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Popping can occur in any joint of your body, at any time of the day. While this is often related to aging, there are many other reasons why your joints may pop.

Here are some reasons to be aware of:

·      Nitrogen bubbles: Many people don’t realize that the tissue surrounding their joints makes synovial fluid, meant to lubricate the area. When this fluid is released from the joint, such as when cracking your knuckles, it results in a popping sound.

·      Moving ligaments: Tight ligaments may pop during certain movements, such as when you move at a particular angle. In some cases, the popping is accompanied by pain.

·      Rough joint surfaces: This can happen for many reasons, such as osteoarthritis and cartilage loss. With arthritis, for example, the popping may worsen over time as the disease progresses.

Along with the above, some types of injuries and surgical procedures can cause a joint to pop. In some cases, you can eliminate this by improving range of motion through physical therapy.

If you’re concerned about popping joints, consult with your medical team to better understand the cause and best form of treatment.

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 warmer temperatures here to stay for the next few months, it’s imperative to adjust your approach to your health. For example, dehydration can set in quickly in hot weather, so following prevention tips is necessary.

Here are four things to keep in mind:

·      Take breaks: It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, if you need a break it’s time to take one. Move to a cool place, get a drink, and give your body time to recover.

·      Drink enough water: Not only should you hydrate during activity, but do so before and after as well.

·      Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and soft drinks: All of these may taste good while you’re consuming them, but they increase the likelihood of dehydration.

·      Watch what you eat: For example, vegetables and fruits are high in water content, thus providing you with additional hydration.

It sounds easy enough to prevent dehydration, but it can sneak up on you when you least expect it. Even if you follow these prevention tips, you could still face trouble at some point. If you have reason to believe you’re dehydrated, don’t push yourself any further. It’s time to rest!

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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Maybe you fell on the asphalt when washing your car. Or maybe you had a run-in with a shovel while working in your garden. Regardless of the cause, an abrasion requires immediate attention.

Here are five things you can do to put yourself on the right path to a fast and full recovery:

·      Rinse and clean the abrasion: Use warm water and mild soap to remove any debris from the abrasion itself, as well as the surrounding area.

·      Apply antibiotic ointment: Not only does this speed up the healing process, but it also cuts back on the risk of an infection.

·      Cover the abrasion: Depending on the size, you may be able to use a Band-Aid. If that’s not possible, a larger bandage will do the job.

·      Change the dressing as necessary: Don’t assume you can leave the same dressing on the abrasion until it heals. Instead, check it once a day and change as necessary.

·      Watch for signs of infection: If you have any reason to believe you’re dealing with an infection, seek out medical treatment. You don’t want to let this linger, as it can cause additional trouble.

As your activity level picks up during the spring and summer months, don’t be surprised if you suffer an abrasion or two. These steps will help you heal as quickly as possible.

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 is nothing more enjoyable than spending time in your garden during the summer season. However, if you suffer an injury, it can bring an abrupt halt to your good times.

Fortunately, knowledge of common gardening injuries can go a long way in helping you prevent trouble. Here are four of the most common injuries, all of which you should protect against:

·      Neck pain: This can result from many things, such as lifting too much or constant turning of your neck.

·      Back pain: From heavy lifting to pulling to bending, there are many gardening related activities that can result in both upper and lower back pain.

·      Shoulder tendonitis: Consistent use of your shoulder, such as to rake or dig, can result in tendonitis, which requires rest in order to improve.

·      Carpal tunnel syndrome: This is most common in the wrists, and is typically the result of performing the same task, time after time.

Along with the above, you also have to contend with things such as sunburn, insect bites, and bee stings.

As long as you know what could go wrong when gardening, you’re in better position to protect yourself. Don’t let one or more of these injuries slow you down this summer.

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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Maybe you spent too much time in your garden without protecting your skin from the sun. Or maybe you spent a long weekend at the beach, not realizing how strong the sun is at this time of the year.

Regardless of the circumstances, sunburn can make you miserable. Not to mention the fact that it can have both a short and long term impact on your health.

Here are three of the best home remedies for sunburn:

·      Aloe vera. For many years, this has been one of the most common ways to soothe a sunburn. Not only does it provide a cooling sensation, but it also keeps your skin hydrated.

·      White vinegar. An often overlooked home remedy for sunburn, white vinegar helps prevent an infection. White vinegar acts as an antiseptic, all the while treating both pain and inflammation.

·      Baking soda. A cold compress of baking soda and water can help balance the pH of your sun burned skin. Do this several times per day for 15 minutes at a time.

