The Health Benefits of Massage

I love to relax; and as life grows busier in the Vitality Kitchen, self care has become numero uno on the agenda. While sleep is my form of meditation, massages are a luxury that I also allow myself to indulge in. Hey, standing for 8 hours a day, sometimes 7 days a week, warrants a rub down here and there.

Today’s guest post is all about the benefits of massage; because in this go-go-go world, slowing down is always welcome.

Enjoy,
Bianca

health benefits of massage

The Health Benefits of Massage: The Key to Gorgeous Skin

Beautiful, glowing skin is the ultimate dream for many women and men across the world. In fact, it’s been reported that $426billion is spent every year on beauty products in the United States alone. It feels like every week there’s a new ‘must-have’ skin treatment which promises to delay ageing and give out a youthful glow. Let’s be honest. This is exhausting.

The key to achieving noticeably different skin doesn’t have to be a chore. For thousands of years, people have been using the art of massage to revitalise and rejuvenate their bodies. A study by the Huffington Post showed that massages have the capacity to relieve depression, improve sleep quality, and boost immunity. All of these factors are absolutely key in achieving and maintaining great skin. Furthermore, facial massages have the capacity to increase blood flow and encourage lymphatic drainage; all of which can contribute to skin looking tired and dull.

Massage is a fantastic way to relax and unwind from the stresses of everyday living. However, they’ve long known that there are numerous health benefits to achieving the perfect massage.

Here are our top tips on the best way to achieve gorgeous skin through the art of massage. You might even be able to try some of these techniques in your own time.

  • Hot Stone Therapy

Hot Stone Therapy has been around for thousands of years; helping people to relax their muscles and reduce stress. Contrary to popular belief, the hot stones can either be placed on specific areas on the body or where the individual feels the most strain. Most commonly, however, the hot stones are used in conjunction with warm body oil which is massaged into the arms, legs, and torso.

There are numerous benefits to Hot Stone Therapy. The heat from the stones help to open up the skin’s pores and promote deep relaxation throughout the body. Additionally, the residual heat relaxes the muscles and can help to relieve pain and tension. Quite often, the hot stones can be placed over tendons and strained ligaments to provide soothing comfort.

For us, however, one of the great things about Hot Stone Massage is the benefits it gives to your skin. Through massage, your masseuse is able to break down the toxins in your body and purify your system. When people feel relaxed and they’ve undergone detoxification, their skin instantly looks clearer and glowy. The oil is also great for moisturising your skin and acting as a barrier against environmental pollution.

What’s not to love?

  • Aromatherapy 

The key to a good massage is being able to invigorate all of the senses. Aromatherapy, as the name suggests, is all about tantalising your sense of scent and touch. One of the ways this is achieved is usually through lavender oil. The oil, warmed through the masseuse’s hands, is massaged into the body and left for enough time to be fully absorbed by the skin. This has a wonderfully calming effect on the muscles and allows the receiver to feel supremely tranquil.

Given that massage is often intended to break down the toxins in the body, people can often feel very thirsty after their massage. To combat this problem, it’s encouraged that individuals drink as much water as possible (avoiding stimulants like caffeine and alcohol). As we all know, water is the most natural way to give skin a healthy and beautiful glow. In this sense, aromatherapy massage is doubly effective in giving people the skin they’ve always wanted.

  • Thai Massage 

Thai Massage has been actively practiced for thousands of years and is internationally known for its healing and rejuvenating properties. It’s somewhat different to Western massage techniques, like Swedish massage, specifically in that it requires the recipient to be actively involved. Thai massage is commonly compared to a form of yoga, for example. In this respect, Thai massage is incredibly good for the skin. Any type of exercise releases endorphins into the body; sweating is also extremely important for the body to expel toxins.

Thai massage is based on the principle that the muscles need to be stretched and worked in order for the body to be healthy. Once the massage is finished, individuals often rave about how relaxed and revitalised their body feels. Once you feel happy on the inside, then it’ll definitely show on the outside!

  • Ayurvedic Massage

Ayurvedic Massage originates from Ancient India and is practiced to promote blood circulation and inner well-being. This is a more gentle form of massage and helps to make residents feel more relaxed. Here is a good description of Ayurvedic Massage and its numerous benefits:

‘’ Oil massage should be resorted to daily.  It wards of old age, exertion and old age and aggravation of vat. It bestows good vision, nourishment to the body, long life, good sleep, good and strong healthy skin. It should be done specifically to the feet, head, ears and palms.’’

- Astanga Hrdayam

In this sense, Ayurveda is a fantastic way to reinforce the natural barriers of the human body through massage and contact. It’s also wonderful because it can be enjoyed by people of all ages; there really are no limits on who can enjoy this type of massage. Additionally, Ayurveda massage doesn’t just focus on the torso like other traditional treatments. A lot of attention is devoted to pampering the hands and feet; the two places where stress often manifest the quickest. Therefore, this ancient massage from India is a wonderful method of keeping skin soft and supple.

  • The Key to Gorgeous Skin

We’ve done our best to research the best massage therapy treatments which benefit you and your skin. Everyone loves a good pampering and there’s no reason why great skin care has to be laborious. So, next time you think about spending a fortune on the latest beauty must-have, treat yourself to a relaxing massage. After all, you deserve it.

This blog was written by Rachel Jensen for Pearl London. Visit Pearl London online today to learn more about their fantastic massage treatments for men, women, and couples.

The Super Guide to Superfoods

The saying “you are what you eat” has never been more true; what we eat affects every cell of our body, and as a holistic nutritionist AND chef my mission with The Vitality Kitchen is to show people how to harness the power of real, whole food.

This info graphic is all about super foods, because superfoods are just that, SUPER!

