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How to Become a Massage Therapist

If you love to work with your hands, perhaps you should be in a profession that does exactly that such as massage therapy. In fact, the US Department of Labor has shown in their latest report that there is demand for such professionals until the year 2012. If this sounds appealing to you, then you should know how to become a massage therapist.

Those who want to become massage therapists should enroll in a program that is accredited by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork or NCBTMB. To become a licensed professional, you must complete at least 500 hours of training including subjects such as ethics, anatomy and physiology among others.

If you happen to study massage therapy in a school that is not accredited by this body, you will not be allowed to take the national certification exam. This may prevent you from practicing in states that require this prior to employment which is why you should check first if the school you plan to enroll in is in the program.

Should you somehow be able to find work without getting a license, you could be penalized with fines and even be banned from every practicing there.

The advantage of enrolling in a program under the NCBTMB is that you can apply for federal financial aid if you don’t have the funds to pay for your schooling.

But the big question is how much do massage therapists earn? One research group has pointed out the median salary is $45,611. The report also says that half of those working earn between $36,930 and $55,920 as this varies with experience. If you are new, you will probably just have one or two clients a day while more experienced individuals will have more than 5. This isn’t bad because massage therapy program can go as high as $12,000.

If you are serious about pursuing this as a career, ask yourself some questions. Are you patient? Are you customer oriented? Do you really want to help the patient? If your answer to all three questions is yes then the next thing you have to do is check what specific interests do you have.

Just like medicine, massage therapy has various specialties and these include sports massage, clinical massage and Swedish massage to name a few. While you will probably learn all of these in school, you should already see which one you want specialize in after graduation.

To help you out, it will be a good idea to visit massage parlors and talk to those who are already working. You can also do some research online as there are articles that have been written about the profession.

Once you get your degree and the license, you have the option of working for someone or opening up your own establishment. This will be easy if you had the capital since you will need to buy your own massage table, chairs, pillows, sheets and lotions. But if you want to learn first, then go find work, learn the tricks of the trade and then set up shop.

Now that you know how to become a massage therapist, the ball is already in your court. The right attitude will get you through school because with that you will be able to understand the techniques in helping a customer.
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Lomi Lomi: A Hawaiian Massage

In ancient Hawaii, a group of master healers recognize the need of a Hawaiian massage to release the negative energies in the human body. They believe that massage can be a great tool to promote better health as it works to release the powers of the body, allowing the mental, emotional, and physical healing to take place more easily and completely. It is from this belief that Lomi Lomi, a popular Hawaiian massage, was born.

Lomi Lomi is known throughout Hawaii and the world as the “temple style”. This Hawaiian massage technique is noted particularly for its grace and in-depth movements that highlight the principles of Hula, a Hawaiian dance that is believed to tap the spiritual healing energy in the body.

According to some researches, the ancient healers in Polynesia first practiced the Lomi Lomi Hawaiian massage. The healers performed this massage technique with the use of palms, sticks, stones and their fingers, elbows, forearm, knees, and feet. However, unlike the ancient therapeutic massage practices, the Lomi Lomi is not considered effective unless the healer or the therapist performs it with loving hands. This belief actually stems from the so-called Huna philosophy, which holds that every single thing in this fast-paced world hunts for harmony and love. Well, note that this is also the real reason that Lomi Lomi is now known throughout the world as the “loving hands Hawaiian massage”.

Lomi Lomi is generally performed in four contexts. First, hundreds of Hawaiian native healers consider it as a healing practice. Second, this Hawaiian massage is practiced throughout Hawaii as a form of luxury, as well as an aid to digestion. As what most reports have noted, the ones who usually consider this Hawaiian massage for that particular purpose are the ruling chiefs. Third, Lomi Lomi is performed as a form of restorative massage. The family is usually the subjects in this context. Finally, Lomi Lomi is particularly practiced by olohe lua, the known masters of the Hawaiian martial arts.

Aside from those above mentioned contexts, it is further worth noting that the Hawaiian massage, Lomi Lomi, was typically conducted with some prayers and intentions. In fact, many of the traditional and modern healers who do this type of technique consider it as the praying bodywork. Auntie Margaret Machado, a celebrated Hawaiian Kapuna (elder) particularly holds such claim. With this fact, it’s no surprise then that before a Lomi Lomi Hawaiian massage begins, the therapist will say a quiet prayer. The prayer is delivered to request an effective healing, so it’s also usual that the client of this Hawaiian massage will be asked to state their healing intention. Also, it is not uncommon for the Lomi Lomi therapists to do some chanting while performing the massage. Strange, isn’t it?

