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When I choose a 'parlor'...and other things that need to be corrected

posted Nov 5, 2015, 11:26 AM by Jason Spencer   [ updated Nov 5, 2015, 11:30 AM ]

Massage parlors, happy endings, masseuse...all such terrific terms right?  I can't count the number of times I have heard these used in casual conversation by potential customers.  On rare occasions past customers have even blown past all the terrific reviews, everything they read and see and experience intent that somehow their perception and expectations create truth...and then when our attractive, professional therapists that have spent years training and often have additional formal training provide the best massage they have ever had but don't entertain anything additional they are incensed and ask what kind of a "parlor" is this...that 'masseuse' gave horrible service...
Honestly, we will take those kinds of compliments all day long...we are Chicago's favorite fix it spot, and our therapists skills are unmatched.  Bring a friend and see what you have been missing.  See you soon ;-) 

Female therapists can't do deep tissue massage / I need REALLY deep tissue

posted Dec 12, 2014, 5:48 AM by Jason Spencer

Over the course of almost two years now I couldn't possibly count the number of times I have heard customers lament the many times they tried other places and ended up walking out feeling like they just wasted their time.  Often the initial comment is followed up by a story of how they chose a therapist based on their size or because they were a guy, or because of a myriad of other reasons that seemed to make sense at the time. Then they found us, through Yelp, by a friends recommendation, or just passing by and within a single session everything they "knew" about massage changed. Further proof  that you can't judge a book by its cover, despite some of our professionals petite stature, all of our therapists are deep tissue specialists, which unlike so many other places doesn't mean you will spend an hour feeling like you are being attacked by an elbow...there is so much more to it than that, and deep tissue doesn't have to mean extended pain. 

Part of our commitment to service is providing consistency and quality regardless the therapist, and no matter when you have time for an appointment.  While we appreciate that many of our customers have their favorites, don't be surprised if, on occasion we pair you with one of our other specialists to conduct your Fix It session.  We are confident that regardless who is taking care of you, you will leave feeling refreshed.

If it were called Bioinformatics and Biomedicine would that change your mind about Acupuncture?

posted Nov 6, 2014, 4:50 AM by Jason Spencer

Some interesting things are happening in the field of medicine, health sciences, and big pharma as baby boomers keep getting older and those younger than them keep pushing harder, all resulting in greater need for proactive and preventative care.  Personally I believe that within the next 2 decades we will be able to essentially replace major body components via either biological methods or synthetics.  This is coupled with the belief that we will find many of these heavily marketed treatments pushing pills at us in the middle of our favorite shows that still only treat symptoms are horribly detrimental to our species in general. This again is paired with a personal mission to figure out how we can best listen to our bodies which were designed by a master craftsman and have the ability to not only heal but thrive if we just work towards balance.  It is with this wellness mission in mind that Jade and I created Reflexion Spa.  Unfortunately our quick fix society has trouble accepting programs that don't cause drastic changes immediately.  

To make things even more muddy, those who do take a chance on alternative therapies like massage, acupuncture, and herbal treatments often end up in the hands of someone not truly capable.  Some of our clients have implored us to add more staff to make appointments easier but within the same conversation they concur that it isn't just anyone who can do what we do nor have they found anyone else with the superior skills like that of TzuWen, Jade, Jenny, and Michael.  These aren't your average off the street folks who took a couple continuing ed classes and then declared themselves experts...each one has worked years to truly master their craft in order to bring true healing to our customers.  

I invite you to check a recent article from WSJ related to how the world is finally taking notice...its only taken the mainstream a thousand+ years to catch up...so are you hot or cold?  Come find out...

http://online.wsj.com/articles/a-push-to-back-traditional-chinese-medicine-with-more-data-1415036616

Navigate Change with Acupuncture

posted Nov 5, 2014, 7:27 PM by Jason Spencer

With the weather changing here is some food for thought:

The Science of Acupuncture

posted Nov 5, 2014, 7:25 PM by Jason Spencer

You don't have to take our word for it, but once you have done your research and been fed up with other gimmicks we invite you to make an appointment and see the difference in your life.  Here are some links to get you started:

http://brainblogger.com/2014/10/21/the-science-of-acupuncture/



and a bit of a light hearted info
Everyone Gets Acupuncture and so Should You! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXI_29BUL0g


Boosting Your Immune System Before Flu Season

posted Nov 4, 2014, 9:02 AM by Jason Spencer

Blink once, and the summertime has passed, leaving cooler days and colorful foliage. Blink twice, and before you know it the chill of winter will be upon us, gusting in with snowy days and snuggly nights. Unfortunately, facing the approach of winter also means preparing for the return of flu season. But since we’re not quite into flu season yet, there’s plenty you can start doing to beef up that immune system!

