10 Tips To Quiet The Mind With Meditation

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10 Tips To Quiet The Mind With Meditation

Posted on: March 11th, 2017

10 tips to to quiet the mind with meditationWhether you are looking for more peace in your life or ways you can de-stress, meditation could be exactly what you need!

10 tips to quiet the mind with meditation

  1. Make time for meditation daily. Find the right time that will work for you and when you are able to fit it in daily.
  2. Find a quiet space. Consider having dim to no lights and diffuse essential oils to help your mind and body relax. For example Lavender oil can help you feel at ease.
  3. Find a relaxing position. During meditation it is important to find a position where your body can completely relax. Whether it is sitting ‘indian style’ or laying on your back, find what works for you!
  4. Close your eyes and breathe. Begin every practice by breathing deeply, slowly inhaling and then exhaling and focusing solely on your breath.
  5. Put on some relaxing music.
  6. Let go of all expectations. Do not have any expectations of what you need or want to happen. In the beginning, just learn how to quiet the mind and relax. There is no right or wrong when it comes to meditation.
  7. Be present throughout the day. Do not be concerned with what you should have done or what you still need to do during the day. Be completely present during each moment and it will helps silence any other thoughts or distractions.
  8. Turn off all electronics. No distractions!
  9. End your meditation slowly. When you are finished, do not stand up quickly. Ease yourself in standing up and opening your eyes. Let your body become aware of your surroundings and then slowly open your eyes.
  10. Stay committed. Stay the course and stay committed! Over time you will learn how to relax your mind and dive into a meditative state quicker with each practice.

At USTA, we understand how important it is to incorporate meditation into your daily life. For all of our aesthetics and massage therapy students, the meditation room is FREE to all students who wish to use it.

5 Reasons To Schedule A Massage This Spring

Posted on: March 5th, 2017

5 reasons to schedule a massage in springThere are many benefits to receiving regular massages but if it has been awhile, Spring time is the perfect time to schedule your next appointment! Winter can take a toll on our bodies and Spring brings more outdoor and physical activities. From muscle recovery to allergy relief, a massage can make all the difference in helping your body get back and keep the best health and wellness shape.

5 Reasons to schedule a massage

  1. Seasonal allergy relief. Massages may help in dealing with allergy symptoms like congestion, puffy eyes, sneezing, coughing and headaches. While massage can’t eliminate the specific allergy, it can be very effective in managing the symptoms. A facial massage has also been known to help with sinus drainage and pressure relief!
  2. Help with injuries. Massage helps relax and soften injured and overused muscles. This helps to increase circulation to shorten recovery time which is necessary for tissue repair.
  3. Pain and stiffness. Spring is the perfect time to start activities outside but these activities can cause muscle fatigue, pain and stiffness. Help keep your body more fluid and active with regular massages.
  4. Brightens mood. Massage increases the levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are both neurotransmitters that help stabilize your mood. So kick those winter blues with a regular massage!
  5. Reduce stress. Experts estimate that 80 percent to 90 percent of disease is stress-related. De-stress and relax with a massage.

As a Chicago area massage therapy school, we believe that true effectiveness and profitability for a massage therapist begins with self discovery, personal growth and understanding the power of touch between therapist and client. Understanding the power from within ensures the most effective, well rounded, therapists upon graduation and it is what sets us apart from other massage schools. Learn more about our nationally accredited massage therapy school and the techniques you will learn in our program!

8 Ways To Fight Wrinkles With Nutrition

Posted on: January 18th, 2017

fight wrinkles with nutritionAccording to the Mayo Clinic, wrinkles are caused by age, exposure to UV light, smoking and repeated facial expressions. What if there are some foods you can eat to help slow down the process and to put proper anti-aging properties back into your skin? There are! At USTA we believe that nutrition is a big part of looking and feeling your best. This is why we incorporate nutrition into both our massage therapy and aesthetic trainings!

