Delicious Organic Facials

Did you know you can get a facial here in Eau Claire in which all the ingredients are organic? In fact Sakura Skin Spa offers two organic facial product lines. The skin spa was founded in 2013 with the goal of providing “highly educated and passionate skin professionals to help clients achieve their desired skin results safely and effectively.”

Sarah Green, owner, spa director, and licensed aesthetician, explains why she chose to use organic products. “Organic products were always something I wanted to bring in from the beginning. My brother-in-law, Dr. Aaron Arfstrom of Apex Chiropractic, has been a huge influence on my knowledge of how important it is to use products that are good for us and don’t cause more harm.”

Green describes the two main benefits of using organic products: 1) “Many clients who are very sensitive can have reactions to skin care products that have a lot of chemical additives. Organic products give them an option for quality skin care.” 2) “It’s also great for women who are pregnant or nursing and want to use only pure products. They don’t have to sacrifice their skin when going organic or natural.”

Sakura Skin Spa offers two organic product lines: Naturopathica and FarmHouse Fresh Naturals.

Naturopathica Many of this company’s products

Many of this company’s products are certified by Ecocert, which is one of the oldest independent organic certification groups. The review process to receive the Ecocert seal of approval includes scrutiny of sourcing, manufacturing, and packaging. Ecocert looks for products derived from renewable resources that are produced in environmentally friendly ways. Their seal also requires at least 50 percent use of natural ingredients.

Naturopathica seeks to source from local farmers, promotes recycling with all product containers, and is a majority woman-owned company. They test all products for allergy and skin sensitivity, do not use animal testing, and their products are made in the United States. For a full list of what they do not use in their products, go to www.naturopathica.com/about_us/our_philosophy.

Sakura Skin Spa offers several choices of organic facials using the Naturopathica products, including the Pure Results Facial, the Vitamin C15 Brightening Facial, the Soothe and Restore Facial, and even a Men’s Rebalancing Facial. Green says, “Our

Green says, “Our Naturopathica line is purely organic, and their ingredients smell phenomenal as well! They have been some of our most popular facials since we introduced the line in 2014.”

FarmHouse Fresh Naturals

This company has its own farm in Texas and uses some products from other local farms to provide from 90 to 99.6 percent naturally derived ingredients. They are paraben, phthalate, and sulfate free, as well as “cruelty-free,” meaning no animal testing is used for their products. In fact, the company works to rescue all kinds of animals—dogs, bunnies, horses, turtles, and donkeys—at their ranch. Almost all (99 percent) of their products are vegan and gluten free.

FarmHouse Fresh has a broad selection of what they call “Farm to Spa Treatments,” seeking to provide the freshest product possible with reduced irritations, less redness, and “lessened signs of aging.”

Sakura Skin Spa serves up a hearty menu of FarmHouse Fresh organic facials, including Peat Purity Vegetative Calming Facial, Coffee and Cream CoQ10 Complexion Perfection Facial, Wine and Chocolate Me Time Transformative Facial, and the seasonal Perky Pumpkin Radiance Boosting and Firming Facial.

“I would say our FarmHouse Fresh natural facials have really caught our clients’ attention!” Green says. “All of their products smell almost too good to be true! It’s been really fun adding in their awesome products to the spa. With product names like Pumpkin Dirt Mud Mask and Sundae Best Chocolate Mask, which smell as amazing as they sound, who could resist?”

For more information visit them at 4210 Southtowne Drive, Eau Claire, go to www.sakuraskinspa.com, or call 715-514-3548.

Sources: http://farmhousefreshgoods.com/index.html www.naturopathica.com/; www.sakuraskinspa.com

POUND Your Way Fit

Pure Fitness 4 You is owned and managed by Brenda Jane Crass, wife and mother of two. “Owning a fitness studio is an amazing opportunity for me to share my love of health and fitness with others and to be a role model,” she says. Why did she decide to start this business? “I wanted to have classes in the area that all fitness levels would be able to do,” she explains. “I love helping people, seeing their progress, and knowing I’m making a difference.” All classes at Pure Fitness 4 You are for all fitness levels as the instructors will always show modifications, regular, and advanced moves, but

Why did she decide to start this business? “I wanted to have classes in the area that all fitness levels would be able to do,” she explains. “I love helping people, seeing their progress, and knowing I’m making a difference.” All classes at Pure Fitness 4 You are for all fitness levels as the instructors will always show modifications, regular, and advanced moves, but Crass adds, “If you ever come to class and have questions about moves, just ask as there are always ways to make the moves work for each individual ability level.”

