Category Archives: Skin Care

Massage Therapists – Hand Care Top Tips!

We’ve Got The Whole World in Our Hands… All The More Reason to look after them…

Hand care is a topic that affects every single one of us as Holistic and Beauty Therapists.hand care

The Basics: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or me) to tell you that your hands are a vital tool for interacting with the world around you. As a guide, we all have 27 bones and 29 joints in each hand, along with at least 123 ligaments, 34 muscles, 30 arteries and 48 major nerves that branch into a more sensitive neural link between the fingertips and the brain than from the eyes. Imagine that.

But it’s not just about the power of touch here – it goes much broader. Who can tick any of the following as an important part of their business lives

• Keeping their hands clean and/or soft
• Keeping nails short or well manicured/presented
• A confident handshake to reassure a new client
• Reiki healing or energetic exchange
• Using a keyboard/tablet/mobile to book clients, send emails or social media
• The need for strong, steady and/or warm hands
• Handling jars, bottles or equipment with repeated usage (hygiene)
• Last but not least, massage or hands-on techniques?

Yes. The health and longevity of our hands is essential. So here goes with upping the self-care…

Firstly, on the outside. No one expects to see any health or well-being practitioner with dry, rough hands or broken/nibbled nails – but constant washing/sanitising, whether as a healer or hands-on therapist, along with our UK weather, stress/busy lifestyle, nutrient depletion, cleaning our therapy rooms, houses and bodies with detergent-based products will eventually take its toll.

What can we do?

Hand care cream1. Keep hands exfoliated to remove dry skin – look for natural products with ground rosehip seeds and/or fruit enzymes
2. Invest in a good manicure at least every other month (yes, men too)
3. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise, especially overnight when the skin heals – ethical products containing shea butter, olive and/or coconut oil are good ones to look out for. Include your nails as they will benefit too.
4. Try to get plenty of zinc, iron, vitamin C and B group vitamins in your diet – all proven to alleviate brittle nails and enhance skin health.
5. Get those Marigold gloves out for washing up, gardening or cleaning the car – and your fingernails weren’t designed to remove staples!

What about cold hands?

Thankfully less common, but this can be an annoying companion if working in the hands-on industry! But is there any self-help available? Maybe so…

1. The most important single factor is to keep your therapy/consulting room warm enough. Even if clients are on a heated couch with fluffy towels over them, you still need to make sure the air temperature is comfortable. Your body closes off small arteries in your skin if you’re too cold.
2. If your therapy uniform is only one layer thick or synthetic fibres, get those thin cotton layers or long johns on underneath during chilly days.
3. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that helps blood flow (found in oily fish and green leafy veg). Ginkgo Biloba supplements also help blood flow to extremities.
4. Ditch the caffeine – it is a vaso-constrictor – and up the water and herbal teas to re-hydrate.
5. If largely sedentary, do keep active between clients – have a 2 or 3 minute walk, or go up and down the stairs a few times. You need to encourage the blood flow back into your hands by getting the heart pumping.
6. If all else fails, buy some re-usable hand warmers! A Google search will bring up many affordable choices.

Reiki healing - hand care blog
Hot Tip: Reiki Healers
– using your hands as a conduit to direct Universal energy is a wonderful gift to the world – but does anyone really know what energy, electro-magnetic and/or physiological changes are left behind after a session? Keeping hydrated, grounded and hands washed is of course essential. But there’s more…

We know that one of the best ways to cleanse and re-charge the energy of a crystal is by soaking it in salt-water – so why should your hands (and body) be any different? Treat your hands like a crystal by soaking them in a bowl of warm water with dissolved sea salt, Espom salt or Himalayan rock salt. Even add a few of your favourite crystals in there. Follow by moisturising with a natural ‘salt’ range such a Dead Sea Spa. Take regular baths in salts too to keep charged up and free of negative energy.

Finally, for the hands-on and massage therapists – over-used, sore and aching hands are a hazard of our trade. Yes, there are many “hands-free” massage therapies out there and use of knuckles and elbows instead of fingers and thumbs is more and more commonplace – but there’s no getting away from it for certain moves and treatments (including facials or ironically hand massage!).Hand Care - Hand Massage

Talking of which, there’s nothing better than having your own hands and arms regularly massaged. This should ideally be monthly via a professional (to save your own hands!), therapy swap or alternatively the following simple moves can be performed on yourself at the end of a busy day –

 

1. Stretch the fingers of your left hand by holding them as one unit with your right hand and pull them gently downwards to the wrist to feel the stretch. Repeat on the other hand.
2. Putting your palms together in prayer position, push your left fingers gently backwards to feel the stretch. Repeat on the other hand.
3. Clench your fists and rotate your wrists in circles clockwise and anti-clockwise three times.
4. Massage firmly all over the palm of your hand using your opposite thumb. Repeat each palm for 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Firmly squeeze each finger and thumb in turn using your opposite hand. Repeat on each hand three times.
6. Slowly and firmly massage each knuckle and finger joint with the opposite hand.

Regularly stretching the neck, shoulders, chest and arms will also go a long way to protecting the mobility of your hands and wrists. Also factor in rest periods and vary your treatments as far as you can.

