you wake up, wash those crusty eyelashes to keep inflammation under control. This can go a long way in keeping your eyes moist.

·      Use a warm compress. Take a few minutes each day to lay a clean, warm washcloth on your eyes. It only takes five minutes to loosen up clogged oils in your glands. Subsequently, your eyes will feel better and you’re able to produce the moisture required to maintain your comfort.

·      Drink more. Your body needs water to stay healthy. This is definitely true when it comes to your eyes. Make it a habit to drink as much water as possible throughout the day. This can do wonders for your eyes.

So, there you have it. If dry eyes are bothering you, experiment with one or more of these home remedies. You may come to find instant relief!

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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As one of our local readers, we know that your body faces many changes during the cold winter months. For example, you may soon come to find that the air in your home is entirely too dry.

While this doesn’t sound like a big deal at first, it has a way of taking its toll on your health over the long run. Here are some of the many ways low humidity can impact you in the months to come:

·      Dry, itchy eyes: Don’t assume that dry, itchy eyes only come about with spring and fall allergies. Low humidity can dry out your eyes, causing itching, burning, and a variety of other side effects.

·      Higher risk of getting sick: Did you know that many viruses live longer in low humidity environments? This is a major problem during the winter months, when cold and flu viruses (among others) are a concern.

·      Dry, itchy, and scaly skin. It’s often called “winter itch” and is caused by nothing more than a lack of moisture in your skin. For some people, this is a serious problem that goes well beyond the surface of the skin. It can result in cracking and burning, thus making it difficult to maintain your appearance and overall level of comfort.

If you’re concerned about dry air impacting your health this winter, it’s time to look into a humidifier for your home. It’s the quickest way to solve this potential problem.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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Strep throat is a major concern for many people during the winter months, especially those who are susceptible to this particular ailment.

While your doctor can help you better understand your treatment options, it doesn’t mean you’ll agree with them. For example, you may not be interested in pumping your body full of antibiotics with the hope of a fast recovery.

Here are some of the best “lifestyle remedies” for strep throat:

·      Get more rest: Don’t push your body to the limit as you’re fighting an infection. Instead, get as much rest as possible, as this allows you to make a faster recovery.

·      Drink more water: Even if it hurts, you need to drink more water as to prevent dehydration and keep your throat lubricated.

·      Watch what you eat: It’s best to stick to easy to swallows foods, with soup, apple sauce, and soft fruit among the best.

·      Gargle with salt water: Doing this a few times per day can relieve your pain and discomfort.

·      Fire up your humidifier: When you add moisture to the air, you’re less likely to dry out. Even if it doesn’t speed up the recovery, it helps with your comfort level.

If your doctor diagnoses you with strep throat, don’t hesitate to immediately do these things.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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When the weather cools off it’s not always easy to keep your home warm. This is particularly true in the dead of winter. Unfortunately, a cold home can make it difficult to fall asleep (and stay asleep).

Here are a few of the better ways to stay warm this winter:

·      Wear socks or slippers to bed. It’s probably not something you do in the summer, but it’s an absolute must in the winter if you’re trying to keep warm. From wool socks to house slippers, cover your feet with something warm and comfortable.

·      Block drafts. Do the windows in your bedroom let a cold draft in? Does air from the attic make its way into your bedroom? The first step in fixing this problem is pinpointing it. Once you know where the draft is coming from, you can then take action.

·      Use a humidifier. Did you know that a humidifier can help keep your house warmer? When you add this to the fact that it can also reduce dry air during the winter, it’s easy to see why it’s so important. If you don’t have a whole-house humidifier opt for one that you can run in your bedroom while you sleep.

A cold home can take a toll on your sleeping habits, as well as your health in general. Fortunately, with these tips, it won’t be long before you’re warming your home and better enjoying the hours you spend in bed.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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With cold weather blanketing the region, now’s the time to prepare yourself for the months to come. Doing so can go a long way in keeping you happy and healthy – and there’s nothing more important than that.

Your skin is one of the first things to feel the impact of colder weather. Here are three ways to protect your skin over the next few months:

·      Use a winter moisturizer. By getting into this habit, you can be rest assured that your skin never dries out. For most people, applying a moisturizer once a day is more than enough for the relief they’re seeking.

·      Don’t take long, hot showers. While it’s okay to take a hot shower or bath every now and again, don’t stay in contact with the water for too long. This can remove important oils from your skin, thus making it dry, flaky, and itchy.

