Archives for category: Continuing Education

Changes in your skin should be examined by someone with extensive knowledge of proper skin care and conditions. But how do you know who to contact?

A dermatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the treatment of skin. This means they have attended medical school (just like your regular doctor) and have received extra training to care for the skin. They are capable of prescribing medications and medical treatments for skin conditions. They are able to diagnose skin conditions and perform surgery.

An esthetician (sometimes known as a skin care therapist) has attended a trade school and passed a state board exam. Schooling requirements range by state (usually 3-6 months). Estheticians have received training on skin care treatment such as facials, body wraps, skin analysis, microdermabrasion, peels and other skin care techniques to improve the look and feel of your skin. They cannot diagnose skin conditions or prescribe medications however they can recommend over-the-counter treatments for common skin care concerns.

Now, how do decide who to see first?

That depends on your skin concerns, symptoms and medical history. These are all factors to consider and should not be taken lightly. A good rule of thumb is:

If you’re seeking skin care maintenance or cosmetic concerns, start with an esthetician. Estheticians can help with acne, dry skin, maturing skin and even some common concerns such as rosacea or hyperpigmentation. An esthetician may recommend specialized treatments or skin care products to help reduce or eliminate your problem.

If you have persistent symptoms despite home treatment, pain, sudden development of symptoms or reactions to chemicals, medications or anything your skin came in contact with, see a dermatologist. A dermatologist can help to rule out any underlying medical condition and prescribe medications that will be more aggressive for the treatment or persistent issues. For example, if you have painful acne that will not clear up using standard over-the-counter remedies, a dermatologist can provide a higher dosage (prescription) to help treat it.

Unsure?

If you develop a skin concern and are still unsure who to see, check with your primary care physician (PCP). They can either refer you to a dermatologist if they believe it is necessary or advise you to consult an esthetician.

Conclusion

Never ignore any skin concerns you may have or develop over time. Your skin is the largest organ and requires as much care and treatment as your heart, lungs or any other organ. Do not assume that conditions will “clear up on their own” as this can lead to more serious conditions developing. If you are concerned, ask.

Learn more about better skin care at www.bellaninainstitute.com.

Did you know that not all skin care masques (masks) are the same? With the right masque, you can keep your skin looking more vibrant all year long.

A masque is typically used as the “treatment” portion in any skin care routine or spa service. It is done less frequently (usually 1-2 times per week at home) and targets specific skin concerns. Although a masque is a great way to deep clean your skin, they serve many other functions as well, including:

Tightening & toning the skin
Nourish skin cells
Hydrate dry skin
Calm irritated skin
Decrease the appearance of blemishes

There are many different types of masques available and they all reply upon different ingredients to obtain maximum results. Some common types include clay, cream, honey and setting masques.

Clay – these are great for drawing out dirt and oil from the skin. This is a good option for people with oily skin that is acne prone.

Cream – these are wonderful for hydrating and refreshing your skin. Choose cream based masques if you have dry or sensitive skin that needs extra nourishment.

Honey – did you know that honey is a wonderful hydrator for the skin? Honey softens and revitalizes the skin while providing antibacterial benefits and immune system support. Honey stimulates the regrowth of tissue, strengthens capillaries and the fibroblasts needed for healing.

Setting – these masques harden after application and then are removed. This masque can be time more time consuming and difficult to use at home but they are extremely effective for many common skin concerns/conditions.

Remember – it is never too early (or too late) to develop a skin care routine. By properly caring for your skin, you can prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging, increase toning and tightening and keep your skin look fresh and healthy. Learn more about better skin are at www.bellaninainstitute.com.

Are you a massage therapist, esthetician or health/wellness provider seeking a way to build your business and learn a new technique that is less stressful on your body and beneficial for your clients?  Perhaps you are already a Bellanina Facelift Massage Practitioner who is looking for CEs in 2013.

