Category Archives: Healing

Want To Know More About Me

Meet Joan Kesman of Skin Care Plus

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joan Kesman.

Joan, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In looking back on my life, I realize that I love helping people look good and feel good and I really enjoyed learning new things. So I went to cosmetology school to study hairstyling. After getting my license, a relative was leaving the business and asked if I wanted to take it over. What a great opportunity!

Of course, I said yes and most of the clients she had did stay with me. To further my skills, I took as many classes as I could. I made a friend at one of the classes and she asked if I wanted to take an anesthetic course. Well, she dropped out, and I liked it so much that I continued.

Now with an esthetic license, I started doing facials at a makeup salon but continued with hairstyling for awhile along with the facials. Then when I worked in a spa, I quit the hair business and just did facials. After a few years, I met up with an old friend and together we opened our own skin care salon.

She had to leave after a few years because of illness. I continued with the business, hiring estheticians and massage therapists. That was like babysitting and did not like that. So I decided to rent my other rooms. Esthetics led me to take many different courses throughout the years in other alternative modalities.

I wanted to incorporate more treatments into my business. Massage therapy, aromatherapy, reflexology, energy healing modalities (Silva Method, Pranic Healing, Quantum Touch, Reiki, E.F.T., Psych-K, Sound Energy Therapy with Tuning Forks) are the ones I worked with for some time.

Today I do sound energy therapy with tuning forks and facials but the facial treatments are different today. I not only follow the scientific rule, “The more you irritate the skin, the more it becomes inflamed, the faster you age, and the more you are prone to skin cancer” but I’ve incorporated the energy healing techniques into my facial treatments.

This helps people to relax even more so they can not only look good but also feel great! And you could have a tuning forks treatment too, and float out of here. Before you leave I will recommend Pevonia products for you to take home to help keep your skin healthier and happier.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Having your own business brings on challenges but having a partner brings on more challenges. Communication was the biggest part of the challenge. We both were used to doing things on our own and in our own way without consulting anyone.

Because of past experiences in our lives, we knew how to handle the situations with talking thus working things out. Our friendship became stronger and we are still friends today. The partnership did end after only about 5 years because she became quite ill and needed to leave the business.

It was a scary time. Would she be okay and would I be okay without her helping me in the business? Well, she was slowly getting better and is doing well today. I decided to hire other people to work for me since I had space to pay for. That was not working out as I had hoped. My next plan was to have independent contractors rent the spaces.

That worked out much better. They all were responsible and easy to work with and really nice people, but nothing lasts forever. Everybody seemed to leave about the time the economy bottomed out, 2008 and I was left with all the bills for space. Hard times for me too. Business was just not the same anymore. I looked for a year for independent contractors to rent the space from me and finally, I had two women who did.

Again I was lucky with two great women. In 2011, I decided it was time to move on. My daughters and grandchildren had moved from out of state to the St. Charles area and I wanted to be closer. So I moved myself and my business out to Geneva. It’s been difficult building the business back up out here.

Marketing is a lot different the past few years doing it with social media. I had built up the business in Westmont with 99% referrals. I said I love learning and I have learned so much through my life and am still learning. All this has made me a stronger, empathetic, and a calm and peaceful woman.

We’d love to hear more about your business.

Skin Care Plus is located in Geneva, Il. The setting is quiet and peaceful with scents from a diffusor when you walk in. First-time clients are given a form to fill out. From there and the consultation that follows, the client and I can figure out what their skin needs at this time.

At the end of the facial, I recommend Pevonia products to further help their skin which they can purchase from me. After many years of doing many different services, I now specialize in facial treatments, mainly for calming and antiaging, product consultations (recommending products for their face), and sound energy therapy using tuning forks.

The tuning forks treatment is the one energy healing treatment that relaxed me so much that I dozed off. First time ever with any treatment, so I was sold on that one to do for clients. Even clients who talk a lot, stop talking when I do the tuning forks on them. The facial treatments that I do are not aggressive treatments in that I do not tear down the skin with peels and such.

Been there, done that. I believe in helping to repair and build up the skin to make it look better and stay healthier. Peels and such make the skin thinner and more sensitive and in the long run, you will age faster. I always tell clients that before doing a facial for the first time. I do use glycolic or an alternative to a peel that is a more natural product for clients that need more.

