Tag Archives: body

Health Risks Of Added Sugar

Health Risks Of Added SugarWith the influx of health and wellness information that is at our fingertips these days, it is easy to get overwhelmed with what is healthy and what is unhealthy. However, one thing many people can agree on is that too much-processed sugar can have negative effects on your health.

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate and is naturally occurring in many foods such as fruits, but it can also be unnecessarily added to products to make them sweeter, such as sodas and cookies. While naturally occurring sugars such as in fruits are good for you, as these foods come with numerous nutrients, the processed, Health Risks of Added Sugar can lead to health risks. These include diabetes, weight gain, or tooth cavities, among other things.

Nutritional Value

Added sugars give you no nutritional value like naturally occurring sugars do. Sugars also add empty calories, which will increase the number of calories overall in the food.

Added sugars, since they have no nutritional value, are digested quickly and are not a viable energy source, either. In contrast, naturally occurring sugars are digested slower by the body, therefore giving them more energy. In addition, foods with naturally occurring sugars usually contain additional vitamins and minerals that the body needs that aid in healthy living.

The average American consumes nearly three times the recommended amount of calories from added sugars a day. Food with empty calories can also counteract the healthful food eaten throughout the day and can eventually lead to nutrient deficiencies.

Weight Gain

As mentioned, added sugars add unnecessary calories that do not give the body lasting energy. The lack of energy will lead to the consumption of more nutrient-dense food. Therefore, a person will consume more calories when they consume empty calories. Over time, this calorie surplus can lead to weight gain.

There is also evidence that a high-sugar and high-fat diet can also lead to leptin resistance, which is used to regulate hunger. In addition, reducing the intake of added sugars may be able to reverse leptin resistance.

Although obesity is not directly related to the consumption of added sugars, it may play a role in weight gain.

Diabetes

Although sugar alone is not the cause of diabetes, consuming high-sugar foods can lead to a high-calorie diet, which may increase the risk for type 2 diabetes.

In particular, people who drink sugary drinks, such as sodas, can be at a particularly higher risk for developing diabetes than others. It is important to limit your consumption of sugary drinks to ensure healthy living.

Cavities

Cavities are caused by tooth decay, which can be caused by sugar. After eating sugar, a layer of plaque may form over the teeth, caused by bacteria. This bacteria can interact with sugars found in food and drinks, which, when combined, create an acid that damages teeth.

While your body can repair some of this damage itself, eventually this can cause lasting damage, including cavities, or permanent holes in the teeth.

Practicing good oral hygiene and limiting your sugar intake can be effective in preventing this.

Heart Disease

Finally, sugary diets may increase your risk of heart disease. Studies show that people that consume a high amount of added sugars are more likely to die from heart disease than those who consume less.

Like diabetes, sugary drinks may be particularly responsible for this. This may be due to the fact that sugary drinks are high in calories and sugars and do not affect hunger as foods do.

While many natural sugars are unavoidable and beneficial to your health, added sugars can be harmful in consumed in large quantities. Risks of an excessively sugary diet can include diseases, tooth decay, and weight gain.

While avoiding added and processed sugars will aid in a healthy lifestyle, it is important to take care of yourself in other ways as well. Taking care of your mind and body is important for healthy living. Practicing self-care, such as massages with Maria’s Professional Massage, can also ensure that you are living your best and healthiest life.

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Staying Healthy During Coronavirus Pandemic

Staying Healthy During Coronavirus PandemicThe coronavirus pandemic situation has resulted in many of us staying home and performing lesser social interactions and exercise. It can have a detrimental effect on your mental and physical health. The main question is how to protect yourself daily against coronavirus and other such viruses. The key lies in working on the immune system. The immune system needs several nutrients to recognize the invading viruses properly and develop the system needed to fight off these viruses.

Stay physically active

During these times take a break from sitting by performing 3 to 4 minutes of light physical exercise such as stretching or walking. It will help in relaxing the muscles and will improve your blood circulation. Regular exercise is beneficial to the mind and body. It reduces blood pressure and stabilizes the weight thereby reducing the risk of stroke, diabetes, heart diseases, and some cancers. All these conditions are responsible for raising susceptibility to coronavirus.

