Wednesday, February 11, 2015

HEALTHY SKIN - PART 2


Healthy Skin ~ Part II

by Regina Ann


Healthy Skin Part 1  looked at probiotics, prebiotics and what you put on your skin. This time we will explore the healthy skin benefits of breathing and hydration.

Breathe
Breathing is perhaps one of the things we most take for granted. It happens without us thinking about it, so we typically don’t (think about it).  Conscious Breathing, being aware of our breath and how we are breathing, is one of the most powerful things we can do for our health and well being. There is plenty of research to prove that point! However, you know I love illustrations.

If you blow a little air into a balloon then turn it loose how far does it travel? Take the same balloon and blow air into it until it is full then turn it loose. Big difference in the results. Oxygen supplies the needs of every aspect of our body from blood to organs and very importantly our brain. Our level of health and well being is dramatically affected by the level of oxygen with which we supply our body.

Training ourselves to breathe with our health in mind is a matter of training and habit.  Train yourself to breath fully. Most people breathe into the upper chest at most. Train yourself to breathe into your lower abdomen.  The lower abdomen is considered a major energy point. Drawing oxygen into this point brings fuel to the “fire” so to speak.  

Practice your training by placing your hands gently upon the lower abdomen, relax and draw your breath in and allow it to flow into your lower abdomen observing your hands as your abdomen pushes them outward. This may be challenging at first. Allow yourself time and practice. An athlete requires time spent in practice to become stronger. It requires 28-30 consecutive days of practice to become a habit. Give yourself time to create this new habit.

Just as breathing fully is important, so too is exhaling fully.  Fully exhaling is the quickest way to release acid from the body system. Balanced pH is an important part of health and well-being. Since the typical diet is highly acidic, releasing acid through full exhalation is an easy way to help the body restore balance. As you practice and train yourself to fully inhale, be aware and conscious to fully exhale as well.

The result of breathing fully is a highly oxygenated body system able to function at optimal levels. This results in healthy cells capable of producing healthy skin.

Hydrate
Hydration is as vital to humans as it is to plants and animals. The human body is made up of 60 – 75% water. Our organs require it, our electrical systems require it. Low hydration results in organs and our electrical systems not working to full capacity and in some cases can cause long term damage. It also results in our cells not being nourished, which in turn decreases the health of our skin.

Plants are an excellent illustration of how water affects our skin. Consider the results of a plant offered adequate water to supply its needs. It looks healthy and grows ideally.  However, a plant that is not given enough water begins to wilt, turn brown, and eventually will die.  So it is with our bodies and skin.

How much is enough? According to my colon expert the answer is to take your weight, divide it in half, and drink that number of eight ounce glasses of water per day.  Caffeine dehydrates so for every ounce of caffeine you consume replace what your body needs with three (3) servings of  equal measure. Each of us is a unique individual however, so listen to your body to know if it needs more. If you are under the care of a physician, ask. Your physician should know your systems needs well enough to give you a good answer. If your work or workout makes you sweat, you need to increase the amount of water you take in to replace it. 

Understand that too much of a good thing can cause as much harm as too little. Over hydrating can cause serious side effects. Balance is the key in hydration as in life itself. 

Which water? It used to be you got your water from your tap, a well, or a natural water source. Take a trip to the market or corner store now and you have a section for water. Pure water, artisan water, spring water, distilled water and on and on. What follows are my observations from my own personal research. 

Tap water now contains too many chemicals for me to safely consume it, so I don’t. I choose not to use water from plastic bottles because of concerns over the plastic used and the sourcing of the raw materials. We have a couple of different in-home filtration systems. One filters the tap water to remove most chemicals and such. The other collects water from the atmosphere and sends it through a seven stage cleanup process providing pure, highly alkaline water.  Consider your needs and desires for your water and invest as you choose in a beneficial water source for your body.

Adequate hydration results in a healthy system and healthy skin.

There are an abundance of products proclaiming themselves to be the best thing for healthy skin. Typically however, they are skin applications and are only capable of just so much benefit. Oxygenation and hydration of the body system is a whole body approach to having healthy skin for a lifetime.

Here’s to your Healthy Skin

~*~ Regina Ann is the founder of Integrative Wholistic Solutions and a Holistic Health & Wellness Practitioner offering Complimentary and Integrative Medicines, resources and tools to assist you in achieving emotional, mental, physical, spiritual Well Being. Visit IntegrativeWholisticSolutions.com to learn more.

