Gua Sha Facial

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Gua Sha Facial NYC

 

The Gua Sha (Gwa Shh-Ah) facial is a very unique treatment and isn’t like a traditional facial.

It’s the star of the show in my Restore Vitality™ Gua Sha Facial.  

 

What is a Gua Sha facial?

Based on an eastern medicine technique, called Gua Sha (skin scraping), I use an agate crystal stone to smooth out wrinkles, lift and contour your cheekbones, brow bone and neck. It’s a non surgical facelift that also detoxifies making it great for acne sufferers. 

I often use gua sha with patients who see me for pain. Instead of the stone, I use a different tool to scrape the skin. Doing this, breaks capillaries which kicks in the bodies own healing response. The red stippling, it leaves behind, lasts for anywhere from 3-7 days.

In facial gua sha, capillaries aren't broken and there are no red marks left behind because the tool I use doesn’t have any sharp edges and feels really comforting. 

How does facial gua sha work?

The human body is more than just skin, muscle, blood vessels, nerves and bone. There is an entire network of connective tissue, called fascia, holding all of that together. Its like a web that connects everything and when that web gets a knot in it or gets glommed up in an area, in the mirror that shows up as a wrinkle, smile lines, deep lines between the brows and a wrinkly chest. When that webbing starts to lose collagen, it shows up as sagging. When there is too much fluid build up under the eyes because your lymphatic fluid isn’t draining, it shows up as puffiness and acne. 

The massage movements done with the stone aren’t random, it takes a trained acupuncturist to know the correct strokes to smooth out the glommed up fascia under the skin and flushes out toxins to heal acne.  When done correctly, the results are astonishing! 

Agate crystal balances Yin & Yang

What can I expect from a Gua Sha Facial?

I’ve called this treatment The Restore Vitality Gua Sha Facial, because that is exactly what it does. It brings not just your skin, but your face back to life. It truly rejuvenates, lifts, lightens and brightens all without harsh lasers and toxic chemicals. 

Who should get a gua sha facial?

Anyone that wants to look younger without fillers.  Anyone with sun spots, wrinkles or acne that needs healing. 

Celebrities and television personalities that always have to be on camera would find this incredibly beneficial. It’s the best way to rejuvenate and still look like yourself without a frozen face full of fillers. 

How long do the results last?

Everyone is different. Depending on your age, the more mature in age you are, the more treatments you will need. Once a week treatments for 10 weeks is ideal for someone over 40 but someone in their 20’s can do less.

I’m over 40 and it’s my favorite rejuvenating treatment out of everything I’ve ever done in my medi-spa days. I’m well aware of skin tightening with laser, I used to get it done all the time. I like this much better both as a client and as a practitioner. There’s no harm or side effects from getting it done and it treats more than just skin. It treats the underlying tissue under the skin. 

Not surprisingly, many people feel like their face is less stressed and their jaw feels less tight. Gua Sha works to soften muscle and fascia. Neither of which are treated by any laser or chemical peel.   

How long of an appointment should I book?

If you are interested in rejuvenation, it's best to schedule 90 minutes or if you want to add microcurrent, 2 hours. 

If you have acne, please schedule 75 mins and note there are no extractions

If you have any more questions about The Restore Vitality Gua Sha Facial, contact me here.


Here's what a client had to say:

People keep asking me if I got Botox!
I’m hooked for life, Lorraine, you’re the best in New York !
— L.B, NYC

To schedule your Restore Vitality Gua Sha Facial click below. 

The case of the 38 year long headache

Yes, you read that right.

A headache that lasted 38 years. 

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This is the story of a lovely 47 year old woman that messaged me on Facebook asking for an acupuncture appointment. I always like to know what it is that someone wants to treat before coming in, so I asked her what she was looking to address and she said headaches. 

I've treated headaches and migraines before, so I looked forward to helping her. 

As with every new patient, I had her fill out a health history and then we had a lengthy talk about these headaches.  They started when she was nine years old and they start in the back of her head and shoot towards the front ending up on her forehead above her brow.  She rarely ever wakes up with them but as the day goes by, the headache starts to creep up.  They happen everyday, are nagging, relentless and it was clear she was fed up with them. 

