Archive for the ‘Health Beauty Fitness’ Category

Steam Therapy: A Natural Way to Soothe a Nasty Cold or Flu

Monday, November 21st, 2011

sneezing man

‘Tis the season for many things; some good, some not so good. Of the latter, nasty, debilitating colds and flus that clog your sinuses and congest your chest are among the least desirable “gifts” of the season. For some, reaching for a few tablets of Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine, or other over-the-counter medication, is the first line of defense against unwanted cold or flu symptoms. However, in this day and age of progression towards more natural remedies, you always have the option of turning to the benefits of steam therapy to relieve the symptoms of your cold or flu.

Although steaming is a remedy that can be accomplished in the confines of a home bathroom steam shower, it is hardly a one that can be written off as an old wives tale. The benefits of a warm steam shower to someone who is suffering from a cold cannot be overstated; steam vapor that enters the lungs and the sinuses is the ultimate natural way to promote expectoration (coughing) and relax the breath. Congestion is caused by a combination of inflammation of the air passages in your lungs and build-up of phlegm in your chest. Steam relaxes and opens up these passages, allowing air to move more freely through them. Medical professionals typically recommend that you spend about 10 to 15 minutes in a steam shower, up to three times per day, when you have a cold or flu. Your children and toddlers with colds or flus can also benefit from a steam shower as long as you get into the steam shower with them to supervise. Additionally, both you and your children can benefit from aromatherapy essential oils introduced into the steam process; eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender and others specific oils can significantly help to boost the effectiveness of steam treatment. If you don’t have a steam shower in your home, you can try to steam in your regular shower, but unfortunately, a regular shower in lieu of a steam shower will not generate the same intensity of steam that a severe cold or flu requires. A company like ThermaSol, that’s been bringing steam showers into their customers’ homes for over 50 years, offers you leading steam technology and the only 100% digital networked steam systems in the world – the safest and most reliable steam technology. Boasting features like FastStart™ steam in seconds, and providing constant steam at a constant rate, a ThermaSol steam shower will provide you with a professional quality steam experience in the comfort of your own home.

Contracting a cold or flu can easily be the most dreadful experience you have all year. Incorporating steam therapy into your cold and flu relief regimen can go a long way towards helping you breathe easy and get well faster.

Home Steam: Wellness “Tourism” Without the High Prices

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

ThermaSol steam shower with light and music system

We hear a lot about wellness tourism these days and people opting out of typical city or beach breaks. They are instead spending their time at spas, yoga retreats, and other places where they can improve the state of their mind, body, and spirit. With personal wellness increasingly becoming an important factor for individuals who desire to take responsibility for their own health, the wellness industry is booming. One of the great benefits of wellness tourism is that it can give people the tools to continue a program of wellness at home after their trip, without paying the high prices it typically costs to attend a spa or retreat for a week or more. One of the major changes people can make at home, to bring wellness into their lives, is to install a steam shower.

Steam showers are a direct extension of wellness tourism, as you can find them in spas and resorts all over the world. They offer individuals a number of short term and long term health benefits – best of all they only need to be used for 15 to 20 minutes a day. Taking a steam shower has been proven to aid in restful sleep and increase the length of REM cycles. Doctors often prescribe steam therapy as an alternative to sleeping pills. Over the course of many centuries, steam therapy has been used for the purposes of relaxation and to create a sense of well being. For people with conditions like anxiety and stress, they can reap great benefits from taking a steam shower. Steam showers induce sweating and therefore aid in the process of detoxification. Steam showers are also excellent for alleviating symptoms of the common cold by clearing nasal passages and reducing congestion.

Modern steam shower remote by ThermaSol

Modern steam shower remote by ThermaSol

For those who desire a quality steam shower in their home, a company like ThermaSol who has been in the steam shower business for 50 years, offers an unparalleled level of quality and design. As the leader in the steam shower industry, they offer customers the only 100% digital networked steam systems in the world – the safest and most reliable technology. They go the extra mile, offering customers a combination of quality and value, with standard features like: FastStart™ Technology, providing steam in seconds; whisper quiet functionality; constant steam at a constant rate, meaning no interruptions in steam; all metal controls with advanced PVD lifetime finishes; superior style, including matching controls, remotes and steamheads in traditional and contemporary styles; a lifetime warranty; and all the green benefits of steam.

The trend of wellness tourism has directly resulted in individuals becoming more health conscious in their own homes. With modern steam shower technology, they can maintain and improve their health without paying the high prices of professional services.

Spa Fit for a Sultan: Nickel NYC Men’s Spa & Salon

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

In Talk Spas’ “Spa Fit for a Sultan” series, we profile the most luxurious and lavish spas in the world.

If you’re a man and you’ve never been to a spa that is dedicated exclusively to the pampering and grooming of men, then you’re missing out. If you make the decision to go to one, perhaps you should consider Nickel NYC Men’s Spa & Salon. A relaxed masculine environment well versed in the spa arts, you couldn’t hope to receive better care and treatment anywhere else.

Nickel Spa

Nickel Spa for Men in New York City

Situated in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York, Nickel was founded in 1996 when it dawned on the owners that men needed their own spa in which to retreat and rejuvenate. At the time, masculine beauty was somewhat uncharted territory and the opening of Nickel was rather groundbreaking. Nickel created a comfortable environment for men and helped make it socially acceptable for them to treat themselves to facials, massages, manicures, pedicures and host of other pampering services. Furthermore, they made it so that a trip to the spa was as easy as a trip to the barber. Nickel also pioneered a men’s, no nonsense, high performance skincare range, often marketed with a sense of funkiness and whimsy; for example, their famed Morning After Rescue Gel was sold as the ultimate hangover product to restore beauty to the hair. Today, their products can be found on Amazon and in stores all over the world. Nickel’s hair salon offers men a full service experience including cut, color, highlight and free touch ups within two weeks of a hair cut. Nickel’s spa offers the ultimate range of treatments for men. Specialty massages include: the Destress Muscle Release, a deeply restorative treatment specifically designed for tight, stressed and aching muscles, which incorporates Swedish and cross muscle fiber massage techniques (60 minutes – $115); the Jet-Lag Treatment, an enlivening and rejuvenating massage using physical manipulation to transport you quickly into the right time zone and get your body back in business (60 minutes – $110); and the Aromatherapy Experience, combining the power of pure essential oils with a specialized massage drawn from the traditions of both East and West, concentrating on the back, scalp, face, neck, shoulders and feet (60 minutes – $110). Nickel addresses men’s unique skin care needs with treatments including: the Complete Facial, which deeply cleanses and exfoliates your specific skin type (60 minutes – $110
); the Super Moisturizing Facial, designed for skin experiencing a pre-mature aged look from sun exposure, city pollution, poor diet or even from a little too much partying (60 minutes – $115); and the Touch of Youth Facial, a complete facial plus 50% more treatments that include an anti-aging mask to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (90 minutes – $130). Nickel also offers men a full range of “man-scaping” services including waxing and body trim.

Undoubtedly, Nickel is one of the very best spas in the United States for men. Additionally, Nickel has spas in Paris, on Rue Francs Bourgeois, and in London’s Covent Garden. For those of you men who want to up the level of care you provide yourself, you can hardly go wrong with Nickel.

Ayurvedic Healing: Netra Basti

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

We talk a lot about Ayurveda here at Talk Spas, not only because it is a proven system of physical, mental and spiritual healing that dates back over 5,000 years to ancient India, but also because it has grown in popularity in the Western world and many spas are offering one or more Ayurvedic treatments to their clients. One therapy that is an excellent all around treatment for the eyes, as well as for reversing the harmful effects of our modern lifestyle – specifically, staring at a computer all day – is known as Netra Basti.

Oil being poured as part of the Netra Basti

Medicated oil being poured as part of the Netra Basti


Ayurvedic Healing: Shirodhara

Monday, June 13th, 2011




Ayurveda is an ancient healing practice that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. At its core, it’s a comprehensive system of holistic medicine designed to facilitate optimal physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Modern lifestyle leads to numerous health problems and Ayurveda has the answers to address many, if not all of them. While there are literally thousands of different treatment options within Ayurveda, we’re going to focus on one therapy that is well known for its purification and rejuvenation benefits, known as Shirodhara.

Shirodhara is the culmination of two ideas working in unison: “shiro” meaning head and “dhara”, which means to flow. Conceptually, the idea aims to bring physical and emotional balance to an individual’s being. This is achieved through the use of a steady and focused stream of warm, herbalized oil poured over the client’s forehead – or “third eye” – for an extended period of time. Vasant Lad, a highly accomplished Ayurvedic physician, has stated that oil has similarities to amniotic fluid and has the ability to recreate the feeling of being back in your mother‘s womb. Pouring oil over the “third eye” takes us back to the memory of intrauterine life, which in itself is a profound journey. This technique is traditionally used to calm and restore nerves, release pent up emotions and purify the mind. Shirodhara works exceptionally well in cases of anxiety, fatigue, mental exhaustion, excessive thinking and other problems associated with the fast and detrimental pace of modern life. Additionally, it is beneficial for treating many diseases of the head, neck, eyes, ears, nose and throat, as well as nervous system disorders like facial palsy and paralysis. Perhaps most interestingly, the yogis of India have in the past and continue to utilize shirodhara to achieve higher states of consciousness.

For many common and not so common disorders, Ayurveda holds the key to profound healing; Shirodhara is one of the Ayurvedic tools that when administered regularly, can do wonders.

Spa Trend: Salt Caves

Monday, May 2nd, 2011
Salt Cave

Salt Cave

For centuries, Eastern Europeans have been reaping the plethora of benefits derived from spending time in salt caves. These types of treatments, known as Speleotherapy (treatment in a natural salt cave) and Halotherapy (treatment in a man-made salt environment), have been known to facilitate significant improvements in individuals with certain types of illnesses.

From respiratory and circulatory conditions to skin ailments and stress, breathing in air saturated with the healthy minerals found in salt, such as iodine, magnesium, potassium and selenium, can alleviate health problems that can otherwise be difficult to cure. In many countries, like Israel, salt caves are gaining popularity and being built into the homes of families in order to provide regular therapy for children who suffer with asthma and other respiratory ailments. Salt caves have even been used to cure the unwanted symptoms of the common hangover. The salt cave phenomenon is on the verge of significantly taking off in the United States as well; currently several east and west coast cities have salt caves. The Salt Chalet, located in Encino, California in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, offers salt-related therapies as “a healthy, natural and safe alternative to steroids, drugs and other invasive medicines.” One treatment session at Salt Chalet lasts 45 minutes, and depending on the extent of the condition, 10-15 sessions are recommended.

As we are increasingly exposed to the pollutants in the air we breath, the food we eat, the water we drink, and the shower or bath we cleanse in, respiratory and skin problems are inevitable. While conventional medicine can offer chemical-based drugs to mask the symptoms, a visit to a salt cave is a natural remedy that is well worth looking in to.

The preceding statements about the health benefits of salt therapy have not been medically evaluated. Consult your physician before beginning any such therapies.

Spa Trend: Stem Cell Facial

Monday, April 25th, 2011

There are few instances at a spa where a treatment ends up being controversial, but with a stem cell facial, beauty goes hand-in-hand with controversy.

The stem cell facial is a restorative process that promotes rejuvenation of tissue, skin tightness, natural contour and shape of the face, and requires absolutely no surgery. The process involves topically applying embryonic stem cells to the skin, usually in the form of a cream, and often utilizing gold as a vehicle to allow it to penetrate into the skin. The stem cell facial takes beauty maintenance to a whole new level; while surgery can get rid of an unsightly turkey neck and remove other pockets of drooping fat, stem cell facials can restore aged skin to a soft an succulent state.

Many celebrities are milking the stem cell facial trend for its age-reversing abilities; in a recent episode of TV Guide’s “The Fashion Team”, Denise Richards visits her favorite Beverly Hills dermatologist, Dr. Harold Lancer, as he demonstrates on her how stem cells can be topically applied to the skin for a dramatically youthful effect. Her obsession with beauty particularly shines through when she says, “Every time I come here, I ask what do you have that’s new? I’ll try anything!”

Though it may not be a concern for the ex-wife of Charlie Sheen, the use of stem cells is not supported across the board. In his book Human Embryonic Stem Cells, author Steve Usdin says, “Ethical judgments about the use of embryonic stem cells in research and therapies flow from the status accorded to the embryo. Those who feel that an embryo is a human being, or should be treated as one because it has the potential to become a person, contend that it is unethical to do anything to an embryo that could not be done to a person.”

For those who are against stem cell research, the fountain of youth-like powers afforded by related treatments, along with potentially many more important ones like cardiac and spinal cord repair, means the battle to ban stem cell use is going to be monumentally difficult.

Snake Sensations

Monday, April 4th, 2011


It may sound like a scene out of an Indiana Jones flick, but being covered in snakes is an unorthodox new spa treatment that pushes the boundaries of what constitutes as a “relaxing” experience.

Thanks to an innovative spa in Israel, what amounts to many people’s biggest fear can actually provide therapeutic benefits. Snake massages have intrigued patrons after first being introduced in Ada Barak’s spa in Northern Israel. That’s right – non-venomous snakes are placed over one’s bare back and stomach to slither around, causing a deep kneading massage that many clients have describe as “deeply soothing.” The idea behind slithering sensation is that as the snakes move along the body, they release muscle tension and promote blood circulation. California and Florida King Snakes, Corn snakes and Milk snakes are used on the body for their size and power – the stronger the snake, the more pressure they can apply. Smaller snakes are used on the face, providing a unique spa experience that promises to test your fear threshold. If it’s any consolation, a masseuse is present the entire time to help direct the snakes and reassure the client.

Whether you’re intrigued by this new trend or are looking for a unique way to face your fears, snake massages promise a truly one-of-a-kind spa experience you won’t soon forget.

Video of Ada Barak’s snake massage treatment:

Spa Trend: Take a “Man-cation”, Save Your Life

Monday, March 21st, 2011



Here are a few facts for you: American men are routinely overwhelmed by stress – even more so than women. Men experience coronary artery disease 15 to 20 years before women, and twice as many men will die from it than women. Even beginning in the womb, the male fetus is at greater risk of death or damage from all sorts of awful obstetric dangers that can occur before birth.

So what can men do to bring some peace into their lives and reduce their dangerous stress levels? They can take a man-cation. A man-cation, as it sounds, is the act of a man going on a unique vacation that distances him from the pressures of daily life that build up and potentially bring him fatal harm. While a vacation may take him to Vegas or a golfing resort, a man-cation takes him somewhere far more tranquil and healing. And why shouldn’t a man treat himself to such relaxation? Historically, women have been hitting the spa to pamper themselves and relax; with the proven results they have been achieving, it’s time that more men follow their lead into the world of healing therapies. Massage and other relaxing body treatments are ideal for men with high stress levels, tension and anxiety. Just a half hour of undergoing stress and tension reducing treatments can significantly reduce a man’s chances of experiencing a heart attack.

We all know that some men are reluctant to go to the spa fearing that their masculinity is at stake, but when the benefits of doing so are so great, a man-cation to the spa is the only way to go.

The above statements about spas have not been medically evaluated. Always consult your physician before undergoing any spa treatments.

Steam for Sheen: Winning Spa Treatment for an Actor on the Edge

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

charlie_sheenActor Charlie Sheen, a three-time Emmy nominee, winner of a Bronze Wrangler Award in 1989 for Young Guns, and coiner of the popular phrase “winning”, has been getting plenty of press lately after his departure from hit show Two and a Half Men, and for waging a personal war against the show’s creator.

While there has been widespread speculation that substance abuse is involved in facilitating the actor’s seemingly disturbed and blatantly outrageous behavior, there is one thing that we know for sure: the man is tired and stressed. There is no doubt in our minds that Sheen could benefit from a relaxing steam shower. Just a half hour could do wonders, softening his edge, relaxing his mind, not to mention his tense muscles and clenched jaw. The shower itself would give him an opportunity to enter a place of tranquility and leave the loud and distracting world behind – if only for a brief time. Emerging with a renewed sense of calm, tiger blood gently pumping though his veins, Sheen could then face his detractors and competitors with a fresh perspective.

There’s no doubt that steam and Sheen is a winning combination.

goddess enjoying a steam shower

A goddess enjoying a steam shower

The above comments and statements about steam therapy have not been medically evaluated. You should always consult your physician before beginning any such therapies.

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