Sunday, May 27, 2018

5 Natural Ways to Prevent Sunburns


As I was laying on the beach this Memorial Day weekend (I hope you enjoyed your weekend as well!) it occurred to me to write this blog.  In the past I have written about healthy sunscreens but there are other ways to prevent sunburns too.  

Sunlight is made up of about 1,500 different wavelengths.  It is comprised of infrared, visible and ultraviolet light, which filter through the atmosphere to reach us on earth in what we experience as crisp, beautiful daylight. Apart from the obvious necessity of sunlight for visibility, warmth and also for photosynthesis of the plants we eat, studies have revealed numerous benefits for humans including:

  • vitamin D synthesizing- the UVB rays of the sun react with cholesterol derivatives in the skin to produce this important vitamin. Without sunlight, this conversion cannot occur and the body must rely on the available sources in foods

  • increased daytime awareness- studies show that natural light (over artificial) enhances alertness, drive and focus

  • natural pain killer- several studies have shown that sunlight can have an analgesic effect, easing pain

  • mood enhancing- spending time in the sun increases serotonin, your feel-good hormone

  • cortisol regulating- research has highlighted the effects of natural light/dark cycles on maintaining a healthy flow of cortisol to modulate energy and stress

We culturally are aware of the harmful effects of the sun and using SPF lotions but know these good reasons for sun exposure too.  We just have to be smart about our sun exposure.  What you need to know about SPF lotions is that they rarely work as promised. SPF is the rating system used to designate how much UV radiation is blocked upon application. With the wide variety of products out there boasting these numbers, one would logically conclude that 30 SPF is twice as protective as 15 SPF, and so on...yet this isn’t necessarily the case. Generally speaking, SPF 15 is thought to block 94% of UV radiation, SPF 30 only 97% and SPF 45 98%. Complicating this issue further is the fact that these numbers are all highly variable based on the skin type of the user, how liberally the sunscreen is rubbed on, what kinds of activity one is engaged in, frequency of reapplication and what time of day you are spending in the sun. Therefore as companies continue to design evermore expensive, high SPF, “waterproof” sunscreens- there is little actual improvement on protective value. The Food and Drug Administration even recently proposed an upward limit of SPF 50 on labels in order to limit unrealistic claims about the efficacy of certain “ultra,” "mega," "superstar" sunscreens.


The next problem is the sheer chemical load pumped into these products. Many contain fragrance chemicals, parabens, harsh alcohols, toxic chemical solvents, titanium and petroleum oils that are both unstable and harmful- especially when applied with frequency to porous skin. Titanium dioxide, one of the most popular sunscreen compounds, is a “potential occupational carcinogen” according to the government, and octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), found in many conventional sunscreens, has been shown to cause damage to living tissue if it penetrates too deeply. Non-nano zinc oxide SPF lotions are the best way to go because the zinc will block the harmful rays and the non-nano part is it's size which is too big to penetrate into your skin.  It does the job just by sitting on top of your skin.  


So what can we do to naturally avoid burns while still catching a good amount of healing golden rays? While it is certainly true that red, peely, embarrassing sunburns are problematic and damaging to the skin, experts are now admitting that the dangers of the sun in general have been largely exaggerated, while the benefits underestimated. Newer medical research has revealed that sun exposure is not as closely linked to all skin cancers as previously thought, and other factors such as diet, exposure to environmental toxins and a paradoxical lack of vitamin D also play a role. As always, know your body, know your skin and make the choices that are most comfortable to you.


Limit Time in the Sun


Especially early in the season, your skin needs time to adjust so that the melanocytes kick into gear to produce their protective pigment (resulting in a tan). Also note that the body reaches its full capacity of producing Vitamin D in anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour midday, depending on your skin tone. So after this amount of time, cover up using loose, white clothing or by finding shade. And yes, although it may be counterintuitive, white clothing has actually been scientifically proven to help keep the body cooler than wearing no clothing.


Consume More Vitamin D

                            

While the sun helps us to manufacture vitamin D, consuming vitamin D rich foods like cod liver oil and/or supplementing with quality source of oral vitamin D3 can in turn help to protect us from the UV radiation of the sun.The more vitamin D you have in your body the more protected you are from the sun.  


