DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.
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The saying "fake it 'til you make it" now has new meaning when it comes to a promising new material. Scientists at MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, Living Proof and Olivo Labs have created a silicone-based polymer so thin it's imperceptible. This so-called "second skin" is applied in two steps via a cream or gel and can be left on for 24 hours, or until users peel it off. Cited benefi ts include a temporary antiaging effect, plus the ability to keep hydration in and unwanted environmental elements out. Researchers also point to potential future cosmetic and medical dermatological uses, from photoaging prevention and keeping topical medications in place to the treatment of eczema and burns. For more information, visit mit.edu and search "second skin." Scientists and doctors have long wondered why physical pain due to injury or illness sometimes lingers after the original cause has been eliminated. This unresolved, chronic pain is a common condition that can disrupt the lives of sufferers, frustrating them and their physicians—especially after every treatment option, conventional and alternative, is tried and fails. What we do know is that chronic pain sufferers have one thing in common: Post-injury or illness, they're left with an overly sensitive nervous system that responds in an exaggerated way. Researchers at King's College London used that premise for a new study on chronic pain. They examined the immune cells in the nervous system of mice, and found that nerve damage actually changes the epigenetic marks (determination of gene expression) on some of the genes in these cells. So, even though the cells themselves are normal, the marks indicate that they may carry a "memory" of the initial cause of pain. These fi ndings were published in a recent edition of Cell Reports. Researchers say that, because this line of study is in its infancy, there are more questions than answers regarding chronic pain. "Cells have 'housekeeping' systems by which the majority of their content are replaced and renewed every few weeks and months— so why do crucial proteins keep being replaced by malfunctioning versions of themselves?" poses Franziska Denk, fi rst author of the study, from the Wolfson Centre for Age Related Disease at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King's College London. "Our study is the very fi rst step towards trying to answer this question by exploring the possibility that changes in chronic pain may persist because of epigenetics. We hope that future research in this area could help in the search for novel therapeutic targets." YOURWELLNESSSPA HEALING NEWS When Pain Persists SAVING FACE © GETTY IMAGES 58 DAYSPA | AUGUST 2016 "Music has charms to soothe a savage breast," said 17th-century English playwright and poet William Congreve, and he was right: The strains of certain melodies have been known to calm us when we're agitated, stimulate us when we're dragging and lull a cranky baby to sleep. So, it's no wonder that scientists are continuing to study how music impacts our physiology and psyches. These fi ndings could help spa owners determine which kinds of tunes to play at their spas. One such study was recently conducted at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany, where 120 participants were divided into four groups. Three groups of 20 people each listened to 25 minutes of recorded music by Mozart, Strauss or Swedish pop band ABBA. The remaining 60 subjects spent the same length of time in silence, resting in a supine position. All subjects had their blood pressures, heart rates and cortisol concentrations measured before and after the experiment. Results showed signifi cantly lowered blood pressure and heart rate readings for the two groups who listened to the classical composers, and no effect on these readings for the group who listened to pop music. However, all three of the music listening groups exhibited decreased cortisol concentrations. The control group of individuals who rested quietly also experienced lowered blood pressure, but were not as affected as those in the three groups who listened to music. A ed to He g