Business owners and HR managers who have 100 or more employees got a little closer to a resolution over the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard when both sides argued before the U.S. Supreme Court today.
The standard requires employers with 100 or more employees to either mandate vaccinations for all or to require your unvaccinated employees to take weekly Covid tests and wear a mask unless they work alone or 100 percent outside, among other things. But the objections center around these two principles.
While the briefs tend to be a more substantial influence on the justices than the oral arguments, you can get some idea of what to expect from them. Here’s what you need to know:
The Possible Outcomes
OSHA attorney Phillip Russell, an equity shareholder at the employment law firm Ogletree Deacon, gave four possible outcomes, each with its own set of issues for business owners.
SCOTUS enters an indefinite stay pending further action by either SCOTUS or the 6th Circuit;
SCOTUS enters a brief stay for the Court to further consider the briefing and oral arguments before addressing an indefinite stay;
SCOTUS denies the applications and allows enforcement to begin as OSHA wants on Monday, January 10; or
SCOTUS denies the applications and allows enforcement to begin, but enters a brief stay giving employers time to comply
In other words, a quick decision may not be a final decision. There may be a lot more before a final decision happens.
Opinions Seemed to Form Along Ideological Lines
Covid has been political for a long time, and those political lines seemed evident in the hearings. As an employment attorney and partner Jon Hyman at Herzer Wickers Panza says:
Based on the tone and tenor of the questions, there exists a clear, and not unsurprising, left/right divide on the court, which does not bode well for the ETS going into effect. I don’t see 5 votes against reinstating the stay.
For example, Justice John G. Roberts Jr. (appointed by George W. Bush) and Justice Neil M. Gorsuch (appointed by Donald Trump) both indicated that federal agencies were not the right place to solve the pandemic, while Justice Elena Kagen (appointed by Barack Obama) and Justice Stephen G. Breyer (appointed by Bill Clinton) indicated that the employees of the U.S. needed this mandate.
While it may be fun to guess which way the justices will rule based on what they say, it’s important to keep in mind that a statement made or a question asked in court may simply be a thought exercise, and not the justice’s true opinion. Regardless, there seemed to be a clear division along political lines.
While this ruling will ultimately affect some 80 million employees, it doesn’t cover all employees and all businesses. Meaning, the U.S. could end up seeing vast differences in Covid rules for different organizations.
Hopefully, the ruling will come quickly and be decisive, one way or the other, but it’s likely that businesses will still be in limbo for a while.
Zoomers have watched millennials struggle with a wage gap that’s made home buying in its traditional sense, unattainable.
Compared to Baby Boomers at the same age, millennials own eight times less American real estate and spend 39% more on a first home. Faced with the same challenges, Gen Z is marking their fate by redefining what homeownership means.
Instead of purchasing a home to live in, they’re leveraging crowdfunding and the sharing economy to take ownership in houses, buildings, and even commercial properties for as little as $1.
Simply put, they’ve realized being a homeowner doesn’t mean they have to live where they’ve invested.
In fact, there are advantages to not going all-in on one property.
In traditional homeownership, the process is stressful, drawn-out, and brings heaps of responsibilities like mortgage payments, property tax, maintenance, and insurance.
By not living where they invest, Gen Z is realizing the benefits of a lucrative long-term investment without giving up the freedoms they enjoy now: tickets to an unforgettable concert, a closet full of luxe yet sustainable fashion, dinners out, travel, and the latest gaming system.
They get the capital appreciation while someone else deals with landlord responsibilities.
Realizing real-estate investing is no longer reserved for the wealthy elite, Zoomers are bringing the market out from behind locked doors and into the community.
The pandemic helped spark new interest in investing. Confined to their homes and concerned about their future, young investors took to their devices to educate themselves and make their money work for them.
Instead of looking to legacy financial institutions for help, Zoomers are building online communities on Reddit and Discord and using their influence to educate their peers on what they learn on TikTok.
These online communities allow Gen Z to ask questions in a way they’re comfortable with, lurk and engage on their own terms.
Ever-mindful of the power of tech to disrupt how things have traditionally been done, they are using the internet to democratize investing and bring their peers into the fold.
Transparency is the priority and authority takes a backseat to the community.
Under Gen Z’s influence, exclusivity is out; inclusive investing is in.
They’re sharing the wealth
Gen Z wants everything from their employers to their purchases to reflect their values – and real-estate investments are no different.
Instead of thinking of how their purchases can benefit themselves, they’re looking at how they can benefit others and the world around them.
