Friday, February 15, 2019


Essential oils are one of nature's greatest gifts to us. These aromatic oils are versatile, powerful, and essential (pun intended) to living your best life. 

Most essential oils are steam distilled, and the aroma comes from the stems, leaves/flowers or roots of the plant. The steam distillation creates two products; the lighter one, known as hydrosol (such as rosewater), and the heavier, less abundant product, the essential oil.

In past blog posts, we've talked about different essential oils and their many uses. Not only are they great for massage, they're a great addition to your every day life for common ailments. Here's what I mean:

If you suffer from stress-induced headaches, tension headaches or migraines, a lovely blend of peppermint, rosemary and lavender essential oils can be used to help treat them. The menthol quality in them is excellent for releasing tension, while lavender battles against stress and anxiety. The rosemary is great for creating a relaxed environment as well. Peppermint essential oil is also known to help invigorate the senses, which can help you feel more alert and sharp. If you want something more relaxing to help ease you into sleep and give your brain a break, blend lavender with chamomile essential oil for a more relaxing experience with a less stimulating effect. 

If you're prone to allergies, peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender (or other herbaceous essential oils) are great choices as they can help to inhibit histamines, open your airways and clear your sinuses. These oils are especially effective against respiratory symptoms due to allergies, or even the common cold, on top of all their other beneficial properties. If you suffer from mold allergies, mandarin or orange essential oil works well to battle symptoms since they naturally have anti-fungal properties. 

For insomnia, anxiety and sleeplessness, you can use lavender and chamomile to help lull you into a pleasant, refreshing sleep. You can also add clary sage or bergamot essential oils, which can be blended with lavender and chamomile or used on their own. 
Note: If you want something a bit sweeter, you can add just a bit of vanilla extract to really mellow out the herbaceous property of these oils. This will create a really rounded out blend! 

Here's an easy-to-follow chart of essential oils that you can use daily:

Luckily for us here at Massage La Mesa, we carry lavender, orange, eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils, which as you can see hits just about every area on the Venn Diagram! Don't be fooled though- there are many other essential oils out there that are fantastic for other uses or create a more beneficial experience when blended with the ones mentioned above. 

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If you're interested in using essential oils during your massage, simply ask for the aromatherapy add-on when booking over the phone or click on the add-on services when booking online. 

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We hope you find this blog post both informational and useful, and maybe it will inspire you to use essential oils at home! If you would like more information on the essential oils we use here in the office, feel free to call, email, or simply comment on this post to request more information. We would love to give you some sources and answer your questions! 

Remember that everyone has their own taste and preferences when it comes to scent combinations. The blends listed above are our recommendation, but feel free to experiment with them until you find something you really like! 

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Questions? Comments? Concerns? Comment below or email us at:!
Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
Book now by clicking HERE.

Friday, February 8, 2019


Us San Diegans are lucky to live where we do. While the Mid West is dealing with their "Polar Vortex," we've had sun, rain, and generally warm weather. However, if you're like me, when it drops below 65 you immediately start to feel chilly and it's difficult to warm back up again. My usual trick (when I'm at home) is to bake; the oven heats up the whole house and we get delicious treats in the process. However, what can we do to stay warm in less-than-ideal weather, when it's impossible to avoid going outside?

When our bodies start to get cold, our brain immediately tells our blood vessels to constrict in certain parts of the body, like the hands and feet, since they're furthest away from the heart and it decreases the likelihood of "cold blood" being pumped back to the heart. That's why our hands and feet tend to get cold the quickest. Our bodies go into a survival mode, protecting vital organs at all cost. So, what can we do to avoid the dreaded icicle hands? Here's some curated tips:

1. Avoid standing or sitting still for too long. 

Decreasing your movement in general is a really good way to get cold quick. If you're waiting in line for your favorite coffee, or just waiting for the trolley, it's important to do some sort of activity to keep yourself from getting cold. That can be as easy as jogging in place, or putting your hands in your pockets to warm up against your skin. If your office building tends to be on the chilly side, get up and walk around regularly to increase circulation to your feet, and do hand exercises to increase the blood flow there. I find my hands get warmer when I start to type, since they're moving more frequently. 

2. Stay hydrated!

This is important 24/7, 365 days a year. Your body needs proper hydration in order to work efficiently and keep you warm! Water is an excellent conductor of heat and does your body a world of good. While drinking hot cocoa or coffee all day sounds inviting and comforting, it's important to give your body what it really needs- water. Ideally, drink your water at room temp or a little warmer so as to not cool you down too much and help the liquid absorb better. If you're really bad about drinking enough water, set a timer for yourself or use this cool water bottle to remind you when to drink water:

You can buy a water bottle with this already printed on it, or simply do it yourself with sharpie and your favorite water bottle!

