2 Essential Elements For Healthy Scalp and Hair

this brand for clay as wellAs someone with a long history of dry, itchy scalp, believe me, I’ve tried it all — shampoos, ointments, pills, anything that offered a vague promise of a life with “normal” hair.  Physiologically, what’s happening to your body is a combination of one or more of these things: Fungus – usually non-contagious, but it can infect the skin on certain individuals, especially if you live in a damp climate Allergic reactions – typically a histamine response impacting the Liver, could be a food-based allergy Vitamin deficiency (A, B, C, D, E, iron, zinc) – deficiencies make your body more vulnerable to fungus, allergies, toxins, and just overall dryness and poor elasticity of the skin Toxic overload – all these perfumed, chemically-based lab experiments that call themselves “beauty care items”  do your body no long-term favors Stress – will make all the symptoms worse The best solutions that I’ve found are natural and topical treatments with oil and clay.  Internal treatments, for example, taking herbal anti-fungals or a food-based vitamin supplement, do help, but it’s limited to how healthy your whole body is.  If your body’s health is compromised in some way, the absorption of the internal supplements will not be as good.  For the cells of your scalp to receive the optimal benefit, it’s best to just put the healing stuff right up on there.  So what do we need to heal the scalp?  It depends, but for most people, you’ll need to alternate between clay and oil.  Clay has been used in indigenous cultures across the world for who knows how long for...

Lower Blood Pressure and Sleep Better with This Ancient Breathing Technique

If you’re feeling exhausted or stressed, or if you’re a health optimizer, I have a little breathing exercise you can do anytime, anywhere. Yogis will recognize it’s similarity to Pranayama, but we don’t need to name names. Do this while you’re working; when your kids have you at your limit; when you feel your blood pressure rising; when you go for a walk; or just have a daily practice and do it as part of a meditation. Eventually you can try to breathe like this all the time! The benefits include: * reduced blood pressure * improved circulation to the digestive tract * stimulation of the autonomic nervous system * stress reduction Breathe in for a count of 6. Feel your lower abdomen expand in all 6 directions: 1. the space between your anus and genitals goes downward 2. pubic bone and naval move forward 3. lower lumbar and sacrum press backward 4. and 5. hips and lower ribs expand out and 6. top of diaphragm (stomach area) expands up. Don’t worry too much about expanding just right or focusing too hard on the directions. Just feel overall expansion in your lower body as you breathe slowly. Then slowly exhale for a count of 6. Gradually, you can increase this to a count of 30. As you exhale, you feel the expanded areas relax and naturally contract. Repeat as many times as you...

Turning This Healthcare Crisis Around with Herbs

The search for a COVID-19 cure — ideally a pill or a vaccination — seems to be the most uplifting thing in the news these days.  For mild to moderate cases of COVID-19, treatments that allopathic medicine can provide include acetaminophen to reduce the fever, cough suppressants, and inhalers for the shortness of breath.  There are currently no medications to assist the body in fighting off the offenders, although some doctors in Wu-Han started using intravenous vitamin C with some success.  Another thing China used in their fight against COVID-19 were herbal medications. Even a senior scientist of the CDC, Dr. William Thompson, said in 2014, “I shoulder that the CDC has put the research 10 years behind.  Because the CDC has not been transparent, we’ve missed ten years of research.” There are no tools in allopathic medicine that help you get healthier.  The best they can do is prevent you from dying.  And lately, I’m sorry to say that’s not going too well either.  For the whole to survive, and even to thrive, we can’t think of killing just one organism, but of strengthening the whole.  This is how a body can fight it off.  Viruses are not going away any time soon, so we had better learn how to outsmart them. Why are elderly people more susceptible to COVID-19?  Chances are, as the average American ages, they’ll find themselves on one or more pharmaceutical medication.  The typical medication for hypertension, for example, lists more than 10 possible side-effects.  And the average elderly American is on 15 separate medications. Of course, hypertension, and other serious illnesses need to...

