What’s Your Go-To Sleep Remedy?

Healthy diet? We can do that. Exercise? We can do that. But a good night’s sleep? That’s the one “healthy” lifestyle choice that can be painfully elusive.

If 8 hours of rest have been hard to come by lately, there are plenty of options to help — and we don’t just mean prescriptions.

There are more and more “natural” options available, like aptly named Dream Water. This calorie-free beverage shot contains GABA (to help relax), Melatonin (to help induce sleep), and 5-HTPTryptophan (to help improve the quality of sleep).

What do you think? Would you try it? Have you already? Let us know!

Travel Tuesday: Spa Treatments to Fight Jet Lag

Medically referred to as desynchronosis, jet lag is a physiological condition which results from alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms after rapid long-distance transmeridian (east–west or west–east) travel.

Jet lag may last several days until one is fully adjusted to the new time zone, and a recovery rate of one day per time zone crossed is typical. The symptoms of jet lag can be quite varied, depending on the amount of time zone alteration, time of day and individual differences. They may include the following:

  1. Migraines and headaches
  2. Fatigue, irregular sleep patterns, Insomnia, grogginess, irritability
  3. Dehydration
  4. Body aches, swelling and pain
  5. Constipation or diarrhea

Luckily, spa treatments are a fabulous remedy for jet lag, so now you have the perfect excuse to head straight to your hotel spa after landing. Here’s our guide to the best jet lag spa treatment for you:

1. Migraines and Headaches:
The symptoms of migraine headaches are debilitating: stabbing head pain, nausea, stomach cramping and migraine auras. This can leave a sufferer feeling weak, tired, and depressed long after the migraine attack has subsided. While a migraine attack can last for days, the psychological aftermath can be perpetual. Migraine ranks in the top 20 of the world’s most disabling medical illnesses and about 36 million people in the United States suffer from migraines. There are numerous methods used to try and help ease the unbearable symptoms. Conventional medicine and prescription drugs offer little relief from the condition some people cannot rely on pills, like pregnant women. Many are turning to alternative methods of treatment in order to manage the pain. Massage therapy is often used to complement other traditional medical migraine treatments or other alternative treatments. Tense muscles and stress can aggravate migraine headaches. Visiting a massage therapist for a massage while a migraine is in progress can reduce muscle pain and tension.

2. Fatigue, insomnia, irritability:
There is a simple correlation between sleep and massage: insomnia is associated with a lack of serotonin and massage increases serotonin levels. Studies have demonstrated the necessity of serotonin for healthy sleep. Serotonin is a precursor to the body’s rendering of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone released by the brain to quiet and reset the part of the brain that directs your body to prepare for sleep. Many over-the-counter drugs have melatonin in them, but why not encourage your body’s own production? The chemistry of sleep is relevant to massage because massage can directly influence the body’s production of serotonin and, in turn, melatonin. Massage therapy can improve the quality of life by not only relieving the pain; it can also impact mood and induce positive sleeping patterns. By relieving the pain that keeps you up at night tossing and turning, your body will get the much needed time it craves to restore and to heal. Additionally, lowering anxiety and improving mood can help a person get their life back in order. Massage therapy offers both immediate results, as well as long term.

3. Dehydration
There are two ways to fight dehydration at the spa: one is to hydrate your through your skin with water treatments, the second is to infuse rejuvenating oxygen into dehydrated cells on a nuclear level. Water treatments: A Vichy Shower is a unique aquatic therapy that invigorates your body while laying flat under powerful water jets, inspired by treatments used in the French city, Vichy. Watsu, short for Water Shiatsu, is a massage performed in a warm, shallow pool.  The water gently cradles the guest so the massage therapist can work the full 360 degrees of your body and your skin reaps the benefits of being saturated in water throughout the entire treatment. Oxygen treatments: Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Therapy, which dissolves oxygen in the blood plasma and all body cells, tissues and fluids at up to 10 times normal concentration—high enough to sustain life with no blood at all. Oxygenating facials are also increasing in popularity, as oxygen continues to secure its reputation as the #1 skincare essential.

