Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Top 10 Foods for Detoxing

Detoxification can be done in various ways: consuming specially formulated juices advertised so enthusiastically; following a strict diet that deprives you of virtually all those foods that you are crazy about; or consuming some natural foods that are known for their detoxing abilities. Here is a list of the top 10 detoxing foods that can be considered gifts of nature to modern (hu)man.

1. Beetroot is full of nutrients, especially iron, and at the same time, assists our liver and gall bladder to break down toxins.

2. Lemon is full of vitamin C that helps convert toxins into a water soluble form that is easily eliminated from the body. Lemon also purifies the blood.

3. Apples stimulate bile production, which the liver uses to break toxins. Pectin found in apples is helpful in removing heavy metals and food additives.

4. Green vegetables: all green veggies have chlorophyll in them that rids the body of environmental toxins, heavy metals, herbicides and pesticides. Besides aiding in detox, greens increase oxygen content in blood, and purifies it.

5. Garlic: has exceptional antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Garlic helps stimulate the liver to produce enzymes that assist in detoxification. 

6. Sea vegetables: sea veggies have huge amounts of antioxidants. They also have alginic acid that absorbs toxins from the digestive tract.

7. Broccoli sprouts: have phytochemicals that aid in the detox process. They are also high in antioxidants.

8. Green tea: the good old green tea is already quite famous for its antioxidant properties. Catechins, a type of antioxidant found in green tea, improves the functioning of the liver, and thus aids in detoxification.

9. Artichokes: they increase bile production and protect the liver.

10. Cilantro/coriander: cilantro is very effective in removing heavy metals from the blood. Phytochemicals found in cilantro actually bind to the heavy metals in blood and loosen them from the tissue and organs, thereby assisting in eliminating these heavy metals.

Include all or some of these magic foods and ensure good health for you and your family.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Massage Therapy for Children

Children respond very positively to massages
Massaging a child at bedtime on a regular basis has been found to be extremely beneficial. Massaging has been prevalent since centuries, and conveys to the child a sense of security. The right amount of physical contact has a positive effect on the development of a child – both mental and physical.

Massaging infants is part of the culture in many countries and communities. Specially formulated oils and herbs are used to elevate the benefits of the massage. Massage therapy can act as an excellent stress buster, at infancy as well as beyond. De-stressing enhances the immune system and helps the child sleep better.

It has been observed that children generally respond very positively to massages. For infants, gentle guided strokes along with suitable lubrication with oil, is all that is needed for a good massage. As children grow older, the massage can be directed to specific body parts such as the hands and the feet. Massage session should not exceed 15 minutes, since the attention span for children is small, and they may find it irritating to sit in a place doing nothing, for a long period of time. When the massage is comfortable, children tend to fall asleep in between.

Massage therapy has also been found useful for children with certain disorders and illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis, and even with cancer. It is believed that the reduction of stress helps boost the immune system, and gives the suffering child some relief. Children with hyperactivity disorders, autism, and other psychiatric problems have been found to benefit immensely from massage therapy.

Massage as a therapy is seen as beneficial to infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, and teens, and even young adults. Adding massage therapy as part of the daily routine can help the child grow into a balanced and mature individual.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Benefits of Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy is a type of alternative therapy that uses essential oils and other aromatic compounds for providing a positive effect on a person’s mind, mood and health. Aromatherapy can be applied in a variety of ways: aerial diffusion (by simply burning the oil, or through aerosol sprays), direct inhalation, and topical applications (general massage, baths, and therapeutic skin care). Out of these methods of application, massaging is believed to be one of the most effective ways to relieve physical ailments and emotional stresses.

Aromatherapy massages can be targeted towards various issues, and have been found to be beneficial for:

· Pain relief

· Muscle relaxation

· Improvement in blood circulation

· Control of blood pressure

· Toxin removal

· Cellulite prevention

· Skin smoothening

· Hair treatment

· Relief from digestive problems

· Overall strengthening of the immune system

· Stress relief

· General revitalization of the mind and body

Aromatherapy massage may be quite similar to the Swedish massage therapy, and typically takes about 60 minutes. The essential oils are gently rubbed onto the body, and allowed to diffuse through the skin.

A very interesting study on aromatherapy massage was performed using 2% lavender oil for massaging. Concentration of the essential oils linalool and linalyl acetate – the main constituents of lavender oil – was tracked at various time points in the blood stream of a person undergoing aromatherapy massage. Within five minutes of massaging, the constituents could be detected in the blood. Maximum concentration was reached after 20 minutes, and after ninety minutes, was found to be eliminated from the blood stream. This study has been published in the book “The Fragrant Mind” by Valerie Ann Worwood. This study shows the effectiveness of massaging in the diffusion of the essential oils into the blood stream.

