We all know which products which products work and which don’t when it comes to doing our hair. However, whether you wear your hair straight, curly, or both, most of the hair products we use on a daily basis can be potentially harmful. The truth is, personal care products are not regulated closely by the FDA, so shampoos, gels, mousses, and hair spray may contain toxic ingredients that can be destructive to our body.

 

What we would normally think are normal additives in the ingredients listed on hair care products may cause some serious side effects over time. Fragrances, color pigments, and oils can contain cancer-causing properties and with continued use may cause symptoms like headaches, allergies, hyperactivity, chronic fatigue, learning disabilities, and depression. Many shampoos for instance contain the chemical Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate, which is what causes shampoo to lather and foam. This chemical however, can have an adverse effect on your immune system, and even cause the skin to inflame.

 

A quick Google search will give you a few natural substitutes for hair care, but in the past I have used are Aubrey Organics, a hair care line that has been around for many years and was the first to be certified as an organic processor by Quality Assurance International. All of their ingredients contain healthy oils and extracts that are all-natural.

 

Another product you can try is Alba Botanica, which has all Hawaiian based products enriched with botanical oils and plant proteins. Their line includes shampoo, conditioner, and styling products like hair spray, which is pretty decent, and styling gel. Try experimenting with a few different products to see which work best for your hair.  Most are not as expensive as regular hair products, and are much less harmful to your body and skin!

 

Refernces:

http://www.albabotanica.com/

http://www.aubrey-organics.com/

 

 

In case you have not noticed, it is about the time of year for allergies to start acting up. In the last couple of weeks my patients have been coming to see me with itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion and runny nose, coughing and dry throats.

For this reason, I have compiled a few precautions to both prevent allergies from starting, and to help mitigate them once they have already taken hold of your system. There are actually a lot of little things you can do to safeguard against bothersome symptoms, like shutting your windows to keep the pollen out, stay indoors on windy days or reducing your intake of allergenic foods. Foods that contain dairy products, simple sugars and yeast, or drinking alcohol for example, can exacerbate allergy symptoms, so it is best to steer clear of them during this time of year.

I also recommend taking plenty of Vitamin C for modulating the immune system and quercetin, which is a bioflavanoid derived from fruits and vegetables that can act as an anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine. If you have sinus trouble, a neti-pot is a great device to use for nasal irrigation. If you have not heard of it, it is a small pot that helps pour saline water into one nostril while your head is tilted to the side and will flush out pollen and particulates from the nasal passages and the liquid will come out of the other nostril! It is a much safer solution than using nasal sprays, and actually works!

 

References:

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/sinus-pain-pressure-9/neti-pots

 

 

 

Our bodies are naturally alert at picking up on what it is sensitive to and not. When we are allergic to something, be it a chemical, microbe, inhalant or food, our skin, sinuses, lungs and gut identifies it as an intruder, and our immune system reacts to help remove the offending agent. Allergies will sometimes sneak up on us in ways we do not expect, and the result can cause severe discomfort. While food allergies are common, it is not rare to develop cosmetic allergies too, also called contact dermatitis.

I bring up cosmetic allergies because every day millions of us apply make up without giving a second thought to its potential risks. I once wore purple eye shadow that ended up significantly irritating my eyes. They became red, watery, and inflamed. At first I thought I had pollen in my eyes but when I used kinesiology sensitivity testing for the eye shadow, it became clear to me that I was allergic to it and it was the root of all my symptoms. More specifically, it was the red dye used in my purple eye shadow but also found in pink, blue, bronze and even green eye shadows. Red dye can also be called Carmine, Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red #40, C.I. 75470, or E120.

Eye shadows can contain many other harmful ingredients including artificial chemicals, preservatives, toxic minerals, and fragrances. When applied to the eyelids, the powder can go into the eye, causing the delicate tissues to swell and tear. With continuous use your eyes will get itchy, inflamed, red and even feel pain.

Whole Foods, Co-Opportunity, Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy and Pharmaca all have many different brands of natural cosmetics. Natural does not mean “clean” though, always read the label for any chemical names I mentioned above. My suggestion is to wear neutral tones that are free of the red pigment. The less toxins and chemicals you apply to your body, the healthier you will be!

References:

http://allergies.ygoy.com/2009/02/20/can-eyeshadow-cause-allergic-reaction/

Photo Courtesy of Dove Health Products Get yours here: http://www.drrind.com/saunas/malibu

Many different cultures around the world use sauna therapy but the origin of saunas goes to the Finnish. The Finnish made the first saunas in large pits with heated rocks that were doused with water to produce steam, creating an atmosphere of both relaxation and worship. Nowadays we frequent saunas mainly in gyms or at spas, but because they can also be very therapeutic, you can also purchase small ones that fit right into your own home.

If you are looking to buy an at-home sauna, I recommend SaunaRay, which which sells medical-grade infrared saunas. Each one of their saunas is handmade with allergy-free Basswood, in a toxin-free environment in Ontario, Canada. Their heat emitters are made using medical grade ceramic plates and finished with a toxin-free ceramic coating. Typical saunas are usually made with fire retardants and formaldehyde glued plywood, which may cause reactions to people who are sensitive to certain chemicals. As always, I recommend going the chemical-free route!

SaunaRay’s unique assemblage alone differentiates them from standard saunas, but their infrared heat is radiated directly into the body rather than just warming the air around the body via steam or convection heat. This allows for deep penetration of the infrared heat into the tissues within the body, which promotes healthy blood circulation and eliminates toxins in the body through natural sweating.

