Is Massage an Alternative Medicine?

Dating back to the Ancient times, massage therapy has been one of the most popular and commonly used alternative medicines. Whether you are into Swedish massage or Shiatsu, a massage therapy is most definitely a good treatment for a stressed body, mind, and soul. Rubbing, tapping, and other body manipulation are included in the massage therapy. Sometimes, paraphernalia such as stones are used to help a masseuse to further increase the benefits of the treatment.

Massage Therapy – a Brief History

Massage therapy has been used by people to treat a variety of sickness and diseases which dates back a thousand of years. Before medicines and conventional treatments were discovered, massage therapy had treated lots of people from their medical conditions. The Ancient Chinese, Japanese, and Indians were among the people who first used the alternative treatment to address various health problems. Nowadays, it is still considered as an effective therapy against a number of medical issues known to have afflicted a man.

Types of Massage Therapy

There are at least more than a hundred different types of massage therapies used all over the world. Although most of these are just branches of more popular massage therapies, they are actually considered as a different type of alternative treatment. Overall, they are great for treating numerous sicknesses and diseases without using surgery, drugs, or anything outside the term “natural”.

4 Most Popular Types of Massage Therapy

  • Swedish Massage Therapy – long, smooth strokes are commonly used in a Swedish massage therapy. An oil or lotion is sometimes used as a lubricant for the skin to avoid friction during the massage session. The massage therapy is quite common in the United States as well as in other countries around the world. This alternative medicine addresses various medical conditions by stimulating the key points of the human body. The soothing effects of the massage also relax the human body and mind while allowing it to slowly rejuvenate by itself.
  • Thai Massage – similar to Shiatsu, Thai massage focuses on the key points of the human body. A massage therapist makes sure that the energies of your body are aligned by using a gentle pressure on specific points of the human body. Unlike with most of the popular massage therapies out there, you don’t just lie down on the massage mat and let the therapist do the work. Your coordination is required for a successful massage therapy. Expect movements while on the massage mat as the therapist will move and stretch your body while doing various postures. Basically, it’s like Yoga but with the help of a person (massage therapist). Instead of lying down on a conventional massage bed, you’ll be getting your therapy on a floor mat.
  • Reflexology – it is a simple massage therapy that focuses on pressing the meridian points on your hands and feet. The massage therapist will apply pressure on certain points of your hands and feet that corresponds to the organs of your body. A simpler yet effective approach to alternative therapy.
  • Shiatsu – originated from Japan, this massage therapy works on the body by using finger pressure in a rhythmic sequence on certain key points or popularly known as meridian points of the human body. Unlike with Swedish massage, the finger pressure is quite firm. Key points are pressed for at least 8 seconds before being released. Such process encourages the body to increase the flow of energy while allowing the human body to regain its balance.

Who Can Benefit from a Massage Therapy?

Just like with any therapy, not everyone can enjoy the healing benefits of a massage therapy. Basically, some massage therapies are good for some people while others will bring more damages than benefits to the human body. Knowing who will benefit and who will not is a good thing if you are into massage therapy.

Basically, pregnant women are closely monitored when it comes to massage therapy. The pressure on the human body will trigger the untimely birth of the child. This is why massage therapy isn’t recommended for women who bear their unborn child. Although there are pregnancy massage, women who are pregnant should consult with their doctor first before getting such alternative therapy.

Elderly, diabetics, and individuals with high blood pressure should check with their doctors first before getting a massage therapy. Basically, the pressure on your key points can cause other medical problems if there are complications with your present health issue. Discussing the matter with a medical expert would be a smart move for anyone who’s planning on getting a massage therapy. Despite the health benefits it brings, a massage therapy can also cause health problems if used on the wrong person.

Infants who are suffering from a medical condition shouldn’t immediately be taken to a massage therapist. In fact, a paediatrician should be the first person to check your baby in case there are medical problems found in your little angel. Although massage therapies are great, they should never be used on the wrong person or else you’ll expect more problems.

