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May 7, 2010 | By
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Reiki is a holistic healing art form that originated in Japan and was brought to Westerners by Dr. Mikao Usui, who founded the Usui System of Reiki that is commonly practiced today. Reiki involves the channeling of energy by a qualified practitioner to a recipient for the purposes of stress reduction and healing.
In her book, "Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide," Pamela Miles points out that Reiki is a form of vibrational healing which began in early twentieth-century Japan by Mikao Usui. Usui, who lived from 1865 to 1926, is considered to be the father of Reiki. On a spiritual retreat in 1922, he experienced vibrational energy above his head and felt that this awakened his healing power. He channeled this power through laying on of the hands, first by using it on his friends and family. He then began the process of initiating other healers in Japan, and this practice gradually spread. One of his students, Dr. Hayashi, initiated Hawayo Takuta, who brought Reiki to the Western world in the 1930s.
The function of a Reiki treatment is to heal energy blockages in the chakra system of the body. Chakras are subtle energy body centers. The chakras are often imagined to look like a spinning wheel, and are found in a meridian down the center of the body. According to the International Center for Reiki Training, Reiki heals people who have disruptions in these energy centers by helping the energy flow more freely.
Reiki comes from two words: "rei" and "ki." According to the International Center for Reiki Training, "rei" is generally defined as "ghost" or "spirit," the higher power or energy in the universe, and "ki" as non-physical energy. Reiki, therefore, is thought to be an energy healing which is guided by the higher power in the universe. It is non-denominational energy, and you don't need to believe in any type of organized religion in order to practice or benefit from a Reiki treatment.
During a Reiki treatment, the client lays, fully clothed, on a table or other surface. The practitioner places her hands on strategic parts of the client's body, generally over the chakras. The practitioner acts as a medium through which ki flows, not directing the flow but acting as a channel for the energy.
The effects of a Reiki treatment can be powerful. It can vary from person to person, but according to the International Center for Reiki Training, it is generally relaxing, and can provide a release of tension or anxiety. Some people have visions or report out-of-body experiences. In her book, Pamela Miles reports that many people with serious illness have experienced dramatic improvements in their condition.
Reiki Master Pamela Miles points out that Reiki does not attack disease but rather supports well-being by strengthening the body's ability to heal through better balance. Reiki may not always bring about a cure, but it can bring about a spiritual healing through restoring energy flow and providing a sense of well-being.
Article reviewed by Roman Tsivkin Last updated on: May 7, 2010
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May 2, 2010 | By
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As an athlete, you can derive significant health and performance benefits from receiving regular sports massage therapy. Sports massage therapy is a form of massage therapy that helps athletes recover from or avoid sports-related injuries, and typically utilizes more vigorous forms of massage to facilitate muscle healing or relaxation. Sports massage therapy should be performed before and after a competition to prevent injuries and loss of mobility and maximize the life of your sporting career.
According to SportsInjuryClinic.net, the physical benefits of sports massage therapy include the following: improved blood flow and nutrient delivery to your muscles, efficient clearing of harmful metabolic byproducts, tension reduction in your fascia, reduction of your scar tissue, improved tissue elasticity and improvements in your tissue's ability to absorb nutrients, also known as micro-circulation.
The physical benefits of sports massage therapy are important for all athletes, especially those engaged in sports where physical contact and bruising are likely, such as football, rugby or ice hockey. Endurance athletes also are excellent candidates for sports massage therapy, as the long training hours and the nature of competitive endurance activities, such as running, cycling and cross-country skiing, place considerable strain on your musculoskeletal system. Sports massage therapy helps relieve stress on your joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles.
The principle physiological benefits of sports massage therapy include pain reduction and relaxation; two important benefits that can keep you healthy and competitive over time. Sports-related pain can result from a muscle strain, a contusion or bruise or excessive use of a muscle. Overuse of a muscle or muscle group may result in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), a phenomenon that's long been associated with increased physical exertion, according to Len Kravitz, Ph.D., an exercise scientist at the University of New Mexico.
A 2005 study published in the "Journal of Athletic Training," concludes that massage therapy is effective at alleviating DOMS by approximately 30 percent and reducing swelling, but it has no effects on muscle function. Muscle relaxation is another important physiological benefit of sports massage therapy. Muscles relax when they're exposed to heat, receive increased blood circulation and are stretched appropriately; all common results of an effective sports massage therapy session. A reflex relaxation also is caused when your mechanoreceptors--tiny sensory receptors that respond to pressure or changes in tissue length--are stimulated during massage.
The psychological benefits of sports massage include a reduction in your approach anxiety, enhanced feelings of invigoration and rejuvenation and an increased awareness of your mind-body connection, according to SportsMassageTherapy.info. Approach anxiety, which is the anxiety you feel about an upcoming match or event, is a common part of sports participation.
