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Massage during the Economic Downturn

Massage can be a savvy investment in your future health
woman getting shoulder massage

If the economic downturn has got you thinking that you need to cut back on spending, you are not alone. But if you're thinking, "Massages are a luxury that I can easily forego," think again. Massages are an investment in your health.

The discussion in Congress about the drain on our country's resources by healthcare costs has made us aware that poor health is expensive. Besides lost workdays, the costs of visits to the doctor and medications can mount up even if you are insured.

That's not even putting a value on the time you spend in waiting room or on the quality of life lost when you are debilitated by pain and disease.

Receiving massage from a capable, qualified massage therapist can relieve pain and greatly improve your physical and emotional health.

Therapeutic massage:

Wow! With all the benefits of massage, it looks like Congress would add that the the healthcare package!

The fact is we are living in the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression. And besides the financial stressors and threats of job loss, we are coping with the ordinary demands that plague us anytime, such as the demands of families, friendships, loss, transitions, illness, pain, and similar circumstances.

Massage can help you deal with these stressors and can help you maximize the return on your other self-care measures.

Regular massages are a sound investments. Pain and stress are expensive. Getting a massage is an investment in your future health.

A 30 minute session is $35, a 60 minute massage is $60 (seniors $55). Please call or Suzanne Eller at 315-9900 or Susan Smith and Laura Queen on their cell numbers to schedule an appointment.


Your Body's Cry for Water

Staying hydrated in the summer heat

Your body is estimated to be between 60-70% water. Water is necessary for the metabolism of every cell in the body.

woman drinking water

Image: Andy Newson / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Without water, your body cannot regulate your basal temperature; provide oxygen and nutrients to your blood, tissues and organs; remove waste products; or lubricate your joints and organs.

If you don't have enough water in your body, your systems will start to show signs of stress from dehydration. These include chronic pain in the joints; muscle cramps and/or low back pain; headaches; constipation; dark, smelly urine; dizziness; and nausea.

In the summer, you are a greater risk for dehydration because you perspire more. When the temperature is in the 80s and 90s, it is important that you drink more even if you are sedentary, and remember that drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine have a diuretic effect. They increase your risk of becoming dehydrated even though you are drinking liquid.

The rule for staying hydrated on these hot days is to drink before you are thirsty. If your mouth and lips are dry, you've waited too long.

You can calculate the amount of water your body needs by dividing your weight in half. That's the amount of water you need in ounces each day. If you are active in this heat, you need additional water beyond this minimum requirement.

When it's hot, take special precautions if you're going to be involved in physical activity. You need about 20 ounces of water before beginning an activity and about 10 more ounces for each 20 minutes you are active. Afterwards, you need to consume another 24-30 ounces.

One word of caution: If you stop sweating in extreme heat, you may be experiencing heat exhaustion or its more serious counterpart, heat stroke. You may feel dizzy or disoriented, and you may feel nauseated and have a weak pulse.

Stop all activity immediately if you experience these symptoms. Move somewhere you can cool off. If heat stroke is occurring, your core temperature will rise. This is an emergency, and you will need to call 911.

Stay safe in the heat. Drink plenty of water and don't become dehydrated and over-heated.


Essential Oil of the Month: Cypress

cypress seed pods

Image: Carlos Porto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Cypress tree is a tall, conical-shaped evergreen with slender branches and round brown seed cones. It is native to the Mediterranean and gave its name to island of Cypress, where it was worshipped in ancient times. In the United States, the Giant Sequoia is a well-known variety of cypress.

Today, Cypress harvested for its essential oil comes from the Cupressus semprervirens variety of France and other Mediterranean counties. There are other varieties of Cypress, but Cupressus semprervirens, which means "lives forever", is considered superior for aromatherapy grades.

The EO has an herbaceous, fresh, evergreen aroma. First recorded as a medicinal oil in an ancient Egyptian papyrus, Cypress is considered one of the essential oils of the Bible.

Cypress has been called the funeral oil because of its association with death and eternity. The Greeks dedicated it to Hades, and for centuries, Cypress was planted in Mediterranean cemeteries as a symbol of grief and comfort of life after death.