For all of us, a lovely treat just before bedtime is to rub a few drops of pre-blended (German rather than Roman) chamomile oil into each pulse point on the wrist and over the base of the thumb where we can store tension. To make your own blend, simply add about 4 drops of chamomile oil to 1 teaspoon of rapeseed oil. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties as well as soothing muscle pain and spasms. Its calming aroma is legendary and perfect to also help a good nights’ sleep.

Now that’s essential for any therapist.

Enjoy this topic? Want to know more about our exclusive Tibetan Hand & Arm Massage training (just £60 + VAT) – then please click here for more info. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Competition:

In conjunction with our latest offer – our Face The World Tibetan Hand and Arm Massage half-day course – we have a brand new competition!

Simply COMMENT and TAG a friend in this post. We’ll be giving away –

5 FTW therapist exclusive mini Massage Creme’s. Bliss…

That is a total of 5 WINNERS! Entries are valid until 31st May 2018… Good luck!

 

Moroccan Back Massage – Product Focus

Here at Face The World we have put what feels like an endless amount of consideration into every aspect of the Moroccan Sacred Candlelight Back Massage – including the products that go hand in hand with it!

That’s why we thought it’s important to highlight what the key ingredients are in the key products and why we have chosen to use them…

“The training today was utterly fabulous, the new course is great, full of content and it all flows and entwines. The sensual side of this treatment will set anyone’s senses tingling and the aroma from the candle is still on my hands”

‘Moroccan Rose’ Massage Candle…

Moroccan Rose Otto Candle

Our individual use candles have been created especially for Face The World – you won’t be able to find them anywhere else!

The “Sacred Candlelight” plays three important roles in the Massage treatment:

Firstly, it represents the North African “Guedra Blessing” – imparting blessings and good energy to the community. Usually a night time ritual, it s performed by a campfire, under moonlight or candlelight in one of the larger tents.

Secondly, it melts at a low temperature, allowing the Therapist to pour the hand-hot, molten soy wax onto the client and use it as a luxury massage medium. Here’s what’s inside – 

Shea Butter:

Shea Butter has moisturising properties leaving skin silky smooth. It has also been proven to reduce inflammation.

Sweet Almond:

As sweet almond oil has hypoallergenic properties it allows you to cleanse your skin, relieve eczema and keep your skin soft with less risk of an allergic reaction. It is also brilliant to relieve any lingering muscle aches you may have.

Rose Otto OilMoroccan Rose Otto Oil

To create a single drop of Rose Otto oil it requires 60 roses! This makes this ingredient hard to come by and expensive to manufacture. However, the benefits of using this oil are priceless! It fights depression, reduces infammation, treats wounds, it’s anti-spasmodic and a nervous tonic. 

 

The smell is divine and it is moisturising as well as an antioxidant allowing your skin to get the right amount of oxygen to be healthy and smooth. It is so good there are rumours that Cleopatra herself used to use Rose Otto oil as perfume…

Talking of which, the aroma fills the treatment room with the most beautiful rose scent to set your client in the right mood and enhance their multi-sensory experience. Blissful…

Moroccan Beldi Soap

The use of fairtrade-sourced, Moroccan black beldi soap and the genuine “hammam spa” kessa mitts for exfoliation will encourage the removal of dead skin cells which will aid new skin growth, thus leaving the skin feeling smoother and looking more bright and vibrant. The black olive paste is rich in oleic acid and vitamin E – and is a highly potent moisturiser.

Beldi Soap:

The Moroccan Beldi Soap is a great emollient and moisturiser. It cleanses the skin leaving the skin soft and silky to the touch. Due to being rich in vitamin E, it also helps to revitalise the skin, acting against dryness, dehydration and ageing skin.

Oliec Acid:

The Oliec acid combats any inflammations and dryness in the skin to help you feel fresher and more relaxed.

Be amongst the first in the UK to offer this blissful treatment…

Book your course for just £111 + VAT (usual rrp £179 + VAT – saving £68 + VAT) and choose the venue – your tutor will then be in touch to arrange the berst date!
(No fixed dates = no cancellations).

Multi-sensory Elements for Massage

We all appreciate the therapeutic power of touch. Touch is of course the most predominant, if not only, sense used or engaged in standard massage therapy. However, what if you want to enhance the overall experience, believability and benefits a client has during their massage treatment? For instance, can other senses apart from touch be engaged to an equal level?  Here, we explore how you can include a more multi-sensory approach to your massage/hands-on treatments.

But how exactly – and why should you?

Aromatherapy…

aromatherapy image

Essential oils and the concentrated aromatic liquids extracted from plants, have been used for their therapeutic benefits for nearly 6,000 years. Ancient civilisations from China, India, Egypt, Greece and Italy all understood the importance of these essential oils – especially in the practice of healing the mind and body – so it’s little wonder they used them in cosmetics, perfumes and drugs.

Most essential oils are either massaged into the skin and/or inhaled. Odours we smell have the ability to positively affect our mood and memory – as we tend to link memory and related smells together – leading to smells triggering associated memories.

