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The Invisible and Ignored. Lymph

When we talk about body systems, the ones commonly mentioned are cardio-vascular, nervous, muscular and skeletal.
And yet, there is a system our entire body (except for hair, nails and cartilage) bathes in constantly – lymphatic!

There are fifteen liters of lymph in a human body. That is three times more than blood!
If you place all the lymph vessels back to back, you can circle the globe four times.

It is a hard-working, invisible sewage system of the body. It’s job is to get rid of toxins from external and internal environment.
One fifth of lymph replenishes itself every single day. Or so it should, if
– you are properly hydrated, because 90% of lymph is water,
– You move your body. Walking, exercise, jumping especially,
– You breathe mostly into your belly not your chest, using the diaphragm as a lymphatic pump,
– You dry skin brush before shower. Gentle touch, no scrubbing or pressing hard. Always towards the heart, since that is the direction lymph flows in.

If you wonder about the health of your lymph, here are a few common symptoms of it not working properly: skin problems, digestive issues, inflammation, sore joints and muscles and autoimmune disorders. And who does not have at least one of them?! I know of no one.

After beginning to study lymph and integrating the lymph moving techniques into my work, I have been noticing positive shifts in my own body and the bodies of my clients!

I have always been a fan of simplicity and availability in terms of exercise. If it is too complex, too long, requires an expensive purchase of any kind, I find myself easily turned off.
I am happy to report that lymph pumping techniques turned out to be very simple and can be done anywhere)
I just returned from a car trip to the mountains, which involved a lot of driving and sitting. We stopped and moved our bodies for ten minutes every few hours and what a difference it has made! Low back/neck soreness – gone. Skin tone -improved. Bowel movement – improved. Mood – great! Simple, no?

There is a fabulous educational video done by Dr Perry Nickelston on Vimeo. It is called Lymphatic Mojo. You do not need to be a bodyworker to benefit from the information he presented. Just interested in kicking your energy levels up a notch!) He also has a lot of exercises to help your lymph move better. I’m certainly doing them! The video is not free though)

You may want to come for a bodywork session, and I will do it on you and will teach you how to do it yourself.

Meanwhile, just remember to breathe into your belly, hydrate plenty, move as much as you can, and jump whenever possible! Stay well.

Your armpits will love it

unnamedTrying to use as natural products as possible when it comes to my body, I have been using Lush deodorant with patchouli scent for the last ten or so years.
Thing is – it drove my boyfriend nuts and it did not last as long as I wanted it to. I am a bodyworker and at the end of the busy day my armpits are not as fresh as they are in the morning.

So, I have started looking for a healthy alternative, that: a) would not have a patchouli scent; b) keep my armpits happy all day long.
And I found it!
Native deodorants provide that! I got their $30 Sample Pack with three products:
– lavender and rose
– coconut and vanilla
– unscented
And wow! My vote goes to lavender and rose. Even though coconut and vanilla is quite lovely, I find its scent too sweet for my taste.
The unscented one goes to my man.))

I applied it in the morning and went to work. I returned home after nine hours of walking, working and being as active as usual and my armpits are completely dry and smell like a gentle rose. Yay!
Try, you will be impressed. Shipping is free.

P`S Seasonally, they also have grapefruit-bergamot and cucumber-mint scents.

OMM

OMMIn June 2016 I spent time visiting family in Eastern Europe. I noticed that my younger brother Denis looked more peaceful and present than ever. Unlike me, who has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety that came shortly after a traumatic experience in April of the same year…
I asked what`s up and he gladly shared the newly found technique and asked me to help translate a book. It was called One Moment Meditation.
It was about finding a minute to sit down, close the eyes and watch your own breath. Yep. That`s it.
I found the idea to meditate for just a minute laughable and not serious at first. After all, I had been meditating for at least fifteen minutes on most days using the Insight Timer app on my phone. But after watching my brother do it multiple times during the day to quiet the mind, I began to see the potential. I could see that it was about slowly developing a habit to be present and aware at all times by watching the breath.
I know, it is hard to carve out a half hour during the day, if you have a busy life.
Yet it is much easier to grab a minute here and there to slow down. And those minutes add up.

If it picked your interest, there is a book available in e- and regular formats to learn more about the technique, an online year long course OMM365. And there is an app itself, which is free and easy to use – OMM.  Check it out!

