Natural Skin Care Newsletter - May 2006

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Natural Skin Care Newsletter: May 2006 Issue

Natural Skin Care Products by Wildcrafted Herbal Products

Natural skin care products by Wildcrafted Herbal Products Natural skin care products by Wildcrafted Herbal Products

Introduction

Welcome to the May issue of the Natural Skin Care Newsletter. This month's Newsletter includes a range of informative articles that will hopefully interest all of you.

Index of the May Issue of the Natural Skin Care Newsletter:

(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)

Articles:

The Benefits of Sleep on your Skin and Health
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)

Life in the 1500's - This is a Laugh
(Author Unkown)

The Virtual Skin Doctor
(New Service from Wildcrafted Herbal products)

Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine (Part 2): Chinese Herbal Medicine
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)

May 2006 Issue of the Natural Skin Care Newsletter

Join our Natural Skin Care Newsletter - It's fun, free, informative and the only place where we advertise our special offers!!!

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Join our Natural Skin Care Newsletter - It's fun, free, informative and the only place where we advertise our special offers!!!

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Join our Natural Skin Care Newsletter - It's fun, free, informative and the only place where we advertise our special offers!!!

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Join our Natural Skin Care Newsletter - It's fun, free, informative and the only place where we advertise our special offers!!!

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Join our Natural Skin Care Newsletter - It's fun, free, informative and the only place where we advertise our special offers!!!

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Wildcrafted Herbal Products

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What is your Skin Type?

Consult our Virtual Herbalist

About Aromatherapy

Importance of Skin Care

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Wildcrafted Herbal Products

About Wildcrafted

Contact Wildcrafted


Natural Skin Care Products - Range

Natural Skin Care Products - Systems

Natural Skin Care Products For Men

Personal Care Range

Therapeutic Range


What is your Skin Type?

Consult our Virtual Herbalist

About Aromatherapy

Importance of Skin Care

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Wildcrafted Herbal Products

About Wildcrafted

Contact Wildcrafted


Natural Skin Care Products - Range

Natural Skin Care Products - Systems

Natural Skin Care Products For Men

Personal Care Range

Therapeutic Range


What is your Skin Type?

Consult our Virtual Herbalist

About Aromatherapy

Importance of Skin Care

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Wildcrafted Herbal Products

About Wildcrafted

Contact Wildcrafted


Natural Skin Care Products - Range

Natural Skin Care Products - Systems

Natural Skin Care Products For Men

Personal Care Range

Therapeutic Range


What is your Skin Type?

Consult our Virtual Herbalist

About Aromatherapy

Importance of Skin Care

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Wildcrafted Herbal Products

About Wildcrafted

Contact Wildcrafted


Natural Skin Care Products - Range

Natural Skin Care Products - Systems

Natural Skin Care Products For Men

Personal Care Range

Therapeutic Range


What is your Skin Type?

Consult our Virtual Herbalist

About Aromatherapy

Importance of Skin Care

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Wildcrafted Herbal Products

About Wildcrafted

Contact Wildcrafted


Natural Skin Care Products - Range

Natural Skin Care Products - Systems

Natural Skin Care Products For Men

Personal Care Range

Therapeutic Range


What is your Skin Type?

Consult our Virtual Herbalist

About Aromatherapy

Importance of Skin Care

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The Benefits of Sleep on your Skin and Health

Sleep is a major factor influencing your over-all health and the health of your skin. According to researchers at Cornell University, there are many types of sleep problems - some estimates say at least 84 disorders of sleeping and waking interfere with quality of life and personal health, and endanger public health. These problems range from staying awake or staying with a regular sleep/wake cycle, sleepwalking, bedwetting, nightmares, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, snoring, and sleep apnea syndrome.

Why is sleep important?

If you do not get adequate sleep, you will quickly notice feeling rundown, tired, irritable and have difficulties with concentrating or just staying awake. Similarly, but less obviously, your reaction time and coordination will be reduced, and your memory and mathematical abilities will be compromised.

It’s not just the length of time you’re in bed that counts, but the quality of sleep you get while lying there. Frequent interruptions of sleep can undermine day-time energy as much as no sleep at all. You can improve the quality of your sleep by establishing regular sleeping patterns, always going to bed and getting up around the same time everyday. Changing your schedule on the weekends so you go to bed and wake up extremely late disrupts your body’s clock, and once your biological rhythms are disturbed, you are more likely to feel stress, resulting in irritability, exhaustion, and weakened immune response.

