Archive | Yoga

How Yoga Helps With Weight Loss

If you have a question about whether yoga helps with weight loss and how to lose weight in a sustainable way, this article might help. Losing your weight in a traditional way means losing more calories than the calories you take. You can achieve that with a strict diet plan and a serious body training program or other sports like jogging, swimming, weight training, biking and so on.

However, for those who have some sorts of physical injuries and would like to take a milder approach to exercise while not having to stress yourself out too much on the diet plan, yoga for weight loss might be the answer.

A BURNING FACT ABOUT HOW YOGA HELPS WITH WEIGHT LOSS:

Yoga can burn only 3-6 calories per minute. With a 60 minutes practice session, you will consume only 180-360 maximum. To lose a pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories.

That isn’t close to the weight loss goal, right? Maybe you might want to take another exercise to help you burn more calories but wait. There are many factors why practicing fat burning yoga is useful to you in a long run when it comes to weight loss and gets into shape plan.

NOW BACK TO THE QUESTION HOW YOGA HELPS YOU LOSE WEIGHT ON A SUSTAINABLE BASIS?

1. By practicing fat burning yoga, you get to practice your breath and concentration. In each pose, you get to meditate along the way by focusing on your breath to be in line with the movement of your body. That helps you get more in touch with your body and calm your mind.

It helps you lift up or dissolve your stress and be in the presence with yourself. It helps reconnect you with your soul. By that way, you eventually lose your stress eating habit. And it comes naturally to you.

2. Yoga helps with many areas of your physical fitness. Your balance, flexibility, improved metabolism, and more muscle mass too.

The flexibility is the key to improving your back pain caused by a tight hamstring and overall body aching. It improves energy flow in your body and blood circulation system that makes you more youthful.

3. Practicing yoga helps you get in touch with your body and have more control over it. You feel the good energy flow in your body, and that generates the need to take good care of yourself. You become gradually more careful about what you eat and more inclined to choose healthy food over junks.

4. Yoga is known as an excellent way to stretch and enable flexibility. With the flexibility of your body, you will feel stronger, firmer and more confident.

It allows you to achieve many goals and do many things you want to do including helping you with your sex life. That gives you the happy hormone you need to stay away from unhealthy diet or stress eating.

5. By practicing yoga correctly with the breathing exercise, you get to improve your self-awareness. The awareness helps you to become mindful with what you take into your body and stops you from taking in the bad things you shouldn’t do to yourself.

6. Fat burning yoga doesn’t cost you a fortune. The best thing about yoga I love so much is that it can be done practically anywhere even in a small space. All your investment is a mat, a good guide book or a good DVD to guide you through the poses.

You can do it anytime at your comfort and schedule. However, you need to learn and understand the breathing system and the poses before start practicing on your own as injuries can occur as well as negative result from doing the wrong poses or in a wrong way.

7. Fat burning yoga and yoga, in general, is a gentle workout that can make you sweat a bucket or two. However, as it is so gentle, you can do it as long as you want like 2-3 hours a day and every day a week.

8. The weight loss with fat burning yoga is sustainable. You improve your awareness, your metabolism, your flexibility, your muscle mass and your balance by practicing regular fat burning yoga. These help you achieve the new you and the new habit not just the new body and it is sustainable.

9. One thing, though. The effectiveness of yoga for weight loss is all about releasing your stress, and that helps you become a happier person and equip you with the ability to cope things in your life with a positive attitude. So being able to fit your fat burning yoga practice in your busy schedule with ease and no hassle would be the key to achieving your weight loss goal.

If going to gyms or yoga classes wore you out with the fixed schedule, the packed room and different levels of expertise, you might want to consider a tailor-made program designed for women’s bodies. Follow this link below to discover how you can lose weight and get into shape quickly and more efficiently as well as improving every area of your life by practicing fat burning yoga in just 12 weeks.

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Exercises to Avoid When You Have Scoliosis

One common misconception for the people with the back conditions like scoliosis is they must avoid any kind of physical activity. In reality, some exercises will help to relieve this pain linked with the condition and that is characterized by abnormal and sideways curve in spine. Scoliosis patients must avoid some movements, which will worsen their condition and pain.

