Homespunspa, Recipes for Sleep and Beauty.


Glossary of Spa, Sleep and Wellness Terms


Abhyanga: Massage with oil provided by one, two or more therapists.

Abnormal Desquamation: One of the four main causes of acne. It refers to the time it takes for cells to travel from the bottom layer of the epidermis to the top layer and if the process happens too quickly, the extra oil makes a paste on the surface of the skin which blocks the pores. If the process is too slow, the cells get trapped in the bottom layer of the skin.

Absorption: The process by which a solid or liquid substance, draws in another substance, such as a liquid or gas, through minute pores or spaces between its molecules. For example, a sponge takes up water, water takes up carbon dioxide, skin takes up moisture.

Adsorption: The process by which gases, liquids, or solutes accumulate and stick on the outside surface of a solid or liquid.

Acne: Is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the skin, usually related to hormonal changes and overactive sebeaceous glands. Symptoms include: redness, blemishes, pimples and blackheads and is found on the face, shoulders and back. Also known as acne simplex or acne vulgaris. The 4 main causes of acne include: 1) excessive sebum/oil production, 2) abnormal desquamation, 3) proliferation of propione bacteria and 4) inflammation.

Active Ingredients: Ingredients that directly effect changes in your skin and are known to treat a particular concern such as sun-damage, rosacea or acne. Active ingredients can work as antioxidants, moisturizers, and exfoliants. A good skin care product should contain at least one or two active ingredients in an effective concentration. Salicylic acid is an active ingredient in skin care product formulations that are designed to treat acne because it has been shown to work for acneic skin conditions.

Acupressure: A healing art that involves the manual or digital stimulation of acupoints on the body and follows the same pathways as Acupucture, but without the use of needles.

Acupuncture: An ancient Chinese healing art that relieves pain, tension, and stress by inserting fine, stainless-steel needles on specific meridian points in the body.

Acute: A term applied to short, severe attacks of pain or disease.

Addiction: Psychological, emotional, or physical dependence.

Adrenaline: A hormone secreted by the adrenal gland that increases the heart rate in response to stress. It stimulates metabolism, increases alertness and raises blood pressure.

Aesthetician (or Esthetician): A person devoted to, or professionally occupied with, skin health and beauty.

Aesthetics (or Esthetics): From the Greek word, aesthetikos, meaning "perceptible to the senses," a branch of anatomical science that deals with the overall health and well-being of the skin, the largest organ of the human body.

Aging Skin: Skin that is maturing and is showing signs of aging with fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and loss of elasticity. Genetics and environment are factors that contribute to aging skin and skin starts to mature from age 19.

Alcohol-Free (Cosmetics): These skincare products don't contain ethyl alcohol (also known as SD Alcohol), an ingredient that's typically too harsh and drying for the skin. However, alcohol-free cosmetics can still contain fatty alcohols like cetyl alcohol or stearyl alcohol, (which are mainly used in the production of detergents and surfactants as emulsifiers, emollients and thickeners), which are beneficial to the skin.

Algae: Alga (singular) is the Latin word for seaweed. Rich in antioxidants, Algae occur in all marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the world wherever there is water and range from unicellular to multicellular forms. Algae contain minerals and vitamins A and E and help clarify, moisturize, nourish, heal and regenerate the skin and protect it from exposure to the elements if applied topically or taken as food. They can also improve the appearance of dark circles around the eyes and protect sensitive skin. They also have anti-irritant and antibacterial properties.

Alginate (or Algin or Alginic Acid): A viscous gel found in brown algae and seaweed with therapeutic properties for skin and body that forms a protective, therapeutic, hydrating, soothing, and calming coating when applied to the skin. Because it absorbs water quickly, the powder is often added to detoxifying and slimming body wraps. It's also often used as a thickening and emulsifying agent in cosmetics.

Allantoin (Comfrey Extract): Derived from the comfrey plant or uric acid, allantoin is a healing and soothing botanical extract. It's anti-irritant and non-allergenic and is especially calming and moisturizing for dry skin, mature skin and Rosacea. It also helps treat dry, damaged hair, and soothe and heal scalp irritations. Caution: Do not ingest.

Allergen: a substance like pollen, grasses, weeds, certain foods, rubber latex, insect bites, dander, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, or dust etc., that may cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Allergic Reaction: An abnormal reaction to a particular substance like nickel, plants or leather. It can show up within a couple of minutes of exposure or as late as 48 hours after exposure. An allergic reaction does not occur with the first exposure to a substance. Symptoms include: sneezing (often accompanied by a runny nose or congestion), coughing, itching eyes, nose, and throat, watering eyes, and conjunctivitis.

Alopecia: Hereditary hair loss.

Alpha-delta Sleep: The EEG shows a fluctuation between alpha (awake) and NREM (asleep) waves during this type of sleep. It's a non-restorative type of sleep which is often associated with daytime fatigue and malaise.

Alpha Rhythm: A brain-wave pattern seen in relaxed wakefulness, characterized by 8- to 12-cycle-per-second EEG waves.

Alpha Hydroxi Acids (AHA's): AHA's are naturally-occuring mild acids (glycolic, citric, lactic, malic and tartaric) used to exfoliate the skin. AHA's exfoliate by loosening the bonds between dead corneum cells and dissolve the intercellular cement. Acids also stimulate cell renewal. AHA's reveal the next layer of skin, reduce the signs of aging and improve texture of skin.

Ambergris: Although it originates from the bellies of Sperm Whales, Ambergris is highly prized for its pungent flavour and fragrance and is used in high-end perfumery. Please read the blog post: "Ambergris, Golden Nuggets from the Sea."

Amethyst: These crystals, which come in varying degrees of purple, are known for their healing and calming properties. Please read the blog post: "Cheers to the Chi Machine."

Amino Acids: serve as the building blocks of proteins and can be linked together in chains in varying sequences to form a variety of proteins. Together they strengthen and maintain the elasticity of tissues and muscles.

Ampoules: Small, sealed vials containing a single application of highly concentrated extracts in a water or oil base.

Analgesic: Pain relieving.

Anemia: a deficiency in either quality or quantity of red blood cells. Symptoms include: low energy and fatigue.

Anti-inflammatory: Stops inflammation.

Antibacterial: Kills bacteria and can be used to treat infections.

Antidepressant: Anything, including but not limited to prescription pills, that counteracts clinicial depression.

Antifungal: Stops the growth of fungi or mold.

Antihistamine: A drug used to counteract the effects of histamine, which is a chemical produced by the body after an inflammatory and/or alllergic reaction. It can be found in some non-prescription sleeping pills.

Antimicrobial: An agent that destroys or inhibits the life cycle of pathogenic micro-organisms in case of colds, flu, skin infections etc.

Antineuralgic: An agent that relieves or decreases pain from irritated nerves as in Neuralgia.

Antioxidant: In terms of cosmetics formulations, an ingredient such as Tea leaf is considered antioxidant because when it is added to cosmetics products formulas, it inhibits reactions promoted by oxygen and therefore oxidation and rancidity.

Antioxidants: vitamins and ingredients that scan the body for free radicals to prevent them from causing damage. Antioxidants are scavengers that inhibit oxidation (rust). The're used both to help the condition of the skin and to stop oxidation that causes products to turn rancid or spoil. Examples of antioxidants include: Vitamins A, C and E, lycopene and beta-carotene.

Antipruritic: An agent that relieves or prevents itching skin.

Antisclerotic: An agent that helps prevent the hardening of skin tissue as in scars, wrinkles and in mature skin in general.

Antiseborrheic: An agent that controls the production of sebum as in oily skin and dandruff.

Antiseptic: An agent that prevents or stops the growth of microorganisms and therefore infections.

Antispasmodic: Relieves muscle cramps.

Antistatic: In terms of cosmetics formulations, an ingredient such as Hyaluronic acid is considered antistatic because when it is added to cosmetics products formulas, it will neutralise electrical charges on surfaces and will reduce static electricity.

Antiviral: Does not allow a virus to grow.

Anxiety: The word "Anxiety" comes from the Latin root meaning "twisted rope." It's a fear that lingers after the threat of an (imagined or real) event has passed in the anticipation that the perceived dangerous event will happen again.

Anxiety Disorder: a serious medical illness that stems from anxiety and fear. Some anxiety disorders include: panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety and phobias.

Apnea: A pause in breathing that lasts 10 seconds or longer.

Aromatherapy: The therapeutic use of plant aromas and essential oils for beauty and health treatment purposes.

Arthritis: Inflammation, swelling, redness, heat and pain of the joints and connective tissue throughout the body. There are over 100 types of arthritis (like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis) and most are caused by degenerative changes related to aging.

Artificial (Synthetic) Colors and Fragrances: These ingredients have no benefit for your skin, and applying them on your skin repeatedly can lead to sensitivity, irritation and breakouts. To avoid artificial colors, look for FD&C or D&C on the label. Fragrances, dyes and colors are often the last ingredients listed on the product's packaging.

Ashiatsu: Originally from Asia, Ashiatsu is an advanced massage modality in which the therapist walks on the client's back, while hanging on to bars that are suspended from the ceiling. The therapist is able to adjust their weight and direct pressure to different parts of the back without straining their hands and it looks like they are performing a dynamic dance while they're giving a massage.

Asthma: A chronic disease of the lungs where spasms narrow the path of the airways. Symptoms include: coughing, wheezing, a tight feeling in the chest, and trouble breathing.

Astringents: Liquids that help remove excess oil on the skin. Astringents tighten the skin and remove oils and are stronger than a toner.

Atomizer: A device that breaks down a watery product into a fine mist for spraying on to the body.

Aura: Every person, animal and plant is surrounded by a colourful magnetic field. People who can see and read auras can see the body's state of health, emotions, mind and spirit.

Aura Mist: An aromatherapy body mist that is sprayed in a high arch over the guest from head to toes at the end of a spa treatment. The mist should have a different aroma from the treatment products and will fill the room with a refreshing and energizing scent.

Auriculotherapy: Is a healing technique similar to ear reflexology. Practitioners use a low light laser to stimulate energy in certain points in the ear which then transfers to the rest of the body. It is very helpful in the treatment of addiction, anxiety, back pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, common cold, depression, high blood pressure, insomnia, neck and shoulder pain and tension, stress, and weight loss, etc., etc., etc.

Awake: A state in which the brain waves are in alpha or beta patterns and the person is conscious and aware of their surroundings.

Ayurveda: A 5000-year-old traditional and natural healing system from India that offers keys for creating harmony and balance in life. The philosophy is based on the belief that everything in the universe is composed of five elements: space, air, fire, water and earth and specific combinations of these five elements form the three doshas which are: vata, pitta and kapha. Each person on the planet has all five elements and all three doshas to some degree and that combination will show up in their body type, mental and emotional disposition, and personality. Many Western spas include elements of Ayurveda into their spa philosphy and treatments because of the focus on wellness, positive life choices, relaxation, exercise, detoxification and spirituality.

Azulene (Chamomile Extract): Derived from the chamomile plant, Azulene is used to calm and soothe sensitive skin. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and helps to minimize irritation after waxing. It can also be added to cosmetics as a blue, green or violet coloring agent. Caution: Do not use Azulene in leave-on products because there is research showing that it can cause cellular mutation when exposed to UVA light.


B-Complex Vitamins: are a group of water-soluble vitamins that co-exist in the same foods. They include: Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin), Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin B7 (biotin), Vitamin B9 (folic acid) and Vitamin B12 (commonly cyanocobalamin in vitamin supplements). They bolster metabolism, enhance the nervous system and help maintain healthy skin and muscle tone. B-complex vitamins also work synergistically, which means they are more potent when taken together than when taken separately.

Barrier Function: Our skin's ability to create a barrier and prevent potentially harmful microorganisms and chemicals from entering our body and causing damage to tissues and organs. The skin's barrier function also reduces water loss.

Basal Cell Carcinoma: The most common and the least severe type of skin cancer, which often appears as light, pearly nodules.

Basal Metabolism: The lowest possible metabolic rate in the body resulting in the lowest body temperature of the day and usually occurs about one hour before rising out of bed.

Basalt: A type of igneous rock formed from the solidification of molten magma. Because it cools quickly on the earth's surface, the magma develops microscopic crystals and a smooth texture. Basalt stones hold heat better than most rock types and with the smooth texture, these stones (which are found abundantly on the beaches of Vancouver Island, among other areas) make them the best type of stones to use in hot stone massages.

Base note: In perfumery, aromas are classified as top, middle or base notes. Base notes are very heavy and they anchor the top notes and keep them from evaporating too quickly. The scent of base notes will last the longest and these fragrances are intense, rich and relaxing in nature. Often, they are also fixatives and extend the shelf life of blends and cosmetics. A good perfume has a nice balance between top, middle and base notes.

Beauty Sleep: the sleep that someone needs in order to look and feel good. Often this phrase is used in humour but research shows that well-rested people appear more attractive than those that are sleep deprived.

Benign: a not dangerous and noncancerous tumour.

Beta-Carotene: is a deep orange pigment found in brightly-coloured plants like carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and yams. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A. It accelerates healing, improves immunity, and improves cell turnover. It's a powerful antioxidant that destroys free radicals (molecules that damage healthy cells, speed up the aging process and can cause a number of serious diseases to develop).

Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA's): Are exfoliating organic acids (salicylic and citric acids) that are milder that AHA's. BHA's dissolve oil and are beneficial for oily skin. BHA's reveal the next layer of skin, reduce the signs of aging and improve texture of skin.

