Mask-Ne – (Mask Acne)

A new generation of skin problems is lurking beneath every mask and face covering. We know that prevention is better than cure, understanding the potential problem will allow you to avoid it.

We’re always on hand for help and advice if you need it.

Officially known as Acne Mechanica.

Let’s get this straight. This is not acne in the true sense, it’s a ‘man-made’ skin condition.

It usually effects the face, the area beneath your mask or face covering. Acne Mechanica can affect any area of the body too.

When you wear a mask or face covering you create an occlusive environment beneath it. The air under your mask is humid and warm, and the mask itself may cause friction.

Let us look at these 2 issues individually.

The air under your mask is humid and warm – the ideal breeding ground for bacteria, fungus & virus

Breathing in and out in an occlusive environment means that nasal mucosa, oil, bacteria, fungus and virus are being deposited directly on to your skin.

This may lead to the development of Cutaneous bacterium (Cutibacterium acne).

You may also be more susceptible to the herpes simplex virus (cold sores) if you’re prone to them.

Its hot under a mask – this may lead to perspiration. Sweat contains bacteria and oil.

Sweat & bacteria mixed with make-up will lead to blocked pores and blackheads.

With all of this going on. It’s likely that your skin barrier (the protective barrier that keeps the goodness in and the badness out!) will become damaged, leading to dryness, dehydration, and sensitivity.

The mask itself may cause friction.

This may make your skin red and inflamed, which may also cause further damage to your skin barrier.

How to help yourself throughout the day.

  • Remove your mask (safely) as often as possible.
  • Change your mask regularly for a fresh one, if you’re wearing it for prolonged periods.
  • Avoid wearing heavy make-up when wearing a mask.
  • Avoid long wear and ultra-wear foundation when wearing a mask.
  • Avoid touching your face after applying drying hand sanitisers. It will transfer and dry your face.

Which products will help your skin best?

Essential Miracle Cleansing Jelly – a gentle yet effective cleanser, with no added fragrance. It will help your skin while vulnerable.

Essential Deep Cleansing & Skin Rejuvenation System – its 4 times more effective than manual cleansing. The perfect way to ensure your pores don’t become blocked.

Essential Exfoliating Gel – prevents the build-up of dead cells. Dead cells block your hair follicles, and bacteria will ‘fester’ within them, leading to spots & blackheads.

Total Skin Repair Concentrate – will repair your skin, reduce inflammation and redness. Promote the healing process by stimulating regeneration and repair proteins (collagen, elastin). It’s your go to SOS treatment for all skin types.

Sensitive Skin Rich Cream – this will hydrate, nourish, calm & sooth your skin. Helping to reduce inflammation and keep you skin barrier intact.

Smoothing Resurfacing Mask or Repairing Nourishing Mask – depending on how dry your skin is, this weekly or bi-weekly treat will do exactly what it says on the tin. The Smoothing Resurfacing Mask isn’t harsh or aggressive, its deep cleansing formulation is infused with soothing Aloe Vera, which fights bacteria and virus on the skin.

Conclusion

Keep your skin clean, strong, and hydrated. This will ensure your skin is able to work to its best potential. This will keep it as healthy as possible. This prevention is always better than cure. All of the products and treatments mentioned can be used to prevent Mask-ne, as well treat Mask-ne breakouts.

Please be careful, if you see spots appearing don’t rush out and buy harsh, stripping products for oily skin. It will make the problem worse. Call me on 07850 414 271 and let’s have a chat about how we can work together to protect your skin.

Blue Monday

So, Blue Monday hits on 20th January this year and whether or not it’s just a marketing stunt, it certainly can be a bit of a gloomy day for some. But there are things you can do to help offset it. My suggestion is that you start these things now so that you’ll positively skip through the day when it arrives.

