What is Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep Tissue Massage is a massage that goes under the fascia (connective tissue) and is usually reserved for people who are extremely taxed in their body or have had an injury. 
 This is my favorite kind of massage to do.  I find that it is very easy for me to get to a place of Mindfulness when doing this kind of massage as it sort of resembles working with a fantastic work of art.
  The human body truly is beautiful.  Each client is different structurally and in their energy.  Even skin tone is truly something to be admired.  It would be a surprise if any of my clients new how strongly I feel this way.  Each session leaves me with a deeper appreciation for the human body and all its splendor!
  Knots in the fascia are often the cause of pain and deep tissue massage is an excellent way of getting them out.  Exercise also helps.  I find that there are certain spots where the tension is almost always the same with my clients.  That is, the shoulders, neck and lower back.  I have been using hot stone therapy a lot lately and am getting a lot of positive feedback when using these stones to work deep into the connective tissues. 
  I always tell my clients to make sure they drink a lot of water when they are done to flush out all the lactic acid out of the tissue.  Soreness is common and it means I did a good job.  This means that a lot of toxins were flushed and are being flushed out of your body.  I can’t emphasize enough the importance of drinking water.
  Deep tissue massage is vital to maintaining health and vitality.  However, it can’t be relied on alone.  Exercise, posture and maintaining an ideal weight are all very important. 


To Carb or not to Carb…..

Carbohydrates are ideal nutrients to meet your body’s energy needs, to feed your brain and nervous system, to keep your digestive system fit, and within calorie limits, to help keep your body lean. Digestible carbohydrates, together with fats and protein, add bulk to foods and provide energy and other benefits for the body. Indigestible carbohydrates, which include most of the fibers in foods, yield little or no energy but provide other important benefits.
    All carbohydrates are not equal in terms of nutrition.   I will be explaining the differences between foods containing compex carbohydrates and those made of simple carbohydrates.
    Carbohydrates contain the sun’s radiant energy, captured in a form that living things can use to drive the processes of life.  Green plants make carbohydrate through photosynthesis in the presence of chlorophyll and sunlight. In this process, water absorbed into its leaves donates carbon and oxygen. Water and carbon dioxide combine to yield the most common of the sugars, the single sugar glucose. Scientists know the reaction in the minutest detail but have yet to reproduce it–green plants are required to make it happen.
   Light energy from the sun drives the photosynthesis reaction. The light energy becomes the chemical energy of the bonds that hold six atoms of carbon together in the sugar glucose. Glucose provides energy for the work of all the cells of the stem, roots, flowers, and fruits of the plant. For example, in the roots, far from the energy-giving rays of the sun, each cell draws upon some of the glucose made in the leaves, breaks it dow to carbon dioxide and water, and uses the energy thus released to fuel its own growth and water-gathering activities.
   Plants do not use all of the energy stored in in their sugars, so it remains available for use by the animal or human being that consumes the plant. Thus, carbohydrates form the first link in the food chain that supports all life on earth. Carbohydrate-rich foods come almost exclusively from plants; milk is the only animal-derived food that contains significant amounts of carbohydrate. The next few sections describe the forms assumed by carbohydrates: sugars, starch, glycogen, and fiber.
   Through photosynthesis, plants combine carbon dioxide, water, and the sun’s energy to form glucose.  Carbohydrates are made of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen held together by energy-containing bonds: carbo means “carbon”; hydrate means “water.”
   Six sugar molecules are important in nutrition. Three of these are single sugars, or monosaccharides. The other three are double sugars, or disaccharides. All of their chemical names end in ose, which means “sugar.”  Although they all sound alike at first, they exhibit distance characteristics once you get to know them as individuals.

A balanced diet…yes, you can do it!

A nutritious diet has five characteristics. First is adequacy: the foods provide enough of each essential nutrient, fiber, and energy. Second is balance: the choices do not overemphasize one nutrient or food type at the expense of another. Third is calorie control: the foods provide the amount of energy you need to maintain appropriate weight-not more, not less. Four this moderation: the foods do no provide excess fat, salt, sugar, or other unwanted constituents. Fifth is variety: the foods chosen differ from one day to the next. In addition, to maintain a steady suppy of nutrients, meals should occur with regular timing throughout the day.

