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Ways To Deal With Acne on Your Back

Back Acne Got You Down? Try A Facial. 

No one likes to talk about bacne, but it can be a real hardship. “Bacne,” or acne on your back, isn’t just something teenagers have to deal with. Many adults have problems with oily skin, clogged pores and pimples all over their body as well. Like your face, your back has numerous oil-secreting glands, and acne on this area of your body can be especially troublesome. An obvious problem is that it’s difficult to see, let alone reach, your own back. Often, someone with back acne may not even know it – and if they do, they don’t know what to do about it. 

There are several options to help prevent and treat back acne. 

Avoid oil-based skincare products. 

When shopping for moisturizers, sunscreen, and cosmetics, look for products that are labeled as water-based, or otherwise say that they don’t promote acne. In addition, products that are for sensitive skin, and are fragrance and dye free, could help avoid acne. 

Eliminate pressure on your back. 

Wearing anything too tight, or having constant pressure on your back can cause a buildup of heat and moisture, which eventually leads to acne. This is a problem especially for women, whose bras, sportswear, and even purse straps can put pressure on the skin all day long. Try to wear all-natural fabrics like cotton, since synthetics tend to trap moisture. 

Keep your back clean and free of dirt.

Take regular showers, especially after working out or being outside for an extended period of time. In addition, keep your hair clean (avoiding heavy products and conditioners), and don’t allow it to hang on your back for too long. 

Try an over the counter treatment. 

Anything you use on your face can also be used on your back. While chemical treatments can be too harsh for some people, there are plenty of effective all-natural remedies. Some common treatments include witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, green tea, and even fish oil supplements. 

Consider getting a back facial. 

A back facial helps combat issues such as clogged pores, oily skin, and acne, and employs many of the same techniques used in a traditional facial. Before beginning, the esthetician will talk to you about your skin and suggest a specific treatment tailored just to you. You will start out lying face down on a table as if you were getting a massage. A typical treatment will start out with a steaming to open pores, followed by a deep cleaning and exfoliation. Some spas include a shoulder or light back massage, and auxiliary treatments (such as a glycolic acid peel) are often available for an additional fee. 

Back acne can be unsightly and embarrassing, but with the proper preventative measures, most people should be able to easily treat it. If you are concerned about body acne, contact us today to book your 60-minute back facial (complete with relaxing massage!). 

Protect Your Heart With Essential Oils

Essential Oils and Your Heart

In the United States, 1 in every 4 deaths is attributed to heart disease. While many people take medications or receive surgery which helps keep them alive, they are really only treating the symptoms – not the underlying cause. Luckily, there are a lot of things you can do at home to help avoid ever getting heart disease in the first place, from eating the proper foods to getting plenty of exercise. 

What you may not realize is that essential oils can also be beneficial for heart health. 

When used appropriately, they help lower blood pressure and reduce heart rate. Studies have shown that the sweet spot seems to be about 1-hour – being exposed any longer could actually have the opposite effect.  

Below are some of the most common oils used for their heart-healthy benefits: 

Lemon

Lemon oil is known to treat asthma, stress disorders, insomnia, and fatigue. Because of its calming qualities, it also helps relieve anxiety, nervousness, and nervous tension, potentially lowering blood pressure and pulse rate. 

Eucalyptus

According to one study, eucalyptus can significantly lower your blood pressure. Other benefits include anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and immunity-building properties. 

Basil

Basil is delicious in your Sunday sauce, but it’s also good for your heart. The oil from this common herb is known to help lower cholesterol naturally, as well as having anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits. 

Frankincense

Sometimes referred to as olibanum, frankincense has been used for its health benefits for thousands of years. Benefits include reducing stress and anxiety and helping relieve chronic inflammation. 

Helichrysum

Helichrysum offers many different full-body benefits, but it is especially beneficial for the heart due to its inflammatory enzyme inhibition, free radical scavenging activity, and corticoid-like effects. 

Ginger

Ginger root is used as a treatment for a variety of ailments, but the oil, in particular, is beneficial for heart health. Like helichrysum, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as naturally lowering cholesterol and regulating blood sugar. 

