Show Mom You Care with a Massage

Mother’s Day is just a few weeks away and there really is no better gift than the gift of massage therapy. Mother’s Day gift certificates are currently 20% off, through May 14th! You can order a gift certificate online or over the phone, we are happy to email you the gift certificate for you to surprise your loved one!

Here are some reasons we think massage therapy makes the best gift for Mother’s Day:

Mothers in all stages of motherhood can benefit from massage therapy. If your loved one is about to become a mother, a prenatal massage therapy session can help relax her while bringing relief from the discomforts of pregnancy. Expectant mothers may also find themselves having trouble sleeping due to their discomfort, so a massage may help bring them the utter relaxation they need to sleep well. Low stress levels, good sleep, and plenty of relaxation are all important to growing a healthy baby so encourage an expectant mother to take care of her body during this demanding time with the gift of massage.

Mothers of babies and toddlers are new to the many demands of motherhood. Sleepless nights, worrying, and increased physical labor from carrying around small children can have a toll on her body. A massage can help her relax, sleep better, and reduce pain from lugging a heavy toddler or a car seat from place to place. Many new mothers also find themselves with lingering effects of pregnancy or delivery, such as low back and hip pain or swelling. Massage increases circulation and lymphatic drainage which can help facilitate the body in getting rid of the excess fluids. Stimulating the tissue also helps your body to shift fluid to the right places.

If your loved one is a mother to older children, she may have very little time to herself between the demands of her work and family life. School and sports schedules in addition to work and running a household can leave little time for relaxation or stress-relief. In our modern culture, it is easy to feel like you are not measuring up or doing enough as a mother. Indulge your loved one with a pampering massage session to help melt away stress and tension. Massage therapy has been shown to reduce the level of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the blood while also lowering blood pressure and heart rate.

You may be an adult who wants to show mom how special she is to you and how much you recognize her devotion towards raising you. Women as they age may encounter sleep difficulties due to fluctuating hormones as they enter menopause. Middle-aged and aging adults may also begin experiencing pain in their neck, shoulders, backs, and hips. Encourage mom to relax with a massage gift certificate that can help provide relief from any aches and pains. Massage therapy can also reduce the severity of hormonal fluctuations by lowering the levels of cortisol in the blood, since this stress hormone is tied with an increase in hormonal fluctuations.

Whatever her stage of motherhood, treat mom to a massage!

Post-Tax Stress Relief! Which Type of Massage is Best?

The federal tax filing deadline has passed, letting many of us breathe a sigh of relief that a hefty to-do is off our list. Business owners and individuals alike may have lost sleep, staying up later than usual to finish their taxes, or tensed their shoulders and necks while crunching numbers. Owing taxes is stressful, particularly if it came as a surprise. Finding all the documents you need, realizing you were missing something important at the last minute, or standing in a long line at the post office can all add anxiety and tension to a life that is already busy.

Luckily, massage therapy is a helpful and affordable away to melt away the stress of filing taxes! Try out one of these popular massage specialties for stress relief!

Choose Swedish Massage for moderate to light stress relief, as well as enhanced relaxation and improved sleep. Dull your headaches and forget about the hectic days leading up to filing taxes with this popular massage technique that features smooth, gliding strokes and kneading of the topmost layers of muscles. Swedish massage is a truly relaxing and reenergizing experience.

Try a Deep Tissue Massage for muscle tension from stress! This is a similar massage style to Swedish massage but focuses on deeper layers of the muscle tissue and fascia. It is used to release knots in muscles and adhesions. If you are carrying a lot of tension in your neck, back and shoulders and prefer a firmer touch, this may be an excellent choice for you!

Try a Hot Stone Massage for deep muscle tension and stress. Hot river stones help loosen the muscles and fascia with their heat, helping to melt away stress with gentle gliding pressure. This type of massage is a great choice for individuals who would benefit from a deep tissue massage but are more sensitive to the pressure involved with a deep tissue session.