How to Survive the Plague (with a Robust and Resilient Immune System)

Luckily, or maybe not so much, we live in a time where antibiotics are a phone call away.  But what about viruses?  We’re told there’s no cure for viruses, and are even given antibiotics (like a “Z-pack,” which sounds like something a hip millennial wears while going on a hike, but it’s really azithromyacin, an antibiotic) for the flu or other short-term infections. The problem with using antibiotics for every type of infection, even fungal or viral, is that they weaken your immune system, and promote antibiotic resistance.  They really should used only if absolutely necessary, after all else has failed. So if there’s a new, deadly virus on the loose, what do we do?  First:  don’t panic. Second:  do what you can to protect your immune system.  Rest, drink water, and avoid sugar.  Get fresh air and sunshine.  Play and have fun.  Stress is the worst thing, next to sugar, for your immune system.  Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Third:  stock up your natural medicine cabinet. Lots of herbs have antiviral and immune-enhancing properties.  When you’re taking herbal medicines, keep in mind that traditionally, herbs are not taken in solitude.  They’re normally taken in a formula that balances the nature of the main herb.  For example, if one herb is very cold-natured, we use hot herbs like ginger to balance it.  Some herbs are contra-indicated for pregnancy or if you’re on certain medications as well.  Always consult with a licensed herbalist before self-prescribing herbs. But I also believe that plants are here to help us, and we have the power to choose how we address our...

Slowing Down to Preserve Your Qi

A few Saturday evenings ago, I was driving on a quiet neighborhood road and a small, waddling, Texas animal (armadillo/possum?) was slowly crossing the street ahead of me.  So I slowed down.  WAY down.  It’s Saturday night!  I’m doing nothing truly important.  Just hanging out.  The truck behind me was not happy about it.  They flashed their lights and honked, and sped around me as soon as they could.  Don’t worry, the animal made it to the side of the road OK.  Thousands of years ago, as Chinese medicine was evolving, skilled practitioners noticed the fluctuations of nature, the cyclical changes of plants, animals, weather, and people. Winter is a time of rest and slowing down.  The seeds are in the ground; animals are hibernating; and even the water can freeze and stop. But here in the “modernized” world, we’re in a freakin’ hurry.  Get all the presents!  Go to all the parties!  Travel!  Get out of my way!  Let’s not save all our resting for just the 25th and January 1st.  Let’s slow it down.  Test yourself:  see how slow you can breathe.  See how slow you can walk down the hallway when you stand up from your computer or phone.  See how slow you can drive (!) without endangering yourself or others.   One thing I remember from years of martial arts training:  in a drill where you and a partner square off and one person punches while the other person blocks, if you try to block in a hurry, your arm tightens up.  Tight muscles are less responsive.  You lose the connection between your eyes and...

Figuring Out What You REALLY Want

I constantly tortured my little brother when we were growing up.  We were both hard-headed.  Since I was 10 years older, I would try to force him to do what I wanted him to do.  Luckily I’ve learned since then!  At the time, even as a little kid, I remember him saying something profound to me one time that has stuck with me since, “I don’t want to do what I don’t want to do!“ Whoa. Now keep in mind this is coming from someone who, just a few months later, spit out of a window of a fast-moving car whilst facing forward.  But still.  We don’t want to do what we don’t want to do. Because we do want to do what we want to do.  If something makes you feel good, you can (within reasonable limits) keep doing it.  It doesn’t need to be logical.  It doesn’t need to have a specific outcome by a specific date.  And you don’t need anyone else’s approval to do it either.  Unless it’s with someone else, of course. What you want to do one day may be different on another day and that’s OK If you’re constantly on the go, you have to pay attention to when your inner voice tells you it’s time to slow down. It goes the other way too:  if you’re in a phase where you’re slothing around, maybe watching too much TV, you need to listen to when that inner voice says, “Get off your butt.  Let’s go do something.” By following what feels good, you have a perfect map to lead you to a...
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