Don’t Let Jet Lag Keep You Grounded

Posted by Maria on August 16, 2016 under Aromatherapy, Creating Wellness ebook, Energy Healing, Fitness, Gemstones & Crystals, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Massages, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Self-Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Wellness, Yoga | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

I’ve got travel on my mind!

First, with the Summer Olympics being a big draw, the International Olympic Committee has predicted that 480,000+ tourists and sports fans will travel from all corners of the earth to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in August, 2016. That’s a lot of zig-zagging across the planet!

Also, many of my friends are currently travelling for their summer vacations, getting one last trip in before school starts, to all kinds of wonderful places all over the world, and I love hearing about their adventures.

As for me, I’m in the process of planning a Transformation is Possible Cruise to Alaska in August, 2017, which will be all about coaching and wellness, which I’ll tell you more about in the coming months, because you’re invited to join me!

Anyway, with all of this talk of travel, I thought it would be nice to write a blog post on how to minimize Jet Lag so everyone can enjoy their trips more fully.

don't let jet lag keep you grounded.

I don’t want Jet Lag to keep anyone grounded.

The formal name for Jet lag is “desynchronosis” which is a fancy way of saying, “out of sync” which makes sense. It’s also called “flight fatigue.”

Jet Lag is not fun. Thank goodness it’s only temporary! This sleep disorder happens when our body’s natural circadian rhythms aren’t matching up with the local time and the delay can feel quite debilitating.

Symptoms of Jet Lag include:

  1. fatigue
  2. digestive disorders such as constipation, diarrhea, and nausea,
  3. dehydration,
  4. anxiety,
  5. disorientation, confusion, and inability to concentrate,
  6. dizziness & grogginess,
  7. headache,
  8. irritability,
  9. sweating,
  10. general malaise,
  11. mild depression, and
  12. insomnia, disrupted sleep, and irregular sleep patterns.

Depending on whether you’re heading West or East and the time of day you’re travelling, it takes about one day for each time zone you’ve crossed to realign your body clock to your new (or regular) time zone.

Although some Jet Lag is unavoidable while traveling great distances by airplane, it’s still possible to keep disruption to a minimum and get the circadian rhythms humming again sooner rather than later.

9 Tips to Minimize Jet Lag

1. Stay hydrated:

Cabin air can be very dehydrating and being dehydrated is already uncomfortable. Symptoms from dehydration overlap with symptoms of Jet Lag and you don’t want to amplify your Jet Lag by starting off as weak and dehydrated. So, even if you don’t feel thirsty, drink at least one glass of water for every hour you’re in the air. Also, avoid drinking too much caffeine or alcohol during your flight.

2. Use ginger:

Ginger is good for nausea and headaches so if you can, bring some ginger essential oil with you (perhaps in a pump spray bottle), or drink ginger ale or ginger tea, or eat some Sushi with pickled ginger before your flight at the airport.

3. Consider melatonin:

To ease your transition to the new time zone and to reset your body clock, consider taking melatonin, either as a nonprescription drug or from a food source like cherries. Please see my blog post, “Top of your day with a cherry”

4. Try Reflexology:

Speaking of melatonin, you can also use Reflexology to stimulate the production of this sleep-regulating hormone by applying pressure to the Pineal gland points on your hands, feet, or ears. To work this reflexology point on the feet, use your index finger and press in and down on the outside edge (or medial side) of your big toe, just above the midway bump at the base of the nail.

5. Get some pre-flight life coaching:

If you’re feeling anxious about flying and are a nervous traveller, book a session with a life coach like me before your trip. A coach can be very calming and reassuring. On top of that, voicing your concerns and imagining a smooth flight without any complications, including Jet Lag, ahead of time, will also work wonders.

6. Wear gemstone jewellery:

Travellers have been carrying healing crystals for their protective and healing properties on their journeys for thousands of years. Wearing gemstone and crystal jewellery is an excellent and easy way to ensure a safe and pleasant voyage. Crystal jewellery also looks nice and makes a great conversation starter. I recommend Turquoise to safeguard your possessions and to facilitate communication, Yellow Jasper to calm nausea or motion sickness, and silvery-black Hematite to help get rid of Jet Lag. Of course, there’s also the perfectly-named Jet stone which offers protection, helps clear negativity, and brings good luck.

7. Get up and stretch:

Every few hours, take about 15 minutes to stretch your muscles from head to toe. Roll your neck, shoulders, wrists, and ankles and twist at your waist from side to side. All the better if you practice yoga. You can stretch while seated of course, but it’s even better when you get up mid flight and walk up and down the aisle a few times to get your circulation going and stretch while standing up.

8. Go outside when you can:

Once you arrive, spend time outside in nature and then you’ll receive natural cues from the environment that will help your body reset itself to your new surroundings. Also, if you happen to catch some rays, you’ll also get some Vitamin D which will help boost your immunity. Please read my blog post, “It’s Vitamin D Day”.

9. Get a massage:

As a massage practitioner, I recommend getting a massage to minimize the amount of time it takes to recover from Jet Lag. Nowadays, you can get a chair massage at the airport or you can book a more extravagant massage at a spa at your destination. Either way, a massage will help you release tension and sleep better at night.

I hope these 9 tips will help you reduce and even avoid Jet Lag on your next trip. And if you have any tips to share, feel free to add your comments about minimizing Jet Lag below. Thanks!

Here’s a Calendar of Wellness & Health Awareness Days in 2016

Posted by Maria on February 1, 2016 under 31 Blog Posts in 31 Days, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Bath and Body, Books, Magazines, Music, Creating Wellness ebook, Dating, Dear Homespunspa, Energy Healing, Esthetics School, Face, Facials, Fashion, Feet, Fitness, Gift Ideas, Green Living, Hair, Hands and Nails, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Humour, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Manicures, Massages, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Pedicures, Pets, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa Party, Spa Review, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Supernatural Spa on VoiceAmerica, TV Shows & Movies, Travel, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Here’s a calendar of Wellness and Health Awareness Days, Weeks, and Months for Canadians in 2016. Hopefully, these health promotion days will inspire you to practice self-care throughout the seasons. (For a deeper look at why self-care is so important, please read my blog post “Is Self-Care Selfish?”

On occasion, I’ve also included links to blog posts I’ve written about practicing on-going self-care that tie into these events and to my Homespunspa Mobile Spa and wellness coaching services. I’ve just realized how much writing I’ve been doing over the last few years! :)

As I’m compiling this list, I’m counting my blessings and I’m really grateful for my good health. With these special days and holidays as door openers, there are literally hundreds of ways we can all reach out to the people around us and celebrate life together.

Please visit Health Canada for active links to the websites of the health-related organizations. Also, if any of these organizations resonate strongly with you, consider volunteering, donating money, or participating in their events. As you can see, there are lots of needs to fill in this world, so help where you can (especially if you’re looking for your life’s purpose) to make the world a better place for all of us.

