Archive for 2009

Whisper Quiet Versus Potential Water Hammer?

Friday, November 6th, 2009

This post provided by ThermaSol Steam Showers – www.ThermaSol.com

Other Steam Shower Systems:

Other steam shower systems use a probe, circuit board and a solenoid valve to replace the water in their tank. The system is complicated however it is functional but one of the most alarming issues is the potential water hammer that most certainly would take away from the relaxation that a steam bath provides. If you’ve ever had a water hammer issue in your home you know it is irritating but can you imagine it happening each time the solenoid opens to refill the water while trying to relax in your steam bath?

ThermaSol Steam Shower System:
Since ThermaSol units do not use a solenoid valve to replace the water boiled away there is no potential for water hammer, none. This allows the steam bath experience to be what it was designed to be; a relaxing getaway that allows you to rejuvenate from the daily pressures we face in a world that appears to move faster every day.

Summary: ThermaSol generators stand alone for their quiet efficiency.
1. No solenoid valves to replace the water thereby eliminating any potential for water hammer.
2. There is nothing in a ThermaSol generator to take away from the relaxing, rejuvenating experience; whisper quiet.

Top 10 Home Spa Treatments

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Body WrapHere are a few treatments you can do at home while you’re enjoying a nice relaxing home spa day.

10. Brown Sugar Facial Scrub – For this home spa treatment mix 2 tablespoons of ground oats, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of aloe Vera and 1 tablespoons of lemon juice. Smooth the scrub all over your face and leave on for at least 2 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

9. Home Lip Treatment – Add 1 tablespoon of aloe Vera gel, 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon petroleum jelly, and a few drops of vitamin E oil in a bowl and microwave on low power. Mix and let cool before applying to your lips.

8. Homemade Bath Salts – Mix 1 cup of Epsom salts and 1 cup sea salt. Then in another bowl mix 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon mineral oil.  Combine the salts with the vanilla & oil mixture and add desired amount to your bath. Store extra in an air tight glass jar or storage container for future use.

7. Pumpkin Mask Pumpkins contain excellent antioxidants and exfoliating elements. Make a mask by following the instructions in this past blog post.

6. Natural Honey Conditioner Treatment – This treatment is perfect for those of us with dry hair that has been exposed to far to many chemicals over the years. Click for recipes.

5. Hand & Foot Moisturizing Treatment- Now this might sound overly simple, but this is a great treatment for dry hands and feet: Heat up some socks and then drench them in moisturizing lotion. Put the socks on and leave them for at least ten minutes.

4. Homemade Body Oil – For your own body oil concoction, first add 8 oz of oil with your choice of oil such as Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Apricot Oil or Avocado Oil. Add 1/8 of a teaspoon of each: Fennel, Lemongrass and Juniper. Apply the oil to your body, massaging into sore areas if needed. Apply after a shower for maximum moisturizing effects, leaving your body feeling great with a fresh, beautiful scent.

3. Home Body WrapDid you know you can make your own wrap at home?  Heat up 3 cups of water (spring, purified, or distilled) and dissolve 1 cup of salts (mineral, Epsom, sea), ½ cup aloe vera and/or herbs, 3 tablespoons oil (shea, olive, sunflower).  Once everything has dissolved and has cooled down so it is warm to the touch, soak some towels or ace bandages in the mixture and wrap your body loose enough so that you don’t cut off your circulation. Then wrap yourself in a large body towel, plastic suit, or blanket for 30-60 minutes. Change up the herbs, oils, salts, and experiment with other materials, like clay, mud, and seaweed for a unique experience! Read more about home body wraps here.

2. Pumpkin Body Scrub – Mix 1/2 cup cooked or canned pumpkin, pureed, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a bowl. Use a washcloth to scrub your body in a circular motion while in the shower, then rinse with warm water.

1. Home Spa Cocktail Treatment- While we don’t condone the use of alcohol to relieve the stress from your problems, it sure does help you relax when you’re having a home spa day! Find some of our favorite spa cocktail recipes here.

1/2 cup cooked or canned pumpkin, pureed 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Digital vs. Analog Steam Shower Technology

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

This post provided by ThermaSol Steam Showers – www.ThermaSol.com

The differences between digital technology, and analog systems is comparable to going from a dial-up connection to DSL or from a black & white television to HDTV. ThermaSol steam showers are all made with 100% digital technology. They spent 33 months making all of their steam shower systems digital, back in October of 2007.  Every aspect of these steam programs was changed, and now all steam showers are updated with the latest in technology.

