Pass the Salt, Please?

Looks like Mayor Bloomberg is trying to shake up the business of salt! Too much salt is bad for our health, so the National Salt Reduction Initiative (spearheaded by Bloomberg) aims to reduce sodium levels at restaurants in Manhattan and packaged foods nationwide.  Mayor Bloomberg recently announced 16 food companies that have decided to lose their shakers of salt.

Salt might be hazardous to your health, but it works wonders on the skin. That’s precisely why LUSH Cosmetics won’t be cutting salt from its kitchen anytime soon. In fact, we use loads of sea salt in our products like Ocean Salt Face Scrub, Geophyzz Bath Bomb, Sea Vegetable Soap, and Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub.

When used in skincare, salt helps remove dead skin and dirt without stripping natural oil, leaving skin soft and hydrated.

Recycle all that extra salt in your house by creating an at-home sea salt body scrub.  LUSH Product Creator Helen Ambrosen shows you how….

  • Take 2 tablespoons of fine seat salt and mix to a paste with a heavy oil such as olive oil or Brazil nut oil.
  • Wet the skin and apply to back of arms, legs, and anywhere the skin is rough.
  • Rinse off skin.
  • The best part is that you are not only using up unwanted salt, but also scrubbing your skin into summer shape – it’s a win-win!

–Allie Leung, LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

Luscious Products to Love

Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub

Made with 60% sea salt, Rub Rub Rub is rich in sodium, magnesium, and other minerals, it gently scrubs your skin while the scent of mimosa, jasmine, and hints of citrus fill the shower. The floral fragrance is what we imagine a sea breeze blowing through cherry blossom trees should smell like. | $24.95, 16.9 fl oz.

Big Shampoo
Sea salt gives limp locks a major lift, so we put as much as possible into this best-selling shampoo. We add toothed wrack seaweed infusion for nourishment and softness and fresh lime juice and lemon infusion to add loads of lustre. And if you hadn’t already guessed, all that salt, lemon and lime end up making Big smell much like a delicious citrus margarita for your hair. | $22.95, 11.6 oz.

PCOS, Female Reproductive Health, and Ayurveda

by Patricia Wickman

It is a joy for practitioners like myself to see people make the leap of faith to add and subtract elements to and from their daily schedule based on ancient wisdom that seems vastly different from Western medicine. Ayurveda literally means the science of life. It is a complete medical system that has evolved over 5,000 years and has its roots in Ancient India. The devoted student of Ayurveda learns that it is a profound art and science that inspires one to view health, vitality, and longevity as a proactive and creative work in progress, similar to a garden. In this article, I will give a shallow introduction to the Ayurvedic perspective on PCOS and then write briefly on the broader subject of female reproductive health. In doing this, I wish to inspire all women who read this article to experiment with Ayurveda. Just as nurturing a plant yields delicious food, so too, does self-TLC produce a woman whose health, beauty, and vitality originate from deep within her cells and radiate out like petals of a sunflower.

Ayurvedic treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is specific to the individual. The Ayurvedic practitioner does a thorough assessment of the client and determines her Ayurvedic constitution based on the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Through questioning, observation, tongue observation, and pulse diagnosis, the practitioner and the client jointly determine the nature and degree of imbalance. In the majority of women with PCOS, there is a strong Kapha component: they often struggle with mysterious weight gain that is hard to lose even while maintaining a light diet, healthy lifestyle, and regular exercise. Some women with PCOS appear to be of a Kapha nature: large bone structure, plentiful tissues, calm disposition, etc. Upon questioning, observation, and pulse taking I have found that some are Pitta-Vata (or Vata-Pitta), but are simply carrying extra weight. A few of the women I have seen with PCOS have said that their large bodies do not feel native to them—they feel as if they are going around in a suit that does not belong to them. Other women with PCOS are not overweight, but simply have irregular menstrual cycles. One of the phenomena of this disorder is that the eggs in the ovaries prepare to leave the ovaries, but the necessary hormones that cause the final leap out of the ovaries are lacking. The egg in this instance is like a seed that is ready to burst out of the ground, but then does not succeed because the sprouting conditions are not available. Reference this website to learn more about PCOS from an Ayurvedic perspective.

After the initial consultation, the Ayurvedic practitioner designs a program for you that includes dietary recommendations, lifestyle modification, herbal supplementation, yoga, breathing, meditation, cleansing procedures, and hands-on body therapies. There is no one-size-fits-all in Ayurveda. It is best to see a practitioner who will recommend a program that takes into account your constitution, your current state of health, your schedule, your family situation, and causative factors that are individual to you. For example, one woman may have a high level of ama (toxicity) that is causing imbalance in the female reproductive system. For another woman it may be that her digestion, metabolism, absorption, or elimination is impaired. For another, it could be high levels of stress, lack of sleep, an unhealthy relationship, a poor diet, or a genetic predisposition. Ayurvedic treatment protocols help people pluck out imbalance at its root and create a fertile field with life-promoting conditions.

