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Body Care

Spotlight, Blissful Muscle For Absolutely Very Little!

Come along with me while we explore the amazing crystal called Epson Salt with some essential oils thrown in that I love, peppermint and eucalyptus. These items come combined into one bag and make the difference between a great day after a hard workout, a hard day at work or a deep massage and a painful day.

When should I use Epson Salt? You can use Epson salt anytime you like. There is really no such thing as overuse. That being said you have to have the time to spend 20 mins soaking in very hot water that will not burn essential body parts. You will add the Epson Salt with peppermint and eucalyptus into the bath as it fills.  You may ask yourself why to use peppermint and eucalyptus oils because they act as a natural pain reliever for your muscles.  These two essential oils have other uses but as a massage therapist I love them for pain relief.  Soak until cool or about 20 mins. This will help to remove the lactic acid from your tissue that the muscles put off with exercise or massage. All soaks should be followed by icing the affected muscles for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off two times. This will bring blood to the affected area and remove inflammation.

SaltWorks has some great tips and uses for Epson salt.

“What are the health benefits of using Epsom salt?
The wonders of Epsom salt have been well known for hundreds of years and, unlike other salts, has beneficial properties that can soothe the body, mind, and soul. Some of the countless health benefits include relaxing the nervous system, curing skin problems, soothing back pain and aching limbs, easing muscle strain, healing cuts, treating colds and congestion, and drawing toxins from the body. One of the simplest ways to ease stress and stress-related problems is to soak in a tub full of hot water with a few cups of Ultra Epsom® Salt. Some of the notable benefits of Epsom salt include:

Eases stress and relaxes the body

Stress drains the body of magnesium and increases levels of adrenaline. When dissolved in warm water, Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin and replenishes the level of magnesium in the body. The magnesium helps to produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation. Research shows that magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy packets made in the cells. Experts believe that bathing with Epsom salt at least three times a week helps you to look better, feel better and gain more energy. Magnesium ions also help you relax and reduce irritability by lowering the effects of adrenaline. They create a relaxed feeling, improve sleep and concentration, and help muscles and nerves to function properly.

Relieves pain and muscle cramps

An Epsom salt bath is known to ease pain and relieve inflammation, making it beneficial in the treatment of sore muscles, bronchial asthma, and migraine headaches. In addition, it has been known to heal cuts and reduce soreness from childbirth. Mix a thick paste of Epsom salt with hot water and apply to get soothing comfort. Try soaking your aching, tired (and smelly) feet in a tub of water with half a cup of our Epsom Salt. Epsom salt softens skin and will even neutralize foot odor.

Helps muscles and nerves function properly

Studies show that Epsom salt can help regulate electrolytes in your body, ensuring proper functioning of the muscles, nerves, and enzymes. Magnesium is also known to be critical in the proper use of calcium, which serves as the main conductor of the electric impulses in your body.

Helps prevent hardening of arteries and blood clots

Epsom salt is believed to improve heart health and help prevent heart disease and strokes by improving blood circulation, protecting the elasticity of arteries, preventing blood clots, and reducing the risk of sudden heart attack deaths.

Makes insulin more effective

Proper magnesium and sulfate levels increase the effectiveness of insulin in the body and can help to lower the risk or severity of diabetes.

Relieves constipation

Numerous studies have revealed that Epsom salt can be used to treat constipation. Taken internally, Epson salt acts as a detoxifying agent for colon cleansing. The salt acts as a laxative by increasing water in the intestines and can bring about temporary relief from constipation. However, it is strictly warned that Epsom salts should not be used to relieve constipation without the consultation of a physician.

Eliminates toxins from the body

The sulfates in Epsom salt help flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances. Your skin is a highly porous membrane and adding the right minerals to your bathwater triggers a process called reverse osmosis, which actually pulls salt out of your body, and harmful toxins along with it. For a detoxifying bath, at least once weekly add two cups of our Ultra Epsom Salt to the water in a bathtub and soak for 10 minutes.

What are some uses of Epsom salt?
Whether you like a relaxing soak or wish to enhance your beauty effortlessly, making Epsom salt a part of your daily routine can add a whole lot of good to your way of life. To experience the numerous health benefits of Epsom salt, take relaxing, stress-relieving Epsom salt baths three times weekly by adding 2 cups of Ultra Epsom Salt to a warm bath and soaking for at least 12 minutes. For the added benefit of moisturizing your skin, add 1/2 cup olive oil or baby oil. Do not use soap as it will interfere with the action of the salts. Try to rest for about two hours afterward. If you have arthritic joints, move them as much as possible after an Epsom salt bath to prevent congestion in the joints.

