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Tag Archives : sleep

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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The Importance of Beauty Sleep

We hope everyone had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend…we certainly did!

So much so that we are taking the day off of our usual Tuesday blogging to regroup, relax and recuperate.

In our stead, please enjoy this informative article about the importance of beauty sleep – something we all know in theory but may not always practice.

Did you happen to overindulge on drink and dessert and under-indulge on sleep this weekend? Head on over to our collection of anti-aging skin care, full of luxury products sure to get you looking your best in minutes flat.

Read on for excerpts from an article originally published on northwestpharmacy.com.

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Sleeping Beauty is an age-old fairytale, but most of us probably don’t look like Princess Aurora after a night’s slumber. Morning may bring bags under your eyes, cracked skin, a blemish-covered face, or a head full of frizzy hair, leaving you to wonder how sleeping ends up making such a negative impact on our looks.

The average person spends one third of his or her life in bed, so it makes complete sense to optimize snooze time. We’ve rounded up a few tips and tricks.

Catching Zzs: The Ultimate Anti-Ager

Researchers have long established sleep as a necessary element to achieve overall health. And getting an adequate amount of sleep each night is hands down one of the most crucial and easiest beauty treatments. Not getting enough sleep can do visible damage. In fact, participants in one study perceived sleep-deprived people as less healthy and attractive than they were after a normal night’s sleep. In another study, participants thought sleep-deprived individuals had eyes that were more swollen and redder, with darker circles as well as paler skin, increased wrinkles and fine lines, and droopy mouth corners. Researchers have also found poor sleep quality can accelerate signs of aging skin and decrease the skin’s ability to repair itself overnight.

Beauty In The Bedroom

When it comes to actual sleep positioning, aestheticians suggest back sleeping. There’s no scientific evidence, but back sleeping does prevent the face from making contact with a pillow, and perhaps decrease the chance of wrinkles. Some studies do suggest that burying our faces into a pillowcase for extended periods of time every night may be associated with increased wrinkle formation, yet others find no connection. Smooth satin sheets may also help: The silkier fibers lead to less friction compared to traditional cotton fabric, translating into less potential skin and hair damage. Others believe the material has frizz fighting effects and is less likely to suck hair of natural oils.

Another easy fix: Clean pillowcases. Our trusty pillows harbor all sorts of dirt, oil, bacteria, dust mites, and mold, some of which comes from our hair and skin cells, or leftover makeup. Transferring that grime from pillowcase to face can wreak havoc on our skin. Not regularly washing bedding can also lead to clogged pores and blemishes, while dust mites and other creepy crawlies may trigger allergies and negatively affect quality of sleep.

Make a habit of washing pillow cases once a week in hot water; toss those pillows into the washing machine on gentle every three months or so (read the labels for specific instructions). It also may be a good idea to tie longer hair in a loose knot to keep away additional dirt and oil from transferring from hair to pillow to face.

Sleeping Beauty: Treatments to Try While You Snooze

optimal-sleep-time

Wash up before laying down

If you want clear skin in the morning, put the kibosh on dirt and oil at night. Clean sheets are a great defense against breakouts, but washing your face before turning in for the night is even more important. Too tired? Use a toning facial cleanser wipe. We love Heaven Skincare EllaJane Celebrity Skin Wipes or Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes.

Heal your heels

Beauty isn’t limited to the neck up. Pay attention to your feet before you snooze. Utilize resting time to moisturize dry, cracked heels. Pop on some socks to keep moisturizer from transferring to the sheets. Two of our favorites include Alchimie Forever Dry Skin Balm and Heaven Skincare Black Label Vanilla Pod Hand & Nail Cream.

Mend split ends

Dip the ends of your hair in a deep conditioner (or mask) to moisturize locks while you sleep. (If you have thick hair, finger the conditioner through your entire mane) Wrap a bandana or old T-shirt loosely over your hair (or pop on a shower cap) to keep the mask from messing up your pillow. Philip Kingsley Elasticizer and Caretrico Moist Bounce Treatment are the best hair masks.

Head to the tropics

Ditch dry skin with a no-fuss nighttime moisturizer: a humidifier. Upping the moisture in the air around you will help hydrate skin without loads of lotion and body butter. When winter rolls around, a humidifier can help stave off cracked lips and bloody noses caused by dry air.

De-puff peepers

Rest on two pillows instead of one to elevate the head just a little bit above the rest of the body and help fluids around the eyes drain easier to decrease puffiness. But this is only effective if lying on the back.

Remember: Sleep is one of the most important tools in our beauty arsenal. And a good night’s slumber is essential for just about everything from mood regulation to keeping energy levels up. Tweaking you bedtime routine can amplify sleep’s beauty benefits without a whole lot of time or energy. See link for the original article.

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