*All Rights Reserved
2010-2015



HEALTHY SKIN - PART 1


Healthy Skin - Part 1 

by Regina Ann


People often ask me what I do to have such healthy looking skin. Healthy skin is not just about what you put on it but also what you feed it and how you nourish it. It is a combination of an entire lifestyle that results in healthy skin. There are many articles out there on healthy skin but few of them consider the whole person. This article is a wholistic view of how to achieve and maintain healthy skin for a lifetime.

Healthy skin starts with a healthy gut. If the bacterial flora of the gut is out of balance then the system is unable to as readily absorb nutrients from the foods you eat and the supplements you choose. Probiotics are essential to intestinal health. There are wonderful probiotic supplements available at your local market and online. When choosing a probiotic supplement look for one that contains a broad spectrum of healthful bacteria. In my experience, the best probiotics require refrigeration and your market should carry them in a refrigerated display.

Along with probiotic supplements there are many foods that are excellent sources of probiotics and they aren’t all dairy. Foods which contain probiotics include:
  • Yogurt (make sure it’s natural/organic and not processed with added probiotics)
  • Buttermilk
  • Kefir
  • Tempah
  • Miso
  • Kim Chi (Korean side dish)
  • Sauerkraut (be sure it is natural and not loaded with preservatives)
  • Kombucha

Prebiotics are food for Probiotics. Whereas probiotics are beneficial bacteria, prebiotics are what you need to eat to keep the beneficial bacteria in your system.

Foods that naturally contain prebiotics include:

  • Oatmeal (if you are gluten sensitive be aware that oats may cause a reaction)
  • Flax
  • Barley
  • Onions
  • Greens (especially dandelion, spinach, collard, chard, kale, and mustard)
  • Berries, bananas and other fruit
  • Legumes (lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, navy beans, white beans, black beans, etc.)

As your intestinal health comes into balance your body will be better able to absorb the nutrients from your diet. One of the best pieces of dietary advice I have ever received is to eat a rainbow. Make sure the food on your plate is colorful. Listen to your body. Your body will tell you what foods it needs in the moment to be healthy. If your body is craving foods that are not beneficial foods, explore the cause of the craving.

Now that we’ve talked about the inside scoop to healthy skin, let’s talk about the outside. Skin is the largest organ of our body. That being said, my recommendation is that if you shouldn’t eat it then you shouldn’t put it on your body either. Nature provides everything we need to keep our skin clean and healthy. 

My personal care product list includes things such as: 
  • baking soda
  • apple cider vinegar
  • lavender essential oil (therapeutic grade)
  • natural soaps which are safe to eat (not that I would want to but I could)
  • oils such as coconut and olive
  • hydrogen peroxide

Next Issue we will talk about more about what you can do for healthy skin. Until then, here’s to your healthy skin.


~*~ Regina Ann is the founder of Integrative Wholistic Solutions and a Holistic Health & Wellness Practitioner offering Complimentary and Integrative Medicines, resources and tools to assist you in achieving emotional, mental, physical, spiritual Well Being. Visit IntegrativeWholisticSolutions.com to learn more.

*All Rights Reserved
2010-2015



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

PERSPECTIVE / A Change Of View



Perspective
A Change Of View

by Regina Ann


From time to time we all tend to look ahead at where we want to be and see it as some far off place with just too much ground to cover. What happens next is a tendency to bemoan the distance and wonder how and when you will ever get there from here. Typically old thought processes kick in and soon you find yourself thinking your dreams are impossible and you may as well chuck it in. Time for a Change of View!

These are the times when looking back can be beneficial to help you gain perspective. The ground you have to cover, or as my love reminds me, the stepping stones yet to be tread upon, can seem measurably reduced when you look back at the number of stones you have tread upon to be right where you are today. With this simple change of perspective you can see that the stepping stones ahead are merely a reflection of the stepping stones behind you because as you achieve one dream you put a new one in it’s place. Therefore, you are not continuously striving for your dreams…you are continuously striving for, realizing and dreaming new dreams.

