Sunday, February 26, 2012

Spa Girls love their linen

I have been purchasing linen for as long as I can remember, primary for kitchen and dining use  and for the bath, however in the last five years I have been changing over my entire wardrobe  and now most of my clothes are linen as well.  Next will be my bedding!

Linen has many check marks for enthusiasts like me.  I love the look, the texture and the health benefits, check out the link below.

Linen is also ideal to pat dry your face.  That's because linen absorbs more water than any other fabric eliminating excessive over-drying.  Using all linen towels in my own bathroom, I can tell you I would never go back to any other kind of towel fabric--in fact I even travel with my own linen towel.

Made from the fibers of the flax plant, Linum usitatissimum, linen is labor-intensive to manufacture (thus the expense), but when made into garments, it is valued for its exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather.

Dating back to about 8000 BC, linen textiles are some of the oldest in the world, however, dyed flax fibers found in a prehistoric cave in Georgia suggest the use of linen fabrics from wild flax may date back even earlier to 36,000 BC.
In ancient Egypt mummies were wrapped in linen because it was seen as a symbol of light and purity, and as a display of wealth.

Today linen is produced in many countriesFlax used for linen production is grown in Western Europe,  Eastern Europe and China, but high quality fabrics still come from niche producers in Ireland, Italy and Belgium, and also in countries including Poland, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Britain, Kochi in India and in the USA primarily for  the upholstery market.

Many products are made of linen: aprons, bags, towels (kitchen, bath, beach, body and wash towels), napkins, bed linen, linen tablecloths, runners, chair covers, men's and women's clothes.

Check out more about this amazing fabric.

World Linen Textile Company
Linen for Heath

Friday, February 17, 2012

Spa Girl is Dreaming of her Herb Garden

I have no complaints about winter this year, it has been relatively mild and despite the biggest snowfall of the season this past week, it's melting fast.  There should be one more snow around March 12th, then we will be done for the winter.  I know this because that's my birthday and Mother Nature has given me a present every year since I can remember!  

All while we all patiently wait for spring to arrive, now is the perfect time for some research and decision making on what will go into my herb garden this year.

I just purchased a fabulous new book to help with my research, it's called: The Herbal Medicine-Makers Handbook.  It is a compilation of natural home remedies by James Green, a renowned herbalists. He discusses growing and harvesting herbs and includes many DIY remedies.  Green is the Director of the California School of Herbal Studies and routinely conducts workshops in eco-plant harvesting and herbal medicine-making,

Some of my favourite topics that Green covers is a suggestion to get to know a few good herbs, study them and learn everything you can about them.  He also discusses gardening and harvesting, drying and storing herbs.  And delves into ointments, salves and balms, lotions and creams and water therapy to name a few.  Twenty-six chapters to guide interested herbal medicine-makers like me.

One Amazon reader has this to say...
Finally a book that takes the magic of herbs and adds a healthy dose of structure, science and common sense. As a beginning herbalist, I find the information contained in the book extremely useful and not found in many other places. This book has earned its place on my favorite list.

Well I'm off to continue my research and day dream about my garden. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spa Girl adores a day devoted to love!

Happy Valentine's Day

This is one of my favourite times of the year, not only because every flower shop is brimming with roses, the spas are bustling with gift certificate clients,  but there are feelings of love in the air.

From love letters sent from the Tower of London, which have come to be known as the world's first valentine, carefully displayed among the royal papers in the British Museum, the pagan origins which celebrated the Roman feast of Luperclia to Pope Gelasius (496 AD) initiating a day of celebration for St. Valentine who was later beheaded all in the name of love, the origins of this special day are a great story in themselves.  My favourite is from medieval folklore which celebrated February 14th as the day when birds were said to have chosen their mates.

Being a big fan of history and the genesis of special events this is pretty heady stuff.  And any special day that dates back to pagan times and has endured throughout history works for me.  But after all, it is all about love!

To help enjoy this special day, here are a few wonderful soaks just for Valentine's Day. 

Romance is in the air and the tub!

  • 250 ml of Champagne
  • 100 grams of Dead Sea Salt (of you can substitute Epson Salts)
  • teaspoons of honey
  • a few drops of your favourite essential oil
 Slightly heat the honey and mix all the ingredients together and pour into your bath.  Oh yes and you know what to do the remainder of the Champagne!
Strawberry Delight
This soak will treat your skin to all the vitamins and exfoliating acids found in this delectable treat.
  • half a small basket of strawberries
  • 200 ml cream
  • 400 ml water
 Blend all together, strain and pour into your bath.

For all  the history buffs out there...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Spa Girl says it is all about Coconut Oil

I just received an order from a distributor I regularly buy from that included a very large container of coconut oil.  This is going to last me forever!

The benefits of coconut oil is the current chatter in the Spa world.  Coconut oil appears to be the latest "go to" treatment because of its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing qualities.  It is also totally natural, affordable and for most people allergen-free.  My last massage included coconut oil infused with several heavenly essential oils--yum!

