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Living, Wellness

10 Feel-Good Benefits of Honey

August 17, 2017

We’re big fans of honey bees at milk + honey. Case in point: to bring awareness to the decline in the honey bee population and do our part to help save them, we created an urban apiary called BEES by milk + honey in 2015. Today, we have more than a dozen thriving hives in Austin, TX, all of which utilize organic, sustainable beekeeping practices.

In honor of National Honey Bee Appreciation Day, we’re sharing the top 10 reasons honey is good for you.

10 Reasons Why Honey is Good For You

  1. Antioxidant-rich. Honey contains phenols, enzymes, flavonoids, and organic acids — all of which play a crucial role in honey’s laundry list of health-positive benefits.
  2. Reduces the risk of heart-related ailments. Thanks to its antioxidant-rich properties, honey reduces the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. But that’s not all! It also works overtime to regulate blood sugar levels and promote eye health. A better question might be: is there anything honey can’t do?
  3. Improves cholesterol levels. In addition to honey’s happy-heart ways, it also has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides. Win-win.
  4. Acts as a natural cough suppressant. For children one year and older, honey is a great alternative to traditional cough medicine. It acts as a natural and safe cough suppressant that is as effective as a single dose of dextromethorphan.
  5. Moisturizing and nourishing. You can use honey in your homemade face scrubs and washes. It emulsifies easily with water (surprisingly, no stickiness!) and can help to moisturize and further nourish dry skin.
  6. Reduces allergies. Not only is honey anti-inflammatory, it also contains small amounts of pollen, which can actually help your immune system stave off local allergies.
  7. Promotes burn and wound healing. Honey is packed with antibacterial and antifungal properties. When it comes to applying a natural salve to minor wounds, cuts, and burns, honey is your go-to.
  8. Consider it “brain food.” Honey can naturally assist the brain to prevent metabolic stress, which in turn, helps one to achieve truly restful sleep. And you know what happens after a good night’s sleep? Our cognitive and memory enhancement is on point. 
  9. Helps with an itchy scalp and dandruff. When diffused with water and applied to an itchy, dry scalp, honey’s natural humectant properties help to heal and moisturize.
  10. Increases athletic performance. Honey maintains glycogen levels and improves recovery time post-workout. In a nutshell? Athletes shouldn’t skip a daily spoonful of honey!
Living, Wellness

The Best Morning Routines for a (Much) Better Day

June 15, 2017

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There’s no time like the present to address some hard-wired morning habits we all are guilty of — reaching for our phones to check email/Instagram/more email/SportsCenter/you get the picture the moment our eyes open, grabbing the first caffeinated thing we can get our hands on, and never giving the day ahead a “big-picture review” before jumping into our 9 a.m. meeting. To avoid the proverbial, waking up on the wrong side of the bed, we must take matters into our own hands (and minds!). And that’s exactly what were doing right here.

1. Lemon Water Is Your New Favorite Drink. More specifically, a cup of warm purified water infused with fresh lemon is the perfect AM wake-up call. Drink it first thing — yes, before breakfast (which you should also be eating – it is the most important meal of the day after all!) — and reap the benefits of a natural miracle worker. Seriously. Warm lemon water helps to flush out toxins, purges the body of unwanted substances, helps to boost your immune system, aids in digestion, and improves your mood. Like we said, miracle. worker.

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2. Avoid Your Phone (and Get Your Head in the Game). If you’re one of those people (guilty as charged) that reaches for their phone as soon as you’ve reentered waking life, try avoiding the home screen — at least, for the first 10 to 15 minutes of your morning. Instead, take these initial moments to review the day ahead. Mentally align your priorities, assign goals for both the short term and long term, and give yourself breathing room. If avoiding your phone isn’t in the cards, then we say, “embrace it and open the Headspace app instead.” This app acts like a personal trainer for meditation, with exercises ranging from 10 minutes a day to lengthier sessions. Cellular clarity, if you will.

3. Make Stretching a Priority. Stretch before you even get out of bed. It feels so good and the actual health benefits are numerous. Let us count the ways. Stretching helps increase the blood flow to the muscles, which in turn, helps you to feel more energized and refreshed. It also helps to prevent future injury from muscle stiffness.

