Face masks

  

face masks

Whether you need to moisturise your skin, prevent wrinkles, treat acne, lighten spots or remove impurities, there's a facial mask for every beauty concern. Depending on the mask you choose, you'll be able to hydrate your skin, remove excess oils and help improve the appearance of your pores. They are also the best way to help put out impurities. All you need to do is to slap one face mask on for 10 minutes, and you'll instantly feel your skin tightened and toned. After only 10 minutes of having a face mask on, you'll feel instantly pampered; it leaves you with a sense of well-being similar to the one you get after having a massage.

While most skin care regimens require a daily routine, a face mask has visible effects even if you use them only once a week; you can use it more, however, if your skin condition requires it. Contrary to popular beliefs, face masks are not only designed for women, but they men should also make the most of their benefits.
Congested skin
If you suffer from congested skin, and therefore you have clogged pores, a lack of radiance and an uneven skin surface, you should look for masks containing AHAs like glycolic acid and BHAs such as salicylic acid. These two help resurface the skin and clear out pores, so they have the same effect as a manual exfoliation.
Blemished skin
Meanwhile, the answer to blemished skin is clay as it cleans pores, draws out excess oil and brightens up the skin. Masking with a product that contains Bentonite clay helps to remove dirt and minimize excess oils. Clay is also perfect to remove the build-up of dead skin cells that accumulate on our skin. When your pores get clogged with impurities, this contaminant gets pushed down into the pore and there is where bacteria can develop. When that bacteria grows, it leads to blemix, a flurry of breakouts and even giant pimples. That is why you need regular face masks to keep your skin surface clean and your pores unclogged.
Stressed skin
If you suffer from stressed or reddened skin - either due to rosacea, windburn or the aftermath of a skin procedure - you should look for a mask that can soothe your skin, such as oils and fragrance-free easily absorbed formulas. Leave them on overnight for best results.
Ageing skin
If you are suffering from the effects of age and your skin is showing signs of fatigue and a loss of that youthful plumpness, you might want to opt for a rich, hydrating mask that will instantly moisturise your skin. Plant oils and emollients will do the trick.
Dull skin
If your skin is looking dull and lacklustre, get a mask filled with plant enzymes, natural actives and hydration boosters. The same rule applies to dry skin; look for nourishing ingredients such as honey, fatty acids and plant oils and butters.
Masks with tingly mint in the formulation can help stimulate blood circulation and achieve glowing skin. Besides, when your mask dries on your skin and begins to harden, plus the process of removing it causes an expansion in the blood vessels in your skin. This leads to an improvement in skin tone. This process will lead to softer-feeling and smoother-looking skin; besides, it will become apparent that your skin is glowing and you will look more refreshed.
Relaxation
Another reason to apply a face mask is that they can be very relaxing. Whether they are infused with aromas like roses or mint or are fresh and cool to the touch, a face mask can be rather therapeutic. You can create a whole experience out of it with a bit of ambien - like a bath or some candles. It will be an exhilarating sensory experience that will make you feel more relaxed.
Deep cleansing
Only a mask can deeply clean your skin by removing oil, makeup and impurities from the surface of the skin. You can only draw out impurities that dwell beneath the top layers of the epidermis by using a mask. Thanks to masks' detoxifying effects, you can quickly see the results on your skin.
Masks help your overall treatment
Using masks helps all of your other skin care products - such as lotions, serums and nighttime products - work better and be absorbed by your skin quicker and deeper. If you use masks regularly, then your toning, hydrating, and protecting products will all have better results and at a faster pace.

 

Health benefits of a massage

  

Health benefits massage

Even though most people turn to massages to relax and pamper themselves, getting the right can also have surprising health benefits. In fact, massage therapy as a method to improve health is becoming more and more popular. What once was an alternative approach is now becoming much more mainstream.

