A new decade has begun. It’s another chance for renewal, change, and growth. It’s good to start off a new chapter with healthy habits, positive thinking, and self-love. As humans, we are constantly striving to be the best version of ourselves. Here are the health and wellness trends of 2020 that may help you move a step closer to that goal.
Milk does a body good
Milk Bath Benefits
How Do I Prepare a Milk Bath?
Milk baths are super easy to do at home! You can use milk that you drink to take a milk bath. You don’t want to use pure milk, because that will make you feel sticky and be very costly. It’s good to dilute the milk with the bathwater. It’s better to add the milk after you’ve filled the tub with water, otherwise, you’ll get little bubbles in your bath. Usually, it’s around one to two cups of milk for one tub of water. If you didn’t want to use liquid milk, you can even use powdered milk. Just add about one to two-thirds of a cup of the powdered milk into the warm bathwater. It’s as simple as that.
You can still take a milk bath even if you’re lactose intolerant! However, if you have a true milk allergy, it’s not a good idea to take a milk bath. It might cause an allergic reaction. Milk baths can be a fun way to spice up your at-home spa treatment. It can be soothing for your skin and an easy way to relax in the comfort of your own home.
What is Flexitarianism?
What does it mean to be “Flexitarian”? The word originated from the 1990’s and describes someone that consumes mainly plant-based foods with occasional meat or fish. It is a combination of the words “flexible” and “vegetarian.” In simple terms, flexitarian eating is the reduction of meat.
With flexitarianism, you receive similar benefits as you would if you were a vegetarian. It can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and help with weight loss. Consuming anything in excess can be bad for your health, so meat reduction alleviates issues like high cholesterol and more.
By reducing meat consumption, you might be helping improve the environment. The way meat is produced emits a lot of greenhouse gases that are negatively affecting our planet. Reducing meat consumption is one step closer to lowering the emission of greenhouse gases. It is also one step closer to maybe eliminating meat entirely from your diet.
You might be wondering, why be flexitarian when you can just be full-on vegetarian? How can you be semi-vegetarian? There are others that ask the same questions. The arguments for a flexitarian diet could easily be used for a vegetarian diet. The only difference is that flexitarians still consume all types of meats, just rarely. There is no counter-argument
against this, except for the fact that they wanted to have a name to define this type of diet.
Flexitarianism is still a positive step towards healthier living that also benefits the environment. Even though some might be opposed to the term, it’s too late to go back now. Flexitarianism is being talked about more and more. For some, eliminating meat entirely might sound too hard, so opting for flexitarianism is still beneficial for those that want to improve their health and environment.
The Benefits Are Endless
1) Chronic pain treatment
Cannabis can reduce chronic pain and improve the quality of life for those that suffer with it. Cannabis has cannabinoids which have been linked to the reduction of chronic pain. According to a patient survey on the therapeutic effects of cannabis, the average reported pain relief was sixty-four percent relative decrease in pain.
2) Reduces nausea
CBD, a cannabinoid found in cannabis that doesn’t get you high, showed promise in alleviating nausea. Nausea can be caused by many things because it is a symptom. It’s your body telling you that something is wrong through your nervous system. Since cannabis interacts with our cannabinoid receptors and alters the signals in our brain, it could help block nauseous sensations.
3) Improves sleep outcomes
THC, a cannabinoid found in cannabis, is known for inducing sleep. In a 2008 study, it was found that it reduces the amount of REM sleep you get, which means reducing dreams and potentially nightmares. If taken moderately and properly, cannabis could be used to help alleviate insomnia and improve quality of sleep.
4) Stress and anxiety relief
5) Helps with ADHD/ADD
Cannabis might also help with ADHD by increase the availability of dopamine in the brain. ADHD is caused by a shortage of dopamine, a neurotransmitter related to memory and attention. The medications that are normally used to treat ADHD/ADD stimulate the production of dopamine, but they also interfere with the breakdown of it. Cannabis might be able to provide a way to treat ADHD/ADD without the adverse side effects if administered properly.
