Category Archives: Health

Sun Is Beneficial To Skin

Skin Benefits From The Sun

By Dr. Michael Murray

This time of year, everyone wants to be outside. It feels so good to have the warm sun on our bare skin. If you haven’t heard that being out in the sun, unprotected by sunscreen, puts you at risk for wrinkles (at best) and skin cancer (at worst) then you’ve probably been living under a rock!

However, while most people are aware of the dangers of too much sun, many don’t realize that sunlight confers enormous health benefits as well. Keeping in mind that you need to protect your skin with a high-quality sunscreen when you go outdoors, let’s look at some of the surprising benefits of sunlight.

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Sunlight may help prevent cancer. It’s not just plants that metabolize sunlight. Humans do, too. Through a complex process, our bodies turn sunlight into life-giving vitamin D.

The connection between vitamin D deficiency and cancer was first made by Drs. Frank and Cedric Garland from the University of California, San Diego. After finding that the incidence of colon cancer was nearly three times higher in New York than in New Mexico, the Garland brothers hypothesized that lack of sun exposure, resulting in a vitamin D deficiency, played a role.

Research now indicates that being deficient in vitamin D increases the risk of many cancers, especially breast and colon. For example, a four-year, placebo-controlled study involving 1,179 postmenopausal women concluded that vitamin D supplementation produced a dramatic 60 percent drop in the risk of developing any form of cancer.

Sunlight is beneficial for Alzheimer’s patients.
Clinical research has shown that exposure to full-spectrum light throughout the day coupled with darkness at night can help improve some aspects of Alzheimer’s disease—reducing agitation, increasing sleep efficiency, decreasing nighttime wakefulness and decreasing nighttime activity in these patients.

Sunlight may lower risk for multiple sclerosis.
MS is more common in populations that live farther from the equator. People who move from a low-risk area to a high-risk area before the age of 15 acquire a higher risk of developing MS, whereas those who make the same move after adolescence retain a lower risk. These observations suggest that environmental exposure, and in particular, early sunlight exposure (which is correlated with vitamin D levels) in the first two decades of life, influences the risk of developing MS.

Related to this finding, several European population studies observed that there is a lower risk of MS for births occurring after October and a higher risk for MS for births occurring after May. This suggests that maternal levels of vitamin D during the third trimester of pregnancy may influence risk of MS.

Sunlight helps heal psoriasis.
Exposure to sunlight is extremely beneficial for individuals with psoriasis. In one study, an outdoor four-week sunbathing therapy was shown to promote significant clearance of psoriatic symptoms in 84 percent of subjects.

Sunlight can ease mild depression.
There has been a lot of research on the link between sunlight and mood. One solid study found that sunlight actually increases levels of a natural antidepressant in the brain. On sunny days, the brain produces more of the mood-lifting chemical serotonin than on darker days.

Sunlight contributes to bone health in older adults.
It is well known that vitamin D stimulates the absorption of bone-strengthening calcium. The process of vitamin D manufacture begins when sunlight changes the 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin into vitamin D3. Emerging research is showing a direct correlation between both bone density and blood levels of vitamin D3. Higher blood levels of vitamin D3 are associated with a lower rate of fractures of virtually all types; lower blood levels of vitamin D3 are associated with a higher rate of fractures of all types.

Sunlight can improve sleep quality.
When sunlight hits your eyes, your optic nerve sends a message to the gland in the brain that produces melatonin (a hormone that helps you sleep); the gland decreases its secretions of melatonin until the sun goes down again. In other words, exposure to sunlight during the day increases the natural production of melatonin at night. Low levels of melatonin production are linked to poor sleep quality, especially in older adults.

Skincare News via http://www.care2.com/greenliving/author/drmurray

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.

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Are Your Skin Care Products Safe And Effective

Beware Of Toxic Ingredients In Skin Care Products

Pevonia Caviar Line

Clients ask me to check out their skin care products to see if they are safe and effective. I 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. By looking at the ingredient label, I am able to tell if they are safe or not but not really tell if they are effective. To check to see if the product is safe, I look to see what ingredients are irritants and possible or known carcinogens. One such ingredient, Triclosan, an antibacterial, was found to cause cancer in mice, so it is a possible carcinogenic for us. It can be found in skin care products, toothpastes, deodorant and more. This ingredient was questionable in the late 1990s and was taken out of the Pevonia products that I carry in less than a year. Yet many skin care companies still contain it.

