Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude.

Big News in October!

Posted September 20th, 2015 by Salina with No Comments

Come see me at Denver Days on Friday, October 2nd and Saturday, October 3rd!

I will be doing FREE chair massage* and will be raffling off a FREE 60 minute massage. No purchase necessary, simply sign-up for my mailing list and you’ll be entered to win. Just for signing up, receive a cupon good for 1 free yoga class or $10 off your next massage!

Speaking of yoga, I am adding new classes and a new location to my schedule in October! Stop by my booth for details and a copy of the new schedule. In the meantime check out my Yoga page for pricing info.

*chair massage will be performed during select hours, keep an eye on my facebook page for hours!

January Reader’s Challenge

Posted January 4th, 2013 by Salina with No Comments

Happy New Year everyone! I don’t know about you all, but I cannot believe that 2013 is here already. I don’t really like to make resolutions for the new year. I figure I am just setting myself to be disappointed – in myself- so what’s the point really?
However, I recently read something really awesome that said, “What if the only resolution you make is to love yourself more…” What if? This is something we probably all need to do more. It’s also something that can be so easy if we let it. A resolution we can keep! So, the challenge this month is to share with us what you will do this year to love yourself more. Comment here or tell us on the Facebook page. Let’s start off 2013 with a little self love!
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December Reader’s Challenge of the Month

Posted December 3rd, 2012 by Linda with No Comments

You there? No, I mean are you really there? In the moment? In the picture?

Your challenge this month is to GET in the picture, both literally and figuratively. Do you shy away from the camera because you’re holding on to a few extra pounds or your hair isn’t behaving? How many photos have you taken of your family or friends that you’re not a part of? Seize the day – stop waiting for perfection or you’ll miss out!

Get out from behind the lens and into the shot and whats more – share it with us on Facebook! Go to our page and show us the real you! We promise to share our pictures too!

Here Comes the Sun

Posted June 25th, 2012 by Linda with No Comments

Twenty years ago, it was cool to bake yourself in the sun until you were a toasty shade of brown. I never made that shade. I went from white to red in a matter of minutes outside without sunscreen. Needless to say, despite my mom’s best efforts to keep me slathered up, I had my fair share of sunburn when I was younger.

These days there’s been almost a complete reversal in how we think about the sun and skin care. Days of baking in the sun without protection, or worse, doused in baby oil, are gone. Tanning salons are getting the hairy eyeball from the media. Even the “safer” alternative to tanning, the “spray tan” is coming under fire for toxicity. So what do we do when we want to enjoy the great outdoors and not end up fried?

Common sense tells us to avoid the sun when it’s highest in the sky, generally between 11am and 4pm. We also know that its best to cover up with sunglasses, light-colored clothing and headgear to reflect the sun’s rays. That’s all well and good, but not necessarily plausible if say, you’ve got a wedding to go to in July at noon outdoors. Good luck finding shade and a full-coverage dress and matching hat that you won’t sweat to death in or have to explain in the wedding photos! The next best option is, of course, sunscreen.

But, what kind of sunscreen should you use? Unfortunately, sunscreen and skin protection is not an exact science and ultimately, its best to take everything with a grain of salt and some common sense. With all the emphasis in the past few years on sun damage and skin cancer prevention, companies have been pumping out “new” and “better” skin care options every season. There are sticks, sprays, lotions, creams, and wipes; SPFs to 100+; “natural” vs. conventional; waterproof, water-resistant, sweat-proof, even some you can apply to wet skin. With so many options, its easy to get overwhelmed.

Here’s the quick and dirty – your best bet of all the options currently available is a lotion or cream mineral sunscreen. Creams and lotions offer you the best coverage (as long as you apply it correctly) – sticks are okay, but really only useful for small areas like your face, lips, ears, and hairline. Wipes haven’t really been lauded for their effectiveness since it’s highly unlikely that a little napkin can cover your whole body. Spray on lotions, while convenient, really (in my opinion) should be avoided and not just because you can catch fire from them. Aerosol sunscreens spray chemical particles into the air that you can inhale and besides potentially causing lung irritation, there hasn’t been enough research on the long term effects.

