exercise Sep 17, 2020

We all have those weeks when no exercise happens. 

Any number of things can get in the way of the best laid plans to exercise and that's OK because here are some ways to keep fit while going about your daily activities.  I got creative here so have fun with me on some of these.  :)

Stand on one leg while watering the garden

If you have a hose or watering can, outside plants or inside, you can improve your balance while watering.  Stand on one leg and if you want to take it a step further, bend forward at the waist with one leg straight behind you.  Count to 10 and switch legs while making your plants beautiful.  

Take a break from (anything) and do 5 push ups

Whether it's computer work, checking emails or watching TV you can set an alarm for every hour and when it goes off, drop and give me 5!  You could potentially get a whole lot of push ups done in one day. 

Squat while folding laundry

Squats are good for building leg strength and...

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body mechanics Sep 11, 2020

There are times during a massage when every massage therapist needs to or chooses to sit down.  While I have my own opinion about when and how often a therapist should sit, I will keep this discussion focused on the best body mechanics while performing the seated portion of a massage.

Body Mechanics are important even while sitting. 

In my experience hiring and working with MT's in my clinic I found many therapists weren't shown specific body mechanics while seated.  They had some for standing but then grabbed the stool, sat down and all good use of their body went out the window.  Including posture!     

Seated massage is still work.  The stool is not there to take a break or sit on because you're tired or your back hurts.  The seated position is only used when a massage therapist can't safely perform the massage stroke standing.  In other words, if the body mechanics are better seated than standing, a seated position should be...

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healthy eating Sep 09, 2020

Nutrition comes in many forms and seeds have always been a nutritional powerhouse.  Seeds are known for helping with cholesterol levels and fighting off inflammation while also contributing to steady blood sugar levels. By eating seeds you'll gain healthy fats, dietary fiber, protein and a variety of antioxidants in your diet.

Don't let their small size deter you.  Seeds are packed with nutrients.

Pumpkin seeds

These seeds are a favorite roasted and tossed in salads (instead of croutons), in grain dishes or on their own as a snack. You can find seasoned varieties, sweet or spicy, or try seasoning your own at home. See recipe below.
Nutritionally, it’s hard to beat pumpkin seeds. In 1/4 cup you get 9 grams of protein and roughly 50% of daily magnesium.  Pepitas are shelled pumpkin seeds. 

Flax seed

Grinding flax seed makes them easier to digest and boosts nutrient absorption. Ground flaxseed can sub for breadcrumbs. Try using as a coating on baked chicken or...

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body mechanics Aug 28, 2020

Remember how remarkable an awesome neck massage feels?  I hope you've received at least one in your life that really stands out.  Whether it's helping clients with headaches, stress relief or neck pain, a skilled neck massage gets results.  But when sessions cause strain to fingers, hands and forearms, what can we as massage therapists do to save our bodies?  We need to be smart about body mechanics, know our limits and honor them!    


Prone neck and head work

When the client is lying prone it's easier to maintain good body mechanics but we are still able to over-work the hands and fingers.  Think of petrissage at the back of the neck,  circles on the scalp or friction along the upper trapezius.  All of these techniques can cause strain to the fingers and hands if joints are not kept in alignment.  Weight shift while petrissaging, use straight fingers for circles and friction and you should be able to give your...

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healthy eating recipes Aug 26, 2020

Chia seeds are small white or black seeds which when wet become a sticky, gel-like substance that helps clear out your large intestine as it travels through.  This tiny seed packs a big nutrient punch.  It's rich in healthy fats and satiety-boosting fiber.  Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids along with B vitamins, fiber, protein and calcium round out the list of reasons to eat this super-food.  Aside from adding chia seeds to salads or smoothies, you can sprinkle them in yogurt, bake in breads or muffins and make an instant pudding out of them! 

Here is an easy first-timers recipe for Chia pudding.