The scientific rule that I follow is “The more you irritate the skin, the more you become inflamed, the faster you age, and the more you are prone to skin cancer”. Different modalities are used during a facial, such as LED light therapy (anti-aging, healing, calming, helps acne, and more), Ultra High Frequency (helps acne, healing, helps scar, antiaging, and more), High Frequency (kills acne bacteria).

Ultrasonic (helps product penetration). To help the skin repair even better and faster, healing energy modalities are used during the facial. A mini sound therapy treatment can be added to the facial for added relaxation. The Pevonia product I use and sell is safe, effective, and results oriented with the latest ingredients for all the skin’s needs. The ingredients are natural and organic.

What were you like growing up?
Being the oldest child, I was responsible, quiet, conscientious, curious, neat, serious. My Mom and Dad worked so I had to take care of my youngest sister. I cooked and cleaned. I was a serious person who had to do everything well. I couldn’t call my childhood as carefree. I was able to play baseball and ride my bike.

In high school, I had a nice group of friends that I biked with and played tennis. I liked school and was an honor roll student. I obeyed the rules most of the time and if I didn’t, nobody knew it. My mom and dad were strict so you didn’t argue with them at all.

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Quiet The Mind

With all the chaos and noise in the world and life’s challenges, it’s difficult to quiet the mind and be clear and focused.  Everything moves so fast today and we are trying to keep up but that just causes more stress.  That stress causes more heath problems in the future.  We need to make time for quieting our mind and body and breathe (I mean really breathe, not our shallow breathing) and meditate.
Meditation is quieting your mind and breathing more deeply to start.  Many scientific studies have shown that meditation can lower blood pressure, heart rate and cortisol levels. Studies have also shown that it helps with brain function—helping us to react more calmly, be more focused, more relaxed so the body can heal, be able to release our fears and angers more easily and more.
 
Speaking of fears and anger, that’s how I started meditating years ago.  I needed something to help me through a rough time in my life and was on a mission to resolve it peacefully.  I started out just deep breathing slowly for a minute or so keeping my mind as empty as I could.  At one point, I took a class that had some ways to help with this.  The exercise I chose for me was:  Being in a mountain area, sitting on bench where there were trees and flowers and a bench facing a babbling brook.  The idea then was to put the thoughts that came up on the leaves in the water and let them float away.  Went on to longer meditation tapes.  My monkey chatter and my non-stop analytical mind was leaving me slowly.  Today, I can say I find it easy to meditate.  It was being consistent, doing it everyday, that helped me to be clear and focused and dissolve my anger and fears. So when someone says to me that they can’t sit and be quiet, I tell them my story.  I know it works.  You just start slow and build from there.
My facial treatments with energy healing modalities and/or sound energy therapy, using #tuningforks, can help you relax also.  And if you need help with deep breathing or meditation practices, I can help you with that too.
Use Skin Care Plus as a place to #quietthemind.
Also posted in Anti-aging, Beauty Tips, Facials, Health, Skin Care Tagged , , , , , |

Should You Massage Your Face??

To get the results that you want from the products you are using, I have always advised clients to massage them into their skin.  Massaging increases the effectiveness of the products, giving you better results than just applying them.  By doing this, you help to detox the skin by moving the blood and lymphatic fluids, giving your skin that glow.  Other advantages of this treatment is helping to increase firmness, decrease wrinkles, hydrate, ease muscle tension, and relax the  nerves.
Facial massage needs to be performed correctly so as not to overstretch the skin or damage it somehow.  The first thing is to always keep the skin moist with your product so you do not pull on it or drag it.  You need to be gliding over the skin.  As you can tell by the face above, the direction of the strokes are up and out.  I always start at the neck, using both hands, doing a slapping stroke up to chin hand over hand.  Next, if you want, under jaw with a pinching motion.  Then the rest of the face is small circles gliding over skin in up and out movement.  Pressure is medium.  You can press a little and glide as long as your face is still wet with product. Do Not Pull Skin.
I recommend using your serum first and do a massage with that.  When it starts drying, use toner to dampen.  Then apply your cream and do the same massage.  Spend about 2 to 5 minutes doing this treatment.

