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Stress Relief

The Power is in Your Hands A Journey to Healing with Massage Therapy

In the early 1990s, I was fully immersed in the corporate culture where working under highly stressful conditions was a motivator and considered part of the job. Stress came with the territory of being in a management role and working excessive hours. After working a normal 12 hour day, my husband and I were on our way to the company Christmas party when our car was struck in the rear while waiting at a red light. The unexpected jolt was significant and actually broke the seats in which we were sitting. From that point forward, I became acquainted with a neck injury. I later found out it was a whiplash injury and a herniated disk at C5-C6, which caused significant neck pain, headaches, and radiating pain for months on end. Some days were worse than others and at one point I was bedridden for three weeks.

How often have you been told to take a deep breath? You may have even muttered it to yourself once or twice. Generally, an individual can go months without food or several days without water, but only minutes without air. Basic survival aside, breathing has a variety of different effects on the human mind and body that are beneficial to your overall health and wellness.
Many cultures have long known that deep breathing is a natural and simple form of relaxing and cleansing the mind, body and soul. Touted by original yoga practitioners as the source of life, breathing has become an integral part of living a healthy lifestyle.

When I have a training class or seminar on skin conditions, I often start by asking how many people have a stress-free life. I rarely get a hand raised. If I do get one, they quickly retreat with a silly statement like “just kidding.” Unfortunately, not many of us can raise our hand for that one. On a Sunday morning, I sat down to write this article thinking that I would be able to put it together in no time since there was clearly so much to write about. Ironically, once I was ready to start writing, my fingers were at an absolute stand still on the keyboard.

This month I want to talk about balance. I did say balance, and I did not mean standing on one foot with your other leg out in front of you. I mean balance in your life. When I accepted the opportunity to write this monthly column on health and wellness and its direct impact on you, the aesthetician, it prompted me to do a bit of soul searching and reflection. Specifically, on how much I practice what I preach, concerning what I believe is so absolutely critical not only to our success, but to our lives.

Stress Relief from the Inside Out

Stress, that cliché word meaning 'totally overwhelmed,' is now acknowledged as a proven threat to health. "Over 50 percent of deaths in the United States can be attributed to behavioral and social factors [stress]," says psychologist Oakley Ray, Ph.D., of the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University in a study. This and other research implicates stress in causing disease and degradation at the cellular and molecular level, diminishing a person's health and quality of life and resulting in the manifestation of disease.[i]

Why Stress Causes DNA Damage

For years, researchers have published papers that associate chronic stress with chromosomal damage.
Now researchers at DukeUniversityMedicalCenter have discovered a mechanism that helps to explain the stress response in terms of DNA damage.
"We believe this paper is the first to propose a specific mechanism through which a hallmark of chronic stress, elevated adrenaline, could eventually cause DNA damage that is detectable," said senior author Robert J. Lefkowitz, M.D., James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator at DukeUniversityMedicalCenter.

Making "You" Priority Number One

As professional aestheticians, we’re caregivers, “people” people, nurturers, and emotional laundry bins. We give all of ourselves to our work, our clients, our family, and our friends… often to find that there is simply not a whole lot left for ourselves. So this month’s article is just for you, and only you; this month, it’s all about you.
Perhaps you can relate… this year is a “significant” birthday for me… yeah, I’m not going to say it, but one that I truly thought would never happen. I have watched my babies grow from completely dependent tiny little beings, to five-foot eleven, 150 pound high schoolers’ (ugh).

Herbal Aroma Bar

Did you know that Natural comes from Nature? Simple but true. In our constant quest to be bigger and better, we forget how easy it is to enhance our lives and business by using the beauty and bounty that surrounds us in nature. 
With the resurgence of all things Natural and the current trend to Go Green & Organic, using Mother Nature’s plants and flowers in an “Aroma Bar” is a natural addition to your business. Plus, it is affordable and simple to incorporate.

De-Stressing the Skin and Mind

Do you believe the way a person thinks can affect their skin? My observations as a practitioner show that it can. When individuals de-stress their minds, they look younger and their wrinkles are reduced. De-stressing the mind and body de-stresses the skin.
I’ve noticed unresolved issues kept inside over extended periods of time will dry some individuals’ skin, while anxiety and a lack of self-confidence can also cause the skin to break out. Individuals without the guidance of a mentor, a parent, or a boss can find it more difficult to make important decisions. Frequently, they are emotionally sensitive, have volcanic type pimples, picked skin, and rapidly aging skin.

Caring for the Skin Cancer Patient

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. with more than one million new cases diagnosed last year. The National Cancer Institute estimates that in 2009, approximately 69,000 people were diagnosed, and 8,650 died of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. As skin cancer diagnoses rise, it becomes increasingly likely that one of your patients will become affected. Although aestheticians are not licensed to diagnose cancer, they can play an important role in recognizing suspicious lesions and referring patients to a dermatologist for assessment.

Creating Daily Balance for You and Your Clients

When we feel “out of balance” it is often a reflection of too much stress, which ultimately, if not taken care of, will manifest into a physical symptom and may lead to illness. We live in a symptomatic society. When illness is present, we immediately take a pill or call our family doctor to remedy the situation with a prescription. After taking a pill or seeing the doctor, we feel better, everything is ok until we get sick again and this continuous cycle keeps going.

Spa Music

A Lomi Lomi massage to the sound of the waves of the Polynesian sea; sitar music playing Raga during a soothing Shirodhara head massage; and the classical music of a Beethoven’s Symphony as you slip into a deep slumber.  Music healing has been a part of human civilization for thousands of years.
Many cultures have recognized the importance of music and sound as a healing power. In the ancient civilizations of India, Africa, Europe, Australian aborigines, and American Indians, the practice of using sound to heal and achieve balance from within was a central part of living.