Eating some raw food

raw food for spa health

Sensationalist but true fact coming up: eating more raw food will improve some aspects of your health.

Cooking food aids our digestive system and we absolutely need to ensure that we kill off the dangerous bacteria that grows in raw meat, however we can meet a happy medium with the type of vegetables we consume. BUT bear in mind that vegetables lose most of their nutrition when they are cooked.

The most common form of raw vegetables served up as a standard dish is a salad. You can get really creative which vegetables you combine in a salad instead of opting for the usually expected ingredients such as; lettuce, mixed leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, beetroot, celery and peppers. Why not opt for something a little more creative that adds a great amount extra to the nutritional value of the salad and add in some raw spinach leaves, kale, carrots grated, courgettes thinly sliced, mushrooms finely chopped and some blended broccoli.

Sure the above ingredients don't have to be used all at once, it's simply a choice of adding something different in the nutritional spectrum and to spice up a salad in a new way.

Juicing has become a popular phenomenon in ensuring that a large number of nutrients are being absorbed by the body each and every day. There are a vast number of books and websites dedicated to the subject of juicing and there is certainly a plan for everyone. If you fancy venturing down the juicing avenue, preparing and drinking the juice in the morning is the absolute optimum time. Your body has been repairing itself during sleep and there's nothing better to start off a new day with a nutritional juice for your vessel, which works so hard for you unconditionally.

If you want to go the extra step and really say thank you to your body, opt for a three or five day juice cleanse. It not only cleanses your entire body but also cleanses your mind. If you have a dependence on food which you know not to be good for you, then this is the perfect positive way to stop lifetime bad habits and do something nice for yourself.

The juice cleanses to go for are the ones that include vegetable juice as well because you don't want to be running off just sugar from fruit for five days. A balance between both will allow you to obtain more nutrients and keep your blood sugar levels evened out as well. Also keep some fibre from the fruit or veg in the juice!!

Always get medical advice if you have any health problems and always look at the reviews and ratings of juice cleanse you are thinking to use. Nutritionists spend an extremely long time ensuring that their plans are not only delicious, but totally stable, something you don't want the cheap option on your health right.

Thai or Swedish Massage

Swedish Massage

Thai Massage: Yoga without Effort

Maybe the first image that comes to mind when someone mentions Thai Massage is a slim, Thai lady walking all over your back. However, there's much more to Thai massage than meets the eye.

Developed in Thailand, Thai massage is a system of massage that has been influenced by the traditional medicine systems of India, China and Southeast Asia, as well as by yoga. For centuries, Thai massage was performed by monks as part of Thai medicine.

More energizing and rigorous than more classic forms of massage, Thai massage is like doing yoga without any work for some people. In fact, this massage resembles yoga to the extent that therapists use their hands, knees, legs and feet to move you into a series of yoga-like stretches.

Thai massage might be known for being energizing, but it also has relaxing effects as muscle compression, joint mobilization and acupressure are also used during treatment.

When you get a Thai massage, you usually line on a mat or firm mattress on the floor. You should wear something comfortable. Typically, it lasts 60 minutes to 2 hours. It includes rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body, which may include pulling fingers, toes, ears, cracking the knuckles, walking on the recipient's back and manipulating the receiver's body into many different positions.

It can be done solo or in a group of 10 or so patients in the same large room. While the receiver may be positioned in a variety of yoga-like positions during the massage, the practitioner leans on the recipient's body using hands and usually straight forearms locked at the elbow to apply firm rhythmic pressure.

Among its benefits, it relaxes you, reduces stress, improves circulation, increases energy, increases flexibility, improves range of motion, and centers the mind and body.

What is Swedish Massage?

Swedish massage is the most common and best-known type of massage in the West. If it's your first time at the spa or you don't get massage often, Swedish massage is the best place to start.

If you want deeper work and can tolerate more pressure to get relief from chronic muscle pain, it's better to book a deep tissue massage, which is another form of Swedish massage.  If you have pain, it will likely take a series of massages to get results.

Swedish massage and other types of therapeutic massage are performed by trained, licensed massage therapists. A Swedish massage can be slow and gentle, or vigorous and bracing, depending on the therapist's personal style and what he or she is trying to achieve.

During a Swedish massage you are generally nude underneath a towel or sheet. The therapist uncovers only the part of the body he/she is working on, a technique called draping. If that gets you out of your comfort zone, you can keep your underwear on, and many newcomers do.

You usually start by lying face down with your head in a u-shaped face cradle so your spine stays neutral. The therapist generally starts by works your back, using various massage strokes that include effleurage, kneading, friction, stretching and tapping.

