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It’s no secret that people have to eat well and stay active in order to remain healthy. But there are other actions that are just as, or even more, important to overall wellness. Keep reading for a few ways to keep your body in peak condition.

Know — and act on — your family history.

Your family’s medical history is your most powerful weapon against surprise diseases. Dignity Health explains that knowing what your parents and grandparents have encountered healthwise can help you prepare for the possibility that you will develop a hereditary condition.

Pay attention to air quality.

If you suffer from a never-ending stuffy nose, unexplained fatigue, or other issues you can’t put your finger on, your home’s air quality might be to blame. While an air purifier can’t remove 100 percent of all pollutants, these devices can make a big difference in the air quality of your home. Changing your HVAC filter regularly and adding an air purifier are the two most important things you can so to correct poor air quality. How To Home offers in-depth information on air purification topics including which device is best for smoke, allergies, pet dander and more.

Do more to keep your feet healthy.

You likely don’t give your feet the treatment they deserve. But you really should pay more attention to your feet. As the platform upon which your body stands, your feet are responsible for getting you to and from where you want to go. If they aren’t in tip-top shape, you’re more likely to sit on the sidelines of life. Keep them clean and dry, wear properly fitting, breathable shoes and trim your toenail the right way, which Everyday Health explains is straight across, to prevent ingrown toenails that can become infected.

Work on your body’s ability to remain flexible.

The benefits of a flexible body are many. Chopra.com includes on this list better blood flow and the ability to start or upkeep an exercise routine. Before and after each workout, stretch your muscles. This will help prevent aches, pains, and spasms. If you suffer from arthritis, stretching is especially important and can give you the edge you need to avoid excess pain from stiff joints.

Keep your heart and lungs strong.

Cardiovascular disease is not just an issue for older, out-of-shape men. In fact, women are just as susceptible to heart disease. Keep your ticker on track by adding whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and reduced-fat dairy products to your diet. Avoid foods that are high in saturated fats and strive for at least 20 minutes of cardiovascular activity every day.

Visit your doctor when you should.

When you were a child, your parents took you to see the pediatrician at least once each year. This was to ensure you were growing and that your body was healthy enough to go to school and participate in extracurricular activities. As an adult, you should also visit your doctor at least once every three years for a wellness visit. This is a routine exam that includes checking your body mass index and overall health and discussing your risk of disease. Adults between the ages of 27 and 49 should be screened for cancer, vision problems, infectious diseases, STDs, and hypertension. If you’re a woman, you will need to see your health care providers more frequently when you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

Indulge in private self-care every once in a while.

Just as important as your physical health is your mental health. Keep your mind happy by paying attention to your emotional needs. Do something just for you. Read a book, get a massage, or take a walk in the woods. Whatever you can do to clear your mind and make you feel good about yourself is exactly what you should do

Being healthy means so much more than being thin or having defined muscles. If you want to keep your body moving for as long as possible, you have to pay attention to everything that affects your health.

If you’d like free information from budding medical professionals about how to be a healthier you, please visit The Public Health Library!

What is cupping, anyway?

Our owner and lead therapist, Michelle Christen, recently received her dry cupping therapy certification. The Spa’ah in Conway, Arkansas is proud to announce the new therapy offering as it is an exciting procedure that dates back to ancient times

Cupping therapy is an ancient technique that can be found in one of the oldest medical textbooks in the world. The Ebers Papyrus details how the ancient Egyptians used this therapy as early as 1550 B.C. This procedure is particularly exciting and unique, because it involves the use of a controlled flame to remove the oxygen from inside of a cup. The cup is then quickly applied to the skin in a troublesome area for the patient. A vacuum will then suck the skin up slightly under the cup. This causes the skin to redden as the blood vessels in the patients skin and muscles expand thus allowing greater blood flow.

You can watch a video of Eastern Medicine Guy, Tim Sullivan performing cupping on an individual with an old sports injury to get a better idea of what this actually looks like.

Who can benefit most from cupping therapy?

Many people can benefit from this therapy. Just like paper, concrete, and breath mints, this ancient relic is still around and thriving for a reason.

Cupping therapy has been used for a huge list of ailments including:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Allergies and Asthma
  • Chronic Stress
  • Inflammation
  • Body Toxins
  • Troublesome Skin
  • Cellulite
  • GI Issues
  • Migraines

In fact, this therapy is often used by Olympic athletes to treat injuries. During the Olympics in Rio, rumors that athletes like Michael Phelps had contracted Zika began circulating largely due to the “mysterious” circular purple bruises on their bodies. However, those bruises were not a result of disease. Cupping therapy was to blame!

Is there anything else I need to consider before trying this therapy?

Although cupping therapy is not painful, it does leave large circular bruises where the cups were placed for 3 to 4 days. So, it is a good idea to think about events you might have to attend. For example, if your wedding is tomorrow, we would not suggest a cupping session unless you are okay with cupping bruises in your photos. Although, it would be a great way to relax before the honeymoon!

