Namaste and Goodnight

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Namaste and Goodnight

“My Bed is a Magical Place Where I Suddenly Remember Everything I Need to Do”

If you’ve ever felt this way, you’re not alone.

Any number of factors can make falling asleep and staying asleep difficult, but the most common factor is not being able to quiet the mind.  And because we know how vital sleep is, it’s easy during times of restlessness to become worried about the struggles you’ll face as a zombie the next day.

Why We Need Sleep

During sleep, our body is at work detoxifying and repairing the wear and tear we put it through while awake.  Without proper sleep, our body isn’t getting the opportunity to rejuvenate, causing us not only to feel sluggish and foggy, but also speeding up the aging process.

On top of the physical stress lack of sleep causes, psychologically we are less stable when we lose sleep and can become easily irritated and overwhelmed.  This can negatively impact our relationships, our work, and our sense of self.

So what can you do to consistently catch some quality ZZZ’s?


In a Harvard study on yoga and sleep, participants practiced 45-minute yoga sequences before bedtime that included long, slow breathing and meditation. The results showed significant improvements in sleep efficiency, total sleep time, and how long it took to fall asleep.

How it works…

Certain types of yoga trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, the same system activated during sleep (also known as the “rest & digest” system).  So when you perform these types of yoga prior to bedtime, you’re giving your body a head start on its journey to REM, therefore decreasing your toss and turn time.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all types of yoga are meant to relax and prepare for sleep.  When searching for a class to take or poses to perform that will aid in sleeping and calming, look for those which focus on breathing, slow movements, and those which close to  savasana or meditation.

No More Sleepless Nights

For best sleep results, regularly attend an evening yoga class and incorporate what you learn into your nightly routine.  Becoming part of a class can heighten your experience and allow for greater relaxation.  Also, practicing outside of your house will make it easier to block out distractions and stick to your routine.




Live in the St. Louis area?

 Come relax with us at Halcyon Spa Yoga Class

*To learn specific yoga poses and other wellness tips, sign up for the Halcyon Spa Newsletter below.*

The Bountiful Beet

Just Beet It, We’ve Got the Beet, How to be un-BEET-able. All titles of recent YouTube videos, all about BEETS!

Beets are climbing the super-food charts, and it’s not just because of their ability to make a catchy headline.  Beets offer an astounding number of benefits from wrinkle prevention to lowering blood pressure.

Energy Boost without the Crash

Beets became popular around the world in the 19th century when it was discovered they could be converted into sugar.  In fact beets contain more sugar than any other vegetable.  But before you dismiss the sweet veggie for it’s carb content, you should know that the sugars in beets are released into the body very slowly over time, stabilizing your blood sugar, and giving you a steady flow of energy.  They are very different than processed carbohydrates which may give you a jolt of energy, leave you with a crash, and offer little to no nutritional value.

Passionate Powers

One of the earliest known benefits of the beet is its use as an aphrodisiac. Beets contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.

Perhaps this is why some cultures believe if a man and woman eat from the same beet, they will fall in love.

Which brings us to the next beet benefit….

Prenatal Health

Beets are high in folic acid, a vitamin known to be crucial to the development of a baby’s spinal cord.  Studies have shown intake of folic acid during utero has resulted in decreased birth defects.  Expecting mothers can get 75% of the recommended daily allowance of folic acid from just three raw baby beets a day.  Pregnant or not, folic acid also helps preserve skin pigmentation.

Your Bodies Best Friend

Lowers Blood Pressure: A recent study at London’s Queen Mary University found that drinking one glass of beet juice a day was more effective at lowering high blood pressure than some medications.  The naturally occurring nitrates in the beet are credited for the finding, with their ability to widen blood vessels and allow more oxygen-rich blood to travel to the heart.

Lowers Cholesterol: Beets are also rich in antioxidants, which we know help prevent age-related disease.  In the beet’s case, the particular antioxidant betanin, which also gives the beet its vibrant color, helps raise “good” cholesterol and prevent “bad” cholesterol from being deposited into arteries.

Digestive Cleansing:  The antioxidants in beets also help to remove toxins from the digestive system.  They cleanse the blood and colon, and can also help break down stones in the bladder, kidneys, and liver.