It is advised that after an aroma therapy massage, good amounts of water should be consumed to facilitate toxin release. Some cases have been identified when aromatherapy massages are better avoided:

· High-risk pregnancies

· Fever

· Acute infections

· Wounded areas of the body

· Persons with a heart condition

· Recently operated patients

· Cancer patients

A general rule is that if you have any kind of health condition, better consult your physician before going for any kind of massage, and more particularly, aromatherapy.

Indulge yourself in one of the best kinds of massages – aromatherapy, and feel for yourself the positive effects of the very potent and effective essential oils.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What is a Reiki Massage?

Reiki is a spiritual technique for relaxation and healing. Reiki is based on the idea of a “life force energy” that flows through us and keeps us alive. If one’s life force energy is low then the person is more likely to get sick, and if the life force energy is high, the person is healthy and happy.

Reiki is a therapy that makes use of the seven major Chakras, or energy centres, of the human body. These Chakras are the primary channels through which energy flows in our body. Proper flow of energy is essential for our well-being – be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Experiencing an ailment, stress or sickness indicates that one or more of the chakras may be blocked. Reiki massage healers believe that they have the knowledge to unblock the chakras and restore the energy flow in the body, thereby healing the suffering person.

Reiki Massage

A Reiki massage healer does not make use of any medicine or chemicals, but only blowing, touching and tapping techniques. Many persons who’ve undergone Reiki healing report that the treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance flowing through and around them. The beneficial effects reported include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and well-being.

For a Reiki massage, one needs to lie down in a comfortable spot and relax. The healer then performs certain hand positions that are directed towards the head, neck, body, limbs as well as the feet. The average time for a session is between 60-90 minutes. Reiki practitioners assert that for Reiki therapy to have lasting results, the client must also take responsibility of the treatment, and play an active part in it. It must include an active commitment to improve oneself in order for it to be a complete system of healing.

Special kinds of massage tables designed specifically for Reiki Massage are available. These massage tables are designed with the intention that the Reiki practitioner will be spending more time sitting during the therapy, than a regular massage therapist would. Reiki tables therefore have table braces and areas for placing legs comfortably. Also, Reiki massage tables do not have adjustable headrests, since Reiki massages do not involve massaging the client’s head the way regular massages do.

Reiki massage has helped many in dealing with their daily stress and negativity that drains the energy out of the body. Reiki massage has helped people regain their grounding and begin to feel at complete ease with the world around them. Reiki practices are about a hundred years old and more and more people are getting to realize the true benefits of this spiritual system of healing. I would urge you to try experiencing the benefits of Reiki massage yourself, and regain control over your life and happiness. After all, who doesn’t want to lead a happy and energetic life, full of love and positivity?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Why should I buy a Portable Massage Table?

Are you a massage therapist freshly out of school, looking for some freelance work and building a clientele? Are you a seasoned massage therapist planning to continue freelancing and wondering what type of massage table to invest in? Or you are a massage “connoisseur” and prefer to have massages from your favorite therapist within the comfort and privacy of your home, on your own massage table?

Choosing the right kind of massage table is perhaps the most important decision when it comes to massaging. The services of an excellent massage therapist can be wasted if the massage table is uncomfortable. Thus, if you want to give your clients a chance to experience your skill to the fullest, or if you want to enjoy the service of your massage therapist, then it becomes imperative that you put some effort in choosing the right massage table.

There are two basic types of massage tables – portable and stationary. Stationary massage tables are ideal for spas and salons, where there is no need to move the table here and there. These tables have thicker cushioning, storage cabinets and may have additional features such as tilt-top, face cradle, etc. Stationary tables, because of these extra features, can be quite expensive.

On the other hand, portable massage tables are the objects of choice for those therapists who prefer to travel to their clients’ place, offering them the convenience of personalized services within the privacy and comfort of their home. For marketing purposes, some therapists also prefer to put up stalls in local fairs, festivals etc. Some therapists prefer to work for a salon for some days of the week, and work as a freelancer for some other days. For all these cases, a portable massage table becomes the tool of choice. A good portable massage table will weigh less than 30 lbs, with a sturdy frame made of metal or wood. Such tables are generally designed to be easy to set up and break down, while ensuring stability at all times.

Always ensure that, though portable, the massage table is comfortable and does not wobble even slightly. Always look for high quality models, with at least 2.5 inches cushioning to help your clients relax comfortably. Portable tables are generally less expensive than stationary ones. You could also look for additional features such as adjustable height, durable carry case, soft polyurethane vinyl cushion, etc. Never compromise on the size of the table – some cheaper varieties are smaller in size. These can get really uncomfortable for heavier clients. The massage table should be at least 78”-83” in length (with head rest).

These portable tables, after folding, reduce to the size of a suitcase – typically about 40”x28”x10”. They can be as light as 27 pounds!