Foods

Good old chicken noodle soup, right? Every time there’s a kid with a cold, there’s inevitably a mom who is force feeding that kid as much chicken noodle soup as he or she can take. Except that chicken noodle soup really does help in fighting off colds! In addition to containing electrolytes, it has anti-inflammatory and mucus reducing properties that make it an ideal food when you’re under the weather. Interestingly, some say that if you’re looking to stop a cold before it starts, you should hold off on the chicken soup and switch to tomato. Other foods that can ward off sickness include Chamomile tea, oats, and chili peppers. And of course, always of utmost importance, remember to keep your body hydrated with plenty of water!

Supplements

Supplements are probably the most obvious way to boost immunity. And within that most obvious way are the most obvious supplements, the ones that you’ve heard about every single time you’ve ever gotten sick: Vitamin C and Zinc. Granted, those are classically great. Yet there are some incredible immune boosters out there that are just starting to make a name for themselves. Colostrum, a form of mother’s milk that contains antibodies which protect against disease, and Elderberry extract, a supplement used for its antioxidant properties and activity against viruses/influenza, are both exceptionally beneficial for boosting the immune system.

Exercise

While experts aren’t entirely sure on the why, studies have found that exercise can help ward off infections. Theories on this range from the increased rate of circulation during activity helping white blood cells to find and identify invaders more quickly, to the rise in body temperature acting like a miniature fever and preventing bacterial growth. The one time that exercise should never be attempted is when you suspect you might be catching a bug or are already fighting one off. This is because when you are sick or coming down with something, your body needs to be able to put all of its energy into combating whatever is attacking it. The extra stress of a workout that can be so beneficial when you’re healthy now just becomes an additional drain on your body’s resources, possibly prolonging or intensifying your illness. So if you’re already feeling under the weather, skip the workouts for a while.

Cupping Therapy

A practice centered around the ancient Chinese beliefs of energies and chis, cupping therapy is a natural, relaxing, and non-invasive detoxification technique that places small cups, usually made of rubber or glass, at different keys areas of the body. The cups are then suction sealed, creating a vacuum that forces an increase in blood flow and draws toxins stored in tissue around the body. It is only once those toxins have been flushed out that they can be properly disposed of. The increased flow of blood and energy also results in a stronger physical body, boosting immunity and helping to combat infection.

De-stressing

Nothing can wear the body’s immune systems down faster than stress. Stress affects the body in so many negative ways, such as keeping you up all night (sleep deprivation is a sure way to find yourself coming down with something). If you’re leading a stressful life, you’re running a much higher risk for contracting an illness, not to mention the other bad effects that come with stress. So as flu season approaches, make sure you’re taking plenty of time for yourself to unwind. Ensure you’re setting aside time to practice the recreational activities you enjoy and perhaps learn some relaxation techniques. Did you and your significant other have a rough week at work? Maybe the weekend is a great time to go and get a couples massage. But whatever you need to do for yourself, keep those stress levels down! Do you have any favorite tips or tricks for boosting your immune system? Share in the comments below!

The Top 10 Fitness Myths - Busted!

posted Oct 30, 2014, 1:05 PM by Jason Spencer   [ updated Oct 30, 2014, 1:19 PM ]

We’ve all heard them, be it from our workout buddy at the gym or even (gasp!) a personal trainer...there’s certainly no shortage of fitness myths running loose out there. So let’s take a look at some of the worst culprits and start making that workout routine more effective!

1. Crunches will get rid of belly fat.

I think everyone is pretty happy to hear that thisone is a myth! I’ve never met anyone who enjoyed doing crunches.

While crunches will tone your stomach muscles, they won’t erase the layer of fat that is sitting atop them. So, you can do crunches until you can’t sit up anymore, but crunches alone won’t tone your belly for you.

Belly fat is often referred to as “toxic” fat, simply because it’s viewed as one of the hardest to get rid of. But in reality, belly fat is just simply fat, and ties in with your overall body fat percentage. Which is why there’s no way that…

2. Fat can be reduced in one area at a time.

This is directly connected to #1.

