Memorial Day Skin Tips!

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us and we thought it would be best to share some summer skincare tips. It is crucial to take care of your skin to avoid wrinkles, brown spots, and skin cancer. Here are some of our favorite skincare tips:

Apply sunscreen everywhere. If you are planning on spending a lot of time outdoors this summer, you will need to apply sunscreen everywhere. We recommend applying sunscreen at least fifteen minutes before you head out for the day. Don’t forget about using SPF for your lips! Find a chapstick that has at least SPF 15 to protect your pout.

Cool off with a face mist. Summer is synonymous with hot, sweaty days. Utilizing a face mist will help you cool off. If you purchase one with antioxidants, you will help strengthen the outer layer of your skin.

Protect your scalp. Even though you have a full head of hair, your scalp can still burn in the sun. Apply a scalp spray to prevent burning your scalp.

Wash off with cold water. We know that you might be used to your hot showers, however, did you know that taking a hot shower after being in the sun can dry your skin out? Take a cooler shower and you will reap more benefits, including a decrease in acne breakouts.

Micro Peel Facial. If the sun has left its mark on you, come in to Harmony Day Spa for a micro peel facial. This is a full, deep pore-cleansing facial with state of the art microdermabrasion treatment to fully smooth and tone the skin. It helps to reduce acne scars, fine lines, and sun damage.

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Harmony Day Spa was founded in 2003 by Amy Waldorf to provide clinical and therapeutic skin care and body work to New Jersey residents. We offer solution based skin care and body esthetic services, producing results for luminous skin while encouraging stress reduction.

Harmony Day Spa also specializes in therapeutic massage, including Prenatal, Neuromuscular, Hot Stone and Swedish massage. Our massage therapists are both nationally and State Certified Massage Therapists.

With over 20 years of experience in the professional skincare industry, we feel that we have found the finest solution based aesthetic treatments, relaxation products, and services available. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!

Massage Benefits

We have shared the benefits of our customized facial that is perfect to treat your skin, but did you know that we can also customize treatments for your muscles? Harmony Day Spa is a professional massage therapy practice. This means that we provide professional therapeutic massage and bodywork services and demonstrate excellence in practice by promoting healing and well being through responsible, compassionate, and respectful touch.

As an American Massage Therapy Association Professional Member, we are proud to offer the Fusion Massage. This is designed to completely relax and restore the senses and you have the option to customize it to target different muscles.

There are numerous benefits to massages, including:

·       Relieve pain from sitting all day. Desk workers might recognize the pain in the shoulders, neck, and lower back that is caused by long periods of sitting. Massages can help counteract the imbalance and reduce the muscle tension.  Tech neck.  Yes.  We see this daily.

·       Improve circulation. Are your muscles frequently sore? Massages can help improve circulation, which ultimately reduces muscle pain.

·       Promotes relaxation. Receiving a massage helps promote relaxation. This helps to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

·       Sleep better. Have you been struggling with sleep lately? Receiving a massage helps to relax your body leading to better sleep.

·       Pain reliever. Do you suffer from frequent headaches?  Massage can help to decrease both the frequency and severity of tension headaches. (I do! Trust. When I say I can write a book on homeopathic remedies for headaches)?

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Harmony Day Spa was founded in 2003 by Amy Waldorf to provide clinical and therapeutic skin care and body work to New Jersey residents. We offer solution based skin care and body esthetic services, producing results for luminous skin while encouraging stress reduction.

Harmony Day Spa also specializes in therapeutic massage, including Prenatal, Neuromuscular, Hot Stone and Swedish massage. Our massage therapists are both nationally and State Certified Massage Therapists.

With over 20 years of experience in the professional skincare industry, we feel that we have found the finest solution based aesthetic treatments, relaxation products, and services available. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!

Customized Facial Benefits

At Harmony Day Spa, we are proud to offer our signature Harmony Foundation Facial. It is completely customizable and includes a comprehensive facial cleansing, extractions, face, neck and shoulder massage, and a customized facial mask. We recommend this facial for most skin types. The Harmony Foundation Facial is great for people looking to fight the initial signs of aging or anyone dealing with oily or acne prone skin.  This facial is available in both 50 or 90 minute appointments.

Our years of experience have enabled us to customize this facial for every skin type and condition. We understand that your skin today could be completely different from what it was the last time we treated you. There is no set recipe or product that we use every time. We are able to pull from a selection of different lines to treat any skin type.

We understand the benefits of completely customized facials and wanted to share those benefits with you:

·       Customized just for you. As we have mentioned above, customized facials can treat whatever your skin concern is. We take the time to analyze your skin and design a facial specifically to meet the needs of your skin.

·       Deeper cleanse. One of the major benefits of the customized, Harmony Foundation Facial is the deeper cleanse your skin will receive. Doing so helps unclog pores and reduce the amount of acne, blackheads, and redness. The massage that our esthetician will perform helps to stimulate blood circulation.