So, why do we link smells to specific memories? Our olfactory system (our sense of smell), uses the amygdala and the limbic system to help process smells. The molecules from whatever we’re smelling trigger the olfactory receptors in our nose, along with the other estimated 150 receptors around our whole body. Think about it – yes – we can detect aroma through our whole body.

Sensory neurons then pass the signals onto our olfactory bulb – which then begins processing the signal. Mitral cells carry the signal to the olfactory cortex, limbic system and amygdala – the part of our brain known for emotional learning and memory. Therefore, a stronger memory can be produced and recalled, if our other senses (such as touch and sound) are also associated with that same memory.

If you are not confident in the use of aromatherapy oils/fragranced products during massage, then the burning of incense, scented candles and/or oil-burners can create a memorable ambience that your client will subconsciously grow to look forward to.

Music

From an early age, music has a profound impact on our brains and bodies. Mothers through the ages have used lullabies and rhythmic rocking to calm crying babies. It’s therefore understandable that babies and adults alike respond to music – and why it can make such a powerful tool in massage therapy treatments.

Our brain loves the predictability and structure of music. The rhythmic component of sound waves, tones and chords provide stimulation for our brain – triggering our auditory and visual senses, as well as affecting our sense of touch, movement and general balance.

Music releases mood enhancing chemicals into our body, including dopamine and endorphins – and it’s these hormones that trigger our feelings of pleasure, happiness and wellbeing. Our blood pressure can be lowered, our heart rate can increase or decrease, depending on the tempo of the beat and our heart and other muscles can relax.

Didgeridoos and other low frequency instruments not only release stored negative energy and emotions, they also produce infra sound frequencies that reach below 20 Htz. These low frequencies reach us at a core level, promoting healing and providing relief to our muscular and skeletal structures.

Alternatively, the pure tones of Tibetan chimes (Ting-sha) have long been used in prayer and religious rituals. They cleanse the air, banish negative frequencies and help energise Chi in the environment – and they can have the same affect when used before massage or during massage music.

Sound waves produced by singing bowls, restore a healthy vibrational state to our bodies, whilst resonating and enabling the brain’s theta state. Theta brainwaves induce deep meditation and enhance intuition, creative thinking and promote healing – especially from mental disorders such as depression, insomnia and anxiety.

Another excellent choice is Buddhist or ‘deep voice’ chanting. This produces a waveform that operates on several levels of our body and mind. The pharynx, or false vocal chords, are used to create up to four overtones, all amplified at the same time as the initial first note. This multidimensional sound (Om, or AUM in Hindu) is said to be the creative force behind the Universe; the sound that initiated creation.

Touch/Massage

When it comes to providing a further multi-sensory experience for your clients, you can consider including differing textures (such as towels, lotions, scrubs and oils), a comfortable temperature (adapted for each client accordingly) and different styles of massage. Depending on the type of massage therapy treatment you’re offering, there will be a variation in pressure, speed and warmth.

Acupressure and/or reflexology are both great additions, as they apply pressure to certain areas or points on the body, known to correspond to various organs and muscles. This can help improve blood circulation, unblock nerve impulses and relieve stress and tension. Using light-pressure based techniques or lymphatic drainage can help speed up your body’s ability to recover, recoup and detoxify.

Indian head massage and Thai Foot Massage are other additions to consider – and also perfect for stimulating the lymphatic system, boosting immune levels and relieving built-up tension. All massage improves circulation, leading to an increase in energy, as well as promoting a clearer mind and an increase in concentration.

An equal emphasis on massage, aroma and music within a treatment can therefore transform the experience for the client and enhance the many benefits of massage alone. Perhaps it’s time to consider upgrading any music/aromas that are currently “background” or not linked to the massage and give them the attention they deserve.

Find out more about our Face The World and our multi-sensory massage courses here –

https://www.face-the-world.co.uk/

Spring Clean Your Skin – Inside and out!

As the cold Winter months finally draw to an end, now is a perfect time to treat your skin to a seasonal spring clean.  Dry and cold conditions, extra make-up and lack of sunshine could well have led to sallow, dull and even parched skin.

So what can we do?

Keeping your skin clean should always be tackled from the inside as well as outside – as ultimately lifestyle, nutrition and genetics play an equally important part as topical solutions alone. The latter however can not only give a great pick-me-up but greatly enhance ongoing skin health and appearance.

Clean on the inside…

Clean your skin with a smoothieA daily green smoothie will work all sort of wonders, not only for your complexion! There are numerous recipes out there but a simple, low sugar, easy to repeat one that only needs a basic blender is a good starting point.

The following recipe packs a real punch full of carotenoids (a small handful of kale has 10 times the minimum amount needed per day), detox goodies, vitamins A and C, enough healthy fat to aid absorption and a great source of essential minerals. It’s also slightly alkalising to help balance blood Ph. The following makes 500ml and has a surprising refreshing yet zingy flavour –

  • Small handful of kale, ideally frozen (split a fresh bag down into individual portions at start of week). Act as ice cubes then too!
  • Juice of 1 fresh orange
  • Juice of half a fresh lemon (or less if too tart)
  • Half teaspoon ground turmeric powder
  • Good few grinds of black pepper
  • 300ml unsweetened/pure coconut water

Throw it all in the blender and blend until smooth. Add water to make up to 500ml or desired consistency and blend again. If not sweet enough, add a few cubes of frozen mango and blend again. Mind that sugar though!