It is understood that the present moment is the only moment and the moment in which the gift of bliss is found. However, there are those times when, in order to gain perspective, it is beneficial to reflect on the view behind us that we may better delight in the moment we are in. New perspective of the path we  have traveled may be the change of view we need to be grateful for the moment in which we are.

May you discover bliss in this moment
May you be filled with peace in this moment
May you know love in this moment
May you Be in this moment

~*~ Namaste



Regina Ann is the founder of Integrative Wholistic Solutions and a Holistic Health & Wellness Practitioner offering Complimentary and Integrative Medicines, Healing Arts, and Lifestyle Coaching to assist you in achieving emotional, mental, physical, spiritual Well Being. Visit IntegrativeWholisticSolutions.com to learn more.

*All Rights Reserved

2010-2015

Monday, February 2, 2015

BALANCED pH


Balanced pH

by Regina Ann

One of the first things I learned from my naturopathic practitioner in my journey to wellness was that there are two physical requirements for disease to survive and thrive. Disease MUST have a low oxygen, high acid environment to live. Oxygenate and Balance the Blood pH and disease responds much like a fire with nothing to burn and no oxygen to keep it going. In the archived articles you can find the article on Balancing the Breath. In that article you will find tips to increase the oxygen level of the blood and body system. This article will focus on creating Balanced pH levels.

The pH scale is 0 – 14 going Acid to Alkaline. Healthy pH is considered slightly above center, in the 7.35-7.45 range. Just as a highly acid blood pH can cause problems, so to can a highly alkaline blood pH. The key to health and wellness is balance.  Alkaline pH is far less often the case due to contributing factors of the pH level.

Research I am familiar with indicates that the blood pH typically stays within close to balanced range by design. Meaning, our body finds ways to compensate for any imbalance in order to ensure survival. Therefore, whereas an alkaline diet may not directly affect your blood pH, it will affect the amount of energy your body is expending and the resources being robbed from your body to maintain a healthy blood pH. One of the places known to suffer in order to maintain blood pH is the bones. Research has indicated that the calcium in bones is often robbed by the body to maintain healthy blood pH levels.

Acidic pH levels can be the result of many factors, some of which include:

  • An Acid Forming Diet. The typical diet, especially in the U.S., is comprised mainly of acid forming foods and drink. The use of Artificial Sweeteners in our diet also contributes to blood acidity.
  • Stress. Stress not only increases blood acidity but decreases our blood oxygen as well. 
  • Toxic Overload. Whether environmental or emotional, toxins that are not released in healthy ways build up creating a toxic environment in the body. A toxic environment is an acidic environment.
  • Exhalation. According to Dr. Weil, “the primary we get rid of excess acid is by breathing out carbon dioxide.” Therefore, breathing deeply and exhaling fully allows our body to rid itself of excess acidity.

Currently there are tests for blood pH, saliva pH, and urine pH. My experience has been that being aware of the pH of my saliva helps me make adjustments to reduce the stress of my body to maintain a healthy blood pH. This is the method that was recommended to me by my holistic health practitioners and it has served me well. Test strips for saliva pH are more common now and can easily be found in most health food stores and drug stores. You may follow the directions on the pH strips. My practitioner stipulated that I test my pH before rising in the morning using the inside of my cheek to test. The important part being that you not drink or partake of anything prior to testing as it will alter the results. 

Modify according to your goals. If your goal is to restore health and wellness, your aim should be approximately 80% Alkaline to 20% Acid Forming contributors.  If your goal is to maintain health and wellness, your aim should be approximately 60% to 40% Alkaline/Acid Forming contributors. Contributors include diet, drink, stress levels, environmental and emotional toxin levels, and fully exhaling.

Being well is achieved through balance. Here are some tips to help you achieve balance and therefore achieve health and wellness.

  1. Balance your contributing factors (i.e. diet, exercise, time commitments, etc.) Be certain that you are making time for healthy nutrition, exercise, relationships, and self-nurturing.
  2. Modify your diet. Balance your diet in a healthy manner for your body. Each body has unique dietary needs. Listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs.
  3. Incorporate healthy ways to release stress and toxic burdens. Some healthy methods include: Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Yoga, Dance, Meditation, Reiki, Massage, etc. Choose the methods that make you and your body happy.
  4. Make time to breathe deeply and exhale fully. Give yourself time each day to focus on your breathing to create a habit of breathing more fully. 

