What’s the Hype about: COLLAGEN?

Collagen is one of those products that I thought I was familiar with, but I have discovered much more once I broke the surface on what there is to be know about the most abundant protein found in the body! I knew is is good for my hair, skin, and nails, but after reading a health article recently, I dove a little deeper into this protein structure. As we get older our body produces less and less collagen, and it’s important to substitute it through your diet if you are worried about signs of aging. There is beauty to be found in age, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done gracefully! I think keeping your hair skin and nails healthy can even be considered a practice of self care. Here’s a cute little picture of collagen below.

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Currently there are a lot of different varieties of collagen available. What’s important to note is that there is not necessarily “vegan” collagen available. It’s simply not synthesized by plants. It’s synthesized within animals, and depending on what type it is (I, II, and III) it then has a variable of bioavailability for us. Bioavailability is our bodies ability to absorb and use a material in our bodies.

A majority of collagen is produced from the bovine industry, and there are some varieties of marine collagen available. There is a collagen supplementation process that can be vegan, but due to the nature of the rest of this article I will focus primarily on the difference between the types of collagen we typically see on the shelves.

Collagen is what holds together our hair, skin, bones, joints and nails. At its beginning form it is a gelatinous consistency. Molecularly very large at this phase, it is more difficult for us to digest collagen like this. It is not as bio available as collagen that has been hydrolyzed. Hydrolyzed Collagen is also called Collagen Peptides. The smaller molecular format is more bio available for us. And once consumed, Collagen Peptides are broken down into Amino acids in the body! The magical part about collagen is that it actually acts as a catalyst to encourage our body to make more of its own collagen as well!

Some brands give you lots of options to choose from when it comes to flavor. Collagen also comes as unflavored powder. It is safe to consume up to 30 grams of collagen in a day, but it’s recommended to start around 2.5 grams in a serving. It is easily hidden in yogurt, smoothies, and coffee! Currently I have been experimenting with supplements and powders. I can definitely see a difference in my skins elasticity on my entire body! As always make sure you’re drinking enough water to keep your digestive system active as well. And let me know in the comments below if you have any questions, comments, or new products I should check out!!

https://www.wellandgood.com/good-advice/collagen-supplements-youtheory/

https://www.vitalproteins.com/blogs/stay-vital/collagen-peptides-vs-marine-collagen-difference

What's that Noise? - Sound Therapy

Sound healing is a practice that dates all the way back to ancient Greece when it was believed that music could cure mental illness. This isn’t surprising considering the well known soothing qualities of listening to music. But music isn’t the only calming thing we can listen to. We can also listen to color.

I’m not talking about synesthesia! Color frequencies are renown for their ability to help us sleep at night. If you have ever used a sound machine with waves, or white noise, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. I am a huge fan of pink noise, brown noise, and white noise at night. But there is also, red, green, and every color in between available on youtube and spotify! These frequencies help calm our mind, and drown out the background soundtrack of our lives.

As I mention in this post about color therapy, different colors are associated with different energies! If you feel drawn to a specific frequency, do some background digging and see if anything associated to that color is relative to your life right now. You might be surprised.

Also here is another great article on color noise. (:

Singing along, dancing or moving to music, playing an instrument, and meditating are also types of sound therapy. These expressions of self, help us cope with emotional conflicts and increasing self awareness. When exposed, it can also help us break down our walls of isolation, create new channels for communication, improve our confidence/ self-esteem, and fight depression.

Aerobic exercise is another physical benefit of actively participating in sound therapy. But when it is too much, or some one is not able, there are other physical ways to administer healing frequencies to the body.

Vibroacoustic therapy is a form of therapy that administers audible sound vibrations through physical touch to alleviate things like high blood pressure or restrained breathing. It is great for promoting relaxation and has also reduced symptoms of pain in cancer patients, people recovering from surgery, and expecting mothers.

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Research has, and continues to be studied in these areas. Science and medicine have long fought precedence over old healing treatments, but typically it is found that a conjunction lies in our ability to adapt technology to validate the medicine of old beliefs. I advocate strongly on merging faith and fact and have just a few more modalities of Sound Therapy to share with you today.

Tuning Fork Therapy is similar to acupuncture. In this therapy vibrations are administered along your meridians. Discovered in ancient eastern medicine as the pathways that Qi energy flows through, there are acupuncture, or pressure, points that exist along these pathways. When your energy is blocked, treatments at these points helps return the flow of energy. The tuning fork is is struck upon a rubber pad and the opposite end is placed on your acupuncture points. They longer the fork vibrates, the more open the flow of energy is through this access point.