I saw this recently when a community of young investors teamed up to invest in a 105 unit rental in Mission, British Columbia. Designed and built for long-term rental housing, it will also include 11 affordable housing units.
Consumption is being redefined as an act of activism, changing the world through purchase power – and that’s a good thing.
When people are shut out from an entire market, they get the message that the future they dreamed of isn’t possible.
I had my disability hearing yesterday and the judge asked me which positions do I experience the most pain, and I told her, it is worse when I lie down, and sitting down is a close second, and then standing up is still painful but not as bad as the previous two.
The judge did not ask me when I feel the least pain.
If she did, I would have told her at the gym.
When my body is in motion, then and only then, do I feel some relief from pain.
I rest briefly in between each set and exercise.
Along with exercising in the gym, I do a lot of stretching and this is so critical especially for people over 40.
Before and after exercising, I sit in the sauna for between 10 to 15 minutes.
Saunas are incredible for ridding your body of toxins, excess water, and pain relief.
They are also important for anyone who has had a stroke or other cardiovascular issues.
After a while, I think I just become numb to pain.
Taking pain killers and opioids is out, not just because of the dangers involved but also because they constipate me.
In the summer of 2020, I had an X-Ray done on my lower back.
This was through the Social Security Administration and they would allow only one and no MRI’s which is what I needed and asked for.
The one lower back X-ray revealed Degenerative Disc Disease and Spinal Arthritis.
I am sure there is more going on there but I have not had health insurance since 2017, and there won’t be any way to tell unless my disability case is approved. I will then be eligible for early Medicare.
Elsa Deen was born and raised in a small village outside of Cebu, Philippines.
Anyone who has ever been to the Philippines or knows someone who has will understand the abject poverty that many people in that part of the world, live in.
Elsa was taught at a young age how important family is and to always respect your parents no matter what.
She began working around the age of 12 to help her parents out and she continues to help them out by sending them money that she earns from her massage therapy business, including to other relatives in the Philippines.
She is one of the most unselfish and hard-working people that you will ever meet.
Elsa came to the United States in 2013 after marrying an American, which is the only way most people from the Philippines can emigrate here, and moved to Saint Louis.
Her husband tragically died and Elsa was left alone with her 4 kids wondering what to do.
She remarried 6 years ago and has 2 additional children with her new husband and decided to go to school for massage therapy.
She graduated in 2016 and received her certificate as a Certified Massage Therapist.
Later in 2016, Elsa set up her own massage therapy business known as True Touch Massage in Creve Coeur, MO.
Elsa came up with the name True Touch because she was told by several students at her massage therapy school that she really has the gift of touch to help heal any injuries or other physical problems you may have.
She is very attentive to detail and has strong hands for deep tissue massage and reflexology.
She has the ability to help you relax which also helps with any mental or emotional stress that you may be going through including Post-traumatic Stress and grief.
Massage Therapy has also received attention from the prestigious Mayo Clinic.
An article published in January 2021 goes into detail about all of the many benefits of massage therapy. CLICK HERE to read.
Elsa could have worked for one of the national chains in massage therapy but she wanted to be in business for herself and take care of her clients her way, not someone else’s.
Her clients have immense respect for her not just as a massage therapist, but as the beautiful, hard-working, and unselfish person, that she is.
Massage therapy is not only effective for physical problems including Degenerative Disc Disease, Spinal Arthritis, Herniated Disc(s), Spinal Stenosis, and, Osteoporosis but also for mental and emotional issues like Post Traumatic Stress, Grief, and Anxiety.
Elsa makes you feel comfortable and relaxed for your massage and every massage is just as good as the very first one.
Massage therapy use to be referred to as a luxury or pampering yourself.
Those caregivers like Elsa Deen in the Healing Arts Business would disagree with you from day one.
They know how important massage therapy is to your overall health and wellness and they understand that society has put a label on massage therapy that could not further from the truth.
Everyone should incorporate massage therapy into their overall healthcare routine and not just those who are suffering from physical, mental, or emotional issues.
Massage therapy has proven to be effective at preventing injuries as well as healing injuries. CLICK HERE for the report.
The majority of people sit down during the daytime whether at work or at home and as the years go on, more and more people will be suffering from back problems, in particular, because gravity has a way of compacting on your spinal discs over time and as you age.
Taking care of your back, glutes, and lower body will become a necessity with massage therapy unless you want to take the option of opioids.
Exercise and proper stretching are also necessary especially for those living a sedentary lifestyle.
