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One of the biggest trends in the wellness industry has been the explosion of CBD products introduced into the marketplace. As a natural and therapeutic treatment, CBD has proven to be effective for helping to treat conditions ranging from pain and anxiety to muscle spasms and inflammation. 

While there are a variety of ways to experience the positive effects of CBD, one of the best is through your skin. By coupling this with therapeutic massage, you’ll leave having a renewed sense of relief.

At Elements Massage, we have developed a custom CBD infused massage – called CBD Herbal Ritual™ - that is 100% THC-free and is from organically farmed hemp plants, which means clients will receive the anti-inflammatory benefits without any psychoactive, mind-altering effects. Applied on the skin, the whole-hemp CBD oil is a natural plant therapy blend that includes aloe vera, ginger extract and rosemary oil. Elements’ CBD oil is vegan, GMO-free, cruelty-free and uses organic ingredients. It is a simple, safe and effective way to experience a CBD treatment.

For those who are unfamiliar with CBD, it is a cannabinoid compound found in hemp that responds to receptors found in the skin. Through those receptors, it sends messages through your nervous system that can help bring the body back to equilibrium, mitigating imbalances. What might cause these imbalances in the first place? Stress, for one, along with getting older. The human body has an internal system (endocannabinoid system) which produces some of the same compounds found in CBD. This system is responsible for regulating various systems in the body, such as the immune system, muscle tissue, and nervous system, as well as the skin.

However, there are a few known contraindications for CBD massage including active cancer and chemotherapy treatments, diabetes mellitus and epilepsy or seizure related disorders. If someone suffers from any of these conditions, they should always alert their massage therapist prior to having a CBD massage treatment.

So how will CBD Herbal Ritual massage feel compared to a regular massage? Someone might say they feel good, like they usually do after a massage, but not notice an immediate difference. Someone else might say they feel an overall heightened sense of well-being and feel better than normally do after a massage session. Ultimately, it’s all about communication with your massage therapist and the ongoing usage as part of your wellness regimen. Elements Massage CBD Herbal Ritual launches at participating studios on May 20, so find a participating studio near you and come experience a new approach to pain relief and relaxation that so many people are talking about.

By Eric Stephenson, Chief Wellness Officer, Elements Massage

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It’s the day after your massage, and when you roll out of bed you wonder to yourself, “Did I work out yesterday? Did I lift weights in my sleep?” Your muscles feel a little sore, and some seem a bit swollen, almost like they’re bruised. You think that surely something must be wrong. This soreness couldn’t possibly be a result from your massage . . . could it? Didn’t you schedule your massage with the hope that your tight and tender spots would feel some relief afterwards?

Before you reach for the phone to give your massage therapist an early morning, “What did you do to me?”  know that it is perfectly normal for your body to feel a little sore and out-of-whack the day after a massage, as counter-intuitive as it seems. For your muscles, getting a deep-tissue massage is similar to experiencing a tough workout. They got stretched and manipulated during the session, and the massage increased blood circulation to your tight spots. The lining of our muscles is supposed to be smooth and work fluidly. When a certain group of muscles gets tight, strained or kinked, it becomes more rigid, and will rely on surrounding muscle areas to pitch in and help.

During a massage, the therapist works to stretch, lengthen, and break up groups of muscles (what you might refer to as knots). This process may cause post-massage soreness from waste metabolites and by-products of tiny micro tears in the muscle along the way. This is a normal function of massage, and while it leads to more blood flow and healing to that area, it can also lead to that day-after tenderness.  Also, depending on the overall hydration of your body’s tissue, your muscle tissue may l not be as pliable, and you may potentially l feel more soreness afterwards.

If your muscles actually hurt more than they did before, and are not just tender to the touch, be sure to communicate this to your massage therapist before your next appointment. Perhaps the pressure was applied too quickly and/or past your pressure tolerance.

