Meridian point massage
Eastern Cultures believe that energy circulates and nourishes the whole person through specific pathways, or “meridians”. In Indian medicine this is called nadi, or river.
Meridians form a crisscross network of interconnected pathways that link the organs, skin, muscles and bones in a unified body. The energy or (chi) that circulates within them may be called either “yang” in nature, defending the body on the outside, or more (yin) in nature, nourishing the body on the inside.
These channels run from deep in the organs out through major meridian branches to smaller and smaller ones, ending up at the outside of the body in the skin. Then they go back again, just like the pattern of other major body systems such as the nervous, lymphatic and blood systems.
- The Yang meridians of the hand originate from the fingertips and flow to the head/face.
- The Yin meridians of the hand flow from the chest to end at the fingertips (where they connect with the next channel – a yang channel).
- For both legs and arms, the meridians of the yin are on the inside/protected surface of the arm/leg, while the yang meridians are on the outside of the arm/leg.
- The Yin leg meridians flow from the toes/feet to the abdomen/thorax. The Yang leg meridians originate in the head and flow towards the feet.
- The front of the body is Yin, the back, Yang.
Each of the 12 organs is linked with a meridian or energy channel, named according to the internal organ it affects. The meridians , like rivers of energy, ensure proper nurturing of Chi or life force throughout your whole being. When you are healthy, the flow of Chi proceeds unimpeded, like water in a free running river, and energy is well distributed throughout the meridian pathways. When the river, or meridian is blocked for some reason, the qi is prevented from reaching the specific area it is supposed to nurture. The result is that the cells, tissue or organs in the affected area will suffer.
Because the meridians serve the whole body from outside in and inside out, they have a dual role. They prevent harmful energies from entering (in the form of bacteria and viruses) the body. They also indicate the presence of harmful energy already in the body in the form of symptoms on the outside. These may be felt as aches, pains, heat or cold.
Any type of “disease” is a sign that the energy within the meridian system is out of balance. When a meridian is blocked, one part of the body is getting too much qi and enters a state of excess, while another part is getting too little and becomes deficient in Chi. This will result in one organ becoming overactive while another organ will become underactive and may be fatigued. If you do not correct this problem when initially manifested it can lead to the symptoms getting progressively worse and the disease gets more serious.
Palm Oil – The Silent Killer
The palm oil industry has been under criticism for a long time. Many of us have heard of palm oil but only few are aware of its true danger. Let have a closer look:
Key Growing Area: Southeast Asia
About 85% of the palm oil produced globally comes from Malaysia and Indonesia. These countries face daunting problems, all of which were caused by the palm oil industry. This includes:
The deforestation of rain forests has taken on menacing proportions. The palm oil industry requires more crop area due to its increasing demand. Therefore, rain forests are continuously being cut down and replaced with monoculture. Every hour a rain forest area the size of 300 soccer fields is lost. This releases a large amount of greenhouse gas that destroy the habitat of countless animal species. The damage is usually irreversible. If deforestation continues at this rapid rate 2022 animal species native to these rain forests will be destroyed in these countries as a result of the palm oil industry.
Effects On Animals
More than 300 000 different animal species call the South-east Asian rain forests home. Many of which have been injured, killed or driven out due to deforestation. These include the orangutan and Asian elephant. In the last two decades, for example, more than 50 000 orangutans have died due to the consequences of the damage done by the palm oil industry. Often the animals perish miserably, wounded by a machete or buried alive. Poachers and smugglers are able to venture further into the palm oil plantations to kill or see animals for profit.
Sadly child labour is of great importance in the palm oil industry. Instead of attending school children are forced to carry fruit or climb trees under a scorching temperatures for countless hours. Oftentimes, these child labourers do not receive wages. This is but one of several human rights violations that take place on palm oil plantations on a daily basis. Furthermore, the indigenous population is exploited by large corporations that take away their land in order to increase their profits.