Do a bit of a market search before choosing your table, and use a massage table that is portable, lightweight, sturdy and comfortable, to enable your clients enjoy your services, without any distractions.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What is the Difference between a Spa Massage and a Therapeutic Massage?

Massage therapy is generally seen as a way to relax the body and mind, and considered a relaxing treat. However, massage therapy is much more than that. Massage therapy is actually a therapy that is finding increasing clinical use in treating certain chronic diseases and injuries. You will be surprised to know that massage therapy is even prescribed for palliative care for relief from cancer treatment symptoms!

A spa massage is a personal consumer service that is delivered to a client who wishes to indulge in a wellness regime. Therapeutic massage is medical care delivered to a patient, prescribed by a medical practitioner, in order to relieve the patient of certain symptoms or injuries. In a spa massage, the massage therapist uses a straightforward massage technique, and applies light to medium pressure to various parts of the client’s body, with the ultimate intent to help the client relax and re-energize. A spa massage can be a part of the overall services offered by a typical beauty salon. The technique is rather intuitive, without a thorough scientific basis, with the ultimate focus on client satisfaction. The main types of spa massages include the Swedish massage, circulatory massage, hot stone massage, and craniosacral massage.

Therapeutic massages are set up quite differently from a spa massage. These massages are done in hospitals, clinics, and private practice offices. Therapeutic massage uses advanced techniques based on scientific studies that are aimed at providing medical relief to a patient. Therapeutic massages are found to be useful for a number of chronic symptoms and injuries such as fibromyalgia, chronic body pains such as chronic back pain, palliative care massage, pediatric massage, massages to heal sports injuries, arthritis, certain accidents, and posture and weight issues. Therapeutic massages are usually given in multiple sittings, and can continue for months. The focus is on functional outcomes, rather than merely patient satisfaction. The main techniques for therapeutic massage include myofascial treatment, deep tissue massage, neuromuscular trigger point technique, muscle energy technique.

While choosing a massage therapist for your requirement (whether a wellness massage or a therapeutic massage), please keep these differences in mind. Expecting a therapeutic massage from a spa massage therapist might not provide you the expected results. The training a spa massage therapist receives is geared towards providing relaxation to the client, and she might not have sufficient understanding about advanced massage techniques used for therapeutic massages. Likewise, if you go to a therapeutic massage therapist for a mild pain, and expect to be given the kind of treatment you would receive at a spa, you might be wasting your time.

I hope this article helps you in making the right choice so that you can get the most out of your massage – be it spa or therapeutic.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Massage Oil, Massage Lotion or Massage Crème?

Massage oil, lotion and crème, all come under the category of massage lubricants. Massage lubricants, just like any other lubricant, are used to reduce friction, so as to allow your hands to smoothly glide on the skin of your client without causing you any discomfort. What type of massage lubricant to choose depends on several factors – personal preference, type of massage to be performed, and desired outcome.

Massage oil

Massage oils are the least viscous of all massage lubricants, and are free-flowing. Oils have been used for massages for thousands of years, and are time-tested. Almond oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil and jojoba oil are among the most popular. Oils do not contain any water, and hence are generally preservative-free. Since oils are liquids, they can easily spill and get messy. Oils can turn rancid, and it is recommended that you check the expiry date of the oil that you are using. Oils are also not absorbed by the body quickly. However, many massage therapists prefer using oils for massages due to various reasons: for long massages (60- or 90-minute massages), you have to come back to areas again and again. Since the oil just stays there (and is not absorbed quickly), it does not have to be replenished very often. This helps you in focusing more on the massage (and less on going back to the massage pump over and over again).

Massage lotion

Massage lotions have viscosity that is slightly higher than that of oils. Lotions have water added to them, and hence require some preservative to increase their shelf life. Lotions do not get as messy as oils, and a large part of it is generally absorbed into the skin. Hence, massage sessions that use lotions do not leave the body greasy and smelly, unlike an oil massage. Also, lotions do not stain your linens and clothes. However, since lotions absorb into the skin quickly, you need to use a much greater quantity of lotion to maintain the slickness of the skin.

Massage crème

These are the thickest, or most viscous, of all massage lubricants. These come in a tube or a jar, and are not pumpable. Hence, be doubly sure that you are using a fresh bowl to draw out the crème for your use. Some hygiene freaks, carry a massage crème of their own, and request the therapist to use it. Crèmes also have high absorption rate, and are easily absorbed by the skin. Crèmes do not leave the skin greasy, and are generally recommended for the face, and arms.

Depending on your own preferences and needs, decide on the massage lubricant of your choice. Remember that the lubricant just facilitates massaging, and should not be the real focus. Only a few considerations are sufficient to make the decision – the “oiliness” factor, care of linens, moisturizing effects and therapeutic properties.