The benefits of body brushing

The benefits of body brushing


Body brush

The organs that eliminate toxins and waste products from the body are the bladder, the liver, the kidneys, the colon and of course the skin. In fact the skin, as the largest and most visible organ, is also the first to show any signs of imbalance or deficiencies. These signs include spots, lines or rings under your eyes. When the body is too overwhelmed with food, toxins, etc. it needs to find a quick way of ‘storing it all’.  The skin is such a place and we sooner or later see the built up of all this and call it ‘cellulite’.

A frequent ‘body brushing’ routine can’t magically brush all these toxins away, but it can improve the flood flow to the area and together with drinking enough water and using body oils, such as birch oil, it can help to eliminate them in a more efficient way.

What are the benefits of body brushing ?

It is simply the best and easiest way to remove dead cells from your body,  making your skin feel and look wonderfully smooth. But this is not all. It also

  • Stimulates the blood circulation and makes your skin look like it is glowing
  • Reduces the appearance of cellulite
  • Stimulates and cleanses the lymphatic system
  • Tones the underlying muscle tissue,
  • It leaves you feeling more energized
  • Stimulate the hormone and oil-producing glands.
  • A regular ‘body brushing’ routine tightens the skin and helps with premature aging
  • Due to the improved blood circulation, you are less likely to suffer from cold hands and feet

The skin renews roughly every 28 days, the same time as the moon cycle.

When to use  ‘body brushing’?

The best results do not come from a one-off body brushing session, but from a regular routine. It is important to always brush BEFORE having a shower or a bath, as dry skin cells are much easier removed than wet ones. I advise you to do  a quick daily body brushing session by using a body brush or exfoliating gloves (please follow instructions below).  It does not have to take long, a minute or two is sufficient and well worth it, as it will wake you up and help to increase your circulation.

Additionally, two to three times per week I recommend extending the body brushing session to about 5 to 8 minutes and concentrate on areas such as thighs, bottom, underarms, and finally the digestive tract (see detailed instructions below). Then have a shower or bath as usual.  Once you have dried your body, apply a good body lotion or anti-cellulite body oil (I recommend the Weleda birch oil and I can say from my own experience that my skin feels great and much firmer).

Body BrushingI usually try to step up my body brushing regime during the Waning and the New Moon, when the body naturally aims to detoxify. Here is the symbol on the LWTM lifestyle calendar. 

 

How do you use the ‘body brushing’?
Body brushing map
When you are ready, take a body brush or loofah and sit down in a chair or on the edge of your bath. Start with brushing the soles of your feet, beginning at the toes and brush backwards towards your heels and up to the ankles. Then move up each leg towards your hips, brush your legs front, side and back, but always brush UPWARDS towards your heart.

From time to time shake your brush into the sink or shower tray to remove any dead skin cells.
Then brush your belly, sides and back – again start at the thighs and brush upwards until you have reached the chest area sparing out your breasts. Then begin to brush your arms, again starting at your fingertips and working upwards until you have reached your armpits. At last brush down from your neck towards your chest area (again leaving out the breasts). Ask your partner to brush your back area or change over to a brush with a longer handle.

Digestive boost: Right at the end I brush my belly, following the digestive flow ( this helps to move the waste forward). It is important to start at the bottom right and brush up towards your right breast. Then go across to the left and finally down on your left-hand side, at the bottom go across to the right until you have come full-circle. Repeat this a few times. This is especially important when you have a sluggish digestion and for all those who want to lose weight. This gentle, digestive massage/brushing together with an increased intake of liquid and fibre, can do wonders for your digestive system.

Remember: Always start at the bottom of your feet, hands, etc and brush upwards. Repeat this action again and again, always starting at the bottom with upwards strokes, directed towards your heart. Once you have reached the height of your heart, reverse the direction and brush down towards your heart.

Once you are satisfied that you have brushed your whole body, jump in the bath or a shower. Once you are dry again, apply a good body moisturiser or body oil.

See more how others have used body brushing to remove toxins and help with their cellulite.