3. Layer properly. 

When it starts to get chilly outside, it's important to layer properly to help keep heat in. Experts say the best way to layer is this: 
-start off with a thin, breathable layer made of synthetic material to wick moisture away from the skin. This should be form fitting as well. 
-move on to an insulating layer, ideally made of wool, to help keep warmth in without absorbing moisture. If you can help it, wear something that zips or buttons to avoid overheating. 
-if you're outside in less-than-ideal weather, wear a weatherproof layer (think windbreaker) to keep the wind chill and water away from your other layers. 
-try to avoid wearing cotton clothing. Cotton absorbs moisture; so when you sweat, your clothes get damp, which will make you feel colder when you start to slow down or sit/stand still. 

If you work in an office environment and can't really do the "Mountain Man" look, thermal underwear are fantastic for keeping in heat without making you look bulky. Make sure they fit well too! Ladies, switch out your regular tights for fleece tights and leggings. You can wear these with skirts and dresses, if you absolutely can't avoid it, or even under your slacks. They're inexpensive and will last you for years. 

Switch out your socks for wool socks, and wear boots or closed-toe shoes to help keep the heat in. A really neat trick to keep your toes warm is to pre-warm your shoes and socks by placing them near a space heater or radiator. You can do this with all your clothing, if you want! 

4. Increase your circulation.

There are many ways to do this, such as with exercise, but if you're not an exercise person or simply can't get out you can use massage. 

Massage is a great way to increase circulation since working the muscles helps to increase blood flow and boost your metabolism. If I'm at home and don't feel like baking, but need to warm up, I usually massage my feet to bring warmth back to my toes and enjoy the benefits of massage in general!

It may seem counter-intuitive to take off layers for a massage in order to get warm, but speaking from first hand experience, some people get really warm once you start getting the massage.  Also, using heat-conducting products (like Cryoderm) have a warming sensation on the skin. This not only helps the muscles to relax, but helps you feel warmer overall. 

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It's important to keep our bodies warm so they can function properly. When our body temperatures decrease, it causes us to feel sluggish and tired, and reaching a body temperature of 95° can lead to hypothermia. While it doesn't typically get cold enough to reach that phase here in San Diego, it's important to know just how cold is too cold and ways you can heat yourself up quickly. Hopefully this article gave you some great pointers you can use every day to stay warm and dry!

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Questions? Comments? Concerns? Comment below or email us at:!
Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
Book now by clicking HERE.

Friday, February 1, 2019


As a new allergy sufferer myself, I had to ask: What exactly are allergies? According to Mayo Clinic, allergies are defined as your body's response to an allergen (such as pet dander, pollen, or bee venom) that can cause symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, cough, excessive sneezing and in some cases, anaphylaxis. Usually, a person becomes allergic to something through prolonged exposure to whatever the allergen is. People more at risk of developing allergies usually have a family history of allergies and asthma, or have a history of asthma themselves. 

While some people don't experience allergies until much later in their lives, it's very apparent that the amount of people who suffer from this chronic disease is on the rise; approximately 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, according to the latest research! Allergies are now the 5th most common chronic condition in Americans. Some of this may be, in part, related to the change in climate. 

According to Everyday Health, studies have shown that over the past 20 or so years, the warmer seasons have drastically extended and average temperature lows are higher than ever. This causes prolonged exposure to certain allergens, pollen being the most common. Since prolonged exposure to allergens is a leading cause in developing an allergy, it's easy to see how these two go hand-in-hand, and why someone who hasn't had allergies in the past may develop them later on in life, regardless of their family history. 

While severe allergic reactions and allergy symptoms, such as anaphylaxis, require a doctor's care, most minor symptoms can be eased using massage. There are certain pressure points that can be utilized in massage, many of them located on the face or near the nose to provide the most relief to inflamed sinuses or congestion. Some of them can even be done at home (but honestly, where's the fun in that?) or by your massage therapist when you come in. 

Here's a few examples of the pressure points utilized to help ease allergy symptoms:

These pressure points can be done at home or you can let your massage therapist know what symptoms you are experiencing. Remember, if your symptoms are cold/flu based and not allergy based, it's important to note that massage will not be as beneficial and it's recommended you stay home until you feel well again! This will also help prevent the spread of the virus! 

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Allergies are more common now than ever before and can cause all sorts of discomfort, from watery/itchy eyes to hives. Even skin conditions like eczema are considered an allergy, which causes dry, flaky skin that constantly itches and can leave behind scars if left untreated. Since more people are developing allergies, it's important to discuss the possible cause of allergy symptoms and ways of managing them with your doctor, especially if they get in the way of your daily activities. 

