You Can Make A Difference In Your Community!

Make a Difference Day Living Health Day SpaOctober 28th is National Make A Difference Day! Since 1992, thousands of volunteers across the United States have committed themselves to a day of service in their local communities on National Make A Difference Day.

Today, Make A Difference Day is held on the fourth Saturday of October. But it began on February 29th on 1992 (Leap Day) as a national day of service designated as a way to improve the lives of others in our own communities.

Funded by the TENGA group, the Arby’s Foundation, and Points Of Light, Make A Difference Day seeks to inspire us to realize that anyone, no matter what age or background, can make an impact on their community. Thousands of projects take place each October. Some are very large while others are quite small. But each project makes an important difference in the lives of others.

If you’d like to find a Make A Difference Day project near you, visit their website and search their project database here: http://www.makeadifferenceday.com/find-a-project/. (There are three projects listed near Memphis, but more may be added as we get closer to the 28th.)

Do you have an idea for a great community-based project for next year’s Make A Difference Day? You can register your project here: http://www.makeadifferenceday.com/start-a-project/. You could clean up a local park… start a community garden… establish a yard work brigade for the elderly in your community… restore a historic building… paint a mural… anything that will create a positive impact for the people in your community.

There’s even a chance your project will be selected for one of 14 $10,000 grants awarded each year to help you make an even bigger impact on your community! They provide all the resources you need to organize your project, attract volunteers, and publicize your event online or in your local community.

So… what are you waiting for? Get out there and Make A Difference!

How “Mental Health Friendly” is Your Employer?

Mental health at work Living Health Day SpaEach year, October 10th is World Mental Health Day – a day set aside by the World Health Organization (WHO) to focus on the greater issues around mental health. They seek to encourage mental health professionals to raise their voices in support of creating more awareness and a deeper understanding of how we can all achieve better mental health.

This year’s theme is Mental Health in the Workplace. As adults, many of us spend the majority of our time at work – often amid a great deal of stress. Depression and anxiety, common mental disorders associated with high-stress lifestyles, have a negative impact on our ability to work productively and maintain good physical health.

According to the WHO, more than 300 million people suffer from depression globally, making depression the leading cause of disability. More than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders. And there is a significant overlap of people struggling to live with both.

How big of an impact does mental health have on the workplace? A recent WHO-led study estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy the equivalent of $1 trillion (US) each year in lost productivity due to poor performance and increased absenteeism.

The WHO encourages employers to put positive mental health initiatives in place to help serve the needs of their employees, and it’s a good idea. The National Alliance on Mental Illness says one in five Americans has some form of mental illness, which means 20 percent of those you work with may be affected!

Common company-based programs range from stress reduction and substance abuse to grief counseling and relationship issues. Human beings can’t “check their emotions at the door”. We are “feeling” creatures. Our emotions are part of who we are… not something we can turn on and off as the situation warrants.

Such programs have been shown to be good for a company’s bottom line – but even more important – very beneficial to the overall health of employees. Employees feel valued and “seen” when the company has programs in place that honor the fact that we are “people”, not just a body behind a desk. Employees are more loyal, dedicated, and feel more positive about their work environment. And a positive work environment is good for everyone!

If you own a local business, or are employed by a company that would benefit from including more employee mental health services, reach out to us! Massage and Aromatherapy are wonderful ways to help reduce stress, address many health concerns, and build a more positive work environment. We have several options for on-site or in-spa corporate packages.

A Few Things You Probably Don’t Know About Yoga

Yoga Living Health Day SpaYoga is a staple in nearly every health and fitness magazine these days. Far from being a trendy form of exercise, Yoga is an ancient practice that began in India centuries ago. Or is it…

If you really dig into the history of the practice, you’ll find that what we call “yoga” today DID start in India, but not until the 20th century!  Modern Postural Yoga was first taught by guru Krishnamacharya, who taught a mix of gymnastics, wrestling moves, Western calisthenics, all mixed up with something called hatha yoga – a medieval practice all but lost in India for centuries.

Hatha Yoga can be traced back to 10th century India, but focused mostly on controlled breath during a handful of very specific poses. The goal of hatha Yoga was to achieve enlightenment or foresee the future. Krishnamacharya may have incorporated ancient breathing techniques like those done in hatha yoga into his exercises, but the poses he taught, and we still do today, are very much a modern invention.

