Relax at Tranquility

The journey towards beauty, health & wellness begins at Tranquility.

Experience Tranquility Massage December 3, 2013

Filed under: Healing,Massage/Reiki — relaxattranquility @ 1:50 pm
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Life is better with massageNot all MASSAGE is created equal, that’s why at Tranquility Spa and Wellness Center you can expect exceptional service from beginning to end.  From entering into a peaceful environment, to a healing and relaxing massage session, to tips on how to take Tranquility home.   So, what sets us apart from other spas and clinics?

First, every massage guest receives a personalized treatment each time they come in.   Each and every one of us is progressing, growing and changing both physically and mentally on a daily basis, which is why Tranquility’s massage therapist offer a variety of techniques, time frames, and pressures to maximize your session.  Your massage therapist spends the necessary time during the intake process to determine how to most effectively help you, whether your goal is relaxation, pain relief, or both.

Second, each massage technique has specific health and healing benefits.  Relaxation massage is the most requested type of massage offered at Tranquility, which combines gentle pressure and strokes to relieve tension in the body while invoking a meditative state. While this is great, our massage therapists may encourage you to try out a variety of techniques to achieve ultimate healing benefits.   Tranquility’s massage therapists are educated and highly experienced in the following techniques:

  • Hot Stone Massage
  • Rain Drop Therapy
  • Thai Massage
  • Reflexology
  • Deep Tissue Massage

Click here for more information on each service.

Tranquility prides itself on providing quality time with each guest offering a full 30, 60 or 90 minutes of treatment.  The Tranquility Relaxation Massage is a standalone service; however you may choose to enhance your session with aroma therapy.  We are proud to introduce a new line of organic, pure essential oils made by a Master Aroma-therapist out of California.  Your massage therapist will take you through an aroma sensory journey of 4 wonderful blends:

~ The ANXIETY/STRESS blend is a warming and soothing blend of mandarin, geranium, rose, neroli (orange blossom), rosewood, and jasmine. A definite favorite of many, this blend helps relieve mental and physical tension, is useful for stress headaches (1-2 drops on temple points or massaged into neck), and is wonderful for balancing and relieving stress around menstrual cycles. You may consider enhancing a rejuvenating bath with 5-10 drops of this blend.

~The PAIN RELIEF blend soothes with rosemary, juniper berry, sage, peppermint, and pink grapefruit. This blend is perfect for using either undiluted or diluted with oil (jojoba, coconut, or sesame are favorites) on an area of tension or discomfort. This blend is particularly helpful massaged into the base of the skull, just under the bony ridge you can feel, to alleviate headaches. For tired feet, use 3-5 drops in a small tub or basin with warm water as a soak (Epsom salts are a bonus!).

~The SLEEP AID blend surprisingly has anti-inflammatory benefits upon application to a specific area and is unparalleled in creating relaxation and peace of mind. This oil contains lavender, chamomile, neroli (orange blossom), mandarin, clary sage, and jasmine. You can use sparingly on a washcloth tucked into a pillow at night or apply to pulse points anywhere. It also makes a perfect room diffuser!

The THEIVES PROTECTION blend is quite the phenomenal concoction. This formula is antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-infectious, purifying, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, antispasmodic, and anti-catarrh. It contains eucalyptus, clove bud, cinnamon bark, rosemary, and lemon. Use a few drops in dishwater or the dishwasher to thoroughly clean and eliminate odor. This oil can be diffused in a room for up to 30 minutes to cut airborne bacteria.

Lastly, these aroma therapy blends, along with other therapeutic products are available to take home so you can experience a piece of Tranquility at home.

Massage therapy benefits the mind, body and soul.  Call Tranquility Spa and Wellness Center at 630.762.9864 to schedule your massage.  The journey toward beauty, health and wellness begins at Tranquility.

Health and Happiness,

Lauren, Tranquility Massage Therapist

Tranquility Spa and Wellness Center Logo

113 N Second Avenue, St. Charles IL 60174 * www.relaxattranquility.com

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Food Cravings July 16, 2013

Whether it’s a late night trip to the refrigerator or a mid-day break room encounter, many people experience food cravings throughout the day. Is there a reason why we feel the need to consume more calories right before bedtime and why most of the time the cravings are for unhealthy, fattening foods?