Look no further than the Bellanina Facelift Massage! In 2011, Bellanina  “enhanced” their signature technique by incorporating Thai massage, acupressure and a full body energy release into their already time-tested approach to holistic skin care.  Our homestudy course is NCBTMB approved for 16 CE credits for all new students and for returning practitioners who want to learn the new and improved protocol.

Imagine an all natural, holistic approach to obtaining and maintaining younger, smoother and healthier looking skin at any age. The Bellanina Facelift Massage is the answer you have been looking for to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, tone facial muscles and release unblock stuck energy.

 Since 1989, the Bellanina Facelift Massage has been utilized by thousands of clients around the world. We have seen some amazing results including:

Decrease in bags under the eyes 

Firmer cheeks and jaw line

Neck appears smoother

Naso-labial fold lines soften

Skin looks smoother and skin tone evens

Youthful glow

Our clients tell us that the Bellanina Facelift Massage has been the best choice they have made to improve the look and feel of their skin!
                

Before & After (untouched photos)

What our students say…..
“I have taken many modalities as a massage therapist, reflexologist, etc., but your course hands down has such a fantastic income potential. In addition, I find it very creative and the results are amazing. I have done “Bellanina” on all ages, even those women who are in their 70’s and think this is it and they better make the best of what they have and then there is “Bellanina Facelift Massage.” I have a client who is 76 years old, when I finish the Bellanina Facelift Massage, her attitude and feeling of self worth becomes transformed. She told me, “I feel beautiful!”. I just wanted to share that with you and THANK YOU 100 times over for giving me the opportunity of learning and being certified as a “Bellanina Facelift Specialist”.Lauretta I, New York

Several times each month – Nina Howard (Bellanina Founder) hosts a FREE educational webiner at 3:30 P.M (EST) to explain the many benefits of Bellanina Facelift Massage, how this technique can build your business and answer all your questions at the end!

Visit our website www.bellaninainstitute.com to register for this event! Remember, this is a FREE webinar with master trainer, Nina Howard and a chance to learn about the most exciting approach to skin care available today!

As a massage therapist or wellness practitioner you may struggle with constant questions about whether or not it would behoove you to expand your skill set and learn new techniques to offer your clientele. It is easy to argue both sides of the matter since learning new skills often requires a commitment of time, money and effort with no absolute 100% guarantee that it will work out. Looking at the situation that way, it is no wonder so many people end up in a professional “rut”.

So what are the two sides of this particular issue?

The question boils down to one simple matter: if you take the time to learn something new, will your clients want this new service? Which of course leads to further questions about expanding your business in the future.

If you are worried that adding new services may alienate your existing clientele, don’t. Experience has taught many practitioners first hand that new services are often more exciting to existing clients than they are to the practitioner! Remember, a massage or facial is a treat and finding something new on the menu can be a great way to mix up an old routine for you and your client. Keeping your service menu fresh and updated will encourage your clients to come back for more. Although you may have some that resist change, they can always stay with their tried and true without harm to your business.

What about attracting new clients? An important part of business growth is knowing how to reach new clientele. Offering the “basic” services everyone already expects from a masseuse or wellness practitioner will not put you ahead of the pack. In fact, not branching out can hurt your business as it may appear out of day or obsolete. We are a culture that thrives on change and innovation – two concepts that do not rhyme with stagnation.

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Continuing education classes have never been more available or adaptable to your schedule. Many courses are available as a seminar or even a home study course for you to learn on your own time. Taking the effort to expand your professional career and techniques will benefit you as a business owner or as a employee. The more you know and the better you market yourself as a specialized expert, the better your business will be.

Take a chance this year and try something new to shake up your business. The Bellanina Facelift Massage continuing education course is a great way to entice existing clientele to try something new, encourage repeat business and market to a new and expanding market base. As the baby boomer generation grows older, they will be looking for treatments that are non-invasive and effective. The Bellanina Facelift Massage is time tested and can offer an amazing choice for your clients.