The high impact exercise needs both your feet to get lifted off the ground at the same time. Some examples will include jumping, running, and jump rope. The high impact activities or exercises do strengthen your bones and develop more power, endurance, agility as well as coordination than the low impact conduct, but keep these for later program once your curve has improved below twenty degrees, and when you have fallen in the routine with your exercise program.

When doing these exercises mentioned, if any deformity gets visually worse, then these exercises must be avoided immediately. Avoid any type of he back bending exercises like “Prone Cobra” position done in yoga. These might cause severe stress on your spine and might worsen your problem.

Some Exercises to Look at

Weight Lifting

Suppose you are suffering from scoliosis, curve in the spine might have pulled your muscles in back and move in various ways. It means the traditional weight lifting exercises will cause more hurt and put pressure on your back, especially if you are using heavy weights.

Yoga Back Bends

According to Scroth Method site, some yoga postures will cause pain by putting dangerous pressure on back of somebody with scoliosis. And this includes any pose where you have to bend backwards, like the cobra, you lie on your stomach and curve your back for lifting the chest off the floor.

Wheel is one more posture to get avoided, says Scroth Method website. And this pose involves lying on your back and pushing it up on feet and hands so you are bent in the U shape. It is recommended that you speak to your physician prior to starting any type of yoga and advising your yoga mentor of your state so you will be able to sit out on the harmful positions.

Squats and Lunges

Exercises, which work on your lower body will place pressure on the injured back. It is the case with lunges, standing squats, and hamstring curls. These exercises want you to tight and work on your spine and targeted muscle group. You need to avoid any lower body work out that causes you back pain and ask your expert for variations that you can do when sitting and lying down to decrease the pressure on spine.

Shoulder stand

Head in a shoulder stand position is bent sharply forward that overstretches your neck muscles. It will support forward head position and cervical kyphosis. Furthermore, your whole body weight lies on shoulders, and will enormously increase the rib hump formation.

Twisting Exercises

Central segment, rib hump, is engorged when it rotates backwards in to the existing curvature, no matter whether the rotation is on right or left side.

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Advantages Of Herbal Medicine Over Conventional Medicine

Herbs are making their mark, many of us believe in the power of herbs and their benefits for health and wellbeing. Modern medicine has not been so keen to look at herbal medicine and prefer to prescribe manufactured medications that are clinically researched and trialled.

Organic herbal remedies are making their presence felt nevertheless, even though modern medicine does not acknowledge it or give it any credence. Of course we can agree that modern medicine has been very effective in the prevention and treatment of many diseases. There are so many ailments and conditions that were fatal hundreds of years ago and can now be treated with modern medicine. This has helps increase the life span of many individuals today.

So many of us opt for herbal remedies and although new laws and regulations are often passed to regress the growth of herbal medicine there are those of us who stull choose to treat themselves using natural and complementary remedies.

Disadvantage Of Modern Medicine

However there is a side of modern medicine that also must a acknowledged and this is that these medicines are made in labs using synthetic ingredients and often there are side effects to contend with. Some side effects can be quite harsh while some may be milder. These negative side effects are the price to pay, while with herbal medicine there is much less chance of this happening if at all. There have been cases where in modern medicine the side effects supersede the actual benefits of the drug and can be quite dangerous. Herbal supplements medicine works on a more holistic level or targeting the cause and treating perhaps more mildly but over long term use has shown to offer good results for many.

Statistics in the USA reveal that one of the other disadvantages of modern medicine is that many patients often experience complications die to various medicines and these can often lead to death. The other disadvantage is the price tag, for most people in the developing world the price of these medicines would be unaffordable. Millions of people cannot afford medical treatment and therefore often lose their lives as they are unable to seek treatment.

One of the most debilitating facts about modern medicine over herbal medicine is that that it emphasizes the cure rather than prevention. This has led to the pharmaceutical industry become a multi-billion dollar market where profits become more important than anything else. Herbal and alternative medicine believes in prevention and treating the cause rather than the symptoms.

