day-of-zen

Incorporating Mindfulness into Daily Life

How to Incorporate Mindfulness Into Your Daily Life
What does it mean to be mindful? It means to be aware, present, or in the moment of what is happening here and now. Spending too much time worrying about what we have planned tomorrow, next week, or even next month can cause us to worry – and we know that worrying can lead to stress and unhappiness! It is easy to forget that incorporating mindfulness into our every day lives isn’t a hard task at all.

 

We all have a morning routine that we feel actually helps us get through the day; I know that I wake up at the same time so that I can ensure I get my morning coffee, breakfast and shower in before it’s time to make my commute to work or school.

 

One of the easiest ways to incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives is to take ourselves off of autopilot and actually take the time to think about what we are doing. Instead of moving from one task to the next, think about the flavors of what you’re eating and take the time to savor the taste. In addition, when waking up, take time to sit and be with yourself before you check your phone, email, or the news – you’ll feel more at one with yourself and everyone knows that waking up feeling good can set you up for a positive day!

 

Don’t forget that when it comes to being mindful you don’t need to set aside a large amount of time to relax. It may not be realistic for you to block out a couple of hours for a massage, yoga class, or meditation space; that’s why incorporating mindfulness into each day as a way of life will help you to feel more relaxed and fulfilled overall. Sometimes it can be more effective if you take multiple breaks to take in your surroundings and practice gratitude. Make a list of everything you’re grateful for – throughout the day take maybe 5 minutes and choose something from that list to think about- you’ll feel much more at peace.

 

Lastly- laugh. It’s good for you and for those around you. Everyone enjoys laughing.

 

-Desiree Hasley
Swedish

Massage for Stress Reduction

In a perfect world we would all be carefree, enjoy life around us, and be all-around happy people. Unfortunately, we are busy and can let our hectic, on-the-go lives consume us. When we become so absorbed with juggling all of our priorities – work, family, friends, school – it can become a bit too much and we begin to stress ourselves out and carry all of that weight on our shoulders.

While there are known “good stressors” that we can feel while doing things like planning a wedding or running a marathon- it’s the negative stressors that we feel that can cause sleepless nights, upset stomachs, or angry outbursts. Lucky for us we have massage therapists who knead and stretch us into relaxation.

Did you know that in addition to your massage therapist loosening your sore muscles, they are also helping to lower your stress levels? A massage can help increase the circulation of your blood flow and lower your heart rate. Why would you ever want to take an anti-anxiety medicine again when you can get a massage instead? Setting aside time for regular massage sessions on a weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly basis is a step in the right direction towards maintaining lower stress levels. And if you aren’t able to afford massage on a regular basis, make sure to set aside some regular time to do other stress reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, or even setting aside some white space in your schedule to read a book. All of these activities should not be looked at as luxuries- when honored on a regular basis and treated as a priority, they will actually help you to become more grounded, efficient, and productive in all other aspects of your life.

Instead of looking at your next massage as a “spa day” or a way to “treat yourself”, look at it as taking a step into a new and healthier you – your body will thank you.

-Desiree Hasley

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What to Expect During Your First Thai Massage

I’m not typically a fan of rougher massages – I can do a firm Swedish massage at most. There are times though where you just know you have to go for the results rather than relaxation. Due to a reoccurring injury, I frequently suffer from neck and back pain that a Swedish massage unfortunately just can’t help with. I woke up on Tuesday with a little bit of neck pain and by Thursday, I could barely turn because the pain had spread to my back. That’s where Thai massage came in. I had never received a Traditional Thai massage before, so I was a little unsure about the strength level but definitely excited about the stretching.

 

The Thai massage is very interactive, and while you can receive softer pressure, I knew that a stronger massage would work out best. The therapist immediately found my knots and began working on them. After what felt like 30 minutes of massage, my therapist began the stretching and it was such an amazing feeling. Someone once described a Thai massage as “assisted yoga” to me, but in my opinion this was even better; This was someone helping me mold my body back into the condition that it once was. I was a little worried about being overstretched (as if there is such a thing)- or that my neck was going to crack in the wrong way, but I was so pleased with how I felt when I left my massage. The greatest thing about my Thai massage is that the following days I could feel the pain in my back going away little by little. By the third day after my massage I couldn’t feel the pain anymore.