Eat Saturated Fats


nourishing traditions

It’s true, healthy fats do truly relate to everything.  Including stable, robust fats in the diet is crucial to resilient skin. Dietary fats and oils provide building blocks for skin tissues.  Without the right fats the skin becomes dry and hair and nails become brittle.  Saturated fats are thought to increase total cholesterol and so use in limited amounts if your cholesterol is high.  Saturated fats include:

  • Dairy foods – such as butter, cream, ghee, regular-fat milk and cheese.

  • Meat – such as fatty cuts of beef, pork and lamb, processed meats like salami, sausages and the skin on chicken.

  • Lard

  • Coconut oil


Balance Your Mineral Intake

Deficiencies in certain minerals such as zinc and magnesium can cause photosensitivity and sun rashes. Be sure to have your mineral status checked by us and consume mineral rich foods from both plant and animal sources. Bone broths are particularly balanced in trace minerals.


Rub Coconut Oil on the Skin


homemade whipped coconut oil lotion

It may be delicious to eat, but cold pressed coconut oil is also a powerful healing agent when applied to the skin. There is anecdotal evidence showing that Polynesians frequently rubbed this precious oil on before spending long periods of time in the sun. Although it has been tested to block only about 20% of the sun’s rays, its value lies more in the powerful antioxidants it releases into the skin, which bolster natural defenses and prevents damage from long term sun exposure. For more info; Coconut Oil: Nature's Suntan Lotion by Dr. Bruce Fife 


Try Supplementing with Antioxidants

astaxanthin

Antioxidants are internal sunscreens and several trials using human cells have shown it to have protective effects on the skin. Many people experience skin benefits and an enhanced ability to tan from consuming antioxidants.  There are a lot of antioxidant supplements out there. JuvDefense + is one that I love and use in the office but it is best to get muscle tested at your next visit to see exactly which antioxidant supplement would be best.

For more info on natural skin health, read this

Best Natural Sunscreen!

It's not easy to find a healthy sunscreen but I like Raw for Beauty's sunscreen because it doesn't use chemicals or titanium dioxide but instead zinc oxide.  When you use RAW for BEAUTY Mineral & Botanical Sunscreen spf 25 you can be confidant that you are getting the highest quality, pure, and sustainable products that have been naturally sourced and healthy for both people and the planet. Unrefined, certified organic oils impart antioxidant rich protection to the skin. Pure vitamin E from sunflowers nourish the skin with non-GMO and gluten-free goodness. Their sunscreens use food grade organic coconut oil for added health and moisturizing benefits.  

What makes zinc oxide based sunscreen unique is the mode of action. Mineral sunscreens, unlike chemical sunscreens, create a barrier between your skin and the sun. They work by sitting on top of the skin and scattering and reflecting UV rays. They use a non-nano sized particle zinc oxide above 100 nm (the upper limit for nanoparticles). Scientific studies have shown that larger particles do not get absorbed into the skin and are therefore very safe.

Chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin to impart protection. Many harmful chemicals get absorbed into the body, including oxybenzone. The US Center for Disease Control found that 97% of Americans have this chemical in their blood. This ingredient is proven to disrupt normal hormone functions and should not be used on babies or children. Additional chemicals in sunscreens break down into free radicals or carcinogens. The Environmental Working Group, recommends to avoid spray sunscreens entirely. The ingredients in chemical sunscreens are not meant to be inhaled and can be extremely hazardous.



Key ingredients:
Non-nano uncoated zinc oxide 18%; Carrot seed oil; Carrot oil macerated*; Raspberry seed oil; Wheat germ oil;

Other Ingredients:
Virgin Coconut oil*; Hemp seed oil*; Macadamia seed oil*; Beeswax*; Soybean oil*; Cacao butter*; Shea butter*; Natural Coconut, Vanilla and Banana flavor oil extract, Tocopherol (Vit. E); Iron Oxide; Cinnamon powder*; Cacao powder*

*Certified Organic

The Vitamin E is made from sunflowers. It is non-GMO and gluten free. 

Directions for use:
Apply liberally and evenly 30 minutes before sun exposure
Reapply:
- After 80 minutes of swimming or sweating
- Immediately after towel drying
- At least every 2 hours


Sun Protection Measures
Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. To decrease this risk, regularly use a sunscreen with a broad spectrum SPF of 15 or higher and other sun protection measures including:
- Limit time in the sun, especially from 10am - 2pm
- Wear long-sleeve shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses

For more info visit: https://www.raw4beauty.com/sunscreen

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Detox Foot Baths
Foot detoxes are becoming more and more popular as a way to rid the body of any harmful toxins. I purchased one and have been using it since 2006 and since it's popularity and patients asking about it I purchased one for the office now as well! Potential toxins can range from using aluminum foil, impurities in the air, to chemicals in your home and beauty products. If you're curious about what a foot detox is and if it can help you, here's what you need to know. 
A detox foot bath is a specific machine that helps to pull toxins out of the body through the feet by putting ions in the water of which your feet are soaking in.  These ions are a positive charge. The positive charge attracts the negatively charged toxins in your body. The ions in the foot bath water hold a charge that enables them to bind to any heavy metals and toxins in your body, similar to how a magnet works. This allows the toxins to be pulled out through the bottoms of your feet. 