Massage therapy is based on hands-on techniques designed to increase circulation, relieve tension, reduce stress, relieve anxiety, improve sleep, and promote relaxation from head to toe, among other benefits. If you are tense, need to unwind, have an injury or have extensive muscle/nerve tissue damage, massage therapy might be the right approach for you. Here are some of the benefits of a massage:
It is relaxing
This is the most obvious benefit, but it's still important nonetheless as stress can be very bad for your body and mind. When you are tense or under stress, your body produces unhealthy levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. An excess of this hormone in the body can lead to weight gain, sleeplessness, digestive problems, and headaches. Massage therapy works lowering cortisol levels in the body. Thanks to the therapeutic benefits of a massage, after only one session, the body enters recovery mode. This form of therapy is also known for sparking feelings of relaxation, improved mood, while reducing stress levels.
It reverses the effects of sitting down for too long
According to Aaron Tanasin, a massage practitioner and owner at Paleolife Massage Therapy in Canada, “Most individuals are dealing with some kind of postural stress. More often than not [that stress] tends to manifest in the shoulders and neck.”
Desk workers are more prone to suffer from more advanced forms of postural stress, which manifests itself as pain or weakness in the low back and glutes. These symptoms tend to signify prolonged periods of sitting. Massage, however, can counteract the effects of sitting for too long.
It relieves muscle pain
Massage therapy promotes muscle relaxation by targeting the source of the body's pain via eliminating tense muscles, increasing flexibility, and providing relaxation to the affected muscles and, thus, the whole body. Massage also boosts circulation to the affected or injured muscles, which in turn increases nutrients and oxygen to the damaged tissues. This stimulation of the affected areas reduces effiness stiffness and edema (swelling) in the muscles and joints, at the same time it increases flexibility to help reduce pain.
According to Tanson, massages can help assuage the pain and uneasiness that comes from sore muscles. According to Tanson, “massage increases and improves circulation. Just like rubbing your elbow when you knock it on a table helps to relieve the pain.” Further studies have proved that massage therapy can be very effective to treat chronic back pain.
This form of therapy also releases endorphins, which in turn boost the dopamine and serotonin levels in the body. These hormones benefit the body physically as well as emotionally, hence promoting healing, pain management, and feelings of euphoria; they also work calming the nerves.
It can be used to treat anxiety and depression
Massage therapy can help reduce stress levels, help to treat anxiety and depression, and ultimately, over time it can boost energy levels, reduce pain, and stimulate individuals on physical as well as emotional levels. Research has shown that consistent massage sessions can reduce trigger sources for anxiety, hostility, tension, and depression.
Human touch, in a context that is safe, friendly and professional, can be incredibly therapeutic and relaxing,” says Tanason.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, patients who were depressed and anxious were much more relaxed and happy after a massage.
It improves sleep patterns
A massage is good to get a restful sleep. “Massage promotes relaxation and sleep in those undergoing chemo or radiation therapy,” stated Lisa Marie de Miranda, registered massage therapist and kinesiologist at Paleolife Massage Therapy.
It boosts immunity
According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, massage can boost patients' white blood cell count, which is vital for a strong immune system.
It relieves headaches
Rather than relying on pills, next time you get a headache or if you suffer from migraines, it might be worth it to get a massage. “Massage decreases frequency and severity of tension headaches,” says de Miranda.
According to a study from Granada University in Spain, patients with chronic tension headaches perceived changes only after one session of massage therapy.
It Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
Regular massage therapy sessions can have the surprising effect of reducing blood pressure levels, according to recent research. Further studies have shown that a consistent massage program can both systolic (upper number) and diastolic (lower number) blood pressure. In turn, lower blood pressure levels can help to prevent a heart attack, stroke, and/or kidney failure, as well as many other health issues.