Focusing on controlling these cravings and opting for healthier snacks should become a daily habit, especially with trends like obesity and diabetes increasing. By understanding why you’re experiencing these cravings we can come up with solutions to provide you with healthier and more beneficial options.

There is actually a science behind the consumer’s addiction to eating the whole bag of potato chips or whole box of crackers. Processed foods are engineered down to an exact formula using math, science, regression analysis, and energy to find the perfect amount of salt, sugar and fat in products to ignite our taste buds.

Expressions researchers in the food industry use to define what’s appealing to consumers are terms like mouth feel, maximum bite force, and sensory specific satiety.1 In a study funded by Unilever (one of the world’s largest food companies) researchers found that consumers even perceived a potato chip as crisper and fresher simply based on the sound level of the crunch. They determined these consumers are often unaware of the influence of such auditory cues1. Did you know that even the reason behind the round shape of chocolate candies has a purpose? The softer shape is comforting and allows the morsel to melt more evenly on the tongue which triggers the proper taste buds to create a satisfying response in the brain.1

How do they do it? “Salt, sugar and fat are the three pillars of the processed food industry,” Michael Moss, author and investigator of the New York Times said after he spent four years prying open the secrets of the food industry’s scientists. “And while the industry hates the word ‘addiction’ more than any other word, the fact of the matter is, their research has shown them that when they hit the very perfect amounts of each of those ingredients … they will have us buy more, eat more.” 1

To mask the bitterness or sourness that the formulations can cause, the food industry uses flavour enhancers. Preservatives are also used to increase shelf life. So the jumbo box of crackers you purchase will stay fresh for months.

One of the most common flavour enhancers is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG). MSG is an excitotoxin, a substance that overexcites cell neurons causing cell damage, and eventually, cell death. These excitotoxins are able to enter and cause damage to the brain which can lead to abnormal development. Read more about MSG in our August 2006 Newsletter. You might even see MSG under different names such as hydrolyzed soy protein, yeast extract, or “natural flavors”. It adds flavor to the canned chicken soups and salad dressings used by many American home cooks, as well as the cheese of Goldfish crackers in many of your children’s lunchboxes. Nacho-cheese-flavor Doritos contain five separate forms of glutamate! 2 Imagine what they would taste like without it?

Bruce Bradley, a former food industry executive says, “We’re not talking about food actually being real anymore. It’s synthetic, completely contrived and created, and there’s so many problems about that because our bodies are tricked and when our bodies are tricked repeatedly dramatic things can happen, like weight gain” or endocrine disruption, diabetes and hypertension.” 1

Instead of simply blaming the industry for our food cravings, we need to take a step back and take responsibility for our guilty indulgences and late night binges. One of the most simple and overlooked problem solvers is exercise. Not only does exercise boost your mood and get you in shape, but it also releases endorphins… the same neurotransmitter that chocolate releases.

Peppers, spicy foods, and protein are also endorphin releasers that help you stay focused, more alert, and can lift a depressed spirit. You may even want to try a massage or acupuncture. Trained Acupuncturist’s can utilize a well documented protocol to help alleviate food cravings, sometimes in as few as 2-3 treatment sessions.

Are you getting enough sleep? Multiple studies show sleep deprivation leads to food cravings (especially targeting sugar and carbohydrates). This is due to the fact that sleep deprivation negatively affects the production of a hormone called Leptin (a hormone responsible for telling the body when it’s full), making one want to consume more calories than actually needed.

Sugary and caffeinated beverages (such as soda and energy drinks that many depend on for their mid-day “pick me up”) are over-consumed and a non-nutritive food. Basically, you’re spending time filling up your tank with volume that’s incapable of helping your body heal/repair or overcome infections. In fact, consuming those foods actually reduces your body’s ability to heal/repair and increases inflammation. The two most common ingredients found in energy drinks are sugar and caffeine, both of which provide temporary stimulation but can result in actual long-term energy loss and increased inflammation. Also, the processed sugar in energy drinks and soda overwhelms the pancreas, which over time can lead toward diabetes.

Opt for a glass of ice water with fresh organic lemon squeeze or try and snack on protein sources. Energy-efficient snacks like almonds, a fresh piece of fruit, or even a couple bites of leftover chicken balance high-quality calories with the nutrients needed to convert calories into enduring energy. These may seem unappetizing to you but this is exactly what the processed food companies have designed. When you eat their foods containing flavor enhancers, it makes natural foods taste less desirable. Now you’ve got to go through the pain and discipline of retraining your taste buds.