Cancer-Fighting Properties: Dr. Alexander Ferenczi, founder of The Ferenczi’s Effect, discovered the beet’s cancer-fighting properties when he treated patients who had stage-4 cancer with a form of “beet therapy.”  Each of his patients, with varying types of cancer, showed progress.  This is said to be due to several of the beet’s components, but especially due to the flavonoid betazyane which oxygenates cells while maintaining levels of vitamin C.  Now the use of beets as a supplemental treatment for cancer is being used all over the world.

Good Mood Food

And if after reading this article you are feeling blue about not consuming more beets in the past, no need to worry.  Beets can cheer you up!  Beets contain betaine, a substance that relaxes the mind and is used in other forms to treat depression.  And like chocolate, beets also contain tryptophan which contributes to a sense of well-being.

Whether you boil them, juice them, roast them, or eat them raw, consume beets daily and your body with thank you for years to come.


Want some delicious beet recipes?  Sign-up to receive the Halcyon Spa Newsletter full of healthy recipes, wellness tips, and special offers. 

Surprise Benefits of Massage


is phrase often groaned by someone who is experiencing neck tension or back pain.  It’s frequently accompanied by some form of stretching and cracking sounds.  But massage is not just for the back-popping groaner.

Massage is for EVERYONE!

Yes, tension and pain relief are wonderful reasons to get a massage, but they only scratch the surface of benefits massage provides.

Beauty Boost

The deep pressure of a massage increases blood circulation which plumps up sagging, loose skin.  Plump skin means reduced appearance of lines, bumps, and wrinkles.

Massage also helps to give skin a youthful, glowing appearance by removing dead skin cells, hydrating skin, and draining toxins so healthy nutrients can enter.

Beauty sleep anyone?  Massage recipients have reported improved shut-eye, a noted factor in improving skin appearance and promoting overall health and wellness.

Perk up your profile with a an organic facial massage.

Prevent the Pounding

Research in massage therapy has found promising results for reducing pain associated with tension headaches and chronic migraines.  Massage hasn’t just been known to treat headaches, it can actually prevent them.

Ask your massage therapist about what you can do in between massages to relieve and prevent pain specific to your body’s needs.

Keep the Doctor Away

When you are stressed, your immune system is stressed.  Massage stimulates the lymphatic system which helps filter out your body’s toxins.

Recent studies have even shown that massage can increase the activity level of disease-fighting cells, building up your body’s defense against infection and illness.

Keep Calm and Massage On 

As humans, our sense of touch is very powerful. It can make us feel safe, secure, and loved.  Massage has the ability to connect you mind and body and sometimes awaken bottled-up emotions to allow for release and healing.

Aiding the healing touch of massage is the serene environment of a spa setting.  Low lighting, soft music, aroma therapy are all part of the rejuvenating experience.

Participants of studies conducted by the Touch Research Institute have reported decreased depression and anger, increased brain functioning, and lowered anxiety levels as a result of massage.

Start Now

Don’t wait until you’re groaning, “I need a massage.”

You deserve all the benefits massage has to offer, all of the time.  Make it a part of your health and wellness regimen and treat your mind, body, and spirit to the magic of massage.


Halcyon Spa offers a wide variety of massages and services to meet your individual needs.

Learn more about our talented staff and book an appointment today!

The Skinny on Summertime Skin Care

The summer months are upon us, and in Missouri that means ball games, gardening, wineries, and lakes.  Fun in the SUN!  And unless you’ve been living in the dark (in which case this doesn’t apply to you), you know the importance of sun safety.  You know that over-exposure to the sun can cause painful sunburns, wrinkles, skin discoloration, and worst of all, skin cancer.

Yet even though you know these things, I’ll bet your tan-lines that at some point, your skin has been damaged by the sun.  The good news is, whether it be from your days of tanning beds and baby oil or from extra innings at last week’s Cardinal’s game, there are ways to reverse signs of sun damage and prevent further damage in the future.

The Heat is On

Even the most avid sunscreen re-appliers have had those moments of “pinkness.”  When the sting of the sun is still upon your skin, steer clear of thick creams and exfoliants.  Stick to something cooling and light.