I asked her how she's been managing the pain for this long and she said she's been taking over the counter ibuprofen. She had seen a chiropractor for a while and it would help, but the pain relief would be short lived.  I also asked her if there was any incident that she could attribute these headaches to and she said nothing that she could think of.  I also asked a few questions to rule out the recommendation of a neurologist. 

As an acupuncturist, I will take information from a patient's health history along with checking the tongue and taking the person's pulse to come up with a diagnostic "pattern".  People with a certain set of symptoms typically fall into a pattern.  Once I know the pattern, I can choose from a group of acupuncture points to treat this person's pattern.  

The odd thing about her was that she wasn't fitting neatly into the pattern that I would have expected her to.  Typically, someone with this pattern would have headaches (check), either an irregular period or a really painful one (nope), insomnia from time to time (nope), gets angry pretty easily (nope), sighing (nope), moody? (she said not really but is known to be stubborn..ok I'll take it..check!)   There might even be purple veins underneath the tongue and she didn't have that either. To be honest, this left me scratching my head.  I went with the initial diagnosis and treated her anyway.  I added a few points on her shoulders since this typically helps ease headaches in general. 

I checked in with her in a few days and asked how she was doing. She said she felt good, but still had the headaches. We discussed expectations of acupuncture on her first visit. If she's had this problem for 38 years, I asked that she give me at least 3 sessions to make some kind of difference.  She totally understood and was game to give it some time to work. 

On her next visit, I decided to continue to treat her on her pattern, but this time I wanted to take a closer look at her head, neck and shoulders.  Maybe this wasn't just a pattern issue, maybe it was mostly physical. Lying on her stomach, with her head in the face rest is when I saw it, her right shoulder blade was sticking out like the lifted hood of a car.

I palpated (touching to find tender, painful areas) the whole shoulder blade and neck and she had a lot of tenderness.  I asked her if she had been in any car accidents. She said she was in one a few years ago but it was nothing major, but now that she thought of it, when she 9, she was on the top bunk bed playing with her sister when her sister pushed her and she fell off, landing on the floor.  She's had the headaches ever since. 

This changed everything for how I was going to treat her. First, let's look back at where she said her headaches were.  They shoot from the back to the front and are a little across her forehead. 

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The pic on the left looks describes that same exact pain pattern.   The areas shaded red are the areas that indicate where the pain is. So, the X's, are where the knots in those muscles are, and the red is where a person would feel the pain being created by those knots. 

Over the following 3 visits, I started to release all knots in all the muscles that were pulling her shoulder blade out of place and therefore, causing the headaches.  Basically, what had happened was that her shoulder blade muscles must have been in contraction and pulling at her neck all these years. 

I'm happy to report that the treatments worked and the headaches are now gone. Her shoulder blade is also back to normal and isn't sticking out anymore.

She had a total of 5 weekly visits and one more that she scheduled after a trip to Europe. I knew that a long plane ride could set her back so I asked that she come in regardless of pain, so that we could treat to prevent those headaches from coming back.  On returning from Europe she only had two minor headaches and she said they were "nothing". I took this to mean, it wasn't anything like the headaches she's been experiencing her whole life.  

She's happy she finally found the solution to a life long problem and I'm happy to have helped another person be pain free. 

To schedule you're acupuncture session, with me Lorraine, click below. 

Natural ways to treat allergies

7 tips to help you through allergy season

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It's that time of year again...I don't know about you, but I'm already sneezing a lot even though it's still pretty chilly outside.  If you've got itchy eyes, a runny nose, loss of smell, or constant post nasal drip, you may have allergies. Even if you didn't have them as a teenager, they can sneak up on you in your late 20's and 30's.  Below, are a few tips to help you out. 

1.  Organic Honey.  Eat 1 tablespoon of local, organic, honey a day.  It MUST be local to you. So, where ever you are reading this from, make sure to check our your local farmer's market and you'll find a local vendor. 

2.  Neti Pot.  Maybe you've seen these in the health food store and thought it was some weird hippie sh*t but that weird hippie thing will help more than anything. Rinse your sinuses every day, as soon as you get home. This saline water rinse will get the pollen out of your nose. 

