wellbeing

From our Director

PRETTY BOTTLES, UGLY INGREDIENTS: ARTIFICIAL FRAGRANCE AND YOUR WELLBEING

Take a bottle from your bathroom cabinet, from your laundry, or take a look at the ingredients on your expensive scented candle.  “Fragrance” or “parfum” on an ingredient list represents a trade-secret fragrance recipe that could be made up of hundreds of synthetic chemicals. What is in those air fresheners being auto-sprayed on us in a restroom? What gives that pervasive air diffuser it’s “forest fresh” scent? And what effect do the consumption of these fragrances though the skin, nose and mouth have on our health and wellbeing?

Fragrance was originally derived from flowers, leaves, fruits, resins and barks, captured in a precious glass bottle and used sparingly. Ancient texts and archaeological excavations show the use of perfumes in some of the earliest human civilizations. But post World War II, scientists found a way to synthesise natural aromas that was much cheaper and more commercially viable than the natural version. This was the birth of “Modern Perfumery”, and thousands of hidden chemicals and artificial substances being added to not only perfume and cosmetics, but room fragrances, cleaners and countless other common household and luxury lifestyle products.

 
THE HEALTH IMPACTS OF ARTIFICIAL FRAGRANCE
 

Chemicals and Health
I personally became interested in this topic after rapidly becoming sensitive to the chemical fragrances in my home, which were frequently setting off migraines. Today, most perfumes and fragrances contain synthesized odorants or “nature-identical” synthetic copies. Synthetics can also provide fragrances which are not found in plants, for instance, mimicking a sea breeze or cotton candy. Whilst synthetic fragrances can smell delicious, they also might be causing you ill health.

Whilst most of us grow up associating perfume with elegance and beauty, the self-regulated fragrance industry selects from over 5000 synthetic chemicals to concoct fragrances, most of which have never been tested for their health and wellbeing impacts. Because the formulas are a ‘trade secret’ they are not required to disclose those ingredients. 

Over the past 2 decades, an array of studies have been published worldwide on the negative health effects of some chemicals used in fragrance, including allergic sensitisation, and confirming some are carcinogens. A recent study published by the University of Melbourne on “Health and Societal effects from Exposure to Fragranced Consumer Products” was based on a national survey where 33% of respondents reported adverse effects such as headaches, migraines, nausea and asthsma attacks from exposure to fragranced products, from air fresheners and deodorisers to cleaning products. Other reports link artificial fragrance with diabetes, obesity, autism, ADD/ADHD and hormone disruption due to the presence of toxins, endocrine disruptors and phthalates.

 
IMG_4461.JPG
 

Fragrance in the new “second-hand smoke”
Workplaces, restaurants and public transport are now all spaces where we have the right to be free from breathing someone else’s cigarette smoke. However few rules apply when it comes to strong fragrances that can aggravate the senses. For those who do suffer from the effects, like headache and asthma and allergies, being forced to breathe in fragrance fumes from a co-worker or a public area is a vertiable invasion of personal space. In Europe, the USA and Canada, “fragrance free” workplaces are becoming more common post a few landmark court decisions. 

The purpose of manufacturer’s use of perfume or fragrance compositions is to affect consumers through their sense of smell and entice them into purchasing their perfume or perfumed product. Synthetics are pleasant in smell and relatively inexpensive, as such they are often employed in large quantities to cover the unpleasant scent of laundry detergents and many personal beauty products.

Despite the known effects of artificial fragrances, the vast majority of Australian consumer products contain them. Today, our society is suffering from over-saturation of synthetic fragrance in almost everything we use, from our beauty lotions (even those very expensive department store ones), designer perfumes, cleaning and laundry products, and countless other home and lifestyle products from luxury candles to toilet paper, panty and bin liners. Even washing clothes in detergents and fabric softeners containing fragrances releases toxic chemicals onto the skin and into the air all day long, and as you sleep.

 

Mindful Fragrance

It is only human to seek out pleasant smells and to try to eliminate unattractive ones from our environments. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a beautiful fragrance, if it is a genuine and authentic plant-derived, unadulterated essential oil, or an organic, wildcrafted scent oil.

Although the areas are under active research, much remains to be learned about the effects of synthetic fragrance on human health and the environment. In today’s world we are already exposed to so many chemicals, so it is therefore vitally important to be mindful of the types of products we use on our skin and in our homes. Our body absorbs what we put on it as well as the airborne molecules from the environments we frequent. 