·      Wear sunscreen. It’s easy to believe you don’t need sunscreen when the temperatures dip below freezing, but it’s a mistake you’ll end up regretting. If you’re spending time outdoors, such as on the ski slopes, protect your skin with sunscreen.

These aren’t the only ways to protect your skin from cold weather, but you’ll definitely want to incorporate all three ideas into your daily life.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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Now that the hot summer air is gone until next year, it’s time to prepare your body for the cold winter months.

Many people overlook the fact that dehydration can set in even when outdoor temperatures are below freezing. This is particularly true in certain groups of people, such as:

·      Anyone with a chronic illness

·      Those with diabetes

·      Older individuals

·      Small children and infants

If you’re concerned about winter dehydration, here are seven signs that you may be heading down this path:

·      Extreme thirst

·      Dry lips and skin

·      Weakness

·      Dizziness

·      Nausea and vomiting

·      Cramps

·      Headache

·      Dark yellow urine

When the temperature is cold, you may not realize you’re becoming dehydrated. However, this can set in quickly, so you need to pay close attention to the symptoms above.

If you realize you’re headed down this path, stop what you’re doing and rehydrate. Pushing yourself too far can lead to a severe case of dehydration, which can put your overall health at risk.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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You spend so much time in your home that you begin to believe nothing could ever go wrong. This is particularly true if you’ve never run into any health or safety concerns in the past.

However, problems could be lurking, some of which can cause serious illness or injury. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

·      Water purity: Your water travels a long way before it reaches your home. For this reason, it may not be as clean as you think. Many people throughout the country use water with lead levels that are above the “legal limit.” As a result, their risk of brain, kidney, and nervous system damage is much greater.

·      Dirty humidifier: A humidifier is a great way to prevent dry skin, dry hair, and scratchy throats during the cold months. However, if you don’t clean it often it’s possible you could be adding bacteria to the air – and that’s never a good thing.

·      Dirty loofah: It’s a great way to get up a good lather in the shower, but a dirty loofah can force germs, bacteria, and even mold into your skin.

If you can’t remember the last time you checked on these things, don’t wait another day to do so. Your health depends on it!

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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As winter weather moves into the area, you may find it more difficult to spend time outdoors. While this doesn’t sound like a bad thing at first, it has a way of taking a toll on your life over the course of several months.

Winter depression can result in the following:

·      Weight gain

·      Fatigue

·      Irritability

·      Sleeping too many hours

·      Trouble focusing

There are several things you can do to avoid these issues over the months to come:

·      Get outside. Even if it’s cold, spend some time outdoors (preferably during daylight hours). It doesn’t matter if you take a 30 minute walk or spend some time on the ski slopes, time outdoors is good for your mental health.

·      Exercise. It’s not always easy to exercise in the winter, but this is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body in good shape. Don’t be afraid to exercise outdoors, even if the conditions aren’t ideal.

·      Take a trip. Forget about staying inside your home all winter long. Take a trip to a warm destination, as this will give you the opportunity to spend time outdoors while recharging your batteries.

With these tips guiding you, you’ll find it much easier to avoid winter depression over the next few months.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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For children, Halloween is one of the most exciting holidays of the year. There are many reasons for this, ranging from dressing up to trick or treating.

As a parent, it’s critical to share a variety of trick or treating walking safety tips with your children. Here are several that can go a long way in keeping them safe:

·      Wear a bright light: Since trick or treating typically takes place in the dark, wearing a bright light makes it easier for passing vehicles to see your children.

·      Cross at street corners: It’s easy for children to get so excited that they cross the street whenever and wherever they want. Since this increases the risk of an accident, talk about the importance of crossing at corners and use traffic signals to their advantage.

·      Avoid distractions: Depending on the age of your children, distractions, such as a smartphone, should be left at home. Sending a text while walking on a busy street is a big safety risk.

·      Always walk on sidewalks: When available, your children should use sidewalks and other pathways that aren’t on the road.

Halloween is a fun time for children of all ages. With these walking safety tips, you can do your part in keeping your children safe during trick or treating this year.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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Are you suffering from upper back pain? Is it beginning to impact your day to day life? Are you concerned that it will never go away?

As frustrating as upper back pain may be, there are a variety of home treatment options that can help get you back on track.

·      Get more rest: Simply put, you need to give your back the time it needs to recover. If you continue to push the envelope, you can’t expect your injury to heal in a timely manner.