Clean on the outside…

Cleaning your skin photoTime for a deep cleanse – and then ideally long-term maintenance too. Sloughing off dead skin cells, unblocking pores and increasing circulation is the single most important thing to do for tired-looking, flaky skin.  All three can be tackled in one sitting with a good face scrub. It might not be the best timing to do this prior to going out as the blood flow to the face may make it rather rosy!

The most effective scrubs tend have both mildly abrasive properties as well as natural enzyme action. Never choose artificial micro-beads though for environmental reasons – remember from nature (or bio-friendly) is always best. Here’s a nice and simple DIY “breakfast” one to try at home.  Exfoliating, moisturising, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial all in one! Only use light, slow swirls with your fingertips to avoid pulling at the skin –

  • Finely ground (gluten-free if needed) oat meal or oat bran
  • Natural bio-yoghurt or mashed strawberries if lactose intolerant.
  • Runny raw honey

Mix above ingredients in three equal parts in a small bowl. Add extra oats if needed to get a nice thick consistency. Thoroughly apply to the skin, focussing on any dry areas and leave for 15 to 30 mins. Rinse off with warm water and gently pat dry.

Maintain the deep cleanse by making sure you thoroughly clean your skin before bedtime every day using your favourite gentle cleanser. A follow up scrub once a week will also keep you skin glowing and soft. 🙂


TWO STUDENTS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE – Thai Foot Massage Course…

 

FTW Thai Foot CourseWould you like the opportunity to expand your portfolio and offer your clients this incredible treatment? Just a half-day hands-on workshop and you can – at half price! (£60 + VAT).

At Face The World, we offer affordable, straightforward training – all industry-approved and CPD registered for your peace of mind. All of courses include a starter kit containing one of our bespoke CDs, at least two of our exclusive skincare products, your training manual and your CPD Diploma Certificate or Certificate of Attendance as applicable.

Click here for more information

Seasonal Skin Care Tips – combat the cold!

Look after your skin on cold, windy days…

Wouldn’t we all like dewy, soft skin throughout these Winter months? Perhaps a rosy glow after coming inside from the cold? Sadly the reality of it is, our typical UK weather and dry, indoor heat play havoc with our skin’s natural defences. If left unchecked, the skin can get dry and tight-feeling , which in turn can lead to flaking, cracking and even severe conditions like eczema.

Panic not. Here are 6 great tips to both prevent and treat parched skin. You’ll be back to peachy in no time…

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. Yes, hardly a surprise this is top of the list!

  • Firstly, look out for natural and nourishing ingredients such as oatmeal and shea butter. These bind moisture into the skin. Look out for the word “humectant” i.e. it attracts water to itself.
  • Secondly, move from water-based to oil-based moisturisers as these can help lock in any moisture whilst forming a protective layer. The most potent of such products are serums. Choose natural ones based on plant oils.
  • Thirdly, apply sunscreen – especially on sunny days or when you know you’ll be outdoors. Stressed skin is more prone to UV damage and Winter rays can still be significant. Don’t forget your lips with a slick of balm containing a UV filter.

A helping hand. Get the gloves out! You’d be amazed how many of us don’t bother, yet the thinner skin on the backs of our hands ages and dries faster than anywhere else. Make sure you slather on a rich hand cream, certainly after your hands have been wet and ideally overnight too. Go for a moisturising soap-free hand wash.

Humidity rules. Keeping our environment warm enough is essential – from central heating to log fires to heaters in the car. All massively deplete moisture in the air. Humidifiers don’t have to be the expensive plug-in versions though. Radiator hangers come from as little as £3 each on e-bay! You fill these with water and hang on the side of your radiator to evaporate. Add a few drops of your favourite aromatherapy oil too.


Buffer up.
We still need to help the skin shed dead cells during the Winter months. By sloughing off dead skin, not only is it easier for products to penetrate, we encourage new skin renewal from underneath. Choose gentle, natural scrubs; only lightly pat the skin dry; and apply your moisturiser/serum straight away. This helps keep moisture and active ingredients locked in place.

Keep your cool. As tempting as it is to run a super-hot bath/shower when feeling the chill, this is one of the worst things you can do for your skin! The outermost layer, the stratum corneum, is made up of cells loaded with keratin and lipids. Together they form a protective barrier against the environment. Intense heat plus typical foaming products will strip this essential layer away. Lukewarm water is best.

Treat yourself to a facial. Seeking the expertise of a skilled facialist will be worth every penny. Ask for a facial that includes a massage stage, an exfoliation and a moisturiser as a minimum. A good massage will encourage circulation, heat cold muscles, drain away toxins, aid healing, de-stress you – and ultimately it’s dedicated “me time” that every single one of us deserves.

