Angie Miller's picture

Exfoliate for the Health of Your Skin

If your skin is looking lackluster these days, blame the dry, artificial heat, low humidity, and frigid temperatures of winter past. Spring is the perfect time to renew your healthy glow by exfoliating with a sugar scrub.

Every minute, our skin's surface loses 30,000 to 40,000 dead cells. Exfoliating with a sugar scrub not only removes these dead skin cells to smooth the skin's surface (creating the foundation for a more even suntan), but it also brings blood flow to the newer layers of skin that lie underneath, improving your body's circulation and immune system. 

We carry Bella Luce natural body products here at the Center: the Chianti and Grape Seed Crush and the Cranberry-Yuzu body scrub are fantastic products to help you start your exfoliation regimen.

If you have sensitive skin, start out by exfoliating once a week: Work up to twice a week at most to allow your skin enough time to regenerate in-between treatments. During your bath or shower, apply the scrub to your body in small circles, paying special attention to areas of rough skin. Rinse off, towel dry, and apply some lotion to lock in moisture.

Adding a sugar scrub to your skin care regimen can help to reduce the visibility of wrinkles and sun spots, kill bacteria that causes acne, improve the way your skin care products already work (toner and moisturizer penetrate deeper) and brighten your skin for spring!

As always, following a healthy diet and exercise routine are the best ways to improve your skin: Add a sugar scrub to the mix and you will look and feel even healthier.


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Chris's picture

Balanced and Effective Bodywork

Understanding the relationship between opposing muscle groups is crucial to receiving balanced and effective bodywork.  Our most common areas of tension are around the base of the neck and between the shoulders.  Even though this can be caused simply by stress, it is most commonly due to a mechanical imbalance in the muscle group.

(Medial Rotation)

There are several forces at work on the shoulder. The Pectoralis Major, Pectoralis Minor (Pecs), Subscapularis, and the Latissimus Dorsi (Lats) are known Anatomically as Medial Rotators because when flexed, they roll the shoulders forward (Medial Rotation) which pulls the Scapulae (Shoulder Blades) away from the Spine. This can create tension and pain in the opposing muscle group, specifically the Trapezius (Traps) and the Rhomboids. These are the Adductors, which are responsible for pulling the Shoulder Blades together, towards the spine.

Our typical daily activities (driving, sitting at a desk typing [this blog], carrying a bag or purse, etc.) activate the Pecs, Lats, and Subscapularis, and disengage the Traps and Rhomboids. Overtime this imbalance tends to exaggerate the negative effects of chronic Medial Rotation of the shoulder girdle.  Another common area of pain and discomfort which is negatively impacted by over-active Pecs and Lats are the upper Traps and Levator Scapula (a shrugging muscle). These muscles connect the top of the shoulder blade to the neck and skull. As with the Adductor group, this area tends to heal best when the Pecs and Lats are properly addressed.


When a client is set before me with upper back and neck tension, I generally recommend we start with the front of the shoulder. By reducing the tension here we are able to create slack in the Traps and Rhomboids, thereby improving comfort and functionality.  My clients are often surprised and delighted with the immediate relief felt between the shoulder blades while I'm addressing the Pectoral tissue. This is especially true during a Structural Integration session.

The sad truth is there are clients out there who don’t get balanced bodywork. Over time, it becomes visually apparent that the muscles on the back, around the shoulder blades, are the only ones that ever get worked. The tell-tale sign (to me) are clients who present exaggerated curvature in the upper back: shoulders pulled forward, neck arched back just to keep the eyes level with the horizon. (Think Mr. Burns from the Simpsons). It never fails to surprise me at how much pressure these people can take on their back muscles from all the years of isolated deep tissue work.  Typically, they have limited range of motion in the shoulder joint, and can only handle the most gentle pressure on the anterior shoulder.

A knowledgeable massage therapist or body worker, as I like to refer to myself, will address the complete body. Taking into consideration how (you) as an individual use your body on a daily basis, and work the opposing muscle groups accordingly.

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Beth's picture

Spring Renewal

Spring is the season of beauty and the renewal of nature in so many ways. The sun is shining longer and the grass is becoming greener and thicker every day.  The spring rain is nourishing to the grounds and plants around us and the warmth of the sunshine is aiding in all of this beautiful change! Buds on plants and trees develop and grow into new leaves and flowers.  Birds become more present and active. Their early morning song is a new sound to wake up to now that we can open our windows to let the fresh air into our homes.  It is such a perfect time to reflect on ourselves and see what part of us need a spring renewal as well. Here are some suggestions for refreshing your body, mind, and spirit during this inspiring time of year.

*Juice cleanse/detox:  If you are trying this for the first time, possibly start with a three day juice cleanse. Do some personal research about what type of cleanse fits you best. Ask around at local health food stores. I find that the east End co-op always has employees who are willing to a share a wealth of information if you are curious enough to ask.  And they have the product supply to match:)   Benefits range from internal and external changes. It can help one shift away from bad habits, it gives your digestive system a nice break from working so hard in processing large meals, and it also can aid in eliminating toxins from the body...helping you feel and look better.    

*Spring Cleaning:  Cleaning out your home not only creates a more peaceful space to reside in but it also can be an emotional cleanse.  Getting rid of old stuff that collects dust and takes up space can allow an opening to happen in our homes and in our minds for new ideas to explore. This doesn't have to be a "chore,"  it can be a really therapeutic and freeing process!  If you are really motivated you can have a yard sale and actually make a little extra cash. But if not, I believe the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores most always take donations.  

*Start an exercise routine:   Did the long and cold winter days leave you feeling a little sluggish?  Do you have a couple of extra pounds making you feel heavier than you wish?  Maybe now is the time to think about a realistic exercise routine that can help you to feel lighter and more energized.  Whether it be walking, jogging, yoga, or joining a local gym... getting out and moving and sticking with a schedule that works for you can really bring positive change to the body and mind and spirit as well.  Here at PCCHH, Lisa Clark has private yoga therapy sessions. These sessions are customized based on your specific needs and are found to be helpful for positive transformation:)  

*Organize a neighborhood clean up:   Or take a slow stroll around your neighborhood on your own and collect garbage.  My daughter and I have done this and the smallest of efforts can make a large difference.  You would be surprised.  Just make sure you have a sturdy bag and some gloves.

*Massage/Energy Sessions at PCCHH  :   Look at your calendar and set aside a day in May that you can completely dedicate to renewing yourself.  A day that only asks of you to relax and just be.  Come in to our center and enjoy a reiki or cellular expansion or massage session (or both) and give yourself the freedom to just rest in the peace that the session offered you for the rest of the day.  Plan to go home later and soak in a tub with salts and candle light. If home isn't the place for that...find a peaceful spot on a park bench or in the woods where you can reflect on this new season of change and how you too, can create some positive changes for yourself. Take in and keep awareness close on how that massage and/or energy session made you feel. Carry it with you through the week.  A great suggestion for massage:  if you find a day of the week and time that feels fitting for your life...schedule a consecutive amount of sessions in that space over some time. It brings attention to and addresses your needs both physically and mentally regularly and in return you will feel more relaxed and healthy OVERALL.  

I wish you the very best in your spring cleansing process!  

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