The Case Against Artificial Fragrance

The words “fragrance” “perfume” or “parfum” on any product indicates it contains a compound or addition to create the scent. Almost all of these are 100% synthetic, with a rare few high-end brands including trace amount of natural extracts. Reduce or avoid products with “Fragrance”. Invest in fragrance-free non toxic products and when working with essential oils, chose organic or wild crafted that have not been grown or extracted with pesticides or chemicals.

Practice self care by being ruthless about the quality of your products and environment, and enjoy a breath of fresh air and peace of mind.

We’re proud that MISS FOX has always been a “fragrance-free” workplace as specified on our recruitment policies, and our spa has a gentle, pleasant smell due to our strict standards of chemical-free cleaning methods and certified organic essential oil diffusions. We continue to seek ways to offer services that are botanically-based and organic, or with reduced chemicals. At this time, our entire skincare, makeup and spa ranges are artificial fragrance free. All tanning and nail services offer fragrance-free options, please ask your therapist. We welcome your comments and feedback to management@missfox.com.au

Article Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726844/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/children-chemicals-fragrences-cosmetics-pthalate-attention-deficit-womb/

http://www.national-toxic-encephalopathy-foundation.org/fragsmoke.pdf

https://branchbasics.com/blog/fragrance-is-the-new-secondhand-smoke/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/toxic-perfumes-and-colognes/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/samuel-s-epstein/toxic-chemicals_b_625648.html

https://www.mamavation.com/featured/toxic-perfume-chemicals.html

https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/the-case-against-fragrance-review-kate-grenville-raises-a-stink-about-scent-20170216-guelwq.html

Health & Wellbeing, Events

WHAT IS... KUNDALINI YOGA?

Kundalini Yoga Melbourne

Kundalini is a real and powerful energy available to you at all times. It represents your infinite creative potential. 

Through Kundalini Yoga, you awaken this energy in order to be able to call upon the full potential of your nervous and glandular systems, and to balance the subtle system of chakras (spiritual energy centres) within the body. Physical and mental changes are initiated that affect the body, mind and spirit simultaneously. It is a dynamic tool for expanding awareness, so that you can achieve your personal best.

In Kundalini Yoga, there is no “perfect posture” to attain. The focus is breath and movement and is accessible by all, including those that have never tried yoga. It is an energising and elevating practice.

The effect of Kundalini Yoga is moving energy through the chakra system, stimulating the energy in the lower chakras, raising it to the higher chakras, and then balancing all the chakras. The techniques of Kundalini Yoga allow us to breathe through unconscious blocks and boundaries that limit our potential, and help up better connect with our intuition.

Kundalini energy strengthens the nervous system and optimises heart rate variation to combat depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders as well as improve immunity. It is an antidote to many of the systemic effects of stress. It enables us to harness the energy of the mind and the emotions, so we can be in control of ourselves, rather than be controlled by our thoughts and feelings. The practice of Kundalini Yoga leads to higher consciousness and ultimately, self mastery.

Join us for Community Yoga Classes at MISS FOX, with Kundalini Yoga Teacher, and founder of MISS FOX Melbourne, Victoria Fox (RYT-200). This is a modern Kundalini Yoga practice. Register for our August 26th class here.

To be kept updated on future classes follow us on instagram @missfoxmelb. We look forward to raising Kundalini with you.

Health & Wellbeing

3 WAYS TO RID YOURSELF OF NEGATIVE THOUGHTS

You’ve probably noticed that your mind engages in an inner dialogue. It never seems to stop, producing one thought after another.

Like a difficult partner, the mind reminds you of what you did or did not do, what you said or shouldn’t have said, what you noticed or did not notice, and on and on. “I shouldn’t have said that.” “What’s wrong with me?” “Why do I keep doing that?” It’s no wonder that worry and anxiety dominate the mind, making it nearly impossible to get comfortable in your skin.