For a foot bath, pamper weary feet by adding 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to a basin of warm water. Relax and soak feet for 20 minutes. If you like, rub away any calluses using a pumice stone. Dry feet, then add two drops of peppermint essential oil to your favorite natural moisturizer, like shea or coconut butter, and rub in thoroughly to lock in the moisture. If you are pregnant or have any health concerns, check with your doctor before using Epsom salts.

Epsom Salt Uses: HEALTH

Athlete’s foot: Soak feet in an Epsom salt bath to help relieve the symptoms of athlete’s foot.

Remove splinters: Soak affected skin area in an Epsom salt bath to draw out the splinter.

Treat toenail fungus: Soak your affected toes in hot water mixed with a handful of Epsom salt three times a day.

Soothe sprains and bruises: Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak to reduce the pain and swelling of sprains and bruises.

Ease the discomfort of gout: Ease the discomfort of gout and reduce inflammation by adding 2–3 teaspoons of Epsom salts into a basin and immersing the affected foot/joint. The water should be as hot as it is comfortable. Soak for about 30 minutes.

Epsom Salt Uses: BEAUTY

Exfoliate dead skin: In the shower or bath, mix a handful of Epsom salt with a tablespoon of bath or olive oil and rub all over your wet skin to exfoliate and soften. Rinse thoroughly.

Exfoliating face cleanser: To clean your face and exfoliate skin at the same time, mix a half-teaspoon of Epsom salt with your regular cleansing cream. Gently massage into skin and rinse with cold water.

Dislodge blackheads: Add a teaspoon of Epsom salt and 3 drops of iodine into a half cup of boiling water. Apply this mixture to the blackheads with a cotton ball.

Remove foot odor: Mix a half cup of Epsom salt in warm water and soak your feet for 10 minutes to remove bad odor, soothe achy feet, and soften rough skin.

Remove hairspray: Combine 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of lemon juice, and 1 cup Epsom salt. Cover the mixture and let sit for 24 hours. The next day, pour the mixture into your dry hair and leave on for 20 minutes before shampooing as normal.

Hair volumizer: Combine equal parts deep conditioner and Epsom salt and warm in a pan. Work the warm mixture through your hair and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

”Sea Salt has some great uses for Epson salt.

“Peppermint essential oil gives a cooling sensation and has a calming effect on the body, which can relieve sore muscles when used topically. It also has antimicrobial properties so it can help freshen bad breath and soothe digestive issues. Peppermint is a hybrid species of spearmint and water mint (Mentha aquatica).
Top 25 Peppermint Oil Uses and Benefits – Dr. Axe”  Dr. Axe has great insight into essential oil on his sight Draxe

“The health benefits of eucalyptus oil are well-known and wide ranging, and its properties include anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial, stimulating, and other medicinal qualities. Eucalyptus essential oil is colorless and has a distinctive taste and odor.
15 Best Benefits of Eucalyptus Essential Oil | Organic Facts”  You can find more facts at organicfacts.net

I hope you have enjoyed learning about Epson Salt. It is a very useful and cheap thing to keep in your home for your health.

Leave me comments on how an Epson Salt with peppermint and eucalyptus oil helped you.

Massage Etiquette

Why Not Just Get A Massage in The Buff?

There are many schools of thought on why a client should or should not drape. Some have to do with state laws, if your state requires draping then the massage therapist must drape with at least a towel or sheet to fulfill the letter of the law. Other states laws, say that you drape to the comfort level of both the therapist and client, this means that both have to be comfortable with no draping to not be covered with a sheet or towel. While still, other states have no laws concerning draping, I feel that it is still important that we respect the comfort level of both the therapist and client in these states also.

What is draping? This is when the client is on the table they are covered with some form of cloth, which can be a sheet, blanket or towel. The client and therapist can choose one or all three during the massage to cover the client.

Why should I drape or not drape? Draping, in reality, is to either preserve the modesty of the client and therapist, cut down on sensual thoughts and actions or keep the client warm. Not draping is for clients and therapist that are comfortable with the human body. Not draping also gives the therapist more time to work on your muscles during the massage instead of moving draping around to reach the muscles. If you are wishing to have full body massage strokes then you will need to not drape. Some clients like to use no draping while face down but have a towel across them face up. This is totally fine, as well.

Do I need to wear any type of clothing on the massage table while I am draped or not draped? This once again is up to the therapist and client’s level of comfort. I recommend that you do not wear any type of clothing, you should be in the buff. This allows me to work on your glutes and lower back to relieve back and leg pain. This can not be done with any type of clothing on. Since massage is a very personal experience, you will need to feel comfortable with your therapist to be able to relax in the buff whether you choose to drape or not.

Does draping matter if you are male or female? No, whether you drape or not should not be based on your sex. Draping is a personal choice and doesn’t depend on gender.

In conclusion, I prefer to not have my clients drape but understand when a client prefers to be draped. I also ask that clients remove all clothing before getting on the table. My massage is not sensual or ever meant to be sensual. I just enjoy relieving the client’s muscle pain. See you soon on my table for a massage in the buff!

Massage Etiquette

Surprise! Tips Do Not Guarantee Excellence

The age old question that comes to mind why should a person tip? How much is enough tip, so I don’t look like a tight wad? How much is over tipping? These are all good questions that I will attempt to answer in this blog.
I will only be speaking from a massage therapist position but the ideas can be applied to any service field.

Why tip a person in the service fields? This is a very good question. We do get paid, but usually on a commission basis or lower than normal salary level. Those of us that work for ourselves have to depend on clients coming to us. This means we can often have very slow weeks or months with little or no pay. Tips help keep us in business. Also, tips were developed to let the person doing your service know they have either done a terrible job or an excellent job. This being said in my line of work as a massage therapist that is self-employed, I attempt to keep my prices in the middle. This means some people can just barely afford to come get the service they need while others it is no problem at all. I went into my business not expecting tips from any of my clients. However, each client that tips me it is appreciated greatly. For those that can’t afford it and tell me, they wish they could tip but just can’t it is an emotional tip.

Those of us that work for ourselves have a lot of overhead each year that includes: advertising, lotion, candles, bottled water, sheets, towels, educational classes, license fees, equipment, taxes, etc. Tips are the icing on our jobs that make it so we can do extra things other than just getting by.

I feel strongly that clients should tip according to how they felt about their experience, did they learn something about their muscles and if the massage truly makes them feel better. If the answer to any of those things is yes then the massage therapist has earned a tip. I truly dislike it when a client ask me what a standard amount of tip is. There is no standard amount and no percentage in the massage world unlike a wait staff that I feel should get a 20% + tip depending on the level of friendliness and service.

In conclusion, a tip is for a service well done and beyond the call of the job guidelines. Did you get more than expected, did you learn something, was the therapist happy and was the area clean and inviting? If so surprise your massage therapist with a nice tip after you have received an awesome massage you will not regret it and I promise they will remember you. Tips do not guarantee a great massage but they can guarantee a reap great massage.

Massage Info

Is Massage Right For You? Yes, You!

To get a massage or not is an all time question on many minds both male and female. Other questions that go with this are as follows: What will people think? Will my partner get mad or be insulted? Do I choose a male or female therapist? Is it safer at a salon, private home or outcall? Will I be put in a compromising situation? Will the law be involved? What type of massage do I need? So many questions fly through a clients head before even beginning to look for a massage therapist. All of these questions are valid and should be addressed before booking a massage. This blog will attempt to lead you to find the right massage therapist for you.

What will people think? In reality, a large portion of the population has had a massage at one time or another. It may not involve their clothes coming off, but you have been massaged either while getting your haircut, manicure, pedicure or facial. Often people will stop in the mall to get a shoulder and back massage in the center of the mall or sit in a massage chair that takes quarters. These are all forms of massage. A full therapeutic massage is very scary for many since they must remove clothes and be touched by a stranger in a dim room. Massage is for relief from pain or stress. That being said no one should judge people for trying to be healthy.

Next, “Will my partner be mad or insulted?” and “Do I choose a male or female therapist?” go hand in hand. I feel that open communication is key in this issue. If your partner is not a trained massage therapist they should not be working on your muscle issues. They can injure you to the point of needing surgery. This is not good and not deliberate on their part just a lack of training. I find that most males prefer a female therapist due to feeling their sexuality called into question. This should not be the case since massage is not about sex at all! Most females prefer female therapist also due to fear of being raped or molested. These are all valid reason and why you should check your therapist out before you book. You should feel 100% comfortable with them not matter if they are male or female.

