What is IPL? It is short for “intense pulsed light” and it describes a class of devices that deliver high-intensity light for a very short duration at frequencies easily absorbed by red blood cells (hemoglobin) or melanin.
The idea behind IPL is that when high intensity light is absorbed by the hemoglobin inside dilated or broken blood vessels, it can reduce the appearance of redness or rosacea. When it is absorbed by the melanin in freckles or age spots, it can lighten them – in some cases, it can even remove them.
IPL is also claimed to improve the look of one’s skin by stimulating collagen, which is responsible for the skin’s tightness and strength.
Yeah, But Does IPL Work?
Worldwide, each year, women and men spend over US $110.3 billion on beauty and skin care treatment products. Given the amount of money spent on skin care, one has to ask how effective are these products and treatments? Most skin care products are not regulated by the FDA because they only make beauty or skin improvement claims, not medical or health claims. However, this doesn’t mean they are ineffective or a waste of money – many are quite effective.
IPL, on the other hand, does make medical and health claims, so it is an FDA approved treatment for certain conditions and problems — our Lumenis M22™ is an FDA approved device; further, because these treatments result in improved skin appearance, IPL qualifies as a beauty treatment product because it improves skin texture, tone and color.
Specific Claims and Evidence
Does IPL Lighten “Sun Spots”, “Age Spots”, And Brown Blotches?
- According to Harvard’s Skin Care and Repair Special Health Report, IPL can effectively diminish sun and brown age spots, freckles, red spots, and dilated blood vessels; additionally, these effects appear to be long lasting, according to the University of Maryland’s Medical Center.
- According to the University of Utah’s Health Care site, IPL can effectively diminish freckling and skin discoloration caused by sun damage and compounded by aging.
- According to The University of Texas’s Medical Branch at Galveston, IPL is “especially effective” in treating mottling (uneven dark spotting) and dyschromias (hyperpigmentation) caused by sun damage and inflammation from skin injury; additionally, according to a 2008 California State Science Fair project conducted at the University of Southern California under the direction of Dr. Verbin, IPL can reduce a scar’s hyperpigmentation to more “aesthetically pleasing” levels.
Is IPL Effective In Removing Hair?
- A recent review of “Current Trends in Intense Pulsed Light” by Dr. David J. Goldberg in the Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology (Jun 2012; 5(6): 45–53) found that IPL “can be used to treat unwanted hair in a variety of anatomic locations,” but its effectiveness varies with both hair color and size: IPL works better on coarse, dark hair rather than on light, fine hair, and it is typically ineffective on blond hair.
- According to The University of Texas’s Medical Branch at Galveston, recent advancement in IPL technology have resulted in these devices having increased hair removal effectiveness.
Can IPL Stimulate Collagen?
According to the same review of “Current Trends in Intense Pulsed Light” in the Journal of Clinical & Aesthetic Dermatology, IPL has been found to trigger a cytokine reaction in the skin which in turn stimulates the formation of new collagen I, III, and elastin. Because wrinkle reducing collagen creams ‘are a waste of money’, say scientists, this cytokine reaction triggering property makes IPL the only technology currently available that can slow the age related loss of collagen; further, this benefit could be combined with Botox for even better anti-aging results.
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A Spa Massage is One of the Best Natural Jet Lag Cures Around
After a long flight the body can get swollen or stiff from sitting for long hours. To reset your body clock and ease stiff and sore muscles, skip the sleeping pills and caffeine and opt instead for a spa massage.
A soothing massage, especially one with essential oils, will help relax your nervous system and recover the body’s internal balance.
Reducing fatigue and stimulating circulation will allow your body’s internal clock to naturally adjust to its new time zone.
To cure jet lag, try one of these two recovery spa massages: reflexology or a aromaScape massage. Reflexology targets the central nervous system and pineal gland which produces the melatonin needed for healthy sleep-wake cycles.
