The psychological aspect of our image is a strong and complex understanding. I’m so happy to hear the conversations about awareness in mental health and therapy today. While i’m not a psychologist or doctor of any kind, I am a skin therapist and I understand self-image. Why is it that there is so much pressure to look a certain way? We manifest that feeling mostly, it’s in our own innate desires. When we look good we feel good. Better yet, when we are confident, we feel good. Confidence should be defined within ourselves. How do we see ourselves? How do we want to see ourselves, because I think it’s okay to desire realistic changes for a positive result. When someone is suffering through acne their desire is clear skin so that they can be more confident. To increase my own self-confidence I wanted to change my body after 2 pregnancies for nobody but me; like many women do to achieve a healthy lifestyle so that they can be more positively present for their families. Today I exercise consistently, but do I still have cellulite? Yes, and that’s okay with me because I have achieved a greater confidence in myself. Ask yourself what is your goal, what are your beliefs, what satisfies you?
In my personal life I incorporate soulful therapies that I am comfortable with, that satisfy me and that I am proud of. Soulful therapy is kind of a made up phrase but I like to use certain practices that help keep my mind, body and soul aligned, joyful, relaxed, conscious and healthy. I also strongly believe that by doing so it is helping to naturally slow down aging both internally and externally.
Here are some “soulful therapies” that help me age confidently. Some of these I use in my esthetic practice and all of them I use in my personal routines.
Meditation. For most of my life I had a hard time meditating, I thought it had to be this specific act of sitting and doing nothing and trying to achieve some sort of transcending out of body experience. I waived it off for a long time until a couple of years ago during my first pregnancy. I began attending yoga and found that this form of exercise that incorporates breathing and stretching was more enjoyable. I focused more on my form and simply let my mind be present; it was calming. Later I found that alternate acts also gave me that same calming sensation; cleaning and coloring. I know two random things, one is a chore and one sounds childish, but I’ve always loved art so adult coloring or doodling really soothes my soul. And as silly as it sounds I find vacuuming super satisfying.
Bath ritual with sound. I love this ritual, because of my busy life I don’t get to enjoy it often but I make it a point at least 1/month. I create this really beautiful Home & Gardens bath experience with either bath bombs or bubbles or oatmeal, anything to soothe and nourish my skin. The truth is our skin on our body is most neglected so this allows me to treat my mind and body skin. Adding in my favorite music, something a bit more slow-paced to help quiet my mind. I like to imagine myself on a beach in some tropical new location; I always feel happy and positive after a bath. If you really resonate with sound, there are sound therapies such as sound bath healing. I have taken yoga classes with special tuning fork and sound sessions and they are incredibly emotional in the best way.
Gua sha facial massage. Face sculpting with gua sha stones or other facial sculpting tools are really beneficial and do provide results with consistent effort. Finding a lovely facial oil to benefit your skin can add hydration benefits as well. Often in my practice I am asked about my thoughts or advice on botox. I think botox is a fantastic tool if it aligns with your beliefs. Just remember it is not preventative, it’s a great quick fix and who doesn’t love that, but it doesn’t treat the skin. So it’s not the be-all and end-all of anti-aging. If you feel ashamed of getting botox, then you probably shouldn’t do it. But if you need just a bit more help to feel confident and you’re practicing preventative skincare, then do it! I’m talking about botox here because gua sha is a natural alternative to help smooth out lines and wrinkles along with some great topical peptides.
Daily affirmations. Small daily reminders help keep my soul balanced. I enjoy reading thought-provoking questions or inspirational quotes. It’s like reading your fortune from a Chinese fortune cookie. I have physical affirmation cards that I randomly choose but there are apps and books and calendars centered around affirmations. Sometimes I feel the affirmation was exactly what I needed to hear that day to keep my mind aligned.
Stones and saging. I find the mystery of stones to be almost magical. With that said I know it’s not for everyone. In my opinion, not only are stones mesmerizing and pretty to look at, they are natural and the fact that they came from the earth is powerful. So that power is what people desire. For example, pyrite is believed to bring success and money – who doesn’t want that! I like to have several stones hidden around my house and spa to promote those desires and aspirations. I keep a chakra bracelet in my car and simply pick up the stones and hold them from time to time. Saging or smudging is a technique of smoke cleansing and the idea that energy is all around us. Sometimes there is negative energy and saging can help clear it out. Again this isn’t for everyone but it can provide spiritual and purifying elements to you and a space. I try to do it every couple of months or as needed.
Exercise. I love strength training but when I think of zumba I cringe. My point is, find a form of exercise that you will enjoy and therefore be consistent in practicing. I do believe practicing a variety of exercises is beneficial so I incorporate stretching and simple yoga as well as spin. I journal my exercise routines because I like to see my progress. We all know the physical and mental benefits of exercise.
Breath work with essential oils. Conscious breathing feels so good. I remember listening to a podcast once about a researcher/author who had trouble with sleep apnea and somehow discovered what he called the lost art of nose breathing. I found it fascinating and from there began practicing nose breathing over mouth breathing because it can help lower blood pressure, monitor heart rate, restore memory and more. He mentioned that the canals in your nose can close if not used and that sounded scary to me, so now I’m a nose breather. The book is called Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor. Additionally I like to use essential oils around my home and in my spa during massage for their healing and calming properties. I use them in my laundry, my cleaning concoctions, on my skin and during baths. These are a natural substance from the earth, extracted from plants and botanicals that have proven therapeutic benefits. I highly recommend using essential oils in some capacity to enrich your soul.
I hope that you can relate to some or at least one of these soul therapies. I feel they are all closely related and provide harmony to one’s life. Skincare isn’t all about flawless, perfect, superficial appearances. I believe skincare is just one part of a healthy lifestyle to look and feel confident. If you live in the Phoenix area and would like to experience a soulful skin treatment please schedule a facial at Amazing Face Spa with me.
article post written by Angela Miles. copyright Angela Miles – All Rights Reserved