September Special: 15 % off of Postnatal Massage


September will be devoted to Holistic Postnatal Health. We will be offering 15% off of all in-house postnatal massage sessions. This massage treatment combines Swedish massage, gentle lymph drainage and stretching with essential oils to help new mothers heal from childbirth and grow into their new bodies. This is best for women that are 4-6 weeks to 3 months after childbirth. 

Want to have an even more relaxing and rejuvenating experience? Add a foot soak to your postnatal session for $20.00 extra. You will leave feeling ready to take on those sleepless nights….

Be sure check back on the blog  for other holistic postnatal wellness offerings and education this month. 

Starting with All-Natural Skincare

Heidi of Heidi Ella Wellness and Massage recently co-led a workshop on using all-natural skincare products that you can make at home. In this workshop, the attendees learned about nutrition for optimal skin health and the hidden ingredients in your average skincare products that contain (among other things) hormone disruptors, carcinogens and immune suppressing ingredients. She taught the group how to make a gentle oil-based skin cleanser, a refreshing facial toner and a rejuvenating skin moisturizer. These products contained only all-natural plant-based oils and no preservatives or harsh chemicals.

Oil-based skin cleanser? Homemade products? I was intrigued. How would this work? Was it cost effective? How long do the products last? I sat down with Heidi and asked her about her experience with switching to all-natural skincare.

Buying all-natural skincare products often turns people off because of the price. How does the process of buying the ingredients stack up to conventional skincare products one could get from the drugstore or a large chain store?

Making your own skincare products at home is a very economical alternative to buying ready-made products from a natural food store or website. The initial cost of getting the ingredients can seem expensive, but when you cost out each use it is as expensive as conventional skincare items. I recommend sharing the cost with a friend who is also interested in making their own all-natural skincare products. I found great prices for the oils needed on and through Mountain Rose Herbs. I found the recipes on Jenni Raincloud’s wonderful blog. There are many recipes for all skin-types.

The first thing that jumps out at me is “oil-based cleanser”. Cleaning with oil? How does that work? Does it work for oily skin?

Many people worry about the effectiveness of oil-based cleansers at first. But it is a “like with like” philosophy. The oil works to gently remove the skin’s own oils and impurities without stripping the skin like soap-based cleansers. You also gently massage the face for longer than a traditional cleanser. This helps to encourage the collagen in the skin to make the skin more elastic and supple. I am always amazed at how soft and rosy the skin is afterwards. The oil-based cleanser works for all types of skin: oily, dry, sensitive or combination.

Is there any caveats you would offer to someone looking to switch from conventional skincare products to all-natural?

Yes. The only one I would offer is that it may take time for the body to adjust to the new skincare routine. As with anything, the body’s reaction to soap-based cleansers and harsh chemical toners will be different than an oil-based cleanser and natural moisturizers. Your skin will need time to acclimate to the new products and learn to produce less oils/protective measures. If you notice a change, be patient and continue using the product for at least a week. For others the transition may be much more smooth. It depends on several factors: age, skin sensitivity, etc. I have really enjoyed using the all-natural skincare products. My skin is smoother. I have noticed a remarkable disappearance of sunspots. And as someone who has experienced my fair share of sun, this is a pleasant change. I would highly recommend switching to anyone.

Will you be holding another workshop anytime soon?

Yes. Elizabeth and I will be holding another workshop in October. We will be discussing nutrition for skin health and all-natural skincare. We will also be making a selection of skincare products for you to bring home and try for yourself. (Oil-based Cleanser, Facial Toner and Moisturizer) The workshop with be held in October. Call The Wellness Center for more information.


Recipe of the Month: DIY Natural Sunscreen

As Summer winds down and we prepare for cooler temps, we may forget to be as diligent about sun protection. But using sunscreen is no less important in daily life. This recipe provides you with an easy, safe and effective sun screen that is free of harsh chemicals and/or additives.

  • 1/2 c jojoba oil
  • 1/4c shea butter
  • 1/4 c beeswax
  • 2 tbsp of non-nano zinc oxide
  • 1 tsp carrot see oil
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil

Place all ingredients but zinc oxide in metal bowl. Place bowl over saucepan with water on medium heat (bowl should not be touching water in saucepan). Warm gently until all ingredients are melted. Slowly incorporate the zinc oxide in the warmed mixture. (Use mask as not to inhale the zinc oxide dust.) Once the mixture is well incorporated, transfer to air tight jar. This product should be good to use for up to 6 months. It will need to be reapplied following swimming and activity.


