TOTAL BODY CONCEPT

Specialised Skin Care & Laser Clinic

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I am Debbie McGregor, owner and founder of Total Body Concept. I started the skincare clinic and day spa back in 1993. Welcome to my blog about fostering a holistic, more positive outlook on life. I have just started on my new life's mission to become a motivational speaker, and this blog will follow this journey. Enjoy!

This is a place where I would like to share my knowledge on everything from skincare and inner health to holistic living and the importance of meditation, creative visualisation and affirmations. Nothing in life is by chance – and in this blog I’ll tell you why. Come and join me as we learn to Live the Balance.

Beneath the skin guide - mind, body and spirit

Back to blog home 1st April 2020
Beneath the skin guide - mind, body and spirit

It’s time to take care of your body, mind, and spirit. We can adapt and we will find beauty in the situation we find ourselves in. It’s difficult when we are faced with uncertainty but we must be gentle to ourselves, warm and compassionate to others. The most powerful thing you can be in this moment is patient, especially while things are unfolding but what we do have in isolation is time to reflect and be in the moment. Social distancing is not social isolation. It can really feel more like a strong social connection.

Here are our TBC tips (with love) on how to thrive and survive.

Happiness and relaxation builds strong immunity

Remember that self-care is important to prevent sickness. We need to look after ourselves so we don’t get sick rather than when we do get sick. Eating well and getting enough light exercise keeps stress levels down and aid resilience.

Go with your gut; Nourish to flourish!

The types of foods you eat hugely impact the bacteria that live in your stomach, resulting in a cascade of either positive or negative outcomes. Good health really does start from the inside so take good care of what you’re putting in. If you are open and willing to do whatever it takes to be a warrior of your own health, you will certainly reap the benefits and build up that immunity. The body is closely interconnected with nature and the seasons so try to eat fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables where possible.

We also recommend organic if you can, so your food sources are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, synthetic fertilisers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionising radiation! Doesn't all that stuff sound scary? Well, it is, and why would you want to put that into your body?! It's no surprise that studies reflect organic foods have higher nutritional value and are much tastier than conventionally grown produce.

Feijoas are the shining light of the autumn produce calendar as are the controversial Brussel sprouts! Use vegetables creatively to revamp your salads.

Add a little ginger to your diet. An accessible superfood, great for those with a colder constitution, lowered immunity, inflammation or slower digestion; ginger is one of the most therapeutic herbs you could incorporate into your daily life. If you need a little extra help, you can take a probiotic to keep the gut flora in tip-top form. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you, especially your digestive system to support overall health.

Kombucha has risen to fame in the last few years for good reason! Similar fermented foods aid digestion and immunity as well as possibly reducing heart risks. Rich in probiotic bacteria, they are beneficial for your gut microbiome and digestive system and enhance the immune system. Bottoms up!

Move it!

Did you know, the more you keep moving, the more energy you will generate as well as positive emotions! If you're struggling with motivation to keep in shape at this time, we recommend simple yoga stretches in the morning. Stretch out those kinks! This could be bending one vertebrae at a time to touch your toes, leg raises, or if you really want to heat up fast - try a set of burpees!

Mindful Exercises

Breathing - never underestimate the power!

Our diaphragmatic breathing exercise is life-changing. Perform your exercise whenever the opportunity arises to reduce stress at any time: Before you go to bed, after you have risen, before big meetings or take a break during the day - do several diaphragmatic breaths and you'll naturally expand your lung capacity. Remember, it's better to do three breaths than none!

Visualise Your Calm

Your happy place… being at one with yourself, letting go of the tension and stress and just being. Easier said than done of course but stop putting pressure on yourself (for a short moment at least) and visualise yourself somewhere that takes you away to a place of calm.

Finding Joy

Find joy in what you have. The weather, your family, you name it. Choose what you have. Choose the joy that’s in front of you. Your vibes multiply, so choose to generate joy. What you create radiates. FACT. And it acts like a big boomerang coming right back around. Put the person who lives inside your heart, body, and mind first (and remember to celebrate the small wins)!