Activate Your Immune System
A new study conducted by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, suggests that massage therapy can do more than just relax your muscles and help you feel better. It might also benefit your immune system since they found that people who get a massage show changes in their body’s immune and endocrine response.
According to the results of the study, massage may have caused a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol and an increased number of lymphocytes, one of the three types of white blood cells. White blood cells are important in helping the body fight off infections and sickness. They play a large role in our immune system and keeping us healthy.
Lymphatic Drainage and its Benefits
Getting a lymphatic drainage helps:
· Activate the immune system: by stimulating the flow of lymph through the lymphatic system, invasive toxins in the body are pushed towards the lymph nodes where they can be analyzed and destroyed.
These are benefits that affect not only the body, but also the mind. A lymphatic drainage treatment along with other healthy habits, helps you against seasonal viruses and allows you to feel more relaxed and healthier. That’s why it’s so important to keep your lymph system healthy.
Massage therapy is a growing industry with research on its benefits continuously being conducted. It’s a craft that people need to be trained in so they can help improve the lives of others.
American Massage Therapy Association. (2018) Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.amtamassage.org/infocenter/economic_industry-fact-sheet.html
Mark Hyman Rapaport, Pamela Schettler, and Catherine Bresee. (2010) The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 1079-1088.
Cupping Therapy: An Ancient Healing Technique Still Present in the Modern Day
The Suction Cups (Bá Guàn 拔罐 in Chinese), is an ancient technique that comes from traditional Chinese medicine, cupping therapy basically consists in using suction cups that adhere to the skin at specific points by the vacuum that is created within them.
There is evidence that not only the Chinese used it but also the Egyptians, Arabs, Greeks and in Europe during the Middle Ages, they were built of bamboo, glass, clay, bronze. Today they are usually made of glass or plastic.
Suction cup massage and other application methods
Although formerly cupping suckers could be ceramic, clay or bamboo, nowadays they are made of glass or plastic (with or without valve). In glass, this vacuum is obtained following the traditional method: by lighting a piece of cotton inside it to perform the combustion of oxygen and thus generate the vacuum once the suction cup is placed on the skin. The professional can resort to different methods of application with their manipulation, according to the objectives of the treatment:
- To free the body of toxins that circulate in the blood and lymph. This type of massage requires previously applying oil on the skin to easily slide the suction cup, which is usually plastic.
- Application and rapid extraction or flash cupping: this method is usually done with glass suction cups and is recommended to apply specifically on the back, for purposes of pulmonary decongestion. It is based on the placement of a suction cup for 2 or 3 seconds on a specific point and its withdrawal with a rapid movement. The process is repeated until the tour of the entire area to be treated is completed.
- Fixed suction cup or retained cupping: This technique is recommended to treat organic reflex areas at their reflex points in the back and also for the treatment of the points of maximum pain, the so-called trigger points, usually caused by severe contractures and structural blockages. It consists of leaving the suction cups on the skin for a few minutes, at specific points determined.
- Suction cup bleeding or needing cupping: it is a recommended method to reduce tension in highly inflamed or congested areas of the body through a slight blood draw. The skin is gently punctured to then place the fixed suction cup until the body releases the necessary amount.(Al-Bedah, 2019)
Muscle, energy and circulatory benefits
The experience of professionals who apply cupping and that of the patients themselves who undergo it allows us to say that the application of this therapy entails numerous health benefits of various kinds, sometimes in a preventive and another rehabilitative manner. Among them, the following:
- Increased blood and lymphatic circulation.
- Decreased pain.
- Detoxification of impurities.
- Work on contractures.
- Work at the energy level.
- Stimulation of metabolism and defenses.
- Relaxing, analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
- Debugging and myofascial release.
- Strengthening tendons.
- Improvement in disorders of the digestive system.
- Reduction of allergy symptoms and chronic fatigue.
- Evacuation of retained liquids.