While herbal supplements seem to become popular, even the beauty industry is steering that way. These days many brands are looking into herbs as their ingredients for their ethical beauty products and skin care products. Even hair care has gone herbal with so many new brands offering natural hair care products.

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SEO Keyword Research Tips For Yoga Studio Businesses

SEO can be broken down into 2 main categories – on-page and off-page, also called on-site and off-site SEO. This article focuses on on-page SEO for a yoga business such as a yoga studio to improve a yoga business marketing campaign.

What is on-page SEO?

It’s researching and properly placing key search terms in each page of your website. Key search terms are also called keywords.

It’s critical that your yoga studio website use the very keywords that your prospective students will use to search for the yoga services they want. If your website is found by people who aren’t interested in your site, then you don’t have the optimal search terms.

Keyword research is a refining process. It’s never perfect; it’s a constant work in progress. You measure success by results. Results are the number of visitors to your website and the percentage of visitors who contact your yoga studio.

What are good keywords for a yoga business?

A good starting point for keyword research for a yoga studio is thinking of the required keywords in 2 categories:

  • Your location: your town, the nearest large city, surrounding towns, your county, your state, and any other commonly referred to geographic names in your area.
  • The yoga styles you teach: yin yoga, hatha yoga, kundalini, Bikram, etc.
  • General benefits: yoga, meditation, wellness, health, fitness, yogi, yoga teacher training, etc.

Keep in mind that the term “keyword” refers to a single work and phrases.

Where to research the best keywords?

Google AdWords is a free keyword research resource. I use it all the time. It’s simple, fast, and free. Be sure under “match type” at the top of the right column (in a search results page) to select the “exact” option for more precise results. The results will show you how many searches are performed for many related keywords and keyword phrases.

You want to try a variety of searches; some with your geographic terms, and some without. Don’t be discouraged if phrases with geographic terms have very few monthly searches (i.e. 50); if it shows a number that’s great. Remember that specific geographic search phrases (i.e. “Bellingham Yin Yoga”) with your yoga style will likely rank very well. That means those 50 searches in the future will list your site.

Where to place keywords in your site?

Your keywords, including phrases, must be placed the meta titles, headings, and used in the written content of a web page. Every page in your website is an optimization opportunity. Do not solely optimize your home page. For any yoga studio, you should be able to create a list of 50 to 100 keywords / phrases.

Here’s the thing, each web page in your site should have no more than 2 to 3 keywords. 1 if your keyword phrase is 5 or more words. This means you must methodically plan out on which pages you will place which keyword phrases.

Now you can see why a blog is so valuable; you can create as many new posts as you want and each post can be optimized for a new keyword phrase. Take for example a 15 page website with a blog that has 50 posts. This site has a total of 65 web pages. If each page (a post is a page) has 2 keyword phrases, that site is optimized for 130 keyword phrases. Without the blog, the site could only be optimized for 30 keyword phrases.

That is an overview of on-page, aka on-site SEO for a yoga business. Remember, on-page SEO is only part of the SEO equation; off-page SEO is equally, if not more important than on-page SEO for building tons of quality traffic to your site and blog.

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Four Karma Sutra Positions Every Couple Should Try

If you’ve read through the Karma Sutra Positions guide, you’ll have noticed how many different sex positions there are available to spice up your sex life.

Here are some of the more interesting kama sutra positions.

The Morning Star

Saddle up and show who is the jockey. The male will sit on a chair, and have the female straddle him with her backside towards him. As the male is located in the chair the hands can be used for clitoral and nipple stimulation. The woman will be doing most of the work here as she will need to do all the riding in this Kama Sutra version of a horse race.

The Union of the Elephant

This Karma Sutra position works like a magic trick when it comes to the female pleasure level. This is an intense and pleasurable position. The male hands will be free in this position too, so that nothing will stop the male from arousing the female. The man can assist in setting the rocking pace in this position so that the unity will become more and more like one big elephant.