·      Stretch: Be sure to stretch your back a minimum of two times per day, in the morning and in the evening. Not only can it help your back feel better, but it can also help prevent future injury.

·      Use ice: This allows you to reduce pain and swelling in the area, thus making it easier for you to put the injury in the past sooner rather than later.

Along with the above, when you feel that you’re ready for it, consider a professional massage. There are many benefits, including the ability to promote better blood flow and improve flexibility.

Upper back pain may have you down and out right now, but with the right treatment strategy you can get back on your feet soon enough.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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With October quickly coming to an end, it won’t be long before the holiday season is in full effect. While this can be one of the most enjoyable times of the year, it’s sure to bring plenty of stress to your life as well (if you let it).

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do in advance of the holiday season to reduce the amount of stress that enters your life. Here are five ideas to consider:

·      Start making plans now. Rather than wait until the last minute to make your holiday plans, do so as far in advance as possible.

·      Know what’s most important to you. This goes a long way in helping you keep common stressors out of your life.

·      Focus on your personal relationships. The holiday season is all about spending quality time with family and friends. Forget about everything else and make the most of the time you spend together.

·      Get help. Even if you like to do everything yourself, there will be times when you need help. Don’t be afraid to ask those around you for assistance.

·      Maintain a healthy diet. It’s difficult to do during the holiday season, but a healthy diet goes a long way in allowing you to look and feel your best.

It doesn’t matter how you prepare for holiday stress as long as you have a plan in place for doing so. These five tips should be able to assist you in the months to come.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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Although it’s easier said than done, it’s best to keep negative thoughts out of your life. The power of positive thinking makes it easier to feel better about yourself, all the while chasing down your many goals.

Here are five negative thoughts that may attempt to creep into your mind:

·      I don’t like the way I look. You should never tell yourself this. You are who you are and that’s something special to be proud of.

·      Ill start tomorrow. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Taking this approach will allow you to lead a much more productive life.

·      I can’t do it. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about losing weight, getting a new job, or finding new friends, you have what it takes to get the job done. Don’t think any differently.

·      What’s the point of trying any longer? If things aren’t going your way it’s easy to slip into the trap that it’s better to give up than to forge ahead. Resist this at all costs.

·      I’ll never get what I want, no matter what I do. If you think like this, you may be right. However, if you keep a high level of confidence, you’ll eventually break out of your rut.

You may struggle with these negative thoughts every now and again, but you should do your best to keep them out of your life. You’ll feel much better as a result.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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Now that the fall season has arrived, it won’t be long before you realize the impact on many areas of your health. For example, this time of the year has a way of taking a toll on your skin.

If dry skin is the norm for you during the fall months, now’s the time to prepare for the worst. Here are five things you can do to treat this common ailment:

·      Avoid hot showers and baths: the more time you spend in hot water the more moisture your skin will lose. Opt for lukewarm water and you’ll be surprised at how much better your skin feels.

·      Use moisturizers: if you’re in the habit of doing this all year long, keep it up during the fall months.

·      Use a humidifier: if your home has a whole house humidifier, turn it on alongside your furnace. If it doesn’t, purchase a portable unit and use it accordingly.

·      Find the right soap: some types of soap have a way of sucking the moisture out of your skin, when what you’re actually trying to achieve is the opposite. Experiment with a few types of soap until you find the one that’s best for your skin.

·      It starts with your hands: your hands may be the first part of your body to dry out and crack. If you recognize this happening, there’s a good chance the rest of your body is next.

What do you think of these tips for treating dry skin during the fall months? Have these worked for you in the past?

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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Now that summer is in the past, it’s time to enjoy everything the fall season will bring to your life.

Unfortunately, as the days turn to weeks, there’s a greater chance of contracting a cold. While this isn’t the end of the world, it can definitely slow you down for a few days.

Here are a few things you can do to fight an early fall cold:

·      Get the rest you need to recover. You don’t want to slow down, but keeping a busy schedule when fighting a cold can make things worse. When you get the rest you need to recover there’s a greater chance of beating your cold within a couple of days.

·      Stay hydrated: When dehydration sets in your body doesn’t function as well as it should. This is particularly true when fighting an illness, such as a cold or flu. Do whatever it takes to stay hydrated, which typically means drinking as much water as possible throughout the day.

·      Eat right: You may not be in the mood to eat a lot of food, but focusing on fruits and vegetables while fighting a cold is a great idea. This can help you get back on your feet sooner rather than later.

