Archives for category: bodywork
  1. They are the regenerating, oxygenating, and immune defense properties of plants.
  2. They are so small in molecular size that they can quickly penetrate the tissues of the skin.
  3. They are lipid soluble and are capable of penetrating cell walls, even if they have hardened because of an oxygen deficiency.  Essential oils can affect every cell of the body within 20 minutes and are then metabolized like other nutrients.
  4. They contain oxygen molecules which help to transport nutrients to the starving human cells.  Because a nutritional deficiency is an oxygen deficiency, disease begins when the cells lack the proper nutrient assimilation.  By providing the needed oxygen, essential oils also work to stimulate the immune system.
  5. They are very powerful antioxidants.  Antioxidants create an unfriendly environment for free radicals.  They prevent all mutations, work as free radical scavengers, prevent fungus, and prevent oxidation in the cells.
  6. They are anti-bacterial, anti-cancerous, anti-fungal, anti-infectious, anti-microbial, anti-tumoral, anti-parasitic, anti-viral, and antiseptic.  They have been shown to destroy all tested bacteria and viruses while simultaneously restoring balance to the body.
  7. They may detoxify the cells and blood in the body.
  8. Essential oils containing sesquiterpenes have the ability to pass the blood brain barrier, enabling them to be effective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
  9. Essential oils are aromatic.  When diffused, they provide air purifying by; removing metallic particles and toxins from the airs, increasing atmospheric oxygen, increasing ozone and negative ions in the area (which inhibits bacterial growth), destroying odors from mold, cigarettes, and animals, and filling the air with a fresh, aromatic scent.
  10. They help promote emotional, physical and spiritual healing.
  11. They have a bio-electrical frequency that is several times greater than the frequency of herbs, food and even the human body.  Clinical research has shown that essential oils can quickly raise the frequency of the human body, restoring it to its normal, healthy level.
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Warmer weather means t-shirts, shorts and sandal season is just around the corner. As you start to dig through our summer wardrobe and make sure everything still fits, you may notice that your skin is not looking so hot. No, we don’t mean pale skin from being covered all winter (although we have a solution for that as well).

Winter skin is a common occurrence because during the colder months we tend to cover much of our bodies and therefore fall out of our good skin care habits. As the sun comes out though and the time has come to slip into a pair of shorts however you may notice that your legs are not looking so great. So what can you do to get back to fighting shape?

1) Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!
We can’t emphasize the importance of exfoliation enough when it comes to good skin care. Sure, you may shower every day but that is not enough. Even if you are using a loofah which promises to exfoliate your skin every time you shower…it’s not enough. Exfoliation means using a cleanser that has been specially designed to penetrate those dead skin cells and remove them without causing damage to healthy skin below.

Look for a good cleanser with micro beads to really help your skin to look fresh and ready for summer. A body cleanser will typically use a rougher texture than a facial exfoli-cleanser so shop carefully. Exfoliating cleanser help aid in healthy skin production by removing those built up layers of dead skin. Failing to exfoliate at least 2-3 times per week leads to dryness, flaking and eventually…wrinkles.

2) Moisturize Daily!
Skin thrives on being properly hydrated. If you have dry skin naturally it is even more important to moisturize in the morning and before going to bed. If you have oily skin and are prone to break outs, search for an oil-free moisturizer that will seal in good oils without adding anymore.

3) Cover Up!
Yeah, we know you want to get that fabulous summer tan but don’t lay out in the sun “baking” for hours on end. Not only is that exposing the skin to those harmful UV rays we have all heard about, but it is drying your skin out even more and causing irreparable cellular damage.
A good SPF 30 will protect the skin and keep it looking great all summer. Try a combo moisturizer and SPF to do double the good. If you are really looking for a healthy summer “glow”, try a sunless tanner.

4) Change the products to match the season!
Winter meant heavy moisturizers to combat dry and chapped skin. As summer rolls in it is time to swap out your products for lighter products. A light weight and non greasy moisturizer will feel more comfortable as the temperatures start to rise. Remember, in the summer you will sweat more and (if you’re outdoorsy) be more exposed to dirt, grime and other environmental elements. Your pores will retain much of this build up so don’t increase it more with thick moisturizers.
Bonus Tip – Wash your skin daily to avoid build up and summer acne!

