Reflexology

Reflexology

A hands-on treatment to promote vitality and well-being

The ancient Chinese practice of Reflexology is an alternative medicine involving a focused pressure technique to specific points/zones over the feet, hands, ears or face. Reflexology manipulates the body’s reflexes to signal a response in the nervous system which is related to to every organ, part and gland in the body. 

Reflexology works on a similar principle to acupuncture where the body is divided into twelve pairs of energy zones (meridians). Chinese Practitioners believe that when these energy channels become blocked a person feels unwell. Reflexology dissolves these blockages causing ill health and encourages the free-flow of energy through the body.

To reset the body’s equilibrium, the easiest way to interrupt the stress signal in the body is either through the hands or feet, thus these areas are the most popular to be treated as the feeling is said to be most relaxing.  Ancient tradition depicts massaging the feet as sacred, the soul to one’s good health.

The reflexologist applies pressure to specific areas in the hands, feet, and ears that affect certain reflex areas of the body. Imagine that there is a connection between zones of your feet and hands that represent certain areas of your body that can be adjusted or managed through these zones. These areas form a map that approximate to the body’s anatomy, some reflex areas overlap.  A professional Reflexologist applies the techniques systematically and thoroughly, to each area, providing further treatment to areas they consider to deem more attention. The degree of pressure used during the session is entirely up to the discretion of the patient.    

Unlike other types of manipulation or massage, no oils or creams are used, however if feet are a little damp, a light application of talcum powder assists.

Reflexology can help anyone at any age to relax and alleviate symptoms of certain disorders whilst improve the quality of life.  Anyone can benefit enormously from a session of this safe, non-evasive, yet powerful healing hands on therapy.  Although much of the research on reflexology has been criticized or cited as unprovable, thousands of years of tradition and reports of success speak rather loudly. That being said, reflexology should be considered as a complement treatment to formal medical care and not be construed as medical advice or a replacement for medical help or replacement of any medication.

One of the most well-known and verified benefits of reflexology is an improvement in circulation throughout the body, which means that blood and oxygen are being cycled through the body more effectively. This means more oxygen reaches vital organ systems, thereby optimizing their functioning and further increasing the metabolism. This also results in faster healing and re-growth of damaged cells.

Reflexology can increase metabolism and energy creation processes within the body. If you need a boost in energy or are always feeling sluggish, perhaps a reflexology session can help put some pep back in your step!



Aromatherapy

Power to treat each individual physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually

The art and science using plant oils for their therapeutic properties, treating medical and non-medical conditions or alignments in a truly holistic form either through massage, baths and inhalations. Oils are derived from natural sources such a seeds, flowers, fruit, peel, leaves, grass, roots, wood, bark and resins.

These natural plant oils are readily absorbed into the skin, our largest organ, providing a gentle physiological effect.  As a holistic practice, it is especially effective for stress release as well as an active method to employ during acute and chronic stages of illness or disease.

The popularity of Aromatherapy may have enjoyed recent boom, but the property of these essential oils have been appreciated for centuries to balance the body, mind and soul. The sensual, relaxing aroma of these fragrant oils will transport the person being massaged into the realm of bliss. Before commencing treatment, a complete assessment of lifestyle, eating habits and personal habits are taken into account. From that assessment, the blend is then prepared specific to treat their concerns/alignment therefore each blend is unique only for that individual.  It is very important that the scent also appeals to the olfactory tract, in order for the treatment to be fully appreciated. The two ways that oils safely penetrate the body is by smell/inhalation (through the nose) and absorption (through the skin). Smell by far, is the fastest way for essential oils to penetrate into the body.  Common examples include inhaling eucalyptus essential oil when you have a cough or inhaling peppermint essential oil to reduce fatigue or nausea. 

Essential oils are extremely potent/concentrated and should never be used directly onto the skin always blend them with a base oil such as Grapeseed, Coconut, Sesame, Jojoba, Almond, Olive or Sunflower.

The blend is worked into the body using a variety of techniques (can invigorate, stimulate, strengthen, tone, condition, relax, relieve, soothe, regulate, cleanse/detoxify).  While the aromas stimulate the emotional level, the gentle form of massage affects the lymphatic system.     

Aromatherapy is one of many alternative therapies which is increasingly finding acceptance as a complementary treatment that can go hand-in-hand with conventional medicine.  It cleanses negative energies both physically and mentally, may also work effectively in conjunction with other alternative therapies.



Indian Head Massage

 

The Power of Touch

Champissage (the Hindi term for the practice, and massagealso known as an Indian Head Massage is a trademarked term for an alternative medicine massage therapy.

