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How do you rate on the Stress Scale?

Posted on August 25, 2017 at 6:15 PM

Stress comes in all shapes and sizes, differs for each of us and we all cope with it differently.  Have you ever wondered how bad yours is at work or at home?  Take this quick quiz from the American Institute of Stress (https://www.stress.org) to find out how you are doing.


When you are done, come back and check out my services.  Massage has been proven to decrease stress and increase relaxation in mind and body.


Click this link to take the Workplace Stress survey       http://www.stress.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Workplace-Stress-Survey.pdf

Click this link to take the Life Event Stress survey        http://www.stress.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Workplace-Stress-Survey.pdf


New Recipe! Broccoli Cashew Quinoa - YUM!

Posted on August 6, 2017 at 10:05 PM

My family tried a new recipe this week that was so delicious and healthy, I had to share. Best of all it was QUICK! Only 15-20 minutes to table. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

•1 TBSP Coconut oil

•2 cloves garlic, minced

•1 small red onion, diced

•2 cups vegetable broth

•1 TBSP white wine vinegar (or just wine)

•1 TBSP sweetener (agave, Gentle Sweet or honey)

•2 TBSP lemon juice

•1 cup quinoa

•1/2 tsp salt

•2 packages frozen (steamable) broccoli

•1 cup cashew pieces

•1/2 cup fresh tomatoes

Saute garlic and onion in coconut oil. Add vegetable broth, wine, sweetener, lemon juice and quinoa. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes until grains absorb all the liquid.

While quinoa is simmering, microwave the packages of broccoli and set aside.

When the quinoa is done, remove from stove. Toss in steamed broccoli, cashews and fresh tomatoes.

Why Massage Therapy Can Give Athletes a Competitive Edge

Posted on July 2, 2017 at 10:00 PM

Massage therapy countless benefits for athletes and people who enjoy sports including improved performance, faster recovery from injury and injury prevention. It’s hardly surprising that so many athletes and sports lovers are turning to regular massage and making it an essential part of their routine.

Some of the positive effects of massage that athletes particularly benefit from include:

 Reduced muscle tension

 Better muscle tone

 Promoting relaxation

 Increased range of motion

 Improved soft tissue function

 Decreased muscle stiffness

 Less muscle fatigue after exercising

 Improved performance

 Less delayed onset muscle soreness

 Fewer injuries


What is Sports Massage?

Therapeutic sports massage is a specific massage technique. It uses some moves and techniques that are also used in deep tissue massage, and concentrates mainly on the soft tissues, addressing any injuries, aches and pains. There’s evidence that this type of massage can really help, and has even shown that a session of deep massage after an intense workout can actually benefit muscles from within; it can cause muscles to enlarge and grow new mitochondria. Mitochondria are the parts of the cells that convert nutrients into energy.


In the study carried out at McMaster University, in Hamilton, Canada, researchers asked men to exercise to the point of exhaustion on stationary cycles, then gave them a deep tissue massage on one leg only. Muscle biopsies showed that the deep-tissue massage increased the size and number of new mitochondria more than exercising without massage. The pressure that’s involved in a sports massage stimulates blood flow so not only does it get the blood pumping; it also means your muscles are warmed up during and after your massage session. That’s on top of the feeling of relaxation that you get, helping you destress after working out, and improving your mood. These are the sort of mental benefits that could well give you an edge over your competitors too.


If those benefits are enough to make you want to book a regular massage as part of your essential training, you wouldn’t be alone. More and more professional and recreational athletes are cottoning on to the benefits of massage therapy, and making it an essential part of their regime.


As more research is carried out into how massage can improve your performance, more and more athletes will be taking advantage its long list of feel good benefits.


Why you can't afford NOT to get a massage

Posted on June 3, 2017 at 9:40 AM

It’s a myth that you can’t afford massage – the truth is that if you want to stay happy, healthy and full of vitality for longer, you can’t afford NOT to fit regular massage therapy sessions into your schedule.


Massage might have a reputation for being something that’s a treat, a fluffy afternoon in a spa with aromatherapy candles and whale music, but that’s not what it’s all about. Massage is healing, reviving, relaxing and in fact it can save you a whole lot more money than it costs you. Massage therapy has been proven to treat the symptoms of conditions as diverse as depression, chronic pain, fibromyalgia and MS. This is according to the Touch Research Institute, who has carried out over 100 separate studies into massage and its many benefits.


Even if you’re not managing a particular health condition, you still need massage in your life. It can help you if you’re an athlete, or just enjoy a workout. Massage can help keep your joints and muscles supple so that you’re less prone to injury. It’s great for dealing with stress, even if you’re not actually depressed, and improve immunity and sleep, making you more present and productive at work.