AromaScape massage uses essential oils with a flowing Swedish massage to soothe and strengthen the mind and body. Inhaling essential oils effects the limbic system which in turn regulates heart rate, stress level, blood pressure, digestion, and immune system.
In addition to getting a spa massage, be sure to stay well hydrated and you’ll be back to normal in no time.
Regular massage therapy treatments can help overcome stress and tension, however, not all massages are created equal. Each massage modality targets something different, so it’s no surprise if you’re left wondering: which massage is best?
Whether you need superficial relief, have chronic back pain, or just need to relax your mind and body, chances are there’s a massage therapy more appropriate over another. We came up with some tips to wipe out the guesswork so you can easily choose the best massage for your needs.
Which Massage is Best
If your back is very tense and feels hard and stiff like concrete..we suggest: Reflexology, Hot Stone, or AromaScape Massage.
Since massage works best the body is already relaxed, excessive pounding may do more harm than good when the body is overly stressed and tense. These gentle treatments will help ease the nervous system to help the body relax.
– Reflexology is gentle treatment applied to the feet and legs to restore balance to the body, mind, and spirit.
– Hot Stone Massage incorporates heated cobble stones to induce deep relaxation. The stones are glided over the body and placed at certain points to literally melt away stress and tension. The heat has a calming effect on the nervous system.
– AromaScape Massage combines aromatherapy with massage therapy to relax and calm the nervous system and entire body. Healing essential oils of your choosing are inhaled through vapors.
If you play sports regularly and have specific problem areas…we suggest: Deep Tissue Massage.
Deep Tissue Massage works to release chronic tension with deep palpating and kneading slow strokes and deep finger pressure across the grain of the muscle to rework stiff tissues that lead to chronic stiffness and tension. It’s corrective and therapeutic treatment.
If you work at a computer all day and your shoulders, neck and upper back are chronically sore…we suggest: Swedish Massage.
Swedish Massage uses gentle long flowing movements in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart, thereby increasing blood circulation. Additionally, Swedish Massage increases oxygen flow in the blood, releases various toxins from the muscles, stretches ligaments and tendons, and stimulates and soothes the nervous system. We highly recommend this massage for stress management.
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Need a little recovery time from holiday eating and drinking? Spa treatments designed to warm you up and give you a winter detox cleanse may be just what you and your skin craves post-holidays.
Holiday treats like sugar cookies, heaping cups of hot cocoa, and cocktails combined with late nights can actually dry out your skin leaving it fatigued and craving some serious recovery time. Make haste and rest easy knowing these relaxing –and warming–full body detox spa treatments not only relieve you of that winter chill, but also revive and rejuvenate lackluster skin giving you back your healthy glow.
Far Infrared Sauna – Bask in the warmth of a Far Infrared Sauna while your body heats up from the inside out. Meditate, read a magazine, or just imagine yourself reaping the benefits of hot yoga without the yoga.
Coffee Break Mud Wrap – Let the earthy & energizing aromas of black silt clay and coffee arabica awaken your senses as you cozy up in a heated body wrap that exfoliates while drawing out impurities.
Hot Stone Massage – Stones are heated up and rubbed along the body to melt away any and all tension. Combine a Hot Stone Massage with an Infrared Sauna session and a Coffee Break Mud Wrap for the ultimate NYC winter spa treatment package.
AromaScape Massage – Healing essential oils such as Eucalyptus, Juniper berries, Geranium, and Lavender are used together with warmed stones to take your body and mind on a relaxing journey through the senses.
You don’t have to wait until Valentine’s Day to indulge in a relaxing couples massage or couples spa treatment. Instead, schedule your next date night at the spa!
Bring your date to the spa for a fun and relaxing activity to enjoy before or after dinner!
Popular Couples Spa Treatments include:
Couples Swedish Massage
Couples AromaScape Massage
Couples Shiatsu Massage
Spa Pedicure (Basic, Bamboo Scrub, Sakura)
Start your date night side by side with a relaxing couples massage in our serenely decorated treatment room. Whether it’s with the long flowing movements of the Swedish massage, soothing scents of the AromaScape massage, or the healing pressure of the Shiatsu massage, you’re both sure to relax and feel pampered together.
