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Archive for March, 2015

Just Smile

Wednesday, 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

Wednesday, 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

Saturday, 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



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