In Champissage, the neck, shoulders, head and face are massaged with the purpose of manipulating important energy channels. The goal is to clear blocks in these significant energy channels that cause a build-up of negative energy that are purported to cause ailments. The belief is when the energy does not flow properly negative energy builds up, causing common ailments, including stress, pain, inception (sensation of pains), aches, and/or even baldness or hair loss. Massaging the hair & head is soothing and deeply relaxing.  It improves circulation, helping to nourish the hair and drain away accumulated toxins. Indian Head Massage can also relieve eyestrains, headaches, sinusitis, congestion and insomnia and, by manipulating the blood circulation to the head and neck you improve your respiratory system, lymphatic drainage, muscle tone and mobility in the head, neck and shoulder area.  Base oils can be incorporated into the head massage to assist with particular concerns/disorders such as dry or oily scalp, promote hair growth or slow down hair loss. Mustard Oil is the most popular and traditional one used.  Other good base oils to use are Sesame, Olive, Almond, Avocado, Jojoba, and Coconut.  Essential oils may also be added to treat certain conditions, and its effect is not just physical but works on an emotional level by calming the spirit, promoting relaxation and stress relieving. You & your Practitioner can discuss and decide on an appropriate blend.

Champissage is practiced all over Europe but was first brought to the west by Narendra Mehta in the 1970s. Mehta, a physical and manual therapist, took the Indian tradition of family head grooming and massage and added massage of the neck, face, and shoulders, as well as energetic aspects including shiatsu. Utilizing the knowledge of mind, body, and spirit is what makes Indian head massage so effective. 



Keeping Your Skin Protected is Imperative

 

Let’s be straight – there really isn’t a safe way to tan. When the skin feels direct sun exposure, it screams HELP!

In scientific terms, this means ultraviolet light is penetrating the epidermis causing the skin to react by producing melanin, aka your suntan. In your mind, a tan may give you that young, healthy glow but over time it causes just the opposite: A change in skin texture, wrinkling, age spots or worse the big C.

The sunlight that reaches us is made up of two types of harmful rays: long wave ultraviolet A (UVA) and short wave ultraviolet B (UVB). Basically, UVA rays can age us and UVB can burn us. Over exposure to either can damage the skin. There’s also a third type of ray, UVC – these are the shortest and strongest but thankfully they’re absorbed by the ozone layer and don’t typically reach the earth.

UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis, the skins thickest layer. Unprotected exposure can lead to premature skin aging and suppression of the immune system. And when your skin’s defences are down, you’re at risk for skin cancer.

UVB rays will usually burn the superficial layers of your skin. The intensity of UVB rays vary by season, location and time of day, with 10 am to 4 pm being the peak hours. Sunburned skin doesn’t just feel awful, it can cause permanent damage over time. This is why keeping your skin protected is imperative.

What about self-tanning lotions?
Self-tanning lotions are a safe alternative to the sun. They contain dihydroxyacetone, which interacts with proteins in the skin to produce an orange/tan color that doesn’t wash off. When you can see colour, the self-tanners have a SPF of 4. This is not enough protection so additional sunscreens should be used.

Are tanning booths a safer way to tan?
In spite of claims that tanning booths offer “safe” tanning, artificial radiation carries all the risks of natural sunlight. Tanning booths emit UVA radiation, which poses both short and long-term risks to the skin, including cataracts (eye damage), sunburns, skin cancer and premature aging. In addition, there can be damage to the body’s immune system and reactions to certain fragrances, lotions, moisturizers and medication.

COOLA Products will be available soon at The Spa at the Old Mill – Stay Tuned!



Benefits of a Facial

 

If you’ve never enjoyed a facial treatment before, then allow me to convince you otherwise.

A facial stimulates your skin by improving your blood circulation and relaxing your facial muscles, which in turn can slow the onset of dare I say…wrinkles, the nemesis of aging.

There are many benefits of enjoying regular scheduled facials;

* A brighter, healthier complexion
* Improved acne
* Reduced puffiness, redness & sagging skin 

Did you know that your skin renews itself approx. every 28 days. Facials can prepare the new skin cells to be healthier, by increasing the blood circulation under the skin allowing optimal healthy skin cells to develop, giving you a beautiful natural glow.

Facials can help smooth fine lines and promote collagen which helps prevent premature aging and wrinkles. Your lymphatic system that lies just beneath your skins surface will be manipulated to help decrease puffiness and aid in detoxification.

Facials provide exfoliation that smooths you skin, improves hydration and over all skin tone. But aside from your beautiful glowing radiant skin, facials allow you time to relax, which in itself is a great stress relief.

It is recommended that you have a facial every 4-6 weeks, but it is also recommended that you prolong the results of your facial by cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and protecting your skin from the sun at home.

Sugar, honey, oatmeal and yogurt are all natural exfoliants that can be found at home.

Honey can reduce inflammation and helps to fight acne making it a great hydrating facial scrub.

Yogurt hydrates and exfoliates and soothes and smooths your skin. Apply plain yogurt to your face for about 20 minutes and then rinse.

Sugar is a natural source of glycolic acid which helps to remove dead skin cells. Mix 1/2 cup of sugar with enough olive oil or your oil of preference to make a paste. Apply this to your face using a gentle circular motion then rinse well.

Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties and is a natural moisturizer. Finely grind up one cup of oatmeal in a blender, stir in one cup of plain yogurt and 2 tbls of honey. Mix into a paste and apply to your face for 15 minutes and rinse well with warm water.

Remember before applying anything to your skin there is always a risk of an allergic reaction, make sure you do your research first and speak to an esthetician at your spa beforehand as they can recommend products that are better for your skin type once that have taken a look at your skin.

There are many elements that can damage your skins appearance from weather, stress, natural aging, and a poor diet. A facial treatment allows your face to absorb what it needs to replenish itself and will also provide you with a little bit of calmness in your busy life.

Having clear bright and healthy looking skin can put a skip in your step as we head into spring.

Posted in Spa


Aromatherapy Basics

Definition of Essential Oils

An essential oil is a fragrant, volatile oil which makes up the essence of the plant. Essential oils are derived from various areas of the plant including fruit, seed, bark, flower, root and stem. The molecules of essential oils are very powerful and have been used for healing purposes over thousands of years.

Methods of Extraction:
Expression: used mainly to extract essential oils from the rind of citrus fruit. The surface of the fruit skin is broken and the sacs that hold the essential oils are extracted.
Distillation: Through a process of condensation essential oils are collected through the distillate.
Enfleurage: Mostly used for exotic flowers that are very fragile. A glass surface is coated with odourless fat and oil and the flowers and blossoms are placed on these oils. As the flowers wilt, they release their fragrance and it is absorbed into the fat, then extracted. 

 Evolution of Aromatherapy
 
Ayurvedic medicine has been used from 3000 – 5000 BC. Practised in India, plant extracts were used to achieve a balance between the body, mind and soul. It was believed that each person should be treated individually for their aliments.

In ancient Egypt, aromatic substances were used for their medicinal purposes, perfumes and in cosmetology. Herbs were used for incense and oils and resins were used for embalming. The Greeks brought essential oils to Greece after visiting Egypt. They started to incorporate oils into celebrations, rituals and religious traditions. The Greeks were instrumental in advancing the use of aromatherapy for medicinal purposes as they had discovered that the use of aromatherapy had a significant impact on the internal organs.

In the 1500′s the foundation of modern medicine was laid and although both traditional and holistic practitioners used essential oils and herbs, medicine began to advance towards chemical science and synthetically mimicing the healing properties of the essential oils. 

Methods of Essential Oil Application
Compress:
Essential oils are dissolved in a solution and applied to wounds, bruises, abscesses or pressure points.
Inhalation: Direct inhalation is when you inhale the aroma of essential oils directly.
Massage: 1% – 5% is diluted in a carrier oil and the oil is rubbed into the skin.
Toiletries: In lotions and creams, essential oils are absorbed into the body via the skin, and also through inhalation.

Essential Oil Families 
Citrus: Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Tangerines etc.
These oils are known to be highly antiviral and they fight cold and flu germs that are in the air. They are uplifting oils that can be used for their antidepressant qualities, as natural diuretics and to reduce cholesterol levels. You should avoid being in direct sunlight when using these oils.
Herbs: Rosemary, Peppermint, Thyme
Herbs are known for their analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also good for the respiratory tract, for muscle and joint pain and for hives and itchy skin. Antifungal and antiseptic.
Woods: Patchouli, Sandalwood, Cedarwood 
These are grounding oils and are used as aphrodisiacs for eczema, psoriasis, chapped and cracked skin. Good for varicous veins and circulation.
Flowers: Jasmine, Rose, Lavender, Geranium
Natural antidepressants, hormone balancing, tension relieving, sedative. If you like florals, these essential oils are among the most luxurious oils in the world. Natural antibiotics.
Root and Spice: Ginger, Cinnamon, Clove
Digestive aids and promote circulation. Analgesic and antiseptic, antifungal, antihistamine, antibiotic.



Healthy Radiant Skin…Vitamins Your Skin Needs

 

 

BETA-CAROTENE – is converted into VITAMIN A or retinol in the body, this powerful antioxidant is required for normal growth and renewal of skin cells, also helps smooth out skin texture and reduce the appearance of fine lines.

VITAMIN B – plays a critical role in skin appearance by rebuilding and repairing skin tissue. They also generate te energy required to keep cells working and oxygenate the skin.

VITAMIN C – One of the most important for enhancing the overall appearance of skin because it increases the production of collagen (the substance that provides skin with it’s youthful resilience), improving skin elasticity and helping reduce ongoing collagen damage that leads to wrinkles.

VITAMIN E – is a fat-soluble antioxidant that counteracts premature aging by protecting cellular membrans from damage and genetic mutation.

VITAMIN D – serves as a powerful antioxidant by destroying the action of free radicals that are harmful for body and skin.  This prevents premature aging and reduction of age spots.

Another great way to receive the benefits of these vitamins is a Intraceutical facial at the Spa. This oxygen facial uses Vitamins A,C,E, aloe vera and hyloronic acid which will give your skin a youthful glow.

Posted in Spa