Contact us at The Spa’ah in Conway, Arkansas to find out more or schedule your cupping therapy session today!

May you have peace, happiness, and wellness!

What is Gua Sha?

This therapy is a method used to remove stagnant blood and lymph from the subcutaneous fascia. It uses rounded smooth edged tool to repeatedly stroke over an area of the body, allowing the body to metabolize cellular waste and promote fresh blood and cells in that area. In other words, gua sha is an effective way to promote blood flow to areas that were previously getting less than the necessary amount of healing blood and oxygen. This treatment is very effective at relieving pain.

What does our interviewee have to say about her Gua Sha experience?

Why did your therapist suggest an additional treatment for you ailments? Was the therapy in addition to another treatment?

Michelle suggested Gua Sha because I carry a lot of stress in my shoulders, neck, and upper back. She had been working on those muscles for 45 minutes, before the Gua Sha, with deep tissue massage. She knew that the Gua Sha would help relieve those muscles even more and start to draw the toxins out of my body.

What was your impression of Gua Sha before receiving treatment, and how did your view of the therapy change once it was complete? 

I was hesitant at first. I had never heard of it before and I really wasn’t sure if it would make any difference in the tight muscles and pain I was having. Immediately after she finished with Gua Sha, I knew it had made a difference. I felt instant relief.

Did Gua Sha help with your pain, inflammation, or other chronic ailments? 

Yes, it made a huge difference on the stress and pain that I was carrying in my neck, shoulders, and upper back. The pain and inflammation were instantly gone. It took several days before I began to feel any discomfort return after the treatment, which is very unusual for me. After a normal massage, I tighten back up within a day or two.

Would you return to The Spa’ah specifically for our Gua Sha services? 

Yes! I scheduled a second appointment before I left The Spa’ah that evening.

Would you recommend this therapy to a friend of family member? Please explain why. 

Absolutely. I have been raving about Gua Sha since Michelle used it on me. I suffer with chronic upper back pain and stress carrying, and I know many other people do, as well. This treatment is something that everyone should have to help with those symptoms. The instant relief was incredible and I could not be more thankful for how it continued to work for several days after treatment. I am very thankful that Michelle recommended this treatment to me!

You can find out more about our different services including gua sha, here!

May you have peace, happiness, and wellness!

What is Lymphatic Massage?

To answer the question, “What is a lymphatic massage?”, you must first understand your body’s lymphatic system. According to a Live Science article, “The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials.” In other words, the lymphatic system is essential to a healthy immune system and proper nutrient absorption.

The lymphatic system is made up of fluid or lymph, fluid transportation vessels, and organs that contain lymphoid tissue (i.e. lymph nodes, spleen, and thymus). Each of these serves a specific purpose within the lymphatic system. The fluid or lymph contains nutrients, oxygen, hormones, and fatty acids, as well as toxins. Fluid transportation vessels transport the lymph to the cardiovascular system. Lymphoid tissues monitor what is in the lymph / fluid, and produce nutrients to be transported by the cardiovascular system to other parts of the body.

Lymphatic massage, also known as Manual Lymphatic Drainage, is a gentle non-invasive technique designed to increase the movement of lymph and interstitial fluid. As you can imagine, an under functioning lymphatic system can wreak havoc on your ability to fight infection. A compromised lymphatic system can even impact your body’s healing process and energy levels.

How do I know if I can benefit from a Lymphatic Massage?

This therapy can be beneficial for many ailments or illnesses. It relieves chronic inflammation associated with conditions like acne, eczema, and allergies. Lymphatic massage is also great for individuals who are recovering from surgeries, because it is known to reduce swelling. Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia suffers are also great candidates for lymphatic massage.

Rejuvenating the lymphatic system can have some more surprising benefits as well. Often times, breastfeeding mothers find relief in lymphatic massage, because it helps reduce fluid retention and plugged ducts. Lymphatic massage can also help with cellulite, migraines, and sinus congestion.

Almost everyone has one or more of these ailments that can be managed with lymphatic massage, and would be a great candidate for this revolutionary therapy!

I’m convinced. Now, where can I get a Lymphatic Massage?

The Spa’ah in Conway, Arkansas now has a Manual Lymphatic Drainage Certified massage therapist on staff that would be delighted to assist you. If you choose to schedule a lymphatic massage with The Spa’ah, there are a few things that you can do to get the most out of your session.

Before your Lymphatic Massage at The Spa’ah in Conway, Arkansas, you should:

  • Think about increasing your intake of antioxidants to aid in the detoxification process.
  • Drink lots of water in the days leading up to your appointment.
  • Avoid alcohol or recreational drugs so that your lymphatic system is not compromised during           your session.
  • Plan for a short period of gentle movement after your session to support lymph transportation.

May you have peace, happiness, and wellness!