After your massage that same day, there are some easy, pleasant things you can do to help prevent some of the next-day soreness:

  • Be purposeful about spending some down time after a massage so your nervous system can integrate. In addition, staying hydrated is never a bad idea, and after before or after a massage session is no different.
  • Do some gentle stretching that evening, paying special attention to your trouble spots that received the most attention during your massage.
  • You may find comfort in taking a hot bath to further enhance feelings of relaxation and rest.

While having tender muscles is not exactly enjoyable, it is a natural, normal part of the journey of health and well-being that comes with taking care of yourself by receiving massages. As your body becomes accustomed to regular massages, you’ll experience the next-day soreness less frequently, making the experience that much more pleasurable. 

Click HERE to find an Elements Massage near you.

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The saying goes that the worst day of golf beats the best day of work.  This is a presumably popular sentiment, as golf continues to capture the hearts, minds, and free time of people of all ages, with all skill levels, from hundreds of countries around the world.  For many, there is no better way to enjoy a sunny morning than on the manicured greens club in hand, traversing the 18 holes of a golf course.  Coming off an incredible Master’s win from Tiger Woods, we thought we thought we’d take this opportunity to discuss why golf really is good for you, and how to make sure your body allows you to have the best golf game you can.  

  • The Good

If your sore muscles the day after a round are any inclination, golf can be a pretty good form of exercise. Throughout the round you’re giving your core muscles (abdominals, glutes, back, and hips) a workout, as well as strengthening your upper body by swinging your clubs and in some cases carrying them yourself.  Your chest and forearms get taxed, as well.  And, if you’re the hard-core type and decide to walk the 18 holes?  You’re logging about 5 miles per round.  Nice work.

  • What to Watch

If you’re going into your round with rigid muscles, or if you’re not properly conditioned, you can fall victim to some common golf-related injuries.  From straining the lower back, to shoulder injuries, to neck strain, golf can either exacerbate existing sore areas, or create new ones.  If your stance is off, you could develop strained tendons in your ankle or foot.  The dreaded “golfer’s elbow” is a painful swelling or irritation of the outer or inner tendons of the elbow.  

  • What to Do

Because much of golf involves a lot of repetitive motion, metabolic waste can build up around those muscles that are repeatedly taxed.  This can cause pain and poor flexibility in those muscles, which are two things you definitely do not want as part of your golf game.  Also, many injuries occur during a round of golf because of already-tight muscles that are flexed and strained during the swing.  To keep muscles loose, healthy and fluid, regular massage therapy is a great way to practice preventative care during golf season.  Your massage therapist can concentrate on the muscles in your neck, back, arms, hips, and glutes to help ensure that your muscles are loosened, more flexible, and lengthened.  He or she can also pay special attention to the muscles that help support good posture, which is an important part of your golf stance.

Massage therapy is great for helping to facilitate mental focus and decreasing stress and anxiety as well.  Because going into a round of golf already stressed can lead to a very long and unpleasant 18 holes, especially after a couple of your favorite golf balls end up in the lake.

As the weather warms up and the days get longer, don’t let your body be an excuse not to hit the greens a few times. And if you pay some visits to your local Elements Massage before and after your games, it may end up being your best month of golf ever. 

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Mention the word "drama" and most people immediately relate. We all have people, places and things in our personal and professional lives which drain our time, money and energy.

We spent time recently with Eric Stephenson, our Chief Wellness Officer at Elements Massage, and asked him for his top three tips on how to live a drama free life. With over 20-years of experience in massage, Eric is an expert in relaxation and is focused on creating balance in all aspects of life.

Eric pointed out that creating a drama free life begins with the realization that all of the drama in your life begins and ends with you. A difficult reality for many of us to accept! But until that statement becomes an absolute truth, drama will continue to follow you, tempting you to blame it on external people, events and circumstances.

