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Chemical Peels, Oh my!

Don’t be fooled by the name or what you may have heard, chemical peels are nothing to be afraid of! When done properly (by a licensed professional), this service can help anyone achieve the skin they’ve always wanted!

What are the benefits?
Fresh, glowing skin and less wrinkles? Yes please! There are so many different types of peels that target different skin issues.

Who can get them?
If you have skin, you can get a peel. As stated above, there are so many different types and levels of peels. If you don’t have any allergies or other contraindications (pregnancy is a common one) there is a peel for you. We see clients wanting a simple brightening peel all the way to those wanting to take down their acne scars.

What about the down time?
Although the word ‘peel’ is in the name that does not mean your skin will actually peel. A lactic peel, often called “lunchtime peels”, is a quick and easy peel aimed to brighten the complexion with no downtime. While a TCA peel (pictured above) penetrates deeper into the epidermis for more anti-aging benefits and will cause physical shedding of skin. But unless you’re going to a physician with the intention of peeling off your entire epidermis (outermost layer of your skin), you won’t need to worry about leaving with a bright red face.

What are you waiting for, book yours today!

8 Ideas to Practice Self-Love

Since February is the month of love, We have compiled a fun list of 8 fabulous ideas to practice self-love.

If you aren’t practicing self-love (or self-care) yet, there is no better time to START, than NOW!

Self-love may look different to everyone. For some it might it be a face mask and a warm bubble bath, while others may opt for that new yoga class. Whatever gets you to slow down and do something for yourself, that is self-care!

At times it seems as though society can paint self-care as being selfish there are other “productive” things we could be doing. Taking care of yourself will improve not only your professional life but your personal life as well. We all face different obstacles and stressors on the daily which can really take a toll on the body and mind!

Just remind yourself, you don’t have a partner to commit to caring about you.

1. Schedule a spa day.

Yes, it may be a surprise coming from us, but a spa day is one of the best ways to show yourself some love. Whether it’s getting a massage to alleviate some pain or a facial to get your glow on, just the sheer experience of lying down and letting go will help your body. And if you have a loved one, why wouldn’t you bring them along?

2. Attend a winery or brewery tour.

Denver loves its breweries. It seems there is a new one popping up every day. But did you know we also have wineries? Go check them out and take a tour. It’s a fun way to be social and learn something in the process. Get a group of friends together and see what goes into what they do behind the scenes.

3. Draw up a ”fancy” bath.

Beautiful smelling essential oils. Tingling bath salts. Candles galore. Sounds nice, right? Pamper yourself with aromatherapy and alleviating muscle aches all at the same time.

4. Try a new class.

Pottery. Hot yoga. Woodworking. Karate. If you’ve ever thought “hmm, that could be fun” sign up and immerse yourself. Who knows, you might gain a new hobby!

5. Cook a new recipe.

Find the latest recipe you’ve saved and make it! Appreciate the process of preparing it and then sit down with your favorite show and enjoy!

6. Get some air.

Colorado has hiking all over. Although it may be our cold season, getting out and about in nature is so good for the soul! Even if you don’t think you are the hiking type, get outside and find a park to catch some fresh air and a little sunshine. Be sure to wear your hat and SPF!

7. Go to a dine-in theatre.

If you haven’t been to one yet, now is the time. Imagine going to that new movie you’ve been dying to see and being wined and dined the entire time without missing a second. Pure magic!

8. Explore a new part of the city.

Denver is full of many upbeat, eclectic undiscovered neighborhood gems that house boutiques, restaurants and coffee shops. Exploring a new subculture of the city is fun and even educational. You never know who you could meet or what experiences may wait for you!

Let us know what you do to practice self-love!

How massage can help your anxiety

Stress is an inevitable part of life. It is almost impossible to take away all the stress and anxiety we may feel on a day-to-day basis. Research suggests that more than 90 percent of illness results from stress alone. Decreasing physical and emotional stress is optimal to improving overall health and well-being.  When you ask exactly how massage therapy works to benefit people with anxiety and depression, the most accurate answer is “we don’t yet know.” But that’s not to say the benefits aren’t real, we believe that is has something to do with the sense of touch.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 40 million adult Americans suffer from anxiety disorders.  Anxiety and its disorders shape the quality of life and the health of those individuals affected.  Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It’s increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations including anxiety.

First, you need to find a massage therapist who knows how exactly to deal with problems associated with anxiety issues. This may entail some research or even some trial and error until you find the right therapist for you.  It would also be beneficial for you and your chosen therapist for you to tell him or her about the specific results that you are after. This is why it is crucial to search for a therapist who also knows how to listen to his or her clients. Once you have established a connection with your therapist, you can try different types of massage and find which ones work best for your needs.  Relaxation massages are best for treating anxiety, but you can try just about any type of massage to help calm your nerves.

A review of more than a dozen massage studies conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University Of Miami School Of Medicine concludes that massage therapy relieves depression and anxiety by affecting the body’s biochemistry. In a series of studies including approximately 500 men, women, and children with depression or stress problems, researchers measured the stress hormone cortisol in participants before and immediately after massage and found that the therapy lowered levels by up to 53%. (Cortisol can drive up blood pressure and blood sugar levels and suppress the immune system.) Massage also increased serotonin and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters that help reduce depression and anxiety.