Choose Craniosacral Therapy for stress relief, rebalancing, and improved nervous system functioning. If your brain feels fried after tax time, this may be the treatment for you. This whole body, light-touch treatment technique releases tensions felt deep within the body, improving the overall function of the central nervous system and immune system.

Choose our Signature Blended Deep Swedish Massage for deep stress relief! This signature 90-minute service combines a unique blend of massage modalities with essential oils for a therapeutic massage that will melt away stress, relax you, and release muscle tension.

If none of these sound like the perfect fit for you, talk to our therapists about which massage type may be best for you and your needs!

You Are Never Too Young for Massage! Massage for Babies and Children

Massage therapy is beneficial across the life span! While you may not find massage centers catering to babies and children, you can use gentle massage techniques on you children safely at home.

Touch is the first sense to develop in humans and is essential to our health and well-being. Babies without enough physical contact fail to thrive. Children who are raised with healthy views of touch and positive tactile experiences are more likely to grow up to be adults with healthy self-esteem and relationships.

Infant massage is an excellent way to nurture and spend time with your baby. Infant massage can encourage interaction between you and your baby, help your baby to relax and sleep, reduce crying, and reduce hormones that control stress. Further research is being conducted but studies have shown that massage promotes growth in premature infants. Premature infants may have developed a negative association with touch if they have experienced uncomfortable and painful medical procedures, so a new and positive experience with touch is beneficial.

It is best to avoid massaging an infant after a feeding since doing so may cause them to vomit. Your baby’s mood is also a great indicator of the right time for a massage. If he or she seems happy and content then go for it, but if the baby is turning their head away from you, it would be best to wait until later.

Your baby may enjoy a massage as part of their nightly bedtime routine, such as after a bath and before dressing them in their pajamas. Create a calm and warm atmosphere by making sure the room temperature is not too cold and lay your baby on a blanket. Use a gentle touch to massage your baby but avoid tickling them so that the baby does not become irritated.

Toddlers and older children can also reap the benefits of massage therapy. Try to make it a part of their nightly bedtime routine to help them relax and prepare their bodies for sleep. Stress may seem like simply a manifest of adult life, but children also experience stress and can benefit from the stress-reducing benefits of massage. Starting school, navigating friendships, struggling with school work, and illness are all potential sources of stress in your child’s life. Stress in the home such as an adult’s illness, job loss, or divorce can also lead your child feeling stressed. A nightly massage can help reduce the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, circulating in the blood. Use light but firm pressure and aim for the massage to last for 15 to 20 minutes since longer can be overstimulating.

Top 4 Massage Types for Digestive Disorders

Massage therapy has many known amazing benefits as well as new perks that are being researched. Many people suffer from occasional bouts of digestive disorders or discomfort such as constipation, heartburn, nausea, or bloating. Many others suffer from digestive disorders that are chronic, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s Disease.

Many of these diseases are accompanied by chronic pain and troublesome symptoms. Digestive orders often have periods where they lurk in the background mixed with periods of active symptoms. While massage therapy is not recommended during a flare-up of an inflammatory condition such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, it can help reduce the likelihood of an attack as part of good self-care. Massage therapy can also help reduce the anxiety, stress, and tension that can be part of these disease and may contribute to worsening flare-ups.

Here are the massage modalities that are used to help those with digestive disorders:

Swedish Massage:

Long strokes and gentle kneading movements are applied to the surface muscles to help release muscle tension. This type of massage is known to help remove waste products from various tissues and improve circulation. Swedish massage may help reduce bloating, gas, and constipation by keeping the digestive tract moving. Gentle pressure on the abdominal muscles may help relieve trapped air.

Deep Tissue Massage:

Deep tissue massage involves the therapist applying more pressure to the deeper muscles and connective tissues of the body. It focuses on releasing adhesion, or knots or scar tissue. It may be used alone or in conjunction with other massage techniques such as a Swedish massage. Some people find a deep tissue massage too uncomfortable but may be able to tolerate a little bit of deep tissue work. Deep tissue massage may also help to relieve cramping and bloating.

