7 Ways to De-Stress the Holidays

how to de-stress the holidays

It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but more often than not the holiday season feels incredibly stressful. We want to enjoy special moments with family and friends, but busyness overwhelms us and leaves us wishing the holidays would hurry up already so we can get back to normal.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. This year, before the holidays hit in full force, try some of these wellness tips to de-stress the season. Who knows? You might actually find yourself filled with comfort and joy this time around.

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Are You Getting a Flu Shot This Season?

getting-a-flu-shot-by-Lance-McCord

This year, there’s more controversy than ever surrounding the flu shot.

I, for one, am thrilled. My mom works in a government office, and all through my early adult years, she’d make my little brothers and I get the shot “so we wouldn’t get sick.” (Ha!) I disagreed, but lived under her roof and had no choice. “But mommy, when I take the shot, I GET THE FLU.” She told me I was ridiculous.

Imagine my inner glee, then, today when I read an article in the Wall Street Journal today entitled “Flu Shots Don’t Give You the Flu…Right?” Behold an excerpt:

Three hours after I got the flu shot, I started to feel sick. Headache, mild sore throat, rasping. I mentioned this to a friend and she snapped, “You can’t get the flu from a flu shot. They use dead flu virus in the serum they inject you with. It’s just a coincidence.” The next day I felt worse, and the next day, and the next. Each time I mentioned the flu shot to friends, they got really defensive and said that I must have already been incubating a nasty cold, because the flu shot could not make me sick. They referred me to assorted websites where I could get more information. They made me feel like a moron for even suggesting that there might be a connection between the flu shot and my deteriorating physical condition.

“Yes, just a coincidence.”

Five days later, fully prone at death’s doorstep, I went to the doctor. He told me that I had a throat infection and an eye infection, and that my ears didn’t look so good, either. He wrote me prescriptions for cough syrup, antibiotics and eye drops. When I mentioned how weird it was that I got sick—like, really sick—right after the flu shot, he laughed as if I were a four-year-old.

“You can’t get sick from the flu shot,” he chided me. “The cells in the flu serum are dead.”

“So it was just a coincidence?”

I am in FULL AGREEMENT. It has happened to me several times — I get the flu shot, I get the flu! It’s crazy!

As an aside, my good friend Allie just emailed that she, too, agrees with my thoughts. Her mom is a nurse, and encourages her to take it, but the only time she has agreed, she’s gotten the flu as well!

Side effects are more popular than we may think. Check this out from an article on NBC’s WLBT:

1.4 million Americans have already received this year’s but about one fifth of them will have side effects. Dr. Andy Miller, an infectious disease specialist in New York, says 14-20% of the population experience more than just a sore arm.

However, as spa professionals,  you will come in close contact with the public quite often. How do you handle this situation? If you get sick, you will possibly miss training or work — or pass it onto clients. But if the shot can get you sick, then what’s the point?

Would love your thoughts!

Beauty Trend Alert: The Strip

packed-,uggage-beauty-strips

For those of us in an industry where we have to travel often — and the beauty and spa industry is absolutely one of those — space is often at a premium, as are the limitations in lotions and gels we can carry. Which is why the new trend in beauty- and health-related strips is pretty exciting.

We know how those messy gels and  lotions and sprays go. They serve their purpose, but do they serve it best?  these strips stick to you, stay put, and many (well, the ones I like, at least!) offer more targeted results.

I’m noticing them everywhere lately, too.  There are nasal strips for better breathing (perfect as winter cold and flu season sets in), pore cleansing strips, teeth whitening strips, breath strips, nail polish strips, and even strips that help fade and flatten scars both old and new.

Here’s a “stripped-down” list of some good ones:

1. Nasal strips for adults and kids: Breathe Right $13.99 drugstore.com
2. Pore strips: Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips $7.99 drugstore.com
3. Scar strips: Scaraway Silicone Scar Sheets $19.99 myscaraway.com
4. Teeth whitening strips: Crest 3D Whitestrips $34.99 drugstore.com
5. Nail polish strips: Sephora Collection Nail Patch French Manicure $12.00 sephora.com
6. Hair removal strips: Sally Hansen Hair Remover Wax Strip Kit $5.99 cvs.com

What do you think of the strip trend? Do you find they work better or worse than traditional lotions and gels?

What is Reflexology?

reflexology

Reflexology is an ancient art practiced by early Egyptians and still today, is an excellent bodywork therapy for stimulating the body’s natural healing capabilities. It is a science and philosophy founded on the basis that certain areas of the feet, hands and ears are comprised of “zones” and reflex points. These reflex points correspond to all glands, organs, and other bodily systems.

Reflexology is a bodywork technique whereby pressure is applied to these specific reflex zones. Using thumb, finger and hand methods, reflexology encourages physiological healing and restoration in the body. This, in turn, restores natural balance and results in overall stress reduction. Though it is not intended to cure diseases, reflexology is valuable in locating high stress or tension areas in the body; and can help alleviate many common health conditions like fibromyalgia, and other musculoskeletal problems. Since three-quarters of all health problems are somehow related to stress, reflexology could prove invaluable in this day and age.

Breaking Down the Spa Industry

massage

I may talk a lot about beauty careers, but the spa and wellness industries are certainly worth a peek as well. There are so many careers you may not even have thought of in the spa and wellness industries. Take a look below at some of the ones I think are most unique and see what they’re all about. It may be worth it to research a corresponding school…

Breema – combining deep tissue and Thai massage, Breema studies teach students proper posing techniques and how to work with clients who have different body types. In the end, you can earn your Breema certification to work in this type of massage therapy.

Doula – working with women through labor, birth, and postpartum is at the heart of those who have chosen to be a doula as their career. In midwifery school, doulas learn to provide guidance and support to women and become certified as a doula (sometimes before becoming a midwife).

Iridology – the study of the iris is quite an interesting topic that can lead to certification. In fact, some individuals intending to get into naturopathy first study iridology, where they learn about how the iris can be a big indicator into a person’s health.

Kinesiology – do you know how physical activity affects the body? Kinesiologists do by studying muscles and their movements. Through diploma programs and even doctoral programs, you can learn a lot more about kinesiology.

Lomi Lomi – a massage technique that finds its roots in Hawaii is called Lomi Lomi. This type of massage involves seeking love and harmony and eventually a massage therapy degree with a specialty in Lomi Lomi.

Look out for some more interesting techniques within the spa and wellness industries. Whether you are seeking services just right for you or want to pursue a career, we’ve got the latest in spa and wellness news.

-Amanda Fornecker