Give the Gift of a Spa Day With Weleda Massage Oil

A spa day is a great way to take a day or even just an afternoon to focus on your well being and your overall health. An evening of relaxation and focus on your own needs can turn a rough week of feeling run down around. Unfortunately, financially a day at the spa isn’t always an option; luckily, you can bring the spa home to you or a loved one who needs some pampering and to focus on their health. A gift of a do it yourself spa day is a great way to show someone you love that you care about their well being- and it’s great to do for yourself when you need a pick me up.

Set the Stage for Pampering

Whether you’re preparing your spa day for yourself or preparing a day for someone else, set the stage for a relaxing evening. This is the time to bring out your softest towels, fresh from the dryer and your fluffiest robe. A large jug of cold water infused with lemon and mint is a great way to refresh yourself while you soak and pamper yourself. Make sure your space is tidy so you can relax while you soak and aren’t worrying about whether you need to put the hamper full of laundry into the washing machine. Light a gently scented candle and relax for the evening.

Use Simple Products

The products you use for your spa day don’t have to be expensive!  A lot of them can be things you already have in your home. Simple epsom salts are excellent for a restorative bath that can help reduce swelling in your body. This can be an inexpensive option compared to premade bath bombs you can get in the store. Hair masks are a great choice if your hair is damaged by heat tools or rough conditions. Olive or coconut oil can make great hair masks that can improve the long term health of your hair. Even if you can’t afford a salon manicure and pedicure, you can splurge on a new bottle of nail polish. Make sure you don’t cut or file your nails while they’re wet from a soak in the tub as they are much softer and likely to be damaged when wet.

Weleda Massage Oil

Weleda’s Arnica Massage Oil is an excellent product to improve your home spa day or your gift of a spa day to one of your loved ones. The Arnica Massage oil is free from synthetic preservatives, fragrances, colored dyes and are never tested on animals. This sunflower seed based oil is great for being massaged into your muscles before or after exercise or it can function as the perfect ending to your home spa day. This will help soothe your muscles and can help moisturize your skin after a bath. The oil has no strong scent so it won’t interfere with the scents in your bath products. This provides a great finish to your spa day.

Looking for more thoughtful gifts to help boost a loved one’s relaxation and wellness? Follow me on Facebook for more tips and news — and don’t forget to take some time to treat yourself as well!

What Is Tai Chi and How Can It Help Your Mental Wellness?

In our stressful world, we regularly hear about activities like meditation and yoga to help us calm and centre ourselves. While both of these offer countless benefits, we can’t forget about the life changing art of Tai Chi for our mental and physical health.

Often referred to as “meditation in motion,” Tai Chi Chuan is unique in that it is both meditative and an ancient Chinese martial art. Just as in yoga, there are several styles of Tai Chi, with some styles more focused on Tai Chi as a martial art and others more focused on Tai Chi as a renewing exercise for stress reduction and health. However, regardless of the style chosen, with Tai Chi, you work your muscles and your mind.

The  slow, constantly flowing, mindful movements and deep breaths that are characteristic of Tai Chi have been shown to improve memory, lower blood pressure, reduce balance and coordination problems, strengthen the body, and provide extremely strong mental health benefits.

How Tai Chi Boosts Mental Wellness

Recent and past scientific studies looking into the medical benefits of Tai Chi have found powerful results. Researchers, taking a closer look at these many studies, explained that Tai Chi offers just the right combination of body awareness, breathing, mindfulness, and movement that can contribute to healing. They also found that Tai Chi resulted in better self-esteem along with lowered stress and improvement in mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. Tai Chi even made a difference for mood disorders.

The especially great thing about Tai Chi is that, unlike other activities requiring movement, Tai Chi movements are never forced, making them suitable for anyone at any age or fitness level. In fact, Tai Chi has actually been shown to reduce falls in the elderly, improve bone density, and contribute to a sense of happiness and purpose. This is a low-impact art form and exercise that is truly accessible to everyone.

Is Tai Chi Right for You? Try a Class!

Attending a class with a qualified instructor will help you learn the proper techniques of Tai Chi, so that you can practise the art on your own throughout stressful situations in your life and really receive the full benefits of Tai Chi. While you can watch videos or read books, there’s nothing like one-on-one instruction. Most of all, carving out time during your busy week to physically attend a Tai Chi class reminds you of the importance of focusing on yourself, the first step on your path to healing and living a calmer life.

I hold classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at three locations throughout York — Briar House on Mondays, Fulford School on Tuesdays, and Heworth Church Hall on Wednesdays. Mondays provide afternoon classes, while the Tuesday and Wednesday classes are held in the evening, allowing you to choose the class that best fits your schedule.

Wondering what to wear to a Tai Chi class? That’s the other beauty of this exercise. While you’ve undoubtedly seen the silk robes traditionally used in Tai Chi, you aren’t actually required to purchase anything specific to practise Tai Chi. Simply wearing loose clothing, so as to encourage the flow of energy, is encouraged. At some point, you may wish to purchase Tai Chi slippers for protection and support during the movements, particularly when performing Tai Chi outdoors, but others will choose to practise barefoot.

Need More Advice on Your Path to Wellness?

Anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and related emotional problems also benefit greatly from my hypnotherapy and NLP services. If you have specific goals or needs that you’d like to discuss, I offer a 15-minute telephone conversation to see how I can help you reach your goals.