Aromatically, Cypress influences the mind and spirit by strengthening feelings of trust, patience, stability and security and minimizing feelings of grief, loss, anger, frustration and fear. Cypress is particularly helpful in times of transition and strife.

Cypress EO is good for a variety of physical problems, and it is especially good in cases where there has been excessive fluid, including edema, excessive perspiration, chronic diarrhea, bleeding gums, nosebleeds and heavy menstrual flow. It is great for summertime swelling of the feet and ankles.

Many massage and spa treatments use Cypress EO to reduce cellulite, decrease fluid retention and improve circulation. It is beneficial to the liver and to the respiratory system, and it is especially good for asthma sufferers when diffused.

Cypress EO can tighten pores and is a good treatment for excessively oily skin because of its astringent properties. Likewise, it is effective in the treatment of varicose veins and wounds.

Avoid if you are pregnant, taking testosterone or have kidney disease. If you have sensitive skin, use with a carrier oil.


Writing a Travel Journal

Finding Your Voice
woman writing

Image: graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Travel journals vary widely, they can range from dry statements of what happened when— little more than an itinerary— to wildly evocative word pictures which transport the reader to far away places. The latter are a fascinating insight and can be rightly treasured by their owners.

But what makes a great travel journal and how do you write one? Practice and experience helps, so let's make a start.

When you write your travel journal consider who you are writing it for [sic]. If it's a private journal that only you will see, you will probably use a very different style than if you intend to allow the journal to be read by others.

Think about all of your senses— what you see, hear, feel. Be descriptive— "the softly crumbling honey coloured stone of the chapel walls sweltered in the oppressive midday heat" is more descriptive of a moment and a feeling than "it was very hot today when we visited the chapel". The first phrase evokes more strongly the essence of the place and gives the reader a feel for what it was like to feel that heat and see the colour and age of the chapel walls.

Try reading what you write aloud— does it sound vivid and interesting or stilted and confused? Reading a passage aloud will allow you to identify if what you have written is in your voice and if it works. It may also trigger you to write something extra as memory sparks.

I find it's best to keep the travel journal pocket-sized. Then, I can easily carry the journal … with me and make a brief notes when having coffee or when something inspires.

It is often useful to record practicalities after the trip is over as well as descriptive word pictures. I find I often want to recall how much things cost, or the specifics of transport routes and methods. Such issues are quickly forgotten, (at least by me!) so noting them in bullet-point style helps in this respect.

You can use a camera as a useful memory jogger when taking notes is simply not possible. If you bear in mind this useful purpose you will take specific memory-trigger photographs as well as artistic travel photos. A shot of a menu for instance or a street map sign can be an enormous help if you don't write your journal immediately.

Whatever style you decide to use in your travel journal, if it has loads of personality it will certainly be a more colorful and interesting record. I'll leave you with a short checklist to help you find your own voice and make your travel journal meaningful.

Things to collect (use an envelope and attach directly using a glue stick):

Make a note of:

Trigger words and phrases for travel journal entries:

In this article I have explored why it is important to let your personality into your travel journal writing and explored examples as well as ways to do this. To conclude: in travel journal writing there is no right or wrong but there is your way which should be as unique as you are.

Mo RedmanMo Redman is founder and regular contributor to http://lightbulbmomentsforyou.com where she records the rocky rides and occasional pleasure cruises of life.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com


Stay Cool This Summer and Every Summer without Using Air Conditioning

The summer heat getting you down? The bill from running your air conditioner to stay cool getting you down even more?

That is how summer seems to go. You can't win— either you are dying in the stifling heat, or you are enjoying the AC and paying the price (literally) for it later.

So, how can you have the best of both worlds, and stay cool in the summer without relying on the air conditioner? Consider the following tips:

Beverly FrankBeverly Frank is mom to two young children and a writer. Visit http://www.surfnetparents.com for more parenting advice and ideas.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com

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July 2009

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In This Issue

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Summer is fully upon us, and the days are long and hot. Gardens have started producing, and the lack of rain hasn't diminished the humidity much. Folks are taking traditional vacations and "stay-cations" where their travel is limited to daytrips.

Independence Day weekend will see many of celebrating with friends and family. Often that means strain from activities we're not used to doing often. Remember to balance physical activity with rest.