When he's finished with the back, he or she works the back of each leg. When done with the back side, he or she holds the sheet or towel up and looks away while you turn over onto your back and scoot down; then he or she quickly covers you again.

The therapist then massages the front of each leg, both arms, and generally finishes with your neck and shoulders.

Some therapists work in a different order, and all have their own style and techniques. If you only have 50 minutes, you can also ask them to spend more time on a certain area. If the pressure is too light or too firm, you should speak up and ask the therapist to adjust it. Swedish massage usually includes some deeper work on areas of specific muscle tension, but if you truly want deeper, more intensive work and firmer pressure, book a deep tissue massage. The cost of a Swedish massage will vary, depending on whether you go to a day spa, resort spa, destination spa.

Headaches & How to Manage Pain

Headaches

The Hidden Reasons You're Getting Headaches & How to Manage Pain

When it comes to pain, I have experienced it all and most important, I have learned how to manage it. A broken foot, wrist, dislocated knee, and I have even suffered from partial paralysis with surgeries on my knee, shoulder and cervical spinal fusion. These are just some examples of somatic (musculoskeletal) and neuropathic (nerve) pains. Of I've experienced visceral (internal organ) pains as well; stomach cramps, menstrual pain, anxiety, and so on. But, what do you do when you are in pain? Do you put a Band-Aid on it or find the cause of your symptoms?

If you take a pill to get rid of your headache, for example, you are masking your symptoms. However, if you lie down in a dark room, close your eyes, take deep breaths, and allow yourself to experience the pain, then you are finding the cause of the headache. First, let's answer a few basic questions so you can understand why you got the headache in the first place:

Fatigue

: How many hours of sleep do you get per night? Do you sleep through the night?

Food Allergies/Unhealthy Diet

: What does your diet consist of? High/Low sugar and carbs? Do you consume processed foods?

Alcohol Consumption/Smoking/Exposure to Smoke

: Do you drink alcohol? Do you smoke?

Dehydration

: How many glasses of water do you drink per day?

Menstrual Cycle

: Are you ovulating? Menstruating?

Muscle Tension or Strain

: Do you exercise? What kind of exercise?

Stress

: What is your stress level?

The next time you have a headache, don't just take a pill. Sit down and pay attention to your body and become aware of your signs and symptoms. There are always reasons behind visceral pain; it is up to us to listen to our bodies and take care of it.

Somatic and neuropathic pains have obvious causes, soft tissue and nervous system injuries respectfully. How do we manage these pains?

Mindful Tips to Boost Self-Esteem

Boost Self Esteem

Love the Skin You're In

Ever feel like your self-esteem is on an emotional roller coaster? Sometimes you feel good about yourself. Sometimes you don't. There are times when you're resilient and times when you'd like to curl up in a corner and disappear.

What's going on?

Taking a look at self-esteem can offer a clue. Self-esteem is the ability to feel good about yourself, appreciate your work, take pride in who you are, your abilities, and accomplishments… and at the same time know that you're not perfect.

Step out of the past…

Self-esteem is shaped by input from others. From earliest days, people around you have been sending messages – both verbal and nonverbal – about how you're doing. Parents, teachers, family members, peers, playmates – their words and judgments can linger on. In fact, messages from childhood can affect how you're talking to yourself right now!

And into the present…

Although the roots of self-esteem are in childhood, the only place to begin the work that supports change is right here, right now. Achieving a clear and balanced view of yourself and accepting your value as a unique person – not a "perfect" person – can boost self-esteem and help you feel happier and more confident. That's where mindfulness comes in. Simply being present in the moment in a gentle, non-judgmental way can help you cultivate self-acceptance. If you listen mindfully you can start to hear an interior commentary that may surprise you. Sometimes it's supportive, sometimes harsh. When you see and understand what you're telling yourself – and when – you can begin to make changes to support self-esteem.

Here are some mindful tips to help you get started:

Stop the Blame Game!

When you're in a slump, you can be interpreting actions, events, and interactions in a way that builds negative momentum. Be mindful and challenge your thinking! Are you caught in an all-or-nothing pattern of thinking? "I didn't do this perfectly… I screwed it up. Never get anything right…" Are you mistaking feelings for facts? "I feel like a failure… I am a failure…" How about mental filtering? "That's no big deal, anyone could have done it." Jumping to negative conclusions? Someone hasn't called you back – could it be that she's just busy? No need to create a low self-esteem story!

Start practicing positives

As you explore your self-esteem self talk, take some full gentle breaths in and out… and… begin to claim your successes! Acknowledge what's worked, learn from your mistakes, and be kind to yourself. Understand that patience is important. Building self-esteem is a process that happens one moment at a time… an opportunity where you can change your life – and only you can do it!