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Should Massage Hurt? - February 18, 2019

Should Massage Hurt? 

Have you been wondering if a massage has to hurt to be effective? If so, you are not alone. Many people believe that a massage has to hurt in order to be effective. Well it doesn’t! You’ll be happy to hear that the saying, 'No pain, no gain' doesn’t apply to massage therapy. Sometimes the most effective massages are the ones that don’t cause you any pain. Something that feels marvelous, and it’s good for you too? It doesn’t get much better than that! 

Deep Tissue Massage might cause some discomfort... A deep tissue massage is when the massage therapist manipulates the deeper layers of your soft tissue. Soft tissue includes your muscles, ligaments, fascia, and tendons (it’s pretty much everything that isn’t bones or organs). Usually your massage therapist will use lotions or oil, and will work lighter at first, this is important, it helps relax the top layer of tissue and muscle, meaning less pain for you. Then the deeper layers of muscle can be worked on more easily and with less pain. This will feel much better and you will get better results! Typically, deep tissue massage is recommended for those with chronic pain caused by tight muscles or injuries. Deep tissue massage can be very therapeutic because it helps with relieving patterns of tension that have developed over time and helping with muscle injuries. With a good deep tissue session massage will feel more relaxed after the massage if no pain was endured during it. 

It’s hard (nearly impossible) to relax if you are in pain, and muscle tension will release in a state of relaxation. Deep tissue massage is not for everyone! You are not a wimp if you don’t like it. It is one of the more involved and intense massage techniques. Some people simply like the feeling of more pressure, and a firm massage isn’t always deep tissue. Just be sure to communicate with your therapist about what you prefer and need. Speak up your therapist will appreciate your feedback, happy clients are regular clients, and your therapist wants you to love your massage. 

Pain versus Discomfort. Muscles naturally react to any sort of pain. When your muscles feel that your body is about to be injured the reflex to deflect the pain is stimulated. If your massage therapist is ever applying too much pressure, your muscles tighten together to naturally counterattack the force, and that is not a great way to relax. A massage is meant to relieve the tension of your muscles so if you feel as though the massage therapist is applying too much pressure for comfort, just ask them to use less pressure. Seriously, they want you to. Don’t go into the massage thinking there won’t be any discomfort at all though. Pain and discomfort are two different things. People usually describe discomfort as a “good hurt” - especially in reference to getting a massage. When you experience pain during a massage, it is more than discomfort and could even cause bruising or injury. Everybody has different tolerances for pain, so a massage that is painful for one person may not be painful for you. If you find that your massage therapist isn’t working between your tolerance levels for pain, then it’s important that you say something. Massages should almost never cause you physical pain and very rarely is it okay for you to be left with marks on your body afterwards. If you are booking your first massage, you probably don’t want to start out with a deep tissue session. Ease your way into massage therapy and start with something less specific, like Swedish or integrative massage. Most therapists combine massage techniques and will try to give you the best massage for you.

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The Dry Skin Diet - January 16, 2019

If you have dry skin, you can end up spending a lot of money on good quality moisturizers and products to treat it topically. Did you know that a few changes to your diet can also help to alleviate dry, itchy and scaly skin? 

Fatty Acids Keep Your Skin Plumped. Fat – it’s a no-no in some of our diets but it really shouldn’t be. One of the most vital parts of our skin’s natural barrier is lipids, including, free fatty acids, cholesterol, and ceramides, which means that skin without enough fat resembles a mass of badly arranged protein blocks that doesn’t quite have enough glue to hold it together. Water can escape easily which means that your skin will become easily dehydrated. You need fatty acids in your diet to create the ‘glue’ that holds everything together under your skin surface – these are the omega-3s found in oily fish like salmon, herring and mackerel; eggs, grass fed beef and flaxseed oils. Omega 6s are commonly found in evening primrose oil and borage seed oil. Several studies have pointed to the benefits of fatty acids in the diet; in one study of 50 people with atopic dermatitis, 96 per cent of study participants who were given an evening primrose oil supplement reported less itching and dryness after five months. 