Avoiding The Use of Palm Oil
Palm oil is present in countless products under a variety of names that it is often difficult to avoid it. Nevertheless, one can accomplish a lot with only a few simple steps:
- Inform yourself – Read the ingredients found in a product before purchasing it and do not use products that contain palm oil. It is mainly used in food, cosmetics and cleaning products. Especially highly processed foods contain palm oil.
- Tell a friend – The more people know about it, the sooner the severe destruction of land and life to be stopped. Talk about it to friends and family emphasising the effects of using palm oil.
- Take a stand – Write the companies that produce your favourite products, and ask them to stop the use of palm oil. It is possible to switch to less problematic alternatives. There are plenty of examples.
- If all else fails, opt for products that contain certified palm oil. At least this option ensures that certain it should not go anywhere else, then buy products that contain only certified palm oil. Thus, at least to ensure that certain prescribed minimum standards are met.
PHB – Free of palm oil since 2014
PHB Ethical Beauty completely forgoes the use of palm oil. The brand was launched in spring of 2012. Since then PHB sought to produce its own products as environmentally friendly and as ethically as possible. The products were therefore always 100% vegan and cruelty-free and contain no problematic chemicals such as parabens. In 2013, PHB became aware of the effects of a new substance – palm oil. Although PHB did not use palm oil, but a few derivatives thereof. These derivatives were sourced from certified resources however PHB decided to completely forgo the use of palm oil after an in-depth examination of the problems that it causes.
In spring 2014 PHB had formulated all their products new. They did everything to completely remove palm oil and its sub-products of their own products and replace it with more sustainable alternatives. It took a lot of effort by PHB, but in the end, the result was worth it. Since then, not only are PHB product 100% free from palm oil, they were able to improve their formulations as a result!
The Ultimate Cold Weather Skin Cheat Sheet
Freezing temperatures, frost on the ground and your skin is suffering. Soothe your dry, itchy skin with a serious hydrating regime to keep things supple and healthy.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or fiddly, here are my top tips for keeping your skin soft, supple and radiant.
The bottom line is that colder air holds less moisture than warm air and factor in the central heating and there’s a good chance your skin is going to rebel. Dry, itchy skin isn’t fun but there’s lots you can do that will make a difference.
Take a look in my shop for your skincare routine and discover the whole Tropic range
Chemicals and Toxins found in other common products worldwide include:
Modify exposure to and to be aware of! Awareness is key!
Parabens, (methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutyl paraben, ethylparaben, E216, E218) . Parabens are a group of compounds used as preservatives, to prevent bacteria and fungus. Besides cosmetics, (makeup, moisturisers, shampoos etc.), they are also found in pharmaceuticals and food products. Studies have shown that they are able to mimic the hormone oestrogen, which is already known to have links to female cancers such as ovarian and breast cancer. Tests run on breast tumours have actually confirmed the presence of parabens. This does not prove a link between the two (more studies are underway) but whilst these are still being performed, perhaps we should exercise caution? In addition, studies indicate that methylparaben applied on the skin reacts with UVB leading to increased skin ageing and DNA damage, skin rashes and allergies. E.g. natural cream for bruising, containing E216 and E218.
Phenoxyethanol, (the new alternative to parabens?) . Look out for this one!! It is a synthetic preservative – The FDA warned that phenoxyethanol may cause shut down of the central nervous system, vomiting and contact dermatitis. Together with Ethylhexylglycerin, it enhances the preservative effect of phenoxyethanol is known to be a safe alternative to parabens. It has the drawback of being a skin irritant as well. Two studies, one in Belgium by the Department of Dermatology at the University Hospital and a study in the Contact Dermatitis Journal have found a higher instance of skin irritation when using Ethylhexylglycerin. Butylene glycol (eg petroleum derivative) .