It's easy to get overheated in this weather, and overheating can cause serious health problems. Remember to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to help the body expel toxins that build up from working and playing in the higher temperatures. We'll give you some facts in this issue about the healing effects of pure water.

If you have time this month, we'd love to see you. Massage is a wonderful way to "chill" and relax from all the heat and summer activities.

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Recipes for Cypress Essential Oil

essential oil dropper

Footbath: 6 drops Cypress essential oil in a tub of warm water. Controls foot perspiration and odor.

Clarifying Study Blend: Helps mental clarity so you can recall important facts for a test or presentation. Ingredients: 9 drops Rosemary EO, 14 drops Lemon EO, 2 drops Cypress EO. Directions: Try brief inhalations of the blend while committing facts and figures to memory, and again while trying to recall the information.

Hemorrhoid Treatment: Shrinks, soothes and heals swollen areas. Ingredients: Add 5 drops Cypress, 5 drops Lavender and 2 tbls. aloe vera gel to an 8 oz. bottle of Witch Hazel. Directions: Shake contents before each use. Dab a cotton pad with the blend and gently pat on the affected area. Use after each bowel movement or anytime symptoms are present.

Varicose Veins: Apply locally in gentle upward stokes after weekly cold compresses with German Chamomile. After about four weeks, veins will look better and legs will feel lighter.

Cellulite Blend: Ingredients: 3 drops Cypress EO, 3 drops Lemon EO, 2 drops Juniper EO, 1 drop Lavender EO. Directions: Rub blend on affected areas, or mix with 2 cups Epsom Salts in tub of warm water and soak.

cypress essential oilAncient Wisdom Essential Oils Cypress 15 ml: $24.50

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Fun Facts about the Body
from Funny2.com compiled by Howard Daughters

exercising lady with hula hoop

Image: AKARAKINGDOMS / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As you age, your eye color gets lighter.

There are 206 bones in the adult human, but 300 in children. Some of the bones fuse together as a child grows.

One out of twenty people have an extra rib (and thus more than 206 bones!)

The human eye blinks an average of 4,200,000 times a year.

There are more living organisms on the skin of a single human being than there are human beings on the surface of the earth.

In 1985, the most popular waist size for men's pants was 32. In 2003, it was 36.

Seven percent of Americans claim they never bathe at all.

We forget 80% of what we learn every day.

It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

Children who are breastfed have an IQ seven points higher on average than children who are not breastfed.

Our eyes are the same size from birth, but our noses and ears never stop growing.

Astronauts cannot burp in space. There is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in their stomachs.

People with allergies can lower the their allergic reactions by laughing.

Women blink nearly twice as often as men.

Gardening is said to be one of the best exercises for maintaining healthy bones.

The arteries and veins surrounding the brain stem called the "circle of Willis" looks like a stick person with a large head.

Brushing your teeth regularly has been shown to prevent heart disease.

A kiss stimulate 29 muscles and chemicals causing relaxation. Woman seem to like it light and frequent,; men like it more strenous.

Every time you lick a stamp, you consume 1/10 of a calorie.

Men get hiccups more often than women.

The average person laughs 15 times a day.

It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile.

TLR logo
Copyright 2009
Suzanne H. Eller

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Take a
"Stay-cation" in Western NC This Year

This summer's gas prices are not quite as bad as last year's, but the economy in general is limiting the kind and length of vacations for which people are willing to spend.

Here are come cool things to do in our own neighborhood. Daytrips can be just as fun as expensive vacations. Maybe you'll see something below that tickles your fancy.

child at catawba science center
Catawba Science Center's "Swamp Things" The Swamp Things exhibit features live alligators, giant spiders and insects, venomous snakes, and swamp babies including a baby skunk, opossum, raccoon and bobcat. If you have the time, visit the other exhibits as well, and don't forget the digital movie at the planetarium. It's all really cool for the kiddos.

Great Smokies Mountain Railroad With 53 miles of track, 2 tunnels and 25 bridges, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers a variety of excursions that explore the amazing landscape of Western North Carolina. Trains depart from Bryson City traveling east and west. They even have special rides like Mystery Theater Gormet Dinner Train and The Lone Ranger.

butterfly at Daniel stowe botanical gardens
Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens Located west of Charlotte and just outside Belmont, these beautiful gardens are open 9-5, 7 days a week and are established on 450 acres of property. DSBG has become one of the most highly desired locations for weddings and parties in the Southeast. There are 10 acres of themed gardens, 12 fountains, woodland trails and the recently opened Orchid Conservatory as well as food and gift shops. They even offer continuing ed and photography contests!