Chemical sunscreens are the most commercially popular and prevalent (kudos to their marketing departments). The problem with chemical sunscreens is that, well…they’re chemicals and in many cases, toxic ones. One of the biggest offenders is the hormone-disruptor oxybenzone, used in sunscreen to absorb UV rays. It gets absorbed into your skin and enters the bloodstream and is also known to cause skin allergies. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is also alerting people to the potential danger of the addition of Vitamin A to sunscreen. Listed as retinyl palminate, its primary purpose in sunscreen is as a moisturizer to make it creamier, but its been linked to skin cancer!

Given the issues with conventional chemical sun protection, mineral sunscreens are the best sunscreens available in the US. Generally zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, mineral sunscreens are listed as some of the best by the EWG because they sit on top of the skin rather than being absorbed, don’t break down in the sun like conventional sunscreens, and don’t cause disruptions to hormones. In the 80s zinc oxide was that thick, white stuff equated with lifeguards. They tried to make it cooler in the 90s by adding colors like purple and blue…it didn’t help. Today, mineral lotions use nanoparticles rendering them almost clear. They tend to leave a slight whitish-purple sheen on the skin, but nothing like the white goop of yesteryear.

I personally use California Baby and Badger brand sunscreens, both zinc oxide sunscreens. I like them – I’m already pasty white so I barely even notice the slight haze it leaves behind and frankly, I like knowing where I’ve applied so I don’t miss a spot. I also have these brands in stick form for ears, face, hairlines, etc. I have to admit, I prefer the California Baby over the Badger brand in sticks. The California Baby glides on a little easier with less rubbing in, whereas the Badger seems to have little chunks in it.

What Do YOU Want to Know?

Posted May 28th, 2012 by Linda with No Comments

We’re curious – what kinds of things are you interested in reading about? Give us the topics and we’ll do all the legwork and research to bring you the info. Yoga pose questions? Healthy food inquiries? Meditation query? Just leave us a comment below with your ideas!

My Baby’s Eyes

Posted March 6th, 2012 by Salina with No Comments


On March 5th , 2010, the President declared that the first week of March each year would be Save Your Vision Week, during which time people are encouraged to raise awareness regarding eye and vision care. So, I feel that this is a good week to share my personal experience on the subject.

My son is 3 years old and he started wearing glasses one year ago this month. The question that everyone asked me when they saw his new glasses or when meeting him for the first time was, “How did you know he needed glasses”? He was so young, even people who were not parents yet were curious. What were the signs? How did we know? This is what I tell them about how we discovered he needed glasses and how lucky we were to catch it so early.
Within the first week of my son’s life I noticed that he was waking in the mornings with green “crusties” in his left eye and when he was awake, tears pooled in his eye and ran down his cheek. Having had conjunctivitis (pink eye) a couple of times in my life I immediately thought that’s what he might have. We took him to the doctor and I was relieved to find out that my week-old baby had not contracted pink eye. Instead, he had what the doctor called a clogged tear duct. He told us that sometimes when babies are born their ducts have not opened, but that it may open on its own in time. He said that we would give it a year and if it did not open up on its own he would refer us to an ophthalmologist.

That first year came and went in a flash and at his one year check-up that left eye was still leaking. Our doctor scheduled an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist and told me that the duct would likely have to be opened surgically.

About a week later I packed him (my son, not the doctor) into the car and drove an hour to see this specialist. After another hour in a hot, crowded waiting area with a restless one-year-old, who’d missed nap time, we were finally called into see the doctor. Then we had another 15 minutes of waiting in a room full of things requiring repetitive use of the phrase, “No, no, don’t touch!”

When the doctor finally came in, there was barely an introduction before she squeezed some drops in his eyes and left us for another 10 minutes to allow the tears to drain (or something like that). When she returned she looked at his eyes with a special light. The pooling tears glowed yellow in the left eye confirming that they were not draining from his eye. (Did I mention how the eye was always dripping with tears?) Anyway, she took a minute to show me a pamphlet and explain how tear ducts function, which was actually pretty neat:

Tears drain from your eye through a tiny hole in the inside corner of each eye, these ducts run through your nasal passages and drain into your throat. When you blink, excess tears drain from your eyes through these ducts. When you cry, more tears are produced faster then they can flow through the ducts which causes tears to spill from your eyes and run down your face, and also causes your nose to run because they overflow into there too!