For female reproductive health in general, Ayurveda calls for a woman to remember her place in nature and her female ancestral heritage that was passed down to her from her mother’s womb. In ancient cultures, womens’ menstrual cycles were linked to the 28-day moon period.  Women menstruated together on the new moon and retreated from the village in tents where they could take a break from nurturing others and spend time resting and relaxing. The modern woman is so busy that she does not take time to stop during her period. The manic pace at which we live our lives contributes to women’s woes such as PMS, PCOS, acne, heavy bleeding, spotting in between periods, endometriosis, fibroids, unsavory menopausal symptoms, infertility, etc. During my training in Ayurveda, one of my classmates shared an experience of being on a surgery rotation during medical school. She started her period in the middle of a surgical procedure and was so compelled to keep up with the other doctors that she bled all over the floor during the surgery.

What are we women of the post-feminist world to do? We are bright, successful, educated, and capable of both professional and domestic excellence, yet our ancient bodies seem to be calling us back to the moon hut. What good is accomplishment if we destroy our health, shorten our lives, and lose our happiness in the process? I propose that we take small steps toward listening to the call of nature and revolt against the market driven, competitive, frantic culture in which we live. In Maya Tawari’s book, The Path of Practice, she explains that connecting with shakti energy is fundamental to women’s physical and spiritual health:

According to Vedic seers, a woman’s femininity cannot exist apart from her shakti—the one energy that gave birth to everything. Shakti is the Mother’s power behind creation, and signifies the sacred mysteries of creation, regeneration, and destruction…The Divine Mother endowed all females with two gifts: the power to nurture and the power to protect. Shakti is more than the energy of reproduction. It is the spirit of protecting the sacred, gathering food, worshiping the Divine and giving birth to children, to inspiration, to ideas and art (Tiwari 54 55).

There are an infinite number of ways to honor shakti. Lie low during your two or three days of heavy bleeding, perform daily warm oil self-massage, oil your hair, receive shirodhara (an Ayurvedic body therapy where warm oil is poured in a continuous stream over the third eye), keep a moon calendar by your bedside and perform the moon salutation on the full moon, practice the goddess pose (supta baddha konasana), do the yoni mudra, drink a quarter cup of aloe vera juice everyday (aloe vera is fantastic for balancing women’s hormones), take moments to squat. Squatting connects a woman to the earth. Have an Ayurvedic practitioner guide you through a women’s cleansing program. Become a master of pelvic floor exercises, paint your toenails, get a henna tattoo, pick up a silk scarf, turn on some sultry music and let your hips and pelvis dance, prepare a lovely meal of farm-fresh food for you and your family, rock a baby to sleep, spend time in nature, cultivate deep and lasting friendships with other women, repair any hurt in your relationship with your mother and/or mother-in-law. Create something. Teach all of this to your daughters. As you nurture shakti, may your reproductive balance be well established, your eyes sparkle, your skin shine, and your garden of health be plentiful and fruitful!

Patricia Wickman is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Certified Panchakarma Technician and Registered Yoga teacher. Her services include private and small–group yoga lessons, Ayurvedic consultations and Ayurvedic Spa therapies.

Battling PCOS Naturally: Mother Quest

Evidence that Ayurveda offers hope to individuals who have female reproductive imbalance
by Arwen Rasmussen

After six years of newlywed bliss, an apartment, two cats, and a home loan, my husband and I decided it was finally time to expand the family. We weren’t getting any younger and our friends all had kids, so we thought we would join the race and see what it was like. So like all clock-ticking 28 year olds, I was excited and anxious to get pregnant. I wanted to experience the joy that I had heard about from friends for so long. Well, after six long months of negative tests, we decided to be more regimented. So we started charting days, taking my temperature, trying more frequently, and finally visiting with my OB-GYN. I thought my history was pretty normal. I had been on birth control of some sort since I was 17 when my parents thought it was better to be protected than not. I had no real reason to track my ovulation patterns. Besides, what healthy college kid keeps track of those things?

So when my OB came back with lab tests and explained that I had PCOS, I was a bit shocked. PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is a condition in which your hormones aren’t being put out in equal proportions, making your ovulation cycle too long or too short and the likelihood of getting pregnant very slim. Women with PCOS may have acne, enlarged ovaries with small cysts, lack of ovulation and/or irregular menstrual periods, decreased breast size, hirsutism (male pattern hair growth), infertility, insulin resistance, male-pattern hair loss and fat deposition, weight gain, or central obesity.

“Weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles, acne,
excessive hair growth, and loss of hair are signs of PCOS.”

I don’t have many of those common signs that indicate to a doctor that I may have that condition, but I still had it. We were left with the understanding that we could continue to try to get pregnant on our own, but we would probably end up frustrated. So we started infertility treatments. Long story short, after the third treatment in three months, we were successful, and 9 months later, our baby boy was here.