After your treatment, decompress in the Tranquility Lounge or head over to our NYC Nail Spa for a deluxe pedicure of your choosing. Sit side by side while sipping Japanese green tea or houjicha, and breathe easy knowing you’ve achieved date night glory!
What other tried and true date night activities have you discovered?
Our NYC Men’s Spa offers a variety of services specially catered to men’s skin care and spa needs.
Since 2005, we’ve been offering men’s services such as manicure and pedicure, massages, facials, eyelash perm, eyelash and eyebrow tinting, waxing, IPL hair removal, and more.
We are conveniently located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan across from Rockefeller Plaza, making it an ideal place for a lunchtime spa break or to wind down after work.
Our goal is to provide a memorably relaxing and rejuvenating experience for all.
Here’s an example of what to expect during a visit to Shizuka New York Day Spa:
Once stepping out of the elevator and into our tranquil “zen-like” spa setting, clients are immediately greeted by the sound of flowing water and the faint scent of jasmine, cucumber, and ylang ylang in the air. After checking in with our friendly staff, clients are invited to change into a Japanese robe and slippers for facials and massages or are escorted into the nail spa or tranquility lounge to await treatments. Fresh flowers and traditional Japanese items enhance the spa’s neutral décor helping you feel relaxed and miles away from the bustling city streets below. After treatments, clients are served a special blend of Japanese tea and rice crackers to further relax and regroup before departing.
Here’s what a few of our clients are saying about our NYC Men’s Spa:
“I had severe neck pain for the past 3 weeks and she totally cured me [with a 50min. Deep Tissue Massage]! I’ll definitely be back!”
My facial was absolutely wonderful. It was relaxing and deeply cleansing. I left feeling completely relaxed and polished for a dinner that evening”.
“I come in for a men’s pedicure at least once a month. The staff is always so accommodating and the service is exceptional”.
“Best eyelash perm in the city”.
Are you a NYC Men’s Spa client? If so, how was your recent spa experience? We love hearing from you!
Soaking in a tub of hot mineral water relaxes the body and soothes nerves, and is also believed to heal diseases, as well as common aches and pains.
Balneotherapy, or treatment of diseases with baths, has been enjoyed by Japanese for centuries as evidenced by the thousands of onsens or bath houses that exist there. Traditionally, most onsens occur outdoors on top of naturally occurring hot spring water reserves. Outdoor onsens allow the visitor to have a quiet soak while communing with nature with views of mountains, forests, or the sea.
Japanese and foreigners alike flock to onsens year-round as places of refuge from a hectic city life, a way to spend quality time with family and friends, or just to feel rejuvenated by the water’s active mineral content.
You can create your very own onsen experience at home by adding onsen bath salts to hot bath water. Salts can be purchased at any Japanese grocery store or market and may be lightly scented to resemble a region’s onsen experience.
Read our related blog post for more bath ideas: The Art of the Bath
Every now and then a quick cat nap can do wonders to boost energy and reset the body and mind. Along the same lines, a quick spa treatment can be just what you need to rest and recharge amidst a hectic schedule.
Check out these popular Express Spa treatments below:
A single color manicure or pedicure includes cuticle care, foot exfoliation, buffing/color, and moisturizing. The sugar scrub and & bamboo scrub treatments include additional hand and foot exfoliation and light massage.
Basic Manicure – 20 min.
Basic Pedicure – 35 min.
Sugar Scrub Manicure – 30 min.
Bamboo Scrub Pedicure – 45 min.
Massages are typically enjoyed at 50 or 80 minute increments but we also offer shorter versions for 25 and 35 minutes–perfect for anyone new to massage therapy.
Swedish – 25 min. & 35 min.
Shiatsu – 25 min. & 35 min.
Reflexology (Foot massage) – 25 min. & 35 min.
Deep Tissue – 35 min.
