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Tag Archives : best skin care advice

What Is A Colonic…And Do You Really Need One?

Perhaps you’ve noticed, detox is the buzzword du jour. Everyone is juicing, cleansing and cupping their way to a totally toxin-free body. I ain’t mad at them – it’s a worthwhile pursuit. But no matter how detox-dedicated you are, you may draw the line at colonics. Perhaps you think about colonics in the way I did: sounds interesting, intriguing even, but nothing I could ever go through with it. Colonics just seem too:

A) mortifying

B) degrading

C) the absolute physical manifestation of a TMI

When it comes to detoxing, though, colonics are the gold standard. If you’ve always been colonic-curious but have yet to climb up on the table, read on.

Do I Really Need A Colonic?

This is the question I grappled with…the question that kept me “off the table” for years. But the information on the myriad benefits of colonics, and the rationale behind their purported necessity, is overwhelming. For instance, our bodies fully empty our colons once, very soon after birth, and then never again. That one complete colon cleansing happens after just nine months in utero, before we’ve had a single Dorito. Imagine what can accumulate over a lifetime of even the most careful consumption!

It is this toxic accumulation that can cause and/or contribute to a number of health problems: Acne, allergies, anxiety, bloating, candida (yeast), constipation, depression, fatigue, headaches, hormonal imbalances, insomnia, irritability, poor posture and weight issues. This list, by the way, is far from exhaustive.

After my first pregnancy, I considered getting a colonic (or three) before my next pregnancy. Then pregnancy number two happened sooner than expected, so that plan fell through. The plan remained in the back of my mind, though, as something I’d like to do…someday.

Someday came recently, when I went through two rounds of antibiotics (thank you, wisdom teeth extraction), which is as many times as I had been on antibiotics in my life up to that point. After that ordeal, I really wanted – felt I needed – to reboot my system. It was this feeling that had me finally book a colonic appointment.

How It Actually Goes

The therapist I saw, Gina Mikan, uses the Wood gravity method. A colonic irrigation with the Wood gravity method is an “internal bath” (probably my favorite euphemism ever) that helps cleanse the colon of gas, mucus and accumulated fecal matter. There is no discomfort (really!) and no internal pressure, just a gentle flow of water in and out of the colon, expertly controlled by the therapist. Gina explained, step-by-step, what was going on so I felt as at ease as possible, given the circumstances.

The colonic appointment is one hour. You wear an ankle-length exam gown, naked from the waist down. During the colonic you lie on a massage table below the temperature-controlled holding tank – this is why it’s called the “gravity” method. Water flow, which is always under the direct control of the practitioner, flows into the colon via a small tube and out through a wider evacuation tube, carrying with it waste from the body. As the water flows out, the practitioner (and/or you) gently massages the abdomen and acupressure points to help the body release as much waste as possible. You can actually see this expelled waste through a clear section of the outflow tubing. I know – sounds vile – but if you’re going to get a colonic, it is rewarding to see the results in real time! After the colonic, you spend some time in the bathroom before you go on your way.

How You Feel After

I felt very tired, especially that evening. I was asleep by about 9 pm…and what a great night’s sleep it was! I did feel…lighter, too. I felt good! Since I felt so good, and since I didn’t die of embarrassment (initially I thought I’d only be able to go through with it but once), I decided to see Gina for another session a few days later. It’s beneficial to cluster your first few treatments close together – one sole colonic ain’t gonna do much. You need a series to reap the real benefits, though the exact number of treatments will vary from person to person. Once the colon is clean, it is then recommended to have a regular colonics (Every month, at the change of seasons, etc.)  to maintain bowel (and overall) health.

Did I Lose Weight?

Sorry, I don’t weigh myself so I can’t really tell you. But if I had to guess I’d say yes, as my whole abdomen was flatter; trimmer. I was surprised to notice how much more pronounced my waistline was. And it wasn’t only the bottom of my stomach that flattened out, but the top as well, around my ribcage! After two kids, any degree of abdominal flattening is, of course, warmly welcome.

I’ve done 3 colonics so far. Will I do it again? Absolutely. It wasn’t the horrifying, mortifying, I could never face that person again type experience I thought it would be. This is in large part a function of Gina’s consummate professionalism and gentle manner. She made the entire experience as unawkward and educational as such a thing could possibly be. I cannot recommend her highly enough!

A lot of what I feel is hard to articulate – it is an overall feeling of wellness. I wake easier in the morning. Food feels more satisfying; when I eat, I feel more in tune with what and how much I actually need to eat. My insides are just…happier. As nearly three quarters of the immune system resides in the digestive tract, I am curious to see how my cleaner colon helps me through cold and flu season.

Intrigued? Colonics Q & A for Beginners

I asked Gina some “colonics for beginners” questions, below. To find out more or book an appointment with Gina, visit her site here.

Q: What are some examples of good times to start a series of colonics? I know anytime is good, but in particular?

A: People start a series for countless reasons, some of the most common being for constipation, IBS, during a seasonal cleanse, to compliment lifestyle changes (healthier diet and exercise), for maintenance, illness, inflammation, psoriasis, eczema and candida. Personally, I have done multiple colonics when healing my bladder infections – antibiotic-free – in conjunction with diet, herbs and lifestyle choices. When starting a series, I emphasize that it takes a lifetime to get to where we are with our health, so there is no quick fix. We don’t go to the gym and expect to lose 50 pounds on one visit, or run a marathon on our first day, so it is important to have reasonable expectations when beginning the journey.

Q: What are some surprise benefits of colonics – conditions you’ve seen improve from colon hydrotherapy?

A: In combination with dietary and lifestyle changes, I have seen the skin heal significantly – whether it be from psoriasis, acne or eczema. The clients glow!

Q: Anything else you want to share about colonics, and/or your practice?