Beta Waves: A brain-wave pattern usually associated with alert wakefulness. Beta waves are faster than alpha waves and cycle at about 13- to 35 times per second.

Biofeedback: A technique that provides moment-to-moment information about the body's processes to otherwise unaware individuals and teaches them how to regulate their muscle tension, heart rate, blood pressure, blood flow, skin temperature and the activity of the gastrointestinal tract for better control over their body.

Bioflavonoids: Biologically active flavonoids; also called vitamin P. They're considered an aid to healthy skin and found most abundantly in citrus fruits.

Blackhead (Comedone): An open comedo or blackhead. A mass of hardened sebum and skin cells in a hair follicle. When the follicle is filled with an excess of oil, a blackhead forms. It is dark because it oxidizes once it is exposed to oxygen. Closed comedones do not have a follicular opening and are called milia or whiteheads.

Blue Light: Therapeutic light that should be used only on oily skin that is bare. It contains a few heat rays, is the least penetrating and has some germicidal and chemical benefits.

Body Composition Score (BCS): Measures weightloss progress by tracking body weight, percentage of body fat, waist circumference and hip circumference and combining these numbers into one score. This number is more accurate than pounds on a scale.

Body Image: how a person feels about his or her physical appearance.

Body Mass Index (BMI): a measure of body fat based on a person's height and weight that can be used to determine if a person is at a healthy weight or not. A person has a healthy weight if their BMI is between 18.5 to 25; a person is overweight if their BMI is between 25 to 30; and a person is considered obese if their BMI is calculated at 30 or higher.

Bodywork: A general term that relates to a wide variety of hands-on therapies, such as massage.

Body Wraps: Are made from clay, aromatic oils, herbs and/or seaweed to help slim and detoxify the body.

Bootzin Technique or Stimulus-Control Therapy: A treatment for conditioned insomnia sufferers in which the insomniac is asked to get out of bed if he/she cannot fall asleep easily.

Borax: Is a Boron compound that is added to many laundry detergents and cosmetics. The word borax is Arabic and this white, crystalline, mineral powder was first discovered in dry lake beds in Tibet and was transported along the Silk Road to Arabia. It's an optional ingredient in home spa recipes and is used as an emulsifier. Caution: Borax is potentially toxic so keep away from children.

Botanicals: are plant-based skin care ingredients. They are used as additives in gin or cosmetics for their aromas and/or healing properties.

Brain: Part of the central nervous system housed in the cranium, it's the largest and most complex nerve tissue and controls sensation, muscles, glandular activity and the power to think and feel.

Brainstem: The part of the nervous system located at the base of the brain, connecting the spinal cord with the rest of the brain. It's thought to contain all of the mechanisms necessary for survival including those that regulate sleep-wake behaviour.

Brain-wave Rhythms: Patterns of electrical activity of the brain.

Broad-spectrum sun protection: Choose broad-spectrum sunscreens, which protect against UVA and UVB rays, when you apply your daily sunblock. Make sure the label lists ingredients like octyl salicylate, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or avobenzone although avobenzone can cause skin irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Bromelain: an enzyme found in pineapple that has stimulating and antiseptic properties which dissolves keratin and exfoliates the outer layer of the epidermis.

Buffering: In terms of cosmetics formulations, an ingredient such as Citric acid is considered buffering because when it is added to cosmetics products formulas, it stabilises the pH of cosmetics.


Caffeine: is a bitter alkaloid found in drinks like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate that helps stimulate energy. It's well-known to help reduce irritation in skin and is often included in skincare products with claims that it will reduce cellulite or puffy eyes if applied topically. Caffeine does have potential as an antioxidant and drinking caffeinated beverages will encourage weight loss. Caffeine can be toxic in high doses but consuming it in moderation poses no health problems, other than perhaps disrupted sleep.

Calamine Lotion: is a pink mixture of zinc oxide and iron oxide which soothes itchy and irritated skin and helps calm acne, sunburn, eczema, rashes, chicken pox, poison ivy, insect bites, bee stings and contact dermatitis.

Calcium: is a soft-gray alkaline earth metal found in the earth's crust. It plays an important role in a healthy diet as it helps keep bones strong. It also helps muscles and nerves function properly. Good food sources of calcium include: almonds, beans, blackstrap molasses, broccoli, chard, cheese, chicory greens, collard greens, dandelion leaves, eggshell, figs, hazelnuts, milk, okra, pistachio nuts, quinoa, rhubarb, rutabaga, seaweeds, sesame seeds, and spinach. Calcium can also be used to help relieve insomnia.

Callus: A small area of thickened skin that is caused by continuous friction, pressure or repetitive irritation.

Calorie: A heat unit that measures food energy for the body. Calories are used for breathing, circulating blood, digesting food, and physical movement. Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram, proteins have 4 calories per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram.

Calorie Free: A food that contains less than 5 calories per serving.

Cancer: a group of diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control. Cancer cells can spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body and can invade nearby tissues.

Candida: a fungus that causes yeast infections in the body.

Capsaicin: Is the active component in chili peppers and is an irritant which produces a burning sensation upon contact with mucous membranes. It's commonly used in food and drinks to add piquancy, (heat and spice) to the taste. It's also used medicinally in topical ointments to temporarily relieve muscle pain and to reduce inflammation. Caution: It's also a potent topical irritant and can trigger dermatitis.

Carbohydrates: compounds that break down the basic chemical sugars and they supply energy for the body. Simple carbohydrates, such as sugars, give instant energy and have no nutritional value. Complex carbohydrates, found in bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, cereals, fruits, vegetables and milk, release energy slowly and also contain fibre, starches, vitamins and minerals. Wholegrain products are more nutritious than refined products because they are digested slowly, providing sustained energy. Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram.

Cardiovascular system: The heart, arteries, capillaries and veins work together in a system that distrubutes blood throughout the body.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A progressive and often painful joint disorder caused by a compression of the median nerve in the hand.

Carrier Oils: Vegetable oils such as sweet almond oil or sunflower oil that are non-volatile and are ideal for carrying essential oils.

Castile Soap: is an olive oil and sea salt based soap that is made in a soapmaking style originating in the Castile region of Spain. It's a pure white soap with no added colour or perfume that makes a useful base for homemade soaps. It can also be grated then blended with water to make shampoo or liquid soap.

Cataplexy: A sudden attack of complete or partial muscular paralysis, usually started by a strong emotion. This type of attack is a symptom of narcolepsy.

Cellulite: a type of fat that is visible on the surface of the skin and has a dimpled appearance, usually located on the thighs and buttocks. Cellulite also occurs mainly in women and is also known as adiposis edematosa, dermopanniculosis deformans, status protrusus cutis, gynoid lipodystrophy, orange peel syndrome and cottage cheese skin. The formation of cellulite is influenced by genetics, hormones, and a high-stress lifestyle.

Cellulite Treatments: Spa treatments that are designed to smooth the appearance of cellulite. Options include: liposuction, creams, massage, laser treatments, diet, exercise. Applying and massaging certain natural ingredients like essential oils and seaweed may also help.

Chair Massage: is a type of massage, invented by David Palmer in the 1980's, that is performed while the clients sits facing forward, fully supported and fully clothed, in a special ergonomically-designed chair. The massage therapist uses a combination of deep tissue and swedish massage techniques and focuses on the muscle groups in the neck, shoulders, back, arms and hands. The portable massage chairs can be set up anywhere and can be used to promote wellness in the workplace and public events. Benefits include: stress management; increased circulation; reduced muscular tension and stiffness; chronic pain management; detoxification; boost of endorphins (feel-good hormone); reduced fatigue, anxiety and depression; and better sleep.

Chakra (Energy Centre): Chakra is the Hindu word for "wheel of energy." Each person has seven main chakras including the Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, Heart, Throat, Third Eye and Crown, and they are thought to be found along the mid-line of the body, in line with the spinal column. Each chakra has a specific domain of influence like basic survival, communication or connection with God and if they are kept clear (through meditation for example), the energy will flow more freely and the body will be in harmony. If the energy centres are blocked, however, the person will experience low energy and frustration with certain parts of their life and may eventually develop a disease.

Chandler: A person who makes and sells candles.

Chinese Medicine: A general term that describes the numerous, ancient techniques used in China to heal the sick. Schools of practice include: acupuncture, herbs, massage, and Qi Gong.

Chitosan: is derived from the shells of lobsters, crabs and shrimp. The shells are ground to a powder and then boiled. Chitosan is widely used in pharmaceuticals and skin care products for its healing, nourishing, hydrating, anti-irritant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It's also good for nutrition and weightloss. Chitosan is processed in such as way that people with allergies to seafood do not need to be concerned.

Cholesterol Free: A food containing less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams or less of saturated fat per serving.

Chronic: A condition lasts a long time.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): a complex disorder characterized by extreme fatigue and lethargy that lasts six months or longer, and does not improve with rest. It can become worse by physical or mental activity. Symptoms can include: weakness, muscle pain, impaired memory, inability to concentrate or focus on a task, and insomnia. The cause is unknown.

Chronic Pain: Pain that lasts for more than three months. The ongoing pain takes a significant psychological and emotional toll on a person and limits their ability to function fully.

Chronotherapy: A treatment technique for delayed-sleep-phase syndrome. Each night, the insomniac is asked to go to bed 3 hours later, until the bedtime equals the desired bedtime.

Cicatrisant: Fades scars and stretch marks.

Circadian Rhythm: An innate daily fluctuation and rhythm of physiological and behavioural functions, including sleeping and waking, that is generally tied to the 24-hour day-night cycle. Please see the blog post: Turn off those Blue Lights at Night

Clairalience or Clairescence: (from French "clair" meaning "clear" and "alience" meaning "smelling" and refers to the ability to smell in the mind and perceive aromas and odours which are not apparent to other humans and cannot be attributed to a physical source.

Clairaudience: (from French "clair" meaning "clear" and "audience" meaning "to hearing") and refers to the ability to hear in the mind and perceive sounds such as distinct voices, tones, noises, or messages which are not apparent to other humans or to recording equipment.

Claircognizance: (from French "clair" meaning "clear" and "connoissance" meaning "knowledge" and refers to the ability to intrinsically know something about an object, person, location or physical event without a physical explanation of why or how you know it.

Clairgustance: (from French "clair" meaning "clear" and "gustance" meaning "taste" and refers to the ability to intrinsically taste a substance without physically placing it in your mouth and using your taste buds.

Clairsentience: (from French "clair" meaning "clear" and "sentience" meaning "to feel") and refers to the ability to feel energetic vibrations and to gain information about an object, person, location or physical event without the use of the physical sense of touch.

Clairvoyance: (from French "clair" meaning "clear" and "voyance" meaning "vision") and refers to the ability to see images in the mind's eye and to gain information about an object, person, location or physical event without the use of the physical sense of sight. A person with this ability is referred to as a "clairvoyant" ("one who sees clearly").

Claustrophobia: The fear of being enclosed in narrow spaces.

Clay Masques: Masques that are mainly mineral in composition and draw impurities to the surface of the skin as they dry and tighten.

Cleansers: Soaps and detergents that clean the skin.

Client Consultation: A verbal communication between a practitioner or therapist with the client to determine the desired results of the treatments. Homespunspa offers a complimentary consultation appointment to help customers decide which spa treatments would benefit them most.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) (Ubiquinone): It's a vitamin-like, fat-soluble substance present in all human cells. It protects cells and is one of many helpful antioxidants for skin. The latest research suggests that topical application of CoQ10 stimulates healthy collagen production, helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, repairs UV damage, and lessens inflammation. Foods that contain CoQ10 include: beef, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, chicken, corn oil, cottonseed oil, eggs, garlic, peanuts, peas, pistachios, pollock, pork, reindeer, sardines, sesame oil, soybean oil, spinach, sweet potatoes, sweet peppers, tuna, walnuts, etc.

Cognitive Therapy: A form of psychotherapy that is based on the idea that a person's emotional responses are influenced by what he/she thinks. The therapist works with the patient to change any maladaptive patterns of thinking.

Cognitive Restructuring Therapy: Teaches people to recognize and then change, restructure or reframe their thought processes, to create less stressful responses and outlooks.

Collagen: Fibrous, connective tissue made from protein; found in the reticular layer of the dermis which gives skin its firmness. Topically, a large, long-chain molecular protein that lies on top of the skin and binds water. It also plumps the surface of the skin and prevents water loss. It is derived from the placentas of cows or other sources.

Colour Therapy: uses colours to treat and heal emotional and physical challenges. Different colours evoke different responses in people -- some colours can be stimulating, while others may be calming and people's preferences and associations vary. Colour therapists may recommend visualizing different colors in the mind's eye or changing the colors of clothing or changing the colours in the home or office décor.

Comedogenic: A tendency to clog follicles and cause a buildup of dead skin cells, resulting in comedones.

Comedone (Blackhead): An open comedo or blackhead. A mass of hardened sebum and skin cells in a hair follicle. When the follicle is filled with an excess of oil, a blackhead forms. It is dark because it oxidizes once it is exposed to oxygen. Closed comedones do not have a follicular opening and are called milia or whiteheads.

Company (or Corporate or Workplace) Wellness Program: Refers to health promotion efforts provided through an employer.

Conditioned Insomnia: An easily overlooked form of chronic insomnia caused by the development of a negative assocation between the customary sleep environment and sleeping, resulting from an earlier experience of sleeplessness in the past.

