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Dehydration is a serious medical concern, as it can come on fast and impact your body in a variety of ways.

For this reason, it’s important to understand the most common signs and symptoms of dehydration. With this knowledge, you can pinpoint trouble and seek treatment before your situation worsens.

Here are the most common symptoms of dehydration:

·      Increased thirst

·      Dizziness

·      Dry skin

·      Headache

·      Low urine output

·      Urine that is more yellow than usual

·      Feeling of extreme fatigue

·      Dry mouth

If you have any reason to believe that you’re heading toward dehydration it’s imperative to take immediate action.

For example, if you are working outdoors and come to find these signs setting in, immediately stop what you are doing, seek shelter in a cool place, and begin to rehydrate yourself (ideally with water or a sports drink).

In the event that your dehydration is beyond at home treatment, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention. This may sound like overkill, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

You can become dehydrated at any time of the year, with this more likely during the spring and summer months if you’ll be exercising or working outdoors.

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 middle of the night with a foot cramp? Has this pain and discomfort ever set in at the worst possible time of your day?

A foot cramp may not be the most serious injury, but the pain it causes is enough to have you doubled over and wondering when it will end.

The best way to prevent any type of cramp is to remain hydrated. So, if you’re constantly dealing with foot cramps at night, be sure to drink more water before you retire for the evening.

If a foot cramp sets in, here are a few of the best forms of effective treatment:

·      Put weight on your cramping foot, even though this sounds like the worst possible idea

·      Simultaneously stretch the muscle and rub it gently, doing so until the pain subsides

·      Apply heat with a heating pad or warm towel (you can do this during cramping and after the pain goes away)

These are the types of steps you can take to effectively treat a foot cramp. They won’t make the cramp magically disappear, but they’ll definitely speed up the 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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With spring season in full effect, there’s nothing more enjoyable than spending some time in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, if you have spring allergies, your joy can soon turn to discomfort.

It’s important to become familiar with the warning signs of spring allergies, as this will give you a clear idea of how and when to deal with anything that comes your way.

Here are some of the most common warning signs:

·      Congestion that won’t go away (typically lingers for a few days or longer)

·      Congestion accompanied by itchy and watery eyes

·      Rash that appears anywhere on the body

·      Ear pain, as allergies can cause inflammation of the inner ear

·      No body aches or temperature (meaning that you don’t have the flu)

Along with the above, track pollen levels in your area. Do you notice these signs worsening when pollen levels are high? If so, there’s a good chance you have allergies.

These are just a few of the many warning signs of spring allergies. If one or more of these gets in your way this spring, don’t hesitate to take action. There are a variety of natural remedies for allergies, ensuring that you keep these from impacting your life too much.

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 find yourself becoming more and more active as the weather continues to warm up? If so, you know just how much fun this can be.

Unfortunately, your good times can turn sour if you suffer a back injury.

After a long winter, the last thing you need is an injury that will put you on the shelf for a few weeks or longer. With this in mind, here are a few things you can do to prevent a back injury this spring:

·      Stretch before working out. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you’re taking on, be sure to stretch before (and after) your workout. Not only does this help prevent muscle strains, but it will make you feel better in an overall sense.

·      Don’t lift too much. Maybe you find yourself doing some yard work. Sure, you think you can move that bag of soil on your own, but soon enough you realize you’ve injured your back. Be careful of how much weight you’re lifting.

·      Don’t push yourself too hard. This is when injuries happen. For example, you just got done mowing your lawn and now you want to do some work in your garden (before you pull out the sprinklers). It’s good to be motivated, but be sure to get the proper amount of rest.

By following these tips you lessen the likelihood if suffering a back injury this spring.

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 have a stiff back? Is it often worse in the morning? Are you beginning to wonder why you always wake up in pain?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may want to explore the idea that your mattress could be causing your back pain.

By making a simple change, it’s not out of the question that you could immediately eliminate all your back pain. Furthermore, a new mattress may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when making a change:

·      Personal preference is more important than anything else. There are many types of mattresses to choose from, but you need to focus on the one that’s best for you. There’s nothing wrong with learning more about all your options, but you need to make the final decision.

·      Find out what’s wrong with your current mattress. For example, the mattress you’ve been sleeping on may be too firm for your liking. As a result, you’ll want to purchase something a bit softer the next time around.

·      Test it out. Forget about buying a mattress and hoping for the best. Test out as many options as possible, as this will give you a clear idea of which one works best in regards to comfort and support.

If you have any reason to believe your mattress is causing your back pain it’s time for a change. Wouldn’t it be great if you could wake up feeling better?

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’s easy to get into the habit of warming up before you exercise. However, many people don’t realize it’s just as important to cool down after their workout comes to an end.

