We don’t give our scalp much thought. Did you know a healthy scalp can keep you looking great?
The scalp is skin that covers your skull, is rich in nerve endings and oil glands to grow and nourish hair. A healthy scalp is crucial to the look, feel and quantity of hair. A healthy scalp also doesn't shed flakes into your hair, or show a crusty, oozing edge as in psoriasis.
Forehead Wrinkles & Heavy Brow
As we age, our scalp ages, too. Weak scalp muscles contribute to horizontal wrinkles on the forehead and make the brow look heavy so that it falls over the upper lids of your eyes.
Note: In searching for a picture to demonstrate this, I was unable to find anything but expressionless foreheads as a result of the reliance on injectables. However, don't be fooled - the common injectable used for foreheads has diminishing returns. It doesn't last long, and after a few treatments, the muscle is actually weaker than when you started. Better to strengthen those muscles.
Summer is hard on scalps
Your scalp is skin, and summer can be hard on your scalp - burned by sun, dried and flakey from chlorine, irritated by perspiration and sea water.
Here's some ways to take care of your scalp
This summer, the Peppermint Scalp Treatment is available to add to any massage, facial or other Calm treatment. It combines a tension-relieving scalp massage with organic peppermint essential oils that purify the skin and tone the muscles of the scalp, leaving your scalp tingling and locks smooth and lustrous.
Happy Earth Day! Blessings to God's remarkable earth - I'm grateful for all the bounties the earth provides.
Traditional spas require large amounts of water, chemicals and disposable items. As a spa practitioner dedicated to clean living because of its benefits for health, it made sense for me to offer services and run my studio in ways that respect the planet as well as my clients' health and well-being.
My commitment to environmentally responsible spa practices includes;
Organic, pesticide-free, cruelty-free massage and skincare products. My massage oil, skin care and makeup suppliers (The Jojoba Company and Eminence Organic Skin Care) have long histories of using sustainable farming and green practices. In the past year I've replaced facial waxing with Alexandria Sugaring, a gentle and natural way of removing hair with a professional blend of sugar, lemon and water. This method also doesn't require the use of strips, which are made from petroleum by-products.
Non-toxic treatment tables. Comfortable, sturdy American made massage tables from Oakworks in Pennsylvania, which do not contain toxin-emitting PVC found in foreign made tables. These massage tables contain only 100% CFC-free foam, and stand on either sustainable bamboo or metal bases.
Environmentally friendly linens and laundering. Bamboo (a highly renewable source for making fabrics), microfiber (which dries quickly and has a long life) and organic cotton (which uses no pesticides in growing) make up my sheets, and robes. I launder full loads so as not to waste water, and Nellie's All Natural Detergent that is biodegradable, nontoxic, and free from fragrances, dyes and chlorine. My Energy Star appliances ensure conservation of electricity.
Minimized disposables. Disposables are only used when necessary to protect the health and safety of my clients, avoiding unnecessary landfill. Glass and metal are used as treatment bowls and drinking cups to avoid landfill-clogging plastics. Bags are recycled paper or biodegradable. All sheets and towels are fabric and are laundered, rather than plastic or paper that has to be thrown away after each use creating more waste.
Reduce, Re-cycle and Re-use. All cardboard, glass, plastic and paper is recycled. All records are electronic and stored safely in the "Cloud". Paper receipts are only provided upon request - all others are emailed. All packing materials for shipping are reused from boxes I receive.
Environmentally conscious delivery - Shipping boxes and packing materials are re-used. Eminence Organics sends my items with corn pellets that disintegrate in the rain. I even maintain an old-fashioned MilkBox outside the studio for my local clients to be able to pick up their products when out for walks or on the way to work. Monthly newsletters are emailed, and I only do postcard mailings twice per year. The birthday cards are now postcards, so no more need for envelopes.
I hope this gives you an idea of the earth-friendly way I run the studio, and that it inspires you to look around your home and office to see where you can make some changes. If we all make small changes, the effect will be dramatic. Need some ideas or resources? Check online or feel free to call me at 917. 596. 9535.
Happy Earth Day!
My Mom has cancer, but still loves her spa time. There hasn't been anywhere I can send her alone, so I go with her to make sure her facials don't include procedures that would be harmful for her. Not a bad job, since I get some treatment, too!
Many women undergoing cancer treatments want to find ways to manage skin changes, pain, sleep disruption, anxiety or stress brought on by cancer treatments. A spa by its very nature should be a resource, but most spas are not trained in the needs of this very special client.
