Getting Things Moving!

The Benefits & Joys of Massage

by Elizabeth Byrd-Carlson, Licensed Massage Therapist at Alternatives 4 Health

Our skin is an amazing part of our body. Did you know that it is actually the largest organ our body has? The skin gives us seemingly endless information about the world around us. It is our first line of defense against infection and injury and helps regulate our body temperature. For our skin to function properly, it needs to be healthy and, believe it or not, a one hour session with your massage therapist can help with that.

Massage helps to stimulate tiny blood vessels found near the surface of the skin. Getting these vessels flowing brings fresh nutrients and life giving oxygen to the skin cells and this allows for regeneration, healing and a beautiful glow!

Lymph drainage is another benefit of massage. Our lymph system is responsible for removing toxins and helping us fight infections. It can get blocked causing fluid retention (edema) and puffiness. A massage will get lymph fluid moving as it should!

After a massage there are a few points to remember that will boost the benefits you received!

H – Hydrate! An extra glass or two of water helps your body continue to flush toxins.
E – Eat some fresh fruits and veggies that aid in detoxification, like berries, apples, pumpkin and spinach.
A – Alcohol consumption should be kept at a minimum in the hours after a massage. The effects could be magnified and leave you feeling ill.
L – Listen to your body; it usually has important things to say! If you feel like resting, do so! If you feel energized, go for it!

Blueberry “Pie” Yogurt Parfait
Serves 4
16 ounces nonfat or low-fat plain Greek yogurt
6 ounces low-fat blueberry yogurt
4 ounces fresh blueberries
2 ounces blueberry preserves
4 honey graham crackers, crushed
Alternate layers of ingredients in a glass until filled to the rim.
Experiment with different fruits and berries!