I do it at night which is best, because you repair at night and this helps even more.
Now a little trick that really works, any lines you have that you want softened, can be greatly improved.  Again make sure that the area you are working on is moist with product and toner if needed.  Put your finger on the start of the wrinkle and do small circles going up the line.  Pressure again is medium.
That trick I have told clients about and when they come in for their next facial, there is a difference.  It has to be done every day though.  Always remember when doing massage on the face, to always have it moist through the whole massage, never drag the skin, use a little more than light pressure, and always up and out with your strokes.
If you need any help with this, please call or text me and I will be happy to guide you.
                                                    Call Or Text   630 655 3345 
                                                                       F. Y. I.    
  • Over the counter products are not made for an individual’s skin concerns.  They are made to feel good, be easy to spread, and to smell good.  Professional products — Pevonia — use active ingredients coupled with a specialized delivery system that helps the skin regenerate and be healthy.
  • Skin irritation caused by dry air, temperature extremes (as we have now), sun, emotional stress, harsh ingredients in products, and strong exfoliants and peels when left untreated becomes inflammation that contributes to visible skin aging and skin diseases such as cancer.
  • Adding a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a pot of water or in a diffuser is great for loosening mucous.  It’s a strong antibacterial and also antiviral.
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Happiest Time of Year??

Merry Christmas
Well this is suppose to be the happiest time of year, but with all the upheaval in our lives and the world today, we are all more stressed out than ever.  According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, “Today, stress is responsible for up to 90% of doctor visits. Chemistry released into the blood by a brain experiencing stress shuts down the body’s maintenance-growth mechanisms, inhibits the immune system and produces emotional distress that adversely affects our behavior and consciousness. Fear, anxiety, sleeplessness, digestive, skin and nervous system disorders are currently responsible for manifesting a massive crisis in healthcare.”
My prescription for stress relief is an energy healing facial treatment and/or a sound energy healing  treatment. You can do both treatments at one time if you wish for a stronger relaxing effect.  Each treatment on its own will help you to look and feel healthier and younger. This will make for a merrier Christmas for all.
A gift certificate for family or friends will show them that you care enough about them and their well being.
Gift cards are available.  Just call or text, or email me.
  630-655-3345      or    Send me an email

 

I have My Skin Buddy in stock for that special christmas present for someone.  This is a hand held tool that has a cleansing mode, ultrasonic mode (helps with product penetration), and LED light for wrinkles, acne, and redness.  Great for home use.
Here’s their website for more info.
If interested, call for your price.

Call or text or email me if you have any questions or concerns.
Have a joyful holiday!!
Love and joy  Joan Kesman
                                                                    Specials
Receive a facial treatment before Dec. 30th, 2017and receive a Free mini Sound Energy
Therapy Treatment with my 4 new tuning forks.  15 minutes added to facial.  $25 gift to you.
Call for price on My Skin Buddy
Also posted in Anti-aging, Beauty Tips, Facials, Health, Natural Skin Care Products, Skin Care, Wrinkles Tagged , , , , , , |

Is Your Sunscreen Toxic

 Some Sunscreens Can Damage Your Skin, Fail To Block Harmful Rays

The sun is out and summer is here.  The last few days have been beautiful for getting out, but at the same time that sun causes damage to our skin and can age us faster.  Facial treatments will help prevent that by repairing, calming and hydrating the face slowing down the aging process.  The newest and best treatment I have is LED light therapy.  Just purchased a new one that has new technology to further enhance your skin.  Check for info below and call for your appointment now at 630 655 3345.

 Yes, we do need that sun that helps your body create Vitamin D.  It is recommended that you sit in the sun for about 15 to 45 minutes depending on how light or dark you are to get your needed dose.  Many ailments we have can be from a lack of this supplement.  Some experts believe that excessive use of sunscreen is also the cause of Vitamin D deficiency.

skin care Geneva and St. Charles

I, personally, do not use sunscreens.  I had a bad experience with it years ago when it became popular.  It burned my face.  I was on the golf course and used my water bottle to wash it off and still had to wash it off more at the nearest restroom.  I do take precautions with the sun.  My main to go product is Pevonia’s Vitamin C Complex for my face, to help prevent sun damage.  Using Vitamin C Complex at night helps to reverse  sun damage.  If I am going to be out for quite awhile, I take a powerful antioxidant Bio Astin Hawaiian Astaxanthin 12 mg before going into the sun, to help prevent sunburn.  When I’m out at my grandson’s baseball games, I further protect myself by wearing clothing that covers me more, wear sunglasses, and sit under trees when they are around.

