I love taking salt baths! They are a favorite way of mine to relax and help take care of my body.
Baths can boost the lymphatic system and help get the body into a parasympathetic state.
My favorite bath add-ins (I usually add salt and 1-3 other additions per bath):
1/4- 2 cups of epsom or Dead Sea salt to a warm to hot bath. Using the higher amount of salt and a hotter bath will result in a detox bath where you are sweating (which I love). Or you can use the smaller amount of salt and a warm bath for a more relaxing option.
1 TB organic ginger powder
1-4 TB baking soda
1/4- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 TB organic coconut oil
2 TB organic cacao butter
1/4 cup- 1 cup organic glyphosate free oats (gathered in and tied off using organic cotton cheesecloth)
Mediation consists of breath work practices where you breath in and out through your nose. Ideally meditation is practiced sitting up (with a straight spine) with hips above the knees and hands on the lap. Meditation and breath work help the body get into a parasympathetic state (rest and digest). When the body is in a parasympathetic state (not in a sympathetic state, aka fight of flight), the body stimulates saliva, slows the heart rate, stimulates the production of bile and digestion and causes intestinal muscle relaxation. When the body is in a sympathetic state, it inhibits saliva production, increases heartbeat, slows digestion, reduces blood flow and causes glucose release. So why practice meditation? For me, to help my body get into a parasympathetic state which is healing and makes me feel good!
Meditation was difficult to get in the swing of practicing. Sitting still and focusing on my breath was very challenging for me. For the first 4 months I meditated, I would sit for only 5 minutes 3-5 times per week. I would breathe in and out through my nose, I would focus on breathing into my belly, and I would count in my head until my 5 minutes was up. After those 4 months, I was able to go through the How to Meditate program by Jeff Warren, which consists of 30 10 minute meditations on the Calm app. After completing that, I took a meditation class where I learned a lot- various breathing, visualization and mantra techniques.
My favorite breathwork technique is called box breathing (or equal ratio breathing). In box breathing, you inhale, hold your breath, exhale and hold your breath for the same number of counts and repeat. For example, inhale for 5 counts, hold your breath for 5 counts, exhale for 5 counts and hold your breath for 5 counts. Repeat.
Now I meditate most days for 10-20 minutes. Sometimes I use guided mediations and sometimes I meditate on my own. I love to meditate in front of my red light (a post about that coming soon) before working out!
I have used a gua sha (sporadically) and a detector (much more regularly) for the past 8 months. The past 2 months, I have been very regularly (nearly daily) using my gua sha. My skin is so soft and I have less hyperpigmentation where my ezxema used to be (around my mouth and chin). My neck and decolatette feel so much smoother. My little worry lines on my forehead are lighter. And thanks to moving lymph, I am no longer waking up with puffy morning eyes!
The scar I’ve had for about 3 years has completely faded away in the last two months! I got the scar from my dog Lola. We were playing with a toy and she accidentally scratched my face. The scar sat low and close to my nose on my right cheek; it was very thin and nearly an inch long. It was light to medium (definitely not a deep/big scar). A few months ago, I noticed that the scar had faded (from regularly detector use, irregular gua sha use and very regular red light therapy). But after using the gua sha these past couple months, it is completely gone… So cool*!
I am learning gua sha from Jackie Van Ruler. You can purchase an authentic and high quality gua sha tool from her, and she has many free videos (on her website, instagram and You Tube) where you can follow along. I first did her Love Your Face, Love Your Life free program and enjoyed it so much that I purchased her Give Yourself a Facelift program. I am so glad I did! It is a series of detector and gua sha videos that teach you how to use them. I cannot say enough good things about her program. My skin is so much better. It is such a transformative experience, I will always practice it!
* I should note that in addition to gua sha, I am regularly practicing with a detector and face taping, using a red light/led mask, a micro current, frozen cryo gold wands and a vibrating rose quartz roll. I am sure that all of these things combined have helped erase my scar. But I maintain that facial reflexology and gua sha are the most important of these practices!
I will be starting a new weekly post: self care practices. I will be sharing various self care practices that help me stay grounded, healthy and happy! Self care is important to me because it consists of mental and physical ways of loving, respecting and caring for myself.
Facial reflexology: I love facial reflexology. It is so easy to do and feels great! Reflexology is a therapeutic method that stimulates points correlating to different parts of the body. Reflexology brings blood flow to the treated area. You practice facial reflexology using a stainless steel wand/detector. Using the tool, you rub circles on your face (using just the weight of the tool). There are many different protocols you can practice (depending on your goals; ex dry skin, allergies, greying hair) or you can just go along your face and stop any wear you feel bumpy or sensitive and make sure to complete 15 circles on that spot. Make sure to breathe in-and-out through your nose and treat it as a meditative experience. I usually use my detector first thing in the morning and\or at night before bed. Sometimes after work, my husband and I will do a gua sha (more on that later) and detector routine together.
Resources: Jackie Van Ruler, Danna from Noy Skincare and Veronica from Eunoia Esssentials. I love to watch the protocols from these wonderful women. You can find all of them online, look for Eunoia Essentials on Instagram. You can buy detectors (and gua sha’s) from all three of them.
For me, I started off with Jackie Van Rulers’ detector and gua sha videos. She has a wonderful kind energy and I love learning from her. She is very responsive on instagram and has answered all of my questions. I ended up falling in love with the practice and purchased her Quantum Face Lift (a series of videos to help you facial massage, break up facial adhesions and move lymph using a gua sha and videos for using the detector). When I first started using the detector, I had enlarged pores on my cheeks, black heads on my nose and exzema around my mouth and chin. Using the detector (and gua sha) truly changed my skin! It took a couple months of consistent use for my skin to change. My pores slowly got smaller, the blackheads on my nose became lighter and fewer, and the exzema definitely calmed down. I will do the post about gua sha next week because I really think both of these practices together make a huge difference. It took me a while to get through all the quantum facelift videos, but I definately wish I had done it sooner. After 8 months of practicing facial reflexology and 2 months of regular gua sha use (8 months of irregular use) my skin is looking so hydrated and plump! My pores are small and my blackheads scarce.
Danna from Noy Skincare has the most beautiful gua sha stone and a two sided detector. She has tons of videos on her instagram and website demonstrating different protocols. I have been practicing her detector videos for many months now and I absolutely love her energy. I love her calm and moisturize video on Instagram. She is also super responsive on instagram and will answer any questions!
Eunoia Essentials has so many lovely gua sha and detector videos on her instagram. They are super easy to follow and Veronica is so kind and helpful. I bought her terahertz detector and love it. I love to use it straight out of the freezer or hold it up to an ice cube before using. Like Jackie and Danna, she responds and answers questions on her instagram.
I love facial refelxology because it feels good, it’s good for me and it makes my skin look great!