·       Relaxing. Taking care of your skin with a customized facial allows you to relax while the professionals treat you. You will leave with a glowing, smooth complexion.

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Harmony Day Spa was founded in 2003 by Amy Waldorf to provide clinical and therapeutic skin care and body work to New Jersey residents. We offer solution based skin care and body esthetic services, producing results for luminous skin while encouraging stress reduction.

Harmony Day Spa also specializes in therapeutic massage, including Prenatal, Neuromuscular, Hot Stone and Swedish massage. Our massage therapists are both nationally and State Certified Massage Therapists.

With over 20 years of experience in the professional skincare industry, we feel that we have found the finest solution based aesthetic treatments, relaxation products, and services available. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!

Mothers Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is coming up! Are you struggling to find the perfect gift? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with plenty of ideas to thank the women in your life.

Travel Mug. How many times have you noticed your mom or wife leave the house with a freebie thermos? Buy a travel mug that is stylish and will keep her lattes piping hot.

Wireless speaker. Do the women in your life frequently host parties? Purchase a wireless speaker in a fun, bright color for her to listen to music.

Beach read. Mother’s Day is the perfect time to get your mom a book she can bring along with her to the beach. We love The Girl on the Train and the author, Paula Hawkins, has released a new book called Into the Water.

Bullet journal. Bullet journals have been all the rage on Pinterest and Instagram. If your mom is into crafting and planning, buy her a journal and a set of fine-tip pens.

Perfume. Pick out an awesome fragrance that your mom will love! We recommend something fruity and flowery, perfect for spring.  Our personal favorites our Bond No. 9 and Thierry Mugler. 

Canvas tote. Help save the environment by purchasing reusable, canvas totes for your mom’s shopping trips! There are plenty of cute and stylish patterns to choose from online.

Spring candle. There’s no better way to get your mom’s home smelling floral-fresh than with a spring candle! Find one that will look beautiful displayed on her coffee table.

Crafting or cooking classes. Find a local crafting or cooking class that your mom can attend. Michael’s offers painting, cake decorating, and jewelry classes.

Spa gift card. What better way to show your mom that you love her than with a spa gift card? Let her relax, unwind, and take a little time for self care. Harmony Day Spa offers gift cards online! From facials to waxing to massages, there are plenty of options your mom can pick from.

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Harmony Day Spa was founded in 2003 by Amy Waldorf to provide clinical and therapeutic skin care and body work to New Jersey residents. We offer solution based skin care and body esthetic services, producing results for luminous skin while encouraging stress reduction.

Harmony Day Spa also specializes in therapeutic massage, including Prenatal, Neuromuscular, Hot Stone and Swedish massage. Our massage therapists are both nationally and State Certified Massage Therapists.

With over 20 years of experience in the professional skincare industry, we feel that we have found the finest solution based aesthetic treatments, relaxation products, and services available. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!

Who We Are

Maybe you just received a gift card and you've never heard of us?  That's OK!  We have been in Caldwell since 2003 (2005 in our current space).  We are small, boutique-y and focused on you.   

We are by appointment only, and you may only see one other therapist or guest on a Saturday.  We don't sell memberships, answer the phone when we are with you or run more then five minutes behind schedule.  We are focused on you.  

We have a passion for this industry.  We started working in professional skincare starting in 1994!  We choose to do this type of work because we love it.  Thank you for trusting us.  We won't let you down.

Enchanting Aroma's

By Angela England and Linda Bertaut

Nature heals in many ways. Most of us have felt the sense of renewal that comes from walking through a garden filled with fragrant flowers, or sitting under a massive tree, shaded from the burning rays of the sun. Indigenous peoples worldwide believe that each plant has a spirit we can communicate with, to ask for their help in healing.

You can tap into "plant spirit" by keeping aromatic plants around your home or wherever you spend time. Whether fresh or dried, herbs and plants can delight the senses and offer varied health benefits.

Choosing Favorites Here are some popular herbs, as well as their purported health benefits. When choosing your favorites, take a few minutes to breathe in the scents and try to identify what the aroma does for you. Caution: If you have plant allergies, some herbs may cause a reaction.

Chamomile: Euphoric--Soothes nerves, aids digestion, and improves appetite. Good for circulation to the surface of the skin. Induces perspiration. Good as an overall tonic. 

Jasmine: Magical--Helps menopause symptoms. Antibacterial, antioxidant, and aphrodisiac. May lower bad cholesterol when used in teas.

Lavender: Healing--Calming and sedative. Relieves anxiety, depression, and exhaustion. Helps with digestion, headaches, and skin problems. Antiseptic, antibiotic, and a natural detoxifier.

Lemon Balm: Joyful--A member of the mint family, it was used for centuries to treat melancholy. Soothes the nerves and helps with indigestion. May be used topically to reduce redness and swelling. 