Any nutrient could be used to demonstrate the importance of dietary adequacy. Iron provides a familiar example. it is an essential nutrient: you lose some every day, so you have to keep replacing it; and you can get it into your body only by eating foods that contain it.  If you eat too few of the iron-containing foods, you can develop iron-deficiency anemia: with anemia you may feel weak, tired, cold, sad, and unenthusiastic; you may have frequent headaches; and you can do very little muscular work without disabling fatigue.  Some foods are rich in iron; others are notoriously poor. If you add iron-rich foods to your diet, you soon feel more energetic.  Meat, fish, poultry, and legumes are in the iron-rich category, and an easy way to obtain the needed iron is to include these foods in your diet on a regular basis.

To appreciate the importance of dietary balance, consider a second essential nutrient, calcium. A diet lacking calcium causes poor bone development during the growing years and increases a person’s susceptibility to disabling bone loss in adult life. Most foods that are rich in iron are poor in calcium.  Cacium’s richest food sources are milk and milk products, which happen to be extraordinarily poor iron sources. Clearly, to obtain enough of both iron and calcium, people have to balance their food choices among the types of foods that provide specific nutrients. Balancing the whole diet to provide enough but not too much of every one of the 40-odd nutrients the body needs for health requires considerable juggling, however.  Food group plans that cluster rich sources of nutrients into food groups can help you to achieve dietary adequacy and balance because they recommend specific amounts of foods from each group. Balance among the food groups then become the goal.

Calorie Control-
Energy intakes should not exceed energy needs. Nicknamed calorie control, this diet characteristic ensures that energy intakes from food balance energy expenditures require for body functions and physical activity.

Intakes of certain food constituents such as fat, cholesterol, sugar and salt should be limited for health’s sake. A major guideline for healthy people is to keep fat intake below 35 percent of total calories. Some people take this to mean that they must never indulge in a delicious beefsteak or hot-fudge sundae, but they are misinformed: moderation, not total abstinence, is the key. 

As for variety, nutrition scientists agree that people should not eat the same foods even highly nutritious ones, day after day. One reason is that a varied diet is more likely to be adequate in nutrients. In addition, some less-well-known nutrients and phytochemicals could be important to health and some foods may be better sources of these than others. Another reason is that a monotonous diet deliver large amounts of toxins or contaminants. Such undesirable compounds in one food are diluted by all the other foods eaten with it and are diluted stil further if the food is not eaten again for several days. Last, variety adds interest-trying new foods can be a source of pleasure.



Serenity is yours.
When chaos looms seek the sweet Surrender of simplicity.
Gaze above at the glassy sky,
Feel each blade of green Beneath your feet,
Listen to the sound of faith Like a reed flute playing Inside your chest.
Stand in witness of Your true nature.
Remember the compassion Of the lover’s eyes,
The calm wisdom of The elder’s voice.
Go within.
Be at rest without.
Fall to your knees in gratitude.
You have all your need.
Turn from the riot of distraction.
Let it roll over and beyond you.
Serenity is yours.
It lives always within your reach.

by Ching Qu Lam

Massage ..to give is to receive

Having given a very long massage today to a very dear gentleman, I wondered how I would feel after. 
Would I be tired? Exhausted? Drained? 

 What I noticed was a beautiful peaceful feeling all over my body.  I felt  peaceful, at ease, happy, blessed and calm. 

Throughout this lengthy massage, I reminded myself to be mindful and in the moment.  I feel that I am at my best when I am in a mindful state, and it also affords a sort of protection from being drained by thinking. 

I really wanted to  do a wonderful job with someone that was trusting me with their body, face and head. 

When you are receving a massage for the first time, it is a leap of faith.  Laying on a table with a sheet over you and letting go can be difficult for some. 

C was great.  I used hot stones with his massage, and he was very patient with my inexperience.  They can get too hot, or not hot enough.  I really appreciated him voicing what felt good and what didn’t to me.  If a stone was not hot enough, he was sure to tell me.  Feedback is so important when you are establishing a theraputic relationship with someone.

But, back to my original point/question…Does anyone else feel “blissed out” after giving one?  I googled the subject and here are the findings from a study from the TRI about this. Elderly Retired  Volunteers Providing Versus Receiving Massage

Elderly retired volunteers were assessed after giving Infants massage for a  month versus receiving massage themselves. Results were: 1) they reported less  anxiety and fewer depressive symptoms and an improved mood after giving infants  massage; 2) their pulse decreased; 3) their cortisol levels decreased; and 4)  they reported improved self esteem and a better lifestyle (e.g. fewer doctor  visits and more social contacts) after the one month period. These effects were  stronger for giving infants the massages than receiving massages themselves,  suggesting that the massager can benefit from simply giving massages.