Winter self-care is very important – especially for our skin which is after all the bodies largest organ. So look after yourself, keep warm and we’ll see you again in Spring!

Feel free to try our ethically-sourced, gentle skin care products. Our Welcome Store is right here.

 

 

Let’s kick Off Those Aching Feet…


We can spend a lot of time on our feet
 as holistic therapists…

aching feet…and often carry on after a day’s shift with looking after our families and homes. This can really play havoc not only on our aching feet but also our stress levels! Further more, did you know a whopping 70% of women are enhancing any problems by wearing ill-fitting shoes? All in all – over-tired, aching feet can lead to soreness, swollen ankles and even bad posture and back problems.

So what can we do?
Here are some tried and tested treats for your hard-working tootsies at the end of a busy day – which by their relaxing nature will help you mentally unwind too. So let’s get started…

Treat your aching feet to a good soaking

Soak Your FeetIt may seem like stating the obvious, but how many of us take the time to regularly do this? When it comes to giving your feet a treat, a good soak will indeed do wonders. Not only will the (hand hot) water soothe tired muscles, you can add a handful of Epsom or sea salt to help reduce swelling and puffiness.
For an aromatic extra boost, add a few drops of essential oils to further enhance the benefits.

Here are some good choices:

  • Sandalwood – anti-inflammatory, relaxing and calming
  • Ylang Ylang – antiseptic, relieves stress
  • Lavender – relaxing and calming
  • Peppermint – invigorating, cooling and calming
  • Eucalyptus – anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and stimulating
  • Lemon – antibacterial and anti-fungal
  • Sesame – antibacterial and anti-inflammatory
  • Rose – antiseptic and relieves stress
  • Basil – antibacterial and relieves stress

Getting rid of dead/hard skin can leave your feet feeling soft and refreshed – so after you’ve had a good soak, get the pumice stone out!

Quick fix

Not enough time to sit with your aching feet in a bowl? Then try treating your feet to a scrub/mask combo. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Mix a tablespoon each of brown sugar, baking soda and olive oil and create a thick paste. Scrub your feet with the mix, leave it to soak in for ten minutes and then wash it off with warm water.
  • Alternatively try mixing together a tablespoonful each of brown sugar, sea (or Epsom) salt and baby oil and use as above.

(If using oil-based substances on your feet – be careful not to slip afterwards!).glass-1491578_640

Here’s a cooling and deodorising mix you can make in advance to use at a later date (within a week):

  • Lime and mint refresher – mix 2 tablespoons of sea (or Epsom) salt with 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Add 3-4 drops of lime and peppermint essential oils. Blend together into a paste by adding olive oil and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

DIY exercises for relaxing feet

Use any of these exercises both during and at the end of the day to relax your aching feet at any time:

  • Sit on a chair with feet hip-width apart and take your shoes off ideally if you can. Slowly draw your feet underneath your chair, flipping them over so the top of your foot is next to the floor. Gently press the tops of your toes/feet into the floor to feel the stretch on the tops of your feet.
  • Stand up and hold the back of your chair for support, then tip-toe, lifting your heels off the floor and stretching your soles. Now relax your foot back down. Now lift your toes off the floor, keeping your heels on the ground and stretching your calf muscles. Repeat this several times, making a slow rocking motion.
  • Finally, never underestimate the power of a tennis ball! Always have one to hand, as they’re great to roll back and forth, under your foot. Make sure you cover the entire base of your foot, from toes to heel. You can even replace the tennis ball with a frozen bottle of water – perfect at the end of a hot summers’ day!

FTW Thai Foot CourseWould you like the opportunity to expand your portfolio and offer your clients this incredible treatment? Just a half-day hands-on workshop and you can – at half price! (£60 + VAT).

At Face The World, we offer affordable, straightforward training – all industry-approved and CPD registered for your peace of mind. All of courses include a starter kit containing one of our bespoke CDs, at least two of our exclusive skincare products, your training manual and your CPD Diploma Certificate or Certificate of Attendance as applicable.

Click here for more information

Therapists – Take Care of Your Hands

We’ve Got The Whole World in Our Hands…

This is a topic that affects every single one of us as Holistic and Beauty Therapists!handshake

The Basics: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or me) to tell you that your hands are a vital tool for interacting with the world around you. As a guide, we all have 27 bones and 29 joints in each hand, along with at least 123 ligaments, 34 muscles, 30 arteries and 48 major nerves that branch into a more sensitive neural link between the fingertips and the brain than from the eyes. Imagine that.

But it’s not just about the power of touch here – it goes much broader. Who can tick any of the following as an important part of their business lives

• Keeping their hands clean and/or soft
• Keeping nails short or well manicured/presented
• A confident handshake to reassure a new client
• Reiki healing or energetic exchange
• Using a keyboard/tablet/mobile to book clients, send emails or social media
• The need for strong, steady and/or warm hands
• Handling jars, bottles or equipment with repeated usage (hygiene)
• Last but not least, massage or hands-on techniques?

