By: Sarah McCallum
The winter solstice marks a time of introspection and renewal. Here we begin to slow down and focus on building up our immunity for the cooler months ahead. Many of us can attest to the drop in energy level we feel around this time of the year. Our bodies encourage us to let go of the hustle and bustle by replacing our typical late night activities for an earlier bedtime routine like yoga or meditation. Massage therapy is one of the best resources available for immune boosting support during the winter season. Not only does this type of self-care promote the circulatory system but it also calms the body and mind allowing for cellular regeneration to take place. Combine some deep tissue strokes with a bit of Frankincense for an increased meditative effect on the psyche. Rituals are important while we all transit the winter solstice because they build habits that last all year long. If we experience the solstice period as a down trodden and unhealthy period then it is more likely that we carry these qualities into the New Year. A few upgrades in your usual holiday routine could immensely enhance the rest of your year. Instead of spending $50 out at the bar with friends drinking festive cocktails set aside that money for a massage or facial. The next time you contemplate a late night out you will probably think twice and hopefully spend that money in a healthier way. Attempt to keep your body and your mind strong all year long by setting clear and positive intentions around this reflective time of the year. Pay attention to dreams and vision as they can help you understand much of what is going on internally. The subtle signs you receive during bodywork can also lead to many aha moments. Get to know yourself better so that you can take care of yourself in the best way possible.
By: Sarah McCallum
Essential Oils for Overindulgence
We all know how easy it is to stray from our healthy eating habits while vacationing over the holidays. We are typically bombarded with sweets, desserts and heavy foods filled with gravy and salt. All of these ingredients tend to lead to bloating and general malaise. Even those who are able to pass on the treats may end up having a few too many glasses of eggnog. Alcohol, sugar, salt and unhealthy fats can turn a fun weekend into one big headache. I myself prepare ahead of time by packing a few of my favorite detoxifying essential oils. Lemon, Peppermint, Ginger and Spearmint essential oils may help combat the negative effects of overindulgence by decreasing indigestion and reducing tension in the head and neck. Before embarking upon your trip to visit with family pack a bottle or two of your go to oils so that you can easily apply when needed. Bring a small jar of coconut oil for those larger areas like the bottoms of the feet and the belly. It’s also a good idea to have some extra lotion or vegetable oil on hand so that you are able to topically apply essential oils like Ginger to children with sensitive skin. I like to apply Spearmint essential oil to my neck and wrists before entering a get together for a little extra boost in energy. If I do decide to imbibe in some red wine my routine includes a glass of water with one drop of Peppermint and one drop of Lemon essential oil about 20 minutes before turning in for the night. This way I am safeguarding against waking up with a hangover. The worst way to welcome Christmas morning is hung over and fatigued. These essential oils are just a few examples for helping ensure a healthy and happy holiday season. Come by the spa and explore the variety of essential oils on hand and choose a bottle or two of your own. We all have diverse and unique preferences when it comes to aromas so you will likely gravitate towards essential oils that may differ from those listed above. Be merry and be well!
By Sarah McCallum
Caring for our Skin During Winter
The importance of a healthy skin care routine during the dry and harsh winter months should not be overlooked. In order to maintain smooth and supple skin we need to not only moisturize daily but also keep our bodies hydrated and free of dead skin cells. Using a sugar based body scrub on the arms and legs not only helps increase circulation but also buffs the skin so that you’re left with silky limbs. Certain essential oils like Geranium and Myrrh can act as gentle protectors on your body’s largest organ, the skin. Try applying a drop of essential oil into your moisturizer for the added benefits of antimicrobial and antibacterial action. Coconut oil is my favorite base oil for applying essential oils because it is super hydrating and emollient. If you’re looking to maintain a taught tummy during the holiday season seek out Peppermint and Orange essential oils. This combination may help combat belly fat that usually accumulates after we’ve spent a few months in hibernation enjoying good food and drink. Applying a drop of each daily onto the belly not only reduces the bulge but also helps to keep cravings at bay and increase alertness. I really enjoy creating my own body scrub with ¼ cup coconut oil, ¼ cup coarse sugar and about 20 drops of my favorite essential oil. You can create really fun gifts by combining essential oils and personalizing the scents for friends or family members. If you aren’t sure where to find high quality essential oils, stop by the spa and check out our stock. The ladies are knowledgeable on topics like aromatherapy and can help guide you towards a few that tend to be popular during the winter months. Let us pamper you or your loved ones this holiday season with a facial. Our estheticians will have your skin glowing after a luscious treatment. We also have gift cards available and they make for fantastic stocking stuffers. Take care of your skin this winter and you will welcome the spring season with a radiant complexion!
Ankle Pain and Cypress
Every joint in the body is very vulnerable to injury due to the immense amount of stress and weight they manage day in and day out. They are delicately developed systems that are meant to keep our bodies moving in a fluid fashion. Without our joints and tendons we wouldn’t be able to do much moving at all. Our ankles are left to support our entire bodies weight as well as agility and movement while running, walking, hiking and dancing. These joint represent our ability to not only maintain flexibility but also acceptance of our true self in the purest form. Loving our bodies in their raw state can be scary and intimidating. Today we are constantly shown unrealistic images of how a healthy and attractive body must look. In order to maintain healthy ankle joints we need to stop undervaluing who we are. A strained or sprained ankle can obviously result from various sports injuries, missteps when walking on ice, slips from wearing loose fitting footwear etc. Emotionally and psychologically this type of injury represents someone who is having a hard time walking the walk and truly stepping out into the world confidently. Working with a massage therapist can be very healing physically but also emotionally. Applying an essential oil like Cypress will help increase circulation around the injury site encouraging healing. Cypress essential oil also aids in the removal of emotional blockages that can inhibit a full recovery. In my experience as a therapist but also as a client of massage therapy I have encountered incredible shifts physically, emotionally, and even spiritually during high quality treatments. Few healing modalities help my body heal as holistically as an aromatherapy massage therapy session. With so much chaos this holiday season make time to step away from the commotion and bring your vibration back down to a space that allows for renewal. We all need to be taken care of from time to time but more importantly we need to learn how to ask for that care comfortably and without guilt. Allow one of our caring therapists to bring your body and mind back into a place of health and healing so that you are better able to take care of those you love. Be well!
By Sarah McCallum
By: Kristen and Bethany