Archive for April, 2015

Aromatherapy Smudging

Author: Dr. Larita

When people think of aromatherapy, essential oils like lavender and patchouli usually come to mind. However, indigenous Native American Indians and many other traditional cultures around the world have used another type of aromatherapy for hundreds of years. Smudge stick sounds like something you would use to apply eye makeup with, but “smudging” is actually a method of aromatherapy employed by burning herbs, like dried sage or lavender, throughout a dwelling.

Some Native Americans believe the smoke created by burning some herbs has a cleansing affect, as well as cognitive, emotional and physical benefits. Some even believe “smudging” can act as a messenger to energies and realities beyond conscious comprehension and understanding. Just as many take a hot bath to refresh and relax their bodies, dedicated smudgers burn sage or sweetgrass to treat depression, anger, fear, grief and anxiety.

Smudge sticks can be found at many specialty health stores. To begin smudging use matches or a candle to light the stick, and blow on the flame to put out the fire. Let the smudge stick smolder. Once the smoke begins to fill the air, fan it towards the body. If you are allergic to smoke and feel you can not get the benefits of smudging, you can use a diffuser to achieve the same results without the smoke. You can use any essential oil to achieve the benefit you want.

When you hear the word mangos you probably think of a delicious fruit. Did you also know that mangos are great for skin care? Mangifera indica is a species of mango found in India that is well known for its soothing, moisturizing benefits. When turned into mango butter it can be applied like a cream.

Mango butter is an all-natural product rich in antioxidants. It is incredibly hydrating and can help skin conditions like eczema, rashes, dry cracked skins, minor cuts and burns, as well as soothe achy muscles. Plus, mango has a light sweet aroma that you’re sure to enjoy. Why would you want to put synthetic, over-processed chemical lotions on your skin when you can get better results from an all-natural product?

Essential oils are used by many cultures throughout the world for their healing properties. Some uses for the oils include increasing over-all well being and physical, emotional and mental health. Many essential oils can also stimulate the sex drive and work as powerful aphrodisiacs. So those looking to spice up their love lives should consider filling their oil diffusers with one of the following essential oils:

~Ylang Ylang oil energizes the body and intensifies sexual desire.

~Rose oil aids in hormone balance. This oil works best for women, but is also said to boost sexuality in men.

~Jasmine oil is said to have a counter-effect on frigidity, impotence and premature ejaculation. It also boosts energy levels.

~Sandalwood oil is said to aid in the treatment of impotence and help to relieve the anxiety that leads to frigidity. Sandalwood also produces something similar to androsterone, a male hormone secreted in the armpits as a sexual signal.

If you’re concerned with the quality of your skin, you most likely know that the skin on our faces tends to be particularly sensitive. It is also the most susceptible to the damaging effects of the sun as well as everyday dirt and grime. With all the negative things we subject our faces to every day, it’s important to use the right facial moisturizers.

But once you have that perfect moisturizer for your particular skin type, it’s still important to apply that moisturizer in the most effective way. To achieve the softest skin, make sure to apply the moisturizer in light, circular motions. And remember, if you have oily skin, the less massaging, the better. Massages stimulate oil glands and excessive rubbing will only make the problem worse. Take the most care around the eyes. Be particularly gentle, because pulling or rubbing that skin can cause premature sagging or wrinkles. Also make sure your moisturizer has sunscreen protection of at least 15 SPF. This will ensure that your moisturizer protects you all day.

Incense is the burning of fragrant biotic materials, often including essential oils, which release an aromatic smoke when burned. The term incense actually is derived from the Latin term incendere which means to burn and it refers to the substance being burned, not the fragrance itself. The use of incense probably originated in Ancient Egypt where the resins from aromatic trees and plants were burned for religious ceremonies. Incense is also used in aromatherapy, meditation, rituals for purification, for creating mood, and to mask bad smells.

There are two different burning methods for incense. First, there is the way most of us are familiar with, direct burning incense sticks or cones. The sticks or cones are lit with a flame which is then blown out leaving a burning tip to smolder and release the fragrance. The other way consists of indirect burning of materials that cannot be used without a separate heat source such as charcoal. You light the charcoal tablets or discs and then place the powder, resin, bark, or incense rocks directly on the burning coal. The type of incense you use depends on your preference but it is good to know that there are so many options and it is always fun to try new things.

Anti-Aging Facial Masks

Author: Dr. Larita

facial masksFacial masks have beneficial effects for many skin types because they can nourish, rejuvenate, and stimulate; refine, cleanse, and peel off the outer skin layer; soothe and calm inflammation; clear acne, loosen blackheads; and act as an anti-wrinkle treatment and natural face-lift. For natural skin care, you can use practically any fruit or vegetable in your refrigerator and many other foodstuffs. You can purchase a flower water to blend your dry ingredients but I prefer to use plain spring water as the moisturizer with essential oils added for the properties they bring to the mixture.

Clay masks are wonderful because the clay has absorbed the sun and the plants and minerals of earth over thousands of years giving it rejuvenating and anti-aging benefits for our skin. Clays come in an assortment of colors from all over the world and can be found in health food stores and pharmacies. When we combine  the clay with essential oils they complement each other with a synergistic effect providing natural skin care that is highly beneficial. White kaolin clay is best used on normal to oily skin because it has an astringent effect. It removes impurities from the skin as it cleanses and it improves lymphatic flow, increasing blood circulation the the area. Fuller’s earth is a stimulating clay that is a soft brown in color. It is a cleansing clay plus it removes dead skin cells. It is useful on oily to normal skin only.

Morning Skin Care Tips

Author: Dr. Larita

facial cleansers2

The mad dash to get ready in the morning isn’t something that most people feel they can be leisurely about, but it is important because it sets the tone for your entire day.  This is also where you begin your self-care patterns each day.  Eating a nutritious breakfast is essential to optimum physical health, for example.  Morning skincare is equally important because this is where you make sure that your skin is protected against all you’ll encounter out there in the world – sun, dirt, pollution, etc.

Start each day by washing your face with a gentle cleanser followed by using a toning agent. Just as you never want to exfoliate your face in the morning (why open up all those pores only to expose them to dirt, dust and pollution), you always want to tone in the morning because this tightens and closes pores, protecting your face from the environment. Follow that with your moisturizer, and you’re set for the day in terms of skin care. If you will be out in the sun during the day, even if only for an hour, sunscreen is an excellent idea especially if you won’t be otherwise protected from the sun. In less than five minutes, you’ve made sure that you are starting the day fresh faced and that your face is ready for the big bad world it will surely encounter!

Our senses allow us to perceive our environment, and we depend on our senses to inform us of what causes us pleasure and what causes us displeasure. Smell, while a sense not as often depended on as sight or sound, can be one of the most powerful senses associated with pleasure.  Smell is the sense we most strongly associate with memory, and much of our knowledge of pleasure is based on what has pleased us in our previous experiences.  During practices like massage, which are designed to relieve stress, aromatherapy massage oils in tandem with massage can be a highly sensual experience. Smell combined with stimulation for the other senses can result in a much more pleasurable experience, regardless of the activity.

Whether it’s a bath, a romantic dinner, or a sensual massage, always incorporate smell into your most pleasurable experiences and you will be satisfied with the results. There’s just no comparison!

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April 2015