4. Body aches, swelling and pain:
Massage can eliminate muscle tension and improve joint mobility by stimulating the flow of synovial fluid. This also helps to free adhesions, break down scar tissue and decrease inflammation. As a result, massage can help to restore range of motion to stiff joints. Massage also brings in fresh nutrients and helps in purging the body of toxins accumulated due to long periods of stress and tension. It causes more oxygen to flow in the body, which helps the body to revive and rebuild itself. With this flow of fresh oxygen and nutrients to the entire system, the immune system is strengthened. Additionally, massage clears your mind of exaggerated anxiety and makes you capable of thinking with an unclouded mind. When you are bodily and mentally relaxed, you are capable of taking a more balanced and fresh perspective of your life situation.

Another spa treatment option to target swelling and aches and pains is Electro-lymphatic drainage (ELD), which uses gentle electric currents, massage, and heat to increase circulation and stimulation along the body’s lympathic pathways. The lymphatic system helps clear excess fluid from the cells and distributes powerful immune cells which work 24/7 to heal and repair your body. ELD treatment boosts immunity, relaxes the whole body and mind, reduce pain, evens skin tone, and increases energy.

Acupuncture was developed 3,000 years ago and is based on Taoist philosophy. Like the treatments above it focuses on energy meridians and permits the body to “heal itself.” It does involve inserting fine needles into key points of the body that relate to different organs in order to relieve muscular, neurological and arthritic problems, cure disease and relieve pain. Acupressure has been practiced in China for centuries and is believed to improve the flow of chi (energy) throughout the body. This massage releases muscle tension and promotes healing by applying pressure to “energy points” or “meridians” in the body. Pressure is applied to these points with the finger for a deep tissue feeling.

Cupping is a healing therapy that uses suction on the skin’s surface to “suck” stagnant blood from deep beneath the surface, mobilizing blood flow and delivering a range of benefits. Bottom line, it greatly improves circulation—the holy grail of spa benefits. Similarly, Gua Sha offers holistic healing, but is different in method and strength. Unlike the scraping technique of Gua Sha, traditional Ancient Chinese Cupping employs a glass dome that becomes a suction cup after a flash of fire. Scraping mobilizes blood just beneath the surface, while the mighty suction of cupping is able to stir up blood deeper within the body.

5. Constipation or diarrhea
The idea behind a colonic is that food enters the intestine and a lot of it doesn’t get flushed out (especially if you’ve overindulged on food and alcohol while on vacation), causing toxins to accumulate, which can result in illness. Especially in today’s world, where we’re breathing polluted air and consuming pesticides, our bodies are overwhelmed trying to get rid of it all. So a little “push” now and then from a colonic can really helps the digestive system do its job better. Colonics allow the nutrients and vitamins to be properly absorbed into the body again. If you have a sluggish colon (AKA are constipated often), a colonic gets the muscles moving, making your colon stronger and more effective at disposing healthy, solid waste. It is also believed that a clean colon helps your body fight disease, because instead of focusing on expelling built up toxins in the colon, it fights toxins elsewhere.



Massage Therapists: Your Sleep Gurus

Getting a bad night’s sleep is the worst. Having a bad night’s sleep every night is much worse. If you’ve ever spent a restless night awake, as you watch the minutes aggressively pass by, you have an idea of the pain associated with insomnia. Millions of Americans suffer from the sleep disorder and desperately look for ways to get to snoozeville. Medication and lifestyle changes are used to treat insomnia, but massage is a natural method to consider. There is a simple correlation between sleep and massage: insomnia is associated with a lack of serotonin and massage increases serotonin levels.

Studies have demonstrated the necessity of serotonin for healthy sleep. Serotonin is a precursor to the body’s rendering of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone released by the brain to quiet and reset the part of the brain that directs your body to prepare for sleep. Many over-the-counter drugs have melatonin in them, but why not encourage your body’s own production? The chemistry of sleep is relevant to massage because massage can directly influence the body’s production of serotonin and, in turn, melatonin.