Omedeta (Maternity) – 25 min.
This full body exfoliation treatment sloughs off dead skin cells leaving your skin soft and supple.
Body Scrub – 20 min.
Our most basic NYC spa facial incorporates Shizuka New York Day Spa’s all-natural skin care products and includes cleansing, exfoliation, and extraction.
Express Facial – 30 min.
These facials incorporate GentleWaves®, a facial rejuvenation treatment that uses LED lights to shrink pores, fine lines and wrinkles, and stimulate collagen production.
GentleWaves® LED Facial Rejuvenation – 30 min.
Collagen Boost Facial – 40 min.
In Japanese SHIATSU means “finger pressure” (“shi” means finger and “atsu” means pressure).
During a shiatsu massage treatment, therapists apply varied, rhythmic pressure across precise points along the body, while rotating and stretching limbs and joints.
These points are called acupressure, or meridian, points and correlate to specific organs and body systems. By applying pressure to these points, shiatsu massage aims to remove any energetic blockages to alleviate pain and discomfort.
These blockages disrupt the body’s vital energy balance, or ki. Stimulating ki jump starts the body’s natural healing mechanism to eliminate fatigue, improve blood flow, fortify the immune system, and promote overall well-being.
Shiatsu massage enables ki to flow more readily bringing relief to the mind, body, sore muscles, and ligaments.
If you suffer from these ailments, then shiatsu massage may be right for you:
Lower back pain
Insomnia/ sleep disorders
Shoulder and neck pain
Tips for an optimal shiatsu massage treatment:
- Avoid heavy meals beforehand.
- Relax before the massage. At Shizuka NY, you can request a complimentary Far Infrared Sauna Session with any shiatsu massage.
We can all agree that relaxation reduces stress. Taken a step further, stress-reduction techniques can also aid in the reduction of certain skin ailments like acne, dry skin, and even fine lines and wrinkles. Everyone can use a little anti-aging R&R every now and then.
Read on for Japanese-inspired ways to relax & rejuvenate your mind and body.
1. Drink tea: For centuries the Japanese Tea Ceremony has been regarded as a much cherished encounter between the host and guests to, for the time, forget all stress and simply enjoy a peaceful and tranquil tea time together.
The next time you drink a cup of tea, engage in mindfulness from preparation to sipping that last drop. You’ll turn tea time into your own personal relaxing tea ritual.
2. Light a candle: When lit, Japanese lanterns made of stone or paper, bring much significance to ceremonies and celebrations. A burning candle is placed in the center to illuminate and bring warmth to the lantern.
Enjoy instant warmth & â€ªambiance by burning â€ªâ€Žorganic soy candles. They burn clean and smell extraordinary. For a â€ªâ€Žspa effect, burn the candle for at least 30min. to fully warm the essential oils–then relax as the pure fragrance fills the room!
3. Listen to water: The Japanese character for water (sui or mizu) is: æ°´ , represents the flowing nature of life.
If you ever need help â€ªâ€Žrelaxing, try listening to the sound of â€ªâ€Žflowing â€ªâ€Žwater, from a fountain or at the beach. The â€ªcalming sound will help any stressful thoughts “flow” away.
4. Commune with nature: Many natural elements are revered in Japanese culture, such as koi (symbol of fortune and courage) and sakura blossoms (symbol of the ephemeral nature of life). Every year when sakura trees are in full bloom, many people gather to enjoy hanami, or picnicking under the trees.
Whether it’s observing fish gracefully swimming in a pond or sitting under a blossom-filled tree; immersing yourself in nature can be calming and reflective.
5. Take a bath: In Japan there are many active volcanoes and because of this onsens, hot spring resorts or bathhouses, are very popular all year round. People journey to onsens to escape their hectic city lifestyles and relax and feel rejuvenated by the waters’ healing minerals.
The water in hot springs can reach 110 degrees F, so it’s an ideal place to sweat it out and detox. Aside from creating your own relaxing bath soak, you can also enjoy a good sweat by using a far infrared sauna.