Most sunscreens have toxic synthetic chemicals that are irritating to the skin such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, benzophenones,octyl methoxycinnamate, and more.  These ingredients can increase your risk of skin cancer and because of the irritation factor, it does increase aging of the skin.  Remember the Scientific Rule which states: The more you irritate the skin, the more it becomes inflamed, the faster you age, and the more you are prone to skin cancer.  It’s also recommended that you DO NOT use spray sunscreens because of the risk to your lungs.If you burn easily, you might need to use a sunscreen.  Look for a zinc oxide or titanium dioxide based formula that acts as a physical barrier. They just sit on the surface of the skin.  There is much controversy about using non-nanotech or nanotech formulas.  You choose.  A safe one that I use and my family uses is Dr. Mercola SPF 50 sunscreen.  Can be purchased on his website.

If you want to read more, check out these 2 sites: sunscreen ingredients Best and Worst Sunscreens

This is my new LED light therapy unit.  Phototherapy is known for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties.  It can increase circulation, accelerate tissue repair, decrease wrinkles, improve texture, tone, and clarity, ease muscle and joint pain, stiffness, and spasms and kill acne bacteria and much more.  Also helps with rosacea and redness.  So with the summer sun, if you get sunburn the LED light therapy can help to heal that faster.

Geneva Skin care and facial

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

Also posted in Anti-aging, Facials, Natural Skin Care Products, Organic Skin Care Products, Skin Care Technology, Sun Screen, Toxic Products Tagged , , , |

Skin Types Demand Different Care

Personal Skin Care Starts With Analysis

Vibrant, beautiful skin has always been considered an important part of health. But in today’s modern environment, soft, smooth, flawless skin can be difficult to achieve and even more challenging to maintain. Your skin’s health is largely determined by diet, lifestyle habits, and sun exposure, which can sabotage healthy skin and leave lasting effects on skin strength, resiliency, and appearance.

In the early 1900s, four different skin types; dry, oily, combination, and sensitive, were identified and characterized by Helena Rubinstein. Each of those skin types is characterized by its own features and specifications such as:

Dry Skin (Xerosis)
This skin type is characterized by a dull gray-white color, rough texture, and an elevated number of ridges. The oily secretion of the sebaceous glands, which contains wax esters, sterol esters, cholesterol, di- and triglycerides, and squalene is believed to protect the skin from environmental influences and, when production is lower, contribute to dry skin. When the body’s natural oily layer on the skin dries out, the skin is unable to produce enough oil and moisture for the body to replenish the amount being lost. For the most part, the skin is able to replace that which is lost, but sometimes the body’s efforts are not enough and the skin needs more protection.

Geneva skin care and facial

 

Oily skin
Sometimes also known as acne prone skin, Oily skin is particularly common in adolescents and young adults. At this age there is a dramatic increase in sebum production under the influence of the hormones. Oily skin is characterized by the abundance and nature of the sebum excreted at the skin surface by the sebaceous gland, target organ of androgens. It is most frequently encountered in adolescents and young adults. Excess of sebum gives the skin a shiny appearance, particularly on the forehead, the sides of the nose and the chin. In severe cases, various forms of acne can develop. An oily skin is also thick, well moisturized and covered with a protective oily film.

Sensitive skin
Sensitive skin is more common, with more than 40% of people claiming to have such skin. Sensitive skin is generally considered as skin which is easily irritated and probably has a genetic element. Some people with this condition cannot tolerate contact with any cosmetic products, however well-formulated they may be. Sensitive skin can be associated with a medical condition called atopy, where people have an inherited predisposition to eczema, hay fever and asthma. About 15-20% of the population has the genetic ability to develop eczema, asthma and hay fever.

Combination skin
Also known as “mixed” type of skin, this skin form is considered variable when exposed to different external and internal factors such as weather, climate, medicines intake, diet consumption etc.

Source: http://www.healthhotsolution.com/3/category/understanding%20different%20skin%20typesc77530f235/1.html

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

Geneva Skin care and facial

Also posted in Anti-aging, Skin Care, Skin Care Products Tagged , , , , |

Change Your Thoughts To Change Your Life

Inner Peace Promotes Wellness

The world is going through chaotic changes right now, changes that need to happen since we are in the age of peace, the age of Aquarius. That peace starts with us and our thoughts and beliefs. Is your mind cluttered with fears and anger, a lot of negative beliefs? What you think, affects how you feel physically, mentally, and spiritually. Your fear-based and limiting negative thoughts, can actually cause illness in the body and mind.  Science now knows there is a mind/body connection.

