Rub a Dub Dub, You Can Get Clean Without the Tub!

With outdoor weather being upon most of us, it is time to pay very close attention to the skin. Of course moisturizing and protection are always important, but you really need to begin at the beginning for any treatment regimine to work properly. Which, in skin care, means cleaning and exfoliateing first! Here are a couple of recipes that you can easily make and use at home!
Facial Cleanser
This is a very quick and easy wash for oily skin, especially when you don't have a lot of time. This wash is very effective for removing dirt and residue from the face. Simply add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 2 tablespoons of distilled water, in a small bowl. Mix, then apply to face with a cotton ball, avoiding the eye area. Rinse with tepid water and pat dry.
Cleansing paste
Finely grind 1/2 cup oatmeal in a blender or food processor. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons honey, 1/4 cup plain yogurt (you can substitute buttermilk if you'd like), and the ground oatmeal. Mix thoroughly, until it has a paste-like consistencey. Smooth the mixture over your face and neck, leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse off with warm water and pat dry. You can use this cleansing mask daily, but it is preferable for the mornings.
Ground oatmeal is a gentle exfoliator, removing residue and dead surface cells, but it also helps to restore the skins moisture. Yogurt softens the skin, while honey is a natural humectant. Together, these ingredients make an effective, everyday cleansing moisturizer.
Cleanser for Normal Skin
In a bowl, mix 2 teaspoons of crushed fennel seeds with 2 sprigs of crushed, fresh thyme (or you can use 1/2 tablespoon of dried thyme). Cover this mixture with boiling water, add the juice of 1/2 of a lemon and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Once the time is up, strain the infusion and keep the left-overs in a jar in the refrigerator. To use, simply dab onto your face with a cotton ball. This mixture is great for not only cleansing and toning, but it also helps to reduce puffiness and
superficial irritation. Thyme is a great astringent, often used in antiseptic preperations. This cleanser is very gentle and can be used daily.
A new job for an old vegetable!
Slice a ripe tomato and rub it all over your face. Let the juice soak in for 5 minutes. The mild acid in the tomato will bring dirt and impurities to the surface of the skin. When time is up, rinse thoroghly with tepid water and pat dry.

Spring Flings

I have a show coming up on April 25 that I am really looking forward to! Each year a local college holds a quilt and craft show. They display vintage quilts and they host a quilting contest, along with hosting a variety of crafters from all over Ohio. This show is always my first of the season, and is usually a very good show for me financially, as well as commissioned work and contacts. Not to mention that the setting is just about perfect. Chattfield college is a small school that is in rural Ohio. It sits off a county road, the kind where the houses are at least a few acres away from each other, and certainly not close to any town. Once you arrive, assuming you notice... I passed it my first visit, you must drive back a winding, tree-lined lane, past a pond where there is usually a fisherman or two, back into the "grove" which holds the tiny campus, maybe all of five or six buildings that look like they have always been there. The buildings appear old, but yet very natural, very regal. The entire campus simply oozes peaceful, revitalizing, spring-like, even "magical" vibes! So if you are in Ohio, or close to the southern portion, you may just want to visit this little craft show and see if it doesn't put some fling into your spring! Maybe this small, juried show will become one of your favorite one too! New for the show, I have many jewelry pieces, facial scrubs, bath salts, and essential oil perfumes in roller ball applicator bottles, as well as pre-made scrap book pages (perfect for those spring baby showers and June weddings), and some baby gift flower pots. These flower pots make unique gifts as they serve as centerpieces and then, after the shower, the "flowers" open to reveal baby washcloths, bibs, hats, booties and even silverware. Truly a unique gift for any Mother-to-be!

Name that Treatment!