Aloe has long been the go-to for sunburns, and that’s simply because it works.  Aloe softens and revitalizes chapped, moisture-starved skin and helps the healthy skin below retain moisture.  Try Aloe Mint Hydrating Cream Gel by Eminence (see offer below) for a cooling and calming treatment that will help reduce skin irritation and aid in repairing the damaging effects of the sun.

Erase the Roughness

Once damage has been done, you may notice sun spots and skin discoloration.  Exfoliating your skin once to twice a week can help remove old, dead skin cells that may be causing portions of your skin to appear dark and dry.

Another way to reverse signs of sun damage is to find a product that reduces the pigmentation of dark spots and areas of discoloration.  One ingredient to look for that helps with the reduction of pigmentation is stone crop.

Stone crop is a natural succulent, used for centuries as a first-aid plant.  Much like the aloe plant, it is known for it’s ability to store water and survive in long dry periods.  The properties of the stone crop when applied to skin have been known to increase moisture content and decrease pigmentation, leaving skin more radiant and youthful looking.

Defend Your Skin

Believe it or not, your diet can impact your skin’s vulnerability to the sun.  Eating a diet high in antioxidants can actually build up your “internal sunscreen.”  Plants produce antioxidants to protect their own cells from sun, heat, air, and moisture damage.  Reap these same benefits by increasing your intake of antioxidant-rich foods including berries, green-tea, kale, and salmon.

And yes, you’ve heard these before and you’ll hear them again.  Wear sunblock, sunglasses, and hats.  Stay in the shade as much as possible.  Use a sun defense product that is a broadband UVA/UVB, SPF 15 or greater, and use it everyday.  Sun can do damage through car windows, through the clouds, and when you’re in the shade.  Use a daily moisturizer and/or make-up with sun-defense properties.  On a day when you are outdoors, reapply every two hours, adjusting for sweat and water exposure.

Be vigilant about summer skin care now, and bask in its youthful results for years to come.


Check out the Halcyon Spa Boutique for these and other skincare products!

Gifts from the Vineyard

With health studies continuously giving us new reasons to avoid our favorite foods, it’s always a breath of fresh air to hear when benefits of a food are discovered.  In recent years, no such benefits have created more of a buzz than those reportedly found in red wine.

Unfortunately, when this news was traveling the grapevine and red wine was growing in popularity, there was a behind-the-scenes contributor who was overlooked.

The grape!

The Vine of Youth

Like it’s berry relatives (acai berry, blueberry, cranberry), the grape contains flavonoids which give the fruit it’s vibrant color.  These flavonoids have anti-oxidizing powers which can reduce the damage of free-radicals, therefore delaying the aging process.

Matters of the Heart

Because of it’s anti-oxidizing and anti-inflammatory components, the grape is often best known for promoting the function of the cardiovascular system.  Some researchers even credit these components of the grape, through red wine consumption, for explaining the French Paradox theory (despite a diet high in saturated fats, the French have fewer instances of coronary heart disease).

The Ins and Outs

While the skin and flesh of the grape contain many nutrients, the seed is where the highest concentration of nutrients is housed.  From the seed we get grape-seed oil and extract which can be taken internally or used in luxurious hair and skin treatments.  Used externally, grape seed oil and extract uses those same anti-oxidizing and anti-inflammatory powers to decrease puffiness and acne, provide hydration, and even delay signs of aging.

When choosing grapes to eat, keep in mind a darker color means more antioxidants.  And because the skin of the grape is so exposed during the growing process, opting for certified organic grapes can decrease your exposure to and consumption of chemicals.

Whether it be by the bunch, by the glass, or a grape seed oil massage or skin care treatment, enjoy grapes in any form and you’re sure to get better with age.


Treat yourself to a weekend of “grapeness” in Augusta, MO. 

Visit the many beautiful Augusta wineries, experience relaxation and rejuvenation with Spa Package at Halcyon Spa, and rest in luxury at one of the lovely local Augusta B&B’s.

Mention this article at Halcyon Spa and receive a 10% discount through September 13 (not valid with other promotions) on The Wine Country Special Package, and our Mimosa Sugar Scrub and Body Lotion.