Bodywork that's more than skin deep

Massage therapy is just one part of a healing regimen. Yoga or daily stretching and breathing exercises are key elements in preventing injury, reducing stress and maintaining overall health. They extend the benefits of massage treatments! A balanced diet, exercise, plenty of water and laughter are also important aspects in a healthy lifestyle.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Detox Update: Day 20

Ten days to go! Today, I start with a mini-fast, which includes tons of lemon water and dandelion tea to help the liver catch up with any backup of toxins. This is the first time during the detox that I've done this "mini-fast". It's not too bad because I ate dinner early last night and will eat a light meal early in the afternoon. That's an easily achieved fast of 18-20 hours!

I will break my fast at 2pm with a light meal: a salad, a portion of brown rice and a piece of fruit. In the evening, I will have fish, lightly cooked veggies and some more fresh fruit.

The past 20 days have been great. I've been eating super healthy and I still feel crisp. It really hasn't been a far cry from what I usually eat. I miss the wheat and sugar most of all but I'm not going crazy for it. I'm not sure if I have a wheat intolerance or not. I'll find out in eight days when I can incorporate it back into my diet.

My overall goal after the detox is to limit sugar and refined foods (like white rice and french fries). I want to continue to eat more veggies and fish and less starchy foods(like potatoes) and of course drink tons of lemon water!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Recharge Your Life

I forgot to mention the book that I've been using for the 30-day detox program. It's called "Detox, Cleanse and Recharge Your Mind, Body and Soul" by Christina Scott Moncrieff, an English homeopathic physician. The book offers different healthy detox options along with great information about how to continue to live a "lo-tox" lifestyle. The 30-day detox is the program I like to use every spring because it's gentle and easy to use. It encourages you to eat healthy meals without starving your body. Another positive thing I've found is that it kicks me into a habitual nutritional-healthy-eating lifestyle even after the last day of the detox.

I'm about to enter Day 13 of the detox and I'm still feeling radiant. Some of the major changes I'm noticing:

* I'm getting deep, restful sleep.
* My skin glows, looks flawless and soft.
* I have more energy. (If you can believe that!)
* I've lost two inches around my waist!
* The dark circles under my eyes have lightened up.

So far so very good and two more weeks to go! This week I can add nuts, seeds and eggs to my diet! I'm looking forward to scrambled eggs fried in olive oil with a ricecake topped with banana and blueberries on the side! Mmmmmm, can't wait!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Day Six of My Detox

It's almost springtime and for me that means a detox to clear out all the toxins I accumulated over the year. The detox I like to do is a 30-day makeover program. It's gentle and easy to do because it allows me to continue to eat three square meals a day with up to three snacks each day. Of course my choices of food are limited but the amount is not.

The program includes generous portions of vegetables, fruit, protein and a moderate amount of fat. (I can still have olive oil and coconut oil.) The program excludes foods that most commonly cause food intolerances/allergies like dairy, sugar, wheat, eggs. It also excludes alcohol and caffeine. This also means no artificial flavors or preservatives.

A meal I really enjoyed last week:

Salmon baked in olive oil, lemon and garlic.
Lightly steamed asparagus and green beans tossed in olive oil and garlic.
Quinoa(cooked just like brown rice) with the olive oil, lemon and garlic marinade.

Very healthy and delicious!

I've been drinking lots of dandelion tea every day to help clean out my liver. Yogi tea makes a tea called Detox that I really like. (I've also been drinking tons of lemon water!)

Epsom salt baths have also been a part of my regimen because they help pull out the toxins that are being released. AND they feel really nice.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Spring Ahead!

Daylight Savings Comes Early. In 2005, the Energy Policy Act was passed to extend Daylight Savings time three weeks earlier this year. Set your clocks ahead at 2am, Sunday, March 11th. Spring is ahead!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Stretch It Out

Stretching is one of the most vital ways to increase flexibility in your body. Most of us weren't taught the importance of daily stretching. Flexibility is essential for long-term muscle health. Healthy, flexible muscles are less susceptible to injury, and fewer injuries mean less stress, less downtime from work or your home life. Therefore stretching is an activity that all of us should incorporate into our daily routine. Whether it's for fifteen to twenty minutes in the morning, ten to fifteen minutes during lunch, or twenty to thirty minutes after work, finding time in your day to stretch will greatly benefit your overall muscular health and well being. If you spend most of your day sitting at a desk or your job is high stress, it would be very beneficial for you to do stretches during the course of your day. Many people do not realize that mental stress can manifest physically as muscular dis-ease, and stretching serves as a no-cost preventative medicine that you can practice anywhere at anytime.

The Stretch Deck, by Olivia H. Miller is a great resource with fifty beautifully illustrated cards, including detailed instructions, benefits and tips for each stretch. Look for it online and order it! There are many great stretches included and there are even sequences for office workers, for runners, for gardeners, for golfers and even sequences for travelers. Most of the stretches I show my clients are in this deck.

Here are a few pointers to help you get the most out of your stretch.

*Warm up before you stretch. Light, gentle stretches help to warm up the muscle tissue.
*Do not bounce during your stretch. This can increase the chance of injury.
*Move into the stretch until you feel mild tension, not pain.
*Inhale and exhale deeper into the stretch and hold for at least ten-20 seconds.
*Drink lots and lots of water throughout the day. A hydrated body will move much more easily into a stretch.