What's in a name? A.K.A., more terms to know so you're in the know!
So far we have discussed various massage techniques, exercise programs, and treatments that benefit the mind and/or the spirit. Today we will cover miscellaneous definitions and treatments, as well as water tretaments. Together with the previous two posts ( and these posts will provide you with the basic information necessary to allow you to choose treatments that best address your specific needs. Of course not all treatments are appropriate at all times. For instance, you certainly would not want an invigorating treatment just prior to bed, or an extreme relaxation one prior to having to report to work. Armed with the basic information provided here, you'll know what the descriotive words of treatments mean so you can pick and choose the treatments that you need or those that interest you more easily.
Spa Therapy and Treatment Vocabulary Words
adaptogen- a substance that stimulates the body's immune mechanism and helps it adapt to a new stresser. alterative- something that restores the normal functions of a body organ or system, it promotes healing. analgesic- a pain reliever antifungal- a substance that clears and counters fungal infections. antioxidant- a substance that prevents other substances, such as fat, from binding with oxygen, thereby slowing the deterioration process. aromatherapy- the art of using essential oils, derived from roots, flowers, leaves, fruits, herbs, and woods, to alter both mental and physical status/conditions. These essences can be used for various treatments including body massage, inhalation therapy, and water therapy. astringent- constricts tissue to cut off the flow of fluids or blood, thus giving skin a smoother and firmer texture and appearance. carrier oils- aromatherapy oils are so concentrated that they should rarely be used more than a few drops at a time, and they should always be in a diluted base. Oils such as sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, and jojoba oil [as well as others] are used as the base to hold these essential oils, and are therefore called "carrier oils" . compress- a cloth soaked in a herbal infusion, then applied to an area of skin that is painful or tired. The compress can be either hot or cold, and the various herbs determine what affects the compress has on the body part. (most relieve irritation or fatigue). decoction- a solution made by simmering roots, barks, or the woody parts of plants in water to extract the active ingredients. The infusion is then strained prior to use. detoxification- a process that facilitates or speeds the elimination of toxins from the body, and increases circulation in the process. Most often heat, water and herbs are used. Detoxification therapies include steam, sauna, inhalation therapy, and whirlpool bathes. diaphoretic- a substance that induces perspiration. diuretic- a substance that increases the release and elimination of toxins, generally through elimination. emollient- a substance that smooths and softens essential oils- concentrated oils that are derived from roots, flowers, leaves, fruits, herbs, and woods. These essences are used to treat various maladies and induce . exfoliation- a treatment thats purpose is to scour dead skin cells from the body. holistic health- a philosophy that seeks balance and harmony. A life-style where well-being is promoted by balancing emotional, spiritual, and physical health, holistic health deals with the root of problems not simply the manifestations of those problems (symptoms of illness). homeopathy- a form of medicine in which patients are treated with small quantities of natural substances meant to trigger symptoms like those that are in need of being cured, by this the body is encouraged to heal itself. humecant- a substance that promotes moisture retention. hydroculator- a pre-made, clay-filled compress. infused oil- an aromatic infusion of herbs into oil, which is applied externally or used in salves, lotions, or creams. inhalation room- a room where steam is mixed with eucalyptus. Breathing the infused steam is meant to decongest the respiratory system. iridology- a method of detecting the condition of body organs by reading markings in the iris of the eye. mud bath- the body is coated with organic, thermal mud to release tension and nourish the skin with minerals. naturopathy- natural healing prescriptions that use plants and flowers. peliotherapy- the therapeutic use of muds. peloids- a generic term for muds. percussion- a massage term for the gentle, rhythmical taps on the body (like a light karate chop) to awaken the body and increase its vitality. petrissage- a massage term for deep circular movements of the fingertips or thumbs on a particular muscle. phytotherapy- a generic term for treatments through mud packs, baths, massages, or inhalation using herbs, plant oils, or extracts. poultice- a plant or herb