☀️ SunBurns ☀️

Caring for the skin you are in.

Caring for the skin you’re in: staying sun safe 
I see a lot of skin. All colors, all textures. Freckles, scars, stretch marks, moles. Skin with lots of hair and skin with none. Skin doesn’t surprise me.
Except when it does. That brown spot on your shoulder blade? It wasn’t quite that big when you came in a month ago. And it looks less like an oval and a little more like a blob. Maybe you should have that checked out?
Healthy skin we love. Skin cancer? Not so much. Which is why you’re here my blog for ZenGate Healing Arts, reading about sun exposure. Because even though I’m not a dermatologist and you’re not going to burn while getting a massage, your skin is a friend I see regularly. And I want to be able to keep working with it for many healthy years to come.
What happens when you get a sunburn?
You’re exposed to the sun and then your skin turns red and itchy, right? Well, yes. But there’s more to it as well.
When you step out into the sunlight, you’re immediately bombarded by UV radiation. This radiation causes mismatches in the curlicue of your DNA in the nucleus of your skin cells, which is dangerous and can lead to cancer. As soon as this starts to occur, your skin jumps into protective action redistributing melanin, the pigment that causes suntans, and which helps to protect your DNA from further damage.
But if you’re still outside and the damage doesn’t stop (especially if you’re fair skinned and don’t have much melanin to go around), you start to see an inflammatory response. This is the same kind of inflammation that you see when you sprain your ankle, only spread out across your damaged skin. Your blood vessels dilate to get more nutrients and infection-fighting cells to your skin, making the it red and warm to the touch. Itching and pain result, a warning signal from your body that something is wrong. You may feel thirsty and tired as your body works to repair itself.
If the burn is bad enough, you’ll start to see blisters as the plasma leaks from inside cells into the space between the dermis (the bottom layer of skin) and the epidermis (the top layer). These blisters form a cushion of fluid over your damaged tissue. (At this point, your body has already written that top layer of skin off.)
Eventually, even if you didn’t have any blisters, you will get flaking and peeling of the top layer of your skin. Interestingly enough, these skin cells weren’t killed by UV radiation. When skin cells recognize that their DNA has been severely damaged, they deliberately die off rather than risk becoming cancerous. This planned cell death is called apoptosis, and it’s the reason you see massive numbers of skin cells coming loose at once.
So to be clear: all sunburns, no matter how mild, contain the beginning stages of skin cancer. It’s only because our skin kills itself off before these cells go haywire that we see as little skin cancer as we do. Even so, more than 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed in the US each year, and 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70. UV radiation will play a role in many of these cases.
How can you protect your skin?
The short answer: Stay away from UV radiation. This means tanning beds as well as sunlight.
The longer answer: Unless you plan to become a vampire, you will probably be exposed to sunlight at least some of the time. The trick is to reduce that exposure to a safe level by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and using sunscreen.
How much sun is safe?
This depends on two main variables: the UV Index and your skin type.
UV Index
The UV Index is a measure of the level of UV radiation in your location at any given point in time. It’s something you can easily look up on your computer or phone before heading out the door. In general, global UV Index recommendations look something like this:
  • 1-2: Low. Enjoy being outside!
  • 3-7: Medium. Seek shade at midday, put on a shirt and hat, wear sunscreen.
  • 8+: High. Stay indoors at midday, seek shade as much as possible, sunscreen is an absolute must.
Skin type
With the exception of people with albinism, everyone has some melanin in their skin. Those with more of the protective pigmentation are less susceptible to DNA damage in their skin cells from UV radiation than those with less.
  • Type I: Very pale, burns quickly, never tans.
  • Type II: Pale, burns easily, rarely tans
  • Type III: Burns moderately, tans over time to light brown
  • Type IV: Burns minimally, tans to medium brown
  • Type V: Rarely burns, tans to dark brown.
  • Type VI: Never burns, rarely tans, deeply pigmented skin.
People with Type I skin can burn after as little as five or ten minutes, while those with Type VI skin can sometimes be outside for an hour without damage.
Note: You might have seen a skin type scale that goes from I-IV, especially if you are looking in an older medical textbook. That’s because the original Fitzpatrick scale was made in the 1970s for white people. This is the same scale, but expanded to include everybody.
Is sunscreen safe?
A 2001 study raised concerns that oxybenzone (the chemical that makes most sunscreens so effective) might impact hormones. In this study, rats fed large doses of oxybenzone developed enlarged uteruses. Studies in humans haven’t been conclusive. What we know for sure is that, if you’re a rat, you shouldn’t drink sunscreen.
Some pediatricians recommend sticking to mineral-based sunscreens for infants and very young children just in case, until long-term studies are concluded over the next twenty or so years. But these are thick and need to be reapplied regularly. If your children are experiencing sunburns with mineral-based sunscreens, they are being put in significantly more danger than any potential hazard from oxybenzone.
What about vitamin D?
Yup, you need vitamin D in your body to stay health. And yes, your skin manufactures vitamin D in response to UV radiation. (People with lighter skin types make more vitamin D with less sun exposure than people with darker skin types.) So shouldn’t you go without sun protection sometimes for the nutritional benefits?
Luckily, there are a number of sources of vitamin D that don’t also cause skin cancer. Fish, mushrooms, eggs, and fortified dairy products are all excellent sources. And if you’re a tremendously picky eater, there are also vitamin D supplements you can take. For the severely deficient (diagnosed with a simple blood test), there are high-dose supplements or injections your physician can prescribe.
Caring about your skin isn’t about vanity.
It’s a critical organ, like any other. If you exercise for your heart and quit smoking for your lungs, then preventing sunburns is just another healthy habit.
While in session I love supporting your skin with organic, vegan, and without parabens, dyes or synthetic fragrances. Using only high quality lubricants with my Nature’s Root’s Sore Muscle Body Oils and lotions containing the proprietary blends of exquisite oils and herbs, fortified with non-GMO hemp oil (natural SPF, everyone!) & jojoba as natural emollients.
I love skin. I work with it on a daily basis and appreciate all the skin to keep your insides in and your outsides out. It keeps you cool, it tells you what’s around you, it prevents infections and repairs itself at a remarkable rate. So take care of it!
And maybe bring it in for a massage.