The Leaning Position

This can be the perfect continuation of the good old 69 position. Instead of having the oral satisfaction the man will have the soft and wet lips of the female vagina around his penis, but he will also be able to see the hip motioning and thrusting by the female which will give arousal in itself. Because of the dangerous nature of this position both bodies need to be in sync and defy gravity at the same time. It is wise to practise this sex position with caution and hope your partner does have experience with this complex, but stimulating Kama Sutra position.

The Position of the Tongs

Love and understanding. The perfect phrase to sum this one up. Place some pillows under the female’s hips to keep the bodies level with each other. Both partners will be able to guide and lead the other in this Karma Sutra position so feel free to experiment. Thanks to the simple structure of this sex position the hands are free to roam the other partner’s body, which definitely should be done when attempting this position. Use rhythm and motionless rest against each other to arouse your partner in a yet unknown way.

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The Health Benefits of Scrabble

Scrabble is a popular family game for all ages, this article looks at the benefits of scrabble for kids and adults alike.

Scrabble was invented by Alfred Mosher Butts back in nineteen forty-eight, and since then it’s been a favorite game for generations of families. Not only is Scrabble a great educational tool to build word ability and comprehension, but it aids in lateral thinking and vocabulary enhancement.

Scrabble has surpassed several other competing word games in popularity over the years, and has found a new life in online word game such as Words with Friends for entirely new generations of people. With the advent of the internet, a whole range of additional tutorial, tip, and tricks have found their way into common availability. There are several experts who devote their time to producing a scrabble dictionary, word lists or cheat hints to develop players from beginners into advanced gamers who can compete in tournaments and online competitions.

The health benefits for children are numerous, from developing an excellent vocabulary to the ability to critically weigh different strategies. It’s a great skill to teach a child to think beyond the immediate gratification of creating a word now, versus holding your letters in order to play a longer and higher scoring word later. In addition to these benefits, the ability to patiently see a game through to the end is an invaluable asset which will help a child in life in general.

The mental concentration required to puzzle through different word options in Scrabble also puts the brain into a meditative state much like taking a class of yoga or meditating. Taking this time to deliberately relax and engage in some mental exercise is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. Although this is great for general relaxation in the evening, one recommendation that has been made is that you should not play scrabble too soon before retiring for the night, as it’ll leave your brain in a ‘puzzle’ state for an hour or two and make it more difficult to sleep. Scrabble is a very analytical game which is similar to solving a Sudoku puzzle or playing a pen and paper game such as hangman. Gradually absorbing the rules, and knowing when to consult the Scrabble dictionary builds confidence and vocabulary.

In addition to these benefits, it’s a great social outlet for older people who club together to play Scrabble. A lot of friendships have been forged by people who have met while playing Scrabble, be it in a home for the elderly or a youth group for teenagers. Taking the time to share some competitive play with another person is a wonderful ice breaker, and by carefully looking at the type of words a person makes you can determine their interests and viewpoints on the world. If you get really good you can enter tournaments, and extend your competition beyond just playing each other into the realm of expert play.

If you’re having trouble with your scrabble game, be sure to check online resources which can enhance your abilities with easy to remember word lists, articles and scrabble cheats to help you get a quick advantage over your opponent.

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Following Weight Watchers While Doing P90X or Insanity

Many people who are following Weight Watchers, whether they just began yesterday or have been at it for awhile, wish to incorporate some sort of exercise routine into their weight-loss program. Because P90X and Insanity are so popular-most people have seen the infomercials-it is common to see questions about them on the Weight Watchers boards. Here I will address the most common questions regarding following Weight Watchers while going through the P90X or Insanity programs:

Q: Can I do P90X or Insanity while on Weight Watchers?

A: Of course you can! In fact, it was via the Weight Watchers message boards that I discovered P90X. I’d seen the infomercials, but I was skeptical. Let’s be realistic: many if not most products advertised that way are overpriced garbage. But then I met several folks on the Weight Watchers boards who’d gone through the program with fantastic results. I decided to take a chance and purchase a copy… and I never looked back. I loved my results so much that later on, I decided to try Insanity. I’ve had nothing but positive results in combining these exercise programs with Weight Watchers.

