Spring is in the air!

We are already well into spring, so here is six simple ways to boost your health and get your body back on track after the cold winter months.

Spring Blossoms

Spring Blossoms

A Berry Boost

Add a cup of berries, be it blueberries, blackberries or strawberries to your diet everyday and load up on antioxidants. Not only do they taste great, but they also do wonders for your skin. Berries help prevent tissue damage and also reduce the risks of age-related illnesses.

Ground Yourself

It is time to move from the warm, cozy indoors of winter, to the sunny, spring outdoors. Improve your stress levels by getting stuck into your garden. Just putting your hands in the soil is already grounding and can help relieve physical and mental stress.

Change your Exercise Routine

Pick an outdoor activity, be it for yourself or the whole family. It can be anything from hiking, to playing with the kids. Just get moving and do it outdoors. They say a change is as good as a holiday!

Mixed Berries

Mixed Berries

Take a Break

Use your vacation time to relax and unwind by staying in one place and really settling in during your next holiday! It helps lower your blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones and causes for an overall healthier you.

Go Lite

Give hard alcohol a skip and go for light, chilled alcoholic beverages. A sangria, cold beer or wine spritzer are all light, but refreshing. In moderation, alcohol can protect you against heart diseases. Moderation is defined by one or two drinks daily.

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

Be Good to Your Eyes

With the nice, warmer weather we are spending more time outside. Remember to wear protective eyewear to protect you eyes against ultraviolet A and B rays. It also helps to prevent wrinkles around the eyes.

Atasja Roberts – Elephant Plains African Health Spa

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Detox – A key factor to our health

When we hear the word detox, the first thing that comes to mind is lots of water and good, healthy food. Indeed these are important, but let’s take a moment to go into the details…

Bananas

Bananas

Water

The correct amount of water to consume daily is 2 liters. A little bit more than that is still acceptable, but a lot more can cause problems. When consuming too much water, your body not only uses it to flush out impurities, but also starts to flush out important nutrients that do not get enough time to be absorbed by the body. Balance is the key. Not too much, not too little. The next thing of importance is the type of water we consume. I advise you to use a good water filter. A good filter will help eliminate most toxins found in our tap water. Bottled water is also a great option, keeping in mind that this might work out expensive in the long run. It is also important to check the “use by” dates on the bottle. Good water means good vitality.

Good, healthy food

Immediately you would think about fruit and vegetables. You are a hundred percent correct: the fresher, the better. While on detox, the best fruit to eat is bananas – yes you read right! The reason for this is because toxins are stored in the fat deposits in your body. Eating a fruit that is lower in sugar will force your body to rather use fat stores than burn sugar, thereby burning the fat that is storing the toxins. Vegetables are always a good option, but focus on how you prepare your food. Again, it is the quality of food that is important, not the quantity. The more raw the vegetable, the more nutrients it supplies. Another factor to keep in mind when choosing your food is its PH level once the food is inside your body. The PH levels are important, as toxins are acidic and the human body runs on a slightly alkaline level of 7.3-7.4. The more toxic your body, the more acidic it becomes. To help your body, boost it with some alkaline food!

Fresh Vegetables

Fresh Vegetables

It is important to note that food that tastes acidic is not always acidic and the same goes for alkaline tasting food. Take for instance dairy products: they seem alkaline, but are actually acid-forming. Lemons, limes and oranges seem acidic, but are alkaline-forming once in the human body. Try to get a list from the internet before your next trip to the store.

There is so much to think about when it comes to your health. Starting at a point and working from there, adapting your lifestyle little by little is the best way to go about it. My advice is to first learn a bit more about your body and its needs. Start with a good detox and take it from there. Especially before the summer season starts!

Atasja Roberts – Elephant Plains African Health Spa

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Pampering at its best!

With our fast pace, ever changing lives we are privileged enough to live a world of revolving beauty therapy. Pampering yourself has reached a new high and we are loving it!

Not all treatments find their origins in the creative present. We are always looking back into history and the sometimes forgotten past in search of tried and tested treatments. These are often slightly changed, improved and rediscovered.

Our Ultra Deluxe Massage is the perfect example of the past merging with the future.

Wooden dumbbells have been used for centuries in some cultures for hunting and in others for preparing food. The way they comfortably fit into your hand got the Spa world buzzing. They have now been transformed, resized and sculptured to become the perfect body tissue manipulation tool.