I have actually had the pleasure of viewing this treatment first hand and can vouch for it’s functionality. The practitioner has gem tipped tuning forks in a variety of sizes. While they are typically used between two individuals, you can also administer Tuning Fork therapy on yourself on the points you are able to reach!

Nordoff-Robbins is a new finding for me. Sound healing for developmental delays, and creating coping mechanisms for disabled individuals, this program sometimes sets a goal of working towards a performance. It is administered by professionals who have completed the Nordoff Robbins two year master program only. They use music that is familiar with the patients, as well as working together to create new music. It is the UK’s leading music therapy program, and you can learn more about it here.

Our Biggest Enemy - The Common Cold

There's no way to avoid it, every time it gets hot, and every time it gets cold the pollen gets a floatin, my sinuses erupt, and I'm an irritable puddle of who I usually am.  The common cold, or Acute viral nasopharyngitis, is highly contagious and primarily affects the upper respiratory system. 

 

This year was no exception and this week particularly caught my immune system rendered weak. So here's the path of holistic treatments I'm using to combat my cold

 

NOTE: * I am not a doctor.

 

With that at being said, the majority of what I'm about to tell you is extremely simple and are small practices you can add to your everyday routine to help AVOID getting sick. And I admit that my lack of dedication the last week is what landed me in this position.

At this point I'm on the upswing though. And I’m ready to be back on top of my health regime.

 

1.) Garlic Honey Tincture  

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Antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti inflammatory,  garlic is a superfood when it comes to colds. Its also full of antioxidants, and selenium. The chemical exchange between allin and alline, two compounds in garlic, spawns allicin when a clove is crushed.

Allicin is designed as a defense mechanism against microbial pathogens. It's also responsible for the smell we relate to garlic, which is not evident in unchopped, or inactivated garlic. In combo with an ever powerful (LOCAL) honey this is one of the most effective remedies I've ever used. And hers how to do it.

 - finely mince one whole garlic clove. There are about 15 cloves in a bulb so there are multiple doses that you can get from a single bulb. Now, you'll have to shuck this little guy, and cut off the rough rooted end. At that point your ready to mince.

- allow the allicin to activate for around 7 minutes for full potency. Take this time to prepare a nice glass of water or tea for after you consume the garlic. 

 - scoop up the minced garlic into a spoon, and cover with honey. It's much easier to consume this way. 

 

And voila. You're cured! ....... I'm totally kidding, but repeating this process up to 3 times a day dramatically reduces symptoms and the pizzeria-esque smell is almost comforting after a while.

 

2.) SWEAT

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You heard me. Sweat it out. Sweating helps us excrete toxins that build our system. Whether you're power flowing through a bikram class, or taking it easy in a sauna, you'll feel loads better after you flush toxins out through the skin, and nothing feels quite as revitalizing as a good yoga session

 

3. Rehydration 

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Water is a vital part of our every day health needs, and when you're feeling crummy, you need more water than ever. Clean, room temp water, at least 8 glasses a day will help your body process the crud. Hot liquids are great too! In fact coffee has been known to improve alertness in people with colds. Teas with with cinnamon, ginseng, peppermint, echinacea, sarsaparilla, and licorice, are what’s filling my cup this week. 

As always, I encourage you to share your experience with these remedies, and comment anything you'd like to add to the conversation! Spring has sprung, and now just as much as ever, we need to help our bodies to maintain optimum performance. 

What’s the hype about: SALT LAMPS?


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If you haven't heard of them already, where have you been the last few years? Definitely not online deeply submerged in holistic health trends, or the Urban Outfitters "Clearance on Home Accents" section.. But enough about my friday night fun. Himalayan Salt is chocked full of health benefits, and if you're a holistic alternative fan, it's time to invest in one for your home! 

 

"All matter (the human body, air, water, etc) is made up of molecules which are made up of atoms which are made up of three types of particles: protons (positive charge), electrons (negative charge), and neutrons (no charge). Electrons orbit their molecules like planets revolve around a star. Occasionally an electron flies off and when it does, it leaves behind a positively-charged ion whose sole purpose in life becomes to fill the void left by its little lost electron. In other words: it wants to steal a replacement electron from another molecule. Due to differences in molecular structure (number of electrons in the outermost orbit, strength and structure of electron bonds, etc) some materials lose electrons much more easily than others. " - naturallivingideas.com

 

For those of us who suffer from allergeries and asthma, ( I am afflicted by both and can atest to the assistance from these lamps. ) Himalayan pink salt is a great way to eliminate, or at least cut back on your frequent use of nasonex or your inhaler. They do however make pink salt inhalers which I have yet to try, but would love to in the future. Their fairly affordable and can be found on amazon.com. A lamp or two in the room you spend then most time should cut back on symptoms after a few weeks. If you live in a heavily humid region like I do, which is highly likely to spike your reactions, I recommend leaving the lamp on a frequently as possible. 

