Tag Archives: relaxation

Neem and it’s Benefits

Neem and its benefits

An average Neem tree is 15 meters high with th...
An average Neem tree is 15 meters high with the crown’s diameter up to 15-20 meter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Neem and its benefits are a well kept secret if you are not familiar with Ayurveda.

So, lets start with a little back ground on Ayurveda.  Ayurveda is a 5,000. year old art of traditional  healing in India, their medical system. Ayurveda deals with the balance of you and your environment, you and nature. Working to balance your daily routine, sleep patterns, eating and digestion, with meditation, herbs, yoga,and massage. Ayurveda has been made popular by people likeDeepak Chopra, M.D, and in recent news, Dr Oz has introduced several Ayurvedic Physicians(recently Dr. Chaudhary).

With Ayurvedic medicine herbs are used to help balance the system, this is where you will find things such as ginger for digestion, or holy basil for stress reduction and relaxation. Herbs have a benefit in the  overall plan of Ayurvedic healing, weather it be added to your food, to  massage oil, or taken by the spoonful, it is used in the forms needed.

This is where neem and its benefits come in as one of the many great kept secrets of India and Ayurveda. Neem is native to India and Burma (Myanmar), the neem oil is derived from the seed of the neem tree, but the whole plant can also be used for medicinal purposes. Neem and its benefits can found in many forms in Ayurveda products, such as teas, or pastes due to its anti fungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Neem is often found in products used to help relive itchy, dry scalp, tooth decay and acne. You will often find it added into a product due to the strong, seemingly unpleasant scent. I often will add neem oil to a base of sesame or coconut oil and apply to the skin to help nourish the cells and decrees blemishes. So a word of caution, when looking for a great neem oil, maybe start with a product that has neem added, or a neem capsule( http://www.Mapi.com).

Heather Small  http://www.mettaspa.net

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Relaxing during the craziness of the new school year.

Relax

Relax (Photo credit: Creative Chusky)

 A new school years means many things such as new teachers, new classes, new friends, and as always new reasons to worry so what can we do to stop all the stress and worry of a new school year? Well we have a few tips that may be able to help you start with a do nothing day! Pick a day and don’t worry about anything, let someone else take care of dinner or the kid’s homework just do nothing. Taking a bath is also a great way to relax, put some bubbles in it, light some candles, or read a book! Put on some music and sing and dance like a kid again. Try some meditation, you’ll be able to get away from your problems and get rid of your stress. If these tips don’t help you relax then you can always see a professional. Take a spa day and get a massage, try a Thai massage or a deep tissue, these will definitely get rid of your stress. You could also get a facial or your nails done or hair done, really anything that makes you feel good. Relaxing is about focusing on you and how you feel and its different for everyone so just remember to take some time and relax during this busy time and remember to do something nice for you. Try a new coffee or muffin, buy yourself some ice cream and watch corny, sad movies just do whatever helps you relax and feel better because in the end you’re the most important person and it is even more important to make sure you love yourself and do things to help your body heal and stay healthy. You can also try eating healthy foods while your stressed so your body has the nutrients it needs to keep you going with everything that’s going on at the moment.

Ayurveda and Meditation

English: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi - Huntsville Ja...

English: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – Huntsville January 1978 Français : Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – Huntsville Janvier 1978 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ayurveda is the oldest continuously practiced health care system.
Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge or science, so Ayurveda is the science of life.  Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation program,  revived Ayurveda around the world and worked with top Ayurvedic experts in India to restore the purity and ensure the effectiveness of the many areas of treatment that Ayurveda offers.
The term Maharishi Ayurveda signifies that the highest standards of Ayurveda that  Maharishi Mahesh Yogi placed are met. Ayurveda goes deep into massage, meditation, yoga, diet, herbs and daily lifestyle, we will touch on many of these areas each time, this month we are diving into Transcendental Meditation.