Peppermint: Uplifting--Calms the stomach and helps with digestion. Increases secretion of bile. Anti-fungal, highly nutritive, and can alleviate symptoms of allergies and asthma.

Red Clover: Cleansing--Blood purifier, sedative, and good for the nerves. May be used topically to help acne, psoriasis, and skin sores. 

Rose Hips: Fortitude--High in vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Antioxidant. Also contains vitamins A and B, essential fatty acids, and lycopene.

Rose Petals: Beautiful--Antibacterial, antidepressant, and aphrodisiac. Rose water is beneficial to the skin.

Rosemary: Awakening--Highly nutritive, with vitamins A, C, and B complex. Boosts the immune system. Anti-fungal,anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiseptic.

Sage: Wisdom--Grounding. Antibacterial and astringent. Helps with digestion; good as a gargle for sore throats; relieves sore gums; helps reduce hot flashes. Can be used as a rinse to darken grey hair.

At Harmony Day Spa we are currently diffusing Peppermint and Lemon Balm.  Delicious.

The Art of Bathing

Simple Recipes to Soothe Mind and Body

From bubble baths to essential oils to Dead Sea salts, prepared bath products are designed to enhance a bathing experience, but they can be expensive. Instead of spending the extra money on special bath products, try one of these natural, simple bath recipes with ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard or refrigerator.


Epsom Salts  Add 2 cups Epsom salts to bath water.Magnesium sulfate, or Epsom salts, has been used for centuries as a folk remedy, and research now confirms its numerous benefits. The second most abundant element in human cells and a crucial component for bone health, magnesium is also needed for muscle control, energy production, and the elimination of toxins. Magnesium eases stress, aids sleep, and improves concentration while reducing inflammation, joint pain, and muscle cramps. Sulfates help to flush toxins from the body, prevent or reduce headaches, and even improve brain function.

Most American diets are deficient in magnesium. However, one of the best ways to boost dietary intake is by bathing in Epsom salts, which are readily absorbed through the skin.

Milk Add 2-4 cups milk or buttermilk to bath water.Rich in calcium, protein, and vitamins, milk replenishes the skin, while lactic acid found in milk acts as a natural exfoliant. A member of the alpha hydroxy acid family, lactic acid breaks the glue-like bonds between the outer layer of dead skin cells. Soak in a milk bath for 20 minutes, then gently scrub skin with a loofah or washcloth.

Honey Add 1/4 cup honey to bath water.A fragrant, natural humectant, honey helps skin attract and retain moisture. Its antibacterial and anti-irritant properties make it an ideal cleansing and soothing additive to a warm bath.

4 Ways to Set Professional Skin Care Apart

You select certain skin care lines to use and carry in your spa based on their efficacy. You believe in those products, and you know with the right regimen, they can produce beautiful skin for your clients. Some clients invest in your skin care plan, but some are still on the fence. How do you combat this and convince the client that professional skin care is best? Dermatology Times interviewed esthetician Rita Lee and a few dermatol­ogists to identify the differences between professional and mass market skin care, and these differences are summarized below.

Dermatologist Joel Schlessinger M.D., notes that skin care professionals are in a unique position to educate the client, and skin care questions should never be ignored. The knowlege and experience of the skin care professional should be utilized to explain the importance of using professional skin care.

1. Developed to Deliver

Professional skin care offers higher amounts of key ingredients, more advanced ingredients and advanced delivery of those ingredients for better and faster results, according to Lee. She references paptides, noting that they are present at higher amounts in professional care.

Dermatologist Christine Choi Kim, M.D., considers professional skin care more cosmeceutical than cosmetic since they have biological actions on the skin below the stratum corneum.

2.“A” for Advanced

Professional products have more advanced or sophisticated formulas. They incorporate the most promising new ingredients or the latest generation of more established ingredients, according to Lee. “A good example is Vitamin C. While there are multiple forms available, tetrahex­yldecyl ascorbate (THDA or THD Ascorbate) is the most effective and most stable, non-acidic form of Vitamin C,” Lee says. “You won't find this in most retail products, and certainly not in drugstore products."

Professional lines often contain higher concentr­ations of ingredients that provide added benefits, according to Dr. Farris.

3.Ingredients that Penetrate the Skin

Professional products are more likely than OTC skin care products to actually deliver key ingredients into the skin. 

“I am more confident that professional lines have thought about this challenge and worked out solutions (such as finding the optimal liposomal delivery system). Most professional lines are founded by scientists, physicians or skin professi­onals, so they are keenly aware of this challenge.”

4. A Better Value

Drugstore skin care may be cheaper for the client, but professional skin care has more value, according to Lee. She notes that professional products are often less expensive per ounce than skin care bought in retail chains. They will also save the client money in the long run from not having to buy and try a large amount of products before they find one that works.

Source: Dermatology Times

 

FDA says NO to Tanning for Minors

From Skin Inc Magazine:

As part of its continual aim to help prevent skin cancer, the U.. Food and Drug Administ­ration wants to officially turn out the lights for minors who want to use tanning beds.

