Ask the Experts


By Kristin Coverly and Emily Morgan
[Ask the Experts]

Over the course of the last few months, my massage therapist has helped me in my recovery from injuries I sustained in a car accident last year. Now that I’m fully recovered, is there any reason I should be continuing my massage appointments?

Absolutely! While massage therapy can be an essential component of your injury recovery plan (as you learned with your car accident recovery), it also plays a vital role in your ongoing health and wellness plan. In addition to helping alleviate chronic conditions like low-back pain and neck pain resulting in headaches, regular massage also helps to identify and resolve muscular tension before it escalates to the point of eliciting pain and restricting movement. And we all have ongoing muscular tension from stress, physical activities, posture, computer work, phone gazing, driving, etc. Research has shown that regular massage also reduces anxiety and improves sleep quality and immune system function. Sound good? I encourage you to start thinking of massage therapy as preventive medicine, in addition to critical care.

Kristin Coverly, LMT, is a massage therapist and the director of professional education for Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals.

It seems like charcoal masks are super popular, but are they actually good for my skin?
Charcoal is a wonderful ingredient that can yield truly amazing results when used correctly. But let’s highlight that: used correctly. Many of these charcoal peel-off masks that have become an online sensation may do what they say and lift a few blackheads out, but that doesn’t mean they’re beneficial to your skin or that they’re even efficient at doing the task that’s advertised. Some of these masks are so difficult to peel off, it’s almost like receiving a full-face wax, leaving the unsuspecting customer with raw, beet-red skin. Sure, some of the blackheads on your nose came off, but so did the rest of your skin. And don’t even get me started on the actual (and unknown?!) ingredients contained in some of these products. If you’re looking for a way to remove blackheads, seek out help from a skin care professional. You’ll receive a treatment tailored to your unique needs and skin conditions, not something out of a plastic wrap from who-knows-where that will do who-knows-what.

Emily Morgan, LE, is an esthetician and membership program manager for Associated Skin Care Professionals.