“Elderly Retired Volunteers Benefit from Giving Massage Therapy to Infants”,  Journal of Applied Gerontology, (1998), 17, 229-239

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1689907

What does this mean?  Simply put, I need to give more Massages and do more Reiki. 

How sweet is it that to give is to receive.

Proteins and Amino Acids

Proteins are amazing, versatile and vital cellular working molecules. Without them, we would not have life.
The word Protein comes from the Greek word proterios (meaning “of prime importance”), proteins have revealed countless secrets of the processes of life.

The structure of proteins enables them to perform many vital functions.
One key difference from carbohydrates and fats is that proteins contain nitrogen atoms in addition to the carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms that all three energy-yielding nutrients contain.

The word Amino means “nitrogen containing” and these atoms are the building blocks of proteins.

A big difference between proteins and carbohydrates is that carbohydrates have repeating units, glucose molecules, and are identical while the amino acids in a strand of protein are different from one another.  A strand of amino acids that makes up a protein can contain up to 20 different kinds of amino acids.

Amino acids have the same simple chemical backbone made up of a single carbon atom with both an amine group (the nitrogen containing part) and an acid group attached to it.

Each amino acid also has a distinctive chemical side chain attached to the center carbon of the backbone. It is this side chain that gives the identity and its chemical nature to each amino acid.

About 20 amino acids, each with its own unique side chain, make up most of the proteins of living tissue.

The side chains make the amino acids differ in size, shape, and electrical charge.  Some are negative, some are positive, and some are neutral with no charge at all.

What is an Amino Acid..are you a little confused in all this scientific talk? Plainly put, an Amino Acid is a building block of protein. Each has an amine group at one end, an acid group at the other and a distinctive side chain.    What is an amine?  This is simply the nitrogen containing portion of an amino acid.

A side chain is the unique chemical structure attached to the backbone of each amino acid that differentiates one amino acid from another.

And essential amino acid cannot be synthesized at all by the body or cannot be synthesized in amounts sufficient to meet physiological need. They are sometimes called “indispensable amino acids.”

Conditional essential amino acids  are amino acids that are normally supplied by the diet in special circumstances when the need for it exceeds the body’s ability to produce it.

Proteins are unique among the energy nutrients in that they possess nitrogen-containing amine groups and are composed of 20 different amino acid units. Of the 20 amino acids, some are essential and some are essential only in special circumstances.

Food Choices and Human Health

A Lifetime of Nourishment~

If you live for over 60 years, you will have eaten more than 70,000 meals and your amazing body will have disposed of over 50 tons of food.  The foods you choose to eat will have a lasting and cumulative effect on your body. As you age, you will understand these effects-you will learn what to look for.

The body renews itself on a continuous basis, and each day it builds muscle, skin, blood and bone.
It also replaces blood and old tissues with new ones.

The best food for you for your body then is the kind that will support the growth and maintenance of good, strong bones, glowing skin, and enough blood to cleanse and deeply nourish all parts of your body.  You need the right amount of energy and sufficient vitamins. Water, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and minerals are all essential too!

There is a very strong diet and health connection.  What you eat has a huge impact on your health, both today and in the future. There are only two common lifestyle habits that are more influential: smoking and drinking alcohol.

Many older people suffer from debilitating conditions that could have been prevented had they known and applied good nutrition concepts.  The chronic diseases-heart disease, certain kinds of cancer, dental disease, and osteoporosis-all have a strong connection to eating unhealthy foods.

It’s important to state that these diseases cannot be prevented by a good diet alone; they are to some extent determined by a persons genetic constitution, how active they are and lifestyle.   However, the likelihood of developing these diseases is strongly influenced by what a person chooses to eat.

The top ten leading causes of death are:
1. Heart disease
2. Cancers
3. Strokes
4. Chronic Lung disease
5. Accidents
6. Alzheimer’s disease
7. Diabetes mellitus
8. Pneumonia and influenza
9. Kidney Stones
10. Blood infections
(Source: National Center for Health Statistics.

Eating healthy can be a challenge when you are busy and it’s just easier to grab take out, but your body will thank you if you take the time to eat healthy foods.