P.S. #1: As you read this list, you might find yourself saying, “There’s a day for that?” more than once. To answer your question, yes, yes, there is. Thank you to all of the creative and caring people out there who have worked so hard to make these dates official on local, national, and international calendars.

P.S. #2: I’d really love it if you’d share these blog posts via social media with your friends, family, co-workers, and clients. Thank you in advance.

P.S. #3: If you know of a special health- and wellness-related day, week, or month that I haven’t mentioned, please leave a comment and let us know about it and I’ll update the list.

P.S. #4: If you have a wellness blog like mine, here’s a editorial calendar with tons of ideas of what you can write about over the course of the year. You’re welcome!

Wellness Oasis12 Months of Wellness and Health Awareness Days

In January, we have…

  • Alzheimer Awareness Month
  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Carnation, Snowdrop
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Emerald, Garnet, Rose Quartz
  • Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
  • Hot Tea Month (Tea Association of Canada) — Please see my blog post, “Less Caffeine is a Sleeper’s Dream.”
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Month
  • National Bath Safety Month (U.S.)
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Hobby Month (U.S.)
  • National Oatmeal Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Orange, Coconut & Cinnamon Cookie Recipe”
  • National Soup Month (U.S.)
  • National Train Your Dog Month (U.S.)
  • Walk Your Pet Month — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • New Year’s Day on January 1st — Please read my blog post, “Happy New Rear!”
  • Polar Bear Swim on January 1st
  • World Hypnotism Day on January 4th — Please read my blog post, “What is a Holistic Practioner?”
  • Clean Off Your Desk Day on January 11th
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11th
  • National Rubber Ducky Day (U.S.) on January 13th
  • National Dress Up Your Pet Day (U.S.) on January 14th
  • SHE Day (600 Women talk business and leadership in Winnipeg, MB) on January 15th
  • Colour Days!!! Rainbow Day (let these colours inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on January 17th
  • Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day on January 17th — Please read my blog post, “Remember Your New Year’s Resolutions?”
  • National Non-Smoking Week from January 17th to January 23rd — Please see my blog post, “Is 2016 Your Year to Quit Smoking?”
  • National Popcorn Day (U.S.) on January 19th
  • Weedless Wednesday on January 20th
  • National Hugging Day on January 21st
  • National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day (U.S.) on January 22nd
  • Change a Pet’s Life Day on January 24th
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day on January 25th
  • Family Literacy Day on January 27th — Please buy my Creating Wellness ebook on Amazon and read my blog post, “Sharing a Tip from my Creating Wellness Ebook on how to Sleep Better.”
  • International Lego Day on January 28th
  • Women’s Right to Vote in Canada 100th Anniversary on January 28th.

In February, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Primrose, Violet
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Amethyst, Bloodstone, Moonstone, Onyx — Please read my blog post, “Cheers to the Chi Machine.”
  • Heart Health Month
  • National Cherry Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Top off your day with a cherry.”
  • Psychology Month — Please read my blog post, “How to feel a sense of wholeness within.”
  • Eating Disorders Awareness Week from February 1st to February 7th
  • Groundhog Day on February 2nd
  • Winter Walk Day on February 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”
  • World Cancer Day on February 4th
  • International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation on February 6th
  • White Cane Week (for the blind and vision-impaired community) from February 7th to February 13th
  • Chinese New Year Day of the Red Monkey Year on February 8th
  • Family Day in BC on February 8th
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day on February 12th
  • Valentine’s Day on February 14th — Please read my blog post, “Tips for Lips.”
  • International Flirting Week from February 14th to February 20th
  • Family Day in AB, SK, ON on February 15th
  • Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show on February 15th and February 16th — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • Colour Days!!! Pink Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on February 17th
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th
  • Love your Pet Day on February 20th
  • Walking the Dog Day on February 22nd
  • Tennis Day on February 23rd
  • Pink Shirt Day (anti-bullying movement) on February 24th
  • Oscar Sunday on February 28th — Please see my blog post, “SPARTY! So Glamourous!”
  • Floral Design Day on February 28th
  • National Science Day on February 28th
  • Leap Day on February 29th

In March, we have…

In April, we have…

In May, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Hawthorne, Lily of the Valley
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Agate, Beryl, Chrysoprase, Emerald, Saffier
  • Celiac Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “How to get rid of rash under breasts.”
  • Cystic Fibrosis Month
  • Food Allergy Awareness Month — Please see my blog post, “Can’t Have your Dairy and Yogurt Too?”
  • Foot Health Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “It’s Footbath Friday.”
  • Hepatitis Awareness Month
  • Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month
  • MedicAlert Month
  • Multiple Sclerosis Month
  • National Hemochromatosis Awareness Month (Iron Overload)
  • National Pet Month (U.S.)
  • National Physiotherapy Month
  • National Skin Cancer Awareness Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • Speech and Hearing Awareness Month
  • Vision Health Month
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Executive Coaching Day on May 1st
  • Lyme Disease Awareness Day on May 1st
  • National Hospice Palliative Care Week from May 1st to May 7th
  • National Pet Week (U.S.) from May 1st to May 7th
  • Olympic Torch Relay for the Rio 2016 Games begins in Brasilia on May 3rd — Please see my blog post, “Olympics Day 1 and Homespunspa Was There!”
  • Walk So Kids Can Talk (event for Kids Help Phone) on May 3rd
  • World Asthma Day on May 3rd
  • World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Homespunspa is Featured in Spa Life Magazine.”
  • May the Fourth Be With You Day (National Star Wars Day) on May 4th
  • Melanoma Monday on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • National Orange Juice Day on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Put your feet up — home spa masque recipe for your good ol’ feet.”
  • Cinco de Mayo on May 5th
  • National Day of Prayer (U.S.) on May 5th
  • Save Lives: Clean Your Hands (WHO’s global annual call to action for health workers) on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Washing Dishes — Good Clean Fun.”
  • World Pulmonary Hypertension Day on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Do you have Insomnia?”
  • International No Diet Day on May 6th
  • National Tourist Appreciation Day (U.S.) on May 6th
  • Space Day on May 6th
  • HerbDay on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Sage: A Scent for the Season.”
  • Join Hands Day (dedicated to bringing a union between the older & younger generations) on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “We Love Referrals! :)
  • National Babysitters’ Day (U.S.) on May 7th
  • World Labyrinth Day on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Find Peace of Mind As You Walk a Labyrinth.”
  • Mental Health Week from May 2nd to May 8th — Please read my blog post, “There’s no crying in baseball.”
  • Mother’s Day on May 8th — Please read my blog post, “Give the Gift of Homespunspa Mobile Spa this Mother’s Day.”
  • White Lotus Day (encouraging meditation) on May 8th
  • World Red Cross Day on May 8th
  • Naturopathic Medicine Week from May 9th to May 15th — Please read my blog post, “I’m going on a Wellness Tour.”
  • National Nursing Week from May 9th to May 16th
  • Sun Awareness Week (U.K.) from May 9th to May 16th — Please read my blog post, “Ask Maria about Aveda.”
  • International Awareness Day for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity on May 12th
  • International Nursing Day on May 12th
  • International Hummus Day on May 13th
  • Friday the 13th on May 13th, 2016 — Please see my blog post, “Are you a Superstitious Sleeper?”
  • International Migratory Bird Day on May 14th
  • International Coaching Week (ICW) (International Coaching Federation) from May 16th to May 22nd — Please read my blog post, “How to use the Acceptance Factor to Shift Subconscious Beliefs.”
  • Colour Days!!! Turquoise/Teal Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on May 17th
  • International Day Against Homophobia on May 17th
  • World Hypertension Day on May 17th
  • International Museum Day on May 18th
  • World Autoimmune Arthritis Day on May 20th
  • National Learn to Swim Day on May 21st
  • World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21st
  • Paramedic Services Week from May 22nd to May 28th
  • Victoria Day on May 23rd — Please read my blog post, “Victoria is the Fashion Capital of Canada.”
  • Sunscreen Day on May 27th
  • Amnesty International Day on May 28th
  • International Jazz Day on May 28th
  • National Multiple Births Awareness Day on May 28th
  • World No-Tobacco Day on May 31st
  • Bike to Work Week BC from May 30th to June 5th

