Face Rejuvenation & Healing Massage

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Newsletter Articles

 

 

I have recently archived several articles.  If there was an article that you would like to have reposted please feel free to email me.
Thank you, Debra-Jean

 

The Face of Winter, How to Protect Your Skin in the Dry, Cold Months

If I Have A Cold, Should I Get A Massage?

Feeling Relaxed through Massage Cupping

Whiplash: Healing a Pain in the Neck

Bodywork Eases Migraines and Tension Headaches

Facial Massage for Lymphatic Drainage
Boost Your Immune System

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy Fights Infection

Massage for Old Injuries
Ancient Injuries Don't Have to Make You Feel Old by Art Riggs

Invest in Your Health
Massage Offers Excellent Return on Investment
 

 

 


Facial Massage for Lymphatic Drainage
Natalia Doran

A well-performed facial massage will help relieve puffiness and improve skin tone and complexion. Other physical benefits include stimulation of the skin's immune mechanisms, firming of weak muscles, tissue regeneration, and antiaging effects. Mental benefits include stress relief and a greater awareness of the body-mind connection. And applying pressure and movement through massage can help to normalize the function and composition of the connective tissue, and free it of harmful substances. 

Lymphatic Massage The body's lymphatic system drains away the debris from our cells. It transports water out of the tissue, along with waste substances: bacteria, cell fragments, immobile cells, inorganic substances, large molecular fats, proteins, and viruses. This process is constantly happening all over the body. With massage, the lymph system can move up to 10 times more fluid than it normally does.

Manual lymph drainage (MLD), which was developed by Emil Vodder, PhD, is a type of gentle massage that accelerates the natural circulation of the lymph and encourages its movement away from swollen areas. MLD is firm, but gentler than ordinary massage. Because the lymph vessels are all interlinked, lymph flow will be affected in the entire region of the area being massaged. Other types of lymphatic massage include lymph drainage therapy, developed by Bruno Chikly, MD.

A facial massage that involves lymphatic work improves circulation to the skin, which increases nutrition to the skin cells and speeds up the filtering of water in and out of cells. The vasodilation of the surface capillaries during massage improves skin color, and facial massage also improves elasticity and suppleness of the skin. With facial massage, the skin becomes more balanced, less prone to breakouts, and more resistant to infection. Massage movements also influence muscular hypertension through the autonomic nervous system.

Natalia Doran, MD, is the founder and president of the International Skin Beauty Academy in Illinois.

Boost Your Immune System
Lymphatic Drainage Therapy Fights Infection

Does your immune system work overtime? If so, you might want to give it a boost by seeing a massage therapist or bodyworker trained in lymphatic drainage therapy. This technique can boost your immunity by increasing the production of antibodies, stimulating circulation, moving congestion out of the body, and reducing swelling, especially after surgery.

The lymphatic system supports our body's immune function and involves several organs, glands, and tissues, hundreds of lymph nodes, and a network of vessels. A clear lymph fluid flows through these vessels and carries the metabolic waste (bacteria, dead cells, fats, fluids, proteins, and viruses) to the lymph nodes, where it is filtered. These nodes often swell when we are sick. 

 The lymphatic drainage techniques used by massage therapists and bodyworkers gently stimulate lymph nodes, help correct swelling and stagnation in those nodes, reduce local fluid retention, boost the overall immune system, and provide relaxation. As an essential tool in the treatment of lymphedema (excess lymphatic fluid), this therapy is often applied postoperatively and can be especially beneficial for breast cancer patients.  

 Administering this treatment requires advanced training and is performed with gentle, massage-like strokes. There should be no discomfort involved, in fact, you may feel you are hardly being worked on at all.

AftercareAfter your lymphatic drainage treatment, it's possible you could feel some mild, flu-like symptoms, depending on how much strain your body has been under prior to treatment. This strain may be due to environmental pollutants, medication, and diet. Most people leave a session simply feeling relaxed, but if you don't feel at the top of your game, drink plenty of water, limit your salt intake, and stay physically active.

Lymphatic drainage is one way to give your wellness a boost in a busy world that makes many demands on your immune system.