She told me that I needed to schedule a surgery where they would stick a tube into the duct to open it up and leave it there for a number of weeks. She said time was of the essence because the older he got the less likely it was that the surgery would take (the duct could build scar tissue and close again). She warned that he would be super upset and cranky when he first woke up from the anesthesia, and she gave me directions to the hospital for the surgery. Then she sent us out to the receptionist to schedule the surgery and get a quote for the cost of the surgery – $800.

I left the office feeling frustrated, scared, and unsure. I just did not have a great feeling about this doctor or her office. Although I learned in detail how tear ducts work, I felt like she told me very little about the surgery and what exactly she was going to do to my baby. Her bedside manner was cold in the way that some doctors get when they do the same thing day in and day out, as if they forget that some of us have never done this before. I was way too nervous and unsettled about the whole thing. Now if this had been about me, I would have just shrugged off my bad feeling and went ahead with the planned surgery, but this was my baby and if I wasn’t going to make sure that he was getting the best treatment, who would? I could not send him into a surgery with someone I didn’t feel comfortable with. So after talking about it with my husband and my best friend, I called my family physician and asked them to find me another pediatric specialist because I wanted a second opinion.

The new doctor, Dr. Brown, was also an hour away, but the experience was like night and day. For starters, the office was not crowded and they had a play room for kids! The doctor was friendly, she talked to my son as well as to me, but most importantly she did a complete eye exam on him. It had not occurred to me at the other office, but the other doctor never checked his eyes past the tears!

Dr. Brown asked if we had been massaging the tear duct to encourage it to open. Umm, what? We had not been doing that, no one had even mentioned that. I am a massage therapist, I’m all about trying massage to help anything! She showed me how to do it and suggested that we massage the eye three times a day. Then, because he was over a year old (I think 15 months at that time) and his duct had not opened on it’s own she also recommended surgery. She explained the entire procedure, showed me photos of children who’d had the surgery and what exactly it looked like to have a tube in his tear duct, how long it would be in there, how to take care of it, and even how to deal with other people who might try to help me “get something off the baby’s face”. The earliest she could to the surgery was about a month away and in the meantime we should be doing the massage three times a day. Even better the cost of the surgery was going to be $80 versus the $800 the first doctor quoted!

During the vision exam, she asked me (because I wear glasses) if I had ever been told that an astigmatism was my main issue. I explained that I have one but had never been told that it was the main problem with my vision. She explained that she’d noticed a significant astigmatism in my son’s eye and that we should watch him because it could lead to a condition called amblyopia which is unequal focus in the eyes and can lead to a “lazy eye” or “wandering eye”. She asked if anyone in the family had this issue because it can be genetic. Turns out that this condition is on both my and my husband’s side of the family.

I left Dr. Brown’s office quite glad I got another opinion. I was still a little nervous about the idea of my baby having surgery, but I was glad that this woman was going to be the one doing it. Later that day I told my husband the doctor’s recommendation to massage the duct three times a day and we started doing the massage at least once a day – do you have any idea how difficult it is to get a baby to let you stick your finger in the corner of his eye and rub around in there for 30 seconds?!

About 3 weeks later, almost exactly 1 week before the scheduled surgery, I realized at breakfast one day that his eye was dry. When I thought about it I had not cleaned any “crusties” from his eyes that morning either. How long had it been dry? I couldn’t say. We watched the eye closely for a few more days and discovered that the massage had worked! His eye was no longer crusty or drippy! When I called the office to share the news, the doctor got on the phone with me personally and confirmed that we should cancel the surgery. She also scheduled an appointment for one year to check on that astigmatism she had noticed.

