Skin Brushing

20140107-134927.jpg

Directions for Daily Dry Skin Brushing Always brush towards your heart. Make long sweeps up toward the heart. Avoid improper brushing techniques of back and forth or scrubbing and circular motions. Begin with your feet, then up the legs on both sides, then work from the arms toward your chest. Direct the brush counterclockwise for the stomach area. Don’t make the mistake of brushing too hard as your skin should be stimulated and invigorated, but not irritated or red. Brush skin when dry. Preferably in the morning before shower. Use natural vegetable-derived bristle brush. Brush in direction of heart. Follow with warm shower. Never brush broken skin. Do not brush before bed as it may interrupt sleep.
Health Benefits of Dry Skin: Brushing stimulates all organs of detoxification, removes cellulite, cleanses the lymphatic system, removes dead skin layers, strengthens immune system, stimulates hormone & oil-producing glands, tones muscles, stimulates circulation, improves nervous system, helps digestion, helps to tighten skin, removes excess fluid from body known as an effective lymphatic drainage technique, eliminates clogged skin pores, helps with even distribution of fat deposits, keeps skin soft, smooth & younger looking.

Advertisements

Migraines & some causes

20131229-222237.jpg

Some people who suffer from migraines can clearly identify triggers or factors that cause the headaches, but many cannot. Potential migraine triggers include:

Allergies and allergic reactions

Bright lights, loud noises, and certain odors or perfumes

Physical or emotional stress

Changes in sleep patterns or irregular sleep

Smoking or exposure to smoke

Skipping meals or fasting

Alcohol

Menstrual cycle fluctuations, birth control pills, hormone fluctuations during menopause onset

Tension headaches

Foods containing tyramine (red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and some beans), monosodium glutamate (MSG), or nitrates (like bacon, hot dogs, and salami)

Other foods such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, avocado, banana, citrus, onions, dairy products, and fermented or pickled foods.
Triggers do not always cause migraines, and avoiding triggers does not always prevent migraines.

Skin analysis

20131228-030226.jpg

One of the most important steps in your practice is to take the time to perform a thorough skin analysis with a client (whether old or new). A brief look at their face does not provide enough information to sanction a more insightful, comprehensive profile to establish a more accurate pathway for long-term skin correction. Old paradigms no longer work. Statements such as normal-dry, combination, and sensitive are understatements when establishing the leading causes of these conditions and their effects on cells and systems. Furthermore, treatment and product choice is based on this analysis service. Your goal is to bring your client’s skin health into a more balanced state.

Examples: Repair of the acid mantle supports the skin’s first line of defense. It helps correct the natural moisturizing factors within bilayers. Rejuvenation of the spinosum layers may help with a more even dispersion of pigment. Attention to rebuilding the dermal structures improves overall skin density and texture.
Begin with a thorough health evaluation that includes age, skin type, nutrition, lifestyle, medications, genetic history and predispositions (as in, intrinsic characteristics such as eczema and allergic contact dermatitis and potential conditions), as well as extrinsic characteristics due to the client’s daily activities and lifestyle.
Secondly, ascertain the levels of damage. This becomes more apparent through careful examination of information obtained from the visual, the written, and your diagnostic tools.

Level 1: Oxidative Stress and Lipid Peroxidation that initiates its damage within the cells environs and membrane

Level 2: Mitochondria DNA damage. Destruction has cascaded to the membrane of the mitochondria.

Level 3: Mitochondria aging along with cellular senescence is a final result that affects the entire cell.

Lastly, invest in diagnostic tools such as a skin scanner and another electronic aid. Newer electronic devices can measure key indicators of the true health of the skin.

Lipid Levels: Skin lipids contribute to the first three lines of the skin barrier defense when determining the nutritional needs of the skin.
Epidermal Hydration: Measures the free water available in the dermal reservoir that is an indicator of the enzymatic action necessary for maintaining the barrier function.