The products’ effectiveness can’t be told by the ingredients list. You really need to know your company and the testing they do. Two things that are important to know: the percentage of the active ingredients in the product and if there is a special delivery system to help the ingredients to do their work.The active ingredients such as peptides, stem cells, and vitamin C, etc. need to have a certain percentage in the product to be beneficial. Also an ingredient like vitamin C needs a special manufacturing process to be beneficial in your bottle and effective.

It’s not easy for you tell if the product is going to be effective. That’s where your facial specialist comes in to help. I had researched many companies before I chose the Pevonia line. So according to your skin’s needs, I can let you know what products would help your skin to be healthier and younger looking.

The more you irritate the skin, the more it becomes inflamed, the faster you age and the more you are prone to skin cancer. If you have questions about your products, just call me. I would be glad to help and recommend.

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.

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Foods That Promote Healthy Skin

Beat Dryness, Wrinkles With Nutrition

Give your topical creams some backup, and care for your face naturally. Nutritionist Dana James shared the good things to eat for a flawless complexion.

Papayas: They contain lots of vitamin C and serve as an exfoliant when applied topically. You will see several skincare products that contain papaya because of its numerous benefits to your skin.

natural skin care products

Avocados: A good source of biotin, avocados help to prevent dry skin and brittle hair and nails. When applied topically, they can hydrate parched skin. Create a moisturizing mask. Pit the fruit, puree the pulp, and pat it on your face. The oil acts as an emollient. It also contains beneficial vitamin E.

Green Tea: High on the list of skin-friendly beverages thanks to its impressive storehouse of polyphenols. Aim for four cups throughout your day.

Tomatoes: A German study found that lycopene-rich tomato paste helped participants prevent sunburn when they combined it with olive oil, daily for ten weeks. Besides being a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are considered a high-carotenoid fruit. These nutrients may help slow down cellular damage from free radicals.

Salmon: Salmon contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid that improves skin elasticity, so you’ll have fewer fine lines.

Eggs. Protein helps repair cells that have suffered free radical damage. Eggs, a complete source of protein, also contain biotin, an essential vitamin that protects against dry skin.

Pomegranates: When applied topically, this antioxidant-rich fruit may help skin create more collagen, while speeding healing.

Walnuts: Looking to add Omega-3 fatty acids to your diet but not a fan of fish? Walnuts are a rich source of Omega-3s, which help put shine in your hair and aid in making skin smoother and younger looking.

Beans: Another protein source, legumes help repair cells that have suffered free radical damage. During digestion, protein breaks down into amino acids, the building blocks of cells. Amino acids help to speed the repair and regeneration of skin cells and collagen.

Skin Care Plus uses 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

Skincare News via http://www.rd.com/health/beauty/8-essential-foods-for-beautiful-skin/

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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.

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“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

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Protect Your Skin From Melanoma

Screen For Skin Cancer On Melanoma Monday

Melanoma is not the most common form of skin cancer, but it is the deadliest. One in 50 Americans will develop malignant melanoma and around 10,000 people will die from it this year. And it’s not just a disease that affects the elderly. In fact, melanoma is the most common form of skin cancer in young adults between the ages of 25 and 29.

The back is the most common site for malignant melanoma. It’s hard for us to detect since we can’t see areas near the spine and shoulder blades as well as other parts of our body. It’s also difficult to cover that area with sunscreen without asking for help. As such, melanoma on the back is typically diagnosed later, which makes treatment more challenging.

natural skin care Chicago

Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells. It most often develops on areas of the skin exposed to the sun’s rays. Skin cancer affects people of all colors and races, although those with light skin who sunburn easily have a higher risk.

What Does Skin Cancer Look Like

Actinic Keratoses (AK). These dry, scaly patches or spots are precancerous growths.

types-of-skin-cancer-actinic-keratoses.jpg

  • People who get AKs usually have fair skin.
  • Most people see their first AKs after 40 years of age because AKs tend to develop after years of sun exposure.
  • AKs usually form on the skin that gets lots of sun exposure, such as the head, neck, hands, and forearms.
  • Because an AK can progress to a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), treatment is important.

