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Coconut Oil for Glowing Skin

 

 

Summer is here, which means it’s time for shorts, tank tops, and swimsuits. At this time of year, it’s important to feel good in your skin. Just like foods with ingredient labels, lotions and other beauty products can have a lot of unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients that are bad for your body – both in it and on it. You may already know that coconut oil is great for cooking – it has a higher smoke point, meaning it can withstand higher cooking temperatures without oxidizing (unlike olive oil). It taste great on food, but did you know it’s also great for your skin and hair? This simple product can be used in many ways to help make your skin softer and glowing throughout the summer months. Try a few of these out and see an improvement within weeks!

 

1. Basic Moisturizer Coconut oil is great by itself as a moisturizer. Take a warm shower or bath and pat dry with a towel. Apply coconut oil to skin, massaging it in for at least a minute. Concentrate on dry areas, such as elbows, knees, and hands. Feel free to wipe off excess oil with a towel, and allow the rest to soak in as you get ready for the day or crawl into bed.

 

2. Face Wash Washing your face with oil might seem counterproductive, especially for those with an already-oily complexion. The oil-cleansing method is actually a great way to open up your pores, get rid of the dirt and oil, and replace it with good, natural oils. Use Castor oil first to draw out dirt and unclog pores. Simply massage it into your dry face, concentrating on problematic areas (I usually massage it into my forehead and chin for at least 30 seconds). Use a warm towel to steam your face, laying it across gently and holding for 30-60 seconds. Rinse off towel and wipe the oil off your face until there is no excess remaining. Pat your face dry and apply a thin layer of coconut oil. Dab off any excess oil with a soft tissue, and notice the new glow and softness of your skin!

 

3. Makeup remover Warm up a teaspoon of coconut oil in water and dip a cotton ball into it. Swipe the cotton ball across your eyes to remove eyeliner and mascara, without the harshness of a chemical makeup remover.

 

4. Make your own lotion I’ve been using this homemade lotion mixture on my skin for months now and have seen huge improvements. After seeing the dryness and bumps go away, I can’t go back to regular lotion.

 

Whipped Body ButterWhat you need: • 1 cup cocoa butter • ¼ cup coconut oil • ¼ cup jojoba oil (or oil of your choice – almond, olive, and avocado work great as well) • Medium-sized mason jar • Standing mixer (for whipping)

 

Directions: 1. Melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil in a double boiler 2. Add in jojoba oil and heat until everything is blended 3. Chill mixture in refrigerator until solid (about 1-2 hours) 4. Scoop mixture into mixer and whip at high speed for about 3-5 minutes. A white peak should form and mixture should be light and fluffy. 5. Scoop whipped lotion into your Mason jar and store in a cool place.

 

If you're interested in more DIY recipes like this, some of my favorite websites are wellnessmama.com and freshpickedbeauty.com.

 

Coconut oil has can benefit your body in so many ways, both inside and out. Keep a jar in your kitchen and your bathroom! Pick some up the next time you're at our studio or grocery store. Experiment with different ways to use coconut oil and see if it works for you. Moisturize your skin naturally and feel great this summer.

 

 


