Kristin Malone Spa Therapy's Blog

Health, Beauty and Well-Being Education

Could this mark be Skin Cancer? October 25, 2010

Filed under: General Health — Kristin Malone Spa Therapy @ 8:29 pm

During the course of a Facial or Massage treatment, I have some clients ask me if a mark on their skin could be Skin Cancer. My simple answer is always “When in doubt, see your Dermatologist!” A visit with a Dermatologist is something we should all be doing once a year anyway, especially if you have fair skin or have had a severe burn at any time in your life. Prepare for your visit by noting any moles, bumps, tags or any marks on the skin that you would like to make sure get diagnosed by your doctor. If you choose to have elective removal of something from your skin for vanity reasons or to prevent it from becoming cancerous, your Dermatologist can usually burn it off with nitrogen with little to no scar. However, if something looks suspect, you should have it cut or scraped off to be biopsied. More often than not it will turn out to be nothing but there is no harm in being safe and finding out. Pre- Cancers and Cancers caught in the beginning stages are much easier to treat and have higher survival rates.

When monitoring existing moles and growths on the skin, a good rule of thumb is to follow the ABC’s of Skin Cancer. A is for Asymmetry – If one side is not equal to the other this is a very suspicious sign. B is for Border – If a mole’s border is irregular, it is more likely to be Cancerous or Pre-Cancerous. C is for Color – A variation in the color of the mole is cause for concern. D is for Diameter – Any mole or growth that is greater in size than a pencil eraser should be considered suspicious. E is for Elevation – Be suspicious when a mole or growth is elevated or raised from the skin. E also stands for Evolution – Keep a close eye on all moles and growths because they can change or evolve over time and these changes can be cause for concern. Play it safe and have anything that is questionable examined by your M.D.

For more information on Skin Cancer, check out the Skin Cancer Foundation website at http://www.skincancer.org

To find a Dermatologist in your area, log onto the American Academy of Dermatology website http://www.aad.org/findadermKristin Malone Spa Therapy

Your best defense is to perform self checks on a regular basis and to be aware of changes in your skin.

Keep your skin healthy and beautiful – Kristin Malone

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Massage Modalities Explained. October 19, 2010

Filed under: Massage — Kristin Malone Spa Therapy @ 4:11 am

Massage has been around since before recorded history, in fact, it has been revealed that Julius Caesar received a massage every day. People throughout history knew that massage not only felt good but promoted healing in the body. Since the boom of the spa, massage and bodywork have been misunderstood as privileges of the rich and elite. The fact is that massage is a necessity to all people for health and balance. Massage for health and well-being has become increasingly popular and is even offered in some medical clinics. Since research shows that even occasional massage provides a whole slew of benefits to health, it’s great to have so many massage modalities to choose from. Here are a few of the most popular explained.Kristin Malone Spa Therapy Massage

Swedish – This term is a bit of a misnomer since massage was not invented by a Swede nor was is developed in Sweden. Nevertheless, this massage technique is the basis for Massage Therapy today. Swedish Massage is delivered to muscles soft tissue with strokes known as effleurage, petrissage, frictions and tapotement. The therapists hands will deliver soothing oil or lotion to the skin which can be un-scented or lightly scented also called an Aromatherapy Massage. All massage movements will be performed inward toward the heart to stimulate circulation and detoxification. Benefits include: relaxation, stress reduction, improved circulation, speed up healing of injuries, reduce swelling and help dissolve scar tissue.

Deep Tissue – Often used in addition to other massage modalities, deep tissue and trigger point therapy allow the therapist to work tissue in the sub-layers of muscles and deeper connective tissue called fascia. A deep pressure is applied to the muscles by the therapists hands, forearms and elbows either with oil or lotion or to bare skin to provide better leverage. Benefits include: reduction in chronic muscular pain, injury rehabilitation, increased range of motion and reduction of pain caused by arthritis and tendonitis.

Sports Massage – While it was designed to help athletes perform better and recover faster, the average participant of an active lifestyle will benefit from this kind of massage treatment. A Sports Massage is very helpful after an intense workout to relieve stiffness and sore muscles and to reduce recovery time after a big event. It’s also helpful before and while training for a big event such as a triathlon to bring blood to critical parts of the body and loosen muscles. Sports Massage typically focuses on a specific area or muscle group but can be performed as a full body treatment incorporating stretches and resistance. Benefits include: increased flexibility, faster recovery time after muscle exertion and faster recovery time from injuries.

