Saturday, May 29, 2010

Spa Girl loves her Friends!

Several friends recently got together to form a Healing Kiva to study Autogenics, Tibetan bowl mediation and to do some Reiki work—all in the name of relaxation and sustained health. A traditional Kiva was a square-walled subterranean room utilized for cultural and spiritual purposes by ancient peoples of the American southwest; echoing in a way, contemporary spas of today.

Bringing a group of friends together to share such an adventure is definitely empowering! The collective energy and excitement, perhaps even bewilderment of learning, trusting in each other and sharing is remarkable.

Our coach explained her own healing path and the study of several modalities, specifically of Autogenics.

Autogenics requires time and discipline to learn, unlike progressive muscle relaxation, which is a simple and easily learned technique. Like mediation, which I still find difficult, it will be interesting to see if over the next eight weeks I can calm my mind and relax my body in order to appreciate the many benefits of Autogenics. I can only anticipate how good it would feel to be able to take time prior to a massage to coach myself into a state of relaxation in order to truly benefit from the massage work.

Autogenics is a relaxation technique involving a series of attention-focusing exercises designed to induce relaxation and enhance the body’s self-healing powers. Similar to self-hypnosis and meditation its purpose is to enable people to learn how to put themselves in a relaxed state releasing muscle tension and dealing with anxiety without the need of a trainer or therapists.

Autogenic training evolved out of the research of Brain physiologist Oskar Vogt in the 1880’s at the Berlin Neuro Biological Institute. His work provided the inspiration for Johannes Schultz, a Berlin psychiatrist and neurologist to investigate the therapeutic potential of auto-hypnosis exercises from which autogenic training emerged.

There is a wealth of research data available on the therapeutic applications of Autogenics. Many studies relating to autogenic training also refer to Biofeedback which is a system created out of autogenic training methods incorporating the use of electrical equipment designed to monitor stress levels through respiration rates, skin temperature and blood flow.

Only one other time have I had a massage when I was totally relaxed and truly understood the amazing benefits of body work, it was after a Watsu session. Usually I have a massage in order to chill out! I wrote about it on my blog:

Spa Girl loves her friends and the many luxuries they bring to her life! For more information on Autogenics check out these sites:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Spa Girl is a big fan of aromatherapy and phytotherapy!

It is always difficult to decide what skin care products to use, and with so many choices you just need to keep experimenting until you find the ones that suite you the best. I am a big fan of aromatherapy and phytotherapy (the study of the use of extracts from natural origin as medicines or health-promoting agents). So I tend to look for product and treatments that are derived from natural sources; thus my love for seaweed baths, salt rubs and anything with essential oils.

In 1954 a young couple interested in botany, aromatherapy and phytotherapy worked with a number of experts and founded a family owned business now world famous—Yonka Paris. Interested in treating problems by natural means the foundation of Yonka’s skincare products are five essential oils derived from the Mediterranean region, many of which are my all time favourites—lavender, geranium, rosemary, thyme and cypress. Yonka indicates that their products incorporate “plant, flower and fruit nutrients and natural properties at their highest levels of purity and potency to create the most refined and customized skin care products”.
The Yonka collection of therapeutic skin care products address a number of skin imbalances including: tightness and flakiness; dullness; excess shine and blemishes of oily skin; acne as well as loss of essential moisture, typical of dehydrated skin. Yonka products also deal with the onset of premature aging - wrinkles, loss of firmness, tired features, hyper-pigmentation, sun damage, loss of vitality and radiance. In addition to specialized facial care, the collection includes eye and lip care to deal with lack of tone, resilience and nourishment, crow's feet, expression lines and puffiness.
I live in a semi-arid climate and prone to dehydrated skin, especially on my forehead, so I use a Yonka’s MASQUE N°1 Intense moisture with imperata cylindrica extracts for all skin types which leaves my skin smooth and soft and well moisturized, it also smells heavenly.
This gel-cream mask with delicate natural scent of flowers delivers both immediate and continuous, intensive hydration to the upper layers of the epidermis: + 54% after 1 hour, + 96% after 8 hours. Smoothes the skin’s surface and reduces fine lines, leaves skin softer and firmer, helps the skin fight free radicals - factors contributing to ageing and irritation. The mask contains Imperata cylindrica, aloe barbadensis, jojoba, sandal, barley, silicon derivative, bacopa monniera, vitamins A, B5, C and E, Essential Oil of rose, jasmine and shiu.

For more information on Yonka’s history and products Spa Girl says check them out:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Spa Girl says Art, Lobsters and Spa’s are a nice treat in St John’s

I was in St John’s Newfoundland this past week for a museums conference which very nicely coincided with the opening of lobster season. What a delight to see so many friends and colleagues and travel around Newfoundland visiting the many rich historic sites.

I also had the opportunity to attend my first opening at The Rooms, Newfoundland and Labrador's newest cultural space dedicated to the holdings of the Provincial Archives, Art Gallery and Museum. The Rooms was opening a very timely show, the Canadian Premier of Oil, a hauntingly beautiful photo-based exhibition of the work of renowned Canadian artist Edward Burtynsky.

Newfoundland has gone from a “have not” province to a “have” province for the first time in its history since joining confederation because of its oil drilling, primarily from Hibernia, a massive rig located about 180 miles east of St. John's in the Atlantic. One of our visits was to the Geo Centre which had an interesting exhibit on oil including a scale model of Hibernia, which is massive!
The completed platform was towed to the Hibernia oil field and positioned on the ocean floor in June of 1997 and began producing oil on November 17, 1997. The platform stands 224 metres high, which is half the height of New York's Empire State Building (449 metres) and 33 metres taller than the Calgary Tower (191 metres).

With all the recent news in the Gulf one hopes Hibernia located in “iceberg alley” with all its safeguards, including a special technological design to manage and reduce ice risk, will be incident free.

For me however, excitement and kudos goes to Newfoundland for all those majestic wind turbines.

Canada is a big country with multiple time zones and when you fly from coast to coast and your body doesn’t know what time zone it’s in there is no better remedy than heading to the spa.

Unlike past travel itinerary’s when I could easily be called a travel masochist, arriving one minute and in a lecture the next; now I carefully plan to take the time to acclimatize before tackling a conference.
So I booked myself into the Rosewood Spa located in the Sheraton on Cavendish Square for a 3.5 hour Spa Getaway package. It included all my favorites, a relaxation massage and facial with a pedicure. Since I had just had a pedicure the Spa graciously let me select another treatment and I opted for a French manicure that came with a paraffin hand treatment. It was a lovely afternoon, which included a light lunch, and the spa was most accommodating. The Rosewood was a busy place, so make sure to book early or try their second location in the Waterford Manor.

If your from "Away" here is more on Newfoundland and Labrador...