 

All about acupuncture

  

acupuncture information education

Dating back hundreds of years, acupuncture is a traditional method used in ancient Chinese medicine. You probably have heard of it thanks to its efficacy to relive pains and maladies and its unorthodox method based inserting needles at certain areas of the body patient.
Although acupuncture has been widely used in China for hundreds of years, it has only become popular in the West during the last century fo to its therapeutic and preventive purposes. It is only used in the West, however, as a form of complementary or alternative medicine, rather than the main and only form to cure a patient, unless the malady is mild and easlity treatable with acupuncture. While you might find acupuncture treatments at clinics and hospitals, they are more widely used at spas and wellness centres.
Whether you get in one place or the other, acupuncture consists in stimulating sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles of the body. This process causes the body to produce natural substances, namely pain-relieving endorphins. There's reason to believe that these naturally released substances are responsible for the beneficial effects experienced with acupuncture. To perceive longer-lasting pain relief effects of acupuncture, however, it is advisable to book more than one session.
Traditionally, it was widely believed that acupuncture works thanks to an energy, or “life force”, which flows through the body in channels called meridians. This life force is known as Qi (pronounced “chee”). According to traditionalists, Qi not flowing freely through the body leads to illness. They also firmly believe that acupuncture is the answer to restore the flow of Qi and, therefore, health.
Uses of acupuncture
Acupuncture is used to treat a large range of maladies, from chronic tension-type heads, migraines, musculoskeletal conditions (of the bones and muscles) and pain conditions, such as chronic pain (namely neck pain, joint pain, dental pain, postoperative pain, among others).
How acupuncture works
Practitioners insert needles into specific places on the body (acupuncture points). The needles used are fine, a few centimetres long, pre-sterilised and should used only once.
Practitioners choose specific points to place the needle depending on your condition. You can expect up to 12 points to be used during a typical session. This number can vary depending on your symptoms. Once the needles are in position - reaching either under the skin or deeper in the muscle tissue - they may be left in place for a varying amount of time, ranging from a few minutes to half an hour.
When the needles are inserted, you may feel a tingling or a dull ache. This process shouldn't be too painful, so if it is, you'll be better off telling your practitioner.
Techniques
Although conventional acupuncture is more widely spread, there are several techniques in applying acupuncture:
Electro-Acupuncture
Sometimes your practitioner may rotate the needles or stimulate them with a mild electric current. This method is known as electro acupuncture. In this method, inserted needles are coupled to the electrodes of an electro-acupuncture apparatus, designed to deliver a difference range of amplitudes and frequencies of electrical impulses.
Low frequency electro acupuncture is designed to reduce pain by stimulating chemicals from the brain which will aid analgesia, relaxation and sleep. It is particularly helpful in cases of chronic pain.
Acupressure
It involves the practitioner applying pressure with over Acupuncture or trigger points in order to decrease muscle tightness and to stimulate Qi flow. The amount of pressure varies depending on the condition. It is most suitable for patients with a needle phobia, children and frail patients.
Laser Acupuncture
Laser stimulation is used with any acupuncture treatment and is particularly suited for nervous patients, children, sports injuries, sensitive areas and ears.
Moxabustion and Cupping
These techniques are employed to introduce warmth into the Acupuncture points, either at the end of the Acupuncture needle - which is Moxabustion - or to areas which require increased stimulation of QI flow like in the case of Cupping. These techniques have the effect of increasing the circulation, removing waste products, reducing muscle spasm and pain.
Moreover, these treatments may also be used as before the Physiotherapist stretches the damaged tissue or mobilising a joint. Conditions treated with these techniques include Osteo-Arthritis, which areas of poor QI flow or cold conditions.

 

All about deep tissue massage

  

deep tissue massage

Although it is not commonly known, deep tissue massage has been used for thousands of years throughout the world due to its miraculous effects on physical and psychological stress. Recent studies show that deep tissue therapy is an effective way to treat common conditions like arthritis, anxiety and chronic lower back pain.

