Author Archive

Massage Therapy

Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

Andrea Cordeiro, Licensed Massage Therapist and Manager of Benefis Med Spa

beautiful and healthy woman lying on a massage table receiving back massage in spa salon . Traditional massage therapy and spa treatment.

When people think of getting a massage, they often envision being pampered in a luxurious spa. However, massage therapy has many benefits far beyond just pampering. Studies suggest that massages can actually help with a number of medical conditions.

• Anxiety, stress, and depression: We have all heard how relaxing a massage can be and there is a reason for it. Studies show that massage can help reduce anxiety, stress, and relieve depression by lowering the levels of the stress hormone cortisol by up to 50%. Additionally, massage also increases the release of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which help reduce depression.

• Chronic lower back pain: Studies have shown individuals with chronic lower back pain – lasting longer than three months – have better results from massage therapy than other alternative therapies. Individuals receiving massage therapy for lower back pain have also been found to need less over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and that they were able to function better than individuals being treated with just standard medical care.

• Sleep: It’s not surprising that message therapy has been shown to help improve sleep. When getting a massage, it’s easy and common to drift off to sleep. Studies show that massage can improve sleep for people of all ages.

• Headaches and migraines: There are many treatments for headaches and migraines ranging from over-the-counter medications and prescription medications to Botox injections. Massage therapy is another treatment for headaches and migraines that people enjoy and find effective. Massage for headaches and migraines is thought to work in multiple ways to reduce the intensity and frequency of migraines. One factor is that headaches and migraines can be onset by stress and as stated previously, massage can reduce the stress hormone cortisol. Massage also helps relax muscles that can cause tension headaches and can ease the pain much in the same way that you would rub your arm to reduce pain if you were to hit it on something.

The Benefis Med Spa offers a special 30-minute Cold Stone Migraine Therapy that combines custom-designed cold marble stones with strategic placement along key headache sites to quickly reduce the pain and pressure associated with migraines and other types of headaches. This is a fast, drug-free alternative for headache sufferers.

Whether you are looking for a relaxing pampering day or seeking additional relief from symptoms, the Benefis Med Spa has licensed massage therapists ready to help you feel better. Our therapists have unique training and offer customized massage therapy treatments to meet each client’s individual needs. Jessica Klette is a licensed athletic trainer in addition to being a massage therapist and provides a specialized approach to caring for common aches and pains. Amy Holmlund is classically trained in massage therapy and has additional certifications in Thai massage, Tuina massage, and other Eastern techniques.

The Benefis Med Spa offers a variety of massage services including therapeutic massage, chair massage, prenatal massage, and stone massages. Call the Benefis Med Spa at (406) 455-2845 to schedule your appointment today.

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The Look

You’ve Got The Look

Text & Hair by Katie Rice • Photography by Jacqui Smith

Summer is finally here! Break into your summer mood with the latest trends. Heavy waterline eyeliner is out! It makes your eyes look smaller and tired at the end of the day. Keep liner away from your lower, outer, eye line and highlight to give yourself a visual face lift. Braiding and wand curls will keep your look fresh all summer.

Daytime Makeup:

Always make sure to contour before foundation, Urban Decay’s Naked Skin is great selection. When it dries, it stays in place all day. I use Lira tinted moisturizer as a foundation because it is loaded with healthy moisture and sunscreen.  Some of my favorite eye shadows are pink, gold and plumb from Tarte. When shaping your eyebrows, use Youngblood eyebrow pencil for a zero rub consistant color. Too Faced Cocoa Contour will give flawless shape to your face. I used Praline Rose LipSense with Glossy Gloss to polish the look. LipSense is an 18-24 hour lip color that will stay through eating, drinking and even swimming.

Daytime Hair:

Braiding is practical and keeps your look trendy. To achieve this look, back comb your crown and curl your hair with a 3/4” barrel, starting mid-shaft. Add two loose Dutch style braids and bobby pin them in the back.