One last word of advice: Never brush more than a few minutes at a time. Brushing more won’t improve your circulation any further, but may make your skin feel sore. A few minutes on a regular basis are much more sensible and effective than a one-off session that lasts 30 minutes or more and leaving you feeling sore.

If you are prone to oily skin or shed a lot of skin, combine body brushing with the application of a body scrub. First do a light ‘body brushing’ routine, followed by the application of a body peeling mask or body scrub. Leave it on for a few minutes until the peeling mask becomes uncomfortable and then rinse off in a shower or bath. Apply body lotion/oil as usual.

For more information please download our popular freebies

 

Spend time with the family

Spend time with the family

   TODAY IS A GREAT DAY TO SPEND EXTRA TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY. IF THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE, CALL YOUR PARENTS, SIBLINGS AND CHILDREN OR ANYBODY THAT YOU ‘CALL FAMILY’. SHOW THEM THAT YOU CARE FOR THEM!
Life is busy and whilst rushing here and there – we often forget what matters most. So here is a symbol that is less biodynamic, but more a reminder to stop for a moment and create a harmonious thought/action for the ones who should be closest to us. 
I realise that this is an idealist view and sadly many people don’t have a harmonious family life. If that is you, then make a positive change today. How could you improve communication, repair strained relationships? What is the way forward? Is it time for a call to say ‘sorry’ or clear the air. Don’t be proud, make a head start and show you care. 

 

Plant of the month – Chamomile

Plant of the month – Chamomile

Plant of the month:

My fascination with herbs started when I was a little girl and watched my grandmother use herbs to cook and to make beauty treatments.

Although herbs grow all around us, only few people still know how to use them as nature attended to – as our food, medicine and aid for beauty/healthcare recipes. Here is the series – plant of the month – which will give you a valuable insight into healing herbs and their benefit.

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.)

How it looks & smells: The chamomile is an attractive plant with white blossoms and a yellow centerpiece. It has also a very pleasant aromatic smell.

Considering the good looks and healing properties you may suspect that it is a difficult plant to grow, but far from it. The chamomile does not need special soil or light conditions and is often seen growing in ditches, hedgerows and lawns.

It is truly God’s medicine cupboard, effective, very available and cheap.

Only a few years ago chamomiles were found everywhere, especially at edges of vegetable fields. But with the rise of modern mono-agriculture (only one species per field) now almost the norm, chamomiles are now seen as a pest that spoil the crop rather than a valuable plant with many benefits and killed off.

This is a rather surprising development as the use for this plant in the cosmetic, medical and holistic industry is growing year on year.

How and when to gather:  There are different types of chamomiles. The German chamomile is predominately used for teas and healing remedies. The Roman chamomile ( nobilis) is primarily used in cosmetics, bath oils and shampoos.

The benefits described here belong to the German chamomile (synomious  chamomilla) which is often also called ‘apple herb’ as the scent is vaguely apple-like.

The best time to collect the blossoms is in the summer months of July, August and beginning of September, the time when the chamomile is in full bloom.

For healing purposes it is important to collect chamomiles that have not been in contact with pesticides, so in doubt don’t pick them near a commercially farmed field.

If you buy the dried plant or tea bags, please look out for an organic version from a reputable source. In this case the organic seal really matters.

If you grow them yourself (which is easy to do) beware that chamomiles can be rather difficult when it comes to drying and storing. These delicate plants must only be dried in a shady but breezy place, otherwise they lose much of their potency and rot.

Benefits:

The most expensive and important ingredient is Azulen. It is ‘chamomile oil’ and surprisingly dark blue. But this plant contains also another series of complex chemicals which make it so efficient when it comes to healing.

Scientists have long tried to isolate some of these healing components. But it is now believed that it is in fact the combination of these that  makes this plant such an effective healer, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial.

For hundreds of years the chamomile was referred to as ‘the mother of the gut’, because its best-known use is in cases of acute stomach upsets. These include food poisoning, indigestion or digestive flu. Fasting and cups of chamomile tea always do the trick.
More recently it is recommended for sufferers from irritable bowel syndrome.

Chamomile tea: 1 tea bag or 1 heaped teaspoon of dried chamomiles (around 5 dried blossoms) per cup.