So I've become a Certified Oncology Esthetician by Touch for Cancer, a leading provider of specialty training in the field. I've also taken oncology massage courses with Tracey Walton, an award-winning educator in Massage for Cancer through the Benjamin Institute. Now I can safely adapt facial and massage therapy sessions to fit the needs of oncology patients and cancer survivors.
With this being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I will be donating 100% of the proceeds of the Gentle Comfort or The Healing Hour Treatments to charities related to breast cancer. Although these two treatments are designed to easily adapt to the needs of cancer patients, they can be received by women who do not have cancer. So join in, and let's get the total donation amount to soar!
If you want more information on spa treatments for cancer patients and survivors, please click Oncology Esthetics and Massage Therapy Spa for Cancer Patients or call me at 917. 596. 9535.
ps - My Mom and I have found our spa sessions to be a good time to bond, so you're welcome to bring a friend/loved one. I'll set up 2 tables, and I'll spoil you both!
One of my favorite subjects in massage and facial school was anatomy and physiology (the science of human form and function). Your body is a miracle, from how it came to be, how it grows and changes, how it functions and perseveres. Did you ever wonder how you read this blog, smell flowers, digest your food, walk and talk, make a baby, and handle any number of stressful tasks on a daily basis? Its all beautiful and fascinating to me.
As a result, I’m perplexed when someone comes into my massage and skin care studio, and proceeds to apologize for all things physical about themselves. Whether you haven’t shaved your legs, are covered with pimples, have gas, snore, or cry during your massage, are “too thin” or generously proportioned, or have no makeup on, IS OF NO CONSEQUENCE to me. Why apologize? Claim your healing relaxation and unconditional self-acceptance - you deserve it. My goal is to have you be yourself, relax and recognize your whole beauty.
Did you know that you were born beautiful and perfect just the way you are? Yes, YOU. Sometimes I’m not sure you know that.
If you don't know it, call me and I'll set you straight. 917. 596. 9535
This time of year I have many people with allergies requesting the Sinus Relief Treatment added on to their massages and facials. This provides some temporary relief, so I send them home with the following suggestions for natural remedies.
1. neti pot - To flush your sinuses, mix a quarter to a half teaspoon of noniodized table salt into a cup of lukewarm water and pour it into the neti pot. (You can adjust the amount of salt, depending on what feels most comfortable.) Lean over a sink with your head slightly to one side, put the spout of the neti into one nostril and allow the water to drain out the other nostril. Use about half of the solution, then repeat on the other side, tilting your head the opposite way. Gently blow out each nostril to clear them completely. Neti pots are widely available online and at natural food stores. Use the pot twice a day during allergy season, especially in the morning and after spending time outdoors. You also can use a neti pot before bed to prevent snoring caused by allergies and promote optimal overnight breathing.
2. local honey - this delicious treat contains small amounts of pollen from flowers to which you are commonly exposed in your local vicinity. These small exposures to pollen can help your body to be less sensitive (and therefore have less allergic response) to pollen in the environment. Try 2 teaspoonfuls per day. Get as local as you can, which generally means Upstate New York or next door New Jersey.
3. foods - A German study, published in the journal Allergy, found that participants who ate foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to suffer allergy symptoms than those who didn’t regularly eat these foods. Omega-3s help fight inflammation and can be found in cold-water fish, walnuts and flaxseed oil, as well as grass-fed meat and eggs.
To help keep airways clear when pollen counts are high, add a dash of horseradish, chili peppers or hot mustard to your food — all act as natural, temporary decongestants.
Many of my clients suffer from sinus pain, which is caused by viruses, or allergies to dust, dander, mold, household and cosmetic chemicals. Further aggravation is at this time of year when we are indoors and the air is dry from how we heat our homes. While you do what you can to avoid these triggers, a few key acupressure points, along with some other helpful tips, can ease the pain when it occurs.
Acupressure Points for Sinus Pain
Apply firm pressure and hold each for 3 - 4 minutes with fingers at a 90 degree angle in relation to the face or head;
1. each side of the nostrils
2. the indentation at the inner eye next to where the bridge of the nose meets the eyebrows.
3. the area below the center of the nose above the lip
4. Apply firm pressure at the center of the back of the head in the large hollow right under the base of the skull.
Other helpful tips
1. Use an ice pack (or make one wrapping an ice cube in a damp washcloth) and apply to painful areas and the acupressure points listed above.