8 Ways To Fight Wrinkles With Nutrition

  • Water: Skin cells need plenty of water to keep them hydrated. Drink about half your body weight in ounces of water, and if you work out and sweat you should drink more than that.
  • Salmon: Fish that is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids help keep cell membranes fluid.
  • Green Tea: One word; polyphenols. In the April 2011 edition of “The Journal of Nutrition,” The study measured 60 female volunteers over the course of 12 weeks. The participants were given a beverage that contained green tea polyphenols or that did not contain polyphenols. The participants were measured for skin elasticity, roughness, scaling, density and other factors. After 12 weeks, those who consumed polyphenol-containing beverages experienced greater blood flow and oxygen to the skin. According to the study, women reported experiencing improvements in their overall skin quality.
  • Berries: Strawberries, Blueberries and Raspberries are packed with antioxidants. They work to help fight free radical damage to the skin.
  • Garlic: Add fresh garlic to as many dishes as you can. Garlic is also packed with polyphenols.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is packed full of oleic acid, one of the fatty acids that keep cell membranes fluid and make skin supple.
  • Lean Proteins: Skinless chicken, fish, beans, nuts, and other lean protein foods help repair cells that have suffered free radical damage.
  • Beans: The nutrients in all variety of beans help neutralize the damaging compounds that harm your skin and prevent skin damage and signs of aging.

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5 Winter Beauty Tips For Your Skin

Posted on: December 12th, 2016

winter beauty tipsWinter is full swing here in Chicago as we accumulated almost 10 inches of snow over the past weekend. Just because the weather outside is frightful, doesn’t mean that your skin has to be! With each season your skincare routine should change a little to protect your skin from the outdoor elements.


  • Hydrate with honey. Raw honey is a great moisturizer and can help replenish and heal dry skin. Try this DIY facial mask at home; 1 tablespoon raw honey, 1 tablespoon mashed avocado and 1 tablespoon plain whole milk yogurt. Mix together and leave on for 15 minutes. Wipe away with a warm cloth and immediately moisturize with face cream.
  • Get oily (In A Good Way!) If you experience dry, flaky skin patches on your elbows or heels, try using a drop of oil in your lotion to add that extra moisture. Grape seed and coconut oil are great when it comes to adding that extra moisture.
  • Dry brush for the win. A little exfoliation speeds up skin’s cell renewal by helping both to trigger the natural repair process and build collagen and elastin. Dry brushing before you shower can help improve skin’s circulation, detox, and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
  • Keep your lips moisturized. The winter seasons definitely comes with dry, cracked lips! Keep them moisturized with a natural lip balm during the day and even at night. Even if your lips do not feel dry, apply anyway to prevent moisture loss.
  • Still SPF. Believe it or not, SPF protects us from harmful UV rays (especially when they are reflected up from the snow), but it also creates a protective barrier against the harsh wind and extreme cold temperatures.

USTA is a skin care and bodywork school. Learn more about our nationally accredited aesthetics school and massage therapy school. Classes are starting this January 2017!

5 Healthy Juice Recipes For Healthy, Glowing Skin

Posted on: September 15th, 2016

juice nutritionAt USTA, we offer juice nutrition as a part of all of our spa training programs. Our juicing course provides the knowledge of what you put inside your body is just as important as the products we topically on our skin! Just like other organs of the body, our skin also needs essential nutrients and vitamins. Putting the right foods in our body shows in the skin. Want glowing skin? Here are 5 juice recipes for healthy, glowing skin.

  1. Mango, Cucumber & Spinach. This smoothie is rich in Vitamin A that promotes a healthy glow. Mangos are rich in antioxidants that reduce pigmentation, age spots, the signs of skin aging. Now who wants to run home and eat a mango? Cucumbers help reduce skin spots and provide moisture for the skin. Spinach helps to detoxify the blood and prevents breakouts. Just add 1/2 cup mango, 1 cucumber and handful of spinach.
  2. Apple, Strawberry & Kale. Strawberries are rich in elegiac acid, folate and Vitamin C. Each one has anti-inflammatory properties that help fight free radical damage. Apples are rich with vitamins and help the skin feel soft and subtle. Kale is a power house vegetable that contains Vitamin A & K which are proven to help reduce wrinkles. Just add 1 apple, 2 cups of strawberries and 7 kale leaves.
  3. Beets, Cucumber & Red Apple. Red beets are high in immune booting Vitamin C. They are also a great source of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory support and help to detoxify. We can just simply say that beets are nature’s super vegetable. Don’t forget to add the beet roots as well. Just add 2 beets, 1 red apple and 1 cucumber.
  4. Pineapple, Cucumber & Parsley. Pineapples are one of the best fruits to eat for glowing skin. Packed with Vitamin C, pineapples help to prevent breakouts and acne. It protects the skin from free radical damage and oxidative stress. Parsley is rich in Vitamin C and K which is vital for collagen production and maintenance of skin elasticity. Just add 1 cup pineapple, 1 handful parsley and 1 cucumber.
  5. Cantaloupe, Carrot & Celery. Cantaloupe provides incredible hydration to skin and is packed full of Vitamins. Celery is beneficial for removing toxins from the body. Carrots are high in Vitamin A & C which help fight wrinkles and fine lines. Just add 4-5 cantaloupe slices, 3 carrots and 2 celery stalks.