Massage therapy should only be given to the person who needs it. When given to the wrong person, massage therapy can worsen the medical condition of the patient. Checking with a medical professional should be the first step to take if you are planning on using any kind of alternative medicine. Although quite inexpensive compared to the conventional treatments, you should never compromise your safety by getting a massage without consulting an expert first. If you are cleared to get a massage therapy, then there’s no need to worry about possible complications. Instead, all you need to do is relax and unwind while the massage therapist relieves pain and stress from your body.

The Right Medical Therapist

Similar to any kind of therapy, a massage therapy should only be received from a licensed and highly trained massage therapist. Aside from the education and experience, a licensed therapist can assure you that you’ll receive the treatment you need through the most natural way possible. In addition, you can have the peace of mind knowing that the person who’s treating you knows what he is doing. It’s important that you get it from the right person as it prevents injuries while giving you the results that you need from the therapy. In addition, you’ll receive the best benefits if you get it from someone who knows the ins and outs of the natural treatment.

Is it an Alternative Medicine?

Basically, a therapy can be considered as an alternative medicine when it has the healing effects without being based on a scientific method. The alignment of energies (also known as chi or chakra) is a healing effect that is not based on evidence backed up by any known scientific method. It includes the use of alternative practices, products, and therapies that are not used by medical schools and institutions. Despite of not following the conventional medical practices, alternative medicines are considered as effective in addressing health problems in some cases.

In general, a massage therapy is a great alternative medicine if you do not wish to undergo surgery or anything of the conventional medical treatment. Instead of surgical knives, syringes, or drugs, a massage therapy tailors finger pressures on key points of the human body. With each precise pressure, they leave a soothing feeling that is capable of relieving you of the stress, fatigue, and other problems of the body, mind, and soul.

How to Avoid Common Bank Fees?

People always pay fees for all kinds of things. It is no big deal, really, and it is such a part of everyone’s life and routine. Fees are something that people accept as a general part of life, if you want to have something – either product or service – you need to pay a fee for it.

Fees are relatively acceptable, because just like many things in life, they are inescapable and inevitable. People have already found them to be quite acceptable. But even so, that does not mean people are happy and willing to pay every fee that they come up against. With all the types of fees that need to be paid, there are bound to be those that are considered to be too annoying. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t those that people are not going to pay willingly, but the annoying ones definitely stand out in everyone’s minds.

For anyone looking for solid examples of such fees, bank fees come to mind very easily. So that people could be able to handle it better – and before they do so – they need to have a basic understanding of it first.

Bank Fees

As should be expected, the term bank fee does not simply cover one area or aspect of charges that banks have for their services. It is almost all encompassing term that describes the nominal fees that are meant for different bank services. It could be a fee for making simple requests such as for a deposit slip and other, more complicated transactions.

An important fact about bank fees is that it makes up a considerable part of the bank’s revenues. This is especially true for local and regional bank branches. One important characteristic of bank fees is that it is not deductible. The exception would be for IRA accounts – banks charge for annual custodial fees.

Bank fees seem to be regular fixtures of banks and the processes within it. But do the bank’s customers actually know the kind of bank fees that they are asked to pay? That’s important because people need to have an understanding about things that they are charged with. Bank customers need to realize that they are also charged for things or transactions that they might have otherwise believed to be free. Examples are bank fees that are for paper statements and for transactions that are done outside the country.

It has been said that the reason why banks actually have those bank fees, is that additional services are being provided to them, necessitating the added fees. Since those added services are sure to cost money, hence the additional fees. The more services there, the more bank fees would be charged. People would undoubtedly want to avoid any additional bank fees, regardless of the reason for its existence. Because there are many different types of bank fees, there are those that can be considered as minimal, and therefore should be avoided as much as possible.

