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Sea Vegetables - Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary

Sea Vegetables

Thalassotherapy

(As published for Plant Healer Magazine‘s Winter 2018 edition)

There is an enchantment I’ve had with the concept of spa time, perhaps because I see it as indulgent self care- something this momma and herbal dispensary navigator needs dearly during precious moments to herself. When I combine this desire, along with my fascination with all things from the sea, I naturally gravitated to an old world treatment which combines the two, known as Thalassotherapy. If this comes as a new term to you, in breaking down the word we have “Thalassa”, meaning Sea, and “Therapaeia” to mean healing treatment. The word spa comes from the Latin acronym of “sanitus per aqua”, which translates as “health through water”.

Thalassotherapy treatments can be offered in many forms, which traditionally require elements that come from the ocean, or sea. These elements include seawater, seaweed, marine mud, sand, and whenever possible, a humid coastal climate- or a humid environment recreated in the spa using steam, and filling the environment with an abundance of plant life. Divine.

As an herbalist, and for the purposes of this paper, I want to focus primarily on the aspect of Thalassotherapy that is known as Algotherapy; the healing properties of seaweeds, and how they can be used externally in a therapeutic manner. When speaking of seaweeds, I am referring to all of their colour categories: reds, greens, and browns, unless otherwise specified.

Historically, Thalassotherapy’s first recorded cultural use was in ancient Egypt, although all coastal people that have been studied throughout time show evidence that their cultures celebrated the ocean as a vital part of daily life, and basked in the health benefits from ocean waters, and the life contained therein.

It is well known that health practitioners throughout history have recommended that those dealing with serious illness go to live by the sea. As Plato once put it; “The sea cures all ailments of man”. Spending time on the coast, where land life originally emerged, is going back to the elements of our nature’s deepest roots. It is, after all, the birthplace of humanity. Similarly, I know of no better comfort than that of the mother to an ailing child.

These elements, of our nature’s deepest roots, are the minerals and trace minerals that nourish the human body, and are found in a concentrated amount in marine plants, known as seaweeds, or more technically, macroalgae. Seaweeds are shown to have, on average, 10-20 times the amount of vitamins and minerals than land plants. The body uses these nutrients to support all of our essential biological processes. When we receive the necessary amount of minerals and trace minerals, it optimizes our ability to function as healthy, happy, whole human beings. This is the primary and most potent way in which using seaweeds in Thalassotherapy are so beneficial to the body. The skin absorbs these elements directly into the bloodstream, and delivers them where needed very quickly, without having to go through the slower processes of digestion, such as when ingesting seaweeds in dietary therapy. Often the feedback I receive from clients, upon recommending the addition of seaweeds to their baths, is how quickly they feel their bodies are able to get into a state of relaxation. Specifically, the high levels of magnesium, calcium, potassium, and zinc available in seaweeds plays a strong role in both the body and mind’s ability to relax. Minerals have a very grounding effect, calming the nervous system as a whole.

The delivery method of the therapeutic constituents in Thalassotherapy is mainly through the epidermis, as the skin absorbs the nutrients from the seaweeds. Another therapeutic factor received from the seaweeds is their skin softening hydrocolloid properties when applied and absorbed topically. There is also an exfoliant factor in some specific species of seaweeds, as well as localized circulatory stimulant effects on the area of application, all of which we will explore further along through this article.

Because of the minerals and trace minerals that are available from these ocean plants, their effect on mental health is seen to be quite significant. For example, Iodine, which is a key trace element attributed to the human brain’s development and evolution, is easily absorbed through both the skin as well as can be absorbed through the lungs when inhaled, as it evaporates in hot water. Inhaling iodine can be soothing to our lungs, and helps to eliminate any potential pathogens that are lingering in the respiratory system. Iodine has been found to be deficient in people that do not regularly consume ocean sourced foods, and as it is an important factor in the function of the thyroid, it’s optimal levels are paramount to healthy metabolic function. Iodine is also important for breast health, both in the treatment and prevention of fibrocystic breast tissue, and very importantly lowers the risk of breast cancer.