The FDA's two indoor tanning rules that are on the table, both of which are open for public comment until March 21, 2016, would apply to manufacturers and tanning facility operators. If the rules are approved, it could impact about 18,000 to 19,000 indoor tanning salons and 15,000 to 20,000 other facilities, such as health clubs, spas, and other commercial establis­hments, that offer tanning services in the U.. 

18 and Older  

  • The first proposed rule would restrict use of sunlamp products to adults 18 and older. In addition, before their first tanning session and every six months thereafter, adult users over age 18 would have to sign a risk acknowle­dgment certification that states they have been informed of the risks to health that may result from use of sunlamp products. 

Safety Measure Improvements

  • The second proposed rule requires sunlamp manufacturers and tanning facilities to take additional measures to improve the overall safety of these devices. Some of the key proposed changes would include:
  1. Making warnings easier to read and more prominent on the device
  2. Requiring an emergency shut off switch, or “panic button”
  3. Improving eye safety by adding requirements that would limit the amount of light allowed through protective eyewear
  4. Improving labeling on replacement bulbs so tanning facility operators can make sure they are using the proper replacement bulbs
  5. Reducing the risk of accidental burns
  6. Prohibiting dangerous device modifica­tions, like installing stronger bulbs, without re-certifying and re-identifying the device with the FDA

“Today’s action is intended to help protect young people from a known and preventable cause of skin cancer and other harms,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Ostroff, M.D., said in a written statement. “Individuals under 18 years are at greatest risk of the adverse health consequences of indoor tanning.”

About 1.6 million minors indoor tan each year, increasing their risk of skin cancer, including the most deadly form melanoma, and other skin damage (based on data in the 2013 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey), the FDA said. 

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, those who have been exposed to radiation from indoor tanning are 59% more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors. In addition, the effects of exposure to UV radiation can place one with a greater risk for skin and eye damage later in life, the organization said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates an average of more than 3,000 emergency department room visits occur for injuries related to indoor tanning each year in the U.S. (based on 2003-2012 data).  

“The FDA understands that some adults may decide to continue to use sunlamp products,” Ostroff added. “These proposed rules are meant to help adults make their decisions based on truthful information and to ensure manufacturers and tanning facilities take additional steps to improve the safety of these devices.” Of course, safe sun practices ideally should not include the use of tanning beds.

 

16 Skin Care Myths Clients Should Stop Believing

Despite what some social media sites or beauty blogs share, most skin woes don’t have a magical fix. So how can anyone tell good advice from bad? A recent BuzzFeed Life article rounded up some of the most common skin care tips circulating online and asked four dermatol­ogists to weigh in.

The following lists the truths regarding some online remedies for skin care.

1. Expensive does not mean better.

Vaseline or other inexpensive moisturizers work just as well than those products that might be endorsed by celebrities. 

2. Natural does not mean safe.

There are some seemingly harmless natural products that clients should stay clear of. 

3. Lemon juice is not a great treatment for blackheads.

Lemon juice is more irritating than it is helpful, and it can seriously burn skin when exposed to sunlight. 

4. Washing your face multiple times a day may cause dryness.

Washing multiple times daily actually causes dryness and irritation. 

5. Not everyone needs a toner.

Toners can help select clients, but over-drying and irritation is a concern. 

6. Cellulite creams won’t firm skin.

The results are inconsistent, minor and temporary, if experienced. 

7. The SPF in makeup or moisturizer may not be enough.

Clients should look for products that provide broad spectrum coverage with at least 30 SPF. Most tinted moisturizers contain an SPF of 15 or 20. 

8. There’s no rule about when to start anti-aging products.

The facial aging process is influenced by a combination of genetics, environment and behaviors, as well as how well, in general, someone takes care of her body. To take care of your skin and prevent signs of aging, it’s recommended to use a daily facial sunscreen. 

9. Hand sanitizer should not be used to tone down oily skin.

Hand sanitizers contain alcohol or triclosan as an antiseptic, which doesn’t work against acne. 

10. Chocolate does not cause acne.

While there might be a relationship between diet and acne, it is primarily dairy products and low-quality carbohydrates (simple sugars) that are most responsible. 

11. Neosporin is not a magical zit treatment.

Since the driving force behind acne is inflammation, a topical antibiotic, such as Neosporin, is not an effective means to eliminate acne.   But if you've wounded your skin by picking-then use it!

12. Toothpaste can irritate a pimple.

Toothpaste can actually be very irritating to the skin, causing redness and peeling when applied to a pimple. 

13. Calamine can dry a pimple.

It’s sulfur-based and drying! 

14. Be careful on suspicious pimple remedies.

Examples include rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and breaking open liquid gel pain relievers. The best solution is to use a product that’s actually designed for your skin and acne. 

15. Egg whites don't shrink pores.

Egg whites might make your skin feel tighter just by drying and sitting on your skin, but they won’t do much else.  