Elsa Deen will be here to help you with massage therapy. The rest will be up to you.
Elsa Deen has the touch, the True Touch, that makes her the best massage therapist in Saint Louis.
Here is a quote from the co-founder of Thrive Market:
“Growing up in the Midwest in the ‘90s, I saw how hard my mom worked to put healthy food on our table despite limited knowledge, a limited budget, and limited healthy options in our hometown. She did an amazing job, but it was hard—and she was mostly on her own…Thirty years later, so much has changed. Today, millions of moms, dads, grandparents, and young people are all aspiring to live healthier and more sustainable lives. My mom is no longer on her own!And yet one thing hasn’t changed: finding convenient, trusted, and affordable ways to shop healthier is still hard.At Thrive Market, we’re on a mission to change that.”—Nick Green, Father of Two + Thrive Market Co-Founder & CEO
Thrive Market is benefiting from four converging trends that shifted into overdrive by the pandemic: healthy eating, online grocery, subscriptions, and personalized shopping.
It’s propelled an already rapidly-growing company, tracking at 40% year-over-year growth before the pandemic, to nearly double its business since, with sales up 90% year-over-year.
With its membership rapidly approaching one million, Thrive Market solves many of the problems inherent in traditional grocery shopping and online as well. Because the typical grocery store carries between 30,000 to 50,000 products, grocery shoppers suffer from a confusing abundance of choices.
Thrive Market makes selection simple, offering about 6,000 carefully curated items that represent the best brands that are better for people and better for the planet.
Initially focused on non-perishable products in the center aisles of a grocery store, it now offers wine, meat, seafood, and ready-made meals, along with a growing list of pet, beauty, and home products. The only thing missing is dairy and fresh fruits and vegetables, which present logistical challenges the company is working to overcome.
“We are about six years old now, and we have always been a fast-growing business,” says Sasha Siddhartha, the company’s co-founder and chief technology officer. “Since we launched, keeping up the growth and scale has been a consistent focus for us. But then starting in late February/early March, that growth accelerated dramatically, and we continue to hold that accelerated pace. It turns out Thrive Market is a sticky concept.”
“Our approach has always been curated, so you don’t have to worry about which brand is better for you or spend time studying the labels. Our merchandising team has already done the work for you to pre-select and curate based on the highest standards in the industry,” Siddhartha says. “Instead of finding 40 products to choose from, we offer the best two or three, taking the guesswork out.”
Since Covid hit, people have prioritized health and wellness in grocery shopping. Thrive Market sits in that sweet spot. Even before the pandemic, natural and organic had been the fastest-growing sector in the grocery industry, he shares. It is a trend that is sure to continue as the immediate health threat abates.
Online grocery shopping is a great convenience, saving time, which is the ultimate luxury. But consumer habits are hard to break and going to the grocery store has long been a staple of the American’s lifestyle. That changed overnight due to the pandemic.
Why give your money to a company that is not only infringing on your Constitutional rights, but those of their employees?
Thrive Market is the way of the future.
They provide high-quality products at very reasonable prices.
Expect to see other online grocery stores adopt a similar model of Thrive Market.
There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.
10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic
1. Get a mentor
The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge.
2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh
Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule.
Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible.
4. Hire half and half
Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level. Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude.
5. Network, Network, and Network
Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something.
“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus
6. Tech-savvy personnel
Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.
7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email
Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%.
Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision.
Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided.
10. Remember your “why?”
At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”.
5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur
Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words.
These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur.
Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better.
Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision.
As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present.
Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers!
Saaradha Kumar is an enthusiastic writer and has immense love for books. She works as a Digital Marketer at RentALLScript. RentALLScript (the one who designed Wooberly, an Uber clone app) gives out creative web and mobile app solutions for entrepreneurs to enhance their business.
When Amy Buttell separated from her husband in 2005, her anxiety spiked off the charts. A suddenly single mother, Buttell didn’t have a lot of money to throw around. Still, in the wake of her marital upheaval, she made massage a priority. It helped her weather the storm, she says, and today, she still finds that getting one or two massages a month helps keep stress at bay. And that helps her defend against physiological tension, too.
“When I’m anxious, I feel all clenched up,” says the 49-year-old marketing communications director from Erie, Pa. “My massage therapist untangles my knots.” Like many people, Buttell values not only the hands-on healing but also the opportunity to power down her brain and nervous system for an hour or so. “Even if I’m short on money,” she says, “I find a way to make it happen.”