The following are some of the ways on how it could be avoided :

Fee for Early Account Closure

It is a common practice for banks to have as a requirement for their customers to have their accounts open for a specific period of time before they could close it. Not doing so would mean having to pay a fee. It is a way of discouraging people to close their accounts immediately. Examples of this are the following – HSBC and US Bank charge $25 to their customers who close their accounts within 180 days. On the other hand, Citibank charges a similar fee of $25 for accounts that are closed before 90 days have been reached.

Banks are obviously just trying to look after themselves, since it costs money to open and close an account, and they would like to recover their expenditures through the fees. In order to avoid the bank’s early closure fee, a customer simply needs to make sure that the account is open beyond what is considered the bank’s minimum period.

Minimum Balance Fee

The minimum balance fee is another annoying bank free that can be avoided. For some customers, this can be really annoying because who would want to be charged with a fee when their bank account balance is already quite low? But it is a reality; there are banks that charge because some customers cannot meet a minimum amount.

Since the banking situation calls for low interest rates, a thing such as a minimum balance fee exists. With the banks earning less than adequate money from the accounts due to low interest rates – particularly those that have low balances – the fees are there. A bank actually has to spend about $300 annually for something like checking account services, which further explains and even justifies the minimum balance fee.

Foreign Transaction Fees

Then there is also something that is known as foreign transaction fee. This is charged when the bank customer happens to purchase something from a foreign country with the use of a US credit card. The bank would then charge the customer with what’s called a conversion fee. This type of bank fee is done so that the customer can be protected by the bank, what with the increased chance for fraud that’s present in foreign transactions. In order to avoid this, simply use cards that do not have this kind of foreign transaction charge – examples are the Venture and Platinum Prestige cards from Capital One and the Sapphire Preferred card from Chase.

Paper Statement Fee

The paper statement fee from banks could also be a little annoying. Since online banking is now available, more and more people have gone for it and those who do not want to find themselves being burdened with unnecessary fees like the paper statement fee. It is really more of a practical concern than anything, since postage costs continue to rise and a paper statement is going to cost banks around $1 to send to their customers. The more often they do that, the more money it costs. And that in turn demands customers to go for online banking more.

Maintenance Fee (annual or monthly)

The maintenance fee that is regularly charged by many banks (it could be annual or monthly) is one of the most common of bank fees. There are banks that charge a maintenance fee of about $12 per month for a regular checking account. The fee has the option of being waived though, if the customer is able to meet certain requirements from the bank. For a customer to avoid this kind of fee, he needs to look at the policy of the bank and see if it could actually be avoided directly or if he has to fulfil certain requirements.

Returned Mail Fee

If the mail sent out to you by your bank gets sent back to them for any reason, a fee is usually charged which is known as the returned mail fee. The banks usually have “return service requested” printed on their envelopes, so that it gets sent back to them whenever it can’t get delivered to their customers. In order to avoid having to pay this fee – which could easily increase – you should update your new address whenever you move.

These are some tips on how to avoid common bank fees.

Things that will cost you more in 2014

You can expect to get a raise in the coming year. It is expected that employers will give out a 3% in 2014. If you think that’s small then wait till you hear some other bad news. That 3% increase is only expected to offset the effect of inflation which is expected to be at 3% as well. In effect, you are not going to benefit from the pay increase at all .

Inflation plays a big part in our lives, although few people think about it. Inflation would eventually dictate the prices of the products and services that we want to get. Fortunately for us, inflation has been almost stagnant for a long period. In the first ten months of 2013, the consumer price index rose only by 1%, which is significantly low.

Inflation would have the biggest impact on the poor people who have lesser means of coping with rising prices. Their incomes also declined or remained stagnant after the recession that the country went through. It is also significant to note that the gap between the lowest and the highest earners has widened in the past two decades. In that period that gap has increased by 21%.

Not only is the increase in prices bad for ordinary consumers, but it will be also bad for the economy as a whole. Consumer spending accounts for almost two thirds of the whole US economy. Just imagine the impact on the economy if people started buying a lot less because of the rising prices. That would wreak havoc on the economy.