Ayurveda is all encompassing and does not refer to just herbal remedies or treatments for the body but also takes into account the mind and all aspects of the environment.  The key to Ayurveda is to restore and maintain balance internally and externally until permanent balance is gained inside and can no longer be influenced by outside circumstances.  Ayurveda respects the deepest level of intelligence of the mind and body and the intelligence that creates our environment.  By understanding the source of that intelligence and  how that intelligence functions within and without we can eliminate the blocks to its natural flow and restore balance and the natural healing abilities of our mind, body and environment.
One of the biggest threats to our health and enjoyment is stress.  Stress is rampant in our society.  It effects every aspect of our life and is considered by many to cause or complicate most disease.  Stress effects our brain physiology, our health and our relationships.
How do we dissolve it?
The TM (Transcendental Meditation) technique is a simple, natural, effortless technique that creates global EEG coherence in the brain and a deep state of rest in the body which translates into a major 4th state of consciousness called Transcendental Consciousness.   This unique state of restful alertness has many benefits that come directly from the dissolving of deep rooted stress that is not dissolved by sleep.  When we accumulate stress over a lifetime it can build up in our body and can adversely effect our mental and physical health, our behavior and relationships and erode the foundation for success, creativity, peace and happiness in our daily lives.  The good news is we can break this cycle with the twice daily practice of the TM technique.  If you want to build a skyscraper you need a strong foundation and if you want to have successful, fulfilling activity, you also need a strong foundation, and that is the deepest rest possible since rest is the basis of activity.  The unique quality of rest gained during the practice of the TM technique provides that foundation for successful, fulfilling, enjoyable activity.
There is a vast body of research on the TM technique that includes more than 650 studies, at 200+ universities and research institutes in more than 30 countries around the world.   The research points to such fundamental positive change in all aspects of a persons life that it can only be seen as a paradigm shift in the understanding of development of human potential.  This field of consciousness or unified field,as it is called in physics, is the most fundamental aspect of the mind.  The key to the TM technique is transcending, going beyond the field of activity or duality to the field of consciousness or unity. This state of transcendental consciousness is absolutely stable, blissfully silent and an unbounded source of creativity, intelligence and peace.  When we practice the TM technique these qualities become lively within and carry over to activity, enriching all aspects of our life.
One of the beautiful things about this technique is that you don’t need any special abilities to practice, as a child can practice equally as well as an adult. It’s uniqueness requires that it be learned from a qualified instructor who has been extensively trained.  If you’re looking to improve all aspects of your life, then why not enliven that area that enriches all aspects, much like watering the root of a tree enriches all aspects of the tree.
About the author: Heather Small works at Metta Spa in Shrewsbury, MA as a Licensed Massage therapist and Ayurveda Body-worker. She has studied Ayurveda and taught at the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center, Lancaster MA, and Metta Spa, Shrewsbury,MA. In the past year she open Metta Spa where she offers massage therapy, Thai Massage, along with Ayurveda, Ayurveda Lectures, and Meditation.

Massage and Meditation

Massage is a great tool for relaxing the body, settling the mind, and helping the body to heal from stress or trauma. Many of us have over the last few years have heard about the benefits of meditation, and when you look at them, you see similarities So why do they work so well? What if we take them and combine them into one massage? Well, I have done just that here at Shrewsbury,MA at Metta Spa.
Your body is working hard everyday, carrying you, protecting you, supporting you on the physical and emotional level.. Allow the body to rest, release the the tension in the body and mind, while being walked through a gentle guided meditation. The combination of massage and meditation can bring the body to a state of relaxation helping the body and mind settle down. The body is better able to work with stress,injuries, illness when the body is allowed to rest.
Give yourself this time, and feel stronger mentally and spiritually.

Balancing Massage

Massage Faciale © Hélianthal - Office de Touri...

Massage Faciale © Hélianthal – Office de Tourisme de Saint-Jean-de-Luz (Photo credit: Terre et Côte Basques)

As the phone rings, another booking for a deep tissue massage. I sit back, listening to my client explain the areas of pain and discomfort, most of the time ending with stress. Stress form work, long work commutes, not eating well,up late, the list goes on. You come into the spa, you’ve booked your deep tissue massage, we go through a pre-massage interview, and decide on a more balancing massage.

I do my share of deep tissue massage, and find that my clients have great results, I also see more and more clients needing a lighter, balancing massage. I have spent the last few years working in an Ayurveda clinic, with the goal of working with clients for  a more centered and balanced life through daily routines. Working with Maharishi Ayurveda  therapy, herbs,Transcendental  Meditation,dietary intake, yoga, and daily routines you have a balance through mind and body.

My approach to massage is balance,  bring you a more balancing massage to help you bring that back with you into your daily life. Over time all of the stress and pressures  of daily life will result in different imbalances in the body. Depression, insomnia, weight gain, migraines, digestive problems all can be from the build of time and stress. This is where adding a  balancing massage to routine can help.

Benefits from a balancing massage:

  • Slower, gentler massage strokes, will allow you to go into a meditative space
  • Feeling of well rested, more likely to sleep through
  • Rejuvenated,softer skin
  • More positive outlook
  • Decreased stress
  • More in-tune with self
  • Better digestion
  • Long term help with immune system

A balancing massage  is a lighter, slower,  and more energy balancing,sometimes adding an aroma oil to help your system relax and come into a more meditative space. Added into a regular routine, over time this type of massage will help the body deal with stress, relaxing the system and allowing you to carry this into your daily life, living in a more relaxed state.