In June, we have…

In July, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Delphinium, Larkspur, Water Lily
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Carnelian, Ruby
  • National Blueberry Month (U.S.)
  • Personal Health Month — Please see my blog post, “Stay Cool as a Cucumber this Summer.”
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Canada Day on July 1st — Please read my blog post, “My Pick for the #1 Spa Ingredient Native to Canada (2014)”
  • Independence Day (U.S.) on July 4th
  • International Kissing Day on July 6th
  • World Chocolate Day on July 7th
  • World Population Day on July 11th
  • National Nude Day on July 14th
  • Colour Days!!! Blue Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on July 17th
  • Cousins Day on July 24th
  • International Self-Care Day (ISF) on July 24th — Please read my blog post, “Is Self-Care Selfish?”
  • Parents Day on July 24th
  • Aunt and Uncle Day on July 26th
  • World Hepatitis Day on July 28th
  • Color Me Rad 5K Run (Vancouver) on July 30th
  • International Day of Friendship on July 30th — Please see my blog post, “Checklist for a Successful Spa Party.”

In August, we have…

In September, we have…

In October, we have…

In November, we have…

In December, we have…

Help, I’m Losing My Hair!

Posted by Maria on January 10, 2015 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Fitness, Green Living, Home spa, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Massages, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | 2 Comments to Read

by Maria Alexandra Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Help! I'm losing my hair.Linda gathered some of her shoulder-length, strawberry-blonde hair, ran her fingers through it, and pulled out several strands to show us. “Look,” she said. “But this is nothing compared to what normally happens when I brush my hair and check the brush.”

My friend Linda was recently talking about her significant hair loss and as someone in the business of helping people manage stress with Homespunspa Mobile Spa, my ears perked up.

Linda is a new mom in her early 30’s. She also works outside the home as a manager in a stressful office job. She’s a smoker and is overweight but exercises a couple of times a week.

Losing hair can be quite traumatic for many people and my friend’s rapidly thinning hair was really bothering her. She figured it had something to do with a recent stressful event in her life.

I thought I’d do some research on female hair loss to help her out and yes, sometimes hair loss can stem from stress.

Telogen effluvium is considered to be the most common type of stress-related hair loss. In this case, a stressful event may pre-maturely send hair follicles into the resting phase of the growth cycle which stops the hair from growing any further. The hair will start to fall out after a few months and the time lapse makes it difficult to tie the hair loss back to a specific event and to know the root cause that triggered the stress symptoms in the first place.

The stressful event that triggers the hair loss a few months down the road can be physiological and/or emotional in nature — something like a car accident, illness, surgery, a move, a job loss, or giving birth. The good news is, often times, the hair will start to grow back once the body has had enough time to recover from the trauma.

5 Ways to Encourage Healthy Hair Growth

There are certain things you can do starting today that can stimulate hair growth including Managing Stress, Getting Enough Sleep, Fueling your Body with Nutritious Foods, Moving your Body, and Taking Care of Your Hair.

1. Manage Stress

In my opinion, managing stress is the key to living a healthy life and getting regular massages is a great way to alleviate stress. The benefits of massage include:

  • reduced muscular tension and stiffness;
  • chronic pain management;
  • relief from tension headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome;
  • reduced fatigue, anxiety and depression;
  • boost of endorphins (the feel-good hormone);
  • increased circulation;
  • detoxification;
  • better posture to name a few.

If you’ve never had a professional massage before, you’re in for a real treat. But if you’re unsure about whether or not you’d enjoy a massage, I recommend looking into chair massages to start. All you have to do is sit in a special kind of chair and you don’t even have to disrobe at all and that’s what I recommended for Linda.

Talking to a professional therapist or coach is another great way to minimize stress. I guarantee that if you get whatever you’ve been thinking and worrying about off your chest, you will feel better. It’s just a matter of finding someone who will actively listen without judgment in a safe and sacred space.

If you’re looking to work with a coach, I’m offering a zero cost, GET THINGS OFF YOUR CHEST, 30-minute introductory coaching session to people who are feeling stressed out, so please check out the coaching page on www.homespunspa.com and contact me, if you’re interested.

2. Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your health and your hair. No matter what day of the week it is, try to keep a regular sleep schedule from night to night and aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

3. Fuel Your Body with Nutritious Foods

A poor diet will show up in your hair one way or another and eating healthy foods each and every day goes a long way toward looking and feeling your best.

Starting with breakfast, eat at least three meals a day that are well-balanced and include lean protein and fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed foods, sugary foods, and foods that are high in trans fats.

Also, consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements, especially:

  • B complex vitamins (which are good for stress);
  • vitamins C and E, (which are good for skin and hair);
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, and Selenium, (which are good for skin and hair); and
  • Magnesium and Zinc (which are also good for stress).

Also re-evaluate your medications. Sometimes, hair loss can be a side-effect of certain meds and if you suspect your prescriptions are contributing to your hair loss, talk to your doctor to see about making some adjustments.

4. Move your body

Our bodies are built to move and exercising is a great way to release stress. There are thousands of different activities to try like stretching, walking, running, swimming, and dancing so do something that you enjoy several times a week.

The benefits of regular exercise include:

  • better balance and coordination;
  • healthy body weight;
  • better mood;
  • healthier heart;
  • lower blood pressure;
  • increased energy; and
  • improved appearance to name a few.