Maintain a healthy diet

Consuming a healthy diet is significant at the time of coronavirus pandemic. What we drink and eat may affect our efforts of staying healthy. It also influences the capability of our body to fight and recover from infections. Although no food or dietary supplement can cure COVID-19 infection, a healthy diet is necessary for supporting the immune system. Proper nutrition also decreases the chances of developing health issues such as heart diseases, obesity, some kinds of cancers, and diabetes. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy diet,

  • Limit sugar intake.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Drink sufficient water.

Take care of mental health

The new realities due to the coronavirus pandemic can be a challenge for staying healthy. Working from home, unemployment, home-schooling, and lack of physical contact with family members will need getting used to. Adopting these lifestyle changes and management of fear of contracting the coronavirus infection can lead to mental health issues. However, there are many things you can do to look after our mental health such as,

  • Keeping informed.
  • Maintaining a routine.
  • Minimizing the newsfeeds.
  • Remaining socially active.
  • Limiting the use of alcohol and drugs.
  • Reducing the time spent in front of the screen.
  • Helping out others.
  • Supporting health workers.

Keep in mind that fear is the normal reaction at times like these. However, many times fear is expressed in ways that are harmful to others. Do not discriminate against people you think might have contracted coronavirus. Also, be cooperative with the health workers. Remember, the pandemic has affected several countries so don’t hold a particular group responsible.

If you live in the Clearwater, FL region you can start on the path of staying healthy by getting the help of professionals at Maria’s Professional Massage. Schedule an appointment today to start the transformation towards a healthier mind and body.

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Tips For A Healthy Lifestyle To Live Longer

Tips For A Healthy Lifestyle To Live LongerIf you are prepared to make a few changes to your lifestyle it can help you live a lot longer. There was a recent study conducted that pointed out four bad habits detrimental to a healthy lifestyle. These included drinking too much alcohol, smoking, lack of exercise, and not eating nutritious food. This can hustle you into your grave early and can age you by as many as 12 years. Luckily it is possible to correct the behavior. Adopt these habits into your life to maintain your body looking great and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

1. Never overeat: If your target in life is to live 100 years, it is a good idea to leave some food on the plate. People who have studied longevity around the world found out that Japanese people break eating when they are around 80% full. This fact was confirmed later in research in the U.S. Eating less means you are going to age slower. Limited calories lower the production of T3 that is a thyroid hormone responsible for slowing the metabolism and speeding up the aging process.

2. Stay busy: If you have satisfying sex twice or thrice a week it can add as many years to your life. If you stay busy you can burn an impressive number of calories. This can be equivalent to running for 30 minutes so, what would you rather do? Regular sex assists a healthy lifestyle as it can lower the blood pressure, boost your immunity, improve sleep, and protect your heart.

3. Reach out and have a network of friends and relatives: Research has clearly mentioned that you are at a greater risk of suffering from heart diseases if you do not have a strong network of family and friends. Loneliness is responsible for causing inflammation and it can be dangerous for otherwise healthy people pretty much similar to having higher cholesterol or similar to smoking. Loneliness is especially a bigger risk to the healthy lifestyle of elderly people that are prone to depression.

4. Consume alcohol moderately: Men consuming three or more drinks in a day and women consuming two or more will run into the negative effects which can be relationship issues to weight gain. If consumed in smaller quantities alcohol is not harmful. A study conducted in 2010 linked light drinking to heart benefits. By light drinking, two drinks per day for men and one for women is envisaged.

5. Daily exercise: Focusing on fitness is the closest thing you can do for the fountain of youth. In a study, it was mentioned that regular high-intensity exercise like running will add four years to your life. This is apart from the many positive effects working out has on your mind, heart, and metabolism. Even moderate exercise such as 30 minutes’ walk can lead to a healthy lifestyle and lower the risk of heart issues.

If you are ready to take a proactive stand against the unhealthy lifestyle and are willing to switch to a healthy lifestyle you can also think about getting a professional massage from time to time.

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Using Massage Tools To Ease Back And Neck Pain

Using Massage Tools To Ease Back And Neck PainYou’d probably do anything to help your sore muscles feel better. What you may not realize though is that there are some tools available that will help you get some relief. While a massage is great, these tools can help release any knots you have in your muscles.

