Skin Brushing Benefits Those with Chronic Fatigue

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The skin is the largest organ in the body, and the most powerful route for eliminating toxins. That is why it is essential that people with Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and other diseases associated with toxic overload regularly skin brush. More than 2lbs of waste are eliminated each day. Sunshine and air are also taken in through the skin. In fact, it can be said that our skin actually breathes. Skin Brushing has been shown to help the skin detoxify and renew itself.

Unfortunately, the skin of most people is unable to efficiently detoxify because it is clogged with dead skin cells and waste excreted through sweating that has not been removed. Dry skin brushing is a simple, inexpensive way of removing the waste from the skin and breaking down old toxic deposits. Skin brushing eliminates dead skin cells so that the new layer, which is regenerated daily, can come to the surface, making the skin soft and smooth. Skin brushing also gets the lymphatic system flowing so that it can perform its tasks effectively.

The lymph is the fluid that brings nutrients to our cells while removing waste. In fact, it is the primary vehicle for elimination. Unlike the blood, which has the heart to pump it, the lymphatic system is dependent upon outside forces such as exercise and massage for its circulation around the body. Most people are not able to get a massage every day, and far too few people in modern society get regular exercise. Dry skin brushing prompts the body to release its toxic deposits into the lymph, whilst simultaneously cleansing the lymph itself.

Because of its powerful ability to release the skin’s detoxification potential and to cleanse mucoid deposits from the cells directly into the colon, dry skin brushing is considered to be an essential part of any intestinal cleansing program.

The best time to skin brush is before a bath or shower. For optimal results, skin brush every day. Your skin may feel tender at first, but if you continue to brush your skin on a regular basis, you will soon feel the benefits, and your skin will come to crave the daily brush!

The entire surface of the skin should be brushed, with the exception of any broken or cracked skin and the face, which is generally too sensitive to be brushed. It is imperative that the brushing be carried out when your body is dry. The brush should also be kept dry so that the bristles don’t become soft and lose their effect.

In order to maximize the lymphatic benefits of dry skin brushing, the skin should be brushed according to the locations of the two lymph plexuses. The majority of the lymph in the body drains into the thoracic duct, located near the heart. However the lymph from the upper-right quadrant of the body (the right side of the face, neck and chest, including the right arm, and following the line of the ribs down) drains into the right lymphatic ducts, located above the liver, under the right breast.

The skin should therefore be brushed in long, firm strokes up the legs and in towards the heart, except for the upper-right quadrant, which should be brushed downwards towards the liver (under the right ribcage) and the right breast.

Skin care expert reveals the 15 most toxic chemical ingredients in beauty products… are you poisoning yourself?

Image: Skin care expert reveals the 20 most toxic chemical ingredients in beauty products… are you poisoning yourself?

 

-Fragrances – According to Dr. Cates, fragrance mixtures may contain hundreds of individual chemicals that may trigger allergies and disrupt certain hormones. He suggests avoiding fragrances unless in their natural form such as pure essential oils.
-Formaldehyde – Nearly one in five personal care products contain this chemical. This toxic chemical can be found in hair care products, adhesives and nail products. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), formaldehyde is a carcinogenic chemical associated with the onset of various forms of cancer.
-Ethanolamines – According to the skin care expert, impurities in these chemicals may trigger the onset of certain types of cancer.
-Mineral oils – These oils, along with petroleum, are key ingredients in cosmetic products such as foundation, moisturizers and cleansers. However, these chemicals contain dioxane. According to Dr. Cates, dioxane is found to be carcinogenic in various animal studies.
-Oxybenzone – This harmful chemical is commonly found in lip balms, sunscreens, and other products that contain SPF. Oxybenzone is found to be easily absorbed in the bloodstream, and is associated with the onset of early puberty in girls.
-Parabens – Parabens are commonly used preservatives in various beauty products. The chemical is linked to breast cancer cell growth in women and lower testosterone levels and sperm count in men.
-Hydroquinone – According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), hydroquinones may cause ochronosis, a skin disease characterized by disfiguring and irreversible lesions on the skin. Hydroquinones are also found to be carcinogenic.
-Coal tar – Coal tar is a known carcinogenic. The chemical can be found in dandruff shampoos, creams, soap, and ointments.
-Toluene – According to Dr. Cates, toluene is a potent neurotoxic chemical and may trigger impaired breathing and nausea. Toluene is commonly found in nail care products.
-Butylated hydroxyanisole – BHA is a waxy compound that is used in various cosmetics and personal care products such as eye shadow and lipstick. The U.S. National Toxicology Program has identified BHA as a potential carcinogen, while the European Union (EU) classified the chemical as an endocrine disruptor.
-Triclosan and triclocarban – These chemicals are commonly used as antibacterial agents in personal care products. Both chemicals are known endocrine disruptors.
-Mica, silica, talc, and nanoparticled titanium dioxide – According to Dr. Cates, these minute particles may lead to lung disease when they accumulated in the body over time.
– Heavy metals — such as mercury, lead, arsenic and aluminum — can cause brain and nervous system impairment and hormone disruption. These heavy metals are also known carcinogens.
-Carbon black – Carbon black is a commonly used pigment in make up and nail polish. This chemical is known to cause cancers.
-P-phenylenediamine – This chemical is commonly found in hair dyes. Exposure to this chemical may lead to organ toxicity, adverse skin reactions, and cancer.

