Mmmmm . . . liiiiiiizard skin.
Let me get this part out of the way first.
If you haven't yet, please vote for me for Best of the Boat The survey ends THIS FRIDAY, so no time to waste!
My suggestions for your votes:
          #82:  Erica Olson - Heartfire Massage
           #9:   Fireside Catering (Greg's business)
          #95:  Steamboat Independent Spa (a write-in; the co-op I'm involved in)

Now!  How're those New Year's resolutions coming along?
The most common New Year's resolutions usually revolve around weight loss, health, and general fitness.  Some years, we set fitness goals and achieve them--others, not so much.  Wouldn’t it be great if there was something that could help you reach your goals by improving your body’s resilience, supporting mental and emotional well-being, and aiding flexibility and muscle health?  Believe it or not, massage can help you reach your fitness goals.

I'm seeing this first-hand in my own life.  Usually, about this point in winter, I'm in a lot of pain--my arms, neck, chest, and low back aching from the amount of work I've been doing.  I live in the bathtub and drink way more than the one-glass-of-red-wine-recommended-daily-for-antioxidant-benefits.  This season, I've been doing something different:  getting regular massage.  For the last month, I've been receiving an hour-and-a-half massage once (or even twice!) a week--and I gotta say, this is the easiest winter I've ever had.

Hnh.  This massage stuff works.  Who knew?

If you're sick, stay home.
Massage can help boost the immune system, but not if your massage therapist is down with the creeping crud.  I love you guys, but please, please keep your germs to yourself.  A light massage can feel really good if you're stiff and aching from being ill, but if you're contagious or running a fever, stay home.

In addition, massage can actually bring a cold to a head.  The increased circulation from massage means that everything spreads faster through your body, so a lingering "am I or am I not?" almost-a-cold can become "Holy crap! I feel like the walking dead!" in short order. 

The good news?

Massage can bring a germ-related illness on faster and harder, but recovery time is usually shorter.  All bets are off for anyone with a funky immune system, but with proper self-care, massage-stimulated ick generally clears up quickly and doesn't drag on.  Usually.

(Please note that this is NOT something I'd generally recommend deliberately trying--see that whole "contagious" bit, for one thing.)

Who likes having itchy lizard skin?  Ooh, ooh, NOT ME.
Cold, dry Colorado air is perfect for creating Steamboat's famous champagne powder, but it also wreaks havoc on your skin.  Even if you dump a gallon of lotion on yourself right out of the shower, somehow it never seems to help.  Dead skin has built up, locking out that oh-so-soothing balm.  Even after exfoliating like crazy, if you still find yourself scratching your back on the nearest door jam, READ ON.

I've added a winter skin treatment ($20 for 15 minutes) to the "upgrades" section for my online booking (or just call and ask for it at your next booking).  I start by applying cold-pressed olive oil to your back, arms, and legs, which helps to soften rough skin.  Next is a full-body scrub with exfoliating mitts, removing that barrier of dead skin cells.  Finally, your massage is completed using the same rich olive oil, instead of my usual massage lotion.  With that layer of lizard skin removed, your body is free to soak up the essential fatty acids, leaving your skin soft, supple, and itch-free.

Homemade alternatives
If life has decreed that you can't get in to see me and you still want to get rid of your winter skin, try an oatmeal-and-sugar scrub.  No need to go out and spend lots of money in a high-priced boutique, either--you can make this right at home with three ingredients:  sugar to exfoliate, oatmeal to soothe, oil to condition.

First, get some sugar.  Regular ol' cane sugar works just fine, or if you want something with a tad bit more heft, try turbinado sugar instead.  Or with.  I'm not picky.

Second, get some rolled oats.  Rip open a packet of instant Quaker oats if you want--it'll work just fine.  You can chuck 'em in a food processor or spice/coffee grinder if you want them a bit finer, but it's not necessary.

Third, grab some oil.  Vegetable oil, olive oil, fancy scented oil, whatever.

Now, here comes the easy part.  Mix a cup or so of sugar with a cup or so of oats.  Add, oh, half a cup of oil.  More if you like it that way, less if you like it drier.  Throw in a few dashes of essential oils if you want to get all spiffy.  Head off the shower with your scrub--slap it on, scrub it around, rinse it off.  Voila!  Baby-soft skin.

(It should go without saying that oil will make your shower floor slippery, so please be careful and no calisthenics in the shower, yes?)

Know what's coming in a month?
I know we just got finished celebrating Chrismahanukwanzakah, but we're in the countdown to Valentine's Day now.  For the next 31 days, I've teamed up with the lovely and talented Nikki Edinger from Spa Ooh La La to bring you a special deal: 

a massage-and-facial SPA DAY package!

So what's in this deal?  We've got an hour-long aromatherapy massage and ultra-hydration facial (there's that dry skin thing again!).  The recipient may choose between rose, orange blossom, or eucalyptus themes, making this the perfect gift for either men or women.

For those of you who don't know Nikki, she is the fabulous aesthetician (skin care guru) in the room adjoining mine.  This means that instead of having to get dressed and undressed again between sessions, you can simply slip on a soft, fuzzy robe and just walk next door.

Normally, a day like this would run you $160, but if you purchase this special between now and February 14, you can SAVE $20, knocking the price down to $140.  If you wish to extend the massage session or look into other upgrades, various options are available; please inquire for more info.

In the coming year . . .
Think about all the good stuff in life and how it intertwines to keep you happy and healthy.  Should you find yourself running short on exercise, vegetables, and sleep--or long on stress, injury, or crap food--I'm always here for you.

Be well, and I hope to see you soon.


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