A great book to read about this is “The Biology Of Belief” by Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. A quote of his from the book—“Beliefs and thoughts alter cells in your body”. And how do we change our thoughts and beliefs? For a long time it was thought that just thinking and expressing positive affirmations would change all that. It might help some but not enough. A quote again from Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. that explains it best.

Geneva skin care and facial

“Our thoughts are mainly controlled by our subconscious, which is largely formed before the age of 6, and you cannot change the subconscious mind by just thinking about it. That’s why the power of positive thinking will not work for most people. The subconscious mind is like a tape player. Until you change the tape, it will not change.”

According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, the fastest and easiest way to change the subconscious is using Psych-K techniques.  This psychological process helps you to communicate directly with your subconscious mind so you can discover your programmed hidden beliefs that could be sabotaging your peace and success.  Psych-K is whole brain integration, a way to work with the conscious and subconscious together.  Studies indicate that 95% of our consciousness is actually in the subconscious. To learn more about Psych-K and the founder Robert Williams, M.A, check out this you tube link.  visit Psych-K       

I have taken the classes and used the Psych-K modalities for years now and have undergone a lot
of changes for the better. It helped me to let go of many of my struggles. I feel peaceful and calm
because of it. It’s a technique that I highly recommend to change those self-sabotaging beliefs thus
changing your life. Please give me a call and I will tell you more.

Skin Care Tips

  • Diet coke causes inflammation in the body. It tends to stiffen the body so you can’t move well.
  • High salt diet can cause acne and clogging in the skin.
  • A zinc deficiency can be the cause of your skin problems

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

Geneva Skin care

Also posted in Anti-aging, Beauty Tips, Health Tagged , , , |

Facial Serums Make A Difference

Serums, Cleansers Critical To Healthy Skin

skin care products natural

In the past, I’ve talked about skin cleansers and toners. Cleansers are probably the most important product to use on your skin. If they are too acidic or too alkaline, they tear down the skin, making it irritated and more sensitive. Scrubs can cause the same type of skin damage.

The more you irritate the skin, the more it becomes inflamed, the faster you age and the more you are prone to skin  cancer.

Your skin is a complex organ that serves as a protective barrier. It’s aging not only affects how old you look, but the thinning of the skin exposes you to infections and environmental chemicals and UV radiation.  So you need to know your cleanser. (You can bring it in and I can check it out for you. Know too, that Pevonia’s cleansers are the proper PH.)

Step #2 is skin toner. Toners balance the skin and they also remove tap residue. Depending on your water supply, this residue can cause breakout and problems on the skin.

skin care Geneva

On to the third step in your home care routine which is a serum, (also called intensifiers, concentrates, elixirs, and boosters). Clients ask me if they really need a serum. The answer is YES.  The appropriate serum can make a dramatic difference on your face. It can make your skin look and feel younger, help tighten pores, calm redness, hydrate, diminish wrinkles, help acne, lighten, and more.  The best thing about specialized serums, is that they have powerful, concentrated, active ingredients that absorb quickly to deliver these ingredients.  The gel-like product is usually water based so it doesn’t clog your pores.

When you want to target specific skin concerns, serums are the way to go. Not only do they offer targeted results, but they strengthen your cells and give them nourishment and help repair. The one serum I like best, especially in the sun, is Vitamin C Concentrate by Pevonia. It helps prevent and repair sun damage.

These concentrates need to go on immediately after cleansing and toning. The skin needs to be very moist for the serum to be massaged gently (up and out movements) into the skin of the face, neck, and upper chest. If you don’t have toner, then leave your face moist with water (distilled water if possible). A creamy lotion or cream moisturizer over the top is usually recommended to keep serum from evaporating before it delivers its targeted ingredient.

Whatever your skin care concerns are, you can see faster results using the appropriate serum. Not all serums are created equal since manufacturing practices vary from brand to brand. Pevonia has my serums of choice because they are safe and effective.

To find out more about the importance of facials and natural skin care products, please contact Skin Care Plus. We use and recommend the best natural and organic skin care products available. We also offer other skin care treatments that can help with anti-aging and overall skin health, including the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles.