Contact Dermatitis (dermatitis veneneta): An inflammatory skin condition caused by contact with a substance or chemical.

Contouring Makeup Colours: These are the colours in the middle range of the palette. The provide some contrast and make features recede and make them look smaller and more defined. Apply these colours on the crease of the eyelid.

Contraindications: A factor that prohibits a treatment due to a condition. A treatment could cause harmful or negative side effects to those who have specific medical or skin conditions and therefore should be avoided.

Convulsion (Seizure): An uncontrollable contraction of muscles that can result in super movement or loss of control.

Copper: This mineral is an important trace element for human nutrition since the body needs copper for its antioxidant properties and to absorb and utilize iron. Copper is also important for many other processes including for the synthesis of collagen and elastin and for wound healing and for antiaging. It also has skin softening properties. It's included in many multi-vitmain supplements.

Cortisol: A steroid hormone that is released from the adrenal glands in response to stress that facilitates fat storage. Managing stress will help keep cortisol levels down and will keep fat from being stored around the belly.

Cosmeceuticals: Products intended to improve the skin's health and appearance.

Cosmetics: As defined by the FDA, cosmetics are "articles that are intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness or altering the appearance.

Cosmetologist: A professional who improves the health or appearance of hair by using cutting, styling, highlighting, colouring, perming, straightening and conditioning techniques.

Cosmetology: The study of techniques like cutting, styling, highlighting, colouring, perming, straightening and conditioning that improve the health or appearance of hair.

Counting Sheep: The expression "counting sheep" refers to the repetitive and rhythmic practice of imagining fluffy sheep jumping over a fence and counting them one by one as a method to lull yourself into falling asleep.

Couperose Skin (or Telangiectasia): Describes capillaries that are red, distended or damaged from weakening of the capillary walls.

Cranio-Sacral Therapy: A manual therapy that focuses on the manipulation of the bones in the skull and sacrum.

Cryotherapy: The therapeutic application of cold temperatures to skin.

Crown Chakra (Sahasrara): This energy centre is located at the top of the head and its colour vibration is violet or sometimes white. This centre connects our spiritual energy with the universal consciousness.

Cuticle: A fold of skin that partly covers the border of the nail. In a pedicure or manicure, the cuticle is pushed back so the surface of the nail looks cleaner and smoother.

Cyst: A closed, abnormally developed sac containing fluid, infection or other matter located above or below the skin.


Daily Values (DV): Standard values developed by the FDA and USDA for food labels to help consumers assess food value. It's an estimate of how much of a nutrient is needed per day.

Dead Sea Minerals & Dead Sea Salts: it's virtually impossible for a person to sink if they swim in the Dead Sea in Israel because of its dense mineral and salt content. Dead Sea salts baths contain high levels of potassium, sodium and magnesium which help detoxify the body and soften the skin. People swear by their healing power. Dead sea salts are composed of Magnesium Chloride which replenishes electrolytes, Potassium Chloride which is astringent, Sodium Chloride which exfoliates, Calcium Chloride which replenishes Calcium, Bromide which is relaxing, Sulfates which maintain smooth and healthy skin and Bicarbonate which has cleansing properties.

Debilitating: impairs the vitality and strength of a person.

Dehydration: The body needs water to carry on normal functions at an optimal level and signs that the body has lost excessive amounts of water and has become dehydrated include: increasing thirst, dry mouth, weakness, lightheadedness, dark urine or a decrease in urination. Dehydration can be dangerous.

Delta Sleep (Slow-wave Sleep): The time of deep sleep marked by large, slow EEG waves, called Delta waves, when most bodily recovery and healing occurs. Delta sleep includes both sleep stages 3 and 4 and most delta sleep occurs during the first 90-minutes of sleep. The amount of delta decreases with age and the longer one sleeps, the lower the percentage of delta during sleep.

Dehydration: Lack of water. Can be dangerous.

Denaturant: In terms of cosmetics formulations, an ingredient such as Glycerin is considered a denaturant because when it is added to cosmetics products formulas, it renders cosmetics unpalatable. These types of ingredients are mostly added to cosmetics that contain various alcohols, including ethyl alcohol, to make them unfit for drinking but without altering the usefulness of the whole product.

Depression: a term used to describe an emotional state that is characterized by sadness, lack of energy and low self-esteem.

Depurative: An agent that aids in detoxification by attacking impurities in the blood.

Dermatitis: Any inflammatory condition of the skin. Various forms of lesions, such as eczema, vesicles or papules.

Dermatologist: A physician who treats skin disorders and diseases.

Dermatologist-recommended (or Dermatologist-tested): Take these claims with a grain of salt. These labels don't necessarily mean that the skin care product is recommended by many dermatologists. It only takes one dermatologist to try the product or use it on one of his/her patients for a product to be able to make this claim.

Dermatology: A branch of science that studies and treats the skin and its disorders.

Dermis: The live layer of connective tissue found below the epidermis.

Desincrustation: Galvanic current is used to create an alkaline chemical reaction that emulsifies or liquefies sebum and debris.

Desquamation: The process of cells travelling from the bottom layer of the epidermis (stratum germinativum) to the top layer (stratum corneum). If it happens too quickly, the extra oil makes a paste on the surface of the skin so the pores keep getting blocked. If the process is too slow, the cells get stuck in the bottom layer which creates a traffic jam. Abnormal desquamation is one of the 4 causes of acne.

Detoxification: External and internal cleansing of the body and the removal of toxins from the body. Please see the blog post, "Have you ever spa'd at sea? Part 2."

Diabetes: a disease in which blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are above normal.

Diet: A term that refers to what a person eats and drinks and any type of eating plan, like the old joke, "I'm on a seafood diet -- I see food and I eat it." But if someone wants to lose weight, they will typically say, "I'm going on a diet."

Digestive System: Food passes through the digestive system, where it is broken down by acids and enzymes so that it can be absorbed into the bloodstream and used for energy and to build and repair tissues. The digestive canal is a long muscular tube made up of hollow organs such as the stomach and intestines. Digestion begins in the mouth but mostly takes place in the stomach and small intestine. Waste products of digestion are processed by the liver and kidneys and are then eliminated from the body. The digestion of food and the elimination of waste products are the foundations of good health. If food is not properly digested, then all of the necessary nutrients may not be received, and the body may become overloaded with toxins.

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA): The component in autotanning products that causes the skin cells to change colour and look tanned.

Diuretic: An agent that promotes the production of urine.

Dissolving Exfoliants: These liquid exfoliants are composed of AHA's and BHA's which remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, improving the skin's texture and appearance.

Dorsiflexion: Bending the top of the foot (the dorsal surface) toward the shin.

Doshas: One of three subtle energies (vata, pitta, kapha) that hold together 2 of the 5 elements. (Ayurveda).

Dry Room: A treatment room in which there is no shower or hydrotherapy equipment. To remove spa products from the body, therapists use hot, moist towels. Alternatively, guests take showers in a different area of the spa.

Dyssomnia: Any disorder involving the amount and/or timing of sleep, such as insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness or disturbances in the circadian rhythm.


Eczema: An inflammatory, painful itching disease of the skin, acute or chronic in nature, with dry or moist lesions, which should be seen by a dermatologist.

Edema: Swelling caused by a response to injury or infection.

Effleurage: is a series of gentle massage strokes used in Swedish massage to warm up the muscles. It's a French word meaning "to skim" or "to touch lightly." This soothing, circular movement is mostly used at the beginning and at the end of a massage as well as to transition to different techniques throughout the massage.

Elastin: Protein fiber found in the dermis which gives skin its elasticity and firmness.

Electric or Magetic Fields (EMF's): EMF's emanate from anything that uses electricity or radio waves such as electrical appliances, computers, TV's, microwave ovens, light fixtures, electrical wiring, extension cords, and power outlets. EMF's also emanate from above-ground- or underground power lines, cell towers, Smart Meters, wireless routers, cordless phones and cell phones. Ongoing exposure to EMF's can cause symptoms like poor vision, headaches, fatigue, low quality sleep, and may increase the risk for Leukemia, rare brain cancers, birth defects, Alzheimer's disease or heart conditions.

Electroencephalogram (EEG): A recording of the electron activity of the brain, using a procedure called "electroencephalography." It involves placing metal tabs on the head to amplify the electrical current generated by the brain and displaying it graphically.

Electromyogram (EMG): A recording of electrical activity of muscles. In sleep studies, electrodes are used to measure activity from the chin muscles and from the legs (or from the chest) to assess periodic movements.

Electro-oculogram (EOG): A recording of electrical changes resulting from shifts in the position of the eyeball. Surface electrodes are placed near the eyes to to record the activity. The rapid eye movements indicate the REM (dreaming) stage of sleep. The EOG works along with the EEG and EMG to score sleep stages and waking times.

Electrolysis: is a method that removes hair permanently.

Emollients: Ingredients that lubricate, moisturize and soften the skin by preventing or slowing water loss. They make skin feel smoother to the touch by softening dry, rough spots. Ingredients that have emollient properties include: almond oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and sunflower oil.

Employee Wellness Program: A wellness program offered through a corporation or business that is intended to improve the health and wellbeing of employees. Studies have shown that wellness programs improve productivity, reduce absenteeism, boost moral, minimize stress, lower health care costs and demonstrate to the employees that their contribution to the organization is appreciated.

Emulsifying Wax: A wax used to emulsify and blend oil and water in creams.

Energy expenditure: The amount of energy, measured in calories, that a person uses.

Enzymatic Exfoliation: Exfoliation that relies on biological action rather than physical abrasion. This type of exfoliation needs to be rinsed off the skin. The enzymes used dissolve keratin in the skin, thereby removing dead skin cells and supporting the natural process of exfoliation.

Enzyme Peels: Enzyme products that dissolve keratin proteins (dead skin cells) and exfoliate the skin.

Epidermis: The outermost, thin, protective layer of the skin with many nerve endings.

Ergonomic: a term coined in 1950 from the Greek word "ergon" which means "work." Ergonomics is an applied science which is concerned with how well things are designed and arranged for human use. The goal is to reduce fatigue and discomfort while maximizing productivity, efficiency and safety. Please see the blog post: Are you a walking coat hanger part 1.

Erythema: Redness caused by inflammation.

Essential Fatty Acids: Not to be confused with fat, Fatty acids are required by the human body for health and fuel but cannot be made in sufficient quantity and therefore must be obtained from food sources. Two essential fatty acids are linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). EFA's are anti-inflammatory and analgesic, and help regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and the immune system. In skin care, they help reduce dryness, redness, swelling, pain and itching and speed the healing of wounds.

Essential Oils: Volatile oils that are derived or extracted from aromatic plants. They have many different properties that heal the mind and body.

Esthetician (or Aesthetician): A person devoted to, or professionally occupied with, skin health and beauty. Estheticians are beauty specialists with around 300 to 1500 hours of training and their scope of practice includes skin care, hair removal and makeup application.

Esthetics (or Aesthetics): From the Greek word, aesthetikos, meaning "perceptible to the senses," a branch of anatomical science that deals with the overall health and well-being of the skin, the largest organ of the human body.

Excessive Daytime Somnolence: Sleepiness and severe difficulty in staying awake, even after apparently adequate sleep.

Exfoliants: Mechanical and chemical products or processes used to exfoliate the skin.

Exfoliation: The process of peeling or sloughing off dead skin cells on the outer layer of the skin. Benefits include: improvement in skin's texture and appearance, increased circulation and lymph flow, increased immunity and relaxation.

Expectorant: An agent that promotes the removal of mucous from the respiratory system.


Face and Scalp Massage: Are massages that help relax the muscles of the face and scalp. They tone skin, relax the facial expression, stimulate circulation and help apply skin care products.

Facials: A facial treatment is a professional service designed to improve and rejuvenate the skin on the face, neck, shoulders and decolleté. The steps include: Consultation; Make up removal and Cleansing; Skin Analysis; Refinement Masque (Exfoliation); Skin Balancing; Hand, Foot, Neck, Shoulder and Facial Massages; Treatment Masque & Serums; and Moisturization and Sun Protection and may last anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes.

Fango: The Italian word for mud. The term is used loosely to describe products that include mud, peat and clay.

Fangotherapy: Spa treatments that use therapeutic mud, clay and peat to treat many conditions including arthritis.

Fat-soluble vitamins: are vitamins A, D, E and K and they can be stored in your body for months or even years.

Father Sebastian Kneipp: A Bavarian priest who streamlined Priessnitz's treatments and combined herbal treatments with water cures.

Fats (Lipids): Macronutrients used to produce energy in the body. The materials in the sebaceous glands that lubricate the skin.

Fibromyalgia: a condition that causes pain in muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons.

First-night Effect: The finding in sleep studies that many people either do not sleep as well on the first night in a sleep lab as they will later or they sleep best during the first night in the lab.

Fitness: A person's level of physical health.

Fitzpatrick Scale: A scale used to measure the skin type's ability to tolerate sun exposure.

Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) (Folate): Is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin that is essential for many biochemical reactions and functions in the body like helping in the formation of red blood cells and preventing anemias. The human body needs this vitamin to synthesize and repair DNA. It's especially vital in aiding rapid cell division and growth and helps protect fetuses from developing health problems. It also calms and enhances the nervous system and may help with depression. Foods containing high amounts of folate include: asparagus, baker's yeast, banana, beans, beer, beets, bok choy, bread, broccoli, brussels sprouts, canned pineapple juice, cantaloupe, corn, egg yolks, grapefruit, honeydew melon, lentils, lettuce, legumes, liver, orange juice, pasta, peas, raspberry, some breakfast cereals, spinach, strawberry, sunflower seeds, tomato juice, turnip greens and yeast breads.