Trigger Point Massage:

In trigger point massage, steady pressure is applied to targeted areas. This can help release abdominal muscle spasms and tightness, helping promote blood flow to the area to promote healing. This can help with constipation, cramping, and bloating that cause significant discomfort.

Shiatsu:

Shiatsu is a form of Japanese massage in which the practitioner uses his or her body weight to apply pressure to acupressure points in your body in order to simultaneously adjust the flow of energy through the meridians in your body. This adjustment in energy flow can help the stalled digestive system to get moving again, bringing you relief from bothersome symptoms.

Clean Eating for your Health

If you struggle with your energy level, weight loss, or sleeplessness, it may be time to consider a lifestyle change to help you live your best life! Your body functions and health depend on the nutrients you are putting into it, so if your diet is not the healthiest, then you may have found the reason behind your low energy! Having low energy also lowers your motivation to exercise, but exercise can help you lose weight and sharpen your mental focus.

Eating “clean” has become a popular term in the nutrition and fitness world and can refer to a short-term cleanse or a long-term lifestyle change. While there is no strict definition, clean eating generally refers to consuming foods that are unprocessed and in their natural state. No one food group is typically eliminated, you can eat any foods you like as long as they are whole and unrefined.

Most people who are choosing to eat clean avoid sodas, sports drinks, baked goods, candy, and pre-packaged food like chips, frozen dinners, and canned soup. White bread, white rice, and other foods prepared with white flour are excluded from a clean diet since the grain has been refined, losing much of its nutritional value.

Clean eating offers many benefits, including fat loss, weight loss, increased energy, clearer skin, better sleep, and a sharper mental focus. When you are not consuming sodas and processed foods, you will need to replace those items with water and lots of fruit and vegetables, which are naturally better for your body than other types of food. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, which play a key role in your body’s metabolic processes. They are also high in fiber, which keeps your digestive system functioning well. A slow-moving digestive tract can make you feel sluggish and bloated, so you should notice the benefits of increasing your produce intake. Fruits and vegetables are also complex carbohydrates, helping sustain your energy for longer periods without the energy ups and downs that come from consuming processed foods made with sugar.

Clean eating has been around for a long time, but it may take some time to get used to making this lifestyle change since our hectic ways of life often have us relying on pre-packaged foods. You can go big and begin eating 100% clean right away, or you could plan to start small, choosing to eat clean for dinner every day while you learn to pack yourself clean lunches and grab a quick breakfast that is not processed food.

Clean eating can help you feel better and live your best life! Consider other lifestyle changes that have a positive effect, like taking more time for self-care activities such as getting a massage or visiting with friends. Try it out to see how it works for you!

Five Best Essential Oils for Allergies

Spring is coming our way with warmer weather, blossoming flowers, and pollen! As excited as you may be to welcome spring, seasonal allergies can be a considerable part of the season for many. Around 40 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies with a range of symptoms such as runny nose, congestion, watery eyes, and sneezing.

Allergies are caused by the body detecting pollen or other triggers and defending itself from the allergen by releasing histamine, a chemical which causes irritating symptoms such as watery eyes, itchiness, and redness. Remedies include daily medications or avoiding the outdoors, but a more natural approach is to try out essential oils. Get on top of spring allergies with essential oils that can keep annoying symptoms at bay.

 

1.Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is a great remedy for allergies. Inhaling diffused peppermint oil helps to open up the sinuses, relieving painful pressure and congestion. It also provides relief to scratchy throats and acts as an expectorant, breaking up phlegm. Research has shown peppermint oil can work to exhibit antispasmodic activity, which helps you to cough less. This makes it a great treatment option before sleep!

