Herbal Tea

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There’s nothing nicer on a cold midwinter’s day than a soothing cup of herbal tea. But besides being a tasty, warming, caffeine-free pick-me-up, herbal tea has lots of wonderful health benefits. From soothing a troubled tummy to easing insomnia and calming a troubled mind, herbs have all sorts of healing powers. Drinking herbal tea can also be a great source of vitamins and minerals.

What is herbal tea?
Herbal tea isn’t really made from tea—which is a specific kind of plant. The French use the word tisane, which is a little more accurate, since herbal tea is really just an infusion of leaves, seeds, roots or bark, extracted in hot water. In drinking a well-steeped herbal tea, we get all the plant’s benefits in an easily digestible form.

The benefits of herbal tea
“In a lot of ways, we might get more benefit from a good organic tea than from a vitamin pill,” says herbalist Marianne Beacon of Elderberry Herbals in Peterborough, Ont. “You’re getting the benefits of hydration. There’s the social element: Tea is something that you can share with people. And when you’re drinking herbal tea, you get aromatherapy at the same time—and that’s something you don’t get from a tablet!”

That’s why Toronto-based herbalist Marcia Dixon says herbal tea should always be steeped in a covered vessel to contain the beneficial essential oils. “Otherwise, your room smells nice but you aren’t retaining the medicinal properties.”

How to choose a herbal tea
When it comes to choosing a herbal tea, both Dixon and Beacon agree that it’s important to look for a well-sourced product made from high-quality ingredients. If you’re drinking tea for the medicinal benefits, then definitely steer clear of products that add things like essential oils or flavours. And to really get the full benefits from drinking herbal tea, make sure you steep your loose tea or tea bags long enough—in some cases, as long as 10 to 15 minutes—to really bring out all the healthful properties.

Natural home remedies: Indigestion
“Anytime you’re ingesting something, you’re giving your body the building blocks it needs to manufacture tissues and hormones,” says Dixon. “If you drink tea every day, you can make all sorts of significant changes to your mood, your skin, your sense of well-being and energy.”

There are so many wonderful herbal teas to choose from. Here are a few of the most common. Don’t be afraid to try something new!

Peppermint tea
Halifax naturopath Colin Huska recommends drinking peppermint tea to relieve the symptoms of abdominal gas and bloating, and to relieve muscle spasms. It’s also good for nausea (without vomiting) and for heating up the body and making it sweat. If indigestion or heartburn are problems, however, then Dixon recommends avoiding peppermint altogether. Peppermint tea can also be made using fresh herbs from the garden—and it’s one of the easiest herbs to grow.

Ginger tea
Another great digestive aid, ginger can be used to curb nausea, vomiting or upset stomach due to motion sickness. Make fresh ginger tea by simmering a piece of ginger root on the stove for 10 to 15 minutes—add fresh lemon juice and honey when you have a cold for a powerful germ-fighting combination. Beacon also suggests making tea from powdered ginger to ward off a chill.

Chamomile tea
A gentle calming and sedative tea made from flowers, chamomile tea can be helpful for insomnia. It can also be helpful with digestion after a meal. Huska recommends chamomile in cases of cough and bronchitis, when you have a cold or fever, or as a gargle for inflammation of the mouth. Be sure to steep it well to get all the medicinal benefits.

Rooibos tea
High in vitamin C as well as other minerals, rooibos has all sorts of health benefits. An easy drinking tea, it’s largely grown in South Africa and has been touted for its antioxidant properties—which may in turn help ward off disease and the signs of aging. It has also been shown to help with common skin concerns, such as eczema.

Lemon balm tea
An easy-to-grow plant, lemon balm is helpful for lifting the spirits. “It’s good for the winter blahs,” says Deacon, “and it can help improve concentration.” She adds that lemon balm is safe for children and may help prevent nightmares when consumed before bed. This herb also makes a refreshing iced tea, and can be flavoured with lemon or maple syrup.