16. Coconut oil will not make wrinkles disappear.

 While it might be an effective moisturizer, it cannot relieve pre-existing age spots or wrinkles.

 

Beautiful article I wish I wrote!

Please read the attached article on why facial and bodywork is not at all about pampering but really about nurturing and caring for someone else. 

This is such an honest and true look at  professional esthetic work.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18622/why-facials-massages-arent-just-for-pampering-yourself.html

The memories I have of the first time I ever gave a facial are so vivid in my mind. There I was, cradling someone’s face in my hands. Their eyes were closed and they were trusting me to care for them. I felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility mixed with a strong desire to nurture and care for their precious skin. I can still hear my teacher telling the class, "Giving facials is intimate. Many times, the last person who touched your client's face with such tenderness and care may have been their mother."
Over the next few years, I learned more and more about emotional release though my work with my clients. I was trained for this in school, so I was prepared for it. But what I didn't know was exactly how much power there was in the emotional release gained from receiving bodywork.
In the hands of the right practitioner, a facial or massage can heal you on a level far deeper than just the surface through muscle memory. In short, it's believed that when specific trauma occurs, our body attempts to protect itself by unleashing the "fight or flight" response, and in turn, some of the trauma is stored away in our tissue, muscles and major organs.
It's the only way our brain can handle traumatic or emotional events, and we'll disconnect from the experience as a way to protectively block the incidents. In essence, although we may get over things that happen to us, the pain and trauma can remain buried deep within our tissue, longing to escape.
One of the most profound experiences I had with emotional release was with a client years ago. She was very quiet and very tense. My intuition told me she needed some extra massage, and I stopped during treatment to do some deep breaths with her, urging her to melt into the table and really let go. About ten minutes later, her entire body changed. The tension melted away and her muscles went from feeling hard as a rock to soft as play dough.
As soon as that happened, she started to weep. She shared with me that she had suffered major trauma as a little girl and for the first time in her life, the heaviness had lifted off her body, literally leave her body for the first time in 17 years. When she left the room, she looked like a different person. It was then that I realized the power of emotional release from tissue memory.
It really isn't surprising if you consider how interconnected our mind, body and soul are.
As an esthetician, the parts of the body we primarily work on are the face, neck, scalp, shoulders and upper back. Our face holds a lot of tension, especially around the jaw and eyebrow area. Through massage techniques, knots in the jaw can be released along with the tension in the brows. This alone can make you feel less tense and more open to communication and expression.
Massaging and "opening" the clavicle, and working through knots in the shoulders can help to make you feel less guarded and more open. So many skin ailments are emotionally related, and as skin is our largest organ, and emotional imbalances are probably going to show up on your dermis. Manipulating skin tissue with massage techniques while using essential oils will help to get your lymph flowing and your skin glowing. This also helps to detoxify your body and assist your organs with elimination, which in turn will help your skin dramatically.
If you're ready to experience the emotional release provided through body work for yourself, I'd suggest seeking out a holistic practitioner and make sure to go into each treatment setting the intention for healing. If there's something specific you want to release, set that intention.
Don't be afraid to allow yourself to release emotionally — therapists are used to this. Taking care of yourself is such an integral part of living a long, healthy life. Receiving facials and massages isn't just a luxury treatment; it’s a way to assist in balancing the mind and body into healing on a deeper level.
 

Stretch Out

A few precautions can prevent future pain

You brush your teeth daily because you don't want cavities or gum disease, right? Well, what do you do on a daily basis to prevent tension in your neck? Brushing your teeth offers you preventive dental care, but what if you could learn to be preventive with the rest of your body?

We all have bad daily habits we don't even notice until something starts to hurt. These bad habits are the root cause of many painful conditions. To help prevent pain, however, we can turn these bad habits into good habits that can be worked into our daily routine. Here is some general advice that can apply to almost every part of daily living.

Don't Slouch. Slouching puts strain on your neck and can give you a headache. Your head weighs roughly 10 pounds-about as much as a bowling ball. Your spine is designed to balance that bowling ball when you're in an upright posture. If you slouch, your muscles have to do more work to hold your head up, which makes your muscles tight and angry. 

Sit Up Straight. Sit in a chair with your hands on your hips. Slouch. Feel how your hips roll back (if you're wearing jeans, you'll be sitting on your pockets). Now sit up straight by moving your pelvis forward and centering your weight over your pelvis and off your buttocks. 

Sleep on Your Back or Side. Sleeping on your stomach makes you twist your neck and body in order to breathe. This twisted position is terrible for your spine, especially for prolonged periods during sleep. Check your pillow and make sure it has a thickness that will support your neck in a position neutral to the rest of your spine. Try a memory-foam contour pillow, especially if you are a side sleeper. 

Bend with a Straight Spine. Bending over with a curved back puts pressure on your disc material and strains the spine. The pressure created during incorrect bending can cause the discs to bulge and put pressure on spinal nerves. Your back was not made to lower and raise your body-that's what your buttocks, hips, and knees are for. 