If you continually suffer from serious sleep deprivation, the results can be severe. Long-term effects of sleep deficiency include:

    • diabetes (disrupted insulin production),
    • weakened immune system (altered white blood cell production),
    • signs of premature aging of the skin (lines, wrinkles and dark circle under the eyes),
    • obesity (decreased production of leptin, the chemical that makes you feel full), and
    • cognitive problems (inability to store and maintain long-term memories).

In addition, you will look tired and your skin will reflect your lack of sleep by looking dull, drawn, 'stressed', and the appearance of lines and wrinkles will be accelerated. You may get ‘bags’ under your eyes or even develop dark circles under your eyes. These are classic symptoms of inadequate sleep, stress and the urgent need for you to get some help.

How much sleep do I need?

Information published by Princeton University suggests, that once you reach your late teens, your sleep needs are equivalent to those of an adult – about 8 or 9 hours. However, individual sleep needs vary from 6 to 10 hours, so make sure you know how much sleep you need to function efficiently. Uninterrupted sleep is important in order to experience periods of rapid eye movement (REM), which are necessary for learning, problem solving, and storing memories.

Sleep Hygiene

Irrespective of what the cause, lack of sleep can affect just about every aspect of life and health. Your skin, for example, will look much more relaxed, healthier and younger following a good nights sleep. Similarly, your tolerance to aggravation is increased and therefore your stress levels are not as high. This too is reflected by your skin and facial expressions.

Information from the University of Maryland Medical Center and Princeton University suggests the following 'Sleep Hygiene Tips':

  • Don’t go to bed hungry or full. Hunger and indigestion hinder sleep.
  • stablish a regular time for going to bed and getting up in the morning and stick to it even on weekends and during vacations. This sets up your body’s clock/rhythm.
  • at light meals and schedule dinner four to five hours before bedtime. A light snack before bedtime can help sleep, but a large meal may have the opposite effect. Eating lightly to induce sleep. Although you shouldn’t eat too much right before sleep, certain foods promote sleep. Such foods include the amino acid L-tryptophan, found in milk, turkey, and tuna; and carbohydrates, such as bread and cereal. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large amounts of sugar.
  • Exercise before dinner. A low point in energy occurs a few hours after exercise; sleep will then come more easily. Exercising close to bedtime, however, may increase alertness.
  • Get regular exercise (3-4 times per week), but not right before you plan to go to sleep – mid-afternoon is best.
  • Use the bed for sleep and sexual relations only, not for reading, watching television, or working; excessive time in bed seems to fragment sleep.
  • Create the right environment. Make sure your room is dark and quiet, and the right temperature. Most experts agree cooler temperatures work best. If you’re bothered by noise, wear earplugs or use a fan to create white noise.
  • Don’t nap. But if you have to, do it before 3 pm and for less than an hour.
  • Reduce stress. If you’re worried about getting your work done, make a to-do list for the next day to assure yourself you have enough time to accomplish what needs to get done. Once the chores that cause you stress are down on paper, your mind is free to relax and think more pleasant thoughts.
  • Read a book, or some other calm activity that relaxes you. Creating a relaxing ritual can help your body slow down in preparation for sleep.
  • Practice relaxation techniques before bedtime. Deep breathing and visualization techniques can help you relax and facilitate sleep.
  • Avoid sleep-disturbing substances like alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol creates the illusions of good sleep but the architecture of sleep is affected adversely. Sleep is fragmented with deep sleep initially and a rebound of REM sleep later. Caffeine is a stimulant and reaches its peak effect in the first hour but with a half-life elimination of 3-7 hours. Caffeine is a potent sleep inhibitor and it increases sleep latency, night waking, decreases total sleep time, decreases slow-wave sleep, impairs overall sleep quality.
  • Take a hot bath about an hour and a half to two hours before bedtime. This alters the body's core temperature rhythm and helps people fall asleep more easily and more continuously. (Taking a bath shortly before bed increases alertness.)
  • Do something relaxing in the half-hour before bedtime. Reading, meditation, and a leisurely walk are all appropriate activities.
  • Keep the bedroom relatively cool and well ventilated.
  • Do not look at the clock. Obsessing over time will just make it more difficult to sleep.
  • Spend a half hour in the sun each day. The best time is early in the day. (Take precautions against overexposure to sunlight by wearing protective clothing and sunscreen.)
  • Avoid fluids just before bedtime so that sleep is not disturbed by the need to urinate.
  • Avoid caffeine in the hours before sleep.
  • If one is still awake after 15 or 20 minutes go into another room, read or do a quiet activity using dim lighting until feeling very sleepy. (Don't watch television or use bright lights.)
  • If distracted by a sleeping bed partner, moving to the couch or a spare bed for a couple of nights might be helpful.

