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healthy living

Living, Wellness

The Best Morning Routines for a (Much) Better Day

June 15, 2017


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.


Minimize Your Allergies With These Eight Natural Remedies

March 27, 2017


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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Today is National Relaxation Day

August 15, 2016

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Busy schedules, meetings, rush hour traffic are part of the daily grind. But today, let’s make a concerted effort to treat ourselves with kindness — it’s National Relaxation Day. This “holiday” is all about taking some time for yourself and, in our opinion, you definitely deserve a massage, facial, body treatment, or anything that screams (quietly), “relaxation.” To help you get into the spirit, we took a poll and asked our Spa Partisans how they like to unwind.

The results are in!



In 1st place, our Spa Partisans plan to end the day enjoying a nice glass of wine.


After a day of providing amazing customer service, many of us enjoy watching Netflix or surfing the web.


As you might have noticed from our #WellnessWendesday Facebook post, we love practicing yoga. Today, take some time to meditate with our 2nd Street District massage therapist, Lala, who provided us with this relaxing yoga sequence.


Last, but certainly not least, our Spa Partisans love to unwind with good book at the end of the day.



Photo Credit:

Wine and a book | Netflix | Reading


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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No April Fool’s Here: We Promise Clean, Green, Safe Beauty

April 1, 2016



At milk + honey, we care deeply about the environment and have taken proactive steps to do our part — from creating our own urban apiaries to formulating our luxurious bath and body care line using organic, plant-based ingredients. To celebrate Earth Month, we’re showcasing our spa and salon’s natural treatments that are not only good for you, but also utilize safe, green beauty practices.

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Feel Good Health

June 3, 2012

Matt is one of our fantastic massage therapists at milk + honey spa 2nd Street District.

When speaking with my clients concerning their goals for our session, many of them specify distinct musculoskeletal concerns they would like me to address, while others simply shrug and answer with,  “I just wanna relax and feel good.” Almost inevitably they wind up getting a little of both.

I have a definite scope of practice as a massage therapist that focuses on stress relief and relief from myofascial dysfunction.  I cannot avoid working with individual’s health and fitness goals. As such my clients consistently expose me to new practices related to those goals. I’m a curious person and I do my own research too.

Should you poke around in cyberspace for answers to your health or fitness goals, you will inevitably encounter marketing motivating you to take up behavior XYZ for the sake of health, happiness, and feeling good. I think the underlying narrative suggests that if you’re not healthy you won’t feel good, but what about the other way around? Does feeling good promote health?

Photo courtesy of Colin Gray

The short answer, turns out, is yes.

Surely you’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine. According to laughter boosts immunity, lowers stress hormones, decreases pain, relaxes muscles and is even good for your heart. It’s like a whole body internal massage. Of course laughter also improves mood. Similarly, behavioral psychologists have famously experimented with and confirmed the relationship between acts such as smiling and the mental and emotional state of their subjects. Many have measured their results in the relative abundance or absence of stress-hormones and neurotransmitter levels. They advocate a certain fake it ’till you make it approach.

Laughing with friends is even better because it engenders those feelings of safety, connection, and community that allow us to step away from our stress triggers. Leisure, and respite from routine also allows us to normalize our stress levels. Sun on the skin (protected by a high SPF of course) elevates moods and increases vitamin D production. Hearing the gentler sounds of nature, breezes through the trees, and the soft lap of water on the shores lowers the heart rate and connects us with something bigger than our problems. Touch produces the feel good hormone oxytocin, so even spending time at the petting zoo can be rewarding. Hearing your favorite music produces all kinds of feel good neurotransmitters and activates ecstatic centers in the brain. In fact, preemie babies have shown to thrive when their care takers play soothing music.

So is this really news to you? In this day and age we all know that the body and mind influence one another. Though stress effects allow an organism to overcome extreme threat, the correlation between prolonged stress and illness, including myofascial dysfunction, are well documented. We all know that the effects of stress correlate positively with disease. Feeling good promotes health, and it does so primarily because it combats the effects of prolonged extreme stress.

I constantly hear people in our culture defend their behaviors of overwork. They delay their private time and feel-good time, citing obstacles and goals. People brag about how much they’ve done and how little they’ve slept, or how much time they don’t have. I do it too. It’s a feature of our culture. We feel we must continue our efforts even when our physical and emotional well being suffer. Truly, life without challenge would feel empty. But there’s another side of the story that describes an optimal balance for health, and even productivity. has an article about this called “Bring Back the 40-Hour Work Week.” That balance requires the phenomenon of making sure you feel good.


Losing Inches – The Secret Lies in Your Posture

March 19, 2011

Here’s a great tip from one of our top massage therapists:

If you are like many Americans who sit in a car to drive to a job where you sit in front of a computer all day and come home to hold a 40lb. child who still wants up, then your posture probably stinks. You lament the loss of your youthful figure, blaming the free office snacks for feeling dumpy. However, along with the obvious route of improving diet and exercise, the fastest way to look thinner is to stand up straight (as in straighten your back, press your shoulders back and lift your head). Slouching always makes people look heavier and thicker. This sounds like an easy fix but when many people attempt this simple biped exercise, it seems impossible to unravel the body’s slumped contortion. Fortunately, a nice 90 minute deep tissue massage can be just the thing to get you back in line, looking longer and leaner, and feeling great. By loosening the grip of tight muscles from your skeletal framework, you will find the length and ease you enjoyed as a child.

Let us help your body find the way back into that balanced posture and you’ll see results quickly.

Image by Pink Sherbet Photography


Can Massage Help Me Lose Weight?

January 24, 2011

massage table at milk + honey spaOften spas promote massage as a way to lose weight and while it is not definitively true, there may be some indirect correlations.

