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Yesterday, I experienced an exceptional Acupuncture treatment with Dr. Shin-Yang Chen in Melbourne Beach, Fl.
I have had acupuncture before, but never like this. The healing energy was palpable the moment I met him and things just got better and better. The key to acupuncture is that there are points along our body meridians that, when stimulated, balance the flow of energy or chi within us. This balance is equal to optimal health. When we don’t have it, our chi is stuck and our blood stagnant, hence we experience disease and ill health.
Dr. Chen took the traditional practice a step further by incorporating Electro Acupuncture where each needle, after being inserted into the appropriate points, is attached to an electrode. A subtle current is turned on and runs through the energy points, further stimulating proper chi flow and balance. It is not painful, though you do feel a pulsing sensation.
As I lay there with those currents pulsating through my body meridians, I truly felt like I was floating off the table. Then, when I thought I could not reach a peace greater, he removed the needles and began a massage of my neck, temples and shoulder blades with deep penetrating strokes and Chinese herbal oils.
Later, I was given a cupping treatment that just put the icing on the cake of the whole experience. This is a suction method where cups are placed on your back and then, through heat or manually, a vacuum is created with your skin that draws out impurities by increasing blood flow.
According to www.cuppingtherapy.info, “Cupping therapy or Hijama has been utilized for centuries to cure illnesses. Hijama was used for thousands of years by Pharaohs and ancient Egyptians. It was also used by ancient Chinese, Greek and all old civilizations. The oldest recorded medical textbook, Ebers Papyrus, written in approximately 1550 BCE in Egypt mentions cupping.”
Our ancestors knew so much intuitively and spiritually that today’s scientific research cannot even begin to understand and decode. The way I felt when I got up from my full treatment, is indescribable. The wisdom of the ages had granted me a healing opportunity of a lifetime. I am still glowing and charged and filled with joy from the lightness my body achieved, due to these detoxifying and balancing procedures. I left with an herbal medicine made for me as well as an exuberant, lithe, happy and peaceful body, mind and spirit.
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Need a chill pill? The majority of us could use several the way we rush about from engagement to engagement and double book ourselves into a frenzy. I’m not pointing any fingers without taking a good look at myself in the mirror first. Life can get hectic, and it’s important to listen to the signs that our bodies give us to slow down, smell the roses, and perhaps get a massage! Why are massages great? Besides the fact that they promote relaxation, massages may relieve you of that kink you’ve had in your neck for a month, or help you sleep better, the answer is very simple. Humans need human touch. Keep in mind that your skin is your bodies’ largest organ. Not only do we need touch, but it’s been scientifically proven that massage has powerful effects on the healing progress of a wide range of ailments.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association several studies have show that massage can positively affect back pains, burns, carpal tunnel syndrome, lung cancer, cardiac patients after surgery, boost immune function and relieve stress in women with breast cancer, assist students in relieving academic stress, assist with recovery and soreness of athletes, and relieve overall anxiety and depression. If you are suffering from a stress relation disease, massages should be in your arsenal along with yoga or meditation. If you have certain types of cancer, inflammation of the veins, certain skin conditions, an infectious disease or cardiac issues you need to consult a doctor before considering massage therapy.
While in New York, I had a hot stone massage that changed my life. I came in stiff and sore, and left skipping with the soundtrack from the Sound of Music playing in my head. The world really seems like a better place when you muscles are relaxed. So just as you find the time weekly, and daily to breathe, stretch, and go within, make sure you get someone to rub on you. Even if it’s for a few minutes, it could make a great difference in promoting a healthier happier you. -XoXo Raw Girl
Below are a few scientific studies that prove that massage can speed up healing :
A groundbreaking study of 40 preterm infants included the practice of giving a gentle, 15-minute massage three times a day for several days to a number of the group. The results were astounding; infants given massages gained 47 percent more weight, became more responsive, and left the hospital six days earlier than controls (Pediatrics, May 1986).
A controlled study of 20 HIV-positive men who received a 45-minute massage five times weekly for a month showed that natural killer cells increased (suggesting positive effects on the immune system), and that anxiety, stress, and cortisol levels were significantly reduced (International Journal of Neuroscience, February 1996).
