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In recent years, acupressure and acupuncture have moved from a little-known, holistic health practice to a proven, mainstream, medical treatment. Acupressure (much like acupuncture, but without using needles) is a 5,000-year-old Chinese medical practice used to relieve pain, reduce stress, and promote health and wellness through unblocking or stimulating certain meridians (or Qi) found all over the body and face. Treating the acupoints of the…

Understanding Hydrosols and Essential Oils

Written by Rachelle Dupree, marketing, communication, and design for Vivoderm Natural Skincare
Many aestheticians and spa owners today are looking to new trends and technology to increase their client base and services. In light of the growing organic lifestyle preferences, why not look to ancient remedies. as well? Aromatherapy and treating ailments with essential oils is a practice thousands of years old that has seen a resurgence of popularity in the last few decades. A lesser-known component…
Oxygen is the lifeblood of the human body. It performs a number of roles in the body, most importantly among them is converting the nutrients the body consumes into energy. Every cell in the body requires oxygen to function properly, including skin cells. In healthy conditions, oxygen stimulates circulation and respiration, supports cellular energy and vitality, and gives a plump, radiant appearance. But is the air people breathe…
The eyes are the windows of the soul. They reflect a spectrum of emotions, from the light of joy and surprise to the tears of sorrow and loss. The skin around the eyes tends to be thin and produces the least amount of sebum, priming the eye area for premature aging.

Eye Area Aesthetics

Written by Robert Manzo
Eye area aesthetics is one of the most misunderstood areas in all of facial aesthetics. While most skin care professionals understand the basic issues – which include fine lines and wrinkles, under-eye puffiness, darkness, and the general aging process – the underlying cause and, therefore, effective treatments are often not applied correctly.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage for the Eyes and Lips

