relax

Take Your Toes to Massage Envy for a Sugar Fix

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If your job and the daily grind have your feet feeling worn out, Massage Envy has just what you need to fully relax and find relief. Take your toes to any of the 14 Central Florida Massage Envy locations to enjoy our new Sugar Foot Scrub!

The Sugar Foot Scrub is ideal for reducing daily stress and discomfort and relieves dry callused skin, revealing healthy happy feet! The Sugar Foot Scrub treatment can be added to any massage session for only $10 as part of Massage Envy Spa’s Enhanced Therapies menu. Formulated specifically for Massage Envy’s customers, the scrub combines sugar and essential oils like jojoba and olive oil to moisturize, comfort and cleanse feet leaving them clean, moisturized and soft!

Massage Envy’s specially designed formula contains extra fine sugar granules and less oil than a typical sugar foot scrub, allowing for easier absorption into the skin. The scrub cleans and exfoliates, removes dead skin cells, and soothes the surface of the skin while stimulating lymph flow and increasing circulation. Post scrub, a whipped Bon Vital Body Butter, which is blended with cocoa butter, Shea butter, beeswax and lavender oil, is also applied to add a hydrating protective layer to the freshly scrubbed skin.

Improve circulation and get happy feet at Massage Envy by making time for a Sugar Foot Scrub today! For more information on where to get a Sugar Foot Scrub in the Orlando area, head to http://www.massageenvy.com/regions/FL/Orlando.aspx

National Relaxation Day

Today is National Relaxation Day! Be sure to clear your busy schedule for at least one hour today and just relax! Having to schedule a time to relax is a sure sign your life is hectic, so you deserve an hour of relaxation more than anything right now.

There are lots of ways you can relax. First, be sure to turn off and put away all electronics. This means no cell phone or TV.

Next, it’s time to relax! Consider going for a leisurely walk with friends. Taking a break from your busy lifestyle to take a quick walk with friends is a great way to clear your mind and relax. Another option would be to take try yoga. You can find free, animated posts as Hathayogalesson.com, or take a class at your local gym.

If you don’t have time for a walk or yoga, simple breathing exercises will do the trick also! Visit getcopdinfo.com for some ideas. You can also try lounging by the pool after a quick workout. Remember not to skip the gym today, as working out helps you to relax and reduce stress.

Lastly, you can schedule a massage at your local spa. For locations and to schedule an appointment visit http://www.massageenvy.com/regions/FL/Orlando.aspx

Meditation: A Simple Way to Manage Stress

Most people are or have been plagued by stress in their lives. Anything from work to family issues can cause stress on a person. If stress has you feeling anxious, tense and worried then you should consider trying meditation. This is a simple and fast way to help you feel more relaxed, even spending a few minutes a day in meditation can restore your calmness.

 

Anyone can practice meditation. It requires no special equipment and you can do it virtually anywhere you feel comfortable.

 

Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. It was originally meant to help deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. Nowadays, meditation is typically just used for relaxation and stress reduction. It is considered a mind-body complementary medicine, producing a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. Meditation will allow you to clear away the information overload that’s built up in your mind everyday contributing to your stress. You can practice everyday by focusing on steady breathing or central thoughts.

Research suggests that there are some physical health benefits as well. Meditation may help such conditions as high blood pressure, depression, anxiety disorders, asthma and even allergies! Meditation is not a replacement for traditional medical treatment, but may be a useful addition to your other treatments.

 

There are many types of meditation and relaxation techniques to choose from. Here are a few detailed ways to meditate:

 

Guided meditation. Sometimes called guided imagery or visualization, with this method of meditation you form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing. You try to use as many senses as possible, such as smells, sights, sounds and textures. You may be led through this process by a guide or teacher.

Mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation is based on being mindful, or having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment. You broaden your conscious awareness. You focus on what you experience during meditation, such as the flow of your breath. You can observe your thoughts and emotions but let them pass without judgment.

Transcendental meditation. You use a mantra, such as a word, sound or phrase repeatedly silently, to narrow your conscious awareness and eliminate all thoughts from your mind. You focus exclusively on your mantra to achieve a state of perfect stillness and consciousness.

Yoga. You perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calm mind. As you move through poses that require balance and concentration, you’re encouraged to focus less on your busy day and more on the moment.

Try out any of these techniques that you feel works best for you and what you enjoy doing. You can adapt your meditation to meet your needs at the moment. Remember there is no right or wrong way to enjoy all of the wonderful mind and body health benefits of meditation!

Massages can provide Allergy Relief

If you are one of 40 million Americans who suffer from indoor/outdoor allergies, you are already aware that the season is among us. It’s time to break out the Benadryl, tissues and eye drops but who knew that making an appointment for a massage was among allergy relief treatments?