Evening Makeup:

To tune up your makeup from the day, reapply Too Faced Cocoa Contour and make those beautiful cheek bones pop! Add shimmer to your eye shadow for a romantic glow. I used Urban Decay for a smoky look. On the lower eye, apply a light shimmer eye shadow on the inner and outer eye and black shimmer in the center to achieve a liner look without going heavy. For irresistible lips, Roseberry LipSense with B Gloss. LipSense does not come off! Eat dinner and steal a kiss.

Evening Hair:

I chose a very romantic evening look for those hot summer nights after the sun goes down. To achieve, back comb thoroughly through your entire hair, making sure the back combing stays close to the scalp. This will create structural stability for bobby pin placement. Curl your hair in small sections starting at the root. Begin placing your curls at the crown first. Then, place the curls near your face next, followed by the back curls. Wrap the curls around your fingers before pinning to give the signature barrel curl look.

~ Katie is a Montana native and being a stylist and boutique owner is not only Katie’s profession, but her passion. She has been a cosmetologist for 12 years, and has worked in Montana, California and Japan. She has owned Moda Amore Boutique for 2 years.  Katie raises the loves of her life, Jacky and Eden, in the Helena community.

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Signature MT’s Realtor Tips

Why Work With A Realtor?

Text Provided by Terry Thompson & the National Association of Realtors

Did you know not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®? The term REALTOR® has become a generic term for anyone who holds a real estate license. This is similar to the brand Kleenex® being used as the term for all facial tissues. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to a strict Code of Ethics.

Technology has provided the consumer the opportunity to do their homework prior to making a purchase and has impacted real estate much like it has other industries. Today’s consumers are utilizing online resources such as websites and mobile apps to preview and purchase everything from clothes to cars. Properties can be previewed online prior to Buyers visiting homes and Sellers can research what properties are selling for in their neighborhoods prior to listing their own property with a Realtor®. The For-Sale-By-Owner seller can now pay a fee to have their home marketed on a third party web site.

So where does the Realtor® fit in with these changing times? Some Realtors® like their clients to complete some research prior to contacting them to make the search process go faster. Some Realtors® find themselves spending more time educating their clients about how to price their homes accurately because of online resources that estimate a property’s value without taking into consideration all the facts.    

Sometimes a Realtor® is called upon as a last resort to fix a situation much like when an “at home” hair color job has gone terribly wrong and the hair dresser is needed to fix it.

Here is why, despite all the conveniences of today’s modern technology utilizing a Realtor® is in the public’s best interest:

1. Navigate a complicated process. Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multipage settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.

2. Information and opinions. Realtors® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning and schools, and more. They’ll also be able to provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to answer these two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?

3. Help finding the best property out there. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your Realtor® to find all available properties.

4. Negotiating skills. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

5. Property marketing power. Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. A large share of sales comes as the result of the Realtor’s® contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends and family.

6. Someone who speaks the language. It’s important to work with someone who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.

7. Experience. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in their lifetime, usually several years in between each purchase. Realtors® on the other hand, handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their careers.

8. Objective voice. A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security – it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, home buying and selling can be an emotional undertaking. For most people, buying a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.

        Realtors® are the “Voice for Real Estate” and have existed since 1908 for the purpose of preserving the free enterprise system and the right to own real property. No matter what technology advances are in the future, Realtors® will remain an imperative part of a real estate transaction.


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Facts on Finance

What It Means to Be a Financial Caregiver for Your Parents

Kristine Voorhees, CMFC, Financial Advisor with Waddell & Reed

If you are the adult child of aging parents, you may find yourself in the position of someday having to assist them with handling their finances. Whether that time is in the near future or sometime further down the road, there are some steps you can take now to make the process a bit easier.

Mom and Dad, can we talk?

Your first step should be to get a handle on your parents’ finances so you fully understand their current financial situation. The best time to do so is when your parents are relatively healthy and active. You can start by asking them some basic questions:

        • What financial institutions hold their assets?

        • Do they work with any financial, legal, or tax advisors?

        • Do they need help paying monthly bills?