Even if you do your best to avoid a cold this fall, you never know when it’ll show up in your life. If it does, the three tips above will help you fight back.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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Have you ever woke up in the morning so stiff that you wonder how you’ll ever start your day?

While fighting through the stiffness and hoping for the best is an option, you don’t have to go down this path. Instead, there are a few things you can do to ease your stiffness and feel better about the day to come.

1. Stretch in Bed

Don’t even try to remove yourself from bed. Instead, stretch your entire body as a means of warming it up. Soon enough, you’ll realize that your stiffness is gone and you’re ready to start your day.

2. Take a Warm Shower

Sure, you have to drag yourself to the shower, but once you’re there you’ll feel much better about reducing your stiffness. A warm shower, even a quick one, can help alleviate some or all of your discomfort.

3. Use a Heating Pad

If a specific part of your body is stiff, such as your knee or shoulder, a heating pad is one of the best treatment options. Again, you can use this from the comfort of your own bed. You never have to move to find relief.

4. Check Your Mattress

Believe it or not, your mattress may be contributing to your stiffness. If you have reason to believe this is true, make an immediate change.

5. Get a Massage

There is nothing wrong with getting a little bit of help. And when you schedule a professional massage, you’re getting a lot of help! One session will have you wondering what you’ve been missing out on for all these years.

What do you think about these ways to ease morning stiffness? Have you experimented with any of these ideas in the past?

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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When a headache sets in the last thing you want to do is let it linger for too long. Rather than run for the medicine cabinet, there are a few things you can do to better your situation.

Here are a handful of natural home remedies that have been proven effective in treating and curing headaches:

·      Drink more water. Simply put, inadequate hydration could be the cause of your headache in the first place. By drinking more water you may find your headache subsiding sooner rather than later.

·      Get more sleep. There’s a chance your headache is due to a lack of sleep. If you have reason to believe this is true, head for your bed to see if a few hours of sleep solve your problem.

·      Use essential oils. Experiment with a variety of these to see if any are successful in soothing your headache. It may sound farfetched at first, but it’s one of the best natural home remedies to cure a headache.

·      Use a cold compress. With a cold towel, for example, you can soothe the pain and discomfort associated with your headache. It may not be a long term solution, but it’s something to try as you wait for another treatment method to kick in. 

There are many other natural home remedies to experiment with, but these four are among the best. The next time you find yourself with a headache, give one of these treatment methods a try.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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When your home heats up, you may dread the nighttime hours. Even if you’re dead tired, you know that getting to sleep will be a challenge.

Fortunately, there are several tips you can follow to beat the heat and get the sleep you’ve been craving:

·      Stick with cotton sheets. When the temperature heats up cotton sheets do a great job of keeping you cool. By wicking away sweat, you’re more likely to rest comfortably throughout the night.

·      Take a cold shower. Don’t assume that a cold shower will keep you awake. It may raise your level of alertness for a bit, but it will also lower your core temperature.

·      Open the windows. If you don’t have AC or your system isn’t working, it’s time to rely on Mother Nature to cool you down. As temperatures fall at night, open windows will bring a nice breeze into your home.

·      Sleep alone. It’s not always possible, but sleeping alone goes a long way in helping you doze off during those hot nights. When someone else is in bed you can be rest assured that his or her body heat will result in more discomfort than necessary.

·      Exercise before bed. Any sort of exercise before bed will wear you out, thus making it easier for you to fall asleep. This is an easy one to take advantage of.

If you want to sleep better in the summer heat it’s time to experiment with one or more of these tips. You won’t be disappointed!

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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There are times, especially during the hot summer months, when a cool shower hits the spot.

However, there are also occasions when a hot shower is just what you need. There are many benefits of this, including the following:

·      Improved circulation. If muscular and/or joint pain has you down, a hot shower could be the answer. By improving blood flow, your joints and muscles will feel looser than ever before.

·      Cleaner skin. Did you know that a hot shower opens your pores, thus allowing your skin to more easily release toxins? You don’t want to go overboard with too many hot showers, as this can dry out your skin, but it’s something to consider every now and again.

·      Better sleep. If you can’t sleep, a hot shower may be the perfect natural sedative. Not only does it make you tired, but it can also relieve stress. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself slipping into a deep sleep.

While there are many other benefits of a hot shower, these three will come in handy time and time again. Even if you’re the type who enjoys cool showers, it’s worth your consideration.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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