SELF MANAGEMENT TOOL BOX: Roleo – Roll Your Pain Away!

This weeks self management tool, Roleo,  is one of my FAVORITES! I am so thankful for this tool as it has helped the longevity of my career as a massage therapist.

The Roleo can also help YOU if you if you use your hands for a living and help keep your hands, wrists, and forearms feeling well with all of the upcoming summer activities like golf, tennis, gardening, paddling, etc!

Just over a year ago I developed a “bump” on a tendon in my dominant hand.  I had pain, inflammation, and difficulty with basic activities.   In addition to the bump, the wrist flexors in my forearm were extremely tight, tender, and fatigued. It felt as though after 12 years, my massage career would be coming to an end.  I saw a hand specialist and was diagnosed with flexor tendonitis.  In conjunction with my doctors plan of rest, stretching, cutting back on clients, and managing the inflammation with ice  etc., I tried massaging my forearm with my left hand… Well this just wasn’t effective enough for me – I was starting to get fatigue in my left forearm because I was compensating for my right arm!! I needed massage, but couldn’t see my massage therapist every week!  What to do…… ROLEO!!!

My brother in law-to-be introduced me to the Roleo.  He works as a scientific glass blower and had also experienced fatigue & pain in his forearms and hands. Seeing his massage therapist on a regular basis was just not enough.

The Roleo allows you to have a firm and specific massage for your forearms, wrists and hands and helps alleviate any symptoms you may have from repetitive activities in your home or office.   It is easy to use  and requires no batteries or electricity.  It reminds me of putting my arm between two rolling pins!  There is a pressure gauge on the top of the product so you can increase or decrease the amount of pressure you feel comfortable with during your Roleo massage! I use the Roleo after working with a client, after a round of golf, or whenever I feel my forearms, wrists, & hands need some TLC.  It has made such a difference and I don’t experience any pain in my hand or forearms anymore!

The Roleo was developed by licensed massage therapist, Paul Klieman.  You can read his testimonial and how Roleo was developed at There is also a wonderful instructional video and detailed written instructions on the website to show you how to use the Roleo.

You can order the Roleo at  I have seen it priced between $27 and $30.  It can also be found at:

– Massage Warehouse (
– Bodywork Emporium stores in Southern California, and other retailers.
– (search: Roleo Massager)

Happy Rolling Everyone!!!


EcoTools® – Quality Make Up Brushes – Earth Friendly Beauty

New make up brushes have been on my shopping list for awhile now and I didn’t feel like braving the mall or the make up counter yesterday.  I remembered aesthetician, Holly Green recommending a product line called EcoTools®  at her holistic skin care talk… So, I stopped into a Walgreens and I was pleasantly surprised to find the EcoTools®  brand and pay under $15 for their Bamboo 6 piece brush set!!

Bamboo 6 Piece Brush Set  Image

Blush brush
Eye shading brush
Angled eyeliner brush
Concealer brush
Lash & Brow groomer
Hemp & cotton case

Ok, I was skeptical at first too, as I have been guilty of spending over $60 for a makeup brush in the past, but I had to try them out and I am so pleased!  The angled eyeliner brush was precise with its application, yet soft enough that it didn’t pull at the skin under my lashes. The other brushes not only felt nice while applying, but made the application of my blush, eyeshadow, and concealer look great too. 🙂

As I said, these brushes are incredibly soft and also 100% cruelty free.  The brushes are made out of bamboo, recycled aluminum ferrules, and synthetic taklon for the brushes bristles.  So what makes taklon better and what exactly is taklon???

Taklon is a synthetic material and unlike animal hair bristles, does not have a hair cuticle for makeup, dead skin cells, and other contaminants to build up on the bristles.  The hair cuticle allows bacteria to grow on your brushes making them unsanitary… Taklon has antibacterial properties, making it better for your skin.

1% of EcoTools annual sales are donated to 1% For The Planet®, an alliance of businesses committed to leveraging their resources to create a healthier planet.  EcoTools®  website is fun to navigate and offers beauty tips and tutorials, a link to their blog, and information on their collection which ranges from cosmetic brushes to eco conscious bath tools.  I am looking forward to trying more of their products!

