The Powers of the Pumpkin

Archive for October 2013

The Powers of the Pumpkin

Eminence Pumpkin

Pies, parfaits, soups, and lattes!  Pumpkin is everywhere!

Its popularity may peak after autumn, but the pumpkin’s health and beauty benefits are going to make you crave the orange gourd all year long.

Orange you glad you ate your pumpkin?

Pumpkins get their bright orange hue from beta-carotene.  Known for its immune-boosting powers, beta-carotene is essential for eye health and has also been linked to preventing coronary heart disease. And what’s great is you don’t have to puree your own pumpkin to get the benefits!  One cup of canned pumpkin has seven grams of fiber, three grams of protein and only 80 calories. Plus, canned and fresh pumpkin is packed with vitamins and provides over half of the daily value of vitamin K.

Pumpkin and your skin


Pumpkin and pumpkin seed oil can be found in many skin products as well as some hair products.  Not only does pumpkin make for an amazingly scented experience, it also has powerful skin rejuvenating qualities.  With its high levels of essential fatty acids and antioxidants, and an assortment of vitamins and minerals, a pumpkin treatment will leave you glowing like a jack-o-lantern (minus the orange-ness).

Is it the pumpkin pie, or are you just happy to see me?

In a study cited by The New York Times, researchers at the Chicago foundation asked men attached to a plethysmograph (a device measuring changes in various parts of the body) to sniff 30 different odors. Out of all of the smells, the combination of lavender and pumpkin pie had the greatest arousal effect, increasing blood flow by 40 percent.  So even just the SMELL of pumpkin can improve body function.

The Pumpkin’s Powerhouse:  Seeds!

You don’t have to enjoy the taste of pumpkin to reap the benefits of its greatest health source.  One ounce of pumpkin seeds (about 140 seeds) is packed with protein, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.  Studies suggest pumpkin seeds provide a number of health benefits, such as blocking the enlargement of the prostate gland, lowering the risk of bladder stones, and even helping to prevent depression.  Pumpkin seeds are also high in Omega fatty acids, and their phytosterol compounds are believed to lower cholesterol levels.

Need some help catching ZZZ’s?  Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil is high in the sleep-enhancing amino acid tryptophan which helps ensure a good night’s sleep.  Seeds are also high in the heart-healing mineral magnesium, which has been shown to support relaxation and also help with restless leg syndrome.


The most beneficial way to consume pumpkin seeds is to eat them raw.  And because pumpkin seeds are highly portable and require no refrigeration, they make an excellent snack to keep with you when you’re on the go.  As for the rest of the pumpkin, the delicious recipes and ways to incorporate are endless.

If you’re ready to indulge in all of the health benefits of pumpkin, check out Halcyon Spa’s pumpkin products, treatments, and upcoming food events featuring, you guessed it, PUMPKIN!  If you’d like more health and wellness knowledge, sign up for the Halcyon Spa newsletter on our home page.



Try our new Yam and Pumpkin Peel with a facial or facial massage or our new Pumpkin Body Wrap.
October Promotion $10 off any facial or facial massage.

Contact us today!

Reflexology: Not Just A Treat For Your Hands & Feet

Would you like a foot rub?  How about a hand massage?  What about a foot AND hand rub that can aid your digestion, relieve your headaches, and promote overall body function?

You’re in luck!  This wonderful treatment actually exists, and it’s called reflexology.

Reflexology is an ancient healing practice which involves the application of pressure to specific points and areas on the feet, hands, and ears. These areas and reflex points correspond to different body organs and body systems.  When the appropriate form of pressure is applied to these areas and points, it can have a very beneficial effect on the overall health of the body.

How is reflexology different than massage?

While both massage and reflexology use touch, the approaches are very different.  Massage, as you most likely know, can be applied to many parts of the body, and can involve many different techniques such as kneading, friction, and rubbing.  Like reflexology, massage can relax the muscles and has the ability to improve internal body functioning.

But whereas massage works from the outside in, reflexology is said to work from the inside out.

Reflexology techniques are applied only to the hands, feet and ears, but not in order to relax these three areas; that’s just an added bonus.  Very specific points and areas of the hands, feet, and ears are stimulated in a very specific way in order to create a response in a corresponding area of the body.  It’s sounds complex, but don’t worry.  There are trained reflexology practitioners who know every little point and its corresponding partner.  Using micro-movement techniques, such as thumb or finger walking, they target your body’s specific needs and promote overall balance and function.

What are the benefits of reflexology?

In addition to providing relaxation and promoting overall body function, reflexology has also had positive effects on treating back pain, migraines, bladder problems, menopausal and period symptoms, and sinusitis.

Although reflexology is not used to diagnose or cure health disorders, millions of people around the world use it to complement other treatments when addressing conditions like cancer, cardiovascular and kidney disorders, anxiety, digestion problems including IBS, asthma, and diabetes.

What can I expect from a reflexology session?

Many reflexology sessions are similar to a massage therapy session with the exception of the areas of the body being worked on.  At a good location, you can expect the same relaxing environment, a comfortable place for you to sit or lie, and a knowledgeable practitioner.  Unless you’re receiving reflexology along with another treatment, only your socks and shoes need to be removed.  A complete reflexology therapy session typically focuses on all of the points of the feet, hands, and sometimes the outer ear. The session generally starts at the fingers or toes, and works down to the heel of the hand or foot, then works the areas on the sides and top.

Whether you come into a session with specific needs or the practitioner locates congestion, tightness, or pain during the session, specific pressure and techniques will be used to target those concerns and attempt to bring the body back to balance.  Experiences with reflexology sessions vary from a general sense of relaxation, to a conscious, internal awareness or sense of energy in the corresponding area of the body the practitioner is targeting through the foot, hand or ear.

Where can I get reflexology?

Check out your local spas, holistic health practices, and wellness centers to find a reflexology practitioner near you.  If you’re in the Greater St. Louis area, Halcyon Spa offers reflexology as well as many other revitalizing and relaxing treatments and services.  Click here to make your appointment, and you’ll be on your way to a more balanced you.