When unwanted thoughts pick up the pace, the brain prepares to fight or flee by releasing stress hormones. What it doesn’t know is that the threat it’s detecting is none other than itself. What’s worse is that these unwanted thought patterns recycle themselves. When you become familiar with the tactics of your inner critic, you’ll notice that they resemble what author and professor of psychology Judith S. Beck, PhD, outlined in her book Cognitive Therapy

  • Worst-Case Scenario Thinking is about anticipating the worst, engaging in “what if” type thoughts.
  • Critical Thinking is the dreaded inner difficult partner, spewing personal flaws and put-downs.
  • Catastrophic Thinking is a type of thinking that inflates matters in the worst possible light. This type of thinking heightens anxiety.
  • Perfectionistic Thinking is the difficult partner times 10. It’s the slave driver that reminds you that you’re not good enough unless you are doing more, doing better, and doing until you are exhausted.

Over time, negative self-talk breaks down confidence and contributes to ongoing stress. The National Center for Biotechnology Information reported that The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States estimates that stress accounts for about 75 percent of all doctors visits; patient complaints included but were did not limit to headaches, back pain, heart problems, upset stomach, stomach ulcers, sleep problems, tiredness, and accidents. 

Negative thinking is a major contributor to the production of stress and worry. However, there are three simple ways to reverse stress, worry, and negative thinking.

1. Self-Awareness

This is the aspect of you that goes beyond thought; it’s often experienced as hope and courage during difficulty and emanates as your observing presence. Having greater access to your self-awareness allows you to notice your inner thoughts and transform them.

You can enhance self-awareness by recognizing that you are not your thoughts. In fact, you are the observer of your thoughts. Thoughts originate in the mind. Try to become aware of your thoughts as they arise or grab your attention. For instance, while reading this article, were you aware of your big toe on your right foot? Probably not. But as the thought of it was introduced, your awareness was drawn to it. Suddenly, you’ve become aware of the sensation of your right foot, particularity your big toe.

Thoughts enter and exit your awareness thousands of times a day. Persistent thoughts, however, linger because they “play” like background music in the mind. An easy way to witness your thoughts is to close your eyes and bring up the image of a beautiful flower. Notice how the thought enters and exits your mind. As you practice self-awareness by observing your thoughts, you will notice that some thoughts have more “space” between them and your experience of those thoughts. This is a simple mindfulness-based skill. By enhancing self-awareness, you will notice sensations and emotions as they arise in your body. This empowers you to become the observer of them, instead of being absorbed by them.

2. Self-Compassion

This is the highest form of self-care. Rather than “beating yourself up” for a shortcoming, remind yourself that you are doing the best you can and forgive yourself for your mistakes. Move kindly with yourself by carving out a bit of quality alone time. For example, take a few extra minutes to watch the sunrise or sunset, or take a luxurious bath or scenic walk. These experiences not only help you reconnect to your essential nature, but they also help you feel energized.

3. Meditation

Meditation is a powerful tool that allows you to go beyond the mind’s incessant chatter and discover the silence between your thoughts. When you meditate, you begin to recognize your true nature—one that is beyond mere thoughts and emotions. You can step away from constant thinking, analyzing, and decision-making.

The best way to get started with meditation is to set aside 5 to 10 minutes each day, making meditation a part of a daily routine. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Using a timer with a soft chime can help you automatically ease in and out of mediation.

This productive time of rest allows your mind and body to rejuvenate so you can experience greater clarity of mind, inner calm, and expanded awareness. In addition to reducing anxiety, meditation has been shown by recent studies to create new neural pathways (messenger highways in the brain) to encourage beneficial thought patterns instead of the same old worry-based tracks. 

By  Sonia Brill, LCSW via Chopra.com 

POSITIVE THINKING MEDITATION

 

 

Health & Wellbeing

THE GUT/SKIN CONNECTION

3cc264d11ba3cb567f5a68ad21dd8b5e.jpg

When it comes to taking care of our skin the first thing that usually jumps to mind are the various cleansers and serums that we use topically. These products are vital for thoroughly cleaning the skin and delivering crucial ingredients for happy glowing skin. However, this is only half the battle. So much of our outer beauty is regulated by our inner health, in particular our gut health.

When I talk about gut health, I am referring to all stages of digestion and function. From the hydrochloric acid in your stomach to the diversity of bacteria in your bowel, it all needs to be strong and balanced to function at its best.

Over recent years there has been an increased interest in the gut/skin axis (or the gut/skin connection) which is changing the way we view skin health and improve clinical outcomes. The human body is fascinating! The way it works to keep its self in balance and carry out its functions tirelessly everyday – never stopping for a break, it is truly a wonder to behold.  It is therefore important to treat it with respect and appreciate when we may need to give a little helping hand when things get tough.