Analog Steam Shower Systems:

Old analog technology is what each of the present steam bath manufacturer’s use, and have since they founded their companies. They do have digital controls available; however, but all the commands are done via unidirectional analog command. An electronic pulse is sent through telephone style cables to the generator to command functions. It is an inferior system since the generator can only respond to a single pulse. There is no communication network to verify what the specific pulse is and the opportunities for error are endless so there are often cases where a steam generator will run for weeks, causing the destruction of a home’s drywall and more.

Digital Steam Shower Systems:

The complete 100% digital ThermaSol line was introduced in October of 2007. Today it provides the only networked system that contains 100% digital communication technology. The system protocol is such that everything connected not only receives information, it also transmits the information to ensure there can be no reading error as to what the command is. The network technology allows plug & play expansion so that you can plug in any component to the system and it is immediately recognized and joins the “family” discussion ensuring here-to-fore unparelled reliability. There is never a concern that a voltage spike, frayed cable or other outside influence will send a generator into a function that could be destructive.

Summary of Digital Technology :

  1. Plug & play expandability. (not a hodge podge of unrelated components hoping to work together)
  2. Most importantly, reliability beyond compare. (used by virtually every major industry; also known as CAN bus technology)
  3. Safety beyond compare. (peace of mind, no chance of a “run-a-way generator”)
  4. A solid foundation providing a platform for the latest innovations.
  5. Used in a myriad of applications including factory automation, building automation, aircraft and aerospace as well as in cars, trucks and buses.

Giving the Gift of Spa – Top 10 Spa Gifts

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Now that Halloween has passed and Thanksgiving looms on the horizon, now might be a good time to start thinking about gifts for the holidays. There are different levels of spa treats you can give to your friends, family or loved ones, depending on how much spa you want to dish out. Here is a top ten list of spa gifts you can start to think about for the holidays!

Boon Flow10. Scented Bath Candles -Scented candles are a nice gesture for a friend or relative that you know will enjoy them while soaking in the bath. Be careful as to who you give this gift too though, as it could appear as a very generic gift for someone that wouldn’t typically enjoy this gift.

9. Bubble Bath DispenserOur favorite bubble bath dispenser is the Boon Flow bubble bath dispenser which also serves as a faucet protector for the kids. This is a great gift that I’m sure your recipient will have never heard of and will enjoy for years to come. Perfect for the bubble bath lover of course!   One of our editors just purchased this product and has told us that this bubble bath dispenser does not produce good bubbles, but it is good as a faucet protector for the kids. 

hydrosol-aromatherapy8. Aromatherapy Hydrosols and Essential Oils – Hydrosols and Essential oils are perfect for those that have a steam shower, or that are serious about relaxing in their bathtub or home spa. This is great gift for a loved one, because then you can actually hand deliver the treatment in a sweet way by drawing the tub for your loved one, starting the steam shower, spraying the hydrosol mist or dripping the essential oils on the steam shower head. Take this gift to the next level by following through and setting your loved one up with a romantic time for relaxation.

7. Thermal Spa Bath Mat – This is another excellent gift for someone that loves to be in the tub. If someone you know spends a lot of time soaking, then let them take their soak to the next level with this Thermal Spa Bath Mat. This gift has an a adjustable neck massager pad, dual back massager, footrest with bubbles, vibration, massage and rotating rollers for sore achy feet, soft, comfortable padding throughout, allover bubbling action with level selector and comes with a remote control.

ugg-slippers6. Slippers -Buying that special someone a new set of very nice slippers is an amazing gift that they can use when indulging in a home spa. This is one gift that you absolutely cannot cheap out on however, because there’s nothing worse than a pair of cheap slippers that only last a month, or worse yet, are never ever comfortable. We recommend a pair of Ugg designer slippers that typically cost around $100 a pair. When you are picking out this gift, make sure you choose between slippers that will be used at home vs. slippers that will be used out, at a day spa.

5. Bath Robe – A nice, new robe can be expensive, but if you really want to give someone something that they would never spend money on for themselves, then a new robe might just be perfect. This is another item you cannot cheap out on, because there is nothing worse than a cheap robe. You will have to spend at least $100 for a good quality robe, and really nice, designer robes are more around $300-500. Robes are perfect gifts for those that like to relax at home and for those that spend a lot of the time in the home spa or master bath.

4. Day Spa Gift Certificate – Now this may seem like a very generic spa gift, but if you get someone a $100-$200 gift certificate to an amazing, high-end spa that is known for its architectural values, treatments and customer service… your gift will be well received. Make sure you don’t just get a gift certificate from some place down the road, and really research the best spas in and around. Nothing is better than sending someone to a swanky, luxury spa that they would normally never get to experience.

girls in sauna3. Spa Party – Most spas now have “Day Spa Party” packages that allow you to buy a gift for one or two people that will also allow them to bring a friend or two. Enjoying the spa with friends or loved ones is a great way to experience a new spa, and the same rules apply from the Day Spa Gift Certificate, make sure it’s a good spa that will leave them with a long lasting memory of delight. You can also have the spa party at home by having the equivalent of a catered “home spa party”. Both of these options will cost you a pretty penny, but are quite the spa experience that will not soon be forgotten.

ThermasolControl2. Hot Tub – Expanding your home spa is not a trivial task, nor is it easy on the wallet but if you’ve just had a major anniversary or are looking to improve your indoor or outdoor space or the retail value of your home, then a new Hot Tub might just be the perfect gift. Picture whether or not many romantic nights will be had in the hot tub before you decide to purchase one, as there’s nothing worse than an expensive gift like a hot tub that never gets used.

1. Steam Shower – The ultimate spa gift is having your own luxury steam shower. A steam shower will bring with it an added luxury that will not only increase the value of your home, but also increase your enjoyment and add endless home spa options to your home relaxation. Steam showers can be affordable, but make sure to have the pros install it if you don’t trust yourself with the installation because no gift should turn into a project gone wrong.

What is Thalassotherapy?

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

The word “Thalassotherapy” comes from the Greek word thalassa, meaning “sea”, which is a type of medical and therapeutic use of sea water and the ocean’s organic byproducts and vegetation such as algae, seaweed or alluvial mud.   The organic properties of seawater are believed to have beneficial effects on the pores of the skin, as well as restoring natural minerals to your body through osmosis. While the therapy is relatively new to the US, the idea of Thalassotherapy is ancient, although the term and therapy itself was discovered in France during the 19th century.

The elements that are used in this type of therapy are as old as the sea. Such elements include magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, and iodide which are all found in seawater and are all absorbed by the skin in showers of warmed seawater, sea mud or algae facials or even a sea fog mist or fog as an inhalent.

There are not many Thalassotherapy spas in the US, but many spas offer a few services such as a seeweed wrap or salt water soak. The Gurney Inn & Spa in Montauk is a true thalassotherapy spa located in New York and has a huge menu of thalassotherapy treatments. These treatments range from everything from Active Green Argilite Mud Therapy, Marine Kur Therapy, Salt Water Massage, Sea Water Herbal Bath to an Algae Slimming Bath and more.

The Cal-a-Vie spa in Vista California offers a Seaweed Wrap which is 105 minutes long and costs $275. This is a signature, 3-phase treatment that begins with a gentle exfoliation made of roots, herbs, minerals and mud devised in
ancient India. Next a nutrient-rich mixture of freeze-dried seaweed, algae and bentonite are appiled before you are wrapped in a warm cocoon of thermal blankets to stimulate tissue toxin release as your face and scalp are soothingly massaged.

(more…)

The Luxury Steam Shower

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

ThermasolControlSince the inception of the basic shower, major advancements have been made in showers and now we are at the point where your household shower can also be a steam shower. Modern steam shower generators are so technologically advanced that they don’t even need to be installed in the bathroom, they can be placed in the basement or a closet, and then the steam can be run to the bathroom.

This luxury is now affordable for nearly all homeowners, with ThermaSol now producing affordable steam shower generators that start at around $850 for SteamSuite models. The extremely high-end, residential steam generators will cost you around $4500, but these generators are able to provide steam for a 1150 cubic foot steam room (a steam room that measures 7 feet tall x 12 feet wide x 13.5 feet long!).

Adding amenities to your steam shower is a great way to make your steam shower even more luxurious. Adding an aromatherapy steam shower head, chromatherapy light system, music system, waterproof telephone or TV makes your steam shower even more luxurious than you could imagine.

The decor for your steam room can be designed for any style or design. You can create a simple, traditional steam shower enclosure that will blend with traditional motifs, or you can create a modern, cutting edge design with tinted or colored glass, black stone or tile with modern lighting and decor.

Some of the steam shower features and add-ons you should keep an eye out for include the FastStart feature that will provide you with steam in seconds; manual or automatic PowerFlush; SmartSteam which is a technology that helps save energy through internal temperature program controls; LED touch screen steam shower and remote controls; steam shower speakers; light and music systems or even built in FM radios, input sources for MP3 players, CDs, DVDs, TV, or satellite radio.

These impressive features, added with the affordable cost of the steam showers make upgrading to a steam shower a no brainer if you are remodeling or outfitting a new bathroom. A steam shower will certainly be a luxury you won’t soon regret!

Spa Night In

Friday, October 30th, 2009

In these shaky economic times, it seems everything’s been flipped upside down. Less is more, small is good, and staying home on a Saturday night is infinitely more chic than an evening at the hottest restaurant du jour. Especially when you light some candles, flip on the iPod, and make it a spa night in!

The key to your delightfully pampered evening at home involves some slight deception and a bit of trompe l’œil. Namely, that of tricking your house into believing it’s a spa! Even if you use your home spa on a regular basis, nothing feels more luxurious than adding little touches of escapism to your everyday space. Doing so really allows you to relax as fully in the environment of your home as you would when going to a spa.

Towel and candlesFirst, start by breaking out the Good Stuff. That’s right – I’m talking capital “G,” capital “S,” Good Stuff. Like towels from Restoration Hardware’s Ultimate Turkish Towel Collection. I promise, you’ll never want to leave your bathroom. And lotions and scents from the skin geniuses at Kiehl’s. The Ultra Facial Cleanser is to die for, but don’t overlook their bath products either, like the Lavender Foaming-Relaxing Bath with Sea Salts and Aloe. Just because it’s spa night in doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself! Here are some other little touches that make a big difference:
• Dazed and Infused. Try adding lemon and cucumber slices to your water pitcher for a delicious (and very spa-esque) touch to your normal H20.
cucumberwater• Eye Love You. While you’re near the fridge, don’t forget to toss your eye mask in to chill – it’s the perfect way to relax at the end of a luxurious spa evening in (and easier too, than cucumbers…which, of course, you’ve used in the water).
• Tune Out. Put together a spa-night-in playlist with songs that bring out the calm in you. And don’t worry if they’re not conventional songs-of-relaxation – Enya isn’t for everybody.
• Food for (Relaxing) Thought. Don’t spend spa night slaving over a stove! Pick up some of your favorite pre-made bites and appetizers and make a home spa spread. Goat cheese, grape leaves, fresh berries, roasted red pepper dip, edamame, and gelato are some of my favorite spa-night-in treats.
• Don’t Be Spa-ntaneous. Spa night loses some of its panache when the kids are watching cartoons upstairs or your spouse has friends over for drinks in the next room. Best to pick your spa night a few weeks in advance, mark it on the calendar, and make sure everyone has an activity to attend to that won’t interfere with your chillaxing.
• You Light Up Your Life. Nothing sets the spa mood more than little beacons of flickering light (especially when they smell like vanilla and clean linen). Dim your main house bulbs, load up on the candles, and put them all around.
• And…break! Now, all you have left to do is, well, relax!

What is an Eco-Friendly Steam Shower?

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

lillypadAny eco-conscious individual understands the importance of energy and water conservation and will be satisfied to know that they no longer have to sacrifice comfort for conservation. A more luxurious alternative to the low-flow steam head, ThermaSol’s steam showers, equipped with the new technological advancement SmartSteam™, maintain the user’s optimal steam room temperature negating the all too common drastic fluctuations in steam temperature.

Most generators use a mechanical power contactor to turn the generator on and off.  As the steam room reaches the desired temperature, the control switches the contactor off. Then, when the room drops in temperature the control activates the contactor again. The SmartSteam system uses a liquid cooled server-duty solid-state relay as the heater control device. This advanced system contains a micro processor control and built-in intelligence. The unit learns the response time required to get the room to a desired temperature and after a few uses, the technology, rather than completely shutting off, can silently pulse the heater allowing the maintenance of the room temperature at a reduced power level. The result? Optimum temperature maintenance and lower energy usage.

Implementing a steam shower in one’s home also conserves a great deal of water. In fact, the water heater is the second most energy consuming unit in the home aside from the heating system. The best way to reduce water heating costs and usage is to increase efficiency and reduce consumption and this can be as simple as incorporating more steam showers into your bathing rituals.

Data supports that steam bath users take considerably shorter showers than those who do not use steam baths. The reasoning is simple: most people spend up to 20 minutes in their steam bath and then complete their bathing routine with a short five to 10 minute shower. Those who do not partake in steam baths take a 20-minute regular shower on average. Here is where the green part comes in: steam baths conserve a great deal more water than regular showers because they only require two gallons of water to power a 20-minute steam bath. Conversely, it takes over 30 gallons of water to power a regular shower for a 20-minute session.

How Aromatherapy Could Potentially Promote Generous Behavior

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

AromatherapyA recent article in the Journal Psychological Science states that individuals are more inclined to behave in a generous and charitable way when they are in a room that has been spritzed with a citrus-scented spray. These findings were the result of a recent study covered by the journal.

The research team led by Professor Liljenquist at the Brigham Young University, Utah, recruited 28 participants. Half of the participants were placed in a clean, nicely scented room and the other half were placed in a non-scented room. All of the participants engaged in an anonymous game of trust. The 28 participants were told they would be the “receivers,” dealing with an anonymous group of “senders.” The participants were instructed that they were to invest the money given to them with the senders, and that each sender had been given $4. They were then told that any part of it invested with receivers would be tripled. The job of the receiver, then, was to decide what portion of the dividends to return to the sender.

In reality, there was no sender, and each study participant received $12, making it seem as though the senders had entrusted them with the full $4 they had been given. But would the receivers reciprocate that trust or exploit their unidentified investors? On average, those in the plain-smelling room returned $2.81 to the sender, pocketing the lion’s share of the money. But those bathed in the scent of citrus smelling spray sent back an average of $5.83.

In another experiment, the researchers were trying to see what type of effects citrus smells played in their participants’ charitable behavior. This time 99 participants were assigned to either a citrus-scented room or a neutral-smelling room and given a packet of tasks to complete. Included in the packet was a flyer soliciting volunteers and donations to the charity, Habitat for Humanity. As expected, people in the Windex-sprayed room were more inclined to volunteer and give money than those in the unscented room — 22 percent of those in the clean group said they wanted to donate money, compared with 6 percent of the controls.

Whether or not the results of this study are because of the smell of citrus, cleanliness or because the smell was pleasant or positive, the one conclusive result is that aromatherapy essential oil scents appeal to all of us. One test we can all do at home is to get your husband in the steam shower or bath with a bunch of good aromas circling around him, and then ask him for shopping money!

Try A Pumpkin Facial Mask This Halloween

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

If you get a moment to yourself this weekend then you might want to take a moment for yourself and whip up a nice organic pumpkin mask. Pumpkins are filled with antioxidants, beta-carotene and are also great for exfoliating your skin. Some spas offer these treatments because they contain such valuable vitamins and nutrients. Treatments you may see in the spa include a pumpkin enzyme scrub, which is a popular treatment in the spa any time of the year. You can purchase a pumpkin facial product or even a pumpkin peel, but if you have some pumpkin guts laying around and have a minute try this recipe:

 

-2 teaspoons cooked or canned pumpkin puree

pumpkin

Pumpkin Facial Mask

-1/2 teaspoon honey

-1/4 teaspoon milk

Moisturizer for Dry Skin:

– 1/4 teaspoon heavy whipping cream

-or-

– 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Moisturizer for Oily Skin:

– 1/4 teaspoon apple cider

-or-

– 1/4 teaspoon cranberry juice

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients together and mix gently. Apply to face and let sit for 10-15 minutes for a gental, nourishing, condishing face mask. .Rinse with warm water and apply the appropriate moisturizer for your skin type.


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