The Light Center, Black Mountain The Light Center is a 180 acre meditation space. The two-story geodesic dome houses with a light chamber, world peace prayer dome and a bookstore. Outside are a labyrinth and hiking trails. It is open to people of all faith traditions and has an incredibly peaceful energy.

white water rafting in TN
White Water Rafting There are numerous white water rafting companies in NC and TN. You can choose from beginners to advanced trips designed for all ability levels and ages. Guides are well-versed in safety as well as in the history of the area. It's great fun

Biltmore House If you haven't been to Biltmore in a while, you'll be interested in the new rooms they've opened. Even if you've seen them, the house, gardens and winery offer more to do than you can get to in a day. July 23-Aug. 1, they are offering an outdoor concert series with some pretty awesome bands. With the mountains as a backdrop, it doesn't get much better.

Linville Falls Located off the Blue Ridge Parkway, near Crossnore, Linville Falls has trails, picnic areas and nearby camping. They are part of a larger group of falls in Western NC. You could go to one a week if you like to peacefulness of running water and the great outdoors.

Art in the Park, Blowing Rock Blowing Rock is fun anytime, and the temperature is usually about 10 degrees cooler than it is in Hickory. The little village has shops, antique stores, restaurants, and an outlet park on the main highway. Art in the Park, which happens once a month in the spring and summer, is a special treat with about 100 juried artists and craftspeople exhibiting jewelry, pottery, woodworking, painting, photography, fiber and glass. The times are 10am -5pm in downtown Blowing Rock. Make a day of it.

Highland Games, Grandfather Mountain Brawny athletes, delicate dancers, noisy bagpipe band parades, rocking Celtic music and a spectacular highland setting makes this colorful celebration of Scottish culture the best highland games in America. An added plus is that is is generally much cooler on Grandfather Mountain than it is in Hickory. You might even need a sweater in the evening although it is mid-July.

public domain intertribal photo
Festival of Native People and Cherokee Indian Art Market, Cherokee The mid-July festival is an exposition of non-competitive dance, storytelling and song performances expressing the collected history, culture, tradition and wisdom of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Along with the festival, the first Cherokee Art Market with all Native American artists will display and sell their handmade traditional and contemporary artworks. Juried artists and artisans will also display, show and sell their beautiful work. This event is a Top 20 event as determined by the Southeast Tourism Society

Folkmoot USA Festival, towns across Western NC Folkmoot USA is an International Festival held each summer in Western NC. It features performances, parades, and workshops by over 350 performers from more than a dozen countries. Expected in 2009 are performers from India, Serbia, Greece, Netherlands, Romania, Mexico, Kenya, Spain and Israel. Events take place in Waynesville, Lake Junaluska, Maggie Valley, Canton, Clyde, Highlands, Bryson City, Cullowhee, Asheville, Columbus, Burnsville, Marion, Mars Hill, Flat Rock and Franklin. Click the link to see the schedule.

Waldensian Festival The early August festival celebrates the return of the European Waldenses from exile in Switzerland in 1689. Music on the Main Stage includes local and national name bands, often with Beach Music and Country as headliners. Other events include races, the Trail of Faith Tour, tours of the winery, wine tasting, a traditional Waldensian meal, and rides for the children.

Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair, Burnsville People for miles around know that the place to be in August, if you have a true appreciation for traditional crafts, is downtown Burnsville. Whether you are looking for beautiful handmade quilts, pottery, woven baskets, or most any other handmade craft, a trip to the Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair, the oldest and largest crafts fair in the Blue Ridge Mountains, will be well worth your time. For the past several years, the Southern Tourism Society has selected this event as one of the top twenty to attend in the Southeast.

Sourwood Festival, Black Mountain The Sourwood Festival combines food, music and crafts for a great August get-away. Held in downtown Black Mountain, both the vendors and the local shops and restaurants, that also remain open, make this alcohol-free event fun for the whole family.

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