How expensive is massage, really?


According to recent figures, the average massage session costs about $50 for 45 minutes*. That's about the same as tank of gas and an oil change, erring on the cheaper side. The average price for a trip to the doctor, spending approximately 10 minutes with a doctor - is $68** (without insurance).


Although most insurance companies aren’t enlightened enough to cover massage, there’s no arguing that massage DOES play a bit part in injury and disease prevention. Experts know that a regular massage session will help to keep your body healthy.  Worst case scenario? What’s the worst that can happen if you neglect your massage routine? Plenty of people struggle through with sore backs, a bit of repetitive strain, or hurt themselves while running, what’s the big deal?


Did you know that back injuries are the second most common reason for worker’s compensation claims? That’s everything from muscle spasms, problems with discs, and injuries leading to disability. 31 million Americans are thought to experience low-back pain at any given time. Most of these injuries could be prevented with better posture, rest and massage. So many back problems can be directly attributed to over-use and fatigue, and most problems are mechanical that is, not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.


On average, managing back pain costs Americans over $50 BILLION a year. Still think you can’t afford that massage?


 * http://health.costhelper.com/massage.html

 ** https://www.debt.org/medical/doctor-visit-costs/

10 Minute Relaxation Tips

Posted on May 25, 2017 at 3:15 PM

We know you’re busy. There’s always so much to do, and you can feel stressed, overworked and strung out. But who has the time to relax? You do. Just take ten minutes and try one of the tips below, we promise it will make all the difference.


Breathe.


Sometimes a bit of attention to your breathing is all you need. Breathe deeply and slowly for ten minutes and it can actually help decrease your blood pressure and lower your heart rate.


Smell the flowers


Sniff some essential oil. It’s not an old wives tale; lavender really can help you relax. The scent of lavender can be so potent in helping you relax; it’s available in pulse point roll-ons, sprays and more to help you take time out. Combine lavender essential oil with the breathing tip and you’re onto a winner.


Rub your hands


Give yourself a DIY hand massage to calm yourself down in stressful moments. A ten minute rub of the undersides of your thumb, hand and fingers can be really effective for banishing stress.  Do this when putting on lotion.  It takes just an extra minute but can be very effective in stress reduction.


Benefits of Using Heat with Massage Therapy

Posted on December 11, 2016 at 12:15 AM

I love using heat modalities in with my Custom Therapeutic Massage!  Standard in each Custom Massage is the option for 2 hot stones and a Moist heat pack for your back.  I offer these at no extra charge!  Why?  I could charge more for these wonderfully relaxing enchancements, but I don't because they are not just "foo-foo feel good" extras.  No, they actually provide therapeutic benefit that helps my clients as well as make my job easier! 


Heat helps muscles relax.  When you have overworked or overstressed muscles, they are tight and often knotted.  When you add heat, it helps those muscles relax.


Heat helps the therapist to work deeper.  When I use heat, I don't just apply it and then leave you alone.  I use heat in conjunction with my hands and manipulate your muscle tissue to work at resolving the root issue of your pain and tension deep within the soft tissue.  It makes the manipulation of the soft tissue easier because the muscle is first relaxed before I go deep into the muscle belly to address the source of the tightness.


Heat feels good.  Yes, it does.  But not only that, using heat enables me to do very deep tissue work on your muscles with minimal pain experienced by you.  To me that's a Win-Win.  The result is you leave feeling euphorically relaxed because not only did I solve the issue of the knot inside your muscle tissue, but I was able to do it with the minimal amount of pain because of the appropriate and therapeutic use of heat.


Come experience the difference for yourself!  Book your Custom Therapeutic Massage today!


Healthy Sides for Thanksgiving

Posted on November 23, 2016 at 2:20 PM

Who doesn't LOVE the Thanksgiving feast with all the delicious trimmings?  Not so trim on our waistlines, am I right?  

This year, why not make a favorite dish a lot healthier?  Traditional Sweet Potato Cassarole is loaded with sugar and topped with marshmellows. My kids love it, but .... ugh, all that sugar.  Did you know that many sources consider sweet potatoes the worlds healthiest food?  Why would we make one of the worlds healthiest foods one of the most UNhealthy by loading it with tons of butter, sugar and of all things marshmellows?  

Try my makeover Sweet Potato Cassarole.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/4 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 Tbsp +1 tsp butter

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp honey

1/4 tsp cinnamon

a dash of nutmeg

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup pecans chopped

First peel and cube your sweet potatoes and set them aside.  Cut them in about 1 -2 inch cubes

Next, combine the rest of the ingredients (except the nuts) to make a sauce and pour them over the cubed sweet potatoes.  Stir them up to mix well.  Then, with a slotted spoon, remove the sweet potatoes leaving the bit of sauce left in the bowl.  Bake your sweet potatoes 30-35 minutes on 375 degrees until they are soft and can be pierced with a fork. 

