Healing Massage Therapies

Healing Massage Therapies

Massage is an Important Part of an Integrative Wellness Program

There are many reasons to book a healing massage today. Massage is often thought of as pampering, but the therapeutic benefits cannot be denied. Studies show that massage reduces pain, improves sleep, aids patients in getting through cancer treatments, increases motion and flexibility, helps to avoid colds and flus, often alleviates headache, and can ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Stress Reduction with Healing Massage

Massage not only lowers your stress level, it reduces cortisol levels. Cortisol is hormone that can reek havoc on your body if you are constantly stressed. Elevated cortisol can lead to blood sugar issues, weight gain, suppression of the immune system, stomach and intestinal problems, and heart disease.

Freeing the mind and recharging the body with healing massage
Freeing the Mind and Recharging the Body with Healing Massage

Massage Therapy for Pain Management

Recent studies indicate that massage is strongly indicated for pain management. More than eighty percent of doctor visits are for chronic and acute pain complaints. Massage is often an important part of an integrative pain management program.

How Does Massage Combat Illness?

It has been proven that regular massage boosts the immune system. Swedish massage studies have shown an increase in white blood cells that combat illnesses such as colds and flus. Studies have also indicate that massage can significantly increase natural killer cells that fight early stages of breast cancer.

Massage therapists that are properly licensed and trained can be relied on to develop a massage therapy plan to meet individual needs and can coordinate work with doctors, acupuncturists, and other health professionals. Many modalities are often combined to treat conditions and may include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, neuromuscular therapy, structural integration, joint mobilization, and myofascial release.

The AMTA and other professional organizations list qualified massage therapists in your area.

Oxygenate to Maintain Youth!

A primary reason for aging is the failure of systems in your body that are responsible for your uptake and utilization of oxygen. What happens when our cells don’t get enough oxygen? We age more quickly and become weak!


Exercising while breathing supplemental oxygen, also known as “exercise with oxygen therapy (EWOT)”, dramatically increases the amount of O2 in your plasma. After only 15 minutes of this type of exercise, your skin becomes pink because capillaries are carrying oxygen to the skin’s surface. Users of EWOT report increased energy, improved vision and mental clarity almost immediately.

Running, walking or cycling without the use of supplemental oxygen may actually decrease the oxygen content of your blood because your cells and tissues are using more oxygen than is available for the increased activity. Surgery, chronic inflammation, poor digestion, insufficient nutrition, infections, stress, dehydration, and acidic pH can compromise your oxygenation levels.

Cancer thrives in a low oxygen environment. Exercise with oxygen seems to promote a strong environment for cancer recovery and prevention and has been known to aid in eliminating lyme disease. Give it a try today for enhanced wellness, prevention, and anti-aging!

Stress and how our bodies respond

By: Marcia Keilen

Our bodies have been hard-wired for survival and self-preservation through a reflex known as the fight-or-flight response.  This reflex kicks in when we perceive a threat to our physical body and our body responds in one of two ways:  to fight or to run.  Basically, our body responds to this threat physiologically by pumping out stress hormones, specifically, adrenaline and cortisol, which in turn causes our blood pressure to rise, our heart rate and blood sugar to increase, the blood circulation to our digestion to decrease, suppresses our immune system, and increases the stickiness of our platelets.  After the threat passes our bodies should return to their normal state of homeostasis. This is certainly important if we are indeed faced with bodily harm, but unfortunately, this stress response can become chronic in our everyday life when we are faced with the many stresses we encounter everyday.  Dr. David Simon, M.D., one of the co-founders of the Chopra Center for Well Being, gave this definition of stress, “how we respond when our needs are not met.”  How many times do we deal with unmet needs?  For example, someone cuts you off on the roadway, your workload becomes overwhelming, you’re running late for an appointment and there is a traffic jam that makes you even later.  There are many, many examples of these unmet needs that we face everyday.  The important question is, how are we going to respond to these situations?  That is what determines our emotional and physical health.  Over time chronic stress can lead to a myriad of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, anxiety, insomnia, poor digestion, infections, strokes and heart attacks, to name a few.  

One of the best antidotes to stress is meditation.  When we meditate, our body’s chemistry actually changes as we move into a state of restful awareness.  Meditation helps us to respond in a more mindful way to the world around us, we can’t control what goes on around us, BUT we can choose how we respond to what is happening around us and meditation helps us to be less reactive and more reflective, we are less impulsive and more intuitive, and we make more conscious choices.  As meditation reverses the negative effects of chronic stress, we find more peace of mind and a healthier state of being as well as many other benefits.  Learn about these benefits of meditation as well as how to meditate by taking a meditation class or booking a private session to learn how easy it is to  meditate and how you can fit a meditation practice into your everyday schedule.


