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Month: January 2019

10 tips that simplify holistic living

10 tips that simplify holistic living

Diet fads, new workout regimens, exotic health supplements — every day, people are inundated with headlines about health trends. Out of the clutter and confusion a new, arguably more sensible, health movement is gaining traction: holistic living.

Taking a holistic health approach means looking at your overall wellness from a big picture perspective. That means you take thoughtful steps to better your mental and physical health while doing things that bring you joy.

1. Savor each bite. 
 Take time to delight in the eating experience. Doing so helps you feel more satisfied with smaller portions of your favorite foods. Slow down to notice flavors, textures, and changes as you chew each morsel.

2. Embrace mindful snacking.
Focusing the mind is nearly impossible when hunger strikes. Almonds are the perfect portable snack to stave off hunger. Forget bland snacking by trying a new flavor of almonds to energize your taste buds.

3. Shift your intentions around food. 
 Instead of focusing on dieting and will power, focus your energy on creating a nourishing, nutrient-dense plate of whole foods, and find bliss in your intention to care for yourself.

4. Try new nutrient-dense ingredients. 
 From almond butter to almond milk, almond flour to whole almonds, there are many ways to incorporate almonds into your daily snacks and meals to ensure you’re consuming adequate amounts of key nutrients.

5. Snack for heart health.
 Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.

6. Eat with gratitude. 
 Gratitude practices can bring happiness. The same can be said for creating joyful eating experiences. Shared meals with loved ones can be uplifting and provide a positive boost to any day.

7. Create convenience foods. 
Resist unhealthy vending machine temptations by preparing wholesome convenience foods. For example, just one serving of almonds contains 6 grams of protein. Keep servings in your car, gym bag, purse or office so you have a crave-worthy, crunchy snack on hand at all times.

8. Grow something.
Growing your own food is healthy and rewarding. Indoor container gardens are easy to maintain all year. Plus, the presence of plants in the home can improve air quality while reducing stress and anxiety.

9. Preplan breakfast. 
 Ensure you have time for this essential meal by preparing breakfast foods ahead of time. Make smoothie packets and store them in the freezer, or blend up a smoothie the night before. Add a scoop of almond butter to create a more satisfying meal.

10. Embrace Meatless Monday
Become part of the “Meatless Monday” movement and incorporate plant-based proteins, like almonds into your meals. Plant-based proteins often contain good, unsaturated fats that offer many health benefits.

Article from: https://www.wausaudailyherald.com/story/life/2016/03/03/10-tips-simplify-holistic-living/81154740/

Photo credit: BrandPoint

7 Causes of Bloating

Abdominal bloating is one of the most common complaints individuals who suffer from gastrointestinal issues. It can be due to a number of different reasons, and, by asking the right questions and doing advanced functional medicine testing, we can determine the cause and find the solution.

When air or gas fills your digestive tract to the point of feeling uncomfortably full, tight, or swollen, below are the seven most likely sources:

  1. LOW STOMACH ACID

    Hydrochloric acid is produced by the parietal cells in the stomach and is responsible for breaking down food, mainly protein. Symptoms of low stomach acidity can include belching, bloating, burning, and flatulence. Bloating that occurs due to low stomach acid usually occurs shortly after eating as well and can be accompanied by a sense of over-fullness.

  2. SIBO

    Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO, is a condition where bacteria have inhabited and overgrown in the small intestine. Bloating and diarrhea are common symptoms that usually occur shortly after eating but can persist throughout the day. People with this condition often wake up in the morning bloated. Poor intestinal motility can predispose a person to SIBO, as well as recent diarrheal illnesses and low stomach acidity. People who take antacids like proton pump inhibitors (Protonix, Prilosec, Prevacid) and H2 blockers (Zantac, Pepcid, Tagamet) are more prone to SIBO due to low stomach acidity.

  3. FOOD INTOLERANCES

    Food intolerances occur when your body is lacking an enzyme that specifically breaks down certain foods. The undigested food then goes through the digestive tract where it gets fermented by bacteria, leading to gas and bloating. The most common food intolerance is to lactose, found in dairy products. Other common intolerances are to histamine and fructose.

  4. FOOD SENSITIVITIES

    Food sensitivities, like food intolerances, occur due to maldigestion that often results in excess gas and bloating. Bloating can present a few hours to a few days after eating the problematic food. In food sensitivities, there is also an immune response to the food that causes the villi in the intestine — the little finger-like projections that absorb food — to become blunted over time, which leads to poor absorption. The most common food sensitivities I see are to gluten, dairy, and soy.

  5. PANCREATIC INSUFFICIENCY

    Your pancreas is an important organ that produces digestive enzymes, including proteases, lipase, amylase, and elastase. When the pancreas stops functioning appropriately, these enzymes decrease, and food does not get digested appropriately. Food mixed with stomach acid (chime) exiting from the stomach triggers pancreatic enzyme release, so low stomach acidity can also affect the production of these enzymes.

    Severe pancreatic compromise occurs in conditions like diabetes mellitus and cystic fibrosis. Less severe imbalances can be due to small intestinal problems like SIBO, celiac sprue, and other food sensitivities. I’ve also seen this occur in cases of severe emotional stress. In my patients, I order a stool test that directly measures pancreatic elastase.

  6. CANDIDA OVERGROWTH

    Candida overgrowth in the intestines is a common problem I see and is often precipitated by a high sugar, simple carbohydrate diet and often follows one or more rounds of antibiotics. The yeast in the digestive tract ferment the sugars and cause excess gas and bloating. Most people with candida overgrowth feel gas frequently, a few hours after eating, but also feel it worsen when they eat simple carbohydrates like muffins, cookies, donuts, and pasta.

  7. FAST EATING OR EATING TOO FAST

    When we eat quickly, we can wreak major havoc on our digestive system. It’s not just the lack of chewing and “inhaling” of food and air that leads to the increased intestinal gas and bloating, but also that most people on the go are not just eating — they are driving, standing, emailing, or multitasking in numerous other ways. This perpetuates the sympathetic fight-or-flight state, instead of the parasympathetic rest-and-digest state. It’s in the parasympathetic state that digestive enzymes, including stomach acid and pancreatic elastase, are produced as they should be. In fact, your digestive enzymes start secreting when you see and smell your food. So, the best ways to address bloating are to enjoy preparing your food, sit down, and chew well.

Article from: https://www.sommerwhitemd.com/7-causes-bloating/

Photo credit: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321869.php

7 Causes of Bloating
10 Reasons You Need Reflexology!

10 Reasons You Need Reflexology!

How the ancient therapy Reflexology can change your life.

1. Relaxation – Reflexology is a deeply relaxing therapy and some people like to have the treatment purely for its relaxation benefits.

2. Improve general wellbeing – Reflexology is a holistic therapy and so works to balance the whole of the body and help it work as effectively as possible, which in turn can help prevent dis-ease.

3. Stress relief – Reflexology can help you feel more balanced and allow you to let go and relax for an hour, which can only have a positive impact in terms of reducing your stress levels.

4. Reduce tension – it is amazing how much tension we carry in our body, even in the feet! Reflexology is an excellent way of relieving tension in the whole body.

5. Improve circulation – Reflexology helps to improve circulation throughout the body, and especially in the feet and legs.

6. Detox the body – Reflexology helps the body to gently detoxify, which is why it is important to drink lots of water after a treatment in order to flush the toxins out of your system.

7. Strengthen the immune system – Reflexology boosts the immune system by kick-starting the body’s own self-healing techniques in order for it to be as balanced as possible.

8. Improve sleep – the very fact that a Reflexology treatment is so relaxing means that you will probably find you sleep better. Most individuals report having an amazing night’s sleep after a Reflexology treatment.

9. Calm the mind – even though Reflexology is a physical therapy, it can also work on a mental/ emotional level. By allowing yourself an hour-long Reflexology treatment to relax and unwind, your mind is also able to calm and slow down.

10. Increase energy – many people report feeling generally sluggish which can be a sign your body isn’t working as efficiently as it could. The balancing effect of Reflexology means that you can feel re-energized and re-vitalised.

Photo credit: https://thehoneycombers.com/singapore/foot-reflexology-in-singapore-best-spas-for-relaxing-foot-massages/

Article from: https://www.naturalhealthmagazine.co.uk/complementary-therapies/10-reasons-you-need-reflexology

8 Powerful Ancient Qigong Exercises for Cultivating Healing Energy in the Body

What is Qigong and Why is it Essential?

Qigong (pronounced: chee-gun), which combines meditative and physically active elements, is the basic exercise system within Chinese medicine. Qigong exercises are designed to help you preserve your Jing, strengthen and balance the flow of Qi energy, and enlighten your Shen.

Its dynamic exercises and meditations have Yin and Yang aspects: The Yin is being it; the Yang is doing it. Yin qigong exercises are expressed through relaxed stretching, visualization, and breathing.

Yang qigong exercises are expressed in a more aerobic or dynamic way. They are particularly effective for supporting the immune system. In China, Qigong is used extensively for people with cancer.

Qigong’s physical and spiritual routines move Qi energy through the Twelve Primary Channels and Eight Extra Channels, balancing it, smoothing the flow, and strengthening it. Chinese medicine uses Qigong exercises to maintain health, prevent illness, and extend longevity because it is a powerful tool for maintaining and restoring harmony to the Organ Systems, Essential Substances, and Channels. Qigong is also used for non-medical purposes, such as for fighting and for pursuing enlightenment.

Anyone of any age or physical condition can do Qigong. You don’t have to be able to run a marathon or bench press a car to pursue healthfulness and enjoy the benefits.

When you design your qigong exercise/meditation practice, you will pick what suits your individual constitution. Some of us are born with one type of constitution; some with another. We each have inherited imbalances that we cannot control but with which we must work. That’s why for some people it is easier to achieve balance and strength than it is for others. But whatever your nature, Qigong can help you become the most balanced you can be.

Qigong is truly a system for a lifetime. That’s why so many people over age sixty in China practice Qigong and Tai Chi. The effects may be powerful, but the routines themselves are usually gentle. Even the dynamic exercises—some of which explode the Qi energy— use forcefulness in different ways than in the West. The following are some effects of Qigong exercises practiced regularly.

The Benefits of Regular Practice

Maintaining Health
Qigong exercises help maintain health by creating a state of mental and physical calmness, which indicates that the Qi energy is balanced and harmonious. This allows the mind/body/spirit to function most efficiently, with the least amount of stress.

When you start practicing Qigong exercises, the primary goal is to concentrate on letting go, letting go, letting go. That’s because most imbalance comes from holding on to too much for too long. Most of us are familiar with the physical strength of muscles, and when we think about exercise, we think in terms of tense muscles. Qi energy is different. Qi strength is revealed by a smooth, calm, concentrated effort that is free of stress and does not pit one part of the body against another.

Managing Illness
It’s harder to remedy an illness than to prevent it, and Qigong has powerful preventive effects. However, when disharmony becomes apparent, Qigong exercises also can play a crucial role in restoring harmony.

Qigong movement and postures are shaped by the principle of Yin/Yang: the complementary interrelationship of qualities such as fast and slow, hard and soft, Excess or Deficiency, and External and Internal. Qigong exercises use these contrasting and complementary qualities to restore harmony to the Essential Substances, Organ Systems, and Channels.

Extending Longevity
In China, the use of Qigong exercises for maintaining health and curing illness did not satisfy those Buddhists and Daoists who engaged in more rigorous self-discipline. They wanted to be able to amplify the power of Qi energy and make the internal Organ Systems even stronger. This arcane use of Qigong was confined mostly to monasteries and the techniques have not been much publicized. One of the most difficult and profoundly effective techniques is called Marrow Washing Qigong. Practitioners learn to master the intricate manipulation of Qi—infusing the Eight Extraordinary Channels with Qi, and then guiding the Qi energy through the Channels to the bone marrow to cleanse and energize it. The result, according to religious tradition, is that monks can extend their life span to 150 years or more. The Daoists have a saying, “One hundred and twenty years means dying young.”

Although few if any of us can devote our lives to the stern practices of the monks, the health benefits of Qigong exercises certainly do improve the quality of life of everyone who practices it.

Waging Combat
Around 500 CE, in the Liang Dynasty, Qigong was adopted by various martial artists to increase stamina and power. For the most part, the breathing, concentration, and agility were assets to the warriors and improved their well-being.

Attaining Enlightenment
Buddhist monks who use Qigong exercises in their pursuit for higher consciousness and enlightenment concentrate on the Qigong’s ability to influence their Shen. Mastering Marrow Washing allows the practitioner to gain so much control over the flow of Qi energy that he or she can direct it into the forehead and elevate consciousness. The rest of us can enjoy the influence of Qigong on our Shen (spiritual body/energy) but at a lower level.

Whatever reason you use Qigong, the practice should raise your Qi to a higher state if you increase concentration, practice controlled breathing, and execute the Qigong routines.

The Foundational Techniques

Here are the basic Qigong exercise techniques.

Concentration
Concentration leads to and results from Qi energy awareness, breathing techniques, and Qigong exercises. It is a process of focusing in and letting go at the same time. Focusing does not mean that you wrinkle up your forehead and strain to pay attention.

Instead, through deep relaxation and expanding your consciousness, you are able to create a frame of mind that is large enough to encompass your entire mind-body – spirit’s functions, yet focused enough to allow outside distractions, worries, and everyday hassles to drift away.

This inward focus that expands outward to join you with the rhythms of the universe epitomizes Yin/Yang. Yin energy tends to be more expansive, and Yang energy more concentrated. You discover your Yin/Yang balance by treating Yin and Yang as ingredients in a recipe: Add a bit more Yin, toss in a dash of Yang to make the mixture suit your constitution or circumstances.

Some people need more or less Yin or Yang, depending upon the situation. ‘Extending the Qi exercise’ outlined below provides a clear demonstration of how you can practice establishing your balanced blend of Yin and Yang.

You will find that as you do qigong exercise and meditation you become more adept at this form of concentration because it is the natural expression of the practice. As you learn to concentrate more effectively, you will find you have greater power to affect Qi energy through the various Qigong exercises in this chapter or through the use of other focused meditations and Tai Chi.

Breathing
In the sixth century BCE, Lao Tzu first described breathing techniques as a way to stimulate Qi energy. From there, two types of Qigong breathing exercises evolved: Buddha’s Breath and Daoist’s Breath. Both methods infuse the body with Qi and help focus meditation.

Buddha’s Breath: When you inhale, extend your abdomen, filling it with air. When you exhale, contract you abdomen, expelling the air from the bottom of your lungs first and then pushing it up and out until your abdomen and chest are deflated. You may want to practice inhaling for a slow count of eight and exhaling for a count of sixteen. As you breathe in and out, imagine inviting your Qi energy to flow through the Channels. Use your mind to invite the Qi to flow; you want to guide the flow, not tug at it or push it.

Daoist’s Breath: The pattern is the opposite of above. When you breathe in, you contract your abdominal muscles. When you exhale, you relax the torso and lungs.

As you travel through these steps, remember that Qigong is a process of building awareness. However, you are comfortable doing the routines is what’s right for you at that time.

Warm-Up Exercises (10 to 15 min.)

Qigong Exercise One: Gentle Sway

1. For five minutes, move both of your arms from your shoulders in a gentle swinging motion. The motion itself is initiated from your waist: Twist from the waist as though your torso were a washcloth that you were wringing out. Don’t twist from the knees or you may harm them. Furthermore, twisting from the waist provides a massage to the internal organs and provides you with the full benefits of the exercise.

2. To get started, move your arms side to side across your torso, and then back to front.

3. Keep your knees slightly bent. Let your hips sway. Allow your mind to clear. At first, focus on the release of unnecessary and unconscious stress. After several weeks, you may shift your focus so that you think only about the swaying of your arms and the motion of Qi energy.

This introduces you to the concept of being mindful of the present, much the same concept as found in Zen walking.

Qigong Exercise Two: The Bounce

In the beginning, try this for one to three minutes.

1. With your feet parallel and about shoulder’s width apart, bounce with your knees loose and your arms hanging at the sides like a wet noodle. They should feel empty and neutral. This is the zero position for your arms. When you are bouncing back and forth, your arms in zero should get a nice jiggling effect.

2. Keep your shoulders natural; neither pull them back or let them slump forward too much. When the zero position is used on the whole body, you should receive a feeling of deep relaxation and your internal organs and skin should hang down. This process brings awareness of internal tension so that you can do something to dispel it if you choose.

The combination of exercises one and two gently massages and tonifies the Organ Systems, which helps promote longevity.

Awareness Exercises

Qigong Exercise Three: Accordion

In this, you feel the Qi energy by using your hands like the bellow of an accordion or a bicycle pump.

1. Close your eyes halfway. Clear your mind and concentrate your attention on your palms.

2. Allow your breath to become slow, easy, without force. In a way, you are creating the very lightest trance.

3. Bring your hands together, palms touching and fingers pointing upward. The palm chakras, called Laogong, located in the center of the palms, should be touching. These chakras are areas where Qi can be felt emanating from the body.

4. Slowly move your hands, keeping the chakras aligned. When they are about 12 inches (30 cm) apart, slowly move them together using the least amount of physical effort possible.

5. You will be compressing the air between them as an accordion would.

6. Feel a warm or tingling sensation at the Laogong points on your palms.

7. Move your hands slowly back and forth, varying the range of the bellows. Repeat the accordion technique in different directions: horizontally, vertically, and diagonally.

Qigong Exercise Four: Making the Point

1. Using your index finger is a powerful way of directing Qi energy. If you are right-handed, use you right index finger; if you are left-handed, use your left index finger. Point it directly at the flat palm of your other hand. That hand should be perpendicular to the floor with your fingers pointing straight up.

2. Use your index finger like a paintbrush to swab back and forth across your palm.

3. Begin with your fingertip about 8 inches (20 cm) from your palm. Slowly move it closer and farther away, swabbing all the time.

You may feel a tickling sensation, a cooling, or a warming of your palm.

Qigong Exercise Five: Extending the Qi

If you have Deficient Qi, you should perform this exercise with your eyes half closed to cultivate and accumulate Qi energy.

1. If you have Stagnant Qi, the exercise may be done with your eyes fully open.You will inhale swiftly through your nostrils with your eyes open or half closed when you exhale.

Note: You should exercise caution when practicing Qi exercises at home—without a teacher nearby—because they are powerful, and Qi can leak out your eyes.

2. Once you can sense the Qi, exercise your intention (which is the mind/spirit part of the exercise) and use your mind to move your Qi out from your body, expanding the zone in which you are comfortable. You may allow the Qi to drift out on the exhalation and then hold it there as you inhale.

3. First move the Qi into an orbit 1 inch (2.5 cm) from your skin. In increments of 6 inches (15 cm), move it outward, aiming for 3 feet (91 cm), but find the point where you are comfortable with it. Then bring it back in until it returns close to your body.

This qigong exercise allows you to communicate with your Qi energy. By increasing the distance away from your body that you can feel Qi, you expand your area of comfort—your field of generosity—in the world around you. You will have less fear and greater abilities. By being able to bring your Qi halo in to skin level (or inside your skin) you may become more centered, calm, and self-assured. When you have learned to be comfortable expanding and contracting your Qi, you will feel stronger, healthier, and more in harmony internally and externally.

Qigong Exercise Six: Pumping the Qi

This is a tricky exercise that moves the Qi energy along the two connecting Extraordinary Channels: the Du Mai and Ren Mai. You may think of it as evolve, devolve, because your posture goes from a slumped, gorilla-like stance to an upright extended pose. It is adapted from the Wild Goose Qigong exercise routine.

1. The first position pushes the Qi down. As your hands push flat down, your spine and head straighten upward. Then as you allow the Qi to flow back upward, your hands rise, elbows bent and palms parallel to the floor. Your shoulders hunch. Repeat this six or seven times, inhaling as your hands come up and exhaling as your hands go down.

2. When you are comfortable with this Qigong exercise, you may combine it with a slow intentional walk forward: left knee bent and raised in an exaggerated stepping motion. When your knee comes up, your hands go down and back and your spine straightens; when your foot touches the ground, your hands come up and your back hunches. Place your feet very gently on the ground and allow each step to proceed in slow motion, at a tempo that soothes and relaxes. Remember to maintain a breathing pattern, too. Inhale as your hands come up and your shoulders hunch. Exhale slowly, expanding your chest as you straighten your back. If this feels awkward, don’t despair. Even in a classroom situation, it takes a while to catch on to what to do.

Qigong Exercise Seven: Blending Qi

This exercise should help you become aware of various resonations of Qi energy and learn to blend them into a harmonious flow.

1. Stand with your feet a shoulder’s width apart, with your knees slightly bent. Allow your hands and arms to hang at your sides.

2. Shift your weight slightly to the balls of your feet. Simply be aware of the front side of your body. Concentrate on the Channels that pass along the front of your legs and torso, the top of your hands and arms, and your face.

3. After one minute, shift your weight to your heels. Become aware of the back of your body: the back of your head, your arms, your spine, and your legs. With practice, you may hold these postures for up to five minutes or longer.

4. You can also do this for the left and right sides of the body.

5. In each instance, you may want to become aware of each section of the body.For example, the side of your head, the side of your arm and torso, your outer hip, the side of your leg and ankle, and the length of your foot. This makes the exercise a meditation.

6. Now, shifting to a more Nei Dan form of Qigong exercise, repeat the first three steps, but the motion should not be detectable visually. Use your mind to shift your weight forward and backward, feeling your Qi flowing along the front and back of your body.

7. Next, try to feel your Qi flowing along your back and front simultaneously.

Students are often bewildered by the idea of feeling two sensations at the same time, but a useful analogy is to think of the color yellow and the color blue. When you blend those two colors together, you produce green. That green then becomes its own entity with its own wavelength. The same is true of blending the Qi energy from your front and from your back. The blend becomes another entity with its own resonation.

Advanced Qigong Breathing Exercise

Breathing can direct Qi energy through the body like the wind filling the sails of a ship. Qigong breathing exercises can invigorate or sedate, depending on how you use them.

On alternate days, practice the following routine, using Buddha’s Breath and Daoist’s Breath breathing techniques.

1. Sit on the floor with your legs crossed in lotus or cross-legged style. This is important so that Qi energy does not enter and become Stagnant in the lower body, but follows the breathing path through your torso and your head.

2. Inhale to a count of four to eight, depending on what you are comfortable with. For Buddha’s Breath, extend your belly, filling it up from the bottom. For Taoist’s Breath, inhale, contracting your abdomen, and exhale, letting your abdomen relax outward.

3. As you inhale, turn your attention to your nose. Guide the Qi energy downward from your nose toward the Dantian, 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) below the navel. Women should not concentrate on the Dantian during their periods. Concentrate on your solar plexus instead.

4. Exhale to a count of eight to sixteen and move the Qi energy down the torso, around your pelvic region, and up to your tailbone.

5. Inhale and move the Qi up the back to the top of your shoulders.

6. Exhale and move the Qi up the back of your head and back to your nose.

7. If you cannot feel the Qi clearly, patience and practice will make it more apparent.

8. Once you are comfortable with this Qigong practice, you may increase the pace by completing the cycle in one inhalation and one exhalation. On the inhalation, move Qi energy from your nose to your tailbone. On the exhalation, move Qi from your tailbone back to your nose.

This article on qigong exercises and qi energy is excerpted with permission from The New Chinese Medicine Handbook: An Innovative Guide to Integrating Eastern Wisdom with Western Practice for Modern Healing by Misha Ruth Cohen, published by Fair Winds Press.

Photo credits: https://pixabay.com/en/qi-gong-pose-lichtspiel-landscape-761095/

8 Powerful Ancient Qigong Exercises for Cultivating Healing Energy in the Body
2 DIY Skincare Recipes to Help Shrink Those Pores

2 DIY Skincare Recipes to Help Shrink Those Pores

Well okay, it’s impossible to shrink the size of your pores, literally. You can thank your parents for them. However, by maintaining (or attaining at this point) clean and unclogged pores, it’s possible that no one will be able to tell how sizeable they really are, hopefully even you (although we tend to be much tougher on ourselves).

The simplest homemade recipes can help to eliminate the oil, bacteria, and grime that make even smallish pores look hefty and unsightly. Getting rid of blackheads – which are simply clogged pores – has never been so easy, cheap and natural. And utilizing the yummy humectant that is honey, we’re ensuring you don’t shrivel up, especially as the heaters start to crank up. Honey also opens up the pores so that these natural acids can sweep in and do a thorough clean up.

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Photo from https://www.organicauthority.com/energetic-health/2-diy-skincare-recipes-that-shrink-pores-honey

Begin by using a Pore Minimizer scrub every other day:

  • 1 tablespoon of organic warm honey
  • 1 tablespoon of organic brown sugar
  • 3 drops of organic lemon juice

After cleansing your skin, massage into pore-plentiful areas for 3 minutes. Keep those circular motions going until your fingers cramp up, or the 3-minute buzzer goes off. Then rinse with lukewarm water, emphasis on the “luke” as hot water opens up pores.

Now, it’s time for an Awesome Apple Astringent:

In a container of your choosing, preferably something with a cap, add…

  • 1/2 cup of purified water
  • 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • It’s optional, but you may also want to add a couple drops of lavender essential oil to get past that whole vinegar smell
  • And for extra power, you can include a squeeze of lemon

Refrigerate this, and whenever you need it (or at least twice a day post cleanse), shake up and tone with an organic cotton ball or piece of soft fabric. Apple cider vinegar is anti-bacterial and helps dry up excess sebum, removing dirt and debris from your pores. It also balances your skin’s pH level.

Article from: https://www.organicauthority.com/energetic-health/2-diy-skincare-recipes-that-shrink-pores-honey

6 Best Essential Oils To Help Tighten Loose Skin & How To Use

Loose of Saggy skin is the result of various factors. Many women are experiencing it everywhere. Loose skin occurs when you lose fat or after childbirth. For some saggy skin is a result of aging. Aging is a natural phenomenon, and it is constant of life. Nature itself has provided us with essential oils to help tighten skin when it sags or goes loose.

Loose skin is almost unavoidable. The best we can do is to correct the skin when this happens by making it firm up. Skin tightening, therefore, a form of anti-aging and pore-reducing treatment.

The process of skin tightening helps us to maintain firm, taut skin. It also helps to minimize pores which then makes the skin look more fresh and flawless. Compared to the popularly expensive and chemically-filled beauty products, there are natural and healthy means that have been used to tighten the skin over time.

This alternative is to use essential oils. Cold pressing or steam distillation is the process for the production of essential oils. They contain high powerful plant extracts that have medicinal and healing benefits.

Photo from: https://www.naturalfoodseries.com/13-benefits-jasmine-essential-oil/

1. Jasmine Oil

Like many other essential oils, jasmine oil is known to promote blood circulation thereby helping your skin regenerate cells. With new skin cells, your body can then hydrate skin, providing it with more elasticity and decreasing the appearance of scars and wrinkles. Jasmine oils, pair well with Almond Oil. Mix the two together and apply the solution to any part of your skin that needs to be tightened.

Photo from: https://www.healthline.com/health/essential-oils-for-high-blood-pressure#types

2. Lavender Oil

Lavender is well known for its antibacterial properties. As such, this essential oil can work to tone and rejuvenate the skin. Plus, it smells delightful and has a range of other uses, including stress relief and aiding in sleep. To tighten skin, use Lavender Essential Oil with rosehip seed oil for a powerhouse skin treatment.

Photo from: https://draxe.com/10-geranium-oils-benefits-healthy-skin-much/

3. Geranium Oil

Geranium oil is one of the best essential oils for repairing collagen and therefore increasing your skin’s elasticity. That, of course, results in the reduction of wrinkles and stretch marks. In addition, this particular oil supplies extra nourishment to the skin to give you a glowing appearance. A few drops of Geranium Essential Oil mixed with Moroccan Argan Oil makes a lovely facial application.

Photo from: https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/myrrh-essential-oil/

4. Myrrh Oil

Myrrh oil isn’t just a part of the annual Christmas play. This oil can help improve skin flexibility by oxygenating body tissues. It also moisturizes the skin. Together, these properties treat chapped skin and decrease the appearance of wrinkles. Myrrh Essential Oil with Avocado Oil and apply to your skin regularly.

Photo from: https://healthjade.com/frankincense-oil/

5. Frankincense Oil

The small molecular structure of frankincense oil allows it to work wonders on the skin. By penetrating your bodily structure, it protects skin cells while encouraging the growth of new cells. It also keeps the skin oxygenated, which in turn improves elasticity. For these reasons, frankincense is a great oil for tightening skin, especially around the eye area. Pair the Frankincense Essential Oil with Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil for a DIY skin care treatment.

Photo from: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/neroli-essential-oil.html

6. Neroli Oil

Many experts agree that neroli oil is the best for tightening skin. That’s because it contains citral, a chemical known to regenerate skin cells. In addition, neroli oil helps to improve skin resilience, giving it awesome anti-aging properties. Mix Neroli Essential Oil with Grapeseed Skin Care Oil and apply to your skin liberally.

Article from: https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/lifestyle-buzz/the-6-best-essential-oils-to-help-tighten-loose-skin/ar-BBQwU5m

6 Best Essential Oils To Help Tighten Loose Skin & How To Use
9 Herbs to Fight Arthritis Pain

9 Herbs to Fight Arthritis Pain

Arthritis symptoms can keep you from going about your everyday activities. The pain and inflammation may still persist despite medical intervention. To get relief, more and more people with arthritis are seeking a natural approach by using herbal remedies.

Certain herbs may have anti-inflammatory properties that can help with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by reducing pain in all forms of the disease. Still, there is a lack of scientific evidence supporting such claims. Before you treat arthritis the “natural” way, make sure you talk to a doctor first to avoid life-threatening side effects.

1. Aloe vera

“aloe-vera”

Aloe vera is one of the most commonly used herbs in alternative medicine. Known for its healing properties, it’s popular for treating small skin abrasions. You may already have a bottle of aloe vera gel in the medicine cabinet from a past sunburn. This same type of product may be applied topically to soothe aching joints.

Aloe vera is also available in the whole form from the leaves of the plant. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) says that oral aloe vera can cause decreased blood sugar and gastrointestinal side effects, such as diarrhea. Topical aloe vera, on the other hand, does not cause any side effects and should be safe to try for arthritis.

2. Boswellia

“boswellia”

Boswellia, also called frankincense, is praised by alternative medicine practitioners for its anti-inflammatory capabilities. It’s derived from the gum of Boswellia trees indigenous to India.

This herb is thought to work by blocking substances (leukotrienes) that attack healthy joints in autoimmune diseases such as RA. The NCCIH acknowledges promising evidence of Boswellia in animal studies. But it notes a lack of human trials. Boswellia is available in tablet form and topical creams.

3. Cat’s claw

“Cats Claw”

Cat’s claw is another anti-inflammatory herb that may reduce swelling in arthritis. This herb is from a tropical vine, and its usage dates back to Incan civilizations. Traditionally, cat’s claw is used to boost the immune system.

In recent years, the immunity powers of the herb have been tried in arthritis. The downside is that cat’s claw may overstimulate the immune system and make arthritis pain worse.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, a study showed cat’s claw can help with RA swelling. But there’s no proof that this herb can prevent further joint damage.

4. Eucalyptus

“eucalyptus”

Like aloe vera, eucalyptus is widely available in Western markets. It’s used in oral medications, and topical oil extracts are used for a variety of conditions. Topical forms of eucalyptus leaves are used to treat arthritis pain.

The plant leaves contain tannins, which may be helpful in reducing swelling and the pain arthritis causes. Some users follow up with heat pads to maximize the effects of eucalyptus on swollen joints.

Be sure to test yourself for allergies before using topical eucalyptus. Put a small amount of the product on your forearm. If there is no reaction in 24 to 48 hours, it should be safe to use.

5. Ginger

“ginger”

You may have ginger in your spice cabinet for cooking, but this herb is also a staple in many alternative medicine cabinets. The same compounds that give ginger its strong flavor also have anti-inflammatory properties.

The NCCIH says that early studies in reducing joint swelling with ginger in RA are promising. But more human trials are needed to better understand its action. In folk medicine and Chinese medicine, ginger is used to increase blood circulation, which brings heat and healing properties to the affected area. Research shows promise for the use of ginger in all types of arthritis.

6. Green tea

“green-tea”

Green tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and has been used to reduce inflammation in the body. It’s possible that green tea can be used to treat arthritis inflammation in the form of beverages, tablets, or tinctures.

In a 2010 study, the NCCIH found that green tea might help people with osteoarthritis (OA) and RA. But many more studies are still needed to prove the potential benefits of green tea.

7. Thunder god vine

“thunder-god-vine”

Thunder god vine is one of the oldest herbs used in Chinese medicine. Extracts from skinned roots are known for suppressing an overactive immune system. This makes thunder god vine a possible alternative treatment for autoimmune diseases such as RA. It’s best to apply directly to the skin in a topical form. Thunder god vine may work best along with conventional RA medications.

Use extreme caution with this herb, as it can be poisonous if extracts are derived from other areas of the vine. Long-term use is not recommended.

8. Turmeric

“turmeric”

Turmeric is a yellow powder made from the related flowering plant. It’s used in cooking to make curry. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Lab studies on rats have also found this herb may slow the progression of RA. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been used in folk medicine for years. Unlike other types of herbs, the NCCIH found turmeric may work best in fighting joint pain when taken orally.

There still needs to be more studies done on the safety of turmeric, but its use is promising.

9. Willow Bark

“willow-bark”

Using willow bark is one of the oldest treatments for inflammation. In fact, people during Hippocrates’ time (fifth century B.C.) chewed on willow bark to help treat inflammatory conditions.

One study reported that the herb shows promise in relieving OA-related joint pain, particularly in the knees, back, hips, and neck. This treatment is taken orally, either by tea or tablet.

Getting the right dose is crucial. An overdose can cause rashes and other forms of inflammation. Do not use willow bark if you take blood thinners or are allergic to aspirin.

Article from: https://www.healthline.com/health/osteoarthritis/herbs-arthritis-pain