The experience is pure bliss! The ever changing feeling as the massage progresses, switching between the soft feel of skin, to the firm pressure provided by the dumbbells, makes this a wonderfully relaxing treatment. Next time you visit the lodge, spoil yourself with an Ultra Deluxe Massage at the African Health Spa, and see what all the hype is about…

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Eyes – the windows to our souls

Our eyes are one of the hardest working parts of our bodies, the windows to our souls. They provide the face with expressions and are often described as one of the most attractive features of the face. It is therefore of utmost importance to look after the eyes and the skin surrounding them. For sparkling eyes and teeth, fluoride is an essential part of your diet. Foods rich in fluoride include seafood, watercress, spinach, cabbage, egg yolk and oats. The skin under the eyes is thinner than the rest of the face and that’s why this area is prone to dryness and crow’s feet (fine lines). It is important to use a good eye cream, which plumps out the tissue. Care must be taken however, not to apply too much as this may cause swelling and irritation. Always apply the eye cream/gel with the ring finger, in a gently tapping movement to prevent stretching the skin. When performing a facial massage it is also important to work gently in this delicate area. Slight pressure on the inside corners of the eyes relieve tired eyes and tension, while circular movements on the temples help to relieve headaches.

There are also individual eye treatments that can be offered at a spa to improve the appearance of the face e.g. eyebrow shaping, eyelash and brow tinting. The eyes are the focal point of the face and the natural shape of the eyebrows normally enhances this feature. The eyebrows provide protection for the eyes and the shape should not be altered dramatically, but just slightly improved by plucking or waxing the stray hairs. These treatments will enhance the general appearance of the eyes and provide an alternative to mascara for those clients who are very sensitive to eye make-up.

The face is like a mirror, giving a clear indication of the general health of the body. Therefore we offer different eye treatments at the African Health Spa, in order to maintain a groomed appearance of the face.

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Body Polish (Exfoliation)

A body polish is a popular treatment that exfoliates and hydrates your skin, leaving it smooth and soft. This treatment can be compared to a facial for the body. It is a great way to keep your skin healthy and beautiful. Body scrubs also have skin-nourishing ingredients and chemical exfoliants, to dissolve the intra-cellular “glue” that holds the cells together.

Most body scrubs have the following main ingredients:

  • An exfoliant – this is an abrasive material like salt, sugar, rice bran or apricot kernels that rubs away the dead skin cells on the surface, revealing the softer, younger cells below
  • Oil – this holds the mixture together, making application easier
  • Fragrance – the fragrance usually comes from essential oils

You can make your own scrub at home, but exfoliation treatments at a Spa are more thorough and tend to leave your skin softer, because the therapist works longer and gets to the areas that you can’t easily reach, for instance your back. Never use a body scrub on your face, where the skin is thinner and more delicate. Body scrubs are designed for the tougher skin on your body.

You can also combine a body polish with a massage. The body polish is stimulating, whereas the massage calms you down. After exfoliating your body, your skin is also able to easily absorb moisture applied during the massage. Our spa offers the African Revitalizing Body Experience that combines a body polish, full body massage and a body wrap for the ultimate in relaxation. Come and spoil yourself at the African Health Spa!

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Reflexology

Relax and unwind at our African Health Spa

Relax and unwind at our African Health Spa

Reflexology, also known as zone therapy, is a natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears. Their referral areas, within zone related areas, correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body.

Through application of pressure on the reflexes without the use of tools , crèmes or lotions, the feet being the primary area of application, reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body.

Reflexology divides the body into ten equal vertical zones, five on the left and five on the right. The zones run through the body from top to bottom. The zones are an exact map of the body parts, glands and organs of the body aligned on the feet, hands and ears.

Another tenet of reflexology is the belief that practitioners can relieve stress and pain in other parts of the body through the manipulation of the feet. One claimed explanation is that the pressure received in the feet may send signals that ‘balance’ the nervous system or release chemicals such as endorphins, or the body’s natural cortisone, that reduce stress and relief aching muscles.

Reflexology was originally a Chinese concept of meridian therapy and dates back to over 5000 years ago. It has since been practiced all over the world.

Benefits of a Reflexology Treatment

  • Promotes relaxation
  • Increases circulation
  • Balances the nervous system
  • Relieve blockages in the body’s natural energy flow
  • De-stresses the body
  • Relieves aching muscles

At the African Health Spa we practice reflexology in order to relax and relieve the body from everyday stresses. Come and visit the spa for a relaxing Foot Soother, during which you will experience the benefits of reflexology. The treatment starts with a foot exfoliation and massage using aromatherapy oils. A reflexology foot massage completes the treatment, leaving you relaxed, balanced and revitalized!

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