Even if you do your best to prevent sunburn this spring and summer, you never know what will happen when you spend a lot of time outdoors. If you find yourself dealing with any level of sunburn in the months to come, try these three home remedies.

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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A stiff neck isn’t the most serious injury, but it’s more than enough to cause you trouble throughout your day. Fortunately, with the right treatment plan, you can quickly lessen the discomfort, thus allowing you to live pain-free once again.

Here are some of the best ways to treat a stiff neck:

·      Apply ice: for the first two to three days after your injury, apply ice to help with the pain and swelling.

·      Apply heat: once you’re done with ice therapy, use heat to soothe your neck and help increase range of motion.

·      Stretch: the biggest mistake people make is remaining in the same position for an extended period of time. It’s okay to rest your neck, but stretch regularly to speed up your recovery.

·      Get a massage: as you recover, you’ll come to find that a massage can promote blood flow and increase range of motion.

There is no way of knowing the exact treatment strategy that will provide the best results. The best thing you can do is experiment with the ideas above, all while paying close attention to what’s working for you.

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 we’re moving into vacation season, you may be planning a long road trip. While this can be tons of fun, it’s also a bit risky if you don’t stay on your toes at all times.

Any time you get behind the wheel – regardless of your destination – it’s imperative that you’re 100 percent alert and awake. If you’re too tired to drive, it greatly increases the risk of an accident.

Here are some of the reasons why you may be too tired:

·      Too many consecutive hours behind the wheel

·      You work long shifts or at night

·      Sleep disorder

·      Neglecting to get enough sleep at night

·      Prescription medication that makes you drowsy

One or more of these things can hit you while you’re driving, often without much notice. Here are the top signs that you should pull to the side of the road:

·      Frequent blinking and yawning

·      Blurry vision

·      Inability to remember what’s happened over the last few miles

·      Missing your turn or exit

It’s never a good idea to “push through” your tiredness. Instead, pull to safety, take a break and resume when you’re feeling better. From there, pinpoint what went wrong and then take steps to avoid the same situation in the future. For example, you may need to reconsider the type of medication you’re taking, as a more natural option may work better for your body.

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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While anyone can suffer from dry skin, some people have a higher risk than others. Since the health of your skin is so important to your overall well-being, it’s imperative to treat dryness without delay.

Here are four of the most common risk factors associated with dry skin:

·      Medical history: For example, if you have a history of eczema, there’s a greater chance you’ll run into trouble in the future. The same holds true if some type of skin condition runs in your family.

·      Age: As you get older, your skin produces less oil, thus increasing the risk of dry skin.

·      The time of the year: Dry skin can happen at any time of the year, but it’s more common in the fall and winter when humidity levels are low.

·      How often you bathe: It’s easy to believe that the more you bathe the cleaner you keep your skin, however, this can actually have a negative impact. Frequent washing increases the risk of dry skin, especially if you use extremely hot water.

If you struggle with dry skin, learn more about the cause and best treatment strategies. This can help you find the relief you’ve been seeking.

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 the spring season in full swing, you can expect rain to regularly move into and out of the area. While this can be enjoyable at times, it brings forth a variety of challenges when exercising outdoors.

If you enjoy jogging or running, here are some tips for safely doing so in the rain:

·      Wear a hat: This goes a long way in keeping the rain off your face, which helps you see the road ahead and pinpoint any potential hazards.

·      Check your shoes: If your shoes don’t have enough tread, it’s time for a change. Running in worn down shoes in the rain increases the risk of slipping and falling.

·      Protect your electronics: Like many, you may enjoy listening to your smartphone while exercising. There’s nothing wrong with this, but you need to protect it when the rain begins to fall.

·      Stretch before and after: Don’t become so preoccupied with the weather conditions that you forget to stretch. It’s important to warm your muscles up, as well as cool down upon completion.

For the next couple months, you can expect to contend with rain every now and again. If you’ll be exercising outdoors, let these tips keep you safe.

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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It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional level athlete or enjoy taking a jog around the block once a week, you never want to pull a muscle. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it can also keep you away from the activities you love for an extended period of time.

While a pulled muscle is always a possibility, there are some basic steps you can take to prevent this injury:

·      Strength training: Weak muscles are more likely to pull than strong ones. So, if you get into the habit of strength training your entire body, you can strengthen your muscles and lessen the likelihood of injury.

