Tag Archives: Gillian B

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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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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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!

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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