Why Handmade Soap is Coming Back

Did you know that anti-bacterial soap could be bad for you? The FDA has just banned the sale of soaps containing certain antibacterial chemicals. They stated that there is no evidence to suggest that antibacterial soaps are safe for long term use, or that they are even as effective as traditional soap in killing bacteria and preventing disease. Click here to read the FDA’s full report.

Antibacterial soap made its debut in the late ’70s, but the antibacterial properties weren’t really pushed heavily until the late ’80s. It was sold as a healthcare miracle. Many ads touting the benefits of antibacterial soap were aimed at parents. They even cited pediatrician recommendations. This tactic wasn’t without merit at the time because pediatricians were recommending and using these new soaps. Keep in mind is that soap does not need approval from the FDA to be sold. The FDA can, however, remove soaps or certain chemicals from the market if there is a lack of evidence to demonstrate their safety or effectiveness.

this-side-of-paradise-cover-photo
Our detergent-free handmade soaps are available in our Renton clinic or online at http://goodliferenton.com/products.html

This is a case where it has become clear that there is no verifiable benefit to using these ingredients, while at the same time, there is some concern (though little in the way of conclusive proof) that these ingredients might actually be causing harm.

That said, it’s still important to wash regularly, especially during cold and flu season. UNICEF estimates that 2.3 million children die every year from diarrhea and pneumonia-related illnesses every year–deaths that in many cases could have been prevented by this simple habit. In fact, UNICEF has also said that hand washing is “more straight-forward and cost-effective than any single vaccine” in preventing illness.

More regular washing can instantly have an impact on your personal health. In fact, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that in the general population regular hand washing reduces respiratory illnesses, such as colds, by 16 – 21%. It should also be noted that most of the illnesses that hand washing is meant to prevent come not from bacteria, but from viruses. Understanding that washing and hygeine are important, this has lead to a new golden age for handmade soap.

Handmade soap bubbles back to the surface
Before soaps became a mass-produced commodity, soap making was a common handicraft that used chemicals and materials commonly found in most homes and farms–primarily rendered beef fat called tallow. While some soap makers stick to the old methods, most handmade soaps today areĀ saponified vegetable based oils. The main problem with this uptick in the production and popularity of handmade soaps is variation of quality, and even safety.

Yes, soap is soap. It’s sanitary function is fairly uniform across the spectrum. But that doesn’t mean handmade soaps are all created equal. In terms of how soap works on your skin, there can be a world of difference between bars depending on a number of factors including ingredients, manufacturing methods, and even the climate you’re in.

At The Good Life Massage, we sell handmade soaps made with as many natural ingredients as possible. They contain no detergents, which can cause irritation. To learn more about our soaps and other handmade skin care products, visit our Products page. We also strongly recommend you like the This Side of Paradise Facebook page.

Tom Gunn is a freelance writer and is the blog editor and marketing director for The Good Life Massage. To hire Tom or to see more of his work, visit www.tgunnwriter.com.

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Our Most Enticing Enhancement – Chocolate Hydrating Face Mask

Chocolate Hydrating Face Mask

Our chocolate hydrating face mask session enhancement is the perfect way to add an extra touch of spa luxury to your massage. Not only is it great for your skin, it’s actually a lot of fun to get.

Why chocolate?
Chocolate–or, more specifically, cocoa–has been shown to benefit both physical and mental health. The flavonoids in chocolate have been shown to lower blood pressure.
But should you really be putting chocolate on your face? Doesn’t too much chocolate make you break out?

Actually, eating too much chocolate causing breakouts can more readily be attributed to the fat and sugar you’re also taking in when you eat most chocolate candy.

Our chocolate hydrating face mask is made with pure cocoa powder, giving your skin the optimal benefit. According to Doctor Jessica Wu, MD, a Los Angeles based dermatologist, chocolate, when applied as a mask, can help keep your skin clear and hydrated.

It’s also made with our hydrating face mask, available right here in our clinic. Take home a bottle to repeat the treatment at home!

The fun part
It feels good to wear, but it’s also a treat for the senses, surrounding you with a delicious, rich chocolate smell. You’ll swear someone was baking brownies.