Here are Eric’s three tips for living a drama free life:

1. Practice “Unconditional Positive Regard for yourself and others”

Psychologist Carl Rogers coined this term as a way of relating to the self and others. All too often, our judgments and stereotypes limit our ability to accept other human beings and treat them with respect. Unconditional Positive Regard is an overall acceptance of another human being, regardless of their political views, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or any other factor that may lead us to prejudice. This general outlook of acceptance is communicated through our thoughts, feelings, words and most importantly, our non-verbal communication.

2. Learn to recognize what hooks you into drama

Each of us has certain buttons that get pushed by family members, coworkers, even complete strangers. Once these are pressed, it often sends us into a reactive state that finds us entering the "fight or flight" part of the nervous system. If we are constantly in a reactive state to the events around us that cause drama, our body's response and our thoughts, words and actions can quickly trigger the fight or flight response. We become on the one hand- aggressive, combative or on the other hand- evasive or unable to effectively address conflict.

There's good news though, we can learn to watch our reaction and choose how we will respond to our triggers. Simply by taking a few deep breaths, you send a different signal to your nervous system, hopefully allowing you to choose the most appropriate response.

3. Practice non reactivity

There are countless opportunities to react to events, opinions, and activities that those around you engage in. Simply scroll down on any on-line discussion forum or controversial Facebook feed to see how quickly humans can disagree with each other and the short distance to truly harmful language pointed towards those that disagree with our views. However, maybe the Facebook status that disagrees with my view on immigration policy doesn't need my input- especially when it involves family or friends. Learn to sit a few out and avoid the drama.

So, we challenge you to write these three tips on a sticky-note, put them somewhere you can see them and then put them into action! Here’s to drama-free living!

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If you’re like us, you’ve been using every excuse you can think of to be outside and enjoy the spring sunshine. With the greening grass, spring flowers and the strikingly bright shade of blue in the sky, spring makes us appreciate nature in a unique and wonderful way. 

And that’s why we are thrilled to pay homage to our planet this Earth Day.  And in case you need some inspiration, here are some of our favorite reasons why you should spend some time outside celebrating the Earth next week on Earth Day, which is celebrated on Monday, April 22nd!

  • It feels good. And it’s not just in your head.  Your mental well-being gets a serious boost from spending time outside.  Being in nature has been linked to greater empathy and emotional stability, greater short and long-term attention spans, and an increase in the feel-good chemical serotonin (yes, that neurotransmitter that also gets a healthy lift from getting a massage).
  • It’s naturally fortifying. Are you tired of hearing about vitamin D yet?  Vitamin D gets a lot of hype simply because it really is that important.  Vitamin D is necessary for your body to absorb calcium, thereby strengthening your bones and teeth.  And the most effective way for your body to receive its daily allotment is through good old-fashioned sunshine from being outside.
  • Aromatherapy abounds. You know how the smell of fresh-cut grass or a spring rain can make you feel instantly energized or relaxed?  Smells are powerful mood boosters, and can even help to dramatically lower anxiety, focus your thoughts, or energize your mind. If you can’t make it outside or want the benefits of Aromatherapy all year round, visit an Elements Massage to try out our unique Elements Massage AromaRitual essences including Energize, which can help uplift your senses. 
  • The outdoors reduce stress: Just going for a walk or spending five minutes outside can have big impacts on your stress levels. Being outside can help you relax and reduce stress, because it reduces the production of cortisol, the hormone that produces stress. Spending time outside has also been linked to improved brain function and short-term memory.

Whether you renew your efforts to recycle more, explore alternate, less-polluting forms of transportation, or simply take a long walk outside appreciating the earth’s beauty, we encourage you to celebrate your planet. By respecting the Earth, you can show care and respect for your body, too.  What a beautiful win-win.

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Recently, Elements Massage introduced cupping therapy as a brand-new service. Most people know what cupping looks like (think of those red rings everyone was freaking out about on Michael Phelps’ body during the 2016 Summer Olympics), but they don’t know much else. Let’s break it down.