Contact Bellanina Institute today to learn more or to register for your seminar today. Bellanina Facelift Massage home study course is approved by the NCBTMB for 16 continuing education credit hours and the 3 day seminar is approved for 24 continuing education hours.

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!

Have you ever wondered why facials are such a popular treatment? If you look at the services offered by almost every spa in the country, facials are among their most popular services. A facial is a beauty treatment for the face that traditional combines cleansing, exfoliation and moisturizes the skin to restore a youthful glow.

Facials should only be performed by licensed estheticians with specialized skin care training. A facial, although a pampering experience, still requires advanced knowledge of products and reactions. A trained esthetician will be able to offer a consultation to determine your individual skin care needs. In addition, some facials involve a process called extraction which is the removal of white or black heads from the skin and can lead to broken capillaries or skin discoloration if done improperly.

Masks are a popular product used during a facial. A mask typically contains minerals, fruits, oils or vitamins that are designed to rejuvenate the skin. Many natural ingredients provide the most effective skin care treatments and are becoming more popular. A facial will remove dead skin cells but another treatment goal is regenerating healthy skin cell production. As we age, this process can be slowed and lead to a dull and worn down appearance.

Before scheduling your next facial, take certain steps to ensure this experience will be positive and beneficial. Acquaint yourself with the different treatments available at your local spa so you can make an informed decision upon arriving. If you have any skin sensitivity, issues or allergies, let the spa know when you schedule your appointment or upon arrival so these can be accounted for. Finally, know your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to discuss any concerns you have with your practitioner. Go over the steps of the procedure

Have a self indulgent moment and book your next facial. It will leave your skin feeling smoother, fresher and brighter!

Let’s face facts: As we age, our skin goes from baby smooth to drip and droop. If you are like most women, trying to prevent your “true” age from showing may be a continuous battle that you may or may not feel like you are losing. Every day new lines and wrinkles show up where they never were before and although this can be disheartening, we encourage all women to take a stand against aging!

Here is another fact to chew over: You do NOT need to be twenty to have fabulous skin. Beautiful skin is the reflection of proper skin care, a good diet and a conscious effort to look your best at any age. If you have fabulous skin when you’re twenty, that’s the result of genetics but having fabulous skin at fifty? That’s something to brag about!
Wrinkles begin to show as early as your mid-twenties. These begin as fine lines around the eyes, lips, chin and nose. These initial signs of aging should be the first red alarm that your skin care routine needs to be updated. A daily moisturizer is a simple way to combat these early signs but can be ineffective during the greater battle. Remember you are not just fighting time – genetics, the environment and natural biology will all play a role.

Start with a basic understanding of what to expect by studying your family. A mother being a “preview” of what you can expect to look like in twenty years is a phrase that holds some truth. Genetics play a HUGE role in how we develop and that doesn’t stop during the advanced aging process. If your mother (or father) has deep wrinkles, pronounced sagging skin or develops uneven skin texture and color, these are all problems you may need to eventually face but should certainly act upon to prevent. Yes, prevent. Skin care is not just about dealing with the problems as they arise; it’s about stopping them before they start!
Design a system that will target your specific skin types and needs. We recommend a six step system that will cleanse, exfoliate, tone, correct, moisturize and protect.
Begin with a basic cleanser: depending on your particular skin type and whether you are seeking botanical, natural organic or Cosmeceuticals (anti-aging) this may vary. A good cleanse will remove excess debris and oils from the skin, preparing it for step two.
Exfoliation: The build up of dead skin cells and debris is a prime source of wrinkles and fine lines in the face. A gentle exfoliant will remove this build up without causing damage to your skin.
Toner: After cleansing and exfoliation, you may wonder why you should bother adding in a toner. Water contains harsh minerals that will build up on your skin, even when you are rinsing off the cleanser and toner. A quick rub of toner will remove these impurities and leave your skin primed for more aggressive care.
Correct: Should your skin have any special issues such as uneven skin tone, discolorations, redness, loss of elastic, dark eye circles – now is the step to apply targeted products. Your skin is clean and ready to receive these treatments without applying it to unnecessary dead skin cells.
Moisturize: Hydration will play a key factor in keeping your skin looking beautiful. Your skin relies on water and natural oils to stay smooth and feel beautiful. By removing these oils to remove the grime and debris, we are actually depriving our skin of its most basic essentials. Now it is time to replenish the skin with carefully designed moisturizers that will penetrate the outer layers of skin and reach the deepest layer. Healthy new skin cells will develop and give you that smooth skin you want and deserve!
Protect: If you’re outside, protect your skin by covering up with a SPF 30 moisturizer. This will prevent sun damage and keep your skin safe. Remember that any exposure is really too much so even in the winter when the sun may not be so obvious, add this to your daily routine!
Occasional Masques: Applying a masque one a week or every other week is a great way to penetrate the skin even further. These will often exfoliate and hydrate the skin simultaneously and leave your face and body feeling smooth and glowing.