Milk thistle and dandelion tea
When consumed as a tea, milk thistle or dandelion are gentle liver cleansers. “They help the liver to regenerate and function at a higher capacity,” says Huska. “They can also assist in the production of bile, which can help with our digestive process.”

Rosehip tea
Rosehips are the fruit of the rose plant and are one of the best plant sources of vitamin C, which is important for the immune system, skin and tissue health and adrenal function. Consider reaching for rosehip tea next time you need a health boost.

Migraines & some causes

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Some people who suffer from migraines can clearly identify triggers or factors that cause the headaches, but many cannot. Potential migraine triggers include:

Allergies and allergic reactions

Bright lights, loud noises, and certain odors or perfumes

Physical or emotional stress

Changes in sleep patterns or irregular sleep

Smoking or exposure to smoke

Skipping meals or fasting

Alcohol

Menstrual cycle fluctuations, birth control pills, hormone fluctuations during menopause onset

Tension headaches

Foods containing tyramine (red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and some beans), monosodium glutamate (MSG), or nitrates (like bacon, hot dogs, and salami)

Other foods such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, avocado, banana, citrus, onions, dairy products, and fermented or pickled foods.
Triggers do not always cause migraines, and avoiding triggers does not always prevent migraines.

Skin analysis

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One of the most important steps in your practice is to take the time to perform a thorough skin analysis with a client (whether old or new). A brief look at their face does not provide enough information to sanction a more insightful, comprehensive profile to establish a more accurate pathway for long-term skin correction. Old paradigms no longer work. Statements such as normal-dry, combination, and sensitive are understatements when establishing the leading causes of these conditions and their effects on cells and systems. Furthermore, treatment and product choice is based on this analysis service. Your goal is to bring your client’s skin health into a more balanced state.

Examples: Repair of the acid mantle supports the skin’s first line of defense. It helps correct the natural moisturizing factors within bilayers. Rejuvenation of the spinosum layers may help with a more even dispersion of pigment. Attention to rebuilding the dermal structures improves overall skin density and texture.
Begin with a thorough health evaluation that includes age, skin type, nutrition, lifestyle, medications, genetic history and predispositions (as in, intrinsic characteristics such as eczema and allergic contact dermatitis and potential conditions), as well as extrinsic characteristics due to the client’s daily activities and lifestyle.
Secondly, ascertain the levels of damage. This becomes more apparent through careful examination of information obtained from the visual, the written, and your diagnostic tools.

Level 1: Oxidative Stress and Lipid Peroxidation that initiates its damage within the cells environs and membrane

Level 2: Mitochondria DNA damage. Destruction has cascaded to the membrane of the mitochondria.

Level 3: Mitochondria aging along with cellular senescence is a final result that affects the entire cell.

Lastly, invest in diagnostic tools such as a skin scanner and another electronic aid. Newer electronic devices can measure key indicators of the true health of the skin.

Lipid Levels: Skin lipids contribute to the first three lines of the skin barrier defense when determining the nutritional needs of the skin.
Epidermal Hydration: Measures the free water available in the dermal reservoir that is an indicator of the enzymatic action necessary for maintaining the barrier function.

Melanin Density: Reveals the melanin density down to the dermal junction. It is an indicator of the rate that melanogenesis occurs and potential hidden risk factors.

Erythema: This measures the level of vascularity and density of the microcirculation system within the dermis. Vascular matting (telangiectasia) is an indicator that there are issues with the breakdown of dermal structures such as at the dermal/epidermal junction as well as in the collagenmatrix.

The time invested in this service shows that you are a serious skin care professional who understands the science of the skin, the association between skin structure, function, and the leading causes of a skin condition. Moreover, you understand the cascade effect of structural breakdown within the skin such as what occurs in a poor acid mantle, the bilayers within stratumcorneum, damaged melanocytes, the flattening of the rete pegs at the epidermal/dermal junction and in the collagenmatrix. And one very important consideration is that you decrease your liability by avoiding potential mistakes.