Geneva Skin care and facial

Also posted in Acne, Anti-aging, Moisturizers, Natural Skin Care Products, Organic Skin Care Products, Skin Care, Skin Care Products, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , |

Heart Rhythm Reflects Health, Harmony

Positive Thoughts Critical To Health, Beauty

According to new research from the HeartMath Institute, our thoughts and emotions affect us and others more than we realized. Our hearts are an amazing source of intelligence, the seat of our emotions and the source and messenger of vital information essential for physical health and balance. Research shows that our heart rhythm patterns are more smooth and balanced with positive emotions and more jagged and erratic with negative emotions. This is more positive feedback that our emotions and thoughts affect our body inside and out–including our skin.
skin care Chicago

Energy healing facial treatments and sound energy therapy are both great ways to help you with positive emotions to keep your body healthy and younger looking.

Take a look at this short video clip to learn more.
What is heart intelligence? Heart intelligence is the flow of intuitive awareness, understanding and inner guidance we experience when the mind and emotions are brought into coherent alignment with the heart. It can be activated through self-initiated practice. The more coherent we are and the more we pay attention to this deeper intuitive inner guidance, the greater our ability to access this intelligence more frequently. Heart intelligence underlies cellular organization and guides and evolves organisms toward increased order, awareness and coherence of their bodies’ systems.

To learn more about integrated health and its impact on anti-aging and overall health, please contact the skin care experts at Skin Care Plus. We offer energy-based therapies and the best facial in the greater Chicago area, including Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles. We also offer the best natural skin care products available. We offer tele-consultation and we can ship beneficial products to you anywhere in the world.

Geneva Skin care and facial

Also posted in Anti-aging, Beauty Tips, Facials, Health Tagged , , , , |

Reduce Stress With Mindfulness Techniques

Promote Health, Healing With Less Stress

Editor’s Note: Mindfulness techniques can help reduce stress and help you be more aware of your mind and body. Reducing stress helps heal ourselves and stay healthier in body, mind and spirit. Another great way to relax and reduce stress is with Joan’s new treatment, Sound Energy Therapy. Check it out under Services on this site and read the articles below for more information on this technique.

By Nicola Brown

With the hustle and bustle of life stress can erode our emotional and physical health. Mindfulness techniques can help you in many ways, including:

  • Reduced stress
  • Improved attention
  • Better working memory
  • More positive emotions
  • Reduced blood pressure

What is Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a practice with roots reaching as far back as the ancient traditions of Buddhist meditation. However, mindfulness has assumed a much more secular role in our society today. Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to reveal important health benefits, and it is practiced in many different forms, including traditional meditation.

Mindfulness is essentially awareness. It is the practice of sustaining awareness of our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and external environment in the present moment.

Contrary to popular belief, mindfulness isn’t about trying to attain some sort of nirvana or enlightened state. It’s exactly the opposite: accepting and existing in the present, whatever that present looks like.

While many people think mindfulness and meditation are the same thing, they’re actually quite different.

Meditation: Traditional meditation typically involves sitting, relaxed but attentive with your eyes closed, in a quiet place conducive to peacefulness.

Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of awareness in itself. This means it can be performed anywhere at any time.

Got a busy schedule? No problem. You can practice mindfulness in the shower, on the subway, at the gym, or even during dinner. Just 15 minutes a day is all you need.

mindful breathing technique

Mindful Breathing

  • Step 1: Choose a “down” time on the subway, in the shower, making breakfast.
  • Step 2: Shift your focus to your breathing and pick a single aspect to focus on: the rising and falling of your chest or the sensation in your nose.
  • Step 3: Spend at least five minutes in this state of awareness; when your mind wanders, gently direct it back to your breath.

What you’ll need: A time during your day when you have fewer demands on your attention.

Pro Tip: Notice how your breath changes when you perform different activities and sense new stimuli; note these changes non-judgmentally.

Why it works to reduce stress: Focusing on a single sensation can help still a racing mind. Focusing on the breath can also lead us to breathe more slowly and deeply, leading to a slower heart rate and a more relaxed state. You also will likely experience increased relaxation and reduced blood pressure.

      • Step 1: Choose a convenient mealtime when you won’t be expected to socialize.
      • Step 2: Eat slowly. Focus on each sensation of your first bite in turn: smell, sight, touch, sound, and taste.
      • Step 3: Immerse yourself in the richness of the practice of eating, and try to eat your whole meal slowly with appreciation.

