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Just Smile

March 18th, 2015

Smiling—and laughing—are nature’s most healing beautifiers, as I always like to say.

But the notion also goes deeper than the felt sense of enjoying a wide smile. On the neurological level, smiling is a natural mood lifter, one that releases the potent neurotransmitters and endorphins that buoy happiness and strengthen health. When our facial muscles—especially those around the eyes—contract, as happens when we display a lovely wide grin, it signals the brain, and the act of smiling in itself causes the release of molecular messengers that guide us into relax mode. For our cells, that peaceful calm offers rejuvenation and repair. And researchers have learned that the more you smile, the happier and more calm you feel, even when you’re not smiling any longer. On the physiological level, the joyfulness clings and carries.

Beyond combating negative emotions, or relaxing the body, however, drawing the loving feeling of a bright smile—an “inner smile”—down into the body and towards the heart does wonders. Transporting the smile within, and experiencing the warm spread of loving energy, moves chi, the energy of our life force, removing obstacles and energetic blockages. It allows our whole being to absorb the warmth of love, both when the inner-smile is directed at ourselves or at others. It reconnects us with life, letting love in.

Some make a beautiful practice of waking up every morning with a smile. What a simple, pure path to holistic health.

Movement Motivation

March 11th, 2015

That post-yoga glow, or the youthful radiance revealed by an early morning jog, is no illusion. Recent research has shown that exercise can actually reverse the effects of aging on skin.

If you’re even a casual follower of this blog, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of any and all ways to boost circulation in support of skin. And you’ll know that increased blood flow brings plentiful oxygen and an abundance nutrients and chi to the body’s cells, carrying away residual wastes—including the free-radicals that damage cellular structures (for more on that topic, see my last post on antioxidants!)

Breaking a sweat clears pores, flushing out the system and releasing any energetic buildup. As endorphins surge, the body enjoys a total sense of wellbeing, and, in turn, higher levels of endorphins means lowered cortisol, which protects precious collagen. But now scientific researchers have shown that working out moderately strenuously for 30 minutes twice a week for two months also improves skin, especially in those over 40, who were found after the trial period to have skin much closer in composition to that of a 20 or 30 year old than to their non-exercising peers.

I love the idea of relying on the body’s own natural systems to turn back the clock. It’s pure motivation to move.

Anyone up for a springtime challenge?

Sometimes it helps when science quantifies these things for us. So, here’s the protocol: 30 minutes x 2/week x 2 months. It’s incredible to know that any age, we’re only ever 16 workouts away from radically radiant skin.

Image: Timothy Takemoto/flickr

 

Antioxidants—Pure Healing Energy

March 7th, 2015

When I think about antioxidants, I think about generosity and a deep-rooted, natural healing energy that starts at the molecular level. 

In the simplest terms, cell damage is what ages us. Environmental stressors and pollutants produce free-radicals, which, in turn, poach electrons from our cellular structures, altering biological functions and causing disrepair. Antioxidants, however, are nature’s gift, molecules found in healing plants which freely replace those essential electrons, inhibiting disruptive oxidation within our cells. Nature's abundance of healing free-radical fighters is one of the pillars of holistic medicine. 

You’ve heard about antioxidant rich, nutrient dense natural foods—like blueberries, nuts and dark leafy greens—each known for its ability to renew cellular balance. From an energetic standpoint, these foods have an especially high frequency, tremendously boosting the body’s chi, its life force. Food prepared with loving hands and with gratitude impart a high vibration. Chemical-free fruits and vegetables that are harvested ripe and eaten raw, conserving their full life energy, have a high vibration. Processed sugars, and overly refined foods, do not. 

As the body’s environmental barrier, skin encounters new oxidizing agents every day. And in my own work, the collection’s Antioxidant Crème was created to meet those challenges, combining a mega-dose of precious and potent botanical antioxidants, including Lavender, Carrot Seed and essence of Orange Blossom, to prolong cellular longevity, growth and vitality. 

The body, however, also produces its own antioxidants, another healing source that can be strengthened with energetic support. In fact, medical research has shown that meditation has the power to boost the body’s antioxidant production. And when stress dissipates, cellular deterioration is slowed, and aging is reversed. 

So many forces join in carrying us towards holistic balance. Sometimes the beauty of nature’s generosity simply astounds me. 

Image: Lawrence Rayner/Flickr

Free & Clear

February 22nd, 2015

Just as you might enjoy the easy feeling of stepping into a room that’s tidy and clutter-free, energetic space-clearing invites a fresh, bright energy into the spaces where we work and live, and, ultimately, into our lives.