Use peppermint oil in a diffuser. Five drops of peppermint oil added to a diffuser can give you great relief from allergy symptoms. Peppermint oil can also be taken internally to reduce inflammation. Add 1 to 2 drops to your favorite tea. You can apply peppermint oil topically but it can be irritating to the skin, particularly to people with sensitive skin. Dilute the peppermint oil with coconut oil and test in a small area before applying it to the chest, back, temples, and feet.

 

2.Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil opens up the lungs and sinuses, helping to improve circulation and reduce allergic symptoms. Eucalyptus oil produces a cold sensation in the nose that helps improve air flow. Eucalyptus oil has a powerful ingredient, known as citronellal, which has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It also is known to work as an expectorant, helping to break up the phlegm that can trap harmful microorganisms that may lead to infections like bronchitis or pneumonia.

Use eucalyptus oil in a diffuser or apply it topically to the chest area for treating respiratory issues. For severe symptoms, you can also pour a cup of boiling water into a bowl and add a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Place a towel over your head, lean over the bowl, and inhale deep breaths for up to ten minutes.

3. Basil Oil

Basil may certainly be familiar as a cooking spice, but it also comes in powerful essential oil form. Basil reduces the inflammatory response of allergens, helping your body react appropriately to a threat rather than the overreactive immune response that causes allergic symptoms. Basil oil can also help detoxify the body, fighting harmful bacteria and viruses that can be especially opportunistic when the body is overcome with allergies. 

Take one drop of basil oil internally to fight inflammation and regulate the immune system. Add a drop of basil oil to soup or other dishes. Dilute 2-3 drops of basil oil with coconut oil and apply topically to the chest and temples.

4. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic agent, exhibiting antimicrobial properties. Tea tree oil can fight off a wide range of bacteria, fungi, and yeast. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as a household cleaner to eliminate allergens from the home. 

Use tea tree oil topically, applying 2-3 drops to a cotton ball and gently applying to any rashes or hives on the skin. You can also use tea tree oil with water as a household cleaner.

 

Removing Toxins From The Body: What Are The Facts?

You may hear regularly in the news or from celebrities about a cleanse or other technique meant to eliminate toxins from the body. This phrase sounds beneficial but what does “removing toxins” really mean? What are the toxins that build up in our body that need to be removed through special diets or rituals?

A “toxin” can really be anything that does our bodies harm. Many specialty cleanses or diets consider alcohol, sugar, carbohydrates, meat, or tobacco products to cause a build up of toxins in the body. Any substance could technically be a toxin, especially if not consumed in moderation. Cleanses and special diets focus on following a plan for a short amount of time that focuses on not ingesting any toxins while also flushing them from the system in a special way. Flushing toxins may be done by drinking certain teas, beverage concoctions, nutritional supplements, water with lemon, or vinegar.

Many people claim that they feel more energetic, sleep better, think clearly, and lose weight after following a cleanse. You may be rushing out to try a cleanse after being someone rave about their experiences, but there is a flip side to following one of these special programs. If you follow a cleanse and then return to your same poor diet or habits, you will no longer feel more energetic or sleep better. You did not “reset” your body with a cleanse but rather gave it a break from a lifestyle that was more than your body could handle, such as a high fat diet or consuming too much alcohol.

A cleanse to flush toxins may also not be a healthy option, since a cleanse typically involves consuming very little calories, particularly from protein sources. While it is usually done in the short-term, going without protein is detrimental to your body’s natural cell renewal process. Cleansing may also negatively affect any chronic diseases you have such as diabetes which requires more careful regulation of nutrient intake.

Luckily, you really do not need to cleanse or do anything special to flush toxins from your body. Your body has many systems already in place to handle toxins in our body. The digestive system actively eliminates anything our body cannot use from food, while the kidneys filter our blood and excrete the filtered waste products in urine. Even our skin can sweat out impurities!