 

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, massage therapists can help relieve some allergy symptoms by reducing stress, increasing circulation, releasing muscle tension and reprogramming the body’s panic reaction, which can exacerbate symptoms.

 

While there are few studies researching massage therapy and allergy relief, we do know that massage helps to relieve stress and stress definitely impacts your allergies. Also, just lying in the face down position can provide immediate relief from sinus congestion related to allergies. This position also allows your therapist to work on the upper back and shoulders, where many sinus trigger points are located.

 

You also may want to add aromatherapy to your massage session. Essential oils such as eucalyptus, pine, menthol, peppermint and lemon placed on points such as temples, neck and ears can open up your sinus cavities and create excellent movement within.

Cranial Sacral Massage Therapy used for treatment of migraines

Are you one of approximately 28 million Americans suffering from migraine headaches? If you are, you should know about Cranial Sacral massage therapy. This is a gentle, noninvasive form of massage therapy that will help to release compression in the bones of the head, spinal column and sacrum, thus alleviating stress and pain causing your migraines. It also promotes relaxation and proper immune system function, enhancing healing throughout your body.

 

Migraines remain one of the most prevalent and puzzling conditions in the medical world today. According to the National Headache Foundation, approximately 28 million Americas suffer from migraine headaches. Cranial Sacral massage therapy is giving these migraine sufferers hope. The goal of this innovative therapy is to restore the natural position of the bones and decrease stress to provide relief from migraine headaches. Through light touch and gentle manipulation of areas on the head, one of our trained experts can detect where the natural flow of the craniosacral system is restricted and facilitate a release where flow can be restored.

 

This is a great alternative for people seeking non-pharmacological intervention for the treatment of migraine headaches. Unlike certain medications, Cranial Sacral massage therapy comes without side effects. Also, overuse of medication is a risk factor for the development of chronic daily migraines. So, for those looking for other options in headache relief, this form of massage therapy is a powerful alternative.

 

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.

Holiday Gift Guide from Massage Envy’s TOW Blog

Are you making a list and checking it twice? There are only a few more weeks left to finish all your holiday shopping. Forget fighting the overcrowded mall this year and give the gift of wellness with a Massage Envy gift card. They can be used for a massage session or facial treatment and can be purchased in any denomination either online or at your local Massage Envy clinic.
Still looking for the perfect gift? Hopefully our Holiday Gift Guide will help!

On-the-go Mom – For the on-the-go mom, we recommend the Trigger Point Therapy massage. This treatment relieves a tight area within muscle tissue causing pain to other areas of the body. Help mom get to the bottom of her back or neck pain and she will be forever grateful.

Traveling Dad – If you have a dad that is constantly traveling, we suggest a Deep Tissue Massage to release muscle tension. This treatment focuses on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints). Send dad into pure bliss, because he deserves it.

Busy College Student – Final exams can be stressful, no doubt about that. After days spent studying in the library, help the college student in your life get his or her glow back with one of our four Murad® Healthy Skin facials.

Stressed-out Significant Other – Treat your significant other to ultimate relaxation with Hot Stone Envy. Each 90-minute Hot Stone session features the placement of smooth, water-heated stones at key points on the body to allow for deeper relaxation of the muscles. Say good-bye to stress, tension and anxiety with this healing experience.

Hard-working Friend – For friends, colleagues, neighbors or teachers who are always working so hard, show them how much you appreciate all they do with a customized massage or facial session. Make it extra special by adding AromaTherapy to naturally help enhance their well-being.

Surviving the upcoming Holiday Feasts

It’s just a matter of time before all of the holiday invites start coming your way– Christmas Eve, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, the excuses to eat continue! Prepare to sit down at a table filled with stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet corn, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and cookies.  Thank god you’re wearing stretchy pants!

While the holidays are a time to celebrate and indulge, you want to be sure not to go overboard. Enjoy the holiday season without adding inches to your waistline with these basic healthy eating survival tips.

  1. Start your day off by exercising. The more calories you burn now, the more you can enjoy later.
  2. Eat small, healthy meals throughout the day to prepare for a big dinner.
  3. Don’t arrive at a party hungry. This may lead to poor eating decisions. Eat a piece of fruit or yogurt before heading out.
  4. When at dinner, first fill half your plate with fruits and veggies. Then add the holiday treats; just be mindful of portion control.
  5. Pass on sugary soft drinks and instead satisfy your sweet tooth with one piece of dessert.
  6. Hydrate with water. Often when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just thirsty.
  7. Be mindful of alcohol. Beer, wine and alcohol are high in calories and will definitely stimulate your appetite.
  8. Leave the leftovers. It’s okay to indulge here and there, but don’t take the holiday grub home to your fridge.
  9. Remember, it takes about 20 minutes to start feeling full. Eat slowly and enjoy every bite to help curb overeating.
  10. Finally, have fun! Don’t stress about treating yourself during the holidays. Just enjoy your time with friends and family over good, delicious food.

