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Posts Tagged ‘wellbeing’

A Little Tenderness

Thursday, May 4th, 2017
Blog_May2017_565x376web Lately, on my days in the treatment room, I’ve been finding myself prescribing more tenderness to almost everyone I treat. It seems that so many of us these days need a little more care and a little more time and focus to address our sensitivities, on every level, with warm gentleness. And what could be more natural during the month when we celebrate Mother’s Day, than to reintroduce a loving, nurturing touch to our daily routines? It’s often said that the skin serves as a mirror, showing so easily what’s going on inside. We blush when we’re embarrassed. The under-eyes are heavy when we’re tired. And when we’re stressed, the skin mirrors that reality. It’s incredible to think that when our bodies first formed in the womb, the brain, nervous system and skin all developed from the same cells, and that special connection reveals itself when our emotions play out through the skin. You know how the complexion just glows when someone is newly in love, or the way in which it dulls when times are rocky. Stressed skin heals more slowly and is more reactive, while, at the same time, cortisol undermines its strength, breaking down collagen and causing premature aging. And yet, beyond the way that emotions effect us, the skin might also be overwhelmed with personal care products, irritation through food allergies, or inflammation due to environmental factors. There’s a lot going on! My wish is that we could all take the time to give the skin a break—a real chance to rest and breathe. Throughout the day I like to stay mindful of my breath, stopping to take a dozen deep replenishing breaths whenever I can, drawing fresh oxygen down into the lower belly and letting the exhale happen on its own. But it’s also important to give the skin time to simply be, washing off any makeup and whisking away environmental toxins as soon as you come home. At the same time, if you feel you are processing a lot of emotion, or busyness, you might give your liver a boost. The liver breaks down toxins in the body, and when its overwhelmed, those materials pass through the skin instead. Raw vegetable juices are great support in the detoxification process, and it’s also so beneficial to include plenty of magnesium in your diet. This natural stress reducer is found in dark, leafy greens, seaweed, avocados, bananas, and oily fish (mackerel, sardines and tuna). My Purifying Cleansing Gel formulation includes magnesium-rich Alfalfa leaf, which so beautifully re-balances the complexion, while a simple Epsom salt bath also delivers magnesium through the skin. Just like a mother might soothe her little one, I hope you’ll feel inspired this month to follow your intuition with a mother’s care, feeling into what your skin needs right now, and guided by the sweet touch of tenderness.

A Time of Alignment

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

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Whenever I synchronize my intentions and energies with the forces of nature all around us—whether by getting in tune with each new season as it arrives, or making time to just be in the garden, or by keeping an eye on the stars—I notice what strength it brings my heart and what a boost it lends to my daily rhythm. So for me, this month is all about coming into alignment, underlining the natural connections that empower us, and those that lead us towards joy.

If you have an astrological bend, you may have noted reports that the end of 2016 also marked an end of a bigger cycle, introducing a time when every planet in our solar system is moving forward, a more harmonious alignment than at any other point in their collective orbit patterns. The star-watchers say that between January 7 and February 6th, we have a chance not only to shed what is no longer useful to us, and to inspire change at the most fundamental levels, but also to come together in a fresh way by tapping into the energetic momentum of this moment. It’s the kind of cosmic shift that has the potential to uplift and expand so many possibilities, for abundance and for brightening the collective consciousness. It’s a very sweet synchronicity.

Of course, nature’s own medicinal gifts offer the perfect bridge into these bright times. One great way to connect with the specific vibration of the day is through Helichrysum, which not only has miraculous effects on the skin, stimulating new cell growth and strengthening connective tissue, but which can move stagnant chi energy. Like no other remedy, Helichrysum calls in alignment. It’s an essence that can gently, lovingly nudge us and guide us forward, and its energetic frequency resonates with the heart and with that of the earth, bringing the two closer together. You can experience the Pure Living Energy of Helichrysum through my Intensive Repair Balm, or by introducing the essential oil into your daily routine.

It’s a wonderful new year—Let’s come into alignment as we come together.

I’m feeling so very fortunate to continue this journey with you.

The Power of Curiosity: Keep the Spark Alive

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016
blog-photo-books Every evening, after precious time with my family, enjoying each other’s company, I have the lucky opportunity to indulge my great private passion—reading and researching surrounded by a giant pile of books.

It may not sound exciting, but those happy hours I spend in following my curiosity absolutely fuel my days, and, as recent scientific research has shown, cultivating curiosity is one of the keys to living a joy-filled life. I’m happy to share with you some of my thoughts on tuning into curiosity.

Embrace the New: When we encounter new things, our bodies naturally release dopamine, the neurotransmitter which activates the brain’s pleasure center. This is true for trying new foods, listening to new music, making new friends, and planting new seeds. Our innate capacity for adventure brings a sweet tingle through all our cells, and especially when we are enjoying the wonders of the natural world. Visiting nature with an open sense of curiosity, allows excitement and wonder and curiosity to course through us. It is incredibly healing medicine.