Spend some time on my massage table, taking care of you. You can request an appointment right here,  or call me at 630-935-171 to make your appointment.

Annie Van Zeyl, LMT

Annie Van Zeyl is a Licensed Massage Therapist of ZenGate Healing Arts, who loves working with the most stressed out career professionals, moms with kids of all ages and individuals with medical conditions.  Annie uses an integrated approach of massage therapy, guided meditation, chakra balancing and energy work to help reduce stress, anxiety & muscle tension in her sessions for improving the overall well-being.

 

Dear Mom 🌷💆🏻💝

Give the mom in your life the ✨zen✨ she deserves this Mother’s Day with a ZenGate Healing Arts Signature Massage Gift Certificate & Plant Therapy’s Dear Mom Set!

ZenGate’s Signature Massage for Mother’s Day promotes deep relaxation with our very own Jojoba Herbal Infusion Lavender Oil. Her session will begin with Plant Therapy Aromatherapy Forever Mom Synergy, with a sweet, smooth aroma that promotes relaxation.  The essential oils of Frankincense, Bergamot & Lavender are perfectly blended to help relax and ease Mom’s mind to reduce worry, tension and stress — A Full body massage completely customized to what she wants, with warm hot packs applied to the back and moisturizing hot towels to her feet.  Give her the zen she deserves this Mother’s Day with a ZenGate Healing Arts Signature Massage Gift Certificate !
 
Plant Therapy’s  Dear Mom set features the Forever Mom Synergy, with a sweet, smooth aroma that promotes relaxation. The essential oils of Frankincense, Bergamot & Lavender (all are KidSafe) blended to create this synergy help relax and ease Mom’s mind to reduce worry, tension, and stress — giving her a much-needed break from the craziness of her daily routine.  To Purchase Plant Therapy “Dear Mom” Set here.