Kristin Malone Spa Therapy MassageStone Massage – Usually performed with hot stones, this massage treatment, like a hot bath, will sooth not only your mind but the heat will penetrate deep into your muscles. Stones will be massaged over the body as well as placed on the body to produce a grounding effect. While the heat from the stones produce a profound relaxing effect for the muscles, the stones themselves have an exfoliating quality that will leave the skin soft and glowing as well. Benefits include: decreased stress and anxiety, pain relief and increased circulation.

Lomi Lomi (Hawaiian Massage) РIn this form of sacred massage, the body is treated as a whole and not a piece at a time. Unlike traditional massage where each body part is treated separately, a stroke during a Lomi Lomi treatment can start at the tip of a finger and run the entire length of the body and end at the tip of a toe. The Massage Therapist will use energy and breath along with long rhythmic strokes known as runs over the entire body to produce  a profound relaxing and meditative state. Because the therapist has no set pattern, the massage is free to flow and your mind will in turn free itself from thought and anticipation of the next move. Your consciousness will transcend to a state of floating like on the ocean tides that surround the islands that inspired this beautiful massage. Benefits include: deep relaxation, improved circulation and the opportunity for personal meditative growth.

Pregnancy MassageThis is a highly specialized Swedish Massage treatment and mothers-to-be can greatly benefit from its soothing supportive effects. The Certified Pregnancy Massage Therapist will focus on areas most affected by the changes in the body brought about by this very special time, mainly the neck shoulders, lower back and feet. An assortment of pillows, supports and bolsters will be used to make sure that mother and baby will receive very safe healing and relaxing benefits from the massage treatment. The beneficial relaxation chemicals released by the mother will flow to the baby and promote relaxation and ease his or her state. It also helps to promote hormone balance in the mother regulating stress and mood chemistry. Benefits include: pain and discomfort relief, relaxation, increased circulation and hormonal balance.Kristin Malone Spa Therapy Massage

Chair Massage – When I say chair massage, I am not referring to the electric varieties that you plug into the wall. A Chair Massage is a brief massage performed by a Licensed Massage Therapist on a fully clothed client in a seated position. Chair Massage can incorporate petrissage, wringing, squeezing, compression, stretching and tapotement and can very effectively relax and re-energize the client whether they are sitting in the office or in the mall. Chair Massage is very popular in the work place and can improve employee morale. In recent years it has even traveled to places such as air ports, poker tournaments and even casinos. In general a chair massage treatment is performed for 5 – 30 minutes and has become very popular due to its convenience. Benefits include: improved flexibility, relaxation, renewed energy and increased circulation.

Now that you know all of the wonderful opportunities and benefits a massage can provide, decide which one is right for you and call your Massage Therapist today.

Massage to your health – Kristin Malone

 

Why is a professional facial so important? October 11, 2010

Filed under: Facials — Kristin Malone Spa Therapy @ 5:36 am

A professional facial consists of 6 basic steps; cleansing, steam/exfoliation, extraction/high frequency, massage, mask and hydration. While it is true that there are certain aspects of a facial that are just as easily performed at home in your bathroom sink, the main reason a professional facial treatment is so important is the 3 middle steps; exfoliation, extraction and massage.

There are exfoliation creams and scrubs that can be used at home (and should be on a regular basis), but your Aesthetician has access to exfoliant products that can get much more effective results and in some cases drastically speed up the rate of cell turn over. Enzymes, acids of varying levels and micro-dermabrasion are just a few forms of exfoliation available from your Aesthetician during a professional facial.

For those with any kind of blockage in the pores, professional extraction is extremely important to keep the pores clean and functioning properly. A skilled Aesthetician will remove pore blockages such as comodones (black heads), milia (hard white bumps) and pimples (white heads) without causing harm to the surrounding tissue. High Frequency which is a very low electric current can then be used to kill bacteria in the recently extracted pore and also kill bacteria under the skin that can cause new pimples, cysts and boils. High frequency also stimulates circulation and promotes growth of collagen and elastin.

Facial massage is also a very important step as it stimulates circulation and helps to improve elasticity. Lymphatic massage can also help with detoxification and ease sinus pressure. Skin tone can also be improved with facial massage while relaxing facial tension that can cause wrinkles.

With proper home maintenance, a monthly professional facial treatment will keep your skin looking youthful, healthy and bright. Call your Aesthetician today.

Here’s to healthy skin – Kristin Malone

Kristin Malone Spa Therapy Facial Kristin Malone Spa Therapy Facial Mask Kristin Malone Spa Therapy Facial Mask Kristin Malone Spa Therapy Facial Mask

 

What came first, the headache or the neck pain?

Filed under: Massage — Kristin Malone Spa Therapy @ 4:42 am

Remember the saying about the chicken and the egg? Nowhere is this more true than in the human body. Our bones, muscles, nerves and organs are all connected down to the smallest cell. Sometimes your pain and discomfort can get to a level so extreme, you don’t remember what came first, the pain in your neck or the throbbing in your head. This is why it is so important to address aches and pains no matter how small at the early stages.