You can also purchase  EcoTools®  products locally at  Norabloom Beauty Lounge located at 313 N. Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850

Enjoy! 🙂

Spa Day Pass at Rasa Spa – Ithaca, NY

Ahhhhh yes, WELLNESS.  I received a $5 Spa Day Pass at the Holistic Skin Care Talk that I attended last week at RASA SPA.  The Spa Day Pass is one of Rasa’s options for wellness and includes time to rest in the Tranquility Room, use of their sauna, showers and use of the Meditation Alcove.  Sign me up!

I was near Ithaca, NY  last Thursday & decided to call Rasa to see if I could  use my Spa Day Pass…  They were able to accomodate me immediately – yessss!!!

Again, the staff at Rasa was wonderful. I was shown around the areas I was able to utilize in the spa for the day. They provided a locker & key for my clothes, etc and I donned the terry cloth lined Boca Terry robe which was soooo cozy and wahlaa!!  Let the relaxation begin.  It is amazing how relaxed you can feel when you just step out of your normal routine and into a serine environment.

I decided to use the cedar sauna first.  The sauna was clean, spacious, and was heated with a McCoy Sauna heater.  A pitcher of cool water with orange slices was right outside the door so I was able to hydrate while I steamed 🙂

Rasa offers EO® products in their showers.  This was my first experience with this product line, and it was lovely!  EO® is a family owned and operated, Certified Organic Manufacturer of personal care products using the highest grade natural and certified organic ingredients.  I enjoyed the French lavender body wash, citrus shampoo & conditioner which were so refreshing after the sauna.  Lavender can sometimes be an overwhelming smell to me, but EO’s product was made so nicely.

I finished my time at Rasa in the Tranquility room.  I brought my book, got cozy on the chaise lounge chair and read for 15 minutes peacefully before I went back out into the world.

This experience left me feeling refreshed, happy, and just… well 🙂  Rasa’s Spa Day Pass is $20 and I would absolutely recommend this experience if you need some time to just ~ be.

Holistic Skin Care at Rasa Spa – Ithaca, NY

I attended Rasa Spa’s free Holistic Skin Care Talk this past Tuesday,  March 6th, 2012 in Ithaca, NY.

Rasa’s Lead licensed aesthetician, Holly Green, offered an informative discussion about holistic skin care and Rasa Spa’s commitment to whole health. The talk was given in Rasa Spa’s Tranquility Room which overlooks the Cayuga Lake Inlet.

The Tranquility Room is simply lovely, offering warm soft colors on the walls and window treatments, dark wood floors, fluffy pillows, soft blankets, glowing candles, and cozy chaise lounge chairs. Ahhhh – relaxation!!  This room also features local artists paintings and  local woodworked furniture & cabinets are found throughout the spa.  Cool cucumber water  and tea were served – so refreshing!

 Holistic Skin Care Talk

Holly Green has been practicing for over 14 years and is also a licensed massage therapist.  She is able to offer a holistic mind & body approach to skin care, combining aesthetics and massage therapy in her facials at Rasa.  Holly, along with Rasa’s other aestheticians,  are able to customize your facial for your specific needs.  Holly emphasized Rasa’s goals of  providing unique, individual, and quality services to each client that comes to Rasa Spa.

I appreciated Holly & Rasa Spa’s passion not only for skin care & education, but for health & wellness from within.  Bringing peace &  relaxation from within helps to create a healthy glow and healthy you on the outside!  Holly is excellent at communicating & educating her clients about what is most appropriate for their specific needs!

Facials range from 30 – 90 minutes for $55 – $140 and detailed descriptions of facials are available on Rasa’s website  Rasa also offers special facials for those with problem skin such as acne or rosacea, aging skin, and a gentleman’s facial.  Don’t forget to check out options for body treatments as well!