Q: How do I calculate Activity Points (AP’s) for P90X or Insanity workouts? I don’t see them listed in the AP calculator.

A: Here are the methods that have worked well for me. In calculating my AP’s in this manner, I can eat every point coming to me and still lose weight:

P90X Strength Workouts & Ab Ripper: keep track of your total time, then choose “Weight-lifting, universal-type (vigorous effort).” As a side note, this will give you the same number of AP’s as if you used the manual calculator set on “moderate.”

P90X Yoga X and X Stretch: keep track of your total time, then choose “Hatha Yoga.”

P90X Cardio X and Core Synergistics: keep track of your total time, then use the manual calculator set on “moderate.”

P90X Plyometrics and all Insanity workouts: in order to be conservative, I don’t count the entire time as “high” intensity. Let’s be honest: you probably weren’t going full-throttle for every single second of the workout. For these workouts, I keep track of my total time, then count half of it as “moderate” and the other half as “intense,” using the manual calculator.

Q: You said “total” time. Should I be subtracting time for breaks?

A: I don’t worry about subtracting for breaks unless I take a significant break, meaning enough time that my muscles get cold… and you shouldn’t be doing that anyway, because you risk injury if you take too long a break, then jump back in without going through another warm-up.

Q: What about the Nutrition Guide I got with my workout discs? Should I follow that or stick with Weight Watchers?

A: If you read the Nutrition Guide, you’ll notice that a lot of the advice contained within is in sync with the advice in Weight Watchers’ plan materials: eat smaller meals; move toward whole grains, fruits and vegetables; steer clear of nasty junk food; don’t “Exercise for Cookies.” Michi’s Ladder is actually very similar to the old Weight Watchers Core Plan (now called “the Simply Filling technique”). Additionally, the recipes in the Nutrition Guide are low-calorie, and therefore very point-friendly. I use the information in the Nutrition Guide as a supplement to Weight Watchers’ advice.

Q: When is the best time within the Weight Watchers program to start P90X or Insanity?

A: Anytime you want! You can begin on the same day you join Weight Watchers, or you can start months or a year down the road. It’s up to you.

Q: I’m really big, I’ve never exercised in my life, and I don’t know if I’m ready for P90X or Insanity. Are there any Beachbody programs that are more for beginners?

A: Yes, there are. For example, Power 90 (P90) is a very popular program for beginning exercisers who still have a lot of weight to lose, as is 10-Minute Trainer.

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Penis Sensation Loss – Penis Sensitivity Can Be Restored

When penis skin is constantly subjected to irritation, chafing, rubbing or other minor, chronic injury, the skin responds by forming a thicker, more durable outer layer in order to prevent further injury. While this callusing effect is more noticeable on the hands and soles of the feet, the same thing happens to the erogenous skin of the penis. With frequent masturbation or sex, environmental irritants, or just the constant chafing of clothing, the outer layer of the penis becomes desensitized, resulting in a loss of penis sensation. The good news is that through the use of personal care products containing penis-specific vitamins and minerals and following some simple suggestions, loss of penis sensation does not have to mean the end of sexual enjoyment.

Why does penis sensation loss occur?

• Aging – As men age, neural sensitivity in all parts of the body begins to diminish. Eyesight, hearing and sense of taste are all affected, beginning as early as the thirties, and the penis skin is no exception. Most men report some degree of penis sensitivity reduction over time.

• Circumcision – While some men report that circumcision does not affect their sensitivity, it is highly common for circumcised males to experience lost penis sensation. This is often believed to be the result of exposing the highly sensitive skin of the glans (penis head) to friction without the benefit of the natural lubrication provided by the foreskin.

• Masturbation – Frequent masturbation, especially dry rubbing, can toughen the skin of the penis and reduce penile sensitivity. In addition, the penis can essentially become over-accustomed to being stimulated in the “right” way, resulting in decreased response to other forms of stimulation, such as with a partner.