Other toxic chemicals commonly found in personal care products include resorcinol, methylisothiazolinone and teflon as well as phenoxyethanol and acrylamide.

“The personal care products industry is inundated with extremely toxic, cancer-causing chemicals,” explains the Health Ranger, founder of the Health Ranger Store which formulates and retails hundreds of non-toxic personal care products. “The average consumer poisons themselves with over 300 synthetic chemicals before they even leave the house each morning, and these chemicals are deliberately added to personal care products by manufacturers that care more about profit than consumer safety,” he adds.

Personal care products — such as cosmetics, body washes and hair and skin care products — have been subject to scrutiny for years due to potentially hazardous chemicals that most of them contain. These chemicals, when in contact with human body, may cause adverse health effects. In fact, a study by Herb Research Foundation reveals that the skin may absorb up to 60 percent of toxic chemicals found in personal care products.

Certified Organic Skin Care: No Seal No Deal?

Personal care productsWe’re all too familiar with organic food labels. Most of the ones found here in the U.S. display the USDA Organic seal or sticker, others show other organic certifiers such as QAI (Quality Assurance International) or CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) and many more. The food items displaying these labels earn a healthy toss into the grocery cart, leaving us with a reassurance that it’s clean, tasty, non-toxic and good for the earth. But, the questions arises, what about organic skin care products? Should we be looking for the same labels? Just how “organic” are the skin care products claiming to be organic, are the terms “natural” and “organic” the same, and, does it even matter?

Well if you’re from the school of thought of “you are what you eat”, then yes, it absolutely does matter. If you’re not so sure, then this might be an eye opener for you. First a little Skin Trivia – Studies have proven, time and time again, that nothing you apply on your skin stays on the surface unless you immediately rinse it off. Your skin, being your bodies largest organ, has over 1 billion pores. It is your body’s first line of defense against anything entering your body. Ironically, it is also a giant sponge, absorbing anything you put on it. It usually takes 10-15 minutes for a product to be completely absorbed into your skin, by this time, it is inside your body, “subcutaneously”, which means underneath your skin. By this time, you cannot rinse it off.

The dilemma:

This leaves us with the dilemma that, if we apply lotions, perfumes, make-up, oils, deodorants and other cosmetics on a daily basis, the stuff will definitely get absorbed and inside. So in essence, you are FEEDING your skin whatever that product is. Simply put, if you wouldn’t eat it, you probably shouldn’t be putting it on your skin, make sense? Your skin is a living organ, similar to your other organs like your digestive system. So if you are eating organic foods but using synthetic and toxic skin care products, it sort of defeats the purpose of what your trying to do.

A lot of people see this dilemma, and now more and more companies are coming out with products termed as “All Natural”, “Organic” and “Cruelty Free” to meet consumers healthier demands. This seems great, but has only made things harder because shopping can be pretty difficult if you don’t know what to look for. The only thing you know is that you want only natural, organic products on your skin; but how can you really tell what’s truly organic?

What to look for at the store:

The bottom line is that you need to read the ingredients list and make sure that it contains NO synthetic chemicals. Yes, you must take time to read the label! But no worries, pretty soon these chemicals will begin to be sound more and more familiar (as they are on nearly everything at the grocery store Personal Care aisle, for example). Soon you’ll be reading labels in less than 5 seconds like a pro!

The most common synthetic chemicals used in skin care products are:

1. Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol

2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

3. DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine) & TEA (triethanolamine)

4. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG 4 – 200)

5. Sodium Hydroxide

6. Triclosan

7. DMDM and Urea (Imidazolidnyl)

8. Parabens (Methyl, Butyl, Propyl.. etc)

9. Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40)

10. Mineral Oil

11. FD&C Color Pigments

12. Fragrances (synthetic fragrances will have names like “essential lavender oil”, because no lavender was even used!)

There are many more, but we’ll start with the deadly dozen so you don’t get too overwhelmed. What these chemicals actually are and do to your skin is another topic (not a pleasant one either), but let’s just say they are no different than what’s in your anti-freeze or in your laundry detergent. No reputable organic, natural or holistic company will use ANY of these because there are always natural alternatives to the chemical ones. Furthermore, you cannot make a truly organic product with synthetic chemicals. So, even if the name or packaging lures you with words like “all natural”, “healthy”, “holistic”, “cruelty free” and even the very word “organic”, turn that package right around and let that ingredient label speak for itself!