If you are interested in trying massage to help with minor allergy symptoms, feel free to give us a call or simply comment on this post! We'd love to hear from you!

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Questions? Comments? Concerns? Comment below or email us at:!
Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
Book now by clicking HERE.

Friday, January 18, 2019


Ditch New Year's Resolution Day may be a new holiday on your calendar (January 17th, if you were wondering!) but that doesn't mean you have to "celebrate" by quitting or ditching your health/fitness goal. 

Continuing off our last blog post, we had talked about ways of setting small goals for yourself in order to build momentum and motivation towards a larger goal, ensuring your success and less frustration overall. Hopefully you're still striving towards that goal and haven't tapered off, as most people will about halfway through January. A lot of this happens because we're not receiving that "instant gratification" that we crave and have become so used to. 

When you're working towards a difficult goal without a good reason, or maybe too many goals at once, you're essentially setting yourself up for failure in the near future. 

How do I develop my Healthy Habit?

Developing a healthy habit is not easy and can be entirely personal. The first thing you want to do is figure out what you would like to change- do you want to start getting up earlier? Eating more vegetables and less sugar? Decreasing the amount of fast food you eat? Once you've figured out what it is you'd like to change, you need to have a good reason WHY you're doing it. WHY do you want to eat more vegetables? WHY do you want to wake up earlier? WHY do you want to be eating less fast food? Figuring out the "why" part of the equation is often more difficult as this is not only your motivation, but the whole reason you're making this change. Getting yourself out of bad habits and replacing them with good ones is difficult and takes about 3 weeks to develop, so it's always easier to start small and work your way up from there. 

Lastly, you want to figure out what your reward is for completing your Habit. This depends entirely on the person and the Healthy Habit you're developing, so pick something that you feel will motivate YOU and allow you to follow through on your goal. 

Here's an example:

A client wants to start coming in regularly for massage, every 2 weeks, as opposed to sporadically like she has in the past. Her whole reason for wanting to come in is because she's experiencing a lot of stress and massage helps her to relax, especially with the new job she just started that's putting a lot more pressure on her. This client knows that massage helps her to relax, but more importantly, she knows that it's good for her and will help prep her for the new stresses and responsibilities at her new job. Knowing she's got a new schedule will not only give her something to look forward to, but will help with aches, pains, stress and even sleeplessness she may experience with her new job. 

Easing into your Healthy Habit

Starting a new Healthy Habit can be difficult because our lizard brains are hardwired to expect instant gratification and we see our "bad habits" of ways to reach that gratification quickly. A good example of this would be to think of a box of donuts: our brain knows what's in there and tells your body to anticipate the sweet reward of sugar and carbs, leading you to reach into the box and devour the entire thing. 

In order to quit a bad habit, you have to learn to recognize the cues that lead you through the routine of the bad habit. In the example above, the box of donuts/craving something sweet is the cue and the routine is reaching in and eventually devouring the whole box, which then leads to your reward (sugar high, yummy delicious donuts, stomach is full). 

Learning to disrupt this routine is your best bet. One of the ways to do that is by making this routine more difficult; adding more steps in between the cue and the reward means you're more likely to avoid the routine since we're hardwired to take the less complicated path. i.e., the path of least resistance.

Using the above example again, complicating the path can be as easy as just not buying the donuts or avoiding that area of the grocery store. Instead, replace your bad habit with a good one by heading over to the fruits and veggies section to spend money on those instead. When you're really craving something sweet, now you'll have apples, grapes, or blueberries where you once had donuts. This way you're still satiating your sweet tooth, but with a better (and healthier) reward. On another note, fruits and vegetables will help you feel full longer, meaning you're less likely to over indulge later!

How can I make it easier to stick to my new Healthy Habit?

Sticking to your new Healthy Habit is often more difficult than starting it out. Sometimes you lose the motivation or you may just not really be into it, which makes it more difficult to see your habit/goal through to the end. Earlier in the blog post we talked about having a good reason WHY you want to develop your new Healthy Habit, which is your whole motivation for developing it in the first place. If you want to start going to the gym "just because," but you hate working out and have no legitimate reason for going, you're more likely to ditch your new Healthy Habit since it holds no interest for you and you're not giving yourself something to look forward to. 

Sometimes this can be as easy as an attitude change; positive thinking works wonders! Making this goal more easily accessible can also help. Taking out steps in the new routine or keeping it simple means you have less reasons to avoid your new Habit while working hand-in-hand with making your old, bad habits more complicated. For example, if your goal is to go for a jog every morning, lay out your running gear the night before with your running shoes right by your bed. Move your alarm clock to the other side of the room, which forces you to get up to go turn it off. Giving yourself a reward to satisfy your lizard brain will help too! When you're done running, reward yourself with a relaxing shower before heading to work, and at the end of the month, if you followed through on your new Habit, reward yourself with those running shoes you've had your eye on for a while. You're still satisfying that part of yourself that craves instant gratification with the relaxing shower and new shoes while doing something that is actually good for you, and not just feels good. 

