Windows to your soul…

The eyes are most definitely a key facial feature and therefore it is one that must diligently be looked after. A good brow shape might be one of the best things you can do to alter and clean up your appearance, without having to do something too drastic. Here is how to get the perfect shape at home.

Line 1: Using a make-up brush as a measuring stick, hold it from the corner of your nose and past the inside of your eye. Any hair on the nose side of the brush needs to get tweezed.

Line 2: Shift the top end of the brush to the outside of your iris (facing straight forward). This indicates the point that should be the curve of your eyebrow. From here on onwards, the eyebrow needs to thin out.

Perfect Eyebrows
Perfect Eyebrows

Line 3: Shifting the top end even further to the side, all the way to the corner of the eye. The brush is now pointing out the end of your brow line. Any hair beyond this point should be removed.

Line 4: Shift the brush horizontally. The beginning and end of your eyebrow should be in a horizontal line.

To tidy up, the hair can get brushed upwards. Any points sticking out can be slightly trimmed. This way you will have perfect eyebrows all day long!

Having clear, sparkling eyes is next on the list to insure a healthy, beautiful facial appearance. Dull, red eyes just take so much away from you. Although there are many different causes, the main reason for red eyes are that they become irritated and dry, be it from a lack of sleep, or dust in the air. The best instant treatment for this is eye drops. For long-term sparkling eyes, get enough sleep, as well as a good daily dose of Vitamin A & E.

Dark circles and puffy eyes are just as unattractive. Because the skin under the eyes are so thin and delicate it does not take much for the blood vessels to become more noticeable – what we know as dark circles. For an unlucky few it’s genetic. If your circles have a bluish tinge, it might be because of an Iron deficiency and a supplement is the only way to fix the problem. The rest of us can aim to support the blood vessels. Cutting out salt and improving hydration will keep them perfectly dilated, thin and flowing. Vitamin C supplements will also help to strengthen the blood vessels, again aiding dilation. Some extra sleep will also help the body to restore its natural balance. Cucumber and cool tea bags are a short term solution. The cold helps the irritated blood vessels to calm down and so improves the appearance.

The final “must do” for your eyes is a good quality eyeliner (preferably liquid and not pencil as these stay on for longer and does not smudge). It brings out your eyes. If you have small eyes, only apply eyeliner to the upper lid. If you are blessed with beautiful, big, round eyes, go ahead and make more of a statement by applying it both on the upper and lower eyelids. As for the mascara, I prefer waterproof just for in case. One coat from root to tip and a second only on the edges. This way they will appear nice and thick, but not too heavy.

Make use of all these tips and you will be sure to reveal not only beautiful, but also well preserved “windows to your soul…”

 

Enjoyed this? Please share... Email this to someonePrint this pageShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Trigger Points

Trigger points, or muscle knots, mostly go unnoticed until they become unbearable. They are the source of many body aches and pains. But if you know how to work with them, the end result can be pure relaxation and bliss!

Let’s have a look at a few of my favorite Trigger Points.

Tension causes neck pain

Tension causes neck pain

The first spot is situated right under the back of the skull! The muscles located here are the one’s responsible for keeping your head on your shoulders. Therefore these are prone to taking extreme tension. We add some more tension when we stress about something and this spot becomes one of the main sources of tension headaches. When this area is massaged correctly, it can be deeply relaxing, almost immediately relieving pain, especially on the side of the head, the temples and behind the ear.

The second, being the biggest of all the areas, consists out of the thick column of muscles next to the spine. The majority of this area is littered with knots. One section, stretching from the base of the neck all the way to the edge of the shoulder blade, particularly appreciates some TLC. This is the area that makes you feel stiff and limits your upper body movement, resulting in upper back pain. When massaged the immediate result is a feeling of suppleness, followed by pain relieve.

The third point is a little bit sneaky. When you complain about your entire back aching, myself, as a therapist knows that the true origin of this pain is located in a small little nook formed between the lowest rib and your spine. This sweet spot is loaded with trigger point, once massaged the joint relaxes and the pain slips away.

Spot number four is found at the very bottom of the thick column of muscle next to the spine, right in the pit of the back. This trigger point is exactly where you thought it would be, sorting out pain in the lower back, stretching into the buttocks and even the hamstrings.

Trigger Points

Trigger Points

The last spot is found very close to trigger point number 4 but somewhat lower, at the top of the buttocks, the perfect spot among spots….. Yet another sneaky, trouble-making trigger point that is experienced as lower back pain. The true cause of this pain is due to the many small nerves that get pinched in this area. It tends to produce a profound and sweet ache when massaged, the pain spreading all the way up the back even into the arm and down the leg.

Next time you visit Elephant Plains Game Lodge, be sure to book an appointment at the African Health Spa. We will make sure that your trigger points won’t trigger any more aches and pains in your body!

 

Enjoyed this? Please share... Email this to someonePrint this pageShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Aloe Vera

If there had to be one rule that I firmly stand by when it comes to beauty, it is most definitely that the more natural your beauty routine is, the better. The reason: your body recognizes natural products as something it produces itself and in turn this stimulates the body over time to actually improve its own production. When it comes to chemicals, they can only replace the supplements needed, never actually stimulating the body to heal itself. This causes the body to slow down production as the supplement always gets replaced by chemicals.