Another hint – the first 3 are what mainly comprises the product, making the last ingredients what’s least in there. Sadly, some cosmetic companies put products out there with names like “Aloe Lotion”, when Aloe is the very last ingredient on that list (and usually it’s some petty form like”aloe extract”, the sneaks!) So is it truly “Aloe lotion” or more like “Water + Mineral Oil Lotion”?

Go to your bathroom right now and check it out, there’s a whole world of labels to be discovered right in your own home. It’s an eye opening experience. Have a trash bag ready; so what do those organic seals mean? Well, if you’ve found a skin care product with an organic certifying seal, let’s just say it’s probably good (or at least a step ahead of most). Most natural skin care products have never, until recently, had organic seals certifying them like food items. Again, with the raging consumer demand for more organic products, organic certifier seals have been showing up on a lot of skin care products. It takes time, effort and money to get organically certified. Chances are, if a company went that extra mile to get that seal of approval, their stuff and the ethics behind their stuff is probably really good (or at least well intentioned).

Organic cosmetic certifiers:

There are Seals, and then there are “Seals”… The following is a list of organic certifying seals you will commonly find on most cosmetics out there. Unfortunately, this list is in a particular order. That is, from the best and most stringent, to the just OK:

1. USDA Organic (95-100% organic)

2. Australian Certified Organic (95%-100% organic)

3. European Union/Agriculture Biologique (at least 95% organic)

4. BIO/Germany (at least 95% organic)

5. QAI (at least 70% organic)

6. CAAQ/Canada (at least 70% organic)

7. Eco Cert (at least 10% organic of total ingredients)

Differences between “Natural” and “Organic”:

Same thing, grown differently. Some products will not have any of the synthetic chemicals listed above and therefore be termed as “all natural”, “toxin/chemical free” or say things like, “No SLS, Glycols, or Parabens”. Please note, “NATURAL” DOES NOT MEAN “ORGANIC”! For example, a conventionally grown tomato is “natural”, but it was grown using pesticides and sewage sludge; so it’s not “organic”. See the difference? Organically grown fruits and vegetables have significantly lower levels of nitrates, and higher levels of antioxidants and vitamins particular to that fruit or vegetable.

The same theory applies for skin care products. A Papaya-Coconut Lotion can have 100% natural ingredients with no synthetics, but if the papaya, coconut and the rest of the stuff in there is not organic, then it was grown using pesticides and therefore can only be termed “all natural” but not organic. This All Natural Papaya-Coconut Lotion would be an inferior product compared to a Certified Organic Papaya Lotion.

No seal no deal?

The organic certifying seal guarantees that some if not all the ingredients are organic. So if the seal is not there on the skin care product, should you not buy it? That is up to you, the consumer. It’s the difference between buying conventional and organic tomatoes, going back to the example above. The important thing here is, to make an informed decision, that is all. Just know what you are buying, and what that entails for your skin, as well as the earth. The more savvy we become about reading labels, ingredient lists, and knowing exactly where the stuff came from which we put on our faces, eyes, skin and hair; the more companies will begin to comply to our standards. We are the ones in charge, really. No person truly wants chemicals on their skin, people just want a product that works. The “greener” of a world we become, the more the idea of organic skin care products that actually work for us and the earth will become a reality. After all, where else are we gonna go?

7 Dry Skin Shower Survival Tips

Taking a shower

Our skin is the largest organ in our body, so it’s no wonder we get aggravated when it gets irritated. Dry or sensitive skin can be caused by a multitude of factors from high temperatures in the summer to chilly, low humidity weather in the winter. Sometimes you can’t change your environment, but you can change your shower routine to help combat sensitive, dry skin year-round. Next time you step under the spray, keep this advice at your fingertips.

1. Turn down the heat.

A nice hot shower might be the thing you want most on a cold winter morning, but it will only prolong your dry skin problems. Hot water washes nourishing oil from your skin and makes it even drier. Protect your sensitive skin by keeping the temperature at medium heat.

2. Short is sweet.

Showering might feel soothing to your skin, but staying underwater too long will rob your skin cells of moisture. The longer you shower, the more oil you wash away. Limit your shower time to 10 to 15 minutes and only take one shower per day to keep dry skin at bay. Skip a day between showers if possible—use a washcloth at the bathroom sink for the areas that need the most attention.