Having the appearance of a toned body is really all about one thing - body fat percentage. You can have the most toned muscles in the world, but if they’re hanging out under 25% body fat, nobody is ever going to be able to see them. In fact, you probably already have pretty toned muscles (or you’d have mighty big problems moving around), they’re just hiding out under your fat.

Interval and strength training can help in reducing overall body fat, but again, this really comes down to exercise and diet.  

3. If you’re not sweating, you’re not working hard enough.

Put quite basically, quantity of sweat ≠ quality of workout.

Sweating is the human body’s cooling system. So if you’re sweating, all that means is that you’re hot, which can be influenced by any number of factors, such as what you’re wearing, the temperature of the environment, and what you were eating or drinking before your workout. Ever started sweating while eating some hot wings? Yeah, somehow that probably didn’t have anything to do with heavy lifting…

Burning calories can be accomplished in any variety of ways, and not all of them involve sweating. Exercises like light weight lifting and walking can be effective calorie burners without generating one bead of sweat.

4. Drinking water can help you drop weight.

Don’t get me wrong, water is great. It’s the number one thing that keeps our bodies running properly. But somehow, water has gained a reputation lately for all kinds of super powers it just does not have. And one of those is that it will help you lose weight.

Ever heard that drinking lots of water will help keep you from getting hungry? Or that drinking an obscene amount will actually cause you to lose pounds?

Unfortunately, it just isn’t true.

While rehydrating with water can help you lose a pound or two of water weight in the short term if you are extremely dehydrated, it cannot legitimately cause weight loss. However, replacing sugary sodas and fruit juices with water can definitely make a positive impact on your diet and help cut calorie intake.

5. Stretching before a workout is important to avoid injury.

Have you ever gone to the gym with a workout partner, and you head straight for the machines while they head for the stretching mats? You stop, scratch your head a little, and think to yourself, “am I doing something wrong?”

Many people believe that stretching before a workout warms you up and increases your range of motion. But while stretching after a workout can be important in maintaining flexibility, stretching before a workout can actually weaken the muscles, making you more prone to injury.

6. Cardio is better for weight loss than lifting.

Everyone is all about the cardio when it comes to dropping weight. But in reality, interval training and lifting weights is a much better way to reduce fat and shed pounds.

One of the biggest reasons? Muscle mass, pure and simple. The more muscle you maintain, the higher your metabolism and the more calories you’re burning everyday when you’re not exercising. So not only does strength training help to build more muscle, but it also is more responsible for pure fat loss when you’re doing it, whereas cardio will burn off both fat and muscle. Sounds a little counterproductive, doesn’t it?

7. I can eat whatever I want so long as I exercise.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “you are what you eat”? Well, it’s true, because about 80% of what you look like is based on what you’re eating. You can exercise day and night, but if you’re eating crap, that exercise will make little difference in your appearance.

Losing weight is all about math. Calories in MUST BE less than calories out. End of story. There’s no way around that equation, unless you have found some way to magically defy the laws of physics and thermodynamics.

So although exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle, if you’re looking to lose weight, diet should be the first thing going under the microscope.

8. Shakes are a great way to lose weight.

Most shakes contain ingredients that range from questionable to downright unhealthy, including cheap protein, lots of sugars, and chemicals, such as artificial sweeteners and dyes. Plus, shakes are almost completely ineffective for keeping you full. Real, diversified whole foods are better for your body and will do more for keeping you satiated.

There’s one more bonus to real food - it also takes more energy for your body to digest, therefore burning more calories and keeping your metabolism up!

9. If you’re a woman, weight training will bulk you up.

I’ve known very few men who look at a female body builder and say, “wow, that’s hot.” So of course, most women are scared that lifting will somehow bulk them up.

The truth is, women simply do not naturally possess the ability to bulk up in the way men do. Women have approximately 10 times less testosterone than the average man, which is necessary for that kind of natural muscle building.

So, unless the plan is to take testosterone supplements or steroids, women do not need to be concerned with bulking up.

10. Running will make you super fit.

Running seems to have become the Holy Grail of exercise. Folks are constantly talking about how they’re going to take up running and lose all this weight.