Enjoy the info graphic and have fun infusing your summer meals with these wonderful superfoods!

Bianca

superfoods

Summer Heat Relief with Raw Food

raw food

It’s summer in Edmonton and she’s still sweatin’ hard- like too hot for clothes hot; but I know that in 5 months time when we are in a deep freeze I will long for these days, so I’m keeping my kvetching to a minimum.

This morning I woke up at the crack of dawn to extol the virtues of raw food on Breakfast Television Edmonton, because when it’s hot out cooking is the last thing on my mind- and I’m sure it’s the last thing you want to do too.

I covered all the basics of raw food basics, because despite what you may think, raw food isn’t just rabbit food that lacks flavour and depth- oh no! Raw food is dynamic, flavourful and healthy when done right.

Housekeeping
It’s important to note that eating raw food comes with some housekeeping rules. Because raw food generally is a plant based way of eating, it’s important that you meet your protein requirements, so foods like hemp seeds, chia seeds and nuts are an essential part of a raw diet; and FYI fruits and vegetables do bear a little bit of protein, so if you consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, in addition to seeds and nuts, then you’re good!

The idea behind raw food is that eating cooked food means that we are eating nutritionally inferior food than if it was raw; because the heat of cooking kills off vitamins and nutrients. I will, however, refute some of that logic, because foods like tomatoes are best eaten cooked, when the lycopene can be released and absorbed by the body; but alas, there are sacrifices to be made.

What is Raw Food?
Well, to be considered raw food nothing can be heated above 118F, so food can still be warm but not piping hot; so raw foodies must become SUPER familiar with blending, dehydrating and food processing. So, yes, raw food can be simple, but in a great many ways it requires more work from you- but at least you aren’t heating up the house.

Pregnant? Consider Cooking Your Food
It’s also of utmost importance that food is washed thoroughly because no heat is being applied and tasked with killing some foodborne pathogens; washing food and being sure that cross contamination hasn’t occurred is key. This is also why I don’t suggest pregnant women do solely raw food; I have other reasons why I believe pregnant women should avoid a 100% raw food diet, but potential pathogens is number one.

My Opinion
I believe that a raw food diet has a place and time. In 30+ degree weather raw food is welcome to most, because the diet is cooling and hydrating, due to the large volume of fruits and vegetables. However, in the winter when temperatures dip significantly, I think cooked food offers a level of grounding in the system; which is why I believe that everyone must listen to their bodies. Trying new things is always a suggestion of mine, but don’t be pigeon held into a certain way of eating; mix and match certain principles and find what works for you.

She’s Sweatin’- Let’s Have Salad!
Today I prepared a lovely summer salad that is raw, cooling and oh so delicious. If you’re a hot child in the city like me, then this salad is for you.

 

Green Salad with Sesame Miso Dressing

  • Cucumber, washed and peeled with vegetable peeler
  • Arugula, washed

Dressing

  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3 tbsp tahini (or soaked and sprouted raw sesame seeds)
  • 1 ½ tsp tamari sauce
  • water, as needed

Combine the cucumber and arugula in a bowl and set aside.

In a blender, combine all the ingredients for the dressing; blend until smooth and toss with the salad. Enjoy!

Postpartum Nutrition

postpartum
Today I celebrated my birthday by waking up at the crack of dawn to share what I know about postpartum nutrition and wellness on CTV Edmonton.

Having a baby is a HUGE effort that must be carried out by the female body and with this large task comes extra nutritional requirements.By neglecting nutrition, new moms can feel tired, listless and even increase their chances of postpartum depression; besides, who would pass up an opportunity to eat MORE food?

New mothers are healing from labour and delivery and breastfeeding mothers are not only healing, but making nourishment for their babies; and an undernourished mother cannot fully nourish her baby.

The following information is for the mama’s to be and new mama’s out there!

  • Protein

Protein is essential to all cellular development, it’s what our bodies use to regenerate and rebuild cells; and since you are building a human being at the cellular level, taking in adequate sources of protein is essential.

  • Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are the body’s energy source; as we burn calories retrieved from complex carbohydrates we give our bodies the energy it needs to thrive. And as you enter into your third trimester and beyond, energy is ever so important

  • Healthy Fats

There was once a time when all fat was labeled bad, but now we are coming to understand that not all fat is made equal; high quality sources of fat, such as avocado, coconut oil and olive oil, help with the development of cells

Healthy fats are also important for brain development, and as your baby is growing a brain inside of you, giving your unborn baby the tools to effectively develop is essential.

  • Water

Water is important for everyone, not just those gestating; and when we are dehydrated our blood gets thick and viscous; making it far more challenging to carry nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. You blood is carry life giving nutrients to your baby and if you are under hydrated then your body isn’t able to effectively transport the nutrients your baby needs. Drink water, and lots of it- end of story.

Smoothies are the best because they are a fantastic way to infuse lots of nutrients into your body without a whole lot of effort. PLUS smoothies can boast all the aforementioned nutritional components; such as healthy fats, protein, complex carbohydrates and water.

Man, woman, child- regardless of where you are at in life, cool down, and fuel up with smoothies this summer:)

Avocado Berry Smoothie
Serves 1

1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 small avocado
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1 handful spinach
1 1/3 cup almond milk (or coconut water)

Blend all ingredients till smooth, and serve.

Boost Your Vitality with Organic Living

The subject of organics and examination of the foods we eat have taken centre stage; from the cover of Time Magazine to the inside your favourite glossy magazine, what we put in our mouths has become relevant water cooler conversation.

Todays guest post highlights the benefits of organic living, and how you can embark down your, very own, path to wellness!

Enjoy:)

organic

Boost Your Vitality with Organic Living

Continue Reading