Article courtesy of ABMP


 

Whiplash
Healing a Pain in the Neck
Hope Bentley

Getting rear-ended in traffic. Face-planting at the bottom of a ski slope. Tumbling over the handlebars on your bike. Whiplash comes in many forms and can become a long-term problem if not treated correctly. Fortunately, massage and bodywork can address the ache and discomfort that come with whiplash and prevent chronic pain down the road. 

Understanding Whiplash The term "whiplash" came into use in 1928. Doctors will sometimes use "hyperextension injury," to describe it, but "whiplash" is a more visceral account of what has happened to the victim's neck. The neck itself has made a whip-like motion bending first towards and then away from the point of impact. As the head moves rapidly in one direction, the muscles in the neck receive the message to contract. The momentum of the head can cause strain or sprain to the muscles and ligaments in the neck as the head reaches the end of its movement. 

Car accidents are the most common causes of whiplash. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reported that about 20 percent of people who have been in rear-end collisions later report whiplash symptoms. Whether front to back or side to side, whiplash can affect muscles all the way into the victim's back and arms. The most serious form of whiplash compresses nerves in the neck and cause multiple sprains of the ligaments. 

The good news is, serious hyperextension injuries are in the minority, as whiplash usually comes in the less serious version of the injury. "Fortunately, about 95 percent of the time whiplash tends to be more superficial damage, like slight muscle strains and tears," says Ben Benjamin, Ph.D., a massage therapist who holds a doctorate in education and sports medicine. But whether the pain is minor soreness or serious discomfort, massage can provide relief and prevent chronic problems in the long run.

Whiplash Symptoms The symptoms of whiplash include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades (sometimes called "coat hanger pain"), low back pain, and pain or numbness in the arms or extremities.  

Often people who suffer whiplash do not feel the effects until two or three days after the injury-causing incident. Benjamin explains that this delayed onset is because it takes time for scar tissue to manifest in the sprained or strained muscles and ligaments. And because scar tissue is more adhesive than regular tissue, people experience it as stiffness in the injured areas.

Whiplash affects primarily the neck, but victims shouldn't ignore the rest of the body. This injury can pull the long muscles on either side of the spine, which reach all the way to the tailbone and can cause discomfort along the way. Discomfort or stiffness in the chest and arms can also be due to whiplash. And headaches may be the result of slowed circulation to the head caused by the swelling in the injury. 

Massage Can Help Any massage that causes a general relaxation of the client's muscles can help relieve muscular pain in common types of whiplash injuries. In addition, massage increases the amount of oxygen that reaches the healing tissues and opens those tissues so they can receive oxygen and nutrients, thus speeding the healing process. 

In addition to relaxation massage, specific bodywork methods ease acute whiplash discomfort and help prevent chronic fallout. For example, myofascial approaches restore fluidity to the fascia--normally a slippery tissue that surrounds all the moving parts inside the body--allowing freer movement of muscles and ligaments. Friction-based massage helps break up scar tissue and relieve stiffness. Trigger point therapy works by releasing tension held in tight knots of muscle. And any type of bodywork that stimulates circulation helps ease and prevent headaches. 

Finally, the incident that caused the whiplash in the first place, (a car wreck, for instance) can be traumatic. Massage helps relax a client's psyche as well as their muscles, helping her or him work through the emotional issues induced by the accident.  

Because the neck is such a delicate part of the body, it is important to proceed with caution. Benjamin advises waiting a few days after the accident to seek treatment. This allows the initial scar tissue to knit, which is an important part of the healing process. The initial treatment should be extremely gentle, and if there is a chance of a fracture, a concussion, any disc problem or other serious injury, the client should make sure to see a physician first.  

Let the Healing Begin It used to be that physicians would immobilize whiplash injuries with a cervical collar, but now health care professionals advise a more temperate course for their patients.

"I recommend gentle neck movement within your range of motion while lying on a pillow," says Benjamin. Movement may help prolong the benefits of the massage by continuing to circulate blood, oxygen, and nutrients through the healing tissue. "Heat or cold, whichever feels better, can also help," says Benjamin. "Soaking in a hot bath can also be beneficial." Limiting physical activity for a few days and getting plenty of rest in the wake of a whiplash injury is also a good idea. 