Once you learn more about the benefits of cooling down you’re sure to work this into your exercise routine. Here are a few reasons why you need to do this after every workout:

·      To bring your breathing and heart rate back to a normal range

·      To help prevent a situation in which you become dizzy (or even faint)

·      To help prepare your muscles for rest, as well as the next exercise session (no matter when it may be)

·      To remove lactic acid from your muscles, which can help prevent soreness

·      To reduce the potential of cramping and muscle spasms

When your workout comes to an end it’s easy to sit down, take a few deep breaths, and move on with your day. Unfortunately, this approach can cause your body harm (and discomfort).

Do yourself a favor and save 5 to 10 minutes after every workout for an effective cool down. You may not realize the benefits at first, but over time you’ll begin to find that it’s helping you in a number of ways.

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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Regardless of the cause, sore muscles are never fun. Fortunately, you don’t have to let this ailment drag you down for too long. There are many forms of treatment that can have you feeling better in no time at all.

Here are five of the best ways to treat sore muscles:

·      Stretch, stretch, and stretch some more. Yes, it may feel uncomfortable at first, but it will go a long way in providing the relief you’re seeking.

·      Stay hydrated. This is just about as easy as it gets. Make sure you drink enough water and you’re sure to begin feeling better.

·      Ice it. This can be difficult if your entire body is sore, but ice can do wonders for ailing muscles.

·      Use heat as well. If you ice early in the day, treat your muscles with heat later on. You may be surprised at how good it feels.

·      Continue to use the muscles. It’s easy to think your sore muscles need rest – and they do – but you don’t want to go overboard.

By following some or all of these tips you’ll soon realize you don’t have to live with sore muscles for an extended period of time.

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 your day drags on, there’s a good chance you’ll begin to feel a few aches and pains. For many people, the worst aches are in their feet.

While rest typically makes things better, there’s something you need to know: you’ll never find a permanent solution until you know what’s causing your feet to ache.

Here are a few of the top causes of aching feet:

·      Overuse. Are you on your feet all day long? Do you find yourself putting stress on your feet throughout the day? If so, there’s a good chance that overuse is leading to your aches.

·      Obesity. Unfortunately, if you’re overweight it can have a negative impact on many areas of your health, including your feet. Shed a few pounds and you may be surprised to find that your feet feel much better as a result.

·      The wrong shoes. Yes, your shoes could be the reason for your aching feet. For example, if your shoes are too big or too small it could lead to discomfort. The same holds true of shoes that are worn out and no longer providing the support you need.

These aren’t the only causes of aching feet, but they are definitely among the most common.

If you find yourself facing this problem, don’t hesitate to get some rest and schedule a massage. Both of these things can do wonders 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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Regardless of your job title or responsibilities, there may come a time when workplace stress begins to bog you down.

Not only can this make it difficult to get through your day, but it can also impact other areas of your life.

Fortunately, the right approach can go a long way in helping you reduce stress at work. Here are some ideas to consider:

·      Closely track your stressors. Are you stressed out because you have too much work on your plate? Because your coworkers aren’t doing their job? Because you don’t have the right technology in place? Once you understand your stressors you can implement a system for change.

·      Take breaks. Everyone needs a break every now and again. If you push through your day, all without ever resting your mind and body, the stress can take a toll on you. Even a 20 minute break every few hours can go a long way in making life easier on you.

·      Learn what helps you relax. Maybe you need to get a massage once a week to de-stress. Or maybe you need to take a longer lunch so you can give your mind time to refocus. Don’t hesitate to experiment with a variety of stress reduction strategies.

Stress in the workplace is natural, but that doesn’t mean you have to let this remain a big part of your life. These tips can help you reduce stress, thus performing at a higher level in the future.

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, regardless of the cause, has a way of slowing you down. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with this pain and discomfort any longer. There are several treatment strategies you can use to improve your situation once and for all.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

·      Massage. There is no better feeling than getting a massage when suffering from a stiff neck and/or back. Not only does the massage itself feel good, but it can have long lasting effects on your health as well.

·      Use both ice and heat (to see which one works best). Once you find something that works, stick with it for the time being. For example, a warm shower is often a great way to loosen a stiff neck.

·      Stretch in the morning, evening, and throughout the day. This is something that many people overlook, but it’s one of the best ways to relieve discomfort associated with a stiff neck.

·      Change out your mattress and pillow. This may or may not be the cause of your problems, but the only way to know for sure is to make a change. Opt for a special neck pillow accompanied by a firm mattress.