Hygroscopy.. New word right? It's how these hunks of salt with lightbulbs inside remove dust, pollen, and even cigarette smoke from the air. More aesthetic than air purifiers, salt lamps actually evaporate the contaminants and reabsorb them into the salt crystal. This process begins when you heat up the lamps, which are recommended to stay on at least 14 hours a day for optimum performance.

Here's another unknown criminal at work which salt lamps just love to combat. The eletronics in our homes.. These energy charged devices are releasing airborne particles that aren't particularly good for one's health. Meaning many of our homes and workspaces have these positively charged ions floating around with when come in contact with the cilia (microscopic hair lining the trachea) cause them to perform poorly and they don't do as well to keep contaminents out of our lungs. Salt lamps doing their miraculous feat clean those pesky positive ions and improve cilial activity, keeping foreign particles and the coughs it induces at bay. 

Contradictory to preconcived notions, positively charged ions actually sap our energy. Which when put into perspective, makes a lot of sense as they're coming from electronic devices which we have all noticed will drain you after a day of staring at a screen. These EM's as their called (which stands for electromagnetic raditation, are invisible but the long term effects can lead to increased stress levels, chronic fatigue, and decrease one's immune system. Activities that we find invigorating such as a fresh shower, or a day spent consuming fresh air, expose us to concentrated negative ions. So when you're spending more time, indoors, click on that lamp for some ion cleansing for a similar effect. As they purify EM's radiating negative electrons back into the air, you will notice the difference in your concentration level mood and energy when you place a salt lamp near your personal computer, office computer, or TV. 

These positively charged ions also reduce blood pressure and oxygen supply making it even harder for us insomniacs to fall asleep, and causes irregular sleeping patterns. This type of cycle can make us grumpy so the fact that improves your blood and oxygen supply to the brain and other organs, as well as providing a boost of serotonin – the neurotransmitter which makes us (literally) feel happy.  I personally keep mine near my bed for this reason, to help combat seasonal affective disorder. Even if you have to sleep in total black calmness, keeping it on all day should suffice to induce a nice sleep cycle that evening.

 

 

Essential Oils for Gurus to Skeptics

 

 Currently there are over 300 varieties of essential oils. Concentrated essences of herbs, plants, flowers, and fruit has inspired entire industries (fragrances and pharmaceuticals), available at most pharmacies, grocery store and gas stations. They have been used for millenniums in ancient cultures, and today modern science has proven and recorded the mysteries behind these once seemingly miraculous experiences. 

Essential Oils can be antiseptic, anti inflammatory, antibacterial and more. 

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On a molecular level essential oils are very powerful!! They are technically considered chemical compounds derived from phenylpropane (plant matter) They are then, identified as precursors for amino acids, when broken down to this level.

These (amino acids) are the acids which link proteins together to provide the building blocks for just about everything in the human body including our bones, skin, and nails. Another large group of compounds in essential oils are responsible for the production of hormones, vitamins, and energy.

To break it down, essential oils are the high-grade fuel of plants. And when we take these into our body, they are naturally secreted by the digestive, endocrine, and respiratory system. Often times these compounds are synthesized to create medication drugs. but the difference is that these synthesized compounds are rarely easy for the body to break down and metabolize.

 

Hippocrates the father of holistic medicine is quoted for prescribing a daily aromatic baths and massages for optimum health. In Greek and many other developed ancient cultures such as the Egyptians and Chinese, most people were familiar with and practiced healing with locally available essential oils. They recorded their findings, believing the knowledge to be valuable enough to write in scrolls and on the walls of their temples!

Today we have the most available selection known to human kind, and little do we realize our good fortune. Essentials oils are finally regaining their rightful place in the medicine cabinets of a modern home.

They can help with

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pains    

sprains    

headaches    

stomach pains    

the eyes     the gums    

burns     stress    

skin    hair    mood problems    

respiratory problems    

 

 

For those of you looking to begin your practice with essential oils, I would recommend researching and finding a reptuable supplier, there are many to chooose from, Rose Mountain being one of my favorites.  I have accumulated eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, peppermint, ginger, geranium, lemon, and would recommend you to find oils that suit your needs. 