Summer is all about being outside; whether it’s building sandcastles on the beach, picnicking in the park, enjoying a backyard barbeque, or just basking on a some stepsâ€”outdoors is the place to be!
While the warm sun feels wonderful on your skin, it can really dry it out (even if you’re in the shade!), eventually leaving your skin starving for some nutrient-rich moisturizing.
In the name of summer and all things relaxing, we came up with a list of our most popular “sun repair” spa treatments that will heal and soothe sun drenched skin, providing deep hydration and relief (& will prepare you for some more fun in the sun!)
For the Face:
- The Geisha Facial - The Geisha Facial has received a lot of press due to its much lauded ingredient, Uguisu no Fun or Nightingale droppings. But many forget is that this is a full service facial including a hydrating camellia oil facial massage and antioxidant-rich Green Tea Collagen mask. The mask works to reduce signs of aging by encouraging further collagen production and saturates the skin with free radical fighting antioxidants.
- GentleWaves® LED Facial Rejuvenation – This facial incorporates specially coded LED lights that promote a process called photomodulation in the skin. Much like photosynthesis in plants, the LED lights work to stimulate and promote healthy skin production.
- Naturopathica’s Natural Face Lift Facial - Combined with ultrasonic and microcurrent technologies, this high performance treatment uses Naturopathica brand products including Plant Stem Cell Serum (a powerful antioxidant blend) to deliver deep hydration and gently firms and tones the skin.
For the Body:
- Coffee Break Mud Wrap - This 50min heated treatment uses a natural body scrub that includes Black Silt Clay and Coffee Arabica to exfoliate and draw out impurities. It also includes Indian Sarsaparilla and Shea Butter to clarify skin and seal in moisture.
For the Hands & Feet:
- Espresso Mud Pedicure -This sensually invigorating pedicure uses a mud mixture to exfoliate and deeply hydrate your feet. In addition to nail and cuticle care, and buffing/color; this treatment includes added moisturizing and light massage.
- Sakura Pedicure & Nagomi Manicure – These are our signature manicure and pedicure treatments that include the most pampering and nail care. We use the natural harnessing power of ingredients like Crystallized Honey, Rice Bran, Sake-Kasu, and a handmade and chemical free Yuzu Massage Cream to fully exfoliate and deeply hydrate the hands and feet.
Our Men’s Spa offers relaxing and customizable services for facials, massages, body treatments, and more.
For Father’s Day, give the gift of total relaxation with a Men’s facial at Shizuka. It’s an indulgence they might not think to treat themselves to, but totally worth it. Shizuka delivers excellent men’s facials and massages.
Price: $105-$115, pending on service
Visit Shizuka: 7 W. 51st St., 6th Floor New York, NY 10019. (212) 644-7400
“Owner and master-aesthetician, Shizuka Bernstein was born in Tokyo. A former dance instructor, Shizuka discovered her passion for skin care after emigrating from Japan to the United States and marrying prominent Manhattan dermatologist and hair restoration specialist, Dr. Robert Bernstein. Shizuka Bernstein is in high demand as a master facialist and skin care expert. Her artful technique has been singled out by many publications including New York Magazine which has featured her as a “Skin Care Guru.”
Check out our current Spa Deals here>>
Detox is the term given to the body’s natural ability to rid itself of toxins and impurities. Everybody can benefit from a detox regimen every now and then. Some even claim detox’ing on a regular basis helps with weight loss, cellulite reduction, and an increase of energy.
Here are some DIY detox tips from our senior Licensed Massage Therapist, Gary Bergman, to help you feel your very best this summer:
Toxins like acid, waste products, enzymes, and proteins that remain in the blood can, due to gravity, settle like sediment in the feet. Many motor nerves also end in the feet, so by giving your feet some extra special attention once in a while, you’ll be able to increase mobility and blood circulation, thereby lowering blood pressure and increasing immunity–ain’t detox great?