Today, the Lomi Lomi Hawaiian massage is performed with the hula dance. The ones who perform the hula movements are the practitioners. And, perhaps what’s more interesting to note is that these movements are performed around the massage table during the massage procedure. According to the Lomi experts, this dancing will encourage the energy flow between the receiver and the practitioner. This is what makes this Hawaiian massage exciting.
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A History of Cosmetics, Part 3

The cosmetics craze continued throughout the centuries into the 1900’s and began to see the earliest of the cosmetics industry being formed. Mrs. Henning’s House of Cyclax in London sold many products that you can still buy today from world famous companies like Avon. Another beauty salon owner found herself expanding her products to meet the demands of her upper class clientele from a facial cream that protects women’s skin from the sun to lipstick and face powder. Today, you can find a whole line of cosmetics from Helena Rubenstein.
As the years went on, the popularity of beauty salons continued to increase. In 1909, a salon called Selfridges began to sell cosmetics out in the open ver the counter. Women’s attitudes began to change and confidence grew. When the Russian ballet came to London, the influence of high art was apparent on many designers. A man named Paul Poiret was one of the first to come out with a much more vibrant and colorful look. It was also the first time that permanent cosmetics was seen. Women could tattoo their lipstick and eye shadow permanently on their faces.
During the 1930’s the fashion of lipstick went to a darker shade with a variety of shades. Around the time of WW II, ingredients for cosmetics was at a severe shortage and women underwent a kind of make-down. This ended right when the war did and demand for cosmetics increased more than ever. Competitors began manufacturing a number of products to meet the demands of the female consumer.
Today’s woman is the benefactor of all these years of trial and error with a virtually unlimited choice of products for any look they want to achieve. There are literally thousands of companies who have products in this now billion dollar yearly industry. Cosmetic products sell year round and even in times of recession.
So ladies, thank your ancestors and their concern for their own appearance for your own that you have today. There were probably days when they woke up and didn’t really feel like going through the hassle of putting on their face either.
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A History of Cosmetics, Part 2

For centuries after the Egyptian empire faded, the fashion norm around the world was a pale complexion. A tanned, sun-dried face was associated with being a commoner who worked out in the field all day alongside her husband. The upper class ladies of course did not participate in physical labor like that so they stayed inside and had white faces.
A white, pale complexion was also a symbol of wealth. If you had enough money, then you didn’t have to work. So a pale complexion was extremely important to some people. To get this look, women (and men too) would use a combination of hydroxide, lead oxide, and carbonate in a powder form to paint their faces and bodies. Unfortunately, this lead to a sometimes fatal side effect, lead poisoning.
To remedy this, chemists in the nineteenth century finally discovered a mixture of zinc oxide that didn’t block the skin from being able to breathe and kept people out of that irritating lead poisoning sickness. It worked so well that it is still used today by cosmetics manufacturers.
In the Edwardian era of London, around the turn of the century of 1900, society women with a disposable income would throw lavish parties and do a lot of entertaining to show off their wealth. As hostesses of the party, it was important for them to be the best looking woman at the function, so it was extremely important for them to look the youngest they possibly could. Women at that time who lived these extravagant lifestyles did not eat well, would not exercise, and breathed in the heavily polluted air that the cities of the time produced. They would rely on products like anti-aging cream and face cream to help hide their blemishes.
They would also go to the beauty salon. It was a little different back then than it is today. Women would sneak into the back of the salons and hide their faces as they entered. One of the most famous of these discreet beauty houses was the House of Cyclax, who would sell creams and rouges to ladies. Mrs. Henning, who was the owner, sold and created many products for her desperate customers who didn’t want anyone to know that they were getting old.
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A History of Cosmetics, Part 1

With all the billions of dollars spent every year worldwide on cosmetics, sometimes we may find ourselves asking, “How did it get to this point? When did it become the norm for me to have to wake up every morning and before I even go out the door I get to paint my face from top to bottom? Surely a woman way back in history didn’t just wake up one day and apply eyelashes, lipstick, eyeliner, foundation, and rouge all at the same time. No, it was, like many things, a culmination of things from the past.
Remember the Egyptians? That was over four thousand years ago. Cleanliness and appearance were terribly important to the Egyptians. They believed the appearance was in direct link with the health of the soul. They strived to always look and smell good. And with a society who values their appearance, you’re inevitably going to have people who are going to make themselves stand out. But the Egyptians, being the innovative people they were, used cosmetics for reasons that were even smarter than just trying to look good.
Mesdemet was the earliest kind of eye shadow- a substance made of copper and lead ore. The dark shades they believed would ward off evil eyes to their own. It was also a great disinfectant and insect repellant. Kohl was a dark powder that was also applied around the eyes in an oval shape. It was a combination of lead, ash, ochre, copper, and burnt almonds. To further enhance their appearance, they would apply a mixture of water and red clay to the cheekbone area. They would also paint their nails colors of orange and yellow with a substance called henna.
As time moved on and cultures were exposed to each other more and more, the Greeks began to pick up on the many practices of the Egyptian’s use of cosmetics. They would give themselves a pale color with a foundation that contained lead in it. This proved fatal on more than one occasion. As the Romans began to pick up the cosmetics practice, the pursuit of beauty became much less about functionability and took a turn into much more exotic routes. The Romans would paint their nails with a combination of sheep’s blood and cooked body fat. An ancient Roman man once said, “A woman without paint is like food without salt.”
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Massage Oils