But really, the way human beings are built, we’re either meant to walk or to sprint short distances, and the art of “jogging” is actually detrimental to the body. This is especially true of women with wide hips, as the thigh creates a different angle between the knee and the hip.

The repetitive impact of long distance running is also notoriously bad for the knees, on just about anyone.

A better solution? Walking at a brisk, accelerated rate provides all the cardio benefits of running without the stress and impact. And if you’re looking to add some intensity to that workout, throw in a couple short bursts of sprinting during your walk.

Resources:

(Myself)

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/top-9-fitness-myths-busted?page=2
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/tips/strategy/top-10-fitness-myths/
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2012/01/12/common-fitness-myths-health-well-being-lose-weight/

Massage Job in Chicago - Come Join Our Team!

posted Oct 14, 2014, 5:44 AM by Jason Spencer

Reflexion Spa is hiring honest, hard working, career oriented, responsible professional massage therapists...Now in our second year the award winning, highly rated Reflexion Spa has experienced rapid, solid success employing emphatic customer service coupled with an honest no nonsense approach to wellness through alternative therapy, cutting through the negative perceptions of Asian massage and converting skeptics to believers one session at a time.  If you are truly a team player and professional looking to build brand and repeat clientele there is no better indie place for a massage therapist in Chicago than Reflexion Spa.  Email Jade and Jason for more info and to discuss opportunities ( jade@reflexionsap.com ). 

Acupuncture for Osteoarthritis

posted Oct 9, 2014, 12:14 PM by Jason Spencer

Just a quick note - 
The link below is the article published by NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information).  It is a government-funded national resource for molecular biology information. The research paper is technical, but it is a good reference to share on the blog for someone who wants scientific study on the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4158087/
Pain management with acupuncture in osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Conclusions

The use of acupuncture is associated with significant reductions in pain intensity, improvement in functional mobility and quality of life. While the differences are not as great as shown by other reviews, current evidence supports the use of acupuncture as an alternative for traditional analgesics in patients with osteoarthritis.

What Are The Benefits of Massage For Desk Workers?

posted Sep 16, 2014, 5:21 PM by Jason Spencer

Since about 1960 America has seen a sharp decline in the number of people who are getting some kind of physical activity at their jobs.


Roughly 80 percent of people today are getting little or no activity at their jobs, and most of those people are spending their days sitting at a desk, staring at a computer.


Maybe that majority is no longer in danger of losing a limb to a massive machine or being buried alive in a coal mine, but office workers deal with their own physical challenges in today’s society.


Briefly, the most characteristic problem areas for desk workers include:


  • A stiff neck or neck pain

  • Soreness in the shoulders

  • Lower back pain

  • Aching hips

  • Sore wrists/Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Headaches & Migraines


If you’re a desk worker or somebody who sits for more than six hours a day on a regular basis, I’m sure you’ve experienced some or all of these symptoms in your life so far.


So the real question now is, how can these problem areas be addressed? And more to the point, how can the long term effects be removed from the equation?


Well, there’s always the quick fix route in a glass of wine after work or, heaven forbid, those nasty over-the-counter meds. But none of those solutions are going to truly address the problem, they’ll just hide the symptoms.


There are also various stretches and exercises that can be done both at and away from one’s desk to help in combating these issues in the long term, not to mention standing up at least once an hour and getting some moderate exercise every day. These can help to combat the issues in small ways and in moving forward, but won’t be as effective in changing negative patterns that are already developing.

Therefore, let’s finally take a look at the most fantastic option for relieving some of these issues and stopping them from coming back, which is - you guessed it - through the wonderful art of massage. Massage is a long proven art form that has been in existence since some of the ancient civilizations such as China and Egypt.


Just to help make the point, a list of the major long term benefits of regular massage include:


  • A reduction of pain

  • Increased movement & mobility

  • Improvement in posture

  • Stimulation of blood flow to various muscle groups

  • Relief of stress

  • A boost in focus & concentration

  • Prevention of future pain


So what do you think, are you ready to fix up that tired body?


Usually the term body shop refers to a fix it spot for your car, but what about your body? Put yourself (literally) in the hands of Reflexion Spa, we’ve got just the ticket to fix you right up after those endless long days crammed behind your desk.


Whether you’re feeling a full body swedish massage something a little stronger in the deep tissue variety, why not let us entice you with a browse through our very reasonably priced options for a massage? Any of our treatments are guaranteed to leave you finally feeling untangled and unwound!

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