Take control of your skin today and take steps towards keeping your skin healthy, beautiful and youthful for an entire lifetime!

You don’t know quite when it happened but one day you see it in the mirror staring back at you: little dimples on the back of your thighs. Sometimes compared to as “cottage cheese” in texture, it can be a woman (or man’s) worst nightmare. Although you’re not alone, as much as 95% of the female population develops cellulite at some point in their lives, it can still be a difficult burden.

There are three layers of fat beneath the surface of your skin. Cellulite occurs in the subcutaneous (top) level of these layers. Within this layer there is a structure of connective tissue called the septae and is composed of compartments that store fat cells. These help to insulate the body and offer structural support for your skin. When cellulite occurs the subcutaneous fat cells are pushed upwards and the septae move downwards and – ta da – the dimple effect.
Many women know that as we age, our skin becomes thinner and more transparent. Although cellulite can occur in girls as young as fourteen, it becomes even more visible as we get older. Cellulite can develop in the thighs, buttocks, neck, stomach and the upper arms. Although men can develop cellulite, it is a much rarer occurrence due to a different structure in the subcutaneous layer of the skin.
Cellulite is not simply a “fat person” problem. It actually can be the result of a variety of factors, some beyond an individual’s control. Believe it or not, some women are genetically prone to develop cellulite, regardless of their weight (although excess weight will be a major factor). Other sources include hormones (when and where it develops); pregnancy, stress, sedentary lifestyle, smoking and obesity are all major contributors to this condition.

What is happening to the body when cellulite develops?

It is actually a five stage process whereby blood circulation and lymphatic drainage activity to the cells is drastically reduced. As the weakened cells that results from this begin to leak blood into surrounding areas, there is also an accumulation of lymphatic fluid. This leads to a pressure on the cells which will begin to swell and push upwards, creating an initial bumpy texture on the skin. As the cells become more deprived of oxygen they begin to thicken, worsening the cottage cheese appearance. Over time, these cells become trapped and have such poor circulation; fat continues to build up in these cells and cannot be removed (even with diet and exercise).

Treatment

While there are is no sure fire “treatment” for cellulite, it is important to remember that it is not a disease. Cellulite occurs in all types of women and all body shapes. It can appear in extremely thin women just as easily as obese women so don’t blame your eating habits for those unsightly bumps.
Over the past decade the market has become flooded with cellulite solutions and although some may be more effective than others, no one product will work miracles on everyone. Creams have become especially popular and utilize a variety of ingredients (including caffeine) to smooth the texture of your skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Remember though, cellulite may never truly go away but it is possible to minimize the appearance.
Exercise may not get rid of cellulite but toned muscles will certainly help mask its appearance. Skin lying over taught muscles will have a smoother appearance than skin lying over layers of excessive fat. Target the areas of your body most prone to cellulite to see more effective results.