Yes. The health and longevity of our hands is essential. So here goes with upping the self-care…

Firstly, on the outside. No one expects to see any health or well-being practitioner with dry, rough hands or broken/nibbled nails – but constant washing/sanitising, whether as a healer or hands-on therapist, along with our UK weather, stress/busy lifestyle, nutrient depletion, cleaning our therapy rooms, houses and bodies with detergent-based products will eventually take its toll.

What can we do?

Hand cream1. Keep hands exfoliated to remove dry skin – look for natural products with ground rosehip seeds and/or fruit enzymes
2. Invest in a good manicure at least every other month (yes, men too)
3. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise, especially overnight when the skin heals – ethical products containing shea butter, olive and/or coconut oil are good ones to look out for. Include your nails as they will benefit too.
4. Try to get plenty of zinc, iron, vitamin C and B group vitamins in your diet – all proven to alleviate brittle nails and enhance skin health.
5. Get those Marigold gloves out for washing up, gardening or cleaning the car – and your fingernails weren’t designed to remove staples!

What about cold hands? Thankfully less common, but this can be an annoying companion if working in the hands-on industry! But is there any self-help available? Maybe so…

1. The most important single factor is to keep your therapy/consulting room warm enough. Even if clients are on a heated couch with fluffy towels over them, you still need to make sure the air temperature is comfortable. Your body closes off small arteries in your skin if you’re too cold.
2. If your therapy uniform is only one layer thick or synthetic fibres, get those thin cotton layers or long johns on underneath during chilly days.
3. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that helps blood flow (found in oily fish and green leafy veg). Ginkgo Biloba supplements also help blood flow to extremities.
4. Ditch the caffeine – it is a vaso-constrictor – and up the water and herbal teas to re-hydrate.
5. If largely sedentary, do keep active between clients – have a 2 or 3 minute walk, or go up and down the stairs a few times. You need to encourage the blood flow back into your hands by getting the heart pumping.
6. If all else fails, buy some re-usable hand warmers! A Google search will bring up many affordable choices.

Reiki Healing
Hot Tip: Reiki Healers
– using your hands as a conduit to direct Universal energy is a wonderful gift to the world – but does anyone really know what energy, electro-magnetic and/or physiological changes are left behind after a session? Keeping hydrated, grounded and hands washed is of course essential. But there’s more…

We know that one of the best ways to cleanse and re-charge the energy of a crystal is by soaking it in salt-water – so why should your hands (and body) be any different? Treat your hands like a crystal by soaking them in a bowl of warm water with dissolved sea salt, Espom salt or Himalayan rock salt. Even add a few of your favourite crystals in there. Follow by moisturising with a natural ‘salt’ range such a Dead Sea Spa. Take regular baths in salts too to keep charged up and free of negative energy.

Finally, for the hands-on and massage therapists – over-used, sore and aching hands are a hazard of our trade. Yes, there are many “hands-free” massage therapies out there and use of knuckles and elbows instead of fingers and thumbs is more and more commonplace – but there’s no getting away from it for certain moves and treatments (including facials or ironically hand massage!).Hand Massage

Talking of which, there’s nothing better than having your own hands and arms regularly massaged. This should ideally be monthly via a professional (to save your own hands!), therapy swap or alternatively the following simple moves can be performed on yourself at the end of a busy day –

1. Stretch the fingers of your left hand by holding them as one unit with your right hand and pull them gently downwards to the wrist to feel the stretch. Repeat on the other hand.
2. Putting your palms together in prayer position, push your left fingers gently backwards to feel the stretch. Repeat on the other hand.
3. Clench your fists and rotate your wrists in circles clockwise and anti-clockwise three times.
4. Massage firmly all over the palm of your hand using your opposite thumb. Repeat each palm for 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Firmly squeeze each finger and thumb in turn using your opposite hand. Repeat on each hand three times.
6. Slowly and firmly massage each knuckle and finger joint with the opposite hand.

Regularly stretching the neck, shoulders, chest and arms will also go a long way to protecting the mobility of your hands and wrists. Also factor in rest periods and vary your treatments as far as you can.

For all of us, a lovely treat just before bedtime is to rub a few drops of pre-blended (German rather than Roman) chamomile oil into each pulse point on the wrist and over the base of the thumb where we can store tension. To make your own blend, simply add about 4 drops of chamomile oil to 1 teaspoon of rapeseed oil. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties as well as soothing muscle pain and spasms. Its calming aroma is legendary and perfect to also help a good nights’ sleep.

Now that’s essential for any therapist.

Enjoy this topic? Want to know more about our exclusive Tibetan Hand/Arm Massage training (just £69 + VAT) – then please click here for more info. 🙂

How to Give Yourself a Stress-Busting Facial

D.I.Y Facial Massage – here’s how!

Relaxed and Happy - Facial Massage

 

Oh yes. Even the most zenned out holistic professionals among us have found themselves frowning from time to time, or struggled through a hectic schedule to end the day with a clenched jaw or a headache! We may not always realise how much tension we hold in our facial muscles… and how wonderful it is to have this tension relieved.

The face has no fewer than 42 muscles, all 12 meridian channels of the body can be accessed via the face, the facial nerve has over 10,000 neurons of which 7000 control facial expression and there are 6 lymph nodes that filter and clean the facial lymphatic fluid of toxins, germs and destroy foreign cells such as cancer.