In another study, thirty-two children with asthma received massage or relaxation therapy from their parents for 20 minutes before bedtime for 30 days-and only the massage group experienced increased peak air flow, improved pulmonary function, and decreased levels of stress hormones. (Journal of Pediatrics, May 1998).
Just in case you aren’t aware, this years allergy season is supposed to be one of the worst ever. Spring is here, and in addition to a much needed detox, your nasal passageways may need a little extra TLC to deal with the high pollen levels. Last week when with a dear friend at a health food store, she stopped to buy neti salt, and told me that her intense seasonal allergies which used to have her popping tons of medications have completely ceased to exist just by using a neti pot religiously. Apparently this was a divine encounter, because the following day, I had an allergy attack which included the not so awesome highlights of sneezing every few seconds, itchy eyes, and feeling like I was walking around in a purple haze. On my slightly delirious trip to the health food store to get some homeopathic allergy meds, I remembered the neti pot and decided to give it a try. After using it twice that day, nothing really happened, but the following day I might as well have thrown a mucus releasing party. By day three things calmed down and the sneezing had stopped altogether.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies and have not considered using a neti pot, give it a try. The reason why it works is that allergic reactions which include sneezing, coughing etc. are usually your bodies’ response to a completely benign element like pollen which can accumulate in your nasal passages. Using a neti pot is almost like doing a regular colonic or enema, in that it is preventative and keeps your nasal passages free and clear of debris that could accumulate and cause reactions. It also may free you from having to take any medications, because you are getting rid of the problem. Below is a video that I found online that illustrates how to use a neti pot for any newbies like I was. They come in various shapes and sizes and are made from various materials like ceramic or plastic. Go with whatever works for you and follow the directions. The key is to also make sure you are regularly cleaning your neti pot and that you use filtered water to avoid contaminating your body with any organisms or germs that will wreak additional havoc on your system. -XoXo Raw Girl
Are you in a juicing rut? You know you are if you are juicing the same thing day in and day out, and have not added any new interesting combinations to your arsenal. It’s always great to shake things up a bit and try a new veggie in your morning cup of greens, for the sake of your taste buds and also to ensure that you get well-rounded nutrition. Bell Peppers are great for achieving that natural glow because they are antioxidant rich and also high in natural silicon which beautifies hair, nails, and skin. They are also a good source of necessary nutrition for beauty including vitamin A, C, E, B vitamins, potassium, thiamine, manganese, copper, and zinc.
In addition to providing a superior source of vitamin C, even more so than oranges, bell peppers have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that can aid in healing and protect the body from illness. Juicing bell peppers gives you natural medicine that can assist in fighting cancer, lowering blood pressure, decreasing the advancement of heart conditions, alleviate gastrointestinal disorders, and help to heal respiratory issues and lung infections like asthma or emphysema. And like all power packed raw veggies, the phytochemicals in bell peppers decrease inflammation in the body, fight free radicals, and help to reduce the signs of aging.
Because of these wonderful aforementioned benefits, when crafting Raw Girl’s 7 Day Detox for Beauty, Weightloss, & Rejuvenation, I made sure to include a juice with bell peppers. If you need a spring beauty boost, more awesome juice recipes with power ingredients for beauty and skin are included along with a 7 Day schedule and shopping list. -XoXo Raw Girl
Dandelion has been used since ancient times to achieve a natural glow. It’s official name is “Taraxacum Officinale” which means official remedy for disorders, a well fitting name for a very powerful plant. Dandelion juice is a good detoxifier, diuretic, stimulant, and anti-oxidant. These four properties make it a great treatment for acne. Dandelion root and leaves are very powerful diuretics, meaning they stimulate urinary function and rid the body of excess fluid. This also makes it great for PMS and water weight gain. What makes Dandelion an awesome acne-fighter is that it is a blood purifier and protects, nourishes, and detoxifies the liver which the body uses to get rid of toxins, including those that are causing your blemishes! Dandelion juice can also help regulate proper secretion of hormones, increase sweating and widen up pores to facilitate removal of toxins through sweating. Dandelion greens contain a great deal of awesome nutrients including Vitamins A, B2, C, D, and minerals like potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorous, iron. It is also natures richest green vegetable source of beta-cartone. Adding this juice and variations of green juices with dandelion with give your skin a major boost and also helps with conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Beyond improving the quality of your skin, dandelion also can assist in weight reduction, relieve constipation, prevent and lower high blood pressure, prevent or even cure anemia, lower your cholesterol, and help control diabetes. When you juice dandelion greens, they have a bitter taste, and they are also very powerful so you don’t want to juice too much in one sitting. A small handful or less is a good rule of thumb. When combined with other veggies and maybe an apple to sweeten, you can easily mask the bitter taste and still get the beauty boosting benefits. -XoXo Raw Girl
Recipe for the Dandelion Kale Acne Fighter & many other juices to help you get that natural glow in The 3 Day Acne-Free Detox Plan!