1. Take Some Fresh Air

Pop your dressing gown on and stand in your garden to drink your first cuppa of the day. Trust me, being January you’ll pretty much have your surroundings to yourself as most people will be cooped up in their centrally heated homes. But you’ll be outside observing nature – the birds and the trees and watching the light change as you greet the morning. A lovely way to start the day as you still your mind and improve you focus.

2. Be Mindful

While you are in the garden, do some deep breathing, which will be calming and relaxing and also energize you and set you up for the day ahead. We often toss and turn all night long as our subconscious mind works overtime. Being still first thing will really help you to have a positive and wonderful day.

3. Sing in the Shower

Even if you feel you can’t sing, you absolutely must!! Everyone has that one tune they can belt out and now is your time to make like Donna Summer or Freddie Mercury. (Just be sure to ignore the ‘nil point’ comments from your family). Singing is fun and lifts your mood – try singing a Blondie song in the style of Elvis or vice versa and wait for those rave reviews.

4. Socialise

The long anticipated New Year’s party is over, but don’t be glum, meet a chum. Arrange to meet a friend or two for coffee or lunch and have a jolly good catch-up. Connecting with others is vital, it’s when we feel safe, happy and full of hope, joy and love.

5. Avoid Sugar

Chocolate biscuits are tempting, but nutritionally unsound and the burst of energy doesn’t last long. Biscuits can also lead to sluggishness and weight gain. Instead eat vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, and plant milk. I feel surprisingly fresh and alert just thinking about veggies! We are what we eat and mood improves with good food.

6. Don’t forget your Vitamins

Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin and great for mood elevation and Vitamin C helps to support your immune system.

7. Book your Reflexology, Massage and Facial Appointments

Reflexology, massage and facials make a big difference to your wellbeing and will transform the way you feel about yourself by improving circulation, reducing stress, pain and restoring your natural balance. Most definitely your body and brain will thank you.

https://www.harmonyholisticscalne.co.uk/book-online/

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2020.

Yvette x

PS WARNING: Complimentary feel-good hormones come as standard with every treatment.

Harmony Holistics hits the High Street

Exciting news! I’ve done it. I’ve just opened my first shop, which I think you’ll love and I am delighted to extend a warm welcome to you as I throw my doors open for the first time.

If like me, you enjoy convenience, good prices, variety, control, no crowds and no pressure, then my shop is just the place for you. A wonderful and familiar High Street name, now available online through my website.

Last night, I sat at midnight in my pyjamas (with a mug of hot chocolate and a sneaky bourbon biscuit) poring over some gorgeous naturally formulated products and getting quite excited about the prospect of them being delivered to me at home by the weekend.

Sometimes I find conventional shopping such a bore and a chore, but now there’s no more catching the early train to Bath to miss the rugby crowd, or queuing on the M4 for Bristol or London and then trying to negotiate parking.

In fact, I can absolutely 100% guarantee that there will be no crowds to negotiate (unless the kids are running amok!) or eager shopkeepers compelling you to make a purchase.

Instead you’ll experience a blissful convenient shopping experience all in the comfort of your own home.

As you know, when you have a treatment with me, I use natural and organic health and beauty products from Neal’s Yard Remedies which work holistically to support your wellbeing. This modern apothecary was created in 1981 to support the idea that inner and outer beauty should be in perfect harmony. And this is certainly something that I aim for when delivering my treatments.

I’m now inviting you to take a look around my shop. You’ll find all of the products I use in-house and lots of others beside. There are also some lovely additions to the Frankincense range including a wonderful Hand Treatment Serum, which I simply can’t wait to get my hands on (excuse the pun!).

So, if that excites you as much as it excites me, then please take a look by following the link below. If you need any help or advice, please let me know by calling me on 07850 414271.

Happy shopping and I look forward to seeing you in my treatment room soon!

https://www.harmonyholisticscalne.co.uk/shop/

Yvette x

PS WARNING: Complimentary feel-good hormones come as standard with every treatment.

