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Natural Skin Care Newsletter: July 2006 Issue
(You can click on the topics below which will take you to the article of choice on this page, or simply scroll down and read each one)
Launch of Forum
Minor Sports Injuries - First Aid Tips
Avocado for Your Skin
An Introduction to Remedial Massage Therapy
July 2006 Issue of the Natural Skin Care Newsletter
Many customers and visitors have expressed an interest not just in our Newsletter, but an interactive forum, where they can ask question and get different points of view from both other members as well as directly from Wildcrafted Herbal Products.
So for the past couple of months, I've been working on finding out how to make that a reality. It took a bit of doing, as I've never done that before, but I finally worked it out and the forum is now up and running. Well, may be not exactly running, but then this is the first time we are letting every body know that there is a forum to participate in. So, drop by and have a look, you can join and participate, or you can just read the posts that other members have left and follow the various topics and subjects. Here a direct link to the forum: Go To Forum
At this stage there are three categories:
Over time, I'm sure that the categories will expand. You may add a category, but it does have to be related to the categories above. For example you may be an expert in natural cosmetics and you would like to start a category on that topic. In that case that would be okay, however, if you wanted to start a category on marketing, that would not be permitted. If in doubt, ask by sending us an email and if we feel that our customers and visitors would be interested in that topic, then you will get the okay.
I check the forum once a day so if you do post a comment or question, at this stage it may take 24 hours or so before you will get a reply from Wildcrafted, however, if other members are active in the forum, you may get a response much more quickly.
We are very exited about the forum and hope you are too.
We also hope it will create a lot of interest and some interesting discussions and opinions being posted.
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With the Football World championship well on the way and on every bodies (well almost) mind, I thought we'd take a look at some sports injuries and how to treat minor sprains, muscle spasms/strains, skin and other minor injuries.
Kids (young and older) often come home after participating in their favourite sport with aches, pains, sprains and sometimes a little less skin than they had before. So a few simple and easy to apply remedies may just help you to lessen the pain.
Strains and Sprains
It's very easy to strain a muscle or sprain an ankle, but it does not have to take you out of the action for too long. Both strains and sprains respond well to ice in the first 24 hours or so after the injury is caused. Ice packs will help to reduce swelling, pain and inflammation and is a good first aid treatment. If you injured a leg, knew or angle, put an ice pack on the injured site and up the leg up so the blood and tissue fluids can easily drain from the leg. This will help to reduce the swelling.
Once the injury is more than 24-48 hours old, heat is the better option to treat your injury. Heat packs help promote circulation of blood to the injured area which in turn helps to promote healing and repair of damaged tissues.
To support the ice/heat packs, Arnica cream is the primary choice of treatment. Arnica is renowned for it effect to help reduce swelling and bruising and is safe and effective when applied to the skin. However, if the skin is broken and there is bleeding, do NOT use Arnica, instead use a good quality Calendula cream.
Hypericum is another herb that is very effective in reducing pain, especially nerve type pain. You can purchase Hypericum as an essential oil or an herbal extract. Putting a few (3-5) millilitres into a Sorbaline cream base will make an effective Hypericum cream that you can apply to areas where you're experiencing nerve irritation and pain. Pain, caused by trauma to the nerve, is reduced and together with the Arnica, you have a great first aid package for a sprain or muscle strain.
A hot bath with a few drops of Lavender oil (4-5 drops only) can be 'magic' for aching muscles that have done more work than they would have preferred to do and are telling you that they are not happy with you're excessive exercise regime...
Wintergreen oil is another powerful essential oil you can employ to help those complaining muscles, aches, pains and sprains. But BE CAREFUL! Don't use it neat on your skin. Dilute it with almond or apricot or similar oil before applying it to your skin. If you want to add it to a bath, make sure you are sitting in the bath water before you add 3 drops, not more, to the bath. This is worth saying again, make sure you are sitting in the bath water before you add 3 drops, not more, to the bath. If you don't follow this order of the procedure, your aches will be the least of your worries... You've been warned! However, if you do use Wintergreen oil in your bath, having added it after you've sat down into the tub full of water, it will quickly go to work in relieving the aching muscles.