Hydrotherapy

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Hydrotherapy is the use of water in the treatment of disease. The use of water for therapy has been around for hundreds of years, as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans, and forms an integral part in many traditional medicine systems. Learn why it is so beneficial for your health.

How Does Hydrotherapy Work?

The healing properties of hydrotherapy are based on its mechanical and/or thermal effects. It makes use of the body’s reaction to hot and cold stimuli, to the protracted application of heat, to the pressure exerted by the water, and to the sensation of the water itself. Nerves carry what is felt by the skin deeper into the body, where it is then vital in stimulating the immune system, influencing the production of stress hormones, improving circulation and digestion, encouraging the flow of blood, and lessening the body’s sensitivity to pain.

Generally speaking, heat is used to quiet and soothe the body, and to slow down the activity of internal organs. Cold is used to stimulate and invigorate, increasing internal activity within the body. If you are experiencing tense muscles or anxiety, heat is recommended in the shower or bath. For feeling tired and stressed out, it is recommended to take a warm shower or bath followed by a short cold shower to help stimulate the body and mind.

When submerged in a body of water such as a bath or a pool, there is a kind of weightlessness, as the water relieves your body of much of the effects of gravity. Water also has a hydrostatic effect and has a massage-like feeling as the water gently kneads your body. Water, when it is moving, stimulates the touch receptors on the skin, increasing blood circulation and releasing tight muscles.

Types of Hydrotherapy

Under the general heading of hydrotherapy, there are several techniques. These include baths and showers, neutral baths, sitz baths, contrast sitz baths, foot baths, cold mitten friction rub, steam inhalation, hot compresses, cold compresses, alternating hot and cold compresses, heating compresses, body wrap, wet sheet pack, and salt glow.

External hydrotherapy involves the immersion of the body in water or the application of water or ice to the body, while temperature-based hydrotherapy involve the different effects of hot or cold water on the skin and underlying tissues. Hot water relaxes muscles and causes sweating, and is used to treat arthritis, rheumatism, poor circulation, and sore muscles. It can be used in combination with aromatherapy. Cold water hydrotherapy is used to stimulate blood flow in the skin and underlying muscles. Temperature based treatments include the application of moist heat or cold to specific parts of the body. The application of moist heat is called fomentation, and is used for conditions such as chest cold, flu, or arthritis. Cold compresses or ice packs are used for sprains, headaches, or dental surgery. Body packs are used to calm psychiatric patients and for detoxification.

Sitz baths are where the patient sits in a specially made tub that allows the lower abdomen to be submerged in water that is a different temperature to the water around the feet. These baths are recommended for haemmorhoids, prostate swelling, menstrual cramps, and other genitourinary disorders. Motion-based hydrotherapy uses water under pressure such as in a spa, to massage the body and is commonly used for muscle or joint injuries as well as for stress and anxiety. Internal hydrotherapy includes colonic irrigation and enemas. Steam baths are also a form of internal hydrotherapy.

Conditions Helped by Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is used to treat many illnesses and conditions including:

acne
arthritis
colds
depression
headaches
stomach problems
joint, muscle, and nerve problems
sleep disorders
stress
It is also commonly used for relaxation and to maintain a person’s state of health. Hydrotherapy is also excellent for reducing or relieving sudden or long-lasting pain.

Benefits of Hydrotherapy

The benefits of hydrotherapy include:

dramatically increasing the elimination of waste, thus assisting detoxification
loosening tense, tight muscles and encouraging relaxation
increasing the metabolic rate and digestion activity
hydrating the cells, improving skin and muscle tone
boosting the immune system, allowing it to function more efficiently
improving the function of the internal organs by stimulating their blood supply
Contraindications for Hydrotherapy

Cold baths should not be used for young children or the elderly. Sauna baths should be avoided by people that suffer from heart conditions.

Stress-free foods

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Reach for these items next time you’re feeling under pressure, under the weather, or just too close to that breaking point. Munching on these stress-free foods will help pull you back into the game.

