December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

To my friends, family, fellows, clients, readers & all people who have shared this year:

May you be happy, healthy & full of love and laughter in the new year!

Thank you for making 2010 a wonderful year for Mending Hands (and me :-) I promise to keep up the good work in 2011!

December 27, 2010

Stretching: Focus on Flexibility

Mending Hands offers a passive stretching session - after reading the following benefits from the Mayo Clinic - add some Stretchability to your next session!

Stretching: Focus on Flexibility

You pound out a few miles on the treadmill. You work your way through a series of strength training exercises. You even add some time on the stationary bike for good measure — and you smile with satisfaction that you made it through your workout. Nothing to do now but hit the shower.

Not so fast. Did you consider stretching those muscles that pulled you through your invigorating workout? Understand why stretching matters — and how to stretch correctly.

Benefits of stretching:

Most aerobic and strength training programs inherently cause your muscles to contract and flex. That's why regular stretching is a powerful part of any exercise program. Consider this:
  • Stretching increases flexibility. Flexible muscles can improve your daily performance. Tasks such as lifting packages, bending to tie your shoes or hurrying to catch a bus become easier and less tiring.
  • Stretching improves range of motion of your joints. Good range of motion keeps you in better balance, which will help keep you mobile and less prone to falls — and the related injuries — especially as you age.
  • Stretching improves circulation. Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Improved circulation can speed recovery after muscle injuries.
  • Stretching can relieve stress. Stretching relaxes the tense muscles that often accompany stress.
Some studies indicate that stretching helps prevent athletic injuries as well. However, this finding remains controversial. Other studies don't support stretching as a way to prevent injury.

Stretching essentials: Ready, set, stretch!

  • Target major muscle groups. When you're stretching, focus on your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. Also stretch muscles and joints that you routinely use at work or play.
  • Warm up first. You may hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles. Warm up by walking while gently pumping your arms, or do a favorite exercise at low intensity for five to 10 minutes. Better yet, stretch after you exercise — when your muscles are warm and more receptive to stretching.
  • Pace yourself. It takes time to lengthen tissues safely. Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Do each stretch three or four times.
  • Don't bounce. Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears in the muscle. These tears leave scar tissue as the muscle heals, which tightens the muscle even further — making you less flexible and more prone to pain.
  • Focus on a pain-free stretch. Expect to feel tension while you're stretching. If it hurts, you've gone too far. Back off to the point where you don't feel any pain, then hold the stretch.
  • Relax and breathe freely. Don't hold your breath while you're stretching.
How often to stretch is up to you. As a general rule, stretch whenever you exercise. If you don't exercise regularly, you might want to stretch at least three times a week to maintain flexibility. If you have a problem area, such as tightness in the back of your leg, you might want to stretch more often.

Know when to exercise caution:

You can stretch anytime, anywhere — in your home, at work or when you're traveling. If you have a chronic condition or an injury, however, you may need to alter your approach to stretching. For example, if you have a strained muscle, stretching it like usual may cause further harm. Discuss with your doctor or physical therapist the best way to stretch.
First Seen HERE:

December 19, 2010

12 Simple Sore Throat Remedies

Here are a dozen home remedies to help soothe and get rid of sore throats, these are simple to whip up and treat yourself with–nothing too fancy for ingredients and you likely have many of these items in stock at home.
Sore Throat Home Remedies

  • Cayenne Pepper Gargle: Mix 1/8th of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper with 1/2 cup warm water, gargle with this frequently throughout the day.
  • Salt Water Gargle: Add 1 teaspoon of table salt to a cupful of warm water, gargle with this every other hour or so.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Gargle: Mix 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with a cup of warm water, gargle every hour.
  • Ginger Tea: Make a strong tea with freshly grated ginger (about 3 teaspoons per cup of boiling water), steep for about 5 minutes then stir in a spoonful of honey and sip.
  • Thyme Tea Gargle: Sooth a sore throat with thyme tea. Brew 1 tablespoon dried thyme in 1 cup boiling water. Strain then gargle. From 23 Home Remedies From The Spice Rack [1].
  • Honey & Lemon Tea: Mix two teaspoons honey and 1 teaspoon lemon juice with one cup of boiling hot water. Allow to cool a bit then drink to soothe throat.
  • Licorice Root Tea: Brew a tea made with licorice roots (one or two pieces per cup) and sip. You can also brew licorice tea bags or chew on a piece of licorice root to help relieve the pain. Licorice root can affect blood pressure if too much is consumed, not recommended for those who are pregnant or have high blood pressure.
  • Cloves: To relieve a sore throat, slowly chew on a few cloves.
  • Green Tea: Sipping a cuppa green tea can help soothe a sore throat, but gargling with it is also recommended since it naturally fights infections. See Tipnut’s Guide To Green Tea [2] for more info on the health benefits of green tea.
  • Baking Soda & Salt Gargle: Mix 1/2 teaspoon of each baking soda and salt with a 1/2 cup of warm water and gargle a few times each day.
  • Chamomile Tea: Drink chamomile tea to soothe sore throats, best to start as soon as you feel one coming on.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Gargle 3% hydrogen peroxide to fight the throat infection. If the taste is too much for you, dilute with some water first (about 50/50).

December 14, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve Special!

Why not make your Christmas Eve Eve a little merrier...

Book a 60 minute massage for Thursday, December 23rd and get 90 minutes of bliss!*

Availability is limited for this one day offer - so contact me soon at to give yourself some holiday cheer!

*Offer good for 12/23/2010 only. Receive 90 minutes of massage for the full cost of a 60 minute session. May not be combined with any other discounts.

December 11, 2010

Best Careers 2011: Massage Therapist

The rundown:
Massage therapists may be good with their hands, but most also have a knack for business. You're likely to work for yourself, and your success depends largely on how many clients you bring in, so you'll need to market yourself well and develop a rapport with repeat customers. Many massage therapists work part time in several locations, including spas, hospitals, cruise ships, and sports centers.
Click here to find out more!

Massage therapy uses touch to treat injuries, sooth tired or overworked muscles, reduce stress, and promote general health. Treatment comes in many varieties, including Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage, reflexology, and sports massage, and most therapists specialize in one or more. In most states, massage therapists need a license to practice.

December 06, 2010

The Massage Therapy-Immune System Relationship

The Massage Therapy-Immune System Relationship is Studied

Any massage client will confirm that massage therapy promotes relaxation and reduces stress. Research has also shown that massage boosts immune functioning. New research looked at salivary biomarkers in relationship to the psychosocial benefits of massage.

December 02, 2010

Why Massage's Reduction of Anxiety Is So Important

Anchored in strong beliefs about the significance of their work, most professional massage therapists are familiar with some of the emotional and physical benefits of bodywork. Massage's ability to foster relaxation and relieve anxiety seems obvious. However, the universally accepted consequences of intentional touch have been underestimated for far too long. Based on facts compiled by academics at Harvard University, an ability to reduce anxiety translates to a capacity for improving some of our culture's most widespread physiological ailments.