Chia Seed Pudding

Time to build: 10 minutes      Ready in:  1-2 hours after refrigeration  

Things you need: 

  • Chia seeds (black or white doesn’t matter) - 3-4 Tablespoons
  • Milk (dairy or non-dairy of your choice) - 1 cup
    I like almond milk but cashew or coconut milk are good options too.
  • Spices...
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healthy eating recipes Aug 21, 2020

With a heat wave hitting us this week I broke out an old recipe that sounded good and I know my family loves it.  Frozen bananas!  With dark chocolate of course because chocolate makes everything better.  There is something about a frozen banana that tastes better than a regular banana.  Maybe it's just me but if you haven't eaten one give this super easy recipe a try.  Seriously, two ingredients and you're done. 


Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananas

Ready in 10 minutes

Things you need:

  • 3-4 bananas
  • A bag of chocolate chips (dark chocolate of at least 60% cacao is healthiest)
  • Cookie sheet 
  • Wax paper or parchment paper
  • Popsicle sticks or wooden skewers 

Where to start:

1. Cover cookie sheet with wax paper

2. Peel bananas.  Cut bananas in half and insert stick or slice bananas.  (My family likes the banana bites better than the half banana on a stick.)

3. Melt chocolate in double broiler or microwave in safe dish.  (I...

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healthy eating Aug 19, 2020

Kombucha has that slightly hard to drink taste to it.  It's fermented, a little bubbly and lightly sweetened which makes you hesitate when you first taste it.  Most commercially made Kombucha tastes good in my opinion but I have a way of convincing myself something is worth the taste as long as there are health benefits.  Let's look at what Kombucha is and the supposed health benefits and then you can decide for yourself.  

What is Komucha

Kombucha is made from a green or black tea which sits to ferment.  It grows bacteria and yeast which lead to health benefits.  It can be sweetened by the fruit added or additional sweeteners.


Tea, sugar, bacteria, yeast


Fruit juices or spices can be added

Health Benefits:

Aides Digestive Health

Foods that go through a natural fermentation process gain probiotic properties, and eating or drinking these foods may bring benefits like improved digestion and a more balanced gut microbiome....

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That one piece of equipment to have at home.

If I had to pick one piece of exercise equipment everyone should have at home it's the Swiss ball.  Also known as the stability ball, exercise ball, or physio ball.  These big balls are filled with air and are usually sold burst resistant.  They are heavy duty and last forever.  They are versatile and because of the rounded nature of the ball your body's core muscles are called into action while stabilizing the ball during movements.  In other words you have to balance.

There are exercises for your lower body, upper body and core all without using anything but your body weight and the ball.  Plus I think the ball makes any exercise more fun.  I've been known to "play" at the gym and make up new ways to strengthen and stretch with the ball.  The possibilities are endless but I've put together a few to demonstrate here. 

Wall Squat

This exercise is good for learning squat form or strengthening...

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current events self care Aug 12, 2020

Times of Change

Needless to say COVID-19 has changed the way we live.  Mask wearing in California among other states is common place.  So much so that a local boutique is advertising summer dresses with matching face masks and my laundry area has masks hanging to dry.  As if these visual reminders aren't enough, social distancing means we can't interact with friends and family like we used to.  Eating has been moved to outdoors and family members who fall in the high risk category refrain from physical contact like hugging.  Parents with newborns are being more careful which means family can't always visit and meet the new addition.  Handshakes and other physical contact is not a risk some chose to take.  All of this can lead to feelings of melancholy or downright depression.  Self care is always an important topic for massage therapists but during this time it's imperative to do what you need to stay mentally fit.     ...

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exercise Aug 09, 2020

Mindset shift about exercise

OK, I get it.  You don't like exercise.  It's uncomfortable, you sweat and you're usually sore the next day.  As I write about different areas of fitness, the workout category is the least popular.  :)  Is this because it takes effort?  Yes.  Is it because present day humans have all the comforts of living and have fallen into patterns on non-movement?  Yes. What if I told you it's easy once your body adapts?  What if I told you your body will actually WANT the next workout?  What if I gave you the treasure map and all you have to do is have courage and follow it?  You have to find your motivation and I think I can help starting with changing your mindset regarding the word: exercise.

Play like a child

If you've ever watched a child play, especially one under the age of 6, their movements are guided by sensory feelings and curiosity.  If it feels good to jump, run or roll on the ground that's...

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