 

Benefit to your Skin

The benefits of good quality sleep on your over-all health is immense, however the benefits on your skin are also remarkable and very noticeable. For example, sleep relaxes the facial muscles and that helps to smooth wrinkles and lines on your face. In addition, the lying-down position is opposite to the daily action of gravity on the skin. It’s not pulling down when you’re lying down. This too helps in reducing the gravitational stress on your facial skin and aids in the reduction of lines and wrinkles on your face.

Similarly, the lack of facial expressions during the night allows the dermal layers of your skin to rejuvenate. You may have noticed that after a good night’s sleep, you actually look younger and your skin has less pronounced lines and wrinkles.

Resources:

 

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Life in the 1500's

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

Here are some facts about the 1500s:

  • Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by the next month. Even so, they were starting to stink, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
  • Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children - last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty someone could actually get lost in it! Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater."
  • Houses had thatched roofs - thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."
  • There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house in those days. This posed a real problem in the bedroom, where bugs and other droppings could really mess up a nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopybeds came into existence.
  • The floors were dirt, and only the wealthy had something other than dirt, from which came the saying "dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when the door was opened it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway to prevent this, hence the saying a "thresh hold."
  • In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, "Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."
  • Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man "could bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."
  • Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning and death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
  • Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or "upper crust."
  • Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock people out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake."
  • England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a "bone-house" and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the "graveyard shift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be "saved by the bell" or was considered a "dead ringer."

 

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The Virtual Skin Doctor

The Virtual Skin Doctor is a new service provided FREE of charge to all our Newsletter Members as well as our visitors. Some of you may already be familiar with our Virtual Herbalist, which is very popular and has been able to help a lot of people so far with their specific health problems and concerns.

The Virtual Skin Doctor however, is specific for skin disorders and is designed to answer/solve questions about problems people are having with their skin. Similarly to the Virtual Herbalist, The Virtual Skin Doctor is treated as a medical record and therefore any information you provide is treated in strictest confidents. No information is ever provided to anyone other than our medical herbalist and is never passed on to anyone for any reason. It is stored together with our patient records and that's were it stays.

We hope you will find this service useful and if you know of someone who may benefit from this service, please don't hesitate to give them the website address: www.wildcrafted.com.au/The_Virtual_Skin_Doctor.html

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Introduction to Traditional Chinese Medicine (Part 2): Chinese Herbal Medicine


What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete medical system that has been used to diagnose, treat, and prevent illnesses for more than 2,000 years. TCM is based on a belief in yin and yang - defined as opposing energies, such as earth and heaven, winter and summer, and happiness and sadness. When yin and yang are in balance, you feel relaxed and energized. Out of balance, however, yin and yang negatively affect your health.

Doctors of Chinese medicine believe that there is a life force or energy in every body, known as Qi (pronounced "chee"). In order for yin and yang to be balanced and for the body to be healthy, qi must be balanced and flowing freely. When there's too little or too much qi in one of the body's energy pathways (called meridians or channels), or when the flow of qi is blocked, illness results.

The ultimate goal of TCM treatment is to balance the yin and yang in our lives by promoting the natural flow of qi. In an interesting analogy, often used to explain its nature, qi is described as the wind in a sail; we do not see the wind directly, but we are aware of its presence as it fills the sail.

What is the history of TCM?

The first writings about TCM date back to 200 B.C.E. Herbal medicine and acupuncture, including theory, practice, diagnosis, and treatment, were recorded in classical Chinese texts and refined over many centuries.

The practice of TCM stayed in Asia for centuries. It is almost certain that acupuncture has been known and used in the West since the seventeenth century, but the first recorded use of acupuncture was by Dr. Berlioz at the Paris medical School in 1810. He treated a young woman suffering from abdominal pain. The Paris Medical Society described this as a somewhat reckless form of treatment, but Dr. Berlioz continued to use acupuncture, and claimed a great deal of success with it.