Get the most of your next session by adding a scent

Roses. Fresh-cut grass. Your mother’s perfume. Mint. An orange being peeled.

These are smells many of us can imagine. Whether good or bad in our minds, smells can take us back to an event in time and provoke emotion. They can wake us up – or relax us. And that’s what’s at work behind aromatherapy.

“Fragrance is processed in an area of the brain that also processes memory and emotion,” says Mindy Green, co-author of Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art and owner of botanicals consulting company Green Scentsations.

“It’s a lock-and-key system,” adds Kathy Padecky, certified massage therapist and instructor at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. “You can smell a scent and immediately feel an emotion.”

Aromatherapy and Its History

It’s important to note that aromatherapy isn’t just about any smell, Green says. A number of perfumed products on the market, she says, have diluted the reputation of aromatherapy – and given consumers the wrong impression.

“True aromatherapy is only gained by essential oils derived from nature,” she says. “You might find a fragrance that smells nice and even evokes a memory, but you don’t get the same therapeutic effect from a synthetic.”

So, what are essential oils? They’re complex mixtures of chemical compounds found in aromatic plants, writes Anne Williams, author of Spa Bodywork: A Guide for Massage Therapists. Specialized structures that store essential oils are found in leaves, needles, twigs, bark, heartwood, flowers, fruits, stems, roots, flowering tops, zests and peels.

While plants have been used as medicine since early civilizations, modern aromatherapy owes its beginning to French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé. Already familiar with chemicals because of his exposure to his family’s perfumery business, he began experimenting with oils to heal wounds, later coining the term aromatherapy.

The Benefits and Caveats

Essential oils have various uses. “For example, some essential oils are topical analgesics,” Williams writes. “When they are applied to soft tissue they decrease sensations of pain. Oils like lavender, Roman or German chamomile, and sweet marjoram sedate the body and decrease stress because they stimulate an area of the brain which causes the release of serotonin.”

During a massage, an oil like lavender can help you relax in order to maximize the effects of your massage. And at the end of a massage, a stimulating oil might be used to help you wake up.

But, Green warns, not all scents are for everyone.

“Everybody has different scent perceptions,” she says. So, if you favor a certain scent over another, go with your preference. Something you dislike may not relax you just because it relaxes someone else.

And, Padecky notes, pregnant women are advised not to use aromatherapy, particularly during the first trimester. In addition, people with allergies or asthma may find triggers in certain oils and should be cautious. Plus, some oils, such as citrus oils, can make skin particularly sensitive to the sun.

For most people, however, aromatherapy has tremendous therapeutic benefits especially when
combined with a massage therapy session. “The whole premise of taking a deep breath and slowing down is part of meditation,” Green says. “Then, you add that to inhaling something you find pleasant, and stress just melts away.”

Relieve Tired Eyes

Finally, you have a great night’s sleep and feel relaxed and rejuvenated. You start your morning routine, look in the mirror and notice that those annoying dark circles are still there. We know how frustrating this can be. But it’s important to remember that the skin around your eyes is very delicate. One night of restful sleep may not do the trick. So, we called upon the skincare experts at Murad® to learn more about dark circles and how to prevent them.

The skin around the eyes is fragile, and readily shows the signs of age, fatigue and stress. The tissue is thinner, water evaporation is rapid and the collagen and elastin fibers are less numerous. In addition, the eye area has few (if any) oil-producing glands, so it requires intense hydration that my not be appropriate for the rest of your face.

Although some dark circles are genetic, you can reduce their appearance by getting plenty of sleep and keeping your body hydrated by eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables on daily basis.

You can also relieve tired eyes with products that contain wild yam and soybean to increase firmness, caffeine and light refractors to minimize puffiness and chamomile extract to calm and soothe.

Most importantly, take time to relax! Sleep and relaxation are key to keeping your eyes looking refreshed and youthful. Try taking a hot bath before bed and make sure to shut off all distractions (television, Smartphone and computers) an hour before you turn in for the night.

At all Massage Envy Spa clinics, we offer four different Murad® Healthy Skin facials, as well as an array of Murad® skincare products. To determine what treatment is best for your skin, visit http://www.massageenvy.com/facials.