A massage therapist skilled in the art of sports massage will know what techniques to use to help counter your anxiety. The simple act of having your body worked on can give you a psychological edge that reduces your anxiety. After you've received a sports massage, it's likely that you'll feel a little sore, but you'll also feel invigorated and refreshed, ready to compete again at your highest level. The restorative effects of massage therapy and the corresponding psychological benefits are crucial for your continued athletic success. So too is an awareness of your mind-body connection, which massage therapy supports. Massage therapy can provide you with an awareness of your body that few other therapeutic modalities can match.
Article reviewed by RAS Last updated on: May 2, 2010
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May 14, 2010 | By
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Cystic acne is more severe than common acne. Cystic acne occurs when deeper, larger pustules or cysts appear and inflammation around them is more severe, causing dramatic redness. Cystic acne is painful, as the bacterial infection involves more tissue and runs deeper. This type of acne requires aggressive treatment that should be done by a dermatologist. It is not curable and outbreaks tend to come in cycles, especially when hormones fluctuate or emotional stress is increased. However, you can make inexpensive, soothing skin masks from natural and homemade from ingredients found in your own kitchen.
Cut a Granny Smith apple in half and discard the peel, the core and seeds. Grate the flesh of the apple---or dice very fine---and place in a small mixing bowl. Pat the apple lightly with a paper towel to remove any excess juice.
Pour 4 tbsp. pure honey into the bowl with the apple. Make sure the honey is somewhat cool; even slightly warm honey will be too runny. Mix with a spoon until thoroughly blended.
Wash your hands well with soap and water, and then use clean fingertips or a clean, soft brush to spread the honey mixture onto your face. Be careful to avoid the eye area. Protect your hair and the surface you lie on in case honey warms and runs slightly.
Lie down and relax for 15 to 20 minutes in a soothing environment. Rinse off with lukewarm water and pat skin dry.
You can apply this mask once or twice per week, complimented by a baking soda mask on opposite days.
Combine baking soda and water until you get a paste-like consistency. Spread the mixture on your face and leave on for 20 to 30 minutes, twice per week.
- Do not dry out skin too much or too often. This will cause oil (sebaceous) glands to compensate by producing more oil. Reduce stress as it triggers acne outbreaks. Remember, no remedies will work overnight. Use for four to six weeks for optimal benefit.
- Avoid harsh cleansers or rubbing skin too hard; these can worsen outbreaks. Do not squeeze pustules, as this leads to bacteria spreading on skin and possible scarring. Stop use of any substance you put on your skin that causes redness, swelling, rash, itching or hives and consult a dermatologist.
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- Small mixing bowl
- Paper towel
- 4 tbsp. honey
- 1/2 cup baking soda
Article reviewed by Jessica Lyons Last updated on: May 14, 2010
Blue water spa in Oyster Bay are the leading esthetician in anti acne remedies.
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Jul 15, 2010 | By
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A homemade face mask won't get rid of your wrinkles, but some masks can temporarily tighten and plump the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Mix up one of these homemade anti wrinkle masks to help you look your best before a job interview or a big date, or whenever you need a lift. Test the mask before your big day, to make sure you don't have an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients.
Shred or mash one of the following into a small bowl: carrot, banana or apple. Wash and remove the peel first. According to "Modern Esthetics: A Scientific Source for Estheticians" these ingredients all have moisturizing properties. Adding moisture to the skin plumps it up and helps fill in fine lines.
Add one beaten egg white or 2 tsp. of honey to the bowl. Stir to mix well. Both these ingredients will temporarily tighten and firm the skin. Tighter skin appears to have less wrinkles. If the mixture appears too thick to spread, you can add a little water to thin it out.
Smooth the mask onto clean skin with the tips of your fingers or a damp cotton ball. Avoid the skin close to the eyes. Relax and allow the mask to dry.
Rinse the mask off your face with tepid water. Pat dry with a towel.
- You can add a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender or rosemary, to the mask for a pleasant fragrance.
- Don't attempt to save leftover mask. The ingredients don't keep well.
- Carrot, apple or banana
- Fork or vegetable grater
- Honey or egg white
- Cotton ball
- The New You; Claire Dixon; 2008
- Modern Esthetics; Henry J. Gambino; 1992
Article reviewed by SaraJ Last updated on: Jul 15, 2010
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Aug 11, 2011 | By
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Collagen is a type of protein that is produced naturally in skin and connective tissue, and it plays an instrumental role in keeping skin firm and giving it shape. It breaks down as you age, along with elastin, the substance that keeps skin springy, resulting in increasingly saggy and wrinkled skin. The collagen mask, a type of cosmetic mask treatment offered in many spas, is designed to counteract this effect.
