Friday, February 22, 2019


If you've ever been to our clinic, you've probably noticed the bags of Epsom salts we have on hand, and have probably been given some at some point during your visits. We get asked pretty often what Epsom salts are and how you can use them, so hopefully this blog post can answer your questions!

What is Epsom salt?

Epsom salt is actually magnesium sulfate, a compound comprised of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen and isn't a salt at all. It most likely got its name due to its similar appearance to table salt. The most common use for Epsom salt is in baths, with benefits such as relief of muscle aches and pains. It can also be used in foot baths or applied to the skin using a compress.

Why is it beneficial?

There's a lot of controversy surrounding the benefits of Epsom salts, but most people that have used them can speak to how useful they really are to help with muscle aches, pain, sleeplessness and inflammation. A lot of the benefits can be tied to the magnesium in Epsom salt, a necessary nutrient that most people, especially athletes, don't get enough of. 

Adequate magnesium levels can be linked to a decrease in muscle cramps, sleeplessness and inflammation. Since magnesium is so difficult to get in the average diet, taking supplements or finding other ways of increasing your body's supply can aid in muscle recovery, an important factor for athletes or those who live a more active lifestyle. By using Epsom salts on a consistent basis, the theory is that it increases your magnesium levels, allowing your body to use glucose and lactic acid more efficiently and help your body produce melatonin. 

How can using Epsom salts help me after a massage?

During a massage, your muscles are manipulated and exposed to pressure to help release tense spots. As a result, your body can feel sore for almost 2 days following your massage. The Epsom salts we give you serve an important purpose: they help to decrease any soreness you may feel after your massage while relaxing your body further, allowing for improved sleep and a quicker recovery time. Using Epsom salts in a warm bath is a great way to help ease muscle soreness you may feel following a massage or workout. 

Quick note: Adding essential oils such as lavender or eucalyptus to your bath can also help speed up your recovery, since they help decrease tension and muscle aches while promoting relaxation!

How do I use Epsom salts?

There are quite a few ways you can use Epsom salts at home. One of the best and easiest ways is to put 2 cups of Epsom salts into a bath with warm water, and then soak in it for 15 minutes. If you have a larger bath, just add more Epsom salts. This is a great way to really allow your body to reap the benefits of Epsom salts, but if you need just a small area to be targeted, like your ankle or knee, fill up a small tub with warm water and about 1 cup of Epsom salt. You can also create a compress for your shoulder or neck by dissolving about 1/2 cup of Epsom salts in a large bowl of warm water. Let a washcloth soak in the mixture for a few minutes, then wring it out and place on your neck, shoulder, or other hard to reach areas. 

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While the Epsom salts can provide relief to aching muscles, it's also important to make sure you're drinking enough water before and after your massage or workout. Staying hydrated is key to increasing blood flow and keeping your body working efficiently, since your entire system relies on proper hydration. 
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For optimum hydration, drink water that is slightly cooler than room temperature and drink small amounts at a time. This allows your body to "accept" more water than if you were to drink large amounts once or twice throughout the day. 

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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 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.