Buttell is not alone. Despite massage’s reputation as a self-indulgent luxury, an increasing number of people are embracing it — not just as a “spa treatment,” but as a powerful therapeutic tool.
Americans currently log more than 114 million trips to massage therapists every year. Massage therapists are the second most visited complementary and alternative medicine providers behind chiropractors. All told, Americans spend up to $11 billion a year on massage. And statistics from the American Massage Therapy Association project that over the next five years, that number is likely to grow considerably.
What we’re getting for our money, whether we realize it or not, is an access code of sorts — a healing key capable of opening the body’s stickiest locks.
Scrunching our shoulders, craning our necks, sitting for hours, driving in rush-hour traffic — such mundane activities can create patterns of muscle tension (referred to as “holding”) in the body. And when muscles are chronically tense or tweaked, it can have a nasty effect on both our bodies and our minds.
Persistent musculoskeletal tension can restrict blood circulation and nutrient supplies to the body’s organs and tissues. As the weblike connective tissue (fascia) that envelops the muscles gets increasingly dense and less mobile, it can negatively affect posture and breathing. The experience of low-grade, habitual tension can contribute to chronic hormonal, biochemical, and neurological problems of all kinds.
In conventional medicine, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are the gold standard. But massage and most other forms of bodywork don’t lend themselves well to such studies. Therefore, scientific “proof,” both for massage’s efficacy and its means of function, runs a little thin. But convincing clinical evidence is accumulating.
For example, in 2004, Christopher Moyer, Ph.D., a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin–Stout, published a meta-analysis on massage therapy research and found that, on average, research subjects who received massage had a lower level of anxiety than those who did not.
“My research consistently finds that massage does have an impact on anxiety,” says Moyer. “We don’t know exactly why, but people who get massage have less anxiety afterward.”
One popular explanation is that massage lowers the body’s levels of cortisol, the hormone notorious for triggering the body’s fight-or-flight response. “No matter how we measure cortisol — in saliva or urine — or how often, we always find that massage has a beneficial effect,” says Tiffany Field, PhD, a researcher at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.
Although Moyer is yet to be convinced of the cortisol connection, both he and Field agree that massage is potentially very therapeutic for what’s known as “state” anxiety. Unlike generalized anxiety disorders, state anxiety is a reaction to something you can pinpoint, such as a troubling or traumatic event, circumstance, or setting.
Although more research is needed, says Moyer, “some experts posit that the reported alleviation of state anxiety could be a result of something as simple as the social and psychological environment where the massage takes place.”
Relieve Lower-Back Pain
Aside from stress, if there’s one thing that drives people to the massage table in droves, it’s pain. Especially lower-back pain, which up to 85 percent of Americans experience at some point during their lives.
In 2008, the Cochrane Collaboration (a global, independent, nonprofit organization that reviews the usefulness of healthcare interventions) published an examination of the evidence linking massage to relieving lower back pain. Reviewing 13 clinical trials, they found massage to be a promising treatment.
“Physical pain is like the alarm system of a house,” says Andrea Furlan, Ph.D., a clinical epidemiologist who specializes in massage at the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto. “With acute pain, like a burn or a broken bone, the pain signal indicates something is wrong. But, if you have pain every day, like chronic back pain, the alarm is malfunctioning. Massage may not be able to turn off the alarm, but it can lower the volume.”
Theories abound on how massage interrupts the body’s pain loop. One of the oldest and most well-regarded explanations is called the gate-control theory. Proponents surmise that pain signals to the brain are muffled by competing stimuli. More specifically, the pain travels on small-diameter nerve fibers, while massage stimulates large-diameter ones. Larger nerve fibers relay messages to the brain faster than smaller ones. In essence, says Furlan, the sensation of the massage “wins” over the sensation of pain.
One word of advice from fitness experts, though: You’ll get more lasting, long-term relief of lower back pain by supplementing massage with isometric core exercises, such as planks, that focus on strengthening the muscles that support and guide the spine’s movements.
Soothe Tension Headaches
Tension leads to headaches, so it follows that massage would help ease them. And for many, trigger-point therapy can prove particularly effective.
“A trigger point is an area of tightly contracted muscle tissue,” says Albert Moraska, Ph.D., a researcher focused on complementary medicine at the University of Colorado in Denver. “Trigger points in the shoulder and neck refer [relay] pain to the head. By reducing the activity of trigger points, we can reduce headaches.”