Healthy Holiday Eating Guidelines

By: Leanna DeFere


—Food Combining

-Aid digestion by being mindful not only in flavor combining but by avoiding fruit/ dairy, hot/cold, raw/cooked combinations. These can upset digestion. 

—Eat with the Season

-When we eat seasonally we save money. This is because stores and markets have an abundance of these foods. Also we tend to eat more locally grown foods. Local foods support local farmers. They travel less distance and usually contain less pesticides—making them fresher.

—Eat in a designated space

-By having a space for our eating meals can become sacred times to nourish our body. Sit at a table with your utensils and foods laid out before you begin eating. This helps to alleviate anxiety around meal times. Make this space sacred. When present in the space avoid emotional conversations. Allowing the space to remain in a neutral energy. 

—Limiting Liquids

When eating avoid taking in liquids, this will weaken digestion and absorption of nutrients. Ideally liquid can be consumed between meals. Waiting 20 minutes between liquid intake and meal time.

—Chew Well

Digestion begins in the mouth. It is so important to chew our food well. Carbohydrates become significantly sweeter the more they are chewed. Many individuals under chew their food. Most foods need to be chewed 15-20 times. This is also a technique for those trying to lose weight. By chewing our food we are better able to savor and enjoy each flavor and texture. Often taking the time to chew increases length of meal time. Be sure to take time for your meals. Don’t eat on the run or in a rush. Allow yourself time to sit and breathe before beginning. 

—Limit distractions

Each time you feed your body you have an opportunity to really tune in and listen to yourself. This begins by turning off the TV, setting the cell phone aside and avoiding upsetting conversations. Eating in silence promotes digestion because excess air is not take in, however, if you choose to engage in conversation be mindful of who you are talking with and what you discuss. 

—Avoid Overeating

Only eat until 75% full. This allows digestion to have room to process the foods. 


After eating allow yourself to sit for 10 minutes. Use this time to reflect on the meal and the nourishment you provided your body. If you must move, consider taking a slow, mindful walk. Walking can gently stimulate the digestive system. It is also helpful if you have overeaten. 


Manage Your Holidays in a Healthy Way

The holiday season is rapidly approaching. Many of us have already noticed changing emotions and increasing stress. Autumn and the transition into winter can stir up emotion. Our environment is changing with falling leaves and whirling winds. It can be difficult not to spin in an internal whirlwind.

With the holidays come company and the desire to be around others. In order to be truly present and grounded in our experience, we must care for ourselves:

  • 1. Getting enough sleep, remembering and taking the time to eat balanced meals and breathing are great ways to start. Then, tune into your body. What is your body needing? By using our senses, we can soothe stress. Adding aromas and mindfulness throughout the day can help reduce stress.
  • 2. Make your space a sanctuary. When your environment is peaceful, the mind finds ease.
  • Our sense of smell is directly connected to our memory. Consider using aromatherapy. Aromatherapy uses oils extracted from flowers, seeds, leaves, roots and fruit. Essential oils for stress include bergamot, patchouli, blood orange, Ylang ylang, lavender, chamomile and grapefruit. Oils can be heated in a diffuser to release the scent. This is great for filling a space with the scent. Other ways include adding 8-10 drops to a bath, 1-2 drops on a tissue or adding 5 drops to an unscented lotion. You can also dilute the oil with water to make a spray. Or add 10-20 drops to a load of laundry.  Personally, I like to spray my blood orange and bergamot blend when I get home. It is a helpful reminder that I have left the stress of the world and have returned to my place of peace. I use the affirmation, “I am home, I am safe, I am at peace” when I spray it. Whether I believe those words at the time is irrelevant. It is a game of tricking the mind. By saying those words, I create those thoughts. When the brain ‘hears’ that phrase and registers the smell stress reducing hormones are released.
  • 3. Finally, mindfulness is essential.  Being mindful means being present in body and mind. Taking time to breathe deeply drastically reduces stress. Give yourself 2 minutes to do nothing but close your eyes and breathe. It can be difficult to quiet a stressed mind. Feel your body completely empty of breath. Slowly inhale starting way down in the root, as you feel the belly expanding and the breath rising feel your ribs expanding, your chest opening, filling all the way up underneath your collarbones when you can no longer sip in any breath pause. Then release out though your mouth. Visualize all the stress spewing out though your mouth.

A vibrational sound environment creates a soft mind. My stress stone recommendation for the holidays is white alabaster. This fine grain is variety of gypsum. It aids the body by centering the self to further mental activity. It teaches forgiveness, enhances skills employed for serving other and allows for maturity and self-composure. It alleviates the “seeking” tension found in the mind. Alabaster allows one to understand that tension will pass and aids in diminishing internal anger or struggle.

Give yourself care this holiday season. Care for your body, care for your mind. 

Written by… Leanna Defere


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