Stand Up Straight

You may recall bad memories of a family member, probably your mother or grandmother, telling you constantly to sit up straight and stop slouching. Well, as usual, mother knows best and she wasn’t kidding around. Practicing good posture and avoiding bad habits like slouching actually benefits your body in ways you may not have thought of.

Most people tend to notice when someone has good posture. It’s all in the body language. For most of us, we hardly pay attention to the way we sit or stand. Office jobs especially call for hours of sitting on our rumps so it’s natural for the body to slowly slouch as the day wears on. However, such practices can make things worse for you in the long run. If you haven’t had the chance to discipline yourself into sitting up straight and attaining better posture, then maybe the following health benefits will help convince you.

Did you know that by simply having good posture, your internal organs are able to function at their best? It’s true. When you have good posture, your muscles, ligaments, and joints are upright and able to do their jobs efficiently – not to mention your bones are also properly aligned. In this sense, posture plays a role in your health, especially as you get older.

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While you may not be hurting now, maintaining bad posture habits will catch up with you eventually. When you constantly slouch, you’re putting a lot of strain on your muscles, including the spine. The effects of poor posture over a period of time can result in constricting the blood vessels, nerves and the discs and joints of your spine. So when you start to experience everything from back pain to neck pain and headaches, chances are your bad posture has something to do with it.

The good news is that you can break yourself out of bad posture habits regardless of what age you are. Of course the sooner you start practicing good posture in life, the better off you’ll be. For those of you confined to the office/cubicle for hours out of the day, make sure to sit in a chair that is suited to your particular body type and sitting position. This is where having an ergonomic chair comes in handy.

Additionally, it’s never good for your body overall to sit in the same position throughout the day. Make it a habit to get up periodically, stretch your muscles and walk around to relieve your spine and neck tension. To keep yourself in top condition, it also helps to incorporate stretching exercises a few times a week. This will strengthen your muscles and joints and keep your flexible. Inactivity paired with poor posture makes for a terrible combination and effect on your body and health.

Surprisingly, having good posture can also be harmful if you go to the extremes. Avoid standing or sitting up too straight for too long, as this can also cause backaches. As long as you stretch and give yourself breaks, you should be able to have a good posture that won’t work against you.

Spa Cleanliness – What To Look For In A Spa

A trip to the spa should be relaxing and energizing, the ultimate pampering experience. But if that spa doesn’t follow the stringent requirements for cleanliness, your trip can result in some unpleasant consequences. Take, for example, the client who ended up with a difficult to treat nail fungus from a foot soaking tub during a pedicure. What should have been a wonderful treat ended up being a several hundred dollar expenditures at the foot doctor, not to mention the pain and discomfort of an infection? If you do not want to find yourself in that situation, do your homework before you book that appointment. Just what should you look for in a spa? Are there standards and regulations? Will the staff think that you are just being “picky”? Any good spa with high standards will relish the opportunity to explain their standards and how they comply with state regulations.

They should also have state inspection notices posted in a prominent location. Just as in hair salons, employees should have their credentials posted. Some spas are accredited by IMPAC, an accreditation company located in the United States, which develops standards for the spa industry. Their “Gold Star” program requires spas to follow state regulations, have accredited staff, and pass inspections. They also monitor that complaints have not been lodged with the Better Business Bureau and that clientele are generally satisfied with their spa experiences. While IMPAC is a starting point, you can be the best determiner as to the cleanliness of a spa. As a customer, you will be the one using the facilities and have the treatments.

Tour the spa before you sign up to have any services. A visual inspection should answer many of your questions.

  • Is the facility neat and orderly?
  • Does the spa appear clean?
  • Are the drains in wet-rooms and showers free from mold?
  • Are the linens fresh? Are used linens removed quickly?

After a towel has been used once, it should be deposited in a closed receptacle until properly laundered.

  • Are attendants with the client at all times?
  • Are treatment tables covered with fresh lines for each patron?
  • How are the implements sanitized?

After a visual inspection, it’s time to let your instincts take over. How do you feel about the spa?

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  • Is the receptionist friendly and accommodating?
  • Does the staff seem to get along well?
  • Do staff members seem respectful of the customers?
  • Are clients given the appropriate amount of privacy?
  • If you have any uneasy feelings, listen to your inner voice.

Chances are there is a reason for your feelings. It’s better to pay attention to your “gut instinct” rather than end up having a bad experience. One final point, before having any spa treatment, make sure the therapist washes his/her hands. Personal hygiene of therapists is essential. If the spa passes muster, then go ahead and book a treatment. You can truly relax knowing that you are in good hands.