Kristin Malone Spa Therapy Headache Massage

That foot pain that’s been causing you to have a small limp can eventually turn into un-even hips, causing lower and upper back pain, miss-aligning the spine and pinching a nerve in your neck which sends shooting pain and numbness down your arms and don’t forget the splitting headache that will accompany all of this pleasure. While this is an unlikely exaggeration of events, it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Too many people walk around every day putting up with small discomforts thinking they are not big enough to cause any real problems and wait to consult a Doctor or a Massage Therapist until they are in excruciating pain.

While a massage treatment can’t solve every problem that ails you (I haven’t performed any knee or hip replacements in my practice), it can help ease the symptoms and side effects caused by the initial ailment keeping small aches and pains from becoming big ones. If there is something that’s been bothering you, make an appointment with your Doctor and then make an appointment with your Massage Therapist. Don’t wait so long that you can no longer remember what came first.

Massage to your health – Kristin Malone

 

Could bacteria be lurking in your makeup bag?

Filed under: Facials — Kristin Malone Spa Therapy @ 4:02 am

When you apply your makeup, you probably don’t expect to be applying bacteria too. Cosmetics such as foundation, eye shadow, blush and mascara can easily become contaminated with bacteria transferred to the containers through contact with your skin. While it can be impossible to keep all bacteria out,¬† there are things you can do to keep these products in good condition.

Always wash your hands before applying makeup, this is good to preserve the lifespan of the products as well as prevent contamination of the skin. Never apply makeup to dirty skin and wash brushes and sponges often, at least once a week. Don’t share your makeup with anyone, another persons germs can be harmful to you. Never add water or saliva to dried out products, this will definitely cause bacterial contamination. Replace your makeup products often. As a general rule, products should be replaced after the following amount of time.

Mascara 2-4 months

Eye Shadow 1 year

Liquid Foundation and Blush 18 months

Lipstick, Gloss, Powders and Powdered Blush 2 years

Lip and Eye Pencils 2 years as long as you regularly sharpen them to create a new tip.

Here’s to beautiful skin – Kristin Malone

Kristin Malone Spa Therapy Make-up

 

 

Do you need a massage?

Filed under: Massage — Kristin Malone Spa Therapy @ 3:30 am

Yes! Everyone does. In the fast pace world we live in, our nervous systems go haywire since the flight or fight response never really gets a chance to turn off resulting in stress. When our bodies are under constant stress the muscles contract and over time, this constant contraction causes the muscles to shorten which is what we call tension. The cause of your stress can be mental (worry about work, bills, your kids, etc.) or physical (overexerting your muscles or causing repetitive stress injury by using one muscle group in the same way over and over.) A massage can soften and lengthen the muscles and calm the mind creating a relaxation response in the body. Even if you feel like you don’t have much pain or stress in your life, a massage can help to prevent small muscle tensions from becoming big problems. Don’t wait until you’re in pain. Relax, enjoy the hour you receive to free yourself from everyday routines and mental over-stimulation.

A good tip is to book a standing appointment at regular intervals, be it weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Not only will this make you more likely to take the time out for yourself, but most Therapists will be willing to negotiate the price of treatments for a regularly scheduled client. A lot of Therapists also sell packages (multiple treatments at a reduced price) also.

Just Breathe…Go schedule a massage now-Kristin Malone

Kristin Malone Spa Therapy Massage

 

How often should you have a facial? October 1, 2010

Filed under: Facials — Kristin Malone Spa Therapy @ 5:46 pm

I would recommend for most people to have a facial once a month. Skin cells are continuously turning over creating dead skin cell build up on the surface and this build up can cause the skin to look dull and possibly flaky. Without proper professional exfoliation those skin cells will also form a barrier on the surface of the skin that will not allow for proper detoxification leading to congestion in the pores. A monthly facial treatment is like a deep cleaning to keep the skin and its pores functioning properly leaving you with smooth, healthy looking skin.

Kristin Malone Spa Therapy Facial

Those who have a specific issue such as active congested skin in need of a lot of extractions or mature sluggish skin with wrinkles, will benefit from a weekly or bi-weekly facial treatments for up to six weeks. Some conditions require a more aggressive approach and this will allow the Aesthetician to monitor the skin and keep it on the right track toward monthly facial maintenance.

It’s important to use the proper products when you are at home. Your Aesthetician will recommend good products to make part of your home care routine. A facial will only go so far without proper home maintenance.

Here’s to healthy skin-Kristin Malone