Sleep on your left to detox

dreamstime_xs_29149174If you ever wondered whether there is the best position to sleep in, there is! It is on your left side. Here is why:
– improves circulation to the heart
– allows the brain to remove waste more easily
– takes pressure off the liver and supports spleen
– encourages proper digestion, prevents heartburn
– helps to drain lympth

You can use this position even during the day – after eating a big meal, laying on your left side for ten minutes will help to digest it better and make you feel less sleepy.

Himalayas Air in Your Bedroom

0b8209ad-9a81-48a4-a6f9-84abf48735faFrom the moment I saw an online ad for
Himalayan salt lamps, I knew I wanted one!

I owned this lamp for many years now and it worked great all this time, providing soft, orange-ish glow for my bedroom, and, allegedly, ionizing the air. I think I only changed a bulb once or twice in ten years!

I honestly cannot tell you if the whole ionization process works, or if I breathe better with the lamp or not. I do notice that it has calming effect on my nervous system and makes my bedroom look so much more cozy and warm. A nice feeling to have on a cold winter day!

Back in 2006 I have given a bunch of lamps to my parents and brother, and they still use it every day. My three years old niece and nephew sleep with the lamp on and are no longer afraid of the dark. And love it. A great gift idea in my opinion.

Look and Feel Better with Earth

unnamedI am always looking for effective and hopefully cheap tools to help me feel and look good. One day my co-worker at Neuro Muscular Rehabilitation Center, mentioned a grounded blanket she has been using to help her sleep better. It worked by connecting to the Earth`s surface charge, she said. I did not understand much of that explanation. She looked good though.

So, I decided to check out the website where she bought it.

Basically the company has created products that replicate bare skin contact with the Earth`s surface which provides your body with a steady flow of electrons and the electric potential of the body equalizes with the potential of the Earth. Grounding with Earth accelerates healing, helps speed the recovery from injuries and stress.

Now, the products themselves are very easy to use. The cheapest and the first one I bought was a bracelet. It can be applied either on the wrist or an ankle. The cost is twenty-seven dollars for a pair. I got it and after sitting with a bracelet on my achy right leg for thirty minutes I knew it worked. The pain got significantly less, the fatigue in my feet after standing for many hours disappeared. I got up quite astonished. I think I bought another product (grounded mat) right then. And I use it every time I am sitting in front of the computer. Just place my bare feet on top of the mat on the floor, connect it to the grounded hole via a cord and enjoy the healing flow of electrons into my body.

After about one week I bought everything else: grounded sheet to sleep on at night, pillow case and a throw. I also got fifty patches to apply on achy places (really love those!).
I use my grounded friends every day and night and after three months of use I can most definitely say it WORKS!

How am I so sure? Well, for the last two years I had a chronic pain in the heel of my right foot (let`s call it plantar fasciitis) and no amount of bodywork, rest, restorative exercise could fix it. I was spending too much time on my feet during the day and not repairing fast enough at night.
Using grounded tools helped me to feel seventy percent better in just three months! What does seventy percent look like? It looks like this: I no longer feel sharp pain when I get up in the morning (or from a couch, car, etc) and start walking!
I also have stories from people who used the grounded tools for different needs (bad insomnia, big bruise on the face, severe neck pain) and they all had seen the benefits. Another bonus I noticed – my skin complexion got better due to improved circulation.

In October 2015 I have traveled to see my family in Eastern Europe. The time difference is ten hours and my jet leg is always pretty severe when I go there. Well, not anymore! I used my grounding sheet at night, and made sure to walk bare feet on the earth for forty minutes as soon as I could to reset and sync my system with the local circadian rhythms. It was very effective. How effective? I basically had no jet leg this time! Oh, and my parents, brother and his three years old twins are enjoying the grounding as well now – I got them floor mats and pillow cases.

This stuff is no miracle cure, but it is a very useful and natural way to get better faster. I especially like that there is zero work involved. Just plug it in and contact the skin. Simple.