• Poor circulation – Circulation plays a big role in the ability to experience tactile sensation. For example, falling asleep with an arm under the body can result in temporary numbness in the fingers. Tight clothing, obesity, and even cycling can limit the circulation to the penis and cause loss of tactile sensitivity.

• Alcohol and tobacco use – Alcohol, as well as the chemicals in tobacco, can wreak havoc with the nervous system and decrease the ability to feel sexual pleasure. Men who smoke or drink regularly are at risk for lost penis sensation.

Is it possible to restore penis sensitivity?

With the right strategy, penis sensation can be restored, or new nerve pathways can be formed, making sex a pleasurable activity for years to come. The key is to be creative and care for the penis skin with nutrients that are designed to support healthy skin and nerve cell function.

• Visualize – Sexual arousal has almost as much to do with visual stimulation as with touch. Internal visualization of erotic images, watching a partner, or even viewing adult films can go a long way toward heightening the nerve sensation of the penis.

• Avoid masturbating before sexual encounters – For men who are experiencing sensitivity loss, abstaining from masturbation for a time can give the skin and nerve cells a chance to recuperate. Refraining from masturbation before an encounter with a sexual partner can also increase arousal and boost penile sensitivity.

• Experiment with different positions – Changing the pressure on the penis through experimenting with new positions can create new types of sensation and increase sensual pleasure. Using the positions described in the kama sutra, for example, can heighten penis sensation and increase sexual enjoyment.

• Use a penis health crème -Use of a nutrient formula that contains vitamins and minerals for skin and nerve support may help to prevent loss of penis sensation and restore sensitivity, as well as increasing the overall health of the penis.

Choosing a penis health crème

To be effective, a penis health formula (such as Man1 Man Oil) should contain a combination of vitamins A, B5, C, D and E, which work together to keep the skin youthful, supple and receptive to stimulation. Natural moisturizers such as shea butter prevent drying and toughening of the skin, while amino acids like acetyl-L-carnitine provide metabolic support and work to prevent aging and cellular damage of the penis skin.

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Where Should You Shop for Yoga Clothes for Women Seniors?

Barbara and a few of her friends wanted to do something fun that would keep them active during their senior years, so they decided to join a yoga class for fun. After they signed up for their class at the senior citizen near their neighborhood, they went out for lunch together and began discussing what they would where to class. All of the women agreed that typical yoga clothes for women were a bit too form-fitting for mature women like themselves to wear comfortably, so they decided to head out that afternoon to shop around for the right outfits.

While typical clothes for yoga were generally agreed to be too form-fitting, the women knew that they didn’t necessarily need to look only at yoga-specific attire. Even when they decided that shopping for general athletic apparel would be suitable, they still didn’t know which stores would carry the best athletic gear for seniors. So where should you shop for yoga clothes for women who are seniors? Here are some good ideas:

• Department stores often carry a great selection of women’s yoga clothes as well as general athletic apparel.

• Sporting goods stores as well as athletic specialty shops offer a wide selection of merchandise that may be suitable for a yoga class.

• Discount stores that sell clothing along with general merchandise are a great source for affordable athletic gear, from clothing to mats and other gear that you may need.

• Online retailers, from name-brand websites to others that may not be as well known, offer a wide range of merchandise that may be suitable for senior women to wear to a yoga class. You can do a quick search for athletic apparel to look through a wide return of results.

Yoga clothes for women are not easy for women of any age to find, and it is even more difficult for seniors to find the right clothes to wear simply because of the form-fitting nature of such apparel. However, when you take into account the fact that you can wear a wide variety of athletic apparel and don’t have to stay confined to yoga-specific apparel, you will have a wider selection of options to choose from. If you can’t find the right clothes in your local stores, you can find a wider selection of options to choose from online, which can help make your search easier and faster.

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Pros and Cons of The "Asian Foot-Massage" Businesses

Almost every week, it appears that a new Asian foot massage business opens up in town. I am amazed how these people can bond together to get a fully-staffed business up and running in no time. There is no shortage or bad economy for them. Every time I see an ad for a grand opening of one of these, I wonder how it is that I missed that link or why more cultures don’t bond likewise to build up one another. I have wondered whether these cultures don’t have the competition, malaise, fear and fraud among them; i.e. the energies which have kept so many other ethnic groups back, mine included. They seem to appreciate that one person might have a dream for a business, but it takes more than that one person to put it all together. I appreciate that too…and I give the Asians a lot of credit for this essential trait.