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6 Massage Techniques and How They Are Different

Posted on: August 19th, 2016

When looking to get a massage, knowing the different techniques will help you decide which one is best for you! At our massage therapy school we teach all 6 techniques featured in this post as well as many others. In this article, we want to share with you 6 different massage techniques and compare how they are different.

  • Young woman having a hot stone massage therapy

    Young woman having a hot stone massage therapy

    Hot Stone Massage – This technique has been around for centuries and is widely used among massage clinics. Heated flat rocks are placed on parts of the body, mainly the back. The heat dispensed from the hot stones helps to relax the muscles, making it easier for the therapist to perform the massage and gives the client a more relaxing experience.

  • Cupping – Cupping is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which the therapist puts special cups on the skin to create suction. Cupping is known to help with inflammation, pain, detoxing the body and enhance a deep tissue massage.
  • Deep Tissue Massage – Deep tissue massage is similar to a Swedish massage but the differences are in the pressure the therapist uses to get into the deep layers of the muscle tissue.
  • Pregnancy and Prenatal Massage – The name gives away this type of massage! Pregnancy massage helps with the discomforts that pregnancy brings such as low back pain, leg cramps, headaches and edema or swelling.
  • Swedish Massage – This massage technique tends to be the most popular among spas today and hails its name from the Western concepts of anatomy and physiology. When you think of a massage, most likely you are thinking of a Swedish massage or a ‘Classic Massage’ as they call it in Sweden!
  • Sports Massage – If you missed our previous post about sports massage and how it can help athletes check it out!

Massage isn’t an extreme luxury, but a beneficial way to take care of your mind, body and spirit. We believe that incorporating a massage regularly into your lifestyle will increase your overall mind and body health. To learn more about our massage therapy school and the different techniques, click to see our curriculum here at USTA!

The Benefits of Sports Massage For Athletes

Posted on: August 6th, 2016

In honor of the Olympics opening ceremony in Rio yesterday, we now have sports on the brain. According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), massage acts to improve performance, reduce pain, prevent injury, encourage focus and shorten recovery time. Taking care of your body and muscles while playing a sport is crucial to not only performance but overall well being and health. Sports massage keeps the body in better condition, prevent injuries and loss of mobility, cure and restore mobility to injured muscle tissue, boost performance and extend the overall life of a sporting career.

sports massageBenefits of Sports Massage for athletes

  1. Break down of scar tissue. Scar tissue can build up from a previous injury and effect muscle, tendons and ligaments. Breaking down the scar tissue will help keep your muscles flexible to prevent injury and pain.
  2. Increases blood flow. Massage increases blood flow to muscle and tissue. It dilates the blood vessels so that nutrients and blood can move freely to feed the body for performance.
  3. Increases range of motion. Massage increases the bodies natural lubricants between the connective tissues. Some forms of massage like Neuromuscular Therapy can help heal scar tissue as well as tendon, ligament, and muscle tears. This creates more flexibility and higher range of motion.
  4. Stretching. Muscles are stretches lengthwise as well as sideways. The fascia that surrounds these muscles, release any tension or pressure build up.
  5. Decreases muscle stiffness after exercise. Tension and waste products can build up inside muscle tissue to cause pain. Massage helps break up waste such as lactic acid and encourage the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover quicker. *Tip: Make sure to drink plenty of water after a massage!

At USTA, our 9 month day or 11 month evening massage therapy programs offer a balanced study of anatomy, physiology, pathology, kinesiology, Eastern energies, Western techniques and professional development. Our nationally accredited school offers a top notch curriculum. Call for more information at (630) 968-6800.