Holly also educated the group on three NEW options for facials at Rasa Spa:

  • RASA SPA ORGANIC INFUSION MICRODERMABRASION (a regenerating facial that uses organic buffing grains infused with lavender that allows for deeper penetration of products and helps to minimize fine lines & increase skin renewal) 60 minutes $140
  • RASA SPA HIGH FREQUENCY CURRENT (an argon filled glass electrode produces varying intensities of infrared light which help kill bacteria, is used to help soothe acne, ingrown hairs, and decrease enlarged pores.)  Add High Frequency to a Rasa Spa Facial of your choice.
  • THE NORABLOOM EXPERIENCE FACIAL for RASA (a custom facial curated by Holly Green (NORABLOOM) & Rasa Spa using botanically-derived products from Norabloom) Pricing – same as Rasa’s 30 – 90 minute facials.

Organic, clean, & nutrient rich products are a focus at Rasa since the skin absorbs 60% of what we apply to what is our largest organ.  Some of the product lines available at Rasa Spa include – Eminence Organics, Norabloom, redflower, and local products are also listed on the Rasa website.

What to expect during a facial at Rasa Spa 

  • Fill out an intake form to educate your aesthetician about you, your health history, allergies
  • Enjoy the Tranquility Room &  relax before your session
  • Heated treatment tables & cozy linens
  • Cleansing of the face, neck, decollete
  • Exfoliation of these areas in combination with steam to open pores, making extractions easier if needed
  • Face mask is applied based on your unique skin type
  • Relax & enjoy an arm & hand massage or foot massage while your mask sets
  • Hot towels are applied to soften the mask
  • Moisturizing the face, neck, decollete
  • Consultation/education/samples from your aesthetician complete your personalized experience at Rasa Spa

I appreciated the free and informative session on skin care and signed up for special spa offers, information, and upcoming events on Rasa’s Website.  I’m looking forward to my first facial at Rasa!!!

Rasa Spa is located at 
310 Taughannock Blvd., Ithaca, NY 14850  
Enjoy Rasa’s NEW, second location near Cornell University – Island Health & Fitness Community Corners located at
903 Hanshaw Road, Ithaca, NY 14850
607.273.1740 (use the downtown phone number for appointments at this time)

BEAUTY ON A BUDGET :) 3 Quick recipes for a DIY facial

Even though this winter has been mild, my skin still feels a bit dull, and I am feeling like I could use a refresher to get ready for the week ahead!!!

I love getting facials at the spa, but in a pinch and on a budget, this DIY Facial does the trick…


Here is the Facial Order:  Cleanse with your favorite facial cleanser, Exfoliate with the brown sugar facial scrub, Cleanse Pores with the DIY pore strips, Renew with the Nutmeg, Cinnamon, & Honey face mask, Moisturize with your favorite moisturizer!!!

** Note:  Test these recipes on your wrist or small area of skin before applying to assure that you do not have any adverse reactions.

**BROWN SUGAR SCRUB:  Brown sugar is a wonderful natural exfoliant that can be used for DIY face & body scrubs.
  • 1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil, grape seed oil, or extra virgin coconut oil (I found extra virgin coconut oil at the GreenStar Natural Foods Market in Ithaca, NY, link on Blogroll)

Preparation:  In a small bowl, add 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar, add 1 teaspoon of oil, and stir to create a paste.  Use paste to exfoliate skin in a gentle circular motion.  Rinse with warm water, press warm washcloth into face and remove any remaining scrub.

**DIY PORE STRIPS:  I love this recipe!  I use Biore pore strips on a regular basis, so this is a great budget friendly find instead of paying $8 – $14 for a box of strips.
  • 1 Tablespoon of Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of Unflavored Gelatin
  • brush to apply paste (nice to have, but not necessary)

Preparation:  In a small, microwave safe bowl or mug, mix the milk and unflavored gelatin.  Heat in the microwave for 10 seconds, stir again.   Make sure the temperature of the paste is comfortable before applying to your skin.

Apply paste with face brush to nose, chin, forehead, or where ever you feel like your pores are clogged!! (I pick up inexpensive facial brushes at the Dollar Store for masks etc.).   Leave paste on for 10 – 15 minutes, then peal away!! Wash face with a warm washcloth.