1. Soak your feet in hot water with Epsom or any kind of bath salts. At the end of a long day after walking around in strappy sandals or shoes without much support, a 15-20 min. foot soak will really do the whole body good. The salt will help draw out uric acid build up in the muscles around the feet and ankles and will also give you a quick magnesium boost.
2. Massage the bottoms of your feet with a golf or racket ball by moving your foot in a circular motion for about two minutes at a time while standing or sitting. Be sure to move the ball along the arch and ball of the foot. This will break up any tightness and loosen tendons, as well as contribute to foot flexibility. Flexible feet will also keep joints loose decreasing the possibility of bad sprains.
3. Flush out toxins naturally by drinking plenty of water. I know we hear this all the time, but without proper hydration the body has a harder time flushing out impurities. Some people love fizzy or sparkling water but it isn’t as hydrating as good ole H2O. If you drink sparkling this summer, I suggest adding a little juice or fresh fruit to it to increase its hydrating capacity.
Just remember: when in doubt, flush it out!
We have a wide variety of treatments and gifts sure to please every type of mom this Mother’s Day. Check out the following Mother’s Day Spa Guide to find out which treatments and gifts are the best fit for your Mom!
The executive mom is usually always busy with work. When she’s not cooking dinner or going to soccer practice, she’s glued to her Smartphone to keep in touch with the office. She’s perpetually busy but loves it when she’s finally able to RELAX, even if it’s just for a couple hours.
Treatment suggestions: Coffee break Mud Wrap, 80min Shiatsu/ Swedish Massage
Our Coffee Break Mud Wrap combines soothing heat therapy with refreshing exfoliation and detoxification. Our “Mud” mixture will reinvigorate the senses with sweet earthy aromas of Arabica Coffee, honey, and bergamot, among others. Combine this with an 80min Shiatsu or Swedish massage and Mom will leave feeling rejuvenated and ready to go!
Gift suggestion: Espresso Mud Body Scrub, Sicilian Bergamot Body Lotion, Plant Stem Cell Serum
On The Go Mom:
On The Go Mom is usually busy as a bee, with a daily mile long to-do list. She loves getting things done, and try as she might, finding time for herself just isn’t a top priority most of the time.
Treatment suggestions: The Geisha Facial® , GentleWaves® LED Facial Rejuvenation, Collagen Mask add on
Since On The Go Mom is likely hopping cabs, catching trains and walking, er running, through the busy city streets, her skin is also susceptible to innumerable free radicals (airborne impurities) in the air. Over time this can age the skin, so we suggest treatments such as The Geisha Facial ®, Gentle Waves treatment, or even adding on a collagen mask to any of our facials to stimulate collagen production, encourage cellular renewal and shrink pores.
Gift suggestion: VITAMIN C REVITALIZING COMPLEX
Lady of the Manor Mom:
Lady of the Manor Mom usually, quite literally, has her hands full engineering ways to keep the home and family in tip top shape. She’s always coming up with new and better ways to improve productivity and time management. She’s super practical and doesn’t usually have time for some much needed pampering and relaxation.
Treatment suggestions: Signature Micro Facial, EYELASH PERM, Sugar Scrub Manicure + Bamboo Scrub Pedicure
Our Signature Micro Facial is our most popular facial with the most pampering. This facial combines deep cleansing with face, scalp, hand and shoulder massage, as well as reflexology treatment (foot massage). Combine this facial with an Eyelash Perm and nails, and Mom will feel like a Queen!
Gift suggestions: SHIZUKA NY MOISTURIZER, Lavender Honey Balancing Mist, ON THE CUFF
The health-conscious Mom loves to feed herself with all-natural foods and products like fresh juices, whole-grain breads, organic vegetables, and prefers using paraben-free facial washes and soaps. She wants to stay as healthy as possible, especially in a big (dirty) city like NYC.
