Waxing, It’s Not That Bad! Part 2

Welcome Back

In the first part of this waxing series, we took a look at the technical aspects of waxing. In this post I would like to tell you what to expect, and some tips to make it a bit easier for you to bare.

Pain?

So many people ask, does waxing hurt? Yes, waxing can be painful, after all you are getting hair ripped out of your skin. The pain is definitely tolerable, the initial sting only lasts a short time. Some people will choose to take some ibuprofen beforehand to help with the pain, however you do not want to take aspirin, because of it being a blood thinner. Yes, there can be blood, all that means is that we got the entire hair follicle out, which is attached to a blood vessel. It is also a good idea to keep in mind that your body is more sensitive around the time of your period, so it will hurt a little more. The more often you wax, the less painful it will be, due to the fact that your hair is growing back thinner and more sparse. Like many other things in life, it gets better with time!

Hair Length

Another thing you need to know is that you need to let your hair grow! It needs to be about 1/4″ long, which means you will need to grow it out for about 4 weeks. If your hair grows a little faster, it may be longer than a 1/4″ and that is ok. If your hair is longer than that I can trim it without a problem, but if the hair isnt long enough the wax wont adhear to the hair.

Bikini Waxing?

The last bit of information you should know about the waxing process itself is; don’t be embarrassed about how much hair you have, because we all have hair! Basically any part of the body can get waxed. When getting a bikini wax, it may be a little weird getting your lady business waxed, but after a couple minutes of talking the akwardness seems to go away. To me, there is hair attached to skin and I need to remove it, I dont think about anything else. It is not one bit awkward for me, so I hope you don’t feel that way either.

After Care

You should avoid hot baths or hot tubs after a wax for at least 24 hours. Your freshly waxed skin is susceptible to bacteria infections for the first 24 hours after. You should also avoid tight clothing to make sure your skin can breathe after the wax. Try to avoid any activities that could cause friction on your skin. After the first 24 hours, you can start using a mild antibacterial soap and exfoliating lightly to make sure you do not get any ingrown hairs. What are ingrown hairs you ask? Ingrown hairs happen when the hair grows sideways, or curls back into the skin. Sometimes the hair is not strong enough to push through the skin, so it curls back or grows sideways under the skin. These need to be taken care of, because they can become infected. The best way to remove them would be similar to how you would remove a sliver, with a tweezers to carefully pull it out.

I hope that after reading this you will give waxing a try, afterall, it’s not that bad!

~Jess M

~It is never too late to be what you might have been.-George Eliot~

Why I Love Coconut Oil

I have recently rediscovered what is sometimes called the healthiest oil in the world: coconut oil. When I first learned about this superfood, I used it as much as I could and tried to incorpotate it into just about everything! I still am using it because of all the benefits I’ve gotten from the wonderful oil and I will continue to use it forever!

For many years, people have been using coconut for so many different things. Pacific islanders believe the coconut is the cure for all illenss and the palm tree from which they grow is known to them as the “Tree of Life”. In traditional medicine, coconut was used to help heal such things as; bruises, burns, earaches, fevers, lice, rash, sore throat, upset stomach just to name a few. As the years have gone by, modern medicine has discovered even more ways coconut oil can be helpful in everyday life. Researchers have even found that it can kill viruses, bacteria, and fungi!

One of the many ways to benefit from the oil is to consume it! You can use it to cook with, as a subsitiute for butter, incorporate it into smoothies or eat it raw! Coconut oil is lower in calories than other fats and can promote loss of excess weight by increasing the metebolic rate! Another way it can help with weight loss is that it can reduce hunger because of the way the fatty acids are metabolized. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which are immediatly transfered into the liver and turned into fuel. Consuming the coconut oil, you can also get stronger bones and teeth because of the calcium it contains. Coconut oil is also a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, potassium, magnesium, electrolytes and amino acids.

