Thursday, November 30, 2017

How to Sniff Your Way to a More Relaxing Holiday Season

Scents can be an extremely powerful memory trigger and certain scents can help you relax during this stressful time of year.


No, we're not talking about taking a big whiff of glue to put your troubles behind you...

This post is about aromatherapy and using your sense of smell to soothe away stress and get you through the chaos that can accompany the holiday season.

Healing Hands founder, Anastasia Yecke writes:

"In our practice we begin each session with lavender (calming), then when we ask the client to turn over we have them breathe eucalyptus (clears them out), and at the end it’s always peppermint (energizes and wakes you up).

In our aromatherapy sessions, the client can choose their own custom blend based on the mood/intention they’d like to set for their session: Power Up, Power Down, Just Breathe, Meditation, Aches & Pains, and Soothing Heat. Also, they get to take what’s left of the 2-oz bottle home with them afterwards, for use in the bath or for self-massage."

So let's have a look atsome of the scents Healing Hands uses based on client intentions for their  massage.

All products, details, and more information can be found  at  

POWER UP SpaBiotherapy BOOST 

This aromatic blend is an effective remedy for mental fatigue and excellent aromatherapy to lift spirits, remove boredom, and renew mental energy. It helps stimulate mental activity and increase concentration. This unique mixture aids circulation, helps metabolism, and elevates mental and physical energy and increased higher cognitive function.

Lavender, Tangerine, Ylang Ylang

​This special blend of essential oils promotes calming, restful relaxation while helping to alleviate anxiety and stress. The calming scent of lavender and yang yang helps decrease anxiety and nervousness. Tangerine oil promotes health in both muscle and organ systems and helps diminish inflammation. Its soothing aroma aids in alleviating headache, depression, and nervous tension. Lavander helps to induce deep relaxation and promotes fitful sleep while reducing emotional stress, exhaustion, and restlessness.​

Patchouli, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Rosewood

This special blend of medatative oils work together to promote relaxation, calmness, concentration, inner vision, and positive energy. Patchouli oil works to uplift mood, drive away disappointment, and relax tension. Rosewood oil works as a mild analgesic and helps improve memory and keep cognitive processes active, sharp, and alert. Cedarwood and Sandalwood oils combine to help alleviate tension, anxiety, and stress.

Rosemary, Eucalyptus, peppermint

These essential oils work together to help decrease nasal and throat congestion and help provide temporary relief from cough, colds, asthma, and other respiratory problems. Peppermint oil, rich in menthol, helps open the entire respiratory tract promoting clear airways and easy breathing. Eucalyptus oil aids in decongestion and helps protect with antibacterial, anti fungal, and antiviral properties.

 Rosemary, Birch, Eucalyptus, Juniper

This special blend delivers targeted therapy for pain relief providing pain relief while decreasing inflammation. Essential oils combine to improve arthritis, back and neck pain, injured muscles, ligaments, and painful joints. juniper works to aid circulation and helps alleviate aches and pains and restore normal tissue balance.

Balsam fir needle, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Juniper Berry, Myrtle

Together these essential oils emit warming, soothing sensation and an enticing aroma of evergreen and eucalyptus. Balsam works to help decrease inflammation, boost metabolism, and remove mental stress. Oil of Lemon hops combat mental fatigue, exhaustion, and nervous tension. Eucalyptus acts as a gentle analgesic to help relieve stress and pain. Juniper promotes and improves circulation in the skin and muscles and helps emote toxins while essential myrtle relaxes and sedates.


If you would like to experience a personalized aromatherapy massage treatment custom-tailored to your own specific needs, please contact us to book your next treatment.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Why You Should Never Feed Your Feet to the Fishies (-A Fish Pedicure Story)

Hey there! Anastasia of Healing Hands here. I just got back from a wonderful anniversary trip with my husband around Europe. 

Six countries in two weeks left us both a little worn out, but it was sooooooo worth it.

It was relaxing, rejuvenating, and at times a bit quirky.

Case in point:

On our trip, I was surprised to see “fish pedicures” advertised in Slovenia and Croatia.  I recalled reading about it a while back somewhere in the foggy depths of my brain. 

Basically you place your feet in a big tub filled with the toothless Garra rufa fish (native to the Middle East) and they nibble away at the dead skin on your feet.