**NUTMEG, CINNAMON, HONEY FACE MASK – this mask has been great for me all winter long and smells amazing!  This will probably be the last time I use it this winter as I will be ready for spring scents soon!  This recipe makes at least 2 masks, and stores well in a covered container.  
  • 2 Tablespoons of Honey (I’m using Wixson’s Fall Flower HoneyDundee, NY 14837 link on Blogroll)
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Preparation:  In a small bowl or container mix all 3 ingredients to form a paste.  Apply paste with a brush, avoiding eye area.  Let sit for 15 to 30 minutes.  Rinse off with warm water, press warm washcloth into face.  Moisturize with your favorite facial moisturizer!

Time:  You could have a good hour into the facial if you do all of the recipes, but you are home, so you can still do things while the mask and pore strips are setting! The Brown Sugar scrub takes just moments to mix and you will spend 1 – 3 minutes total exfoliating, rinsing.  The DIY pore strips, also moments to mix, 10 seconds in the micro, moments to mix and apply, 10 – 15 minutes on face, rinse again.  The mask, moments to make, 15 – 30 minutes on face, rinse, moisturize!!  Please let me know if you have any questions about the recipes or how to do the facial!  I hope you enjoy!

Have a great week everyone 🙂


SELF MANAGEMENT TOOL BOX: Str8-n-Up – The Simple Solution to Slouching & Stress

This weeks self management tool, Str8-n-Up, was recommended to me by my acupuncturist, Jennifer Zitkov, L.AC.

Slouch LESS. Hunch LESS. Stress LESS. Str8-n-Up MORE!

Str8-n-Up is an easy to use and portable product that I have been trying out for over 5 weeks with great results!

My goal in trying this product was to improve my posture, decrease pain and fatigue after working with clients, after  traveling, and while working on the computer.

The material is lightweight, breathable, and the product is easy to use.  I love that I can throw this product in my purse and put it on when I need it.  It provides a subtle stretch for 30 minutes at the shoulders, but still allows movement and does not feel restrictive in any way.

After I take off Str8-n-Up, I feel more open through my pecs,  have noted decreased pain and fatigue through my upper traps and back and feel as though my posture is improving!!!

I purchased the black Str8-n-Up with the black buckle for $38.00. Other colors, product information, and sizing information are available at:
LOCALLY in the office of:
Jen Zitkov, L.Ac, CBP  and Dr. Tina Nagle, Chiropractor  located at:
PAINTED POST, NY 14870-1131
Phone (607) 684-7068 or (607) 936-1552

This is a wonderful product and I would recommend checking out the Str8-n-Up website, my testimonial , or visiting the Painted Post, NY office for more information or to purchase a Str8-n-Up!!



LOCAL PICK – *Earth Suds* bar soap

I have been in need of a new, moisturizing hand soap… For the past few days I’ve been using a lovely, local hand soap that I really enjoy…

Earth Suds – Tangerine Vanilla

Stephanie Hafl, soap creator, has been making these handmade creations on a small scale for about 4 years out of Spencer, New York.  Along with my pick, tangerine vanilla, she currently offers lavender, citrus, and mint chocolate round bar soaps.

Ingredients listed for my tangerine vanilla soap:  Saponified Olive, Coconut, & Palm Oil, Tangerine Essential Oil, Vanilla Extract, & Paprika

  • This soap lathers so nicely,  has a pleasant, light fragrance, and moisturizes well without leaving a greasy residue 🙂 Thumbs Up!!!

Earth Suds Soaps are currently available at the following locations:

Bun Appetit,  located on 215 Main St, Groton, NY 13073.  (607) 898-4162 (my full bar soap was $3.50 and half bars were also available for $2.00 at this location)

Spencer, NY –  Farmers Market, their season begins June 23rd and the market is open from 9:00am to 1pm every Saturday until October 1st.  Located at Nichols Pond right in the heart of Spencer, NY.

OR –

Purchase online at


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