Blog Archives

Aromatherapy

November 13, 2014
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Lavender FarmAromatherapy is form of alternative medicine using plant materials—especially aromatic plant oils—to enhance psychological and physical well-being. The essential oils are extracted from lowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant.

Once inhaled, the aroma from these essential oils is strongly believed to trigger certain brain functions. Essential oils are also absorbed through the skin; entering into the body through massage or application, they travel through the bloodstream and can promote a sense and feeling of whole-body healing.

As a form of alternative medicine, aromatherapy is now increasing in popularity. It is used for many different types of applications: pain relief, mood enhancement, and increased cognitive function. There are a wide number of essential oils available, each with its own healing properties.

As a massage therapist, I utilize aromatherapy with each of my clients. Once engaged with a client, and seeing what their needs are in their session, I will deduce which essential oil will best compliment their service. For example, if I have a client suffering from a lot of stress in their life, I will choose to use a lavender essential oil. It is well known for its sedative properties and for its ability to help calm stress and promote sleep. Ylang Ylang is another great essential oil to use in a massage setting for mood enhancement. Emotionally, it is helpful with stress, anxiety, depression, and to cope with anger. I like to use it to promote a sense of happiness and gratitude.

Argan — an Aveda Ingredient

October 29, 2014
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ArganOn the edge of the Sahara desert in Morocco is the indigenous argan forest. Local Berber women, determined to save it from desertification, found help in the form of Professor Zoubida Charrouf of the Faculté des sciences at the Université Mohammed V of Rabat. She was able to help them form the Targanine Network—a cooperative in their local village. In partnership with Aveda, the women of the Targanine Network are able to process the nuts from the argan trees more efficiently to sell to international markets.

For hundreds of years the locals ate the fruit and nut from the argan tree and it was a major part of their lives. Over hundreds of years, the Berber women have used the argan oil for medicinal purposes, cooking, and beauty, while the shells were used for heating. Aveda sources 100% of its argan oil, which is certified organic, from the Targanine Network and have provided funding to purchase processing equipment that helps the women separate the seeds, thus increasing their productivity.

The argan tree lives to be between 150-200 years old and does not start producing the fruit until it is 30-50 years old. The beauty benefits from the oil produced from the seed of the fruit have become well known around the world. For hair, argan oil adds moisture and tames frizzy ends. If you have a dry scalp, you can dab some argan oil along the scalp before washing your hair. For the face, people apply argan oil directly after cleansing and treatments. At Aveda, argan is used in the Green Science line. It has been proven in case studies to show more smoothness to the face creating a clear and radiant glow to the skin.

Home Remedies for Dry Skin

October 15, 2014
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Home Remedies for Dry Skin include Avocado

In this entry I will be discussing how to remedy dry skin at home. As the weather changes and we move into the winter months, I am sure we will all notice a change in our skin. When our bodies have trouble holding in the water and oil that it needs to keep skin moist, we end up with dry skin. One main reason you could have dry or scaly skin is due to low humidity. Heating and air conditioning can also contribute to dry skin.

  • Baking Soda

    A baking soda soak is a folk remedy to relieve itching and dry skin. Add one cup baking soda to a tub of hot water. Soak for 30 minutes and air dry.

  • Oatmeal

    Adding instant oatmeal to your bath will soothe your skin. The oats are packed with vitamin E, a nutrient vital to healthy skin.

  • Coconut Oil

    This can improve the moisture and lipid content of skin. Best applied after shower to lock in the moisture or add a spoonful to a bath for a 30 minute soak.

  • Avocado

    Since avocado is a natural emollient, it can hydrate and even prevent dry skin. You can use as a moisturizing mask one to two times a week. Mash half of the avocado and apply it directly to your face and body. If you are looking for more hydration, add a teaspoon of honey which will add moisturizing benefits to the skin.

  • Water

    Drink lots of water. It helps to keep your body hydrated and can alleviate dry skin. Eight to ten glasses daily is the minimum quantity, but it is ideal to drink more!

Body Machines: CoolSculpting

October 1, 2014
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Triptych of midsection showing before and after of CoolSculptingCoolSculpting, approved by the FDA in 2010, is a non-invasive fat reduction technique, sometimes considered a nonsurgical alternative to liposuction. The technology uses a medical treatment process called Cryolipolysis. Fat cells are destroyed by controlled cooling which then, in turn, reshapes the contours of the body. The cooling process is to cause cell death of subcutaneous fat tissue without damaging the outer layer of skin. In the weeks that follow, once the process is complete, those dead fat cells are naturally eliminated from the body. Lipids from the fat cells are slowly released and transported by the lymphatic system to be processed and eliminated, much like that of fat from food.

Undergoing this service is quite simple. The client is seated in a treatment chair and the technician will place a cold get pad across the area to protect the skin. There is an applicator cup that is positioned by the technician and then a gentle vacuum pressure is applied to draw the tissue between the cooling panels on the applicator. The applicator stays on the treatment area for one hour. Once that is completed the technician will then massage the area to break-up the fat. The client can return to their normal routine post treatment. Some average responses to the procedure are redness, swelling, some numbness, mild cramping, and possible bruising. On average about 20-25% of the fat cells will be eliminated within that one hour service. A technician would design a treatment plan tailored to each individual’s desired results.

Benefits of Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids

September 17, 2014
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We all have our issues with choosing products for our skin and finding the best effective products with ingredients that will benefit our skin! AHA’s and BHA’s are great ingredients for giving a youthful look to our skin. They both work in their own way for a particular skin type or skin problem.

AHA and BHA

Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) is an acid that is derived from fruits that contain skin rejuvenating properties. Most commonly known are Glycolic, Lactic, Citric, Malic, and Tartaric Acids and are found in most skin care formulations as they promote the cell turnover rate. The process in which they work is by melting down the intracellular fluid letting dead skin cells to be removed from the surface of the skin. AHAs are water soluble and are best for the sun damaged or individuals with a thicker dermis. AHAs exfoliate the surface layers of the skin and help retain more water which, in turns, helps the overall moisture content. They do not penetrate as deep as BHAs; the overall effect of the AHAs is felt on the surface of the dermis.

Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is specifically one organic compound—a salicylic acid. BHA will work in the same way as the AHA does by breaking down and exfoliating dead skin cells. The defining difference is that salicylic acid is oil soluble, which has the ability to penetrate pores filled with oil and exfoliate those pores. BHAs are great for those individuals with oily or acne prone skin. There is an anti-inflammatory property as well as an anti-bacterial affect from using a BHA. It is also great for sensitive skin types and those that may have a specific skin condition.