Soulstice Spa Blog

A Match Made in Heaven December 29 2013

Massage Therapy is a dazzlingly varied health practice.  From Shiatsu to Esalen to Reiki to trigger point, you can find a dizzying number of treatment modalities on a typical spa massage menu.  How do you know what is the right type and therapist for you?  We have over a dozen massage therapists at Soulstice Spa and encourage their individuality and unique practices.  By sharing a bit of information with us, we're happy to suggest what type of massage might presently be best for you.  Here are some pointers to help you find your perfect match.

1/  What do wish to get out of your session? (Out of pain? De-stress and unwind?  Detoxification?  Meditation?)

2/ How do you want to feel? (Ironed out?  Nurtured? Soothed?  Stretched out?  Calmed down?  Energized?)

3/ Have often do you receive massage? (Never?  Once in awhile?  Monthly?)

4/ What kind of touch do you prefer? (Gentle? Medium?  Firm?  Very hard or deep?)

5/ Is there anything specific going on in your life or body?  (I have a migraine, I'm in the middle of a move, Just quit my job, Have sciatica...)

Reflect on the questions above before phoning to book your appointment.  While scheduling your appointment it can also be helpful to provide some additional information about your lifestyle or body type over the phone, especially if it will be your first visit to the spa.  Examples of this would be...

"I drive a lot for my work"

"I sit at a computer all day"

"I'm a big guy/tall guy"

"I'm tiny/petite"

Also be sure to let us know if you are under 18, pregnant, have mobility issues or any chronic health concerns so we can be sure we're able to accommodate you, make special arrangements if necessary or advise you if massage might be contraindicated.

If you are brand new to massage, please don't hesitate to say so!  We love working with clients new to massage therapy and introducing them to its many health benefits; by letting us know you're new we can take extra time to show you the ropes and make you feel completely comfortable.

Whether you're brand new to massage or it's the first time you're visiting us at Soulstice Spa, the more information and clues you can give us, the better! 


Agua, Acqua, H2O... December 21 2013

Any way you say it, water is vitally important to our heath and vitality.  During the winter months, we're often less inclined to drink water... and at the same time we're consuming more caffeinated drinks to stay warm and alcoholic drinks at holiday parties. Most of us are already slightly dehydrated, and then coffee and alcohol make matters worse by further dehydrating the body.  Why is water so important to our health and vitality?  

1.  The human body is made up of over 70% water, and the body relies on adequate water for all its systems (metabolic, detoxification, digestion, elimination and circulation) to function optimally.  The better hydrated you are, the better your entire body will feel!

2. Water = energy.  If you're feeling tired, resist the urge to reach for an espresso or sugary snack... you may be feeling the effects of dehydration.   Just a 5% drop in fluids results in a 20-30% loss of energy in a person, so instead, first try a large glass of purified water.

3. Dehydration exacerbates inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.  If your joints are stiff and achy, reach for a glass of water before the ibuprofen.

4. Water lubricates the joints and allows for fuller range of motion and flexibility.  Better yet, drink water while doing ten minutes of gentle stretching each day - you'll be surprised at how much better you feel with just ten minutes a day of regular practice.

5. The brain is made up of over 75% water... amazing!  Memory, focus, brain function and health is optimized by consuming adequate water.

6. Water is crucial to support our liver in detoxifying our bodies and flushing waste from our systems through perspiration, exhalation and elimination.  Give your body a break and makes its job easier by providing it plenty of H20 support!

Feeling thirsty or having a dry mouth is often the last indictor of dehydration.  More common symptoms are low energy, fatigue, dry skin, back pain, joint stiffness and a general feeling of sluggishness.

How much water should I be drinking, you might ask?  Depending on your activity level and size, the standard "eight glasses a day" might not be enough.  You should consume more water if you're above average in height and/or weight, do a lot of exercise, have a physically strenuous job, or drink quite a bit of caffeinated coffee, tea, sodas or alcohol. 

To make sure you get your water levels back to an optimal level, we recommend initially drinking your body weight in ounces of water daily for one week.  You should notice a big difference in your energy level, skin, and possibly even your hair and nails.  Your digestion should be smoother, and you might find yourself sleeping better as well.  Give it a try!


Kicking the Sugar Habit November 30 2013

 

Have a sweet tooth?  You're not alone!  Tis the season for temptation and sweet treats are all around in the form of chocolate, pies, cookies and cocktails...   The holiday season is a time to celebrate & enjoy, and that means a little bit of indulging!   But don't let dietary indulgences wreck your health and immune system - enjoy in moderation, control your sugar intake, and sail through the season healthy and feeling great.

Why is sugar  - in particular - so hard on the body??   Read on!