Moraska’s work, funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, explores how massaging the neck and shoulders can ease tension-type headaches. “We think massage can disrupt trigger points by forcing apart the tightly contracted sarcomeres (proteins responsible for contraction) within the muscle cells; as a result, the cells relax and subsequently muscle tension dissipates.”
Restore Deep Sleep
Roughly one in five Americans suffer from sleep deprivation, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. That’s a problem because lack of sleep alters the body’s biochemistry, making it more vulnerable to inflammation and lowered immunity, and more sensitive to pain.
“The relationship between pain and sleep deprivation is a vicious cycle,” says Tiffany Field. “Your body doesn’t get the rest it needs to heal.”
Although studies of massage therapy and sleep quality are few, the findings suggest that massage can promote deeper, less disturbed sleep, especially in people with painful chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia. Massage therapy indirectly promotes good sleep by relieving pain and encouraging relaxation.
Because massage therapy stimulates the body’s parasympathetic “rest-and-relax” nervous system (the opposite of its sympathetic “fight-or-flight” response), it counters both physical and mental stresses — giving you a better shot at enjoying the sleep you need to repair tissue during the night and to cope better during the day.
It may seem surprising that physically manipulating the body can help counter a malady we associate with the brain. But, in his oft-cited 2004 review, Christopher Moyer found that depression is particularly responsive to massage.
The average research subject who received massage had a level of depression that was lower than 73 percent of those who did not. These findings are on par with more conventional approaches to treating depression, including psychotherapy.
Field’s research on depression shows that massage boosts the body’s natural levels of serotonin, a substance that works “much like Prozac” in the brain. Her studies show that massage also encourages the brain to release the neurotransmitter dopamine, a mood enhancer, as well as oxytocin, a hormone that generates feelings of contentment.
While the exact mechanisms are unclear, it seems evident that a good massage has a variety of positive psychological implications as well, from receiving nurturing touch from another person, anticipating that the experience will be beneficial, or feeling empathy from the therapist.
Lower Blood Pressure
Given how positively it affects the rest of the body and mind, and how well it moderates stress, it probably comes as no surprise that massage therapy can also benefit the heart — in part by reducing blood pressure. In his meta-analysis, Moyer found that massage significantly lowers blood pressure, at least temporarily.
He notes that the findings are consistent with the theory that massage can trigger the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which helps prompt the body to return to biochemical balance and emotional ease after enduring a stressful event.
But perhaps the bigger takeaway here is that massage can help unlock the body’s healing potential not by anyone means, but rather by many. As epidemiologist Andrea Furlan points out, “Well before drugs or surgical procedures were developed, people used massage to treat almost everything.” Still, today, she notes, “when we get hurt, our first instinct is to rub.”
Amy Buttell, for one, doesn’t need any more evidence than her own transformation. “I don’t know if it’s the touch, the warm table, or the fact that I get to turn my phone off for an hour, but I do know that massage is worth every penny.”
Multiple Modalities: What Kind of Massage Is Right for You?
Not so long ago, available massage styles in most U.S. cities were fairly limited. Today, bodywork modalities abound, from familiar basics like Swedish to more exotic options like Hawaiian Lomi Lomi and Chinese Tui Na. Wondering which style of massage is right for you? Read on for a rundown of some of the most popular options. Some massage styles are more physically intense than others but keep in mind, you always have a role in guiding your therapist about how much pressure feels good to you and where it’s applied.
Abhyanga: Based on the principles of Ayurveda, one or more therapists apply herb-infused oils to usher the body into a state of relaxation and balance.
Acupressure: Working with the same theory of acupuncture (but without the needles), acupressure stimulates points on the body to release energetic congestion and open the body’s energy pathways.
Craniosacral therapy: A gentle, non-invasive form of massage in which a therapist uses a light touch to work the cranial bones, the spinal column, and the sacrum (a triangular bone at the base of the spine) to balance energy, treat headaches, and reduce mental stress. Mild enough for infants, as well as the elderly.
Deep tissue: Targeting chronic patterns of holding, deep tissue relies on slow strokes and targeted pressure, often with a finger, thumb, or elbow.
Hot stone: Smooth, warm stones are placed on the body and become focal points of relaxation as the heat penetrates and soothes tense muscles.
Lomi Lomi: An ancient Polynesian practice, this style is characterized by the practitioner’s rhythmic use of the hands, forearms, and elbows. Long, broad strokes invite relaxation.
Myofascial release: A light, sustained pressure is applied to constrictions in the body’s fascia, or connective tissue, to elicit elongation and release.