There are a variety of ways you can use essential oils, from diffusers, to topical application, to steam (one of our favorite methods is to place a few drops into a warm bath and take a long, relaxing soak). The application method will depend on your desired results, as well as the oil you’re using. A little research can help you find out what method is best for you. 

How stress affects the body

The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. Stress can be positive (“eustress”) — such as a getting a job promotion or being given greater responsibilities. This positive stress can keep us alert and ready to avoid danger. Stress becomes negative (“distress”) when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation in between. As a result, the person becomes overworked and stress-related tension builds. Distress can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress may bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases.

When you encounter a perceived threat — a large dog barks at you during your morning walk, for instance — your hypothalamus sets off an alarm system in your body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.

Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control mood, motivation, and fear.

Once a perceived threat has passed, hormone levels return to normal. As adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, your heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels, and other systems resume their regular activities.

But when stressors are always present and you constantly feel under attack, that fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on. The subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems.

Liver and pancreas issues. While under stress, the liver produces extra blood sugar (glucose) to give a boost of energy for the fight or flight response. While under constant stress, the liver does not know to stop producing the extra glucose. Your pancreas may not be able to keep up with this extra production of glucose and can lead to the development of Type 2 diabetes.

Digestive system. Your digestive system is a large network of nerves that is sensitive to the stress. An increase in stomach acid due to chronic stress. This leads to an increase in heartburn and acid reflux. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is thought to be caused by constant stress. IBS is identified as pain and bouts of constipation and diarrhea. Ulcers are not caused by stress, but are more likely to occur due to a decrease in your immune system.

Weight issues. The body produces high levels of cortisol during high stress situations. This hormone increases the appetite for consumption to gain quick energy (for the flight reaction) and increases blood sugars to give a quick boost of energy without having to consume energy. The increased appetite leads to a cravings for foods high in sugars and fats and a tendency towards overeating. When the excess glucose produced by the liver is not burned off due to exercise (via fight or flight), the body stores it as fat in the body’s tissues.

Immune system. Stress stimulates the immune system, which can be a plus for immediate situations. This stimulation can help you avoid infections and heal wounds. But over time, stress hormones will weaken your immune system and reduce your body’s response to foreign invaders. People under chronic stress are more susceptible to viral illnesses like the flu and the common cold, as well as other infections. Stress can also increase the time it takes you to recover from an illness or injury.

Mental health. Chronic stress means that the body’s alarm system never gets turned off. The increase in the hormones associated with the fight or flight reactions can cause a disruption in your sleep cycle. A lack of sleep means that the body is not healing as it should. This constant feeling of stress leads to an increase in irritability, depression, and anxiety. These mental health issues can lead to withdrawing socially which will then enhance the cycle of depression and anxiety.

Learning ways to deal with the stress in your life can be beneficial to your general health and the health of your relationships. Identify your triggers and find ways to deal with or eliminate these triggers. Deep breathing and yoga can help relieve the stress. Regularly scheduled self-care like facials and massage are effective ways to take a break from the daily grind and various stressors.

Sit All Day Long? Ways to Counteract the Damage

Sit All Day Long? Ways to Counteract the Damage

While a short stint of sitting here and there is natural, longer durations can adversely affect your health.

Especially in this era of data and technology, many people find themselves sitting all day long mostly on their computers either at home or work. It can be quite exhausting at the end of these long hour sessions at one particular spot with little physical activity.

What is commonly now referred to as “sitting disease”, this condition is associated with leg pains, back pains, as well as neck and eye problems. These symptoms could lead to serious health complications if people do not take their physical condition seriously.
There exist multiple ways and simple procedures that you can adopt to ensure you raise your physical activity level and enhance your fitness to suitable levels without much hassle.

Changes to Work Activity
Body activity declines while sitting because seats support the weight, which might stiffen the body parts such as the feet, knees, hips, and ankles. However, there are some techniques that you can adopt in and around your workstation to reverse the damage.

  • Working desk set up- one can utilize an adjustable desk that can allow an alternation of sitting and standing at regular intervals. Additionally, the sitting posture should be at perfect angles with the computer, which should have large enough text to prevent eyestrain. It can further be enhanced through regular breaks away from the computer screen.