5) Develop a routine and stick with it!
Daily skin care is like a daily workout. At first it may be difficult to get into the habit but eventually you will wonder how you ever went without it. We recommend pairing your daily skin routine with something that you do daily already. Taking the time to wash your face with a good exfoliator right after brushing your teeth (for example) would get it out of the way and eventually just become something you do automatically.
Don’t think of skin care as something that is nice to do but not really necessary. As we age the skin requires just as much maintenance as any other area of the body. Taking care of it now will prevent future problems and keep it looking smoother, younger and healthier as you get older.

6) Do your homework!
A fancy bottle or a name brand does not ensure high quality products. If you are battling a specific skin issue especially, take the time to research the product ingredients and the company. Over the counter moisturizers and cleansers seem like a good deal but not when they are more water than anything else! Investing in high quality products will be more effective and have longer lasting results.
Check with a local esthetician or dermatologist for questions about your specific skin care needs. Remember that a commitment to great skin means taking the time to choose the right products and use them as directed.

Look great this summer with younger, smoother looking skin. Remember these six steps and your skin is sure to look fabulous all year round!

Myofascial. You’ve seen it advertised but have you ever really stopped to learn what it is? Odds are good you haven’t, unless you’ve suddenly found yourself in need of this type of service.

Like most therapies or practices that are available but not well known, myofascial release is a specialized practice that can be learned by massage therapists. It is used to treat somatic dysfunction and the accompanying pain and restriction on movement. The primary goal of this type of therapy is to relax the contracted muscles, increase circulation, increase venous and lymphatic drainage and stimulate the stretch reflex of the muscles.

Back to Basics:

If you are confused, don’t be embarrassed. Understanding the nuances of massage therapy and what it can do for the body is a specialized practice that many people spend years studying and perfecting as a technique.

Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue that supports and protects most structures (including muscle) in the human body. This tissue can become restricted over time due to a number of factors including: psychogenic disease, overuse, trauma, infectious agents, or inactivity. This can lead to pain, muscle tension and decreased blood flow to the affected areas. The result inflammation can occur and this is where myofascial release is utilized by therapists.

Myofascial is defined as a chronic muscle pain around sensitive areas called “trigger points”. This type of pain can be felt as headaches, jaw or neck pain, lower back/pelvis pain or in the arms and legs. This is not a temporary pain caused by working out or physical exertion – it is a chronic condition that persists over long periods on time.

There are two main types of myofascial release used: active and passive. In active therapy the client provides resistance, while in passive therapy the client remains relaxed. These can both involve direct and indirect techniques.

Direct myofascial release (also known as “deep tissue work”) works on the restricted fascia. This intensive method works on relaxing the contracted muscles utilizing the therapists knuckles, hands and other specialized tools. The therapist will work slowly through the layers of fascia until the deep tissue is reached.

Indirect myofascial release focuses on gentle stretching and allowing the fascia to “unwind”. This allows for the body to heal itself with the assistance of mild therapeutic techniques to assist in the process.

Consult with your doctor to determine what type of treatment will be best for your myofascial condition. Depending on the location and level of discomfort your doctor may recommend physical therapy, medications or certain injections. Do not receive treatment from a therapist without first consulting with your health care provider. Ask questions if you are uncomfortable or unsure about this technique.

Myofascial pain is a difficult condition to bear but can be helped several ways. Talk to your physician today and learn if a myofascial therapy treatment may be your next step towards pain relief.

Have you ever stopped to look at your feet? Feet are one of those areas of the body that are overworked and underappreciated. Whether you sit at a desk or walk around all day, your feet are suffering constant abuse. In the middle of winter you may not care about how your feet look but when summer rolls around you may wish you had spent just a little time preparing your feet for to be showcased in those fabulous new strappy sandals.

Examine your feet carefully:
Does the skin around your toes appear dry and flaky?
Is your heel covered with dry and course skin?
Are there calluses lining the pad of your foot?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you are one of the millions of people with dry skin. Dry skin is a chronic skin type that can come and go and may only affect certain areas of the body (such as the feet or hands). Dry skin is mostly just irritating but can lead to problems such as cracks or infections if left untreated. During the winter dry skin increases due to changes in the environment and increased use of interior heaters which remove necessary moisture from the air.

So what may have caused your cracked heels and dry toes?