Another way to use coconut oil is to use in on you skin and in your hair, which is the way that I use it most often! I use it in my hair everyday morning and night; I use it when my hair is wet and when its dry without my hair getting too greasy. Coconut oil contains antioxidants that protect our skin from free radicals, which can slow down the aging process. Another way coconut oil benefits the skin is that it imporves the lipid mositure and acid mantle which helps protect the skin. If you are a person who likes to enjoy the sunshine in the summer, coconut oil is very useful to protect your hair and skin from up to 20% of UV rays! After being in the sun, it is also a good idea to apply it to avoid peeling if you do end up with a burn.

There are SO MANY other uses and benefits of coconut oil, I have just listed a few that I found most interesting. What I love most about the oil is that it is so versitile, eliminating the need for so many different products. Now that you know why I love coconut oil, I hope that you will try it and love it too!

You can find a quality cocunut oil right here at Back to Bliss.  We have Dr. Bronner’s Magic “All-one” Coconut oil for $26.99! The jar is 30oz so it will last you an incredibly long time! You will notice that the product is in a solid form, but liquifies with just the warmth of your fingers! I hope I have given you enough of a reason to pick one up today so you can enjoy these health benefits as well.

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Ten Minute Cool Down

Many of us like to push ourselves in the garden and during weekend outdoor projects. When we do, it is important to balance those stresses effectively to maintain our long term vitality. The following three practices, when combined, I like to call the 10 Minute Cool Down. They will synergistically work to physically balance your temperature, rehydrate you, calm your mind and refresh your body.

1: A proper drink. I suggest room temperature cucumber infused water. It’s easy to make, just put two or three slices of fresh cut cucumber into your water glass, wait 3 minutes and enjoy. Cucumbers provide some vitamins and electrolytes, but the main reason I choose to use them is because of their energetic cooling properties.  If you are looking for electrolyte replenishment as well, such as while you are in the middle of a very physical afternoon’s work, then squeeze a quarter of a lemon into your cucumber water and add a small pinch of salt.

2: Clothing and Shade Matter: Both the head and the feet are two fantastic places of releasing heat. While we are working, hats protect us from the sun’s rays and help us sweat and shoes protect our feet.  But, when resting, they only help to trap heat inside your body. So get those shoes, socks, and hats off while you rest.  This means finding a shady spot, or going indoors for a bit. What you are looking for is a relatively quiet space where you can rest, sip some cucumber water and indulge in a breathing practice.

3: Breathing: Shitali Kriya is a cooling and cleansing breath practice that any child can do, provided they can roll their tongue. By taking advantage of the cooling effects of evaporation, you can create a breath pattern that allows heat to escape from the body via the tongue on our exhalation. Begin by focusing your mind on creating an even breath pattern. By this I mean your inhalation and exhalation have the same length.  Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth.  As you breathe out, curl your tongue into a long tube to maximize the amount of air flow over the tongue and thus maximize the amount of evaporation. Take five full minutes to practice shitali kriya. Sip water if your mouth gets too dry.  Keep your mind focused on the breath throughout both the inhale and exhale.

Shitali Kriya is the icing on the cake of our cooling practice. It focuses your mind and quiets any stressful thoughts that would otherwise keep your body tense while you are resting. This little extra bit of mental focus on a breathing practice really provides serious dividends for those wanting a ‘power rest.’

Three Remedies For the Dying

No matter how good our doctors, our diet or our wellness plans are, our bodies will fail us and will one day expire.  As our bodies fail, there can be much pain and discomfort. There can be a dulling of the mind as well as deep emotional strain. Here are three lesser known holistic remedies for the dying that work with us at all three levels: mind, body, and spirit.  Each of these creates connection between the physical process of dying and the deeper mental/ emotional parts of us; allowing greater peace throughout the entire process.

1: Angel’s Trumpet Bach Flower Remedy – Back Flower Remedies are oral remedies that carry emotional intelligence via vibration. They are given in water and taken orally to help all manner of emotional and mental issues. This remedy has the key word of surrender.  This Remedy is good for the entire family whenever there is resistance and denial of the impending transition. It allows the experience of ‘surrendering to death’ to flow more smoothly by helping us to see death as a more spiritual process.  By expanding our perspective we see death as a part of the full process of life and thereby accept the need to surrender to it.   A great deal of emotional distress can be alleviated with this remedy.

2: Homeopathic Arsenicum Album – Arsenicum is indicated when symptoms are ‘worse at night’ and whenever the thought, ‘I’m going to die,’ is present.  It is indicated when there is both vomiting and diarrhea concurrently and the mucus membranes are inflamed. In hospice settings, all of these symptoms are common and this remedy can be considered whenever any of them are present. The more of these symptoms that are present, the more strongly arsenicum can be helpful.

However, arsenicum has a more profound and important use. When given in very high potency, 1-10M, during the last few hours of life, it offers tremendous peace to the person as they pass. One of its key notes is the ability to help us process fearful thoughts about dying. Its helpfulness holds true even with the intense fears that can be present when death is truly near.

Caution: Working with any homeopathic remedy of high potency should be done with supervision by a professional.

3: Massage For Hospice – Gentle touch can be very palliative; easing stress, anxiety, and pain.  Patients report better sleep, clearer minds, and are more capable of processing their stresses after even the gentlest of massage.  While all of these things are a normal part of the massage experience, they are incredibly valuable for hospice patients and their families. Massage releases the distractions of pain and stress from body and conveys compassion in a profound way. These benefits are received even by those who have an impaired ability to communicate.

Remember: Death is a part of life that you will eventually face.  Processing the stresses, emotions, and changes that it brings is vital to staying well.

 

Balancing Against Extreme Cold

We have arrived at the top of the mountain.  And by mountain I mean crazy extreme cold weather.  This will, hopefuly, be the most extreme cold weather all year.  It is important to understand the implications that this peak weather has for our health.  The good news is that there is plenty we can do to minimize the stress that it puts us under.

According to ancient wisdom there are 10 pairs of opposing qualitys in our physical world.  The opposites of temperature, hot and cold, are the strongest to affect us.  Other qualities come with the extreme cold that we have been feeling, and bringing in their opposites can be greatly beneficial.  To help explain, think of what it would be like to stand on the top of a mountain.  Wild wind would be whipping across the landscape in gusts and swirls.  You could feel the cold and dry wind attempting to freeze, crack, and ravage your skin.  When we pay attention to the qualities of our winter weather, we find it to be full of dryness, roughness, mobility, lightness, sharpness, and coldness.  Those qualities are affecting us all.

To stay in balance, we want to be very conscious about bringing  the opposite qualities of those listed above into our lives.  An example would be dryness.  The more extreme the dryness outside, the more extreme we need to get in our efforts to drink more water and apply moisturizers to our skin and chapstick to our lips.  Pretty simple.  And so, we balance against the mobile wind with regularity and consistency in our daily schedule.  We balance against the rough, sharp and dry qualities of the air outside with things that are soft, smooth, and liquid.  We add warming activities and foods into our diet to combat the cold.   All of these practices have at their core the goal of minimizing the stresses that our environment is putting on us.

Remember: Stress can be defined as any change to homeostasis.  Think about the difference between our core body temp at 98.6 degrees and the current temperature outside?  The larger the difference, the larger the stress.  The same goes for all the above named qualities.

Practices:

Eat more soups.  Soup is hot, heavy, wet, and smooth.  Basically, you can’t do much better at finding a food with qualities so opposite of our weather.

Winter is also the time to add more acidic foods to your diet.  Acids are considered to be heating, and foods like nuts, beans, and meats all have warming qualities to them that are more appropriate in winter than in summer.

Moderate and regular exercise.  The key to this one is that regular exercise warms you, but extreme exercise stresses us.  So be consistent and be nice to yourself with 20 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day to heat you up.   Also, exercise brings blood to the muscles and skin.  This helps the skin stay moist and healthy.

Stay home and read a book.  The more extreme the weather, the more extreme the stress.  So rest.  Turn off the stimulants and the motion in your life.  Curl up in a warm cave of blankets and hibernate a bit.