Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spa Girl Discovered her Dosha

It is always interesting to see what others have to say about their favourite spa experiences, and which in fact are the most preferred. Travel + Leisure's 2010 World's Best Destination Spas was a great opportunity to scan the globe for those amazing get-aways and while doing so, I discover my Dosha.

A dosha is one of three bodily humors that make up one's constitution according to Ayurveda. These teachings are also known as the Tridosha system.

The central concept of Ayurvedic medicine is the theory that health exists when there is a balance between three fundamental bodily humours or doshas called Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

• Vāta or Vāyu (wind) is the impulse principle necessary to mobilize the function of the nervous system. It affects the windy humour, flatulence, gout, rheumatism, etc.

• Pitta (bile) is the bilious humour, or that secreted between the stomach and bowels and flowing through the liver and permeating spleen, heart, eyes, and skin; its chief quality is heat. It is the energy principle which uses bile to direct digestion and hence metabolism into the venous system.

• Kapha (phlegm) is the body fluid principle which relates to mucous, lubrication and the carrier of nutrients into the arterial system.

All Ayurvedic physicians believe that these ancient ideas, based in the knowledge discovered by the Rishis and Munis, exist in harmony with physical reality. These Ayurvedic concepts allow physicians to examine the homeostasis of the whole system. People may be of a predominant dosha or constitution, but all doshas have the basic elements within them.

To find out your dosha, take the dosha quiz.
One of the top ten listed Spa’s is The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, in Carlsbad, California. The Chopra Center's philosophy to overall health and wellbeing is the synthesis of the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda with the most advanced developments in modern allopathic medicine. Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India and means “The Science of Life”. It is a traditional modality emphasizing prevention of disease, rejuvenation of the body systems and extension of one’s life span. It is grounded in the metaphysics of earth, water, fire, air and ether and stresses the balance of Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Deepak Chopra, M.D., a world-renowned authority in the field of mind-body healing, and David Simon, M.D. opened the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in 1996 “to help people experience physical healing, emotional freedom, and higher states of consciousness”. The Center offers some amazing Spa experiences such as the Odyssey Ayurvedic Massage Treatment, Gandharva Therapy, Shirodhara or the Oshadhi Treatment.

Here is what they have to say…

Although suppressed during years of foreign occupation, Ayurveda has been enjoying a major resurgence in both its native land and throughout the world. Tibetan medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine both have their roots in Ayurveda. Early Greek medicine also embraced many concepts originally described in the classical ayurvedic medical texts dating back thousands of years.

More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vital while realizing their full human potential. Providing guidelines on ideal daily and seasonal routines, diet, behavior and the proper use of our senses, Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit.

An important goal of Ayurveda is to identify a person’s ideal state of balance, determine where they are out of balance, and offer interventions using diet, herbs, aromatherapy, massage treatments, music, and meditation to reestablish balance.

Check out these links Spa Girls...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Spa Girl says check out lemons

I have always loved lemons, not only for their magnificent colour but the flavor they provide to so many foods. One of my first art assignments was to paint a cluster of lemons and I have cherished them ever since. They are inexpensive, easily available and this citrus fruit is also good for medicinal uses.

Known for there aromatic rind and tangy acidic flavor, lemons are very high in nutritional value and are used in traditional medicines because of their well-known therapeutic powers. One lemon without peel contains 0.92 grams protein, 24 calories and 2.4 grams of dietary fibre not to mention among other things, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C and E. Higher citrate levels than oranges; lemons can help keep gums, teeth and bones healthy, aids in the absorption of iron and is a good prevention against colds and flu.

Believed to be a native plant of India, northern Burma, and China, the exact origin of the lemon has remained a mystery.

Lemon juice can also be used as a short-term preservative on foods that tend to oxidize and turn brown after being sliced, such as apples, bananas and avocados. The high levels of acid found in lemons denature the enzymes which cause browning and degradation.

So what’s good for food must be good for the face!

Adapted from Better Basics for the Home, by Annie Berthold-Bond (Three Rivers Press, 1999)

This refreshing gently-abrasive scrub, rich in alpha-hydroxy acids and vitamin C sloughs away the tired dead skin and diminishes the appearance of age spots.

Lemon Scrub

¼ cup sea salt
enough lemon juice to make a paste

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Dab gently on your face with fingertips or a cotton ball, then massage into your skin, being careful to avoid your eyes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Spa Girl is dreaming of Bali

In my ongoing quest to seek out the best organic skin care products I have discovered Sensatia Botanicals located on the stunning island of Bali.

I live in a great climate, and have often joked that if I were to move it would be to Bali or Tahiti in order to give up the snow entirely. I’m sure many of us are dreaming of a Bali vacation thanks to Julia Roberts in the movie ‘Eat Love Pray’ where her last stop on a year long quest to find peace and contentment, is on the idyllic island of Bali.

Well it seems Bali has a lot to offer! Sensatia Botanicals was founded in 1999 in the small fishing village of Jasri, karangasem. Located in the heart of Bali’s farming province this amazing little company has not only a great big heart for its people and culture, but great products as well.

They are a profit sharing company specializing in fresh natural organic products, made by hand from the purest raw materials that can be found—ingredients they say “you might find in your mothers kitchen”. Remember my blog “From Cupboard to Face”!

I just received an order and definitely recommend the ‘Original Mini’ gift pack for all your Spa Girl friends on your Christmas list. It includes all nine original handmade soaps in 25gr sampler size and comes in a lovely handmade cotton bag.

In their newsletter Sensatia Botanicals published a great statement by Dr. Christine Farlow. Dr. Farlow has been investigating and researching the safety of ingredients used in food, cosmetics and personal care products since 1991.

Here is what Dr. Farlow had to say:
Dr. Christine H. Farlow, D.C. "The Ingredients Investigator." and author of Dying to Look Good - The disturbing truth about's what really in your cosmetics... recently referred to Sensatia products in a Dying to Look Good newsletter as "impeccably pure..."
I have not tried all of Sensatia products (yet) but the soap is heavenly! For more information on this amazing company on the lovely island of Bali, check out

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Spa Girl suggests STEAM INHALATION for cold and flu season

With cold and flu season just around the corner a good idea is to head to the steam room or consider a do-it-yourself eucalyptus steam inhalation.

Steam therapy is one of the oldest holistic health & wellness treatments for maintaining a healthy respiratory system and combating colds and flu. Adding eucalyptus oil to your steam is ideal for relieving related nasal and sinus congestion.

Eucalyptus is an exhilarating, clarifying essential oil that rejuvenates and refreshes the body and mind. Its fragrance is woody, sweet and pungent.

The National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases recommends inhaling steam to lessen discomfort and provide quicker relief for sinusitis and allergies.

— U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Pub. No. 83-540
For a do-it-yourself eucalyptus steam pour about 4 to 6 cups of boiling water into a large bowl, place the bowl on stable surface and add three drops of eucalyptus essential oil to the water. Cover your head with a towel and lean over the bowl about two feet away—don’t bring your face too close to the water. Close your eyes and breathe deeply for 10 to 15 minutes, if you feel overheated or uncomfortable simply removed the towel.

As with all herbal remedies safety precaution are important to heed: do not add more than the suggested amount of eucalyptus oil, keep children and pets away while doing a eucalyptus steam inhalation—remember that water is hot! And certain people should avoid eucalyptus steam inhalation, such as those with heart conditions, central nervous system disorders, and pregnant women. Eucalyptus essential oil should not be taken internally or applied directly to the skin as it might cause irritation.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Spa Girl says fall is definitely in the air!

I awoke this morning and indeed it was a wee bit cold. I guess it is time to come to terms with the seasonal facts, the wonderful summer weather is winding down and those of us in northern hemispheres have to prepare for fall and the chilly north winds that bring the snow. What a thought! And while the idea of winter definitely is not all that appealing I love the fall, all the colours, the clear blue skies and of course the amazing bounty from our gardens.

I love a hot stone massage on a cold day, and it’s almost time for those amazing pumpkin facials, clay detoxifying masks and yes, even cherry and tomato facials and scrubs.

Fall definitely is a time for change and a great way to make the transition is to head to the spa and consider one of these amazing treatments.

Pumpkin Facials

Pumpkin pulp is naturally full of antioxidants and skin-boosting ingredients. Combined into a facial, natural pumpkin and pulp extracts can give you a seasonal boost right where you need it.

Detoxifying Mud and Clay

Mud masks and body wraps made with penetrating mud extracts are great options to nourish and detoxify naturally. Body treatments will envelope your entire body in a powerful cleansing process, and offer a long-lasting and rejuvenating experience.