Stand with your knees shoulder-width apart and pretend you are going to lift a 50-pound box off the floor. If you are bending your knees and hips and using your legs to lower and raise your body weight, you are lifting correctly. Now, use the same technique to pick your shoes up off the floor. Think about a squatting movement when you need to lean forward, too-such as while washing your face in the sink. Let your hips and knees do the work. 

Take Regular Stretch Breaks. The muscles in your arms and hands get tight when you grip or pull. The muscles in your neck and shoulders get tight when you reach forward or away from your body. Give these muscles a break with a simple stretch. 

It only takes 10 seconds to lengthen the tight tissue, which will take pressure off your joints and prevent chronic conditions like tendinitis and bursitis. Watch for opportunities to work in a brief stretch.

Undo Yourself. Evaluate the position of your body during your daily activities and make sure you "undo" that position during the day. There is no way to teach a stretch for every single activity you do, but if you take the time to reverse the position of the joint and stretch in the opposite direction, you will lengthen tight tissue and reduce repetitive strain on joints. 

Tips to Save Your Body

Replacing bad habits with good ones takes time and thought, but the effort is well worth it. Here are some helpful tips to keep you on track.

-- If you keep waking up on your stomach, wear a pair of gym shorts to bed and put a golf ball in each pocket. When you roll onto your stomach, the golf balls will wake you up and you can return to your back or side. 

-- When unloading the dishwasher and getting laundry out of the machine, pose like a tennis player waiting for a serve. The knees are over your toes (but not beyond the toes), buttocks are backward, and shoulders are forward. 

-- Don't try to carve out 30 minutes daily for a stretching routine. If you stretch regularly throughout the day, you will be more effective at keeping tissue loose. Remember, it only takes 10 seconds to stretch a muscle-so find those seconds during your day and make the most of them. 

-- Think about stretching the same way you think about hydration. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink water; by then you're already dehydrated. If you wait until something hurts before you stretch, you could develop chronic tension that can lead to everything from a headache to tendinitis.

A daily stretching routine will help prevent future issues and address current ones. Don't wait until it's a problem. Start stretching today and, little by little, your body will thank you.

Article courtesy of Kelli Crosby.  Kelli is the author of How to Think Like a Physical Therapist in Your Everyday Life. She graduated in 1999 from the University of North Florida and completed her specialty certification in orthopedic manipulative therapy in 2006. 

What is Chemical Exfoliation?

Chemical exfoliation is used to remove the outer-most layer of the skin and reveal the fresh, less-wrinkled layer below. In these procedures, a chemical formula is placed on the skin, which then peels off, eliminating dead cells and leaving the skin with clarity, luminosity, and showing an improvement in fine lines.

Who Can Benefit from Chemical Exfoliation? Chemical exfoliation is used for age management and effectively improves the feel and appearance of the skin by reducing fine lines and wrinkles caused by sun exposure, aging, and genetics. It can also treat age spots, freckles, and other superficial hyperpigmentation. Most skin colors and types can benefit from chemical exfoliation, though it is best to check with your esthetician about which type might be right for you. If you’re taking acne medication, Retin-A or Accutane, talk to your esthetician about stopping the medication before and during treatment to avoid complications.

How Should I Prepare for Treatment? Check with your esthetician and/or doctor about stopping any of your current medications that might interfere with the treatment. Your skin care professional can review any other contraindications with you prior to your treatment to determine if chemical exfoliation is right for you.

What Can I Expect During Chemical Exfoliation? The skin is cleansed thoroughly with an oilreducing solution, and protective materials are placed on the eyes and hair. One or more chemical mixtures, such as glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or barbolic acid (phenol), are dabbed onto the areas of the skin to be treated. The chemicals then react with the skin to produce a “controlled wound,” allowing fresh skin to regenerate and emerge. A warming or stinging sensation may occur during the treatment, and may last about five to ten minutes. After most chemical exfoliation treatments, the skin may look as though it has been slightly sunburned. Then it may begin to flake. This is a normal reaction to the treatment and is the process of the skin rejuvenating itself. This process takes about three to seven days. Your esthetician may recommend a series of treatments for maximum results.

What About Home Care? There are a few measures you can take to help your skin heal. Aerobic exercise or vigorous physical activity should be avoided for the first 48 hours. Avoid rubbing or scratching areas of the face that have been treated. Direct sunlight/ indoor tanning is to be completely avoided following the treatment. Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 should become a part of daily skin care regimen as your skin will become more sensitive to the sun as a result of the exfoliation. Finally, avoid applying moisturizers or other products that may contain harsh chemicals, dyes, or perfumes to your skin until it has completely healed. Your skin care professional will explain the home care regimen that is right for you and send you home with written instructions.