✨ZennaBliss Massage ✨

✨It is official! ✨our newest massage, #ZennaBliss, A cannabis infused #massage is now at ZenGate Healing Arts!

✨It is official! ✨ ZenGate Healing Arts in Elmhurst Illinois newest massage is… #ZennaBliss! A cannabis infused massage with a high amounts of CBD oil at 100mg per ounce. Four lovely aromas to choose from energizing, relieving, relaxing and stimulating. Developed with chronic pain in mind, penetrates deeply into the muscle while providing an extended relief time.
ZennaBliss is a cannabis infused massage with Nature’s Root Sore Muscle Body Oil CBD 100 is all natural and all organic with 100mg of CBD per one ounce bottles. Created with chronic pain and therapeutic work in mind. It has a tremendous glide to it and quickly absorbs into the skin.

ZennaBliss has four aromatherapy  blends to choose from:
Relieving camphor 
Relaxing chamomile & lavender
Stimulating  basil & eucalyptus
Energizing citrus

Our ZennaBliss Massage with Nature Root’s Sore Muscle Body Oil CBD 100 provides the necessary properties to relieve pain &  reduce inflammation. 
CBD is a non-psychoactive, inherent property of the hemp plant, recognized for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Used in our ZennaBliss Massage  for a deeper sense of relaxation, extended relief time and deeper muscle penetration. It works especially well for those individuals battling chronic pain, arthritis, nerve damage, and the sort.
Upon arrival, you will receive your own bottle of Nature’s Root Sore Muscle Body Oil (choice of 4 aromas) to take to your treatment room. What is not used during your session, will be our gift to you to take home.
Reserve your ZennaBliss Massage Now!

Show Your Love 💝

Be My Valentine

For Only $16.95 You Can Show Your Love with the Be My Valentines Gift Box (Over 20% Off)! Shop Now at Plant Therapy While Supplies

This Valentine’s gift idea for 2018 is both “Sensual” and “Marvelous.” Show your partner how much you truly care with Plant Therapy’s Be My Valentine Set.
Perfect for creating a special, intimate atmosphere for you and your sweetheart, this set includes Plant Therapy’s Sensual Synergy Oil and a 4 oz. bottle of Marvelous Massage Carrier Oil.
The romantic qualities of Sensual Synergy will awaken passions with its exotic blend of floral overtones of Ylang Ylang and Jasmine give way to the more subtle, woody notes of Sandalwood and Patchouli. Orange Sweet and Lavender round out the blend for an overall balance.

Diffuse a drop or two in the bedroom to set a romantic mood. Add to the luxurious Marvelous Massage Carrier Oil Blend to ignite intimacy, promote closeness and rev up the romance.  USE WITH CAUTION: This set will leave you feeling flirtatious.  AND of course, if all fails, a massage therapy gift certificate to ZenGate Healing Arts will surely make any loved one feel more special then ever. 💆💝✨

We Moved!!!

Come visit ZenGate Healing Arts at our new location, 263 N. York Street Suite 202, Elmhurst IL 60126

We’ve moved!

Come visit us at our beautiful new location, 263 N. York Street Suite 202 Elmhurst IL 60126! ZenGate Healing Arts found a cozy new spot on the second floor, take the bright & open concept staircase or roomy elevator… Restrooms are on both floors and we even have a private one in our suite as well! No more waiting in the hallway either. We have a lounge room to relax in before your session too. (Walk in, sit down and relax!) Parking is going to be easy breezy- for starters plan accordingly to get accustom to the new location and parking situation. You will be able to find a  parking space in the lot just north of the building, on the street and across at Panera along with the new parking garage! Can’t wait to be taking all appointments in the new and beautiful location!

Our ZenGoddess is finding a new place to meditate!

Moving the most important equipment to the new location! Our massage table!

5 Tips for Neck and Shoulder Care Between Massage Appointments

Self Care is not indulgence

People with neck and shoulder issues often have their pain return before their next massage appointment. Work, play and children all make demands on the body. A dull ache can quickly turn into a burning pain especially while folding laundry, doing yard work, playing on the computer or any of the other million things you do.