Vitamins and Minerals that Soothe Dry Skin. Vitamins and minerals are essential for most of our bodily functions and repairs; skin is no exception. Vitamin C is needed for production of collagen – it produces an enzyme that causes collagen to form. Other trace elements like zinc and copper help to make the collagen denser and work together with vitamin C to keep your skin hydrated. You can get them from a good multivitamin or look for foods containing vitamin C (bell peppers, oranges and tomatoes) zinc (seafood, pumpkin seeds and spinach) and copper (beef liver, lentils and almonds). 

Caffeine, Water and Alcohol. It’s very unlikely that drinking the occasional coffee will dehydrate you, but it has been shown that caffeine constricts the small blood vessels, which means less of the good stuff is getting through to your skin. Alcohol is also a diuretic and well known to be a dehydrator, but as with caffeine you’d have to be drinking a lot more of it than a couple of glasses of wine or beer with dinner to really feel or see the effects. There’s also a myth that drinking lots of water is the key to well-hydrated skin – although it sounds obvious, it’s not actually the case at all. Water that we take in is processed internally, and we’d need to be extremely dehydrated to notice the effects on our skin. The outer layer of the skin is the most important area for skincare, and it’s this area that needs to be fortified with the right hydrating and moisture-retaining foods. If you're already eating a balanced diet, not cutting out all the fat and eating a good range of fruits, vegetables and healthy foods, you shouldn’t need to use a multivitamin or supplement to improve the condition of your skin. Up your vitamin-rich foods, include some oily fish and fats and make sure that you enjoy a varied diet and your dry skin will thank you for it.

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Top Shaving Tips for Men - June 6, 2018

Top Shaving Tips for Men Shaving – many men do it daily – and despite the regularity, some men never seem to get it quite right. Sore skin, shaving rashes and irritation are common, and it’s hardly a surprise that so many men are taking the hipster lead and growing luxurious beards to compensate for their shaving dislike. If the bearded look doesn’t appeal but you’re looking for a few simple tips -we have them here. 

Don’t Shave Straight Away Most men tend to shave as soon as they get up in the morning, but this isn’t always the best idea – skin can still be a little puffy when you get out of bed so make a coffee and leave it to settle down for ten minutes before getting the razor to it. 

Prepare Your Shave Before you get started, make sure your skin is properly clean using soap or face wash and warm water. Don’t use very hot water as this can dry your skin out. 

Give It A Bit of Steam If you have time, shave in the bath or shower as the steam will help open up the hair follicles, softening the hair. If you’re stuck for time, you can use a hot wash cloth instead. 

Lather Well Invest in a good quality shaving brush that helps you to create a luxurious lather. As well as helping you shave better by lathering, a good brush will help to lift up the hair ready for a closer shave and exfoliate the skin at the same time. 

Double Up For an extra close and smooth shave, you can also try adding a little shaving oil under your usual shaving foam, cream or gel. Ever Decreasing Circles The best way to apply shaving gel or cream with your fingertips is using a circular motion. The same applies to a shaving brush. This is because facial hair grows in several different directions at once, so if you lather in a circle you’re less likely to miss any. It also helps the hair to pop out from the skin, making it easier to shave. 

Take It Slow Yes, we know you’re on a mission and might be running late – but shaving in a hurry can lead to the dreaded razor burn. Slow it right down, use shorter strokes and take your time if possible. 

Don’t Push It! Modern razors are designed to not need much pressure for an effective, close shave. Pressing harder won’t get you a closer finish but it is more likely to led to skin irritation, apply just enough pressure to keep the blade in contact with your skin for best results. 

Leave Lips Until Last Because the hair on your top lip is thicker than the rest of your facial hair, leave it until the end of your shaving routine. This gives the foam or gel a chance to soften the hairs and gives you a more even result.

 Take A Day Off Your skin will thank you for giving it the occasional break, so once a week give yourself a shave-free day and let your skin calm down. You may find that having a break gives you a closer and smoother finish next time around.

