Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sounds Pretty

There's nothing worse than going to get a massage or facial and having to listen to the not-so-soothing sounds of birds chirping, or whales whale-ing, or staccato piano music, or the kiss of death..... Enya! So, it is of the utmost importance in my world to provide my clients with a perfect aural ambiance. I've been a massage therapist for 14 years and an esthetician for six. So, I've listened to A LOT of relaxation music. And one artist truly stands out above all others.

Chuck Wild (in addition to being a very accomplished musician, otherwise) has created a series of ten relaxation music albums under the name Liquid Mind. He originally wrote this music to heal himself from severe anxiety and panic disorder. Read more about his story here. He was determined to avoid taking prescription medication, so he created this ultra slow, atmospheric, healing music as a part of his wellness program - and in the beginning, listened to it 24/7!

Now you might think listening to something 24/7 would be crazy-making in itself... but that's the magic of Liquid Mind. You just don't get sick of it. The music is very slow and there really is no discernible beat, so nothing gets stuck in your head. And let me tell you... I have listened to the two albums I have over and over, all day at work, on a loop, for years, and I have yet to get sick of them. In fact, I sometimes forget the music is even playing. It just blends in, slows everything down, and creates a super peaceful environment.

I consider my Liquid Mind albums as much a tool of the trade as my massage table and my tweezers! My clients frequently ask about the music because they feel transported, so I figured it was time to share.

I recommend having at least one (my favorite at the moment is Liquid Mind IX: Lullaby), for those times when a little extra serenity is called for. It would be amazing help-your-baby-get-to-sleep music, a perfect adjunct to a yoga or meditation practice, or something soothing to put on when you're winding down and heading to bed. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cocos Nucifera

I'm inspired today by the coconut.

My friend Kristina, of Lovely Morning, one of my favorite blogs ever, mentioned coconut in her post about organic baby food. This led me to do a little research (as per my usual nerdiness) and voila - total blog inspiration.

There are so many uses for coconut in all its forms: meat, juice, milk, and oil, even coconut sugar (which i have just discovered after being warned that agave is no longer the healthy alternative sweetener, and am loving).

For years I have used coconut oil for cooking. Did you know it is the only oil that is stable enough to resist heat induced damage, so it's the least vulnerable to oxidation and toxic free-radical formation? That means it's waaaaaaay better for your health and well being than any other oil. If you're going to heat oil for cooking, use coconut oil. Seriously. And if you're like me, and you don't love the natural coconut-y smell (I don't always want my scrambled eggs to smell like the tropics), you can find Organic Coconut Oil that is refined, which equals no smell (but is not as totally awesome as pure unrefined coconut oil).

Pure coconut oil contains about 50 percent lauric acid, which is a medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglyceride (MCT). MCTs are very easy to digest and are incredibly healing.

Nerd alert: When lauric acid is present in the body, it is converted into monolaurin, a monoglyceride compound which exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties. It acts by disrupting the lipid membranes in organisms like fungus, bacteria and viruses, thus destroying them.

And guess what? I just learned from Kristina (mother of 5 month old Dashiell) that breast milk is the only other natural source that contains such a high concentration of lauric acid, which explains the drastic decrease of infections of all types in breast-fed babies.

If you want to nerd out some more about coconut, lookie here:
Coconut Research Center
or see what Dr. Mercola has to say about it.

And coconut is not just yummy, it is great for the SKIN!!

I have been using it for almost 14 years in my massage practice. It's got great slip and is so nourishing for all skin types. It is also considered a non-staining oil, so once it absorbs into the skin, it will not leave any residue on your clothes - or my massage sheets - bonus! It is phenomenal as an after bath moisturizer, too. Just use a small amount while your skin is still damp.

Remember my raves about RMS Beauty, Rose-Marie Swift's raw, organic makeup line? Well, guess what? One of her best sellers is her Raw Coconut Cream. It is a natural antioxidant (preventing free radical damage), is anti-aging, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and is, therefore, great for all skin types (including acne). Plus, it nourishes skin and lashes, and is the perfect make-up remover.

Last, but not least, coconut oil is an ideal hair conditioner. Work a good amount of the oil into the hair and leave it in as long as you like. Just remember to put a thick towel over your pillow if you sleep with it in, or you will get oil on your pillow. At Petite Spa where I work, we even do a Coconut Milk and Coconut Oil Hair and Scalp Leave-In Treatment. Pure Luxury!

C'mon, who doesn't love something you can feel great about eating AND slathering all over your body??

Monday, July 12, 2010

Best Eye Cream. Ever!

I never used to be that sold on the whole eye creme thing. I figured, if I'm using an amazing moisturizer, that will be enough. And there's some truth to that. But that was before I discovered Dr. Alkaitis Organic Eye Crème. This stuff is truly amazing!

It seriously feels like heaven on the skin. Rich, yet fluffy. Not sticky or gel-like. And some eye creams I've used actually make the skin around the eye feel tight... like it's being lifted. Which just doesn't work for me. Not this stuff. Dr. A eye cream feels creamy and refreshes tired eyes while reducing puffiness, dark circles and fine lines.

You can use it under make-up or pat it on over concealer for a dewy finish. I love how it looks on - super glowy, but not sparkly or anything. And the best part is it's 100% raw, organic, and biologically active. It's health food for your skin.

Dr. Alkaitis Holistic Organic Skin Treatment Products are made in-house in small batches with ingredients so pure you could literally eat them!

This is the only eye cream I have ever tried that I feel completely confident and enthusiastic about recommending to my clients and friends. I loooooove it!

We carry it at Petite Spa, where I work. If you come in for it, let them know you read about it here! And maybe I'll even be there.... come say hi! Better yet, come in for the Organic Skin Food Facial with all Dr. Alkaitis products. If you mention my blog, I'll give you a complimentary Organic Enzyme Treatment with your facial.