Winter: One Great Time to Get a Massage!

By Candace Lokken, licensed massage therapist, Sans Souci Massage

Winter is hard on our bodies. Everything from dry skin, which body treatments are good for, to physical aspects and stressors such as shoveling, different exercises compared to summer exercise, and yes even shivering, contributes to winter stressors. There are also holiday stresses that weigh heavily on many of us, from family visits to spending the holidays without a loved one. Holiday stress can affect us in so many ways—physically as the body tenses, emotionally sometimes as depression and exhaustion, and even in a dietary way as our eating habits are different.

This is the time of year that most of our clients like heat and warmth. We use different ways of warming our clients: our tables are heated, we use rice bags, and we use hot stones and different types of heated towels. As always, we do an integrative massage for each client that is detailed to meet their current needs. We definitely do more hot stone massages in winter. This type of massage is very warming, detoxifying, and can be relaxing or can be more of a deep tissue massage with heat to help the muscle tissue relax.

Essential oils are used throughout the year, but there are oils that can address dry skin and that can be warming. Make sure you or your massage therapist choose the right essential oils. Stay away from synthetic oils and look for therapeutic-grade essential oils. The top 5 essential oils you could have on hand for this time of year would be: frankincense, lavender, lemon, peppermint, and tea tree. If you are looking for specific oils for dry skin, geranium, lavender, neroli, rose, rosemary, myrrh, frankincense, and sandalwood are great. If you are looking for specific oils to help with warming of the body, try rosemary, myrrh, ginger, black pepper, and clove bud. Adding your essential oils to a carrier oil such as unrefined, cold-pressed, organic coconut oil is a good way you can apply them to your skin without any type of breakout. Some essential oils can be very harsh for your skin if applied directly. You can add the oils to a hot bath, diffuse them into the air, or apply them directly to the skin with a carrier oil.

Each Sans Souci massage therapist has at least fourteen years of experience and customizes each massage to the client’s needs and preferences. We do all different types of massage from individual therapists doing specific types of massage such as craniosacral, lomi lomi, ashiatsu, and thai yoga therapy. But also we always do a thorough health intake with our clients before the massage so that we know specifically what each client’s problem areas are, and then we work specifically on those areas.

Winter is a good time to get a massage, but it is good to receive massage throughout the year! Even a 30-minute massage gives us enough time to work on a specific problem area. It is not enough time for a full body massage though, but it can be helpful.

For the holidays, gift certificates for massage are always a great gift. We sell them in our office or they can be bought online and printed through our website.

For more information or to make an appointment, visit www.sanssoucimassage.com.

Melnaturel : All Natural Skin Care

Melissa Wilson always enjoyed makeup, often playing with her mom’s makeup when she was a child. But in her teen years, Mel suffered from acne and scarring. Later she found out she has polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and that hormone imbalance was causing her acne. After trying many products—that didn’t work—Mel decided to try creating her own, natural skin-care products.

She’d been creating her own eyelash serum for a while, and friends and sisters encouraged her to go ahead and run with that. The serum is all natural—every other brand she’d tried from the salon would turn her eyelids colors, and she spent hundreds of dollars trying to get her eyelashes to grow better. She loves DIY projects like refurbishing furniture—all kinds of making and creating. She explains, “I’ve always been an artist, and I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I already had the ingredients. I had the time. I decided to make a bottle for each of my sisters. It was around Christmas-time, and as I texted my friend that her bottle was ready, she asked if I’d make one for her friend. So I did. Then I created a professional-looking label for the bottles. At first I was going to call it Elnaturel, but my sister, who is sassy, said, ‘You forgot the M, duh! Why not call your brand Melnaturel, playing off your name?’ And I thought, ‘Great idea!’ Soon after that, I posted on my Facebook page that I had 8 extra bottles available for $10 each. I ended up selling 165 bottles in that one post. I hadn’t even set up an official business yet! So I got to work ordering ingredients, setting up an LLC, getting insurance, and making everything legal, and on January 22, I launched the business—Melnaturel.”

Meanwhile, she had been working on looking for other natural skin-care products for herself, researching all of the reasons why she should be using completely natural products on her face. She had tried everything under the sun to treat acne but couldn’t get rid of it. Then when she started going 100 percent natural—no harsh chemicals—she started to see a major difference with scarring going away and acne clearing up. Then other people became interested in her research and products. By the second month of Melnaturel, she had already sold product in eleven states, and now her products are being used in over twenty states and in Australia.

She explains: “Once I started the official business, I started testing product with girls in various locations around the country that I knew were having problems. I mailed them product to test and give me feedback. Then I grouped them according to skin type and did various trial tests. If the trial worked, I’d bring it out to market. I had known it worked for me, but I wanted to know it was working for other people. And now I have frequent users all over the country.”

More information and Melnaturel’s full product line can be found at www.melnaturel.com/, or by following Melnaturel on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest. You can also purchase some of her products locally at The Local Store (Volume One) in Eau Claire.

Healthy Choices: Safeguarding against Seasonal Stress

By Dr. Lynn Thompson

Stress is defined as the organism’s response to environmental pressures or demands either internal or external. The causes of stress in humans can include any event that the individual perceives, consciously or unconsciously, as a threat. It has been reported that at least 90 percent of all diseases are related to stress and the lack of the coping skills to alleviate the long-term reactions. This particular time of year has special risks for uncontrolled stress.

This time of year we find to be more stressful from lack of sunshine, increase in sugar consumption, and “family” or community traditions. We live in an area around the 45th north latitude and as such are very limited on the direct sunlight during the winter months. Stress can present as depression (also increased in the winter months). When the skin does not have enough sunlight, Vitamin D is not manufactured. If you do not have adequate sun exposure, you should include good sources of Vitamin D in your diet from egg yolks; raw cow milk; fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, salmon, and herring; shrimp; chicken liver; and orange juice.

Ironically, orange juice is very high in sugar. In a one cup serving (8 ounces), OJ has 124 mg (milligrams) of Vitamin C (more than 100 percent of the US government’s Recommended Daily Intake of about 60 mg/day. Research dating back to 1999 recommends an increase to 120 mg/day). Dr. Linus Pauling discovered that Vitamin C is needed by the body to fight bacteria and viruses. Glucose (simplest form of sugar found in the body) and Vitamin C have similar chemical structures. There are times when the body can confuse sugar and Vitamin C. When the blood sugar level reaches 120mg/dl, the body’s ability to destroy the bacteria and viruses is reduced by 75 percent for the next four to six hours. Here are some not-so-sweet facts about sugar, just to name a few.

 

  • The average American consumes 100 pounds of sugar per year. Crazy, right?  It is even crazier when compared to the mere 8 pounds of broccoli the average American consumes annually.
  • The other white powder. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine.
  • Sugar is hidden almost everywhere, especially in processed foods.
  • Sugar in disguise:  corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, maltose, glucose, fructose—watch out for the “ose” at the end of the word!
  • Refined table sugar (aka sucrose) lacks vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  In fact, your body has to tap into its precious mineral and enzyme stores to process it.
  • If your body does not properly digest sugar (and simple carbs for that matter), it contributes to candida overgrowth. If you are not familiar with candida, it is worth a Google or Bing search.
  • It feeds the bad guys. Sugar contributes to an acidic environment, which cancer and other diseases love!
  • It contributes to Type 2 diabetes.

This time of year, many of us celebrate religious holidays and overindulge in spending, eating, and lack of sunshine. Rather than participate in activities that increase stress levels, take a deep breath, go for a walk, have an attitude of gratitude, enjoy a hearty laugh, and share a healthy, low-sugar meal made with love and joy.

A cheerful heart is good medicine.
Proverbs 17:22

Dr. Lynn Thompson holds doctorates in chiropractic, naturopathy, and homeopathy. She has been involved in healthcare for forty years. Dr. Lynn resides in Foster with her husband, John, and travels extensively around the United States presenting classes on health and wellness utilizing essential oils and nutrition.

Blue Boxer Arts: Knit Away Holiday Stress

When Jamie Kyser and Erin Klaus, business partners and friends, moved Tangled Up In Hue from 416 Barstow (the current Blue Boxer Arts location) to 505 Barstow, they had an empty store space that was still under a lease. While considering their options, it occurred to Kyser that she and Klaus had always talked about opening a bead store in Eau Claire. Ever since the one on Water Street closed, they had felt that Eau Claire needed one. And in addition, Yellow Dog Knitting used to be located a couple of doors down, and when that closed, lots of people came into Tangled Up in Hue’s former location asking what happened to the yarn shop, so they knew there was a market for it. And if that wasn’t enough, they had an immense amount of beads from jewelry making, so it seemed like an opportunity to give the idea a shot. So, they opened a bead and yarn shop—Blue Boxer Arts!

 

Blue Boxer Arts follows the same format as Tangled in that they support and offer local products. They have a whole section of the store devoted to local fibers, hand-spun and dyed yarn from local farms where the sheep are raised and sheered, and the wool is processed and spun into yarn. They also have roving, locks, and loose fibers. (Roving is a long narrow bundle of fiber that is mainly used for spinning fibers into yarn. It’s been processed and dyed or can be natural colored.  It can also be used in weaving or needle felting. Locks are actual hair locks from, say, an angora goat or llama, and loose fibers are just that—they have been processed from the animal and can be found in a bag or ball.) In addition, the store carries Plymouth-brand yarns and various others, and they currently offer a large selection of “natural” beads: wood, clay, porcelain, bone, nut, etc., but are expanding to also incorporate stone, glass, crystal, pearl, and more. The store also operates as a collective, meaning they have items on consignment as well.

 

A wide range of classes are available, about two a week. All of them are currently focused on the fiber and jewelry arts, as that is the type of product currently offered in the store. All classes can be found on the website (http://blueboxerarts.com/events.html) or the Facebook page, which has the most up-to-date info. The instructors range from store staff to outside experts and hobbyists, but anyone can come in and apply to teach a class here. If someone has a special skill they would like to share in a class, email blueboxerarts@gmail.com for more info.