According to "Modern Esthetics: A Scientific Source for Estheticians," by Henry J. Gambino, collagen masks are especially beneficial for mature skin, in part because of their effectiveness for smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. Presumably, a collagen mask will deliver this benefit by giving a temporary boost to the collagen levels in surface skin, but this is not always an achievable result with all products or services marketed as "collagen masks," according to "Milady's Aesthetician Series: Advanced Face and Body Treatments for the Spa" by Pamela Hill. Some masks advertised as collagen masks are so-called only because the solution itself contains collagen, but this alone will not firm and smooth the skin, because collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed through external tissue. Other products, which are also marketed as collagen masks, are designed to stimulate collagen production internally, effectively firming tissue and reducing wrinkles. You should investigate product claims closely before making a purchase to ensure you're choosing a treatment that encourages natural collagen production.
Gambino also indicates that the powerful moisturizing effects of collagen masks make them appropriate treatments for chronic dry skin. Even when wrinkles and fine lines are not an issue, dry skin problems caused by heredity, skin disorders, climate or routine exposure to wind or chlorinated pools may be improved by this process. Although collagen molecules cannot penetrate the skin to provide anti-wrinkle benefits, according to Hill, mask solutions that contain collagen do have a significant hydrating effect. In addition to collagen, many of these masks also include other moisturizing substances to add to this effect, including ceramide, hyaluronic acid and natural botanical extracts.
Most therapeutic facial masks are applied in the form of a cream or clay, but collagen masks typically consist of dried sheets containing collagen and other ingredients, according to Gambino. Some collagen mask sheets are manufactured as strips to be arranged on the face, while others are pre-cut as single sheets with eye, nose and mouth holes. These sheets are moistened either with water or another skin care product and applied to facial skin, where they remain for 20 to 30 minutes. Unlike clay facial masks, which must be scrubbed off, collagen masks can usually be peeled off neatly. An enhanced collagen mask procedure, according to "Salonovations' Advanced Skin Care Handbook," by Lia Schorr and Shari Miller Sims, involves the use of a galvanic current to help stimulate collagen production. In this process, the mask solution is typically a mixture of powdered collagen and preserved collagen from an ampoule. Once applied to the face, the mask is covered with the pad of a galvanic facial machine, which uses electrical currents to boost the solution's absorption into the skin.
Article reviewed by SPEstes Last updated on: Aug 11, 2011
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/224714-collagen-mask-benefits/#ixzz1nmZ89oGk
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Human skin can tolerate the tiny metal oxide nanoparticles found in some sunscreens just as well as larger and organic alternatives, the latest tests by RMIT University researchers show.
The finding comes despite evidence that many Australians feel it is safer to avoid sunscreen altogether than subject themselves to the supposed dangers of nanoparticles.
Debate over the safety of nanoparticles, which are smaller than 100 billionths of a metre, has been spurred by research suggesting they can cross the human placenta, and even affect DNA without making contact.
The particles are so small that they do not reflect sunlight, making the lotion appear clear on the skin.
An online poll of 1000 people by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education found that one in four people felt it was safer to use no sunscreen at all than nanoparticle-based lotion.
But research by RMIT University’s Nanosafety Research Group showed that human cell test systems can tolerate the miniscule zinc oxide and titanium dioxide particles as well as zinc ions and conventional chemical sunscreens.
RMIT University toxicologist, Associate Professor Paul Wright, said that Australia has “the highest rate of skin cancer in the world and it is important that people use the most protective sunscreens available.
“The most effective broad spectrum UV blockers are the physical blockers, such as the metal oxides zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which both absorb and reflect UV, don’t break down under UV exposure and are longer-acting than organic UV blockers.”
Professor Wright’s team presented its research at the International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Perth last week.
For their tests, they used in vitro human skin and immune cell systems to compare the effects of sunscreen components in the presence of ultraviolet light.
Toxicity from zinc oxide particles was only seen at extremely high doses that would not be achieved from sunscreen use, they found.
“Nano-sized metal oxides absorb UV light better as particle size gets smaller, and have the added advantage of a transparent appearance,” said Professor Wright. “It is important to weigh up the known risk of skin damage from excessive UV exposure, with the diminishing perceived risk of using nano sunscreens.”
The consumer group CHOICE has said that lotions which contain nanoparticles should be proven safe before being allowed on to the market, and last year the Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union passed a resolution trying to ban them in schools.
But Professor Wright said that “the RMIT research, along with recent studies by others reporting that there is negligible penetration of these nanoparticles through human skin, indicate that nano sunscreens should continue to be used as part of the SunSmart program to reduce skin cancer incidence.”