Seaweed has been shown to act as a local stimulant when applied topically, increasing blood flow to the area. This supports the theory that seaweed wraps have been successful in diminishing cellulite, as the extra blood flow helps to move out stagnation. This localized stimulant effect is also part of the mode of action for treating arthritic conditions- this, along with it’s anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidant benefits, and highly nourishing compounds. The increased circulation to the area brings needed nutrients in, drives toxic particles out, soothes the inflamed tissues, and decreases the effects of stress on the area.

Thalassotherapy can be a very simple process, as easy as adding kelp fronds to a hot bath and soaking up it’s goodness, or creating some basic seaweed wraps and masks, directly applied onto the skin, and allowing it to penetrate for a reasonable amount of time. Below I have listed some of the basic ways in which you can start to work with Thalassotherapy in the sanctuary of your own spa room, create spa ritual gatherings with community, or recommend clients to work with this effective therapy to support the improvement of health concerns.

Therapaieas:

Seaweed Baths: This is the simplest way in which you can incorporate Thalassotherapy into your routine. It is a formidable experience of rest and relaxation, a truly enjoyable way to experience the health benefits of seaweeds! You can add any full seaweed fronds to your bath- I do recommend including kelps (brown seaweeds such as Kombu or Wakame), for highest iodine availability. You do not need to worry about absorbing too much iodine and getting over stimulated- The skin’s wisdom and protective mechanisms will only absorb the amount of iodine needed (think about the red iodine tincture you can paint a spot on your arm with;  if the spot disappears quickly, it shows you have a great need for iodine, if it lingers, you are likely not deficient. This is a great example of the skin absorbing only how much iodine the body requires.) Some spas have had a clawfoot bathtub out on the beach, a fire underneath the tub to warm the water, and cedar planks lining the bottom so as not to burn the skin when lying down in the bath. This has an added layer of being out in a natural surrounding, with the sounds and songs of the sea adding to the medicine of this ritual of relaxation. The heat from the water opens the skin’s pores and encourages absorption of seaweed’s health benefits. Once the bath is complete, the tub can drain back out onto the shore and the seaweed can directly return to the earth. If you are in an indoor bath using seaweed, ensure that you remove as much of the seaweed as possible prior to draining, as it will clog up the drain if left to go down into the pipes.

Waterbirth: During waterbirth, seaweed is an exceptional addition to the birthing waters as it mineralizes the waters and can help to relax the mother during labour. The quality and fluidity of the seaweed can be a special focal point, as when it is immersed in water, it’s fluidity, flexibility, and graceful flow helps demonstrate as a guide to the mother, showing her the same qualities that can bring ease to the process.

Footsoak: Creating a footbath is a sure way to do away with sore and tired feet. Adding seaweed to the soak speeds up the time in which it takes to feel relief, and is something you can do to help re-mineralize your body with the simplest of supplies. A large bowl, bin, or any old bucket will do!

Seaweed Body Wraps and Masks: This is a fun one to play around with, as you can create a whole variety of different wraps and facial masks with either seaweed being the only ingredient added to your blender with water, or getting more creative with your recipes and mixing it with some of your other favourite topical ingredients. Kelp powder mixed with honey and ground oats is one of my favourites, but really any natural ingredients that have beneficial properties for the skin can be used. Once you have your chosen blend, grind into a powder, mix with water into a paste that you can apply all over your body and face, allow to let penetrate on your skin for at least 10-15 minutes, up to as long as is comfortable, and rinse off once you are complete. This can be an effective treatment for both acute and chronic dermatitis issues.