Whiplash is traumatic and should be addressed soon after the injury to avoid any chronic problems. If you or someone you love is suffering from the repercussions of whiplash, consider a bodywork session to ease the discomfort. Massage can help lessen muscle pain, induce relaxation, and ease the trauma often associated with whiplash. You'll be back to your old self in no time. 

Courtesy of ABMP

 


Massage for Old Injuries
Ancient Injuries Don't Have to Make You Feel Old by Art Riggs

Injuries such as chronic back pain, trick knees, and sticky shoulders are not necessarily something you just have to live with. Massage techniques might hold the key to unlocking this old pain.  

Will Massage Help? The benefits of massage will depend on the extent of the injury, how long ago it occurred, and on the skill of the therapist. Chronic and old injuries often require deeper and more precise treatments with less emphasis on general relaxation and working on the whole body. Massage works best for soft tissue injuries to muscles and tendons and is most effective in releasing adhesions and lengthening muscles that have shortened due to compensatory reactions to the injury. Tight and fibrous muscles not only hurt at the muscle or its tendon, but can also interfere with proper joint movement and cause pain far away from the original injury.

Therapists who perform such work often have specialized names for their work--such as orthopedic massage, neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, medical massage, etc.,--but many massage therapists utilize an eclectic approach combining the best of the specialties.

It Works! A recent Consumer Reports article ran the results of a survey of thousands of its readers and reported that massage was equal to chiropractic care in many areas, including back and neck pain. Massage also ranked significantly higher than some other forms of treatment, such as physical therapy or drugs.

 If that nagging injury persists, consider booking a massage. Be sure to discuss the injury with your practitioner: How did you receive the injury? Have you re-injured it? And what exactly are your symptoms? Often, the body compensates in one area to protect another that has been traumatized, and this can create new problems. 

Discuss the issues with your massage therapist. (Sometimes just talking about old injuries can play a significant role in the healing process.) Together, the two of you can work to determine a treatment plan.

Article courtesy of ABMP


 

Holding Headaches at Bay
Bodywork Eases Migraines and Tension Headaches
Cathy Ulrich

"Do you get headaches?" I asked Cindy. She had come to see me for massage to address her neck and shoulder pain but hadn't mentioned headaches.

"Well, yes," she said. "I've always had headaches and, now that you mention it, they seem to be worse when my neck hurts." Cindy went on to say she suffered from them as often as 2-3 times a week and typically treated them with ibuprofen.

Like many Americans, Cindy suffers from chronic, frequent headaches. Her neck pain finally prompted her to seek help, but she was so used to the headaches, she thought they were something she simply had to live with. What Cindy didn't understand was that frequent headaches are not normal and, with a little proactive planning, there is something that can be done to manage and even prevent them. 

Types of Headaches: Headaches come in many varieties. Following is a short list of the most common types.

Migraines: Migraine headaches occur when the blood vessels in the brain become dilated, usually due to a chemical reaction, such as food allergies or a stress response. They often start with visual disturbances and quickly develop into severe head pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and sensitivity to light. They're usually felt on one side of the head, but can be on both sides. Migraines are often managed with medications and avoidance of foods known to trigger them, such as red wine, chocolate, aged cheese, and nuts. However, some bodywork techniques can also be effective in easing migraines or decreasing the frequency of these painful headaches.

Tension Headaches: Exaggerated by stress, tension headaches are related to poor posture, jaw problems (such as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ), and neck pain. Many people describe a headache that starts at the base of the skull and then moves in an arc over the ears and behind the eyes. Tension headaches are most often caused or exacerbated by poor posture, work station positions, and body mechanics, creating undue stress on the upper neck muscles. 

Mixed Headaches: The term mixed headache is used to describe a tension headache that leads to a migraine. Typically, the tension headache starts first and the chemicals produced from the pain of it create conditions for a migraine to develop. In people with patterns of mixed headaches, the best way to avoid the onset of a migraine is to treat the tension headache.