No, I am not making this up!

As tempted as I was to try it, there was a certain “ewww!” factor that, coupled with our tight schedule, did not permit me to do so. 

I did have my husband Erik take a few pics, thinking it might make for an interesting social media or blog post.

However, right after taking the photos, I looked it up here on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and am REALLY glad I didn’t get one – the fish have to be starved in order to eat dead skin! 

I personally would never want to be party to any act that supports animal cruelty. (I've been vegetarian for most of my adult life and recently went vegan, except for when traveling).

When Good Fish Go Bad 

Also according to the CDC website, "CDC is not aware of any published reports on illnesses resulting from fish pedicures. Nail salon foot baths, however, have caused outbreaks of nontuberculous mycobacterial infections that left infected pedicure customers with boils and scars."

Oh dear.

It gets worse.

They go on to explain:

"Each state has the authority to ban fish pedicures. Currently, over 10 states have banned the use of fish pedicures.

Most of the bans are based on at least one of the following reasons:
  • The fish pedicure tubs cannot be sufficiently cleaned between customers when the fish are present.
  • The fish themselves cannot be disinfected or sanitized between customers. Due to the cost of the fish, salon owners are likely to use the same fish multiple times with different customers, which increases the risk of spreading infection.
  • Chinese Chinchin, another species of fish that is often mislabeled as Garra rufa and used in fish pedicures, grows teeth and can draw blood, increasing the risk of infection.
  • According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Garra rufa could pose a threat to native plant and animal life if released into the wild because the fish is not native to the United States.
  • Fish pedicures do not meet the legal definition of a pedicure.
  • Regulations specifying that fish at a salon must be contained in an aquarium.
  • The fish must be starved to eat skin, which might be considered animal cruelty."


So... intriguing, but no thank you. I'd advise to just get a simple good old-fashioned foot massage instead!

If you'd like to come in and get an amazing massage (also for your footsies but without the fish...) come over to our contact page and book your appointment today

See you then!

Best wishes,

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

4 Ways Massage Makes Everything Better (Backed By Research)

If you are trying to up your wellness game and become more healthy through diet, exercise, mindfulness, and meditation, you may also wish to pay attention to the many proven benefits that a simple massage can bring to your mind, body, and spirit.

Here are some recent findings backed by research on all the many ways massage therapy can help make everything better.

1.) Massage Therapy can help beat stress and lower your blood pressure

A recent study in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, shows that researchers concluded massage therapy could help control blood pressure in pre-hypertensive women. And interestingly, the study showed that the immediate results of lowered blood pressure lasted up to 72 hours after massage. Full study

A separate study in the same publication also had similar findings; those that received regular Swedish massage therapy over a period of four weeks had significantly lower blood pressure than those who did not have a massage. Full study

SOURCE: American Massage Therapy Association

2.) Massage Therapy helps pain, anxiety, and muscular tension in cardiac surgery patients

Research published in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery shows that massage therapy can significantly reduce pain, anxiety and muscular tension, as well as enhance relaxation and satisfaction after cardiac surgery. Full study »

SOURCE: American Massage Therapy Association

3.) Massage is proven to have lasting biological benefits

Massage has been said to have an array of benefits, including alleviating symptoms of depression, anxiety, back pain, asthma, fatigue, and even HIV. A recent study shows there are sustained, cumulative beneficial effects of repeated massage therapy. The effects persist for several days to a week, and differ depending on the frequency of sessions. Results of the study were reported online in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

SOURCE:  Emory University

4. Massage helps preterm babies gain weight 

A review of more than 30 studies on massage for preterm infants showed an overall trend toward weight gain and increased vagal tone among preterm infants who received massage therapy. Read more.


5. (Upcoming Study:) Researchers will study holistic therapies as alternative to opiods

The medical profession might be waking up to the potential of such holistic therapies as massage, chiropractic, yoga, acupuncture and others to serve as an alternative to opioid use for pain, based on the announcement of research to compare such therapies to prescription drugs.

"On Aug. 15, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), an independent nonprofit organization, announced it has allocated $5.7 million to fund a study of access to holistic therapies for treating low back pain, including massage, acupuncture, osteopathy, chiropractic, yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise therapy, and physical or occupational therapy—while restricting access to opioids, according to a press release." Read more.