If you've tried a large range of massages, but none of them has solved your aches and tension issues, it might be time to turn to a deep tissue massage. This massage therapy consists of applying firm pressure and slow strokes to the affected area in order to reach deeper layers of muscle and fascia (the connecting tissue surrounding muscles).
As the pressure is stronger and concentrated on the problematic area, it might cause a bit discomfort. The results, however, are worth the struggle as the therapy helps assuage the pain in the long term. Given it's intensity, it is used for chronic aches and pain and contracted areas such as a stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders. It is also used to treat chronic tension and injuries from overuse, such as tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome.
How does it work?
Although some of the strokes might resemble those used in Swedish massage therapy and acupressure, deep tissue massage involves more pressure; while it's similar to the other therapies in that they all involve moving the body into certain positions,the pace in deep tissue massages tends to be slower and pressure is applied more strongly, focused on affected areas to break up scar tissue and physically break down muscle “knots” or adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) that can disrupt circulation and cause pain, limited range of motion, and inflammation.
These bands of rigid tissue can cause pain and inflammation, and restrict movement and circulation in muscle tissue. You might have a stiff neck and upper back, lower back pain, tight legs or sore shoulders.
This therapy is meant to realign the different layers of tissue, treating the tendons, ligaments, fascia (the protective layer of tissue which surrounds the bones, joints and muscles), and the muscles to release tension and provide pain relief.
The massage therapy starts with light pressure applied to warm up and prep the muscles. Then, specific techniques are applied. The most common ones are:
The stripping technique involves deep, gliding pressure along the length of the muscle rivers using the elbow, forearm, knuckles, and thumbs.
The friction technique consists in applying pressure across the grain of a muscle to release adhesions and realign tissue fibers.
Benefits
Deep tissue therapy is usually employed to deal with a specific problem, the likes of chronic muscle pain, injury rehabilitation, low back pain, limited mobility, recovery from injuries - such as whiplash and falls), repetitive strain injury and postural problems.
Deep tissue massage also lowers high blood pressure, decreases the symptoms of arthritis, relieves stress, increases joint mobility and reduces chronic pain.
To make the most of the benefits of deep tissue therapy is to be as relaxed as you can and trust your therapist to relieve your pain.
The massage helps stimulate blood flow and relieve muscle tension, at the same time it lowers psychological stress and releases happy hormones like serotonin and oxytocin.
Precautions
Given the intensity of this massage, there are some precautions you must take before getting a deep tissue massage. First of all, avoid a deep tissue massage if you have been diagnosed with blood clots in the past; this is because the massage may dislodge the clots. If you are at risk of forming blood clots, talk to your doctor before getting a deep tissue massage.
You should also check with your doctor if you have had chemotherapy, radiation, recent surgery, or any medical condition. You should also avoid this type of massage if you have osteoporosis.
Bear in mind that deep tissue massage is mainly for therapy or rehabilitation rather than relaxation. Therefore, you have to be prepared to feel discomfort to some extent during the session and even after.

 

How to prevent wrinkles

  

How to prevent wrinkles

Many have tried and many have failed to come up with the great antidote to the aging process of the skin. After one fad and another, one expensive magical cream and a visibly fake plastic surgery, the best ways to prevent wrinkles remain the most natural and obvious ones. Although it's impossible to find the fountain of youth, there are ways to minimise the damage of the skin and the infamous wrinkles.