With the remaining liquid, toss in 1/2 cup of roughly chopped pecans or walnuts.  Place them on top of your cooked potatoes and bake for 5 minutes at 450 degrees.  

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus.  Enjoy a new tradition this year!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Strenghting Your Core to Prevent Injury and Low Back Pain

Posted on October 1, 2016 at 1:45 PM

What Exactly Is the Core?

Your core muscles are a group of muscles running down the center of your body. These include your abdominal muscles, back muscles, and your pelvis. All of these muscles contribute to your overall balance and strength.

How Does Core Strengthening Help?

Strengthening your core can alleviate lower back pain, improve your posture, increase your athletic performance and prevent injuries from falls and everyday activities. Your core is your center of balance and strength for almost everything you do!

Can I Strengthen My Core?

Yes, with core strengthening exercises! These exercises will not only improve your core strength, but they will also help you tone your abdominal muscles, back, glutes, and legs. Even better, these exercises can all be done from home.

Here’s a few core exercises to try at home:

1. Yoga and Pilates

Yoga and Pilates type exercises are very popular workout routines that are aimed toward building a strong and healthy core. You can find yoga and Pilates videos online, on DVD, or even learn poses from books and magazines. These are easy to do from home and most routines do not even require any sort of equipment.

2. Planking

Planks are an exercise that you might find difficult in the beginning, but as you core strengthens you will find it easier over time. Planking is great for the whole body, from your arms all the way down through your legs, and is actually touted as being a better exercise for your abs than crunches.

Start by getting into push-up position on the floor, but rest on your arms at 90-degree angles. Straighten your whole body out, through to your feet up on your toes. Use your core muscles to hold the position for as long as possible. Each day, hold a little longer.

3. Balance ball

Using a balance ball helps you to focus on your core muscles when doing certain exercises. You can use a balance ball to do push-ups, crunches, and more. Even simply sitting on a balance ball instead of a chair helps you strengthen your core muscles during the day.

4. V-sit

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lean back to a 45-degree angle and hold your arms out straight beside you. Slowly lift your feet off the ground, using your core to keep yourself steady. Extend your legs out so that your body forms a “V”. Hold this position as long as possible, using your extended arms to help maintain your balance.

 

5. Tucks

Start in the same position as the v-sit, leaning back at the 45 degree angle and arms straight out beside you. Extend your legs out just like in the v-sit, but then bring them back to your body, not resting them on the floor. Repeat this motion ten times, rest, and then repeat.

 

6. Bicycles

Starting in crunch position with your hands behind your ears, reach your elbow to the opposite knee, extending the other leg out. Repeat the motion, alternating sides, and working your legs as if riding a bicycle. Continue the motion for an extended period of time, at least 30 seconds, before resting and then repeating.

Try to make time for a few core-strengthening sessions each week. It may be hard at first, but stick with it! You will notice that you feel look and even move better.

 

Make Some Sugar Scrub

Posted on September 30, 2016 at 6:40 PM

Make your own fall spa body scrub.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

3/4 cup Sweet Almond Oil

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspon allspice

Directions:

Mix  brown sugar with sweet almond oil

Then add cinnamon and allspice till desired fragrance is reached.

Store in an airtight container.  Enjoy!


Disclaimer: If used in the shower, please watch your step, oil will make the shower or tub slippery!

 

Self-Care Tips for Getting Better Faster!

Posted on September 15, 2016 at 1:45 PM

We all get sick, and you will get better much faster by taking care of you and resting!

A few tips: Ask for help from your spouse and child if they are old enough.

Have some easy meals in the cabinet or freezer in case you're not up to cooking (healthy canned soup, frozen veggies, and quick rice are great).

Eliminate what you can from your work load. Many things, such as housework can wait!

 

As far as going to your job it's much better to call in for a day or two then to try to do too much and end up being sick for longer. You'll be a lot more productive if you can just stay home and get well! If that's not an option, just take care of your most important tasks and then go home.

 

I also use aromatherapy oils in the diffuser by my bed. I feel like that really helps to support my immune system.

Epson salt baths are very good for sore muscles and achy muscles when you're sick.

Let you kids watch movies, or do whatever it takes to get your rest.

 

I find that when I do get sick it's when I have let some of my self-care slide such as being overly busy, skipping green smoothies, not getting regular massage and not getting enough sleep.

It is very tempting to just try to push through and carry on with your regular schedule even when you're sick. We all want to do it all and accomplish our goals, but by resting and taking care of yourself you'll be back at it faster and healthier and stronger!

 


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