Many things can influence your feet such as wearing properly fitted shoes, age, psoriasis, diabetes, athlete’s foot, exposure to outside elements and lifestyle. Your feet develop thicker skin due to constant use (and abuse) but this skin can still be easily damaged. Taking the time to repair this damage will not only make your feet look better but feel better too.

What to do:

A pumice stone is a wonderful investment when trying to combat extremely dry or tough skin. This will help remove build up of dead layers of skin and allow healthy new skin to develop.

Apply a foot cream designed to soften those rough spots. Apply this at night and wear socks to bed to help seal in the moisture and give your feet time to repair while you sleep. Avoid lotions as most contain alcohol which will cause more dryness and may irritate the damaged areas (especially cracked skin).

Examine your shoes and invest in a new pair if you notice any tightness or rubbing against the skin. Improperly fitting shoes can lead to much more significant problems than dry skin in the long run!

Final Thoughts

You may not think your feet need care but remember that taking care of your body is important and neglecting any area will lead to trouble down the line. Most foot care treatments require five minutes or less a day to apply and can be done at night to avoid disrupting your day. Be ready to break out the sandals this summer and have fabulous looking feet that will be the envy of all the toes at the beach!

Have you ever tried to nod your way through a conversation without really understanding what someone is talking about?

It is not your job to understand every skin treatment available but when you receive a service at a spa it is nice to understand what the heck they are doing and why. Paraffin wax is one of those delicious spa terms we hear all the time but may have no clue about what it truly means.

Why is it important to learn? The same reason it is important to read instructions before you take a medicine. Anything that touches or enters your body will have an effect on it and as a wise consumer it is important to know about what a product is doing, why it is being used and most important – any possible side effects.

So what’s the skinny on paraffin wax?

In the simplest terms, paraffin wax treatments are utilized in spas to moisturize and soften the skin. They are usually reserved for the toughest areas of skin on the body such as the hands and feet. Many spas will offer this treatment as part of or as an optional addition to manicures or pedicures.

Paraffin waxes are different from other types of waxes used in spas in that it is softer (due to paraffin oil). It melts at a much lower temperature than other waxes and will not burn or blister the skin when it is submerged. In many spas, the wax is heated in special vats prior to a treatment.

So what does the treatment entail?

Paraffin wax is designed to coat the skin and left to absorb for up to half an hour to see the full benefits. An esthetician or beautician may have the client submerge their hands or feet several times in container of this wax to create an even coat over the surface. The hands and feet would then be wrapped in plastic (or some other type of non absorbent material).

After the treatment the wax is removed in a single piece. Because of the oil, this wax does not bind to the skin and can come off easily without pain. Skin should feel soft and smooth following a paraffin treatment.

When would I get one done?

Paraffin wax treatments can be done all year but they are especially ideal in the winter (colder climates particularly) since they can help to repair dry and cracked skin. Remember the skin needs moisture to stay smooth and during the winter it can lose a lot of moisture throughout the day without being properly replenished.

Who should avoid this treatment?

People with diabetes tend to have trouble with submersion of the feet into warm liquids so this treatment is not recommended.

Pregnant woman can receive this treatment but should remember that chronic foot swelling is common and a treatment that utilizes heat will not benefit this condition. Try looking for treatments that use cold or cooling methods to ease this problem.

If you have any type of foot condition such as fungus or athletes foot it is important to tell your therapist prior to treatment. To avoid contamination of the wax they may need to prepare an alternative way of applying the treatment.

Final Thoughts

Trying out a new treatment is always an exciting prospect at the spa. Paraffin wax is an excellent and soothing choice for those seeking an effective solution for dry or rough skin. Call your local day spa to set up an appointment. Go with confidence now that you know what you need to know!

Other Choices:

After receiving your paraffin wax it is important to maintain that soft and silky skin. Why not try a baby smooth foot creme to keep for toes and heels looking great all year! For your hands try the soothing touch hand cream – guaranteed to keep your fingers luxuriously soft!

Here at Bellanina we receive messages every day from women (and men!) looking for ways to look and feel better about themselves. The most common complaint we receive is just looking “tired” and “worn”. It seems that this New Year is the perfect opportunity to invite people to try something new and different, shake up their routine and not accept aging gracefully. After all, your age is just a number and at Bellanina we think people only improve with age.

Start by taking command. Look into the mirror after a shower and before you apply any make up or lotions. Really look at your skin and ask yourself, “What do I want to change?” Are you looking for smoother skin? Do you hate the sight of lines around your eyes or mouth? Or do you just want to feel and looked refreshed?

