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Can you think of anything better than a good workout? This has a way of making you feel better, both physically and mentally.

If you don’t know how to prepare for your workout, there is a good chance you could make a mistake that sets you back. And that is not something you want to do.

Here are three big mistakes to avoid before working out:

1. Forgetting to stretch. Neglecting to do this can cause you a lot of trouble, including pulled muscles that could put you on the shelf for a few weeks or longer.

It only takes a solid 10 to 15 minutes to get a good stretch, so make sure you take the time to do so.

2. Eating too much. You don’t want to be starving as you head into a workout. At the same time, you shouldn’t feed your face and then show up at the gym a few minutes later. This will make you lethargic. It may even make you sick as you begin to build up a sweat.

3. Neglecting to stay hydrated. Many people understand the importance of remaining hydrated while they workout. But remember this: you should hydrate before you begin to sweat. This helps reduce the risk of dehydration.

If you avoid these mistakes before working out, you will feel much better as you move through your regimen.

Can you think of anything else you shouldn’t do before hitting the gym?

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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Poor blood flow can lead to a variety of problems, including but not limited to a tingling sensation in your extremities.

By increasing blood flow, your overall level of health will get a boost. But here is the big question: what is the best way of doing so?

Here are three top tips for promoting better blood flow:

1. Get physical. Are you the type who hides from physical activity? Don’t do this any longer. Instead, take the time to implement a physical fitness plan you are comfortable with.

This can include anything from walking to jogging to lifting weights.

2. Stretch often. You should stretch first thing in the morning and last thing before retiring for the evening. Along with this, take breaks throughout the day to stretch your muscles. This has been proven to increase blood flow.

3. Elevate your legs. For many, poor blood flow is a major problem in their lower legs. If this is a concern for you, keep your legs elevated while resting.

Final tip: a massage can increase blood flow to many parts of your body, while also relieving you of stress.

It is important to promote better blood flow, as this can have a positive impact on your health. If you decide that a massage could do you good, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to help you in whatever way we can. 

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 pulled neck muscle is not the worst injury you can suffer, but it’s one that can cause quite a bit of pain and discomfort over a short period of time (longer if not treated).

Are you unsure of whether or not you have pulled a neck muscle? Is it possible you could be suffering from some other type of injury?

Here are several of the most common symptoms associated with a neck muscle strain:

·      Tenderness to the touch or when you make slight movements.

·      Decreased range of motion.

·      Tightness in the neck.

·      High level of pain, especially when you move.

·      Headache at the base of the skull, often radiating towards the forehead.

Along with the above, you may find it difficult to stay seated or standing for an extended period of time. Instead, the pain is best dealt with when you are lying down and in position to rest your head.

Now that you understand the symptoms of a pulled neck muscle, it’s time to learn more about your treatment options.

First and foremost, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice if your symptoms are severe. Along with this, make sure you get plenty of rest.

Last, but certainly not least, a massage is one of the best ways to regain range of motion and treat some of the most painful symptoms.

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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All injuries can be painful and bothersome, however, some have a greater chance of impacting your life. One such injury is a tight hamstring. This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it has a way of holding you down for quite some time.

It is important to know what is causing this problem, as well as the many ways it can be treated. Here are three of the top reasons for tight hamstrings:

·      Previous hamstring strain. Did you recently injure your hamstring? Is it possible it is not 100 percent healed? If so, there is a good chance that you will continue to deal with tightness for the time being.

·      Hamstring injury. It goes without saying that you could be experiencing tightness due to a current injury, such as a strain or tendinosis. If you don’t tackle your current injury, it could continue to cause you pain and discomfort into the future.

·      Lack of stretching. Before a workout, for example, your hamstrings may feel tight. If you don’t stretch, this problem could persist throughout your workout and eventually lead to a serious injury.

If you are suffering from tight hamstrings, if you have an injury you just can’t seem to heal, it’s time to consider all your treatment options. This includes a massage. Sometimes, all it takes is a professional massage to loosen your hamstrings and help heal any injury you may be dealing with. 

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 snow hits, it means one thing to many people: time to grab the shovel and venture into the cold.