Bodywork Options: A treatment regimen that includes bodywork, attention to body position, and stress management can help prevent or greatly reduce the frequency of headaches, in turn reducing your reliance on medication and the need to avoid food triggers. There are many different bodywork techniques, each with specific approaches for treating headaches. Following is a short list of techniques often effective in treating recurring headaches.

Swedish Massage: A tension headache, by its very name, implies the presence of stress and tension. Swedish massage, on the other hand, promotes relaxation and relieves muscle tension. When muscles become tight due to stress or poor posture, they eventually adapt a chronically shortened state. Swedish massage teaches the body how to let go of muscle tension and resets muscle tone. 

Integrative Bodywork: Rolfing, Hellerwork, Structural Integration, and CORE are examples of the types of bodywork designed to improve posture and structural alignment. A primary cause of chronic headaches is poor posture, which produces tension in the neck and shoulders because the weight of the head is not properly balanced on top of the spine. Integrative bodywork can produce lasting postural change for greater ease of movement. By selectively freeing the soft tissues, integrative bodywork literally can change postural alignment and remove the stresses and strains on the muscles that cause headaches. 

Deep Tissue Therapies: The integrative therapies mentioned above, as well as neuromuscular therapy and myofascial release, use similar techniques to free connective tissue. A chronically tensed muscle tends to maintain that tension, even after the stressful event has passed. Deep tissue techniques free the connective tissue glue, creating a new way for the muscle to function.

Reflexology: Like acupuncture, reflexology works to move energy blockages in the body. By stimulating points on the feet that correspond to organs in the body, reflexologists can promote relaxation, reduce pain, and restore energy flow. Several scientific studies have shown that reflexology is a viable treatment for migraines, in some cases working as well as, or better than, medication--and without the side effects. 

Craniosacral Therapy: Craniosacral therapy addresses the inherent, gentle, rhythmic movement of the bones in the skull and their effect on the fluid that surrounds, bathes, and cushions the brain and spinal cord and runs throughout the body. Cranial bones move in miniscule amounts as a response to the production and absorption of cranial fluid. With head trauma, whiplash injury, or even severe stress, cranial bone movement can be compromised, resulting in headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears, or vision disturbances. This therapy restores the normal movement of the cranial bones and fluid.

By addressing the root of the problem, regularly scheduled bodywork sessions can greatly reduce headaches as well as your need for medication. Remember, headaches are not normal, and you don't have to live with them.

Courtesy of ABMP


Whiplash
Healing a Pain in the Neck
Hope Bentley

Getting rear-ended in traffic. Face-planting at the bottom of a ski slope. Tumbling over the handlebars on your bike. Whiplash comes in many forms and can become a long-term problem if not treated correctly. Fortunately, massage and bodywork can address the ache and discomfort that come with whiplash and prevent chronic pain down the road.

Understanding Whiplash The term "whiplash" came into use in 1928. Doctors will sometimes use "hyperextension injury," to describe it, but "whiplash" is a more visceral account of what has happened to the victim's neck. The neck itself has made a whip-like motion bending first towards and then away from the point of impact. As the head moves rapidly in one direction, the muscles in the neck receive the message to contract. The momentum of the head can cause strain or sprain to the muscles and ligaments in the neck as the head reaches the end of its movement.  

Car accidents are the most common causes of whiplash. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reported that about 20 percent of people who have been in rear-end collisions later report whiplash symptoms. Whether front to back or side to side, whiplash can affect muscles all the way into the victim's back and arms. The most serious form of whiplash compresses nerves in the neck and cause multiple sprains of the ligaments. 

The good news is, serious hyperextension injuries are in the minority, as whiplash usually comes in the less serious version of the injury. "Fortunately, about 95 percent of the time whiplash tends to be more superficial damage, like slight muscle strains and tears," says Ben Benjamin, Ph.D.**, a massage therapist who holds a doctorate in education and sports medicine. But whether the pain is minor soreness or serious discomfort, massage can provide relief and prevent chronic problems in the long run.