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC). This is the most common type of skin cancer.
types-of-skin-cancer-basal-cell-carcinoma.jpg

  • BCCs frequently develop in people who have fair skin, yet they can occur in people with darker skin.
  • BCCs look like a flesh-colored, pearl-like bump or a pinkish patch of skin.
  • BCCs develop after years of frequent sun exposure or indoor tanning.
  • BCC are common on the head, neck, and arms, yet can form anywhere on the body, including the chest, abdomen, and legs.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment for BCC is important. BCC can invade the surrounding tissue and grow into the nerves and bones, causing damage and disfigurement.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). SCC is the second most common type of skin cancer.

types-of-skin-cancer-squamous-cell-carcinoma.jpg

  • People who have light skin are most likely to develop SCC, yet they can develop in darker-skinned people.
  • SCC often looks like a red firm bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals and then re-opens.
  • SCC tend to form on skin that gets frequent sun exposure, such as the rim of the ear, face, neck, arms, chest, and back. SCC can grow deep in the skin and cause damage and disfigurement. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent this and stop SCC from spreading to other areas of the body.

Melanoma. The deadliest form of skin cancer.
types-of-skin-cancer-melanoma.jpg

  • Melanoma frequently develops in a mole or suddenly appears as a new dark spot on the skin.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial.
  • Knowing the warning signs of melanoma can help you with early detection.

Skin Cancer News via https://www.aad.org/public/spot-skin-cancer/learn-about-skin-cancer/types-of-skin-cancer

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

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Skin Replaces Itself Every Month

Avoid Toxic Foods, Skin Care Products To Promote Healthier Skin

Every year, the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries make billions of dollars from moisturizing creams and skin care products that contain tons of harsh chemicals. While no one in their right mind would leave tons of toxic chemicals in an organ like the heart, millions of women have been brainwashed into thinking that it’s ok to leave tons of harsh chemicals on their face or skin.

Change Your Diet

What the cosmetic industry won’t tell you is the fact that fountain of youth is in your garden and you can wear it for life. Foods high in antioxidants, bioflavonoids, phytochemicals and micronutrients can significantly reduce the damage of free radicals and toxins at cellular level. Also, people age, simply because there are not enough new cells to replace damaged, old, and dying cells. Many nutritionists and researchers believe that more than our genetics, our chosen lifestyle is what can accelerate aging process.

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In fact, one of the most amazing studies were conducted by Harvard research study in early 1990’s showed how important antioxidants are to living cells and tissues in the human body. Soon afterwards, extensive studies were conducted on antioxidants and secondly how groups of antioxidants work even better together, and are so much more effective in slowing aging process, fighting cancer and beating free radicals.

a. Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C: Organic citrus fruits, pineapple, papaya and dark green leafy vegetables like kale and broccoli are amazing source of antioxidants, bioflavonoids, phytochemicals and micronutrients. In fact, research has shown that organic berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries) wage war against molecules known as free radicals that can harm brain cells and brain function. Antioxidants in berries have strong anti-aging properties and can fight against chronic diseases such inflammation, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and heart disease.

b. Various groups of antioxidants can even work better together: To stay younger and have more energy add various groups of antioxidants including Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, Vitamin E, Glutathione, Bioflavanoids, Lutein, Lycopene, Coenzyme Q10, Zinc, Copper, Managese, and Vitamin A to your diet. In fact, beta carotene and vitamin A in carrots are an amazing source of antioxidants. Leafy vegetables like kale and broccoli are amazing source antioxidants, in particular, vitamins C and E.

c. Organic Green/herbal tea has powerful antioxidants. Avoid sugary beverages or drinks like coffee that are high in caffeine or toxic additives like high fructose corn syrup: Green and herbal teas are amazing source of antioxidants, whereas black tea, coffee and sugary drinks are high in free radicals. Keep in mind that many herbs imported from China have also high levels of aluminum, lead and arsenic. Even green tea (not real ones) with so many health benefits can be contaminated with high levels of fluoride.

walnuts and healthy skin

d. Omega 3 fatty acids found in wild salmon, nuts ( walnuts or cashews), olive oil, flaxseed, sesame seeds, avocado and hemp seeds: In fact, omega 3 fatty acids (found in wild salmon, nuts, olive oil, flaxseed, sesame seeds, avocado and hemp seeds) are an important factor necessary for neurological development of mothers and growing babies. Omega 3 fatty acids are also necessary for promoting proper brain formation, increasing intelligence, excellent eyesight, healthy skin, strong nerves and the alleviation of depression. Keep in mind that eating wild salmon and taking fish oil (omega 3) supplements are VERY different. In fact, most omega-3 fish oil supplements are made from FARMED salmon that have high concentrations of PCB, toxins and mercury. Also, other seafood like tuna, swordfish, shark or sardines have high amount of mercury and other toxins that can accelerate aging and lead to many other health issues. Currently, wild sockeye salmon (0.09 mercury) is considered the lowest mercury fish. Find out why fish oil made from farmed salmon isn’t good for you: http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/fish-oil-supplements.php