1/ Sugar suppresses the immune system, making us less able to fight off cold and flu bugs

2/ Sugar stresses the adrenals, making us feel tired and lethargic

3/ Sugar can trigger headaches

4/ Sugar can worsen the symptoms of PMS, anxiety and depression

5/ Sugar contributes to mood swings and blood sugar & energetic instability

6/ Sugar exacerbates auto-immune conditions like arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue

During the holidays - a time of heightened stress for many - don't stress your body even more by overloading it with sugar...  Here's a short list of either/ors to help you limit the most-damaging sweet stuff and replace it with the healthier choices.

- Choose a glass of bubbly or red wine over sugar-laden cocktails

- Choose mixed nuts over chocolates, candies and cookies at holiday events and parties

- Craving something warm & sweet while out shopping?  Skip the whipped cream-syrupy mocha-frappe-whatevers at Starbucks and choose herbal tea.  Need a caffeine kick with a bit of sweetness?  Try chai or earl grey tea with a teaspoon of stevia, a plant-based natural sugar substitute

- Choose a dense fruit such as apples or pears drizzled with a bit of honey over frosted cake or cupcakes

- Start the day off right and stabilize blood sugar with a breakfast of figs, raisins or dried apricots with granola, oatmeal or yogurt instead of packaged cereal products, pastries or sweet rolls.  Sate your sweet tooth with fresh-squeezed orange juice or half a grapefruit.

- Need a midday pick-me-up?  Trade the sugar-laden coffee drink or candy bar for some lean protein and healthy fat... a hard-boiled egg, half an avocado on a slice of toast, or almond butter on apple slices.

It's natural to indulge a bit more around the holidays, and a little bit won't derail your health or well-being.  Just practice moderation and balance your diet whenever you can.  If you're craving that pie for dessert, then skip the bread basket with dinner.  Indulge in an oven-fresh cinnamon roll for breakfast?  Enjoy a big leafy green salad with plenty of veggies for lunch....   Balance is the key to happy - and healthy! - holidays.


Vibrant Health! - Detox & Cleanse November 01 2013

 

With leftover Halloween treats upon us and the holidays coming up, many of us over-indulge in tasty sweets, warm baked goods and seasonal cocktails (eggnog, anyone?)   We all look forward to Thanksgiving pie... Christmas cookies... and holiday cocktail parties.  Unfortunately indulging over the next couple months can lead to unwanted weight gain, a compromised immune system and a feeling of lethargy and sluggishness.  It's very possible to enjoy the holiday spirit - as well as seasonal yumminess! - and stay healthy & vibrant.  Moderation and mindfulness is the key!

The beginning of November and the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are a wonderful time to detox and cleanse the body through diet and massage.  Heading into the holidays feeling great will help keep you motivated to reach for the fruit plate and skip the pecan pie! 

You may opt for a Whole Food Cleanse or a Juice Cleanse.  If you're new to cleansing, we recommend a Whole Food Cleanse that incorporates fresh juice.  A pure juice-only cleanse is best for those who have done cleanses before...  And a pure juice cleanse is often easier for the body to adapt to in the warmer months of spring or summer.  Now, in the cooler months of autumn, a whole food cleanse will detoxify your body while sustaining your energy and metabolism.

Set aside ten days for your cleanse, during which time you will eliminate all of the following foods from your diet:

1/ Bread and wheat products

2/ Sugar, and foods containing any sugar

3/ Alcohol

4/ Coffee (if you can function without it! - if not try to limit yourself to one small cup in the morning)

5/ Processed foods - anything in a box or a can

6/ Dairy products, cheese, yogurt

7/ Frozen foods

8/ Fast food

9/ Fried food

10/ Cookies, candy and other sweets - if you have a major sweet tooth, try fruit instead!

Ok, so what does this leave for me to eat, you might ask? :)    ....Lots!

1/ Fruits - especially apples, figs, dates, raisins, pears and fruits that are in season

2/ Vegetables - unlimited, preferably raw or steamed

3/ Lean protein and seafood, preferably steamed

4/ Nuts, especially walnuts and almonds and nut butters

5/ Beans and lentils

6/ Brown rice

7/ Wild salmon

8/ Salads - have a big, leafy-green salad at least once every day of your cleanse

9/ Veggie and fruit juice - especially green juice, carrots, ginger and beets

Begin each day of your cleanse with a large glass of pure, filtered room-temperature water with fresh-squeezed lemon.  In the course of each day, drink your weight in ounces of plain or lemon-infused water.  (Yes, this is a lot of water!, but remember that the goal of the cleanse is to detoxify the body and water will help flush toxins.)  If you get hungry or cranky - common in the first couple days but will usually subside by the third day - snack on an apple, raisins or some nuts. 

If you have trouble falling asleep during the first couple nights of your cleanse, have some sliced apple with almond butter or some raw cashews to sate your appetite.  By the third night you should fall asleep peacefully and be amazed by how deeply you sleep without alcohol, sugar and caffeine in your system.  After ten days you will feel amazing, your skin will be glowing and your eyes will be bright and shining.  Feeling great, you'll head into the holidays strong and vital and better able to make healthy food & lifestyle choices.  Give a cleanse a try - your body will thank you!