compress used to relieve pain , swelling, or irritation. The plant or herb itself is applied directly to the affected area, then a cloth is wrapped over and around the plant or herb. regenerative- reviving or producing tissue growth. rubefacient- any substance that causes redness of the skin. salve- an herbal ointment that is not water based and does not blend with the skin, but forms a protective layer over it. It is used to protect, nourish or treat injured and/or sensitive skin. thalassotherapy- water-based treatments utilizing seawater, seaweed, algae and/or mud to rejuvinate, cleanse, energize, and nourish. The treatments improve circulation, detoxify and revitalize the body. tincture- an infusion where an herb or a mixtire of herbs are steeped in alcohol, glycerine, or vinegar and water. tonic- a substance that fortifies the body when taken over a period of time and balances the "qi", what the Chinese call the viatal force of life.
Therapy and Treatments Descriptions
cold plunge- a deep pool of water where the temperature is kept to 60 degrees F/ 15.5 C or below. It is usually utilized after a steamy, hot shower. A quick plunge in this cold pool will instantly invigorate. crystal healing- a healing energy generated by quartz or other minerals. deep sea mud treatment- a mineral rich mud that is imported from the Dead Sea and applied to the body to cleanse pores and relax muscles. This mud is especially high in calcium, magnesium chloride, and potassium chloride and will ease arthritic and rheumatic pain. dulse scrub- In order to remove dead skin while enriching the skin with vitamins and minerals, the body is scrubbed with a mixture of powdered dulse seaweed and either oil or water. facial- a deep-cleansing treatment of the face, neck, and shoulder. fango therapy, sometimes called parafango, is the mixture of hot paraffin wax mixed with natural volcanic ash that is spread over the entire body, or affected parts, to promote joint and/or muscle mobility, relaxation, and alleviate the aches and pains of illness or injury. flotation tank- a tank filled with mineral-enriched water. Floating in darkness in this tank is supposed to promote relaxation by clearing the senses. Also known as a sensory deprivation tank. haysack wrap- a body detoxification treatment that utilizes steamed hay. herbal wrap- the body is wrapped in sheets that have been soaked in a heated herbal solution, then covered in plastic blankets or sheets. The generated heat eliminates impurities from the skin and enhances muscle relaxation. hydrotherapy- water treatments such as underwater massage, hot and cold showers, mineral baths and jet sprays for example. Hydrotherapy assists in the healing process of almost any ailment, and this type of therapy, which is one of the oldest methods known to man, provides stimulation and relaxation at the same time. iodine-brine therapy- a treatment that utilizes bathing in water that is rich in iodine and salt to speed the recuperation and convalescence process. Kneipp system- treatments that combine hydrotherapy with herbal preparationsand a diet of natural foods. Laciol manicure- a treatment where hands are soaked in a dish of milk or warm moisturizing cream to sooth and smooth the skin. loofah scrub- a full body scrub with a loofah sponge and sea salt, usually mixed with a warm oil (often avocado or sweet almond). Its purpose is to exfoliate the skin and stimulate circulation. moor mud pack- a healing treatment that is prepared with nutrient rich muds from the bottom of inland spa lakes. Its purpose is to improve cell regeneration, stimulate lymph glands, and balance hormones. paraffin treatments- covering the hands, feet or entire body with hot paraffin wax, a complex mixture of hydrocarbons and then covering with plastic wrap. The wax is peeled off after it hardens, leaving the skin smooth . Ingredients in the wax moisturize the skin as they increase mobility in the joints and muscles. repechage- facial or full-bodied cleansing or moisturizing treatment using mud or clay and herbs and/or seaweed. Roman bath- a heated seawater jacuzzi with jets and benches for seated bathing. Roman chair- an exercise machine specifically intended to strengthen back muscles. salt glow scrub- a mixture of coarse salt and aromatic oils that is rubbed all over the body to help remove drying, dead skin, while improving circulation. sauna- dry heat used to open the pores and encourage the sweating out of impurities. Scotch Hose- a treatment that utilizes a high powered water spray to invigorate, energize, and/or cleanse. The water can be either hot or cold, freshwater or seawater. sweat lodge- a Native American spiritual purification ceremony. Swiss shower- a shower where powerful jets are aimed at different body parts to create an invigorating massage. Vichey shower- an eregizing treatment where water jets are set at varying temperatures and pressures.