Don’t let your stiff neck keep you down. Instead, experiment with one of these treatment strategies with the hope of finding the one that’s best 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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It’s hard to imagine that you could become dehydrated, especially if you aren’t taking on extreme heat, but it could happen when you least expect it.

This is a serious health concern that can lead to a variety of problems, so be sure to follow these tips if you find yourself in trouble:

·      Immediately stop what you are doing. There is no point in attempting to push through, as this can take a toll on your body. Stop immediately and do whatever it takes to cool down.

·      Seek shelter. It’s best to find a cool area, out of direct sunlight, as this will give your body the opportunity to cool down as quickly as possible.

·      Drink fluids. If available, it’s imperative to drink water or a sports drink. Adding to this, a drink with electrolytes can go a long way in bringing your body back to normal.

·      Continue to rest. It’s not good enough to stop what you’re doing and take a drink. You need to continue to rest in a cool place, all with the idea of making a full recovery.

With the spring months ahead, there’s a good chance you’ll be spending more time outdoors. You should always be on the lookout for signs of dehydration, as you don’t want to push your body past its limit.

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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We’re still a couple months away from spring allergies really picking up, but there’s no better time than now to prepare yourself. By taking the initiative, you may be able to change your ways with the idea of preventing allergies and feeling better as the spring season wears on.

Here are a handful of simple changes you can make:

·      Don’t spend as much time outdoors. When spring allergy season hits its peak, stay indoors as much as possible. This isn’t always easy, but it’s something you should try to do.

·      Wash your clothes regularly. Even though you don’t see it, allergens land on your clothes when you go outdoors. Subsequently, you bring them back inside with you. This is why you should wash your clothes immediately after returning inside (within reason, of course).

·      Turn to natural relief. While there are many allergy medications on the market, you don’t have to rely on one of these. There is natural relief to be had, such as by taking a supplement with ginkgo biloba.

·      Keep your windows closed. Even though you love that fresh air, you don’t want to invite allergens into your home. Rather than use windows, opt for ceiling fans.

There you have it. These tips won’t guarantee that you prevent spring allergies from causing you discomfort, but they can absolutely help.

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 working out is a big part of your life, you may find it hard to take time off. Instead, you’re always pushing yourself to new heights.

However, if you neglect to add rest days to your workout schedule, it could soon take a toll on your mind and body.

Here are three of the best reasons to add rest days to your workout schedule:

·      To prevent injury. You never want to injure yourself when working out, as this can put you on the shelf for an extended period of time. Rest days don’t guarantee you’ll never suffer an injury, but this strategy can definitely help. Remember, your body needs time to recover.

·      To rest your muscles. You need to give your immune system the time necessary to repair and grow your muscle. If you neglect to do so, you’re not getting as much out of each workout session as you could.

·      To keep your mental edge. Your body isn’t the only thing that can wear down when you go too hard for too long. You can also lose your mental edge, thus leading to burnout.

So, there you have it. If you’re the type of person who has avoided rest days in the past, these are some reasons to work them into your schedule in the future.

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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Dry, cracked skin can be every bit as uncomfortable as it sounds. If you let this problem persist, it’s only going to worsen with time.

Fortunately, there are several ways to treat cracked skin, some of which could bring you the relief you’ve been searching for.

Here are some ideas to consider:

·      Soak the skin. The key here is that you want to use more than water. For example, add two to three drops of a natural oil, such as almond, as this will heal the skin and provide much needed relief. Also, when showering, don’t use extremely hot water as this can zap your skin of moisture.

·      Moisturize regularly. For example, once you get out of the shower you should pat your skin dry and then apply a high quality moisturizer. Do this a few days in a row and you’ll notice a big change.

·      Use Super Glue. It may sound extreme, but using Super Glue to hold together cracked skin is a great way to promote healing.

Final tip: prevention is the best cure. If you can avoid cracked skin in the first place – such as by using a daily moisturizer – you’ll never have to concern yourself with finding a treatment method that works.

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 many forms of exercise, all of which can have a positive impact on your body. However, like most, you’ll come to find that some are better suited to you than others.

While some people enjoy walking, running, or lifting weights at the gym, others have come to find that swimming is the perfect type of exercise. Here are some of the many benefits:

·      Less stress on your body. When you run or jog, for instance, you put a lot of stress on your joints. With swimming, you can get the same level of exercise, all without the constant pounding.

·      Helps maintain a healthy weight. If this is important to you – and it should be – you should look into adding swimming to your regular workout schedule. The ability to help you maintain a healthy weight is one of the primary benefits.

·      Build muscle strength and endurance. As the days go by, you’ll find that your swimming regimen is boosting your endurance and making you feel stronger from head to toe.