A massage therapy is not complete without its main ingredient, the massage oil. This is basically the reason that massage oils have been manufactured and continually used in massage treatments throughout history.

Massage oils, on the most basic, are simply substances that promote light and smooth workability. For centuries, they have been deemed as highly essential for treating forms of soft tissue disorders, so it’s no wonder that they have been used in massage therapy, even today. Perhaps another reason for the enduring popularity of massage oils is the fact that they highly facilitate the gliding over the receiver’s skin.

There are a number of types of massage oils available. Each of them has several uses. Because of this, it is commonly recommended that before you opt for one particular oil, try to experiment with the many types first. You can try them on a variety of skin types to figure out what’s best for you and what’s not.

Well, to give you an idea of what oils are the most commonly used, below is a list of some of the most well-known and well-marketed massage oils. Note each and every one of them and try to find out what really suits your personal needs.

* Jojoba Oil – Numerous reports have it that jojoba oil is an excellent moisturizer. It is perfect for all skin types, and it closely resembles that of your own skin. This massage oil can also be used on blemished skin as it helps to control the growth of acne-causing bacteria. Aside from this fact, the jojoba oil can be used as carrier oil for aromatherapy for the reason that it penetrates the skin easily.

* Apricot Oil – Another well-marketed type of massage oils that is highly moisturizing, nourishing and revitalizing. This oil is useful for mature, sensitive, dehydrated and delicate skin, and is highly potent for soothing inflammation. The apricot oil is even rich in oleic and linoleic acid.

* Grapeseed Oil – Linoleic acid content is one of the most recognized assets of grapeseed oil. According to some reviews, this type of massage oils has regenerative, moisturizing and restructuring properties, making it perfect for massage as it helps to soothe the skin and make it feel smooth and pampered. Also, unlike the other available massage oils, the grapeseed oil is a non-greasy oil. It has a fine texture, very slight, slightly sweet with nutty aroma, and has a satiny finish. And, perhaps what’s best about this oil is that it is highly rich in minerals, protein and vitamins.

The selection doesn’t just end there. Several other names are also popular, such as the almond oil, coconut oil, holy oil, and a lot more. All of them are said to be vital for delivering massage. However, it is still necessary to note that before using any types of massage oils for an ultimate massage experience, it is best to test any of the oils first to make sure that you or your client is free of any allergic reaction. How to test? Simply apply a small amount of the massage oils to a sensitive area in your body and wait for a day to see the results. Note that most of the store bought oils these days are likely to contain some sorts of preservatives or additives. This is what actually makes them more prone to cause a rash or other skin imperfections. Be careful and choose only the oil that best suits you.
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Acupuncture For High Blood Pressure A New Treatment That Works


Since times immemorial, Acupuncture is a unique treatment for reducing high blood pressure in human beings. High blood pressure refers to a situation where blood starts exerting pressure against the walls of arteries, veins and also the chambers of the heart. Over a specified time period, this heavy rush of blood starts damaging the lining of the blood vessels. It can also lead to arteriosclerosis, meaning hardening of the arteries.

Symptoms of high blood pressure

High blood pressure symptoms are often acute in human beings. They include sudden dizziness, flushed faces, nervousness, severe headaches, restlessness, difficult breathing, nose bleeding, insomnia, intestinal complaints, depression, short temper and emotional instability. The diagnosis of high blood pressure is done when the normal pressure tends to repeatedly rise. The other physical symptoms of high blood pressure includes constant tendency to urinate, decrease in eye vision and muscle weakness.

Electro-acupuncture treatments

Acupuncture combined with electric stimulation or electro-acupuncture can lower elevations of blood pressure in human beings. When the research was conducted for the first time, acupuncture needles were inserted on the inside of the forearm just above the wrist, but to no avail. Researchers then started adding electric stimulation to the needles, which means that electric would start flowing from the needles to the body. While high frequency of stimulation had no effect, low frequencies of electro stimulation reduced blood pressure effectively.