Add the chocolate hydrating face mask when you book your next session, but remember that it can only be added in advance. You won’t be able to add it at the last minute. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. You can find him online at tgunnwriter.com

Turtle Power, Part One: 5 Reasons Slow is Better

Pretty businesswoman experiencing road rage
Is faster really better? How many times have you been aggressively passed on the highway by someone who just has to go faster than you, only to look over and see them next to you at the next traffic light?

This post is part I in a two-part series. Follow our blog to catch the next installment!

Slow down! Sure, you could probably stand to break your lead foot habit. But slow is more than just a mode or an easier-to-catch version of speed. It can be the way you live your life–a philosophy that can absorb you and enrich your life in ways you may never have considered.

Here are GLM, we try to embrace this way of thinking in everything we do. Of course, we’re prompt and we stick to our schedule, but the way we structure that schedule is informed by this idea: slow is better.

For example, some massage clinics only leave a five minute gap between appointments in which the practitioner is supposed to be able to change the sheets, run to the restroom, take a deep breath, greet their next client, and start the next session.

We actually extend that 5 or 10 minute gap to 30 minutes. We do this not just for the practitioners (though we’re thinking of them, for sure), but for our clients as well. If the clinic becomes a revolving door of clients with therapists striding up and down the hallway in a rush to get the next person on the table, that doesn’t create a relaxing environment for anyone.

Further, we believe stress can actually be contagious. If a therapist is hungry, exhausted, rushed, flustered, and stretched to her limit, is it really likely that some of those feelings won’t spread to the client through the touch therapy?

If your massage practitioner doesn’t have a chance to slow down and take time for self-care, and to make sure the job is done right, we will never be capable of giving the kind of massage you deserve and need.

Think for a moment about how that same principle might be expressing itself in your own life.

No, really.

Stop skimming this at light-speed for a second, close your eyes, and think about how rushing might be harming your life. Just a second or two is enough, but take all the time you need.

Go ahead, we’ll wait.

What did you come up with? Write your answer down somewhere.

Answering some of these questions might help:

How could your rushing around and “busy-ness” be effecting your spouse/partner? Your children? Your co-workers and subordinates? Do you really like living life at high speed, or do you just have problems with procrastination? Is being busy too much a part of your self-image and sense of worth? It might be time to questions those ideas.

Let it go
Is being busy a part of your self-image and sense of worth? It might be time to questions that.

If you’re still not convinced that slow is better, we have at least five reasons you should consider lifting your foot from the gas pedal of your life.

Greater awareness
When you’re slow, you’re present in the moment. You’re experiencing the precious time of your life as it passes irretrievably into the future. You’re living your life as it was meant to be lived.

How much time do you have left on earth, anyway? You have no way of knowing for sure. Speeding through your life may help you believe the lie that you’re packing a lot in, but are you really tasting it? Do you appreciate how fragile your life is, and how quickly it’s passing?

The span of your life is like an ice cream cone on a hot day: you better savor it, because it won’t last forever.

Slow is cheaper!
Moving, thinking, living at high speed comes with a high cost. In your rush to get things done, you may find that you all-too-easily stay busy while not actually getting much done at all. While checking to see how fast you’re moving, you may not be noticing in which direction you’re going.

Ever hear the expression “Haste makes waste?” Old proverbs like that get passed along because they’re catchy, sure, but also because they’re true. Have you really saved time rushing out the door in the morning at top speed if you forgot something important and had to go back for it?

Moving fast, isn’t
Don’t believe me? How many times have you been aggressively passed on the highway by someone who just has to go faster than you, only to look over and see them next to you at the next traffic light?

For most things in life, you’re not earning any extra points for speed. So why not take your time?

If a job’s worth doing…
It’s worth doing right, which means taking the time it takes to do a task with your full attention. Here’s a mind blower: you know that multitasking thing you’ve heard so much about in job descriptions? It doesn’t exist. Human beings aren’t capable of it.

You can do one thing–ONE–at any given time, and no more. You may be able to shift between things rapidly, but only one will ever have your total focus in the moment. Remember that the next time you’re playing with your kids, or when you get behind the wheel of a car.

Where you place your focus and attention truly matters.

Your physical health
Ongoing stress can tax your body in ways you don’t realize. It increases the risk of heart disease and several kinds of cancer, not to mention high blood pressure and hypertension. Slowing down puts you in tune with your body’s natural rhythms and pace.