Fomentek:A type of water bottle that is designed to lie flat on the massage table.

Foot Treatments: Treatments that are designed for the feet but do not include nail work like in pedicures. Treatments often include an exfoliating scrub, a cleansing masque or a moisturizing paraffin dip. They relax tension, stimulate circulation, increase range of motion and condition skin.

Forbidden Zone: You may find it very difficult to fall asleep about 2 to 4 hours before sleep onset.

Fragrance: gives products their scent.

Free Radicals: "Super" oxidizers that cause an oxidation reaction and produce a new free radical in the process. They're created by highly reactive atoms or molecules (often oxygen) having an unpaired number of electrons. Free radicals are unstable and can damage DNA, causing inflammation and disease in the body. Cigarette smoke, sunlight and alcohol are 3 environmental factors that will increase free radicals.

Free-running: A term in chronobiology indicating that a person's internal rhythm in not in sync with the cycle of the sun. It occurs when people are put into time-free environments.

Fructose: Fructose is a type of sugar found in plants, especially fruits, hence the name. It has water-binding properties for skin. Fructose can be sourced from honey, flowers, berries, tree fruits (like apples and peaches), and vine fruits (like grapes), and most root vegetables (like beets and carrots). Because fructose is metabolized in the liver to glucose, fructose has the lowest glycemic index (GI = 19) of all the natural sugars. However, because there is a chance that excessive consumption of fructose may be a factor in some diseases, products containing high fructose amounts are not recommended.

Full Arousal from Sleep: means awakening from sleep. During an arousal, the EEG changes, the muscle tone increases, the heart beats more rapidly and the body may change position.

Full-body Exfoliation: Loofah scrubs, full-body polishes, salt glows, sugar glows, and dry skin brushing are spa treatments designed to exfoliate the skin. They help cleanse, remove dead skin cells, soften skin, boost energy, relax the mind and stimulate circulation and lymph flow.

Functional Ingredients: Ingredients in cosmetic products that allow the products to spread, give them body and texture and give them a specific form such as a lotion, creme or gel.

Fungicidal: Not a fun guy's recital:> It's an agent that fights fungal infections.

Furaneol or Strawberry Furanone: is a natural organic compound used in the food and perfume industries because of its sweet strawberry aroma. It's actually found in strawberries and a variety of other fruits including pineapple. It's also present in buckwheat and tomatoes in terms of fragrance. It helps prevent and reduce infections, helps the immune system, stimulates the release of dopamine and improves quality of sleep and emotional moods.


Galvanic Current Machine: A machine used by estheticians in facial treatments. The machine has 2 different applications depending on the polarity of the current that is needed. When the working electrode is the negative pole, it is used with a disincrustation solution to soften blocked sebum in pores. When it is set on the opposite polarity (when the positive pole is the working electrode), it is used to soothe the skin and encourage the absorption of a water-soluble treatment product.

Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA): is a Fatty acid used in cosmetics as an emollient, antioxidant, and cell regulator. It helps build healthy skin tissues and is an anti-inflammatory agent. It's useful in reducing the signs of aging skin and may help treat eczema. GLA is found in black currant oil and seeds, borage oil, canola oil, chia, evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil, hempseeds, soybeans, and walnuts. When taken orally, GLA has been shown to have some anticancer properties.

Germaben II: Is the registered trademark of International Specialty Products and is a clear liquid used as a preservative in home spa body care recipes. It inhibits microbial, yeast and mould growth in cosmetics like soaps, lotions, and shampoos. Unfortunately, it contains parabens which may be carcinogenic.

Glucosamine: It's one of the most common dietary supplements used by adults even though it's not a vitamin nor a mineral. It's naturally present in shellfish shells, animal bones and bone marrow and helps support joints and build healthy cartilage. It's particularly useful for people with osteoarthritis.

Glycemic Index (GI) Food List: Is a list that measures the "effect of food on blood glucose levels." It ranks foods based on how quickly the blood sugar levels will increase after ingestion. Low Glycemic Index foods are foods (like most fruits and vegetables, legumes, some whole grains, nuts, fructose, kidney beans, beets, chick peas) that rank less than 55 on the GI and they produce a small rise in blood sugar and insulin levels. Foods with a GI index between 55 and 70 (including: whole wheat products, basmati rice, sweet potatoes, sucrose, baked potatoes) are considered intermediate-GI foods. High GI index foods, where the GI numbers are more than 70, (including: white bread, most white rices, corn flakes, extruded breakfast cereals, glucose), make our blood sugar and insulin levels rise fast. It's recommended for people to eat more foods that are lower than 70 on the Glycemic Index for a healthy body weight.

Glycerin: Formed by a decomposition of oils or fats and is an excellent skin softener and humectant.

Glycolic Acid: Is an AHA that is found in various skin care products because it renews the skin by dissolving dead skin cells while deep-cleansing pores and therefore improves the skin's appearance and texture. This exfoliant occurs naturally in sugar cane, sugar beets, pineapple and cantaloupe. Caution: It's a strong irritant depending on the pH levels. It should not be ingested.

Glycolic Peel: Is a chemical peel that uses Glycolic Acid and is applied to the face and body by a dermatologist, plastic surgeon or licensed esthetician. Because it easily penetrates skin, it improves many skin conditions including smoothing wrinkles, healing scars from acne, and fading hyperpigmentation. Caution: It's a strong irritant depending on the pH levels. It should not be ingested.

Gommage: Peeling cream that is rubbed off the skin.


Hair Conditioning: In terms of cosmetics formulations, an ingredient such as Helichrysum Flower Extract is considered hair conditioning because when it is added to cosmetics products formulas, it helps keep the hair healthy and in good condition. Conditioned hair is soft and shiny, has volume, and is easy to comb.

Hand Treatments: Treatments that are designed for the hands but do not include nail work like in manicures. Treatments often include an exfoliating scrub, a cleansing masque or a moisturizing paraffin dip. They relax tension, stimulate circulation, increase range of motion and condition skin.

Hamam: An Islamic bath characterized by a vaulted ceiling and a raised, heated marble platform called a hararat, which is used for massage or exfoliation.

Healing Agents: Substances such as chamomile or aloe that help to heal the skin.

Heart: A cone-shaped, muscular organ that keeps the blood moving within the circulatory system of the body.

Heart Chakra (Anahata): This energy centre is located over the heart and its colour vibration is emerald green. It's the bridge between the physical chakras (Root, Sacral & Solar Plexus) and the mental chakras (Throat, Third Eye & Crown). It's all about love, compassion, harmony, balance and understanding.

Henna: is a flowering plant, a dye made from the plant, and the art of applying temporary tatoos on the body with the dye. Henna has been used since the Bronze Age in traditional ceremonies to colour skin, hair, nails, leather, silk and wool and to make floral perfumes.

Hepatic: An agent that tones and stimulates the function of the liver to support liver cleansing and detoxification treatments.

Herbal Infusions: Sheets, bath towels or hand towels are soaked in herbal infusions (herbs steeped in water) and applied to the body for therapeutic purposes.

Herbs: Along with plant extracts, herbs contain phytohormones. Hundreds of different herbs are used in skin care products and cosmetics because they heal, stimulate, soothe and moisturize.

High Frequency Machine: Machine that generates a rapidly oscillating current that is transmitted through glass electrodes. The current produces heat in the skin, which stimulates circulation. It also produces ozone, which acts as a germicide to kill bacteria.

Higher Transformational Healing: is a healing modality developed by Frederick K. Vokey that taps into the concepts that we are all born with everything we need to live a healthy and abundant life and at birth, each one of us is given free will and the gift of healing. Our Body, Mind and Spirit are connected by an energy field that is all around us and if we learn how to "master the energy within" it is possible to learn how to channel this energy to heal ourselves and others.

Highlighting Makeup Colours: These are the lightest and brightest colours of the palette and make features appear larger.

Homeostasis: The body's ability to maintain a relatively constant internal environment despite changing external conditions.

Homespun: Woven or spun at home and having an unpolished, plain, rustic, coarse or unsophisticated character.

Homespunspa: A party-planning service, mobile spa, and wellness coaching service based in Victoria, BC, that reveals spa-style recipes for sleep and beauty using natural ingredients.

Hormones: Secretions produced by one of the endocrine glands and then carried by the bloodstream or body fluid to another part of the body or body organ to stimulate functional activity or secretion.

Hot Stone Massage: Basalt stones are warmed and then passed over the body to stimulate circulation and relieve tension.

Hot/Cold Immersion Therapy: It's a type of treatment sometimes found in spas where a person (or just their limb) first immerses themselves in a pool of ice water and then immediately jumps into a pool of warm water. They repeat the process several times, alternating between the cold and hot temperatures. It helps stimulate detoxification and with relaxation.

Humectants (Hydrators): Ingredients that attract water. Humectants draw moisture to the skin and soften its surface, diminishing lines caused by dryness. Glycerin is a humectant used in creams and lotions.

Hurley/Osborn Technique: Is a healing technique originally developed in the 1920's by Dr. John Hurley, a structural engineer and chiropractor. It's based on the body's relationship to gravity and when the sacrum is out of alignment from tension, stress, illness or injury, the muscles supporting the spine become stressed, which then causes discomfort in the body. The technique helps promote rest, relaxation, healing and regeneration by releasing muscle tension through subtle adjustment to the sacrum. Prior to 2001, this technique was known as "Aquarian-Age Healing."

Hydroquinone (Bearberry extract): In high concentrations, Hydroquinone extract, which is derived from Bearberry, is known to inhibit melanin production in skin. Bearberry extract is often present in skin care products that target hyperpigmentation.

Hydrotherapy: The use if water in specialized showers, steams, baths and saunas (as liquid, solid or vapour) at specific temperatures for therapeutic purposes and to condition the skin.

Hygroscopic: It readily absorbs water from other sources.

Hyperpigmentation: Overproduction of pigment in the skin.

Hypersomnia: Excessive or prolonged sleep.

Hypnagogic: Occuring at the beginning of sleep.

Hypnagogic Images: Vivid images that occur at the beginning of sleep. They are particularly intense when sleep begins with a REM period.

Hypnagogic Jerk: A startle reaction. A harmless sudden body jerk that many individuals experience just as sleep begins.

Hypnopompic: Occuring at the end of sleep, during the process of awakening.

Hypnopompic Hallucination: An unreal image or sound that is experienced just as you wake up.

Hypnotic: Related to sleep. The term is also used as a synonym for sleeping pills.

Hypoallergenic: Refers to ingredients and products that are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction for most people. Products labled hypoallergenic (including skin care products, laundry detergents and linens for example) are preferred by people with sensitive skin because they have a lower chance of causing allergic reactions than regular products; however everyone won't react to an ingredient in the same way and it's best to know which ingredients have irritated your skin in the past before you purchase and use products.

Hypotensive: An agent that lowers blood pressure and helps people manage stress and anxiety.


Idiopathic Insomnia: Insomnia without a known cause.

Immunity: Ability of the body to resist infection and destroy pathogens that have infected the body.

INCI Name: Stands for "International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients." By law, all cosmetics and personal care products must list their ingredients on their label for consumer safety. To keep things consistent between brands, they use INCI names. This system of names for ingredients such as waxes, oils, pigments, and chemicals that are found in cosmetics is based on scientific names and other Latin and English words.

Infection: The invasion of body tissues by disease-causing pathogenic bacteria.

Inflammation: Condition in which a part of the body reacts to protect itself from injury, irritation, or infection, characterized by redness, heat, pain, swelling and loss of function. It is one of the 4 causes of acne.

Insomnia: The inability to get as much sleep as a person needs for efficient daytime functioning. It literally means "no sleep" but all insomniacs usually experience some sleep within each 24-hour day.

Interferons: Proteins secreted by some cells that protect them (and other cells) from viral infection.

Internal Arousal Insomnia: A form of chronic insomnia resulting from excessive mental activity. It can develop by trying too hard to sleep, by the brain being overstimulated by work or excitement before bed or by a current worry.

Iron: A mineral that carries oxygen in red blood cells to the body's cells. Foods that contain iron include: meats, eggs and dark leafy vegetables and seaweeds contain more iron than land plants.

Iron oxides: Compounds of iron that are used as colorings in some cosmetics. They're also used as a metal polish called, "jewelers' rouge," and are well-known in their crude form as rust.

Irritated Skin: A skin condition resulting from a reaction to a substance. It can show up as redness, rash or dry spots.


Jessner's Peel: A light to medium peel of lactic acid, salicylic acid and resorcinol in an ethanol solvent.

Jet-lag Syndrome: A maladjustment experienced when an abrupt change in the length of the day (when a person travels great distances in short amount of time) which causes "body time" or circadian rhythm to be temporarily out of sync with local clock time. It typically occurs after long flights to different geographical time zones.

Joint: The connection between 2 or more bones of the skeleton.


Kapha: A dosha that is a combination of earth and water elements. (Ayurveda).

Keratin: Fiber protein found in skin, hair and nails which provides resiliency and protection to the skin. It forms the outer layer of the epidermis.