I purchased it mainly because I live in a semi-arid climate and at this time of year, no matter what I do, I have desperately dry skin and hair.  I have only used it for a few days and my skin already feels extra-ordinarily soft and my hair, well it looks and feels pretty good as well!

How can something used for furniture polish and cooking be good for hair, or you're face for that matter?  Well it seems like many 'cupboard to face' products, what's good on the inside, is good on the outside as well.

Melissa Williams, RYT and Co-Owner Yoga Junction says, "Lubricants tend to be relegated to the boudoir, but in reality, a lubricant is anything that helps moisturize any part of your body—inside or out".

 In addition to being a great hair conditioner coconut oil can also be used in many other ways...

Eye cream — apply under the eyes to reduce puffiness, bags, and wrinkles. Use on the lids in the evening.
Diaper salve — very comforting on a irritated behind with no harsh chemicals. Also safe for cloth diapers.
Bug Bites — when applied directly to a bug bite, coconut oil can stop the itching and burning sensation as well as hasten the healing process.
Digestion — the saturated fats in coconut oil have anti-bacterial properties that help control, parasites, and fungi that cause indigestion and other digestion related problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. The fat in coconut oil also aids in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, making you healthier all around.
Body scrub – mix coconut oil and sugar together and rub all over! Rinse off and your skin will be super soft! You can add in essential oils if you would like a specific smell.
Healing – when applied on scrapes and cuts, coconut oil forms a thin, chemical layer which protects the wound from outside dust, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil speeds up the healing process of bruises by repairing damaged tissues.
Skin problems – coconut oil relieves skin problems such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.

So Spa Girls the next time you need to consider a great product for your skin, hair or many other uses, look no further than your local coconut tree.  Enjoy...

Coconut Research Centre
              So what’s the deal with coconut oil?    

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Spa Girl enjoys a Day of Detox

I have been working much to hard lately so I decided it was time for a "me day" and that can only mean one thing--I headed to the Spa!  However I didn't feel like travelling and I wanted to try something different so I was determined to find something in my own back yard.

In researching some local spas I came across  Qphoria Tanning and Wellness  .  While I am not a fan of tanning booths, Qphoria offers a number of other services that are of interest--so I booked in for a two hour "Day of Detox" ($85).

It's a treatment that comes in four parts.  First you enjoy a session on a vibration machine, which, as I have blogged about in previous posts, helps to increase circulation  boost your metabolic rate and improve lymphatic drainage helping to eliminate toxins thus purifying  the body.  It also helps to build lean muscle mass and bone density and I know from firsthand experience makes you feel good!  This session also included an oxygen session with a number of wonderful aromatherapy essential oils to choose from.

Once you are fully jiggled, wiggled and well oxygenated you head to the Hydration Detox Chamber--a new-age version of the old fashion steam boxes--which gently baths your skin in a dense steamy mist (48 degree C) infused with vitamins and minerals.  This treatment cleanses, removes toxins from fat cells with the use of infrared lights and re-hydrates your skin leaving it soft, silky and glowing.  They also claim you can burn up to 300--600 calories per session. 

Spa Girl Suggests:  drink water both before and after using the hydration chamber.

By this time you are well on your way to feeling pretty darn relaxed when you are welcomed by a skilled massage practitioner for an hour long detox massage which stimulates the lymphatic system to further flush toxins and purify the body.  I am pretty fussy about massage work and this was the best Spa massage I have ever had, and seeing that I have experienced many massages over the years in all parts of the world, that is saying something--I am still raving about it!  Thank you Karly!

The massage included a combination of techniques including relaxation, myo-fascial, Swedish, crania-sacral and hot stones.  Unbelievable!

Ok I am now officially a mush ball!

On the way out you are handed a fabulous pick me up, a delicious smoothie made with Swiss chard, kale, spinach, blueberries, bananas and organic pomegranate juice--it quite simply does not get any better! And remember Spa Girls, all this for $85.oo! 

Qphoria Tanning and Wellness Centre says...
We are a full service tanning and wellness salon in beautiful Kamloops, BC. We hope to inspire beauty from the inside out and offer tanning, and all our services, as a step towards good health and wellness.  Our rooms are large, our equipment high end, our services well researched, and our prices are fair. The staff of Qphoria Tanning and Wellness are passionate about customer service, we are friendly, knowledgeable, and all are Smart Tan Certified. 
The wellness centre is large and almost funky (as in Earthy, uncomplicated and natural) and at times you can feel like you are in a Sci-Fi movie with all the amazing equipment.

Their Mission is simple and straight forward--to provide incredible customer service in a fun, welcoming atmosphere, where while offering state of the art equipment, and services at affordable prices.

On all accounts Qphoria lives up to this mission. Indeed, it is all about the customer! I was also impressed with the owner, Lisa, who answered a number of questions when I booked my appointment and with the staff, who on my arrival were friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating, answering an additional endless stream of questions.  And unlike many spas I have visited truly enjoy their work.  Thank you Kerry and Anna.

Qphoria is all about inspiring beauty from the inside out and providing services that lead to good health and wellness.  I cannot say enough about this wellness centre.  I definitely intend on returning!

For more information about Qphoria check out their website.