Four ways to keep stress at bay

As much as we enjoy the emerging flowers and warmer weather of almost April, there can be a bit of a dark cloud hanging in the spring sky. Often the first few weeks of the month are a rush of receipts and 1040’s as the April 15 Tax deadline looms, and a rush of new schedules as the kids’ sports seasons fire up. Maybe that’s why April is Stress Awareness Month; to remind us to take care of ourselves, and not let stress go unchecked.

 

Meditation

Meditation does not have to be about pretzeled legs, chanting, and reaching enlightenment. It can simply be about creating a moment of stillness in your mind as a way to become more relaxed. Just one minute, 60 seconds of meditation, can dramatically improve your mood, your productivity and the quality of your day.

 

Exercise

It can be tough to make time for exercise when the schedule gets tight and tensions get high. But that's when it becomes even more important. Exercise can relieve the physical symptoms of stress like fatigue, pain, and moodiness. If you can't make time for daily workout, try to fit a 5-10 minute walk outside into some part of your day. A little goes a long way when you need it.

 

Giggle and hum

Both laughter and music can lower the blood pressure. In fact, this study in 2011 showed that 3 months of laughter or music therapy resulted in the same drop in blood pressure that could be achieved with a low-salt diet, losing 10 pounds, or taking a blood-pressure-lowering medication.  So cue up the "Who's on first?" or dance around with your kids while making dinner and work some giggling and humming into your day.

 

Massage

Regular massage can improve sleep, relieve headaches, reduce muscle pain, and improve moods. Plus, massage feels good. When you feel good, you play more, work more efficiently, and take better care of the people you love. Schedule a massage now to prepare for a busy (and fun) spring!

Commit to taking care of yourself this spring! You may be surprised with the results.

 

Concerns about Skin Care

Frequently Asked Questions

Experiencing skin care treatments should be relaxing, enjoyable, and empowering. You should feel at ease during every part of your treatment. You might have questions and feel shy about asking them. Don't worry--your esthetician has heard it all and respects your right to inquire about anything that concerns you. Following are some common concerns.

Sanitation You might wonder exactly what steps are taken to maintain cleanliness in the treatment setting. Estheticians are governed by state sanitation laws. By law, sanitation is part of your skin care professionals' training. He or she met an hourly training requirement and passed an exam to become licensed. A state board updates guidelines and practices as sanitation knowledge and practices evolve. The boards' reason for being is consumer protection; many share information with other state boards to stay up-to-date and assure "best practices" are being incorporated into their regulations. 

Your treatments are provided with your health and safety as a top priority. Facilities and equipment are cleaned and disinfected regularly. The linens you come into contact with are fresh. You can help assure a hygienic experience for your skin care professional and other clients by rescheduling your appointment should you have a fever or other symptoms of illness. 

Discomfort Most treatments are relatively painless, but your skin care professional will work with you to reduce any discomfort that might emerge. The key here is communication. Most people typically experience at least some discomfort during waxing and extractions (pressure applied to skin to release clogged pores). Be sure to let your esthetician know if you have a low pain threshold or experience anxiety or discomfort before or during these practices. Ask to take a break if you need a moment to collect yourself. The more you can relax, the better and more enjoyable your experience will be.

Qualifications Your esthetician is a skilled professional with significant knowledge that helps determine what's best for your skin. Forty-nine states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories require estheticians to get training and pass an exam before becoming licensed. Three-quarters of these professionals complete 600 or more hours of training. Many receive additional training from their employer and product manufacturers. They may attend trade shows, read professional literature, and take continuing education courses. In the treatment room, look for a posted state license (except in Connecticut, where no license is required), along with a membership certificate from Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP).

Afterglow Many clients seeking beauty treatments wonder if they'll see immediate results. While a simple facial can leave you radiant, a clinical treatment like a deep-peel microdermabrasion can leave skin looking chapped and reddened on the following day. Some treatments are obviously not recommended before big events like weddings. Be sure to mention to any upcoming occasions or plans for sun exposure. It's very important to follow the home care instructions you receive at the end of your visit to help your skin recover as it should.

Modesty Experiencing a treatment in the comfort of a spa robe or under a soft sheet can greatly increase relaxation during your visit. You should be provided a private and comfortable place to change fully or partially out of your street clothes. Your esthetician can guide you as to how much clothing to remove. For example, removing pants altogether for leg waxing is generally preferable to rolling up pant legs. For spray tanning and wraps, you might feel the most comfortable in a bathing suit. Some facilities provide disposable spa panties for your use. To ensure your comfort and privacy, you generally will not be asked to expose any part of your body unless it's necessary to complete the service.

It's Up to You As you develop a relationship with your skin care therapist, you'll discover that it is very important to keep the lines of communication open. Everyone has unique preferences and sometimes there may be something you would like to change at your next treatment. Whether you don't like a certain scent or music, aren't physically comfortable on the treatment table, or have other special preferences, your skin care therapist will quickly adapt if you communicate. 