Melanin Density: Reveals the melanin density down to the dermal junction. It is an indicator of the rate that melanogenesis occurs and potential hidden risk factors.

Erythema: This measures the level of vascularity and density of the microcirculation system within the dermis. Vascular matting (telangiectasia) is an indicator that there are issues with the breakdown of dermal structures such as at the dermal/epidermal junction as well as in the collagenmatrix.

The time invested in this service shows that you are a serious skin care professional who understands the science of the skin, the association between skin structure, function, and the leading causes of a skin condition. Moreover, you understand the cascade effect of structural breakdown within the skin such as what occurs in a poor acid mantle, the bilayers within stratumcorneum, damaged melanocytes, the flattening of the rete pegs at the epidermal/dermal junction and in the collagenmatrix. And one very important consideration is that you decrease your liability by avoiding potential mistakes.

Hydrotherapy

20131227-013345.jpg

20131227-013353.jpg

20131227-013400.jpg

Hydrotherapy is the use of water in the treatment of disease. The use of water for therapy has been around for hundreds of years, as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans, and forms an integral part in many traditional medicine systems. Learn why it is so beneficial for your health.

How Does Hydrotherapy Work?

The healing properties of hydrotherapy are based on its mechanical and/or thermal effects. It makes use of the body’s reaction to hot and cold stimuli, to the protracted application of heat, to the pressure exerted by the water, and to the sensation of the water itself. Nerves carry what is felt by the skin deeper into the body, where it is then vital in stimulating the immune system, influencing the production of stress hormones, improving circulation and digestion, encouraging the flow of blood, and lessening the body’s sensitivity to pain.

Generally speaking, heat is used to quiet and soothe the body, and to slow down the activity of internal organs. Cold is used to stimulate and invigorate, increasing internal activity within the body. If you are experiencing tense muscles or anxiety, heat is recommended in the shower or bath. For feeling tired and stressed out, it is recommended to take a warm shower or bath followed by a short cold shower to help stimulate the body and mind.

When submerged in a body of water such as a bath or a pool, there is a kind of weightlessness, as the water relieves your body of much of the effects of gravity. Water also has a hydrostatic effect and has a massage-like feeling as the water gently kneads your body. Water, when it is moving, stimulates the touch receptors on the skin, increasing blood circulation and releasing tight muscles.

Types of Hydrotherapy

Under the general heading of hydrotherapy, there are several techniques. These include baths and showers, neutral baths, sitz baths, contrast sitz baths, foot baths, cold mitten friction rub, steam inhalation, hot compresses, cold compresses, alternating hot and cold compresses, heating compresses, body wrap, wet sheet pack, and salt glow.

External hydrotherapy involves the immersion of the body in water or the application of water or ice to the body, while temperature-based hydrotherapy involve the different effects of hot or cold water on the skin and underlying tissues. Hot water relaxes muscles and causes sweating, and is used to treat arthritis, rheumatism, poor circulation, and sore muscles. It can be used in combination with aromatherapy. Cold water hydrotherapy is used to stimulate blood flow in the skin and underlying muscles. Temperature based treatments include the application of moist heat or cold to specific parts of the body. The application of moist heat is called fomentation, and is used for conditions such as chest cold, flu, or arthritis. Cold compresses or ice packs are used for sprains, headaches, or dental surgery. Body packs are used to calm psychiatric patients and for detoxification.

Sitz baths are where the patient sits in a specially made tub that allows the lower abdomen to be submerged in water that is a different temperature to the water around the feet. These baths are recommended for haemmorhoids, prostate swelling, menstrual cramps, and other genitourinary disorders. Motion-based hydrotherapy uses water under pressure such as in a spa, to massage the body and is commonly used for muscle or joint injuries as well as for stress and anxiety. Internal hydrotherapy includes colonic irrigation and enemas. Steam baths are also a form of internal hydrotherapy.