Always remember that you did not arrive here in a day so give yourself time to create new habits. Rank the modifications you choose to incorporate by importance to you (highest to lowest) and get started. Take one or two things at a time according to your priority ranking. This method will ensure you the best possible chance for success. It takes some 28 consecutive days to create a habit so commit to your health and wellness.

BE Balanced ~ BE Well ♥


~*~ Regina Ann is the founder of Integrative Wholistic Solutions and a Holistic Health & Wellness Practitioner offering Complimentary and Integrative Medicines, resources and tools to assist you in achieving emotional, mental, physical, spiritual Well Being. Visit IntegrativeWholisticSolutions.com to learn more.

*All Rights Reserved

2010-2015

THROAT CHAKRA


The Throat Chakra
To Express

by Regina Ann

According to Wikipedia, Chakra derives from the Sanskrit word for “wheel” or “turning.” The chakras are considered to be a number of wheel-like vortices that exist within the subtle body being the focal points for the reception and transmission of energies.  It is generally accepted that there are seven main chakras in the body system which include the root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown.

Many traditions, therapies and disciplines have found connections between the health of each chakra and the health of specific areas of the physical, mental and emotional bodies. When life energy is allowed to flow through the energy points, chakras, with ease and in balance, the body systems respond in balance and harmony. Through life experiences and daily life we may develop blockages that become trapped in one or more chakra resulting in imbalance and disharmony. Those of us who work in the fields of healing commonly see the physical, mental and emotional results of these blockages. 

In an effort to promote healing we will look in depth at each of the commonly accepted chakras over the next few months. Along with information that is widely accepted pertaining to each chakra, each article will also include some real world pertinent experiences with that chakra. 

The Throat Chakra ~ The Throat Chakra center is located in the center of the throat.  According to Wikipedia the Throat Chakra is related to the thyroid, the gland which produces the thyroid hormone responsible for growth and maturation.   

Communication, creativity and self-expression are seen physically from a balanced and healthy Throat Chakra. Emotionally it governs independence, mentally is results in fluent thought and spiritually it ushers a sense of security.  The organs affected by the Throat Chakra include the throat, thyroid gland, upper lungs, arms and digestive tract.  In Tibetan Buddhism this chakra plays an important role in the art of lucid dreaming.

Symptoms of blockage may include: sore throats, lack of creativity, indecision and thyroid issues.  The most common complaints I see in my practice related to the Throat Chakra include: difficulty swallowing, thyroid and thyroid related illnesses, recurring sore throats, acid reflux, and difficulty breathing (including asthma type symptoms).

Balancing and healing the Throat Chakra includes healing affirmations, believing that it is safe to express yourself and communicate openly, allowing your creativity to flow, singing, writing and talking to people who will lovingly listen.  

Crystals for healing the Throat Chakra include Turquoise and Aquamarine. 

Essential oils recommended for the Throat Chakra include Rose Geranium, Clary Sage, and Lavender.

Meditating on the vibrational sound HUM is an Ayurvedic technique for balancing the Throat Chakra.



~*~ Regina Ann is the founder of Integrative Wholistic Solutions and a Holistic Health & Wellness Practitioner offering Complimentary and Integrative Medicines, resources and tools to assist you in achieving emotional, mental, physical, spiritual Well Being. Visit IntegrativeWholisticSolutions.com to learn more.

*All Rights Reserved

2010-2015

THIRD EYE CHAKRA


The Third Eye Chakra
To See

by Regina Ann

According to Wikipedia, Chakra derives from the Sanskrit word for “wheel” or “turning.” The chakras are considered to be a number of wheel-like vortices that exist within the subtle body being the focal points for the reception and transmission of energies.  It is generally accepted that there are seven main chakras in the body system which include the root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown.

Many traditions, therapies and disciplines have found connections between the health of each chakra and the health of specific areas of the physical, mental and emotional bodies. When life energy is allowed to flow through the energy points, chakras, with ease and in balance, the body systems respond in balance and harmony. Through life experiences and daily life we may develop blockages that become trapped in one or more chakra resulting in imbalance and disharmony. Those of us who work in the fields of healing commonly see the physical, mental and emotional results of these blockages. 

In an effort to promote healing we will look in depth at each of the commonly accepted chakras over the next few months. Along with information that is widely accepted pertaining to each chakra, each article will also include some real world pertinent experiences with that chakra. 