What you’ll need: A meal, snack, or some portion of food and a time when you’re alone or won’t be expected to socialize.

Pro Tip: Start to become consciously aware of the sensations that accompany the practice of eating: hunger, anticipation, salivation, and digestion.

Why it works to reduce stress: Taking time to appreciate the small things we often miss can liberate us from ruminating on our daily concerns. Eating more slowly can give our bodies the proper amount of time they need for digestion to avoid some common physiological triggers of stress.

mindful eating technique

Mindful Eating

      • Step 1: Choose a convenient mealtime when you won’t be expected to socialize.
      • Step 2: Eat slowly. Focus on each sensation of your first bite in turn: smell, sight, touch, sound, and taste.
      • Step 3: Immerse yourself in the richness of the practice of eating, and try to eat your whole meal slowly with appreciation.

What you’ll need: A meal, snack, or some portion of food and a time when you’re alone or won’t be expected to socialize.

Pro Tip: Start to become consciously aware of the sensations that accompany the practice of eating: hunger, anticipation, salivation, and digestion.

Why it works to reduce stress: Taking time to appreciate the small things we often miss can liberate us from ruminating on our daily concerns. Eating more slowly can give our bodies the proper amount of time they need for digestion to avoid some common physiological triggers of stress. You also will likely experience improved digestive function and reduced tendencies to overeat.

body scan meditation

Body Scan Meditation

      • Step 1: Set aside a time and place in your day where you can sit comfortably and won’t be distracted or disturbed.
      • Step 2: Find a comfortable but attentive seated position, close your eyes, and bring your attention to your toes.
      • Step 3: Working up from your toes, bring awareness to each body part in turn: your feet, ankles, calves, knees, etc., up to your head.

What you’ll need: A comfortable, quiet place to sit where you won’t be disturbed.

Pro Tip: If you notice any tension or start to get uncomfortable or bored, don’t get frustrated. Accept these sensations as they are and gently refocus on your body scan without passing judgment on your emotions.

Why it works to reduce stress: Body scan meditations encourage self-awareness of sensations we might otherwise ignore. When you notice excessive tension in your body, you can consciously relax the muscles in that area. You may not even realize how tense you are until you intentionally bring awareness to your whole body. You also will likely experience decreased muscle tension and increased pain tolerance.

Open Awareness Meditation

Step 1: Set aside a time and place in your day where you can sit comfortably and you won’t be distracted or disturbed.

Step 2: Find a comfortable but attentive seated position, close your eyes, and bring your attention to the thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing moment to moment.

Step 3: Observe these thoughts and feelings in an open, non-judgmental way; don’t try to change them but simply acknowledge their presence, gently guiding your focus back when your mind wanders.

What you’ll need: A comfortable, quiet place to sit where you won’t be disturbed.

Pro Tip: Try silently referring to thoughts as “thought” and emotions as “emotion” in your head. This will help you separate yourself from these sensations and gain a more open, objective perception.

Why it works to reduce stress: Being able to recognize and separate ourselves from the strong thoughts and emotions we experience can help us learn how to regulate our moods more effectively. You also will likely experience increased self-awareness and improved emotion regulation and resilience

mindful yoga technique

Mindful Yoga

Step 1: Set aside at least 15 minutes in a quiet, open, airy space for your yoga practice.

Step 2: Instead of treating your practice like a session at the gym, treat it like a meditation where you bring your full awareness to both your physical and emotional sensations as you move through the poses.

Step 3: Observe how the physical sensations from each pose give rise to emotional sensations, such as released tension leading to relaxation or even feelings like pain leading to frustration.

What you’ll need: A yoga mat, comfortable clothing, and an open, airy space.

Pro Tip: Try reducing the number of poses and spending more time on each pose to increase the level of mindful awareness you bring to the practice.

Why it works to reduce stress: In addition to all the benefits of mindful meditation, mindful yoga adds a physical element that provides a boost of energy and positive chemicals in the brain. You also will likely experience enhanced Concentration and improved memory.

The best way to get the most out of your mindfulness practices is to perform them regularly. MRI scans have shown that practicing mindfulness regularly actually changes the structure of the brain, making it better wired for awareness and concentration and less prone to overly emotional responses. Reducing stress is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the myriad health benefits of mindfulness.

Read more: http://www.fix.com/blog/mindfulness-techniques-to-reduce-stress/

 

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