Body Adaptations for the New Season
The beach ball is deflated and stored away, pools are winterized and covered, the local seagulls head southbound for tropical Caribbean beaches. Fall is upon us with its invigorating, crisp, cool air. The plentiful array of colors from autumn’s Crayola box adorns the trees. The new season is also inevitably an invitation to a multitude of changes of the mind, body, and spirit. We eat differently, think differently and well, we feel differently. BUT we all still want to look and feel amazing, despite the season.
So the chlorine, sun, and summer heat has left us, but our bodies need some prepping for the cooler weather. This means adjusting your nutritional needs, adapting to new time changes, and investing in yourself with the assistance of skin and body treatments. These appropriate therapies will guide us to the path of our youthful and vibrant selves.
Exfoliate to feel great. I always recommend weekly or bi-weekly exfoliation of the entire body all year long, especially in cooler months. It is a known fact that as we age, our cell regeneration process slows down tremendously. The removal of dry, dead skin cells is an important beginning -as the old skin can accumulate and leave your skin and body looking and feeling dull and lifeless. We sometimes forget the fact that the skin is the largest body organ and is frequently called the “third kidney” by the Chinese culture. Fresh, exfoliated skin more readily absorbs serums and moisturizers, which can otherwise be impeded because it blocks the ability of “getting through.” The fall and winter months lack the humidity- our skins best friend- for that supple dewy look. The end result could be disastrous for those who do not properly exfoliate in the cooler, drier months, leading to red, dry, rash, rough skin. There are many ways to properly exfoliate. Dry brushing the body (always in the direction of the heart) is a good start. There are deeper manual exfoliating methods that utilize crushed apricot kernels, walnut hulls, Epsom salts, and sugars. These really get the skin and body invigorated, buffed and polished. Be careful of the pressure as everyone has a different tolerance level. Sensitive skin needs much less pressure and less coarseness in product. Make sure the client has no skin irritations, diseases, or issues with having skin manipulated or touched. ***NOTE: The face should never be exfoliated with too large of a particle or it can scratch the skin and cause irritation, redness, and broken capillaries. Opt for non-particle enzyme exfoliation that is more gentle and more suitable.
A simple inexpensive body scrub recipe: Epsom salt mixed with your favorite massage oil. Place a drop or two of an essential oil and scrub head to toe. Rinse. Ahhh…Feel Smooth.
Detoxification is key for every season. Infrared Packs a Punch. Pairing exfoliation with specific body treatments can assist the client in feeling their best during the chilly season. One specific treatment modality is Infrared. The anti-aging, mental, and physical benefits of these invisible warming rays have been astounding. There are the conventional box saunas and individual lay down saunas entering the market steadily. If space is available, the “4×4 standing” infrared sauna offers an advantage over conventional steam and dry heat models in that infrared penetrates much more deeply, in turn, reaching the levels of the skin where toxins are stored. We build these toxins every day, season to season.
For the therapist with limited space, there are Infrared Body Treatment Systems that are more involved than a service, whereby a client is assisted to go into the sauna for a duration of time. Lay down systems are now available, allowing for therapists to perform other services on the client while in the room. For many, it is far more relaxing to have the head exposed, being able to lie horizontally, no uncomfortable hard surfaces, or a claustrophobic feeling. This option is great for the space-restricted spa as the system can be stored under the massage table. It gives all the benefits that a stand up sauna offers-just a different method of application. The sleeping -bag like system is computerized and involves applying detoxifying essential oil creams and lymphatic stimulation. The beginning of a new season is perfect to receive infrared. One can actually receive multiple treatments a week if they chose to do so. The exfoliated skin will purge toxins more steadily, outwardly. Infrared deep sweating is also excellent for over indulgence of food and drink. It has been noted that nicotine, excess salts, excess fluids, alcohol, and heavy metals have been found in the sweat that has been analyzed from an infrared sauna. The darker days can yield SAD-a seasonal disorder caused by light deprivation. Infrared has shown to soothe and relax the body, yet elevate and boost a person’s sense of well being.
The Benefits? Enhances Immune system, balances the autonomic nervous system, improves oxygenation, relieves internal congestion, speeds metabolism, relaxes aches and pains of muscles, alkalizes the body, increases circulation, helps edema, burns calories, increases energy, and clears the mind. When I demonstrate infrared’s benefits of caloric burning, skin cleansing, skin toxin flushing, and fat loss, the therapists smile and think, “Cool weather and holiday season” to jump start their new-found treatment service.
Nutrition Should Never Be Compromised In Any Season Our eating patterns change season to season. The warmer months tend to be filled with the wonderful abundance of summer fruits, cool, green salads and lots of hydrating summer specialty electrolyte-filled waters. The occasional burger or hot dog makes its way into our diet, but still, it is not “heavy.” The cooler months invite more sugars, carbohydrates, and the little green monsters of the season like cookies, egg nog, candies, hot toddies, and seasonal beverages that lead to that little headache the next day. Those visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads eventually end up dancing on our hips and thighs with weight gain. Why not gear up before the season of festivities begin? Build your immune system by continually incorporating fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains. Due to less sunlight and change of diet, the cooler weather often brings seasonal depression and lack of energy. Try supplementing with vitamin D3, Vitamin C, stress vitamins such as the B12, B6 and Folic Acid, Omega 3 for overall heart health and stiff joints. Use powdered greens and clear fibers mixed with water or favorite juice. These can assist the body with regularity. Keeping your bowels moving is very important. If we are irregular, toxins stay with you. It causes the feeling of fullness, bloating, and sluggishness. Sluggish bowels also do not allow the good nutritious foods to be absorbed as well as they need to be. NOTE: I cannot stress enough how too much sugar causes such havoc on our bodies. It actually causes inflammatory responses to the entire body system, causes brain fog in the low stages of the glucose dips, can make joint inflammation worse, cause highs and lows in your glucose levels, and is even attributed to high triglycerides and bad cholesterol. Try to eat sugar in moderation and balance yourself in a healthy way. Your body will thank you for it.
In closing… Carpe Diem. Seize the Day! Prepare your mind and body today for the cooler months ahead. Look your best by treating your body as a whole. Exfoliate for detoxification, absorption of moisturizers, and for your pores to stay clear of flaky, dry skin. Your winter self tanner and makeup will look more like a dewy glow rather than a chaotic uneven streak of color. Use infrared to your advantage for its many health benefits, assisting in water retention, fat loss, and purging the skin tissues of toxins. Add a great nutritional plan, and you’re on your way to healthy, beautiful skin and body!
About the Author: Debra K is the host and executive producer of “The Journey into Wellbeing” TV series on PBS; author of the business book, “Success from the Start; is a featured expert for Spafinder; the Co-chair for the FSA Education Committee and is a member of the advisory board for New Beauty Wellness. She is the founder of Well World, Inc, which offers consulting, branding and video production for wellness-based brands. Debra is based in Florida and may be contacted at dk@JourneyIntoWellbeing.com.