Shopping for the Right Tools

When you go online to shop for these tools it’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole since there are a lot of gadgets that don’t only look weird but are also available in a wide array of shapes and sizes. While you can find a lot of high-tech tools here (e.g. solar-powered, heated, diffusing social oils) the low-tech ones are surprisingly effective including things like:

  • Foam rollers are a simple tube-shaped cylinder that’s made from dense foam. It helps relieve back pain, but you must choose the right foam density first. If you’re in great shape, a very hard roller may be just what you need. However, there are also softer rollers that have a little more give to them. Once you’ve made your choice you should place your roller under your trigger points then lie down on it so that your body weight can press the roller into these tight spots on your back. Try not to wiggle around to much. Instead, when the roller is properly placed, stay put so that the steady pressure that’s being placed on your back eases up. If this doesn’t work, you may want to move the roller slightly above or below your trigger point. A little discomfort is normal regardless of the roller’s placement, but when you’re done your muscles will feel more relaxed.
  • Rubber lacrosse balls are better than a foam roller for any neck or shoulder discomfort you may be suffering from since you don’t need to be a contortionist to use them properly. Nevertheless, these lacrosse balls work in much the same way that a foam roller works on your back. You should try to reach the knots in your neck and shoulders while you’re lying on the floor, but if this doesn’t work you should try to stand by a wall then lean back against your lacrosse balls. You may need to be a bit creative here.

When to use Massage Tools

Once you’ve chosen a tool you should use it consistently – 5 or 6 times daily for 3 – 5 minutes each time. This will provide you with the best results. However, you should never use these tools right before you work out. Since they provide you with a trigger point massage, they relax your muscles so if you exercise immediately after using them you’ve raised your risk of injury. Instead, try using them before going to sleep at night. All it takes is 10 minutes and you may even sleep better because of it.

Conclusion

When you’ve tried these tools and found that they’re not working for you, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Maria’s Professional Massage. Maria will have you feeling better soon so contact her today.

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How Patients Suffering From Dementia Can Benefit From Massage Therapy

How Patients Suffering From Dementia Can Benefit From Massage TherapyIt’s not a secret at all that massage therapy has several benefits upon the human body, as it’s far from being just a method of relaxation.

For example, it was recently discovered that therapeutic massage can help to reduce the unnecessary use of anti-psychotics!

How? Human interaction is the secret!

According to a report from The Alzheimer’s Society, there is a small – but it exists – amount of evidence showing that massage can help in the management of several symptoms associated with dementia. To be more specific, we’re talking about depression, anxiety, or even agitation.

People living with dementia can easily and gladly accept a hand massage, as the touch of a hand is still a familiar sensation to them. A quick, five-minute session of therapeutic massage on the hands can trigger a psychological relaxation response!

But this is not everything, as it can also increase the level of serotonin, otherwise a monoamine neurotransmitter, known as a contributor to the feeling of happiness.

Hands aren’t the only areas where therapeutic massage moves can be applied. Foot massages, for example, are great for promoting sleep, but also transmitting a sensation of support and comfort, which leads to deep relaxation. Therefore, it can also reduce some of the behavioral symptoms of dementia.

Moving on, it was also revealed that massage can treat one of the most critical symptoms of dementia, agitation. For the past years, this side effect was treated with medication, but let’s not forget that this also involves side effects, like increasing a patient’s risk of falls and even fractures.

Even more, it was observed that therapeutic massage used with a specific control group will have great effects for those already suffering from dementia, not to mention they also have a useful adjunct to the current pain management plan.

As mentioned above, dementia patients can enjoy multiple benefits, even after a quick massage session. It helps getting rid of feelings like anxiety while increasing the body’s alertness. But, probably one of the most important benefits, is easing the feeling of loneliness and boredom, felt by a lot of patients. If you prefer, massage has what it takes to make dementia patients feel, once again, worthy of themselves.

To sum it up, it can easily be said that therapeutic massage can easily be considered an alternative in easing the behavioral symptoms, through the sensation of calmness it triggers. Therefore, it’s also a holistic approach to taking care of dementia.
Thanks to her extensive experience, but also knowledge and massage training, Maria’s Professional massage can be the place where you can see the benefits of therapeutic massage put into practice.