So, the next time you call to book a massage, check in with yourself, do you need a lighter, gentler relaxing massage.

You can find me at www.mettaspa.com

Back Pain and Shoveling

English: Fix the labeling from pelvic to sacra...

English: Fix the labeling from pelvic to sacral spine described by previous description. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back pain and shoveling go together so well, almost to easy, why you ask, and how can you help it. This winter we have had heavy wet snow, and large amounts at that, at 8- 12 inches each time.  As I sit here at my desk, looking out at the 12inch from this last wet heavy storm, I wait,I know the phone will ring, looking to book a massage for your back, from all that shoveling. So, what can you do to help relieve some of the back pain from shoveling. Prevention, and routine, this will help, may not stop some aches and pains, but will help.

Your routine and lifestyle before the snow comes will help with the back pain and shoveling. Think about this: your day consists of getting up, rushing around, coffee for breakfast, off to work for the day, hours in front of a computer, lunch is whatever you have time for, only to work late, then pick up something for dinner on the way home, most likely some type of quick and processed food. Does this sound like your day, long work hours, and not the best eating habits, and as far as time for exercise or yourself, forget it. What does this have to do with back pain and shoveling, prevention and routine.

So lets start with your daily routine. Our daily routines have so much to do with our long term health, with a few simple adjustments we can help the body deal with so many things. Look at your day, how can you make it a more balanced approach? Start with planning, plan your meals out for the week, this will eliminate that last minute grabbing for foods that are not going to best the best choice(processed foods will weigh down the system – resulting in constipation, back pain, headaches, etc) for the long term. We have a kitchen at our work, and in the mornings I come in, place my rice and vegetable in a small crock-pot, and by lunch they are ready( and smells great). Start with just your dinner then on to  breakfast, this will allow you to make slow changes, and not be so much work.  Another big step you can take is stretching! This will help your whole body, and you can do it throughout the day. After waking up in the morning, start with a few stretch’s, bending down to touch your toes, a few twists, then incorporate some twists, knee to chest, through out your day will keep your back lose and limber.Taking time to your self, such as walking, adding massage into your weekly routine will also help keep the body and mind in shape.

Shoveling is work, and can be very physical, so take it slow. Living in the north,New England area, their is no escaping our winter storms, so when you find that is is that time, to head out and shovel, again stop, be prepared.  Heat up the muscles before going out, do some light stretches to prepare the body for work. Take your time, if you find the snow is heavy and wet, take breaks, protect the back from strain. Once you are done with your shoveling, apply ice to the area(low back,shoulders,etc.) this will help with any stiffness that may occur.

Once the storm is here, and you have snow on the ground, you will now be better equip to deal with back pain and shoveling. Just work on balancing that routine,  a little prevention, along with  massage, better eating habits, and exercise, will go a long way.

Metta Spa , http://www.mettaspa.com , 286 Boston turnpike, Shrewsbury,MA. 01545

Stretches: http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/living-with-low-back-pain-11/five-back-pain-stretches

http://www.chicagosportsdoctors.com/articles/back_pain_and_snow_shoveling.php

Aromatherapy and Massage

We all have some memory that can be brought on with just a simple sound or smell. Think about when you walk along the beach, the sounds of the waves or when you walk into a bakery, and are welcomed by the smell of warm baked goods. This is how aromatherapy works, giving you a smell, then releasing a memory and then relaxation.
When we think about massage we all have different ideas that come to mind. Maybe you go to a massage therapist to relax, help with a painful neck, an old injury, or dealing with stress.
Combining aroma therapy and massage can relax the mind, and help settle discomfort in the body. The scent of ginger, lavender, and orange have a relaxing yet uplifting aroma. When these scents are added to an oil and applied to the body they become heating and relaxing for the body.
Aromatherapy can be added to a massage in several ways. With the right combination, aromatherapy and massage can be used to work with inflammation, stress, pain, and to uplift moods. Adding an aroma diffuser to the massage room can change the atmosphere, to start with a drop or two of lemongrass, which helps uplift the mood in a room. With this method it is important to know the essential oils you are using, making sure they are therapeutic even food grade oils, then add your essential oils on from there. You will only need a drop or two, since essential oils are very concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Remember to start off slow when working with a client new ot aromtherapy, you can always add more as you go.