The following year we took him back to the doctor. His condition had not improved so she hooked him up with some sweet glasses – red like Mommy’s. Which reminds me of the second question everyone asked, “How do you get him to keep them on?”

We found three things that worked for us. First, I tried to get him really excited about having glasses. He helped pick out his frames, decided what color, and for the week it took to have his glasses made we talked endlessly about people who wear glasses, friends and family, people on TV, cartoon characters, anyone we saw, etc. Second, I wear glasses. As soon as I told him he needed glasses he asked if they would be red like mine. So, we got him red glasses and I made a big deal about how cool our glasses were and I made sure to wear my glasses. Third, I just have a really good kid. The doctor had told us that we should try to get him to wear the glasses 50% of the time that he spent indoors (he didn’t have to wear them to run around outside). He wore them 90-100% of the time that he was awake.

Since then we have been going back every six weeks (sometimes a little longer) to check the progress, see if his vision is improving, make sure the prescription is correct, and do what we can to prevent his dominant eye from taking over and the weak one from shutting down and weakening the muscles in the eye causing a “lazy eye”. Right now he wears his glasses all the time and we patch his good eye for two hours a day to strengthen the weaker eye.

If he had not had that clogged duct that lead us through this process we might not have known that he had any issue with his vision until the eye began to wander. I don’t think I would have thought to take him to the eye doctor at such a young age and I had no idea that this was a genetic condition.

Children should be given general vision checks by their pediatrician or physician within the first year and if the doctor suspects an issue they will recommend a more in-depth exam. According to WebMD.com, your child’s eyes should be checked around 6 months, 3 years, 5 years and at least every two years after that. However, you can always have your child’s eyes checked sooner or more often if you suspect a problem or if there are genetic conditions that run in your family.

Reader’s Challenges Begin In January 2012!

Posted December 22nd, 2011 by Salina with No Comments

Hey Everyone, we are so excited to finally get the website up and running! We have big plans beginning in the New Year, which is only days away.

One new element that we are most looking forward to is our monthly Reader’s Challenge. Every month we will pose a challenge to our readers both here, at salinahornak.com, as well as on Facebook for which we encourage you to share your results, insights, and thoughts throughout the month.

Do Ionic Detox Foot Baths Work?

Posted June 18th, 2011 by Salina

Q “Do those Ion/Ionic Detox foot baths that are offered at spas really help to detoxify your body, or is it a gimmick so that the spa can make money? I have been seeing these advertised more and more and lately Groupon and LivingSocial deals have featured them at various spas in my area. Any thoughts would be helpful. Thanks.” -Jenn F. in Raleigh, NC.

A There is some controversy around these systems and whether or not they actually work. Many people in the natural health community believe that these systems are great and that they can cure many health issues. Others believe that these systems are a scam.

It is said that our feet are extremely porous and as a result this is a good way to draw toxins out of the body. I am not entirely clear on the science behind these systems but I know that the process involves soaking the feet in a salt water bath containing an ionizer. Ionization of the water is supposed to somehow draw the toxins out of the body through the feet.

I have seen this done and on people and the resulting water, which is usually brown to dark brown. I have never had this done but I have talked to people who love this and swear that having it done in a series really helps them feel better.

One woman who had been cleaning her house with a lot of bleach, said that after an ionic detox the water smelled like bleach.

I know another woman who is on medication due to a kidney transplant. She had an ion foot bath and she feels that it was so effective that it altered the levels of medication in her system; which was not a good thing in her case.

My husband Derek had this treatment done twice. He did not feel any difference.

I am unable to draw a conclusion either way because I have never had it done and I have never taken the time to fully understand the process and why it is said to work. However, I am planning to do the research, have the treatment(s), and talk with people who provide this service and write an article for the website. I will definitely make sure that I let you know when that is done and what conclusions I am able to draw.

Thanks for your question. Hope this helps!

Poses to help lymph drainage?

Posted June 15th, 2011 by Salina with No Comments

Q “Do you know of any old lady poses to help lymph drainage, especially in the legs and to stimulate the spleen? My workout has become very limited as I have gotten very stiff in the past year.” -Patty A. in South Florida.

