health benefits

5 Reasons to Eat Healthy

At Massage Envy Central Florida, our purpose is to help you live the best life you can. Whether you need help relaxing and revitalizing your body with a massage, or want to take care of your skin with one of our Murad Facials, we are here to join you in the path to better health.

Today, we are going to explore how proper nutrition is going to help you achieve your health goals and feel great. Here are five reasons eating right should be part of your daily life:

It protects your bones 

When you eat healthy food and get the recommended amount of calcium, vitamin D, and folic acid, you will build a strong skeleton. This will also help you prevent osteoporosis and fractures int he long term.

It makes you happier 

Recent studies found have that eating more fruits and vegetables can lead to feeling calmer, happier and more energetic.

It strengthens your immune system

Research has found that if you are getting your recommended daily dose of fruits and vegetables, you will boost your immune system and save at least five sick days.

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Picture by Ania M. Taken from Flickr.

It results in clearer skin 

Scientists explain that you may be able to eat your way to a clearer complexion if you avoid over-eating certain foods such as sugary foods, dairy, and processed grains.

It soothes sore muscles 

What you eat greatly affects how quickly and how well your body will recover after a workout. For example, protein is vital in helping your muscles recover so if your body is not receiving the appropriate amount of protein it needs, it won’t recover well.

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Keep healthy during flu season by fighting germs

We all know that washing our hands with soap and warm water is the most critical thing to do. Here are some additional tips to help keep you and your family healthy, especially during flu season.

• Disinfect all electronics, including your keyboard, mouse, phone, remote control and any video game controllers.

• Don’t forget doorknobs, faucets, and light switches. These also should be disinfected to prevent the spread of germs.

• Feather dusters tend to move dust around the room rather than capture it for good. Instead, try a microfiber or electrostatic cloth.

• Slide your furniture around if it’s not heavy or ask a family member or colleague for help. You’ll be surprised by the amount of dirt and dust that hides under your couch or desk.

• Shared spaces, like the office kitchen, are germ magnets. Bring your own coffee mug and wash it daily. And throw out old sponges – a known hot spot for bacteria.

• If you suffer from allergies, you may want to try out a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air-filtered) vacuum cleaner. They have been shown to substantially remove allergens and contaminants from carpets and other surfaces.

It’s National Soup Month, so eat up!

January is National Soup Month and there is no better way to celebrate then indulging in a warm, hearty bowl of soup. Soup can be a meal or a snack. It can fill you up when you’re watching your waistline or help you defrost on a chilly day.


If that’s not enough to persuade you to cook up a pot of homemade comfort tonight, consider this: Soup also saves time and money. A large batch can feed your family for several days and costs only a few dollars. Here are some healthy ingredients you may want to throw into your next pot.

Beans – Rich in dietary fiber, which has been shown to have a number of benefits including decreased risk of coronary artery disease

Spinach – Provides folate, a water-soluble B vitamin that occurs naturally in food and needed to make normal red blood cells and prevent anemia

Sweet Potato – Packed with potassium to help maintain healthy blood pressure and strong bones

Kale – Filled with Vitamin A to keep eyes and skin healthy and help to protect against infections

Broccoli – A natural source of Vitamin C to help build your immune system and fight off cardiovascular disease

Don’t forget to add your favorite seasoning, broth and protein. Now, what are you waiting for? Prepare a pot tonight. Your soul will thank you.

Add color to improve your mood!

Why are spas blue? Why do restaurants decorate with red? Why are legal pads yellow? (Blue is relaxing, red is stimulating, and yellow-while unnerving in large doses-helps us concentrate better.) For an instant mood booster, dress up your white walls or beige blouse with a splash of color.

Get cool. Blues, lavenders and greens calm your senses. Why do you think celebs sit in a “green room” before they go onstage?

Go warm. Reds, oranges and yellows excite and stimulate. Try displaying a bowl of

fresh lemons or tossing orange throw pillows onto your sofa. Feeling more daring? Paint your kitchen cabinets fire-engine red.

Wear your color. Whether you don a fuchsia scarf (fun!), a red dress (sexy!) or a black suit (in control!), the color you wear sends a message about who you are.


Keeping Active this Fall- it’s easy!