What is Cupping?

Although it wasn’t popular in the mainstream until recently, cupping therapy is actually an ancient form of medicine that involves a therapist applying suction to certain parts of the body using “cups.” Originating in China, cupping was first performed with cross sections of bamboo or cattle horns. Now, we use plastic.

The idea is to produce a vacuum effect that loosens tight muscles and improves blood flow through the body, particularly in the areas to which the cups are applied. Cupping gets fluids that have been stagnant in the body moving, which has numerous benefits.

What are the Benefits of Cupping Therapy?

1. Pain and Inflammation Relief

Cupping therapy has been proven to reduce lower back pain, making it a great option to naturally relieve aches and inflammation. That’s why elite athletes use it—to help their bodies heal after strenuous training sessions.

Of course, you don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer to reap its pain-relieving benefits. It’s awesome for aches caused by exercise as well as chronic pain conditions alike.

2. Relaxation

Much like massage therapy itself, cupping is a deeply relaxing process. As the blood flow through your body increases, you may notice a warming sensation as your stress melts away.

3. Tight, Healthy Skin

Cupping has incredible effects on the body’s skin. Scars, stretch marks, cellulite and uneven skin tones have all been reported to diminish with the help of regular cupping therapy.

4. Improved Circulation

As mentioned earlier, the main purpose of cupping is to stimulate circulation. Having a healthy level of circulation is great for cell growth, blood pressure, your immune system and even helps reduce the risk of diabetic health complications.

 5. Works Alongside Massage

When your muscles are loosened and pliable from cupping, it’s easier for a licensed massage therapist to perform their job. Cupping gets started relieving the tension you carry in your body, and massage therapy does the rest.

Common Cupping Questions

Does it Hurt?

The first few minutes of a cupping session may be uncomfortable. After all, your skin, muscle and fascia are being pulled upwards all at once. Your massage therapist will check in with you to ensure pressure from the cups stays within your body’s tolerance.

After taking a few minutes to get used to it, most people report that cupping feels like a massage. If you’ve ever received a massage, you know that if your licensed massage therapist hits a particularly tense area, you might feel a slight “good” pain, like the kind you feel during a deep tissue massage.

Doesn’t it Leave Bruises?

Technically, no. Some (but not all!) people have red circles on their skin after cupping, but they’re not actually bruises.

Bruising occurs when blood vessels in the skin are injured and break.  Cupping doesn’t injure your blood vessels, but it does temporarily expand them. Those large, red circles are simply blood flowing close to the surface of the skin, which is a sign that your circulation is doing well.

They don’t hurt either, and they typically vanish entirely between three days and one week.

Would Any Conditions Prevent Me from Receiving Cupping Therapy?

There are a few things that may prevent you from receiving cupping therapy, including:

  • Inflamed skin prior to cupping
  • Fever
  • Hemophilia
  • Pregnancy and menstruation (in some cases)
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease or failure
  • Slipped discs

As always, we recommend consulting with your primary care provider to make sure cupping is safe for you.

We look forward to serving our clients with this brand-new healing practice!

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We’ve all been told at some point in life to “make the most of your life.”  However, do you really know how to make the most of it? Here are a few things you can do each day to help you live a happier, more fulfilling life.

Hold on a Minute

One of the many things you can do each day is to take a minute and put life on pause. Take just a couple of minutes for a break and concentrate on living in the “now.” It can act has a bit of a reset button for each day. Check yourself to make sure you are focused on that moment.

Get Better Sleep

We’ve all heard about how important sleep can be. Well, there’s a reason everyone says that: an excellent night’s sleep directly affects our mood and our body. Without sleep, you’ll be irritable, less productive and could have a difficult time remembering things.

Get Physical

It’s amazing how a good workout benefits both your body and mind. You need to do something physically active every day. Even if it is just a quick walk, you’ll feel better about yourself.