Treatment suggestions: The Natural Face Lift Facial, Nagomi Manicure + Sakura Pedicure, Far Infrared Sauna
The Nagomi Manicure and Sakura Pedicure are SNY’s signature nail treatments using only natural ingredients free of harsh chemicals and additives that are mixed right in front of you. Ingredients include fresh lemon, olive oil, soy, rice, and sake to exfoliate, hydrate and protect the skin and nails. Combine this with the Far Infrared Sauna and The Natural Face Lift Facial which uses Naturopathica’s high-performance, all natural and paraben-free products. These treatments will leave Mom feeling well-balanced and glowing!
Gift suggestion: SICILIAN BERGAMOT BODY LOTION
Loves to Spa Mom:
The Loves to Spa Mom, well, she loves to spa! She finds comfort and peace in all things pampering.
Treatment suggestion: DAY OF BEAUTY
Check out our current spa deals for BIG SAVINGS on our signature spa treatments and services!
It’s Monday morning, you walk into work, and already the stress starts to build just thinking about the week ahead. Glamour.com shares 4 ways to reduce stress at work, so you can feel on top of your game and a bit more relaxed throughout the work day.
Cross off an item from your to-do list. Do you ever look at your list of must-get-dones–which grows exponentially by the minute, it seems–and freak? Yeah, me too. But being able to physically take a pen to paper and scratch something off can make a big difference in your levels of stress–so tackling the rest of the to-dos doesn’t seem quite so impossible.
Chew a piece of gum. Research has shown that, not only do gum-chewers feel less anxiety (and are possibly even in better moods), they may also have increased blood flow to their brains–meaning they’re more alert. (Which, hello, can always be helpful on a Monday morning.)
Find one thing that makes you feel grateful at work, every day. No, it’s not always easy to find, but there’s always at least one reason to feel grateful at work–even if it’s small! Maybe it’s that you have a nice view of the blue sky, or the supply closet is always stocked with your favorite kind of pens, or you have a coworker who’s especially good at making you smile. Research has shown that gratitude can actually help your physical wellbeing.
Play a game online. I mean, wait until it’s OK to do this (like during your lunch break). But doing an online puzzle, like solitaire or sudoku, can actually decrease stress and improve your mood, according to research from East Carolina University. It’s a distraction that helps get your brain thinking about another task–and lets your nervous system take a break.
Related blog post>> Tips for Instant Neck and Shoulder Relief
We’ve all heard the benefits of having good posture, but we may be doing more damage to our posture than we know, especially when sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end each day.
The neck and shoulders are most vulnerable to stress, and when these muscles tighten, other muscles throughout the body weaken leaving the body tired and sore.
Here are a few tips to help relieve neck and shoulder pain before it becomes chronic:
1. Take short break every 30 minutes to stretch your neck and shoulders. This will help keep your body limber.
2. Position your monitor so the top of the screen is at eye level. This way you won’t have to twist and crane your neck as much while typing.
3. Check your posture regularly. Roll your shoulders back, and sit in such a way where your knees are at right angles with both feet comfortably resting flat on the floor.
Need a little help limbering up? Come in during your lunch break for a half hour Head and Shoulder Massage. This spa special combines soothing and healing elements of Shiatsu and Swedish Massage techniques that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated! >>
Lavender and skin care go hand in hand. Its soothing aroma is useful for treating anxiety and insomnia while its antiseptic property acts as an all natural antibacterial component to purify the skin. Infuse lavender skin care into your summertime beauty routine!
During these hot summer days, we invite you to give extra attention to keeping your skin free of bacteria that can lead to acne. Relax with these soothing lavender skincare facial cleansers:
Aloe Cleansing Gel – A foaming sulfate-free cleanser with a refreshing blend of Aloe Vera and Lavender that gently clarifies the skin while maintaining natural moisture.
Lavender oil, known for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties, can be found in our Shizuka New York Skincare System as well:
Shizuka NY Moisturizer – This moisturizer is a non-greasy and absorbs immediately to hydrate, condition and rejuvenate, and works to clarify and brighten the complexion.
