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Relaxation – its a healthy choice

“How do I relax? – have a glass of wine, maybe watch TV….but why don’t I feel better for it?”


women drinking coffee - Relaxation - its a healthy choice


Relaxing activities – chatting with friends, having a cuppa – these reduce stress and of course are valuable and pleasant.  But they don’t turn on your deeper relaxation response.



What’s that?  It’s the deeper relaxation that heals and really makes you feel better.  Your deeper relaxation response is a state of mental calm where your body is free from tension, your muscles ease, blood pressure drops, breathing slows and you use less energy.


So how do I turn on my relaxation response?    

There are many ways to achieve deep relaxation –  physical exercise, breathing exercises,  meditation, yoga and massage are a few of the more common ways.

As a massage therapist I have seen the fantastic results of a good massage.  I am particularly impressed by the Natural Face Lift Massage.  Don’t think face lift, just think facial massage.  It releases all the tension that shows itself in headaches, eye strain, jaw clenching, teeth grinding and frowning and creates a state of deep relaxation throughout the body.      holistic facial 2 - Relaxation - its a healthy choice



And what will deep relaxation do for me?

In this state, when you are in deep relaxation, positive changes take place in your body and mind.  You are better able to digest your food and fight disease.  You feel calm and peaceful, gain mental clarity and focus.

Think of deep relaxation as body-mind medicine.  It gives your body the time and space to heal and repair.

Research shows that relaxation has a positive effect all the way down to your genes, promoting long-term physical health.  Relaxation slows down the rate of ageing by reducing the rate at which bits of your DNA wear out.  Relaxation helps you live a longer, healthier, happier life.

frog - Relaxation - its a healthy choice


Wearing a high SPF cream is not the ultimate sun protection solution

A recent survey carried out by the British Association of Dermatologists revealed that there is a high level of confusion about the difference between a product’s UVA rating and Sun Protection Factor (SPF). Only 38% of respondents knew that the SPF is what predominantly protects against sunburn and just 39% realised that is a product’s UVA protection, rather than SPF, that protects against skin ageing.
suncream 1 150x150 - Wearing a high SPF cream is not the ultimate sun protection solution
The survey also claims that the recent rise in moisturisers featuring SPFs may have led to this misconception, as people often assume the added SPF properties will prevent wrinkling as opposed to UVA protection which is often missing from High Street brands.

“Contrary to popular belief, wearing a high SPF cream is not the ultimate sun protection solution. Studies show that people who wear higher SPFs put their skin at greater risk of damage by staying in the sun three times longer” warns Tracy Tamaris, Environ Training Director at the international institute for anti-ageing.

“There is also evidence that some sunscreen ingredients can trigger free radical damage once they have been absorbed unless they are frequently reapplied. Antioxidant vitamins significantly reduce the impact of free radicals that can damage DNA and lead to the destruction of collagen and elastin, prematurely aged skin, pigmentation and even skin cancer.”

Many sunscreen products do not block UVA radiation. UVA radiation does not cause sunburn but increases the rate of skin ageing and melanoma, a kind of skin cancer. So people using sunscreens may be getting too much UVA without realising it.

It is therefore essential to wear a broad spectrum sun cream containing a combination of absorbent and reflective UVA and UVB filters backed up by antioxidant vitamins C, E and beta-carotene (plant vitamin A) to combat the free radical damage inflicted by the sun’s rays on the skin.

Winter Skin Care Tips

We all notice the difference in our skin in winter. Chapped lips, dry hands and tight facial skin affect us all. For sensitive skin, winter dryness can lead to itching and flaking.


When you are outside, the cold temperature constricts your blood vessels resulting in poor blood circulation. This means your skin does not get enough oxygen and nutrients and all the healthy, regenerative processes that go on, slow down.

When you’re inside, indoor heating creates a dry environment so skin loses its moisture.

The good news is there’s plenty you can do to keep your skin beautiful and healthy during the harsh winter months.

Top of the list is change your skin care products with the seasons.

During the winter months it is vital to change from oil-fighting cleansers, toners and moisturisers to hydration boosting products. And there is no need to spend a fortune. Look for products that contain, glycerine, hyaluronic acid, shea butter or beeswax in the list of ingredients Or simply go for a product that says it’s hydrating on the label e.g. Olay Regenerist Deep Hydration Regenerating Cream.

Consider changing from cleansing gels to cleansing milk or mild foaming cleansers and from toners containing alcohol to gentle toners containing witch hazel or rose water. If you exfoliate regularly then switch to a glycolic acid cleanser rather than the gritty, more irritating scrubs. And why not give yourself an occasional creamy, healing face mask.

Don’t peel or exfoliate if you get flaky patches. Just use a heavier moisturiser instead to hydrate, and use it more often.

Check your day cream – does it have antioxidants in it? Does it contain SPF? Winter skin still needs protecting from pollution and ultraviolet rays.

Finally, try a facial oil. These are becoming more popular. A facial oil will enrich your skin and give you a healthy shine without a greasy effect.

Facial oils help nourish the skin and balance and control the skin’s natural oil production. Look for flaxseed or grapeseed oils which are rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.

Let me know if you found this helpful. I’d love to hear from you about the products you use that help your winter skin.

More winter skin advice coming soon.