The Kur System: A German medical system that includes spa treatments as part of a wider system for health and wellness. In Germany and in other European countries, Kur treatments are medically prescribed and paid for by the national health care system.


Lactic Acid: Derived from milk, this natural alpha-hydroxi acid gently cleanses, exfoliates and moisturizes skin, making it appear fresh, bright, and healthy.

Learned Odour Response: A response that occurs when an odor is paired with a person, place or thing and therefore forms a memory link. Please read the blog post: "Let your sense of smell guide you home this Christmas."

Lecithin: is a natural moisturizer and antioxidant found in egg yolks and the membranes of plant and animal cells. It's widely used in cosmetics as an emollient and water-binding agent.

Lesion: an infected or diseased area of skin.

Life Coaching is a synergistic relationship between an accredited life coach and a client. Life coaches partner with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires their clients to maximize their personal and professional potential. Through thoughtful questions and active listening, a life coach can offer support in areas such as career, health, and relationships, and help their clients produce extraordinary, fulfilling, and sustainable results.

Light-Emitting Diode (LED): Depending on the type of equipment, the LED can be blue, red, yellow or green. LED in blue has been shown to reduce acne and red is good for increasing circulation and improving the collagen content in the skin. Yellow light has been shown to reduce swelling and inflammation and green light is good for hyperpigmented areas.

Light Sleep: A term often used for sleep stages 1 and 2.

Limbic System: The oldest part of the brain where olfactory signals activate smell-related responses.

Linoleic Acid: Omega 6, an essential fatty acid, used to make important hormones. Also part of the skin's lipid barrier.

Lipids: Fats or fatlike substances. Lipids help repair and protect the barrier function of the skin.

Long Sleeper: A person who usually sleeps more than 9 hours without any existing, negative sleep conditions.

Low Calorie (Low Cal): A food containing 40 calories or less per serving.

Low Cholesterol: A food containing 20 milligrams or less of Cholesterol and 2 grams or less of saturated fat per serving.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): A form of cholesterol that circulates in the blood and is commonly called "bad" cholesterol. The higher the LDL, the greater risk of heart disease. An LDL of less than 100 mg/dl is considered optimal; 100-129 mg/dl is considered near optimal; 130-159 mg/dl is considered borderline high; 160-189 mg/dl is considered high; and 190 mg/dl or greater is considered very high.

Low Fat: A food containing 3 grams of fat or less per serving.

Low Saturated Fat: A food containing 1 gram of saturated fat or less per serving.

Lungs: Spongy tissues composed of microscopic cells in which inhaled air is exchanged for carbon dioxide during one respiratory cycle.

Luxury Spa: A spa with exceptional accommodations, a full range of treatments, the latest advances in spa technology, a full array of wet-room equipment and a well-trained staff.

Lycopene: is a red pigment that has potent antioxidant and cancer-fighting properties and can be found in fruits and vegetables like: gac, tomatoes, watermelons, pink grapefruit and papaya.


Macronutrients: Nutrients that make up the largest part of the nutrition we take in and are found in the 3 basic food groups (protein, carbohydrates and fats). Carbohydrates and fats provide energy to the body while protein provides the building blocks necessary for cell growth and repair.

Makeup Application: The application of makeup products like eyeshadow or lip gloss to enhance the features and appearance of the face.

Malignant Melanoma: The most serious form of skin cancer. Black or dark patches on the skin are usually uneven in texture, jagged or raised.

Manicure: A Manicure is a professional treatment that is designed to beautify hands and fingernails. The word "manicure" comes from Latin where "manus" means "of the hands" and "cura" means "care."

Manual Lymph Drainage: Form of massage that assists the function of the lymphatic system to help a person detoxify. These slow, light, and repetitive strokes help move lymph fluid in the direction of the lymph glands. This technique is often used during acne facials.

Marma Points: Invisible points in the body where energy streams converge. You can find them on the hands and feet among other places. Focusing on them will help balance energy in the body.

Massage: A Massage is a professional treatment that involves the manipulation of muscle and connective tissue using various techniques to stimulate circulation and lymphatic flow and to promote relaxation and well-being. The word "massage" comes from the French, "massage" which means "friction or kneading" or from Arabic, "massa" which means "to touch, feel or handle," or from the Greek, "masso" which means "to handle, touch, to work with the hands, to knead dough." There are several types of massages available including Swedish, Shiatsu, manual lymphatic drainage, craniosacral, lomi lomi, Thai, sports and deep tissue and they all stimulate circulation and lymphatic flow and help relax muscles.

Masques (Masks): Ingredients such as herbs, vitamins and oils combined with clay, seaweed or hydrating bases used to treat the skin.

Mechanical Exfoliation: A physical process in which the body is rubbed with an abrasive product or with a coarse handheld item such as a loofah.

Medical Esthetics: Integration of surgical procedures and esthetic treatments.

Melanin: Skin pigment and defense mechanism to protect skin from the sun.

Melatonin: is a potent antioxidant and hormone produced in the pineal gland which regulates the body's circadian rhythms and sleep-wake cycles. Nightfall triggers an increase in the production of melatonin in the body which prepares us for sleep and low melatonin levels at night may account for insomnia in some adults. Eating a handful of tart cherries, (a good food source of melatonin) before bedtime, may help increase melatonin levels in the blood, which will promote restful sleep. Please read the blog post, "Top off your day with a Cherry."

Metabolism: A general term designating all chemical changes that occur within the body. Also refers to the body process concerned with the breakdown of food and its use by the cells, including the input and output of energy, heat, wastes from a cell as it functions. Insomniacs have consistently higher metabolism than good sleepers, both night and day.

Mica: Earth mineral included in products to give them sparkle and shine.

Micronutrients: Vitamins, minerals and substances that have no calories or nutritional value but are essential to our body's functions. They do no in themselves provide energy, but macronutrients depend on micronutrients to release energy from food.

Middle Note: In perfumery, aromas are classified as top, middle or base notes. Middle notes give body to a perfume blend. A good perfume has a nice balance between top, middle and base notes.

Milia (Whiteheads): Milia are whitish, pearl-like masses of sebum and dead cells under the skin. Milia are more common in dry skin types and may form after skin trauma, such as laser resurfacing.

Minerals: Naturally-occuring substances (such as calcium, magnesium, iodine, niacin, iron, sodium, zinc, or potassium) that play a crucial role in the body's metabolic processes. These inorganic materials are obtained from food and are required for the body's cells to function properly. These skin-friendly elements also repair damage, slow signs of aging, smoothe wrinkles, help heal itchy rashes, and calm irritated skin.

Minisleep: A lapse from wakefulness into sleep that lasts just a few moments and is often associated with excessive daytime sleepiness.

Mobile Spa: A business that offers health, wellness and spa treatments to people in their homes, hotel rooms, or offices. Also known as a travelling spa.

Moisturizer: an ingredient or product that increases and restores the water content of skin, hair or nails and helps keep them soft and smooth.

Mole: A brownish spot ranging in colour from tan to bluish black. Some are flat, resembling freckles while others are raised and darker.

Moor Mud: A low-moor peat from the Neydharting Moor in Austria that is well-known for its anti-inflammatory effects.

Mucilage: A gelatinous substance composed of proteins and polysaccharides found in plants and animals that is extracted for cosmetic purposes from plants such as seaweeds. It lends a creaminess to cosmetics which also moisturizes and protects the skin.

Mud: Soft, wet earth that is mainly mineral in composition. Mud is a mixture of rock and plant-derived organic matter.

Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT): A test to measure how sleepy you are by observing how long it takes you to fall asleep during your normal waking hours. It is given in a sleep lab at least 4 times in one day at 2-hour intervals and is used to show excessive daytime sleepiness, to document sleep-onset REM periods, and to evaluate the effects of sleep treatments.

Muscle Spasm: A sudden painful involuntary contraction of a muscle or a group of muscles.

Music Therapists: are professionally trained to use music as a healing modality. They teach people to appreciate music, or they can start conversations about song lyrics and imagery, or they can help people improve their improvisational, receptive listening, song writing, and/or performance skills all while raising quality of life. These therapist work in many kinds of healthcare settings including hospitals, prisons, rehabilitative facilities, senior centers, schools, and private practice.

Music Therapy: Music has been used as a tool for healing since ancient times and influences physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being. Music therapy may involve listening to music or performing music, and can work with or without a professional music therapist. Anyone, including infants, children, teens, adults, the elderly as well as animals and plants can all potentially benefit from music therapy.

Myoclonus: A muscle contraction that produces a jerk or a twitch that often occurs for some sleepers.


Narcolepsy: A neurological disorder that causes irresistable sleepiness.

Nail Technician: A certified or licensed practitioner who provides care for the nails or applies, repairs or decorates gel or acrylic nails.

Natural Immunity: An inherent resistance to disease.

Natural Ingredients: are ingredients that come directly from nature and are not manufactured in a chemistry lab. As simple as that sounds, there are no guidelines that can pin down exactly what "natural" means in terms of cosmetics. "Natural" products can contain a mix of natural and synthetic ingredients in their formulas but to what percent is unclear. Also, natural ingredients aren't necessarily superior to synthetic ingredients because both can cause allergic reactions or irritate the skin. Common natural ingredients that can be irritating to the skin include: chamomile, lemon, mint and rosemary.

Nerve Tissue: Tissue that controls and coordinates all body functions.

Nerves: Whitish cords made up of bundles of nerve fibers held together by connective tissue through which impulses are transmitted.

Nervine: An agent that strengthens and tones the nervous system.

Nervous system: The body's communication system whereby the nerves carry messages back and forth between the brain and all body parts. This system is composed of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. It controls and coordinates all other systems and makes them work harmoniously and efficiently.

Neuro-: Pertaining to the body's nervous system.

Niacin; Vitamin B3: A vitamin essential for carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism. Foods that contain Niacin include: poultry, fish, beef, peanut butter, legumes, and whole or enriched grain products.

Night Terrors or Sleep Terrors: Sleep terrors or night terrors occur almost exclusively in children. Episodes of this sleep disorder usually arise from the depths of the first stage 4 sleep cycle of the night and is generally associated with signs of intense fear. Please see the blog post, "Nightmare, sleep terror or ghost?"

Noctural Confusion (Sundowner's Syndrome): Episodes of disorientation close to or during nighttime sleep. It's often seen in the elderly and is indicative of central nervous deterioration.

Non Comedogenic: Refers to cosmetics (including ingredients, formulas and products) that don't clog pores and therefore don't cause comedones or acne breakouts in most people.

Nonrestorative Sleep: Sleep that is not refreshing. During nonrestorative sleep, there is a fluctuation between alpha and NREM sleep waves instead of the usual pattern of sleep waves.

NREM Sleep: Pronounced non-rem and is non-rapid-eye-movement sleep. It includes all the sleep except REM sleep. NREM and REM periods alternate during sleep in cycles that last approximately 90 minutes. NREM sleep includes stages 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Nutrition: Foods people eat to fuel their body and the relationship of food to the well-being of the body.


Obese: Having an excessive amount of body fat. A person is considered obese if he or she has a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater.

Occlusives: are skin care ingredients or products that form a protective seal or film over skin so nothing (such as moisture) can enter or escape. They increase the water content of the skin by slowing the evaporation of water from the surface of the skin and therefore help soften skin, particularly if applied to damp skin. Common occlusives include paraffin, mineral oil, lanolin, cetyl palmitate and dimethicone. Caution: Occlusives may feel greasy. They may also clog pores and cause acne.

Oil-free: Originally, having "oil-free" on the lable meant that the cosmetic product wasn't made with industrial mineral oil (because back then, mineral oil was "extremely thick, impure and [pore] clogging.") However, since raw industrial oils are no longer used in skincare and cosmetics, the term "oil-free" means that a product isn't "oil-based," and instead has ingredients and formulas that do not contain oil or are more "water-based" which are more beneficial for oily or acne-prone skin.

Oleic Acid: is a fatty acid that occurs naturally in fats and oils. It's an odorless, colourless oil, derived predominantly from olive oil that is used to emulsify cosmetics and keep the ingredients form separating.

Olfactory Response: Olfaction is the sense of smell. An olfactory response includes the mental, emotional or spiritual changes that may be elicited by an aroma. Please read the blog post: "Let your sense of smell guide you home this Christmas."

Olfactory System: Gives us our sense of smell, which is the strongest of the 5 senses.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Alphalinolenic acid, a type of good polyunsaturated fat that may decrease cardiovascular diseases. It is also an anti-inflammatory and is beneficial for the skin. Please read the blog post: "O.M.G. — Omega 3."

Order of Ingredients: Although certain natural ingredients may be highlighted on the front of cosmetics products, there may not be a significant amount of the ingredient in the formulation. It's best to read the product's label and then check the order of ingredients to get a better idea of what's involved and if you're getting an effective product. Generally, the ingredients that are present in high concentrations will be listed first on the label. (Usually you'll find water at the top of the list because many products are water-based, and oils like mineral oil or petrolatum next). Ingredients present in lower concentrations are usually added toward the end of the list; however, there are some exceptions to the rule: 1) If one of the ingredients is classified as a drug, then the drug is listed before all of the other ingredients regardless of its concentration; 2) Fragrances, dyes and colors are often the last ingredients listed, no matter what concentrations are present; and 3) Ingredients below 1 percent can be listed in any order, as long as they're listed after ingredients that are at or more than 1 percent.