e. The ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is very important: The imbalances between omega 3 and omega 6 in Western diet that can result in many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammation, diabetes, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases. These autoimmune issues can affect the body’s functionality to replace old dying cells with new ones. According to many scientific studies, human body has evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 of approximately 1. However, many nutritionists and experts believe that this ratio should be even higher, like 3 to 1. But based on the Western diet, the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is more like 1/15-1/25. So in conclusion, omega 6 causes inflammation (which accelerates aging) where as omega 3 can neutralize inflammation and in most Americans, the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 is 25 times higher than it should be. The primary sources of omega 6 in Western diet are red meat, dairy, corn oil, hydrogenated (partially hydrogenated) fats and oils, canola oil, soy oil, and margarine.

Foods That Promote Aging

a. Sugary beverages, energy drinks, sodas, or drinks like coffee that are high in caffeine or toxic additives like high fructose corn syrup can accelerate aging.

b. Fried foods, foods high in omega 6, processed foods, foods that are nutritionally depleted (like GMOs, conventional foods, foods high in sugar, artificial additives and preservatives and foods that are pesticide ridden) can promote and accelerate aging. In fact, by looking at someone’s skin, you could tell that if they are eating too much French fries or fried foods.

smoking and skin health

c. Avoid smoking cigarettes or drugs like marijuana: Stop smoking Monsanto’s Roundup, since 90% of tobaccos in US are GMOs. Beside Roundup, cigarettes have more than 4,000 harsh chemicals and other toxins such as bleach and ammonia: Keep in mind that drugs like marijuana have free radicals that can accelerate aging.

d. Eliminate your use of skincare products, skin lotions and cosmetics that can have tons of harsh chemicals: The cosmetic industry has been making billions of dollars from paraben and petroleum based products that have tons of harsh chemicals and cancer-causing carcinogens. What is even more shocking is the fact that millions of women or even men spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on miracle creams or botox injections that do supposedly promise younger looking skin and anti-aging properties. Find out why Toxic ingredients in anti-aging creams like ‘Meaningful Beauty’ are not ‘Meaningful’ or ‘Beautiful.’

I have always encouraged our readers to pay attention to the ingredients in their skincare products and educate themselves about the reality of botox injections. In fact, the botox injections are not as safe as they seem to be and the so called anti-aging botox is a neurotoxin made from botulinum toxin that paralyses the muscles of face. Click here to find out how we actually are putting by-products of crude oil known as Petrolatum on our skin – a known cancer-causing carcinogen according to EU. In addition, most pharmaceutical drugs or even drugs like marijuana have free radicals that can accelerate aging.

Drink Clean Water

At least, two thirds of our body is made of water. You shouldn’t necessary wait and drink water when you’re thirsty. Don’t expect for your skin to be glowing, if you don’t drink enough water. Water can flush out toxins and free radicals out of your body and can promote weight loss. Keep in mind that there could be more than 60 different chemicals in your drinking water including chlorine and fluoride. So, it’s very important to have access to clean/filtered water, in particular, reverse osmosis.

Cleansing, Stress, Exercise

a. It’s very important to have a good cleansing diet on a regular basis, so your body can get rid of free radicals, toxins and heavy metals. Lemon fast diet (one glass of water, one freshly squeezed organic lime and a spoon of organic maple syrup) is one of the best ways to clean your body, in particular, your colon. Drink green smoothies full of fiber and enzymes at least once a day and get extra fiber by adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. It’s great to add herbs like mint, basil and tarragon to your diet for cleansing.

b. Constant stress and anxiety and not getting enough sleep can also promote accumulation of toxins and free radicals. So, try to relax by meditating or practicing yoga.

c. Exercising is a great way to get your blood circulation optimum. Exercising can relax your muscles, so you can sleep better at nights. Through perspiration, you can also get rid of heavy metals like lead, aluminum and mercury. So, it is very important to exercise and get rid of toxins in your body through perspiration.