Gravity Blankets

Well, I’ve been really raving about Gravity Blankets recently and probably boring everyone silly as I extol their virtue. But of all the products I have EVER purchased, I really do have to say, hand on heart, that this has been one of the best by far. Honestly. Totally. Truly. Amazingly. Surprisingly.

So what are gravity blankets and why am I so impressed with them?

A gravity blanket is designed to stimulate pressure points in the body through its special deep touch technology. This amazing therapeutic pressure helps improve relaxation, sleep and mood. If you are sleeping well, you live well and that’s a glorious position to be in.

When you are snuggled under the blanket – whether on the couch or in bed – your cortisol (stress hormone) levels are reduced and serotonin (happy hormone) and melatonin (sleep hormone) are increased. (As cortisol (stress, stress, stress) is so damaging and probably public health enemy no. 1, this is great news!).

The centre of the blanket is filled with tiny glass microbeads (no nasty plastic here) and the outer is made of a lush organic Spanish cotton and velour which against your body feel a-MAY-zing!

The weight is pleasant and not at all restrictive. Although it prevents you from fidgeting unnecessarily, you are still able to move around, but honestly once I’m under the blanket, I never seem to want to! It’s really Ideal for those who toss and turn, suffer with insomnia or are peri-menopausal and suffering with sudden and oppressive heat gain.

Since we’ve had ours, our sleep has improved dramatically and we are asleep within minutes. Imagine being swaddled and cuddled and you’re halfway to understanding what the pressure feels like. It really is satisfying to climb under the blanket. Your busy thoughts are quietened and within moments your eyes close, breathing slows down and before you know it you’re fast asleep.

I’m now thinking of getting the lightest weight of gravity blanket to use in my treatment room which I think would be a wonderful addition. The only difficulty I foresee is my lovely clients waking up and going home. Hmmmm time to open a retreat methinks!!

Have a lovely sleep and I look forward to seeing you in my treatment room soon!

Yvette x

PS WARNING: Complimentary feel-good hormones come as standard with every treatment.

Indian Head Massage – Don’t forget your hairbrush!

There is something quite magical about having a wonderful scalp massage. It provides lasting health benefits and your physical and emotional wellbeing can be improved in just one session. How lovely is that!

Head massage or ‘Champissage’ is a relaxing therapy based on the Ayurvedic healing philosophy which has been a part of Indian family ritual for thousands of years. By massaging the scalp with a firm and gentle rhythm, blockages are relieved and tension dissipated. The treatment works on a physiological and psychological level so that you feel calm and balanced afterwards and ready to face the world again.

Tension in the back, neck and shoulders can cause migraines, headaches and back pain and we all know how debilitating this can be. Our daily tasks and routines can become difficult when we are suffering as we feel uncomfortable and irritable.

I like to start a head massage on the back, neck, shoulders and arms to release all that held stress before slowly moving on to the scalp itself. By the time I reach the scalp, most clients are feeling quite drowsy and often fall asleep soon after.

Some of the benefits of a head massage include:

Improved skin and promotion of hair growth
Circulation is improved which encourages cell regeneration so skin becomes more supple and healthy looking. Hair growth is stimulated as nutrients and oxygen are brought to the hair follicle encouraging the production of beautiful, luscious locks.

Relieves insomnia
We often can’t sleep because we are stressed, so this treatment will help you to relax and may relieve pain that is keeping you awake. So, if you are uncomfortable in bed, a scalp massage could be beneficial.

Combats anxiety and depression
If your emotional and physical wellbeing are continually disrupted stress, anxiety and depression can ensue. Negative stress can lead to ill health, but a head massage can be a great antidote as increased oxygen to the brain lifts your mood.

Boosts your memory
Just like computers your head can become overloaded with information which makes it hard to remember what you went upstairs for! A head massage slows you down and you become quiet and still allowing your mind to start operating at its optimal level again.