- Improvement in the absorption of edema. (Castro, 2018)
Role in sport and scientific evidence of cupping
After a cupping session, also known as cupping therapy, it is possible to reduce muscle pain and fatigue, reduce inflammation and accelerate recovery. Hence, many high-performance athletes, such as athletes and Olympic swimmers, often use this technique to recover their physical condition quickly when they are in competition. In addition to resorting to it to eliminate contractures and prevent injuries.
A recent study on cupping, New is the well-forgotten old: The use of dry cupping in musculoskeletal medicine ensures that there is initial scientific evidence on its effectiveness in reducing musculoskeletal pain. There are also works that underpin the validity of cupping therapy for back pain by stopping inflammatory processes. And postulates that recommend it when it comes to the autonomic nervous system and reduces pain. Now, it is true that new scientific papers are needed that provide more light on their real clinical and therapeutic effects. (Rozenfeld & Kalichman, 2015)
From the point of view of Western medicine, it is necessary to continue researching about this therapy and its scientific evidence. In this sense, professionals of Traditional Chinese Medicine recommend research aimed at standardizing protocols, types of suction cups, number of sessions and frequencies, etc. On the other hand, as it is an alternative therapy, the placebo effect may be at the origin of its benefits, since there are not enough studies to verify the number of benefits attributed to it.
What risks can the application of Cupping or suction cups have?
In the hands of an expert professional, the use of suction cups is a simple and meticulous job, without risk to the patient, who in turn will begin to feel the improvements he was looking for. However, it is advisable to convey security and confidence at all times, explain slightly what will be the method to be applied, tell you that you may feel some discomfort and warn you about the reddish appearance of the skin after the session. Normally, it shows circular welts or purple spots, the product of suction and blood flow congestion. But in a few days, these bruises disappear naturally.
Al-Bedah. (2019). The medical perspective of cupping therapy: Effects and mechanisms of action. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine.
Castro. (2018). Cupping therapy and chronic back pain: systematic review and meta-analysis. Elsevier.
Rozenfeld & Kalichman. (2015). New is the well-forgotten old: The use of dry cupping in musculoskeletal medicine. Beër Sjeva: Elsevier.
Which Type of Massage Best Suits Your Needs?
There are over 80 types of massage and each one of them with its own unique characteristics and benefits. Being aware of the different kinds of massage techniques is important to help you choose the right massage technique for your body.
From helping with stress relief, injury recovery, to pain management, here are the main types of massage you can probably find near you:
1- Swedish massage
Swedish massage is a gentle type of full-body massage that’s ideal for people who:
are new to massage
have a lot of tension
are sensitive to touch
It can help release knots in the muscles, and it is a great choice for people who want to fully relax. The massage therapist moves the sheet properly to uncover only areas that they actively work on, like feet, back, legs, arms and head.
The massage therapist will use a combination of:
long, flowing strokes in the direction of the heart
vibration and tapping
passive joint movement techniques
deep circular motions
2- Hot stone massage
If you have muscle pain and tension or who simply want to relax, this type of therapeutic massage is very similar to Swedish massage, but the massage therapist uses heated stones instead of or in addition to their hands. Hot stone massage:
Eases muscle tension
improves blood flow
During a hot stone massage, heated stones are placed on different areas around your whole body. Your therapist may hold a stone as they massage different parts of your body using Swedish massage techniques using gentle pressure. Sometimes cold stones are used as well.
Aromatherapy massages are good for people who want to have an emotional healing component to their massage. This kind of massage can help:
boost your mood
reduce stress and anxiety
reduce symptoms of depression
relieve muscle tension
Aromatherapy massages combine soft, gentle pressure with the use of essential oils. The massage therapist will usually decide which essential oils to use, but you can let them know if you have a preference. Essential oils are diluted before being applied to the skin.
4. Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage uses more pressure than a Swedish massage. It’s good for chronic muscle problems, like soreness, injury, or imbalance. It can help relieve tight muscles, chronic muscle pain, and anxiety.
The massage therapist uses slow strokes and deep finger pressure during the massage to relieve tension from the deepest layers of muscles and connective tissues. This technique is a little bit more intense, but shouldn’t feel painful.