Healthy Skin Tips via http://seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/power-of-nutrition-antioxidants-foods-that-are-beneficial-harmful-for-skin-health.php#sthash.wnTv0GMv.dpuf

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Skin Care Is More Than Cosmetic

Chicago Skin Care Expert Explains The Importance Of Dermatology

Skin care is extremely important to our overall health and survival. Our skin has many components, including water, protein, lipids, minerals and chemicals. It plays a large role in our overall health. For example, our skin:

  • protects us from infections, germs and bacteria;
  • protects us from cold, heat and sunlight;
  • protects us from toxins;
  • minimizes water loss from the body;
  • protects blood vessels, nerves and organs;
  • helps regulate body temperature; and
  • is part of our immune system.

natural skin care and facials

Proactive Skin Care

Our skin regenerates itself approximately every 27 days. Aging, genetics, gravity, exercise, environmental condition, medications, diet and sun exposure take their toll. When outdoors, wear protective clothing and an effective sunscreen. It’s also helpful to avoid strong soaps, limit bath time, eat well and manage stress.

The skin is one of our body’s heaviest and largest organs. Depending on body size and mass, it weighs between 7-22 pounds. It is 1-2 square meters in size. If the skin is damaged, more blood flows to the wounded area, which is why wounds are red and warm. Afterwards, cells form to make new skin, subcutaneous tissue and blood vessels. Connective tissue fibers (collagen) and small muscle cells are made too. As a result, the wound becomes more stable and closes. Depending on how deep the wound is, it heals with or without scarring.

The skin consists of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutis. The outermost, visible layer of skin is called the epidermis. It forms the surface of the skin and constantly rebuilds itself. Newcells are made in the lower layers of the epidermis. These move to the surface within four weeks, where they harden and are then shed. Depending on where it is on the body, the epidermis is between 0.03 and 4 mm thick. For example, it is very thin on the forehead, and quite thick on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands.

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Feel the difference with personal, natural skin care. We’re just a call or click away.

The epidermis contains other cell types as well. Special cells called melanocytes produce and store the pigment melanin. When we lie in the sun, the melanocytes produce more melanin. This makes our skin darker and tan, which is how melanin protects us from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Lymphocytes play an important role in fighting germs. Merkel cells are special nerve cells in the skin that sense pressure.

The dermis (the thick inner layer of the skin) consists of robust, elastic fibers. These ensure that the skin is strong and stable, but also elastic. The dermis has a network of nerve fibers and blood vessels in it. These blood vessels carry nutrients and oxygen to the cells of the dermis and the epidermis.

The subcutis (the deepest layer of skin, also called the subcutaneous layer) is composed of fat and connective tissue. The fat acts as a shock absorber and insulator. The dermis and the subcutis contain blood and lymph vessels, not to mention nerves, sweat glands, sebaceous (oil glands and scent glands, as well as the roots of head and body hair). Proper skin care addresses health of the entire body.

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

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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.
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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

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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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Sound Therapy Helps Restore Inner Harmony

Editor’s Note: Although this article dates back a few years, it’s as accurate as ever because the concept dates back centuries. At Skin Care Plus, we apply sound therapy with tuning forks. We call it harmonic healing and we recommend it to treat a variety of conditions. 

The Healing Power Of Sound

By Karen Olson

From humming to drumming – research suggests that the influences of certain rhythms, sounds and vibrations can help us resist and recover from a wide variety of ailments. Sound also has a powerful effect on how we feel. Our bodies and minds react differently to the unrelenting noise of a jackhammer than to a trickle of water in a creek.

Whether our conscious minds are paying attention or not, our bodies take their cues from these sounds and rhythms, knowing when to get energized and when to slow down. Research suggests that when used in a directed way, sound can also help us reduce stress, create a deep sense of well-being and even promote healing. From playing Bach in the nursery to yogic chanting in the oncologist’s office, sound therapy is gaining popularity as both a preventative medicine and as a complement to more-traditional treatments. Good for both the mind and the body, it has been shown to help lift depression, clear sinuses and help cancer patients recover more quickly from chemotherapy.

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The idea that sound affects the health of the mind and body is not new. Chanting and mantra recitation have been part of Hindu spirituality and the healing power of yoga for thousands of years. Given the recent interest in mind-body medicine, it’s not surprising that this ancient tradition is experiencing a modern-day renaissance.

So what is sound therapy? Using the human voice and objects that resonate to stimulate healing (think tuning forks and singing bowls), sound therapy is one of a growing number of subtle-energy therapies that make up the field of vibrational medicine. According to the law of physics, everything vibrates: the chair you’re sitting in, the food you eat, the rocks and trees.