Before jumping into the ways to prevent wrinkles, it's best to delve into what causes. As you might know, our skin has two layers: the epidermis (outer layer) and the dermis (below the epidermis). Wrinkles are formed in the dermis, which is made up of collagen - what makes our skin elastic and smooth - and other proteins. As our bodies produce less collagen as we age, the passing of the years results in saggy skin with wrinkles. There are external factors that accelerate this process, namely sun damage, smoking, dehydration, poor nutrition, facial expressions - laughing and squinting -, pollution and toxins, natural aging and sleeping on your side, with your cheek pushed against your pillow.
Here are some of the best ways to prevent and erase wrinkles naturally:
Hydration
Dry skin equals wrinkled skin. That is why it's important to moisturise from within. Also, you need to stay hydrated to flush out your body toxins. If you are not big on plain water, try coconut water or green tea, which is packed with antioxidants that help to detox your body.
Don't smoke
Smoking can speed up the aging process of your skin. It might take years to see its effect, but smoking is the major cause of facial wrinkling in men and women. This is because the nicotine in cigarettes leads to narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. As there is less blood flow, your skin gets less oxygen and important nutrients, including vitamin A. Moreover, many of the chemicals found in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elasticity. Besides, repeated exposure to the heat from burning cigarettes and the facial expressions we make - such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke - contribute to wrinkles. In the interest of full disclosure, avoiding aging prematurely is only one of the many reasons you shouldn't smoke.
Get your fill of antioxidants
Antioxidants keep free radicals - unstable molecules that damage our skin, such as pollution and toxins - at bay. That is why a good nutrition packed with antioxidants leads to beautiful skin. Some sources of antioxidants include blueberries, spinach, kale, walnuts, artichokes, cranberries, beans, prunes, kiwis, and most fruits and vegetables.
Nontoxic moisturiser
Although there are endless anti aging creams and moisturisers in the market, the real miracle workers are natural oils like coconut and argan oil.
Coconut oil is a treasure trove of wellness benefits and one of them is its moisturising effect when used topically and may reduce age spots, wrinkles and even cellulite. You can also use coconut oil with vitamin E - a topical antioxidant - as a body moisturiser and as a makeup remover.
Argan oil can also be used to moisturise your skin. As it is less oily than coconut oil, it might be more suitable for oily skin complexions. Apart from being a natural moisturiser, argan oil is also full of antioxidants and it's a natural anti-inflammatory.
Other oils that can be used as moisturisers are jojoba, grapeseed and olive oil.
Gelatin
As gelatin is made from cooked collagen, it's a great wrinkle fighting trick when our body starts producing less collagen. As you take gelatin as a dietary supplement, it fills in the lines and erases wrinkles. Add this dietary supplement to your morning juice or smoothie, sprinkle it on your yogurt or cereal, or add it to anything else you fancy.
Get plenty of sleep
While we sleep, our bodies produce HGH (human growth hormone) which leads to growth and cell reproduction. When we don't enough sleep, conversely, our bodies produce cortisol, a stress hormone, which slows growth, tissue maintenance and, thus causes dry skin.
Fermented cod liver oil
Since it is packed with vitamins and Omega 3, fermented cod liver oil doesn't only boosts the immune system preventing cold and flu, but it also protects the skin from sun damage. As an anti-inflammatory, this oil prevents the inflammation of the skin caused by UV rays.

 

Coconut oil: uses and benefits

  

coconut oil

Depending on how and where you use it, coconut oil can benefit your health, hair and skin. This versatile oil can be used in cooking, beauty recipes and around the home. According to research, adding coconut oil to your diet and using it on your exterior can improve your health, well-being and appearance.