Massage has long been known to enhance relaxation. While massage alone is an effective method for relaxation, studies suggest that massage with essential oils (called aromatherapy), may result in improved sleep quality, more stable mood, increased mental capacity, and reduced anxiety. Clinical studies have found participants who received massage with aromatherapy felt less anxious and more positive than participants who received massage alone. We recommend trying the AromaTouch technique .

A 60-minute massage can lower cortisol (a hormone produced under stress) by an average of 30 percent. When cortisol levels decline, serotonin (an anti-pain hormone) increases by an average of 28 percent after receiving a massage. By lowering cortisol and increasing serotonin, you’re boosting your body’s ability to fight off pain, anxiety and feelings of sadness in addition to boosting the effectiveness of your immune system.

Stress is an inevitable part of life – it is almost impossible to take away all the stress and anxiety we may feel on a day-to-day basis.  Keep in mind, too, that massage helps tackle the physical consequences of your anxiety like near-constant jaw-clenching, balling of fists, and shoulder-hunching.  Research suggests that more than 90 percent of illness results from stress alone. Decreasing physical and emotional stress is optimal to improving overall health and well-being – schedule your healing and life improving massage today.

Best Foods to Keep Your Skin (face!) Looking Young and Healthy

There are several different factors that affect our overall health. However, did you know that certain foods can be great for your face and skin? It is true that many foods can be detrimental to the skin on your face, but there are some that are known to help benefit it as well.

Here is a list of different foods you can enjoy while getting the satisfaction of a beautiful face!

1. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains a compound known as flavonols, which are a potent antioxidant. Flavonols will help make your skin firmer and supple. To achieve these affects you can consume 1-2 squares of 70% cacao or higher daily. There is also a certain amount of caffeine in chocolate that can reduce puffiness of the skin temporarily when applied topically.

2. Yogurt

Yogurt’s protein content improves wrinkles in the face and helps prevent future wrinkles from forming. However, regular yogurt will not suffice. Opt for Greek yogurt instead for double the protein for twice the effect!

3. Walnuts

Walnuts contain a high level of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve your skin’s elasticity and soften its overall texture. This will significantly help with unwanted wrinkles. Additionally, walnuts contain a high level of copper, which will help boost your collagen production. Eat a handful or two a day to achieve these results.

4. Peppers

Did you know that peppers can help decrease your skin’s vulnerability to sun damage? Yellow and green veggies (like bell peppers) contain carotenoids, which help protect your substantially fragile skin around the eye, helping prevent pre-mature aging. Eat a couple cups of peppers a day if possible to reap these benefits.

5. Sunflower Seeds

Another surprising sun protectant, sunflower seeds are able to help shield your skin from wrinkling. The fatty acids and Vitamin E in the sunflower seed oil help keep your skin supple and protected. You can also apply sunflower oil topically to moisturize dry parched skin on your heels, elbows, and lips.

6. Kidney Beans

Scientists have found links between breakouts (acne) and low zinc levels. Kidney beans contain this zinc, which help improve your skin’s clarity. It is recommended to have a 4-ounce serving of kidney beans each day to help raise your zinc levels and promote overall healing wellness.

7. Soy

Soy can be consumed and used in several different ways. You can eat edamame or drink soy milk to help smooth your complexion. Soy contains proteins and minerals that are known for reducing hyperpigmentation and allowing your skin to have its natural color and glow.

10 Ways to Stay Sane This Summer (With Kids Home on Break!)

For parents, there are two words that can make even the bravest twinge- summer break.  While the first week seems like a vacation with sleeping in and lounging around all day, the other two dreaded words will make an appearance shortly – “I’m bored!”  So how does a parent stay sane during this time when the kids are home all day and begging to be entertained?

 