Whiplash Symptoms The symptoms of whiplash include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades (sometimes called "coat hanger pain"), low back pain, and pain or numbness in the arms or extremities. 

Often people who suffer whiplash do not feel the effects until two or three days after the injury-causing incident. Benjamin explains that this delayed onset is because it takes time for scar tissue to manifest in the sprained or strained muscles and ligaments. And because scar tissue is more adhesive than regular tissue, people experience it as stiffness in the injured areas.

Whiplash affects primarily the neck, but victims shouldn't ignore the rest of the body. This injury can pull the long muscles on either side of the spine, which reach all the way to the tailbone and can cause discomfort along the way. Discomfort or stiffness in the chest and arms can also be due to whiplash. And headaches may be the result of slowed circulation to the head caused by the swelling in the injury. 

Massage Can Help Any massage that causes a general relaxation of the client's muscles can help relieve muscular pain in common types of whiplash injuries. In addition, massage increases the amount of oxygen that reaches the healing tissues and opens those tissues so they can receive oxygen and nutrients, thus speeding the healing process. 

In addition to relaxation massage, specific bodywork methods ease acute whiplash discomfort and help prevent chronic fallout. For example, myofascial approaches restore fluidity to the fascia--normally a slippery tissue that surrounds all the moving parts inside the body--allowing freer movement of muscles and ligaments. Friction-based massage helps break up scar tissue and relieve stiffness. Trigger point therapy works by releasing tension held in tight knots of muscle. And any type of bodywork that stimulates circulation helps ease and prevent headaches. 

Finally, the incident that caused the whiplash in the first place, (a car wreck, for instance) can be traumatic. Massage helps relax a client's psyche as well as their muscles, helping her or him work through the emotional issues induced by the accident. 

Because the neck is such a delicate part of the body, it is important to proceed with caution. Benjamin advises waiting a few days after the accident to seek treatment. This allows the initial scar tissue to knit, which is an important part of the healing process. The initial treatment should be extremely gentle, and if there is a chance of a fracture, a concussion, any disc problem or other serious injury, the client should make sure to see a physician first. 

Let the Healing Begin It used to be that physicians would immobilize whiplash injuries with a cervical collar, but now health care professionals advise a more temperate course for their patients.

"I recommend gentle neck movement within your range of motion while lying on a pillow," says Benjamin. Movement may help prolong the benefits of the massage by continuing to circulate blood, oxygen, and nutrients through the healing tissue. "Heat or cold, whichever feels better, can also help," says Benjamin. "Soaking in a hot bath can also be beneficial." Limiting physical activity for a few days and getting plenty of rest in the wake of a whiplash injury is also a good idea. 

Whiplash is traumatic and should be addressed soon after the injury to avoid any chronic problems. If you or someone you love is suffering from the repercussions of whiplash, consider a bodywork session to ease the discomfort. Massage can help lessen muscle pain, induce relaxation, and ease the trauma often associated with whiplash. You'll be back to your old self in no time. 

**Debra-Jean has studied with Ben Benjamin, PH.D.  She has completed his Orthopedic Massage Certification addressing Common injuries; Knee, Hip & Thigh; Neck and Thorax; Elbow, Wrist & Hand; Shoulder; Low Back; Headaches; and Foot, Ankle and Lower Leg.

Courtesy of ABMP

 


Feeling Relaxed through Massage Cupping
Debra-Jean LeBrun, LMT

After a massage cupping session you will experience a tingling sensation, deep warmth and a sense of deep relaxation.   It is a great alternative treatment for anyone who is seeking for massage therapy.

If you hare having headaches, muscle tension, neuralgia, anxiety, hight blood pressure, fatigue, you can try massage cupping. Massage cupping especially works for tightness of (IT) iliotibial band and chronic pain, spasms in the upper, middle and lower back, tightness, etc.  It does not have the discomfort associated with the deep tissue techniques but the same time just as effective.  Cupping is also a very effective treatment in reducing cellulite and abdominal stagnation.