Cherries Galore

Cherries are a powerful antioxidant and many spas are creating cherry facials and body treatments to soothe and cleanse the skin. Cherry scrubs are ideal for exfoliating and refreshing the skin.

Hot Stones

This massage treatment is becoming very popular especially as we head into fall and winter. A hot stone massage encourages deep relaxation and helps to increase circulation.

Oh those Tomatoes

These bright red fruits are both good to eat and to use as a spa treatment. In fact tomatoes have been used in home remedies to help in the defense of oily and blemish prone skin. Rich in vitamins and minerals tomatoes are also a good astringent helping to remove excess oil and refine the pores.

Do it yourself fall treats...

Tomato Cleanse

Chop one tomato and combine in a food processor or blender with 1 tsp. lemon juice and 1 tbsp. oatmeal. Blend to a smooth paste. Cleanse face and neck. Apply the tomato facial to skin for 10 minutes. Gently rinse skin with warm water to remove all residue.

Pear Facial Mask

Peel and core one ripe pear and cut into small pieces. Mash into a smooth paste and add ½ teaspoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of cream and mix. Spread the mixture evenly over the face and neck for 15 minutes, rinse with warm water, followed with a splash of cool water and pat dry.

These wonder pears where picked from a friends garden!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Spa Girl’s love the idea of inner beauty and overall good health

It’s my first anniversary of blogging and I love it. I have learned so much and enjoyed sharing all the research I do in order to prepare.

I am going to celebrate by diving into a big juicy red tomato, a friend just dropped off a giant bag of organic heritage tomatoes for me, from what appears to be a remarkable back yard garden! Don’t you just love this time of bounty!

I am also going to try and capture the essence of my blogging from the past year, all good steps on the way to inner beauty and overall good health. And of course I treated myself to my favourite combo spa treatment yesterday afternoon, a great massage and facial.

Major advances in technology have lead to the development of hundreds of different chemical compounds which can be found in everything from the food we eat to the products we use in the home. These man made chemical cocktails when applied to the skin are routinely absorbed into the bloodstream. Good health will be greatly enhanced by going organic and following a few good steps along the way.

Seeking happiness, being positive and knowing how to love and be loved is an ideal path to finding inner peace which is sure to benefit overall health. Beating stress through meditation, going to the spa, massage, reflexology or any of your favourite modalities all help to balance mind and heart.

Breathing is another important step in good health. Without a good supply of oxygen and the release of carbon dioxide all organs suffer including your skin which won’t have that youthful glow if you are not using your lungs to their full capacity. Now you might say we all breath naturally, which is true, but if you ever have the chance to do a workshop on deep breathing you will soon realize most of us use only a small portion of our lungs when breathing. Proper breathing will help deal with feelings of overall tiredness and keep you energized, your complexion will lose that lackluster appearance and you will generally feel better and have overall better health. Taking a few minutes to practice your deep breathing is also a great stress buster.

The next step along the way to inner beauty and overall good health is one we all know—exercise. Having tried and still looking to find that ultimate personal exercise I have been told we should do what we like and what feels good. If it’s a chore it won’t last long! While you are looking for that perfect exercise program, there are many daily forms of exercise we can practice like racking leaves (it’s that time of year), wash the windows, take the steps, park the car a little further away and walk the difference, take the dog for a walk, walk around the block before going to lunch. And by the way rebounding is one of the best forms of exercise and you can do it while watching TV. This list is endless and all adds up to a healthier lifestyle.

I have blogged on the importance of this life-sustaining drink—water—another critical step on the path to good health and inner beauty. Keeping hydrated helps to flush toxins, maintain good skin elasticity, helps with weight loss, keeps the body functioning effectively, regulates temperature, helps lubricate joints and the list goes on and on. And if you add lemon to your water you help improve your metabolism and stimulate liver and kidney function.

Digestion is key to good health and inner beauty. It’s important to chew your food thoroughly to release the necessary enzymes which break down foods. Eat organic as much as possible, make sure you have a fiber rich diet and remember to savour each bite, and enjoy your meal.

Lastly all Spa Girls will find inner beauty and overall good health if they get enough sleep, which means at least eight hours a day.

Here’s to another great year of blogging ahead!