Regardless of how much snow you need to move, nothing will change the fact that there are things you can do to improve your safety.

Here are five tips for avoiding snow shoveling injuries:

·      Use the right equipment. From an ergonomic shovel to a snow blower, there is help to be had.

·      Wear comfortable shoes with good traction. Enough said!

·      Take breaks when needed. You want to get the job done, but don’t do so at the expense of your health. There is nothing wrong with taking a break every now and again, especially on big jobs.

·      Push the snow, don’t lift it. This will go a long way in preventing back injuries.

·      Dress the part. If there is snow on the ground chances are that the temperature is below freezing. Make sure you are dressed appropriately. This includes multiple layers, gloves, and a hat that covers your ears.

A snow shoveling injury can cause quite a bit of pain and discomfort. By following these five tips, you can avoid injuries that will put you “on the shelf” for several days or longer.

Final tip: if you happen to pull a muscle while shoveling snow, a massage may be the treatment you need to get 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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Last week, we discussed some of the best ways to keep your pet safe during the winter months. This time around we are going to focus on what you can do to protect your children when the temperature plunges:

1. Dress them in layers. Several lays of clothing can go a long way in keeping your child warm. From their head down to their feet, layers are a must.

2. Don’t assume. Just because you dressed your child in warm clothing doesn’t mean he or she can remain outdoors for hours on end. Be sure to check on them often, while also letting them know to seek shelter if it gets too cold.

3. Use sunscreen. Believe it or not, sunburn can happen in the winter. For this reason, any exposed skin should be covered with sunscreen.

4. Keep them hydrated. You can’t get dehydrated in cold weather, right? Wrong! Cold weather and layers of clothes can speed up the dehydration process. From water to hot cocoa, make sure your children stay hydrated.

5. Keep them inside when under the weather. If your child is under the weather, such as fighting a cold, keep him or her inside for the time being. A minor issue could get much worse by spending time outdoors.

The winter cold is here. Do you have any other tips for keeping young children safe? Share your advice and guidance in the comment section. You never know when you could help somebody else! 

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 winter weather moving in, it is important to take care of yourself as well as your pets. While your four-legged friend may seem happy most the time, it only takes one mistake to end up at the vet’s office.

Here are five top winter pet care tips for the upcoming months:

·      Outside time should be limited. Even if your pet spends most of the year outdoors, this is not a good idea when temperatures begin to fall.

·      Provide outdoor shelter. If you plan on letting your pet spend any extended time outdoors, provide the necessary shelter at all times. This can go a long way in ensuring that scruffy has somewhere to hang out if the weather gets too cold.

·      Keep an eye on your pet’s diet. When your pet spends more time indoors, it consumes less energy. As a result, you need to adjust its diet accordingly. If you don’t, you may find your pet overweight when the weather finally breaks.

·      Keep pets out of the garage. You may realize that drinking that fluid leaking from your car is a bad idea. Your pet, however, has no idea. It won’t take your pet long to find a spill. Protect against this by keeping your pet out of the garage.

·      Salt can be harmful. If you plan on throwing salt down to melt snow and ice, make sure it is pet friendly.  

The winter weather is here, meaning that you need to take special care of yourself and your pets. Do you know what this means?

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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The thought of a sore throat this winter may be enough to make you squirm. This can stop you dead in your tracks. Not only does it have an impact on your personal life, but it can keep you away from work as well.

While many people turn to antibiotics to treat this condition, it is not always the best idea. For this reason, a growing number of people are using natural remedies to put their sore throat behind them.

Here are five of the top natural remedies for a sore throat:

1. Licorice Root

This isn’t the kind of licorice you enjoyed eating as a child. Instead, it’s the type that has been used to treat sore throats for hundreds of years.

2. Slippery Elm

There isn’t much research on the use of slippery elm, but it’s a traditional remedy for the treatment of a sore throat. Native Americans have been using it to treat sore throats, as well as coughs, for hundreds of years.

3. Honey

When taken straight or mixed with tea, studies have shown the impact of honey on a sore throat. Even better, it is one of the best tasting remedies. What more could you want?