If you are an avid reader of this blog, you know by now how much I love to rave about the health benefits of green algae. Algae and other superfoods can transform your health because they allow you to consume an astounding amount of nutrition in one serving. Spirulina has always been my go-to-green algae because of it’s amazing nutritional profile, protein, ability to boost your energy, maintain a healthy weight, and support high levels of fitness. It’s cousin in the algae world chlorella was always on my list but I never really experimented with taking it regularly unless it was in my smoothie powders. I’ll admit, I kind of compared the two and figured spirulina was giving me the most green bang for my buck. What I have recently discovered is that I have been completely missing out on the wonders of chlorella, and how amazing taking it ALONG with spirulina can be for your body.
Chlorella is a fresh water single cell algae which like spirulina, has a nutritional profile that also catapults it into the category of a superfood. It is high in protein (around 60%), essential fatty acids, 18 amino acids, and more than 20 vitamins and minerals including potassium, zinc, iron, calcium, phosphorous, B Vitamins, vitamin C, D,E, and K. The biggest differences between chlorella and spirulina are that chlorella contains some additional nutrients like vitamin K and phosphorous, a whole lot of antioxidants, and one of the highest forms of chlorophyll. Chlorella also works to synergistically balance and normalize body functions, and has strong detoxification properties which aid the body in removing heavy metals, waste, parasites and other toxins. In addition to being a super detoxifier, chlorella has been shown to stop the development of cancerous cells, can rebuild nerves in the brain after serious nerve damage, strengthen the intestinal wall lining, eliminate constipation, and help to build up the amount of good bacteria in the body which aids in treating digestive and colon related diseases.
All that said, I’m sure you see that chlorella’s got it going on just like it’s cousin. If you’ve never tried it, taking chlorella and spirulina together actually is a powerhouse combination because you get the benefits of detoxifying the body, and also continue to build muscle and boost your energy. Chlorella can be taken in pill or powder form; because I already consume spirulina in powder form I decided to go for the pill option. You can also find really awesome grass powders that include both, along with a bunch of other groovy nutrients. Do whatever works for you, but makes sure to get a good dose of chlorophyll by any means necessary. That essential building block for life is essential for cultivating and keeping your raw vegan superpowers strong. -XoXo Raw Girl
Check out this past article which includes more about chlorella and it’s ability to detox heavy metals.
Have you ever fallen in love with a dish so much that you start to crave it regularly? Well at the moment, I heart kimchi and its powerful bad bacteria fighting properties. Kimchi is a spicy fermented cabbage that originates from Korea. It has a spicy, sour, awesome tangy flavor that really does it for me, but then again, I love pepper. Apparently this probiotic powerhouse historically has 187 different versions of it’s recipe. In Korea, where it is eaten with almost every meal, it helped protect against an epidemic of SARS back in 2003, and the same good bacteria available in kimchi even helped to restore Korean chickens who caught the H5N1 (avian flu) virus! That just gives you a bit of an idea of how gangsta kimchi can be in protecting against the worst kinds of viruses and bacteria and boosting your immune system. The lactic acid that produced during the fermentation process stops the growth of bad bacteria and is useful in the prevention of conditions such as yeast infections, urinary tract infections, obesity, diabetes, and gastrointestinal cancers.
Nutrition-wise kimchi is low in calories and sugar but contain high amounts of fiber, vitamins A and C, and minerals such as calcium and iron. It also has high levels of beta carotene and after undergoing three weeks of fermentation the levels of B1, B2, and B12 double. In addition to all this groovy nutrition kimchi can help to reduce indigestion and gas by ridding the body of excess bad bacteria, and also help you feel fuller because the good bacteria in the gut stabilizes blood sugar levels and keeps from intense hunger pangs and cravings. For those non-dairy eaters like myself, it’s also good to know that kimchi contains more good bacteria than yogurt. Another win for the dairy-free team.