·      Stretch: By stretching, you reduce tension in muscles, which improves range of motion. Subsequently, there’s less chance that you’ll pull a muscle. Remember to stretch both before and after exercise.

·      Warm-up: It only takes a few minutes to warm-up before exercise, but it can go a long way in helping prevent a pulled muscle (among other injuries).

Doing these things will help you prevent a pulled muscle, and all the discomfort that follows.

If you suffer this injury, get off your feet and treat yourself immediately. From ice to rest to massage, there are many ways to speed up the recovery process.

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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Runner’s knee is most often associated with overuse, however, this ailment can also be the result of direct trauma, misaligned bones, weak thigh muscles, and problems with your feet.

If you have reason to believe you’re suffering from runner’s knee, don’t hesitate to receive a professional diagnosis. Only then will you know what you’re up against, which will allow you to implement the right treatment plan.

The best treatment for runner’s knee includes:

·      Extended rest: Try to avoid anything that makes the injury worse, such as running or standing for too long.

·      Ice: Icing your knee for 20 minutes at a time, three times per day, can help reduce swelling and pain.

·      Elevate your leg: When sitting or lying down, do your best to elevate your leg. This can help to quickly reduce swelling.

·      Stretch: Increased flexibility and strength, especially in your quadriceps, can speed up healing and help you prevent the same type of injury in the future.

·      Physical therapy: Consult with your doctor about whether physical therapy can help speed up your recovery, improve strength and flexibility, and prevent future trouble.

Although runner’s knee can be painful, there are many treatment techniques you can use to your advantage. With the right approach, it won’t be long before you’re feeling better and back on your feet.

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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Over the years, arthritis treatment has come a long way. While it’s important to follow the direction of your medical team, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should shy away from home treatments.

There are a variety of ways to treat your arthritis without medication, including but not limited to the following:

·      Get more exercise: Not only does this help you maintain flexibility in your joints, but it can also help you maintain a healthy weight. Rather than rely on weight-bearing exercises, such as jogging, opt for riding a bicycle or swimming.

·      Use cold and hot therapy: For example, if you’re dealing with joint pain and swelling, cold treatment is best. However, if stiffness is causing you trouble, opt for the use of a heating pad or electric blanket.

·      Try massage therapy: A massage can help reduce pain in arthritic joints, increase blood flow, improve range of motion, and reduce stiffness. While self-massage can help at home, don’t hesitate to visit a local spa for a professional massage.

Although arthritis has a way of slowing you down, there are steps you can take to fight back. When you combine the help of your medical team with these home treatments, you’ll find more relief than you ever imagined possible.

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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A low back strain can strike when you least expect it. For example, you’re feeling good during your workday and then something suddenly happens when you quickly stand up from your seat.

Although a low back strain can be both painful and uncomfortable, there are a variety of treatment strategies you can use to seek relief. Consider the following:

·      Ice therapy: Not only can this reduce pain, but it can also eliminate swelling. Do this for 20 minutes at a time, every three to four hours.

·      Apply heat: After three days of icing, switch over to heat therapy. You can use a heating pad and/or soak in a hot bathtub. Either way, it can help loosen the muscles and promote blood flow.

·      Get support: For example, you may want to wear a supportive belt until your injury heals. This can be uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get used to it after a day or so.

·      Opt for physical therapy: It’s not always necessary, but physical therapy can help you build strength in your back as to avoid the same type of injury in the future.

·      Get a massage: You don’t want to do this too soon, but once you’re on the road to recovery it can help you relax and speed up the recovery process.

The next time you’re dealing with a low back strain, experiment with one or more of these treatment strategies. You’re likely to find something that brings 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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When you come down with a cold, you want nothing more than to lay in bed until it subsides. Unfortunately, life goes on and you need to push through your day.

While it’s never easy to fight off a cold, there are some simple steps you can take to shorten the duration and ensure that you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. Here are three things to try:

·      Get more sleep: This doesn’t mean you should stay in bed all day, but you should definitely attempt to add a couple extra hours to your nighttime routine. This goes a long way in giving your body the time it needs to recover.

·      Exercise: No, you don’t want to spend three hours at the gym lifting weights. However, it doesn’t hurt to get your body moving, as exercise is known to strengthen the immune system. Ride a stationary bike for 20 minutes. Take a walk around the block to get your blood flowing. A little bit of exercise can go a long way.

·      Eat a balanced diet: This is important at all times, but especially when you’re fighting a cold. Implement a balanced diet with a heavy focus on liquids and food that is gentle on your throat and stomach.