Everything begins with scheduling an appointment for a patient suffering from dementia and you can help them embark on a journey to obtaining a better mind and body, through gentle human interaction.

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Confirmed By Science: Massages Can Improve Your Mental Health

Confirmed By Science: Massages Can Improve Your Mental HealthIt’s no secret that massages can bring one a lot of benefits, but how many of you actually knew that they are also good for your mental health, in many ways?

According to multiple pieces of research, you should consider massages part of your toolkit of strategies to maintain solid mental health, as the latter is considered as one of the biggest issues of the 21st century, but ignored by many people.

Therefore, let’s take a few moments and discuss the positive impact massages can have on your mental well-being, shall we?

It can stimulate the production of feel-good hormones, responsible for alleviating depression

Depression is one of those conditions which can be not visible at all, able to make people feel like they don’t even get out of bed. However, according to several studies, there is a strong correlation between massage therapy and alleviation of many depressive symptoms.

Specifically, it was proven that one of the main massage benefits is affecting body chemistry, thus increasing serotonin and dopamine, the two neurotransmitters involved in depression.

Since massage involves human touch, it can help individuals ‘get rid’ of loneliness, one of the most isolating feelings of depression, by releasing oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone” and responsible for triggering an increased social bonding.

Regular massage sessions can soothe anxiety

Anxiety itself can turn into bigger mental health issues, so for some people, laying on a massage table, alone with their thoughts, can sound like a big challenge. Still, it can help a lot!

A massage session can significantly reduce the amount of build-up stress in the body, thus helping you forget about the anxiety that runs throughout your veins. But this is not everything, as it has been proven that it diminishes the level of cortisol, known as the stress hormone, by almost 30 per cent! And this can really help your body fight anxiety!

As a side note, a study conducted in 2010 showed that a short-term 50 per cent anxiety reduction when it comes to anxiety symptoms can be observed after constant massaging sessions.

It can help you concentrate better

One of the most ignored massage benefits is its ability to solve concentration issues. We know, it sounds surprising, but you should know that this is one of the ways you can boost your ability to handle tasks better.

Technically speaking, the lack of concentration is caused by muscle tension, which eventually diverts blood flow from your brain. However, massage can help release this, increasing the nutrient flow and the amount of oxygen reaching your brain, allowing you to step up your focus.

Studies have also shown that even a 15-minute session in a massage chair can decrease frontal alpha and beta power, which results in enhanced alertness. Even more, people who got massages admitted increased speed and accuracy on math problems!

More energy!

Last but not least, we shouldn’t forget about probably one of the primary massage benefits: improving circulation.

The body’s lymphatic system is basically the equivalent to a drainage system, being able to remove toxins, as well as waste build-up and bacteria, thus protecting it against any threats.

By applying pressure on the body, the lymphatic system receives a huge boost and detoxifies itself with more ease. But this is not everything as your circulation will improve as well, creating a really nice feeling of freshness!

To wrap it up, a massage session can offer you a lot, whether it’s your mental health or just overall well-being. Schedule your appointment at Maria’s Professional Massage of Clearwater today and you will experience these benefits yourself, even after just one session.

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How Massages For Runners Are Beneficial

How Massages For Runners Are BeneficialHave you ever thought about how beneficial a massage for runners is? Sure it not only feels good, but there are so many amazing benefits to having a massage. In this article, we will discuss the top benefits of getting a massage.

Massages for runners can be scheduled at different intervals. Some individuals may only need a massage once a month, while others will find it beneficial to have a massage once a week. These plans are completely individualized to each person in order to get the most out of a massage. In order to find what works best for you, you will need to not only determine what your goals are for running but also what your budget is.

You should also decide when the best time to schedule a massage is in order to get the most out of it. Look at your running calendar. Are there any races or long runs scheduled? If so, plan your massage around them. It could be in your favor to schedule your massages for two or three days after a long run or race. Do not schedule your appointment a day or two before the race or long run as the massage could leave you sore. Likewise, do not schedule your massage a day after either as your body needs time to recover first.

Now that we have talked about how and when to schedule a massage for runners, let us look at the actual benefits. If you are not very flexible, a massage for runners is great. A massage therapist can easily help get the body to be more flexible. Many people may have trouble with their flexibility as they age. Or if they are just starting to run or beginning an exercise program, they may not be that flexible. But scheduling a massage on a regular basis can really help.