Injuries to your skin
At times, all of us have come home with a bit less skin then we had when we left and injured skin can be painful and depending on the location and severity of the injury, difficult to heal.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind. (1) Moist skin heals more quickly and easily than skin that is left to dry and crust over, and (2) covered injuries prevent infection and re-injury of the skin. So, first and foremost, keep the injured skin covered and clean. Use an antiseptic oil such as calendula either in neat form of an essential oil, or better still, as a cream such as Calendula cream. You can make this yourself or purchase it from a health food store.
To make it yourself, put 3-5 ml of Calendula essential oil (make sure it's 100% pure) into 50 gr of Sorbaline cream (you can get this from any Chemist). Mix very well and start applying it to your skin, 3-5 times a day. Make sure you change the dressing each time you re-apply the cream. You can make your own Arnica cream the same way.
Armed with these little hints and tips, you can go out and enjoy your sport and if a mishap occurs, you know how to give your body a helping hand in a quick recovery.
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Avocado oil is a deep red or deep green oil with a characteristic pleasant taste, which is obtained from the dried slices of the pressed, almost ripe fruit of the avocado tree. Avocado is an American and Middle Eastern native. The oil should be obtained by the cold pressing method, and should be dark (deep red or deep green) to mid-green in colour. It contains very low levels of acidity and oxidation products, whilst retaining the vitamin E content.
The use of Avocado Oil in Skin Care
It is well-known as an oil suitable for oily skin types, but can be used with equal effectiveness on dry and irritated skins also. It contains Vitamins A, B, C, E and K as well as the minerals potassium and magnesium, but contains no cholesterol. Avocado oil is very rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and extremely low in saturated fat.
It is used in natural skin care products because of its soothing and nourishing properties, which is why we have included Avocado Oil in our Avocado Day Creme, the Rejuvenating Night Creme and the Ginseng Hydrator for Men (All skin types).
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Avocado in your Diet
For the same reasons that Avocados are good for your skin, that is their Vitamin and mineral content and the fact that they are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, they should form a regular part of your diet. The Avocado oil is an excellent cooking oil and can be used in salads. The Avocado fruit makes a perfect substitute for butter and is much more nutritious, just have a look at the constituents of a single Avocado:
I would call that quite impressive.
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Definition of Massage: Massage is the systematic and scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, and is performed directly upon the skin in a methodical manner for therapeutic purposes (Tappan, 1994).
Skillfully used, Remedial Massage Therapy can assist the body in its own healing processes, where disease or injury has occurred in muscles, connective tissues, bones, joints and internal organs. Massage can also assist healing through its effect on the psychological condition of the patient, increasing a sense of confidence, well-being and relaxation.
When Do We Use Massage?
There are many situations which cause a metabolic imbalance within the soft tissues of the body. Most of these can be treated with Massage.
The PURPOSE of Massage is to bring about any of the PHYSIOLOGICAL, MECHANICAL, REFLEX or PSYCHOLOGICAL effects attributed to Remedial Massage Therapy. Relaxation, pain relief and increased range of movement can be achieved through the application of Massage.
In addition to the treatment of ill and injured people, Massage can be used in Athletics and Sport where it aids in the preparation of muscles, joints and associated structures for strenuous activity, or to assist these same tissues in recovery from strenuous activity. This reduces the incidence of injuries and improves the Athlete’s performance.
Massage is a useful and integral part of the healing process.
While giving a Massage, encourage the patient to understand the potential source of healing which lies within their own consciousness. The patient can be encouraged to not be a helpless party, but to become part of their healing defence mechanisms. Massage can help the patient to develop an increased awareness of their body, and the levels of relaxation and stress that they may experience.
Types of Massage Techniques
There are many types of Massage in use today, for example:
Many individuals have contributed to the development of Massage as we know it today. “Swedish” Massage concentrates on working on one side of the body at a time. It is more intense than Essalon Massage, and unlike Deep Tissue Massage, it works within the pain / comfort threshold of the patient. encouraging the gentle release of tension and stress.
Remedial Massage makes use of Passive Movements and Joint Mobilising Techniques, working towards a specific goal in the treatment of the patient, and often working on a specific and limited body region until that goal is accomplished.