Make sure your parents have the necessary legal documents

In order to help your parents manage their finances in the future, you’ll need the legal authority to do so. This requires a durable power of attorney, which is a legal document that allows a named individual to manage all aspects of a person’s financial life if he or she becomes disabled or incompetent. A durable power of attorney will allow you to handle day-to-day finances for your parents, such as signing checks, paying bills, and making financial decisions for them.

In addition to a durable power of attorney, you’ll want to make sure that your parents have an advance health-care directive, also known as a health-care power of attorney or health-care proxy. An advance health-care directive will allow you to make medical decisions according to their wishes.

You’ll also want to find out if your parents have a will. If so, find out where it’s located and who is named as personal representative or executor. If the will was drafted a long time ago, your parents may want to review it to make sure their current wishes are represented. You should also ask if they made any dispositions or gifts of specific personal property.

Prepare a personal data record

Once you’ve opened the lines of communication, your next step is to prepare a personal data record that lists information you might need in the event that your parents become incapacitated or die. Here’s some information that should be included:

• Financial information

• Legal information

• Medical information

• Insurance information

• Advisor information

• Location of other important records

• Funeral and burial plans

Don’t be afraid to get support and ask for advice

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the task of handling your parents’ finances, don’t be afraid to seek out support and advice. A variety of local and national organizations are designed to assist caregivers. If your parents’ needs are significant enough, you may want to consider hiring a geriatric care manager who can help you oversee your parents’ care and direct you to the right community resources.  Finally, consider discussing the specifics of your situation with a professional, such as an estate planning attorney, accountant, and/or financial advisor.

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Letter from the Editor — Spring 2017

Like Oprah “loves bread,” I love spring! While wandering through months of darkness, as the cold clutches the earth and trees raise their bare branches to a somber gray sky, I think where is global warming when it’s needed? But, at the doorstep of worn patience, spring bursts forth, much like the first movement in Beethoven’s Fifth symphony. The first four notes are like a knock on spring’s door, summoning its awakening –Da-da-da-daaaa, followed by a sort of urgency and foreboding for earth to come to life. The birds begin to sing, banishing the silence of winter. Misty-eyed cubs rouse from a long slumber while playful fawns prance among the wildflowers in the meadows. Snow-capped mountains release a winter’s bounty that swell the rivers while the pitter patter of warm rain cleanses the land allowing earth to release its shackles on the seeds below. The glisten of fresh dew, the smell of sweet fragrances and the early morning hum of a lawn mower speaks of a day full of triumphant celebration. What other season rolls out the welcome mat in such colorful, formal attire? When you think about it, summer has it pretty easy… maybe that is why it is referred to as the “lazy” days of summer.

SignatureMT rolls out its spring welcome mat with a lineup of fresh and colorful stories. We begin with a labor of love as writer Shane Klippenes takes us on an overnight adventure to a historic stock operation just south of Great Falls, where ranchers prove their mettle through minor irritations to life-threatening emergencies during lambing season. And, delving deeper into Montana’s number one industry, we explore how women are breaking the glass ceiling and making huge strides in a career field traditionally made up of men. Gardener Amy Grisak, provides some insightful tips on how to grow the best and most treasured fruit of the garden, the tomato! Great Falls author, Ryan Acra, visits with us about his new book and how his super hero concept combined with humor and sharing the gift of laughter is challenging students, in grades three through six, to think outside the box when it comes to problem solving. And, have you ever wondered how Montana ended up with such a patchwork of unique counties? Writer Michael Ober takes an in-depth look at historical maps and discovers how the peopling and populating of Montana can be told in the origins of its counties. Join us as we take a trip down “Memory Lane” with World War II Hatch Gunner, Edward Maierle, as he recalls his days of service and reason for enlisting in the U.S. Navy. These and many more stories await in this issue of SignatureMT.

Remember, as the majestic fanfare of spring unfolds and the revitalization of life perpetuates around us, take time to step outside each morning and see the glisten of dew on the fresh cut grass while embracing the possibilities and work that can be done. Then, as the dying light speaks of the day’s many accomplishments, sit a spell and allow the last hours to be enjoyed in relaxation and, of course, with the spring issue of SignatureMT in hand.

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