So I was curious about this “foot massage business” and since I can’t always afford to go get a massage myself, it seemed an economical option. After all, the Asian community is at the forefront of reflexology and Eastern therapeutic treatments, so there is much benefit in receiving sessions from them; even if it is just a “learning experience”. It is necessary to indulge here, that many of these businesses have a history or appear to have a connection with the porn industry. There are all kinds of stories of police busts among other sting operations across the State/Country. Some are not “shy” about promoting their services and their ads may be found in local cheap and/or free magazines and news papers. I actually know people, men and women (but especially men) who have patronized and got their “happy tugs”. This indulgence is a pro or a con depending on who you are and what you seek in a massage. As a therapist, one has to make the decision whether or not they want their profession to align with this for the sake of money, and/or whether to dignify their skill set and keep their profession honorable.

Every few weeks I notice coupons in one of those coupon magazines that come with your junk mail, advertising 60-minute foot massages for $19.99. I thought, wow…that’s cheap… I wonder what they do in the 60 minutes…. The ad indicated that they added in shoulder/back, head, and hand massage with the foot reflexology, and that there was the option to get a full-body massage for $35.00 using special herbal oils. So I called and told them I wanted to check them out but didn’t make an appointment. I drove by shortly thereafter and peeked through the glass doors. It was so dark I could only see my own reflection. I opened the door and looked around but maybe it was too bright outside for my eyes to adjust quickly to the darkness inside. After a few moments a man came up to ask whether he could help me. I glanced around, said no thanks and left. All those images of the “happy looking” men leaving that place next door to the spa I used to work for in Studio City came flooding through my mind and I felt dirty for having gone in…but I would eventually conquer this feeling so as to form my own opinions. What were the pros and cons of patronizing a place like this?

My experience proved the following combined “pros” and “cons” (not in any order of priority/significance):

1. It’s weird going into or coming out of these facilities, especially if you are a therapist.

2. Hardly anyone there speaks English. This means your therapist won’t talk to you the whole time.

3. Usually, you won’t want anyone to know you are there so you turn off your phone.

4. It’s cheap! $15-$20 worth! $35 for full body massage!…but you get what you pay for.

5. These places are usually convenient…right next door from where you work, for e.g., so no need to park your car right in front. Simply leave it at the job or grocers across the street.

6. The staff is usually very attractive, like the folks at your nail salons.

7. It’s pretty dark inside so you may not recognize others or be recognized.

8. You can give a fake name and wear disguise.

9. You don’t take your clothes off unless you go into that “back room” for the “full-body” massage.

10. The overall ambiance embodies the culture of the staff.

11. Certifications and licensing are prominently posted in the “front lobby”.

12. You get served right away, usually, and they finish right on time.

13. Tipping is a must! The therapist waits in expectation while you pay or gather your things.

14. General reflexology happens in a large room with other patrons getting the same thing done right next to you.

15. Most of the “Certifications” prominently posted are copies of certifications and not always CA certified (and one doesn’t know whether they are real).

16. From a therapist’s standpoint, the staff appears not to have training over 250 hours and in anything other than Shiatsu/Reflexology.

17. The staff consists of both men and women.

18. Be prepared for a staff member that just came in from cigarette break.

19. You don’t have a choice for your attendant unless you made reservations and asked for someone by name.

20. Most of the patrons of these places appear to be white and/or non-black.

21. I think the “foot soak” is just a pan with plain warm water, nothing else.

22. Everyone appears to be very tired and somewhat frustrated with their job.

23. If you are an athletic female (muscular), expect them to be extremely rough/rude (change attendant without notice and speak in their language with “disdainful gestures” while doing so) and don’t protest…they won’t understand you and will just keep going. (My Asian colleagues have often asked me why it is I think I need to be so “muscular and un-feminine”… Culturally, they believe women should be “slender but soft”, to attract and keep the men. Others say’ the Qi in the muscular female is too strong. This might be why the female attendants seem to opt out” and let the male attendants massage me. These men acted like I was a freak and did not treat me like a lady. I believe this is because I don’t appear to be as “soft” as they thought women should be.)