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Acupuncture and Cupping

What is "Cupping" and how does it work? Written by Theresa L. Spradlin M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM) Cupping is one of the oldest methods of treating diseases, and has been promoted by people of many different cultures around the world. Past and present, cupping has been used to mobilize blood flow within the skin and underlying tissues in order to promote healing.  It is called “cupping” because the instruments used resemble small cups or jars that are applied to the skin in such a way that they create a local suction. In ancient times, the cups were made of animal horn or bamboo. Since then, the materials for making the cups and the methods involved have greatly improved...today the cups are made of a wide range of materials including glass, plastic, and silicone. Cupping is commonly used in conjunction with acupuncture to enhance the healing effects of treatment. There are many types and methods of cupping available today. Our acupuncturist uses glass cups that are equipped with one-way valves. As the cups are placed on the skin, a hand-held pump draws the air out of the glass through the valves, creating a mild suction. This technique anchors the cup to the skin and pulls it upward on the inside of the glass. Drawing up the skin in this fashion is believed to open up the pores of the skin and stimulate the flow of blood. It is known to clear obstructions in the flow of energy through the body’s meridians (energy pathways) and creates an avenue for toxins to be drawn out of the body. Our acupuncturist also uses cups made of silicone. The type of cup used depends upon the indication and the part of the body involved. WHAT CONDITIONS DOES CUPPING TREAT? As cupping creates a local suction, some subcutaneous and muscle tissue is also drawn up into the cup. For this reason, cupping can be used to treat a wide array of musculoskeletal issues. Besides being an excellent treatment modality for many types of sports injuries, cupping is also a wonderful remedy for everyday aches and pains as it helps muscles to relax and release tension. It is great for arthritic joint conditions and helps improve range of motion. Cupping can also used to treat a broad range of medical conditions and certain systemic diseases throughout the entire body. WHAT WILL I EXPERIENCE? First and foremost, cupping is not painful! There are some cupping methods in which many cups are applied to the skin and left on for 15 minutes or more. This prolonged suction causes large, deep bruises to form on the skin where the cups are applied.  Our acupuncturist does not use these methods! In our Acupuncture Spa, each glass cup that is applied is then removed almost instantly, bringing about the same therapeutic effects (there is no need to leave the cups on!) Therefore, there is never a visible sign that the cup was ever there. Besides the glass cups, our acupuncturist also uses soft, pliable silicone cups that are flexible and conform to the surface of the skin. With this cupping method, massage oil is used to lubricate the skin so that the cup can be moved freely over the area without breaking the suction. This type of cupping feels just like a deep tissue massage. Our clients love it, especially when preceded by a hot, moist towel! After cupping treatment, drinking a lot of water is highly recommended to help circulate the blood and other fluids through the tissues in the areas affected. Drinking water will also help the kidneys eliminate any toxins that are released from the tissues as a result of the cupping. Cupping is never unpleasant or uncomfortable! In fact, many people experience a sense of restored energy as well as pain reduction following cupping treatment. Check out more offerings on our Acupuncture page and schedule an appointment today! Weekend and evening appointments are always available. Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Run Coaching, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more. Come check us out today!

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*New* Studio A's "Acupuncture Spa"

Written by Theresa L. Spradlin M.Ac., L.Ac., Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM) Welcome to the Health and Wholeness Acupuncture Studio that now offers the full spa experience of getting pampered while being treated for your health issues! Our acupuncture clients can now experience the unexpected pleasure of having hot towels, infrared heat, and essential oils applied to their aches and pains as part of their treatment. Imagine having a relaxing foot massage during acupuncture treatment with a soothing herbal therapy pillow draped warmly across your tired neck and shoulders while listening to soft music - it doesn't get much better than this! This is exactly what you can expect during each acupuncture treatment... In addition, our acupuncturist works with only one person at a time, so you have her undivided attention throughout your treatment. You won’t be hurried out the door either, as each session lasts over an hour, giving you ample opportunity to truly savor the experience! Our Acupuncture Studio, with all the comforts and atmosphere of a true spa, will help you forget your aches and pains and make you feel instantly relaxed, warm, and rejuvenated! Start your New Year right by being pampered in a very unique fashion designed to promote relaxation and enhance well-being and health. Schedule an appointment today! Weekend and evening appointments are always available. We look forward to serving you at our newest spa! Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Run Coaching, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more. Come check us out today!

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How to Live in your Best Skin this Winter Season