Change the Channels: So often in our days, when facing the unknown, we fall into worry. Curiosity—while often described as anxiety’s close cousin—meets the unexpected with joy instead of dread. Following your own sense of curiosity creates new pathways in the brain, increasing the number of neurons and neural connections. And in helping the brain remember that love of curiosity, which was certainly there in each of us as a child, we become flexible and resilient and regain our love of surprise.

Fresh Eyes: What’s incredible, however, is that we don’t have to wander far in order to cultivate curiosity. While it’s fascinating to see life from a different perspective by breaking out of our old routines, which happens so often for me when I travel, bringing curiosity into the everyday is also a thrill. I think you’ll be amazed what can happen when you set out for a short walk or even your daily commute with the intention of seeing something you have never noticed before. The world can seem to vibrate as we tune into curiosity and suddenly so much unseen beauty is revealed in our everyday lives.

Young at Heart: When we strive to learn something new every day, the heart stays active and the mind bright. We often associate the alertness and enthusiasm of curiosity with youth, but curiosity is something that we don’t have to give up as we grow older. In fact, quite the opposite, curiosity guards the mind against rigidity as we age.

Listening In: In a way, as with meditation and many mindfulness practices, practicing curiosity has an incredible ability to bring us closer to our own intuitions, and to finding our own inner guidance. We never know what we’ll find by listening in deeply and being willing to follow the heart into fascinating new realms. But that’s the point! When we stay curious, we may even discover the kind of rich happiness that breathes fresh meaning into life.

Hands-On

Monday, June 20th, 2016
  Blog Image_TF Hands I’ve often felt that my work comes through my hands, whether I’m working one-on-one in the treatment room or blending formulas in the apothecary. Touch is a transmission of energy, and of intention, holding so much potential in all that we do. Our hands communicate our thoughts with subtle eloquence, but they also facilitate our most important connections, not only through our work, but in touching the things and people we love, or so simply when we prepare a meal or bring flowers to a vase. It feels especially wonderful to cherish these precise, beautiful instruments—our hands—with extra loving care. At the Spa, we always take time to protect and nourish the delicate skin of the hands, but also to activate their natural capacity for healing with massage, which so easily brings relaxation to the whole being. You can try this at home: After a bath or a shower, try wrapping the hands in a warm towel for a few moments, then treat yourself to a simple hand massage with Rose Geranium & Tangerine Body Lotion. (Working in a circular motion will encourage micro-circulation.) The formulation contains phytohormones that firm and tone the skin, while also stimulating cell metabolism and regeneration. Rose soothes the heart and rebalances the Qi. Geranium calms the nerves. At the same time, while almost every ancient medicinal tradition utilizes healing pressure points on the hands to support wellness, there are two especially sensitive points which are easy to find: the webbing between index finger and thumb is richly sensitive. The point is called the Valley of Harmony in Chinese medicine, and helps relieve overall tension and any pain. The second point is known as the Gate of Spirit, and encourages emotional calm. When your hand is palm-up, it’s easy to find a small indentation along the pinky side, just where the wrist and palm meet. You'll know this vibrant spot when you find it!  And you may discover that these points could do with an extra moment or two of focus. Honoring the hands in this simple way can be a true pleasure.

Spring Cleansing

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016
Curtain Blowing With the remarkable recent upsurge in our collective urge to joyfully de-clutter the places where we live, there’s a revolution afoot! And I love to see friends and clients make that big leap, clearing out what is no longer loved from their homes in order to make room for what’s new, and trusting life to reveal the next chapter in these newly-opened spaces. What release and power! We can bring this exuberant cleansing drive into every aspect of our lives—especially now, supporting springtime’s upwelling of new growth with some therapeutic seasonal purification. On the physical level, that might mean choosing—even temporarily—a purifying plant-based diet that includes powerhouse foods such as artichokes, beets and avocados, all of which support the liver, our most important detoxifying organ. When the eliminatory system is overloaded, we can feel sluggish and dull, which is, in turn, reflected in the skin. But revitalizing our diets, we usher in a vibrant new energy that holds wonderful benefits for the complexion (especially when boosted by a purifying at-home facial protocol utilizing my award-winning Epi-Peel and detoxifying Purifying Luculent Masque). In the same way, on the emotional and spiritual levels, an accumulation of day-to-day stress can develop into the sort of negative build-up that holds us back, if we don’t take the opportunity to whisk it away. Many traditional cultures rely on the cleansing and protecting capacities found in a natural body of water to wash away such blockages. Spending time by a steam, lake or ocean with the intention of releasing any energies that are no longer beneficial to you can be a great support. Similarly, at home, you might take a purifying bath, steeping the warm water with a sachet of the detoxifying herbs we use in holistic medicine (1 to 2 cup blend of dried lavender flower, rosemary, mint and sage leaves), and then soaking while you hold an intention to release and re-energize. In your home, open the windows wide and let the spring breeze blow through, clearing away any stagnation. Cleanse the objects you use to keep you centered—stones, crystals, sacred jewelry or images—clearing their energy fields with resonating sound vibrations (as from a small bell) or with a natural water source, sunlight or moonlight. Really, there’s no wrong way to do it. Simply allow your creativity and intuition to guide you, and let yourself get swept up in this new and old-styled spring cleaning—inviting focus, clarity, freshness and happiness to all that we do.


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