An Indian Head Massage lasts for 45 or 60 minutes. You’ll either sit on a chair, or if you prefer, you may recline on the couch instead. This massage can be performed without oil, so you don’t have to worry about the greasy hair look! Having said that, many clients like coconut oil applied to their hair because it is so nourishing!

Be prepared to fall asleep during your treatment – don’t fight it, just enjoy it. Snorts and snores are welcome!

Afterwards, because of the release of tension, energy will be brought back to your body and you’ll feel revitalised. You are likely to feel calm, relaxed and balanced too. Once you are awake and have had a refreshing glass of water, remember to brush or comb your hair because that may look a little dishevelled afterwards. Don’t worry though – there’s a lovely big mirror waiting for you to restyle your hair.

If you are interested in having an Indian Head Massage, then do give me a call on 07850 414 271.

Yvette x

PS WARNING: Complimentary feel-good hormones come as standard with every treatment.

January – Your New Favourite Month!

You’ve overindulged, you feel bloated, your skin is dry, your hair is lacklustre, it’s cold outside, the heating’s on and you don’t get paid until the end of the month. January can feel like the bleakest and most desolate of months. But hey, instead of feeling sorry for yourself embrace the month and take the time to nurture yourself.

Reflect on your amazing Christmas and remember the smiles on the faces of your loved ones as they spent time with you playing board games, telling stories, sharing jokes and going for lovely walks.

Wasn’t that all wonderful? If conjuring up such happy memories doesn’t quite work for you, then here are 7 things that you can do in January to help beat those blues:

1. Make plans to have fun with family and friends: – Holidays, festivals, long weekends, city breaks, shopping sprees, surfing, walking, jumping, climbing, running, cycling, concerts, eating, drinking, picnics, BBQs, sharing, laughing, just being.

2. Read a book:
– Pick one from a Top 10 list or ask your friends for their recommendations
– Choose from a genre you love
– Choose from a genre you don’t
– Choose from a genre you’ve never tried

3. Exercise
Don’t sit and finish the Quality Street on the sofa, instead – Take a class or pop your favourite music on and dance

4. Watch the Golden Globes and Grammys and admire all those gorgeous gowns.

5. Home pampering
Wind, heat, cold and rain leave us feeling bedraggled and our skin suffers dreadfully. Drink plenty of water to combat the effects of the elements and to prevent drying of skin and have a home-facial.

6. Rearrange your furniture – You’re probably spending a lot of time indoors at the moment, so have a bit of a rejig. Swap some furniture from one room to another or, more drastically, change the use of a room completely.

7. Book in for a reflexology treatment, massage or facial with me. (Mobile: 07850 414271).

Yvette x

PS WARNING: Complimentary feel-good hormones come as standard with every treatment.

Music

It’s pretty subjective isn’t it? My favourite piece, isn’t necessarily yours and vice versa. My daughter’s most definitely isn’t my cup of tea, but at least she’s moved on from One Direction. But when she went through a phase of playing Bruno Mars’ Grenade over and over, I just wanted to lob one into her bedroom. Perhaps that’s just me?!! (Sorry Bruno, I like most of your compositions, just not that one).

When it comes to music in my treatment room, I suppose it’s the same thing. I tend to use music that doesn’t have lyrics because when I go for a treatment, I want to still my mind and not be wondering what the singer just sang, as sometimes lyrics become lost in the cacophony of noise. (Sorry, there I go again, being judgmental).

Really switching off and following the music’s journey, losing yourself in the quiet, slow, rhythmic, calm perhaps interspersed with some natural sounds – rain, rumbles of thunder, etc can be a sublime experience. I don’t use whale music as this to me is still conversation and I always start imagining these majestic creatures at sea having little chitty-chats, which leads me to think about conservation, our use of plastic, etc – again not particularly relaxing as my brain is actively working.