What can you do between professional massage appointments to take the edge off neck and shoulder pain? Here are some ideas.

1.Take a Break
Take short breaks as often as you can if you sit at a computer all day. Move your shoulders around and s-t-r-e-t-c-h. Ideally you can get up and move around a bit. But even if you’re chained to the desk, you can rock out a little Deskercise to stay loose.

2.Get the kids into it
Have a short yoga break together! There are plenty of videos made especially for kids, and the moves are just as beneficial for adults. Bonus: got a little one averse to naptime? Try the lying-down postures here and maybe you’ll get a short break.

3.Heat it
Just 10-15 minutes of heat on your shoulders can make a huge difference in how your tissue moves and feels. You don’t need a fancy heating pad, you can DIY that.


4.Self-massage
Try it, you might be surprised how much it helps! It’s not complicated, just grab a tennis ball or a red rubber ball and check out these techniques.


5.Choose the right pillow
You spend about a third of your time in bed, be sure it’s cozy for your neck. Side-sleepers have different needs than belly-sleepers. The right pillow at night can help you all day.


A few minutes of self care every day, little changes, can make a huge difference in how you feel. See you at your next appointment!

The Reboot for your Mind and Body

Let go and relax with Massage at ZenGate Healing Arts

Do you feel stretched in a hundred different directions?

Obligations, deadlines, appointments, meetings, work, housework, sports, everything. More often than not, it seems there aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week for all that needs to be done. We’re on constant high alert. We’re always moving.

All this chaos can be hard on your body and mind.

When this happens, we tend to be less mindful of our eating. Or chasing sleep like it’s a lively kitten. Or we get snippy with loved ones and coworkers.

The effects of this day to day stress are cumulative for most of us. Stiff joints get stiffer. Cranky shoulders get crankier, then one rogue golf swing or one heavy laundry basket makes it worse.

Massage is the mini-vacation you probably need.

Without the sand in your shoes and having to pull your computer out of your backpack.

Massage therapy is a reboot. It’s the control-alt-delete for your body and mind.

A massage resets your thoughts, slows your pulse, regulates your breathing, and recharges your mind.

Spend some time on my massage table, taking care of you. You can request an appointment right here,  or call me at 630-935-171 to make your appointment.

Annie Van Zeyl, LMT

Annie Van Zeyl is a Licensed Massage Therapist of ZenGate Healing Arts, who loves working with the most stressed out career professionals, moms with kids of all ages and individuals with medical conditions.  Annie uses an integrated approach of massage therapy, guided meditation, chakra balancing and energy work to help reduce stress, anxiety & muscle tension in her sessions for improving the overall well-being.

How to give a Zentastic massage

How to give a Zentastic Massage!

Everyone wants a massage, but sometimes making it in to see your favorite massage therapist (hi there!) just isn’t feasible. It’s in those unexpected and inconvenient moments that knowing how to give your partner a pretty great massage yourself can make the difference between a rotten day and a better one. But of course, this hinges on one thing: do you know how to give a good massage? Giving an at-home massage is not that hard. Here are my favorite tips:

Use firm pressure, but not hard.

People get confused about pressure in two opposite ways. If your partner is smaller than you, you may have a tendency to use very light pressure. This is okay to a point (you probably won’t hurt anyone), but can be a little frustrating if your partner is tense or sore or, even worse, ticklish. On the other side are the people who come from the “no pain, no gain” school of massage. Don’t buy into this myth! Massage should be pleasant. If your partner has to tense their muscles and clench their jaw in order to get through your ministrations, it’s not helping.

Slooooooow doooooown.

There are absolutely occasions where someone might want a fast-paced, vigorous massage. But unless your partner is getting warmed up for a race or ballroom dancing competition, this is probably not one of them. You’re not going to miss some key muscle if you take your time. If you seem relaxed, your partner is going to relax too. So

, put your hands out, and make each stroke last.

If you meet a bone, leave it alone.

