Is A Massage Ever A Bad Idea?

3968719105_793d35f458_massageSadly, sometimes yes! While in 9 cases out of 10, massage can only make things better (stress, pains, circulation, insomnia, you-time, etc.), there are some instances where it would be better to hold off.

Fevers and Infections: When you are running a fever from a cold or flu, or you are fighting an infection of some kind it can actually be harmful to get a massage. Massage moves the blood and lymphatic fluids through your body 3 times faster than usual.  This is usually very good for us, but when we have an infection, it can work against our body’s natural tendency to isolate and eliminate the infection.  If you are achy, with cold and flu symptoms, be sure and let the massage therapist know–after discussing your symptoms with you, they will be able to determine whether or not massage would be appropriate at this time.

Skin Conditions: Rashes, burns, boils, wounds, bruises, and blisters all need to be fully healed before the area directly around them can be massaged, but they’re often localized and easy for a masseuse to avoid.

Cancer: Western science teaches that Cancer is spread through the lymphatic system, and massage can significantly increase lymphatic circulation and potentially spread the cancer to other parts of the body.  Eastern science believes that if you have cancer, you should get a massage with raw sesame oil (high in B vitamins) everyday, to reduce the stress that such an illness can bring.  I recommend you discuss it with your doctor and massage therapist to make an educated decision about what would be best for you.

Some chronic or acute health conditions such as high or low blood pressure, varicose veins, broken bones, and inflammation require special consideration when receiving a massage. If you’re not sure if you’re in the right condition to receive a massage it’s always a good idea to disclose all health concerns before your massage, and better yet to check with your doctor.

Cathy’s Banana Nut Muffins

Alright–as promised, here is the recipe for Banana Nut Muffins–Cathy style:

2 large bananas, mashed

1/4 cup soft butter or oil

3/4 cup coconut sugar (raw sugar, brown sugar, or other sweetener could be substituted.)

2 eggs (or vegan substitute)

1 cup unbleached white flour

1 cup raw oatmeal

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cup chopped nuts (opt)

Streussal Topping:

1/3 cup raw oatmeal

1/3 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup maple sugar (or substitute)

enough agave syrup to moisten

Put the Bananas in a medium sized mixing bowl, and using a potato masher tool, pulverize the banana.  You could also put the first four ingredients in a blender, but I like to do mine by hand so that I have yummy little bites of banana in the muffins.  Once the bananas are mashed, add the soft butter, sugar, and eggs, and stir well.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your blender, put the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Blend well until the oats are the same consistency as the flour.  Add to the banana mixture.  Once blended, add the nuts (optional).

Put batter in buttered baking dish, either loaf pan or muffin tin.  Mix the streussal ingredients in a separate bowl, then spoon onto the batter.  Drizzle with a little agave syrup and a sprinkling of maple sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees, loaf for 1 hour, or muffins for 20-25 minutes.  Since this is not a low calorie treat, enjoy a couple and share the rest with friends and neighbors.  Bon appetite!

Welcome Autumn With A Mini-Fast

juiceOkay–so it’s 95 degrees outside, the sun is intense as I walk through the pasture behind my house, and the ground is cracked from a desire for rain–but anticipation is building up inside of me like a tea kettle on the stove–Fall is coming.  You can’t see it yet by looking around, but you can feel it.  This morning I woke up with an incredible urge to bake banana nut muffins for breakfast–a sure fire sign that Fall is here (recipe coming next week).

I love autumn–the colors of the foliage, the temperatures dropping as surely as the leaves do, and yummy comfort foods from the oven (admittedly, I like those a little too much)!  Of course, with the dropping temperatures and people enjoying more indoor activities, comes the season of bugs “going around” (not my favorite part of fall).  This month on the blog we’ll look at a few ways to stay healthier as the temperatures drop.

September 22 is the first official day of Autumn.  I like to use the equinoxes and solstices as a time to practice a mini-fast.  Fasting for two or three days can help your immune system to get rid of toxins and wastes that can make you sluggish and more susceptible to over friendly germs floating around out there.  There are many different ways to fast, but here is an example of what I like to do:

     -Day one:  Eat only organic fruits and vegetables, and maybe a homemade vegetable soup (no meat or dairy), and no grains.

     -Day two:  Juicing.  If you have a good powerful blender, or an actual juicer, use day 2 for making good quality juices with fruit and vegetable blends.  Store bought juices don’t count, since they are pasteurized–which is excellent for selling mass quantities, but not nutritionally sound.  If you are not able to juice, then repeat Day 1’s plan.

     -Day three:  Use the eating plan for Day 1, and feel free to add steamed vegetables and whole grains, such as brown rice.  Beans are a good addition, also.  Try to use very little fat and salt.

On all three days you will need to drink at least two quarts of water.  You may also drink a nice warm cup of hot water, to which has been added 1 teaspoon Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 teaspoon of raw honey.  The water should not reach boiling–just the right temperature to drink.   This drink can be enjoyed throughout the winter months for vigorous health and energy.  Of course, if you have health issues, or have never fasted before, check with your doctor to make sure its okay for you.

While you are detoxifying your body through this mini-fast, enjoy a massage.  Massage is a wonderful and pleasant way to aid in the detoxification of your body.

Another great thing about September is that I have my birthday this month, and for my birthday I would like to give you a discount on your next massage. For the month of September, wish me a Happy Birthday–and voila, you get $10 off!