Getting a massage at a salon, home office or at your place is really based on how you feel when talking with the therapist. Salons can be unnerving for males with all the women, scents and waiting area. While women thrive in this setting. Men often prefer a home office since they usually go straight in for the massage and leave without having to interact with anyone else. All locations can be unsafe for either the client or the therapist. This is why you must always follow your gut feeling on the situation.

In conclusion, don’t miss out on an opportunity to feel amazing, improve your health and state of mind because of rumors you have heard. I welcome the opportunity to have you on my table and show you what an amazing massage can do for you. Book today so you can start changing your life.

Massage Etiquette

Is Your Penis a Muscle, Tissue, Blood or Organ?

The penis is an organ made up of smooth muscle tissue, blood vessels, nerve fibers and skin basically the same as your heart. Since it is made up of smooth muscles you cannot move it at will, just as you cannot make your heart beat or not beat. The penis has a certain function, therefore, it is an organ. What is smooth muscle tissue? The Free Dictionary describes it as “Muscle tissue that contracts without conscious control, having the form of thin layers or sheets made up of spindle-shaped, unstriated cells with single nuclei and found in the walls of the internal organs, such as the stomach, intestine, bladder, and blood vessels, excluding the heart.” I would say this is very lucky for the women out there since men would be working out at the gym doing dumb bell lifts with their penis to increase its size and strength.
This is a common mistake when clients read, that we massage all their muscles. They believe their penis is involved. Thanks for asking, but no it is not, it is made up of organ muscle tissue. It is in fact made up of 3 kinds of tissue and made erect by blood flow that builds up in two chambers. The reason it can stay erect is the swelling blocks off the veins that fill the penis. When the swelling is reduced the blood drains out allowing the penis to return to its normal state. Therefore, blood pressure, diabetic and mental health medications effect the penis. To answer any further scientific questions about how your penis works check out Teach Me Anatomy to answer those questions in detail.
This gives some merit to the fact that men believe the penis has a mind of its own. Not really, just like to be a blood hog for a period of time that last for different lengths of time.
As a massage therapist, I understand when a client gets an erection. The erection is often caused by two different things from the therapist massaging the client’s glutes or pushing blood up the legs to the groin area. We are not trying to make the massage sensual. We just want to make sure your muscles are loose and ready for daily activity.

Massage Info

To Ice Or Not To Ice Is The Blissful…

There is a time and place to ice your muscles that will make your muscles feel blissfully happy. As I always tell my massage clients Ice, Ice Baby, is your friend after a massage, exercise or after a muscle injury. I know heat feels so awesome and amazing on your aches and pains, however, it is not making your muscles better. You can do more harm at times with heat than good.

So what does ice really do for my muscles? Ice will decrease the flow of blood to your muscles this, in turn, decreases swelling, inflammation, pain, and muscle spasms.

Ice is used by all professional athletes after a workout or injury. Yes, they first soak in a hot water bath of Epson salt and then move to a bath of ice. They have more will power than I do. I suggest soaking in a tub with as hot as water as you can stand without burning any essential body part with Epson salt that has eucalyptus and peppermint oils. These two oil work as a natural pain reliever as they soak into your muscles. You should soak until cool about 20 minutes. Epson salt draws out lactic acid that makes your muscles hurt. The hot bath soak should be followed by 15 mins of ice pack on the affected area. 15 mins off the area and then another 15 mins of ice on the affected area.

In conclusion, ice is always your friend if you use it in a controlled setting and not for extended periods of time. The use of massage, Epson bath soaks and ice will make your right as rain. So book your massage today.

Body Care

Massage When Your Brain Needs A Hug!

Massage has the ability to raise your brains dopamine, a neurohormone that the hypothalamus released into our bodies.   Dopamine affects fine motor activities that we use to either work or in relaxing actives. People that have low levels of dopamine will have difficulty focusing and be clumsy.

Having trouble sleeping?  Massage is the answer by helping your brain to release serotonin that will help keep you from depression, cravings, obsessive-compulsive disorders and improve sleep.

A short massage of just 15 minutes can increase your epinephrine (adrenaline) levels by activating the sympathetic nervous system, helping a person be more alert.  However, a longer, steady and deeper massage reduces epinephrine levels giving you a walking on air feeling aka relaxation and increase your ability to sleep deeper that night.

Trigger Point release massage gives the client many benefits by reducing pain increasing endorphins that give you the “feel good” for up to 48 hours.

There are tons of blogs and medical research out on the web that I encourage you to read but first get a massage so you can focus and be relaxed.