5. Take care of your hair

A visit to a hair salon every couple of months not only keeps your hair looking good, but getting that massage during the shampoo time will increase circulation in the scalp which promotes hair growth. And chatting with your hair stylist can do wonders for your mood, too.

Also, don’t add any unnecessary stress or tension to your hair, especially if you’re going through a period of hair loss. For the time being, avoid harsh chemical treatments or using styling instruments that involve heat (like blow-dryers and flat irons), and try not to constantly wear your hair in a pony tail all day either.

Use Hair Care Products with these Ingredients

Look for shampoos and conditioners with the following ingredients on their labels to stimulate hair growth. If you can’t find suitable hair care products in any stores, make your own customized recipes for your hair type:

  • Amla, Argan Oil, Avocado Oil, Basil, Basil Essential Oil, Bay Laurel Essential Oil, Bayberry Root Bark, Catnip, Cedarwood Essential Oil, Chamomile, Chamomile Essential Oil, Gotu Kola, Hibiscus, Honeysuckle, Juniper Berry Essential Oil, Melissa (Lemon Balm) Essential Oil, Nettles, Passionfruit Seed Oil, Quinine, Rosemary, Rosemary Essential Oil, Sage, Sea Buckthorn, Sorrel, Southernwood, Soy Milk, Soybeans, Spanish Sage Essential Oil, Spearmint, Spearmint Essential Oil, Stevia, Thyme, Thyme Essential Oil, Tonic Water, Walnut Oil, Yarrow, Yarrow Essential Oil, and Ylang Ylang Essential Oil.

Our hair gives us clues about our health and if you are noticing changes in your hair, like hair loss (more than 50 to 100 strands a day) or dandruff, or too many bad hair days in a row, then evaluate what’s going on and take steps to remedy your situation as soon as you can.

Hair loss doesn’t have to be permanent and there are many ways you can encourage your hair to grow again naturally.

Unravel the Mysteries of Female Hair Loss: I’ve come across this really great ebook (affiliate product) if you’re interested in learning tips for successful hair regrowth. Click Here!

Have you ever experienced significant hair loss? If yes, what did you do about it? Please leave your comments. Thanks and I hope my blog post, “Help, I’m losing my hair” was helpful.

Feeling Stuck in the Mud? Try the Kneeling, Standing, & Sitting Method

Posted by Maria on October 13, 2014 under Energy Healing, Green Living, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Meditation, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Self-Care, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, TV Shows & Movies, Uncategorized, Wellness, Yoga | 4 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

My mother likes me to go to church with her on Sundays. Sometimes I’d rather watch Super Soul Sundays on tv instead but I’ve been going to church more often these days.

When I’m at church, I mostly sit in contemplation. Last Sunday, I was reminded of a conversation I had when I was 6 with my 9 year-old neighbour, Patty. We were comparing notes about our churches — I’m Ukrainian and she’s Irish — and I was saying something like, “We do a lot of kneeling, standing, and sitting — stand, sit, kneel, stand, kneel, sit, stand, sit, stand, sit, kneel, stand, sit… oh brother,” rolling my eyes — “and if it was up to me, I like to sit.”

These days, I still prefer to sit. After a long sermon, hauling myself out of my pew to stand for what feels like hours without relief, seems like a lot of effort. And getting back up from kneeling is a different ballgame altogether when you’re in your 40’s. :) .

So while I was thinking about this, it occurred to me that there’s actually a rhyme and reason behind these postures.

And since it’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, I’m going to use a metaphor of a farmer couple, Fred and Frida, to illustrate my theory.

Kneeling

It all starts with a prayer. Prayer lets you get centered. It’s the “asking” side of the equation. Basically, you’re just having a conversation with yourself and with God (if you’re so inclined) to get clear about what you want. Praying helps strengthen your faith that whatever it is you’re asking for, you will eventually have, even if you haven’t noticed any physical evidence yet.

Farmers Fred & Frida

Our farmers, Fred and Frida, have just acquired a plot of land in a community garden. They want to start growing vegetables for their growing family and maybe sell the surplus at markets. First, they have to figure out what sorts of vegetables they’d like to plant and they have lots of options to choose from. They figure it wouldn’t hurt to pray about it so in their own way, they each take a few moments to gather their thoughts and ask for ideas, good weather (like enough sunshine and enough rain) for the crops, good health for themselves so they can do the labour, and the knowledge to solve any challenges that will come up, etc. etc. They’re also able to visualize what their garden looks like in full bloom and how they’re feeling as they share their bounty with friends, family, and neighbours.

Meanwhile, the land and the seeds of the plants represent pure potential. Prayer is what’s inside the acorn (the code inside the seed) before it cracks open and becomes the grande oak tree.

But it doesn’t stop there. Praying by itself isn’t enough. If you want results, you also need to take action — thoughtful, consistent, and repeated action.

Standing

There’s an African proverb that says, “When you pray, move your feet.” Everybody knows that you can’t get anywhere without taking some sort of action steps along the way. Getting up on your feet is about taking a stand for what you believe in, showing others that you mean business, declaring out loud what you want, and taking action. Also, a lot of times, action is about reaching out, giving, and being of service.

Farmers Fred & Frida

By now, Fred and Frida have procured their seeds and have designed the layout of their garden. They’ve come to the community garden prepared and are wearing the proper clothes for the job and have brought all of the equipment they’ll need for planting. The kale will go here, the zucchini will go there, the tomatoes over there near the basil. They’ve rolled up their sleeves and are working hard all day.

They come back to their garden rain or shine, day after day, week after week, and make sure the plants are getting enough nourishment and care. At first, the soil looks pretty much the same as it did in the beginning, but all of a sudden, there’s colour and little green leaves are starting to break through. Fred and Frida are excited about their progress and they’re motivated to keep going.

Eventually, after all of their hard work, the vegetables are awesome and the garden is ready to be harvested. The growing part may be over but there’s still a lot of work to do so that these vegetables and all of that effort don’t go to waste.

Sitting

After kneeling (praying) and standing (taking action), the next step is sitting (receiving). Sitting is deceptively simple, but some people skip this step. Sitting is about relaxing, resting, and receiving. You can’t just give, give, give all of the time. You also have to be able to receive the gifts that others are trying to give you.

Farmers Fred & Frida

Fred and Frida are grateful that they have had a good growing season. They have plenty of healthy vegetables for their family meals and like to share the best veggies and recipes with their friends. They’ve also opened a stand at the local farmers’ market and are receiving compliments and cash for their quality produce and they plan to expand their plots next year.

I think, all in all, Fred and Frida are successful because they prayed, worked hard, and accepted the blessings that came to them.

So, if you’re feeling stuck in the mud of life and are ready for a positive change, try the kneeling, standing, and sitting method.

Thanksgiving

But you may be thinking to yourself, “I don’t know how to pray,” or “I can’t remember the last time I prayed and I don’t know what to say.”

Well here’s a good place to start: “There’s nothing greater that you can say to God than thank you, thank you,” ~ Maya Angelou.

And then you’ll be able to know which steps you’ll need to take that will yield the best results.

So, I’d like to take this moment and say “thank you” for all of the blessings of my life, and for all of the Homespunspa customers I’ve met over the years, and all of the readers of my blog. That’s what I’m most grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving. Now have a seat at the table and pass the turkey and the stuffing, and the mashed potatoes, and the gravy, and the the brussels sprouts, and the cranberry sauce, and the pumpkin pie, and ENJOY the fruits of your labours with your loved ones.

Win a Guest Spot on My New Show on VoiceAmerica

Posted by Maria on June 22, 2014 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Books, Magazines, Music, Energy Healing, Esthetics School, Fitness, Gift Ideas, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Sponsors, Stress Management and Relaxation, Supernatural Spa on VoiceAmerica, TV Shows & Movies, Travel, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

I’m about to live a dream I’ve had for most of my life.

Let me take you back to the mid-80’s when I was 15 or 16 years old. One summer, I went to a tennis camp in upstate New York and one of the girls I met there, Raisa, was from Chicago and she told me that she once saw this woman called, “Oprah Winfrey,” in the airport and that was the most famous person she had ever seen. I hadn’t heard of Oprah at that point but for some reason I made a mental note. Raisa said, “keep an eye out for her because some day she’ll be a household name.”

Wow, did she ever call that one!

A few months later, Oprah’s talk show went national and my mom and I watched her show at 4pm in the afternoons. The Oprah Show, among other talk shows of the era, inspired me and my friends to pretend we had our own talk show and we would interview each other and sing songs and laugh at our own goofiness. I think we also recorded our shenanigans on the technological marvel of the time, VHS!

I didn’t mention Oprah because I’m about to meet her – that’s not the dream I’m talking about – though fingers crossed, maybe I’ll meet her some day :) .

I mentioned Oprah because to me, she’s a great communicator and she has been one of the touchstones of my life. Someday, I’d like to thank her in person for paving the way for people like me and for showing the world how important good communication is in the grand scheme of things.

Back to my story. Also while I was in high school, I went on a weekend retreat. At some point, everybody had to go to the front of the room and speak to the group and share their story. That was a turning point moment for me because when I stood at the podium and spoke to everyone and made them laugh, I discovered that I actually like public speaking!

I think my dream of being a professional speaker was born in my teens but as my life continued, the dream somehow never got off the ground in spite of my many attempts.

Fast forward a few years to the early ‘90’s – this was before the Internet! I was in University studying English. One weekend, I dragged my friends to a Psychic Fair and I sat down with a man called, “Ravenhawk.” He told me that he saw me having my own radio show one day. Before he could finish his thought, I interrupted him, which ticks me off to this day, but those words have always stuck with me.

The following year, I took a speech course at University and it was by far my favourite class of my entire degree.

A few years later, I almost went to Broadcasting school, which I should have done in hindsight, but that didn’t work out.

I’ve also been a member of Toastmasters and may return soon.

So that’s basically my history with public speaking. I like to joke that I’m taking the extended milk run toward my dream.

I think Ravenhawk said the radio show won’t happen till my early 40’s and I wish he had said something like “have patience” and “don’t try to force it” because the timing won’t be right sooner.

Well, I’ve just turned 45 and things are coming together for me. The pieces of the puzzle are taking shape.

Suddenly my dream of speaking to an audience is within reach because a few months ago, out of the blue, I got an email with the subject line, “Speak up, the World is Listening!”

Those words struck me like a lightening bolt.

And now I’m ready to make my announcement.

This is brand new information and you are among the first to know.

I have a new radio show called, “Supernatural Spa” on VoiceAmerica starting in the autumn! I’m so excited, I can hardly contain myself!

I’m going to be talking about how spas are designed to stimulate the senses and elicit the relaxation response. I’m going to interview all kinds of holistic practitioners for tips on how to manage stress and lead a healthier life.

But wait, there’s more…

To get the ball rolling for my show and to introduce myself to more people, my executive producer and I have come up with a really fun and unique idea! I’ve combined my education and all of my life experience, work experience, talents, skills and interests and my entire heart and soul to create a Stress Relief VIP Spa Day!

You're invited to a stress relief VIP spa day.

The Stress Relief VIP Spa Day is a full day, intensive, one-to-one spa appointment and as the owner of Homespunspa Mobile Spa, I’ll bring the spa experience to you in five different sessions over the course of one day.

You can choose either the Face-to-Face VIP Spa Day or the Virtual VIP Spa Day.

But wait, there’s more!

And when you sign up for the Stress Relief VIP Spa Day in the next three days – this is where things get really special – as a bonus, you will be entered in a draw to win one of four guest spots and be interviewed by yours truly, Maria Koropecky, about your success story, on my show, on VoiceAmerica’s Health and Wellness Channel. I know! Isn’t that amazing!

Win a Guest Spot on my new show on VoiceAmerica

To find out more about me, Maria, and the Stress Relief VIP Spa Day, I’d love for you to watch my short video series on my YouTube channel, “Homespunspa.” The links are also at the top of the “VIP Spa Day” page on homespunspa.com.

To register right now for the Stress Relief VIP Spa Day and get the amazing chance to win a guest spot on my Radio Show, call me, text me, or email me and leave a message saying, “Yes, Maria, I’m interested in hearing more about your Stress Relief VIP Spa Day.

I will promptly return your call to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for your interest in my story. I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my life and I hope you join the conversation.

Sign up for my Energy Healing Workshop

Posted by Maria on March 12, 2013 under Books, Magazines, Music, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Pop-Psychology, Self-Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness, Yoga | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

I’ve recently returned home from my whirlwind Wellness Tour. I spent three and a half months immersing myself in the field of wellness at Dr. Oksana Sawiak’s Integrative Wellness & Detox Centre in Norval, Ontario, just outside of Toronto, in the middle of a crazy Canadian winter and now am feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to take my Homespunspa Mobile Spa business to the next level of success. Although I often felt like a fish out of water and completely out of my comfort zone, I know deep down in my heart that this whole experience was well worth the time I spent there.

When I left Victoria, I was feeling stuck, frustrated and burned out. I knew I had to do something different from my regular routine if I wanted things to change and improve. I know most people don’t have the luxury of leaving their life for a few months to explore different options and I’m grateful that I was able to take Dr. Oksana up on her invitation.

I started feeling better soon after I arrived in mid-November. I’m passionate about health and wellness and was learning something new every day. Even though I didn’t know what to expect from my internship, I was open to learning whatever I could and when Dr. Oksana suggested I sign up for a Higher Transformational Healing Workshop with Fred Vokey to learn about healing, I was game. Both Dr. Oksana and I participated in the full-day workshop and the experience for me was inspiring, enlightening and profound.