Most kimchi that is readily available at Asian grocery stores are most likely NOT vegan as they may use anchovy in the process. If you are interested in trying this spicy old cabbage dish, you can find gluten-free and vegan versions of kimchi with varying levels of spiciness at natural food stores that are pretty awesome or try making it on your own so you can have larger quantities. After the initial fermentation process, kimchi lasts anywhere from three to six months in the fridge and with time the amounts of good bacteria available continue to increase. The process is pretty intense and traditionally the cabbage is buried in the ground during the fermentation process. Um, since that isn’t happening for most of us (raises hand) you can leave it out in your kitchen shortly and then put it in the fridge. In the next few weeks I’ll be working on my own sauerkraut and kimchi recipes and will be sure to report back when I’ve reached the fermented cabbage promise land. Until then, make sure to include probiotics and fermented foods in your diet. I will highlight more soon on the blog. They are super important and can help you achieve balance quickly when dealing with candida, parasites, indigestion, and even acne. -XoXo Raw Girl
Our hair is a big deal to most of us, and making sure we have enough of it can be the cause of some anxiety as we age. Even if you’re a young sexy veggie lover like I am, perhaps you just want to know how you can encourage your hair to grow faster, and be shiny, healthy, and strong. In the list below I am sure you will find an answer to your woes. Don’t forget that adequate nutrition is essential for your hair health. Just like your skin health, the condition of your hair is a reflection of your overall nutrition. One way to boost your nutrient intake is to consume superfoods like algae and grasses that have high nutrient content like spirulina, chlorella, barley grass, wheat grass etc. When you start feeding your body the nutrients it needs, everything will function optimally, and you’ll be ready to star in that veg-friendly Pantene Pro V commercial when they call. I’m always ready to toss my hair and a give the camera a wink, just in case your hiring. -XoXo Raw Girl
- Jojoba oil is a liquid wax derived from the seeds of the jojoba plant that can be refined to an almost clear colorless liquid. This plant is native to regions of Arizona, Mexico, and California and has incredible moisturizing properties which make it great to use for skincare and hair growth. Why is it so effective? Well jojoba oil is actually structurally similar to ‘sebum’ the oil produced by the sebaceous glands in our skin and scalp! It can help to ease conditions like dandruff, hair loss, dryness, or split ends caused by exposure to harsh chemicals in styling products and cleanse the scalp. Sometimes hair growth is stunted because excess sebum gets encrusted in scalp and blocks hair follicles. Application of jojoba oil can release these blockages. Some ways you can use jojoba are massage the oil on your scalp directly, use as a hot oil treatment, leave-in conditioner, or add it to your regular conditioner and use as normal. To see the brand I use visit or purchase online check out this link: Raw Girl’s Pick for Jojoba Oil
- B-Vitamins are important for hair growth, especially B12 & B3. make sure you supplement and take a good quality B-complex, or at the very least supplement B12, which is very important for vegans. Even meat-eaters tend to be deficient in B12 and this can lead to a host of health problems if not brought back to balance.
- Vitamin E is also crucial in the prevention and reversal of hair loss because of it’s ability to grow new blood vessels and increase circulation to the scalp. You can apply Vitamin E topically to regrow hair or it can be taken internally as a supplement. I am a big fan of focusing on whole foods instead of supplements whenever possible, so it would be good to incorporate foods in your diet that are high in vitamin E like sunflower seeds, avocados, almonds, pine nuts, olives, papaya, broccoli, spinach, pickled green olives, parsley, kale, and swiss chard.
- Stay hydrated and drink sufficient amounts of water. The hair shaft is mostly made up of water! So if you are running around thirsty most days, your hair health will suffer. Find the best quality and purest H2O you can get access to and get to chugging.
- Essential oils of lavender, rosemary, and thyme have all been shown to promote hair growth. You can purchase one or all of these oils and for more effectiveness add a couple drops of each to jojoba oil, apply to your head and massage your scalp.