Organic Ingredients: Ingredients that have been grown without the use of pesticides or chemical processing. But, certifying ingredients as organic can be challenging and the term is used pretty loosely in the cosmetics industry.

Oxidation: A reaction that occurs when chemicals in essential oils interact with the oxygen that is present in the air which results in degradation of the oil.

Oxygen: The most abundant element on earth.


Paleolithic Diet: (or Paleo diet, caveman diet, Stone Age diet) is a nutritional plan based on the presumed diet of the Paleolithic era that lasted 2.5 million years and ended around 10,000 years ago with the advent of agriculture. The modern Paleo diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed-pasture-raised meats, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots and nuts and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, refined salt, refined sugar and processed oils.

Papain: is an enzyme extracted from papaya which helps exfoliate skin and remove dead skin cells in enzyme peels without being abrasive. It may cause severe skin irritation.

Papillary Layer: The top layer of the dermis (layer of the skin), next to the epidermis.

Papule: A pimple or small elevation on the skin that contains no fluid but may develop pus.

Parabens: are chemicals that are used as synethetic preservatives in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. They have bactericidal and fungicidal properties and can be found in commercially-made moisturizers, shampoos, spray tanning products and make-up, etc. Most people won't have an adverse reaction to parabens but their use is becoming increasingly controversial because they may be carcinogenic. If you'd like to avoid these preservatives, look for these words on the label: Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, and Propylparaben. Please see the blog post: 12 not-so-pretty cosmetics ingredients.

Paraffin Wax: Is a waxy, petroleum-based substance that is widely used in spas and in the production of cosmetics. For a special treat, dip your hands and feet in melted paraffin spa bath to soften your skin and relax your mind but shea butter is a greener alternative. Caution: Do not leave melting paraffin unattended as it is flammable.

Parasomnia: A disturbance that occurs during sleep, such as a nightmare, bed-wetting or sleepwalking.

Partial Arousal from Sleep: is a change from a deep stage of NREM sleep to a lighter one.

Pavor Nocturnis: Sleep terrors or night terrors that occur almost exclusively in children. Episodes of this sleep disorder usually arise from the depths of the first stage 4 sleep cycle of the night and is generally associated with signs of intense fear.

Peat: Partially carbonized organic tissue formed by decomposition in water of various plants but mainly in mosses of the genus Sphagnum.

Pectin: From the Greek word, "pektikos," which means "congealed or curdled," pectin is a whitish powder, mainly extracted from citrus fruits like apples, apricots, cherries, oranges, plums and strawberries. It's used as a gelling and stabilizing agent in jams, jellies, medicines, sweets, beverages and as a source of dietary fiber. Pectin is also used in the formulation of cosmetics, body and hand creams, makeup foundations, and hair products as a skin-friendly emulsifier.

Pedicure: is a professional treatment that is designed to beautify the feet and toenails. The word "pedicure" comes from Latin where "pedis" means "of the foot" and "cura" means "care." During this treatment, the feet are soaked, calluses are reduced, the nails are trimmed and filed, the cuticles are pushed back and trimmed, the nails are buffed and the nails get an application of polish.

Pedometer: A small device that is usually worn on the waistband to count steps, total distance walked, and other related measures. Research shows that walking at least 10,000 steps a day (close to 5 miles) will improve health and wellness.

Perfuming: In terms of cosmetics formulations, an ingredient such as Calendula Flower Extract is considered perfuming because when it is added to cosmetics products formulas, it imparts fragrance and aroma.

Petrissage: are massage strokes used in Swedish massage. Petrissage comes from the French word "pétrir" meaning "to knead." These slow and rhythmic movements include kneading, knuckling, wringing, skin rolling, scissoring, and squeezing techniques. They each apply pressure to the underlying muscles and are all performed with the fingers, thumbs and palms of the hand.

Phenylethanolamine (PEA): A chemical found in chocolate that elevates mood. It is thought to be the compound that causes chocolate cravings.

Petroleum Jelly: is a pale, yellow, transluscent, mineral jelly that is insoluble in water. It's an occlusive agent that holds in water and helps the barrier layer in skin. It protects skin as it heals and is commonly used in lip salves and cosmetics. It does not turn rancid when exposed to air. The raw material for petroleum jelly, or "rod wax", as the drillers called it, was discovered in 1859 in Pennsylvania, on one of the country's first oil rigs. Chemist, Robert Chesebrough, heard about it and took the unrefined black substance back to his laboratory to refine it and explore its potential uses. He patented the refining process in 1872 and named his product Vaseline.

Phase Advance: A change to sleeping to earlier in the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. The elderly often shift their sleep times to say 8pm to 4am, for example.

Phase Delay: A change to sleeping to later in the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. 15- to 25-year-olds often shift their sleep times to say, 3am to 10am, for example.

Photoaging: A process that involves UVA and UVB rays from the sun that accelerates aging and damage to skin.

Pitta: A dosha that is a combination of fire and water. (Ayurveda).

Placebo: An inert substance or "sugar pill" sometimes given to a research group of patients as part of a drug study.

Placebo Effect: Patients are said to exhibit the placebo effect when their health status improves despite the fact that the substance they are taking has no active ingredient.

Plantar Flexion: Bending the bottom of the foot downward as in when you point your toes.

Polysaccharides: A class of long-chain sugars composed of monsaccharides that are often used in skin care as antioxidants and water-binding agents.

Polysomnogram: The continuous and simultaneous recording of physiological variables during sleep. Brainwaves, eye movements and chin-muscle activity are measured while breathing, heart rate etc. are also recorded.

Pons: A part of the brainstem lying between the medulla oblongata and the mesencephalon. The pons is one of the most important areas of the brain in reference to sleep and wakefulness, especially as the brain switches between REM and NREM sleep.

Pores: A tubelike opening for sweat glands on the epidermis.

Poultice: A cloth filled with heated herbs (like comfrey), clay or a medicated product and is then applied to wounds or an injury for healing purposes.

Prakriti: The constitution or inherent characteristics of a person, including his/her physical body type, mental type and emotional type. (Ayurveda).

Propione Bacteria: Is the bacteria responsible for acne and is generated by abnormal desquamation.

Protein: A daily supply of protein, found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, and beans, is essential for cell growth, maintenance and repair. Everybody needs 2 or 3 servings of protein per day, but most people in Western cultures eat more protein than they need, which is then converted into fat.

Proteins: Chains of amino acid molecules used in all cell functions and body growth.

Psoriasis: A skin disease characterized by red patches covered with white silver scales that are usually found on the scalp, elbows, knees, chest and lower back. It is caused by overproliferation of skin cells that replicate too rapidly. Immune dysfunction could be the cause.

Psyllium: is a dietary fibre with a high bulklng capacity and is added to breakfast cereals to lower cholesterol. It can also be used for its mucilage to thicken cosmetics.

Pumice: Is a rock with an average porosity of 90% that forms while in motion as it is being expelled from an erupting volcano. Colours range from white, cream, grey, brown to black. It's used in cosmetic exfoliants, and especially on feet to remove dry skin and callouses. Finely ground pumice stone is also added to some toothpastes as a mild, mechanical scrub.

Pus: a fluid containing white blood cells, bacteria and other debris produced from an infection.

Pustule: An inflamed papule with a white or yellow center containing pus.


Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (Quats): Disinfectants that are considered non-toxic, odourless and fast acting.

Quaternium 15: An all-purpose preservative active against bacteria, mold and yeast. It's probably the greatest formaldehyde releaser among cosmetic preservatives and causes dermatitis and allergies.

Quenching: Process that occurs when the action of one compound in an essential oil is suppressed by another compound, therefore making the oil safer to use.


Rebound Insomnia: Disrupted sleep that may occur for a few nights after a person stops taking sleeping pills.

Red Light: Therapeutic light used on dry skin in combination with oils and creams. It penetrates the deepest and produces the most heat.

Reflexology: A holistic therapy that is based on the belief that specific points on the hands, ears and feet correspond to specific areas of the body, including the organs and glands. Please read the blog post "Are you a Walking Coat Hanger Part 2."

Relaxant: An agent that helps people with stress, anxiety and insomnia by soothing and relieving tension.

Restorative: An agent that revitalizes and strengthens the body and immune system and helps people recover after burnout, mental exhaution and stressful situations.

REM Behaviour Disorder: A parasomnia during which the patient carries out part of his or her dreams. It may result from the malfunctioning in the nuclei that are supposed to inhibit all muscle tone during REM sleep.

REM Rebound or Recovery: An increased amount of REM sleep after a period of REM deprivation. Increased amounts of REM sleep may show up as disturbing dreams.

REM Sleep: "REM" is the acronym for "Rapid Eye Movement" and is named for the rapid eye movements that typically occur during this time of the sleep cycle. It's a period of intense brain activity, usually associated with dreams and with paralysis of voluntary muscles. REM sleep usually represents about 20 to 25% of total sleep time in a young adult and occurs regularly about every 90 minutes throughout the night.

Resveratrol: Is a potent antioxidant found in red grapes that protects and maintains healthy skin cells. It also has significant anti-inflammatory properties.

Reticular Layer: The deeper layer of the dermis, containing proteins that give the skin its strength and elasticity.

Retinoic Acid (Retin-A). A vitamin A derivative. It has demonstrated an ability to alter collagen synthesis and is used to treat acne and visible signs of aging. There are possible side effects associated that include: irritation, photosensitivity, skin dryness, redness and peeling. It is also contraindicated to waxing.

Rip Van Winkle Syndrome: Becoming groggy and less alert from long-term, excessive amounts of sleep.

Root Chakra (Muladhara): This energy centre is located at the base of the spine and its colour vibration is red. It helps us meet our basic needs for survival. When this chakra is out of balance, conditions such as fatigue, obesity, depression will develop.

Rosacea (Acne Rosacea): Is a skin disease characterised by redness, inflammation, dilated capillaries, congestion and possibly the formation of papules and pustules in severe cases. Most commonly found on the cheeks and nose, the skin is very senstive and should be treated with gentle care. It's caused by poor digestion, faulty elimination, over-indulgence in alcohol, spicy foods, over-exposure to extreme climates and hyperactivity.

Royal Jelly: Is made by worker bees and is fed to larvae and adult queen bees for it's high nutritional value. Queen bees need to be fed large amounts of Royal Jelly in order for them to take the thrown and rule the hive. Royal Jelly is collected by humans from each individual queen cell (or honeycomb) when the queen larvae are about four days old. Sometimes honey or beeswax is added as a natural preservative. Royal jelly is collected and sold as a dietary supplement for humans for its B-complex vitamins and minerals and various health benefits. It has been shown to lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, heal wounds, and to have antibiotic effects. Royal jelly is also widely used in skin care and natural beauty products though it may cause allergic reactions including hives, asthma, to even fatal anaphylaxis.

Rubefacient: An agent that increases local circulation, temperature and redness in the skin. May cause skin irritation.


Sacral Chakra (Swadhisthana): This energy centre is located just below the navel and its colour vibration is orange. It influences the reproductive system and relationships.

Salicytic Acid: Salicytic acid (and its related substances, sodium salicylate and willow extract), is the most widely used beta-hydroxy acid in cosmetics. Found in many plants like, Willow Tree bark, Sweet Birch and Wintergreen, Salicytic acid is approved as an acne treatment because it has exfoliating properties that remove dull surface skin cells and counter abnormal desquamation. It inhibits the growth of acne and bacteria and helps the complexion look fresh and healthy. Good for oily skin. Caution: 1) Common side effects include: dryness and skin irritation. 2) Avoid abrasive products.

Sand: Is found on shorelines all over the world and walking barefoot on powdery and gritty sand massages the soles of your feet and scrubs away dead skin. And the extra effort it takes to walk on the shifting grains, adds a little kick to your exercise routine. Sand definetely belongs in the spa environment. Please read the blog post: "Make a sand and sea centerpiece for your home spa."

Sanitation Protocol: The spa or clinic's procedure for keeping the facility clean and disinfected during operation.

Sawtooth Waves: Waveforms seen uniquely in the EEG's of people during REM periods. They tend to occur in bursts of 2 to 5 waves at a rate of 4 to 7 waves per second. They're a form of theta waves and often precede or overlap a burst of rapid eye movement.

Seaweed: Multicellular marine-based algae that fall into one of three main groups: green algae, brown algea and red algae.

Sebaceous Glands: Sebaceous glands are connected to the hair follicles in the reticular layer of the skin. They produce sebum which protects the surface of the skin.

Seborrhea: Severe oiliness of the skin. An abnormal secretion from the sebaceous glands.

Sebum: Provides protection for the epidermis from external factors and lubricates both the skin and hair.

Sedative: An agent or drug that sedates, calms and relaxes the central nervous system of the body to help with stress, anxiety and insomnia and allows her or him to sleep.

Self-esteem: How you feel about yourself, who you are, the way you act, and how you look. When a person does not think highly of himself or herself, he/she has low self-esteem. Please read the blog post: "10 Ways to View Water as a Metaphor for Wellness."

Self-Tanning or Autotanning: These spa treatments darken the skin's colour so the customer appears tanned. They can be applied as a spray in a booth or as a bronzing cream.

Sensitive Skin: A skin type and skin condition that burns easily and may react to products, stimulation or heat. It may show up with broken capillaries, redness, dehydration and hyperpigmentation.

Serotonin: A naturally-occurring neurotransmitter in the brain involved mainly in inhibiting nerve cell activity. It elevates mood and decreases appetite. The body manufactures this compound from tryptophan.