No matter when yoga came to be, we can all be glad it is here today. Regular practice of yoga does wonders for your cardiovascular health, flexibility, core strength, and balance. Yoga routines designed for seniors are a great way to help reduce the likelihood of dangerous falls.

In addition to the obvious physical benefits of a regular yoga practice, there are many psychological and emotional benefits, too. People who practice yoga regularly are happier, experience less stress (even in stressful situations), report better mental health on self-assessments, and has even been shown to reverse the symptoms of PTSD in women in just 10 weeks.

It is theorized by scientists that the practice of yoga actually affects the human body on an epigenetic level – meaning that yoga can turn on more genes related to good health and wellbeing and turn off genes related to stress responses and illness.

There are so many varieties of yoga available today, from very intense classes designed to build athleticism and strength, to seated yoga routines for the elderly or those who are wheelchair bound. Take a look around our community and we are sure you’ll find a yoga class that matches your exact fitness and health goals!

 

Sound Healing is a wonderful way to add more benefits to your Yoga Practice. We offer a really cool  Gong & Himalayan Bowl Session during which you can bathe your body and mind with the meditative harmonic sounds of Gongs and Bowls. Read about it here.

Massage and Pain Management

massage pain managementWith nearly 12% of the US adult population dealing with chronic pain, it’s no wonder our country has such a problem with opioid pain medication addiction. With all the news coverage about the “problem”, we would like to turn our energies to a solution instead.

Massage therapy has long been known to be an effective way to reduce stress and alleviate pain. During a massage, serotonin levels increase measurably, which reduces pain naturally.

In fact, field studies have provided enough supportive evidence that massage therapy is recommended as an effective non-pharmaceutical pain management therapy by the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals: The Official Handbook of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

As a result, hospitals across the nation are including massage therapists on patient care teams to fight pain. These teams may include a physician, several nurses, a nutritionist, a yoga instructor, a chaplain, and a massage therapist.

Massage therapy is even being implemented critical care environments, like hospital emergency rooms, chemotherapy clinics, cardiac units, and labor and delivery units.

Why is massage therapy so effective at reducing pain?

Because, massage therapy…

  • promotes relaxation and alleviates the perception of pain
  • reduces anxiety
  • naturally increases deep sleep (often lacking in those with chronic or severe pain)
  • increases range of motion to promote healing and blood flow
  • and improves mood

Together, these powerful benefits of therapeutic massage create the perfect emotional and physiological conditions to promote healing and a more positive sense of wellbeing.

If you or someone you care about struggles with fibromyalgia, joint pain, chronic headaches, or other causes of long-term or difficult to manage pain, please reach out to see how we can help.

 

A One HR Massage is just $75! Your choice of Deep Tissue or Swedish

Whether you prefer a lighter touch or a heavier pressure deep massage, our goal is to provide you with an Hour to an hour and a half of complete stress-melting, send your mind to La-La Land massage. Learn more

Don’t Just Age Gracefully… Age Gratefully!

anti aging therapies living health day spaAging gracefully is one thing… we all must come to terms with our aging bodies at one point or another. Whether we do that with grace or a grimace sometimes depends on the events of the day.

Instead, let’s make a choice to age gratefully. To have gratitude for all that has come before today and use those experiences to live an intentional and meaningful life for the rest of our days on this planet.

Never Stop Learning

One in eight adults in the United States over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease or some form cognitive decline. A lifestyle that includes cognitive stimulation through active learning can slow cognitive decline, and in some cases, even reverse it.

Think of your neural connections as forest paths. Ones that are traveled often and with vigor are wide, smooth, and easy to travel. But once these paths are abandoned, they quickly get swallowed up by the surrounding forest until you can no longer even find them.

Activities that keep your neurons firing, help keep your brain’s communications pathways clear and strong. Picking up old hobbies and learning new skills not only strengthens decaying neuron pathways – this reinvigorated neural activity can actually create new pathways in the brain, making your brain “younger” and more fit!

Try taking dance lessons, learning a new language, attending lectures at a nearby college, learning to play a musical instrument, joining a book club, taking up photography, or taking an art class.

Take A Stand

Many seniors report they no longer feel needed or important now that they are older and beginning to slow down. Losing your life’s “purpose” often leads to depression and isolating behaviors.

Your children may be grown and long since left your home. Your career has probably reached its end. So what are you to do with all this time on your hands?