Exfoliants: There are a couple of unique red seaweeds known as Turkish Towel (Chondracantus sp.) and Turkish Washcloth (Matocarpus sp.) that have this unique property. They are covered in little papillae that act as scrubbing exfoliants on the skin, sloughing off dead skin cells. All seaweeds also have emollient, skin softening properties to them, and so using these seaweeds as washcloths very much brings in an ebb and flow, cleanse and build effect in benefitting the health of the skin.

Emollient Gels: One of the most popular ways in which seaweeds are used around the world is for their gelling properties, which is found in both brown and red categories of seaweeds. They contain a starchy carbohydrate substance, known as phycocolloids, that give them their smooth, slippery texture, and cooling nature. Within the brown seaweeds, the phycocolloids are called alginates, and in the reds they are the agars and carrageenans. Because of this gelling ability, they are added to most things on store shelves that are “thick”, for example: toothpaste, ice cream, paint, and lotions. It is fun and easy to make gel out of seaweed by slowly warming it up in water, bring to a boil, strain, and set in the fridge. You can use this gel for your hair and face and will notice it’s highly emollient, softening properties that moisturize dry, brittle hair and skin.

This gel also reinforces the hydrolipidic (protective) barrier of the skin. Pure luxury from the sea!

Skin creams and lotions: For those of us that feel happiest and at home in the outdoors, adding seaweed to lotions can bring an extra level of protection from extreme winter and summer weather patterns. Specifically, this protection comes from the phenols found in the browns, especially species that grow in the intertidal zones. A great example is Bladderwrack (Fucus sp.). As this species is exposed to strong weather patterns during low tide, it contains protective chemistry that also protects our skin when applied topically. It has been shown to protect against both sun and wind damage to the skin.

Seaweeds also regulate sebum levels, making it an effective addition to minimizing acne.

Although traditional Thalassotherapy centers are generally located within 500 meters of the sea, this practice does not need exclude the people that live inland. If anything, it is even more important for those that do not live close to the coast to get proper amounts of iodine in their systems. Seaweed trade has been found to go back as far as we have anthropological studies for- something the Kelp Highway theory has proven to show as early as 14,000 years ago.

Seaweed took up a big portion in many traditional people’s trading baskets, as it dries easily, shrinking down to one tenth of its fresh state, and it’s density of amino acids and trace minerals make it an ideal substance to carry for optimal nutritional needs. Currently it is reliable to access clean sources of seaweed from committed, ethical suppliers of botanical medicine and is indeed one of my strong commitments to providing in our dispensary.

As you play with some of these seaweed bathing and health practices, bringing in the aspect of spirit creates a foundation of wholism to one’s entire being. The rituals that spring forth from the deeper subconscious, while working with these ocean wonders, can have a spiritually hygienic effect. Caring for, and cleansing our bodies and minds, can become a sacred ritual that nourishes us deeply within, carrying forward into our entire way of being.  

The mythical nature that comes from the sea is a gift that we can harness to spark magic in our lives, drawing in the ocean’s forces through working with seaweed.

She imbues us with her qualities that are captured so well by her marine plants. Flexible, fluid, calm, cool natured; gifts we so dearly need in a society that has become so fast and inflamed.

The Celtic story of the Selkie is a heart touching teaching of staying true to your roots, and moving freely through life in the truest form of your nature.

Getting into communion with seaweed, by applying it to one’s body, is a way of putting on your sealskin, as the selkie so craves and desires getting back to her truest nature, in union with the sea.

Tonic Immune Protective Soup Recipe

Tonic Immuni-teaAt Harmonic Arts, one of our favourite Winter Tea Blends is Tonic Immuni-tea.

This deeply nourishing, earthy flavoured blend has a few sweet notes consisting of Wild and Organic Adaptogenic/Tonic herbs and mushrooms used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) including Chaga, Reishi, Eleuthro, Astragalus , Rehmannia, Codonopsis, Goji, and Wild Yam.