I personally have an infrared sauna in my home and use it regularly to help cleanse my body of impurities and increase my metabolism. If you are a beginner, the temperature range needs to be from 110 degrees to 120 degrees for not longer than 10- 15 minutes. Once you get acclimated, you can increase the duration and temperature. If you use a sauna regularly, then the temperature can be raised to 130 degrees. For infrared benefits, it is not necessary to go higher than that. Maximum time in the sauna should be one hour, and only once or twice a week. Too much time in the sauna can weaken your adrenal glands and is not advised if you have high blood pressure or specific cardiovascular or neurological conditions. As always, please ask your health care practitioner if you are ready to use the sauna!

References:

http://www.saunaray.com/

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Mold is one of those invisible villains that enters our bodies through our senses, particularly our fingertips, mouths, and nose. It is a type of fungi that can grow inside and out on wet or moist surfaces, and is reproduced by way of tiny microscopic spores. Normally, these spores are not much of an issue until they make contact with a wet surface like a bathtub or wall. If the mold spores contact the sensitive mucous membranes of our respiratory system, it can cause or aggravate severe allergies.

If you feel mold may be invading your home, there are several ways of detecting it. Mold is easily recognizable once it is spotted, because its textures range from velvety, to granular, fuzzy, or leathery. It is also found in many colors- red, black, green, blue, red, yellow, orange as well as white. If you do not immediately recognize it or have it in a place you cannot visibly see it, know that it can have a distinct, musty smell. Mold will often crop up in warm or humid areas of your house, like the bathroom, closets, basements, leaky roofs, pipes, or even in a pot of over watered houseplant. Home Depot sells inexpensive mold plates, each to be used to expose in suspected rooms. Send them to a lab to determine the concentration of mold in each room.

You might be surprised to learn how much mold is in the food we eat as well, in common foods like peanuts, cashews, greens and rooted vegetables, and fruit especially berries and grapes. Peanuts and cashews are especially victims of mold because they are legumes which start out moist and go through a drying process, increasing the likelihood of mold development. Fruits like bananas tend to form brown spots (fermentation), best to only eat yellow bananas free of bruises and wash the outer peel first. Berries are notorious for getting moldy quickly, as evidenced by the number of blueberries you can find at the market with mold on the bottom! Once you find one moldy berry, the entire box is contaminated. Better to buy organic frozen berries, they are free of mold! Additionally, when you purchase fruits like grapes from the market, coated with a white filmy substance, that is also a form of mold and can be remedied by placing them in a bowl of water with a teaspoon of Vitamin C crystals or powder, neutralizing and killing the mold. After 15 minutes of the Vitamin C soak give a final rinse under running water and the grapes will look beautifully clean and shiny where as the water will look dirty and murky! By the way, the Vitamin C soak can be used to wash any fruit, vegetable or grain, much better and safer than any veggie wash product available. Also do not forget to throw out or compost vegetables that has been stored in the refrigerator for more than one week and please do not attempt to smell the bag!

When my patients complain of a sore throat, the firstthing I ask is if they have eaten any food that may have been contaminated with mold, “did you by any chance eaten a restaurant salad recently or peanut butter sandwich, drink any wine or beer or munch on some trail mix”? Restaurants are notorious for not washing the greens and vegetables. The same goes for juicing cafes. Better to eat lightly cooked veggies in restaurants rather than a salad. If you are craving raw, then ask for romaine or butter lettuce rather than the field of baby greens- less mold growth.

Some of the more common inhalant symptoms of mold exposure include runny nose, coughing, wheezing, itchy or red eyes, and increased respiratory issues for people with asthma. The best thing to mitigate mold spread is to scrub the point of contact where the mold is growing with an organic vinegar solution (50% organic white vinegar and 50% water). Reduce the level of moisture surrounding the area by ventilating, reduce the number of potted plants in your home, regularly leave closet doors open to air out clothes, and fix any water leaks immediately. Try to keep the humidity level in the house below 40% by opening windows after a shower, wipe down water droplets on shower walls into drain or by turning on a de-humidifier. You can find some really good inexpensive ones at Sears in their online store. I use mine every time I take a shower to prevent mold growth!

If you are experiencing any chronic respiratory or digestive symptoms talk to your healthcare provider to determine if mold may be part of the problem. If you suspect mold to be an issue at home, start your detective work immediately and possibly invest in hiring a mold specialist.

References

http://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm

http://www.epa.gov/iedmold1/moldguide.html

If you have ever wondered how your mental thoughts could control your physiology, you may be very interested in Bruce Lipton’s life long studies. Declaring an astonishing link between science and spirit, Lipton is an influential speaker in the field of an emerging science called epigenetics, he is interested in the manipulation of the environment of our cells and genes through the power of our mind.

One of the most powerful voices in the integration of spirit and science, Lipton has spent over twenty years researching the way quantum physics influences the outer layers of cells, what he calls the “brain” of the cell. His research in quantum physics revealed that our environment is what really controls the behavior of a cell, rather than our genes. From this emerged the idea that certain molecular pathways in the brain have the potential to bridge the gap between cellular biology and spirit, heightening the way in which the mind can control the function of our bodies.

Lipton’s cellular discovery, in my opinion, is phenomenal. Hard science often unfairly discredits holistic ways of healing, and Bruce Lipton successfully bridges the chasm that divides the two branches of knowledge. Patients who have experienced my energetic techniques for allergy elimination, nutrient assimilation, detoxification and optimal organ function-all know the power of quantum physics and “intention” and that your cells can “hear” you. Your brain is amazingly powerful and every thought can affect our behavior and physiological outcome. I am a big believer in using positive energy to influence our body and environment- by visualizing and “thinking from the end” you can manifest the outcome you desire. Be the best you can be from this moment on and you will be delightfully surprised that all that you have desired in this lifetime is within you!

References:

http://www.brucelipton.com/