ARTICLES

Emotional Health

What Lavender Essential Oil Can Do For You

There are many amazing essential oils to choose from, but lavender is definitely the most versatile and most widely used—it has been used for centuries! (Source)  Even though it is most often used for its sedative properties in modern times, it was traditionally used as an antiseptic agent, even as recently as World War 1. (Source 1; Source 2) Not only does lavender have a gentle, pleasant scent, but it is often used for reducing anxiety and improving sleep. And the benefits don’t stop there!  Keep reading if you want to learn more about lavender essential oil and how it can help you. The Many Health Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil Lavender is one of the more commonly referred to herbs when you hear about essential oils and sleep. In fact, there is a huge misconception that lavender is only good for sleep and calming. The truth is, there are several healing benefits of lavender that most people may not even know about. Here are a few of those healing benefits, what to know about attaining these benefits, and tips that you may need to know. When it comes to essential oils, lavender is one of the most popular and

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Natural Skin and Beauty

Dry Skin Brushing and How it Works

It can be hard to struggle with skin issues, whether it is acne, keratosis pilaris, stretch marks, spider veins, cellulite or something else.  While it is valuable, crucial even, to come to a place of acceptance and contentment with our bodies, that doesn’t mean that we can’t also take strides toward improving our inner and outer health! One natural remedy that might be your new best friend is dry skin brushing. Dry brushing  is the practice of using a dry bristle brush on different areas of your skin, usually on a daily basis. Skin is your largest organ, so it makes sense to take care of it! Why Should You Try it? “Dry brushing has been used for centuries by Scandinavians and Russians. More than 30 years ago, a Finnish doctor by the name of Paavo Airola prescribed this technique for his patients to detoxify, exfoliate and stimulate the skin.” (Source) There are several benefits to dry skin brushing. One of the main benefits is, of course, the removal of dry skin from the body through exfoliation. Some other benefits include the reduction of cellulite by increasing circulation. This helps you to produce new skin cells faster and keeps your

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Chronic Illness

Himalayan salt therapy and what it can do for you

  Salt therapy, or halotherapy, uses the chemical composition of pure pink Himalayan salt to raise negative ions in the air. This kind of feels like a day at the beach! It helps you feel relaxed, reduce stress, improve respiratory function, and more. Not only that, but it is 100% natural, drug-free, safe, noninvasive! We recently installed two salt walls and several salt lamps at Cornerstone Wellness Center, and I can tell a huge difference in how I feel. Origin of Himalayan Salt The only pure source of Himalayan salt is in the Punjab region of Pakistan, near the foothills of the Himalayas, where it is hand-mined from rock crystals. (Source) Himalayan salt comes from the primordial seas that dried up millions of years ago. Always do your research on where you obtain your Himalayan salt, ensuring it is from Punjab and is extracted using a gentle method. Some companies use explosives to mine their salt. They do this because they can get this salt much faster and cheaper, but the structure of the salt is compromised in the process. Himalayan salt gets its pink hue from the extra minerals it contains above and beyond normal sea salt. These include

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General

All About Making a Healthy Acai Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie bowls have been popular for several years, and the trend all started with the acai (ah-sigh-EE) bowl. Acai berries are small, dark purple, blueberry-like fruit grown on palm trees in South and Central America. Although they look like berries (and we will call them such) they are technically drupes like apricots or plums since they contain a pit. Acai’s use in smoothie bowls originated in Brazil, and since they are usually only found fresh in these areas, you typically find them in the form of frozen acai puree in the U.S. Benefits of Acai Acai berries are high in antioxidants, rich in fatty acids, and are majorly anti-inflammatory. This is due to the nutrients they contain like protocatechuic acid, procyanidins, anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins and epicatechin. Specifically, the antioxidant anthocyanin is a powerhouse. (Source) It may lower oxidative stress and inflammation, promoting brain health. Regular consumption of anthocyanins can reduce the risk of heart attack by 32 percent in young and middle-aged women. It also engagees in anticarcinogenic activities. The many nutrients in acai have been shown to: Improve cognitive function Alleviate Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases Improve heart health Contain anti-cancerous properties According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA),