Take a stand for something you believe in! Join a community advocacy group… run for a local political office or the school board…  join your neighborhood committee… volunteer as a tutor for underprivileged children… teach a class at your local library… volunteer as a mentor at your local career center or youth outreach program.

The “world” may no longer have a place picked out for you to inhabit. But that just means that you can take control and decide what you want your role to be.

You’ve lived a life full of joys and sorrows, successes and failures, love and heartache. Those experiences have tremendous value to others. Share your stories and invite others to discover your passions.

Feed Your Body Well

A well-nourished body is essential to healthy aging and maintaining your energy levels. Our bodies change as we age, and so do our nutritional needs. With age, the number of calories you need decreases so every calorie you consume must be packed with nutrition. But even with the best diet, you may still need supplementation since the human body becomes less efficient at absorbing key nutrients.

If nutrition is a concern, you may want to consult a holistic nutrition specialist. He or she will be able to order specific metabolic testing to determine if you are deficient in any key nutrients and then help you develop an eating plan that will provide the specific nutrients you need to stay active and healthy.

Keep Moving

Thanks to increased circulation, better oxygenation of the blood, and improved brain chemistry, older adults getting regular physical exercise are up to 60 % less likely to develop dementia. Activities like Tai Chi and ballroom dancing are fun and low impact, plus they boost cerebral activity while learning and remembering the routines.

Maybe you can also try “pole walking”. Walking poles provide more balanced mobility than canes or walkers. Plus, walking poles engage the muscles in the upper body, turning your gentle walk into a full body experience. You don’t need to climb mountains… even just a moderate pole-walk on a paved path will get your body moving and your blood pumping.

Stay Connected

Nearly one-third of older adults live alone. This kind of isolation is a breeding ground for depression and lethargy. To combat this, make it a point to find people to talk to and see face to face every day. Start by making a list of all your friends and family members and pick one person to call or email every day. Bonus points if you Skype or use Facetime!

If you are no longer driving and transportation is an issue getting to classes and events, contact your local senior center, Medicare office, or city’s department of transportation to see if there is a free or low-cost shuttle service for seniors. Many churches and community centers also offer non-medical transportation services.

If there is not one available, ask around at church or in your neighborhood to see if there is another adult or teen interested in helping you coordinate transportation. Your social interactions are important enough to your health and sense of wellbeing for you to do all you can to make interactions with others possible.

 

Moisturize your skin and minimize wrinkles with our Hydra Dew Facial!

The Repechage Hydra Dew Facial will provide immediate 100% in-depth moisturization and superior anti-oxidant protection. Boosts moisture content, and will help combat hyper-pigmentations and wrinkles. Delivers maximum results in a minimum amount of time. Designed for dry skin. Read more about it here…

September is Fruits and Veggies Month!

healthy skin living health day spaWhy celebrate Fruits and Veggies? Because they are so good for us!

Fruits and vegetables contain tons of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that may help prevent heart disease, cancer, and inflammation, as well as boost your mood, and you’re your waistline.

How can you make sure you are getting enough of Mother Nature’s medicine? Eat the rainbow every day…

If you eat one or two servings from each of the five colors of fruits and vegetables each day, you’ll be getting a healthy dose of vitamin and phytonutrients. A serving is about a quarter-cup and can be raw, steamed, cooked in soups or stews, canned, or frozen.

Buy local and organic whenever you can. Wash your fruits and veggies in mild soap or soak in a dilute solution of peroxide to wash away pesticide and wax residues. If you are eating processed or packaged fruits and veggies, be sure to read the labels to avoid excess salt, sugar, and preservatives.

Red

The red family is high in lycopene and antioxidants like resveratrol that combat free radicals, inflammation, and may reduce your risk for developing cancer and heart disease.

Try: Tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, red grapes, radishes, red bell pepper, red onions, red apples, cherries, pink grapefruit, pomegranate, radicchio, and red chili peppers

Orange / Yellow

The orange and yellow family are packed with beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C – powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals that can damage your cells.

Try: Carrots, lemons, butternut squash, pumpkin, summer squash, yellow and orange bell peppers, yams / sweet potatoes, corn, bananas, yellow apples, yellow beets, papaya, peaches, mango, pineapple, and oranges.

Green

The darker green the better! Green fruits and veggies are good sources of fiber, potassium, calcium, and iron.

Try: Spinach, broccoli, asparagus, green and romaine lettuces, kale, chard, turnip greens, okra, peas, green beans, zucchini, cucumbers, parsley, kiwi, avocado, and artichokes.