Local Versus General Massage
When faced with a patient, the massage therapist must decide what approach needs to be taken in order to best help the patient with their specific health problem.
Many people, who do not know much about massage, erroneously think that every massage is a “Full Body” Massage and the longer it takes the better - but this is far from the truth of the matter.
When treating a patient with a specific problem e.g.: Sciatica, Osteoarthritis in the cervical spine, and the like, and Massage is the choice to help with the symptoms of pain or loss of mobility, the treatment approach must be primarily aimed at the treatment of the specific problem area in order to obtain the best results.
On the other hand, if a patient presents with problems of stress, tension and anxiety, a “Full Body” Massage would be the prescription most likely given. Full Body Massage is mostly employed for relaxation therapy, and it is recommended that a Full Body Massage should never exceed 45-60 minutes duration, as after this time the positive effects of the Massage treatment are reversed.
This is based upon the concept of “The Principle of Sensory Adaptation”. Sensory receptors in the body have a characteristic function called adaptation, that is, a change in sensitivity (usually a decrease) to a prolonged stimulus. Receptors associated with touch and pressure in the skin rapidly adapt and can lead to further adaptation in the central nervous system as incoming signals are processed. Excessive stimulii can also produce undesirable Reflex Responses.
The level of general health of the patient must also be considered. Debilitated and very ill persons do not tolerate long duration massage well. Once a patient has had a course of several Massage Treatments and is in reasonably good health, long duration Massage can be given.
Contra-Indications of Massage
Regardless of the injury or illness from which the patient is suffering, the Therapist will be dealing with a wide variety of conditions like pain, swelling, scar tissue, muscle spasm, fibrocystic nodules, skin conditions, contractures, and insufficient circulation.
It is imperative that, when PAIN is a presenting symptom, Massage should NEVER be done until its CAUSE has been discovered, AND it can be seen that massage is a SAFE and an APPROPRIATE form of treatment.
There are conditions for which massage is INDICATED, i.e. Massage is the appropriate form of treatment for the condition.
There are conditions for which Massage is CONTRA-INDICATED, i.e.: Massage is not an appropriate form of treatment, and performing Massage in these circumstances may cause further injuries to tissues or even endanger the health or the LIFE of the patient. These include:
General Effects of Massage
Restoration of function
Massage has a beneficial influence on virtually all body systems, including the skin, musculo-skeletal, nervous, cardiovascular, lymphatic - immune, digestive and glandular systems.
Massage can aid the elimination of toxic metabolic wastes via the bowels, lungs, kidneys and skin.
Facilitates local blood supply
Massage aids and increases local blood supply to tissues, which in turn increases the nourishment of the cells composing those tissues and promotes waste removal. This enables cellular activities to be carried out normally.
Massage relaxes tight, shortened and spastic muscles and connective tissues.
Loosens scar tissue
Massage can loosen and diminish fibrous and scar tissue. Timely application of Massage in the healing process can even prevent the formation of scar tissue.
Disperses acid deposits
Massage can disperse uric and lactic acid deposits that can accumulate in and around joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and fascia. These acids disturb the chemical activities of the cells.
Sedate, stimulate or balance the nervous system
Depending upon the techniques used, Massage can have either: sedating, stimulating or balancing effects upon the nervous system function.
Normalise Glandular functions
Massage can either increase or decrease the functions of glands in the body, especially this effect is marked in the glands of the skin.
Remedial Massage Therapy in Context
Massage is a useful and integral part of the healing process. It should be used where indicated and appropriate by qualified remedial massage therapists. Remedial massage is an ideal treatment to aid in the recovery from physical injury, certain chronic disorders and musculo-skeletal disorders. Massage promotes flexibility in joints and muscles and is often used as an adjunct therapy to other forms of treatment such as Acupuncture, Herbal medicine, etc. in a variety of diseases.
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We hope you enjoyed these articles and invite you to send us suggestions of topics you would like to see us cover in the coming months. Your suggestions are always welcome and we endeavour to cover the topics you would like to know more about - so don't be shy, drop us a line or two!
Also we look forward to 'seeing' you in the Forum and don't forget to take advantage of our 2 for 1 Special!!!
In good health
Danny & Susan Siegenthaler
© Copyright: Wildcrafted Herbal Products, 2006
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