Flash forward two years, and it is time for baby number two. Since we knew about the big glitch in my chemistry we decided to go another, natural route this time. I started by seeing a local Ayurvedic practitioner who took my history and documented everything about me, from how my tongue looks to how much I sleep at night, and all the information in between. She directed my diet to help combat the PCOS condition in my dominant kapha dosha, and gave me some recommendations on what herbs and teas to drink to promote ovulation and cleanse my body.

By the 5th month of my regularly drinking specialty tea and taking ghee and castor oil, my menstrual cycles started to become more and more regular. I went from having a 44-day cycle to a consistent 30-31 day cycle. So we decided to try again and it worked! We only had two months under our belt when the pink line appeared. And I was overjoyed. We did it au naturale, the way nature intended. I was so dreading the negative test after negative test, I almost didn’t want to test myself at all, ever again. But, thanks to routine, ancient medicine, and some hope, we didn’t have to try for long.

So, I am happy and excited to announce that the end of this June we will be welcoming a baby girl into our family. Fertility and hormones are complicated, but I am confident that the Ayurvedic steps I took played a role in my becoming pregnant without drugs, injections, or stress.

Alternative Chiropractics

by Dr. Allan Lindlsey

Wondering how there can be such a thing as alternative chiropractic? As mainstream health care, alternative medicine, and general understanding of the eastern hemisphere all develop, so do the approaches and practices of medical professionals on our half of the globe.

A growing population of chiropractors practicing Applied Kinesiology is just one example. Applied Kinesiology is best understood as a chiropractic approach to the study of motion. It focuses on helping a person’s body heal itself, not on the treatment or the symptom.

A practitioner in this ideology focuses on finding the root of the problem, recognizing that sometimes a subluxation in the spine is the answer. But that it’s also possible this is just a symptom of a deeper issue. This is why evaluation doesn’t consist only of a scan, x-ray, or spinal exam.

Evaluation includes three parts: structural, organs, and chemicals. Structural analysis entails looking at the functioning of the bones, muscles, and ligaments throughout the body. If the problem is not resolved with chiropractic adjustments, it is a signal that the issue is not structural.

The organs are the next point of concern. The doctor determines where distress is, analyzing the organ reflex points. Bear in mind the organs are connected to each part of the body in much the same way the spine/nerves are.

After determining trouble spots and treating accordingly, if the patient is still suffering from the same symptoms, the chemical balance in the person’s body becomes the focus. Here, again, organ reflex points are evaluated. This is where a background in chemistry comes in – what chemicals, toxins, or other factors are inhibiting the proper functioning of the body?

Essentially, if there is a repeated pattern where the chiropractic adjustment is not holding, I would begin looking at the organs and rebuild in an effort to stabilize the muscle and thus the structure of the body. If the pattern continues, nutrient repair in the body to stabilize its chemistry will be key in helping repair structure.

A ‘traditional’ chiropractor moves bones to free up the nerves – there’s an evaluation and a treatment. Applied Kinesiology goes further, involving muscle testing, evaluation of the integrity of the musco-skeletal system, working to get the receptors and tissues of the body working and functioning properly, and helping each bone, muscle, and ligament function properly. The tone, contraction, and integrity of the muscles and ligaments play a key role in how well the body holds adjustments.

The whole body’s functioning depends on many factors that may be external or internal, though the two are always interconnected.

Applied Kinesiology in a nutshell

Licensed naturopathic doctor and an American College of Nutrition-certified specialist Cathy Wong, ND, CNS, explains Applied Kinesiology in a nutshell: Applied Kinesiology is an alternative medicine diagnostic tool and treatment developed by chiropractor George Goodheart, Jr. forty years ago. It is a strength resistance test based on the link between muscles, glands, and organs. Muscle strength is tested and the strength of the muscle is believed to be related to the health of the organ or area of the body being tested. It is based on the philosophies of other holistic therapies, including osteopathy, chiropractic, meridian therapy, and physical manipulation.

Local Applied Kinesiology Chiropractors

Lindsley Chiropractic and Wellness
2004 Highland Avenue, # O, Eau Claire – 715.832.8414

Sommerfeld’s Chiropractic Health Care
6 W Saint Patrick St, Rice Lake, WI – 715.234.4222

Successfully Treating Heat Rash

As the hot and humid months of summer approach, you may be looking forward to spending time  outdoors playing golf, volleyball, or softball. Although being outside in summer is fabulous, be careful  of overheating and the heat rash that may follow. Heat rash is caused when someone becomes  overheated and the sweat glands are blocked. A person with heat rash may notice tiny bumps surrounded  by red skin, as well as a prickly feeling where the rash has occurred. Here are treatment tips from three different health professionals.

[table id=5 /]