A Let’s begin with the second part of your question regarding stimulation of the spleen, since that will be the shorter answer. Spinal twists are beneficial for the spleen and other internal organs. This is because when you are twisting your torso the blood flow becomes restricted in the compressed area. When the twist is released fresh blood rushes into the tissues and organs on that previously restricted side. This blood rushing through the area can help flush out old blood and toxins that may have been collecting here. Side bending postures are beneficial as well, for the same reason.

Now, lets talk about the part of your question regarding lymph drainage in the legs. Because it flows in only one direction with no organs acting as pumps to help it get where it is going, lymph moves through the body slowly. It is pushed along by outside pressure on the structures of the lymphatic system, pressure such as muscle contractions, pressure changes within the body, and physical manipulation of the tissues. Which makes both yoga and massage good options for helping to move this fluid through the body.

When there is a build up fluid in the legs it may be a result of muscular inactivity, which can be caused by traveling, sitting for long periods without getting up to move around, etc.* Doing calf stretches throughout the day or on longs trips when you are unable to move around can keep the fluid moving in the right direction. Do this by flexing your ankles; reach the toes toward the shins and then pointing the toes toward the floor.

The poses listed below are great for helping drain fluid in the legs. A regular yoga practice, stretching, or exercise routine even for a few minutes a day can help keep the fluid moving and prevent the buildup of fluid in the future.

Viparita Karani (legs up the wall pose), lie on the floor with one side of your body close to a wall. Bend your knees, placing the soles of your feet on the floor. Bring your attention to your breath. When you are ready extend the leg that is closest to the wall up and then the other as you use your arms to turn your upper body away from the wall and your legs toward it. Your sits bones may not be right up against the wall and that is okay. Extend your legs up, with your feet toward the ceiling, and let them rest against the wall. Extend your arms out to the sides keeping them aligned with your shoulder joints. Think about lengthening through your spine from your tail bone through the crown of your head. Bring your focus to your breath and stay here for a minimum of 5 minutes, working up to 10 or 15 minutes when comfortable.

Salamba Savasana (supported corpse pose), find a stable chair to place your calves on while in Savasana. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Lift your feet off the floor resting the backs of your calves on the seat of the chair. Relax your arms down by your sides, palms facing up to the ceiling. Focus on your breath and try to relax more with each exhalation. Feel yourself sinking deeper into the floor. Remember to keep your jaw and face relaxed as well. If the chair is too much elevation for your legs, try using pillows and/or blankets to elevate the feet and legs. Elevation will help the lymph drain from the legs.

As I mentioned above, massage can also help move lymph through the vessels.
Here are some steps for massaging yourself that may help move the lymph along:

  • Begin at the bottom of your thigh by placing one hand on either side of your leg, just above the knee, with your thumbs meeting on top and your fingers toward the sides.
  • Use a “milking” action to squeeze your thigh; slowly working your hands up the thigh toward your hip.
  • Bring your hands back to the base of the thigh at the knee, separate your hands a little bit and work the hands up on either side of the thigh again, squeezing as you go.
  • Continue this action beginning at the knee and working up the thigh, separating the hands a little more each time, until you have gone all the way around the thigh.
  • Repeat this action on the calf, working from the ankle up to the knee.
  • Finally, repeat these steps as you work all the way up the leg from the toes to the pelvis.

When doing this, it is important to start with the thigh and work your way down the leg in sections as described; this opens the pathway for the fluid. If you were to being at the foot and work up the leg without working the area above first, the fluid you were attempting to work out of the foot would be blocked by the in the calf fluid above.

Having a full body massage or performing regular self-massage will help put pressure on the lymph vessels and will keep the lymphatic system flowing. Even the simple act of breathing encourages the movement of lymph through the body. The change in pressure within the abdomen and torso is enough to push the fluid along. So, any breathing exercises are a great way to keep the lymph moving as well as to help you relax and relieve stress!

* Swelling and fluid buildup can sometimes be a result of a more serious issue. I am not a doctor or a medical professional and my statements are my opinions based on my education and research and are in no way intended to replace or override the advice of a medical professional.

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