Coconut oil for hair
Have you ever noticed that women in tropical coastal regions boast beautiful healthy hair. Their secret is coconut oil, which helps in a healthy grow of your hair and gives a shine to those strands.
Thanks to its unique fat composition, coconut oil is especially beneficial for certain hair types and to repair damaged hair. Coconut oil is full of fatty acids that can protect dandruff or dry hair against hair damage. This oil is an excellent conditioner and helps the regrowth of process of damaged hair. Besides, it provides proteins that are essential to nourish and heal damaged hair. Studies show that it protects hair from damage caused by hygral fatigue.
You can use it as a hair mask, hot oil treatment or in homemade hair products. To make the most of coconut oil's benefits, apply it topically to your hair or use a coconut oil hair mask. If you massage your head regularly with coconut oil, you can ensure that it is dandruff free.
Coconut oil for skin
Thanks to its natural antioxidant properties, coconut oil can be used as a skin lotion to stop wrinkles and skin irritation. If you rub it directly on your skin, it can help lighten age spots.
Coconut oil is also used to moisturize and nourish the skin. It can also improve the lipid content of the skin.
If you whip it with shea butter, it becomes a very soothing body balm.
You can also use coconut oil to remove your makeup, and that can become part of your ritual to moisturize your skin. Thanks to its well-known antioxidant properties, coconut oil can delay the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin caused by aging.
Coconut is also effective as a sunscreen and it can block out about 20% of the sun's ultraviolet rays. It can also be used to treat various skin problems, such as psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections.
Coconut oil digestive benefits
Coconut oil's concentration of beneficial fats in coconut oil makes it helpful for digestion. As coconut oil helps the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, calcium, and magnesium, it improves digestion. This effect is doubled if coconut oil is taken with omega-3 fatty acids.
Its antimicrobial properties can help fight irritation and infection in the gut by destroying bad bacteria and candida. Candida imbalance may decrease stomach acid, which may lead to inflammation and poor digestion.
The MCT's of coconut oil are easy to digest, and therefore, they don't need pancreatic enzymes to be broken down. As a result, taking coconut oil reduces the metabolic strain on the pancreas.
Coconut oil for weight loss
According to a study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health back in 1985 showed how an injection of capric acid (which abounds in coconut oil) caused “initially rapid, then a gradual decrease in food consumption and a parallel loss of body weight” in male rats. Other studies have shown that the capric acid and other medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in coconut oil can boost 24-hour energy expenditure in humans up to 5%
Studies have also shown that coconut oil may reduce appetite given the way the fatty acids in it are metabolised.
Dental care
As coconut oil helps the absorption of calcium by the body, it leads to stronger teeth. Apart from facilitating the absorption of calcium, it also stops tooth decay, reduces plaque formation and plaque-induced gingivitis.
Speeds up healing
When you apply coconut oil to infected areas, it forms a chemical layer that protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. It also speeds up the healing process of damaged tissues when applied to bruises.
Coconut oil can also be used as a stress reliever as it is very soothing. To eliminate mental fatigue, apply it to your head followed by a gentle massage.
Athletes, bodybuilder and those on a diet often use coconut oil to boost energy and endurance, and enhance their performance. This is because it contains less calories than other oils and its fat content is easily converted into energy, so doesn't generate the accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries.

 

Eating some raw food

  

raw food for spa health

Sensationalist but true fact coming up: eating more raw food will improve some aspects of your health.

Cooking food aids our digestive system and we absolutely need to ensure that we kill off the dangerous bacteria that grows in raw meat, however we can meet a happy medium with the type of vegetables we consume. BUT bear in mind that vegetables lose most of their nutrition when they are cooked.
The most common form of raw vegetables served up as a standard dish is a salad. You can get really creative which vegetables you combine in a salad instead of opting for the usually expected ingredients such as; lettuce, mixed leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, beetroot, celery and peppers. Why not opt for something a little more creative that adds a great amount extra to the nutritional value of the salad and add in some raw spinach leaves, kale, carrots grated, courgettes thinly sliced, mushrooms finely chopped and some blended broccoli.
Sure the above ingredients don't have to be used all at once, it's simply a choice of adding something different in the nutritional spectrum and to spice up a salad in a new way.
Juicing has become a popular phenomenon in ensuring that a large number of nutrients are being absorbed by the body each and every day. There are a vast number of books and websites dedicated to the subject of juicing and there is certainly a plan for everyone. If you fancy venturing down the juicing avenue, preparing and drinking the juice in the morning is the absolute optimum time. Your body has been repairing itself during sleep and there's nothing better to start off a new day with a nutritional juice for your vessel, which works so hard for you unconditionally.
If you want to go the extra step and really say thank you to your body, opt for a three or five day juice cleanse. It not only cleanses your entire body but also cleanses your mind. If you have a dependence on food which you know not to be good for you, then this is the perfect positive way to stop lifetime bad habits and do something nice for yourself.
The juice cleanses to go for are the ones that include vegetable juice as well because you don't want to be running off just sugar from fruit for five days. A balance between both will allow you to obtain more nutrients and keep your blood sugar levels evened out as well. Also keep some fibre from the fruit or veg in the juice!!
Always get medical advice if you have any health problems and always look at the reviews and ratings of juice cleanse you are thinking to use. Nutritionists spend an extremely long time ensuring that their plans are not only delicious, but totally stable, something you don't want the cheap option on your health right.