Reflexology: Stimulates pressure points on the hands, feet, and ears. Each point is believed to correspond to other, less-accessible parts of the body, such as the organs.
Shiatsu: A Japanese style, shiatsu directs pressure to lines of energy (meridians) considered important for health and well-being.
Sports: Often used before and after athletic activity, the focus is on reducing inflammation, keeping joints flexible, and enhancing performance.
Swedish: A combination of long, gliding strokes, as well as kneading, stretching, and tapping. Swedish massage is thought to enhance health by increasing blood flow to the muscles.
Thai: Performed on the floor with clothes on and no oils, a Thai massage involves being stretched into yoga-like positions.
Trigger-point therapy: Trigger points often show up as “knots” in the muscles, most often in the shoulders, upper back, and neck. Trigger points are different from acupressure points because they actually feel like lumps. Trigger-point therapy (also known as neuromuscular therapy) uses pressure to dissolve the knots.
Tui Na: A vigorous kneading and pulling of the body, Tui Na (meaning push and grab) is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Like other Eastern approaches, such as Thai massage and acupressure, the goal is to open up the flow of Qi through the body’s energy pathways or meridians.
How to Choose a Massage Therapist
Finding a truly great massage practitioner — one whose skills, style, and personality all suit you — can make the difference between a merely nice (or worse, ho-hum) experience and the kind of transformative healing dynamic that keeps you coming back for more.
You won’t know for sure until you get on the table, but here are some key questions to help you decide whether a therapist is right for you.
1. Are you nationally certified? More than 300 schools and programs in the United States offer accreditation for massage therapists. To become nationally certified, a person must have a basic set of skills, pass an exam, adhere to certain ethical guidelines, and take part in continuing education.
2. Are you state certified? Every state is different, but most of them (42, plus the District of Columbia) offer certification for massage therapists; some are voluntary, and others are mandatory. Seek out a massage therapist who is state-certified, which typically means he or she met a minimum number of training hours and passed an exam.
3. How many hours of training have you completed? This is a helpful question, especially in states lacking strict oversight of who can call themselves a massage therapist. The answer you’re looking for is a minimum of 500 hours. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, the average practitioner has 633 hours of training. A massage therapist with less than 500 hours of training can still be good, but consider the number a benchmark.
4. Do you have any special or advanced training? The best massage therapists spend years developing specialties and honing a specific skill set. The massage therapist who is passionate about Chinese meridians and spends several weeks a year going to special training may have an edge over the generalist who hasn’t evolved beyond the basic moves she learned in massage school. The same goes if you have special needs. For instance, a massage therapist who emphasizes sports massage might be a good bet if you have a weekend-warrior injury, but not if you have fibromyalgia.
5. How much do you charge? Expect to pay roughly $1 a minute for a chair massage at the mall or airport. At an upscale spa or studio, massage rates range from about $60 to $120 an hour, plus a 15 to 20 percent tip. (Sometimes, packages of four or six massages are available at a discount.) If you have health insurance, ask your provider if you are eligible for either a discount (available with some plan-approved therapists) or if you can pay for massage with money from a flexible spending account. Unless you have the Mercedes-Benz of healthcare plans, preventive massage is probably not covered 100 percent, but if your doctor or chiropractor recommends massage therapy, your plan might cover a specific number of sessions.
One final tip: Get a referral. It’s OK to be picky about who puts their hands on your body. If you’re feeling spontaneous and want to book a one-time massage at a local spa, great. But if you’d like to explore massage as a long-term investment in your body, or if you have some tenacious kinks to work out and you think you might need a series of treatments, talk to your friends about whom they like and why. If your friends don’t get a massage, ask for a recommendation at your local yoga studio, health club, acupuncture center, or chiropractor’s office. More often than not, these folks are plugged into the local “who’s who” of bodyworkers and can steer you in the right direction.
Summer grilling is here and life is opening up again, it’s time for gathering together with friends and family, having backyard BBQ’s and enjoying special occasions which we all missed so much!
Memorial Day is just around the corner and so is Father’s Day and if you’re planning on doing any cookouts, I hope you add this intensely flavored mustard, garlic herb paste to just about whatever you’re planning on grilling.
Fresh herbs are the key to this delicious herb paste which can be made in a jiffy using a food processor and don’t be afraid to double or triple this recipe, I promise it will amp up your grilling game!
I used a mix of basil, parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Each herb carries its own intense flavor which pairs nicely with grilled foods but feel free to create your own combo that you might prefer.