Receiving a massage does not burn calories (but giving a massage does!), remedy cellulite, or take the place of exercise and a healthy diet. It does, however, increase muscle tone and the integrity of the skin. More importantly, massage lowers cortisol, a stress hormone which is often responsible for weight gain. When cortisol levels are high, the body has a difficult time resting and digesting and this stress mode causes weight gain.

Massage can also decrease water retention in the body by wringing toxins and excess fluids out of the muscles, slating them for elimination. Adrenal glands and kidneys get a jump start and move waste materials more quickly through the body. As circulation improves, skin appears healthier and smoother.

Even if no pounds are lost, massage sets the body up for the best conditions of optimal health and positive results show from the inside out.


Get the Bad Stuff Out of Cosmetics

January 21, 2011

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is an advocacy organization that is attempting to eliminate harmful chemicals from cosmetics and skin care products. Their mission is close to our heart. Why is it that so many skin care products contain chemicals that cause cancer, interfere with estrogen production, or simply cause irritation when they should soothe?

From the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics:

Researchers have found triclosan in the majority of Americans, including pregnant women. The chemical can have adverse effects on fetal growth and development,(2) may lead to bacterial resistance to antibiotics and harms aquatic life.(3) It’s in more than 75 percent of liquid hand soaps in the U.S.,(4) yet triclosan is no more effective than regular soap and water.

If you care about this as much as we do, click here to sign a petition to the EPA asking them to ban triclosan.

Massage, Wellness

Why Drink Water After a Massage?

January 6, 2011

Have you ever wondered why you are told to drink extra water after a massage

Your therapist is not honing a nurturing instinct or lecturing you on good health. When your muscles are manipulated during a massage waste materials and other toxins are released from the muscles and into the bloodstream. Just like when you exercise, massage, especially deep tissue or sports massage, dehydrates muscles and removes electrolytes. In order to help your kidneys and liver process and flush out these toxins, it is important to drink extra water. Water will help prevent unnecessary soreness, possible nausea, pain, and an overall sluggish feeling. Your body is happy to get rid of all the “junk” it has been storing but you need to help it along with extra H2O. Keeping your muscles hydrated regularly helps keep the tissue supple and healthy reducing tension and spasm.

How does drinking water after, and even before a massage, help prevent these symptoms? These answers lie in your body’s physiology.

Why are these toxins building up in the first place?

As your muscles activate for everyday function they produce waste that gets removed by the circulatory and lymphatic system (Be sure to check out our lymphatic massage to help keep your lymphatic system in top shape). Tight or knotted muscles can constrict, reducing blood flow to the area. This constriction inhibits your body’s ability to flush out waste and toxins, and causes them to build up in your muscles. Drinking water after massages helps to break up these pockets of toxins and remove them from your body. But what exactly are these toxins?

What toxins are released during a massage?

It’s often mentioned how water helps flush toxins out of your body, but what exactly are these toxins? 

The primary toxin associated with muscle soreness and fatigue is lactic acid. Lactic acid is a byproduct of anaerobic respiration, so when your cells need energy but there is no oxygen to produce it, they take this alternative route to produce what they need. It is the quick and dirty way to fuel your body, as it is not as efficient as aerobic respiration (using oxygen), and it produces the lactic acid byproduct which needs to be processed by your liver. As we mentioned before, the constriction of your muscles can reduce circulation, leading to less oxygen being available to your muscles. This can produce a negative feedback loop where your tighter muscles are producing more lactic acid, with no way to remove it. The presence of lactic acid in your muscles has been proven to cause water to flow out of your muscles, leaving them dehydrated and increasing your blood pressure.

Lactic acid isn’t the only toxin that can build up in your muscles. Salts (electrolytes) and phosphates, processed in the kidneys, and nitrates like ammonia, processed by the liver, can also build up in your muscles. Massages can help break up these pockets of toxins allowing your body to flush them out and send them for processing in their respective organs. You don’t want to overload your organs with a rush of toxins to process, that’s why you want to drink extra water after your massage. Drinking more water after a massage will help dilute the concentration of these toxins, making it easier for your body to process without overloading your organs.

What happens if you don’t drink water after a massage?

The simple answer is you might experience pain, fatigue, and what is commonly called the DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, after your massage.  Here are some symptoms you may experience.

  • Reduced range of motion due to pain and stiffness 
  • Muscles tender to touch
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Short-term loss of muscle strength
  • Swelling in affected muscles

DOMS are typically experienced after high-intensity exercise, which can cause micro tears in your muscles. Your body responds to this by sending blood flow and nutrients to the area to heal, which in turn helps your muscles grow. Massages can lead to these same microtears, leading to similar symptoms. These symptoms usually appear 12 to 24 hours after your workout or massage. Drinking water after your massage will help your body heal faster and ease these symptoms, but how much water is the right amount?

How Much Water Should You Drink After a Massage?

water pitchers at milk + honey spa


There is debate about the actual amount of water that is considered the right amount. A good way to know you are hydrated is to make a point to drink your 8 glasses a day and if your urine is clear then, you are hydrated. If you are already a pro at staying hydrated, then go ahead and tack on an extra 3-4 glasses of water after a massage. Every body is different s

o you might have to test it out and see how much is enough for you. If the day after a massage you are stiff, feeling pain or fatigue, add on a couple more glasses the next go around. We would even reco

mmend drinking extra water before your massage, as hydrated muscles are easier to manipulate and work than dehydrated ones. Hydrate properly, and you will find your body feeling renewed and rejuvenated. You can sip it milk + honey style by adding cut citrus or cucumber to your glass.

Book an appointment today!

Cleanse your muscles of their toxins today at your local milk + honey spa. With our signature massages such as our deep tissue, swedish, or sports massages, and more options depending on your body’s needs! Schedule your appointment today!

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