Find a Massage Therapist Near You

Swedish, aromatherapy, lymphatic, prenatal, and geriatric massage

Deep tissue massage, stretching, hot stones, cupping, and CRT (Cranial Release Technique)

Corporate wellness solutions including chair massage, yoga, meditation, and Pilates

Our team of wellness professionals is second to none, as each was selected just as much for their enthusiasm and passion for improving the lives of others as for their skills.

We invite you to come be a part of our story! Whatever your wellness goals, we look forward to helping you achieve them. Contact us today.

Friday, October 13, 2017

5 Ways that Giving to Others Helps Make You More Successful

Greetings from Anastasia of Healing Hands!

I recently finished reading the short but powerful book “The Go-Giver: A Little Story About A Powerful Business Idea” by Bob Burg and John David Mann. 

Have you heard of it and/or read it?  It’s a quick read but what a GREAT book.  

I was thinking of the principles the book teaches and how they apply to my business. 


  • THE LAW OF VALUE: Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

  • THE LAW OF COMPENSATION: Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.

  • THE LAW OF INFLUENCE: Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.

  • THE LAW OF AUTHENTICITY: The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.

  • THE LAW OF RECEPTIVITY: The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

I certainly have taken the lessons to heart and have found that I already have been incorporating them into how I run my business.

And how about you? Have you read anything especially inspiring lately?

If so, please share your recommendations in the comments below.

Best wishes,

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Huge Thanks to All of Miami's First Responders

Leo C. works for FPL (Florida Power & Light) and has been a regular client of Healing Hands for about a year and a half.

He came in for our First Responders Special. (*20 minutes of massage FREE with the purchase of a one hour massage for all First Responders that helped during the storm, through September 30th, 2017.)

During the Hurricane Irma relief efforts he worked 16 STRAIGHT DAYS (while he was working 16 HOUR DAYS).  Yesterday was his first day off since September 10th.

Leo with Healing Hands Founder, Anastasia Yecke

We're so glad he got a chance to finally unwind and relax and that we could be a part of his well-earned day off.

Our special promotion is ending soon, but if you are a First Responder, give us a call and book your massage or order a gift certificate by the end of September 30. (*And if you are reading this too late, call us anyway!)

Thanks to Leo C. and everyone who is helping to get Miami back on track after our windy ordeal!

 Watch our First Responders Healing Hands Thank You video on our Facebook Page


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Healing Hands Spotlight: Meet Nipa Doshi


Nipa Doshi was born and raised in Mumbai, India.  Although she possesses both a degree in Commerce and Law, she was always very interested in learning about the healing modalities and attended yoga and meditation classes for many years at the Santa Cruz Yoga Institute of Mumbai.  

She began studying Reiki in 1995 and received her Master’s in 1996.  In 2000, she moved to the USA with her husband and became the mother of twin boys.  In 2009, she completed 200 hours of training in Hatha Yoga and in 2011, she finished an additional 200 hours of training to become a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher.  Kundalini Yoga incorporates elements of meditation, breath work, mantras, and mudras (hand gestures).  

She is very passionate about teaching meditation and yoga, and believes it is the best way to achieve greater awareness and peacefulness within.

What is your role at Healing Hands?

My role is to teach meditation and yoga to Healing Hands’ corporate clients.  The practice of meditation, particularly at work, helps to calm people and bring their focus within.  The session results in improved concentration and better relationships with their coworkers.  Meditation really helps participants bring out the best in themselves and their work. 

What is meditation?

In meditation, you lock your optic nerve by looking either at the tip of your nose, down towards the chin, or up to the third eye which is located between the eyebrows.  When this happens, your mind/body/soul are aligned, and your subconscious begins releasing thoughts. 

These thoughts are usually negative so to get rid of them, we chant mantras (short, repeated phrases) which create positive vibrations and help cut the self-defeating thoughts. 

As our subconscious is cleared, we connect to the soul.  When that connection is established, we clear our minds and get in tune with our intuition.  Once your intuition becomes strong, you tend to receive all your answers spontaneously. 

Meditation helps you get “out of your head” and is great for people who tend to over-analyze everything.  That can result in you feeling “stuck”.  Meditation is very freeing; your intuition is a very powerful thing and can help you a lot in life and in business.

How did you get into meditation?