Another benefit of massage for runners is that it promotes better circulation. This means your entire body will be much healthier. Your organs will be allowed more oxygen and cells will be permitted to grow. As an added benefit, the skin will look healthier.

A massage for runners can also reduce muscle fatigue and soreness. This will allow a person to be ready for their next run. Recovery is an essential part of any workout, as if the body can not recover fully, there will not be any gain. Massage could possibly reduce inflammation, reduce stress levels, and improve the immune system.

Did you know that massage for runners can also improve the pulmonary function. It does this by loosening tight respiratory muscles. And these massages can encourage fast removal of metabolic waste products as well.

Massages for runners should be scheduled several times before a big race. Only having one massage administered is not going to help very much. But having a series of massages will allow the body to reap all of the benefits. Any massage you receive should be done by a licensed and trained massage therapist, such as Maria’s Professional Massage.

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How Massage Therapy Can Supercharge Your Health

How Massage Therapy Can Supercharge Your HealthLately, people are looking forward to discovering ways of staying healthy until a late age, which is nothing but great news. We all know how important is to pay your doctor a visit regularly or stick to a daily – if your schedule allows it – exercise routine, combined with a healthy diet.

On the other side, it’s less known that proper massage therapy, conducted by a professional, can also have a huge impact on one’s health. In fact, let’s take a few moments and see which are the essential benefits of this type of therapy!

It relieves stress

There’s no doubt that this is one of the main benefits massage therapy comes with. It was scientifically proven that being constantly exposed to stress can increase the risk of heart disease, but also diabetes or hypertension, so getting massage regularly is pretty much one of the best things one can try in order to deal with what’s called “the disease of the 21st century”.

A massage session can be an intensely relaxing experience, as you’re simply lying back and feel how the tension ‘living’ your muscles is immediately going away.

It helps you get better sleep

The lack of sleep can also be a tremendous problem, affecting the majority of adults in the United States and leading to a range of chronic conditions, like cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, or even obesity. But guess what? Massage therapy can be one of the best solutions to it.

By getting rid of muscle tension and setting a moment in the day when you slow down a bit, you can enter a prolonged state of intense relaxation, which can last long after the massage session.

No more high blood pressure

How many times did you analyze your diet? Just do it once and you’ll most likely notice that you are eating too much…salt. Yes, salt, and this has a negative impact on your blood pressure, placing a strain on the heart, leading to hypertension and increasing the risk of a stroke.

It was proven that massage therapy can contribute to reducing high blood pressure, lowering systolic, as well as diastolic blood pressure. Also, according to recent research, it regulates the levels of cortisol, the hormone responsible for raising the pressure.

It strengthens the immune system

Recent studies have proven that massage can significantly improve the response of the immune system. Specifically, people who started massage therapy admitted experiencing a notable spike in the production of lymphocytes, the cells responsible for protecting your body from diseases.

Combined with its stress relieving ‘powers’, a massage session could be incredibly helpful for anybody who wants to maintain their immunity at top levels.

So, supercharging your health through massage sounds like an excellent idea, don’t you think? If you’re located in the Clearwater area, Maria is the one who can help you. Combining multiple massage types, including Ashiatsu, Cupping, Deep Tissue, or even Warm Bamboo, with her modern anatomical knowledge and the philosophy of Asian culture, she is the one who can introduce you to massage therapy and its full benefits.

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Looking Forward To Losing Weight? Then Start Eating Less!

How to Lose Weight. Then Start Eating Less!One popular belief says that in order to lose some weight and obtain that slim look you always wanted, you need to exercise like crazy. Well, it’s time to bust the myth: That’s not true. You can lose more weight if you start eating less, instead of exercising. Actually, you can do it by paying more attention to what you’re eating and don’t exercise at all.

The idea is simple: in order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Exercising consumes far fewer calories than many people think. Let’s say that you go for a 30 minutes jog. In that amount of time, you manage to burn less than 350 calories, as long as you have a constant pace, but more people can’t do this, so the amount of burnt calories is smaller.

Sure, exercising has its benefits, but there are way more problems with it when it comes to relying on it to control your weight. And studies also confirm this.