Essential Oil of the Month: Melaleuca

Melaleuca, or tea tree oil, is an essential oil from Australia. It can be used for cleansing the skin, purifying the air and helping support the immune system. You can be add it to witch hazel and aloe vera gel to create a soothing facial toner. Melaleuca can also be applied directly to the skin in small amounts to help with blemishes. This oil’s anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties make it the ideal essential oil to support the skin.


15ml for $22.80 (10% off the retail price)

Be sure to stop into The Wellness Center and pick some up today! Ask Heidi or Janet for more uses. This versatile oil will help you have clearer, healthier skin.

Healthy, Vibrant Summer Skin

Skin 101

Your skin is the largest organ in the body. It is comprised of three layers: epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. The epidermis is the outermost layer which is a protective barrier to outside environment. The dermis contains the hair follicles and sweat glands. The lowest layer, the hypodermis, is made up of fatty and connective tissues. All of the layers work together to provide: temperature and fluid regulation, protection against infectious agents, respiration and elimination.

Common Skin Issues During Summer

Summertime presents many challenges for your skin. From burns to rashes to stings, a little bit of prevention goes a long way to a happy, healthy Summer.

Sun burn is damage caused by the UVA and UVB rays of the sun. These rays penetrate the layers of the skin and can cause symptoms ranging from a mild redness to painful burning and blistering. This damage can cause larger problems that may lead to premature aging and saggy and several types of skin cancers.

Rashes during the Summer can be caused by contact to allergens, heat or friction. Avoiding obvious allergens such as poison ivy and oak can be relatively simple with some precautions like wearing protective clothing and staying on clearly marked trails. It becomes more difficult when it comes to contact dermatitis caused by an unknown allergen. Chlorine, sun lotions, bug sprays, etc. may be a source of rashes. It is best to look for products with natural ingredients and try only one product at a time. When in doubt do a skin test (placing a small amount of the product on the inside of the elbow and wait 48 hours) before committing to a product. Heat and humidity can cause rashes if you spend an excessive amount of time outdoors on a hot day. Be sure to take breaks to avoid getting overburdened. Friction rashes happen when one part of the body rubs against another. Lotions, powders and wicking clothing can help reduce friction to prevent rashes.

Insect bites have become a hot topic this year. From Lyme to Zika, people are concerned that bug bites have gone from nuisance to deadly. Precautions against getting bitten in the first place are very important. There are many safe and effective natural bug sprays on the market now. Reapplication is key, as any spray is only as effective as your use of it. And don’t scratch. As hard as it is, scratching spreads the irritant under the skin and can introduce infection.

Promoting Healthy Skin

So what can you do to help protect your skin in the Summer? The number one thing is prevention. This means applying sun lotions and bug sprays as directed. Wearing clothes that protect you from the sun is also an easy way to keep your skin healthy.

Proper hydration will keep your skin healthy throughout the Summer as well. It is very easy to lose body moisture in the heat and humidity. This leaves your skin loose and lacking in elasticity. Dehydration also taxes many organ systems such as lymphatic, urinary and cardiovascular. Beyond water, consuming hydrating foods like fresh fruits and vegetables and limiting salt intake can help you stay hydrated.

Bloating/swelling is a main concern for many people in the Summer. Unknown food allergies and sensitivities may be the culprit in many case. Heat and humidity also contribute to swelling through causing widespread inflammation in the cells.

Self-care for Daily Skin Health

So besides prevention, what can you do to help your skin during the Summer? Daily self-care massage can be part of your routine. In the Ayurvedic tradition, daily self-massage or abhyanga, is an important ritual for keeping healthy, vibrant skin. Click here for a tutorial and more discussion on the benefits of abhyanga.

Dry brushing can also help stimulate the skin’s elasticity and drainage of the lymphatic system. Be sure to use a dry brush and always work towards the heart (up the extremities towards the body). Click here for a tutorial on dry brushing. 

Checking your health and beauty products you use daily is another easy way to make sure you are getting the best for your skin. Many conventional products contain ingredients that may dry and damage the skin cells. Be sure to check out the Skin Deep database of the Environmental Working Group to check the ingredients of your products.