3.  Anti-inflammatory diet.  If you know certain foods make you phlegmy or your nose runny, take a break from eating them because they will make your allergies worse. If you don't get your sinuses all inflamed to begin with, you'll have a better time adjusting to springtime.  Adding an Omega-3 fish oil and a probiotic isn't a bad idea either. 

4.  Brush the dog. I love my dog but I don't love how pollen sticks to her fur, and then when she climbs onto my bed and pillow and leaves a trail of invisible pollen for me to sleep on. Give the dog a quick brush right before walking back into your home and rinse his/her paws. If you have a big dog and can't do that, I suggest baby wipes or keeping a towel aside for a quick wipe down after a walk. 

5. Brush yourself.  If your allergies are that bad, then washing your face and brushing your hair every time you come back home will be necessary. 

6. HEPA Air filter.  This filters the air and keeps it clean, just don't forget to vacuum the filter from time to time. 

7.  Acupuncture and Herbs.  Of course acupuncture helps but is best done BEFORE allergy season starts. If you are already in the throws of allergy symptoms, acupuncture can still help and most likely I would prescribe herbs. 

 

5 Ways to ease menstrual cramps -aka Dysmenorrhea

Natural remedies for menstrual pain

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While periods are a normal part of life,  menstrual cramps don't have to be. In fact, in Eastern Medical theory, PMS is considered a disorder.  I treat it often in my practice and it truly does help women have a much less dramatic period.  If you have a healthy period, you should have very little to no discomfort during this time. 

I have a few tips for you to make the time of the month go a little smoother.  First, get to know the signals your body gives you right before your period is about to start. Of course, Pre-Menstrual Syndrome is different for everyone, but I find these are the most common signs. 

  • Dull, achy lower back
  • Mood changes- like depression or quick tempered
  • Bloating
  • Lower abdominal cramping
  • Dull headaches
  • Sudden constipation or diarrhea
  • Heightened sexual desire

1.  Tea for cramps

As soon as the bloating starts, make tea using Turmeric, Cinnamon and Hawthorn. Drink at least three cups of this throughout the day, it's great for the bloating and pain because it's anti-inflammatory. 

2.  Energetically warming tea for PMS

If you're someone who tends to feel cold easily, make tea with the following ingredients the week before your period starts: (Get the P Tracker App if you're not sure when the week before your period is supposed to be) 

Ginger, green onions, fennel, black pepper and orange peel.  Let it boil for 10 minutes then strain and drink.  Drink three times a day for the entire week to decrease PMS symptoms. 

3. Essential Oils

There are essential oils that help with painful cramps specifically. It may take a little experimenting with which blend in particular will work for you.  Mix the appropriate amount of essential oil drops with 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil like olive oil or jojoba.  Massage it all over your abdomen, lower back and shoulders. Using a hot pack on your abdomen or lower back with a wool cloth along with the massage oil is very warming and feels great. 

For continuous intense pain:

Roman Chamomile  10 Drops

Clary-Sage  5 Drops

Red Thyme  15 Drops

For spasmodic pain:

Lavender  5 drops

Peppermint 10 Drops

Nutmeg 10 Drops

Cypress  5 Drops

4.  Essential Fatty Acids.

Since menstruating is basically inflammation, you'll need to stick to as many anti-inflammatory foods as possible. Fish oil is perfect for this and yes I have one I like.  If you're vegetarian, take flaxseed oil regularly.

5. Acupuncture.  

I get asked all the time, what does acupuncture do? Reduces inflammation, improves circulation and balances hormones (and is great at reducing pain!) I mean...what more do you need to know? Acupuncture is perfect for treating PMS, PCOS and an irregular period. Since I also practice skincare, my bridal clients especially love coming here to prep their skin for their wedding AND working on the PMS so they can just enjoy their big day.  

6. Acupressure.

Can't come in to see me? Then there are two areas on your body you can press and hold for 3 minutes each as soon as any bloating or lower back pain begins.  Pictured on the left is LI4, and on the right is LV 3.

The combination of these point improves the smooth flow of Qi and blood which leads to less pain, a regular period that arrives on time and lasts the same amount of days.  Acupuncture can definitely yield better results than acupressure but something is better than nothing.   Press and hold these points on both hands and feet. 