 

With the holidays coming up, we all tend to brace ourselves for the accompanying stresses. Knitting or crocheting, however, can be a stress-relieving activity. Kyser believes all forms of creativity can be calming experiences: “I personally crochet (I have knit but am not an avid knitter) and participate in many forms of fiber arts and other crafty avenues. Each of these activities helps to sooth my soul and bring me balance and peace. It’s a way for many to reset from the day or take out frustrations. It makes me feel fulfilled and whole.” If you’re new to knitting and crocheting, don’t fret! As a beginner, and as with learning any new skill, knitting/crocheting can be a chore and may even be frustrating at first. But once the basics are learned and the rhythm is found, the fun starts, and it becomes a new way to cope with stress.

 

According to Kyser, knitting and crocheting can be more than just stress relieving: “I believe, too, that knitting/crocheting can lead to a meditative state. In meditation, the goal is to clear your head of all thoughts and brain chatter. In the act of knitting, and the repetitive nature of it, it can certainly lead to this. In some cases, when following a pattern for instance, you need to count your stitches, switch colors, or change stitches (knit, pearl, etc), and this can require more concentration and thought, and it can also be good to concentrate on something other than work and other stresses of life.”

 

She advises: “The concentration involved with these art forms as well as just keeping your hands busy and the satisfaction of completing a project can all be so good for the soul and help with stress during the holidays and year-round. This time of year it can help you check the gift-giving portion of stress off your list, knowing that you are making something for someone that took time and love and effort.”

 

The benefit of shopping locally is important to both Kyser and Klaus. Kyser notes: “With each step, knitting and crocheting with our products can give you the satisfaction and joy of shopping locally, which is so important in our current climate. The community thrives when local businesses do well.  Because we offer products and services that are locally made/produced, a portion of the money spent in our store goes back into the community, which fuels the local economy, and it’s a win-win for everyone.”

Intelligent Nutrients: Beauty and Skin Care that Cares about the Planet Too

by Nicole Rechelbacher, co-owner, Intelligent Nutrients 

Learning from Mother Nature is the foundation of the Intelligent Nutrients brand, and our mission is to maintain safety and nutrition within every ingredient we select. Choosing plant-based retinols, AHAs, enzymes, and other sustainably sourced actives with proven results in place of the chemically based norm is in our DNA. The bedrock of our products is active, high performing nontoxic ingredients that support healthy cell development.

Plant-based science is how I was raised. My father (Horst Rechelbacher) instilled a deep appreciation for nature and beauty without sacrificing wellness. He created Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients–his mission was to educate that beauty does not have to come at the cost of your health or the health of our delicate environment.

Kiran Stordalen (co-owner and lifelong partner of Horst) and I are honored to carry his vision and mission forward and excitedly evolve it. New technologies are making it possible to incorporate ingredients that achieve even higher standards of safety for us and for the planet.

Are our products certified organic? Absolutely, we have a wonderful team member whose entire role is to ensure and vet every ingredient to be non-toxic, certified organic, and safe. We work directly with our suppliers and the third-party auditors that confirm our formulas, ingredients, and processes to maintain those standards. More specifically we hold certifications from COSMOS, the international standard for organic and natural cosmetics. We also hold certifications from the Organic Soil Association and are stamped USDA Organic, showing which products are 95 percent or more organic content.

Our formulas are plant based, not petroleum based, and we believe every beauty company should use sustainable ingredients and new science to help take care of our bodies. As a planet, we are clearly depleting our resources. The environment is unstable, and petroleum is not a part of nature’s DNA. So why should you put this on and in your body? The beauty industry, especially in the United States, needs to wake up and shake up how we create sustainable skin and beauty.

Three of Our Best-Selling Products
Our Harmonic® Shampoo and Conditioner has fans worldwide, thanks to its nontoxic, antioxidant-rich formula that removes buildup for a weightless clean. The Minty Destress Express aroma tingles and leaves the scalp balanced and hair clean and light.

For skin care, our Renewal Complex Skin Serum uses 11 percent pure active plant stem cell ingredients for the most potent and active performance. This plant stem cell bioactive science reduces water usage by tons, preserves land for food, is up to 1,000 times more antioxidant potent than conventionally harvested raw materials, and is non-GMO.  We use six types throughout many skin and hair products. Each has specific function to revitalize skin cells, rejuvenate aging skin, restore elasticity, brighten skin, and fuel a healthy hair cycle.

Destress Express™ Hair & Body Oil nourishes hair, scalp, and body while relieving mental and physical stress. Formulated with a therapeutic blend of certified organic essential oils and flavors to soothe, purify, deodorize, condition, and refresh.

We encourage everyone to respect yourself, body and mind, and respect the world around us. Pause, appreciate, meditate, do whatever it takes to preserve our planet.