From our Massage Envy Touch of Wellness Blog, we bring you our top 10 tricks and tips for keeping active even as summer passes by and we become preoccupied with the upcoming holidays and stress of everyday tasks.
Do your best to follow a personalized fitness plan daily and you’ll see results!
1.     Find what you love. Whether it’s clearing your thoughts during a long run or dancing the night away in a Zumba class.
2.     Make fitness a priority. Like paying bills and doing laundry, working out should be considered an important priority. Not something you do every once and a while.
3.     Run (or walk) an errand. Leave the car behind. Try running your errands on foot, or bike instead.
4.     Grab a friend or family member and catch up on a long walk instead of via e-mail or phone.
5.     Don’t forget, doing chores around the house burns lots of calories. Great way to kill two birds with one stone!
6.     Have an hour lunch break? Take advantage and squeeze 30 minutes of walking in. It will feel good to stretch your legs mid-day.
7.     Track your progress. It’s important to note major milestones, like your first 3-mile run or the half-day hike you conquered.
8.     Be proud of your accomplishments and share them with family and friends. That extra motivation will keep you going.
9.     Switch it up. Don’t let fitness get boring. Find a variety of activities that get you moving and feeling good.
10. Baby steps. It takes time to work up to your fitness goals. Stay positive and stick to your healthy living routine.

ME Arthritis Charity Event: Healing Hands for Arthritis

One in five adults live with arthritis. Take a look at this video and help us at Massage Envy support the fight as we donate $10 from every one-hour massage and facial on October 12 — World Arthritis Day — to the Arthritis Foundation.

The Arthritis Foundation encourages people with arthritis to be active participants in managing their disease. The Foundation’s vision is simply, “A world free from arthritis pain.” Massage therapy is recognized as being effective in relieving painful symptoms of arthritis and fibromyalgia, improving circulation, increasing joint flexibility, lessening depression and anxiety, improving sleep, and providing an overall sense of well-being. Massage Envy and the Arthritis Foundation share a common understanding of a serious problem and the opportunities for common solutions.

To schedule an appointment and join in the fight against arthritis at a Massage Envy clinic nearest you, please visit MassageEnvy.com. For more information about arthritis or the Arthritis Foundation, please visit Arthritis.org.

Common Health Myths Busted

There are hundreds of health myths that have been circulating both online and offline for years. Here are a few common ones that you may find surprising:

Cold Weather May Cause Illness

  • Believe it or not, cold weather has no effect on whether or not someone will get sick. The rhinovirus, cause of the common cold, is just that – a virus. As such, it doesn’t depend on external forces of nature to spread from host to host. However, cold weather forces more people inside and into closer proximity. It’s likely that this increased cohabitation and interaction allows the virus to spread.

Knuckle Crackers Will Suffer from Arthritis

  • Avid knuckle crackers are at no more risk to get arthritis than people without the habit. However, those prone to cracking their knuckles do find that they have weaker hand strength.  An increased risk of swelling in the hands is also a result of popping your knuckles.

Body Heat Escapes through the Head

  • Various studies conducted have shown that, in cold weather, the majority of body heat is lost through the head. What these studies fail to account for is that the participants were dressed in warm clothing except for hats. By this comparison, more heat was lost from the head than from covered parts of the body. The truth is, body heat is lost through any uncovered part of the body.

Hand Dryers in Public Restrooms are Sanitary

  • In an attempt to be more sanitary, many public restrooms now have motion-activated hand dryers instead of paper towel dispensers. Unfortunately, these dryers often have massive amounts of bacteria growing inside them. The fans can then blow the collected bacteria up to six feet away from the dryer’s own location. As such, these dryers are just as dirty as the door handles.

Reading in Low Light Ruins Eyesight

  • Eyes often adjust themselves according to the light, as experienced when a person steps from a dark room into sunlight. This is also true when reading in dim light. While there is a strain on the eyes, no actual damage occurs. Eyesight returns to normal after a period of rest. This is also true of watching television in the dark or using the computer in the dark.

Humans Use Only 10% of their Brains

  • Recent studies and imaging technologies have shown that there is not a single part of the brain that remains completely inactive. Multiple areas react to different stimuli, functions, and situations. While the brain may not always be 100% active at all times, humans simply could not function if only a portion of the brain was used.