As one goes through a foot detox the water will change color depending on the toxins being pulled out.  Water will change color even without your feet in the water due to the impurities in water but it will change differently.  I have seen successive foot baths done on a number of people with the water all looking different as an end result.  Colors and effects of the water that one may see depends on what is being detoxed from the body:

Black or blue flecks - heavy metals
white flecks - fungus/yeast
color changing orange - toxins from joints
oily bubbles - toxins from lymphatic system


Most everyone, except for pregnant women and those with open sores or an infection on their feet, can benefit from doing a foot detox bath.  It can be beneficial if you are experiencing athlete's foot, arthritis, allergies, chronic pain, chemical sensitivities, autoimmune disease, edema, inflammation and psoriasis.  The number and frequency of foot detox baths varies for everyone and will be determined with your practitioner.  There are quite a few ionic foot bath machines.  After all my research there are only two machines I have experience with and know get good results, KiScience Advanced Hydrogen Detox Foot Spa and EB Pro Foot Bath.  They now have foot detox pads which I don't have experience with but if you do please share!  If you are interested in doing a foot detox bath in the office it takes about 25 minutes and costs $45.  




Friday, May 11, 2018

Health Benefits of

Diatomaceous Earth

Food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) is a white powder that is almost entirely made of silica.  Silica is a mineral that is already in our body and is an important component of our  ligaments, cartilage, and muscles. When taken as a supplement DE may help to absorb mercury, E. coli, parasites, viruses, pesticide, radiation, drug residues and other toxins.

The only cautionary side effect that we have found relating to food grade diatomaceous earth has to do with direct inhalation and is essentially the same caution that is advised when handling any fine powder. Diatomaceous Earth is a very fine powder. 

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is 89% Silica.  It was established in the 1940s that life can’t exist without Silica. More recently, in her book “Water & Salt” Dr. Barbara Hendel states: “Silica is the most important trace element in human health.” Silica plays an important role in many bodily functions and has a direct relationship to mineral absorption.

Yet most people are, in fact, silica deficient.  We carry around 90mcgs of silica per 1 gram of hair we have on our bodies and we carry around 100mcgs of silica per 1 gram of bone.  Silica is in all of our connective tissue and it is so very important to include this mineral in our diets. Silica is mostly found in the fiber portions of whole grains, and the skins of fruits and vegetables.

Among other things, enough silica in the body is vital for calcium absorption to allow calcium supplements to work.

Reported Health Benefits of Silica / Diatomaceous Earth Include:

  1. Maintaining Healthy Blood Pressure Levels
  2. Maintaining Healthy Cholesterol Levels
  3. Better Calcium Utilization for help with Osteoporosis and Healthier Joints
  4. Stimulates Weight Loss
  5. Improvement in Hair, Nails, Teeth & Gums
  6. More Energy


According to Kayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN and Galen D. Knight, PhD in their article “Mad as a Hatter” there is no better product to detox heavy metals and radiation from your body than with Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth!

Take diatomaceous earth daily on an empty stomach. I recommend starting small and slowly working your way up to a higher dose; begin with a teaspoon added to at least 12 ounces of liquid. Mix vigorously and drink immediately.  Some people don't like the mildly chalky flavor and gritty texture. If that describes you, try adding DE to a drink with more flavor (milk, orange juice, coffee, smoothies) or to light foods like yogurt, oatmeal, or applesauce.

As your body begins to detox, you may experience what is commonly known as "die off," which sometimes gives people mild flu-like symptoms for a couple days. This is a side effect of toxins leaving your body, not a side effect of DE itself. You can counteract these symptoms by increasing your fluid consumption, as well as reducing your DE dose for a couple days.

For gum health, because DE is one of the most nourishing substances for your gums, as your gums are connective tissue, which needs silica. To use it, mix 1 heaping tablespoon with water into a paste consistency. Pack it into your gums overnight after you brushed your teeth. Your gums will absorb the diatomaceous earth.  