While vigorous exercise is important, consider the exercise methods that also bring outstanding health benefits, but which are much slower by nature.

Handsome young man resting after workout in gym
Working the free weights–slowly and steadily–increases muscle control and endurance.

Yoga and tai chi are great examples of this kind of exercise. But this approach isn’t limited to eastern traditions and practices. Even good-old-fashioned weightlifting has benefits when you decide to slow down your reps and focus on control. Your mind can focus more intently on each motion of your body as you go through your routine. If possible, consult with a trainer for a session or two. You might find that your form is much worse than you ever thought!

Also, slow-lifting increases your muscle endurance, de-emphasizing the explosive motion and training your muscles to endure great weight for longer periods of time.

Are you convinced yet? If you’re not sure where to begin, that’s understandable. In the next part of this series, we’ll address the nuts and bolts of throttling down your life and living with more intent and focus.

Tom Gunn is the director of marketing and blog editor at The Good Life Massage. You can find him online at http://www.tgunnwriter.com.

How to Book a Group Event at The Good Life Massage

We do a lot of treatment work at GLM, fixing people’s bodies and promoting a healthier lifestyle. But massage walks a line between medical treatment and spa treatment. Massage can be both of those things, but today we’re emphasizing the spa aspect of massage, and how a good thing can be made even better when experienced as a group event.

Four friends enjoying time in spa
The only thing better than a day at the spa is a day at the spa shared with friends.

Bring your friends!
Imagine you and your group of friends going out, not just for dinner or drinks, but for a spa experience you can share. A spa night or a big group massage can be just the thing to kick off a wedding celebration, celebrate a birthday, or just ring in a long-awaited weekend. You and your group can have a fantastic experience at GLM, but there are some things you need to be aware of first.

Plan ahead
The single most important thing you can do to help us make your evening a memorable one is to plan ahead. We want more than anything to fulfill your request, but we have limits. Depending on the size of your party, your event could essentially shut down our business for a few hours. This brings with it some commitments and obligations you need to be aware of.

Groups of three or fewer require minimum planning on your part, generally. If all three of you want to have a massage in the same treatment room, that’s the easiest possible event to arrange. We’ll need about a week of notice to ensure we can get three practitioners to work on your group at the same time, but for the most part this kind of event proceeds like a normal massage booking.

For groups larger than three, think of it like this: if we were a restaurant, you’re not reserving just a banquet room, but possibly the entire place.

Infographic - Group Event Registration

Commit! (for groups of 4 or more)
You may know about our 24 hour cancellation/no-show policy. Similarly, if you’re reserving our space and services for more than three people, we’ll need you to commit to the event at least a week in advance.

A deposit is required amounting to half of the total bill. If all the services you and your party are planning to purchase total $500, for instance, you’ll need to pay $250 up front to secure the reservation. This will go towards your final bill and can not be refunded or returned.

If you need to cancel or alter the event between a week and two days prior, you’ll lose your deposit. If you cancel or alter the event less than two days in advance, you’ll lose the deposit and be charged for the full remaining balance on the bill as though everything had gone forward as planned.

If this seems drastic, remember that you’re asking us to clear the schedule for several of our tables and rooms all at once. We often bring on extra staff. All that comes with a cost, and a risk, which you’ll be expected to take on. This kind of policy is typical of events of this nature, whether you’re talking about a spa, a restaurant, or an event hall.

Services
With the technicalities out of the way, let’s talk about what you and your guests can enjoy when you arrange a group event.

Massage
Massage is our specialty, of course, and most of our requests are for massage. You and your group will all walk away feeling deeply relaxed and ready for even more fun together.

Session enhancements
A few of our great session enhancements can be taken alone, but most are intended to supplement a regular massage session. Adding these can help the event feel extra special, and help you and your guests feel even more pampered and relaxed.

Keep in mind that while all our enhancements are intended to improve your massage experience, some are more suitable for treatment work than for relaxation, so keep this in mind when selecting the services you want. An example would be ice treatment. This enhancement is ideal if your event is taking place after a friendly game of basketball, but not if you’re just looking to relax for the weekend.

Spa treatments
Thanks to our partnership with aesthetician Natasha Allen of Rain City Beauty Bar, we are able to coordinate with her for your event and offer even more services, including facials and eyelash extensions. These can be a great way to keep your guests occupied if your event is too large for everyone to be having their massages at once.