Oranges
A German study in Psychopharmacology found that vitamin C helps reduce stress and return blood pressure and cortisol to normal levels after a stressful situation. Vitamin C is also well-known for boosting your immune system.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes can be particularly stress-reducing because they can satisfy the urge you get for carbohydrates and sweets when you are under a great deal of stress. They are packed full of beta-carotene and other vitamins, and the fiber helps your body to process the carbohydrates in a slow and steady manner.

Dried Apricots
Apricots are rich in magnesium, which is a stress-buster and a natural muscle relaxant as well.

Almonds, Pistachios & Walnuts
Almonds are packed with B and E vitamins, which help boost your immune system, and walnuts and pistachios help lower blood pressure.

Turkey
Turkey contains an amino acid called L-tryptophan. This amino acid triggers the release of serotonin, which is a feel-good brain chemical. This is the reason why many people who eat turkey feel relaxed, or even tired, after eating it. L-Tryptophan has a documented calming effect.

Spinach
A deficiency in magnesium can cause migraine headaches and a feeling of fatigue. One cup of spinach provides 40 percent of your daily needs for magnesium.

Salmon
Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids protect against heart disease. A study from Diabetes & Metabolism found that omega-3s keep the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline from peaking.

Avocados
The monounsaturated fats and potassium in avocados help lower blood pressure. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says that one of the best ways to lower blood pressure is to consume enough potassium (avocados have more than bananas).

Green Vegetables
Broccoli, kale, and other dark green vegetables are powerhouses of vitamins that help replenish our bodies in times of stress. Snack Attact:

Lymphatic Massage Benefits

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Lymphatic massage is used in facial treatments to reduce congestion & puffiness. It is also effective in decreasing swelling & bruising from cosmetic surgery, liposuction, breast reduction or implants, & laser surgery. In addition, the technique can be used to reduce the appearance of varicose & spider veins, wrinkles, rosacea & acne.

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Lymphatic Massage: Promoting recovery & good health with a gentle touch
Lymphatic massage is a technique used since the 1930s to promote health & aid recovery from certain illnesses. Also called lymphatic drainage or manual lymph drainage, lymphatic massage is now widely used in European hospitals & clinics. It is becoming better known in the U.S. due to its benefits for breast cancer survivors. Used to promote wellness, this gentle technique can prevent or reduce fluid retention, enhance the removal of toxins from the body tissues, & support the immune system.

Promotes deep relaxation to aid with:
Insomnia,Depression Stress, and loss of vitality

Promotes Detoxification to aid with:
Cellulite Reduction
Major Detox of the system
Ease of pain from lactic acid after beginning a workout program

The Lymphatic System
Benefits of lymphatic massage stem from its ability to enhance the function of the lymphatic system. Lymph is a fluid rich in white blood cells that fight viruses, cancer & bacteria. Every 24 hours, about three quarts of lymph circulate around the body via an elaborate system of lymph vessels. Lymph carries the body’s waste to lymph nodes where filtering & detoxification occur. The swollen “glands” you feel in your neck when you are coming down with a virus are actually lymph nodes working to free the body of waste products.

Lymphatic Massage for good health
Lymphatic massage uses light, rhythmic touch to improve lymph circulation. If you are healthy, improved lymph flow can promote your vitality & sense of well-being. When the lymphatic system is not performing efficiently due to stress or illness, or when there’s an accumulation of fluid from infection, blockages or damage to the lymph vessels, lymphatic massage can aid recovery & enhance lymphatic system function.

How does Lymphatic Massage help?
When lymph flow is enhanced, toxic & infectious materials, as well as excess bodily substances like water & protein are removed more effectively from tissues. This supports the immune system & helps rid the body of wastes that can increase pain or cause fatigue. In scarred or otherwise injured areas, damaged cells & amp;inflammatory wastes can be moved out, helping to speed healing.

The Reduction of Swelling
Lymphatic massage can reduce the pain, inflammation & scarring associated with fluid retention, edema. Whether swelling is due to injury, cancer treatment, surgery or an illness such as fibromyalgia, lymphatic massage can have remarkable results. in conjunction with medical attention, it is also very effective for lymphedema, the chronic accumulation of lymphatic fluid in body tissues. Swelling & other discomforts stemming from sinusitis or allergies may also be reduced.

