Two-way Perk of a “Blind Massage”

Today I had my long overdue body massage. I’ve been meaning to have one the last couple of weeks, but all the work and school load wouldn’t allow it. Fortunately I had some vacant time earlier to indulge in the much needed treatment.

To say it was great is an understatement. As the masseuse slowly kneaded her hands on the right points, knots and twists in my muscles with the perfect pressure and combination of Swedish and Shiatsu styles, I felt like I was floating, with every single stress being crushed as every delicious pressure was applied. Since its first discovery, the art of body massage has been patronized by people worldwide as a very effective stress and body pain relieving method. Today, there are spas and beauty centers everywhere we go offering massage services as more people become aware of the benefits it brings.

What is unique about my massage experience today is that I was treated by a blind masseuse named Lisa. As Lisa worked her way in my body, I chatted with her and asked what brought her to the profession. She told me that she is part of a national organization that trains and gives jobs to blind people who have a hard time making a living because of their disability. Body massaging is one of the few jobs they could do as it didn’t require a sense of sight but hand stroke skill and knowledge of the art. She also shared that there are many blind people shunned by society who fully depend on the organization to continue living a somewhat normal life.

I don’t know if it’s psychological, but I felt that Lisa’s way of massaging me differed from my previous experiences in the sense that she seemed to probe more into the knotted muscles and stressed areas of my body, feeling her way with her strong sense of touch. There’s less of the rhythmic, usual pattern of method, but more of intense probing of the plains and bumps of the body and a very sincere dedication to serve the customer and do her job well.

Of course it might not have anything to do with her blindness; maybe she’s really just one of the better trained and skilled masseuses. But what I know is I just had one of the best massages in my life and I went home not only rejuvenated but also fulfilled, because I felt that in my little way as a customer, I was able to help a hardworking blind woman by patronizing her services, not to mention the services of a noble organization aiming to help our friends not blessed with a sense of sight.

Indeed, the perk of a blind massage is two-way.

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A Slice of Heaven

A few hours ago I had lunch at one of my favorite pizza parlors. As usual, I had the four seasons platter consisting of four different types of pizza, two of which are my absolute favorites: New York Classic (spicy with a lot of greens) and Four Cheeses

(cheese overload with a bite).

I think I speak for millions of people when I say pizza is one of the best inventions in the world. Originating in Europe, pizza is so delicious and addicting that it just had to cross into other parts of the globe and spread all over. What I really like about pizza is its simplicity and versatility. Put toppings and a great sauce on a flat bread or dough, heat everything up, and voila, you’re in heaven. Experiment, twist and add things around, and you have a combination of other flavors that will suit other types of palate.

The Critiques. While pizza in general is not considered as bad as burgers or greasy potato chips, it is often classified into the junk food category. They say pizza, particularly the commercial ones, have a high amount of salt and fat content with all the meat, cheese, and seasonings incorporated in it. Well I guess when something is commercial, it’s bound to have those components we do not want much of in our bodies – the price of mass production and all that. But I still believe in the motto “everything in moderation” and that you don’t have to deprive yourself of stuff you like as long as you lean more on the healthier stuff.

The Good Stuff. More than satisfying our taste buds, studies in recent years indicates that our favorite food could actually have health benefits in the form of anti-cancer properties from its tomato content. Besides, since pizza is generally easy to make, anyone can whip up healthier versions of it at home. “Healthier” means less of the oil, meat, cheese and preservatives, and more on the veggies, tomato sauce, and non-fat or organic cheese. My family loves making pizza on pita bread with lots of tomato sauce, a huge heap of veggies, a bit of pepperoni or grilled chicken, and grated fresh cheese and pepper to taste. No preservatives, very little fat. Just 100% natural pizza goodness suited to our individual liking.

How do you like your pizza? 😉

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Pomegranate: The Healthiest Juice of All

A recent study in UCLA revealed that the healthiest juice of all is not grapefruit, nor cranberry, nor apple. It’s actually pomegranate juice. The study actually released a list of the top ten healthiest juices, and the “winners” are (from #2 to #10): Red wine, Concord grape juice, Blueberry juice, Black cherry juice, Açaí juice, Cranberry juice, Orange juice, Tea, and Apple juice. I’m a bit surprised that tomato juice is not on the list, but I’m glad apple and orange juice are as I often drink these two. If you do want to have the healthiest juice or shake though, you know now what to blend!

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Fish Oil

I‘ve heard many people on TV and radio mention the health benefits of fish oil but I never really got around to researching more about it. Today I decided to Google and here’s what I found:

  • Fish oil contains the healthy substances called omega 3 fatty acids. Surely you’ve heard of a lot of food stuff being marketed as healthy because they contain omega 3 fatty acids, stuff that is very good for the heart.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids can normalize abnormal heart rhythms, lessen blood clots, and improve the condition of arteries. Thus, taking fish oil regularly can greatly reduce chances of heart attacks and other heart ailments.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids can also be found in other sources like walnuts and canola oil but it’s highest concentration is in fish.
  • Studies have found that fish oil protects the nervous system, lowering the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Studies have also linked lower risks of breast and prostate cancer to regular consumption of fish oil.
  • You can get the benefits of fish oil by eating fish (of course) like sardines and salmon but you can also get it through capsules. There are lots for sale in the market.

Know more benefits of fish oil?

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Vitamin D and The Sun

We all know about the risks of sun exposure, especially in today’s times. Many people have started changing their habits, avoiding direct sunlight whenever possible, and wearing a lot of sunscreen. While the risks of sunlight are eminent, sunlight also provides something we all need: Vitamin D. In fact, experts say most people meet their vitamin D needs through exposure to sunlight. Ultraviolet (UV) B radiation penetrates uncovered skin and converts cutaneous 7-dehydrocholesterol to previtamin D3, which in turn becomes vitamin D3.

If you’ve totally reduced your sunlight exposure because of skin hazards, beware because the trade off may be Vitamin D deficiency which can result to a lot of ailments such as osteomalacia, bone diseases, and skeletal deformities. Studies show that homebound people, people often covered for religious reasons, etc are often lacking in Vitamin D. The good news is you can obtain Vitamin D from supplements and a few food sources like fish liver oil.

Care to share your thoughts on this?

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Solid Perfumes from Pacifica

Known for their candles, Pacifica has launched a cool line of solid perfumes. Perfect for the fall and winter seasons, these perfumes can instantly warm up your skin by just layering them on your skin and before you wear a cashmere sweater or something similar. Made with natural grain alcohol, these perfumes are very fun and easy to wear. Variants include Tahitian Gardenia, Waikiki Pikake, Tuscan Blood Orange, Brazilian Mango Grapefruit, Mediterranean Fig, Hawaiian Ruby Guava, Ball Lime Papaya, Malibu Lemon Blossom, Avalon Juniper, and more. I think I’ll particularly love the Tuscan Blood Orange which supposedly has a rich, juicy flavor and bright raspberry and strawberry notes. Yummy.

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Fab Tights @ Forever 21

Tights have made a big comeback since last year. I for one really love wearing tights because they add oomph to any outfit and they act as a fashionable covering when I’m wearing too short skirts or dresses. Forever 21 sells fabulous tights that can be worn from normal work/school days to glamorous occasions. For instance, check out these hot Dotted Sweater Tights shown in the picture on the left. Available in colors Navy and Charcoal, these tights are made of 80% cotton, 15% poly, and 5% spandex for a truly great fit and comfortable wear.

How do you wear your tights?

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