There are several different types of massage that a licensed practitioner can give, and they include:
Deep Tissue Massage– This massage technique uses slower and more forceful strokes to target deep layers of muscle tissue. This type of massage is perfect for anyone who has had an injury or is experiencing disc problems with the lower back area including the sciatic nerve. This type of massage will make you worn out at the end like you had an intense weight training session.
Swedish Massage– A Swedish massage is not for people who live in Sweden. This is a gentle type of massage compared to Deep Tissue and the strokes are longer using deep circular movements and tapping. This type of massage helps you feel relaxed and energized.
Trigger Point Massage– Trigger points are those areas of your body with really tight muscle fibers. These are specific areas where your practitioner can target and they can incorporate Deep Tissue Massage, as well.
Reflexology– This is also known as Zone Therapy and is similar to Acupuncture but without the needles. This is the application of using pressure to specific areas of your hands and feet. You can feel pain when this is applied, but it is meant to relieve stress and pressure that is built up in other areas of your body.
The human body experiences stress every day and most people associate that with mental or emotional stress.
Did you know that sitting down for a prolonged period of time, causes stress on your lower back, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings?
Think about how long people sit every day whether it be for work or pleasure like gaming or going onto social media.
The human body was not meant to be sitting on our posterior for most of our lives.
Our bodies are meant to be moving. Bodies in motion.
You are much more likely to develop Degenerative Disc Disease, Spinal Arthritis, and problems with your Sciatica if you do not make changes to the way you live and work.
Try getting up and stretching after about 20 minutes of sitting down either at work or home.
Stretching is critically important for your body especially the older you get.
Massage is just one more way to improve your life and overall health without using “Big Pharma” drugs which have all kinds of side effects.
Mark Morphew Originally Published March 23, 2021, 8 min read bean Ground is completely reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more
As great as plain black coffee is sometimes our taste buds need a break from the norm, admit it having the same thing day in day out tends to get boring. An excellent way to spice up your favorite coffee beverage is by adding some extra flavor. Forget about those store brought sweeteners and creamers that are often packed full of garbage, what I’m talking about are natural flavorings.
Some of these flavored coffee combinations are strange, and others not so obvious, but trust me they will bring life back into your boring cup of Joe and you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of them before.
Below I have experimented with various ways to add extra flavor to your coffee, and I think these 12 are the best so far that will tickle ya taste buds and leave you coming back for more!
I have no doubt that after going through this list, you will be heading home in a flash to give at least one or two of these coffee combinations a try.
Adding cinnamon to coffee isn’t anything new, but it’s one that’s stood the test of time and is a favorite with many coffee drinkers. But before you read on I have a twist on the already popular combination.
Instead of sprinkling cinnamon on top of your coffee or even stirring it into your brew, you’ll want to infuse the cinnamon with your coffee beans if you want to give your coffee a real cinnamon kick.
It’s not as hard as it sounds, simply grind whole sticks of cinnamon along with your whole coffee beans. If you don’t grind your beans fresh before each brew (why not?) you can instead sprinkle some cinnamon into your pre-ground coffee before you add water.
Adding the cinnamon to the start of the coffee brewing process will allow for a fully blended coffee that actually tastes like cinnamon and not just smell like it.💡 Fun Fact: Did you know that you can easily add flavor to your coffee by using a French Press. Simply immerse your Cinnamon, Vanilla, Ginger, or anything else inside of your French Press along with your freshly brewed coffee. Allow it to sit for a while for the magic to happen, the infused flavors will transform your coffee into something else! Looking for a French Press? These are the best French Press coffee makers we could find.
Cocoa Nibs.. say what? Isn’t that just chocolate? Not really. Cocoa Nibs are what chocolate is before it’s processed into the shaped bars we all know and love. These chunks are more black in color than brown and are 100% cocoa beans. The texture is also different, and the taste is far nuttier and slightly chewier plus they deliver a dark rich taste.
It’s this flavor profile that makes Cocoa Nibs the perfect addition to your coffee. Trust me they taste great! Add about ½ a teaspoon of Cocoa Nibs to every two cups of coffee that goes into your coffee grinder, grind together, and brew your coffee as normal.
If you love dark chocolate and black coffee this flavored coffee is going to bring you to your knees! YUM!
If you love adding flavored creamers and sugar to your coffee but aren’t happy about the added calories you’re loading into your cup, try some vanilla.