I have been a yoga teacher since 2010.  In 2012 I was trained in kundalini yoga.  In this practice we do a lot of different types of meditation, which use a lot of breath work.  

The breath work is what helps us calm down and center ourselves.  As my practice deepened, I felt a lot of positive changes taking place within me which I wanted to share with others.  

I felt less distracted, I found myself becoming more calm, my focus and concentration increased, and this made me more confident in myself and helped me speak my truth without fear of being judged.

Tell us a bit about the two months you spent in your home country of India this past summer.

Going back to India was the most meditative and healing journey I have received.  Being home in your roots always brings so much joy and peace. 

Meeting family and being with my parents was amazing. And of course I had missed the food!  And the lifestyle.  We also traveled a lot by car through northern India, and being in nature was amazing. 

Two of the most incredible places we visited were Kumbhalgarh – it’s the fort where the great king Maharana Pratap was born, and has the second-largest wall in the world (after the Great Wall of China) – and of course Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located.

What is your favorite part about your job?

When I see students smile after class and say, “This process did make a change in me!  I feel renewed and relaxed.  That was exactly what I needed for today.”  Or sometimes they just give me hugs, that means everything to me.  They don’t have to say a word.

How do you see your role evolving in the future?

I envision the corporate classes growing with the blessings of my gurus and teachers.  I visualize all of the coworkers becoming one in the practice of meditation.

To come meet Nipa in person or to book a class, contact us at Healing Hands.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Did You Escape Irma's Destruction? Our Hurricane Diary

Hi there.

If you are in Miami or anywhere else in Florida for that matter, chances are you are still digging out after Hurricane Irma unleashed her fury this past week.

It's been a September like no other, though thankfully we were spared the worst of what the storm had to offer. Our hearts go out to everyone in the American Southeast and in the Caribbean who were not so lucky!

Here's a recap of what Anastasia Yecke (Founder of Healing Hands) went through recently:

September 5, 2017:

Take this, Irma!

September 6, 2017:

We went back to Lowe's today and it was not such a tranquil place. Here is the line for plywood…

September 7, 2017:

A little gallows humor, considering Miami is currently in the projected eye of the storm...

September 8, 2017:

So we are pretty stocked up on supplies and water and are almost finished boarding up the house. 

September 9, 2017:


September 10, 2017:

We REALLY roughed it last night. I mean, we barely managed to choke down a beverage that was 14 years old...!


September 10, 2017. 9:29 AM:

Well guys, it looks like our power just went OUT-out now (it had been flickering off and on for the last several hours) so I think this will be my last post for a little while so I can conserve my phone battery. Luckily it is at 97% right now, and Erik charged some alternate batteries yesterday that we can use later on to charge them back up. So I will post again around 12:30 to let you guys know what's going on. We have the hurricane shutters up and have stockpiled plenty of food and water so we're safe - don't worry too much about us!

View from our front yard

September 11, 2017. 9:29 AM:

Some photos of the damage. While there are a LOT of branches down, there are also a few very large trees that didn't make it. Overall we were lucky and suffered only minor damage to our home.

I made a homemade guacamole and Erik's aunt made some beans and rice. We enjoyed a simple yet yummy dinner.


The front of our house this morning (it's the one on the left). I think the tree that fell is on our property, but it fell in the neighbor's yard. Luckily it did not hit any of their cars!

Overall, feeling relieved....

September 13, 2017:

Two years ago, Erik and I were on one of our many weekend trips to the beautiful Florida Keys. We love the Keys so much, we even had our wedding at a private estate on Key Largo.
My heart is hurting now to think about all the damage and massive cleanup from Irma - not just in the Keys but also in other parts of the Caribbean. Not to mention in Texas after Harvey.

I encourage each of you to please make a donation in the coming days to the charity of your choice, one you feel will best help alleviate the suffering and destruction that has taken place in the last weeks. 

The one I have listed, Habitat for Humanity of Key West & Lower Florida Keys is one I have volunteered with in the past (here in Miami, not in the Keys) and I know them to be good stewards of funds received. But it is just a starting point for you to do your own research.
Thank you.

Well, that's where we are at now. How did you fare during the storm? 

Do you have a particular aid organization you are donating to that you'd like to recommend? 

What else can people not directly affected by the storm do to help in Irma's aftermath?

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Best wishes and here's one final thought for the days, weeks, and months to come.