Tonic Immuni-tea is the perfect base for creating immune protective elixir drinks and soups…

Fucoidan: A Gift from the Sea

Kombu rocks

Seaweeds have long been an exciting avenue in our explorations of herbal medicine. Most especially intriguing as of late is a unique substance found in the brown seaweed group, known as Fucoidan. This substance is readily available for absorption through heat extraction, a simple process you can try at home (see recipe below). Similar to some of the therapeutic properties of medicinal mushrooms, it contains large chain molecules of polysaccharides, which need to be broken down by heat to render them bio-available to the human body.

Wild Mushroom Soup Recipe for Immune Protective Vitality

shiitake soup harmonic arts

Add more wild mushrooms to your diet to up your immune system’s protective vitality with this wild mushroom soup recipe.

Ingredients:

-30g of Harmonic Arts Tonic Immuni-Tea*
-Or 10 Astragalus Slices* and 10 Reishi Slices* and other tonic herbs of choice
-2-5 Shiitake Mushrooms*  and 2-3 Maitake Mushrooms*
-1-2 Tbsp Harmonic Arts 6 or 14 Mushroom Powdered Extract (optional)*
-1/2 c. slightly sprouted beans, such as adzuki, black beans, black eyed peas, lentils (sprout the night before, optional)
-3/4 c. barley or rice
-2 c. of seasonal vegetables- carrots, squash, zucchini, potatoes, celery, cabbage, kale and or chard
-2-4 Garlic cloves, sliced
-1 small Onion, chopped
-1 tsp of tamari
-Miso to taste, try around a 1/4 c.
-Seasoning spices of choice*, such as ginger, chilies, celery seed, cummin or other herbs/spices.

Shiitake soup

Optional add ins

-2-3 Tbsp Harmonic Arts Sea veg blend*, or other sea vegetables*
-1/3 c. fresh wild burdock and/or dandelion roots sliced thin
-1/3 c. wild greens such as nettles, lambs quarter, or chickweed (if in season)

*Available from Harmonic Arts

Directions:

1. Fill a large soup pot with 4 liters of the best water you can get (spring water is ideal, if available).

2. Add the Tonic Immuni-tea blend or Astragalus, Reishi, and other tonic herbs. Bring to a boil and lightly simmer for 20-40 min. or longer. Strain herbs and use the liquid as a broth base for the soup. This is called a decoction.

3. Add Shiitake, Maitake, Mushroom powder extract and sprouted Beans. Simmer for 20 min. (to slightly sprout the beans, soak  overnight or for 8 hours, rinse and change the water 1-2 times. Beans can also be sprouted for longer if desired).

3. Add the barley or rice and simmer for another 30 minutes

4. Add vegetables of choice, onion, garlic, spices, sea veg, fresh burdock/dandelion and simmer for another 15-20 minutes.

5. Reduce heat. Add miso, tamari and other seasonings to taste. Miso should not be boiled as it destroys the pre and pro-biotic aspects.

This Recipe is a loose guide. Like all things in the kitchen, it is best to customize based on the ingredients you have on hand and your specific needs.

When to use:

This is a highly nourishing deep tonic and immune protective soup. It is best used anytime from late fall to early spring, and especially in the mid winter months or in cold weather. It is helpful if one is feeling weak, run down or low energy. Making a hearty meal like this will help bring back vitality and health. Vitality Soup is an ideal addition for those who suffer from weakened immunity, auto-immune conditions, allergies, diabetes, hepatitis, or other forms of weakened health.

Herbs of choice:

The Tonic Immuni-tea blend from Harmonic Arts or Reishi and Astragalus are included as Adaptogenic Immune Tonic Herbs, and by no means are these the only herbs that lend well to a soup like this. Other good choices of tonic herbs based on personal specifics can be: Chaga, Ginseng, Eleuthero, Ashwagandha, Fo-Ti, Rhemmania, Codonopsis, Wild Yam, Goji, Maca, Burdock and Dandelion. If you are using a small cut of herb, they can be put in a re-usable muslin tea bag*, cheese cloth pouch or should be strained out before adding other vegetables. Another option is to add herbal powders and not filter them, although this will leave some sediment in the soup. For more ideas on herbs to use in your decoction base check out our post on Making Herbal Decoctions.