With so many health benefits, don’t waste another day finding a way to swim more often. Once you find a pool you can regularly use, there’s only one thing left to do: jump in and enjoy yourself!

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 headache at any time of the year can stop you dead in your tracks. For this reason, it’s important to know the most common causes, as this can help you avoid an uncomfortable situation.

For many people, the winter months are the worst when it comes to headaches. There are many causes of winter headaches, including but not limited to:

·      Dry sinuses. When your sinuses dry out, there’s a greater chance that you will develop a headache. The best way to protect against this is to use a humidifier at home.

·      Lack of vitamin D. Since you’re not spending as much (if any) time outside, there’s a good chance you’re not getting the vitamin D you need. Rather than wait until spring arrives, ask your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement.

·      Get more sleep. This is a problem at all times of the year, but for many it really comes into play during the winter months. For example, you may find it hard to sleep at night when it’s cold in your home. If you’re not getting enough sleep, there’s always a chance of developing a headache.

If you find yourself dealing with one or more of these issues, it’s best to put them to rest as soon as possible. Doing so will go a long way in helping you avoid headaches during the winter season.

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 muscle pull is every bit as painful as it sounds. This injury can happen for many reasons, including but not limited to too much physical exertion, poor flexibility, and neglecting to warm up before working out.

Most people understand that a pulled muscle can cause both pain and discomfort for many days or weeks. Fortunately, by taking the right first aid steps, you can minimize the pain and speed up the healing process.

Here are some things you should do immediately after suffering the injury:

·      Apply ice as quickly as possible as to reduce swelling. As a general rule of thumb, apply ice for 15 minutes every hour for the first day. After that, cut back to 15 minutes every four hours.

·      After three days of ice, you can experiment with heat if you’re still suffering any discomfort.

·      Do your best to completely rest the muscle for a full day following the injury. When doing so, try to keep the muscle above your heart.

·      Don’t jump back into activity too soon, as this increases the likelihood of re-injuring the muscle.

First aid for a muscle pull is not complicated. As long as you stick with ice and rest, you’re putting yourself in position to make the fastest possible recovery.

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 the winter months drag on, you may notice the cold weather taking a toll on your mind and body.

While many people take the time to care for their skin, some forget about their hair and scalp. This isn’t a mistake you want to make.

Here are a few winter hair care tips to keep in mind at all times:

·      Protect your hair when possible, as you don’t want to expose it too often to the cold, wet weather. This can be as simple as wearing a hat or hood.

·      Hydration is essential. Just the same as your skin, you need to keep your hair and scalp hydrated during the winter months.

·      Over-styling can cause discomfort. It may look good, but the more product you add to your hair the more problems you’re causing.

·      When washing your hair, opt for cool or warm water. That scalding hot shower may sound like a good idea, but it’ll zap all the moisture from your hair and scalp (not to mention your skin).

As you can see, it’s easy to follow these winter hair care tips. It may take a change in approach, but most people find that it’s well worth it in the end.

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’s something we’ve discussed in the past, but it’s well worth tackling again: there are things you can do to prevent the flu.

While there’s no guarantee you won’t find yourself fighting this illness in the near future, there are steps you can take to improve your chance of remaining healthy this winter. Here are five tips to keep in mind at all times:

·      Avoid close contact with anyone who has the flu (if at all possible)

·      Cover your nose and mouth

·      Clean your hands after contact with other people and objects

·      Don’t get into the habit of touching your mouth, nose, or eyes, as this is often how germs are spread

·      Keep good health habits in mind, which can include getting more sleep, disinfecting your home often, and eating healthy

Again, there is no guaranteed way to prevent the flu this winter, but there are always things you can do to improve your odds of success.

By taking these five tips, you may be one of the lucky people who avoid this illness altogether – and there’s no better feeling than that.

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 concerned about the health of your skin during the winter months? Are you already beginning to struggle with dryness and cracking? Are you hoping to eliminate dry skin before it becomes too big of a problem?

Preventing dry winter skin is easier said than done, however, there are some tips you can follow to help yourself feel better over the next few months:

·      Moisturize as often as necessary. If nothing else, this is the one thing you need to do. Moisturizing two to three times per day can do wonders for your skin.

·      Use a humidifier at home. It doesn’t matter if you have a whole house humidifier or a portable unit, this can be the difference between dry skin and remaining healthy (and comfortable) this winter.

·      Don’t shower in hot water. This may feel good when the temperature drops, but it’s one of the quickest way to pull the moisture out of your skin. If you’re going to shower in super hot water, make it a quick one.

These three tips don’t guarantee you will never suffer from dry skin this winter, but they can definitely help. Don’t hesitate to use each one to your advantage until the spring months roll around.

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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