  • The area should be organized in a way to promote movement during the workday. Files can be in shelves that require standing up and walking over, as opposed to being at arm’Physical ActivityGroup exercises at work can be helpful due to the sense of cooperation and competition it elicits. You can have regular break notifications at work either for general or personal indoor exercising such as back stretching or simple dance moves.Increasing steps is always a good idea: Use the stairs instead of elevators, park away from the entrance, and take the longest routes to the workstation.s length. Increase the opportunities to get up and move around the office.

  • Face to face contact with co-workers is advisable as opposed to sending emails or instant messages. Also consider taking all telephone calls while standing. Pacing is a good way to increase activity and multi-task while on the phone.

  • Walking meetings- If there is a scheduled meeting, break away from the norm of conference room assembly and take a walk around the block with team members instead.

  • Always stay hydrated; drinking plenty of water is essential for good health as it increases energy and keeps the skin supple. Plus, the needs will arise occasionally to refill the water bottle

Physical Activity

Group exercises at work can be helpful due to the sense of cooperation and competition it elicits. You can have regular break notifications at work either for general or personal indoor exercising such as back stretching or simple dance moves.
Increasing steps is always a good idea: Use the stairs instead of elevators, park away from the entrance, and take the longest routes to the workstation.

Massage

Regular massage deals with postural strains, consequently interrupting the imbalance brought about by prolonged periods of desk working. Furthermore, it increases comfort during moments of relaxation by depleting muscular tension and pain.

Visiting a massage therapist is advisable especially for those who spend the better part of their day sitting. This will improve both physical and emotional wellness.

Advantages of massage:

  • Treatment of muscular pain and relieve tension in the muscles.

  • Enhance flexibility of joints in the body and controls cramps.

  • Improve circulation of body fluids such as blood.

  • Reduces anxiety and depression, taking care of physical and emotional well-being.

The benefits of movement and physical activity during the workday far outweigh being stuck in one spot all day long. Conditions such as leg discomfort, muscle degeneration, brain damage, and indigestion could lead to other health complications such as diabetes, obesity and heart diseases. It’s important to recognize the need to increase movement and care for the muscles and the rest of the body if work requires a person to be sedentary more often.

Top Essential Oils for Acne

Top Essential Oils for Acne

No one likes acne. It is an obnoxious side effect of our adolescence that sometimes follows us into our adulthood. Over $3 billion a year is spent on acne products and treatments in the US alone. Many of these products contain harmful chemicals and while they may take care of your acne they can also cause damage to your body over time. You do not have to take risks to be acne free. In recent years, more people are recognizing and actively using essential oils to battle acne. We have created a list of the top essential oils for acne and skin care that can be a safe natural alternative to the products that you might currently have in your cabinet.

1. Lavender Oil

Lavender is known for its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. These properties help your skin fight and calm breakouts. Try mixing a few drops of lavender into almond or jojoba oil and apply as a moisturizer 1-2 times a day.

2. Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree is a natural anti-fungal and antibacterial that can reduce inflammation and swelling from infected and clogged pores that cause pimples. You can use Tea Tree as a toner to fight blemishes by applying with a cotton ball or Q-tip directly to the infected area. If you have sensitive skin, mix with a carrier oil before applying. This oil can dry your skin, so be sure to use moisturizer afterwards.

3. Frankincense Oil

Frankincense is nicknamed “The King of Oils” and for great reasons! Frankincense is an anti-inflammatory, astringent, and disinfectant. It is known for its healing properties and helps heal damaged skin, acne scars, and wrinkles. It is also known to help with stretch marks, eczema and wound healing. Mix a few drops to a carrier oil and apply directly to the area of concern. Not only does Frankincense offer incredible benefits to your skin, but is also great for digestion, immunity, inflammation, pain, and many other body needs and functions.

4. Chamomile Oil

Like Frankincense, Chamomile has a large amount of beneficial health properties, far too many to list. However, specifically to skin it is an antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and bactericidal. Chamomile calms and reduces redness and lightens dark spots left from acne. Add a few drops into your cleansing regimen to see some of these benefits for yourself!