It is important to take this step because in order to truly take control, you must take action with this first step.

By being honest with yourself and your goals, it will be easier to target the best way to achieve them. Most people can’t afford or do not want to pursue drastic and invasive medical procedures (such as plastic surgery) and at Bellanina, we don’t think you should have to do this at all. With proper skin care and the right products, smoother and younger looking skin is not just a dream. It is a reality we can all have for our own.

Here is a simple checklist of areas to consider:

1) Eyes: Are there fine lines beginning to form around the corners or lids? This could be from squinting or rubbing this area. The tissue around the eyes is especially fragile and can be easily damaged or show premature signs of aging.

2) Mouth: As we get older the expressions we hold our faces in most often will eventually develop into lines around the face. “Laugh” or “frown” lines are especially common once people reach their mid thirties. This can be caused by a reduced elasticity in the skin and lowered collagen production.

3) Neck: As the skin begins to lose elasticity it can begin to “droop” in certain areas, especially the neck and chin.

4) Hands: The most overused and abused area of the body. Your hands are exposed to chemicals, weather, water, bacteria and all sorts of germs that can affect how their appearance. Lines, dryness and flaking are all common culprits of “old” looking hands.

5) Thighs and Stomach: At any age a common skin problem is cellulite. Small “dimpling” of the skin that can lead to a cottage cheese appearance. This can be minimized with corrective skin care products.

6) Uneven Skin Tone/Pigmentation: Brown spots, freckles or even patches of skin that don’t match your overall coloring can be minimized. If you have been living with these common issues but unsure of how to deal with them, take charge this year!

7) Facial/Body Acne: Blemishes can be an irritating and ongoing struggle. Don’t let this problem go on for another day!

We invite everyone to contact us and let us help you achieve your goals this year. Our highly trained staff welcomes questions and will help you design a daily routine that will reduce fine lines, smooth skin and replenish lost moisture. By taking the time to incorporate this into your morning routine you will begin to see the results faster than you can imagine.

So contact us today and let us help you achieve your New Year’s resolution! E-mail us your questions at operations@bellanina.com to receive expert advice on how to achieve your skin care goals in 2011!

Choosing someone to work on your body is an important decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If your like most people, you probably wonder about what sort of training a person has and if they really know what their doing. Knowledge and experience are the cornerstones that make a great therapist or esthetician but how can you choose if you don’t know what those abbreviations following their names mean? LMT, CMT…what’s the difference and how that affects you?

Use this simple guide to understand those credentials and make an informed decision!

LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist)

Most states regulate the practice of massage therapy and require licensure to practice as a massage therapist. Remember that massage manipulates the body and can impact health and functioning. A licensed massage therapist has gone through the training required by the state and has the required knowledge and competency to practice their profession. This process is non-voluntary and is the highest level of regulation.

CMT (Certified Massage Therapist)

This is publicly attesting that a service or person has reached or exceeded a certain level of quality or standard. Certification requires a certain level of educational criteria to be met in order to use this title. Certification can be in a specialized field or bodywork practice and can be received through continuing education later in a massage therapist’s career. Certification is usually through a private institution or agency and is a voluntary process.

In the United States…

Massage therapy is monitored by the states and not the federal government. This means that the standards and requirements can vary by state and should be investigated by those seeking to become massage therapists or those looking to determine what qualifications are required to become a massage therapist in their state. Most massage therapists are required to receive 500 to 1000 hours of massage training including courses on physiology and anatomy. Specialized training can vary and may require additional outside training after their initial program.

You Have Right to Know

Don’t be afraid to ask your massage therapist about their qualifications, education and experience before receiving any type of treatment or service from them. Schools will provide certificates to therapists upon completion of their program to prove they have received the training necessary. Remember that this is someone who will be working on your body and it is important to choose someone who knows what they are doing. Massage, when done improperly, can cause damage (especially to someone with existing health conditions). So learn all you can before making your decision!

Continuing Education Opportunities

As a massage therapist you have the opportunity to expand upon your basic training and become a specialist in your field. Remember that people are looking for a massage therapist that can offer them the maximum results. Try learning something new today such as the Bellanina Facelift Massage program. Offered as both a 3 day seminar or a home study course, this program will make you a leader in your field! Learn more today online at Bellanina Institute!