Have you ever noticed how after a night of heavy drinking or fast food you wake up to an unwanted breakout or tired dehydrated skin? This is because poor dietary and lifestyle choices can lead to intestinal permeability (commonly called leaky gut) which can cause a whole host of problems.

When the protective barrier that lines our digestive track becomes damaged an increased passage of antigens can enter into the body. Over time this can lead to a vicious cycle of inflammation and tissue damage. If we also have a degree of dysbiosis (overgrowth of bad bacteria), which are releasing endotoxins, further inflammation and loss of barrier function will occur.

This cycle results in the nervous system releasing substance P in the gut and skin which increases sebum production (the oil in your skin). An overgrowth of the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes further triggers inflammatory pathways leading to blackheads, pimples, lines and wrinkles.

But luckily, we can stop this process. Your skin care routine prescribed by your skin therapist is still crucially important but investigating and treating the underlying cause is a central step which shouldn’t be over looked. High strength broad spectrum probiotics, digestive enzymes and anti-inflammatory ingredients will all help to rebalance, strengthen and heal the gut, resulting in a healthy and happy body inside and out!

Jessica Bayes BHSc (NutMed), Dip (BTh), ANTA

Clinical Nutritionist, Wellness Coach and Skin Therapist. 

MISS FOX stocks a selection of excellent internal supplements from Bioceuticals and Osmosis. Book a Skin Analysis with Jessica and our team for personalised recommendations.

Giving & Environment, Events

INTRODUCTION TO AYURVEDA NIGHT WITH DYLAN SMITH FROM VITAL VEDA [MARCH 14TH 6PM-8PM AT MISS FOX]

Immerse in knowledge and beverages as founder of MISS FOX Melbourne Salon & Day Spa, Victoria Fox, interviews Dylan Smith on "the science of life,” plus Q&A with the audience after. 

From this knowledge session you will gain:

  • A general overview of the science of life that is Ayurveda.
  • Ayurvedic techniques to effortlessly integrate new habits into your daily life to align your body and mind with nature.
  • Understanding the pitfall of today's food fads and navigating towards a more suitable, natural and simple dietary regimen.
  • Simple methods to enliven your vitality and vigour that although may be coated, is certainly still present in you.
  • A chance to ask questions about natural health or Ayurveda.

ABOUT AYURVEDA

The word Ayurveda translates to “the science of life.” It is the earliest system of medicine that teaches us how to live in tune with nature, thus our own human nature. 

Through diet, lifestyle adjustments, herbal medicines and body treatments, this science does not only make one feel healthier, but more importantly relieves the stress and density of the physical, so we have more clarity in mind. From this place, we can tap into our true being, reside in more contentment, and evolutionarily and calmingly flow through life, rather than be paddling upstream. 

ABOUT DYLAN SMITH

Dylan Smith is a certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant based in Sydney, Australia, where he owns and operates the Vital Veda clinic offering patients consultations, body treatments and detoxification programs. Aimed at uncovering the root cause of ailments, Dylan has a holistic passion to teach patients to effortlessly integrate new habits into their daily life and has a reputation of bestowing deeply nourishing, blissful and healing body treatments that embed a sense of vitality. 

Regularly travelling to South India to train with the Raju family, an internationally reknown family of Ayurvedic doctors, Dylan is devoted to learning, sharing and radiating this ancient knowledge for everyone to utilise and enjoy, to experience total wellness and bliss. 

www.vitalveda.com.au

DONATION 

All tickets include a donation to Midday Meals India which provides nutritious meals to underprivileged children while supporting them to have better education in their lives. Your ticket contributes one day's salary for a cook who prepares meals for over 4000 children every day. For many of these children, the meals are often their sole source of nutrition and act as an incentive for their parents to enroll them into schools and encourage the children to attend lessons regularly. In the long run, a better education empowers children to fulfill their aspirations and live a happier and healthful life.

http://annamrita.org

TICKETS

$15 / head. All proceeds will be donated. Advance bookings online via EventBrite

Dylan will also be offering an exclusive number of Ayurvedic Consultations and traditional Oil Massage Treatments at MISS FOX from March 14th-17th. Bookings essential, phone 1300647736.