Is there a discount?

Yes! We can discount our services by as much as 15%. It all depends on what services you want and how many people are in your party.

Talk to us!
If you have questions about the event you have in mind, we would be more than happy to go over the options, costs, and terms with you in detail.

The best way to start is to contact us by email at thegoodlifemassage@gmail.com and include the phrase Group Event in the subject line. And again, the more time before you event you contact us, the more we can do to ensure you and your party have an unforgettable experience.

We look forward to seeing you and your group soon!

Tom Gunn is the director of marketing and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. Find him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet.

How A Little Salt Can Help You Sleep

Get the low-down on one of our most popular products. Peaceful Nights Bath Salts combine a rich blend of essential oils formulated to soothe your nerves and help you sleep.

Now through 10/31/2015, our handmade bath salts are $1 off! Stop in to get yours today.

Special thanks to former intern Byron Benson for writing the script for this video.

Tom Gunn is the Director of Marketing and blog editor for the The Good Life Massage. You can follow him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet.

What Everybody Ought to Know About Frankincense

For millennia, it’s been traded heavily in North Africa and the Arabian peninsula.

It’s a gift fit for kings.

And now it can be yours.

Frankincense is an essential oil extracted from the bark of Boswellia trees–a tough, scraggly form of brush most commonly found in the middle east and North Africa. Its distinctive aroma hits you first with a rich, inviting musk that warms with your body heat, turning almost sweet with citrus-like undertones.

The aroma has a subtly calming and mood-boosting effect, but it’s also beneficial for the health of your skin. It has been shown to restore damaged or aging skin in some measure while helping to maintain the health of existing skin cells.

Research at Cardiff University also suggests that frankincense can be an effective treatment for arthritis. It has also been shown to be effective for joint and muscle inflammation.

We use Frankincense primarily in products where skincare is essential, including our All Natural Eye Cream.

Frankincense is an option when you book a massage session with the aromatherapy enhancement.

As with everything on this blog, none of this information should be construed as medical advice or care. The employees of The Good Life Massage, including the writers of this blog, are not medical doctors. Consult with your physician before making any changes to improve your health.

Tom Gunn is the Marketing Director and blog editor at The Good Life Massage. You can follow him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet or visit him online at tgunnwriter.com.

Coconut Oil Health Hacks: A Peek at What You Missed

The Good Life Massage put on a class on the evening of Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at our new location on 200 South Tobin in Renton. This was our first event in our new location. It was great to have so many people come out and experience an event in our new space for the first time.

Owner-operators Kylee Davis and Amy Gunn were on hand to demonstrate and discuss the many uses of coconut oil as a natural moisturizer and cleanser, as well as it’s uses for better health and nutrition.

Several of our products use coconut oil including …

These and other can be found on our products page or through our Etsy shop.

Kylee and Amy have both used coconut oil for years, both in their massage practice and at home for personal use.

One of the more unusual uses of coconut oil covered in the class was oil pulling: the practice of using pure coconut oil as a mouthwash, swishing for about five minutes a day as part of your oral hygiene regimen.

Oil pulling is a great way to keep your mouth clean and your teeth strong and healthy
Oil pulling is a great way to keep your mouth clean and your teeth strong and healthy

“Oil pulling seems kind of strange at first. You might think it would make you want to gag or something, butĀ it’s actually not bad. There’s no flavor, good or bad. But it’s really good for your teeth and the health of your mouth overall. It’s a great way to supplement your regular oral hygiene in a natural way,” Amy said.

Registered students went home with a free goodie bag that included …

  • a tub of coconut oil with applicator sticks
  • Moisture Mask sampler
  • Eye Cream sampler
  • Lip Balm sampler

… a package valued at more than $10

Class participants went home with some awesome swag!
Class participants went home with some awesome swag!

Did you miss this one?
The Good Life Massage holds classes and other events several times a year. Follow this blog to stay up-to-date on what’s coming up or follow us using the social media links below.

As with everything on this blog, none of this information should be construed as medical advice or care. The employees of The Good Life Massage, including the writers of this blog, are not medical doctors. Consult with your physician before making any changes to improve your health.

Tom Gunn is the Marketing Director and blog editor at The Good Life Massage. You can follow him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet.