Posts Tagged ‘health benefits’

Spa Diet

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

The candles are lit, the slippers are ready, the steam shower’s minutes from being activated…but, but, you’re hungry! Embracing a spa lifestyle goes far beyond knowing your exfoliants from your aromatherapies. It’s about feeding all aspects of your body, from skin to stomach, with smart, fresh, healthy resources. So back away from the bath (just for a minute, we promise!) and let’s journey into the kitchen to explore the wonders of the spa diet.

To say we’re constantly bombarded with food-centric propaganda is the understatement of the century. Every day it seems like there’s a new trend, a new diet, a new cooking technique guaranteed to make us weigh less, have more energy, and give our skin the glow of a thousand suns. Spa cuisine is, how shall we say this lightly…the polar opposite of all of that blather. In the same way that we encourage you to treat your body with pure, natural elements and health-inspiring techniques, we hold an equal standard for what we put inside it.

First of all, our spa diet, it should be noted, isn’t a “diet” in the most frequently used sense of the word, aka, “a short term plan you embark upon to instantaneously lose weight before you seen an ad for Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Bowl and all good intentions are lost.”

Or something like that.

Our spa diet is really a “spa eating lifestyle.” You won’t eat like this 100% of the time (we know…it’s called “Sunday brunch”). Instead, we’re laying out a set of parameters and types of food that comprise a balanced, healthy way of eating to complement the balanced, healthy way you use other spa elements (like a steam shower) in your life. Taking cues from the Mediterranean diet, consistently deemed one of the smartest, most heart-healthy eating plans on the planet, our spa diet relies on real food and fresh choices.

And we’re starting, with water. Water is the hands-down key to fueling a smart spa lifestyle. It’s necessary before or after a massage or a steam shower. It’s vital to rejuvenate skin and keep cells hydrated, inside and out. Hate it from the tap? Infuse a pitcher, a bottle, heck, even a glassful with cucumber slices, orange wedges, strawberries, mint leaves – anything to get you to drink more. Prefer tea? As long as it’s caffeine-free and herbal, down it! Just promise us you’ll skip the pre-packaged, pre-sugared water options because they are, in fact, not water.

So we’re hydrating, we’re hydrating…time to eat! Our spa diet mentality works like this: in any given meal or snack, are you getting Protein, Fruits/Vegetables, and Grains (and are you doing so without extraneous Fat and Sugar, or relying on Processed Foods)? If so, ding ding we have a winner! From this formula, it’s easy to form any meal or munchie.

Let’s start with breakfast. Protein could come from fat-free plain Greek yogurt (sprinkled with pomegranate seeds!), egg whites, turkey, or tofu. Happy morning fruits and veggies include everything from melons to mango, and grains taste great in the form of a whole wheat English muffin or a bowl of overnight amaranth (sweetened with a handful of blueberries). So if a menu along the lines of an “egg white omelette with spinach and tomatoes cooked in a touch of olive oil and a whole wheat English muffin next to a glass of caffeine-free green tea” sounds good to you, you’re ready to spa diet.

Lunch and dinner are just as easy. Proteins mean tuna (canned = cannot be easier. Just mix it with mustard or Greek yogurt instead of mayo!), grilled chicken or shrimp, and chickpeas or black beans. Veg it up with leafy greens (kale overload? Try chard or purple spinach!), portabella mushrooms, eggplant, bok choy, spaghetti squash, Brussels sprouts – more of these, less of the corn and potatoes (youknowwhatwemean?). Then, bulk it up with grains – brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, even polenta (aka cornmeal). And before you know it, you’re sitting down to a plate of grilled shrimp over polenta (made with chicken stock instead of butter, natch) with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts dotted with diced persimmons.

Snacking is also a breeze, because of course you’re going to keep an easy-to-access supply of cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, and baby carrots on hand for those munchable moments. And you’re going to be happy as a clam dipping them in salsa (homemade is best, but when time is of the essence, grab one that doesn’t have any added sugar) or Greek yogurt mixed with cucumber, garlic and lemon (hello, you just made tzatziki). Really on the go? A handful of almonds is perfect (yay for good fats!) as are a few apple slices sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon.

Pure inside, pure outside. Our spa diet that truly reflects the tenets of the spa lifestyle – a healthy, smart, clean approach to living. And much like any spa device or technique that promises a too-good-to-be-true-quick-fix-to-all-your-problems solution, the same is true for an eating plan. So take in what you want to project, and fill yourself with real foods for a real rejuvenated you, inside and out. Cheers! (With water. Rosemary cantaloupe water!)

Aromatherapy for the Mind and Body

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Take a deep breath. Now say “Ahh….” When stress takes a toll, it’s important to stop and smell the roses. But when it comes to aromatherapy fragrances, why stop at roses?

Aromatherapy offers a natural and therapeutic way toward self-healing through essential oils. While most commonly inhaled using diffusers, a refreshing new trend combines the oils with steam to promote even deeper relaxation. ThermaSol, a company best known for their home steam showers, takes this trend a step further by offering a line of certified organic Essential and Precious Reserve Oils. Just add two to four drops to the steamhead reservoir during a steam session and breathe easy. The steambath increases circulation and brings toxins to the surface, cleaning the pores with perspiration and the aromatherapy-infused steam. Together this combination hydrates dull skin and refreshes the body and mind.

From relaxing to energizing, ThermaSol offers a variety of Essential Oils, but which scent is right for you? Here’s a full list and the different properties they offer.

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5 Reasons to Take a Steam Shower

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Steam Shower with Rain & Tile

Here are five reason why you might want to consider taking a relaxing steam shower today:

1) You’ll Look Better

Are there any people in the world who don’t wish they looked better? If there are, we don’t know them. Restoring vibrant complexion to your skin has never been easier than with a 20 to 30 minute foray into the steam shower. Steam penetrates the skin and opens up the pores, releasing dirt and grime and leaving you looking healthy and shiny. Take a steam bath once a day for two weeks any you’ll look so good that friends will be begging to know what your secret is.

2) You’ll Feel Good

When you really think about it, it’s pretty amazing the amount of abuse we put our bodies and minds through. We work too many hours, we strain our bodies and we ingest foods and drinks that do not facilitate optimal health. In a nutshell, we leave ourselves feeling depleted, unmotivated and lifeless. Entering a steam shower is the ultimate way to rejuvenate after an unforgiving day. It not only detoxifies you, but melts away your stress so you can feel good and emerge with a calm, renewed perspective.

3) You’ll Sleep Well

It’s a fact: poor sleep is linked to a myriad of health problems and can even lead to brain damage. People with stressful lives and pent up stress and anxiety can have trouble falling asleep and/or experience overall poor sleep quality. Rather than take potentially harmful medications that force you to rest, why not take a gentle, natural steam shower? Steam creates warmth in the body, which leads to a state of natural relaxation. A steam shower 15 minute before bed time can work wonders, allowing you to get a full night of deep rest.

4) You’ll Be On Your Way to Forming a Good Habit

How do you form a good habit? Make a concerted effort to do something every day for two weeks and it will then become an automated habit. Steam showering is not just something you do when you’re desperate for relaxation or stress relief; it’s a commitment and a lifestyle that brings long lasting health when engaged in regularly. So take your steam shower today, remember to do it tomorrow and the day after, and you’ll experience a whole new level of well being.

5) The World Could End at Any Moment

Scientists with the Russian space program are estimating the asteroid Apophis will collide with Earth in April of 2036. The ancient Mayans predicted that December 12, 2012 will be the end of the Earth. For all we know, there could be a doomsday prophecy that predicts tomorrow is the last day of civilization. We hate to be so pessimistic, but if you don’t take a steam shower today, you may never get another chance.

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

Go Team Steam!

Monday, July 12th, 2010
Steam Shower

Steam Shower

Steam is magic. It really is. Warm, swirling, and rife with brilliant little pockets of misty vapor – it’s by far water’s most elusive and interesting form. Still fancy yourself a skeptic? Have you tried to iron a pair of pants without the amazing power of steam? Mhmm. That’s what I thought. Steam rocks.

Beyond its abilities as a crinkle-reducer (and, of course, tea kettle indicator), steam first and foremost has incredible benefits for our bodies. After all, steam is simply a reincarnation of the element every health enthusiast would deem The Best Thing Ever: water. And if you know what a little H2O can do for our insides, it’s unbelievable what steam can do for our outsides, and beyond.

By simply stepping into a steam room, you’re immediately exposed to the fantastic healing powers of steam. For your skin, steam instantly opens pores and induces sweating (aka, nature’s toxin-releaser – one of the healthiest things your body can do), leaving skin softer, cleaner, and ultimately healthier. The heat of the room also causes a healthy elevation in heart rate and an increase in metabolism (who knew? A steam room diet!). Circulation and flexibility also skyrocket within minutes of stepping into a steam room, the result of the warm, moist air, which acts as a natural joint-relaxer. Arthritis sufferers and individuals with bone or muscle problems see amazing results from time spent in steam rooms. And despite the thickness of the atmosphere, steam rooms actually hold myriad benefits for our respiratory systems, opening up the lungs and bronchial tubes, and even aiding those with asthma and other breathing disorders, thanks to the temperature of the air and the water vapor. In addition, the relaxing effects of steam can have wonderful effects beyond our physiology – time spent in steam rooms has been shown to increase mental calm, and even act as an antidote to insomnia or other sleeping problems. Adding other elements to your steam experience – such as light exercise or yoga, skin exfoliation, or even aromatherapy – will only enhance the already-amazing health benefits of steam.

Thermasol offers a wide array of steam bath products for the home. Consider turning your shower into a steam shower and experience all the amazing benefits of steam on a daily basis.

So if you thought that a stay in a vapory paradise was just one of those spa activities to knock off your “to do” list, it just might be time to rethink steam, not only for its powers as a force of relaxation, but more importantly, as an amazing tool for your health – mind and body. See? I told you. Steam rocks!

Common Treatments for your Ailments- Inspired by the Spa!

Monday, April 5th, 2010

We all have them from time to time; common, annoying discomforts and ailments that can cause us pain or just make us feel icky. Here is a list of some common things that we suffer with and some simple treatments that you can try next time you are afflicted with one of the following, all which have been inspired by the spa! (Keep in mind that this is not to be taken as medical advice, and is meant to be read for entertainment value only.)

1. Jet Lag | Treatment: Tanning – It has been fairly well documented that one of the only treatments for a bad case of jet lag is to get out in the sun in your new time zone. Many suggest taking part in some type of exercise activity such as walking or running, between the hours of 11:30 am and 2:00 pm on your first day at your new destination, but if you can’t exert yourself, try laying out in the sun. You may also want to try hitting the tanning bed if getting the real thing is not an option.

Tanning Bed

Tanning Bed

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Healing Steam – Health Benefits of Steam Bathing

Thursday, March 4th, 2010
Healthy Steam

Healthy Steam

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy

The positive effects of steam bathing have been understood for thousands of years – since ancient Greek times when Hippocrates discovered that steam could cure many ailments. Today ThermaSol® reaps on the benefits of steam by creating innovative steam environments which feature excellent healing attributes. With added features like a Serenity Light and Music system with functions that are easily controlled by the Temp-Touch Series baseline control, it’s easy to have a complete therapeutic suite right in the home!


Respiratory Benefits

Home steam baths are great for promoting good respiratory health. Allergy sufferers often indulge in daily steam therapy for symptom relief as steam inhalation supports the respiratory system, and may help sufferers to alleviate their sinus afflictions.

Chakras

Chakras

Skin Benefits

Aestheticians often recommend a good sweat: it creates a beautiful healthy glow by increasing blood circulation to unlock the pores to allow deep-seeded grime and dead cells to be washed away; unveiling healthy skin that glistens.

Pain Relief Benefits

Steam can be a useful tool for managing muscular pain. The heat allows blood vessels to enlarge allowing more oxygen to flow through them and in turn release tension. This has the twofold effect of helping pain reduction and usually improves the healing speed.

Serenity Light and Music

Serenity Light and Music

Relaxation Benefits

The ThermaSol steam shower is an ideal way to unwind and help relieve daily stress. Taking a steam bath before bed allows muscles to loosen, helping achieve a relaxed and calm state which promotes a deeper, more restful sleep. ThermaSol also offers the option of light and music therapy. The Serenity Light & Music System offers a built-in FM receiver and has inputs for devices such as TV, portable CD, DVD, and MP3 players. The combined environment of steam, waterproof speakers for listening enjoyment and a fully adjustable light system with a wide spectrum allows for a daily tranquil experience to which anyone would look forward.

Aromatherapy Benefits
ThermaSol’s steam and aromatherapy oils work beautifully together to bring deep relaxation and healing benefits to your mind and body. Combine ThermaSol’s Essential and Precious Reserve Oils with a steam session to surround the bather in blissful, aromatic pleasure that further facilitates the toxin elimination process and provides the most effective therapeutic, holistic treatments available for the mind and body.

What is Balneotherapy?

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Healthy WaterThe term balneotherapy refers to any spa treatment that you might get that is associated with water, assuming there is a medical benefit to the treatment. This means that the term “balneotherapy” is generally applied to everything that we usually experience during our spa treatments, since the majority of spa treatments do have mental and physical health benefits.

Everything you do while your at the spa, that has a medical benefit and involves water, from drinking water at the spa, to soaking or taking a steam bath all fall under the umbrella of balneotherapy. It even encompasses various kinds of mud and sand facials that are used in spa treatments. The only time you wouldn’t lump a spa treatment into this category is if the treatment is for entertainment value only or if it does not involve some type of water or liquid. This means that nearly all spa treatments are also known as balneotherapy.

Balneotherapy can be used to treat a variety of illnesses and ailments. The most serious illnesses that use balneotherapy to relieve symptoms include cardiovascular disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, anxiety, insomnia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, spinal cord injury, spasticity, stroke, acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, lichen planus and scleroderma. Other benefits from balneotherapy treatments include the reduction of pain, acceleration of collateral blood circulation, elevation of cellular fluids, relaxation of muscles as well as numerous healing benefits from the absorption of minerals and botanical substances.

Many spas in resort towns base their treatments on their local thermal or mineral water which they use for their treatments as they offer an additional health benefit due to their mineral rich makeups. The belief in the holistic and medical powers of mineral water goes back to prehistoric times and are popular world-wide, but are especially popular in Europe and Japan.

Some typical minerals that can be absorbed through spa treatments include: silica, sulfur, selenium, radium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, lithium, potassium, manganese, bromine, and iodine. Some typical herbs that are used in balneotherapy include rose buds, lavender, peppermint, strawberry leafs, Clary, tea leafs, rosemary, raspberry leaf, orange petals, orange peels, lemon grass, chamomile, rosemary, sage, rose hips and more.

Balneotherapy isn’t just an age old theory and therapy, but one that focuses on alternative medicine, health and wellness benefits. So next time you go to the spa, take comfort in the fact that while it might be extremely enjoyable, it is also good for you and part of a larger category of therapy known as balneotherapy.

The Benefits of Hot Stone Massage

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Hot Stone Massage

As the holidays are fast approaching, we at Talk Spas understand that many of you might be in need of a spa treatment BEFORE Christmas arrives in order to relieve some built-up stress and tension. One excellent spa treatment that is used to remedy holiday stress is known as a Hot Stone Massage (also known as Hot Stone Therapy). This type of massage uses heated, water-treated stones (such as basalt and lava rocks) which are placed at specific sites on your body to promote relaxation, and to help open up the energy pathways in your body. These stones act as a pre-treatment for your muscles, allowing the therapist to easily perform deep tissue manipulations. In some cases, the massage therapist may even alternate cool stones with the hot stones (read more about cold spa treatments here). Various massage oils may also be incorporated into the massage treatment to enhance the experience.

For centuries, Native Americans and Asian cultures have been using hot stone massage for its therapeutic benefits. The technique has been used as early as 1500 BC due to its ability to improve overall mental, spiritual, and physical wellness. Hot stone massage also helps to detoxify the body, find harmony and balance within the body, provide relief from injury, and relieve muscle aches and tension. Present day benefits of hot stone massage are still very similar to the age old benefits from centuries past.

Wellness Benefits

Hot stone therapy is an excellent treatment for those looking to achieve mental wellness. The heated stones are placed strategically along pressure points on the body to help melt away tension and create a calming feeling. This calming effect is excellent for the well-being of the recipient, as the stress of everyday life will diminish — or even disappear entirely from just one treatment. The deep muscle massage promotes tissue relaxation, alleviates stress, releases built-up toxins from your muscles, relieves pain and improves circulation; which will help make you feel better while promoting your psyche.

In addition to these wellness benefits, the use of aromatherapy oils is often used to help rejuvenate your mind. While the heat from the stones is seen as a positive energy flow into your body, and gives your body a sense of harmony and balance; the aromatherapy scents will bring you pleasant thoughts and feelings, helping you feel at peace. Some people also use hot stone therapy as a way to improve their spiritual wellness.

Health Benefits

Hot stone massage also has actual physical and health benefits. Aside from the obvious relief that one gets from muscle aches and pain, the penetrating heat helps relieve pain associated with medical conditions such as arthritis, severe back pain, Fibromylagia, and Multiple Sclerosis. Hot stone massage also improves blood circulation, stimulating the flow of oxygen and nutrients in and out of your muscles and blood, helping your body to detoxify and heal while keeping your heart healthy. Some mental health conditions like insomnia, depression and anxiety can be relieved through the regular use of hot stone massage.

All in all, hot stone therapy is a wonderful treatment for the body, mind and spirit. The majority of medical and day spas offer this treatment on their menus, so it is easy for you to take the time to treat yourself to a relaxing hot stone massage during this stressful time of the year. If you are feeling stressed, treat yourself today, so you will have a truly happy holiday!

Health Benefits of Aromatherapy

Thursday, July 9th, 2009
Lavendar Field

Lavender Field

Aromatherapy is actually known as a type of herbal medicine because it uses herbs as the base, but unlike other herbal treatments, Aromatherapy only uses the “essential oil” contained in the plants. Many different essential oils are used as fragrances for perfumes, fragrance oils, soaps, lotions and other bath and body products.

Essential oils are used for a number of different medicinal purposes, from everything to the oils used in Vicks VapoRub, to essential oils that are digested or applied to the skin. We are more familiar with the more popular form of aromatherapy of combining the oils with the steam from a steam bath. This form of aromatherapy has shown promising results when used to:

  • Help ease the agitation that patients with dementia may feel (Lavender)
  • Reduced need for pain medications following gastric banding surgery (Lavender)
  • Help with the symptoms of insomnia (Lavender)
  • Aid in respiratory problems (Eucalyptus)
  • Used as a mild sedative (Lavender)
  • Colds, sinus infections, and acute bronchitis (Eucalyptus)

Many aromatherapy oils are also used as oral herbal medicine. Some common uses of essential oils as oral medicine are used to:

  • Help aid with a variety of stomach pains (Peppermint, Caraway Oil)
  • Combating gingivitis and plaque (Eucalyptus)
  • Helping with the symptoms of Irritable Bowl Syndrome (Peppermint)

Many people also use essential oils topically to help treat and aid with a variety of symptoms. Some of the ways these oils are used are:

  • Various forms of viral infections (Tea Tree Oil)
  • Fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and fibromyalgia (Tea Tree Oil, Bitter Orange)
  • Hair loss (Thyme, Rosemary, Lavender, and Cedarwood)
  • Repelling mosquito bites (Eucalyptus)
  • Sun block (Coriander oil)
Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Aromatherapy, when inhaled is thought to work in a number of ways to relieve stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia. It is thought that the chemical ingredients from the plants are inhaled, causing these herbal chemicals to be absorbed by the body. The other way it can work is through the olfactory centers of the brain (smell), where a nice  soothing, refreshing, calming, stimulating smell will bring about the desired effects.

Be careful when using essential oils for the first time because they can cause an allergic reaction. Also, never digest any essential oils without first consulting a doctor or herbal specialist, as many can produce unpleasant and even deadly effects when ingested. Pregnant or nursing women, young children, or people with severe liver or kidney you should avoid the use of these oils because the potential negative effects are not known.


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