In sensitive individuals, butylene glycol may be irritating to the skin, eyes, and or nasal passages, but it is the least potentially irritating of all the glycols. In addition, since this ingredient is in so many of the products we apply on our skin every day, the concern is that over time, our exposure may be adding up to something that could be potentially harmful to the health of the skin and body. So far, however, scientific studies have shown no harmful effects from the ingredient at current levels and exposures. In fact, this glycol has not been linked to any organ-specific toxicity and is not considered to be carcinogenic, unlike ethylene glycol. Butylene glycol has neuropharmacological properties but is not considered carcinogenic.
Triclosan: This is a petroleum by-product used in antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants as a preservative and antibacterial agent. It is a suspected endocrine, (hormone) disrupter and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Triclosan can pass through skin, and is used in so many products that the small amounts found in each product add up, particularly since the chemical does not readily degrade. In addition to cosmetics, triclosan is also used as an antibacterial agent in laundry detergent, facial tissues, and antiseptics for wounds, as well as a preservative to resist bacteria, fungus, mildew and odours in other household products that are sometimes advertised as “anti-bacterial”. These products include garbage bags, toys, linens, mattresses, toilet fixtures, clothing, furniture fabric, and paints.
Petroleum, paraffin, petrolatum, Mineral Oil: This is an inexpensive carrier used to bulk out a large number of beauty products such as cleansers and serums. A by-product of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil, it’s clear, has no scent and won’t spoil or go off. So, what’s the problem with mineral oil? Well, the skin has a pretty tough time trying to absorb it, resulting in a film being left over the skin which will then inevitably clog up pores, often resulting in breakouts. Petroleum by-products interfere with the skin’s natural functions and are likely to be contaminated with carcinogens. Ironically, if used excessively, it can disrupt the body’s natural ability to moisturise the skin; causing dryness and chapping.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS / SLES) . These are anionic surfactants used to make body soap, body washes, facial soap, foaming products, laundry detergent, engine degreaser, floor cleaner and more. According to the MSDS, these surfactants cause severe skin and eye irritation and that one should avoid contact to the skin, eyes and clothing. Sulphates, again, are found in countless beauty products, the most common of those being shampoos, bubble baths, shower gels and foaming cleansers. You know that lovely thick lather you get when you wash your hair? That’s all down to SLS or SLES, and so is the foam from gel cleansers, which are often used by the oilier-skinned among us to achieve a squeaky clean face. Sulphates help water and oil to mix, enabling them to effectively lift dirt, oil and impurities and wash them away. SLES, It is often disguised in “natural” products with the term “derived from coconut”. It is particularly irritating to the eyes and can be contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen.
There is a common misconception that without bubbles, you’re not getting the same deep clean. But actually, the addition of sulphates only means that you are stripping your skin of its natural oils and leaving it dry and dehydrated, [That Squeaky clean feeling] Now I know that some of you will be thinking that that’s exactly what you want, but it’s not, your skin does require a certain amount of the natural oils it produces, and if you take them away then it’s only going to go into overdrive trying to replenish what it has lost. The main concern with sulphates is the fact that they are quite strong irritants. If you get them in your eyes then you’ll know about it! SLS has been suspected to also damage the skin’s immune system.
Your body may retain the SLS for several days. Natural Organic Cosmetics Natural oils and waxes offer protection with plant and man which allows the outer layer to breathe. It is non-occlusive, unlike mineral oils. The nutrient-rich plant oils are easily absorbed into the skin and feed the regenerative layer, thus offering a softening and supporting role in skin regeneration.
As we mature the balance of regeneration versus hardening effects changes and using plant oils can help this balancing act and encourage healthy self-regulating skin. Warmth, regeneration and balance are obtained through the plant oils. Healthy skin allows the blood to shine through, the complexion looks vibrant, clearly showing a healthy balance of regeneration and structural form are present. Consider the effect of using chemicals which remove this naturally protective layer, stripping the natural protective layer and leaving the flesh vulnerable. As you can see, squeaky clean is not necessarily a good thing. Skin has a protective mantle and if this is stripped away, skin is left vulnerable and exposed. As you can see the chemical list is not extensive.