The music here at Harmony Holistics fits with my ethos of creating a calm, quiet and safe space for my clients. My default is to have the music playing in the background and no one has ever commented that they don’t like it. However, it’s not a question I routinely ask “do you like the music?”

It may be that to relax and switch off, you like a little William Tell, Rimsky Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee, Motorhead or ZZ Top so I suppose I need to start asking the question. However, if you request One Direction, I may just send you on your way!!! It’ll certainly be interesting to give a massage to some of these rather upbeat pieces and iff that’s your thing, then do let me know.

If you’d like to book in, please send me a message or call me on 07850 414271.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Yvette x

PS WARNING: Complimentary feel-good hormones come as standard with every treatment.

Cracking Good Feet

You look down at your otherwise beautiful feet and realise that they are cracked and dry beyond belief. You feel upset that you’ve let them go, but you just haven’t had time to look after them. The kids, work, cooking, entertaining, walking the dog, tidying the house, trying to fit in your exercise – it all takes a toll on our feet which literally carry us through our lives.

You haven’t got time to visit a spa for a foot massage or pedicure but you really need to address your feet. You’ve got guests visiting this weekend and you really want to wear those gorgeous Tory Burch mules, but your feet won’t do them justice. So why not give yourself a pedicure at home? Here’s how:

  1. Soak your feet in a bowl. Fill it with hot water and sit yourself down for 10 minutes to soften that skin.
  2. Exfoliate your feet to remove all the dead skin. Take a pumice stone and wet it in the water to soften it slightly. Using circular movements around the cracked and dry areas to remove the hardened skin. (You can place your feet back in the water to help with this process).
  3. Massage your feet with a little oil or cream.
  4. Without slipping over, carefully make yourself a vanilla chai latte and sit back down.
  5. Pop a mask on your feet (masks aren’t just for faces) and sit quietly with a book or magazine for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove mask with dry your feet.
  7. Cut and file toe nails and apply polish.
  8. Apply moisturiser to your feet paying particular attention to the dry areas. Remember to moisturise your feet morning and night (to enhance the moisturising effect pop a pair of socks on).

Now go fetch those beautiful Tory Burch mules and show off your glamourous feet.
If you’d like to book in, for a reflexology spa treatment, please send me a message or call me on 07850 414271.

Yvette x

PS WARNING: Complimentary feel-good hormones come as standard with every treatment.

Fibroymyalgia

So you are living with fibroymyalgia. And I bet you are fed up hearing that it’s all in the head? I have just presented at the Wiltshire Branch Fibromyalgia Research UK, where attendees gathered to hear about reflexology and some joined us over a live feed. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet some lovely people and to explain how reflexology could help them.

In my work as a reflexologist I have many clients with fibromyalgia and their problems, although unique to them, are probably familiar to you.

One of my clients books in for a weekly treatment because she loves how it makes her feel.

Her entire body relaxes and she falls asleep and feels refreshed at the end. On occasion her feet have felt too sore and painful for the treatment and when this happens she describes the sensation as being a cross between pins and needles and being stabbed in the feet while walking on pebbles.

Now I can imagine the pins and needles.
I can imagine the stabbing pain.
I can imagine walking on pebbles……

…but what I can’t imagine is experiencing all three simultaneously and continuously. As someone who doesn’t have fibromyalgia I think that’s possibly the closest I’ll get to understanding how you may feel at any given time.

Another client is a successful business woman who goes from being all over her business – organised, efficient, enterprising and energetic to collapsing in a complete heap during a flare up. Headaches, pain and fatigue wear her down and for days everything is impossibly difficult. Once she’s had her treatment she feels so much better and some of her symptoms dissipate.

There are others too like a lady who has been seeing me for about two years and has managed to reduce her amitriptyline from 30mg a night to just 10mg – which has been a significant breakthrough. Her sleep has improved and she’s thrilled that she’s not on so much medication.