“In the past I had worked with a client who had insomnia, neck and back pain and general tiredness for as long as he could remember. After committing himself to bi-weekly massage we were able to work through the muscle tightness and eventually he was able to finally get some sleep.” — Leigh Olander, Elixir Mind Body Massage in Denver, CO

In addition to sleep, serotonin also plays a role in mood, behavior, body temperature, physical coordination, and appetite. Massage makes you feel better AND helps you sleep. That’s chemistry that won’t keep you up at night.

“I always am amazed by how far massage reaches into my life, helping me physically, emotionally and spiritually. I sleep better, I work out more and it even makes me want to eat better.” — Heidi Winkel, The Spa at The Sporting Club at The Bellevue in Philadelphia, PA

Before you pop two Tylenol PMs, consider massage as a substance-free choice to treat insomnia. Every person’s body is different, but using a natural remedy to stimulate your body’s own processes can get your body back on the right track. (And hopefully it’s the fast track to sleep.)

Maybe all the petting is why dogs have no problem getting their beauty sleep.



Travel Tuesday: Feeling Jet Lagged? The Spa at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara Can Help

Our ability to be across the country in less than six hours is quite extraordinary. Whether we are visiting relatives or taking a dip in a mud bath in South America – we are traveling more than ever. There are some downsides: TSA’s 3 fluid ounce liquid restrictions, security lines, the strip-searching of unsuspecting elderly women, and jet lag. Switching time zones can really throw off your sleeping routine. The Spa at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara has  introduced new eco-conscious signature treatments that have just the cure. These treatments include H. Gillerman Organic products. Hope Gillerman is a leading holistic practitioner and aromatic healer.

The four massages are intended to specifically address health problems brought on by a stressful lifestyle, such as jet lag and flu symptoms. Enjoy all these treatments with spa’s oceanfront views that are sure to relax anyone, even after driving in LA traffic.

The spa’s four organic aromatherapy massages include:

Pure Breathing: Helps you ward off cold and flu symptoms with a Sinus Remedy (eucalyptus, orange, petitgrain), which clears breathing passageways, decongests, and relieves swollen glands. The Chest Remedy (spruce, fir, cardamom) reduces aches and pains, allergies and fatigue.

True Relaxation: Induces deep muscle relaxation and eases stress  with a Stress Remedy (lavender, tangerine, sandalwood), which soothes the nerves, while the Muscle Remedy (basil, birch, vetiver) relieves muscle pain and chronic tension.

Natural Rest: Helps you get back into your regular sleep routine. The Travel Remedy (litsea, cedarwood, palmarosa) relieves jet lag and helps the body adjust to seasonal shifts. The Sleep Remedy (bitter orange, clary sage, lavender) helps with sleep quality and insomnia.

Clear Mind: Improves mental focus (so toss out that Smart Water!). The Tension Remedy (peppermint, lavender) relieves headaches and revives mental focus and alertness. Jaw Clenching Remedy (chamomile, vetiver, patchouli) calms mental activity, allowing one to slow down and shift gears to help alleviate tense facial muscles and night grinding.

The eight H. Gillerman Organics exclusive formulas  are made from the highest concentrations of the finest quality, unprocessed, undiluted, unaltered, organic essential oils from around the world. They help in aiding the natural healing process by acting as probiotics and eliminating toxins. The entire H. Gillerman Organics line is produced and use environmentally-friendly packaging.

Take these products home with you after your treatment with their line of retail products. All eight remedies are packaged into two options: 100% essential oils applied to prescribed points on the body throughout the day; or a roll-on body oil blend applied directly to areas of discomfort. Both  can double as personal scents or even can be used as soothing bath oils.

Spa Week and Keri Glassman want to send you to enjoy this luxurious resort – ENTER TO WIN 4 NIGHTS HERE plus spa treatments and more!

5 Food Cures from Joy Bauer’s Bestselling Book

By now, you know all about the Fast Track to Health Giveaway to The Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge and the amazing health and fitness programs and activites, not to mention all of that luxurious spa-ing. And you’ve also been introduced to America’s favorite nutritionist, the lovely Joy Bauer.