Set Daily Goals

Each day wake up and think about a goal that you would like to accomplish for the day. Make it something attainable. If your goals are too lofty and at the end of the day you don’t achieve them, you’ll get down on yourself.

Control What You Can

If you can’t control it, don’t stress it. If there’s a situation that you can’t control, you shouldn’t spend time stressing. Put your time and energy that you can directly affect the results. You'll be happier.

A key component of making the most of your life and leading a quality life is eliminating stress. Massage therapy from Elements Massage™ is just one way to help reduce stress. Contact your local Elements Massage™ studio to discover how custom massage therapy can help you have a sound mind and body.

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Have you ever gone to make an appointment for a massage, and found yourself a little perplexed at the different options available? Himalayan Salt Stone? Swedish?  What in the world??  We get it.  It can be hard to decipher the difference between massage types and figure out which is the best one for your body.  Today we’d like to lift the shadow of confusion from one of our best-loved and most often requested massage options: deep tissue.  What exactly is deep tissue massage?   Is deep tissue massage the right choice for you?

The belief of long-term pain-relief as the benefit of short-term agony from massage therapy is a common mistake many make. We think relief will come from a massage therapist digging and crushing our muscles for an entire massage session of an hour or longer. Fortunately, at Elements Massage® studios, your massage session is customized to exactly what you want, proper pressure in the desired area, to ensure your massage provides the relief you are seeking. Your massage therapist can fine-tune their focus on these important elements:

  • Your connective tissue (fascia).  In case you don’t know, fascia is the membrane of mostly collagen tissue that covers, separates, and encloses your muscles.  Healthy fascia is flexible and moves freely.  However, when this tissue experiences strains, trauma, or becomes inflamed, it can become rigid and tight, putting extra strain on your body.  This presents itself as anything from headaches to muscle pain.  During a deep tissue massage, your therapist will work on addressing your fascia to ensure it is properly smoothed and lengthened, maintaining your body’s fluid flexibility.
  • Your scars.  No, not the mark on your leg from your brother’s unfortunate archery attempt when you were four, but rather residual scar tissue from surgeries, injuries, or sprains.  When a muscle tears, the body repairs it by building scar tissue.  Scar tissue isn’t as strong as the regular muscle, making it pretty easy to re-injure that same area.  Deep tissue massage can assist in realigning scar tissue, strengthening and healing the scarred area.
  • Your tension.  Chronic tension is often a miserable cycle of stress and pain – your stress leads to tension, which leads to pain in your muscles, which leads to more stress and tension . . . you get the picture.  Deep tissue massage tackles the cause e of your tension-related pain.  By releasing the bunched-up muscles in your shoulders, neck, and back, it helps break the pain cycle.  With the knots and pain relieved, you might even find that you’re able to face your stressors with renewed energy.​​​​​

Traditionally designed to apply pressure to specific layers of muscle, tendons and other tissues deep under the skin, deep tissue massage can be very effective in relieving problem areas and is highly therapeutic. Deep tissue massage is a client favorite for good reason.  Whether you consider it preventative medicine, health insurance, or just a much-needed dose of healing, its benefits are undeniable.  Whatever your reason for seeking out deep tissue massage, it can serve as an effective, all-natural step on your path to wellness and health.

If you are looking for a customized deep tissue massage, look no further than Elements Massage. With close to 250 locations nationwide, there is likely one in your neighborhood.  

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There’s no question there’s a lot more stress in life these days. Whether it be from work, money, relationships or family. It all adds up and can be detrimental to your health. As the weather begins to warm up, and the new year is in full swing, remember to take a moment for yourself each day.

Here are five daily tips to help clear your mind:

Take Five Minutes to Meditate

You can meditate anywhere. Simply take five minutes, sit up straight with your feet on your floor, close your eyes, and focus on a positive mantra. Take deep breaths while holding your stomach. Focusing on a positive statement will help relieve any anxiety.

Breathe Deeply

It’s amazing what a good deep breath will do for you. If you have just a couple of minutes, rather than check emails or social media, take a few minutes for a couple of good deep breaths. This will help slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure.

Be in The Moment

Have you ever heard the term, “be in the moment?” It's simple - all you have to do is slow down. In a world with so many devices and screens open simultaneously, this one is crucial. Take a minute to reset and focus on the moment. Feel the air across your face, savor every bite when you’re eating. This will help relieve tension from your body.

Get Moving

Make sure you get some exercise in your day. This doesn’t mean you have to go for a big run – it can be simple, take a short walk or take a yoga class. Moving releases feel-good chemicals and helps you deal with stress and anxiety.

Decompress

One of the best ways to de-stress is to take time and de-compress. Everyone deserves a few minutes to take time for themselves. Use a warm towel and place it around your neck for 10-minutes. Close your eyes and relax your body. This will feel amazing.  Or how about a therapeutic massage from Elements Massage®? Massage is one of the best ways to decompress, and at Elements Massage we’re focused on providing you with a personalized massage to fit your needs. 

With nearly 250 locations across the country – there’s an Elements near you!  Take a few minutes today to give us a call, we’ll help you take a break from all the mental madness!

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If you consider yourself healthy, chances are you work for it. 

No matter how much “luck o’ the Irish” you’ve got running through your veins, good health doesn’t simply just happen. It’s not something you’re born with like curly hair or long toes. Good health is about daily, intentional choices that you make. However, even the healthiest among us can get in a rut or lose sight of our health intentions.  With March being National Nutrition Month, we thought it fitting to talk about good nutrition. Not just eating plenty of veggies (although that is a great idea) but developing and maintaining good “nutrition” for all aspects of your life.

“Nutrition” for your mind

  • Maintaining Relationships: Having healthy and close relationships with one’s family, friends or community can help you feel happier, safer and more motivated to reach goals and live a positive life.
  • Taking up a new hobby or interest: Find something you love you to or are passionate about that you can enjoy alone and find peace in doing. Having hobbies can improve your sense of usefulness and well-being.
  • Cleanout excess STUFF: Yank those ill-fitting clothes from your closet or clear out the junk from your garage.  An open and clean home can lead to a clearer mind.

“Nutrition” for your soul

  • Volunteer:  Talk about a win-win.  Not only does volunteering help to address a societal need, but there are huge benefits for you as well.  Volunteering can help you reduce stress, keep depression at bay, and keep you mentally stimulated.  And the more you do it, the more you reap the positive rewards.
  • Get out:  Drive to a nearby hiking trail, scamper down the path a bit, and just breathe.  The vastness and beauty of nature can help put your issues in perspective. 
  • Seek out therapy:  Massage therapy, that is.  From the feel-good hormones released through massage, you’ve got a “therapy” session that can’t be beat.  And this kind of therapy comes complete with a little “me time,” immunity-boosting, and sleep-promoting benefits, too. With nearly 250 studios across the country there’s an Elements near you!

Nutrition for your body

  • Exercise:  This one is a bit of an obvious answer, because exercise actually stimulates your brain, lifts your mood, and is great for all parts of your body.  Get your 30-45 minutes in, 3-5 times per week for maximum results.  You’ll also notice a difference in your energy, your skin, and your muscle tone.
  • Give yourself quality food: Focus on the quality of your food, versus the quantity.  Less white, processed food, more rich whole grains.  Protein, fiber, lots of colorful produce, and plenty of omega-3’s will keep you feeling satisfied, energized, and fuller for longer.  And after eating well for a few weeks, you’ll notice that what you offer to others around you will be of higher quality, too.

St. Patrick’s Day may be the “luckiest” holiday of the year, but when it comes to nourishing your entire body, soul, and mind, luck has very little to do with your success. Follow these few simple steps and tips, and you’ll feel nourished and lucky all year long.

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