Living with Passion & Purpose

What is one of the main ingredients for the heathiest, happiest existence imaginable?  A zest for life!!

For many of us, we do the same thing day in and day out. Most likely, our current job or education or family life requires it. And most likely, we’ve just sort of slid into this routine over time and perhaps haven’t had a long enough moment to step out of it and realize that, maybe we’ve let our excitement over and passion for life dissipate right alongside our spontaneity, variety, and curiosity. Maybe things have been feeling kind of old, boring, stale lately, but we just sort of shrugged it off and figured that that’s what we ultimately must accept out of life as the cost of stability and possibly comfort… But it doesn’t have to be that way.

If I were to ask you, WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE?! What makes you most passionate, brings you joy, makes you feel that zest for life that’s so integral to our wellbeing and our enjoyment of life in general? .. What would you say?? And will you be engaging in any of it today? Continue reading

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Sleep Hygiene

Night night!

Sweet dreams!!

Oh wait .. don’t go fallin’ asleep on me yet! We’ve got lotss and lots of bedtime tips to get through before you’re even allowed to think of sinking that pretty head of yours into your soft, fluffy oh-so-inviting pillow … 😉

Sleep is SO important to our existence. (Duh, I know y’already know.) It’s vital ~ essential, to keep our bodies alive ~ and yet, so many of us aren’t getting the quality sleep we need to thrive and then shrugging it off as though it’s not really that big a deal, as though we’ll be able to slide through ok without it. But that’s just it. It’s that sliding through part that may be true, and that’s the issue. We have the tendency to “just get by” in so many areas of our lives; in this fast-paced, non-stop, ever-stimulating, go-go-go world of ours, we sort of get caught up in the whirlwind and never have a chance to slow down, take in the scenery, enjoy the journey, “smell the roses” .. or REST!

Do you know what happens to the human body when it’s deprived of those precious ZZZs? Cortisol (the “stress hormone”) increases, blood pressure rises, our heart has to work harder, inflammation shoots up, our immune defenses sharply drop .. and that doesn’t even begin to touch the mental effects, say .. not being able to think clearly or retain new information (not so good if you’re a student, as we discussed in our last post, eh?? Though, really, not so good for anyone .. We all need to think at least a lil bit 😉 ), or being in a less than happy/flattering mood .. Not getting enough sleep also increases levels of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone,” and can cause more wrinkles and just, in general, faster aging. Think of a machine that never gets a break. Our bodies are surely much more intelligent and capable of self-repair than machinery is .. yet, there are only so many repeated insults from which we can recover.

So are you convinced yet?? To get more/deeper/better quality sleep, I mean? Sold on the fact that you’ll perhaps have to put some extra effort in to create a bedtime ritual or sleep-prep-practice(s) that might be somewhat challenging to get into the habit of first, but that I assure you will soon have you glad you started ‘em? I hope so! Continue reading

Back to School ~ using plant power to boost brain power

Happy September, everyone!!

You know what that means .. yes, lots and lots of social media posts hearkening the arrival of what’s apparently considered “the most wonderful time of the year” (aka fall) in the eyes of so many .. but also, something that’s perhaps a teensy bit less wonderful in the eyes of some .. BACK TO SCHOOL!

Homework and quizzes and tests, oh my!! The whirlwind begins NOW. Whether you feel rested by your summertime break or like you could already use another, it’s time to get that brain back in the books, that noggin back on track, that mind back in full gear.

It can undoubtedly be challenging to concentrate after so much blissful time away from the classroom. (Take it from me .. I spent 2+ years away, then dove straight into med school!) But don’t be alarmed just yet if you’re having a hard time getting back into the swing of things ~ it doesn’t automatically mean you’re already screwed for the year, or you’ll need an Adderall prescription or cases on cases of Red Bull to get you through. (Sorry if you wanted those wings, tho. Maybe another time. It’s for your own good, I promise!) Continue reading

Itchy Skin Salve

Partly inspired by our summertime bot med formulations class, and partly because I was so excited to find so many perfect ingredients for this little homemade herbal project right in our lush northeast backyard, and partly just cuz I miss you all and thought it high time for another post .. here I am, back again, this time with a quick and easy recipe! (Because, though fall will soon be upon us, it’s not too late to get out there, harvest those late-summertime herbs, and mix them together into a wonderful, medicinal creation!! 😀 )

And when I say quick and easy, I really mean it ~ and should probably add dirty to that list of descriptors, too. Not literally (unless you choose to make it so which is certainly an easy possibility with these wildcrafting adventures), but in the sense that today I’ll describe the basics of throwing together the quickest, simplest salve imaginable. Definitely “folk” style herbalism here today, folks. 😉 Which just so happens to be my FAVE style. Because who needs measuring cups when using ’em just means you’ll have to clean ’em, anyway? Let’s dive right in, then, to making our Itchy Skin Salve.