4. Salt Water

It may not sound appealing, but gargling with salt water can sooth your sore throat and break down mucus. Use half a teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water for the most powerful impact.

5. Peppermint

You can take this in many ways, with the most effective being a spray that contains peppermint oil. This can soothe a sore throat, stop a cough, and thin mucus.

There are many cold weather health hazards to avoid, and a sore throat is definitely at the top of the list. If you are hit with this condition, one or more of the natural remedies above could provide 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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Can you think of anything worse than sitting in a cold office for eight hours a day? This alone is enough to drive you crazy. Furthermore, it is possible it could impact your health in some way.

If you want to stay warm at the office this winter, there are a few simple tips you can follow:

·      Wear extra clothes. This may not be something you want to do, but it’s often your best option. For example, make sure you always have a sweater close by. This way, when it gets too cold, you can add another layer.

·      Use a space heater. Why not bring your own space heater from home? As long as your company is okay with this, it is a great idea to consider. This is often the best way to warm your personal space, without disrupting others.

·      Move around more often. The more you sit in one position the colder you will become. Make it a habit to get up and move around at least once every hour. You may be surprised at how quickly this warms you up.

If the temperature at your place of employment is too cold to handle, don’t suffer through another winter. Instead, implement one or more of the tips above. You will soon find that staying warm is 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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The winter season just arrived, which means now is the time to prepare for the cold weather that is sure to come.

There are many winter health hazards that you need to avoid at all costs. If you fail to do so, you could find yourself facing an uphill battle in regards to your health.

What are we talking about? Here are five winter health hazards that can pose a giant threat to your health:

·      Cold and flu. As you know, either one of these ailments can put you in bed for days on end.

·      Hypothermia. Spend too much time in the cold weather and this could be the end result.

·      Frostbite. In the most serious of circumstances, frostbite can lead to amputation. It starts in the fingers and toes, so don’t hesitate to run for shelter if numbness, tingling, or stinging sets in.

·      Heart attack. If you spend too much time completing strenuous activity in the cold, such as shoveling snow, it could result in a heart attack.

·      Depression. Seasonal affective disorder is very real. If you begin to feel down during the winter months, change your routine. For example, spend more time at the gym or take a vacation. This may be all you need to snap out of your funk.

Even if you enjoy the winter months, you must be aware of the common health hazards that come into play during this time of the year.

If you are looking to improve your health, if relaxation is on your mind, contact us to schedule a massage.

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 winter weather closing in, you may be resigned to the fact that a stuffy nose is coming next.

While this can be hard to avoid, there are a variety of home remedies that can provide relief. Here are five ways to clear a stuffy nose this winter:

1. Drink more water. Believe it or not, staying hydrated can work in your favor. Make sure you consume water throughout the day, as this can benefit your current condition as well as your overall level of health.

2. Take a shower. Easy enough, right? The steam from a shower can go a long way in clearing your sinuses. You don’t have to spend an hour in the shower. Instead, a good five to ten minutes will do the job.

3. Use a warm compress. This may sound too simple to cure a stuffy nose, but it has been proven effective by many people. A warm compress may be all it takes to help you breathe easy again.

4. Use a saline spray. At first, this may sound a bit invasive. However, once you give it a try, you will soon realize that it can bring fast relief.

5. Drain your sinuses. If all else fails, you may want to use a kit that allows you to drain your sinuses at home.

A stuffy nose can be difficult to deal with. If you find yourself facing this ailment during the winter months, don’t hesitate to experiment with one of the five remedies detailed above.

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 some people never consider the benefits of aromatherapy, others have come to realize that this can improve their mind, body, and soul.

The following benefits of aromatherapy could help you realize that this is just what you have been looking for:

·      Enhance your overall well-being.

·      Improve blood circulation, which brings many benefits to your body.

·      Balance hormone production.

·      Strengthen the immune system.

·      Help you sleep better and longer.

·      Improve digestion.

·      Reduce pain.

You may not experience all of these benefits, but they are reason enough to give aromatherapy a closer look.

In many cases, aromatherapy is mixed in with massage and the use of essential oils. When you contact us to schedule an appointment, or upon arrival, discuss your desire to use essential oils. We can talk about your options, while also helping you better understand the health benefits.