A: I learn a lot from my clients, and everyone has a unique journey. What I’ve gathered is that, although there are fundamental “no-brainers” that are important to everyone’s health (i.e. whole food diet, exercise, adequate rest), we all have different histories and different needs. I enjoy supporting clients to solve their own health puzzle, drawing from all the resources available (allopathic medicine, ayurveda, chinese medicine, living foods lifestyle, etc.) to create their personalized regimen.

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Getting Skin Back to School Ready

Hold Onto Your Summer Glow

The end of August traditionally leaves us longing to hold onto the healthy glow that we have cultivated all season long. Do not pine away as your tan fades, give it a little boost with Institut Esthederm Sun Sheen Light Self-tanning Face Cream and Sun Sheen Light Self-tanning Body Lotion. These products can be used 3-4 times per week to stretch the life of your tan. They never turn orange or streaky and layer gradually to produce natural results. Your skin can stay party-ready all year round.

And Now…Back to School

Now that we have addressed the fears surrounding the possible disappearance of your seasonal lustre, let’s focus on getting the kids ship shape for September. Around this time of year, many of my clients bring in their children, as young as ages 12-21, for a back to school facial.

Some of the younger adolescence I see have been at sleepaway camp and may have returned with a bit of pre-teen breakouts, while most teenagers have post-summer skin irritation due to sun exposure.

Whether going back to school or off to university, it is a good time to start kids off with a simple custom regimen that will empower them to easily take care of their skin all year round.

Customize with Travel Beauty

What I find unique about Travel Beauty is that one can tailor his or her own regimen and create a custom kit of products. Travel Beauty’s Concierge Service is always on call and reachable by phone or email to help create a skin care routine that is perfect for you. You can call them at 888-717-8790 or email them at concierge@travelbeauty.com. Let them know your and your child’s skin type, and they will help you create an effective skin care practice that will deliver the best results.

Back To School Skin Care Regimen

In the meantime, here are some easy steps that are sure to work for ALL:

Step One: Cleanse

B. Kamins Laboratories makes a gentle Vegetable Cleanser that is specially formulated for sensitive skin. It is well suited for everyone and gently removes dead skin and impurities.

For those in their late teens who wear makeup and/or are willing to take an extra step, I also suggest a post cleansing toner. Lavido Hydrating Facial Toner is organic and gentle enough to use without fear of throwing off their pH balance.

Step Two: Moisturize

B. Kamins Laboratories makes a wonderful BB Cream which contains a light moisturizer, vitamins and a hint of color and sparkle. Teens and tweens seem to be wearing makeup younger and younger these days and this will give them the glow they need for every day.

Another good moisturizing alternative is Alchimie Forever Daily Defense Cream SPF 23. All natural, dermatologist-tested and vegan, this moisturizer is gentle and has a light SPF, which is beneficial all year long.

For young men that are about to start shaving or are already doing so, Elemis S.O.S. Survival Cream is an ideal moisturizer and/or aftershave. It fights razor burn and irritation like a charm.

Step Three: At Home Mini Facial

For those that will take the extra step, applying a mask once a week will do wonders. It is akin to an at home mini facial that will keep their skin clear all year long:

•   Elemis Herbal Lavender Repair Mask: For normal to oily skin. Great for healing blemishes and clearing up breakouts.

•   Juvena Specialist Moisture Plus Gel Mask: A rehydrating mask for sensitive, dry or reactive skin.

Some Useful Extras

For teens that find themselves with blemishes, B. Kamins Laboratories Blemish Gel 5% is the perfect spot treatment to dab on to affected areas. It delivers the right amount of medicine in a lower dose than other over the counter treatments and will not irritate or overdry skin.

B. Kamins SPF 20 Lip Balm is a no brainer. With the change of season and school stress, everyone can use a new lip balm to kick off the school year with a stunning smile!

All of these products will take you and your teens through fall and into winter.

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Yasmine Djerradine Shares Expert Skin Care Advice

Travel Beauty’s Exclusive Q & A with Yasmine Djerradine of Yasmine Djerradine Institut de Beauté.

TB: What do you love most about what you do?

yasmine-djerradine-expert-skin-care-adviceYasmine: So many things…I love to take care of people. There is something intimate about caring for another’s skin. I like to customize each treatment.

People often call me and describe their skin over the phone and ask me to recommend a regimen for them. I always tell them that I need to see and touch their skin in order to understand their unique health and beauty needs.

TB: What is the single most important, best piece of skin care advice that you give your clients?

Yasmine: Please don’t overdo it! Your skin is an organ, and your body’s first line of defense against the elements. Many harsh procedures actually strip your skin of what it desperately needs to protect itself! Focus on cleansing and hydrating, and your skin will always be there to protect you.

Customization in skin care is also crucial. Everything has to be “sur mesure”, or made to order. Everyone ages differently and responds to the elements and pollution uniquely.

TB: If you had to recommend a few essential skin care products that you would encourage people to splurge on, what would they be?

Yasmine: Today people are living longer and so we need our youthful complexion to last indefinitely. It is more important than ever to take care of ourselves as we age. If you think about the adverse effects of collagen collapse, sun or wind damage, cancer, etc., all of these issues can be traced back to the various ways we have neglected our skin. We must utilize a serious moisturizer during the winter to protect ourselves from the cold and wind and the best sun protection when we are in the sun – basically all year round.

TB: What defining moment in your career had the strongest influence on you?

Yasmine: I have defining moments all the time! I am constantly discovering new products, working with new clients and experimenting with new treatment technologies. This is why, even after 30 years, I am still so passionate about skin care. It is my hope and vision for the future that each new experience will be insightful and exciting. I strive for every moment to be the next “aha” moment!

Read more about Yasmine on her Travel Beauty Expert Page.

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