  1. Keep a little of the structure in the summer days.  It is easy enough to let the kids make their own schedules during this time – there is all day to get things done around the house.  However, a complete lack of structure will lead to chaos and frustration.  Set an expectation that each child should accomplish 5 things at the start of everyday.  Get dressed for the day, read for 20 minutes, do some light chores (make their bed, pick up the toys, wipe down the bathroom sink, etc.), write for 20 minutes, and play outside for 20 minutes.  These 5 items will only take up a small portion of the day, but that is a portion you won’t have to figure out activities.
  2. Learn a new skill.  There is so much to be done during the school year that the summer break is a great time to learn something new. Teach the kids how to bake and they will have snacks too.  Maybe your child wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument.  Go to your local music store and see if they rent instruments.  With all the resources available on YouTube, you could save money on lessons in case it isn’t an instrument your child is truly interested in.  What about teaching your middle school child how to do laundry?  Or teaching your high schooler how to balance a checkbook? There are so many new things to learn that summer break allows us all time to explore.
  3. Paid work.  Do you have older children?  Nothing inspires a teenager more than the concept of earning their own money.  Your child may not be old enough to go to work full time, but there are lots of opportunities available.  Check with the local pool to see if they are hiring for part time work.  Often small businesses will offer seasonal work to teenagers who are too young to enter the workforce but are looking for ways to make money.  There are always parents looking for babysitters – make some flyers for the neighborhood.  If there are a lot of younger kids in the neighborhood, maybe your teenager would be interested in running a mini day camp.  This gives the neighborhood kids something to do during the day AND gives their parents a break.
  4. Look for free events.  Home Depot, Lowes, and even Pottery Barn will often hold free kids’ workshops.  Keep an eye and ear out for these types of events.  Local libraries will also hold events for kids, like story time for younger children or teen book clubs.  Some libraries even offer classes like coding and computer programming or creative writing.
  5. At home activities.  Be sure to have a plan for those days that are just too hot to venture outside.  Have your kids invite some friends over to put on a talent show.  Depending on the number of kids and the amount of time you allow for practice and decorating, this could be a whole day event.  Or have a movie day where the kids watch a couple of movies.  Then you can host a trivia time with questions about the movie. The child with the most correct answers can win prizes or the opportunity to choose the next movie to watch.
  6. Babysitting Swaps.  If there are parents in the neighborhood that have kids around the same age, arrange a swap to give the other parents a break.  Sometimes it is easier to manage a larger number of children that can entertain each other than to have one or two that expect you to entertain them.
  7. Volunteer.  The summer is a great time to look for places to volunteer and have the time to do it.  Ask your local library if they need help putting books back.  Not only are you teaching your children the importance of giving back, but they are hopefully also learning organization skills and about the Dewey Decimal System.  Ask around at senior centers – they really enjoy when the kids come in to read to their residents.  You can even take the talent show on the road to these centers!
  8. Schedule a trip.  There is at least one tourist attraction or interesting destination in your area.  Determine a day to visit and let your kids know about it.  The anticipation of going on this trip will make the days go by faster as well.  If there are several destinations to see, ask your kids what they want to go see and let them help you plan the outing.  This will help them feel more invested in making the trip a fun experience.
  9. Create a family bucket list.  There are lots of activities that we as families cannot seem to find time to do.  So make a bucket list.  Ask your kids to each make a list of things that they would like to accomplish over the summer.  You can make your own as well – and even include things like finally getting the garage cleaned out and organized.  Everyone should be involved in deciding what the family bucket list should be.  If you don’t get to everything, don’t worry!  Save those items for next year’s summer break.
  10. Take time for yourself.  There is a reason that the instructions say to put your own oxygen mask on first.  If you aren’t taking care of yourself, how can you take care of anyone else?  Look to number 6 if you need to figure out a way to get away from the kids for an afternoon.  Go and let yourself be pampered with a facial or massage.  Letting yourself relax with a massage will allow your tank to refill and your patience level to reset.  You are a better parent when you have taken a little time for yourself!

There is no escaping summer break – even if it is only three or four weeks long.  Rather than spending time dreading the chaos and whining that seems to come with this “holiday” take a minute to sketch out a plan and then embrace the fun and chaos.

What is Thai Massage & Why Is It Beneficial?

Originating in the temples of Thailand over 2,500 years ago, Thai massage is deeply associated with ancient healing traditions from India. The founder of the technique was both a doctor and a practitioner of Yoga. Jivaka Kumarbhaccha had the honor of treating Buddha with his healing arts and those same traditions have been passed down to what we call Thai Massage today.

The Thai people have a myriad of culture influences throughout the course of their history that all contributed to creating this massage therapy technique, including Ayurveda, Hatha Yoga, Chinese Meridians, Theravada Buddhism, and indigenous practices of the Thai people.

The Technique

Essentially, Thai massage is a combination of yoga postures and massage. The therapist does not use massage oil (as is traditional with other styles) but does use their palms and thumbs to apply pressure along the body’s energy lines (meridians) and pressure points.

Instead of using a table, Thai massage is done on a mat on the floor. This is a great technique for anyone uncomfortable with being undressed in front of others as you will remain fully clothed, preferably in garments that allow for flexibility and a wide range of movement.

The Benefits

This technique is considered a full body treatment and is said to assist with circulation, the immune system, and provides relief of tension in the muscles.  The process also balances the body’s energy allowing for an optimal physical response. For those feeling unbalanced, these yoga-like stretches will help a person re-center and gain footing. The process is also great for those seeking stress relief as it eliminates tension and promotes a high level of relaxation.

This massage mixes point pressures and stretching and is extremely helpful for individuals with issues such as solid, sore, or tired muscles caused by work, sports, or aging. By empowering lymphatic capacity, this therapy style can likewise detoxify the body, promote flexibility, and build up the immune system – all great ways to prevent both potential disease and injury.

Thai massage requires training and experience in the traditional techniques to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

There are a variety of different massage variations available today. If you are familiar with the different massage therapy techniques, you might be tempted to just stick with the traditional massage you’ve always gotten. We would encourage you, however, to learn about the other styles and try them out. You never know when you might come across an experience that you love and makes you feel great!