Now get a sneak peek into Joy’s totally revamped, New York Times Bestseller, Food Cures. Inside is power-packed with food cure recommendations for some of the most common, obxnoxious and painful conditions millions of americans face evryday, like arthritis, osteoporosis, migranes and more. Along with the health and wellness vacation of a lifestime, one lucky winner will receive Food Cures and an at-home nutritional plan custom-made by Joy. Five lucky runner-ups will also receive Food Cures so they can start getting healthier with every bite. And for everyone who is just dying to know all about the yummy food remedies inside Joy’s book, we have picked some great excerpts and food reccomendations for you to start to incorporate into your healthy lifestyle regime:

1. Beautiful Skin

“Skin is built from the inside out. Day to day and year to year, skin draws its healthy glow from good nutrition… Nutrition can help minimize these problems and enhance your skin’s natural beauty.” (Page 63)

  • Improve Collagen Vitamin C: guava, oranges, bell peppers, strawberries and broccoli
  • Anti-Aging Vitamin E: almonds, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, avocados, and spinach
  • Fight Sun Damage Selenium: Brazil nuts, tuna, brown rice, and whole wheat bread
  • Promote Healing Beta-Carotene: sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, butternut squash and pumpkin

2. Healthy Hair

“It is estimated that we each lose about 100 hairs a day. The actual number you’ll lose on any  given day depends on how abundant and healthy your follicles are, what medications you’re taking, and many other factors, some are beyond your control.” (Page 81)

  • Promote Healthy Follicles B Vitamins- Foliate, B6, B12: chickpeas, wild salmon, soy milk, lentils and spinach
  • Jump-Start Growth Iron-Rich Proteins: clams, oysters, shrimp, egg yolks, lentils and black-eyed peas
  • Repair Hair Zinc: lobster, ostrich, oysters, pine nuts, peanuts, fat-free yogurt, and wheat germ

3. Memory

“Memory depends on your total number of brain cells and their connections, smooth flow of communication between them and their overall health.” (Page 273)

  • Increase Blood Circulation Antioxidants: spinach, kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard, turnip greens , collard greens,
  • Fight Age Defects Anthocyanin: blackberries, black currant, blueberries, eggplant, raspberries and cherries Quercetin: onions, kale, leeks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, apricots, and hot chili peppers
  • Plump Your Mind “Neuron’s outer membranes are teeming with DHA and it’s this fattu lining yhay allows for smooth conductivity of brain signals.” Omega-3 Fatty Acids: wild salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, ground flaxseed, walnuts and soybeans

4. Migraines

“We know from brain scans that during migraine headaches, there is increased bloodflow in the brain stem and the cerebral cortex. Inflamitory chemicals, such as substance P and other substances are released; and there changes in levels of brain chemecials called neurotransmitters…The main lessons are that migraines are physiologically complez and that they aboslueltuy are not “all in the mind” of the sufferer.” (Page 324)

  • Staying Hydrated Liquids: Water, herbal tea, skim milk, club soda
  • Reduce Inflammation Omega-3 Fatty Acids: olive oil, rainbow trout, oysters, chia seeds, flaxseed oil and walnut oil
  • Keep Your Energy Up Riboflavin: lean beef, whole gran cereal, eggs, mushrooms, asparagus and broccoli
  • Fight Menstrual Migraines Magnesium: pumpkin seeds, spinach, Swiss chard, amaranth, sunflower seeds, quinoa, potatoes and artichoke hearts

5. Insomnia

“If insomnia occurs at least three nights a week for a month or longer, it is considered chronic. At this point, lack of sleep becomes more than just an annoyance – it can be life altering. Almost all cases of chronic insomnia can be traced to a medical condition, lifestyle habit, or psychological preoccupation.” (Page 365)

  • Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, Large Meals, Late Night Liquids
  • Stock Up on Sleep-Inducing High-Quality Carbs and Tryptophan: bananas, grapefruit, plums, mangoes, grapes, turkey, beets, broccoli, corn, spinach, quinoa, brown rice, yogurt, pumpkin, celery, peas

To find out more about Food Cures, visit JoyBauer.com or grab your copy at Amazon.com. And don’t forget to enter The Fast Track to Health Giveaway!