For thousands of years, different forms of space-clearing, including the Chinese harmonic system feng shui, have been preformed by various traditional cultures. Every day, people generate the kind of etheric debris that can build up, leaving behind an energetic residue. The art of space-clearing revitalizes the flow of vibrant energy, clearing out stagnancy in the places where we spend our days.

Naturally, physically de-cluttering your living or working space is a wonderful start. Then, with a simple sound instrument, such as a bell, chime or gong, you might take a walk through your space, using sound vibrations to loosen up any stagnant, burdensome or stuck energy you find, leaving a window slightly cracked as an outlet for the staleness. Most Western architecture doesn’t accommodate a natural sense of energetic flow, and most Western-designed buildings contain plenty of areas where energy can get trapped. In the spirit of out with the old and in with the new, this simple, symbolic cleansing helps us let go of what’s no longer useful.

Next, set an intention, calling in the energy you wish to receive in your cleared space, recirculating through with a soothing invitation, perhaps lighting a candle, setting out fresh flowers, or enlivening the air with a drop or two of a favorite scent. (Bulgarian Rose perfectly welcomes beautiful new beginnings.)

Maintaining our living and working spaces in this way is essential to the free movement of our creative life force, and to our wellbeing. In this way, with loving attention and clear intention, we make room on every level for a fantastically fresh new wave of creativity and openness to enter our living spaces and our lives.

Collagen Boosting Super Foods

February 17th, 2015
When we talk about a eating foods that best support skin health, prime among those choices are foods that the body needs in order to build and to maintain collagen. Collagen serves as skin’s substructure, found throughout all three layers of the dermis, giving skin strength, elasticity and resiliency. As we age, we produce less collagen, while environmental stresses, sun, and free-radicals can also break it down. In order to repair damaged collagen, which also gives skin its beautiful look of fullness, our bodies need a healthy supply of specific nutrients. Here are a handful of favorite collagen boosting super-foods. —Dark leafy greens. You know spinach and kale are good for you! But, specifically, the dark leafy greens boast a pro-collagen antioxidant called lutein. Researchers say eating just 2 oz. kale improves skin elasticity and hydration. —Garlic. Small and mighty, garlic contains sulfur, which is absolutely essential in healing damaged collagen. Sulfur helps hold collagen fibers together, maintaining skin’s strength and flexibility. —Yoghurt. High in protein, but also offering the amino-acid lysine, yoghurt support natural collagen production wonderfully, as do egg whites, which are big on protein but also and contain the amino acid proline. —Citrus. Aging causes a decline in skin’s natural levels of Vitamin C, which functions as an antioxidant and helps regulate the body’s collagen synthesis. In Florida, we know there’s no better source of Vitamin C than fresh citrus. Eating with healing intention is one of the foundations of holistic living. When we feed ourselves well, we feed our skin and our soul—and it shows in healthful radiance.

There’s Nothing Sweeter

February 10th, 2015

It is truly good news when indulgence, delight and good health all come into harmony!

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we’re happy to report that English researchers have recently discovered that eating cacao—found in cocoa beans, and the key ingredient in chocolate—is beneficial to skin, boasting many anti-aging effects.

Dark chocolate, like tea, is rich in flavonoids, natural anti-oxidants that help skin resist the sun’s harmful rays and can reduce oxidative stress from daily environmental factors, which, in turn, protects precious collagen. Scientific researchers say that, when eaten in moderation, highest quality, low-sugar dark chocolate made with over 70% cocoa offers the biggest benefits.

Glorious chocolate is now guilt free—it doesn’t get much better than that!

Caring for the Man in Your Life

February 6th, 2015

men 1 copyA question I’m asked often is, which Tammy Fender formulations best serve men’s skin? In honor of Valentine’s Day—and sharing what you love—I’m happy to offer this protocol for holistically caring for the men’s skin.

Of course, each person’s path to perfect balance is unique, but in general men’s skin is different from women’s skin in significant ways. Besides facial hair, hormonal differences mean that men’s skin is slightly thicker, boasts a little more collagen, and tends to be better hydrated, thanks to elevated sebum production. We’ve got all that covered.

Before shaving, I like to recommend men use our Cleansing Milk, which softens the beard and whisks away excess oils. Shaving itself acts as an exfoliant, but following with antioxidant-rich Essential C Tonic not only re-energizes the complexion, it soothes and purifies. Our Antioxidant Crème provides a wonderful finish, bursting with bright citrus aroma, though it's not too thick in texture. It’s a great nourisher and a protector against free radicals and environmental stresses, while also acting as a natural anti-depressant, uplifting the senses.