5. Sports massage
Sports massage is used to treat repetitive use injury to a muscle, that people normally get from playing sports. It also helps with the prevention of sports injuries. You may also use sports massage to increase flexibility and performance. Additionally, sports massage can be used to relieve pain, anxiety, and muscle tension.
A sports massage can be done as a full-body massage or the massage therapist may focus on the specific parts of the body that need the most attention. Deep pressure massage may be alternated with soothing strokes.
6. Cupping Therapy
Cupping is an alternative therapy that originated in China. It involves placing cups on the skin to create suction and increase blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. This technique helps relieve muscle tension, which can improve overall blood flow and promote cell repair. It may also help form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue. The cups can be manipulated to help release fascial restrictions in the soft tissue.
7. Trigger point massage
Trigger point massages are suited for people with injuries, chronic pain, or a specific issue or condition. Sometimes areas of tightness in the muscle tissues, known as trigger points, can cause pain in other parts of the body. By focusing on relieving trigger points, this kind of massage can help reduce pain.
Trigger point massage uses broader, flowing strokes that are gentle and relaxing combined with stronger, deeper pressure. The massage includes work on the entire body, however, the therapist may focus on specific areas of the body that may need release.
8. Prenatal massage
Prenatal massage helps reduce pregnancy body aches, reduce stress, and ease muscle tension. It can be done at any time during pregnancy, however, women are advised not to have them in the first three months due to the risk of miscarriage.
Prenatal massage uses mild pressure and the therapist focuses on areas such as lower back, hips, and legs. During the massage, women lie on their side with pillows placed around them for support and comfort. If women report pain in their calves or other parts of the legs, they should see a doctor before getting a massage.
If you’re interested in a career in massage therapy, click here to find out more.
Get Ready to Enjoy Eating Healthy During the Holidays!
1) Lemony Herb Roast Chicken
Need a main course dish? Chicken is a classic. Using herbs as the flavor can help enhance the dish while keeping it healthy for your holiday dinner.
2) Roasted Salmon with Citrus Salsa Verde
Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that help with brain function. On top of that, it tastes pretty delicious when roasted in some good ol’ zest.
3) Cauliflower “Couscous”
If you’re trying to avoid carbohydrates this Christmas, this cauliflower “couscous” is a great alternative! It has all the flavors of couscous without the actual couscous.
4) Brussel Sprouts with Pickled Shallots and Hazelnuts
Brussel sprouts are high in fiber, vitamins, and more! Why not add them to your Christmas spread this year? This simple recipe will make the perfect side dish.
5) Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes? Healthy? Well, what a happy surprise, mashed potatoes can be healthier than you think. Check our Sugar-Free Mom’s recipe that uses very little butter to make a healthy version of this classic dish.
6) Garlic Lemon Green Beans
Whether you need a solid side dish or want a light main course, these tasty green beans work great. And they only take 15 minutes to make!
7) Green Bean Casserole & Garlic Mushrooms
This recipe pulls a vegan twist on a classic holiday dish! This is a great option for those that are vegan or vegetarian.
8) White Bean Vegan Mashed Potatoes
To continue the trend, here’s another vegan twist on an oldie but a goodie. Mashed “potatoes” without the potatoes!
9) Rosemary Stuffed Mushrooms
If you need an appetizer, this dish is great! These mushrooms are stuffed with a cashew-based mix instead of cheese. It’s another vegan option for those that need it!
10) Radiance Fruit Salad
Fruits are a great source of vitamins and can be just as tasty as any other dessert. Instead of opting for a cake or pie, you can make this fruit salad! It is filled with a variety of fruits that can be swapped out depending on availability.
What is CBD?
CBD: the multiple molecules
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The challenge of CBD
FDA. (2019, 12 06). Public Health Focus. Retrieved from www.fda.gov: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd
Russo. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Vashon: PMC.
Tietjen. (2019, 04 19). Beauty/Beauty Features. Retrieved from www.wwd.com: https://wwd.com/beauty-industry-news/beauty-features/trials-and-tribulations-of-launching-a-cbd-brand-1203110929/