Blue / Purple

The dark pigments of the blue and purple family come from a group of antioxidants called flavonoids, specifically anthocyanin. These nutrients have been shown to help maintain urinary tract health, improve memory, and protect against some cancers.

Try: Blueberries, plums, eggplant, beets, purple cabbage, purple grapes, purple carrots, heirloom purple tomatoes, and red grapes.

White

White fruits and veggies are few but powerful. Cauliflower has many of the same properties as broccoli, onions are a great pre-biotic (feeding healthy bacteria needed in our gut), and garlic is a natural antibiotic.

Try: Onions, garlic, cauliflower, white asparagus, pears, daikon radish, white beans, and jicama.

Remember to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables each day and you will be packing your body full of great vitamins and minerals!

 

You can feed your skin a healthy dose of plant-based vitamins, too! Try our Repechage Vita Cura Micropeel Firming Facial!

Vita Cura® 5 Phase Firming Facial with Micropeel is based on Repêchage’s exclusive combination of natural marine and herbal ingredients to invigorate, lift and firm mature skin, providing advanced skin repair. The treatment provides an instant trigger to young looking skin. Long term benefits to preserve elasticity, improve oxygenation and help prompt cell renewal. Check it out…

Doing Everything Right, But Still Feeling Bad? You May Be Detoxing!

Detoxification after massaageWe live in a world filled with toxins. They are in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. The human body has a natural method for collecting and eliminating these toxins – the lymphatic system.  This network of vessels weaves throughout your body delivering nutrients to your cells and collecting wastes to carry away. With no pump of its own, the lymphatic system relies on the movement of your muscles to move fluids around.

And for the most part, the system works really well, as long as you are moderately active and are not overexposed to toxins. But, if your toxin level is high and your clearing system is having trouble keeping up, you’ll start developing negative symptoms, like body aches, fevers, frequent colds or infections, headaches, fatigue, unusual thirst, or skin rashes.

One of the ways our bodies try to deal with excess toxins is by storing them in fat. That’s why some people feel so crummy when they start losing weight. As the fat disappears, the toxins are released back into the blood stream, triggering toxic symptoms.

So, if you’ve recently started a clean eating regimen, a new exercise routine, begun massage therapy, or embarked on an official “detox” program – know that feeling crummy is (unfortunately) part of the process.

Rest assured, though, because detoxification symptoms, although uncomfortable, are not harmful. And, there are things you can do to reduce the severity of your symptoms and shorten their duration.

Bathe in an Epsom Salt Bath

A super simple recipe for a toxin clearing bath is to fill your tub with warm water and add 1 – 2 cups of Epsom Salt. Mix it up and climb in. Relax for as long as you are comfortable. Epsom Salt is not the same as table salt or bath salts. It’s made of a compound called magnesium sulfate. And when you soak in a solution of it, toxins and excess swelling can be pulled through your skin. This reduces inflammation and can help eliminate toxins from your body faster. (Note: Epsom Salt is not for use in jetted tubs, whirlpools, or hot tubs unless the manufacturer specifically says it is ok.)

Drink Plenty of Water

The lymph fluid that carries toxins away from your cells is made of about 95% water. So drink up! The more water you consume, the better your body will be able to move toxins though your lymph system.  Drink purified water (not straight tap water) throughout the day aiming to get about eight 8-oz glasses in total. If you exercise vigorously, are out in the heat or cold, or are feeling thirsty, drink an extra glass or two. But, you can overdo it… drinking too much water can unbalance your electrolytes. If you feel excessively thirsty despite adequate water consumption, please consult your doctor or naturopath. Extreme unexplained thirst is a warning sign that demands your full attention.

Get Adequate Rest

The process of detoxification is hard work for your body! It’s natural to feel more tired than usual while your body works this hard. Take a guilt-free afternoon nap, sleep a little longer in the morning, and head to bed early (ideally by 9 pm) to give your system adequate rest.

Get Moving

Remember, the lymph system doesn’t have a pump! The only way lymph fluid moves around your body is through the physical movement of the tissues around the lymph vessels. Gentle physical activity is ideal when you are in the process of detoxing – like walking and yoga. You can also visit your favorite massage therapist to get a lymph-drainage massage. This type of gentle massage stimulates the flow of lymph using smooth strokes timed with the rhythm of the valves in lymph vessels.

So, pay attention to your body and be on the lookout for the symptoms of detoxification. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us or schedule an appointment.