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A New Face Every Month - January 15, 2018

  Did you know it takes about 4 weeks for your face to move through the full life cycle of skin cells exfoliating and rejuvenating? So effectively every 4 weeks you practically have a new face J However in those 30 days you probably choke your cells with creams, make up, chemicals, oils and dirt from your hands, environmental pollution and more.  All of these toxic layers build up and suffocate your pores and cells that are trying to rejuvenate. This all makes your body work harder to try and come back to a healthy status as we are adding more pressure to its natural role. This is why those ladies that invest in a facial minimum once a month always have a certain glow over those that don’t. They seem to look fresher, younger and healthier.   Why?

Well the reason why is the aesthetician they are visiting has all the skills and tools to support your skin heal from breakouts and sun damage from heat and humidity AND dry and flakiness from cold wintery air.  A visit approximately every 4 weeks will ensure your skin stays hydrated, toned and bright looking.  Regardless of whether you go once a month, or once a season – there are some things you can do at home to prolong the benefits of your facial, support your skin and make sure that you’re getting the best return on your skin investment.  Cleanse daily with a PH balance product that your aesthetician recommends as they will select one that suits your skin type and works in conjunction with the type of facial you have received.  Be gentle on your face and don’t be too vigorous – your aesthetician has already given you a deep clean, there is no need for you to rough your face up. They have given you an amazing glow so lets just support it rather than strip it away.

Understand that if you have had a chemical treatment on your face, then the skin can be more sensitive to sunlight so check with your practitioner as to what products to use and avoid as you transition through this period. For example some sunscreens can irritate your skin post chemical treatments.  Finally, sometimes we are lead to believe (with phrases such as “if its too good to be true, then it probably is”) that the pampering bliss you get from a fantastic facial isn’t something you should do all the time.

It’s a treat and we were always told to limit our treats, no? Well hold on to your hats ladies – this treat is one that you can indulge in every month and not only feel fabulous but invest in it knowing that your are taking the right steps into ensuring your gorgeous face remains glowing and thankful for you taking the time to look after it.  Remember to love the skin you’re in. Treat it well and you will look and feel amazing for years to come.   

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5 Ways to Keep a Positive Mindset - February 19, 2018


We all know that life can be so busy and so stressful! It’s easy to slip into complaining and negative thinking, but it is rarely helpful to do so. Here are some easy ways to keep going in a positive direction.

Start your day on a positive note, take 15 minutes (or more) and read something inspiring. This should come first before checking email, Facebook, or the news.

Give thanks, think of or write down 3-10 things you are grateful for. For a challenge try not to repeat any for a while. You can also use your gratitude journal for writing down your goals and dreams.

Writing down your dreams is a great way to keep them in the top of your mind which helps you to see new opportunities, and inspired to work toward your dreams.

Hang out with positive people. Everyone needs a little vent now and again, but some people are chronic complainers. This can zap your energy and leave you feeling grumpy yourself. You don’t have to ditch your friends and family, but limiting your time can be a healthy choice.

Finally, move your body. Some exercise each day will keep both your body and mind healthy and thriving.

 As a bonus, combine exercise with listening to a great book.

These small changes can add up to a happier you!


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The Importance of Self-Care - April 30th, 2018


Yes, we know that it’s just easier sometimes to give in, let your own needs slide and forget the little things that we enjoy when life gets busy. When we’re overwhelmed, taking time out to do something fun seems frivolous and like a luxury. Stop and think about it the next time you’re tempted to work through lunch instead of making your gym or hair appointment though; self-care actually makes you more productive and less stressed.

  • Self-care stops you from getting burned out. Pushing yourself to the point where you’re exhausted and can’t take one more demand isn’t good for anyone, and if you make a point of taking care of yourself before it gets that bad, you’ll avoid a lot of potential stress in the future.
  • Self-care is a great stress reducer. We all need a little bit of stress to get things done sometimes, but too much will create havoc on your mind and your body. Doing nice things that you enjoy, and looking out for your own wellbeing stops the effects of stress from taking over, making you more productive and much nicer to be around.
  • Self-care can help you to get your focus back. Whether it’s the luxury of a full spa day or just an hour’s walking or session at the gym, getting away from something that has you really stuck can help you to work out what it is that needs to be done. Take a break from that tricky issue and the answer may just come to you when you stop looking for it so frantically!