Wishing you a happier period,

xoxo

Lorraine 🦄✨

Crystals to put you in a positive mood

*OMG I'm turning into a hippie 🙃

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Hello and Happy New Year!

While I won't get into politics here, I think it's pretty obvious we're in for a turbulent time. People berating each other on Social Media and the onslaught of media coverage seems like a constant barrage of negativity. 

While we can't control what will happen, we can control ourselves and how we react to stress.  Of course, one way to reduce stress is acupuncture, which you probably already get. But, what about when you're not in my office?  At Health + Beauty, I want to encourage restorative behavior in all its forms, which is why I'd like to introduce you to crystals if you're not already familiar with them.
 

I owe my mother an apology. My mom used to give me crystals all the time when I was growing up and I accepted them with an eyeroll 🙄 and as soon as she was far away enough, I'd chuck them in the trash.  (I would kill to have them all back today)

It wasn't until after I graduated acupuncture school, and started taking meditation very seriously, that I decided to take a second look at crystals. The reason meditation works on so many levels- stress reduction, improving memory, providing clarity, etc is because when you meditate, you raise your vibrational energy. 

There was a moment a few years ago when I decided to give crystals a shot and I'm so glad I did. I now meditate with one every day and have noticed a difference in my own mood. It's not easy working for yourself, trust me, while I tend towards a positive attitude, it wasn't always this way. 

I've seen for myself how, when I connect with this high vibrational energy, good stuff starts to come my way and I want that for you too.  

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BLACK TOURMALINE

Used to dismiss negative energy, it works against EMF energy (energy given off by electronic devices such as our cellphones, iPads and computers) and can help you if you tend to have nightmares. 
Keep one by your computer, near your bed or wear one on a necklace or ring. 

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PYRITE

Otherwise known as fools gold, pyrite is a powerful tool to help make you a more positive thinker.  It can create clarity, focus and energize you. Use it while meditating to manifest your desires. Place it in a few areas of your home to create a sense of calm. 

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ROSE QUARTZ

Peaceful and soothing it's the love stone! Rose Quartz is great for opening up the heart chakra and dissolving fear, resentment and healing emotional wounds. It can help us give and be open to receiving love. Now, more than ever, try meditating with this beautiful pink blush stone as you send positive, healing vibes out into the world. 


Sharing is caring, if you know someone who could use this info, click on the headline of this blog post and share it! 

Best beauty tip of all time

If you never do anything but this, you'll always look amazing

Who doesn't want to look like J. Lo? I mean, seriously. 

Who doesn't want to look like J. Lo? I mean, seriously. 

Skin, hair and nails are all made up of collagen. It's a web like protein that it literally the cellular makeup of our bodies. Without it, we'd be crunchy like a potato chip. It keeps our joints healthy, hair glossy, and skin bouncy.

The beauty industry is a multi BILLION dollar industry filled with giant corporations that want your money. They will say anything you want to hear to make you buy their chemical laden stuff. They'll even put it in sexy, beautiful packaging (which costs them a fortune) so they have to pass the cost of the pretty packaging and all the millions of dollars 💸 they spend on advertising to sell it to you, onto you.

"Anti-Aging"--no ones getting out of aging, sorry. 

"Reduce pore size"---nope. That's not possible without changing your DNA 

"Erase dark spots" --does it ever really?

Since I'm an acupuncturist and esthetician, I look at things differently when it comes to skincare.

If something is inflamed (red) I want to use plant based skincare to calm it down.

If there is acne, nothing is moving so I'll prescribe acupuncture (to improve circulation in the digestive system) and LED light to kill the bad bacteria causing the acne. 

If there are wrinkles...the right skincare (oil, oil, oil!) and my beloved jade stone (a little red LED helps too) can gently fade the lines but more importantly, prevent new wrinkles from forming. 

There is one thing each of these skin types have in common. They ALL need to constantly develop new collagen.

Sure, you can go under the LED light which renews collagen better than any cream you will ever buy.  But what about your hair? Your hips and knees? Your eyelashes?