Try our Peppermint Twist Detox Massage to refresh and rejuvenate yourself if you are experiencing Detox symptoms!

Sharing Massage With Your Kids

massage is for kids tooDid you know that children can benefit greatly from massage, too?

It’s true! Touch is a universal healer. Without enough human touch during infancy, children may fail to thrive – and even die. Physical touch is a necessary part of our psychological development and emotional wellbeing.

Massage is a natural stress buster. You think kids don’t have stress? Try spending a day as a toddler who knows exactly what she wants but can’t get the words out right. Or a third grader moving to a new school mid-year. Or the goalie on the state trophy contending soccer team.

Massage is known to lower cortisol stress hormones and raise dopamine levels, combating depression and anxiety. Massage can, therefore also help with other medical conditions affected by stress, such as asthma, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, eczema, and acne. In very young children, massage is a safe way to help settle upset tummies and get things “moving” again down below. Children battling cancer report that regular massage therapy helps reduce the pain and discomfort related to their treatments.

You can start massage at home on a newborn, as long as there are no underlying medical conditions to worry about. Your pediatrician will be able to tell you if massage is safe for your baby. Right after bath time when they are warm and snuggly is a great time to try some simple massage strokes on their arms, legs, and torso. As your child becomes a toddler, try adding in the hands and feet into the massage. Just remember, if your child becomes squirmy or asks you to stop, please do so. Honor your child’s nonverbal cues and spoken requests. Massage should never be something you do “to” you child. It should always be done “with” you child.

As your child becomes a teen, you’ll probably want to start seeing a licensed massage therapist – especially if he or she is very active in sports. A skilled therapist can help your child overcome growing pains, sports injuries, and clear away inflammation due to any number of causes.

Massage therapy is non-invasive and completely safe for most people – no matter how young or old! If you would like to learn more about sharing the healing gifts of massage with your child, please give us a call. We’d be more than happy to answer any of your questions.

Protect Your Skin… From Within!

natural sun protectionFor far too long, we’ve been told to fear the sun. But (lighting and heating the earth aside) we need the sun to be healthy! Exposure to sunlight produces vitamin D in our skin, helps regulate sleep / wake patterns, improves mood, and even serves as a natural pain killer.

Excessive exposure to direct sunlight increases the risks of skin cancers – some of which are very deadly. So, we’ve been told to slather on the sunscreen. But have you read the ingredients on the label? Between the perfumes, preservatives, organic solvents, and *known carcinogens* (like titanium dioxide and octyl methyoxycinnamate), you have to wonder which is worse for you – the sun or the sunscreen!

Instead, follow some common-sense guidelines in the sun. Wear light colored clothing with long sleeves and long pants. Sport a wide-brimmed hat to protect your scalp, face, and ears. Opt for the shade or use an umbrella. And avoid direct sun during peak UV hours of 10 am to 3 pm.

What you eat year-round can also help protect your skin from sun damage, too.

Make sure your regular diet is full of fresh fruits and vegetables that are bright in color, especially reds and greens. Foods like carrots, strawberries, watermelon, and tomatoes are packed with antioxidants and other natural molecules that gobble up free radicals that can damage the DNA in your skin cells.

Green tea boasts an especially powerful anticancer molecule called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). Multiple scientific studies have shown that the EGCG in green tea reduces your risk of multiple cancers – including skin cancer.

A supplement made from an algae called Astaxanthin can be taken daily to prevent and reverse sun damage. In research studies, oral Astaxathin supplements help fade sun spots, reduce the look of wrinkles and crow’s feet, and lower incidence of skin cancer. In fact, it has been shown to be so effective at blocking UV rays that it is currently being studied as a naturally sourced sunscreen!

If you want to put on lotion before going out in the sun, try making a homemade whipped coconut oil lotion. Coconut oil only blocks about 20% of the sun’s harmful rays, but it’s packed with powerful antioxidants that combat long-term sun damage.

If you happen to get too much sun, try a luke-warm bath with organic oatmeal. Grind a cup of dry oatmeal in your blender and sprinkle in the bath. Gently pour the mixture over your burned skin for several minutes, rinse with cool water, and pat dry.

Your skin is your body’s largest organ. It deserves your care and attention. Enjoy the sun! But be skin smart year round to keep your skin bright and healthy for the rest of your life.

Worried about sun spots and wrinkles on your face? Consult with one of our facial specialists today!