The Third Eye Chakra ~ The Third Eye Chakra center is located in the center of the forehead.  It is related to intuitive sight, emotional intelligence, vision, insight.  When balanced one may experience: full connection to their intuition or inner guidance, ease in visualizing, creative imagination and seeing life more fully. Mentally, it relates to visual consciousness. Emotionally, it relates to clarity.

The physical organs affected by the Third Eye Chakra include the lower brain, left eye, nose, spine, ears and pineal gland.  The pineal gland is a light sensitive gland which produces melatonin, the hormone regulating sleep and waking states.

Key issues of the Third Eye Chakra are balancing the higher self and the lower self as well as trusting ones inner guidance.  Symptoms of blockage may include: a lack of vision, lack of imagination, and not trusting your intuition.  The most common complaints I see in my practice related to the Third Eye Chakra include: headaches, trouble sleeping/troublesome dreams, and problems with the eyes and or ears.

Balancing and healing the Third Eye Chakra includes healing affirmations, allowing yourself to daydream, taking time to visualize the life you want, meditation, and being confident of your inner guidance/intuition.  

Crystals for healing the Third Eye Chakra include Amethyst and Lapis. 

Essential oils recommended for the Third Eye Chakra include Frankincense and Peppermint.

Meditating on the vibrational sound SHAM is an Ayurvedic technique for balancing the Third Eye Chakra.


~*~ Regina Ann is the founder of Integrative Wholistic Solutions and a Holistic Health & Wellness Practitioner offering Complimentary and Integrative Medicines, resources and tools to assist you in achieving emotional, mental, physical, spiritual Well Being. Visit IntegrativeWholisticSolutions.com to learn more.

*All Rights Reserved

2010-2015

CROWN CHAKRA

The Crown Chakra
‘To Know’

by Regina Ann

According to Wikipedia, Chakra derives from the Sanskrit word for “wheel” or “turning.” The chakras are considered to be a number of wheel-like vortices that exist within the subtle body being the focal points for the reception and transmission of energies.  It is generally accepted that there are seven main chakras in the body system which include the root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown.

Many traditions, therapies and disciplines have found connections between the health of each chakra and the health of specific areas of the physical, mental and emotional bodies. When life energy is allowed to flow through the energy points, chakras, with ease and in balance, the body systems respond in balance and harmony. Through life experiences and daily life we may develop blockages that become trapped in one or more chakra resulting in imbalance and disharmony. Those of us who work in the fields of healing commonly see the physical, mental and emotional results of these blockages. 

In an effort to promote healing we will look in depth at each of the commonly accepted chakras over the next few months. Along with information that is widely accepted pertaining to each chakra, each article will also include some real world pertinent experiences with that chakra. 

The Crown Chakra ~ The Crown Chakra center is located at the top or crown of the head.  This chakra is commonly considered to be the chakra of pure consciousness.  The crown chakra is expressed by thought and is our connection to Source and our higher self or higher consciousness.

The physical organs affected by the Crown Chakra include the upper brain, right eye and generally the area of the head above midline. When in balance a being experiences intuitive knowing, connection to their spirituality, wholeness, and oneness.

Symptoms of blockage may include: depression, hopelessness, and feelings of alienation or feeling alone or separated. Physical symptoms may include diseases of the muscular, skeletal or skin systems; chronic exhaustion, and hypersensitivity to ones environment. Mental and emotional symptoms may include: lack of purpose, loss of identity, trust issues, or lack of values or ethics.

Methods of balancing and healing the Crown Chakra include taking time to be still and quiet, connecting with self and spirit, and creating a gratitude journal in which you write all the things you are grateful for each day.  

Crystals which benefit the Crown Chakra include clear quartz and moonstone. 

Beneficial essential oils include Frankincense and Lavender.

Meditating on the vibrational sound Om  is an Ayurvedic technique for balancing the Crown Chakra.



~*~ Regina Ann is the founder of Integrative Wholistic Solutions and a Holistic Health & Wellness Practitioner offering Complimentary and Integrative Medicines, resources and tools to assist you in achieving emotional, mental, physical, spiritual Well Being. Visit IntegrativeWholisticSolutions.com to learn more.

*All Rights Reserved

2010-2015