If you have avoided aromatherapy in the past, regardless of the reason, don’t continue to travel down this path in the future. You may find this one of the best ways to improve your physical and mental well being. And as you know, there is nothing better 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 looking for a way to relax your mind, body, and soul? If so, a custom therapeutic massage may be just what you need.

At Serendipity Wellness Studio, we take great pride in creating a custom massage based on each person’s individual wants and needs. This goes a long way in ensuring that you are happy with the experience, and that you feel better when you leave than you did when you arrived.

In addition to a personalized experience, there are other things to expect with a custom therapeutic massage. Consider the following:

·      A combination of Swedish and deep tissue massage, customized to your preferences.

·      Heated table for your comfort.

·      Comforting ambiance to put your mind at ease.

·      Aromatherapy.

·      Use of hot towels.

As you can see, we do whatever it takes to provide you with a custom experience that puts you in a better place.

It doesn’t matter if you are getting your first massage or have been doing so for years, nothing changes the fact that you expect the best service and experience. When you rely on us, you can be rest assured that your therapeutic massage is truly custom.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

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 one-time massage can do wonders for your body. If you get involved with this treatment on a regular basis, however, you will soon find it benefiting many areas of your life. How does that sound to you?

Consider the following:

1. Home. Do you have a lot of stress at home? From raising children to keeping up your household, you know that life is always throwing challenges your way. Massage therapy can help reduce stress, which will have a positive impact on your personal life.

2. Work. Let’s face it: you are going to be stressed out by your career from time to time. This happens to the best of us. A massage can relax your mind and body, allowing you to deal with everything that comes your way at work. Furthermore, it will keep you healthy, also allowing you to take fewer days off.

3. Overall level of health. Are you concerned about stress dragging down your health? Are you concerned that you will continue to spend money for doctor visits and medications? Massage treatment is no miracle, but it can definitely improve your health.

Do you now have a better understanding of why regular massage is an idea to consider? If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to us. We are here to provide you with assistance!

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 reasons why you should understand the importance of staying hydrated. For example, this can have a positive impact on the health of your skin.

While most people realize they should drink more water, some continually fall short of this goal. If that sounds familiar, here are six hacks that can help you consume more water on a daily basis:

·      Drink water before you are thirsty. Many people wait until they are thirsty to start drinking. Rather than do this, be as proactive as possible.

·      Take water with you wherever you go. From the dinner table to work to the car, you should always have water by your side.

·      Add some flavor. There is no rule saying you can’t add flavor to your water. For example, a couple squeezes of a lemon can go a long way in attracting you to drink more.

·      Make it cold. Do you really want to drink warm water? Of course not. Make it cold and you will be more inclined to drink and drink often.

·      Drink through a straw. This may sound silly, but many people claim it tastes better this way. It’s definitely worth a try.

·      Find a container you like. For many, this is the difference between drinking enough water and drinking none. For example, find a big container that can keep your water cold for a long time.

If you want to drink more water, if you realize the importance of doing so, don’t hesitate to implement one or more of these six hacks.

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 it comes to fitness goals, no two people are the same. You need to do what is best for you, as this is the only way to feel good about the progress you are making.

While some fitness tips can point you in the right direction, others will do nothing more than hold you back. Here are three tips to ignore:

1. Pain is a good thing. The “no pain, no gain” mantra should never enter your mind. Sure, you may face some discomfort along the way, but don’t push yourself to the point of injury.

Note: if you do injure yourself, such as a muscle strain, consider your many treatment options. For example, massage therapy is something to consider.  

2. Crunching your abs will give you a flat stomach. This is both true and false. If you are starting with a flat stomach, this will work in your favor. Conversely, if you have a layer of flab on top of your muscles, don’t expect to see much improvement. Your muscles will get stronger, but the flab will remain.

3. It is best to workout in the morning. This has long been a myth, however, it holds no merit. You should workout whenever it best fits your schedule. For some, this is the early morning hours. For others, it is late at night. Choose a time that works best for you.

When you ignore these fitness tips, you have a better chance of reaching your goals.

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 sick and tired of being cold all day long at the office? Are you worried that this is taking a toll on your health? If so, you aren’t alone. Unfortunately, as colder weather closes in, your problem may get worse.

On the plus side, there are things you can do to stay warm at the office this winter. Here are three simple ideas to consider:

1. Wear layers. This may sound silly, as you are working inside, but it may be your only option. For example, you could wear a long sleeve shirt under your sweater. If you get warm, you can always take off a layer.

2. Space heater. This works better for some than others, but is always an idea to consider. If you have your own space, for example, this may be a great way to add just enough warmth to remain comfortable.

3. Use a hot water bottle. Does this sound silly? Even so, it truly is a good idea. Not only is this effective, but it is affordable. You can place this on your back, for instance, while you sit at your desk.

If your office is already too cold to handle, now is the time to make a change. You may not be in charge of the thermostat, but there are other things you can do to raise your body temperature. 

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 strain a muscle at the gym or doing work around home, you know just how painful this can be.

Here is the real dilemma: can you heal the strain on your own, or do you need the help of a medical professional?

In most cases, you will be just fine treating the problem at home. With plenty of rest, ice, and heat, you will find yourself back in business soon enough.

However, here is something to consider: some muscle strains are worse than others. For this reason, you may have to contact a medical professional. Here are some times when it is better to be safe than sorry:

·      If your injury is causing you extreme pain.

·      If you are unable to find some sense of relief within 24 hours.

·      If the injury does not heal over the course of several days.

·      If there is significant swelling.

·      If your injury is accompanied by a fever.

It is easy to believe that all muscle strains can be healed at home, but this is not always true. If you are facing a more serious issue, consider the benefits of seeking medical care.

Final tip: once you heal, don’t hesitate to learn more about the benefits of massage.

Now that you better understand when you need medical care for a muscle strain, you won’t have to worry that you are making the wrong decision. 

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 closing in, you should become familiar with the ways this could impact your body and overall level of health.

Here are several cold weather health risks to watch for this winter:

1. Dry Skin. We have discussed this in the past, but it is worth mentioning again. With the right natural skin care tips, you can avoid issues such as dry, cracked, and/or peeling skin.

2. Immune system. The winter months have a way of spreading the flu and common cold. If you want to avoid this trouble, there are a few things you can do.

First off, wash your hands frequently. Secondly, don’t come in close contact with others who are sick. You are extremely vulnerable during the cold winter months, so don’t overlook the importance of keeping your distance.

3. Heart health. The last thing you want is a heart problem, but remember this: cold weather acts as a vasoconstrictor. Subsequently, you have a greater chance of suffering a heart attack.

To avoid trouble, dress warmly when spending time outdoors. Also, avoid strenuous activity, such as shoveling snow, if you are not in condition to do so in a safe manner.

There are many cold weather health risks to watch for this winter. The three above have plagued millions of people before you. Don’t go down the same path in the months to come.

If you are looking for a way to loosen your muscles this fall or winter, a massage could be just what you need. Contact us to learn more.

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 millions of people who drive for a living. If this sounds familiar, it goes without saying that you spend many hours behind the wheel.

Even if you enjoy your line of work, there may come a point when all the driving takes its toll on your body. If this is a concern, there are steps you can take to improve your comfort behind the wheel:

·      Adjust your seat position. It may feel good to “lay back” your seat just a tad, but this can actually lead to more back pain and discomfort over time. Make sure the back of your seat is in an upright position. It will take some getting used to, but can go a long way in reducing discomfort.

·      Get out and stretch. Even if you don’t have a lot of time to stretch, a couple minutes out of the driver seat can still do a lot of good. If you feel any pain or discomfort setting in, it is time to stretch out.

·      Opt for a massage when you need it the most. After a long week on the road, you need a little bit of rest and relaxation. For many, this means a massage. If you get into the habit of a regular massage, you will quickly realize it can improve how you feel when you find yourself back behind the wheel.

If you drive for a living, these are just a few of the many things you can do to improve your comfort. Why put yourself through pain when you don’t have to?

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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Serendipity Wellness Studio - Massage & Skin Care in Burke, Fairfax, Northern, VA