Sunday, November 24, 2013

A picture is worth ...

... a thousand words.

No longer putting off moving into my office waiting for the carpeting to be installed, Dennis was sweet enough to set up my Creative Corner Computer so I could create the below YouTube of my experience in Sedona.

It's funny to look back at the pictures 4+ weeks later.  I didn't take ANY pictures during the many, MANY hours of yoga practice and training, but I obviously captured many images of our 4-times-per- week hikes in the beauty of Sedona.  Gee whiz ... if you didn't know me, and you just watched this video, you'd think I was NEVER in training. But that is far from the truth.

I am so grateful for the experience I had with everyone, both faculty and students.  I will ALWAYS REMEMBER everyone.

Brew a cup of tea, turn up the volume, sit back, and I hope you enjoy ~

Monday, November 11, 2013

Calgon ~ No ... EPSOM SALT ...

... Take Me Away!  Does you remember that Calgon slogan?

I believe we don't need to buy another "product" from a big corporation; simply go back to the tried and true Epsom salt and take the time to take a bath.

Of course it's rather ironic that I'm gaining this realization after REMOVING our soaking tub in our master bathroom to replace it with a huge walk-in shower.  But I'm grateful that we KEPT the bathtub in our front bathroom so I can follow this advice.

What is Epsom salt anyway?   After Googling (I love researching on the Internet!), I learned that it is Magnesium Sulfate, an inorganic salt made of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen.  The name was derived because one of the earliest discoveries of magnesium sulfate was made in Epsom, England. 

Potentially, more than half of all Americans are deficient in magnesium, which, like any deficiency, can lead to various health problems.   Sulfate helps forms brain tissue and joint proteins, and can strength the wall of the digestive tract.  I am all-for anything that I can do naturally to keep myself healthy, and taking an Epsom salt bath, 3 times per week, seems to have many benefits, just to name a few:

  • Improved heart and circulatory health
  • Improves the ability of the body to use insulin
  • Flushes toxins and heavy metals from the cells
  • Eases muscle pain
  • Regulates electrolytes which leads to improved nerve function
  • Relieves stress ~ and we ALL know what a killer stress is
  • Reduces inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps
  • Improves absorption of nutrients
  • Restores pH balance (remember the pH strips I mentioned on the last blog?)
  • There are even claims that it can reduce belly fat and help one lose weight!

So ~ how does one take an Epsom salt bath?  First of all, you buy the salt in any drug store.  I bought mine at Walgreens.  Dissolve 2 cups of Epsom salts in a bathtub full of warm water.  I've read that super hot water strips away protective oil from your skin (that explains why I always feel so dry after being in our hot tub, not to mention the chemicals).  I also love to add a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil to the stream of water filling the tub for a beautiful aromatic experience.  And of course, PAMPER YOURSELF.  Get some candles (battery operated are my favorite), turn on some soft music, and turn down the lights.  Use this time to visualize your strong and healthy body.  Stay in the water for at least 12 minutes.  Rinse off any left-over salt, and be sure to moisturize your skin immediately after the bath.  If you don't want to use a chemical-laden moisturizer, then try sesame, sunflower, or coconut oil.  Sesame is very warming, while coconut is cooling.  You can always try a mixture of different oils, as well.  Experiment and have fun with it!  Just be sure to have a special set of clothes to wear while the oil soaks into your skin. 

My mother ALWAYS took a night shower.  She told me that it helped her to sleep.  Besides, who wants to crawl into bed with all of the day's germs still on the body?  I've personally discovered that MOM WAS RIGHT (again).  It DOES make me sleep much better.  So I'm going to add these baths to my health regime. 

I'm very grateful to Kim, my roommate in Sedona, as she is the one who brought this information to me after giving me a FABULOUS MASSAGE one evening in her in-home massage room. Because she worked on some muscles that were tender, she suggested I take an Epsom salt bath, drink a lot of water, and go to bed.  And man, did I sleep that night!  Thank you, Kim.

A note on Kim ~ if you find yourself in Sedona, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you book a massage with her.  Her massage room is peaceful, her table includes an amethyst crystal biomat which is WARM, and her technique is crazy good.  Check out her blog, too ~

Sedona Expressions

There are so many wonderful ways to keep ourselves healthy without buying into the drug culture.  I encourage everyone to do their own research and try out different natural remedies before popping a pill.  I believe God already gave us everything we need to naturally live a long and healthy life. 

Believe in your own discernment and the wisdom of your body. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Your Tongue Speaks Volumes

One of the coolest things I learned while in Sedona was about my tongue, an organ that is more vital than I realized.  I was certainly aware of my tongue back in 2007 when I developed candida ~ an overgrowth of yeast ~ which caused crazy bumps and a thick white coating on my tongue.   Not long after that I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  So obviously I have paid A LOT OF ATTENTION to the state of my tongue since then.

But my Sedona experience taught me even more.  I learned that the coating on my tongue actually consists of impurities, or toxins, that have been removed from my body, especially when I'm resting at night.  That coating, which is called ama, indicates that there is an accumulation of toxins that the body is trying very hard to expel.  If we don't remove this ama, then we aggravate ailments within the body, particularly digestive problems.  And we all understand that the digestive system is critical to our health. 

This ama also acts as a breeding ground for bacteria which can then contaminate the food (and liquids) we ingest.  Ama also can cause bad breath.

Depending on where the ama is on your tongue, can also point to where the ailments are in the body:

But there is a very easy and simple solution to ridding oneself of this ama:  regular cleaning of the tongue. 

For less than $10, one can purchase a copper tongue scraper.  There are many links on Google to buying one ~ but here is the exact same one that I'm using ~

Since learning about this, I have adjusted my morning routine.  Immediately after getting out of bed, I scrape my tongue.  It literally takes less than 30 seconds. I then brush my teeth right away to make sure that all of that ama is out of my system.  THEN I'll proceed with my morning beverage, which now is a cup of hot water (not coffee or tea).  I do this because:
  • It flushes toxins from the body and aids digestion
  • Cures constipation
  • Aids weight loss by breaking down fat deposits in the body
  • Good for cough and colds
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Reduces stomach, body, and head pain
  • Increases sweating, which aids skin cells
You can also mix honey or lemon for even better results.  Personally, I like adding my Lemon Essential Oil.  For me, after I drink the hot water, I really don't want any coffee OR tea.  Maybe an hour later I'll make myself a cup of herb tea, but I have no desire anymore for coffee. 

The other part of my morning routine is checking the pH of my saliva (acid vs alkaline).  I do this right after scraping my tongue and before brushing my teeth.  This is another 30 second routine that tells me if I'm keeping my body pH neutral.  Again, when I was diagnosed with cancer, I was VERY acidic, so I'm highly motivated to stay out of that condition.  It has been proven that cancer grows in an acidic environment.  These are the pH strips that I use:

This is such an easy way to improve our health, and it takes very little time.  I invite you to consider making these easy changes in your daily routine.  

The smallest changes in our daily lifestyle DO MAKE the Biggest Difference.