The one thing these clients have in common, is the deep relaxation they experience in my treatment room. It’s a quiet space where for an hour or so, they can totally switch off from the world, close their eyes and drift away as I work on their feet and soothe and calm their bodies and minds.

It really is astounding how this disease suddenly flares up and how you need to be watchful and mindful of absolutely everything you do. Exercise which is potentially a really effective therapy for fibromyalgia is mostly impossible for many of you – as you don’t feel well enough to do it.

We all know that exercise is important for improving blood circulation by stimulating your muscles to help the heart circulate blood around your body and to all your organs but if you don’t feel up to doing it you sit or lie down.

Gravity is then cruel and makes it difficult for your heart to pump blood to your feet, ankles and lower legs where the blood pools leading to swollen and puffy ankles, feet and legs. Oedema is yet another problem you may be dealing with. One reflexology protocol that may help with this is Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage which concentrates on draining the lymphatic system and can provide a significant reduction to swelling issues.

Fibromyalgia has no known cause and no real cure so most relief comes from significant pharmacological intervention, which has its place, of course. However, natural therapies can also be accessed and holistic treatments such as reflexology and massage can play a role in relieving the symptoms of this disease.

Reflexology rebalances your body and mind and offers respite from symptoms of diss-ease, chronic pain and illness. It moderates pain by increasing your pain threshold and tolerance level which is beneficial to your wellbeing. Your mood improves as tension is released and relaxation and calm restored. It truly is a wonderful therapy and I’d love for you to come and experience it.

I offer 1 hour reflexology sessions, although your first will include a free 30 minute consultation during which we will discuss your needs and agree a treatment programme. Each subsequent treatment will last an hour and it is generally recommended that a course of 4-6 weekly sessions is considered; however, the frequency and duration is up to the individual based on the level of support required. After completing a course of sessions, many people find it beneficial to have regular treatments to maintain well-being.

All you need to do is bring your feet and wear comfortable trousers/skirt or jeans that can be rolled up. You’ll recline on my couch, covered with a blanket and drift away…. It would be lovely to meet you, so do give me a call on 07850 414271 for further information or to book an appointment.

Yvette x

Plantar Fasciitis

Oh my goodness, how many people do I see with this condition? Too many unfortunately. It’s that awful stabbing feeling you get in your foot. You know, the one that makes your first steps in the morning feel as if you are walking on broken glass or sharp stones. Ouch! It’s really painful and so many people suffer.

Although it often arises from knots in the muscles of the toes we actually find them in the calf rather than the foot itself. It can be caused by running (especially wearing worn down shoes, so change them every 300-500 miles), having tight calf muscles (sportspeople take note and do your stretching before and after activity), being overweight, and it can also be a complication of diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

Overnight the fascial tissue on the bottom of your feet contracts (bunches up/shortens) and then when you stand up in the morning it takes a while to unbunch/lengthen but then comes back with extended use, which is so frustrating. The sensation is like someone inserted a marble in your foot overnight. Nice!

I’m often asked if reflexology can help with plantar fasciitis and in a way it can, because I’m working over the muscles of the foot which does bring some relief and also, as a massage therapist I can incorporate some additional techniques to ease your discomfort. So I can use hot stones and warm bamboo to really stretch out those poor old calf muscles that put so much strain on the plantar fascia.

There are of course a few things that you can do at home between your treatments such as:

1. Before you leap out of bed in the morning massage the sole of your foot.
2. Tennis Ball – take a ball and roll it under the arch of your foot.
3. Stretching your toes – cross your legs, take your toes in your hand and pull them towards your body and hold for 15 seconds. Repeat.
4. Apply an ice-pack or bag of peas (carrots or mixed veg will do!) to your heels.
5. Sit on the floor and place a towel under the ball of your foot and pull the towel towards your body keeping knees straight. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

I hope that the home exercises are useful for you, but phone me on 07850 414271 to book a massage so that we can work together to release all that tension.

Yvette x