Written by Catherine Atzen, L.E., CIDESCO, M.B.A.
The skin around the eyes is sensitive and loses elasticity at an early age, causing it to wrinkle. The lips suffer from dryness and lose their plump, hydrated, youthful appearance; the corners droop; and the skin around them wrinkles as early as pre-menopause. These symptoms of aging can be significantly improved and delayed with high-performing skin care products and massage. Massage stimulates blood circulation and…
There is a tsunami coming and, fortunately, it is not the kind that leaves havoc and destruction in its wake. On the contrary, it is an immense wave of wellness that has the potential to positively impact the nation's health and well-being. Smart businesses and professionals are strategically deciphering how hold the reins when it hits, not standing on the sidelines watching the wellness wave…
The holidays are here and with them arrive an influx of party invitations; party clothes; delicious foods; and the stress of shopping, family, and expectations. For clients who want to look their best for the holiday season, professionals should encourage them to get out their calendar and plan ahead. They should make their facial appointments well in advance so that their skin is well tended…
In a transient, fast-paced, technological, and diverse world, skin care professionals interact with numerous skin types and conditions that have multiple influences, including genetic traits, lifestyle, and current state of health. Professionals must be prepared for the sensitivities and expectations arising from clients and remain mindful of how technologies interact with skin cells.
In 1910, while working in France at a family-owned cosmetic laboratory – mainly for the development of perfumes – French chemist and scholar, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, received a third degree burn on his hand and forearm. Looking for the nearest cooling agent to calm the severe burn, Gattefosse plunged his arm into a vat of lavender essential oil. The burning sensation slowly diminished and, as he…
The benefits of essential oils in skin care are wide and varied, making them ideally suited for use in many types of facial treatments and for numerous skin types and conditions. What must be clearly understood when selecting essential oils for professional skin care treatments is that not all essential oils are created equal; their quality varies greatly. Therefore, it is vital for professionals to…
By virtue of their extensive training, skin care professionals are confirmed ambassadors of beauty, skin health, and general wellness. The natural health community's impressive impact on the skin care industry is evidenced by the variety of aesthetic product lines that now offer wellness merchandise such as nutrient waters, nutraceutical serums, vegetable facial masks, vitamin supplements, and even collagen candy chews.
Ayurveda (pronounced: are-you-vay-da) is a Sanskrit term. "Ayur" comes from the noun "ayus" meaning life, living or longevity. "Veda" comes from the verb "vid" meaning to know about, to study or science. Thus Ayurveda is commonly translated as science of life or study of longevity. It is the knowledge of what it takes to live a balanced, healthy and inspiring life. Ayurveda originated in the…
When we enter the spa for relaxation and that all important get away from the rush of everyday life we have certain expectations. There is an ambiance that is created within the spa, the soft, relaxing music, the pleasing to the eye décor, and the cozy treatment rooms. There is however the ‘Spa smell’. The luxurious, gentle smell of essential oils that lulls you into…
In August of 1979, I was at the end of my rope. I was 38 years old, but I felt helpless and hopeless. More than three years of rapidly declining health had left me nearly disabled by pain, fatigue, and depression; all of which were caused by a disease syndrome that no doctor could properly diagnose. The best that they could offer me was the…
HOLISTIC: The word implies healing and wellness. It is a word that we are seeing more and more in the spa industry. The word actually does refer to healing. When a person is out of "balance", they are literally feeling "torn apart" by their perceptions of the pressures of their life. Because of this, their body manufactures different kinds of chemicals that aid in their…
Reiki, a Japanese word that means universal life force, is the practice of using the hands system to balance the body. Based on Chinese Medicine and the philosophies of Buddhism and Taoism, Reiki is considered an effective means for alleviating pain, depression and anxiety. Reiki draws from the idea that spiritual energy flows through a Reiki provider who can transfer energy to a patient and…
The advantages of introducing an organic product line into your skin care practice are quite clear: They are clean and safe. No need to worry about potential reactions to foreign chemicals by clients, or yourself. (That is not to say allergic reactions can not happen with botanical ingredients, because we can be allergic to any substance!) Once my clients become used to the pure, fresh…
Imagine entering a private sanctuary just for you. Greeted by a potpourri of natural aromas, you breathe deeply to smell a hint of sage, rosemary and lavender. The energy is sublime and you immediately feel welcomed. Safe and secure, you sink into the facial chair and feel like you are floating on a cloud. The lighting is soft but not dark. You hear a hint…
A holistic approach to wellness includes regular visits to the spa for body therapy. Holistic wellness can be achieved through a balanced life that includes taking care of oneself physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Body therapy treatments address the physical and emotional needs of your client. In essence, you become more than your clients’ aesthetician or massage therapist; you become their holistic body therapist and…
When looking at the demographic of your spa, you may quickly come to the conclusion that Ayurveda is just too far out, too foreign, and not something that would appeal to your clientele. We have even come across those that thought it was occult and dangerous in that way. However, Ayurveda is not defined by cultural and religious trappings. In fact, Ayurveda pre-dates all of…
Everyone knows that to keep a car running well, it needs to be filled with quality gas and oil, kept topped up with water, run regularly, and be taken in for a tune up each year. Why then is it when it comes to our own bodies we are so easily tempted to pay little attention until we experience a total breakdown? We all know…
It is a well known fact in the health care industry that the herbal supplement and vitamin market are multi-billion dollar industries. In the stressful environments and circumstances of modern living, we need some extra support than nature can provide from highly concentrated nutrients. Pollution, over-crowding, demanding work lives, economic concerns, family responsibilities, and compromised, depleted food supplies all contribute in varying degrees to depressed…
When most people hear the term “spa,” the words that come to mind are more often than not, luxury and pampering. Little is known of the history of spa. And certainly, the spa and beauty industries have tended to cater to a more affluent clientele where luxury is expected and commonplace.But in a climate where economic, political, and ecological realities are no longer seeming certainties,…
The understanding and use of holistic skin care principles and their wisdom can benefit every aesthetic practice. In this article I will share some of my favorite ingredients and procedures that come from both modern science and traditions from around the world. But first, let us consider the basics behind beautiful skin, starting from the inside out.
The aesthetics industry, for years, has predominantly marketed the concept of "anti-aging" in terms of service and retail dollars. Anti-aging has become a central component in skin care, as we continually attempt to deliver the most effective treatments to our clients. We attempt to erase their chosen past lifestyles from their skin with, sometimes, unrealistic expectations, and usually in direct competition with medical doctors. The…
Have you ever felt like something was missing in your life, but you could not put a finger on it? Have you noticed that when one area of your life is out of balance, things in other areas feel unmanageable as well? Have you literally experienced the expression when it rains, it pours? These are all examples of how everything in our life is integrated…
It is a common notion in the spa and beauty industries that Ayurveda is secret, mysterious, and exotic. Because of this reputation, Ayurveda is both sought out by some, and feared or dismissed by others. And all too often, Ayurveda is defined as that "oil dripping technique on the forehead," relegating a 5000-year old healing system to one single, albeit, extremely beautiful and effective treatment.
Let’s face it. We live in a high stress world. The daily demands of family and career leave us feeling as if we have little time to keep for ourselves. Additionally, people – especially women – instinctively tend to neglect themselves while catering to the needs of those around them. It is not news that stress and self-neglect manifest themselves physically in many ways. Nurturing…
It is often thought that a massage therapist’s hands are one thing that a machine will never replace. Yet, advances in new state-of-the-art technology have now provided the opportunity to relieve the stress and strain from a therapist’s job, while still providing countless treatment options that benefit their clients.
Light: It’s a part of our day-to-day survival. We depend on light, in both its natural and man-made forms, to help us navigate through life as we know it. Everything we see is a variance of light, as it is light that carries information from our eyes to our brain, creating and translating images of the world in which we live. Throughout history, a number…
Ayurveda is the traditional holistic medical system that originated in India some 3000 to 5000 years ago. Derived from Sanskrit roots, ‘ayus’ (life) and ‘ved’ (knowledge) means “Knowledge of Life.” Ayurveda is based on the belief that the natural state of the body is one of balance between the mind, body, and soul. The fundamental belief of Ayurveda is that the power to heal lies…
Equilibrium We grapple daily to stay on top of elements that threaten our health and well-being. The need for equilibrium is dire. The concept of a medi-spa is not mysterious in the least. Neither is it new. Indeed, it’s such a natural union of spa and corrective, aesthetic medicine that one wonders why the idea hasn’t hit center stage earlier. In these times, it’s easy…
Vibrational healing or medicine is a term used to describe the modalities that influence the energy fields and centers of a person in order to bring about healing. Combined with aesthetics, the practice of advanced skin care, powerfully effective treatments designed to promote inner and outer (and therefore longer lasting) healing are very possible. The modalities of vibrational healing use a number of vehicles, including…
We live in a society that obsesses over the concept of staying young. However, spa clientele actually seek to do something about it, while most of society is simply obsessing over the concept of youthfulness. This educated, informed segment of the population constantly searches for new ways to improve themselves and to remain youthful in health and appearance. As spa professionals, we must consistently strive…
For many of us the start of a new year can serve as a wake-up call to shape up. Stretching the day to fit a busy holiday schedule can interfere with good sleep habits and irritate nerves. It only takes a few weeks of binge eating and drinking to induce us to turn our attention to diet, exercise, and other self-improvement resolutions. So, at this…

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AIA Featured School

  • Christine Valmy International School of Esthetics & CosmetologyChristine Valmy International School of...Description: Christine Valmy International School of Esthetics & Cosmetology offers a quality education in the beauty industry, based on the teachings of the Founder of Esthetics in the United States—Ms. Christine Valmy. Ms. Valmy opened her very first school ...