I’m aware that the topic of energy healing may sound a little “out there” or “woo, woo” to some people — that’s up to everyone to decide for themselves. I personally think it’s pretty cool. There’s a long tradition of healing in history across most, if not all religions and cultures and it’s just a matter of remembering, re-learning and re-activitating that wisdom and knowledge in today’s day and age.

I truly believe that the healing I experienced while I was away had a lot to do with the Higher Transformational Healing workshops I attended and now I’m a certified instructor and can teach you how to turbo charge the healing energy around you so you can heal yourself and others.

I’m super excited to be offering an Energy Healing Workshop (Level 1) in Victoria, BC on Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the 24 Carrot Centre, 714 Discovery Street, 2nd floor, Victoria, BC, V8T 1H2. Tickets are $220 early bird.

More information about Higher Transformational Healing is also available on the “Healing” page of my website, www.homespunspa.com. Please contact me, Maria, by email or phone to sign up for the Energy Healing Workshop and to make payment arrangements. I’m really looking forward to this and I hope you sign up.

Higher Transformational Healing Workshops

Anyone can learn how to heal with energy — including YOU. We are all born with the ability to heal ourselves and others and we just need to refresh our memory.

If you feel attracted to the idea of healing yourself and others, it may be worthwhile to explore Higher Transformational Healing.

During the workshop, you’ll learn how to:

  • Awaken the Healer within;
  • Channel Life Force Energy;
  • Use Breathing Techniques for Channeling;
  • Place your hands on or near the body for healing;
  • Do Absent Healing;
  • Do Self-Healing;
  • Do “The Anywhere Healing;”
  • Balance the Chakras;
  • Move Bones with a Light Touch;
  • Align the Body; and
  • Connect with the Council of Healing Masters.

The Higher Transformational Energy Healing Level 1 workshop will especially appeal to the caregivers among us who know people who are suffering from an illness like MS or cancer or depression and would like to do what they can to help others feel better sooner.

Please join me for level 1 training on Saturday, April 6, 2013. You’ll get lots of hands on practice and by the end of the workshop, you’ll l become a certified practitioner of Higher Transformational Healing.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could boost someone’s spirits with your healing services?

When:           Saturday, April 6, 2013

Time:             9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Price:      $220 (pay in advance, in person or online) or $250 (last minute)

Healing Workshop

Where:           24 Carrot Centre, 714 Discovery Street, 2nd floor, Victoria, BC, V8T 1H2

Presenter & Contact:     Maria Koropecky

Websites:      www.homespunspa.com or www.highertouch.org

I hope to see you there!

Tip To Stay Fit On Your Trip

Posted by Maria on November 10, 2012 under Fitness, Green Living, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Humour, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Self-Care, Travel, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

My Homespunspa Wellness Tour 2012 is starting in just a few days and I’m getting really excited about my trip. But while I’m away, I don’t want to forget about exercising and lose all of the ground I’ve covered in the last several months. And with American Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays coming up, I’m sure many of you will be tempted to let your exercise routine lapse while you’re travelling to different cities to visit family and friends. My advice: Now is not the time to slack off; try to find a way to include regular exercise in your daily routine throughout the festive season and beyond.

And if you need a little extra motivation to get off your butt and move your body, I recently heard the average person consumes 3000 calories on Thanksgiving Day. That’s a lot of delicious food! If you workout regularly, you’ll definitely avoid gaining unnecessary weight and you won’t need to make any New Year’s resolutions come January 1.

“So, how do I stay fit while travelling,” you ask? Well, as much as I’d like to bring my yoga mat, 12-pound weights and treadmill on the road with me, :) that’s not practical. My personal trainer, Jeanette, however, came up with a brilliant solution: Bring an elastic/ resistance tube and use it. That’s the tip to stay fit on your trip.

She suggested I bring my tube with me on my trip because it’s lightweight and fits in nicely in my suitcase and there are countless strength training exercises I can do with it wherever I go.

Jeanette told me I’ve lost almost 24 inches since May and I’m not about to undo all of that hard work by discontinuing my regular workouts. I plan on running, doing abdominal crunches and push ups and using my resistance tube often.

Tube exercises:

Before launching into the exercises, make sure you’re wearing proper fitness clothes, have a bottle of water handy and you warm up for 5 minutes to get your heart rate up. Also, remember to cool down and stretch when you’ve finished your tube workout.

Obviously, you’ll need a tube for these exercises. Mine is purple (of course) and has medium resistance. It also has a casing over it to protect me if the tube ever wears thin and suddenly snaps during a workout. I think it cost me around $30 at a local fitness supply store but I don’t remember exactly. I definitely recommend adding one to your home gym.

Of course there are dozens of strength training exercises you can do with a tube but I’m just going to highlight seven. I’m sharing these instructions and illustrations with Jeanette’s permission.

Elastic Double Over Head Press.1) Elastic Double Overhead Press: Stand on the tube and hold the elastic in both hands with your arms at each side and your elbows bent. Push your arms over your head, keeping your elbows no higher than your ears. Return to the starting position. Do 12 reps and 2 sets. Maintain good posture and wrist alignment and exhale while pushing your arms up and inhale while bringing them back down.

Elastic Double Lateral Raise2) Elastic Double Lateral Raise: Stand on the tube and hold the handles in both hands with your arms at your sides and palms facing forward. Lift arms to shoulder level, keeping your elbows straight, then lower and repeat. Do 12 reps and 2 sets. Exhale while lifting your arms and inhale while lowering them. Maintain good posture, abdominal contraction and wrist alignment.

Elastic Bent Over Crossed Row3) Elastic Bent Over Crossed Row: Stand on the tube with feet hip-width apart. Take the end of the tube that is under your left foot with your right hand and the end that is under your right foot with your left hand making a criss-cross with your wrists. (I have to think about this every time). Bend your knees slightly and tilt forward from the hips. Pull up the elastic and raise your hands toward your waistline then return to start. Do 12 reps and 2 sets. Exhale when pulling the tube back and bending the elbow and inhale while straightening the elbow. Keep wrist aligned, abs contracted, and spine neutral.

Elastic single biceps curl4) Elastic Single Biceps Curl: Stand on the tube with feet outside hip-width apart. Grab the handle with palm facing forward, keeping your arm extended. Pull up while bending at the elbow and then return to start. Do 12 reps and 2 sets with each arm. Exhale as you pull the elastic and inhale on the return. Maintain good posture and keep the abs engaged and watch your wrist alignment.