Shampoo: Today's meaning "to wash hair" was first recorded in 1860 and branched out in 1954 to include cleaning carpets and upholstery. The noun for "soap for shampooing" was first recorded in 1866. Originally, (before 1762) "shampoo" actually meant "to massage." It's roots are (pardon the pun) from Anglo-Indian shampoo, from Hindi champo, imperative of champna which loosely translated means "to press, knead the muscles." The word may also come from Sanscrit capayati meaning "pounds, kneads."

Shiatsu: The word "shiatsu" means "finger pressure" in Japanase and is a type of alternative medicine that involves finger and palm pressure, stretches, and other massage techniques. Shiatsu is widely found in spas because it helps people relax and cope with stress, muscle pain, nausea, anxiety, and depression. Shiatsu was developed by Tokujiro Namikoshi who founded the first shiatsu college in 1940.

Shirodhara: The application of a thin stream of oil to the forehead to reduce vata disorders and bring calm to the mind and body.

Short Sleeper: A person who usually sleep less than 5 hours in a night, without having any negative sleep conditions present.

Shungite: is a black, lustrous, non-crystalline mineraloid that weighs in as more than 98 percent carbon. It was originally found near Shun'ga village, in Karelia, Russia, hence the name. Minerologists estimate shungite to be almost two billion years old and curiously, real shungite has the ability to conduct electricity, a quality not found in many other stones. It also has unique healing properties and has been used in medical treatments as a water purifier since the early 18th-century. These days, shungite is mostly used as a protective shield against EMF's (Electric or Magnetic Fields) because it is said to have the power to absorb and change the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation that occurs in our everyday environment into a benign form.

Signature Spa Treatment: A special treatment that is only offered by one spa. It's designed to highlight the spa's unique features and particular strengths.

Silicone: One of the elements present in seaweed that binds water to the skin and gives a silky feel to cosmetics.

Silver: Is a metallic element that can be added to cosmetics for its disinfecting properties. Caution: prolonged contact with silver can turn skin grayish-blue and it can be irritating to skin and it can cause silver toxicity.

Skin Conditioning: In terms of cosmetics formulations, an ingredient such as Licorice Root is considered skin conditioning because when it is added to cosmetics products formulas, it helps keep the skin healthy and in good condition.

Skin Tag: Small outgrowths or extensions of the skin that look like flaps. They are benign and are common under the arms or on the neck. They can be removed with Cryotherapy (dry ice).

Skin Types: Classification that describes a person's genetic skin type.

Skin-identical Ingredient or Skin-repairing Ingredient: Refers to the substances between skin cells (intercellular matrix) that keep skin tissues connected and help maintain skin's fundamental structure. They are substances like antioxidants that are found naturally in skin and help the skin function normally, fight environmental stress and improve skin's texture. For example, Glycerin and Jojoba Oil are considered skin-identical ingredients because they are highly compatible with skin.

Sleep Apnea: A disorder involving brief interruptions and pauses in breathing that last 10 seconds or longer during sleep. A person with sleep-apnea syndrome has many apneas during sleep which decreases the quality of their sleep.

Sleep Cycle: Typically, NREM and REM sleep cycles alternate through the night. The first sleep cycle lasts from sleep onset to the end of the first REM period. The second sleep cycle is measured from the end of the first REM period to the end of the second REM period etc. Each cycle averages about 90 minutes for young adults.

Sleep Cycle 1: The first sleep cycle lasts from sleep onset to the end of the first REM period and lasts about 90 minutes for young adults.

Sleep Cycle 2: The second sleep cycle is measured from the end of the first REM period to the end of the second REM period and lasts about 90 minutes for young adults.

Sleep Efficiency: The ratio of total sleep time to time in bed. For example, if you stay in bed for 8 hours but only sleep for 6 hours, your sleep efficiency is 75%.

Sleep Hygiene: The conditions and practices that promote effective sleep. The factors include: regularlarity of bedtime and rise time, restriction of alcohol and caffeine before bedtime, exercise, proper bedroom environment etc.

Sleep Log: A daily, written record of a person's sleep-wake patterns. It contains sleep times, sleep interruptions, quality of sleep and daytime naps. It can also be accompanied by a day log to show the use of caffeine, activities and other information.

Sleep Mentation: Images and thoughts experience during sleep

Sleep Paralysis: An inability to move voluntarily during sleep and it occurs just at the onset of sleep or on awakening. It may last a few seconds to a few minutes. It's usually not clinically significant and frequently occurs in healthy people.

Sleep Spindle: A typical waveform seen in EEG's during NREM sleep and is characterized by a burst of very regular oscillations at a frequency of 12 to 14 cycles per second. Sleep spindles are observed most during NREM stage 2 but may also been recorded in stages 3 and 4.

Sleep State Misperceotion Syndrome: Formerly known as "Insomnia complaint without objective findings" or "pseydoinsomnia", it's a condition where the person sleeps fine according to a polysomnogram, but believes he/she didn't sleep much or at all.

Smoking Cessation Programs: Programs that help people stop smoking cigarettes.

Soap: First came fire, then came soap. Soaps have been made since day 2 and the first soaps were created accidentally as animal fats dripped into the cooking fire. Nowadays soaps come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours, fragrances and textures and are either solids, liquids or powders and are used to clean everything under the sun.

Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura): This energy centre is located in the stomach area and its colour vibration is yellow. It influences the digestive system. This is also the area where people experience their "gut feelings."

Solvent: In terms of cosmetics formulations, an ingredient such as Aqua (Water) is considered a solvent because when it is added to cosmetics products formulas, it dissolves other substances.

Somnologist: A specialist in the study of sleep and in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

Spa: A commercial establishment that provides health and wellness treatments.

Spa Etiquette: If you want to continue to receive good service at a spa, it's wise to know and use the spa's policies on cancelling appointments, turning off your cell phone, tipping, nudity, wearing perfume, etc.

Spa Menu: Like a menu in a restaurant, a spa menu lists all of the services that a client could "order" when visiting.

Spa Music: is mostly instrumental music that is played in spas for its "ambient," "new age," and "dreamy" qualities. It's ideal when you want to set a relaxing mood.

Spa Party: People receive spa treatments in a group setting to celebrate a special occasion like a birthday party or bridal shower.

Spa Philosophy: The fundamental beliefs that an individual or business holds about health, wellness and beauty.

Spa Snacks: Healthy snacks that are loaded with nutrients and vitamins, are low in fat and sugar, are made with natural and wholesome ingredients, and are easy to serve and eat at a spa party. Please see the blog post, "Kale Chips, My New Favourite Spa Snack."

Spa Therapy: A general term for a wide range of treatment methods or techniques used by various professionals in different settings to support health and wellness.

Spa Treatment: A general term for a treatment that uses water, specialized products, and various techniques to bring about relaxation or support overall health and wellness.

Spa Voice: People often say, "Use your spa voice" (as if you're in a spa) when they want you to speak quietly, but above a whisper, so no one else can hear what you're saying. A spa voice is great when you do not want to disturb others, like in a library, or if you want to protect someone's private information, like in a bank.

Sphagnum: A genus of mosses that grows only in wet acid areas where their remains are compacted over time to form peat.

SPF (Sunburn Protection Factor): SPF stands for Sunburn Protection Factor. It ranges from 1-45+ and measures sunburn protection from UVB rays, (the ultraviolet rays that cause sunburn and contribute to skin cancer) but not UVA rays, (which accelerate aging and are also dangerous). For best protection, apply 1-2 ounces (about a shot glass-full) of SPF 15 sunscreen over your face and body and reapply every 2 hours. The level of protection also depends on skin type; the intensity of sunlight (time of day and place); the amount of sunscreen used; the frequency of re-application; the amount the skin has absorbed; and the types of fun-in-the-sun activities (like swimming) that people are doing.

SPF 15 or SPF 30: Doctors recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or 30 to prevent skin cancer. SPF 15 sunscreens filter 93% of UVB rays and allow a person to stay out in the sun 15 times longer than without sunscreen. So, if a person normally burns in 10 minutes without sunscreen, the SPF 15 will delay the onset of a sunburn to 150 minutes or 2.5 hours. But SPF is not linear. SPF 30 sunscreens filter 97% of UVB rays (only 4% more protection than SPF 15) and do not provide double the protection than SPF 15 as may be assumed.

Sports Massage: is a massage therapy technique that uses massage strokes similar to those used during a Swedish massage and deep tissue massage; however sports massage techniques focus specifically on the needs of athletes who are in training or who are recovering from injury or to help the athletes achieve optimum athletic performance.

Spot Treatments: Treatments that target specific areas of the body like cellulite on the thighs or the acne on the back.

Squalene: is derived from green olives, wheatgerm oil and rice bran oil. Because it's also found in human sebum, it makes a great addition in skin care recipes. It's used in cosmetics as a natural lubricant, emollient and moisturizer. It's rich in vitamins A, D, E and prevents moisture loss and helps restore skin suppleness and flexibility. It's nourishing for mature skin and rosacea.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A skin cancer than is characterized by scaly red papules or nodules and is more serious than basal cell carcinoma.

Staycation: is a newly-coined term (2005) by Canadian comedian Brent Butt from the tv show "Corner Gas" and it refers to taking time off from work (or the regular routine) but choosing to stay home rather than going away. Common activities of a staycation include: swimming in the backyard pool, pitching a tent and camping outside within a stone's throw from your backdoor, and getting mobile spa treatments. Staycations also give people a chance to act like a tourist in their own town and visit local restaurants, parks, museums, festivals and events. Staycations do not have the stress associated with travel, such as making your connecting flights, and are a good way to save money.

Stearic Acid: is a Fatty acid used as an emollient in cosmetics, It also acts as an agent that helps keep other ingredients intact in a product formulation.

Stimulant: An agent that increases the function of the body.

Stratum Corneum: The outermost layer of the epidermis of the skin that provides the skin with its barrier function.

Strength Training: is a method of exericise that uses free weights, machines, or the person's own body weight to improve muscular strength, tone muscles, maintain bone density and lose fat. Strength training sessions are designed to impose increasingly greater resistance, which in turn stimulates further development of muscle strength.

Stress: is a normal part of life and everyone needs a certain amount of stress to function properly (otherwise we probably wouldn't be motivated to get anything done). The human body has a built-in mechanism, otherwise known as the "fight or flight" hormone, or epinephrine, to deal with regular rises in tension levels and to prepare us for action. Problems arise when these peaks are sustained for too long or if there is no actual threat nearby and we are kept in a perpetual state of alertness. It's important to tackle the underlying causes of stress, since prolongued stress can cause emotional upsets and problems, depression, anxiety, exhaustion, and an inability to relax, unwind and rest. If left untreated, stress can start to affect bodily functions and may lead to digestive disorders, headaches and more serious diseases. Getting regular spa treatments like massages and facials can really help minimize the stress of daily life.

Stress Management Programs: programs that assess personal stress levels and help people learn to how to effectively manage the stress in their lives.

Sudorific or Diaphoretic: An agent that promotes or increases perspiration and is used in detoxification and cellulite treatments.

Sulfates: are found in many products such as detergents, shampoos, and toothpastes because they allow these cleansers to foam up and remove oil, like surfactants. Sodium lauryl sulfate is commonly used in commercially-made cosmetics, (though it has faced its share of controversy) because it can exacerbate dryness and irritation and may cause cancer. Use sulfate-free products on curly hair (because it is already on the dryer side) or on skin with a sensitivity to sulfates.

Sulfur: A chemical element that is an important constituent of many proteins and is often found in thermal pools and in some therapeutic muds. Sulfur is believed to reduce oxidative stress on the body and is used to treat arthritis, sore muscles, skin diseases and other conditions.

Sunscreen (Sunblock): To protect against both UVA and UVB rays, look for broad-spectrum sunscreens that use titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which reflect, scatter and absorb UV light. For best protection against sun damage and skin cancer, apply 1-2 ounces (about a shot glass-full) of SPF 15 sunscreen over your face and body and reapply every 2 hours. Regardless of which SPF you choose, please slather on the sunscreen often and don't forget your face and hands during the winter months.

Surfactants: Promote lather and foaming action in cleansers, shampoos and toothpastes. They also increase the spreadability of creams and lotions. They clean skin, hair, clothes etc by decreasing the surface tension of liquids and usually have the property of being attracted to both water and oil molecules. Examples of commercially-made surfactants include: ammonium laurel sulfate, cocamidopropyl betaine and ingredients ending in "stearates." Examples of natural surfactants that can be used in home spa recipes include: almond oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, hemp seed oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, palm oil, safflower oil, shea butter, and sunflower oil.

Swedish Massage: is a massage therapy technique that uses variations of long gliding strokes, kneading, and friction techniques on surface muscles. Strokes used in Swedish massage generally go with the direction of blood flow, toward the heart. Swedish massage is good for people who want to experience relaxation, improve circulation, increase range of motion, and relieve muscle tension.

Swiss Shower: A shower stall that has pipes in all four corners with 8 to 16 water heads coming off each pipe.

Sympathetic Nervous System: The part of the nervous system that causes the emergency reaction of fight or flight and signs include speeding heartbeat, dilating pupils of the eyes, increased blood pressure, etc.

Synergy: When the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and those parts are mutually enhancing.

Synthetic: made artificially in a lab and not from a natural source.


T-zone: The center area of the face. The "T" corresponds to the "T" shape formed by the forehead, nose and chin.