5. Cypress Oil

Cypress is an astringent and antiseptic. It can help tighten, tone, minimize pores, and reduce oil in oily skin. Add a few drops into an ounce of rose water and apply directly to your skin. You can also mix with jojoba oil or another carrier oil to help diminish bruises, cellulite, and spider veins.

6. Rosemary Oil

Rosemary also reduces excess oil in your skin just like Cypress. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness caused by acne infections. Mix Rosemary into your moisturizer or with a carrier oil for a natural acne fighting skin hydrator.

7. Geranium Oil

Geranium is also rich in antibacterial and antioxidant properties. It helps combat acne and is a great anti-aging solution. Mix two drops into coconut oil or another carrier oil and apply twice a day for desired results.

Best Essential Oils for Allergy Season

Best Essential Oils for Allergy Season

We are nearing the spring allergy season and many of us are mentally preparing for the runny noses, scratchy throats, and frustrating sneezes. These symptoms are often treated with over-the-counter allergy medications or perhaps even doctor prescriptions. However, these medications do not always solve the problem but only lessen the severity of the symptoms.

An allergen is a substance that causes an allergic reaction in your body. These allergens trick your immune system into thinking that they are an intruder and cause your body to release antibodies. These antibodies are designed to fight the intruders (allergens) and they trigger cells to release chemicals including histamine into your bloodstream which then causes the allergic reaction. Examples of common allergens are pollen, dust, mold, animal dander, insect stings, etc. It is believed that inflammation may be a contributing factor to allergic reactions. When you have inflammation in your body, your immune system is working in overdrive already. Inflammation can be caused by stress, diet, infection, and diseases. With your immune system already stressed, being introduced to an allergen only intensifies the reaction. Your body becomes flooded with antibodies causing a massive release of histamine and this worsens your symptoms.

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years to treat many ailments. Many of these oils are anti-inflammatories as well as anti-virals and anti-bacterials. Using oils can help reduce inflammation and detoxify your body, relieving stress on your immune system. With a relaxed immune system, you will see a potential reduction in the severity of your allergic reactions.

Here are a few essential oils that are known to be most effective in relieving your allergy symptoms.

1. Peppermint

When peppermint oil is diffused, it can open up your sinuses and airways bringing immediate relief from coughing and stuffy noses. There have been a few studies performed that have found that peppermint oil is a relaxant, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory that reduces coughing and helps relieve asthma symptoms.

How to use:

  • Diffuse 5 drops and breathe in. This will help relax your nasal passages and allow your body to loosen mucus.

  • Ingest 1-2 drops of peppermint daily to reduce inflammation. You may do so by placing in your water, tea, or smoothies.

  • Topically apply on your chest with coconut oil or another carrier oil for respiratory and sinus relief.

2. Basil 

Basil essential oil is another powerful anti-inflammatory, but it also helps provide support to your adrenal glands. Your adrenal glands are responsible for over 50 hormones that support most of your bodily functions. Through these properties, basil helps your body respond appropriately to allergens and promotes blood flow to your brain, heart, and muscles. Basil also helps detoxify your body by killing viruses and bacteria which in return reduces inflammation and pain. With your body working more effectively, you will see a reduction in fatigue as well.

How to use:

  • Ingest daily by adding a drop or two to your salad dressing, soup, or other savory dish.

  • Topically apply 2-3 drops diluted with a carrier oil to your chest, neck, and temples for respiratory support.

3. Lemon

This super oil offers a wide variety of benefits. Lemon essential oil has antibacterial properties which help detoxify your body. It helps promote lymphatic system drainage which helps improve your immune system. When ingested, it also helps balance PH levels in your body and allows your liver to function properly, ridding your body of harmful toxins and infections. Due to its antibacterial properties, lemon oil is also a wonderful disinfectant and can be used to remove allergens within your home.

How to use:

  • Ingest by adding 1-2 drops to a glass of water daily.

  • Diffuse 5 drops to help kill airborne pathogens.

  • Disinfect by adding a few drops into your laundry or into a water bottle and spray on any fabric surface in your home.