 

 

Face Mapping

After a holiday full (ha!) of delicious baked goods, and an usual assortment of foods, my tummy and body have been talking back. I have always been a sucker for chocolate, knowing the result would be a cluster of acne on my cheeks. Always in the same spot. Always. This year was no exception,  although I tried mightely to ignore the sweets table. A few spots in that same old spot. But a few appeared that I was not familiar with, on my hairline. I don't use a lot of makeup in that area so I couldn't think of a reason for it to have popped up there. Having never dealt with acne prone skin, I was curious as to what the cause was, and how to treat it.. 

 

Many of us go to doctors to cure our symptoms, when we should be curing the problem. That's what holistic medicine means. I practice it, and can atest to it's success, and the internal feeling of accomplishment when I'm able to cure a problem. Curing the problems means that the symptoms are extinguished, and I'll be able to prevent the same situation in the future. 

 

Anyways, back to the root of this post. Facemapping is an essential tool in my skincare routine. It has helped me identify underlying issues in my lungs, bladder, and reproductive organs. Our skin is our largest organ, and it is in tune with the rest of our body. Our body uses it in fact, to alert us when something is amiss. This is one of those micro/macroisms that is just another beautiful part of our divine design. Check out the infographic below to diagnose your blemishes, and do some research on your own (or ask me questions below) to come up with a plan of action.  

 

May your insides be health, and your skin be radiant. 

 

Alivia   

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Dry Brushing

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I started dry brushing about one year ago, and couldn't praise it enough. And along with the health benefits it has, it just feels G O O D.

The first step to establishing an easy routine, is to find a brush that fits you. If you're new to the practice or you have delicate skin, opt for a silkier brush, if you're constantly combating dry skin and rough patches, a more heavy duty brush might serve you better.

Currently my practice entails dry brushing in the tub before I turn on the shower. I dry brush in the tub so that all of the dust that comes off of me is easily rinsed down the drain. Followed by a cool shower, and some coconut oil to rehydrate, this is necessary winter routine.

You know those funny looking brushes on the bath isle that look like something your grandparents would use to wash their back? That's what you want.

Be sure to start at your heart and then out to your extremities, brushing away in swift sweeping motions. You can also brush in circular motions on the back of your thighs, and hips to breakdown cellulite. What you're doing essentially is removing all of the dead skin cells, and the need for cell renewal improves your circulation, leaving your skin healthy, warm, and soft.

I have also noted a change in my bodies reaction to cold from this. No longer do my leg hairs sprout inches from a chilly wind. They remain calm cool and collected through the winter weather.

If you take this practice up and would like to share your experience or have tips and suggestions, leave them in the comment section below!

Screen Time

A few weeks ago, there was a girl in my coffee shop working on a computer with a very orange tinted screen. Trying not to be too nosy towards a stranger, i was intrigued by this. I have read about people using tinted glasses to prevent migraines, which can be a result of spending too much time in front of a brightly lit screen.

Screen time especially at night before bed, can wreck havoc not only on our eyes, but our sleep patterns. We're tricking our brain into thinking it's still day time, and then quickly switching over to complete darkness with little, to no time to adjust. 

The little change of adjusting the brightness with a colored filter seems like a brilliant way to eliminate the problem, and moderate your intake of confusing, and migraine inducing light. Studies have found that the colored filters aid cognition for those with dyslexia, and has been shown to improve timed reading scores. While it might take some getting used to, I'm going to begin modifying my personal screens. I have considered going through settings and selecting an inverse color retina display, but when viewing photos it is a bit confusing so I have opted for applying a colored filter from http://www.aurelitec.com/colorveil/. Blue is calming, Sepia nostalgic, there are plenty of options to choose from. Although according to this article from the New York Times, orange is the best, believed because it blocks out the blue light responsible for sleep deprivation. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/07/can-orange-glasses-help-you-sleep-better/?_r=0

 I'm looking forward to playing around with it to see what type of filter best fits my screen usage.

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Herbalism

Working at an all natural coffee and tea shop I have become familar with herbs and their properties, it's quite fascinating and I have been considering the possiblity of immersing myself into the apothocary trade for a while. That is, the use of herds and natural resources to combat ailments and disease. Not long after I an organic seed catalog showed up ony my front door. So i feel that i've been promted to thouroughly investigate possibilty of making things to help friends and family members fight excema, arthritis, common colds, and even cancer. 

 

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I'll be documenting this journey as I begin studying holistic wellness through South Western Institute of the Healing Arts in January! Once Licensed in Holistic Wellness I'll be able to provide a variety of products on this website to share the gift of holistic healing with all of you!