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Emotional Health

Benefits of Using Guided Meditation

Meditation provides amazing benefits for your mental, emotional, and physical health. And with a study from 2015 showing that 16.1 million Americans reporting experiencing major depression during the previous year, we clearly are in great need for alternative and supplemental methods for treating depression. Studies have shown the efficacy of meditation for helping alleviate many conditions, most strongly those including depression, chronic pain, anxiety and high blood pressure. One neuroscientist showed how the changes in brain activity experienced by those who have learned to meditate remain steady even when they aren’t meditating! (Source, Source) If you think about the number of diseases, especially autoimmune, that are worsened by stress, it makes sense that a stress-relieving activity like meditation could be hugely beneficial. Not only can meditation help alleviate medical conditions, but it can also increase the brain’s ability to process information and may slow, stall, or even reverse changes in the brain due to aging. (Source) Even with all these benefits, meditation can seem intimidating if you’ve never tried it! If you have been wanting to test out meditation, but don’t know where to begin, you might want to start with guided meditation. I don’t want fear to keep anyone

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General

Anti-Inflammation and Micronutrients for Anti-Aging

If you have been looking into anti-aging remedies, you have probably come across a lot of topical products—some expensive, and some you can make at home. There are a lot of things you can try to slow the aging process, but if you are only looking skin deep, topical creams won’t help much. We’ve talked about inflammation as a root cause for disease, what if I told you inflammation also causes your skin to age more quickly? Understanding How We Age While there is no one factor or study that totally explains aging, there are generally two ways skin ages: intrinsic and extrinsic. (Source) Intrinsic aging is an inevitable physiological process that we all experience as we get older. Extrinsic aging is caused by external environment factors such as physical and psychological stress, alcohol intake, poor nutrition, overeating, environmental pollution, and exposure to UV radiation. Studies have shown that exposure to these factors induce the generation of free radicals as well as reactive oxygen species (ROS) of our own metabolism. Whoa. Lots of terms there. Let’s define a couple so we’re on the same page. Reactive oxygen species (ROS): A type of unstable molecule that contains oxygen and that easily

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General

Natural Ways to Treat a Sunburn

Sunburns may be a common occurrence for you, but they shouldn’t be! They’re a painful sign that you didn’t protect your skin and perhaps spent too long in the sun. Everyone needs to protect their skin, regardless of whether you get tan or not. Even people with darker skin can get burns, which comes with many risks to your health. (If you need some natural sunscreen options, check out my blog article on the topic here.) However I do encourage some sun exposure in moderation as it is wonderful for you physically and mentally. And since none of us are perfect, even the best laid plans fall short sometimes. When that happens and you start seeing that pinkish hue appear, it’s best to act quickly. After all, it can take up to 24 hours for the full effects to appear! (Source) Symptoms of Sunburn: Red, tender skin that is warm to the touch Blisters that develop hours to days later Severe reactions (sometimes called sun poisoning), including fever, chills, nausea, or rash Skin peeling on sunburned areas several days after the sunburn As soon as you see the signs, get yourself to the shade and treat it with some natural

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Inflammation

How Probiotics Help with Your Overall Health

Dealing with digestive issues can be difficult! Not just in the daily discomfort, but also in trying to figure out exactly what the problem is. Even after eliminating foods, changing your diet, and switching up your daily habits, you might still experience the same issues with your digestion. That’s where probiotics come in. You’ve probably heard the word “probiotics” used lately now that our understanding of the importance of gut health has grown. But you might not understand exactly what they are, be scared away by the terminology (what do “strains” have to do with it?), or not be sure how to use them for your benefit. So let’s dive in! Understanding What Probiotics Are If you’re somewhat unfamiliar with the concept of probiotics, then you’ll be happy to know that they could be a step towards some relief for a variety of issues in your gut. To get started, it would be beneficial to see where the belief in these tiny organisms began. To put it simply, probiotics are live microorganisms that are thought to have a positive effect on the body. The use of probiotics can be traced back to the early days of humanity, when fermentation processes

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Inflammation

AIP: How the Autoimmune Protocol Diet Can Relieve Your Symptoms

If you have been diagnosed with or suspect you have an autoimmune disease, your doctor might have (or should have!) recommended to change your diet. While making dietary and lifestyle changes can be difficult, it is worth the relief from symptoms in the long run. Especially since autoimmune diseases are notoriously hard to treat! Typically, you will start with an elimination diet so that you can figure out which foods trigger your symptoms. A popular option is to start with the autoimmune protocol diet, or AIP. What is the AIP diet? As with any new diet you try, the very first step is understanding what the diet is and why you follow certain rules of that diet. With the Autoimmune Protocol diet, your goal is to help reduce inflammation in your body and thereby the uncomfortable symptoms inflammation worsens. (Source) The Autoimmune Protocol diet, or AIP, is a type of restrictive diet meant to help you use food as medicine. That is the basic principle of the AIP diet. You are gaining a new relationship with the food you eat by focusing more on what is going to heal your body and prevent inflammation naturally by healing from the inside

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