The best way to take advantage of this natural coffee flavoring is to add a vanilla bean to your whole coffee beans just before you grind. If you can’t get your hands on fresh vanilla, you can use a few drops of extract directly into your cup of coffee or into your portafilter on your espresso machine before you pull a shot. Remember, though, a little goes a long way, any more than two drops and you’ll be pouring your brew down the drain.
I’m not a fan of this coffee flavor, but for those of you that enjoy ginger tea, this coffee combination might be a winner!
Ginger can be overpowering if used in large quantities, so I recommend that you only add a few small slices to your grounds before you brew. The hot water will pass over the ginger and will infuse with your coffee. If you don’t have fresh ginger, you can supplement by using one or two tablespoons of ginger powder instead, but fresh is definitely better!
Cardamom is relatively unheard of in the west but is hugely popular in the Middle East. The taste of cardamom is very similar to ginger and comes packed with numerous health benefits. Fiber and other essential minerals are just some of the hidden gems of cardamom as well as aiding in circulation it goes great with coffee.
Either add whole cardamom seeds to your whole coffee beans before you grind or sprinkle a couple of pinches of pre-ground cardamom seeds to your freshly brewed cup of coffee.
6. Star Anise
This coffee flavor isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but it will definitely get you a few strange looks. Star Anise is known for a strong licorice taste with sweet, floral notes. For those of you that enjoy licorice, it makes a great coffee infusion when paired with dark roasted coffee.
Add your Star Anise into your whole coffee beans before grinding and brew as you normally would. However, if overused it can be very overpowering, I recommend using no more than 3/4 of a clove, or you’ll be pouring your freshly brewed coffee into the sink.
If you want to bring out the earthiness in your morning coffee brew, I recommend trying a bit of Nutmeg. The added sweetness and earthy taste are truly unique and are a sure way to tickle ya taste buds.
The amount of Nutmeg to add to your cup of coffee is down to personal taste; however, I find that one shard is perfect for a typical cup. With that said experiment until you find the best infusion for your liking.
I only thought that lavender was something found in body soaps, that was before I tried lavender ice cream as a child, yum!
Lavender is the perfect companion for many things, and coffee is no exception; I have found that it marriages best with the fruitier roasted coffees. You can either add a few sprinkles of lavender in with your ground coffee and infuse when you pour your hot water or add a few tiny drops of lavender oil to your brewed coffee. is brewed. Either way, this combination tastes great, especially on a lazy spring afternoon.
If you smoke cigarettes or have done in the past, this Clover-flavored coffee is going to be a winner! Many popular cigarette brands add clove into their tobacco mix to give an added sweetness.
When it comes to cloves and coffee use sparingly, because this spice can be very overpowering. Either grind with your whole coffee beans before you brew or add a couple of cloves to your pre-ground coffee and infuse when boiling water is poured over your grounds. If the taste is too strong, experiment until you find the best ratio for your taste buds.
10. Peppermint Oil
Nothing screams ‘tis the season more than a steamy cup of peppermint coffee. To successfully infuse your brewed coffee with this delicious holiday flavor it’s best to use pure peppermint oil which works really well with chocolatey dark roasted coffee beans.
To try this flavored coffee add a couple of drops to your coffee during the brewing process, however, use sparingly because peppermint oil in its concentrated form can quickly become overpowering no matter how rich your coffee beans are.
11. A Raw Egg
It might seem crazy, but adding a raw egg to your coffee tastes great! Hot coffee mixed with a raw egg delivers a one-of-a-kind flavor – trust me, you have to try it, at least once, It might not be a taste that everyone enjoys for everyone, but to be honest it’s not as disgusting as you might expect.
The addition of a raw egg gives the coffee a dense and slightly creamy body without masking the natural coffee flavors and aromas.
If you haven’t heard about Bulletproof Coffee (1), you must have been living in a cave. Many coffee lovers and health buffs have come accustomed to this coffee butter combination which has gained popularity in recent years.
This strange combination can be traced back to south-east Asia where strange coffee infusions are commonplace. Even though it’s hard to imagine butter which is normally only used in cooking, going so well with coffee, if done right it really is a marriage made in heaven (I said if done right!).
Just adding a teaspoon of organic butter to a sweet roast coffee will give your coffee a smooth, rich texture with a buttery depth that is truly unique.
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief at the popular coffee blog – Bean Ground. He’s been active in the catering and hospitality industry for over 20 years. When he’s not fiddling around with a new coffee gadget, you’ll find him busy working on his other passion, web development. You can discover more about Mark here.