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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

February 2013

One of my first experiences with massage was while working in a corporate job that I hated. Although management practices were deficient in many respects, they were quite progressive in one: Once a week, they brought in a chair massage therapist for ten- or 200minute sessions. It helped release tension and was a great excuse to get away from my cubicle for a short break. Although it wasn’t enough to keep me in the job, I did return to my desk less stressed and more productive.

Since then I’ve experienced longer, better, and more therapeutic massage sessions, and I’ve learned that a monthly massage is necessary to keep the tension under control in my neck and shoulders.  Even though I love my job now, working at a computer for most of the day is not good for my body. I try to book a session every month as a reward for getting another issue out – in fact, I have one booked for tomorrow.

Have you treated yourself or a loved one to a massage lately? Massage has been shown to reduce pain, relieve stress, improve blood circulation, promote relaxation, and even aid in emotional release. According to a 2010 Cedars-Sinai Medical Center study, massage also improves the response of both the immune and endocrine systems. A good idea during flu season!

This month’s issue offers insights into bodywork practices that help heal while relieving stress.  “Bodywork goes Mainstream” describes how a variety of massage therapies have made their way into complementary and integrative healthcare practices.  In “Light Touch Therapies,” local practitioner Hilary Bilkis goes into more depth about craniosacral therapy and visceral mobilization, modalities that release and rebalance restrictions in the connective tissue. For more information on therapeutic touch (there are more than 100 types of bodywork techniques), see our comprehensive Bodywork Guide online at

Since February is a month for lovers, we also bring you “Courting Marriage Success,” an article from relationship expert Stephanie Coontz.  And if you’re still searching for the right relationship, don’t let Valentine’s Day get you down. Instead, log on to, the newly launched dating site for meeting like-minded souls both near and far. There’s more information on page 8.


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