A thorough research on acupuncture shows that the inserted needles excites brain cells, causing them to release neurotransmitters that always heighten the heart’s activities. To cure high blood pressure, acupuncture inserts needles on certain points on the wrist, forearm or leg, to excite the opioid chemicals in the brain and reduce excitatory responses of the cardiovascular systems. This eventual decrease in heart activity and need for oxygen can lower blood pressure to a great extent. It also promotes in the healing of other heart-related conditions like myocardial ischemia and hypertensions.

Other acupuncture treatments to reduce high blood pressure

While you are undergoing acupuncture treatments for curing high blood pressure, you can also use herbs like Tian Ma [Gastrodia Rhizome], Xia Ku Cao [Prunella] and Shan Zha to reduce high blood pressure. You should inject the juices of these herbs into your blood to achieve better results.

A unique and natural acupuncture treatment for high blood pressure also include pressing of the skin on the back of your hand in between the thumb and index finger.
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10 Feng Shui Tips for a Better Life

Ever walked into a house that felt like home? Ever reminisced about the best year of your life, and wondered why everything came together for you? It could be Feng Shui.

Simply put, Feng Shui is about creating a harmonious environment. It’s the ancient Chinese Science and Art of placement, intended to improve our health, harmony, longevity, career and wealth.

Pronounced, “Fung Shway”, it was a jealously guarded secret for thousands of years. Now, the benefits of Feng Shui can be enjoyed by anyone. In fact, Feng Shui is a part of everyday life for many Australian businesses, home owners, decorators, and architects.

June from June Turner Designs and Lifestyles has been an expert Feng Shui practitioner for 13 years. “Feng Shui can be simple or involved – whatever you’re comfortable with. Decorate a room or buy a home that is perfect for your family.”

The key is energy (or Qi “Chee”). June offers ten quick tips that can improve the flow, transformation, and containment of Qi in your life:

1) Remove shoes before entering a home. Don’t take your problems in with you.

2) Cook at least one meal a day and eat at the table as a family.

3) Never have knives on show – even in a block.

4) Always sit or stand facing the door (or its reflection).

5) Keep the toilet lid down and bathroom and laundry doors closed.

6) Don't sleep under white blankets or doonas.

7) Don't sleep with your feet facing the bedroom door.

8) Don't sleep next to the wall that has the metre box on it.

9) If your front door is in line with a tree or the door of the house opposite, place a Ba Gua mirror above the outside of the door.

10) Never have a Ba Gua mirror in the house. They are far too powerful.

It’s no coincidence that some of these tips are just common sense. You’ve probably been practising Feng Shui for years without even knowing it!

According to June, “this is just the tip of the iceberg. Just a few little changes can make the world of difference. But most solutions are specific to the individual.”

For more information, contact June Turner Designs and Lifestyles on Sydney +612 43992018.
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How to choose a good massage therapy school

Perhaps because of its increasing popularity, states have taken notice of massage therapy clinics and created laws to regulate its practice in the country. Although this is largely advantageous to the millions of Americans who have been availing of their services in the country, it has frustrated a lot of massage therapists in the country. After working in the industry for so many years, suddenly they need to get a training certificate that tells that they can perform the work that they have been doing for a lot of years.

Still, state laws are state laws and one cannot do anything about it unless of course they want to go to another state and see if the laws are different there. But most people would like to stay in their states and continue the services that they have already established in the country. In fact, most are going to massage therapy training schools in order to obtain their certificates. After all, schooling will be a breeze considering that they already know what they will be training for. They just need the paper.

One problem though that face these people is how to find the right training school that will fit their schedule and their budget. Here are some tips to help them.

1. Location

One way to save money and time is to find schools that are near your home or your place of work depending of course in your schedule. For instance, if you are going to school after work it is logical to look for schools that are near the massage therapy clinics you are working for.

2. Tuition fee

Another big consideration for people is the tuition fee. This is especially true with people who don’t have enough money to send themselves to school. As much as you can, look for programs that have flexible payment terms and If possible, a school that offers a scholarship programs. You can offer to teach part time or to work in the school in exchange for a discount. Some people have more time than money in their hands so this can work.

3. Certification

Remember that not all schools are recognized by the governing bodies that issue the certification and the license. It is important that before you enroll, make sure that the school you have chosen are certified by the state regulatory board. Otherwise, all your time and money will go to waste. Actually, as an advice: ask for a list of the schools that they are recognizing before you look for a massage therapy school. That way, you can be sure that whichever you choose is already legitimate. No time is wasted looking for schools that is not accepted in the first place.

4. Specialization

Like ordinary schools, there are massage therapy training schools that have more expertise in a particular field. If you want to focus on a particular field then it is logical for you to choose the school that is known for that field. This way, you will be able to benefit from better education as most of the instructors there will probably be specializing in that field of specialization.

This is especially true if the field that you want to get into is the more technical one that may require more difficult training and study.
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