Don’t give up!

Cellulite may seem like the end of the world and although it may never completely go away, maintaining a regular routine of exercise and daily moisturizing with specially designed creams will help in the long run. As with any skin care plan, patience will be your greatest ally and an important motivator when nothing seems to be changing. Remember, as previously stated, cellulite is not the result of bad behavior – sometimes it just happens and since so many women deal with it every day, you’re in good company. Think positive and don’t let the development of cellulite keep you from feeling confident and beautiful!

We have all read and heard about the dangerous effects smoking can have upon our health and bodies. From physical cravings to yellowing teeth and nails, these problems can range from cosmetic annoyances to potential deadly illness. Despite these frequent warnings, however, smoking continues to pervade our society. The damage of smoking can be seen, even years after a person may have quit, because of its long term effects. No one likes to be labeled, but after years of lighting up, sometimes the “smoker” of a group can be identified from a mile away, even without a cigarette in their hands.

It is a fact of nature: if you are a smoker, you will look like a smoker.

Do You Look Like a Smoker?

Your skin is a reflection of your overall health Smooth texture, even tone and the overall elasticity and color are all a result of good health and a conscience effort to take care of your body. Although there are hundreds of reasons your skin may not look its best on any given day, overall when healthy your skin should be firm, toned and even in color.

People who are “seasoned smokers” tend to have telltale signs and depending on how many cigarettes are smoked in a day and how many years the person has been smoking, these can range dramatically in severity. From lines around the lips, eyes and cheeks to a gray coloring of the skin, smoking ushers in premature aging.

It is the toxins within a single cigarette that are absorbed directly into your blood stream and impact the appearance and condition of your skin. The blood cells begin to narrow and constrict, impacting the development of healthy new skin cells. With the reduction of oxygen to the cells, they can no longer efficiently remove waste or regenerate. Over time this will lead to a significant reduction in the collagen production within the skin and cause trademark sagging skin tissue that is associated with extended smoking.

Reversing the Damage?

So you have made the pro-active choice to quit smoking and better your health. Years later your skin still makes you look ten years older than you actually are and you just don’t like the image staring back at you in the mirror. What can you do? Is there a way to reverse the damage?

Repairing the damages from smoking is a long term commitment and will require patience above all else. Remember that years of smoke damage requires years of repair for every part of your body and that includes the skin. Start by providing your skin with what smoking robbed of it for so long – healthy blood to promote healthy development. Exercise and a healthy diet play a huge role in this because it will increase circulation and bring healthy nutrients back to skin.

Dramatic results may not be possible, depending on the level of damage, but there are steps you can take to minimize the effects. Consult with a dermatologist before beginning any skin care program and learn all your options before deciding on a course of action. Remember a well informed decision can save you time and money in the long run.

Understand what the damage is and focus on those key areas. Fine lines and wrinkles can be the result of reduced skin cell production and the accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface. Smoking dehydrates the skin so boosting the moisture in your skin cells will be a major component of any skin care plan. A peel or deep exfoliation may be required to remove that excess build up of grime and debris and get your plan off on the right foot.

Expensive skin care treatments are not always an option for the average consumer and there are options still available. Cosmeceuticals are intensive skin care products that are one grade below pharmaceutical options (which require prescriptions to obtain). These products contain alpha hydroxyl and glycolic acid ingredients which are designed to seek out free radical damage and dramatically reverse skin damage. These products penetrate the outer skin layer and begin to repair the skin from the deepest levels.

Remember that you may not be able to reverse all or even most of the damage to your skin but you can take positive steps towards regaining that healthy glow from your youth. Be patient with your body and your skin, allowing it the time it needs to repair itself. Create a plan and stick with it, even if you don’t see dramatic results right away. By learning why your skin is damaged and making the choice to help your skin rejuvenate itself, you have already taken the most difficult step. Commit to your health and to your body by not “looking” like a smoker any longer!