 

A traditional Thai massage hits a lot of pressure points and energy lines of the body, so I felt relaxed throughout my massage but re-energized as well afterwards. It can also help to increase flexibility and improve your range of motion so I would recommend this massage for anyone who is feeling a bit of body stiffness. If you’re feeling skeptical about trying a massage that is described as interactive, I would say to push that thought out of your mind and give a Thai massage a chance. As much as I love Swedish massages, I can’t imagine not doing a Thai massage again.
-Desiree Hasley

Benefits of Thai Herbal Compress

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The Thai Herbal Compress has been used for centuries as a detoxification treatment. It has countless benefits for the body and is frequently used to aid in muscle and soft tissue aches.

Soft balls are filled with a special blend of Thai herbs and are steamed before being pressed onto fatigued muscles. The heat induces muscle relaxation while the herbs relieve muscle and joint pain, help to increase circulation, and provide nourishment for the skin. The heat also increases blood oxygen flow, thus oxygenating vital organs and allowing them to be more efficient.

By blending the Thai Herbal Compress with massage, one can receive maximum benefits for the body. The heated muscles will become more open to manipulation while the herbs will provide a detoxifying boost to any form of massage. This special treatment can also have a therapeutic effect due to the scent of the special herbs. The herbs used in the Thai Herbal medicine ball typically include tamarind, kaffir leaves, lemongrass, ginger, and eucalyptus which will have an relaxing yet uplifting aromatherapy effect.

 

 

 

DIY ROOM SPRAY using essential oils

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Essential oils have been used for thousands of years and are great for a variety of things ranging from stress relief to digestion.   At Project Zen we like to use a proprietary blend of Orange oil, Lemongrass, and Eucalyptus to promote an uplifting and relaxing mood for massage.

Some of my other favorite essential oils are:

Bergamot: Uplifting, inspiring, confidence building

Clary Sage: Centering, euphoric, visualizing

Fennel: Nurturing, supportive, restorative

Grapefruit: Refreshing, cheering

Ylang Ylang: Sensual, euphoric

There are hundreds of DYI ways to incorporate oils into your daily life, from making your own perfume, scenting your own aromatherapy lotions, blending your own oils to burn- the list goes on, but my newest favorite use for essential oils is making my own room freshener / body mist. Store bought air fresheners often contain a long list of carcinogens, toxic corrosives, and even pesticides. Sure- they might smell good, but the payoff is not worth it. Why inhale toxic chemicals when you can make your own blend that will smell even better AND have healthy and therapeutic effects?

It’s incredibly easy as well.  The recipe I am sharing below is my personal favorite blend that took me less than 5 minutes to make. I call it my “Bliss Spray” because it combines the uplifting qualities of Bergamot with the euphoric qualities of Ylang Ylang.

BLISS SPRAY:

You will need distilled water, Ylang Ylang essential oil, Bergamot essential oil, spray bottle.

 STEP 1: Measure 4 oz of purified water (tap water is fine too) and pour into your spray bottle

 STEP 2: Add 7 drops of Ylang Ylang and 5 drops of Bergamot

 STEP 3: Shake and spray!!

It’s that easy. Have fun experimenting with your own blends of oils.  The possibilities are endless.

 

Staying on Track

9318863436_94aa7fd9d6_z(1)You’ve done so well achieving your new New Years Resolutions- you feel the change in your daily routine, energy has increased, stress levels are down and incorporating wellness into your new year has made you feel balanced.
 
Project Zen Massage and Bodywork is here to keep you on track throughout the year. Creating a sanctuary of relaxation to de-stress through massage or facial services. 
 
Stress can trigger so much dis-ease in the body, from tension tight muscles, upset stomach, headaches, sleeping problems and even high blood pressure. Massage is beneficial for increasing endorphins in the body releasing our “feel good” chemical, while lowering blood pressure, heart rate and sending those endorphins to relax the muscles in the body. 
 
Facials, though not a full body massage, can deliver anti-stress benefits as well, such as increased facial circulation which triggers relaxation. Your face will have a healthy new glow for all to see.
 
Engaging our bodies in balanced wellness practices is important for living a long and healthy life. 