Instead of a cleanse, focus on ways that you can support your body’s natural processes. Eating a diet high in fiber with lots of fruits and vegetables will support a healthy digestive system. Regular exercise and drinking plenty of water also helps your digestive tract work best. Sluggishness may be the result of a slow-moving digestive tract, heavy meals, and poor diet choices that are not giving you the energy you need.

Drinking lots of water helps your kidneys to flush out waste products. Alcohol and heavy caffeine consumption reduce the ability of the kidneys to do their job, which may leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable. A diet high in sodium, such as one that relies heavily on takeout and fast food will also impact the kidneys.

Getting enough sleep at night as well as reducing stress can also help your body work its best. If you are having trouble doing either, seek out ways to relax for stress reduction and better sleep. Spending time with friends, time with a good book and a warm beverage, or a pampering massage can all be wonderful stress reducers. Massage therapy is shown to reduce stress while also helping you sleep better. Massage also lowers blood pressure and improves circulation, helping vital blood reach the organs that eliminate toxins from the body. Choose a healthier lifestyle over a short-term cleanse in order to flush toxins from your system!

Essential Oils for a St. Patrick’s Day Hangover Cure

With St. Patrick’s Day almost here, you may find yourself making plans for a fun night out! As fun as that may be, you may need to have a recovery plan in place if you find that having a few drinks with friends leaves you feeling poorly the following morning. Make sure to drink responsibly, have a safe ride home, and take in plenty of water. If you still feel unwell though, try essential oils to get you through the hangover.

1.Fennel Essential Oil

This oil may help promote healthy kidney function and eliminate toxins from the body. It is traditionally used for extracting toxins from the blood, making it one of the best detoxifying essential oils to use to help for hangover recovery. To use this oil, combine 1 or 2 drops with a carrier oil and massage onto the skin.

2.Lavender Essential Oil

Hangovers can cause terrible headaches. Lavender essential oil may be able to reduce headache severity by about 50%, making it a great choice for hangover recovery. It has also been noted to have sedative and pain-relieving properties, which may make it helpful if you are trying to sleep off the symptoms of the hangover. To use this oil, add 2-4 drops into 2-3 cups of boiling hot water or into a diffuser and place in a well-ventilated space.

3.Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger is a natural hangover remedy since it works as a pain reliever, soothes abdominal pain, and combats fatigue. It also has liver-protecting properties, making it a great choice for recovering from a hangover.

4.Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil has fabulous anti-nausea properties and is considered to be one of the best natural remedies for hangover nausea. Lemon oil may also have anti-depressant properties, making it a great mood elevator and helping you feel better. Use lemon essential oil in a diffuser for the greatest benefit.

5.Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil is a powerful hangover remedy. It has natural anti-nausea properties as well as relieves digestive and headache pain. Applying peppermint essential oil to the temples of the forehead may help reduce headache symptoms, since the cooling effects can increase the blood flow to the head, alleviating the painful symptoms of a headache. Peppermint oil can also significantly reduce fatigue.

Mix 2-4 drops of a peppermint oil with a carrier oil and rub into the temples.

6. Black Pepper Essential Oil

Black pepper essential oil is natural pain relief. If it is applied topically, black pepper essential oil has been reported to relieve symptoms of an upset stomach like bloating or cramping, which may be very helpful if you are suffering from a hangover. To use this oil for stomach relief, mix 2-5 drops with a few tsp of a carrier oil, apply the mixture to the stomach area and gently rub until fully absorbed.

Massage Therapy for Trauma

We may experience trauma directly in our lives or feel the intense burden of the trauma covered in the news. Terrorist situations, severe weather, or gun violence happen around the country and the world and the weight of these events in the news affects us deeply. We may minimize our experiences with trauma, particularly if the trauma is connected to media coverage of a tragedy. It may feel like you should not rightfully feel the way you do, since these events did not directly happen to you. Do not diminish your feelings, we are all humans and feeling upset by the horrible events experienced by others is a natural reaction.