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We're going to bring this back to our massage example from before: this client wants to develop her new Healthy Habit of coming in every 2 weeks for a massage, but how can she keep up her motivation and follow through? She knows that in the past she had difficulty scheduling due to her work schedule and not having a clear idea of when she would be working. She also waited until after the massage to schedule the next session, which meant that sometimes the time and day she preferred would not be available or she felt too "foggy" from the massage and couldn't concentrate. 

However, with her new job she has a lot more clarity when it comes to her schedule and can now figure out when she has time to set aside for her massage. Instead of scheduling each time afterwards, she instead sets up a recurring appointment to take place every 2 weeks at the same time, which takes the pressure off scheduling in the future and there's no more worrying or inconsistency in her massage sessions. The reward in this scenario is fairly straightforward: it's the massage itself! This client knows that the massage will feel good and she will feel better afterwards, which satisfies her lizard brain cravings. 

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Developing a Healthy Habit can take almost a month, so it's important to create one that you can incorporate into your daily life easily without getting overwhelmed or frustrated. Stick with something simple, straightforward and easy to incorporate, which will lead to success and a more satisfying reward! 

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Comment below or email us at:!

Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
Book now by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


Every year it seems we all have the same dilemma: we create goals for the New Year, say we're going to stick with it, but by the end of January it's like that goal never existed. A lot of this has to do with a lack of motivation or sometimes we set goals that are so high we get frustrated by the lack of results in such a short amount of time. However, it's common knowledge that sometimes the biggest things require the most patience, concentration and hard work. 

One of the biggest goals out there for the new year is to "get fit," or more specifically, to lose weight. This is one of those goals where you can easily set the bar too high for yourself, aiming too high and then falling short when you can't follow through or meet your goal. It's also one of the most frustrating. Since every body is different, everyone needs to approach this type of goal in a different way. For one person, it could just be eating healthier and cutting calories out of their diet. For another, it could be just to increase the amount of cardio they do every day. When it comes to fitness goals in particular, it's important to remember that as an individual, you have to create your own path. Following someone else's could lead to poor or no results. 

Here are some examples:

One goal I have set for myself is to keep my house clean. Since it's almost a daily struggle to keep everything tidy, I knew this would be a good goal for me and it would also be incredibly frustrating. So, I started small. 

I would start by making sure all laundry got to the laundry room, or a basket, and not be tossed on the floor. Then every morning and every night I would consolidate the laundry into one spot, the designated laundry basket in the laundry room. If the load was larger, I would immediately start the washer instead of coming back to it later, which I knew was a good way I would forget the clothes needed washing. I also made a habit of putting the laundry away right when it comes out of the dryer. Since I wasn't having to tackle so much laundry at once, this made putting everything away much easier and I wasn't left with baskets of clean laundry all over the house. 

Another great way I tackled this goal was by making sure dishes were done every morning and every night. Since we eat a lot of food in our house, and cook quite a bit, this was a bit of a chore. However I did find that cleaning up immediately after cooking and before I ate helped me stay on top of things, and I didn't slip into a food coma before I had to go back and tackle the dishes. 

Bringing it Back to Health

For some people a New Year's Resolution may be just to increase the awareness of what their body needs and following through on what most people title "self care." This may include coming in for a massage more often or maybe doing yoga and/or stretches your therapist recommends in order to fully round out your treatment. A great way to stay on top of this is to set up a recurring appointment, meaning you set up the appointment to take place every 2, 3, or 4 weeks at the same time to help keep you on top of your scheduling. With stretches, you can do this by setting aside an extra 15 minutes every morning to dedicate to a few moves that you need to do, plus whatever else feels good and gets your blood flowing. As an added bonus, stretching and doing yoga first thing in the morning helps you feel more awake and makes you feel more charged, allowing you to start your day on the right foot!

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Starting small can make all the difference when it comes to creating New Year's resolutions and goals for yourself. Being able to accomplish smaller goals and working your way up to greater challenges is a great way to motivate yourself and reduce the amount of frustration you may feel. When it comes to your health, it's important to take the small steps first in order to set up a great foundation to build upon once you're ready to take the next, bigger step. Finding small ways to commit yourself to a healthier lifestyle is a great way to stay motivated! We should never stop trying to better ourselves or learn something new, but taking the time to do it right can make all the difference in the world! 

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Questions? Comments? Concerns? Comment below or email us at:!

Contact us at: 619-917-4675 OR 
Book now by clicking HERE.