Conditions Helped by Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is used to treat many illnesses and conditions including:

acne
arthritis
colds
depression
headaches
stomach problems
joint, muscle, and nerve problems
sleep disorders
stress
It is also commonly used for relaxation and to maintain a person’s state of health. Hydrotherapy is also excellent for reducing or relieving sudden or long-lasting pain.

Benefits of Hydrotherapy

The benefits of hydrotherapy include:

dramatically increasing the elimination of waste, thus assisting detoxification
loosening tense, tight muscles and encouraging relaxation
increasing the metabolic rate and digestion activity
hydrating the cells, improving skin and muscle tone
boosting the immune system, allowing it to function more efficiently
improving the function of the internal organs by stimulating their blood supply
Contraindications for Hydrotherapy

Cold baths should not be used for young children or the elderly. Sauna baths should be avoided by people that suffer from heart conditions.

Lymphatic Massage Benefits

20131205-105540.jpg

Lymphatic massage is used in facial treatments to reduce congestion & puffiness. It is also effective in decreasing swelling & bruising from cosmetic surgery, liposuction, breast reduction or implants, & laser surgery. In addition, the technique can be used to reduce the appearance of varicose & spider veins, wrinkles, rosacea & acne.

20131205-105555.jpg

Lymphatic Massage: Promoting recovery & good health with a gentle touch
Lymphatic massage is a technique used since the 1930s to promote health & aid recovery from certain illnesses. Also called lymphatic drainage or manual lymph drainage, lymphatic massage is now widely used in European hospitals & clinics. It is becoming better known in the U.S. due to its benefits for breast cancer survivors. Used to promote wellness, this gentle technique can prevent or reduce fluid retention, enhance the removal of toxins from the body tissues, & support the immune system.

Promotes deep relaxation to aid with:
Insomnia,Depression Stress, and loss of vitality

Promotes Detoxification to aid with:
Cellulite Reduction
Major Detox of the system
Ease of pain from lactic acid after beginning a workout program

The Lymphatic System
Benefits of lymphatic massage stem from its ability to enhance the function of the lymphatic system. Lymph is a fluid rich in white blood cells that fight viruses, cancer & bacteria. Every 24 hours, about three quarts of lymph circulate around the body via an elaborate system of lymph vessels. Lymph carries the body’s waste to lymph nodes where filtering & detoxification occur. The swollen “glands” you feel in your neck when you are coming down with a virus are actually lymph nodes working to free the body of waste products.

Lymphatic Massage for good health
Lymphatic massage uses light, rhythmic touch to improve lymph circulation. If you are healthy, improved lymph flow can promote your vitality & sense of well-being. When the lymphatic system is not performing efficiently due to stress or illness, or when there’s an accumulation of fluid from infection, blockages or damage to the lymph vessels, lymphatic massage can aid recovery & enhance lymphatic system function.

How does Lymphatic Massage help?
When lymph flow is enhanced, toxic & infectious materials, as well as excess bodily substances like water & protein are removed more effectively from tissues. This supports the immune system & helps rid the body of wastes that can increase pain or cause fatigue. In scarred or otherwise injured areas, damaged cells & amp;inflammatory wastes can be moved out, helping to speed healing.

The Reduction of Swelling
Lymphatic massage can reduce the pain, inflammation & scarring associated with fluid retention, edema. Whether swelling is due to injury, cancer treatment, surgery or an illness such as fibromyalgia, lymphatic massage can have remarkable results. in conjunction with medical attention, it is also very effective for lymphedema, the chronic accumulation of lymphatic fluid in body tissues. Swelling & other discomforts stemming from sinusitis or allergies may also be reduced.

Skin Care & Cosmetic surgery
Lymphatic massage is used in facial treatments to reduce congestion & puffiness. It is also effective in decreasing swelling & bruising from cosmetic surgery, liposuction, breast reduction or implants, & laser surgery. In addition, the technique can be used to reduce the appearance of varicose & spider veins, wrinkles, rosacea & acne.