Trauma can cause many emotional, mental, and physiological symptoms in our bodies. Some of the most commonly felt are anxiety, hopelessness, an upset stomach, and a tendency to neglect self-care. Trauma can cause a withdrawal from social situations, a rejection of intimacy, or disturbing dreams and flashbacks. Surprisingly, you may feel numb or a dissociation with your body after experiencing a traumatic event. Addressing the symptoms of trauma can help lessen the physiological burden of the experience and help you lead a better life. Untreated, these symptoms of trauma can easily lead to issues with substance abuse, relationship problems, or depression.

Massage therapy can be a helpful tool after experiencing trauma. If you feel comfortable, communicate what you are feeling with your therapist to help them develop a plan of care for you. Massage therapy can help you feel more connected with your body if you are feeling numb or a dissociation from the events that occurred. Trauma from a physical violence or abuse can lead to a general discomfort with your body or touch. Massage therapy is a positive form of touch that can lead to you feeling more comfortable with intimate touch like a hug from your friend or holding hands with your spouse.

Massage therapy is an effective stress reliever since it reduces blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is pumped out by your adrenal glands in stressful situations. In small amounts and for short periods of time, cortisol can help you power through a difficult event. Lingering stress caused by trauma causes an excess of cortisol to build up in the blood, wreaking havoc on your body and leading to sleeplessness, anxiety, and an upset stomach. Massage can help manage how stressed you feel by lowering blood cortisol, with an average of a 31% reduction in cortisol levels. Massage therapy also increases serotonin levels, by 28% on average and levels of dopamine increase by 21%. Serotonin and dopamine are associated with a better outlook on life, feeling calm, less anxiety, and better sleep.

Whether you suffered a traumatic experience directly or are deeply troubled by recent events in the news, it is important that you take your symptoms seriously. They are real and need to be addressed. Talk with your healthcare provider or a counselor and make a plan for incorporating other therapies such as massage into your path to recovery.

IT Band Strain: What It Is and How You Can Prevent It

Iliotibial Band Syndrome, or IT Band Strain, is one of the most common overuse injuries experienced by runners and other athletes. IT occurs when the iliotibial band, which is the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin, is tight or inflamed. The IT band attaches to the knee and helps to stabilize and move this joint, but when it isn’t working properly, movement of the knee becomes painful. This type of pain can be severe enough to sideline an athlete for quite a long time.

Symptoms of IT band strain include swelling and pain on the outside of the knee, causing many to think they have suffered a knee injury. However, with IT band strain, if you bend your knee at a 45- degree angle than the pain will be experienced on the outside of your knee. No changes will show up on an X-Ray but if for some reason you were to have an MRI on your leg than a partial thickening of the band will show up, indicating inflammation. MRI use for muscle injuries is relatively rare, so it is best to be familiar with the symptoms of this type of injury.

IT band strain can occur from any type of activity that causes the leg to turn inward repeatedly. It is slightly more common among women, since women’s hips tilt differently from men and may cause their knees to turn in an inward direction. It affects seasoned runners as well as beginners.

You can try to prevent IT Band Strain by:

-Be careful not to wear worn out shoes. Replace shoes in a timely fashion!

-Avoid running downhill too much

-Alternate directions if you are running on a track

-Running too many miles. Slow down your training schedule if you are experiencing pain.

If you begin to experience pain, take a few days off running or decrease your mileage. This pain can become chronic if you do not give yourself a break. If you are backing off your mileage you can still cross-train by adding swimming or another gentle exercise to your workout routine.

If your pain continues, consider massage therapy for some relief and healing! A massage therapist trained in sports massage can help release tension in the muscle and fascia and stimulate the blood flow. If you are in extreme pain, wait at least 48 hours after running before seeking massage treatment and keep in mind that a very severe strain may need to be left alone for a week or more. Always communicate your symptoms and comfort level with your therapist whose aim is to make you feel better and restore motion.