Taila: Medicated massage oil that is made by cooking herbs into a fatty base such as sesame oil or coconut oil.

Tan: An increase in pigmentation in the skin resulting from an increase in melanin production after exposure to UV rays. Melanin is designed to help protect the skin from the sun's UV rays.

Tannic acid: Is used as an aroma compound, clarifying agent, colour stabilizer and taste enhancer in the food and beverage industries (particularly in beer, soft drinks and wine). It's a potent antioxidant and may have some anticarcinogenic properties. It also has been shown to accelerate blood clotting and reduce blood pressure. Folklore wisdom suggests soaking feet in a strong tea bath (which has tannic acid) to treat blisters, foot odour, and rough, dry feet.

Tapotement: is a rhythmic, percussion stroke technique used in Swedish massage. The name comes from the French word "Tapoter," which means "to tap" or "to drum." In this technique, the edge of the hand or the heel of the palm, or the tips of the fingers are used. Tapotement is a stimulating movement that is primarily used to wake up the nervous system and to release lymphatic build up. There are five types of tapotement including: Beating, Slapping, Hacking, Tapping and Cupping.

Telangiectasia (Couperose Skin): Describes capillaries that have been damaged and are now larger and may show as distended blood vessels.

Tendon: White fibrous bands of tissue that attach muscle to bone.

Terme: Thermal bath. From the Greek therme meaning heat and thermal meaning of or related to hot springs.

Textural Elements: The word texture describes the varied sensations the therapist creates during the treatment by paying attention to what the client sees, hears, smells, tastes and feels.

Thalassotherapy: The use of marine environments and sea products, including seawater, sea mud, seaweed and seafood for healing and wellness.

Thermal Mud: Mud that comes from the areas around hot springs. It can be applied at the site while still hot from the spring water or it can be extracted and heated for later application elsewhere.

Thermogenesis: Also known as heat production, thermogenesis is an essential process in all warm-blooded animals. Our body can produce heat through exercise, shivering and within the fat cells themselves. Generating heat helps increase metabolism and therefore helps with weight loss.

Thermotherapy: The therapeutic application of heat.

Theta Waves: Brain-wave activity with a frequency of 4 to 8 cycles per second and is typically found in light sleep (stages 1 and 2) and in REM sleep.

Thiamin; Vitamin B-1: A vitamin essential for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production. Foods that contain Thiamin include: whole or enriched grain products, fortified cereals, pork and organ meats.

Third Eye Chakra (Ajna): This energy centre is located in the centre of the forehead and its colour vibration is indigo. It's also called the "psychic center" and is the center where you receive your clairvoyance, clairsentience, clairaudience.

Throat Chakra (Vishuddha): This energy centre is located in the throat region of the neck and its colour vibration is light, silvery blue. It influences communication, such as vocal and creative expression.

Thyroid Hormone: A hormone released by the thyroid gland that stimulates metabolism and helps to regulate a range of biochemical processes in the body.

Titanium Dioxide: Is an inorganic, inert earth mineral that provides non-chemical sun protection by reflecting UV rays, without the risk of skin irritation. When applied to the face and body as a sunscreen lotion, in makeup, and in daytime moisturizers, it remains on the surface of the skin and effectively scatters and bounces UV light. Titanium Dioxide is also used as a thickening, whitening, and lubricating ingredient in cosmetics. Because of its gentleness, Titanium Dioxide is an excellent sunscreen for use on sensitive or rosacea-affected skin and around the eyes. Look for micronized Titanium Dioxide which has been purified of lead, iron and other contaminants and is coated. Micronized Titanium Dioxide improves spreadability of the product, increases stability and provides better sun protection overall.

Toners: Liquids that tone and tighten the skin.

Top Note: In perfumery, aromas are classified as top, middle or base notes. Top notes are fresh and uplifting in nature and evaporate quickly in the bouquet. They need to be anchored by middle to base notes in perfume blends to extend their life.

Tourmaline: is classified as a semi-precious stone and the gem comes in a wide variety of colors from black, bluish-black, purple, brown, green, red, yellow, pink, etc. Multicolored crystals are common and there's even a name for the crystals that are green on the outside and pink on the inside: "Watermelon Tourmaline." This gemstone is mined mostly in Brazil and Africa and is sometimes added as a mineral powder to cosmetics because it boosts the effectiveness of the other ingredients in the formula and creates a more radiant complexion. Curiously, Tourmaline is piezoelectric, which means it generates an electrical charge when under pressure and during a temperature change.

Tranquilizer: A drug that is sometimes used to treat anxiety.

Trans Fatty Acids: A type of fatty acid that is associated with raising blood cholesterol levels and increasing the risk of clogged arteries.

Transdermal: the ability to be absorbed into the body through the skin (during spa treatments) and the lungs (when you breathe in the ocean air). We can absorb Iodine transdermally, for example.

Twitch: A very small body movement such as a facial grimace or leg jerk.


Ubtan: An herbal paste that is applied externally to the body and is used to support detoxification and smooth the skin.

Ukrain: is an alternative medicine created by Ukrainian chemist Vasyl Novytskyi in 1978. The formulation is based on the herb, chelidonium, and is promoted to treat all cancers, radiation-induced diseases and AIDS. The tincture is named in honor of Ukraine and its common name in Ukrainian is "Chyste Tilo" which means "clean body." Please see the blog post, "The Story of My Mole on My Cheek."

Ultramarines: Are inorganic pigments and colouring agents used in soapmaking and cosmetics. They come in various colors including blue, pink and violet and are for external use only.

Ultrasound (Sonography): a painless and harmless test that uses sound waves to produce images of the organs and structures inside the body on a screen.

Ultraviolet (UV) Rays: Invisible rays that have short wavelengths, are the least penetrating rays, produce chemical effects and kill germs. Also called cold rays or actinic rays.

Universal Precautions: The policy of the Centers for Disease Control on blood and body fluids which are potentially infectious.

Unsaturated Fat: A fat that is liquid at room temperature and includes polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. Food sources of unsaturated fats include: most nuts, olives, avocados, and fatty fish such as salmon. Oils from corn, cottonseed, olives, peanuts, safflower, sunflower, and soybean are unsaturated fats.

USP (United States Pharmacopeia): Pharmaceutical-grade cosmetics and skin-care products can be certified as either USP (United States Pharmacopeia) or BP (British Pharmacopeia).

UVA Rays: Longer, aging rays that come from the sun, that penetrate the dermis and go deeper into the skin than UVB rays. Sometimes they're referred to as "aging rays." They may cause photosensitivity reactions.

UVB Rays: Shorter, burning rays that are stronger than UVA rays. They're lso known as "burning rays." They are the primary rays associated with skin damage and cancer from the sun. They penetrate the epidermis and are strongest between 10am and 3pm.


Vasoconstrictor: An agent that causes narrowing of the blood vessels to heal vericose veins or broken capillaries.

Vata: A dosha that is a combination of space and air. (Ayurveda).

Vichy Shower: A horizontal rod with holes or water heads that rains water from above a wet table down onto clients.

Vikriti: The unbalancing effect of an individual's diet, environment, stress level, mental or emotional trauma, relationships or physical injury has on their prakriti (dosha constitution). The unbalanced state is referred to as a vikriti state.

Vinotherapy: is a series of anti-aging spa treatments that use whole grapes and wine to exfoliate and soften skin.

Visible Light: The primary source of light used in facial and scalp treatments.

Vitamin A (Retinol): An antioxidant that aids in the functioning and repair of skin cells. It's essential for vision, growth, reproduction, and maintenance of healthy skin. Foods that contain Vitamin A include: dairy products, eggs, fish oils, and liver. The body also converts alpha- and beta cartotenes into vitamin A and red, yellow, orange, and dark green vegetables and fruits are sources of carotenes.

Vitamin B-6: Essential for the manufacture of amino acids and red blood cells. Foods that contain Vitamin B6 include: fortified cereals, sweet potatoes, chicken and beef liver.

Vitamin B-12: is essential for energy and amino acid production. It increases energy, balances metabolism, and helps heal dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis. Foods that contain Vitamin B12 include: beef, milk, cheese and shellfish.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): An antioxidant vitamin needed for proper repair of the skin and tissues. It's also essential for healthy bones and teeth and wound healing. Foods that contain vitamin C include: fruits (especially citrus) and vegetables (especially those in the cabbage family).

Vitamin D: Sometimes called the "sunshine vitamin," because the skin synthesize this fat-soluble vitamin from cholesterol when exposed to sunlight. It's essential for growth and development and may help with S.A.D. Please read the blog post: "It's Vitamin D Day."

Vitamin E (Tocopherol): Primarily an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from harmful effects of the sun's rays.

Vitamin F: a name that is sometimes used to represent skin-friendly linoleic acid and linolenic acid, (essential fatty acids).

Vitamin K: A vitamin that is responsible for the synthesis of factors necessary for blood coagulation and clotting. It also increases energy and helps reduce symptoms of PMS and Menopause. It's widely available in food and is also manufactured in the gut. Vitamin K deficiency is very uncommon and large doses of can cause liver damage, jaundice and the breakdown of red blood cells.

Vitamins: any of various chemicals needed for metabolism. Vitamins are found in minute quantities in food and some are produced by the body. These nutrients are divided into two groups: fat soluble or water-soluble. A deficiency of any vitamin will result in specific vitamin deficiency diseases, such as scurvy or pellagra. Vitamins keep skin looking young by encouraging healthy cell renewal and by protecting against free radicals, sun damage, moisture loss and environmental threats. Look for Retinol (for vitamin A), Ascorbic acid (for vitamin C) and Tocopherol (for vitamin E) on product labels.

Volatility: That rate at which a compound turns from a liquid to a gas (or evaporates) at room temperature. For example: essential oils are highly volatile.

Vulnerary: An agent that is healing for the skin.


Wake After Sleep Onset (WASO): The amount of time you are awake during the night after you initially had fallen asleep.

Water: The most abundant of all substances, comprising about 75% of the earth's surface and about 65% of the human body.

Water-soluble Vitamins: are in the vitamin B complex and vitamin C. Because they dissolve in water, they are easily lost from the body in urine, so you need a regular intake.

Weight control: Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight by eating wholesome and nourishing food and consistently getting regular physical exercise.

Wellness: According to Charles B. Corbin of Arizona State University: "Wellness is a multidimensional state of being describing the existence of positive health in an individual as exemplified by quality of life and a sense of well-being." Furthermore, wellness can be maintained or achieved through wholesome nutrition, regular physical and mental exercise, proper skin care, management of stress and time, feelings of contribution, healthy relationships, and solid 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Please read the blog post: "10 Ways to View Water as a Metaphor for Wellness."

Wellness Coaching is a synergistic relationship between an accredited wellness coach and a client. Wellness coaches partner with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires their clients to maximize their personal and professional potential. Through thoughtful questions and active listening, a wellness coach will mostly offer support with health and wellness concerns like quitting smoking, weight loss, and stress management to help their clients reach their health and fitness goals.

Wellness Consultant: a professional trained to assist individuals and/or organizations with health promotion and wellness programs.

Wellness Programs: programs and activities which promote a healthy lifestyle and can be personal or group based. They encourage good health in the community and range from fitness centers to free flu shots.

Wet Room: A treatment room that contains specialized hydrotherapy equipment, such as showers, hydrotherapy tubs and Scotch hoses, that remove spa products from clients' bodies.

White Light: Referred to as "combination light" because it is a combination of all the visible rays of the spectrum.

Whiteheads (Milia): Milia are whitish, pearl-like masses of sebum and dead cells under the skin. Milia are more common in dry skin types and may form after skin trauma, such as laser resurfacing.

Wood's Lamp: Filtered black light that is used to illuminate skin disorders, fungi, bacterial disorders and pigmentation.



Yellow Light: Depending on the type of equipment, the LED (light-emitting diode) can be blue, red, yellow or green. Yellow light has been shown to reduce swelling and inflammation.


Zeitgeber: Literally, "time giver." An environmental time cue (such as light) that helps to entrain the body's rhythm to the 24-hour day.

Zeolites: Swedish mineralogist Axel Fredrik Cronstedt coined the name Zeolite (by borrowing the words for "to boil" and "stone" from the Greeks) after observing that large amount of steam was released after rapidly heating the material stilbite. Zeolites are a group of minerals used as an absorbent in cosmetics and in non-clumping cat litter. Because of their ability to trap impurities, they are also widely used for water and oxygen purification. They have been shown to have anticancer properties. Their biggest use is in the production of laundry detergents. They also make lovely gemstones.

Zinc: is a metallic chemical element. There is growing evidence that zinc can be a significant anti-irritant and antioxidant that also helps build collagen, reduce signs of aging, protect against sun damage, accelerate wound healing, enhance immune function and clear acne. This mineral can be found in most over-the-counter multi-vitamin supplements and is often used to reduce the length and severity of cold symptoms. Foods that contain zinc include: eggs, meat, seafood and whole grains.

Zinc Oxide: is a white powder derived from zinc ore that has mild antiseptic, astringent and antibacterial properties. Usually available as a lubricating oitment, it can be applied topically to protect, soothe and heal the skin. It's gentle enough to apply to baby's skin for diaper rash and there's no risk of causing irritation or allergic reaction. It can also be found in anti-dandruff shampoos and also works as an inorganic sunscreen that reflects UVB rays.

ZZZ's: Slang for deep sleep.

I love my homespun spa smells good.