Elastic Lateral Biceps Curl5) Lateral Biceps Curl with Elastic (External Rotation): Stand on the tube with feet hip-width apart. Grasp handles. Arms are at each side and palms are facing away from the hips. Bend elbows and pull the tube until the hand reaches the shoulder. Lower the hand and repeat. Do 12 reps and 2 sets. Exhale when bending and inhale while extending the elbow. Maintain a space between the elbow and the side of the trunk, keep abs contracted and wrists in neutral position.

Elastic Trunk Sidebend6) Elastic Trunk Sidebend: Stand on the tube with your right foot and hold the other end with your right hand. Bend to the left, keeping the elbow straight. Return to start. Repeat 12 times. Switch sides and repeat, bending to the right. (I just figured out I’ve been doing this one without following the instructions and bending the wrong way… oh well). Do 12 reps and 2 sets each side. Exhale when bending the trunk and inhale when straightening the trunk. Maintain good posture and keep abs contracted.

Elastic Standing Hip Abduction7) Standing Hip Abduction with Tube (Outer Thigh): Stand on tube with both feet together. Place your weight on your left leg. Keep your knee straight and raise your right leg to the side. Return to the starting position. Repeat 12 times. Switch sides and repeat with your left leg. Do 12 more reps and 2 sets each side. Exhale as you abduct your leg and inhale as you lower it. Maintain good posture and keep your ankle aligned in neutral.

I hope you get a chance to try out these tube exercises. I’m sure they’ll keep me busy and fit in the coming weeks. Let me know how things go and I’ll keep you posted on my progress during my Homespunspa Wellness Tour 2012. And thanks Jeanette for your great idea!

Checklist for a Successful Spa Party

Posted by Maria on October 11, 2012 under Aromatherapy, Books, Magazines, Music, Facials, Gift Ideas, Green Living, Home spa, Homespunspa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Manicures, Massages, Mobile Spa, Nutrition, Pedicures, Pets, Recipes, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa Party, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness, Yoga | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Are you planning to celebrate a special occasion soon, like a birthday party, bridal shower, wedding, anniversary or seasonal holiday and would like to do something fun and unique for your bff’s?

How about hosting a spa party?

If a spa party sounds like a great idea to you, here’s a checklist that will help make the job easier:

  1. Pick a date & time: Choose a date that works for most, if not all of your guests. Spa parties usually last no more than 3 hours, so if you have plans before or after your spa party, (like dinner at a restaurant or a golf game or a night on the town) pick a time that gives you some wiggle room. There’s no point in adding stress to your special spa day by rushing to the next event.
  2. Pick a venue: Spa parties can be held virtually anywhere like a hotel room or office but oftentimes your home is best. Just make sure you have enough open space to accommodate your party guests and anyone else you may have hired (like caterers, massage therapists, yoga instructors) to help you with your party.
  3. Decide on a party budget: I know, “budget” and “party” don’t sound good together but it’s a good idea to know what you want to spend ahead of time and stay in that ballpark. Overspending on impulse purchases will dampen your fun in the long run and having a budget will keep you on track.
  4. Send invitations: Nowadays, you can either send your invitations electronically like through email or you can create an event on Facebook or you can hand deliver your invitations door to door. It’s up to you. On your invitations, make sure you ask your guests which types of spa services they’d prefer and let your guests know to bring things like: flip flops, if they’re getting a pedicure; pj’s; bathrobes; a bathing suit for the hot tub; a potluck item to share or cash, if you want them to pay for their own spa services and tip.
  5. Get a head count: Now that you have your guest list and everyone has said “Yes, I’ll be there with bells on,” know how many guests will be attending your spa party.
  6. Hire a local mobile spa company like Homespunspa: Mobile spa companies are popping up all over the place and I’m sure there’s a good one in your city. And if you happen to live in Victoria, BC, then please call or email Homespunspa Mobile Spa. We’d be thrilled to help make your spa party extra special and stress-free.
  7. Choose spa services to offer at your party: Mobile spas can deliver all kinds of spa services like manicures, pedicures, facials and massages to your guests. At Homespunspa, we have designed a mini menu of 30-minute spa treatments for spa parties which lets guests get pampered and still participate in the party.
  8. Prepare spa snacks and beverages: Of course, what’s a spa party without food and drinks? I recommend serving crispy kale chips and refreshing cucumber water.
  9. Create your spa music playlist: I’ve been collecting spa music for over 20 years, long before I became a lover of all things spa and an esthetician, and I love, love, love the Homespunspa playlist. Regardless of whether you want something quiet and relaxing or something more pop and upbeat in the background, having music will add whole nother :) dimension to your spa party.
  10. Design your spa space: It’s time to create a spa environment. First move your furniture and make room for the different spa stations. You want to create a space that allows for people to move around freely. You might also like to create some private areas for the quieter spa treatments. And don’t forget to vapourize some essential oils into the air to enhance the spa mood.
  11. Decorate your space: If you can swing it, try adding some spa-chic elements, like a water feature, a low-burning fire in the fire place, smooth stones with inspiring words painted on them, lit candles of all sizes, throw pillows, plushy white towels folded just so, waffle bathrobes with slippers, and leafy tropical plants with big flowers to your décor.
  12. What about pets and other family members? I love family pets, especially cats, but sometimes they may not be the ideal guests at your spa party. Figure out what to do with your pets ahead of time so they don’t cause a distraction. And if there are family members or roommates that will not be participating in the spa party, (like husbands during a bridal shower) give them lots of notice so they can make alternate plans.
  13. Decide if there will be games and/or craft activities during the party: Some people like to play spa games while others like to encourage everyone to do a short craft project during their parties. If you want to do some spa-themed crafts and use essential oils, find some home spa recipes and try making your own perfumes, massage oil blends or bath salts. These activities are completely optional but if people are up for it, they might add some fun to the spa party.
  14. Collect and package party favours: Once the spa party starts winding down and everyone has received their pampering spa treatments, you might want to send your guests home with some party favours (or a loot bag, as I like to say). You can keep it simple, like a bottle of nail polish, or go all out with travel-sized shampoos, conditioners, lotions, lip balms, eye shadows, soaps, candles, assorted tea bags, packets of chocolate covered almonds, costume jewellery…whatever you want. You can always ask your mobile spa ahead of time if they’d also like to contribute some free product samples or coupons to the party favour bags.
  15. Clean up: Your spa party was a success and you can rest assured your friends had a good time. Once the mobile spa leaves and takes all of their equipment and supplies with them, clean up will be a snap. You may even like the furniture the way it is and not feel the need to move it back. :)

I hope this checklist for a successful spa party helps you plan the best spa party ever. And I hope you include Homespunspa in your next spa party. Please leave a comment if you have anything to add and please share this with your friends if you have a spa party in the works right now.