Acupuncture is not new to England, the first known British acupuncturist being John Churchill who, in 1821, published a series of results on the treatment of tympany and rheumatism with acupuncture. John Elliotson, a physician at St Thomas' Hospital, also use acupuncture widely in the early part of the nineteenth century. In 1823 acupuncture was mentioned in the first edition of the Lancet and in 1824 Dr. Elliotson began to use this method of treatment. In 1827 he published a series of results on the treatment of forty-two cases of rheumatism by acupuncture, and came to the conclusion that this was an acceptable and effective method of treatment for these complaints.

In the United States TCM became known in 1971, when New York Times reporter James Reston, who was in China covering former President Nixon's trip, had to have an emergency appendix operation. After the operation he received acupuncture for pain, and his stories about this experience with TCM fascinated the public world wide. Since then, TCM has gone on to become a mainstream alternative medicine practiced all over the world.

In Australia, TCM is a popular method of treatment, with nearly three million Australians visiting TCM practitioners every year.

How does TCM work?

Disease (alterations in the normal flow of qi such that yin and yang are imbalanced) is thought to have three major causes: external or environmental factors, your internal emotions, and lifestyle factors such as diet. Through the use of its therapeutic modalities, TCM stimulates the body's own healing mechanisms. Practices used in TCM include:

* acupuncture and acupressure
* moxibustion (burning an herb near the skin)
* herbal medicine
* nutrition
* Chinese massage (called tui na)
* Exercise (such as tai chi and qi gong which combine movement with meditation)

In TCM, the body's internal organs are not thought of as individual structures, but as complex networks. According to TCM, there are five organ systems (kidney, heart, spleen, liver, and lung) through which qi flows via meridians. Despite their specific names, these five systems correspond to more than individual body parts. The kidney, for example, represents the entire urinary system along with the adrenal glands that sit a top of the kidneys. The heart represents both the heart and the brain.

The underlying principles of TCM are very different from traditional Western notions about health, illness and the workings of the body. Chinese herbs are prescribed to normalise imbalanced energy, or Qi (pronounced 'chee'), that runs through invisible channels in the body, often called meridians.

Yin and Yang
The ancient Chinese proposed that every living thing is sustained by a balance of two opposing forces of energy, called Yin and Yang. Together, they make up the life essence, or Qi - a type of energy that flows through the body via invisible channels called meridians. Half of certain organs and meridians are governed by Yin and the other half by Yang. When Yin and Yang are out of balance in the body, this causes a blockage of Qi and a subsequent illness. Yin and Yang imbalances can be caused by stress, pollution, poor diet, emotional upsets or infection. For diagnostic purposes, Yin and Yang are further subdivided into interior and exterior, hot and cold, deficiency and excess.

The five elements
The TCM philosophy proposes that everything including organs of the body - is composed of the five elements: fire, earth, metal, water and wood. The herbs are similarly classified into the five tastes - sweet, salty, bitter, pungent and sour - which correspond to the five elements, for example, since the skin is a metal element Yang organ, it would be treated with a pungent herb.

Herbs
Chinese herbal medicines are mainly plant based, but some preparations include minerals or animal products. They can be packaged as powders, pastes, lotions or tablets, depending on the herb and its intended use. Different herbs have different properties and can balance particular parts of the body. Prescribing a particular herb or concoction of herbs means the practitioner's diagnosis has to take into account the state of the patient's Yin and Yang, and the elements that are governing the affected organs.

Additional treatment and advice
Your practitioner might advise you to make specific changes in your diet, such as avoiding spicy foods or alcohol. Foods are believed to either 'heat' or 'cool' the constitution, making dietary changes an important part of the healing process. Acupuncture might also be used to treat any imbalances of Qi.

Where to get help
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner.
Things to remember
  • Chinese herbal medicine is part of a larger healing system called Traditional Chinese Medicine.
  • Herbs are prescribed to restore energy balance to the opposing forces of energy - Yin and Yang - that run through invisible channels in the body.
  • Herbs can act on the body as powerfully as pharmaceutical drugs and should be treated with the same caution and respect.

 

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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!

In good health

Danny & Susan Siegenthaler

 

© Copyright: Wildcrafted Herbal Products, 2006

Wildcrafted's Natural Skin Care Newsletter - Back Issues

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Topical Articles on skin care and the benefits of using NATURAL skin care products
 
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