Extracting aloe vera sap
Extracting aloe vera sap

This month I will be focusing on the amazing healing properties of the Aloe Vera. Here is how we put them to good use in the beauty industry:

Because it is so hydrating, it is beneficial for cracked and dry skin, in the form of gel, cream or even rich oil. As mentioned above, Aloe Vera assists the dry skin in such a way that with frequent use, the skin will start to produce more of its own moisture and in turn need less added moisture. This can be a permanent solution for the problem!

When it comes to healing, Aloe Vera firstly destroys bacteria and secondly forms a natural barrier on the skin. It is because of this dual action that it is helpful for frostbite, burns, insect bites, blisters and allergic reactions. It is also great for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis as it not only destroys bacteria, but also feeds the skin.

And if there is nothing wrong with your skin you can still use it as Aloe Vera keeps the skin flexible by giving oxygen to the cells, which in turn increases the strength as well as the elasticity of skin tissue. It is also a rich source of vitamin E and C that helps prevent aging, making you look healthier and younger   for longer.

Now who said there can’t be one answer for all our skin problems?

 

Enjoyed this? Please share... Email this to someonePrint this pageShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

The Stress Buster Massage

This month we are focusing on a treatment that is ever growing in its popularity and with great reason. Being a therapist myself I do not often get to go for pampering, so when I do, I make the most of it and the Stress Buster is just the way to do it!

 

Stress Buster Massage

Stress Buster Massage

 

 

The treatment starts on the back, being the area that the majority of us struggle with. It is where most of our stress manifests itself.   Our backs are tight, stiff, sensitive and full of knots. This is why a good 30min is spent on the back to make sure that the muscles are well worked and relaxed before the focus shifts a little bit higher to the neck and scalp.

It is important to note that the tension you feel in your neck can also find its origin in the tight muscles between the shoulder blades  and not necessarily in the neck it self. Once the back is relaxed the time spend on the neck is more effective. As we turn you around to comfortably relax for the second half of the treatment the weight of your body pressing down gives me as therapist the extra pressure needed to work even deeper into the neck, causing it to relax completely.

After working out all the knots and rubbing all those sore and tense muscles it is time to enjoy the final stages of your treatment. We end of with a scalp and foot massage. This is where pressure points are allocated and once stimulated through massage you can actually relax so deeply that most clients fall asleep. This is truly a sensation that needs to be felt and can not be described.

So next time you are at Elephant Plains Game Lodge be sure to book the ultimate relaxation massage and spoil yourself!

Atasja Woest

 

 

Enjoyed this? Please share... Email this to someonePrint this pageShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Skin care during the winter months

Winter is officially starting to show its colours out here in the bush. For those of you who will be visiting us in the next few weeks and for the rest of you at home, feeling the cold slipping in under the door, here are a view good tips on how to take care of your skin during the cold winter months.

  1. The first thing I notice as a therapist is how dry skin gets during the winter months.Go back to the basics; exfoliating before moisturising. Even the best moisturiser will not penetrate through dead skin, so soak in a warm bath at least once a week and make sure you give yourself a good scrub. Note that I said warm bath, as too much hot water can also dry out your skin.
  2.  Secondly you will need a richer moisturiser than the one you use during the summer months. This does not only apply for your body, but also your face. Getting a moisturiser that has good hydrating properties is just as important. We tend to drink less water during winter and our skin can use the extra hydration source.
  3. Another good tip is to cover up once you applied any moisturiser. The cold dry air tends to “steal” the moisture right back. Covering up gives it some time to penetrate.
  4. Protect your skin against the freezing dry wind. If and when you can help it, avoid the wind at all costs. If you are joining us on safari, wear protective clothing. Prevention is better than cure.
  5. Applying a layer of sunscreen on the still exposed areas is a good idea. The sunscreen is thicker than your standard moisturiser and will block out more of the cold air and keep your skin fresh and moist during your stay. Also remember that you can still get sunburn, even in winter time, so don’t take any chances!

If you are visiting us this winter, why not book a lovely massage at the African Health Spa. The massage oils we use will definitely help in moisturising your skin – leaving in smooth, supple and glowing!

Enjoyed this? Please share... Email this to someonePrint this pageShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

The TheraNaka Experience

 This month we are focusing on a treatment that is ever growing in its popularity at the African Health Spa and with good reason…

Being a therapist myself I do not often get to go for pampering, so when I do, I make the most of it and the TheraNaka Experience is just the way to do it!

The Theranaka Experience

The Theranaka Experience

The treatment starts on the back, being the area that the majority of us struggle with. It is where most of our stress manifests itself. Our backs are tight, stiff, sensitive and full of knots. This is why a good 30 minutes is spend, focusing on the back to make sure that the muscles are relaxed before the focus moves a little bit higher to the neck and sculp.

The tension you feel in your neck finds its origin in the tight muscles between the shoulder blades and not necessarily in the neck it self. Once these muscles have relaxed the time spend on the neck is more effective. As we turn you around to comfortably relax on your back for the second half of the treatment the weight of your body pressing down gives me as therapist the extra pressure needed to work even deeper in to the neck causing it to relax completely.

After working out all the knots and rubbing all those sore and tense muscles, it is time to enjoy the final stages of your treatment. We end of with a scalp and foot massage. This is where pressure points are allocated and once stimulated through massage, causing you to completely relax so deeply that most of my clients fall asleep at this stage. This complete relaxation is truly a sensation that needs to be experienced in order to truly understand!

I hope to welcome you to the Spa on your next visit to come and experience it for yourself!

 

Enjoyed this? Please share... Email this to someonePrint this pageShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter