Author Archives: serkan

My Natural Solution for Oily Hair

Gillian B.
Self-care Teacher

 

I am a Self-Care Teacher inspiring and empowering others to set themselves free using simple but powerful daily practices.

 

Age: 29

 

Skin Type: Dry

Hair Type: Fine usually oily roots

Skin Concerns: On the more sensitive side

Values: I am flexible, clean products from companies with heart is what I strive for.

Oily hair? Don’t worry you are not alone!

Since I can remember, I have always had to deal with my fine, oily hair. When my hair was virgin I couldn’t go more than a day without washing it! What a hassle!!

However, when I started to experiment with colouring my hair, slowly going blonder and blonder, I realized that the chemicals dried out my hair and I could get away with going a little longer between washes. On top of that, I discovered what I thought was a miracle at the time….Dry Shampoo. For probably 2-3 years I (stupidly) used this stuff like it was going out of style and told all my friends about it. I was always on the run and wanted my hair to look fresh so it was my go to. What I didn’t take into consideration was the amount of harmful chemicals I was both inhaling and absorbing through my scalp and my fingertips when I was using it so liberally. I knew it smelt strong and I knew it wasn’t exactly good for you but at the time in my life, convenience outweighed the health factor. Oh how times have changed!

Fast forward about 2 years to today. In the last few months I have decided that I have been blonde long enough and I have caused enough damage to my poor hair, body and wallet in the name of beauty. So this January, I took a big step in the right direction and I decided to start growing my natural colour in. Excited and nervous for what was to come, having been some varying shade of blonde for the past 5 years, I was ready for a change.

I knew that letting go of blonde meant that I would have to deal with my ever so oily hair again. Booo! But I also knew that I would be MUCH healthier for it and that took precedence over my looks. I was determined to find a better way around this whole dilemma because washing your hair everyday is also taxing on your hair and your time.

I started thinking about how the blonde colouring would dry the roots out and then I also started thinking about naturally derived products that could recreate the same effect without all the high concentration of chemicals. and then it hit me! I had a bottle of Witch Hazel in my cupboard and I got it out and started reading the label. For those of you who don’t know, Witch Hazel is a natural astringent that can be used as a toner for skin or to clean out cuts and sores. Perhaps, it could tone my roots somewhat to give the same drying effect. I quickly Googled it just to see what other people were saying about it and also to make sure it wasn’t going to make my hair a weird colour or anything and then tried it out. And…..

The results have been incredible!

You can buy a good quality Witch Hazel at the Health Food Store!

Here is how to make your hair last longer between washes:

1- Apply Witch Hazel to the roots with a cotton pad or spray bottle. Be sure to separate your hair into sections and distribute evenly. Let it sit for a 5 mins or so.

2- Wash hair thoroughly and avoid putting conditioner anywhere near the roots. Rinse with cold water at the end of your shower to close the pores!

3-Brush and half blow dry your hair.

4-Then flip your head upside down and finish it off.

5-Flip it back and comb into place.

6- To make it go the extra mile, you can add some arrowroot starch to the underneath layers as needed.

That is my secret! I know everyone’s hair is different but  I hope it helps you 🙂 Try it once and figure out how frequently you should do it. I do it at least once a week and I wash my hair every second day.

Look for a future blog on how to make Big, Sexy Hair Naturally!

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The Benefits of Oil Pulling

The benefits of Oil Pulling Gillian B

Gillian B.
Self-care Teacher

 

I am a Self-Care Teacher inspiring and empowering others to set themselves free using simple but powerful daily practices.

 

Age: 29

 

Skin Type: Dry

Hair Type: Fine usually oily roots

Skin Concerns: On the more sensitive side

Values: I am flexible, clean products from companies with heart is what I strive for.

The benefits of Oil Pulling Gillian B

Let me introduce you to a simple daily practice that has been used for thousands of years for the maintenance of oral health!

Oil pulling is the Ayurvedic practice of swishing high quality oil around the mouth as a way to remove harmful bacteria and keep it in tip top shape. Think of it as the new mouthwash.  Given that the mouth is the gateway to our body, it is important that we do whatever we can to maintain it. Like nutrients from food, bad bacteria can enter the blood through the mouth so it does make sense that lowering the risk could have an impact in other parts of the body. Many people claim that oil pulling has helped them to heal from everything from skin disorders, asthma, chronic headaches, inflammation, liver problems and hormone imbalances!

There are thousands of different types of bacteria in our mouths, they are the little guys that produce plaque! Oil pulling attracts and drastically reduces the amount of bacteria in the mouth that can cause common dental issues like gingivitis, cavities and bad breath.

The benefits of Oil Pulling Gillian B

How does it work?

Put 1-2 teaspoons of organic, cold pressed oil such as coconut, sunflower or sesame into the mouth. It does take a little getting used to, so just keep an open mind. Once its in there close your lips and make sure it doesn’t go down the back of your throat. Start to swish the oil in your mouth using a little force to pull it through the space between your teeth. The oils warm up and mix with the saliva, thinning it out and making it easier to pull. As the oil is swished around the mouth it begins to pull toxins from the saliva, the surfaces of the teeth, gums and tongue, making this a very detoxifying process!

Recent studies have shown the benefits of coconut oil in the prevention of tooth decay. Coconut oil is great because 50% of the fat in coconut oil is comprised of the bacteria killing ingredient called lauric acid. Lauric acid is very well known for its antibacterial and anti-fungal actions as it inhibits Strep mutans that are the primary bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Oil pulling should be done for 20 minutes to get the full benefit. Long enough to pull everything out but not long enough to reabsorb the toxins back into the body. So set your timer!

Oil Pulling Benefits:

  • Cleanses and detoxifies mouth and teeth
  • Helps prevent bad breath, gingivitis and tooth decay
  • Removes harmful bacteria, lessening the load on the immune system
  • Whitens teeth naturally without harmful chemicals
  • Relieves gum and tooth sensitivity

Some of the other reported benefits beyond the mouth include:

  • Migraine relief
  • Correcting hormone imbalances
  • Reducing inflammation of arthritis
  • Aids in the reduction of eczema
  • Reduced hangover after alcohol consumption
  • Helps detoxify the body of harmful metals and organisms

Oil Pulling Tips:

  • Its best to do this first thing in the morning when you wake up on an empty stomach.
  • I like to floss first, why not get the big stuff out of the way so the oil can do a deeper clean.
  • Most sources say its best to alternate oils to get the full range of benefits. However, my favourite is coconut oil.
  • You probably want to do it while you are busy with something else so you don’t think about it too much, I like doing it while I’m making breakfast, cleaning, answering back to emails or showering.
  • After you pull for 20 minutes, spit it out into a garbage or toilet. It will clog a sink quickly!
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water to clear away any remaining oil.
  • Brush teeth after pulling or before if you don’t do it first thing in the morning.

 

Happy Pulling!

xx

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Can You Fit Natural Products in Your Budget?

Can You Fit Natural Products in Your Budget? Emma Rohmann
Emma Rohmann

Emma Rohmann
Green at Home


Emma Rohmann is a mom of 2, environmental engineer, and environmental health expert who helps families create healthier, greener homes simply.

Age: 34

 

Skin Type: Combination

Hair Type: Curly, dry (and red!)

Skin Concerns: None

Values: I prefer locally-made, small-batch products. Reduced packaging is an added bonus.

Can You Fit Natural Products in Your Budget? Emma Rohmann

The number one struggle I hear from members of my Green Product Forum about making the switch to healthier, greener, more natural products is time and money. OK, that’s two struggles. But they are more often than not connected.

It’s not surprising. Green products are notoriously more expensive than their conventional counterparts, at least when comparing the initial price tag in the store.

And trying to find healthier, greener products that actually get the job done? That’s not only a time suck, but also another money problem.

So what’s a time- and money-strapped, health- or eco-conscious consumer to do?

Start with your mindset.

Take a look at where you’re spending your money over a two to four week period. What are you prioritizing? What have you decided (unconsciously or not) is worth spending your hard-earned dollars on?

Now, decide how important it is to you to reduce your exposure to toxics, choose products that will last, or support a local business.

Is there a disconnect between where you’re spending your money now?

Chances are, there are at least some areas you can reassess in your budget. Take-out coffee, lunches or dinners. Impulse buys. Replacing a cheap gadget with another cheap gadget that will likely break after a few months. Even a utility bill that’s higher than it needs to be because you keep your home too warm or too cool depending on the season. These are all choices you make, just like the choice to invest in healthier products or not.

And it doesn’t have to mean you “give up” something. It can simply be a shift in the way you make choices.

Taking a holistic look at your expenses can help you understand whether there is room for some healthier choices. Sometimes it might take a little shuffling and effort, but if it’s really important to you, you can make it happen.

Afterall, you make those pumpkin spice lattes, Uber rides, take-out orders, or other simple luxuries happen. They all bring you joy, save time, or reduce frustration. That’s why you’re willing to invest in those things. Now you have to decide if you’re willing to invest in your health too.

Once you decide what’s important to you, then you can reassess how you spend your money. And if you truly want to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals in your home, it is doable on a budget.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you start making the shift on a budget:

  • Natural products often go further. I find that well-made products last longer than conventional brands – whether it be body care or housewares. So while the upfront cost may be more, you won’t have to replace them as frequently (just be sure to check the best before date on body care, as the preservatives aren’t as strong so shelf lives are often shorter).
  • Healthy products might reduce your medical bills. The ingredients in every day products are impacting our health. That is no secret. You might not be directly affected, or you could be severely impacted. Choosing natural products can help reduce symptoms and medical bills. That’s not a guarantee, but it is a potentially significant cost consideration. Especially if you suffer from asthma, autoimmune disease, or hormone imbalance.
  • Making is cheaper than buying. I’m the first to admit that I am not a DIYer. But I make my own cleaners (I make these 5 household cleaners in 5 minutes once I have the ingredients), lip balm, body butter, and sugar scrub. They’re incredibly simple and are much more cost effective than store-bought.
  • Try before you buy. If you have a friend who has gone down this path before you, bring some containers over to her house and test some of her products. Or ask the community in my Green Product Forum for recommendations. If you tailor your shopping list, it will be much easier to find replacements.
  • Buy less. If you’re investing in well-made products with a higher price tag, it can help you simplify and focus your efforts on fewer products overall. This will help reduce clutter, stress, as well as your expenses.

I hope this helps you with the initial mindset hurdle that many associate with choosing green products. Know that you’re not alone, but also that it is totally doable if you decide it’s important.

If you’re ready to take serious action, and want some support, accountability, and meaningful ideas, sign up for my newsletter and get all this delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.

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What’s in Fragrance and Parfum

Yellow Field What's in Fragrance and Parfum
Emma Rohmann

Emma Rohmann
Green at Home


Emma Rohmann is a mom of 2, environmental engineer, and environmental health expert who helps families create healthier, greener homes simply.

Age: 34

 

Skin Type: Combination

Hair Type: Curly, dry (and red!)

Skin Concerns: None

Values: I prefer locally-made, small-batch products. Reduced packaging is an added bonus.

Yellow Field What's in Fragrance and Parfum

HINT: Mountain air and meadow flowers are not actually used in your air freshener.

We’ve been sold on the idea of a clean smell. So we use air fresheners, room sprays, plug-ins, candles and dryer sheets to add fragrance to our home. But the ingredients used to create those “Mountain Fresh”, “Spring Meadow”, and “Lavender Vanilla” scents are not as natural as their names imply. Instead, conventional fragrances are created with synthetic chemicals, some of which are known or suspected carcinogens, hormone disrupters, and asthma or allergy-inducing chemicals.

Commercials even suggest that we can leave a month’s worth of take-out containers and old gym bags in a car – but it’s OK, because there’s a product that can cover up the smell. How did we get to a place where this sounds reasonable?!

What We Know

I tried to find what ingredients make up a “fragrance” or “parfum” in common household products. On Proctor and Gamble’s website (manufacturer of products such as Swiffer, Pampers, and Tide), there’s a document with 19 pages of chemical names that are used as potential fragrance ingredients. Spot checking this list, I found hormone disruptors, potential carcinogens, and allergens.

While present in small quantities, chemical fragrance often includes phthalates to help make them last longer and dissipate the scent into the air. Phthalates are a group of chemicals also found in PVC (like shower curtains and medical tubing) and some soft plastic children’s toys. In high doses, phthalates have been found to cause cancer and fertility problems in animal studies. The Canadian Cancer Society also reports a connection with hormone disruption.

In addition, synthetic musk compounds, which are found in fragrances of common household items, are persistent environmental toxins (classified by Environment Canada), and are showing up in fish and sediments in the Great Lakes.

To make things more complex, “scent-free” or “sensitive skin” on a product doesn’t necessarily mean it’s free from fragrance. Because of the other chemicals in conventional products, some fragrance is needed so the product smells scent-free. Note that essential oils are commonly used in “natural” and DIY recipes. These are more natural than chemical fragrance ingredients, but can also trigger allergies. Consider foregoing them too, or choose high quality organic brands and always test them first for allergies and sensitivities.

What We Don’t Know

According to Ecoholic’s Adria Vasil, of the 80,000 chemicals on the market for personal care products, only 7% have received toxicological testing. Obviously no company wants to release a product that causes noticeable reactions or harm, but there are less obvious impacts that take more time to show up.

Very little is known about how these chemicals interact with each other. But scientists are finding that, especially with hormone disrupting chemicals, even the low doses in our household products are enough to cause health concerns. We also often don’t learn of ecological impacts until it’s too late (like triclosan and microbeads).

What You Can Do

Many employers are starting to adopt a scent-free policy to promote a healthier work environment and help those with allergies. Even if you don’t have known allergies, consider doing the same in your home to help avoid the potential problems with chemical fragrances. Help reduce your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals by avoiding any product with undisclosed fragrance ingredients. These can be hiding in air fresheners (sprays, plugins, and candles), personal care products, cleaners, and laundry detergent. Train yourself to read labels – look on all sides of the package and go beyond the marketing hype.

Have you gone scent-free? What have been your challenges or wins?

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How to Detox Your Bathroom

How to Detox Your Bathroom Emma Rohmann
Emma Rohmann

Emma Rohmann
Green at Home


Emma Rohmann is a mom of 2, environmental engineer, and environmental health expert who helps families create healthier, greener homes simply.

Age: 34

 

Skin Type: Combination

Hair Type: Curly, dry (and red!)

Skin Concerns: None

Values: I prefer locally-made, small-batch products. Reduced packaging is an added bonus.

How to Detox Your Bathroom Emma Rohmann

A couple of weeks ago, I shared 3 steps to help you avoid overwhelm when making green changes in your home. Over the next few blogs, I’ll be diving into more specific strategies for every room in your home, with a focus on reducing toxic chemicals.

Why am I focusing on detoxing your home? Because so much of what we bring into our homes is being shown to affect our health – from hormone issues to asthma and allergies, the science is substantial. This is why I think detoxing a great place for you to start if you’re struggling to figure out where to start on your health and wellness journey!

Last week on the blog, I covered the basics of how chemicals in our homes affect our health. Today, I will show you how you can apply my 3 strategies to overcome overwhelm and detox your bathroom starting today.

Getting Started

Your bathroom is a great place to start with a home detox because it’s relatively easy to stay focused. You’re really looking at one category of products to detox – personal care products. Now, looking back at my 3 steps to overcome overwhelm, step one is to identify what’s important to you. With personal care products, this could be anything from reducing asthma or eczema symptoms to switching to natural products for baby to avoiding hormone disruptors or carcinogens. Put some thought into what’s important to you, because it will make it a lot easier to make a change if it’s something you care about.

Reading Labels

Next, you want to focus on one thing to change that will get you closer to your goal. This could mean looking at what’s in your shower, make-up bag, or baby care products for example. Read the ingredients on products only in the one area you’re focusing on and determine if there are any you want to switch out.

There are some tools you can use to help, like the Dirty Dozen cosmetic ingredients to avoid, or apps like Think Dirty or online databases like EWG’s Skin Deep.

Switching Out

Replacing all your products at once is not only daunting, but just not feasible in many cases. This is why it’s so important to focus on a small category of products first. Once you know which products you want to replace, make a plan to find replacements. Don’t forget the option to not replace something! Take stock of what you actually use and need and decide if there’s something you can just stop using altogether.

When you’re ready to replace, you can take a trip to your local health food store or pop into the Green Product Forum for starters. You can also check out PurPick’s product review site too.

Rinse and Repeat

When you’ve got your first batch of products detoxed, move onto the next category and follow the same process.

This doesn’t have to be time consuming, but it does require some thought and focus. The great news is that once you go through the process once and find products you like, you can just keep buying them – no extra effort required!

It’s Not All Money

This is just one way to start your detox. There are other strategies that don’t cost anything at all but can help you detox your bathroom. And I make sure to share lots of these free tips in my upcoming online program, Your Healthy Home. Not only will I walk you through exactly how to choose which products to focus on, how to read the labels effectively (and simply), what products to replace them with, and where to find them, but I will also share the free and easy strategies you can do right away.

If you’re ready to take your health into your hands, and truly create a healthier home, I would love to help you! Join me for my online program, Your Healthy Home. Join the waitlist to be the first to learn more here.

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Take 5: Dry Brush Daily for Optimal Health

Gillian B Dry Brush

Gillian B.
Self-care Teacher

 

I am a Self-Care Teacher inspiring and empowering others to set themselves free using simple but powerful daily practices.

 

Age: 29

 

Skin Type: Dry

Hair Type: Fine usually oily roots

Skin Concerns: On the more sensitive side

Values: I am flexible, clean products from companies with heart is what I strive for.

Gillian B Dry Brush

We all know an important function of the heart is to pump blood around our body to our various organs, but did you know there is similar but much less well-known system that is just as, if not more important for optimal health?

The body’s lymphatic system!

According to Dr. John Douillard: “The lymph travels with the nerves, arteries and veins and is by itself twice as big as the arterial blood supply system – and maybe twice as important. The lymphatic system removes waste from every cell in your body while regulating the immune system.”

The lymphatic system plays a role in so many of the body’s functions but its rarely discussed in Western medical practices until there is related diagnosis. However, the lymph is the very first system that is addressed in Ayurveda. (1)

Common Symptoms of Lymphatic Congestion (1):

  • Sore joints and/or stiffness in the morning
  • Swelling in fingers- rings may become tighter than normal
  • Lethargy
  • Bloating and water retention
  • Dry itchy skin
  • Weight gain
  • Swollen glands
  • Poor immunity
  • Brain fog
  • Breast swelling or soreness
  • Mild rash or acne
  • Hypersensitivity and heightened reactions to food or environmental triggers
  • Mild headaches
  • Occasional digestive complaints like constipation, diarrhea or mucus in the stool.

Dr. Mercola says: “When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease.”

When we begin to understand the importance of proper lymph flow, we may want to know what we can do to decongest and maintain our lymphatic system on a daily basis. One of the easiest and most affordable ways to do this is with dry skin brushing.

In Ayurveda, dry skin brushing is called Garshana. Raw silk gloves are used to exfoliate and stimulate the skin. With vigorous brushing, the silk gloves also create static electricity, which is known to alkalize the blood and help get the lymph flowing. (2)

This technique can be done with a natural dry bristle brush or with the aforementioned traditional raw silk gloves.

Benefits of Dry Brushing

Take 5 minutes each day before you shower to dry brush your skin with a natural bristle brush, which can be found online or at local health food stores. My favourite is the Energy Brush from Living Libations because it has some copper bristles in addition the natural fibers. This makes more stimulating for the lymph but also makes the bristles maintain their strength longer over time.

Not only does it improve the appearance of your skin by eliminating dead cells and helping new skin to regenerate, it also stimulates circulation of the lymphatic system, and greatly enhances toxin elimination. (3)

In addition, the massaging effect of the bristles is said to be to be helpful for eliminating cellulite and other imperfections (3) because it is increasing the circulation to that area which carries away toxins stored in the fat cells.

In just 5 minutes a day, your skin will feel invigorated, energized, silky and smooth! Personally, it is something that resisted for a while before getting into a regular habit but over the years, I have come to LOVE dry brushing! My self-care ritual is incomplete without it. I actually miss it when I skip it and my skin doesn’t feel as soft and supple.

In this video, I explain the benefits of dry brushing and how to do it:

Happy Brushing Folks!

Resources:

1) http://lifespa.com/the-miracle-of-lymph/

2) http://lifespa.com/menopause-and-menstrual-cycle-symptoms-it-may-not-be-hormonal/

3) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/24/dry-skin-brushing.aspx

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How to Detox Your Cosmetics: Getting Rid of What you Have

How to Detox your Cosmetics Emma Rohmann
Emma Rohmann

Emma Rohmann
Green at Home


Emma Rohmann is a mom of 2, environmental engineer, and environmental health expert who helps families create healthier, greener homes simply.

Age: 34

 

Skin Type: Combination

Hair Type: Curly, dry (and red!)

Skin Concerns: None

Values: I prefer locally-made, small-batch products. Reduced packaging is an added bonus.

How to Detox your Cosmetics Emma Rohmann

So you’re ready to ditch your conventional cosmetics, toiletries and body care products. Maybe you’re sick of the eczema, or allergies, or headaches that many people get from products with synthetic fragrances. Or maybe you want to stop contributing to water pollution. Perhaps you are now aware of the carcinogens and hormone disruptors in every-day products. Whatever your reason, you’ve made the choice to detox your toiletries.

Great, you say. Now what?

I hear lots of people who want to make the switch, but then get stuck on making the first step. Often, it’s because you’ve got a closet and make-up bag full of products that you don’t want to use any more, and throwing them all in the trash just doesn’t sit right with you. Don’t worry, you’ve got options that don’t include landfilling all your unwanted products.

Here’s your guide to ditching your conventional toiletries – just find the description that best matches how you’re feeling and you’re on your way to a healthier body care regime!

How you feel #1:I know the long-term use of these products aren’t good for me, but I’m OK to finish what I already have.”

What you can do #1: Finish using the products you already have. Since concentrations of potentially harmful ingredients in any one product are small, finishing up the products you’ve already bought and started using probably isn’t going to do much harm.

If you want to start reducing your exposure to the ingredients, you can transfer the product amounts to travel-size containers for infrequent use (i.e. when travelling, going to the gym, office drawer, etc.). Your decision to replace the potentially harmful ingredients means that you won’t be exposing yourself (or the water supply) to them over the long term, and that’s something to be proud of.

How you feel #2: “I want to stop using all these products, but I feel bad throwing them away.”

What you can do #2: If you have brand new bottles, consider donating them to a shelter. I know this doesn’t exactly solve the problem of keeping the chemicals out of the water supply, but there are many folks who would greatly appreciate the gift of basic personal hygiene products. You’d be helping them get back on their feet when they need that kind of support the most. You can also try taking them to your next Community Environment Day (if you have them, like we do here in Toronto). Or you can dump the product down the drain or in the garbage, then rinse and recycle the container (if recyclable).

How you feel #3: “I feel duped and want to tell these companies what I think of their crappy ingredients.”

What you can do #3: You can go all activist and mail back the products with a letter to the company explaining why you’re no longer using them. This likely doesn’t avoid sending them to landfill, but it lets the company know what you think of their products.

No matter what your strategy, don’t let disposal paralysis get in the way of making the move to healthier toiletries. If you’re still working on finding some healthy replacements for your conventional toiletries, head on over to my Green Product Forum Facebook Group to crowd-source advice on the best natural products (because nobody wants to waste money on stuff that doesn’t work!).

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Heal Your Emotional Baggage with this Ancient Practice!

Gillian B.
Self-care Teacher

 

I am a Self-Care Teacher inspiring and empowering others to set themselves free using simple but powerful daily practices.

 

Age: 29

 

Skin Type: Dry

Hair Type: Fine usually oily roots

Skin Concerns: On the more sensitive side

Values: I am flexible, clean products from companies with heart is what I strive for.

Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, has been practiced since ancient times. For those not familiar with Ayurveda, it is one of the worlds oldest holistic healing systems that goal is heal disease and imbalance by aligning your body with nature. One of the first practices prescribed is often Abhyanga. Abhyanga is a self-massage done by anointing the body with warm oil. (2)

There are many incredible benefits to this practice of next-level self-care mainly because it is a form of touch therapy. Interestingly enough, sneha is a Sanskrit word which means both oil and love, a knowingness of being cared for, cherished and comforted. The effects of Abhyanga are similar to saturating your entire being to the depth of your core with love. (3)

When practiced consistently it can have a very empowering effect on all levels of your being. While facilitating healing in the emotional body, this powerful practice also increases the flow of prana or qi throughout the body. However, these are just a few of the many amazing benefits of Abhyanga!

Here are some others: (1)

  • Calms and soothes the nervous system,
  • Enhances the ability to remove toxins,
  • Softens and reinforces the skin as well as helps restore color and vibrancy to the body,
  • Helps regulate sleep patterns,
  • Stimulates internal organs as well as increases circulation,
  • reduces the effects of aging,
  • makes hair grow thick, full, strong and luxurious,
  • benefits stiff neck and jaw,
  • enhances vision,
  • Benefits ligaments, veins and tissues,
  • Relieves exhausted feet as well as helps repair and rejuvenate stiff, rough feet.

Abhyanga has become such a huge, important part of my life. I have seen and felt the incredible shifts since practicing consistently. I’m so excited to share with you how to integrate this special ritual into your daily routine, and watch as your relationship with yourself changes as well as your skins appearance, and your overall health.

To get started you will need:

  • a towel that you don’t mind ruining
  • either sesame (better in cold weather) or coconut oil (better in hot weather)
  • a warm, relaxing, comforting space
  • a hot cup of tea or water
  • a small bowl to put the oil in

How to Practice Abhyanga:

Once your oil has been heated, get yourself comfortable seated on your towel. Be sure to create a warm, comforting space where there are no drafts or distractions.

Generally, you start with your scalp and head. As you begin, pour the oil over your scalp and be sure to use not only your fingertips but your whole palm as you massage the oil deep into your scalp.

Start to make your way behind your ears, your ear lobes, and face. As you begin to make your way to your arms and longer limbs be sure to use long, circular motions. In and around the joints apply pressure as you kneed the oil deep into the tissue.

In and around your torso start on your right side going up and around to your left side in circular motions. Move your way down your legs to your feet. Be sure to spend extra time on your feet as they carry you and your weight day to day giving them extra love and attention.

The entire process should take approximately 15-20 minutes, so don’t rush the process! The more love and attention you give to the different parts of your body the better you will feel!

Please see the video below for full instructions:

Healing the Emotional Body with Touch Therapy

Yes, we can heal ourselves! Abhyanga can be incredibly powerful tool especially if you take the time to really nourish and nurture yourself. If you put love and intention into each stroke while practicing you can connect with yourself on a deeper level than you ever have before!

We happen to be living in a very exciting time on the planet. As we continue to grow and evolve, so has science. There is now research showing what is happening on a cellular level, which helps us understand why this ancient practice is so beneficial.

According to Ayurveda toxic emotions or ama are negative or repressed emotions that turn into stored toxins, which get trapped in the cells of our bodies. This helps explain why more often than not we tend to repeat the same unhealthy patterns, and behaviours throughout our lives, despite consciously trying to break out of these habits. (2)

When negative emotions such as anger, grief, jealousy, resentment, sadness, or trauma don’t get expressed they become repressed and stored in the body. Over time this can be very detrimental to our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual being. This alters the chemicals in our body which can create disease, compromise immune systems, alter mood, decrease energy, and block the flow of energy through our bodies. (2)

How does this happen?

We live in a world where many of us don’t feel safe to express our emotions, particularly the unpleasant ones. We prefer to only show the good ones, and even when we are feeling unhappy or dissatisfied we have a tendency to mask or hide them. Energetically, we stuff them down but we can only do this for so long before they start bubbling to the surface. When they do start coming to the surface it can be quite overwhelming. Imagine a lifetime of unwanted feelings, memories, and events all coming through like a tidal wave all at once?

But what can we do to release the pressure and pain stored inside and heal ourselves?

ABHYANGA!!!

Not only is it incredibly helpful during a time of healing or distress, but it would be wise to practice before you get to the point of overwhelm to help prevent an accumulation of ama.(2)

Abhyanga has been known to be one of the most effective touch therapies to help repair emotional disharmony. It has been proven in many studies that touch, hugging, cuddling, increases oxytocin and aids in healing. What is even more special about Abhyanga is it is a self-massage therapy, therefore, you are giving yourself the love, attention, and comfort that your inner child has been begging you for probably for most of your life. Practicing Abhyanga lets your inner child know that it is okay to feel those unwanted feelings, it is okay to express your emotions. This kind of touch therapy is used to gain access to your emotional issues no matter how unconscious or deeply stored they are. Dr. Pert who studies neuroscience and the relation to your emotions has found that one of the main entry points for repairing emotionally damaged receptors are found in the skin. The skin is, of course, easily accessed through touch. (2)

So there you have it! Not only is Abhyanga an incredibly sensual, relaxing experience that helps you feel and look great, but it helps heal you on all levels, emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually!

Want to learn how to master the art of self-love?
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Read the original post here!

Resources:

  1. http://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/living-ayurveda/lifestyle/self-oil-massage/
  2. http://lifespa.com/are-your-emotions-making-you-sick/
  3. http://www.chopra.com/ccl/the-benefits-of-ayurveda-self-massage-abhyanga

TBE’s Favourite Oils for Acne Prone Skin

Essential Oils Sabrina Zimmerman

Sabrina Zimmerman
The Brunette Ecoholic

 

Clean beauty & lifestyle blogger, wellness advocate, ingredient nerd & happy herbivore

 

Age: 47


Skin Type: Oily/acne prone

Hair Type: Coloured, wavy

Skin Concerns: Acne, aging

Values: I’m a vegetarian

Essential Oils Sabrina Zimmerman

Awhile ago, I wrote a post on my favorite skincare essential oils for acne (see here), and today I want to share a few of my favorite carrier oils for treating acne prone skin.

Before I dive in, I want to stress that what works for me and my skin may not work for you, so please bear that in mind. Always do a patch test to ensure you’re not allergic or sensitive, and give the product at least two weeks to see how your skin reacts.

The oils I selected are the ones that have not only helped keep breakouts and redness in check, but that have improved my skin overall. Some of these even provide some serious anti-aging benefits, so it’s a double win!

Rosehip Oil

I’ve heard mixed reviews on Rosehip oil – some people love it, some complain it broke them out or irritated their skin. For me, it has been a skin saver. Rosehip oil is high in Linoleic acid – an essential fatty acid that seems to be lacking in acne prone skin. It’s been found that skin that is deficient in Linoleic acid is higher in Oleic acid, which makes skin’s sebum thick and sticky which in turn clogs pores and causes breakouts. So, applying oils high in Linoleic acid, like Rosehip, should restore balance and help keep skin clear. Rosehip oil is also high in Vitamin A, which helps to improve skin tone, texture, and pigmentation, as well as Vitamin C to help stimulate collagen production. And the fatty acid content can help to regenerate skin that has been scarred. Since I have been using Rosehip oil in my skincare routine, I’ve noticed fewer breakouts, less irritation and my skin isn’t quite the grease factory it usually is.

Black Cumin Seed Oil

Another oil that is great for oily and acne prone skin is Black Cumin Seed oil, aka Nigella Sativa. High in vitamins A, B & C, as well as minerals such as Zinc, Calcium, Magnesium & EFAs, this oil helps to decongest and calm skin. Its potent antibacterial & antioxidant properties work to heal blemishes and repair damaged skin.

Chia Seed Oil

[…] As a food source, I’m a huge fan of these little seeds – I eat them every day, but let me tell you, as a skin oil they are a game changer! Besides being the richest botanical source of Omega-3 fatty acids found in nature, Chia Seed oil is high in skin protecting phytonutrients and antioxidants & has been proven to increase skin hydration, reduce trans-epidermal water loss and increase skin barrier function. The result (at least for me) is calmer, less red, less broken out, more dewy, plump and smooth skin!

Hemp Seed Oil

Dubbed “nature’s most perfectly balanced oil” because it contains all 21 known amino acids & its perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 (Linoleic) to Omega 3 (Alpha-Linoleic) fatty acids, Hemp Seed oil is one of the best oils for keeping oily/acne-prone skin in check. Besides being a rich source of EFA’s, Hemp Seed oil provides a good supply of antioxidants, phytosterols, phospholipids, as well as minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Sulfur, & Zinc. Another benefit is its ability to prevent moisture loss in the skin and to alleviate itchiness and irritation! 


Other oils that are good choices for acne prone skin are:

 

Sacha Inchi –  High in Linoleic acid & antioxidants. 

Hazelnut – Hydrating & balancing. 

Evening Primrose – Calm & moisturizing for sensitive, irritated skin. High in GLA, which reduces inflammation in the skin. 

Grapeseed – High in Linoleic acid, light & fast absorbing. 

Jojoba – Mimics our natural sebum, balancing and calming.

Yangu Oil – Rich in EFA’s & antioxidants, light weight, yet very hydrating.{read my review on it here}


What are your favorite oils for treating acne prone skin? Have any of these worked or not worked for you?

Peace & love,

Brie xo

Read the original post here!

The Big Switch- From Conventional to Clean Beauty

 

‘I had colour treated hair which looked dried-out, damaged and frizzy’ said Amy Sousa during her interview with us. Amy is a beauty enthusiast, full-time blogger and a pianist.

Years of experiementing with conventional beauty products that didn’t really help coaxed her  to switch to clean beauty products.

“When I used a range of beauty care products without any toxins for the first time, my skin and hair drastically improved. It was in that moment that I realised that you really don’t need harsh chemicals to get a good result!”- Amy Sousa

Taking baby steps towards making the switch, she started with using non-toxic haircare products (Shampoo & Conditioner) from Chorus Supernatural – A Canadian beauty brand with a line of beauty products made with locally sourced ingredients. Here’s what she had to say about it:

If something really works, wouldn’t you want to try more of it? That’s exactly what Amy did.

She tried the Purifying Massage Balm, Herbal Bath and the Body Lotion from Moor Spa– A beauty & wellness brand consisting of a wide array of natural products to choose from.

Her experience using these products has been ah-mazing.

 

 

Have you tried any healthier beauty products lately? Share your experiences with clean beauty products in the comments section below.

Do follow Amy’s journey on:

https://twitter.com/amysousa

https://www.instagram.com/beautybyamysousa/

https://www.youtube.com/user/AmySousa

 

P.S: If you are a clean beauty blogger – send us a mail on info@purpicks.com. We’d love to work with you!

serkan, Author at Discover Honest Reviews Of Non Toxic & Organic Skincare - Page 14 of 14