That means that not only will a professional facial massage relieve muscular and nervous stress, the right moves can also energise and rebalance Chi, cleanse the upper dermis of toxic build-up, brighten dull skin – and if you add the benefits of aromatherapy, hydrating lotions and even music, you take it to yet another level.

So can you do any of this to yourself? Of course!

As you can imagine, there’s a multitude of methods and teachings out there (if time, do have a look at the benefits of Eastern Acupressure Facials) – so here’s the basic low-down on some simple moves that will help melt that stress away – in just 10 minutes. Make sure your hands and face are thoroughly clean first and ideally use a massage product so your fingers will glide on the skin and not pull it. Breathe deeply and let yourself relax…

The “Shampoo” Soother (2 mins)Shampoo soother - Facial Massage

A move often used in Indian Head Massage, simply use your fingers to massage all over your scalp, as if shampooing your hair – but nice and slow. Press firmly enough to feel your scalp moving and make sure you cover the areas around the ears, temples and back of the neck where a lot of tension is stored. If your hair is long enough, also pull it firmly as you go to encourage blood flow.

 

Brow buster - Facial MassageThe Brow-Buster (2 mins)

Using the index or middle finger of each hand, place both fingers in the centre of your forehead, one higher up the forehead than the other. Press firmly, then simply slide the lower finger and higher finger away from each other towards the ears and then swap their positions (high to low and low to high) in a zig-zag movement. Repeat these zig-zags all over the forehead, especially in the “frown zone”. Keep it nice and slow.

Eye Socket Pinch (2 mins).Eye Pinch - Facial Massage

Use the thumb and middle finger of each hand and literally pinch the skin whilst pressing down all around the eye socket. Avoid the delicate skin immediately around the eyes. Start between the brows and slowly and firmly pinch until you have a pressure you are comfortable with. Move around the eyebrows, pinching as you go – and underneath the eyes too. Repeat the circuit for 2 mins and finish off with some slow, smooth circles around the eye sockets, just using your middle finger.

Jaw dropper - Facial MassageJaw Dropper (1 min).

Using all of your fingers on both hands like paddles, make broad, circular sweeps along the jaw line from the ears to the chin and back again. Massage over the cheeks and jowl areas too to get rid of any tension and encourage blood flow.


Temple 
Touch (2 mins).Temple Touch - Facial Massage

We all know this one, because it does work – and quickly. Find the deepest point in the depression of the temples. Place two fingers on this and simply press firmly for 2 minutes. You can use slow, circular moves here if you prefer. Focus on your breathing and relax.

 

Ear Pull - Facial MassageEar Massage and Pull (1 min).

Using the thumb and index finger of both hands, slowly and gently massage along the outer rim of the ear from lobe to top and back again – pulling the ear gently away from the head at the same time. To finish, pull the ear lobe down and away from the face and hold for 30 seconds.

 

Once completed, drop your hands and arms into your lap if seated or by your sides if lying down and relax for a few moments.

Want some more advanced techniques? Click here to read more!

Don’t Forget! – TWO STUDENTS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE – Face The World Signature Facial.


Split the reduced price between two – so only £99 + VAT per student (RRP £249 + VAT per student).

Click the link below for more details on this offer!

https://www.face-the-world.co.uk/pages/SignatureFacialPromo

 

Pre-Wedding Facial Massage

Pre-Wedding Facial Massage – Guest Blog by Amy Bryant

So. It’s three weeks until the big day and you look in the mirror. To your absolute horror you see fine lines, wrinkles and flaky skin like you have never seen before. All of that wedding planning stress has taken its toll and you need a quick fix. You need some revitalisation and you need it quick. But who and where do you turn to?

Pre wedding facial
The answer is – a facial.

I don’t have time for that’ I hear you sigh. But are you aware of what facials can do for you? Do you have regular facials? Are you using the right products for your age and skin type? Well if are unsure of the answers to these questions then it’s time to read below!

 

You might have your eyes popping when you look through the salon menu and are seeing the prices of their different facials (they really do vary!) and thinking how the hell is this going to fit into my wedding budget? But trust me, a facial is extremely beneficial and you don’t always need to spend a fortune to see the benefits. Especially when there’s only a couple of weeks to go.

ExfoliateYour facial is likely to begin with a cleanse to prepare your skin for an exfoliation. This will prime your skin ready for a flawless make-up application by removing dead skin cells that are giving you the dull, flaky appearance. It will also prepare for those lines and wrinkles to be pumped full of nutrients.

We then get onto the massage. Not only will it send you into a dreamy slumber, relaxing your muscles from the weight of the wedding planning, it will also pump your blood around your face, bringing nutrients and oxygen to the area. This will reduce puffiness, plump those fine lines and can strengthen the facial muscles. It will also aid hydration so once you wake up from your slumber you really will have fab, wedding worthy skin. Hooray! Face MaskThe facial is also likely to include a mask, which can do anything from remove impurities, hydrate or reduce fine lines.