The Benefits of Restorative Yoga

Posted by Maria on September 3, 2012 under 31 Blog Posts in 31 Days, Books, Magazines, Music, Guest Bloggers, Meditation, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Yoga | Read the First Comment

by Chrys Muszka and Donna Wilding, Guest Bloggers

Due to everyday stresses, high-pressure responsibilities and busy schedules, we spend most our time in the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). It’s within this system that our “fight or flight” response resides, causing anxiety and over stimulation. In the past, when our fight or flight system was responsible for helping us survive a potential tiger attack, the fight or flight response would be released by either fighting or ‘flighting’ (leaving fast) the situation. The actual fight or flight was a release. However nowadays, our modern life has taken away the need to fight or flight and therefore, we’re in a constant state of stress without release. As a result, the ability to relax and sleep become difficult.

This is where yoga comes in. When we practice yoga, we gently move ourself into the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) — the rest and digest mode. In the same way that our body and mind need food as nourishment, they also need rest in order to digest that nourishment. This type of rest is different from sleep, but can be just as rewarding and can come from a good yoga practice. Restorative yoga is particularly suited for this and will allow us to sink into our body, while calming the mind. It’s at this point that we’re graced with a good night’s sleep.

Restorative yoga is a specially gentle style that addresses the difficulty of finding relaxation and sleep. It’s a style that uses many props such as blocks, straps, and pillows to open the body gently, while allowing the mind to rest in a meditative state, promoting us to move into our PNS. By doing so, we slow down the production of cortisol (the stress hormone) and can exist in a calmer state where the ability to sleep is enhanced.

During the first few yoga classes, it’s normal to feel challenged. Moving from a state of high stimulation to stillness can be tough, however, know that things are happening on a deep level. Over time, the more we practice, the more the body and mind learn to calm and appreciate relaxation.

The deep benefits of yoga will not come overnight. Yoga is truly something that needs to be integrated into your life to notice the affects, especially if sleep is challenging. Remember that whatever reason you’ve been called to try yoga, it has been a long time coming. Likewise, it may take awhile for you to make changes. The amount that you put in, will be the amount that you get out.

We’d love to share more with you and teach you how to put yourself expertly to bed. Join us on a retreat in Mexico, November 10-17th, 2012 where each night we’ll offer a restorative class right before bed. Come and feel the difference for yourself. www.yogasherpa.com/SpiritedLife

We’d also like to invite you to download a complimentary copy of our ebook, Spirited-Health-Tips-Sleep-Better-Naturally.

With love for a good night’s sleep, Chrys Muszka and Donna Wilding.

Both based in Toronto, Canada. Chrys Muszka and Donna Wilding have 20 years of yoga experience, combined. Sharing many teachers along their individuals paths, they’ve trained in Anusara, Hatha, Ashtanga and Restorative Yoga. They are two individuals who strive to share their experience of yoga and holistic healing to their students, empowering each one to lead a more mindful, and authentic lifestyle. You can find them online at www.chrysyoga.com and www.donnawilding.com.

Ask An Herbalist About Your Insomnia

Posted by Maria on August 30, 2012 under 31 Blog Posts in 31 Days, Guest Bloggers, Ingredients, Massages, Nutrition, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Wellness, Yoga | Be the First to Comment

by Marguerite Wright, Guest Blogger

People are asking their herbalist for that special remedy to help them get a good night’s sleep, but getting rid of insomnia may not be as simple as taking an herbal supplement. With natural healing, the goal is to get to the root cause of the issue and deal with that, rather than covering up the symptoms with medications.

More and more people are seeking remedies for sleep disorders because they are suffering from insomnia or they are struggling to remain asleep throughout the night. Unfortunately sleep disorders lead to more health issues such as a suppressed immune system, stressed nerves, over active or under active glands and drained energy reserves.

It’s so important to get the proper amount of sleep in REM (rapid eye movement) — also known as dream sleep — every night. This is how the body rejuvenates itself and does the repair and maintenance it needs. The needed hours of sleep varies from person to person, some needing only 5 or 6 hours while others needing 8 to 10 hours.

Tips for better sleep

  • Establish a bedtime routine: In these stressful times we live in, we have to work harder to de-stress ourselves and do things to improve our rest. It’s important that we form a routine where we have a regular sleep pattern, retiring to bed at the same time each night.
  • Sleep in a dark room because Melatonin is a hormone that is produced in the pineal gland when it is dark. It directly influences the brain to induce sleep and is further broken down into the neurotransmitter, serotonin, which helps both sleep and mood. This shows why sleeping with the television on can disturb your sleep because it is a light source.
  • Depression, anxiety, and worrying are linked to insomnia. Try to clear your mind before bed. Write down your thoughts to ease your mind. Meditation and deep breathing will help you to release all your anxiety and stress.
  • Use diet and exercise in your favor. Don’t eat a heavy meal right before retiring, the undigested food can interrupt your rest and is hard on your health. Drink a soothing tea that will help you relax before bedtime. Smoking cigarettes only stimulates the body and can cause sleep problems. Avoid caffeine intake, especially before bedtime and don’t take stimulating herbal supplements. Some medications can disturb your sleep also. Beware of over-the-counter medications that contain caffeine or caffeine-related substances.
  • Find ways to relax and unwind. A good way to unwind is to take a walk and/or do some stretching. Yoga is a great way to unwind also. Including exercise in your daily schedule will help you rest better — just keep the heavier exercising for earlier in the day.

Suggestions from your herbalist for a good night’s rest

  • Make an appointment with your herbalist: Health issues that cause insomnia can vary from person to person, this is why it’s important to meet with your herbalist to review your personal issues, list of medications and daily routine. Take the free health analysis offered at www.motherknowsbest.net.
  • Eat nutritious food because it’s important to nourish the nervous system. Anxiety, tension, depression even high blood pressure can be linked to lack of vitamins needed for the nervous system. Nutrients such as Vitamin C, B-Complex, Calcium and Magnesium will help. Many of my clients love Nutri-calm, which is an antistress vitamin. Other supplements like Kava Kava, adaptogens like Siberian ginseng, and Licorice are good.
  • Detoxify your liver and colon. The liver is the organ of emotion and depression can lead to insomnia. Detox the liver with supplements such as Liver Cleanse, Dandelion, and Enviro-Detox. Ask your herbalist about a full detox program like the 90 Day colon cleanse.
  • Get a massage. A good massage from a professional massage therapist can help a person de-stress and get better rest.

Article written by Marguerite Wright, Certified Herbalist and Massage Therapist located in the Chicago area. Marguerite Wright is the owner of Mother Knows Best Herbal Solutions, a company she put together to assist people who want to learn more about natural solutions to health. She uses herbal supplements, homeopathic, aromatherapy, cleansing, massage and more. If you want more information on insomnia, depression, anxiety attacks or other health issues, contact your herbalist, Marguerite Wright. For every disease or disorder there is a natural alternative. All the supplements mentioned in this article are available at www.motherknowsbest.net.

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