Thai or Swedish Massage

  

Swedish Massage

Thai Massage: Yoga without Effort

Maybe the first image that comes to mind when someone mentions Thai Massage is a slim, Thai lady walking all over your back. However, there's much more to Thai massage than meets the eye.
Developed in Thailand, Thai massage is a system of massage that has been influenced by the traditional medicine systems of India, China and Southeast Asia, as well as by yoga. For centuries, Thai massage was performed by monks as part of Thai medicine.
More energizing and rigorous than more classic forms of massage, Thai massage is like doing yoga without any work for some people. In fact, this massage resembles yoga to the extent that therapists use their hands, knees, legs and feet to move you into a series of yoga-like stretches.
Thai massage might be known for being energizing, but it also has relaxing effects as muscle compression, joint mobilization and acupressure are also used during treatment.
When you get a Thai massage, you usually line on a mat or firm mattress on the floor. You should wear something comfortable. Typically, it lasts 60 minutes to 2 hours. It includes rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body, which may include pulling fingers, toes, ears, cracking the knuckles, walking on the recipient's back and manipulating the receiver's body into many different positions.
It can be done solo or in a group of 10 or so patients in the same large room. While the receiver may be positioned in a variety of yoga-like positions during the massage, the practitioner leans on the recipient's body using hands and usually straight forearms locked at the elbow to apply firm rhythmic pressure.
Among its benefits, it relaxes you, reduces stress, improves circulation, increases energy, increases flexibility, improves range of motion, and centers the mind and body.
 

What is Swedish Massage?

 

Swedish massage is the most common and best-known type of massage in the West. If it's your first time at the spa or you don't get massage often, Swedish massage is the best place to start.

If you want deeper work and can tolerate more pressure to get relief from chronic muscle pain, it's better to book a deep tissue massage, which is another form of Swedish massage.  If you have pain, it will likely take a series of massages to get results.
Swedish massage and other types of therapeutic massage are performed by trained, licensed massage therapists. A Swedish massage can be slow and gentle, or vigorous and bracing, depending on the therapist's personal style and what he or she is trying to achieve.

During a Swedish massage you are generally nude underneath a towel or sheet. The therapist uncovers only the part of the body he/she is working on, a technique called draping. If that gets you out of your comfort zone, you can keep your underwear on, and many newcomers do.

You usually start by lying face down with your head in a u-shaped face cradle so your spine stays neutral. The therapist generally starts by works your back, using various massage strokes that include effleurage, kneading, friction, stretching and tapping.

When he's finished with the back, he or she works the back of each leg. When done with the back side, he or she holds the sheet or towel up and looks away while you turn over onto your back and scoot down; then he or she quickly covers you again.
The therapist then massages the front of each leg, both arms, and generally finishes with your neck and shoulders.

Some therapists work in a different order, and all have their own style and techniques. If you only have 50 minutes, you can also ask them to spend more time on a certain area. If the pressure is too light or too firm, you should speak up and ask the therapist to adjust it. Swedish massage usually includes some deeper work on areas of specific muscle tension, but if you truly want deepter, more intensive work and firmer pressure, book a deep tissue massage.The cost of a Swedish massage will vary, depending on whether you go to a day spa, resort spa, destination spa.