24. I’ve seen men get service with their shirts off, but ladies shouldn’t try this!

25. Ladies shouldn’t go in their sports bra or just a tank top alone on top, hoping to get more back and shoulder action. They’ll simply put a towel over you and continue with their “robot-like routine”.

26. Don’t ask them not to touch your face. They don’t understand you (unless you indicate to the customer service person who might translate if he/she understands).

27. Ladies should wear comfortable yoga-like clothing. No jeans, shorts, dresses, or skirts. One would think shorts would be o.k., but I tried it and no…don’t…!!

28. Part of their routine is to “stretch” your legs, which from a therapist’s standpoint is a Shiatsu-like stretch a la yoga’s “spinal twist”. Jeans are too close-fitting and inflexible for this stretch and shorts can become like ropes strangling your groin ‘n goodies, especially if you get a “very zealous” male attendant. Mine appeared to have been looking for a particular reaction or to show off his power. I felt like he was pleased he “conquered” me…the muscular, un-feminine woman…(but I knew he wouldn’t understand my language if I complained so I didn’t…)

29. There doesn’t appear to be any breaks between clients, so the staff is really very tired.

30. These businesses are open sometimes from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. in general, but one can find some who are open later.

I have decided, based on my own observations and experiences, that I will no longer patronize these establishments. My first objection is that we don’t speak the same language. When I say “that hurts”; “please don’t touch my head or my face”; or “I don’t want to be stretched like that”, these directions/requests are received with a smile and nervous nods and they just proceed with their routine, or until someone comes over to translate, which might be too late and/or cause a scene in this large room of service providers.

In my opinion, these are not legitimate massage therapists and they give credit to those who believe “anyone” can give a massage or do reflexology. They fall in line with the other chain spas and franchises which are simply in the “making-money business” not in the “people- health- then-money business”.

Legitimate body workers, like me, are genuinely concerned about the health and welfare of their patrons and people in general. We don’t “judge you”, which in my experience, I believe these places judged me.

When an individual goes in for massages in any facility, they should not have to wonder whether they are fat, skinny, muscular, black, short, tall, ugly, pretty, or what not. Yes, in my particular business, clients will ask about their health conditions and what I find while working on them. Some will ask for suggestions as regards what path to take to address a health issue. Sometimes I know and sometimes I don’t. Others do lament about trying to lose weight or put on weight or low energy, or soreness after a workout, etc., and yes I have experience in nutrition and wellness as well as weight management/personal training and have no problems making recommendations that I know work. However, this is generally not the reason for coming in.

Although I do make recommendations as regards how to eat in the days following your massage session with me, this is simply to nourish the organs effected in your session and to prolong your therapeutic results. The ultimate goal is for your health to improve, which it will with your consistency in coming for treatment and following through on the suggestions. Yesterday, a client told me she considers my opinions/treatments right up there with her team of doctors. It was a sweet compliment and I believe her. She’s seen results and experienced “my power” as she calls it and it feels great that I’ve attracted someone so open, and available for healing.

Mostly, we get massages because we believe they are good for us and our health. They feel good and we want to feel good. The economics are definitely a concern, but we understand that we get what we pay for. The people who patronize the foot-massage businesses and the chain spas, are usually making an economic decision, not necessarily a health related decision. I would want to be sure that my therapist has had some training in an American accredited school and is licensed and certified by the State or County in which I receive service. I also would want to know that the establishment is honorable with labor rules and is in no way connected with the porn industry. Lastly, I would want to know that there is no prejudice; that everyone speaks the language I speak; that there is value on my money just as much as any other patron, and that my spirit and my body will be honored in the professional delivery of service contracted and for the betterment of my health and vitality.

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