What Will Become More Expensive

To help you become prepared, here are the things that you can expect to cost more this 2014.

The Cost of Loans

You can bet that getting a loan will become more expensive by 2014. The Federal government is bound to cut down on its bond purchasing program because the economy is starting to get better. That would have a direct impact on the interest rates which are sure to go up. Higher interest rates would be good news for a lot of savers but that’s not good news for those who are out to get loans. Experts are predicting that the interest mortgage would go up from 4% to 4.9% within the 30 years‘ period. That means a great deal of money for the borrowers over the long term.

The Cost of Housing

The price of housing has been rising steadily in the past few years. In fact the increase has reached a double digit growth which many see as unsustainable. Despite the view that such an increase in prices cannot be sustained in the long term, experts also believe that the cost of housing would continue to go up in 2014. The National Association of Realtors believe that the price of new houses are going to go up by 5.1%, of existing homes by 5.3% by 2014. They also believe that rent is going to increase by 2.2%.

The Cost of Education

Going to college is already an expensive thing to do and it is bound to become even more expensive in 2014. It is predicted that the fees and the tuition for public colleges will go up by 2.9%. Private schools will have an even bigger price increase. Their cost would go up by 3.9%. To be fair, that increase is actually lower than in previous years, but the bad news is that experts predict that the price increase will not stop for this year but will continue. Another daunting fact is that the price that would be borne by students is going up as financial aids, are starting to decline.

The Cost of Stamps

Snail mail might become more obsolete with each passing year but some people still use it. For those who rely on it, there is some bad news waiting for them. The overall cost of posting a letter will go up by 6.5%. The cost of sending packages and postcards will go up as well. It is worth noting that this price increase is really needed because the U.S. postal service lost $16 billion last year.

The Cost of Food

Food is going to cost you more in 2014 and it doesn’t matter whether you get it at the grocery or you eat out at the restaurant. The Department of Agriculture expects food prices to go up by 3% for this year. On the top of the actual costs of food, eating out can become more expensive because of some policy changes that affect the restaurant industry including the minimum wage laws.

The Cost of Air Travel

If you think that air travel is expensive then you’re surely wrong. It’s bound to become even more expensive in 2014. The merger of U.S. Airways and American Airlines will actually cause the cost of air travel to go up instead the other way around. This will come from the fact that competition will go down and there will be less reason for airlines to offer more competitive prices. There are other factors as well that will cause the cost of air travel to take off, but the sure thing is that it will affect the passengers the most.

The Cost of Company Health Care

It’s still not clear if people getting health care through Obamacare will pay more in 2014, but it’s clear already that those who go for company health care will pay more. It’s easy to figure out why this is happening. Companies are looking for ways that they can cut down on their costs. One of the best ways that they can do, is by shifting more of the costs to the workers themselves.

These are just some of the things that will cost a lot more in 2014.

What Will Become Cheaper

We’re through with the things that are bound to become more expensive in 2014 and it’s time to look at what would probably become cheaper.

Used Cars

If you are thinking of buying a car next year, then you should give some thought to getting a used car instead. The prices of used cars have fallen and experts believe that trend would continue in 2014. The falling price of the used cars is one more argument in favour of buying them instead of new vehicles.


There is an oil boom going on in the United States right now. This, combined with the fact that the demand for oil is going down because of increased fuel efficiency of new vehicles, is driving the price of oil down.

3D Printers

There is a lot of interest concerning 3D printers. The problem is that the cost of the machine prevents a lot of people from using it. But in 2014, many of the patents that allow the 3D printer to work will expire. It is expected that the cost of 3D printers would go down significantly after that. It is expected that the latest 3D printers would only cost a couple of hundred dollars by then . That can be pretty exciting for many consumers.

These are the things that will become cheaper in 2014.