Headaches & How to Manage Pain

  

Headaches

The Hidden Reasons You're Getting Headaches & How to Manage Pain

When it comes to pain, I have experienced it all and most important, I have learned how to manage it. A broken foot, wrist, dislocated knee, and I have even suffered from partial paralysis with surgeries on my knee, shoulder and cervical spinal fusion. These are just some examples of somatic (musculoskeletal) and neuropathic (nerve) pains. Of I've experienced visceral (internal organ) pains as well; stomach cramps, menstrual pain, anxiety, and so on. But, what do you do when you are in pain? Do you put a Band-Aid on it or find the cause of your symptoms?
If you take a pill to get rid of your headache, for example, you are masking your symptoms. However, if you lie down in a dark room, close your eyes, take deep breaths, and allow yourself to experience the pain, then you are finding the cause of the headache. First, let's answer a few basic questions so you can understand why you got the headache in the first place:
Fatigue: How many hours of sleep do you get per night? Do you sleep through the night?
Food Allergies/Unhealthy Diet: What does your diet consist of? High/Low sugar and carbs? Do you consume processed foods?
Alcohol Consumption/Smoking/Exposure to Smoke: Do you drink alcohol? Do you smoke?
Dehydration: How many glasses of water do you drink per day?
Menstrual Cycle: Are you ovulating? Menstruating?
Muscle Tension or Strain: Do you exercise? What kind of exercise?
Stress: What is your stress level?
The next time you have a headache, don't just take a pill. Sit down and pay attention to your body and become aware of your signs and symptoms. There are always reasons behind visceral pain; it is up to us to listen to our bodies and take care of it.
Somatic and neuropathic pains have obvious causes, soft tissue and nervous system injuries respectfully. How do we manage these pains?

Mindful Tips to Boost Self-Esteem

  

Boost Self Esteem

Love the Skin You're In

Ever feel like your self-esteem is on an emotional roller coaster? Sometimes you feel good about yourself. Sometimes you don't. There are times when you're resilient and times when you'd like to curl up in a corner and disappear.
What's going on?
Taking a look at self-esteem can offer a clue. Self-esteem is the ability to feel good about yourself, appreciate your work, take pride in who you are, your abilities, and accomplishments… and at the same time know that you're not perfect.
Step out of the past…
Self-esteem is shaped by input from others. From earliest days, people around you have been sending messages – both verbal and nonverbal – about how you're doing. Parents, teachers, family members, peers, playmates – their words and judgments can linger on. In fact, messages from childhood can affect how you're talking to yourself right now!
And into the present…
Although the roots of self-esteem are in childhood, the only place to begin the work that supports change is right here, right now. Achieving a clear and balanced view of yourself and accepting your value as a unique person – not a “perfect” person – can boost self-esteem and help you feel happier and more confident. That's where mindfulness comes in. Simply being present in the moment in a gentle, non-judgmental way can help you cultivate self-acceptance. If you listen mindfully you can start to hear an interior commentary that may surprise you. Sometimes it's supportive, sometimes harsh. When you see and understand what you're telling yourself – and when – you can begin to make changes to support self-esteem.
Here are some mindful tips to help you get started:
Stop the Blame Game!
When you're in a slump, you can be interpreting actions, events, and interactions in a way that builds negative momentum. Be mindful and challenge your thinking! Are you caught in an all-or-nothing pattern of thinking? “I didn't do this perfectly… I screwed it up. Never get anything right…” Are you mistaking feelings for facts? “I feel like a failure… I am a failure…” How about mental filtering? “That's no big deal, anyone could have done it.” Jumping to negative conclusions? Someone hasn't called you back – could it be that she's just busy? No need to create a low self-esteem story!
Start practicing positives
As you explore your self-esteem self talk, take some full gentle breaths in and out… and… begin to claim your successes! Acknowledge what's worked, learn from your mistakes, and be kind to yourself. Understand that patience is important. Building self-esteem is a process that happens one moment at a time… an opportunity where you can change your life – and only you can do it!
  
1  2  3 
  
Page 1 of 3
up Top