Another reason why you might be craving those sweet and salty foods may be a deficiency of certain minerals. Common deficiencies of magnesium, chromium, iron, zinc or calcium can all contribute to different types of cravings. But how do you know for sure what you’re deficient in?

The best way to find out exactly what you need is to consult with Dr. Kalli Prater, Chiropractic Internist at Tranquility Spa and Wellness Center. By getting a comprehensive exam and laboratory testing (if warranted), your individualized results can explain what lifestyle habits and deficiencies may be contributing towards the imbalances of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s also important to seek answers because being short on key nutrients can lead to many illnesses and diseases, and in children, a failure to grow to their fullest potential. Let Tranquility Natural Medicine help you get on the road to better health…today!Dr Kalli

References:

1. http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/03/05/f-vp-crowe-food-addiction.html

2. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/05/dining/05glute.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

3. http://bk2health.com/index.php/health-alerts/269-food-cravings

 

 

What is Swedish Massage Therapy? June 27, 2013

Filed under: Chiropractic,Healing,Massage/Reiki — relaxattranquility @ 3:37 pm
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Swedish massage is one of the most effective massage therapy modalities. It involves a deep tissue massage applied with gentle and vigorous pressure. Think of this method as a wonderful combination of massage and physical therapy, a process that promotes total relaxation and muscle tension release.

Take note that proper Swedish massage therapy should only be performed by a licensed massage therapist. If you are new to experiencing this technique and don’t know what to expect, put your mind at ease and check to see if the spa or massage clinic you’re planning to visit is staffed with a licensed, registered practitioner.

Swedish Massage Therapy: How is it Done?

Prior to the start of the massage treatment, the therapist will ask you about any history of previous physical injuries. The main purpose of this is so the therapist can take special care to prevent further damage and assist in the healing process to tissues surrounding injured areas.

Like many other massage therapies, Swedish massage involves the use of oil which is applied to the skin to help the massage therapist’s hands glide over the body without friction, and to help the soothing, even pressure penetrate deep into the muscles.

After the gentle application of the oil, the therapist will begin the massage. You have the option to choose whether you want the massage to be relatively gentle or done with more intensive pressure. Don’t be afraid to ask your therapist to lessen or increase the pressure applied, in accordance with your own tolerance and level of comfort.

Ways that Swedish Massage Therapy Can Benefit:

Since its inception in the mid-1800s, Swedish Massage Therapy has long been used by experts to provide many notable benefits. Here are just a few:

Swedish Massage Therapy

  • Relaxation – One of the major benefits of Swedish massage therapy is true relaxation. For busy

professionals who have long weekdays ahead of them, a trip to the spa for a great Swedish massage can loosen up tensed back muscles and an aching neck and shoulders. Complete relaxation follows suit!

  • Helps with stress – Many of us lead very demanding lives, and the resulting stress can manifest in the body, making muscles noticeably tight and stiff. If you’re already feeling stressed, this can set up a cycle of anxiety and further discomfort. Swedish massage therapy eases the body’s unwanted responses to stress and helps to clear your mind of worry.
  • Better flexibility – After an hour of this kind of rejuvenating massage therapy, you can’t help but notice the way your body’s movements improve. The increased full range of motion of your hands, arms and legs and decreased swelling are all significant benefits of the Swedish massage experience.

With good reason, Swedish massage therapy is a sound and highly beneficial treatment. Stick with tried and true techniques over passing fads. Treat yourself soon!

Posted By: Jessica Baldwin, Tofino Massage Therapy

 

The Top Eleven Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Massage December 18, 2012

Filed under: Chiropractic,Healing,Massage/Reiki — relaxattranquility @ 12:44 pm
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Massage therapy has been used as a therapeutic measure for generations, and across cultures around the world. Although different types of massage techniques are designed to target specific areas, dysfunctions, and promote natural healing processes, there are some distinctive benefits that can be received from regular massage. Physical benefits range from improved circulation, lower stress levels, and increased flexibility in tense muscles. Mental benefits include a calm mind, increased awareness, better focus and concentration, and increased alertness. Here are the top ten physical and mental health benefits of massage.