Winter certainly changes the landscape, even down to the landscape of our skin. Cold weather, biting winds, and dry heat from furnaces can leave skin lacking its usual luster. For many of us, winter skin can be more than just red rosy cheeks, but also dryness of the hands, face and feet. Winter skin issues can range from the moderate tight, dry, flaky feeling to more severe symptoms like cracking and splitting of skin or eczema (when the skin actually becomes inflamed). It’s not just the chilly weather that has this drying effect, but also the heaters we have on indoors, regardless of what type of heat you have. Thankfully, Health and Wholeness has started carrying a wonderful line of organic beauty products by Neal's Yard Remedies to help save your skin this season. Try a free sample next time you're in the studio, or place an order on your own! There are also some simple nutrition tips that can combat winter’s attack on skin, so don’t write irritated skin off as just another chilling reality! With the proper nutrition, you can have skin as healthy and soft as a summer breeze, regardless of the weather. Eliminate Allergens: Many reactions to a food allergy or intolerance aren’t only digestive, but can also show up on your skin. If you’re suffering with severe skin conditions or eczema, it may be helpful to eliminate common food allergens like gluten, wheat, dairy, and soy for a while to see if symptoms improve. Water: While it may seem obvious to start with water, proper hydration is the first place to begin breathing some life back into dry skin. Although the general recommendation for water intake is about 32 ounces a day, this amount varies from person to person, especially if you are active. The best way to determine your hydration status is to look at your urine (clear or light yellow means you are getting enough water, dark yellow means you’re lacking). If you find you don’t want cold water when it’s cold out, heat it up and put sliced lemon in it, keep it room temperature, or sip on herbal tea throughout the day. Omega-3’s: An essential fatty acid deficiency is a common cause of dry skin, so be sure to get a daily dose through fatty fish and chia, flax, hemp, or pumpkin seeds. *Note: "When the skin is dry, it means there is a relative imbalance or deficiency of fats, especially compared to the levels of carbohydrates in the diet...patients who suffer from dry skin are thin and have been eating a low-fat diet. They are also often hypoglycemic and crave sugar. Thus they are eating a diet that is high in carbohydrates but deficient in good quality fat. By changing the ratio, so that more calories come from fats than carbohydrates, the body produces more water for the cells. In addition, the body will now have more fatty acids available for our oil-producing glands, which are our natural moisturizers. Good fats include butter, lard, coconut oil, olive oil and small amounts of flax oil." - Excerpt from Weston A. Price Foundation. Read the entire article here! Opt for Some Orange, Yellow, and Green: Stock up on veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, kale, and spinach for their rich vitamin A content. Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant that helps protect skin from free radicals in addition to playing a role in the synthesis of new skin cells. And don’t forget to cook those veggies up with some organic coconut oil to help you absorb that Vitamin A! Broccoli to Bananas: A deficiency in vitamin B6 can show through dry skin and cracked corners of the mouth, as B6 is needed to keep skin healthy. This bold B vitamin can be found in foods like avocado, banana, broccoli, bok choy, sweet potato, and grapes. Nuts for Niacin: Nuts provide a good source of niacin- especially pine nuts, macadamia, and almonds. A niacin deficiency can contribute to eczema, or itchy, dry, red skin. Niacin can also be found in crimini and shiitake mushrooms as well as asparagus. Citrus: Once again, citrus fruits provide a serious source of skin-assisting vitamin C, which is found in skin cells and also provides skin-protecting antioxidants. Add a few of these foods to your daily diet: Lemons, oranges, kiwi, papaya, broccoli, and bell peppers. Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more.

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Acupuncture Q&A: Will I Need a lot of Needles?

Question: How many needles will an acupuncturist use during a treatment? Answer: That depends mostly on each individual. A typical acupuncture treatment can range anywhere from 10-20 needles. Sometimes fewer are used and occasionally more can be used if needed. In the beginning, our acupuncturist tends to use fewer needles. By using less, she is able to more precisely know which points prove most effective for your unique body, rather than have to guess which ones of many were effective or use more needles than necessary. One major benefit of using fewer needles is that there is a smaller chance of over-stimulation. Too many needles can be as bad or worse than too few. As you have successive treatments, our acupuncturist comes to understand your body more specifically, and she may use more needles as time progresses than when you first started coming because she will discover other areas that may need to be addressed. Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more. Come check us out today!

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Going the Extra "Yard" with Neal's Yard Remedies

What do Frankincense and Orange have in common? These lovely and invigorating scents are all part of the NEW body care line we're offering at Health and Wholeness. The UK's first Certified Organic health and beauty company -- Neal's Yard Remedies (NYR) -- is now on our studios' shelves! In our constant effort to offer you the best of the best, we're introducing NYR, a London-based company who pioneered the way for bio-dynamic practices in cosmetics 30 years ago. All NYR products are beyond organic, with standards that go beyond "just ingredients" and focus on how they are grown to maximize the products efficacy and the environmental impact. Plus, let's be real...they smell GREAT, too! (If that's what you consider the most important factor!) It's time to toss out those toxic lotions and scrubs you've accumulated in your closet and do something good for your skin! There's nothing fake in NYR formulas...just pure essentials that do wonderful things for your body, mind and mood. Don't wait to indulge your senses with our luxurious samples: try the hand cream, deodorant, powder and body salve next time you're in the studio! Rejuvenating Frankincense
  • The blend of firming, toning and deeply nourishing natural ingredients is a favorite among all who try it!
  • Pearls of Frankincense are sourced in a sustainable way from trees that grow wild - far from agricultural land and contamination by pesticides and polluting chemical fertilizers.
  • Enhanced with elasticity-boosting plant extracts to visibly firm the skin and fight signs of aging the natural way!
Nourishing Orange Flower
  • Great for dry skin, this leaves skin feeling re-hydrated, soft and supple.
  • A replenishing and elasticity-boosting blend of organic orange flower and nourishing plant extracts.
  • While not overpowering, the fragrance leaves a fresh, pretty scent while smoothing and moisturizing very dry skin.
Want more? Check out the  NYR catalog and "shop" for some great products (that are good for you and the environment!) And when you schedule a facial acupuncture appointment with our amazing acupuncturist, you'll get a first-hand experience with Neal's Yard Remedies. So go ahead...rub, scrub, later and savor... your skin and senses will thank you! Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more.

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