Stress & Pain relief
The gentle touch of lymphatic massage soothes & calms the nervous system. This can improve sleep & reduce depression, anxiety & other effects of stress. As attention shifts to the pleasant sensations of relaxation, the grip of pain may also gently recede. This deeply relaxing technique can even help relieve chronic pain from conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis & headaches.
Breast Care
Many people hear about lymphatic massage due to its ability to reduce pain & swelling associated with removal of lymph nodes during breast cancer treatment. If received regularly, it may also enhance the function of the healthy breast tissue with improved lymph flow. In addition, it can reduce discomforts of breast and/or nipples during & after pregnancy. Excellent relief for engorgement for breast feeding mothers.

Conditions requiring extra care
It is very important to inform your massage therapist if you have lymphedema or a damaged lymphatic system because special considerations are required. No massage techniques should be used on anyone with an active skin infection, thrombosis, an open wound or a fever. If you have heart or kidney disease or are seeing a doctor for any other reason, be sure to inform the practitioner.
What is a session like?

Because many of the lymph vessels are just under the skin, moving the lymph requires a very light touch, barely the weight of a teaspoon of water. Practitioners use flat hands and finger pads in painless, rhythmic movements light enough to be described as “feather touch.” Lymphatic massage can be incorporated into, and may enhance, your regular massage session. Expect it to feel much lighter and slower than standard massage. Most people experience lymphatic massage as deeply relaxing and some fall asleep.

After The Session
After your session, it’s possible to feel light-headed so you may wish to rest for an hour or two. You may also find that you feel rejuvenated, invigorated or simply lighter in the hours or days following as session. You may be thirsty during or after your massage, & you are advised to drink extra water.

20131205-110051.jpg

Acne Causes

20131202-215938.jpg

Three factors contribute to the formation of acne:

Overproduction of oil (sebum)
Irregular shedding of dead skin cells resulting in irritation of the hair follicles of your skin
Buildup of bacteria
Acne occurs when the hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Hair follicles are connected to sebaceous glands. These glands secrete an oily substance known as sebum to lubricate your hair and skin. Sebum normally travels up along the hair shafts and then out through the openings of the hair follicles onto the surface of your skin. When your body produces an excess amount of sebum and dead skin cells, the two can build up in the hair follicles and form together as a soft plug, creating an environment where bacteria can thrive.

This plug may cause the follicle wall to bulge and produce a whitehead. Or, the plug may be open to the surface and may darken, causing a blackhead. Pimples are raised red spots with a white center that develop when blocked hair follicles become inflamed or infected. Blockages and inflammation that develop deep inside hair follicles produce lumps beneath the surface of your skin called cysts. Other pores in your skin, which are the openings of the sweat glands onto your skin, aren’t normally involved in acne.

Factors that may worsen acne
These factors can trigger or aggravate an existing case of acne:

Hormones. Androgens are hormones that increase in boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives can also affect sebum production.
Certain medications. Drugs containing corticosteroids, androgens or lithium are known to cause acne.
Diet. Studies indicate that certain dietary factors, including dairy products and carbohydrate-rich foods — such as bread, bagels and chips, which increase blood sugar — may trigger acne.
Acne myths
Contrary to what some people think, these factors have little effect on acne:

Greasy foods and chocolate have proved to have little to no effect on the development or course of acne.
Dirty skin. Acne isn’t caused by dirt. In fact, scrubbing the skin too hard or cleansing with harsh soaps or chemicals irritates the skin and can make acne worse. Simple cleansing of the skin to remove excess oil and dead skin cells is all that’s required.

Endocrine System & Your Skin

20131202-213121.jpg

I’m not an expert by any means, and I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I do feel like I have a good grasp of the basics and I can share with you what I’ve learnt and what’s really helped me to clear my hormonal acne….so you too can hopefully do the same

Your Endocrine System

The Endocrine System is a collection of glands that are throughout your body. A gland is a group of cells that produces and secrets chemicals. Your glands select and remove materials from the blood, processes them, and secretes the finished chemical product for use somewhere in the body.