P`S` During my trip to Eastern Europe I had a long (seven hours) layover at Frankfurt airport and was already feeling the effects of jet leg. No need to suffer! I found a plug, put my bracelet on and grounded myself. I felt better almost instantly!
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Superbrain Yoga

unnamedNeed to recharge the brain, focus on a mental task, stop forgetting where you left the keys or simply raise your IQ?
Easy!
A simple exercise done daily will help with all of that.
If you do not want to buy a book and read it through, here it is in a few steps:

1) Face East (North for elderly folk)
2) Hold the right ear lobe with the left thumb and index fingers (thumb facing the front of the ear lobe)
3) Hold the left ear lobe with the right thumb and index finger (right arm has to be on top of the left arm)
4) Place the tongue on the roof top of the mouth.
5) Breathe in through nose and squat at the same time.
6) Breathe out through nose and get up at the same time.
7) Do that 14 times. Every day.

NOTE: Not to be performed 2 days before, after and during menstruation.

Period-Proof Panties

unnamedThis afternoon, I saw a Facebook post about period-proof underwear. Yep! That is right.
It has been finally done. By women, of course! )) Call it Thinx.
I read their story and it is not only a great product, but these ladies also help women who cannot afford to buy tampons and pads.
You will be surprised how many!
It brings certain memories to me as well when I was growing up in Soviet Union.
Apparently there are 67 million women in need, in Africa alone!
Many young girls during their monthly ‘week of shame’  have to miss school. Sometimes it results in dropping out, because they get too far behind! They use whatever resources they can find – mud, leaves, sticks…

So, the ladies of Thinx partnered up with AFRIpads. And for every pair of Thinx panties you buy, seven re-usable AFRipads will be produced and given to a girl who badly needs them.
Now, that is an idea worth spreading, don`t you think? ))

I bought their thong today, and will update later with an honest opinion on how it works.

UPDATE: It is now four months later. I love the panties. They are comfortable and work very well for the first and last day of my period, as well as an extra protection on the heavy days when I use tampons. I was worried that the material may be too thick and look odd through clothes, but it has not been an issue at all. Great buy (and savings since I do not use tampons for the two days when I wear Thinx).

Super Chai

unnamed-1I was not looking for any new drink. It found Me.))
A few months ago a co-worker brought a package of turmeric chai for us to taste. I had a cup and then had to work on a bunch of people without taking a break for three hours…
I was surprised how energized I felt. It was not a type of energy coffee gives you. I cannot drink it anyway – it makes me jittery and anxious. No. It was a Relaxed Alertness type of energy. You know, the one when you calmly do what needs to be done and do it well, without stressing out or depleting your resources. Works for me! So, I bought a bunch of it and have been drinking ever since.
Since it has zero caffeine, I can have it first thing in the morning, or late at night. It does not affect my sleep. In fact, I had a curious situation: a client who had a really hard time falling asleep, started drinking it at night before bed and it somehow helped. I mean this guy used to lay in a hot tub with Epsom salts just to calm himself down every night.

Oh, and it tastes pretty good too!))

I met the person behind the chai one night. She is one energetic woman! One day she realized she is tired working in a corporate world, and just plain tired from working too hard. So, she quit. Went to Asia. Came back and opened a business that sells chai drinks.
There she is))
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You think you know how to breathe?

dreamstime_xs_38001550 (1)In August 2014 I have participated in a life-changing seminar called Restorative Breathing, taught by Lois Laynee, Ph.d.
The idea was brilliantly simple, the exercises taught in class were great. I highly recommend any health practitioner or just a layman to take that class with Lois.
In a few words, optimal breathing in a healthy human should look like this:
– breathing through the nose only, not the mouth
– breathing into the belly, not the chest
– lips gently together, tongue behind upper front teeth
– exhaling longer than inhaling, 1:2 ratio

As to why it should be this way and not the other, I am referring you guys to a very informative post written by another attendee of Lois`s seminar – Dr Chris Barnes.

Ever since I have taken the seminar and applied its principles in my daily life, I have noticeably increased my stamina, energy levels and overall sense of well-being. I am now running a few times a week, which I had never done before due to shortness of breath. I started hiking for 5-6 hours on weekends… All because of the simple change to the way I breathe.

Funny thing, I never thought I struggled with my breathing before taking Lois`s class. I though it was pretty normal to wake up with congested sinuses, to be out of breath after a short run for the bus, to not be able to hold my breath for more than a minute. Turns out it is not normal, it is mediocre at best. And that is how my health always has been – kind of OK, but not great. Well, there are simple, effective and free ways to improve it, I tell you that!

And it starts with breath))