Doing these things may not immediately cure your cold, but they can definitely help shorten the duration. Don’t wait a single day to experiment with one or more of these tips.

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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A shoulder sprain can cause pain, discomfort and swelling, all of which can make it difficult to live your day-to-day life.

If you suspect this injury, it’s important to seek a professional evaluation. This is the best way to pinpoint your injury and the severity, all with the idea of following the right treatment schedule.

There are multiple forms of treatment for a shoulder sprain, including:

·      Rest. It’s important to give your shoulder the rest it needs to heal. If you continue to use it, such as by lifting heavy items, it can worsen the injury and prolong healing time.

·      Anti-inflammatory drugs. For example, ibuprofen can help relieve pain and swelling. You don’t have to take ibuprofen every day, but just when you need some relief.

·      Sling. Depending on the severity, you may need to use a sling for a period of two to four weeks. This helps immobilize the area, thus giving it time to heal.

·      Ice. Early on, ice is one of the best ways to deal with any pain and swelling in the area. Using this for 10 to 15 minutes at a time can bring the relief you’re seeking.

Don’t assume that a shoulder sprain will heal itself, as it takes the proper treatment for this to happen. As you begin to feel better, you may also want to consider the benefits of massage. This can help loosen your muscles, promote blood flow, and of course, melt away your stress.

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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At first, a stiff back may not seem like that big of a deal. However, if this ailment lingers, there’s a good chance it’ll impact your life in a variety of ways.

Fortunately, there are many ways to treat the discomfort associated with a stiff back. As you experiment with the following treatment strategies, you’re likely to find one that brings you the relief you’re seeking:

·      Heat: Applying heat to your back helps promote blood flow, which in return relaxes the muscles. Doing this for 10 to 15 minutes at a time can loosen your back.

·      Ice: It may not be as comfortable as heat, but it can reduce inflammation and numb any pain you’re experiencing. Just the same as heat, 10 to 15 minutes of ice can go a long way in bringing you relief.

·      Keep moving: This doesn’t mean you should play tackle football or mow the lawn, but too much rest can make your stiffness worse. Light activity, such as walking or yoga, can go a long way in keeping you loose.

·      Massage therapy: With a focus on your back, a massage can relax muscle tissue and reduce spasms. When combined with other therapies, such as those listed above, this is one of the most effective ways to treat your discomfort.

The next time your back tightens up, consider experimenting with one or more of these treatment methods.

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 wake up with a slight headache? Do these seem to come on when you feel stressed during the workday?

Regardless of when you’re dealing with the pain from a headache, there are steps you can take to get back to 100 percent. Best yet, you don’t always have to turn to medication.

Here are four ways to get rid of your headache without medication:

·      Use a cold pack or cool washcloth: Compress either of these on your head for 10 minutes. From there, take a break and see what happens. You may be surprised at the result.

·      Try a heating pad: If your headache is a result of tension and stress, a heating pad often works better than a cold pack. Put this on your neck for 5 to 10 minutes and see what happens.

·      Rest in a dark room: Forget about sitting in front of your computer screen or going outside into the bright sunlight. Dim the lights or turn them off completely. From there, try to relax your headache away.

·      Don’t eat: This doesn’t mean you should shut out food all day long, but try to give yourself a break when treating your headache. Chewing can hurt your jaw and head, causing more harm than good.

The next time you get a headache, don’t immediately search for some type of medication that can help. Instead, experiment with one or more of these treatment options.

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 can strain a leg muscle at almost any time of the day. For example, an awkward step when exiting your vehicle could lead to injury. Just the same, a strained leg muscle is a common injury associated with sports, ranging from skiing to basketball.

If you’re concerned about whether you have a strained leg muscle, here are some symptoms to watch for:

·      Muscle pain and tenderness, which typically increases when you attempt to move or use the muscle

·      Local swelling (often accompanied by discoloration)

·      Difficulty putting weight on your leg

·      Decrease in muscle strength

·      A dent or gap that interferes with the normal tone of your muscle (typically with a grade 3 strain)

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to stay off your leg for the time being. Don’t attempt to push through the injury, as doing so can cause additional harm.

With most leg muscle strains, treatment includes the following:

·      Resting the injured muscle for several days or weeks

·      Icing the area to reduce swelling and discomfort

·      Compression

·      Elevating the leg when possible

As you recover from your injury, don’t overlook the benefits of massage. Chat with your therapist about your diagnosis and current level of pain, so they can give you a clear idea of what type of treatment is best.

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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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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