“Whether or not we hear it, everything has a sound, a vibration all its own,” writes Joshua Leeds in The Power of Sound (Healing Arts Press, 2001).

That sound is called resonance, the frequency at which an object naturally vibrates. Each part of our bodies has its own natural resonance, and vibrational medicine is based on the idea that disease is a result of those natural resonances getting out of tune – whether due to stress, illness or environmental factors.

As opposed to the highly focused and fast vibrations used in ultrasound (a technology already employed in hospitals to break up kidney stones and check on the health of fetuses, for example), sound therapy works more gently – but just as powerfully – to return the body’s own vibrations to their natural states.

But does it work? Yes, say sound therapists, who have successfully treated everything from stress to Parkinson’s disease to hormonal problems. Jonathan Goldman, director of the Sound Healers Association in Boulder, Colo., has seen tuning forks alleviate many maladies, including headaches and misaligned vertebrae. Diáne Mandle, a certified sound healer in Encinitas, Calif., uses Tibetan singing bowls to bring her clients’ bodies back in tune.

“Using forks and bowls for anything other than dinner may seem to some people like New Age nonsense,” writes Stephanie Rosenbloom in a November 2005 article in The New York Times. “But healers, sometimes called sounders, argue that sound can have physiological effects because its vibrations are not merely heart but also felt. And vibrations, they say, can lower heart-rate variability, relax brain-wave patterns and reduce respiratory rates.”

Stress hormones decrease under these conditions, which is good news for everyone, but especially for people with a serious illness. That’s one reason Mitchell Gaynor, MD, an oncologist and assistant clinical professor at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College in New York, uses singing bowls with his cancer patients. Gaynor sees sound as part of a broader trend toward the humanization of medicine in which the whole person, not just the part that’s broken, is addressed.

“I believe that sound can play a role in virtually any medical disorder, since it redresses imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning,” he writes in his book The Healing Power of Sound: Recovery from Life-Threatening Illness Using Sound, Voice and Music (Shambhala, 1999).

The Future Of Healing

Sound therapy, many experts say, is at the cutting edge of healing. And soon, they insist, like yoga and meditation, it will enter the mainstream.

The truth is, you’re probably already using sound therapy in your life. Several years ago, three out of four people who responded to a Prevention magazine health survey said that they listen to music to ease tension and stress. Of those, 82 percent reported that it brought them significant relief.

So even if you’re not interested in investing in a fancy tuning fork or a singing bowl, sound healing is still available to you. The next time you need a little pick-me-up or mellow-me-out, hum a little tune, or, better yet, go for a walk and enjoy nature’s own healing harmonies.

Hand Mask

Sounds That Can Heal

Sound therapists make music in a variety of ways to promote healing. Here are some common techniques.

Classical Music. Classical music has been show to increase the rate of development of synaptic connections in young children’s minds. It also helps fuel creativity and enhance joy in adults. Classical music can even help address physical ailments like high blood pressure and muscle tension.

Humming. Humming not only lifts your spirits, it clears your head. According to a study conducted by Swedish researcher, and published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, humming may actually help keep your sinuses clear and healthy.

Singing Bowls. Whether metal or quartz crystal, a singing bowl sings when you run a felt-tipped mallet around its edge. Along with rhythms produced by striking the edge of the bowl, the vibrations and tones slow down breathing, brain waves and heart rates, producing a deep sense of calm and well-being.

Tuning Forks. Originally used to tune musical instruments to the proper pitch, tuning forks have long been used by orthopedists to detect stress fractures in large bones. Now, sound therapists use the vibrations of tuning forks to increase the amount of energy in parts of the body they are trying to heal or energize. These good vibes can support relaxation, balance our nervous systems and increase physical energy.

Yogic Chanting and “Om”ing. Chanting, the first step to meditation, is also a means of maintaining health and well-being. Research shows that chanting can stabilize heart rate, lower blood pressure, improve circulation, produce endorphins and aid the process of metabolism. Chanting can also help the mind focus, which alleviates stress levels. For example, repeating the syllable “om,” considered one of the most important mantras in yoga, is said to foster a deep mental clarity and promote a sense of connectedness with a higher power.

Karen Olson is a Minneapolis-based writer and editor.

Sound Therapy News via https://experiencelife.com/article/the-healing-power-of-sound/

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.

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