Positive Vibes

Think of all the things you have to be grateful for right now. Positivity breeds positivity! Play some music that will lift your spirits and get down and boogie. Get the whole family involved and have a dance-off! Let your inhibitions go. Dance like no-one is watching! Movement reduces the body's stress hormones, such as cortisol, and stimulates the production of endorphins, aka the body's natural painkillers.

Look at the bright side

You’ve called your friends, you’ve had some downtime, you’ve even learned things about yourself. You have reconnected with yourself and taken time to reflect. And on the outside, we have given our earth some time out too! Thanks to the quarantine, we are experiencing a cleaner environment. Lessons in life have never been so present.

Stress Less

Find the calm and magic in the everyday. You will collect moments, not things. Let a smile be your umbrella on a rainy day and never stop dreaming. Now is your time to make big plans.

Savor the benefits of a simplified life.

Connect To Nature

It's easy, it's free and it's empowering! When you’re feeling stressed, take a step outside. You don’t need to go far! Simply sit amongst nature, or take your shoes off when walking on sand to really get that connection.

Stay hydrated

Get plenty of H2O! It’s free and it will bring mental clarity and flush out unwanted toxins (even if we do admit to a ‘survival’ drop of wine when ‘needed’)! Drink a glass of warm lemon water. It wakes you up, aids digestion and suppresses your appetite. If you can, purify your water through an alkaline purifier.

Talk to stay connected

Let’s use today’s technology only for the good it can bring right now. Pick up the phone for a FaceTime or a call to speak to loved ones and make use of this time to catch up with the people you love and don’t have time for in our usual daily rush. Happiness is homemade!

Self Care Savvy

Create your at-home spa day to connect with yourself. When you take care and love yourself so deeply; when you feel the eternal presence of love in every cell ignite. We promise it will counter that angst!

Pop on a face mask, soak your feet, paint your nails to make you smile or give yourself a good body brush. Pop some oils into your bath to create an experience. Smell is the most sensitive of the senses. It can make memories come alive! You likely know from experience that scents can affect your mood. But you probably wouldn't associate aromatherapy with productivity!

Essential oils not only help improve job performance but they maintain health also. They have anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and using them in an environment where there are a lot of people can help to keep germs at bay too.

It makes perfect scents

Scent has a real influence over how we feel, think and behave. Certain essential oils can help prevent stress, insomnia, depressed moods and anxiety, and can even reduce pain and increase memory and attentiveness. While we all tend to think of aromatherapy as something that is designed to relax and pamper us, essential aromatherapy oils have a much more significant impact on our health and our skin.

Lavender has calming properties that help control emotional stress and has a soothing effect on nerves, relieving nervous tension and depression as well as treating headaches and migraines. We love a bit of lavender love before bed to help us drift off into a deep and rested sleep. Like lavender, jasmine is also used to calm nerves, but this scent is also commonly used as an antidepressant because of its uplifting capabilities that produce a feeling of confidence, optimism, and revitalised energy. Yay to Jasmine!

We have put together a list of the top five essential oils for your skin. You can find these oils in some of the Ultraceuticals we use in our clinic.The essential oils Ultraceuticals use are 100% natural which means you get the full benefit of the oil.

Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) oil: Geranium is known for its balancing and harmonizing properties. It also has the ability to make the gums, skin, muscles and blood vessels contract. So when it comes to the skin on our face, geranium can reduce the presence of wrinkles by tightening the skin and reducing signs of premature aging.

Found in: Total Body Concepts diffusers and in the Ultraceuticals’ Ultra Replenishing Mask. The mask is great for distressed and dehydrated skin and enhancing the clarity and luminosity in the skin.

Citrus sinensis (Orange) oil: Orange is often found in wrinkle-lifting skincare products as it is very good at maintaining healthy and smooth skin. It’s also an excellent cure for acne and dermatitis.

