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PWBN Magazine May-June-2017 final

Free digital publication featuring enlightening lifestyle articles regarding Health, Wellness, Beauty & Family.

Scent of Self-Care By

Scent of Self-Care By Tracie Nichols, MA, IAC Being a shameless scent lover, I’ve appreciated the power of aromatherapy for over two decades. Essential oils have made their way into nearly every aspect of my working life over the years. I’m a career coach who is also certified in integrative aromatherapy, and when coaching by phone or video chat, the scent of an essential oil can help me stay focused, open-hearted, and present for my clients. Where they really shine, though, is in helping me take care of myself. If you aren’t familiar with aromatherapy, it is the controlled and sensible use of essential oils, the plant extracts used in aromatherapy. Not all plants produce essential oils. Herbs do, though, usually in abundance. That’s why if you take me to an herb garden I’ll embarrass you by stuffing my face in every single plant, sniffing loudly and then making decadent yummy noises that sound like the lavender and I should have gotten a hotel room. Try it yourself! Brush your hand over sage leaves and smell your palm. That big green scent is the essential oil of the plant kissing your fingers. Rub citrus peel on the outside and the same thing happens. Grapefruit kisses. Oh wow. I think I need a minute… The greatest thing about aromatherapy is, when used with some common sense guidelines, it’s a practice readily available for any of us to support ourselves. And, using them can be woven into our normal, daily self-care. For example, you might try this luscious “wake up and smell the greenness” sugar scrub made with Bay Laurel (laurus nobilis) and Green Myrtle (myrtus communis) essential oils. Here’s the recipe: • ¼ cup sugar (brown or white, preferably organic) • 2 – 3 Tablespoons oil (coconut, olive, avocado, jojoba are all good, again, preferably organic) • 1 tsp. honey (optional) • 7 drops each of Bay Laurel (laurus nobilis) and Green Myrtle (myrtus communis essential oils. {Use less if you have a great sense of smell. More if you don’t. Just don’t exceed 14 total drops of essential oil. That’s 7 of each.} 1. Mix ingredients together well in a stainless steel or glass dish using a stainless steel spoon. 2. Gently rub onto damp skin, avoiding sensitive areas and mucus membranes. 3. Leave on skin for 2 – 3 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. PLEASE NOTE: This will leave your tub or shower slippery! Be careful. A bit about the essential oils you are using... Laurel is said to stimulate and support your lymphatic system – which certainly can get sluggish during cold, winter months. It’s also thought to have hot, dry properties (It’s a fire element oil) and is thought to circulate and regulate Qi, and dispel “cold phlegm.” Green Myrtle is gentle, relaxing, and is said to thin mucus, making it helpful for both clearing out the digestive system, and for easing seasonal allergy symptoms. Myrtle is also known as a lymphatic cleanser. Both oils thrive in hot, dry climates and can counteract the damp cold of winter and spring. Both oils come from sturdy trees/shrubs and can stimulate overall resilience. Both have a clean, fresh, herbaceous scent. Together…. simply yum! Common Sense Caution: If you don’t know how you respond to essential oils please patch test before using. All information presented is meant for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Tracie Nichols, MA, IOC is a Career and Leadership Coach – tracie@ tracienichols.com

Why Yoga? By Amy Stiefel Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years, and millions of Americans enjoy the benefits. Yoga is an exercise that involves integration of every muscle, joint, bone, organ, and system of the human body, bringing balance to the total Human Being. Yoga combines stretching, controlled breathing exercises, static and dynamic postures, and relaxation. The benefits are too numerous to list, however, I will give you a few reasons / benefits to try a yoga class! Let’s start with the asanas, the physical postures, whether they are done standing or seated. First, Yoga helps to build strength. Why is that important you ask? Well... stronger muscles stabilize our joints, improves bone density, and promotes a positive effect on our mental state - reducing anxiety, depression, and pain intensity! Second, they help us to reconnect to our body and start to quiet the verbal “chatter”. Yoga postures help create a subtle shift in our minds, and replace our “noisy” thinking with the silent work of stretching, strengthening, and lengthening. To balance or not to balance? As we get older, we lose our proprioception. This system in our body notifies us as to how and where our body and limbs are oriented in space. One legged postures in a yoga class promote calmness and concentration. They strengthen our muscles, and develop / sustain our coordination. The effort to center and re-center brings not only our physical body into balance, but also our nerve impulses, thoughts, emotions, and our very consciousness. So why would you not want to stand on one leg? Ahhhhh... total mind / body peace! Yoga and your brain. Yoga can do more than build muscle and reduce stress! Guess What? A short 20-minute practice (of physical postures, or meditation) can help your brain quiet, work better, and keep your mind focused! Are you ready to join a class now? And finally, our breath.... Why is there so much focus on the breath in Yoga? It is said that if you inhale / exhale 15 x’s per minute, you will live to 75 / 80 yrs. old. If you slow down the breath to 10 x / min, you will live to be 100! The speed at which we breathe dictates the length of our life. If you breathe FAST, your life will be short. This is why dogs have short lives. Hmmm...interesting. Come to a yoga class to relearn how to breathe as a Human! There are many styles of yoga practiced today, yet all styles have derived from classical Hatha Yoga. Bottom Line is: Yoga begins and evolves from within. With yoga, you will learn to become more aware of your body and how to effectively relieve the tension located deep within. Each body is different so each person should be coached to find the comfort within their own body. We are individuals, so no two people will experience yoga the same way. Yoga is about feeling better and the dynamics among attention (awareness), breath, posture, thought, emotion, and their relationship to deep change. People will, or should, come out of a yoga class with a sense of calm and wellbeing. How does one begin to practice? You begin where you are.... Amy Stiefel, Yoga Teacher / Director of Teacher Training Program at Be Yoga Fresh www.beyogafresh.com

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