Christmas is just around the corner and it’s been getting chilly lately, although we have yet to see any snow hit the ground. When the weather starts to fluctuate it can sometimes wreak havoc on even the most health conscious poster girl, if she happens to be unprepared and caught in the cold without a hat and gloves. I myself was visiting New York, and was exposed to just a little too much cold during my visit, which had my lymph nodes feeling like a sore throat or cough was about to come on by the time I returned.
What do you do when you get that not-so-great-runny-nose feeling? What I do is immediately grab some natural immune boosters that will stop that sickness in its tracks and have me barely missing a beat from my usual routine. Below is a list of some go-to immune boosting foods and supplements. Depending on how gangsta you need to get you may need more than one on the list. To beat the forthcoming cold that could have stopped me in my tracks, I added Spirulina in my juice, had some kombucha, drank tea with honey and lemon, followed by chewing on some ginger throughout the day, and seriously by the next day I was brand new. Remember also, sickness and mucus based illnesses also come from too much food consumption, consumption of the wrong kinds of foods (processed), or our colons being backed up. Which is why taking a break from heavy foods and doing soups, juices, teas, and water always accelerates your process of getting back to a 100% healthy you. – XoXo Raw Girl
Ginger is one of the best cold remedies on the planet. A staple in traditional Chinese medicine, ginger has been used for over 2,500 years to treat congestion, sinus pain, and sore throat. It has strong yang energy and warms the stomach and lungs. Ginger is also great for relieving nausea or indigestion. Eat ginger fresh, juice the root along with greens, boil it and steep to make tea, or add it to foods.
Garlic has been used the world over for warding off colds and the common flu. It is powerful because of it’s anti-viral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Eat fresh garlic cloves, juice them, take odorless garlic pills, make garlic tea, or add to foods.
Papaya is a very nutrient dense fruit packed with beta carotene, vitamin A & C, iron, calcium, folate, potassium, fiber, and more. A small papaya contains around three times the daily recommended value of vitamin C, which is a nice whopping serving that can send a common cold running for the hills faster than you can say “Bless you!”
Oranges are the typical go-to Vitamin C boosters that will help you fight a cold if you already have one, or keep the sniffles at bay. Eat them fresh or juice them fresh. Remember that the typical cartons of O.J. in the store are not only pasteurized (which kills of most nutrients) but they have other preservatives added to the juice that won’t necessarily do your body good. Fresh squeezed is always the best way to go, especially if you are trying to give sickness a run for it’s money.
Spirulina is blue green algae that you can take in pill or powder form. Consuming this superfood regularly will boost your immunity enough that you will not have to worry about most illnesses. Read more about the amazing superfood Spirulina.
Mung Bean Sprouts have pure forms of vitamin A, B, C, and E, along with K, calcium, iron, magnesium, pottassium, phosphorous, and zinc. One cup contains 1/4 the daily recommended value for vitamin C. Because of their high vitamin C content these power sprouts have been used since ancient times to ward off disease. Eat them fresh, add to soups, or salads.
Wheatgrass may be hard on the taste buds going down, but it’s worth the discomfort. About two ounces of this green stuff is equivalent to three pounds of organic vitamins and minerals. Wheatgrass is a complete protein and this antioxidant packed super shot helps to detoxify the body and remove toxins, energize, and will assist with relieving sinus issues and congestion. Contains vitamin A, C, E, and zinc to name a few, and can be taken alone as a shot or added to a juice.
Wellness Formula is a vitamin supplement that really works. I recommend it sometimes to people who get sick often or as a way to stop the onset of a cold. You can find it in most health food stores. Nowadays most vitamins are completely useless, but this formula delivers for warding off sickness, or helping you recover.
Green Juice is one of my favorite cure-alls. Got Chlorophyll? Add in a lot of ginger root and lemon, and you should start to feel groovy and sickness-free pretty quickly. Juicing nutrient packed greens and herbs like kale, chards, parsley, spinach, etc. will help bring your body back to one.
Kombucha Tea is a powerful tea created from fermenting mushrooms that can assist in healing numerous conditions. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and therefore can treat sore throats and common colds. If Kombucha is consumed regularly it has been shown to be an effective preventative medicine creating resistance to colds and flus in the majority of people. You can brew your own, buy it local, or find it at a health food store. When you find that magical brand, stick with it. The most powerful brands I have ever tried have always been locally made.