2. Try a neti pot, sold in drug stores or online. It irrigates the tissues.
3. Drink adequate water throughout your day. Generally, I aim for half my body weight in ounces.
4. Steam - boil water in a pot, turn off the flame, add some rosemary leaves or a few drops of organic eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil. Then put a towel over your head, and put your face over the pot to breathe in the steam for several minutes. Do not get too close to the water, as you want to avoid burns or feeling suffocated.
5. Essential oil inhalations - besides the steam method listed above, I always found it helpful to set up a crock pot in a place I spend a few hours, adding a few drops of the organic essential oils (eucalyptus, tea tree, or rosemary). It works best in a smaller room. Mine is in my bedroom or office. The essential oil permeates the air, allowing you to breathe it in and receive the benefits over several hours, helping the sinus passages clear.
6. See your doctor for pain that lasts more than 5 days and/or you have green or yellow thick mucus, as this may be a sign of infection.
Clients enjoy the Sinus Relief Massage that I offer because it features techniques that soothe sinus pain, and it feels great. This massage can be done as part of your full body massage, or the whole hour can be spent on the face, neck and head, or as a 15 minute add-on to any massage or facial. Appointments can be booked online by clicking here or by calling me at 917. 596. 9535.
Growing herbs in your garden? Choose your favorites to make a beautifying herbal massage oil to soften your skin, ease muscle soreness and relax your mind. You’ll need;
Here's the procedure;
6. Strain oil into your jar with cheesecloth, cap tightly, label, and store in a cool, dark place.
Massage in this lovely herbal concoction whenever you like. Keeps for about 6 weeks.
As a massage therapist, every summer, I see an increase in the number of clients with a condition called plantar fasciitis. This is medical term for an inflammation of the tendons and ligaments at the bottom of your foot, characterized by a sharp pain at the front of the heel that usually feels worse in the morning getting out of bed.
The reason why I see this more in the summer is because of the change in footwear - more flip flops and sandals, less structured shoes. However, this condition can be caused by anything that puts strain on your feet at any time, including athletics (especially runners), ill-fitting shoes or worn soles, pregnancy, or even being overweight. Prevent pain with proper footwear, making sure you have arch support and a heel between 3/4" and 1 1/2".
Medical treatment options include NSAIDS to reduce inflammation and decrease pain; specific stretches and massage; shoe inserts (orthotics); and in severe cases, night splints, casts or surgery.
The One Hour Classic Massage can help; I will use techniques to relax and lengthen your calf muscles, the tendon from your heel to the calf, and the muscles and connective tissue at the bottom of the foot, as well as muscles in the hips and thighs, which get tight from long hours of sitting at the computer or driving. These deep tissue massage techniques help to create better posture, which affects movement, to put less strain on the feet. Many clients see improvement in 3 to 4 weekly one hour massage sessions.
Here's some things to try at home;
1. Calf stretch - Sit with one foot placed over the opposite knee. Flex your ankle, then use your hand to pull your toes gently toward the shin to increase the stretch of the calf. Repeat several times slowly until you feel the calf relaxing.
2. Self massage of bottom of foot - roll your foot over a golf ball or similarly sized ball.
3. RICE - A sports injury term used in massage therapy that stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate. You can use ice to massage the painful area of the foot. Fill several paper cups with water and freeze. When frozen, peel back the paper and massage the bottom of the foot with the ice.
Acupressure is a technique derived from acupuncture that is often used in massage. No needles are used, just firm, sustained pressure on specific points to achieve a desired effect. One of the effects is appetite control.
Here are some appetite controlling acupressure points used in professional massage that you can use at home. Find the points and apply pressure (not to cause pain) for 2 minutes.
1. Appetite Control Point - locate the small piece of flesh that protrudes from the inside of the ear, above the earlobe. Hold between finger and thumb for 2 minutes.
2. Earlobe - beneath earlobe where the ear is connected to the jaw.
3. Shin - place 4 fingers right below kneecap. The point is on the outer part of the shin level with the last finger.
4. Upper Lip - Locate the point in the center between the end of your nose and beginning of your upper lip.
Try these before eating. Note: if pregnant, don't use the Shin Point,
You may not think about your upper arms until you feel bumpy skin or see droopy skin in the mirror. Your neck and shoulder pain can even be aggravated by muscle tension in your upper arms. Here are some secrets for sleeker upper arms;
Tips for Calm Living
Health and beauty through massage and organic skincare