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YOUR WELLNESS SPA Healing News Healthy Heart = Good Skin What's happening in your heart shows on your face, and that's not just a poetic statement. Research is increasingly conﬁrming that all of the silent-but-deadly conditions in our bodies that endanger our heart health are simultaneously wreaking havoc on the skin. With this understanding as its premise, Skin Regimen: The Essential Lifestyle Guide for Skin Longevity and Beauty, published last year by [comfort zone] and written by Davide Bollati and a team of specialists, seeks to advise and inspire readers to adopt lifestyle changes that protect the heart while beautifying the complexion. Among the topics addressed in this handsome, hardcover illustrated tome are the physiology of the aging process; how science is addressing the quest for longevity; the roles of stress, oxidation, glycation, inﬂammation and more in relation to health and beauty; and lifestyle advice for achieving our best selves. There are even a few cooking recipes to try. Ideal for a spa waiting or relaxation area, for retailing or just personal use, Skin Regimen is a natural for spas seeking to impart a message of overall wellness to clients. For more information, visit comfortzone.it Lip Service It is a "human courtship behavior that is incredibly widespread and common… And we are still not exactly sure why it is so widespread or what purpose it serves," says Rafael Wlodarski, Oxford University researcher. What is it about the act of kissing that makes humans (and other primates!) from almost all societies and cultures choose to pucker up? Determined to understand more about this lip-smacking phenomenon, Wlordarski and Oxford professor Robin Dunbar set up an online questionnaire in which more than 900 adults weighed in on the importance of the smooch in their relationships. The results of their research, funded by the European Research Council and appearing in recent editions of the Archives of Sexual Behavior and Human Nature, yielded some fascinating responses: • Women rated kissing as generally more important in relationships than did men. • People who are more selective in choosing a romantic partner tend to value kissing more than others. • Sexual arousal was not cited as a driving factor in why people kiss in romantic relationships. • For women, kissing a potential romantic partner is the most useful way to assess "genetic quality" during the fertile time in their menstrual cycle. • People reported that the importance of kissing changes for them according to whether they're in a long-term or shortterm relationship. (Women cited kissing as being especially important in long-term relationships.) For many couples, ﬁnding fun ways of keeping ﬁt together can be a challenge. Thankfully, there's no shortage of interesting new ideas cropping up. Take acro yoga*, which, as the name implies, combines acrobatics with yoga. Holistic health expert Koya Webb runs acro yoga workshops and wellness retreats all over the world. Her two-hour sessions, which involve about 10 participants of all levels, begin with gentle vinyasa ﬂow breathing exercises and stretches. Webb then demonstrates key yoga poses— such as Flying Dhanurasana and the Super Yogi—with a partner. Participants subsequently form groups of three—a "base," a "ﬂyer" and a "spotter," for safety—and practice the moves themselves. A cool-down allows everyone to regroup and share their experiences. 44 DAYSPA | JANUARY 2014 As well as improving strength and stamina, acro yoga is great for building conﬁdence, because as the base, the ﬂyer or the spotter, participants have to totally commit to—and, in turn, rely on—the other members of their group, whether it's a total stranger or their spouse. "Acro yoga is fantastic for couples because it helps build trust and improve communication," says Webb. "Learning to play together in this way can ease tension that has built up from the daily grind, while the massage melts away tense muscles." For more on this unique way of taking togetherness to the next level, visit koyawebb.com. *Note: AcroYoga is a trademarked practice established in California in 2003; for more information, visit acroyoga.org. TOP RIGHT: ©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM; BOTTOM: ABRAM COX Lean On Me