Shizuka NY Foaming Cleanser -This Foaming Cleanser is used in most facial treatments in our NYC day spa and contains a slew of other nourishing ingredients leaving the skin renewed, softer and more supple.
Summer’s finally here! We put together a few tips to help you optimize this season’s wax routine:
1. Wax first, tan second. Wax before getting a tan — wait at least 24 hours before spray tanning or bronzing. Since waxing also exfoliates the skin, it will strip away any color application. Waxing also tends to irritate the skin so if you have sensitive skin, it’s best to wait 3-4 days (or until your skin recovers completely) before tanning.
2. Down time. Waxed skin is highly irritable, especially to sweat, sun exposure and hot water. Wait at least a couple hours before working out or taking a hot shower. If you’re in the sun be sure to take precautions by covering up and using plenty of SPF.
3. Wait. For a wax to be successful, hair needs to be at least ¼ of an inch long. Try waiting 2 – 4 weeks before getting waxed to allow for sufficient hair length.
4. Exfoliate at home. In order to prevent ingrown hairs, wait three days then begin exfoliating the area daily. This will help the hair grow back evenly for your next waxing.
5. No more razors. Shaving can actually irritate hair follicles negating the benefits of waxing. If you stick to a waxing-only regimen, you’ll notice over time that the hair will grow back thinner and finer. In most cases, a waxing will last between 4 to 6 weeks.
If you’ve never waxed before or are concerned about how your skin may react, feel free to call us at (212) 644-7400 to schedule a consultation with Shizuka.
Has the long winter left your feet tired and achey? Try a little reflexology foot massage to revitalize your tootsies before sandal season hits!
Reflexology is a practice that targets certain areas of the feet and hands with specialized pressure to increase circulation, relieve tension and improve organ function.
A good foot massage will help stimulate the thousands of nerve endings in your feet keeping your feet (and body) happy and healthy!
Sweeten any spa pedicure by adding 10 extra minutes reflexology for only $20! >>
We reviewed in a previous blog post about effective ways to take baths. As a follow up, we’re introducing some customized bath treatments to fit your skin’s needs. Check out these creative and soothing soaks:
Milk Bath: Cleopatra was famous for her beautiful skin. Her beauty secret was that she soaked in baths of fresh milk. The lactic acid in milk is an alpha hydroxy acid, a natural material that dissolves the glue that holds dead skin cells together. Milk cleanses the skin down to its deepest layers. Soak for a good 20 minutes. Gently rub your skin with a washcloth to slough off the dead skin. Rinse your body thoroughly after soaking.
Sake bath: Sake cures dry skin issues by deeply moisturizing and reducing fatigue. Japanese Sake contains koji acids that can brighten the skin complexion and prevent skin from aging. Fill your bathtub with hot water; add two or three cups of sake, then stir.
Rice Bran bath: Rice bran, which is rich in oil, makes an effective exfoliant and contains phytic acid, a B-complex vitamin that can help improve blood circulation and stimulate cell turnover when used topically. Renowned for its skin smoothing and lightening properties, rice bran powder can be purchased at any natural foods stores. Put 1 cup of rice bran into a cotton bag and place it into hot water. Gently rub on the face for lightening blemishes, freckles and brown patches, and for elbows, knees, feet, and hard skin areas – for extra-smooth skin. Rice bran is used in our Geisha facial at Shizuka NY!!
In addition to the above, you can put your favorite essential oil or herbs wrapped with gauze into the bathwater. Also, at Japanese grocery stores, you could buy a variety of bath agents like those shown below.
Left : Chamomile powder with Japanese bath agents.
Here are a few of the many other unique bath methods performed around the world: In Ireland, seaweed baths treat rheumatism and arthritis. In Korea, “Dr. Fish” baths (where fish nibble off dead skin) are considered a folk remedy for skin conditions such as psoriasis. Also, salt baths (when correct amount of salt is used) can promote the healing of psoriasis and eczema, as well as help relieve muscle strain, rheumatism and arthritic pain.