4. Get Movin’ and Sweat It Out. Stretching is one thing — and it’s important — but really getting your body into motion is equally important. Yes, this means you should probably invest in an earlier wake-up time, but it also means that you should create a time and space for something as simple as 10 minutes of mat yoga, a 25-minute jog around your neighborhood, or a 30-minute at-home barre workout. Many people find that working out in the morning jumpstarts their day (and metabolism), regulates their appetite, and provides a built-in rhythm and routine to the work week.

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5.  Nourish Your Body. There are so many ways to do this, but we’ll give you two excellent tips to set you on the right path for the day. First, in a more literal sense, try dry body brushing before showering. You’ll need a dry loofah or brush. With it, you’ll brush your body in circular motions toward your heart, working your way outward in. This action not only sloughs off dead skin cells, it also promotes better circulation and reduces cellulite. Second, make yourself a green smoothie. Remember to incorporate superfood ingredients like kale, spinach, and chard, but mix it with more palatable (but also nutritious) items like apple, ginger, mint, pineapple, mango, blueberries, and lemon. Need more smoothie inspiration? Go here.

Wellness

Minimize Your Allergies With These Eight Natural Remedies

March 27, 2017

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The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology found that 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies (yikes!). If you fall into that staggering statistic, perhaps you too are experiencing symptoms such as congestion, a stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, and headaches — all of which can affect your day-to-day routine. To help battle seasonal allergies, here are eight natural remedies to try.

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News, Wellness

What Is Cupping?

August 11, 2016

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You may have noticed that some of the greatest Olympic athletes — ahem, Michael Phelps! Alex Naddour! — are sporting some rather odd-looking marks on their backs and shoulders. No, they’re not giant hickeys nor are they part of some new tattoo fad. Those small, circular marks are the result of a healing technique called “cupping.” We asked Jamie, massage therapist at milk + honey Hill Country Galleria, to give us the lowdown on cupping — what it is, why athletes are utilizing it, and why it’s good for you.

What is cupping?

Cupping is an ancient Chinese medicine modality that has been around for thousands of years. Cupping does, in fact, involve a cup — attached to a pump. The technique increases blood flow and helps to heal sore muscles.

Why are athletes, like Michael Phelps, cupping?

Athletes use it because it helps increase muscle recovery by helping to eliminate lactic acid and toxins from the muscle layer. By pulling the blood to the skin’s surface with suction, it allows for new oxygenated blood to help restore the tissues. That said, it’s not only useful for athletes. Most sports injuries stem from overuse and/or misuse of a muscle or, in some cases, lack of use. For example: if you have neck and shoulder pain that limits your use of your arms, cupping can help reduce muscle tension and help improve range of motion while helping to reduce inflammation by moving lymph fluid.

Is cupping for you?

Often times, clients come in feeling stressed, but after a cupping session, they leave feeling like a weight has been lifted! Cupping is great for shoulder, neck, and back tightness and pain — and is also amazing for releasing tight hamstrings, calves, and quads from running, sitting at a desk all day long, driving, and daily exercise.

Interested in trying cupping? Call 512.236.1115 to schedule an appointment. We offer cupping upon request.
Photo: Instagram user m_phelps00

Wellness

milk + honey Wellness: Summer Yoga Routine

June 23, 2016

Whether you prefer the challenge of the one-legged crow pose or opt for something more restorative like child’s pose, yoga is an excellent way to exercise, meditate, and relax all in one. To help us find our zen, we asked two of our 2nd Street District massage therapists, Lala K. and Kelly M., to show us some of their favorite yoga sequences, which everyone can do, too. Grab your mat and follow along.

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Austin, Houston, News, Wellness

Find Balance in Your New Year’s Workout Resolution Here.

January 4, 2016

It’s that time of year again — the time for reflection that comes after holiday indulgence, but before the realistic onset of life in the New Year. Take this time to plan ahead and to create healthy goals and intentions (“resolutions,” if you will) that are challenging yet attainable. At milk + honey, we’re not extremists. We like balance and strive to keep it that way. So, when it comes to thinking about the year ahead, we’re setting out to engage our minds and our bodies equally — here’s how.