Have fun with creating your own Vitality Soups and nourishing your loved ones with these great food medicines.

549070_423208021050754_926539210_nHerbal decoction bases:

A Decoction is a herbal tea that is lightly simmered for 30min-5 hours. It is different from an Infusion, which is a tea that is steeped in hot water, but not simmered. Typically decoctions are done with  woody plant parts like roots, barks and seeds as well as mushrooms, where the medicinal compounds require longer extraction as they are contained by tough fibrous cell walls. They are not ideal for leafy green herbs or those containing highly volatile oils.

How else can I use the Tonic Immuni-tea base:

Once created, a decoction can be used in many ways other than as a broth base for soup. It is great just to drink as a tea, but one of my favourite options is to make it into hot tonic drinks. This can be done by adding super food powders like Raw Cacao or our Super Power Blend, a nut mylk, coconut oil or cacao butter and sweetener to the decoction base, and then blending while still hot. This is like a nutrient infused, amped up hot chocolate.  It is also great used cold as a smoothie base, or as a base for making your own nut mylks.

As it can take up to a few hours to make a strong decoction, sometimes it is ideal to make more than you are able to use right away. After straining, they can be stored in mason jars or other glass containers in the fridge, and reheated or used cold when desired. Most will last for up to a week, so it is best not to make more than you can use in this amount of time.

 

Women’s Practices for Maintaining Vital Health

Artist- A. Andrew Gonzalez

Artist- A. Andrew Gonzalez

By Angela Willard Cl.H.

I love life, and I love it even more when I feel the ease in my body during and after a cleanse. The thing is, we need to find ways to feel this way all the time, even when the cleanse is over and ‘regular’ life sets back in. After experimenting with finding my optimal health level over the past number of years, I have found certain daily practices to come to mean the difference between feeling alright, and feeling fantastic! Follow me on this journey in discovering your own super goddess that resides within you.

For us women, who have a rainbow of responsibilities we all too often need to tend to in our lives, we generally run with a vessel more on the empty side. With that, my goal in writing this piece is to guide women in all places and spaces, to be inspired to fill their vessel so full, that they experience life with ease rather than effort. When things come from a place of effort, all of our energy becomes focused on catching up, and restoring balance. Why not instead experience the blissful feeling of having abundant reserves, which fuel us to fulfill not only our responsibilities, but also our passions and creativity. It is in our creativity that we may find our solace, get to know our selves more deeply, and continue to grow and evolve on this path of life.

With that, I have compiled a list of simple practices to implement on a daily basis, whether cleansing or not, to bring fullness to life and allow us to come from that place of nourished contentment rather than from a sense of imbalance and struggle.

Fermenting Foods

Not only do I feel much better eating fermented foods on a daily basis, I get great pleasure and nourishment from playing a part in the fermentation process. Having a direct relationship with your food is a potent way of receiving healthful benefits. Fermentation is a vast area you can participate in, from making your own sauerkraut, to creating your own tempehs, delicious drinks such as beet kvass and kombucha, or even special occasion beverages such as meads and herbal wines. Some plant properties are more potent and bio-available when fermented, and fermented foods are high in probiotic cultures that support and guard the GI tract. It doesn’t take too long to feel confident with fermenting, and usually you can get your favorite process down after one or two tries. I recommend you start with small batches until you feel you have it right. The following recipe for Beet Kvass is something I’ve really enjoyed making, and it’s positive impact on women through supporting liver function and hormone balance makes it an optimal daily tonic drink.