3. Get slippery when wet.

It’s best to apply moisturizer when your skin is a little damp. After showering, gently pat your body dry and immediately apply moisturizer to help seal water into your surface cells. If you don’t have time to lather on the lotion after your shower, there are some moisturizers you can apply while you’re still wet. It’s efficient and effective!

4. Lay it on thick.

When it comes to moisturizers, thicker is better. Oils work best for severely dry or sensitive skin because they prevent evaporation of water. Ointments and creams have a mixture of oil and water and are a little lighter. Lotions are mostly water with powder crystals, so they’re less greasy but you’ll need to apply more frequently. Some people might feel comfortable wearing a light lotion during the day and using a thicker oil or cream overnight.

5. Skip the scrub.

Scrubbing and sloughing might seem like a smart way to brush off dry skin, but abrasive cleansers and cloths can actually irritate sensitive skin. Avoid abrasive materials, especially if you have dry skin on your face. Moisturizing is a better alternative. If you do feel the need to scrub, keep it gentle.

6. Shave with a strategy.

For those of you who shave in the shower, take care to protect your sensitive skin with proper shaving techniques. Shaving scrapes away oil from the skin, so always lubricate your skin first by applying shaving cream or lotion. If you leave your razor in the shower, be sure to replace it often so the blade doesn’t get too worn or even worse, rusty.

7. Shower naked.

In this case, we mean keep your shower and skin care products “au naturel.” Avoid soaps and shower gels that contain fragrances or alcohol. Choose cleansing products labeled as gentle or for sensitive skin and have added oils and moisturizers in the ingredients. Products with ceramides are particularly good for sensitive skin since they replace the natural lipids often missing in dry skin.

Remember, dry and sensitive skin is a problem for many people at some point in their life, so you’re not alone. Try to add in one new healthy skin habit each week until you find the skin nourishing combination that works best for you and your shower routine.

Seaweed and sexual health benefits

Image result for eating seaweed

 

Seaweed has long been used to increase overall health; however, people often overlook the wonderful sexual health benefits it offers. In both men and women, seaweed has been linked to an increase in libido and energy levels. All four classes of seaweeds, green, blue green, red and brown, have shown these aphrodisiac properties due to the mineral manganese that they contain.

In addition, their B2 content provides assistance in hormone production. In fact, they are so influential in this area that a study using the seaweed bladderwrack has shown evidence that it may lengthen the menstrual cycle, which in turn would put off menopause. This is because seaweed exerts antiestrogenic effects in premenopausal women.

Men also benefit from seaweeds, as they are high in vitamin E, and this assists in producing healthy sperm. This is accomplished by the ability of vitamin E to conquer free radicals found within the sperm membrane which regulates the overall functioning of the sex glands.

Additional health benefits of seaweed

The health benefits of seaweed are impressive and contribute to one’s overall well-being, which in turn also assists in healthy sexual functioning. Below are a variety of ways that seaweed positively impacts health.

• Seaweed is low in calories and fat, which of course makes it an attractive food for healthy eating and losing excess weight. For example, the seaweed wakame has a pigmentation known as fucoxanthin, which burns fat and aids in insulin resistance.

• The magnesium in seaweed flushes excess fluid, as it is a natural diuretic which also reduces bloating.

• Seaweed helps to maintain healthy blood pressure levels through its high potassium content and controls cholesterol levels through taurine.

• It can also combat depression and fatigue through its high vitamin B1 content while aiding in cognitive functioning through the vitamin B12 it offers.

• Seaweed contains essential fatty acids as well as multiple vitamins and it is particularly high in vitamins B12, C, D, E and K. Seaweed also contains many minerals, including potassium, selenium, calcium, iodine, nickel, bromine, chromium, copper, zinc, nitrogen, boron, sulfur, soluble fiber and more.

How to eat seaweeds-

Those who appreciate sushi already know how one can enjoy seaweed through Japanese cuisine, but there are many ways to add seaweed to your diet, from gel capsules to putting it in a salt shaker in powder form, making it easy to sprinkle on your food.

In addition, there are seaweed rice cakes and seaweed chips; it is easily added into soups and casseroles as well. The recipes for integrating seaweed are vast, and there are two wonderful cookbooks that provide some creative ideas for tasty seaweed recipes:

The New Seaweed Cookbook: A Complete Guide to Discovering the Deep Flavors of the Sea by Crystal June Maderia and Josephine K. Spilka.

Seaweed: Nature’s Secret to Balancing Your Metabolism, Fighting Disease, and Revitalizing Body and Soul by Valerie Gennari Cooksley.