And as if that wasn’t enough, another important part to the facial is the therapist using recommended products for your skin type. I would hope that they would use a serum, a day cream including SPF so your skin is protected, a night cream and an eye cream or gel to help waken those eyes and lessen those bags.

FTW SerumThe main two products that you should throw your budget out of the window for are the serum and the night cream. Now, of course each brand is different but generally speaking these work their best when used at night as this is when your skin repairs itself. They will be nutrient rich which will aid collagen and elastin production. Say hello to a tight, fresh, youthful look! The overnight serum will also take things a step further and penetrate the layers of the skin to hydrate you even more.

So. If you have looked in the mirror and feel some emergency repairs coming on then keep calm and book a facial!

amy


Author: Amy Bryant – Shore Beauty. Click here to see her website and client services.

How To Maintain Your Summer Mojo

How To Maintain Your Summer Mojo… by Lizzie B

Summer Mojo
For those of us who have been lucky enough to enjoy some of those elusive golden rays – from holidaying in the great outdoors to pottering in the garden – we all know we tend to look and feel at our best in the summer. But no sooner are we sun-kissed and radiant… it’s suddenly Autumn.

In the UK.

Fear not, all is not lost! Here is your handy 6-Step Guide to help you keeeeep glowin’….

 

1.  Yes it’s still about water (yawn) but as you are 70% made of it, it’s too vital to ignore! Drinking plenty of hydrating fluids is key to good health and skin all year round but that’s obvious, right? What you can also do is boost the moisture levels in the upper epidermis where your melanin pigments are stored (aka your tan). Your epidermis will replace itself fully every 30 days or so – so unless you have a time machine, your tan’s gonna fade and go. Dry skin flakes and sheds more rapidly, so binding moisture deep into the skin is certainly of benefit. Face masks are great at this as they are liberally-applied and left longer on the skin. Try masks containing seaweed extracts or blue-green algae such as chlorella – these are claimed to hold moisture in the skin for longer.

2.  Another great way to lock in moisture is to start to introduce an oil-based serum – ideally overnight – and/or a rich night cream containing plant oils. The body performs most of its healing and repairs overnight, so applying these to a cleansed, make-up free face (or body) is perfect timing. Being oil-based, they will sit on the skin and effectively act as a springboard to allow the essential vitamins, minerals and/or amino acids contained within it to soak in. The oil itself acts as a temporary barrier to lock the goodies in place for longer. Look out for vitamins E and A as they are fab for skin repair and elastin/collagen renewal. Don’t be afraid of silicones either – the ones used in skin care are polymers derived from Silica and Oxygen and too large to penetrate into the skin. They are, however, excellently effective as launch-pads for ingredient delivery.

3. Green is good. As a general rule, the greener the plant is, the better – and eat it raw. Why? They are densely packed with yummy phytochemicals, namely chlorophyll and vitamins A, C, E and K – essential for skin health, immunity, detoxification and alkalisation/pH-regulation of the blood. Chlorophyll is the bio-chemical compound that makes plants green in colour – and is used to convert sunlight into the energy it needs to grow. Very clever. It also happens to be one of the richest natural sources of magnesium – which regulates melatonin (see later). Kale, spinach, cabbage, watercress and chard are all super options – and if used raw in smoothies or only very lightly steamed or stir-fried, you’ll not alter the essential protein structures that happen on cooking. Grandma’s mushy vegies are a no no. As nature intended is always best.

4. Try to keep including as much time outdoors as you can – or at least sit near a well-lit window if you are, like so many of us, office/indoors-bound. PopeyeThat great yellow orb in the sky has been knocking around from before we were even an eye-twinkle in the primordial soup until well, today. So… it’s become kind of vitally important in the regulation of the entire planet. Not surprisingly, that includes us. When the sunlight hours and quality dip in the autumn and through winter – our melatonin levels naturally rise. The more melatonin we have the more sleep we need – put it this way, in some animals it gets so high, it triggers hibernation. In humans, it wouldn’t be too far wrong to label it a mojo-muffler – and imbalance is actually linked to depression and S.A.D. (seasonal adjustment disorder). Take a tip from Popeye and eat yer spinach, roll yer sleeves up and get some sea air!

5. Another casualty of the falling UVA/UVB levels is Vitamin D. Not surprisingly dubbed the ‘sunshine vitamin’ as it’s produced naturally in the skin on exposure to the sun. As we spend more times indoors and cover up when outdoors, we need to make sure we include sources of this vitamin in our diets instead. Vitamin D is probably best known for being essential in the absorption of calcium – but we’re not just talking healthy bones here. Latest research (medicinenet.com) now suggests vitamin D deficiency is also linked to poor heart health, diabetes, dental cavities, poor immunity, inflammatory diseases and yep – depression. Not worth taking the risk, is it? Your best natural source by far is the oily fish family such as tuna, sardines and salmon – or in cod liver oil taken as a supplement. If you’re not a fish-eater, try fortified soymilk, orange juice and a good vitamin D supplement.

6. And if all else fails? There’s nothing wrong with a touch of bronzing powder, slick of pink lip-gloss and wearing white, is there? Until next time, folks!

Lizzie B xx