Mindfulness, in general, is another way to improve your mental wellness. Follow me on Facebook to see news about the upcoming release of my book on mindfulness, as well as for more tips on easing your stress and improving your wellbeing.

How to Find the Best Tai Chi Slippers For You

Any time you practice a new physical activity, it’s best to make sure that you have the best equipment available to you. This is so that you can get the most out of your workout but also so you can stay safe and healthy. If you are practicing tai chi, the equipment to focus on is your shoes.

You may be tempted to wear your normal athletic shoes while you are practicing, however they are not ideal for the careful, controlled movements that tai chi requires. They will provide too much traction which can cause you to injure your knees as you practice. The athletic shoes you have in your closet probably also have a slightly elevated heel which can throw off your posture as you learn in class. Slippers designed for tai chi will be the safest, most comfortable option for you.

Indoors or Outdoors

What sort of slippers that are best for you will depend on whether you attend classes inside, outside, or both. Slippers designed to be worn inside will be made of cloth and will be very soft and lightweight. Shoes designed to be worn outside will have a rubber sole and may resemble a traditional athletic shoe. You can also find hybrid shoes that have a very thin rubber sole if you prefer.

Choosing the Right Tai Chi Slippers

Tai Chi slippers are often inexpensive and are extremely convenient; they’re very easy to pack and carry with you. You will also feel a greater connection to the ground while you practice. That said, these sort of shoes get dirty and worn down easily if you don’t take care of them. They are not idea for practicing outside as they cannot protect your feet from rocky ground.

If your studio has a glossy floor, you may find that your feet slide if you’re a beginner. You will adjust to this in time as you grow more comfortable. A great option for cloth tai chi slippers can be found on Amazon. Do keep in mind when you are ordering that the exact size isn’t a guarantee so please check out the reviews and recommendations from others.

Tai Chi shoes designed to be worn outside will look more like a traditional athletic shoe that you can wear for other sorts, however it will be softer and have a slimmer profile. These shoes are more sturdy and will hold up longer and are also often available in bigger sizes than other options are.

Something In Between

The hybrid option is essentially a soft upper with a slim rubber sole. This option is useful both indoor and outdoor. They are more durable than the exclusively indoor slippers but are generally more comfortable than low profile athletic shoes. Your foot will be lighter and you’ll be less likely to end up sweaty than if you wear an athletic shoe. Double check with your instructor before you wear shoes in their studio that you have worn outside. They may prefer that you wear tai chi slippers or be barefoot.

Do you have a favourite pair of tai chi slippers or advice for someone else who is just starting out? Join the conversation on Facebook and get tips and share what you know!

Where to Find Hypoallergenic Alternatives to Down Pillows

Many people appreciate down pillows for their head and neck support, comfort, and breathability. However, these animal feather-filled pillows can be anything but breathable for someone who is allergic to the pillow’s contents or sensitive to the down pillow’s tendency to harbour dust mites. While proper cleaning techniques, such as cleaning using extremely hot or freezing water, as well as a dehumidifier, can make a difference in removing dust mites from your home, these are maintenance tasks that have to be repeated, and often, someone with allergies, asthma, or related conditions still has difficulty sleeping on down pillows.

If this describes you or someone in your house, then you may have wondered where to find quality alternatives to hypoallergenic pillows. These are special pillows that are specifically designed to prevent dust mites from entering. Allergy UK offers a list of recommended products, from complete anti-allergy bedding to air purifiers, on their website, but you can also visit a site as simple as Amazon for hypoallergenic alternatives to down pillows.

Breathe Easier with Hypoallergenic Alternatives

These pillows from In Style Furnishings are inexpensive and provide the same support as down pillows, but with hypoallergenic filling and a chemical-free, cotton-covered thread. Of course, since these pillows arrive vacuum sealed, you’ll need to give them a few days to reach their full size. These are clean, fluffy, attractive pillows that can help you enjoy all of the benefits of a down pillow without triggering your allergies or respiratory condition.

Another hypoallergenic option beyond pillows is to use a pillow protector. This waterproof pillow protector from Everlasting Comfort received high marks from Amazon users thanks to its ability to block bed bugs, dust mites, bacteria, and even sweat from the pillow, keeping it clean and allergy-free. One thing that even avid down lovers don’t care for is the way that the feathers in down pillows can poke through the surface. Using these pillow protectors over your down pillows will keep those feathers inside, providing you with even more comfort. These protectors are also great for travel, as you can easily put one over a hotel pillow.

Good Sleep Is Essential to Wellness

A key part of self-care is being well-rested. Research has shown that a lack of sleep contributes to heart disease, weight problems, and high blood pressure. It can even worsen mental health conditions, like anxiety and depression. Allergies can make a good night’s sleep feel more like a dream goal and less like a reality. Taking the time to invest in hypoallergenic pillows or hypoallergenic pillow covers can give you the rest you need without sacrificing all of the things you love about your down pillows.

Do you enjoy down pillows? Have you tried a hypoallergenic down pillow alternative? Tell me how it went in the comments or share with me on Facebook. You might also want to explore other ways to combat those pesky allergies, like healing house plants (yes, there are plants that can actually help and not hurt your allergies!) and salt lamps.