Beet Kvass:

3 medium beets, cubed

1 Tbsp Salt

Clean source of Water

Add chopped beets to a 1 liter mason jar, sprinkle on salt, and top with water leaving about one inch of air from the top. (You can also add 1 Tb of Kefir to add more cultures). Cover with a lid, give it a good shake, and let sit at room temperature for 2-3 days (if you are in a warm climate 2 days should be enough). Place in fridge and drink about ½ cup per day. When the jar gets low on kvass, top with water again for a second batch. Save a little of the kvass to add to your next batch with new beets to help kick start the fermentation process. After using the beets to make your kvass, you can add them to your next meal as a delicious addition!

Consume Seaweeds

The health benefits of consuming seaweeds is a very extensive list. Keep in mind that if you are new to bringing seaweeds into your diet, it may take a few weeks to notice some of the benefits, as some receptors in the body need to ‘re-learn’ how to integrate seaweeds into the system. What I consider the top reasons for women to eat these wonderful foods are the following:

-High mineral content, especially great for those that eat little or no animal products.

-It’s iodine content helps to regulate the thyroid, a sensitive endocrine gland that when in a healthy state directly affects ones feeling of well being and ability to move through life with full reserves of energy. *Not to be used uncooked for those with hyper-thyroid.

-High Vitamin content, specifically containing Vitamins A, B’s (B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12), C, D (contains ergosterol which the body converts to D), E, and K.

Fucoidan, a property specific to brown seaweeds, is a great life giver from the ocean. It has the ability to target foreign cells and dismember them while encouraging proper energy flow throughout the body and it’s integrative systems. The simplest way to consume Fucoidan is to take 2 tsp of any powdered brown seaweed (or you can use Harmonic Arts Fucoidan blend), add it to 1 C of water, and bring to a gentle simmer for 30 minutes. Take 2-3 Tbsp each day, mixed with juice if needed to make it more palatable. Stores in a container in the fridge for up to 1 week. You may start to notice uplifted feelings in your sense of self fairly quickly, as it efficiently helps to improve mood within a womans hormonal cycle. Currently there are about 900 scientific studies around the world on Fucoidan, it appears to have an incredibly positive impact on overall human health.

Incorporate Superfoods and Superherbs into a regular regime

These potent botanicals can support a high quality lifestyle, for the long term.

Superherbs are basically powerful acting herbs that have an intelligent ability to adapt to current needs and stresses, in order to support the whole person system with greater flexibility in life. With that, many of them are considered Adaptogens and Longevity Tonics, as they act most prominently on ones internal weak spots and support the HPA axis for accurate stress response.

Superfoods can be described as nutrient dense low calorie foods, with little to no negative effects, allowing the body to consume higher quantities than other botanicals. Consuming the same amount of Superfoods as other common foods will deliver much higher nutrition to the body. Below is a list of some of my favorite super herbs and foods that deliver an especially great boost to the female reproductive and hormonal system:

1)Goji berries (Lycium chinense); these tasty berries are very high in antioxidants, protect and strengthen the liver, boost immune, and stimulate the release of HGH, a hormone that keeps us looking and feeling young.

2)Fo-Ti (Polygonum multiflorum); this traditional chinese yin tonic nourishes the body, as it builds energy reserves and slows the aging process. It increases fertility and libido in women, allowing women to feel as though they are in their power and feeling their best.

3)Maca (Lepidium meyenii); influences the pituitary gland which in turn regulates overall hormone excretion. Increases energy, addresses a wide variety of women’s menstrual and menopausal discomforts, and contains significant amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E, as well as minerals (calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron).

4)Schizandra berries (Schisandra chinensis); these berrries contain lignans, which help to protect the liver. It is said that if consuming Schizandra berries every day for 100 days, your skin will glow like the moon. They also bring healing to the lung, increasing the ability to take in oxygen, as well as keep defenses against external pathogens strong.

5)Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum); Useful for coping with stress, helps increase energy, and raises the ability to deal with pain. All in all this herb is wonderful for fortifying and building overall strength. It’s ‘holiness’ comes from the Vedic observations that it opens the heart and mind which in turn enhances love and devotion.