Hence massage cupping is one of the most effective yet easy and comfortable natural treatment available for a variety of problems as mentioned above.  It can also be used in combination with other forms of massage therapies depending on the condition and requirements of the patient, giving a complimentary effect of therapies.

"Massage Magazine" reports that clients who received cupping sessions found that it relieved chronic pain and helped improve range of motion to injured areas. The clients who experienced this pain relief reported that the effects lasted longer than the pain relief associated with other massage modalities. 

Fribromyalgia-symptoms.org reports that cupping is an effective way to reduce the muscle stiffness associated with the disorder. Cupping loosens the muscles and brings an influx of blood to the area and softens the underlying muscle tissues, leading to increased flexibility and a better sense of mobility.

Like other massage modalities, cupping can be incredibly relaxing. The therapist might move the cups around the body, mirroring the strokes that you would receive during a standard relaxation massage. While the goal of the session is to target different areas of the body, a cupping treatment can improve your general sense of relaxation 

How Massage Cupping works  The traditional massage cups are made of glass or bamboo and these cups come in different sizes.  The traditional cup is heated by a flame and immediately placed on the body.  A negative pressure is created inside the cup thereby creating a vacuum inside the cup.  I use the Contemporary Cupping Method which does not involve flames but pliable silicone cup.  These cups created the negative pressure which offer great flexibility and are very effective in aiding to release joint pain,  muscular spasms, flushing toxins and I also have the ability to adjust the level of the suction for your comfort.

The created vacuum cup slightly pulls the skin of the body into the cup.  This gives a very relaxing effect on the nervous system of the body, similar to that of massage.  If the suction is kept strong this will create an effect similar to the experience of a deep tissue massage.  After a few minutes, the skin turns red which indicates that the suction has brought the blood circulation to the skin surface.  The increased supply of blood benefits and nourishes the skin and muscles and flushes out the toxin which will be carried away though the lymphatic system.

 Book your appointment today and feel better tomorrow!



 

If I Have A Cold, Should I Get A Massage?

You wake up in the morning sore and stiff because you were in bed all day yesterday with a cold. You realize you have a massage schedule for today and your immediate thought is “ahhh, that will provide relief to my achy muscles and give me a brief hour of feeling good instead of feeling terrible.” Actually, getting a massage when you are sick with the flu or a cold is a bad idea. Depending on what stage of the illness you are in, the massage can send the virus zooming through your body by increasing your circulation. You might get better faster, but it is more likely you will feel a lot worse. In addition, when you go to a massage with a cold or flu you put your practitioner at risk to catch your illness. Most massage modalities have a profound effect on the body’s circulatory system facilitating the movements of fluid throughout your body. This is not good news if you are in the acute phase of the cold (typically the first 2 or 3 days). By moving fluids, we can spread the cold through the body much more effectively than would happen naturally.

On the other hand, if you are on the post-acute side of the infection (4 or 5 days after the symptoms have appeared), massage may help to speed recovery time. Be aware however that it is possible that the day after the massage feels like you are having a relapse. The circulatory work provided by the massage is the equivalent of squeezing 3 days of recoveryinto one day of feeling symptomatic again.

A good rule of thumb is that if you are developing a cold it is probably better to rescheduleyour massage and get some rest. Once you are in the post-acute phase of your infection, about a week after the first symptoms appeared, we can work together to ease the remaining discomfort and speed-up your recovery. If you have any doubt or question, always consultyour primary care physician and your massage therapist.



The Face of Winter
How to Protect Your Skin in the Dry, Cold Months
Barbara Hey
 
Winter can be tough on skin, but there's much you can do to defend against the assaults of the season. The skin's primary role -- to protect the body -- is ever more important in extreme weather, and in most locations, that means extreme cold outside and dry, over-heated air inside during the winter. Your epidermis must "weather" these drastic fluctuations in temperature, and often the result is chapped, scaly, flaky skin.
 