A 2011 meta-analysis – a study of studies, that is – found that being active is not actually the key determinant in whether a child reached an unhealthy weight. As for the adult population, studies had difficulties finding if a physically active person is less likely to gain excess weight than a person who can be considered sedentary.

Besides all these, it’s important to mention that exercise increases appetite. Therefore, if you go for a jog – or any other type of exercise – it’s somehow difficult to lose weight if you can’t control your appetite, as your body will send signals, asking you to replace them.

But we’re not saying that exercise and maintaining a good fitness state plays no role in your mission.

Adding exercise to diets is definitely beneficial! The idea is to combine exercise with diet, for more sustained weight loss, but for longer periods, like at least a year. Studies have shown that doing this for shorter periods, like six months, made little to no difference.

Therefore, why this belief that only by exercising you can drop some pounds? It’s actually very simple.

A lot of people can manage to find at least an hour in their daily schedule to go to the gym, but complain that they don’t have the time to prepare a healthy meal, able to help them with their weight loss efforts. The truth is that if they would try spending just half the time they dedicate to exercising to prepare a healthy meal, they would see much better results.

Last but not least, we need to mention one more aspect that has a big impact on your weight: stress. It is highly recommended to totally avoid it and your fitness can significantly improve.

A great way to relieve the pressure of everyday life is through massage. Thanks to specialized training and years of experience, as well as an Asian heritage, Maria’s Professional Massage can help you obtain a healthier mind and body.

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How To Stay Young And Natural For A Long Time

Anti-Aging Tips: How To Stay Young And Natural For A Long TimeDay by day, we keep seeing tons of ads for various products, promising to keep us looking as young as possible. Apparently, people are terrified by the idea of getting older and try to hide any signs age puts on their faces. Sure this can be done with make-up, intense training, a healthy lifestyle and, why not, some Botox.

But these do cost. A lot.

What if we told you that there are a few secrets of how can one stay young and have a great health, without using any of the above-mentioned things? Let’s take a few moments, relax, and see what can you do…

Take a break

If you’re reading this while on a comfortable chair, you’re on the right path, as one of the most important things you can do is to give yourself a break from time to time.

According to recent studies, stress causes physical changes in the body, thus accelerating the aging process. These days, there are stress factors all over, so the most effective way to break this destructive chain of events is to meditate. Even if it’s for as little as 10 minutes per day.

Pick a quiet place, close your eyes, fully relax and breathe deeply. Then thank us in a few years.

Be active

Besides helping you lose weight and being excellent for your health, regular exercise is also great for toning muscles, building healthier bones and – very important – boost your mood and help you think clearly.

Actually, there’s a connection between physical exercise and better brain power!

“Walking for just 10 minutes a day lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s by 40 percent,” says Gary Small, MD, director of the UCLA Center on Aging. “Physical conditioning reduces stress and anxiety, which wipe out your memory bank.”

A few short workouts per week are a great start. Running, biking, swimming, you name it. If it gets you off the couch, your health can improve and you will stay young!

Drink some wine

Believe it or not, a study showed that mice on a high-fat diet supplemented with a substance found in the skin of grapes had way longer average lifespans than those who weren’t given the substance.

Resveratrol, the substance we’re talking about, reduces the risk of diabetes and liver problem in mice, besides other benefits. So basically, if you’re drinking one glass of wine per day, you’re constantly helping it to maintain its health. Just make sure you keep it within the limits.

Consume more good fat

This can be a pretty surprising piece of advice, but we’re actually talking about fats that are good for your health, like Omega-3 fatty acids, like the ones found in salmon. These play an important role in stabilizing your mood, as well as maintaining bone structure and helping prevent visible signs of aging, something we’re all after.

“Omega-3s also boost the ability of the body’s enzymes to pull fat out of storage — from your hips, say — and use it as energy,” says Nicholas Perricone, MD, a leading anti-aging expert and author of 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health, and Longevity. “Omega-3s keep you healthy and your skin radiant.”

As mentioned above, the best way to start this journey is to relax from time to time. Meditation can be great, but sometimes, nothing compares to a good massage. And Maria knows exactly how to reduce your stress levels and improve your overall health and well-being.

Schedule an appointment today and embark on the road to obtaining a healthier body and mind.

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