On the deepest level, however, our formulas, blending only the most powerfully pure and ancient holistic remedies, are also created to encourage the kind of energetic movement and momentum that builds inner strength, removing blockages and fostering the growth of true connection. In that way, when someone takes the loving time to care for himself or herself with holistic intention, it is a gift to all.

The Body Knows – The Gift of Intuition

December 11th, 2014
blog photo 2What does the heart comprehend that the mind can’t fathom? Well, plenty! Intuition is one of our most powerful gifts, and when we tap into its potential it guides us like internal radar along a path that so beautifully improves overall wellbeing. While it can feel nearly impossible to find the time to reconnect with our deepest knowing when life’s busy-ness is amplified, intuition provides clarity and awareness as nothing else can. All that’s really needed is a moment dedicated to paying attention to you, whether you find it sitting quietly, walking, doing yoga or out in nature. Check in quietly, turning your focus inward to see what feels out of alignment—are you depleted, over-extended, or impatient? It isn’t a question for the mind, but for the body. Then you make the space to attend to your own special needs. And as our inner lives come into balance, everything else does, too. Your skin will thank you!

An Extraordinary Element – Water

October 22nd, 2014

3In holistic healing, we often talk about coming into balance, guiding the whole being into its most natural state. But whenever that notion starts to sound a little esoteric, I like to remember that, more than almost anything, our health relies on our most precious, and most basic, resource—water. The connection is so fundamental, so essential, it’s easy to forget. But water is the key to keeping our bodies running strong and our skin glowing from within.

 

Water transports vital nutrients throughout the body, maintains the osmotic tone of the cells, and flushes out toxins, which happens even more quickly when we drink enough water. It’s a necessary in almost every bodily function, from energizing muscles and keeping fatigue at bay, to helping the heart pump blood efficiently. And water is skin’s best ally, carrying oxygen to the cells of our biggest organ, eliminating impurities, and improving circulation, all of which ignites that healthy radiance.

 

Still, water is not only crucial in supporting the wellbeing of our physical bodies, but serves to optimize our thought processes, transmitting our feelings and moods as an energy carrier, and facilitating communication between brain cells. They say that some 70% to 80% of the brain tissue is water. When you’re dehydrated, your body and your mind are stressed, which has both direct and indirect effects. (And if you're feeling thirsty, that’s a sign that you're already a bit dehydrated.) 

 

But while we might drink water to rehydrate and detoxify, water is also a primary food source, one that replenishes us with living energy and information. Just think, the electricity of our every idea or question or love passes through this vital fluid. Water also offers a profound connection to the world around us.

 

Spring water, which surfaces on its own and flows from the earth, is best of all, carrying with it electromagnetic vibrations from deep within our planet. This truly mature water is filled with energy that can replenish us, supercharging our life force.

 

Why not take pleasure in drinking the classic eight-glasses-of-water-a-day—with gratitude and wonder.

Message in a Bottle: Discover your Signature Aroma

October 2nd, 2014
fragrance blog - 2Sometimes we are so intensely drawn in by a scent, whether Rose, Lavender, Sandalwood, Neroli or fresh mint, that our delight in it is almost delirious. Don’t you love those moments? We feel that we simply can not get enough of that wonderful, transporting, heavenly aroma, inhaling it as deeply as we can and pulling it down, down, down into the lungs. But besides the joyous intoxication that nature’s most powerful scents can provoke, those that attract you most can also serve as a direct communique from your inner self, and the aromas that you’re most attracted to speak to the healing of your deepest self craves. Each has a signature all its own. Rose calls in love and beauty during times of stress. Lavender encourages bright calm. Sandalwood elevates the mood, and supports meditative wisdom. Neroli releases tension and removes blockages. And mint’s cooling and stimulating properties are renowned. That’s why we’ve incorporated pure essences into all our Tammy Fender formulations, from Bulgarian Rose Water to Bulgarian Lavender Body Oil to Quintessential Serum, which includes Rose, Frankincense and Chamomile in its potent mix. Just one deep inhalation can bring therapeutic benefits to body, mind and spirit, and, of course, the effects are only heightened through application directly to the skin. On the cellular level, once these essences enter our bodies, they work to rebuild, reinvigorate and fortify the very tissues that support us underneath it all. I love to utilize this often-neglected path to wellness. What scent suits you best? Which one is your favorite? Take advantage of all the natural world has to offer—don’t forget to stop and smell the roses!


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