Nourish Your Inner Glow: Holistic Beauty Tips that Will Leave You Feeling LOVELY
With Winter dragging on (hello, ice storm?!), I thought this would be a good time to put the focus on BEAUTY. Beauty inside and out, tangible and intangible. A life beautifully lived.
When our internal systems are flowing well, our bodies are working efficiently, and it shows on our skin, in our eyes, and in our hair. It shows in how we move through the world, with a spring in our step, a sparkle and a smile. Chinese Medicine works to bring ALL internal systems into balance, reflecting outward as an INNER GLOW. Here’s my quickie flow chart for nurturing your inner glow:
Treating oneself with Loving Kindness —> Practicing Self Care ——> Grounded, Present Vitality, Joy, Flow——> Deep Inner Beauty that Shines from Within aka INNER GLOW
But where to start? With the basics:
Sleep is possibly nature’s greatest beauty weapon. Why? Because it’s the time when your’e body goes into repair mode, cleaning up your systems and getting them to optimal function. If you’re skimping on sleep, or simply have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep, your body doesn’t have the time to do it’s cleanup work. With that in mind, one of the most simple and effective bedtime sleep beverages I’ve found is a simple chamomile and goji berry tea. Brew a good cup of chamomile tea (avoid chamomile and peppermint blends, as peppermint can be mildly stimulating), and add a tablespoon of goji berries. Let it steep for 10 minutes. Drink the tea and eat the plumped up berries. This brew helps with falling asleep and staying asleep. However, if this isn’t doing the trick, Chinese medicine has several individualized herbal formulas that can help with sleep.
In addition to a sleep beverage routine, here are some good general sleep tips from sleepeducation.org:
Quick Sleep Tips:
Follow these tips to establish healthy sleep habits:
Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations.
Set a bedtime that is early enough for you to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
Don’t go to bed unless you are sleepy.
If you don’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed.
Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
Use your bed only for sleep and sex.
Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing. Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature.
Limit exposure to bright light in the evenings.
Turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime. If you are hungry at night, eat a light, healthy snack ( I recommend 12 almonds, or a hard boiled egg, protein is better to keep you asleep at night).
Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.
Avoid consuming caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
Avoid consuming alcohol before bedtime.
Reduce your fluid intake before bedtime.
In our family, we are a fan of the following soundtracks to help with sleep (you may recognize some of these from your acupuncture treatments!)
Binaural Beats for Sleep:
Like it or not, we live in a tech-heavy world. Here is a link to filter the blue light from your electronic devices and get in better sync with your circadian rhythms:
And finally, a meditation track for sleep support:
And a qi gong video for winding down after work or at the end of the day:
Of course, the best answer to better sleep is a life and body living in balance. Using some (or all!) of these tips points your body in that direction, and you will feel better. My challenge to you (and myself!) is to see what it feels like to give yourself the ultimate lovingkindness of 8 hours of sleep a night. Try it for one week. At 10pm, brush your teeth, get undressed and go to bed. Put some of those relaxing sounds on. Turn off the light and go to sleep. ENJOY!
Hydration is the other deceptively simple key to FLOW. (get it? water flows…). Ideally, drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, drink 75 oz. of water per day. I like to drink warm water, sometimes with a squeeze of lemon. For BEST results, drink this daily water amount before 6pm (see that sleep section, above). Water flushes your tissues, keeps you grounded, improves skin quality, and lubricates your entire system. SIMPLE. EFFECTIVE. WATER. If you want to try an anti-oxidant approach, try making some infused waters. Try fresh blueberries and rosemary, or a slice of lemon and a few leaves of mint. Drop a few pomegranate seeds in with some basil leaves. Some dried lavender and raspberries. Sage leaves and strawberries. You get the idea. However, I DO NOT recommend adding essential oils to your water. They are really too strong for our digestive systems. Keep it fresh, bright and beautiful...cheers!
Now that I’ve covered the two biggest basics of brightening your Inner Glow, I want to talk about going deeper. As most of you know, I do Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, also known as Cosmetic Acupuncture. It is an all-natural, non-invasive approach to anti-aging. The results are pretty dramatic. I love this approach to beauty because it is way more than skin deep. It is a full body treatment that brings the body into balance, lifts the face, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. It can address discoloration, scarring, and puffiness, to name a few. It is a deep enhacement of the beauty you already have within you, shining forth in balance. Here’s an article from Vogue that talks a bit about Cosmetic Acupuncture and it’s benefits.
Vogue Cosmetic Acupuncture Article:
Finally, it helps to see it in real life. One of my delightful patients, Jannah, agreed to share her experience with Facial Acupuncture:
Below are Before and After pictures of Jannah. At the time of the second image, she had received 10 treatments (out of 12). Jannah started the treatments because "she didn’t want to go the typical route of botox and everything else all the time.” After her first treatment, she says she “felt much more energized, just better. And I could see the changes.” Janna also reports "I feel like my jowls aren’t hanging, they’re pulled up. I don’t notice the fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes. My neck doesn't seem so gobbly. Just a full transformation. My skin is very soft. It just feels good, it feels so healthy.” Jannah’s verdict on the process, for those considering trying facial rejuvenation: "Just do it! It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. It’s made me reconnect to my body.”
While many of my Facial Rejuvenation patients are women, I also love working on men, and they experience the same deep sense of wellness and brighter appearance, reduction of fine lines and lifted face. EVERYONE has an Inner Glow--and I love helping it shine forth.
If you want to get started on nourishing beauty right away, here are some links to some great foods for your skin:
For Topical Use:
Food, Sleep and Water. It's a pretty simple method for nourishing our Inner Glow. And, I know I can be a broken record, but if your time and bandwidth are low for these three basics, give yourself a simple one that just takes a shift in perspective: Loving Kindness to oneself. AKA stop beating the crap out of yourself. You're doing the best you can, it's good enough right now, and if you keep pointing yourself in the direction of health, you're gonna get there. So keep up the loving kindness!
I've got a few openings for massage this week (Friday and Saturday), so come and get those snow-shoveling shoulders worked out, that lower back taken care of, and some deep relaxation scheduled in for yourself or a loved one. You can book a massage here:
or call 773-991-9455 to schedule an appointment. Here's a link to a brief bio and a pic of Jomar, our amazing Massage Therapist!
(scroll down on the link for Jomar).
And, because I am still getting tech savvy, here's the link to schedule an acupuncture appointment or a free consultation:
You can also call or text 773-991-9455 for an appointment!
I hope you enjoy cultivating your Inner Glow with these tips and ideas. I've enjoyed gathering this information, and would love it if you feel like sharing it with people you think would benefit!
Happy Ice, Coziness, Health, Well-Being, and LovingKindness,
PS: Voting is open for one more week for Best of Lawrence. Would you vote for me for Best Acupuncturist? I appreciate your support! Here's a link to make it easy :)