Skin Care & Cosmetic surgery
Lymphatic massage is used in facial treatments to reduce congestion & puffiness. It is also effective in decreasing swelling & bruising from cosmetic surgery, liposuction, breast reduction or implants, & laser surgery. In addition, the technique can be used to reduce the appearance of varicose & spider veins, wrinkles, rosacea & acne.

Stress & Pain relief
The gentle touch of lymphatic massage soothes & calms the nervous system. This can improve sleep & reduce depression, anxiety & other effects of stress. As attention shifts to the pleasant sensations of relaxation, the grip of pain may also gently recede. This deeply relaxing technique can even help relieve chronic pain from conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis & headaches.
Breast Care
Many people hear about lymphatic massage due to its ability to reduce pain & swelling associated with removal of lymph nodes during breast cancer treatment. If received regularly, it may also enhance the function of the healthy breast tissue with improved lymph flow. In addition, it can reduce discomforts of breast and/or nipples during & after pregnancy. Excellent relief for engorgement for breast feeding mothers.

Conditions requiring extra care
It is very important to inform your massage therapist if you have lymphedema or a damaged lymphatic system because special considerations are required. No massage techniques should be used on anyone with an active skin infection, thrombosis, an open wound or a fever. If you have heart or kidney disease or are seeing a doctor for any other reason, be sure to inform the practitioner.
What is a session like?

Because many of the lymph vessels are just under the skin, moving the lymph requires a very light touch, barely the weight of a teaspoon of water. Practitioners use flat hands and finger pads in painless, rhythmic movements light enough to be described as “feather touch.” Lymphatic massage can be incorporated into, and may enhance, your regular massage session. Expect it to feel much lighter and slower than standard massage. Most people experience lymphatic massage as deeply relaxing and some fall asleep.

After The Session
After your session, it’s possible to feel light-headed so you may wish to rest for an hour or two. You may also find that you feel rejuvenated, invigorated or simply lighter in the hours or days following as session. You may be thirsty during or after your massage, & you are advised to drink extra water.

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Acne Causes

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Three factors contribute to the formation of acne:

Overproduction of oil (sebum)
Irregular shedding of dead skin cells resulting in irritation of the hair follicles of your skin
Buildup of bacteria
Acne occurs when the hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Hair follicles are connected to sebaceous glands. These glands secrete an oily substance known as sebum to lubricate your hair and skin. Sebum normally travels up along the hair shafts and then out through the openings of the hair follicles onto the surface of your skin. When your body produces an excess amount of sebum and dead skin cells, the two can build up in the hair follicles and form together as a soft plug, creating an environment where bacteria can thrive.

This plug may cause the follicle wall to bulge and produce a whitehead. Or, the plug may be open to the surface and may darken, causing a blackhead. Pimples are raised red spots with a white center that develop when blocked hair follicles become inflamed or infected. Blockages and inflammation that develop deep inside hair follicles produce lumps beneath the surface of your skin called cysts. Other pores in your skin, which are the openings of the sweat glands onto your skin, aren’t normally involved in acne.

Factors that may worsen acne
These factors can trigger or aggravate an existing case of acne:

Hormones. Androgens are hormones that increase in boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives can also affect sebum production.
Certain medications. Drugs containing corticosteroids, androgens or lithium are known to cause acne.
Diet. Studies indicate that certain dietary factors, including dairy products and carbohydrate-rich foods — such as bread, bagels and chips, which increase blood sugar — may trigger acne.
Acne myths
Contrary to what some people think, these factors have little effect on acne:

Greasy foods and chocolate have proved to have little to no effect on the development or course of acne.
Dirty skin. Acne isn’t caused by dirt. In fact, scrubbing the skin too hard or cleansing with harsh soaps or chemicals irritates the skin and can make acne worse. Simple cleansing of the skin to remove excess oil and dead skin cells is all that’s required.