Crass seeks to make Pure Fitness 4 You stand out in the community. “Pure Fitness 4 You offers unique to-the-area classes and really goes all out with the personal touch of letting our members know we are here! Once you’ve stepped into the doors at Pure Fitness 4 You, you become family!” Crass notes. One example of that uniqueness is the POUND class, which is a group fitness class that is inspired by drumming. It lets you be a part of the music as you are getting a

One example of that uniqueness is the POUND class, which is a group fitness class that is inspired by drumming. It lets you be a part of the music as you are getting a head to-toe workout. Crass assures, “It’s low impact but high intensity, so you’ll burn calories having a blast!” It’s new to the Chippewa Valley and is taking a lot of places, like New York City, by storm. So far there has been a lot of interest in POUND, and Crass says her regulars are addicted to it. She cautions not to worry about an inability to keep to the rhythm, explaining that the instructor keeps you on track and you soon fall in love with being a part of the music and being able to “pound out the day.” Her enthusiasm for this class couldn’t be any greater. “POUND lets you be a rock star!” Exemplifying the welcoming spirit of Pure Fitness 4 You,

She cautions not to worry about an inability to keep to the rhythm, explaining that the instructor keeps you on track and you soon fall in love with being a part of the music and being able to “pound out the day.”

Her enthusiasm for this class couldn’t be any greater. “POUND lets you be a rock star!”

Exemplifying the welcoming spirit of Pure Fitness 4 You, Crass exclaims, “If you are looking for an amazing atmosphere to work out in, Pure Fitness 4 You is it! We make you a part of a family, and everyone will have your back each step of the way.”

For more information, see www.purefitness4you.com, call 715-456-1182, or visit them at 1423 South Hastings Way, in Eau Claire.

Photo by Angi Randall Photography.

Spring Is a Good Time for Mindfulness

by Ann Brand

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is present-moment awareness. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the researcher responsible for bringing mindfulness practice into Western medicine, defines mindfulness as “the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” Mindfulness practice is now part of many disciplines including health care, education, mental health, and business.

Mindfulness practice is a mental training. Using the power of our brain’s plasticity, we can shape our brains in positive ways. The more frequently we practice, the stronger the attention muscles in our brain become. The more we practice paying attention in this particular way, both through formal practice and mindfulness in everyday life, the better able we are to be present.

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

Mindfulness practice has many benefits. Because of advances in neuroscience, scientists are able to see how mindfulness practices work to change our brain and lead to benefits in physical health, stress reduction, attention, learning and memory, positive emotions, empathy, emotion regulation, and interpersonal relationships. Mindfulness practice can help us manage our stress and bring calm, clarity, and peace into our daily lives.

Why is the changing of seasons a good time to focus on mindfulness?
Any time of year is a wonderful time to cultivate our capacity to be mindful. That said, spring offers us the waking up of nature from the quiet sleep of winter. Nature is always in the present moment, and we can use the warm air on our skin, the singing of the birds, and the budding of the trees as anchors to the present moment. This supports us in the practice of being present and showing up to our life as it unfolds instead of the story in our head we are telling about our life.

Nature can be a helpful support to our mindfulness practice in the spring. Here are five things we can use to help us rest in the present moment:

  1. Feel the warm spring sun on your skin.
  2. Savor the taste of spring harvest from the garden.
  3. Breathe in the smells of spring—snow melting, damp earth, spring flowers.
  4. Listen to the sounds of spring-migrating birds, water flowing, kids playing outside.
  5. Open up our awareness as we walk outside, noticing when we get caught up in our thoughts and bringing our attention back to the sensations in our body as we walk.

Mindfulness practice helps us see that no matter how many times we are distracted from the present moment, we can begin again, just like nature starts over each spring in Wisconsin.

 

Ann Brand, PhD, is a mindfulness meditation teacher and lecturer at UW–Stout in the School of Education. She teaches mindfulness classes in Eau Claire at The Center and can be reached at annbrand365@gmail.com.

Natural Sinus Help

by Debbie Koteras, Owner, Mother Nature’s Food, Inc

“My nose is all stuffy so I cannot get a good night’s sleep and I feel awful!” At some point this has probably happened to you. This happens when the mucous membrane lining of the nasal cavity becomes swollen or inflamed due to cold or allergies. The channels can become blocked, making it difficult for the sinuses to drain correctly. This can lead to infection and inflammation of the mucous membrane. Below are some natural alternatives to try when you find yourself in this situation.

Essential oils have been around for many years and continue to be recognized more and more for their medicinal properties. Oils like eucalyptus, helichrysum, peppermint, melaleuca, and rosemary, to name a few, are all oils that may be helpful in opening up those sinus cavities. Knowing the quality of your essential oils is very important when deciding how to use them. Diffusing them into the air or inhaling directly from the bottle are both ways to enjoy these oils. With many oils, in order to apply them topically, they may need to be diluted in a carrier oil first so that it will not be too irritating to your skin.

Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol in a convenient vertical spray is another option to help clear out those passages. For thousands of years, silver has played an essential role in safeguarding human health. With the development of technologically advanced refinements in the production of silver colloids, the particle size is so small that it allows for easy absorption and excretion from the body.  I know people who get yearly sinus infections that have used this product and have been able to prevent a sinus infection from happening.

Xlear–you may be thinking I spelled something wrong, but I did not. This is a product that combines purified water, xylitol, and grapefruit seed extract in a nasal spray. Now some of you may use xylitol for your oral health, and you would be right to do so. But xylitol also helps ensure that beyond just cleansing the nasal cavity, it also moisturizes and protects the delicate tissues. Xlear Nasal Spray is gentle enough for infants but effective in adults as well.

Have you ever been swimming in the ocean and gotten salt water in your nose? If you think back to it, if you had a stuffy nose before that you probably felt better afterward. A neti pot is something that you can use in the privacy of your own home to give you the same effect. I recommend trying it the first time when in the shower because most people do not love the thought of putting salt water into their nose, but in the shower it does not seem as odd. By doing this it is obviously helping to flush those irritants out of your nasal passage.

Without getting into homeopathy and how it all works, I have to say that Sinus Relief by NatraBio was actually my first experience with sinus pressure and using a homeopathic blend to relieve that pressure. I have talked to my share of sceptics where homeopathy is concerned, but I have a handful of homeopathic products that I always keep in my home and would not be without because they have worked so well for me.

There are many more options out there, and I guess my hope is that after reading this, you will do your research, and if you find yourself or a loved one having sinus issues, that you will think about a natural alternative to relieve the symptoms and help rid yourselves of the irritant that is causing the problem. Getting to the root cause instead of just covering up the symptoms will ultimately leave a healthier you!

 

For more information, call 715-834-2341, or stop in at 2434 London Road, Eau Claire.

Moms on the Run: Health, Confidence, and Encouragement through Running

You may have seen the logo around town on a purple sweatshirt or across the chest of a pink tank top of an Eau Claire Marathon participant: MOTR aka Moms on the Run. It easily could be the name of a sitcom or explanation for the harried driver you see in the lane beside you. And that double meaning explains a lot about the organization of women encouraging their fellow runners to keep a healthy outlook through all the facets of life they are juggling.

The Chippewa Valley chapter of Moms on the Run has officially been up and literally running for over five years with hundreds of women embracing their running journey.  MOTR offers year-round programming with three official seasons: Spring/Summer, Fall, and Winter Polar Running. Their signature eighteen-week spring/summer session starts again this coming April and culminates at the end of August with the group’s own 5k run and celebration.

The eighteen-week spring-summer session offers the most structure and support. MOTR classes include coaching, optional nutritional challenges, and running-specific strength training. They offer interval classes, endurance classes, and trail running groups. Interval classes include taking beginning runners (the Learn to Run group) from mostly walking to running a 5k at the end of the summer and offers intermediate runners a chance to work on speed, cardiovascular strength, breathing, form, and more.  Shelly Peters, one of the two EC Franchise Owners, notes, “Our groups have experienced coaches that help motivate and push each individual to the extent that they want/need. We believe that if you want to be a runner, you can be. We want every woman to feel empowered to take the steps to a healthy lifestyle, and we feel that exercise, accountability, and encouragement play a huge role in that.”

MOTR tries to help connect women in a way that helps them have fitness, fun, and friendship all in one. It also forces them, so to speak, to put class on their calendar and not just

“hope to fit it in.” Coaches follow up with women to make sure that their needs are being met and they are feeling connected to the group.  Peters elaborates, “One thing we take pride in at MOTR is that everyone is welcome and it is an encouraging, positive, no-judgment kind of group. We know that each woman has enough stress and battles in other areas, so we want MOTR to be a safe place where they can come just to be on the journey together.”

Women need to prioritize themselves and a healthy lifestyle. It can fortify you as a parent, being able to care for yourself first so you can then care for others. Tapping into your known strengths, or those you didn’t even know you had, can leave you feeling rejuvenated and joyful about the other responsibilities that make up your family’s fabric. After being involved in MOTR for several summers one participant wrote:

“I am continually in awe of the impact of MOTR because it is powerful, it is positive, and it really is changing women’s lives in more than just physical ways. When I think of the ripple effect through a family when a mom is healthy, confident, supported, and fierce in the belief in herself, it’s hard to comprehend the power of her positive influence on those around her. When I show up to class or to a race and stand in this sea of strong women, I can’t help but feel proud to be a part of it.”

Peters sums up the MOTR mission: “Our goal is to be women that are healthy, confident, and feel encouraged so that we can in turn encourage others along the journey that often feels like it is an uphill battle. Running connects us to ourselves, our neighbor, our city, and the outdoors at large.”

Check out this website to register for a program or for more information on the local and national group: www.momsonetherun.com.