Now remember, as always, you can tweak and twist the recipe below around however you like. It’s just an idea, a foundation/guideline, that you should feel free to base your own botanical mixtures off of ~ but it’s by no means strict or stringent. If you don’t have access to or just prefer not to work with one or more of these herbs, skip or substitute it. If you’d rather use more essential oils and less crude plant material, go for it. If your skin isn’t itchy in the slightest, thankyouverymuch, and you’d like your salve to have a totally different medicinal effect, use whatever herbs you like and know are safe for your intents and purposes. Have fun with it and let your creative expression run wild and free! Making beauty/hygiene products and medicines are one of the simplest ways to do just that ~ because what could be better than playing with plants and getting an effective, inexpensive, soothing, healing, sustainable product out of it when you’re done?! Short answer: Nada. Am I right?? Here we go then! Continue reading

Health at 36,000 ft.

It’s SUMMATIME! You know what that means .. VACATION!!!!!! 😀 Travel to exotic, far-away locations that almost certainly involve some sort of blue sky, white sand, warm & salty sea type things .. amIright?? (Or, maybe you’re like me, and the only plane trips you’ll be taking this class/clinic/NPLEX-filled summer are back and forth to spend time with family.. 😉 )

No matter where business or leisure takes you this summer, for many of us, there will be air travel involved. While traveling in general can take its toll on our bodies, flying is a special kind of beast for a number of reasons. Radiation, pressure changes, quick time zone traversal, airplane food, hours of sitting, lots of people in a unique kind of semi-scared, semi-chaotic mode because suddenly they have no control over what’s happening .. you get the picture. Some of these things, well, we just plain ol’ can’t control and pretty much have to accept, as they come with the territory. But we’re not totally helpless, either.

Read on for plenty of ways to minimize stress and damage to your body and being while traveling! Because, let’s face it, travel is AMAZING and important and often life-changing .. but, ideally, we don’t have to sacrifice any aspect of our wellness to experience it. Continue reading

Massage Therapy: Grateful Client and Evolving Practitioner

Got some Words from Friends for y’all today!!! 😀 That’s right, another guest post! This time from one of my nearest and dearest .. and one of the hands-down most amazing gals you’ll ever meet. Without further ado (well, after I mention that you should read all the way down for a special PROMO*!!!), I’ll let her take it straight away!! Ladies and gents, meet Kendall!!!!!

pretty Kendall

(Why yes, she is stunningly BEAUTIFUL! Inside and out, let me tell you!)

A bit about this lovely lady:
Kendall Perrine is a Southern California native. She moved to the Central Coast of California with her family at the age of 16. She spent 9 years on the Central Coast, exploring its beauty receiving education. She attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. where she completed her B.S. in Kinesiology with a concentration in Physical Therapy. After graduation she worked many part-time jobs in the health and wellness industry and continued to learn more about the human body by attending massage therapy school where she obtained her license as a massage therapy practitioner in the state of California. Additionally, she worked for the Parks and Recreation Department of San Luis Obispo as a lifeguard and swim instructor for many years.

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Dry Brushing

Stagnation. Ick. It’s what keeps us stuck, allows mosquitoes to grow, promotes clot formation in our vasculature, makes rooms stuffy, causes pain. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is sometimes said that stagnation is the root of all illness. Whether that is indeed true, and whether or not we totally understand the mechanism of such an etiology, one thing most of us can agree on is that stagnation is not a good thing ~ especially when that stagnation is occurring in our bodies.

Most people are aware that within them pulses blood through a network of arteries and veins. But did you know that, running just nearby to those liquid-transporting passageways is another series of tubes and ducts? Well, there is; meet the lymphatic system. As blood moves along, materials enter and leave it; this is how oxygen and other nutrients get delivered to our tissues and carbon dioxide and other wastes removed. The exchange happens quickly and highly efficiently, but even in the healthiest of humans, not every ounce of fluid that is lost from the bloodstream is returned to the veins each time. Cue lymphatics.
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