Coconut Oil for healthy body, skin, hair and face

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Coconut oil is at Project Zen. This natural moisturizer is used by our therapist’s during Spa treatments. Coconut oil is an allergen-free product that can be used for all skin types and is also healthy for your hair. This natural product is known for helping rehydrate the skin, even skin tone and even fight off harmful bacterias.
At home care with Coconut Oil:
    We strive to help you maintain balance in and out of the Spa! Keeping consistant with body work, massage and skin care for your healthy lifestyle routines. Project Zen Burlingame and San Francisco offers cold compressed Coconut Oil retail for maintaining your skin care after you leave our sanctuary Spa.
    – Coconut Oil is healthy for your digestive system it can increase your metabolism, while being a natural energy booster for improving your daily endurance.
    -Coconut Oil studies are now showing the healthy effects it may have on diet, Alzhemiers disease and type 1&2 diabetes.
    – Known for fighting skin diseases such as, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea and acne.
    -Coconut Oil also helps promote healthier hair, for frizzy hair applying directly to the hair or for longer stronger hair; Coconut oil can help produce healthier hair from the inside out.
Coconut Oil is a favorite for Spa Treatments, keep up with your skin’s health inside and out!

Organic Facials and Clinical-Grade Peels at Project Zen Burlingame

*NEW* Organic Facials and Clinical-Grade Peels at Project Zen

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Exfoliate professionally and learn how to maintain a clear complexion. Facials and peels can benefit all skin types and restore balance for many skin problems including oily, dehydration, hyper-pigmentation, acne, fine lines, wrinkles, large pores, eczema, and sensitive skin. As the largest organ of the human body, your skin will absorb 60% of what you apply to it into the bloodstream; this is why it is so important to apply paraben-free and organic products to the skin whenever possible- especially when opening up your skin to an extended and specialized treatment session. Some benefits of organic facials include:

 

• Organic products are good for ALL skin types
• Organic products help produce natural enzymes to nourish your skin
• Balance and regulate hydration through the change of seasons
• Reduce the look of stress in fine lines and wrinkles

 

Our line of Organic facials are artificial-free and paraben-free spa treatments to invigorate and revitalize your natural skin glow. Prolong your radiance through our nourishing skin treatments, increasing circulation and blood flow, producing your bodies natural collagens and elastins for radiant, firmer, youthful-looking skin.

We are also offering Clinical-Grade Peels which will help to battle damage done over the years. Rather than using harsh chemical peels, we use all-natural, plant-based peels from CosMedix to help safely and effectively reveal new and healthy skin with minimal recovery time.

 

‘Tis the season to keep up with health!

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As you unwrap that final Milky-Way from your leftover indulgences at Halloween, let’s not forget that butterball turkey, piles of mashed potatoes, pies, pies and more pies will be coming within the next couple of weeks. Before we know it tis the season shopping is here & the lists are ginormous; 3AM black friday shopping, coupons, sales, savings, THAT SWEATER IS NOT IN STYLE, put up the tree, deck the halls, holiday grab bags, holiday cards, holiday caroling, volunteering, baking, cooking and OH! you’ve forgotten the cranberry sauce!… Through all of this stress you’ve stress drank every gifted bottle of wine straight through to that glorious hang-over of the New Year!

Project Zen would like to remind you:
         “There is more to life than increasing its speed…”
-Finding 5-10 minutes for daily meditation, will help focus your mind, slow your breathe, collect your thoughts and begin to organize your day.
-Do not push aside last years resolutions of this years healthy eating habits; look up recipes now on how to eat healthy through the Holidays.
-Keep up with your exercise, it will help strengthen your daily routine.
-Water, water and more water; holiday coffees, lattes, mocha’s and hot chocolates can lead to dehydration, which can result in fatigue.
-Plan a family day! Shutdown the computers, television and hang up that cellphone; it can wait for tomorrow. Planning a day of fun family games, baking or traveling for a favorite drive.
& most importantly, at the most wonderful time of the year, if things are feeling chaotic;

breathe it in and count to Zen.

What every woman should know about Prenatal Massage

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Prenatal Massage can be an effective treatment, helping reduce stress, muscle cramps, myofascial pain and tightness in the neck, shoulders, lower back, hips and legs. Pillows and cushions will support the legs and belly during our Swedish or Deep Tissue sessions. Our focus is to design a treatment tailored to your specific needs and discomforts, allowing you to leave with an at ease mind, feeling refreshed and ready to take on your new role as a mommy. Pregnancy massage may also help aid in digestion and sleep leaving both mom and baby soothed and relaxed.
Project Zen therapists offer a soothing design for Prenatal Massage for both Mom and Baby; a tranquil relaxation massage for our nurturing soon-to-be mother’s. Our Prenatal Massage is now being offered in our Burlingame and San Francisco locations.