There is one exception to the firm pressure rule, and that is bones. You don’t need to be an anatomist to recognize the ones that stick out, like knees, elbows, ribs, and spines. With little padding between them and the skin, these areas can be quick to bruise or feel painful. If you find your hands arriving at one of these bony landmarks (yes, that’s actually what massage therapists call them, it’s like reading a topographical map), you have two options: turn around and go back the way you came, or skim over them using gentle pressure and keep going with your massage on the other side.

Practice good body mechanics.

If massage shouldn’t be painful for your partner, it also shouldn’t be painful for you. If you are hunched over, if your wrists are bent at an awkward angle, if you are using your thumbs or fingers in ways they weren’t designed to work, you will end up regretting the day you ever offered to give a massage. Use bigger muscles in place of small ones whenever you can: use your back to provide pressure instead of your arms, and your arms instead of your fingers. Whenever possible, push instead of pulling. When you move to a new part of your partner’s body, adjust your entire position, not just your hand placement. It may feel strange at first, but imagine if you tried to shovel snow by standing in one place and using just your arms to move the shovel from one side of you to the other. If that image seems ridiculous, you already understand why proper body mechanics are so important.

Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Really, you probably don’t need to talk to a massage therapist to learn that open communication between you and your partner is key to anything you undertake together. But it’s especially true in a situation like a massage, where one of you is more vulnerable than the other. As the massage giver, it’s important that you check in regularly: How does this feel? Would you like more or less pressure? Do you remember whether I turned the oven off? (Okay, maybe not that one.) The same goes for communicating your own needs. If you are getting tired, or thirsty, or really need to leave for work, say something. Don’t leave your partner feeling guilty about enjoying a massage because you made a unilateral decision to sacrifice your needs for theirs.

Learn from the pros.

As with any skill, one of the best ways to learn to give a massage is by watching the people who are already great at it. Getting regular professional massage (hello again!) and taking a couples massage class are both helpful. Barring that, YouTube is a fantastic source of tutorials for beginners. You can search for a style you like—Swedish massage is a great place to start—or an area you’d like to focus on, like the neck and shoulders.

If you follow these guidelines, you’re going to be fine.

You may not be winning any championships, but massage isn’t a competition. If you can give a caring, relaxing massage without hurting your partner or yourself, you’re way ahead of the curve on this one. And if you feel like you need more than that … well, give me a call.

Specialized Pregnancy Massage

shutterstock_114618175ZenGate Healing Arts is THE destination and preferred place for massage & bodywork among ZenMommas of all ages.

Annie Van Zeyl, LMT is a 2005″ Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist” by Peg Johnson, RN from the formally known Wellness & Massage Training Institute, Woodridge, IL.  Undergoing an advanced certification level program in massage for pregnancy, labor and postpartum. Annie’s advanced prenatal education has helped improve the level of health of the expectant and postpartum woman for over 10 years. Whether it’s an opportunity to simply unplug and relax during this special time, or reduce pain and discomfort related to the changes your body is currently going through, a prenatal massage session with Annie is guaranteed to improve your overall health & wellness.

Have more questions about massage therapy for pregnancy and postpartum? Call Annie @ (630) 935-0171 or send her an email. She is more than happy to answer any questions!

2016 Christmas Special

Purchase a 30 or 60 minute massage gift certificate and receive a 30 minute free Winter Solstice Sugar Foot Scrub with your session. Offer valid until December 31st

Purchase a 30 or 60 minute massage gift certificate and receive a 30 minute free Winter Solstice Sugar Foot Scrub with your session.

The Winter Solstice Sugar Scrub is an exfoliating  treatment for the feet with the invigorating oils of Palo Santo, Mint and Sweet Orange. Hot towels are placed to further soften the feet along with a Winter Solstice Essential Oil lotion for the foot massage leaving you feeling grounded and calm.

Pre-purchase and bank for personal use at a later date. Foot scrub and massage must be used during the same session.

Special pricing good through 12/31/16

 Click here to purchase Online Gift Certificates
Click here to purchase for pick up