1. Promotes deeper breathing
-deep breathing is vital to ensure that oxygen circulates easily throughout your body, and encourages healing and growth in the process. Decreased oxygen circulation results in headaches, tension aches, and random muscle pain that can accumulate into a significant problem over time. By enhancing your oxygen intake, you will naturally promote the release of toxins and negative energy within the body.

2. Improves posture
-although massage should never be used as a replacement for a chiropractic diagnosis, posture can slowly and naturally improve as the spine and muscles around the spine become more flexible and supple. Improved posture also aids in breathing and less tension throughout the body.

3. Improves circulation
-an improvement in both blood and lymph circulation helps your body gain strength and maximizes your energy level. Especially during the winter months when circulation and metabolisms may be slower, massage can help in removing toxins in the blood and encouraging fresh energy to circulate easily. Efficient circulation also helps in muscle recovery, growth, and promotes the natural healing process.

4. Enhances skin tone and skin health
-when using high-quality oils and creams, massage therapists can significantly improve the tone and health of your skin after just a few massage sessions. Skin cells are revitalized, moisturized, and replenished naturally. Choose Vitamin E and natural grapeseed oil bases for maximum benefits.

5. Increases and promotes joint flexibility
-repetitive stress or overused joints can stunt growth and create problems later. Massage helps to relieve stored tension and encourages flexibility of the joints after rest. Any soreness experienced after a massage can be indication that these are tension spots for you, and focusing on these areas on your next massage will increase joint recovery. There are even some special oil formulations to target joints, so do check with your massage therapist beforehand to discuss options.

6. Enhances a calm mind
-encouraging a calm mind creates an avenue for creativity; it is during these times that our minds are most conducive to creative thinking, developing plans, organizing thoughts, and reducing stressful thoughts. Massage can encourage this state of mind by relaxing the entire body.

7. Reduces anxiety
-as a natural deep relaxant, a successful massage can significantly reduce anxiety. Usually, anxiety is stored in some key areas of the body; the lower back, shoulders, abdomen, and neck. By relieving these areas of tension, the mind can ‘let go’ of anxiety and experience a light, almost freeing sensation.

8. Increases self-awareness
-the mind-body connection is often overlooked in today’s fast-paced society. From the minute you wake up, to the moment you go to bed, it is easy to slip into ‘mind-only’ mode. When you re-establish the connection with your body, you will experience greater ease of movement, a more centered feeling, and an enhanced feeling of well-being.

9. Promotes mental alertness
-although a massage can bring you into a state of deep relaxation, this is also a state of heightened mental alertness. Your mind is relaxed and calm, but acutely aware and in this state, capable of solving even the toughest problems!

10. Increases peace of mind
-with your ability to feel relaxed and naturally aware, peace of mind becomes a necessary result. Peace of mind can be defined as a sense of calm well-being and just feeling good naturally.

11. Satisfies need for human touch
-as human beings, we all need to feel the touch of another human being. This can range from a simple hug, handshake, or a nurturing touch. A massage encourages this type of connection and increases your appreciation for this human need.

These are just the top ten benefits of regular massage. Check with your massage therapist to define what you need, and what your body will most benefit from. During different times, or stages of your life, you may need a specific treatment or an individual recommendation. Try various approaches and see what works best for you. Alternative bodywork sessions may also include Reiki, an energy-focused consultation or a ‘traditional’ deep therapeutic massage targeting a specific area.

by: Saban Karimi

 

Health Benefits of Massage December 4, 2012

Filed under: Chiropractic,Healing,Massage/Reiki — relaxattranquility @ 1:59 pm
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Health Benefits of Massage

More than an indulgence, massage therapy can help you sleep better, boost your immune system and reduce aches and pains

by Judy Jones
unexpected medical benefits of massage
Photograph: Illustrated By Aad Goudappel

For the past few thousand years, the Western world has largely resisted the notion that a procedure as noninvasive and, yes, pleasurable as massage could have a significant healing effect. Finally, however, clinical centers throughout the U.S. are taking a closer look at massage’s medical benefits. One of the researchers most responsible for this change in attitude is Tiffany Field, PhD, who in 1992 founded the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, the first major center devoted to studying the healing potential of touch. Over the past 30 years, Field has written 20 books and more than 450 journal articles on the subject, collecting the kind of hard evidence that makes the scientific and medical establishments pay attention.