If you have other ideas on how to use DE please share!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Healthy Coffee Alternative


HEALTHY AND DELICIOUS

COFFEE ALTERNATIVE 


Topinambour Coffee


Topnambour Coffee is a coffee alternative specially formulated with a roasted and grounded a unique  nutrition blend of roots, beans, seeds, nuts and dry fruits that will help you to wake up and feel more energized.
Topinambour (Jerusalem artichoke) root contains inulin, iron, potassium, and is rich in vitamin C and B1. It also has a very low glycemic index. These features make the topinambour products a great support for diabetics. The addition of dandelion, which is also often a component of anti-diabetic compounds, strengthens the action of topinambour and causes the product to stimulate and detoxify and regulate digestion.

Topinambour coffee is one of better caffeine-free substitutes of natural coffee.  If it hasn’t appeared in your cup yet, maybe it’s worth trying out. If not for its interesting taste as well as scent, then maybe for its medicinal properties. Ingredients include Roasted Organic Topinambour Root; Organic Chicory root; Organic Dandelion Root; Organic Figs; Organic Dates; Organic Carob; Cardamom; Cinnamon and Cloves.

This remarkable drink is also an interesting way to add some variety when having a friend over.  Also, unlike coffee, it can be used not only by adults – children can also drink it!

Try it next time you are at the office or order it now by emailing help@healingartsnyc.com. One package is $14 and makes 20 cups.  

                                   

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

How to Relieve a Headache Naturally

It’s been a long day, you’re sitting in front of the computer, and the next thing you know…You’ve got a pounding headache.

Headaches affect MILLIONS of Americans.  Many patients come to my office wanting to work on their sleep or digestion and when I ask about headaches they say, "Oh, yeah, I have that too."  It can happen so frequently and for so long that people think headaches are normal.  You need to know you don't have to live with them and that they aren't normal.  It's the body's way of signaling that there's something wrong.  It's like the alarm system going off in a building but instead it's not a building, it's your body and the alarm is your head.

When you do have a headache people feel that they have two choices, either pop an over-the-counter pain killer or push through it by either ignoring it or sleeping it off.

If you choose to pop a pill the most common are Aspirin and Ibuprofen. But shockingly, these can actually lead to more problems in the long run.  First off, multiple studies have shown these so-called “fixes” wreak havoc on your gut and digestion.  And according to the acclaimed Mayo Clinic: Aspirin and Ibuprofen can actually cause you to have more headaches down the line. 
 These headaches are called “rebound headaches.” And in a lot of cases, they’re MUCH worse than the original headache you set out to fix.

When you start feeling a headache the first question you should ask yourself is, "Am I dehydrated?"  Dehydration is a very common reason for a headache.  For the average person I usually suggest drinking 3 liters of water a day.



If you realize the headache could be due to stress the fastest, easiest thing to do is stop everything and take 3 deep breaths.  Breathing helps get the body out of the stress mode, by calming down the nervous system and not getting stuck in the 'fight or flight' mode.  Coherent Breathing is an easy method to continue to get the stress off the body.

Another way to soothe a headache is not in your breath but in the palm of your hand.  It’s called the L-Zone and it acts like an “on/off switch” for headaches.

When you massage your L-Zone (it’s right above the knuckle of your thumb) this “signals” for increased blood flow to your head, neck, and shoulders.  And according to the renowned Cleveland Clinic — this technique has the power to soothe tense muscles and greatly relieve tension headaches.

Here’s how you massage the L-Zone:

- Breathe in and out deeply for 10 seconds

- Take your right hand and make it into the shape of a gun, or an “L”

- Using your left hand, find the middle of the “L” (the meaty “web” of your palm between your thumb and pointer)

- Then, apply moderate pressure to that spot with your thumb and pointer finger, and massage for 20-30 seconds

- Repeat as needed to soothe headaches, as well as relieve neck and shoulder tension
Bonus: For increased effectiveness, apply ice to the L-Zone after massaging.Warning: Do not massage L-Zone if pregnant.

So even though I hope you never have to deal with a headache in the first place these simple tricks of drinking water, deep breathing and massaging the L-Zone can help!

Also all three tips are a great preventative measure too. So even if you don’t have a headache, give your L-Zone a quick 20-second massage, be aware of breathing from your diaphragm and make sure you drink enough water throughout the day.