The best thing you can ever do and my #1 beauty tip of all time, is BONE BROTH 🐮🍵

Bone broth is a quadruple threat in that it will give you glowy, supple skin but it can also help you lose weight and heal gut issues like IBS and Leaky gut and an added bonus: it's excellent for your immunity. It's got all the right vitamins, minerals and healthy fat to make you glow like J. Lo! 


I get asked all the time how to make it so below is my recipe

Bone broth for healthy skin

Ingredients:
2 lbs Organic, grass fed, beef bone
2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional but if you want shiny hair, throw it in)
1 Onion cut in half
2 Carrots peeled and cut in half
2 Celery stalks washed and broken in half
2 Tblspn Apple Cider Vinegar
Optional: A bunch of parsley, 2-3 garlic cloves, 2 Tblspn black cracked pepper, 1 Tbsp Sea Salt and any other herbs and spices you like to be used at the last 30 min of cooking. I like rosemary and thyme. 
1 Large stockpot, pressure cooker or slow cooker
Slotted spoon or strainer to pull everything out

1. Place bones in a roasting pan and bake for 30 mins at 350.
2. Place roasted bones in your pot and cover with cool water.  Add the apple cider vinegar and let it sit for 30 mins. The acid pulls the minerals we want out of the bone marrow.
3. Add all your veggies (minus the parsley, other herbs and garlic) and add a lot of water. Bring it to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer. 
4.  Let it simmer for 12-24 hours periodically using a spoon to skim any foam from the top. The healthier the bone, the less froth there will be. If you are using a pressure cooker, it may only take 2-3 hours to make this. Otherwise, it's a minimum of 12 hours. 
5. Add in the garlic and parsley during the last half hour, unless you don't want to. 
6.  Remove from the heat and skim out all the veggies. Let cool and place into mason jars (leave a little room at the top) and place in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for later use. 

Drink 1 cup of bone broth a day to renew collagen from the inside out. 

Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday & Happy New Year!
xoxo,
Lorraine Lavenita 🦄✨

7 Teas to drink for beautiful skin

Drink Tea for a beautiful glow

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If you're anything like me, you might be thinking, I'll give up coffee when they pry it from my cold dead hands.  And that may be true, but stick with me just a little longer. 

Winter has finally arrived in NYC, and tea is going to be super easy to add to your daily food and drink intake. You have to stay warm so, enjoy your cup of joe in the am, then switch to any of the following teas for the rest of the day.  Skip the afternoon coffee, unless you actually want wrinkles. 


1.  Green Tea
The King of all teas to prevent wrinkles AND reverse UV Ray damage.  Thanks to it's ability to fight free radicles, it can restore dying skin cells. 

2.  Roobios Tea
A great source of calcium and anti-oxidants, Rooibos tea is great for hair, skin and bones.  Drinking it on a regular basis is also good for your cardio vascular health and has calming effects which makes it great for anxiety and insomnia sufferers. 

3.  Dandelion Root Tea
Dandelion root is great for the liver, our bodies great de-toxifyer. Keep the liver happy, and your skin will show it. 

4.  Ashwagandha Tea
This root has very positive effects on hormones. Well balanced hormones lead to a clear complexion. The more unbalanced your hormones are, the more acne you're going to have. 

5.  White Tea
White contains anti-inflammatory phytochemicals that stop the breakdown of collagen and elastin.  

6.  Calendula Tea
Calendula supports healthy skin by moving stagnant blood therefore increasing circulation to the skin. 

7.  Lemon
Not a tea, more of a warm drink really.  Slice up a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a cup of warm not hot, water.  Drink this right after brushing your teeth in the morning and BEFORE your coffee. It's a gentle way to jumpstart your digestion for the day. Healthy digestion = clear skin.


Big time beauty boost tip: Add 1 Tblspn of Grass fed Ghee or
MCT Oil to your daily cup of tea. 

It is now known that fat is actually not an enemy but an important part of staying healthy. Grass fed ghee, grass fed butter, and MCT oil have the right medium chain fatty acids essential to skin and hair.  Since it's a healthy fat, it can help prevent strokes and as an added bonus, it's a fat burner. Yep. It can help you lose weight.