These glands secrete hormones. Hormones are chemicals that travel around your body, transferring instructions and information from your glands to cells in other parts of your body. They are often referred to as your body’s ‘messengers’ that deliver messages to different parts of your body to coordinate certain bodily functions.

Many different types of hormones travel through your bloodstream but each type of hormone is designed to affect only certain cells. These cells will have receptors on them that are specific for a certain hormone. This way, your body can make sure that the correct cells get the correct messages.

You can see an example of this in the diagram I made below:

Hormones influence almost every cell, organ, and function of our bodies.

Hormones regulate and influence:

Weight Regulation
Your Immune Function
Body Fat Composition
Energy Levels
Anti-aging
Regulating Mood
Sexual Function
Reproductive Processes
Growth rate
Tissue Function
Metabolism
Generally, your endocrine system is in charge of body processes that develop slowly (e.g. cell growth). Faster body processes like breathing is controlled by your nervous system. Even though your endocrine system and nervous system are separate systems, they often work together to make sure your body functions properly.

Hormones are grouped into three classes based on their structure:

Steroids – these hormones are lipids made from cholesterol, such as sex hormones. They are secreted from the sex organs, adrenal glands and placenta.
Peptides – are short chains of amino acids that are secreted by the pituitary gland, parathyroid gland, heart, stomach, liver, and kidneys. Most hormones are peptides.
Amines – these are made from an amino acid secreted from the thyroid gland and adrenal glands.
All hormones are important, but the ones I want to focus on in this series that has the most impact on hormonal acne are the Steroid hormones (in particular sex hormones).

The Endocrine Glands

The major glands that make up the human endocrine system include the:

hypothalamus
pituitary gland
thyroid gland
parathyroid glands
adrenal glands
pineal gland
reproductive glands (which include the ovaries and testes)
Although the endocrine glands are the main producers of hormones, other non-endocrine organs produce and release hormones too, such as the brain, skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, thymus and liver.

The Hypothalamus

The Hypothalamus is a group of specialized cells in the lower central part of the brain and is the main link between the endocrine system and the nervous system. It helps to regulate your appetite, body temperature and metabolism. Nerve cells in the Hypothalamus control the Pituitary Gland by secreting ‘releasing’ hormones that are designed to tell the pituitary gland whether to make more of a certain hormone or make less of it. It basically controls the amount of hormones the pituitary gland produces.

The Pituitary Gland

Although it’s controlled by the hypothalamus, the pituitary glad is often called the ‘master gland’ because it makes hormones that control several other endocrine glands such as the Thyroid, Adrenals, and Reproduction Glands. It’s located just beneath the hypothalamus at the base of the brain and is about the size of a pea.

The production and secretion of hormones by the pituitary gland can be influenced by things such as your emotions, feelings, environment and changes in the season. This is because the hypothalamus will send information from the brain about things such as feelings, light exposure pattens, environment, temperature etc to the pituitary gland.

Some of the main hormones produced and secreted by the Pituitary Gland:

Growth hormone – stimulates growth of bone and tissue.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) – stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones (A lack of thyroid hormones either because of a defect in the pituitary or the thyroid itself is called hypothyroidism.)
Adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) – stimulates the adrenal gland to produce several related steroid hormones
Luteinizing hormone (LH) and Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) – hormones that control sexual function and production of the sex steroids, estrogen and progesterone in females or testosterone in males
Prolactin – hormone that stimulates milk production in females
Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones (called thyroxine and triiodothyronine) which regulates your metabolism by controlling the rate at which you burn fuels from foods to produce energy. They are also important for brain and nervous system developments and the growth of your bones. They also help maintain normal blood pressure, muscle tone, heart rate, reproductive functions, and digestion.

Parathyroid Glands

The Parathyroid glands are 2 pairs of tiny glands embedded in the surface of the thyroid gland (one pair each side). They work together to release parathyroid hormone which regulates the level of calcium there is in the blood and bone metabolism.