Don't hesitate to ask your skin care therapist about his or her background, training, and experience--especially as it relates to the treatment you are considering. As a member of ASCP, your skin care professional's state licensing credentials and/or core training have been verified. ASCP members follow a code of ethics, ensuring you're treated responsibly, confidentially, and with utmost respect. As an ASCP member, your skin care professional has comprehensive information on changing trends and treatments at his or her fingertips, so you'll be receiving current information and care. Communicate your needs, and enjoy your visit!

 

Energy Boosters & Ways to Get Through the Day!

No amount of coaxing, pleading, or pedal pumping could get the engine in the rental car to turn over. It was going nowhere. The travelers had filled the car with unleaded fuel, but it had a diesel engine. It had been able to run a little way on the wrong fuel, but not far. And when it finally stopped, it stopped for good. 

Sometimes cars and humans aren't so different. Both need the right fuel to run at maximum efficiency. Put too much of the wrong stuff in, and a breakdown may be unavoidable. 

Here are some tips to keep your body humming along like a well-tuned engine, full of energy.


Be Snack Smart:

Strategic snacking can be a good way to smooth out dips in your energy level and avoid hunger cravings that can lead you to overeat when you finally do sit down to a full meal. So go ahead and snack. Just be as choosey in your snack selection as you are in meal planning. 

Don't fall for the fiction that all so-called "energy bars" are unpalatable but good for you, while candy bars are delicious but bad. Many energy bars are filled with sugar, so read labels, and look for high fiber, high protein, and limited carbs. 

Nuts are among the best choices for healthy, pick-me-up snacks, nutritionists say. Nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, and hazelnuts are all loaded with magnesium, a mineral whose health benefits include improving heart health, decreasing the risk of diabetes, reducing stress, improving muscle functioning, and reducing insomnia. 

Another super snack food is dark chocolate, which is rich in heart-protecting antioxidants and can improve blood flow, which will energize flagging muscles. Even milk chocolate gets a thumbs up because it provides calcium for the bones. So enjoy it--in moderation. 


Stay Hydrated

Just because you're not thirsty does not mean you aren't dehydrated, and even slight dehydration can leave you tired and lethargic. The answer is, of course, to drink plenty of water. If the taste of plain water doesn't excite you, consider some of the flavored varieties, keeping in mind that loads of extra sugar should be avoided.

One increasingly popular healthy hydration alternative is coconut water, which studies suggest may hydrate more quickly than plain H2O and which contains more potassium and less sodium than other energy drinks. 


Massage and More

The inherent demands of your life may lead to muscle strains, stress, and other conditions that can affect your energy levels. One of the best strategies is to get into a regular pattern of receiving massage. If you feel the need for some quick bodywork between sessions, consider self-massage possibilities.

One option is to use a foam roller, a firm foam log that comes in varying thicknesses--think of them as comfy rolling pins. You can use your own body weight to generate direct pressure as you roll over the roller, working out muscle knots. 

Aromatherapy is also a great way to get a quick energy boost, as certain scents are able to fight fatigue. Queen among them is peppermint, and other lethargy busters include eucalyptus, citrus, cardamom, and even cinnamon and black pepper. 


Get Some Rest

The number one myth about sleep is that you can get by on six hours a night. The truth is that the further away you deviate from getting eight hours sleep a night--and some people get too much, not too little--the greater the risk of cardiovascular disease, depression, obesity, and a host of other maladies.

Make sleep a priority. Get on a regular schedule, stick to it, and stop allotting to sleep only whatever time is left over after everything else gets accomplished. Once you've gone to bed, though, you have to actually go to sleep, and for many people that's no easy feat. 

Caffeine is often the culprit. Caffeine is a great pick-me-up first thing in the morning, but it has a six- to seven-hour "half-life," meaning that half the caffeine in that cup of coffee you consumed to ward off the 3:00 p.m. doldrums will still be lingering in your bloodstream after the 10:00 p.m. news. 

Another stimulant many people don't often consider is light--particularly light from a computer or television screen. Dim light from a soft reading lamp is fine, but the bright blue light of electronic devices sears itself into our minds and fools them into thinking it's still daylight outside, which makes falling asleep seem unnatural. 
Heat, whether internal or external, will also disrupt sleep. The ideal room temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees. The cool air then wicks away heat from your body, which allows you to fall asleep. Anything you do to increase your body's core temperature, like exercising or eating a big meal right before bedtime, makes it harder for your body to cool down to a comfortable sleeping temperature. 

Naps are tricky luxuries. Taken wisely and in moderation, they'll restore mental alertness and fuel you through a long afternoon. But too long a nap or a poorly-timed nap will leave you feeling drained after you get up, and will make it harder to fall asleep come bedtime. Timing also matters. Grab a morning nap to boost your creativity and mental alertness or a late-afternoon nap to restore lost physical energy and boost your immune system--a nap around noon provides a little of both. 

By Rebecca Jones