6)Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus); Brings balance to symptoms of the female hormone cycles. Helps to improve sense of well being prior to menstruation, tones the uterus, lessens hot flashes in menospausal women, and maintains womens overall good health.

7)Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera); The translation of this Sanskrit name is ‘to make like horse’, so if you can imagine the strength and vigor of a stallion, it gives you an idea of the force of this plant. It is helpful to build back the body’s strength after illness, or during times of high stress. It also has shown to help increase fertility in both men and women.

8)Medicinal Mushrooms; I couldn’t pick just one of them- studies have shown that medicinal mushrooms are more effective when combined as opposed to used singularly. They are a potent way to help prevent most all illnesses through a number of mechanisms. They are proven to enhance immune response, improve the bodies ability to produce Vitamin D, are anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, liver supportive, and calming to an overactive nervous system. Harmonic Arts has two medicinal mushroom blends available~ 5 mushroom or 14 mushroom blend steam extracted powders, which are bio-available to the body as is, and can be sprinkled in anything from smoothies, salad dressings, and soups. Some examples of medicinal mushrooms are Shiitaki(Lentinus edodes), Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) , and Maitaki (Grifola frondosa).

 

Get your Daily Sweat On!

 

Whether it be from exercise, or relaxing in a steam or sauna, allowing the body to sweat supports the skin. The skin is one of the four eliminatory channels of the body. Regular exercise is proven to extend the human life span, and greatly increase the quality of life. A physically fit body is able to efficiently protect against invasive pathogens, process toxins and other substances that may be backed up and causing imbalance. Exercise also strengthens the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, keeping them functioning at their highest. All of this increases oxygen to each and every cell, gifting your whole being a breath of fresh air.

The lymphatic system also benefits from the muscle pump action generated in exercise. As it is the pathway that toxins are channeled out in the body, the best way to cleanse it is through movement. To support the lymphatic system during a steam or sauna, alternating the session with very cold showers will give the lymph a good cleansing. Infrared sauna is ideal, but also beneficial are herbal steams, cedar sauna, sweat lodges, or the traditional latin american temescal.

And Don’t Forget to Stretch

Stretching yourself comes in many forms. Often people think of yoga right away, which is a wonderful practice to bring into your life if you have not already. There are other ways you may wish to explore stretching in your life as well. Trying something new, or different than the way you normally would do things, can be both exhilarating and consciousness shifting. Sticking to patterns can work for awhile, but when it comes to evolving the self, patterns can equate to turning in circles versus spiraling up and cultivating growth. Try to bring into your daily practice the choice of doing something you don’t normally do. Record each new experience down in a journal, and after a cycle of one month, look back on your recordings and notice how your self has changed with this practice. You may find that your growth has accelerated in the direction you wish to be going.

Along with the above suggestions, I recommend that you do a mini inventory on the daily influences that you allow into the experience of your life. We are regularly bombarded with un-natural sights, sounds, ideas, circumstances, and occurrences. It has now become a mass acceptance of the norm. Ask yourself if what you are experiencing in each moment lines up with your highest self. If it in any way does not, purge and cleanse that influence from your life and fill that space with something that fills your heart. Not only will this improve your experience in the world, it ripples out and improves the overall experience of the world, coming back at you as the love you are willing to accept. Using discernment with what you allow into your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual body will ultimately take you to a place of feeling ‘cleansed’ in every moment, gifting your life a continual experience of true well being.

 

angela willardAngela Willard received her Clinical Herbalist Diploma from the Wild Rose College in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 2005. She has since been in practice as an Herbalist through many avenues including consulting, growing herbs, wildcrafting, and co-creating the Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary. She actively adds herbal and health tools to her basket through continual upgrading of her knowledge with a strong focus on Women’s health and wellness. Sharing information that empowers people to live with integrity to their highest potential is a strong calling that fuels her on this path.

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