As head of the Touch Research Institute, she has documented the effects of massage on a dizzying variety of disorders. We asked Field to tell us more about what she has learned in studying both healthy and unhealthy people.

Q: How does receiving a massage affect most people?
A: It’s like finishing a run: You have the same feeling of total relaxation. We know that even a 10-minute chair massage can lower your blood pressure and slow down your heart rate. And your mental performance is enhanced. When we gave people math problems to solve after a massage, they did them twice as fast with half the errors.

Q: Many people suffer from some kind of physical pain. How can massage therapy make them feel better?
A: Massage helps people spend more time in deep sleep, the restorative stage in which your body barely moves. In our studies of fibromyalgia, we monitored the sleep of subjects who received 30-minute massages three times a week for five weeks. We found that the fibromyalgia sufferers slept nearly an hour longer at the end of the study period than they did at the beginning and that their sleep was deeper. We also found that by increasing sleep, we could reduce substance P, a neurotransmitter that’s closely associated with pain. Fibromyalgia is a vicious cycle: The less restful sleep you get, the more substance P is emitted and the more pain you have; the more pain you have, the more difficulty you have sleeping. We were trying to use massage to break that cycle, and it was very effective.

Q: How about reducing stress via massage? Does that have an effect on pain?
A: Yes. In a review of research on the topic, we determined that massage therapy lowers cortisol, a hormone that’s produced in response to stress, by an average of 31 percent. And when cortisol levels decline, serotonin, one of the body’s antipain mechanisms, increases. In our review, serotonin grew by an average of 28 percent after massage therapy. So by lowering cortisol, you boost your ability to fend off pain.

Q: How does massage affect the immune system? 
A: In studies of women with breast cancer, we found that when cortisol levels are up, natural killer (NK) cells are down. Natural killer cells are the front line of the immune system. They kill cancer cells, viral cells and bacterial cells, so you definitely want them up. In one of our studies, for instance, women with stages 1 and 2 breast cancer were given 30-minute massages three times a week for five weeks. At the end of the study, the women had lower depression and hostility levels and increased urinary levels of serotonin, dopamine, NK cells and lymphocytes—all of which suggested their immune systems were stronger.

Q: You’ve also found some fascinating evidence that people benefit from giving massages. Can you talk about that? 
A: Yes, we did a study in which elderly volunteers massaged infants at a nursery school three times a week for three weeks. There were a lot of positive results for the volunteers. Immediately after the first-day and last-day sessions of giving massages, the volunteers had less anxiety and depression and lower cortisol levels. Over the three-week period, they showed reduced levels of norepinephrine and epinephrine, two neurotransmitters connected to feeling revved up. Giving a massage turned out to have some of the same benefits as getting one.

Q: There are many different types of massage. Which produce the good outcomes that your studies found?
A:
 We use Swedish massage in our studies. That’s the most common type, the one most people are familiar with. We typically develop a specific massage plan for each problem. In cases where pain is localized, we usually directly massage the site or an area near the site. For instance, in our migraine study, we focused on massaging the nape of the neck. It was very convenient because once the participants were on their own, they could massage themselves. When we studied lower-back pain, we focused on the lower-back region, and when we studied hand pain, we worked on the hand. When an issue is systemic, though, such as some cancers, HIV orfibromyalgia, we use whole-body massage.

Q: Does pressure matter?
A:
 Moderate pressure such as you would experience in any kind of Swedish massage is the key to all the effects we achieve. Moderate pressure reduces heart rate and encourages brain wave patterns of heightened alertness and relaxation. What’s most important is that you stimulate pressure receptors. Light touch—that is, a featherlike stroke that mimics tickling—won’t work. Nor will pressure that’s so heavy that it causes discomfort and makes you tense up.

Q: Ideally, how often should people get massages?
A:
 Everyone who can should get a daily 10-minute massage. That doesn’t mean you have to rely on a partner to give you one. In fact, any activity that stimulates pressure receptors—such as walking, which presses the soles of the feet; doing yoga; scrubbing yourself with a brush or loofah in the shower; rubbing a tennis ball along your limbs—should have an effect similar to that of moderate pressure massage.

 

 
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