Cell Phones Cause Cancer

  • Radiation has been linked to the development of cancer. However, humans are exposed to amounts of radiation normally throughout the day. Certain foods, like bananas, even give off radiation. The small amounts of electromagnetic radiation given off by cell phones aren’t enough to damage cells, and the body easily repairs any damage that does occur.

These are just some of the myths you should be aware of in your day-to-day war on unhealthy behaviors. So the next time someone tries to lecture you on the dangers of cell phones and cracking your knuckles, you’ll be the wiser!

6 Easy Mood Boosters

1. Make a gratitude list.

“The most effective way I know of to shake a bad mood is to brainstorm everything possible that you’re grateful for and write it down,” says Amy Wood, PsyD, author of Life Your Way. She suggests starting with broad strokes, like being thankful the sun is shining or that you’re breathing. “You’ll find that once you get the ball rolling, more and more ideas will come to you. Studies actually show that it’s impossible to feel gratitude and unhappiness simultaneously. That’s why this strategy works so well, and so quickly!”

2. Practice mindfulness.

“If you’re in a slump, you may also be stuck ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. Both of these thoughts are nonproductive,” says Simon Rego, PsyD, director of Psychology Training at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. Instead, he suggests practicing mindfulness, which involves being present in the moment without judgment. “Try taking five minutes and eating your meal in a mindful way, paying attention to how it looks, smells and tastes with each bite, before swallowing it. Or take a quick mindful walk, considering the sights, smells, sounds and temperature with each step.” By focusing on the present, you’re less likely to dwell on the outside circumstances that are making you unhappy.

3. Practice a random act of kindness.

According to Dr. Rego, doing nice things for other people will make you feel good about yourself. Try holding a door open for someone else, offering a compliment or smiling at a stranger. These acts of kindness lead to positive thinking about yourself, and usually garner a positive response, like “thank you,” which can easily put a smile on your face, he says.

4. Have A Laugh

“Set up a YouTube channel with your favorite comedy sketches and comedians,” suggests Cory Bank, PhD, founder of StompStressAway.com. “Have it saved so that if you’re in a bad mood you can take a three-minute break and infuse some humor into your day.” Belly laughter will make your endorphins kick in within minutes. Plus, he notes, “you’ll feel better when you take a short break from your day-to-day reality.”

5. Eat An Orange

According to celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, foods packed with vitamin C, like citrus fruits, green peppers and broccoli, are proven to cheer you up. In fact, a study published in a 2010 edition of Nutrition found that vitamin C therapy can help improve the moods of patients who are hospitalized for long-term or critical care. Dr. Sams also stresses the importance of vitamin C (as well as other antioxidants, like vitamins A and E) when it comes to boosting your mood because it helps stabilize free radicals in the body, which are known to accelerate aging and increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. When these highly reactive atoms are neutralized, it prevents them from also damaging brain cells, resulting in better health and improved mood.

6. Just Breathe

Sure, we do this all day long, but breathing in a certain way has the power to relax us as well as lift us out of a slump. Dr. Sams is an advocate of diaphragmatic breathing. “Take a five-count breath in, and a five-count breath out. The goal is to manage your breath, instead of having your breath manage you.” When you breathe into your diaphragm as opposed to just your chest, which many of us do when we’re feeling stressed, you will absorb a lot more oxygen into your system. “Our brains thrive on oxygen—it’s very powerful in boosting your mood.”

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Benefits of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy doesn’t just smell good, it can also benefit you in many ways. Some common aromatherapy benefits include:

  • Relaxation and stress relief
  • Mood enhancement, balance and well being
  • Boosting the immune, respiratory and circulatory systems
  • Relief of minor discomforts

Aromatherapy is a great, natural compliment or alternative to other health treatment options such as certain prescribed medications. However, aromatherapy doesn’t “cure” major illnesses but it is effective at alleviating many of the discomforts associated with them. Essential oilsare the heart of aromatherapy. They have been used to:

  • Heal wounds
  • Improve skin tone
  • Regulate hormones
  • Relieve menstrual cramps
  • Decrease congestion
  • Relieve tension headaches
  • Energize
  • Relax muscles
  • Improve sleep
  • Kill fungal & bacterial infections