Facing the Frost The biggest wintertime concern is dehydration. In colder climates, you definitely need to increase the protection quotient. "You must over-treat skin to keep it hydrated," says Barbara Schumann-Ortega, vice president of Wilma Schumann Skin Care in Coral Gables, Florida. That means a shift from lighter skin care products used during warmer months to winter-weight products, such as thicker, cream-based cleansers and moisturizers. These will provide stronger barriers against the harsh environment of winter months. And this is especially important for the face. And if much time is spent outdoors skiing, snowboarding, or walking, for example, your complexion needs heavy-duty protection from brisk wind and winter sun as well.
 
"People often forget about sunscreen in the winter," says Schumann-Ortega. For regular outdoor time -- a few hours a day -- a sunscreen with an SPF of 20 should be sufficient. But if a winter trip on the slopes or shore is part of the plan, sunscreen with a higher protective factor is needed, even if your time is spent beneath an umbrella. "Both snow and sand reflect the sun," she says, so don't be caught unprepared. Double your efforts to protect the parts of the face particularly prone to display the effects of dryness: The lips and the area around the eyes need a continual shield against the elements. Ask your skin care professional which products are appropriate for your skin type and effective, seasonal moisturizers and sunscreens.
 
"When it's cold, you lose blood flow to the skin," says Schumann-Ortega. The result is a dry, dull tone. Facial treatments can increase circulation and rejuvenate a healthy glow. But, Schumann-Ortega cautions, be careful with peels and resurfacing treatments during the winter, as they can do more damage than good with skin that's already taxed from the harsh environmental conditions.
 
Winterizing the Body It's not just the face that suffers in the winter. Skin everywhere dries out, and gets that flaky look and uncomfortable winter itch. Hot baths -- a delightful antidote to the chill -- can further exacerbate dry skin. The solution? Add 10 drops of an aromatic essential oil to the bath to moisturize as you soak. (Lavender is particularly soothing to dry skin.) Then apply an emollient moisturizer -- a product that feels particularly thick and creamy to the touch, like a body butter -- geared for extra dry, rough, chapped, or cracked skin. Apply it immediately after drying off, when the skin can most readily absorb the lotion and restore its barrier. If dryness is still bothersome, indulge in a salt rub and full-body conditioning wrap to remoisturize.
 
And don't forget feet and hands. The feet, hidden by socks and boots all winter long, often go neglected this time of year and need attention, but the most obvious casualties of winter are the hands. Exposed to the elements and the subject of frequent hand-washing during the cold and flu season, hands can turn to rawhide just as holiday parties go into full swing -- not an elegant look for holding onto a champagne flute.
 
This is the season to slather hands with heavy, oil-rich cream at night and cover them with gloves. And don't forget feet: they also require the same special care. Consider a moisturizer for them in the evenings and sleep with socks on. In the morning, your feet and hands will feel soft and moisturized. Your skin care professional can recommend appropriate gloves, socks, and a home-care routine for this process. In addition, treat hands and feet to regular spa treatments to exfoliate dead skin cells, and paraffin treatments to replenish and moisturize.
 
Relax and Enjoy It In winter, and all seasons, stress can disrupt even the best skin. "We always ask clients what's going on in life, since adrenaline, holiday pressures, and even joy can have an effect on body chemistry," says Schumann-Ortega. The skin reflects it all. "Some clients may come in after four weeks and they look like a train wreck," she says. So do your best to minimize the effects of stress with exercise, meditation, and proper diet. And don't skimp on the self-care. Schedule time for pampering, relaxing treatments.
 
Some final tips:
- Drink water. Even when there's a chill in the air and thirst isn't overwhelming, water consumption needs to be high to combat the dry air.
- Avoid products with a high percentage of synthetic ingredients (propylene glycol, petroleum), chemical detergents (sodium laurel sulfates), and artificial colors and fragrances.
- Employ quality skin care products suited to your skin type.
- Check your medications. Illness and ongoing pharmaceuticals can upset pH balance.
- Incorporate nutritional supplements into your skin health regimen, such as essential fatty acids, zinc, magnesium, vitamin A, and B vitamins.
 
Winter doesn't have to take its long, hard toll on your skin. Ask your skin care professional about hydrating products and circulation-enhancing treatments to ease the long, dry months of winter. After all, spring is just around the corner.