Adrenal Glands

These are two triangular glands located on the top of each of your kidneys. The adrenal glands have two parts; an inner and an outer part. These 2 parts produce different sets of hormones, and each has a different function.

1) Outer Part (Adrenal Cortex) – produces steroid hormones called corticosteroids that regulate salt and water balance in the body, the body’s response to stress (fight or flight response), metabolism, the immune system, and sexual development and function.

Mineralocorticoids – they maintain electrolyte balance. These are hormones such as Aldosterone.
Glucocorticoids – they produce a long-term, slow response to stress by raising blood glucose levels through the breakdown of fats and proteins; they also suppress the immune response and inhibit the inflammatory response. These are hormones such as Cortisol.
Sex Hormones – such as Testosterone, Progesterone, Estrogen. These are all produced by the adrenal glands in both males and female (smaller amounts of progesterone and estrogen in males and smaller amounts of testosterone in females).
2) Inner Part (Adrenal Medulla) – produces amine hormones called catecholamines, these are; epinephrine (also called adrenaline) and norepinephrine which help the body to deal with stress.

Pineal Gland

The pineal gland is in the middle of the brain and secretes melatonin that helps to regulate your sleep cycle.

Reproductive Glands

These glands are the testes in males and the ovaries in females, and are the main sources for sex hormones. The testes produce androgens and control the development of male characteristics and the ovaries produce estrogens and progesterone that control the development of female characteristics.

The Pancreas

One part of the pancreas (the exocrine pancreas) secretes digestive enzymes while the other part of the pancreas (the endocrine pancreas) secretes 2 hormones that regulate your blood sugar levels; Insulin which is released to help bring down blood sugar levels (by telling cells to take up glucose (sugar), and Glucagon which releases glucose back into the blood when blood sugar levels get too low.

Hormones

Here are some of the main hormones that I’m going to talk about in this series and how they influence your overall health and in particular your acne.

Progesterone – opposes estrogen, allows for gestation of a child, protects against cancer, progesterone is used to make testosterone and estrogen.

Testosterone – dominant male hormone (but also present in females), opposes estrogen, protects against cancer, associated with will power and physical strength.

Estrogen – regulates healthy metabolism, opposes progesterone and testosterone, increases cell growth rates, initiates weight gain.

DHEA – protects against cancer, improves memory, improves immune system, lowers body fat, increases muscle mass, protects the brain.

DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) – Testosterone can be converted into another androgen called DHT. This is a potent form of testosterone that is responsible for male secondary sexual characteristics like deepening of voice, facial and body hair, oily skin, sex drive and function. This form of testosterone is the most closely related to hormonal acne that’s the cause of ’excess androgens’.

Cortisol – mood hormone, helps us adapt to stress, stimulates appetite, improves digestion, stimulates brain, muscles, circulatory system and lungs, fights leukemia and lumphomas.

Insulin – is a hormone produces by the pancreas that regulates your blood sugar levels. It helps to do this by causing cells in the liver, fat tissue and muscles to take up glucose (sugar) when your blood sugar levels are too high (such as after you’ve eaten).

Vitamin D – is a hormone, not a vitamin, activates 10% of our healing genes, increases bone density, improves immunity, fights cancer, improves mood.

How Are Hormones Made?

All of these Steroid hormones mentioned above are made from Cholesterol. All hormones have pregnenolone and progesterone as basic precursors. The diagram below shows how hormones are all made from (good) cholesterol. Some of the hormones in this pathway can be converted into others, and some can convert back, while others cannot.

Why is this important for acne sufferers?

Learning about your hormones and your body is really helpful for people with hormonal acne because you will have a better understand of what your body needs and how to clear your acne. You don’t have to know too much of the ‘science’ behind it all, but a basic understanding is enough to often come up with a solution that’s right for you and your body. If you feel overwhelmed and confused by your hormonal acne, learning about it and ‘demystifying’ it will help you to feel more confident and positive about how you can get healthy again and clear your skin for good.