 

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CrossFit + Sports Massage

Sprinting, climbing rope, box jumps, kettlebells, and flipping tires are only a handful of the high-intensity exercises CrossFit utilizes in its interval training program. After your WOD, take your stretching to the next level. Our deep-tissue, full-body Sports Massage helps to ease any muscle tension and soreness in joints, which will in turn, prevent injury.

Where to go in Austin: CrossFit Central

Where to go in Houston: Urban Animal

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Yoga + HydraFacial 

Bikram, Hatha, Ashtanga, Kundalini, Vinyasa. Whatever your practice may be, yoga is one of the meditative ways to exercise. Extend your calming environment outside of the yoga studio to include another relaxing sanctuary: the spa. Our Ultimate HydraFacial is exactly what your skin needs after a sweaty stretch session. Smoothe rough-textured skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and bring your skin back to its natural, youthful state without any redness or downtime.

Where to go in Austin: Black Swan Yoga | Wanderlust | CorePower Yoga

Where to go in Houston: Your Body Center | DEFINE | Yoga One

 

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Indoor Cycling + The Spa Partisan 

Between the adrenaline-pumping music, synchronized pedaling, and the feeling of relief after that last incline (er, turn of the resistance knob), we can’t get enough of indoor cycling. It’s not for the faint of the heart, but we challenge everyone to tap it back at least once in the New Year. Plus, if you cycle to the finish line, then you’ve certainly earned our Spa Partisan treatment. This full-body brushing is followed by a brown sugar, coffee, and crushed almond skin-polishing blend that leaves you feeling relaxed and renewed.

Where to go in Austin: RIDE | Love Cycling Studio

Where to go in Houston: Revolution Studio {Bonus: take your cycling outside with Houston’s new about-town red cruisers, available for on-demand rent all around town.}

 

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Dancing + Signature Massage with Foot Scrub

After shaking your hips and breaking it down on the dance floor, treat your feet to some TLC with our Lux Pedicure. The nail soak, shaping, cuticle maintenance, extra hydration, exfoliation, and warm oil treatment offer up an incredible one-two punch for your feet.

Where to go in Austin: Corazon Latino

Where to go in Houston: MET Dance | Vitacca Productions & Company

 

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Running + Hit the Trail Retreat

If you prefer to hit the trail (or treadmill), don’t overlook our Hit The Trail Retreat for the post-run cooldown. This retreat includes an hour-long Sports Massage followed by the Buff + Go Combo, 15 minutes of extra foot massage, and CosMedix SPF 30 sunblock. Leave happy and refreshed.

Where to go in Austin: Lady Bird Lake Hike & Bike Trail

Where to go in Houston: the new Sandy Reed Memorial Trail

 

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Barre + Hydrating Body Cocoon 

Dance enthusiasts, unite. Barre class is composed of isometric holds, small range movements, and large dynamic movements, which in turn, effectively build strength, flexibility, and improve posture and balance. Finish your workout with our Hydrating Body Cocoon, which will leave your mind and body relaxed and your skin healthy and hydrated. Start with an invigorating full body brushing, then move to a 45-minute Signature Massage complete with an aromatherapy-infused body butter.

Where to go in Austin: Barre3 | Mod Fitness 

Where to go in Houston: DEFINE | Pure Barre

 

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Boxing + Manicures

Who knew jabs, crosses, and hooks could greatly improve your cardiovascular health? Thanks to the vigorous workout that is boxing, you not only work up a great, healthy sweat, but you also tone muscle and improve flexibility and strength. Once the gloves are off, consider it time to polish that right-left combo. For guys, try our Buff + Go manicure. For ladies, you can’t go wrong with our m + h Manicure.

Where to go in Austin: Austin Boxing Babes | Austin Fight Club

Where to go in Houston: Elite Mixed Martial Arts

Massage, Wellness

How Can I Treat Jaw Pain?

December 28, 2015

Today, one of our expert 2nd Street District massage therapists, talks jaw pain — and how to ease the tension we create for ourselves.

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Many of my clients experience jaw pain and tension — it’s very common. Too often, we clench and grind our teeth as a response to stress, a habit that occurs when we try to concentrate, or sometimes, it manifests itself as a subconscious holding pattern we’re not even aware of.

 

The Context

Let’s start from the beginning. In orthopedic medicine, there is a prevailing idea that the mandible (jaw bone) and the pelvis “talk” to one another. Both of theses bones are directly connected to one another via the spine. The jaw connects to the hyoid bone, which dictates posture and alignment in the neck, along with the atlas. And, on the pelvic end, the pelvis and the sacrum work in tandem to balance us in an upright position at the base of the spine. In short, jaw tension can throw off your entire posture — and it can even cause both hip and lower back pain.
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The Culprit

Tension in the jaw can lead to lots of symptomatic pain in the body. For example: did you know that your Masseter muscles — muscles that run from your cheek to your jaw — can exert upwards of 250 pounds of pressure per bite? Now, if you think about that kind of semi-constant tension in your head, it makes sense why those who suffer from chronic jaw tension experience headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and whole-body misalignment.
Another culprit of jaw tension, pain, and TMJ is Malocclusion. Malocclusion is when your teeth meet in a misaligned way as the two dental arches approach each other as the jaws close. Almost everyone has some form of malocclusion, and, generally, orthodontists are only interested in your malocclusion if it causes you pain.
Many orthodontic surgeons think that the best way to treat severe malocclusion is through surgery, believing that night guards, retainers, and other dental applications will not help. What many orthodontist don’t take into consideration is that chronic jaw tension is more often than not a symptom of anxiety and high stress. More importantly it’s a postural choice we make. Whether we are aware that we are making that choice is another question entirely.

Make Yourself Aware

Body awareness is a somatic skill that must be honed in everyone, but especially when you’re dealing with chronic pain and stress. Meditation and physical practices like yoga, pilates, dance, or sports can help you become aware of the inner machinations and connections between your body and mind. See if you can catch yourself in the act of clenching and grinding your teeth.When this happens engage in the mantra, “soften jaw and breathe.” Notice the breath in your body when your teeth are clenched: is it deep or shallow? Rapid or slow? Notice the position of your shoulder blades. Inhale deeply, shrug your shoulders up by your ears tightly, then exhale and drop them completely. Do this several times to allow all of the muscles in your shoulders to release.
Remember you are in control of what you are aware of. Where awareness goes, energy grows.

The Solution

In a spa setting, chronic jaw tension and TMJ pain can be addressed, as long as the client is consistent with massage appointments. Regular-focused masseter, pterygoid, scalp, face, and neck massage can relieve built-up tension and pain. Therapists trained in Craniosacral Therapy can address jaw pain and tension via manual adjustment.
The spa environment, and even the act of carving out time on a consistent basis solely for self-care and self-love, is a huge step toward managing stress. Often, massage therapists and other spa employees are a lot like ESS (Emergency Stress Services). Ideally though, we want our clients to live their best, pain, and stress-free lives. In this day and age, massage and other self-care services are not luxury experiences, but necessary investments in overall well-being and health.
If you are experiencing chronic jaw or if you suffer from TMJ, know that you have support from milk + honey. We have an amazing team of massage therapists who can help you if you are experiencing acute discomfort, and we can refer you to other wellness professionals in the area who can help you tackle the issue from a multidimensional approach.

News, Products, Wellness

Big News: milk + honey Products Have Landed in Whole Foods Market Austin!

March 18, 2015

That’s right. Not only can you find us here, here, here, here, and here, but now, we’re officially on the shelves at the Whole Foods Market North Lamar flagship and at The Domain. It’s incredible to see our milk + honey products available in both stores and, of course, it feels great to partner with another Austin-bred brand.

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To celebrate the latest, we’ll be holding two Whole Foods Market demos over the weekend, one at North Lamar on Saturday, March 21 from 11am to 2pm, and one at The Domain on Sunday, March 22 from 11:30am to 4pm. Come by, say “hi,” meet Alissa, sample our products, and get to know your new favorite bath and body products!

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Did we mention you might just see our founder, Alissa Bayer, “hanging” around? She’s featured on the Local Maker posters that greet you as you walk into the store. If you see her, be sure to tweet (or Instagram) us a selfie with her with the hashtag, #hangingwithAlissa.

Thank you for all of your support!

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