Found in: Ultraceuticals SPF sunscreens

Cymbopogon Citratus (Lemongrass) oil: Lemongrass has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It’s used in skin care products for its ability to ward off skin infections. You’ll also find lemongrass in skin care because it acts as an astringent, working to constrict the skin and thereby minimising pores and firming the skin.

Found in: Ultra Energising Mask. A fast-acting complexion pick-me-up for fatigued and dull skin.

Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) oil: Lavender oil has many healing benefits. It’s used in the treatment of pain relief, digestion and blood circulation. This nice smelling oil is also a powerful remedy for skin too and used to combat acne, eczema, and sunburn.

Found in: Ultra Replenishing mask the Lavender aids in restoring the lipid barrier function, soothing irritated skin and calming any surface redness.

Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) oil: Essential lime oil is full of antioxidants and rich in Vitamin C. It is used as an antiseptic and as an ingredient to prevent aging symptoms in the skin.

Found in: Ultra Balancing Gel Cleanser. Conditions and soothes the skin while gently washing away surface oil and daily residue.

A handmade how-to for you this season

Rather than using synthetic plug-ins or candles that could contain harmful chemicals, you can also simmer cinnamon sticks, cloves or allspice on the stove for a fragrant room freshener! Or you can make your own lavender spritz for your (silk) pillow! If you diffuse the same scent day after day, you will learn and eventually associate that particular aroma with waking up or going to sleep. 

Keep up a routine (especially your skincare routine!)

There are many reasons why you should have a morning routine: A morning routine ensures you are more organised for your day and maintain a high level of productivity throughout the day to keep you on track. It also allows you to assert your own authority throughout the day and gives personal fulfillment and quality personal time.

When it comes to taking care of your skin, it’s what you do every day that makes the difference. Skincare routines need to be just that - routines, in order for them to work as effectively as possible. Taking care of your skin and following a routine should always be a priority, no matter your age or the condition of your skin or what is going on around you!

In times of stress, skin can be directly affected, and neglecting skincare routines is one of the worst mistakes to make. Keep up the good work and we’ll see you on the other side!

Some of us just need to know we're on track and that's what helps relax us! So we know where we're going, our intentions and of course to get that satisfactory tick so we still feel an element of control. Put us in the diary for a good old facial as soon as we’re back!

Maintain a night time routine too!

Relax into sleep and feel fully empowered the following day! Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed creating the calm.

Doing an activity such as yoga, reading or just sipping a caffeine-free herbal cuppa can aid that relaxation process. Blend some lavender essential oil into some fractionated coconut oil or carrier oil of your choice and dab onto your temples.

Take a few minutes before bedtime to think about the things that matter to you the most.

Reflect on the day’s important moments. Imagine your dreams and goals.

Envisage what’s important in the coming days. Direct attention to things you’re grateful for. You’re helping yourself prioritise what matters to you so your mind can take that into consideration when the night shift begins!

Nourish and hydrate your skin with plenty of water throughout the day. This will not only keep your skin glowing, but it’s also especially important during the colder months, as the skin will dehydrate faster thanks to the dry winter air. Try and refill your drink bottle at least once a day, and listen to what your body is telling you.

Meditation before bed

Why is it that when we decide to hit the sack, our thoughts go into overdrive and we find it hard to switch off? It’s important to wind down to dose off with ease so we (especially Debbie!) advocate a bit of meditation. While it does take some time to develop a solid routine on your own, a guided meditation makes an ideal way to get started. Here are some easy starter tips.

Stretch it out then sleep it out

Remember to pay attention to your body from inside out and top to toe! Stretch it out and layer it on. Although you might be uber keen to just roll into bed and pull the covers over, we highly recommend a stretch or a yoga pose to focus your thoughts and breathing and better prepare you for a deep and restful sleep. Don’t overcomplicate it, just reach for the stars! The last step… lather your body in Ultra’s Retexturising Body Complex for complete skin rejuvenation while you sleep.