This classic tea has not only a pleasant taste, but also cure many conditions,  almost too many to mention. The most popular use is to counteract stomach cramps, heartburn and other digestive disorders. People often refer to having a ‘nervous stomach’. As the gut is lined with many nerve endings, it is true that we sense nervous reaction first in our stomach – this is why we refer to ‘gut feeling’.  Drinking chamomile tea on a regular basis has a general calming effect. People who suffer much stress and anxieties would do well to exchange their obligatory cup of coffee with chamomile tea. But it is also beneficial for the kidney, bladder and any menstrual problems. If you suffer from any kind of chronic disease associated with digestion and nerves, try to drink 3 cups of chamomile tea on a daily basis. But like all natural remedies, this regime has to be kept up for a few moon-cycles. For minor ailments one cup a day may suffice.

Chamomile ‘parasite drink’: If you suspect any worms or other nasty bacteria have entered your gut, here is a natural remedy to get rid of them. Sometimes cramps and pains can also be caused by parasites nestling in your gut. A gruelling thought but here is a drink that will tackle them. The best time to carry out this cure is during the 4th Quarter of the Waning Moon.

Take a handful of dried chamomile (3-4 tea bags) and add one liter of water. Boil for two minutes and then take this infusion off the stove and set aside. After roughly an hour and once it has cooled down, strain the chamomiles or take the tea bags out.  Add one tbsp of lemon juice, one tbsp of olive oil and one tbsp of honey. Mix it together and keep in a dark glass bottle. Take a small cup of this liquid each morning on an empty stomach. If systems have not eased, try one more time otherwise consult your doctor.

Strong chamomile infusion: Is principally a strong chamomile tea, with 2 tea bags or teaspoons per cup of water. Use this tea externally,  best applied when hand-warm. Please always test on your hand before use to avoid burning yourself on more delicate or infected areas.

If you suffer from conjunctivitis or ear infections, wet a cotton ball with this infusion and clean out your eye or ear. Make sure you discard each cotton ball. Finally soak 2 cotton pads in the new tepid chamomile infusion and leave them on your eyes for a few minutes.
The same infusion can also be applied externally to all kind of infections, eczema, infected nails,insect bites and even  haemorrhoids.

Chamomile gargle: If you suffer from acute tooth ache or blisters on your tongue and gums, prepare an infusion as described above, but use it when it is still quite warm. Take a sip and keep it in your mouth as long as you can. Then spit it out. Please don’t swallow it. Repeat many times until you find pain has eased.

Chamomile hot towel: Immerse a muslin cloth or thin towel in a strong chamomile infusion and wrap it around areas such as your back, head, arms or legs. This method is preferably for rheumatism, bed sores, sciatic pain, lumbago, sprains, neurodermatitis, large patches of eczema etc. Hot towels should be applied at least once a day for a minimum of a few weeks.

But you don’t have to be ill to enjoy this rather pleasant procedure. A cup of chamomile tea and a chamomile hot towel as described above put on your forehead, neck and shoulders will calm you down after a stressful, exhausting day – a sort of calming mini spa!

Chamomile bath: Take two cups of dried chamomile and put it into a linen bag. Then add this bag to a hot bath. This is especially effective if you suffer from infection of the bladder, vagina or the womb. Look out for the yellow bathtub sign on the LWTM life-style calendar.

For itchy and sweaty feet and hands, add 2 cups of chamomile infusion to a bucket of warm water and bath your hands and feet in it.

Lighten the hair: Take two small handfuls of dried chamomiles (preferable Roman Chamomile)  for one liter of water. Boil for two minutes and leave to cool. Use it after you have washed your hair  by massaging this rinse into your hair and scalp, don’t rinse out! This is a fantastic recipe to strengthen and lighten blond, fine hair.

Biodynamic summer pruning

Biodynamic summer pruning

Biodynamic garden

If you have even the smallest of gardens there are prime times for pruning.

I usually urge people to put a lot of effort in the early spring pruning, then the Biodynamic summer pruning job should be a lot easier. But recently in the UK the weather has been so rainy and mild that most well-kept gardens have turned into mini jungles. So there is a lot to do now.

Firstly download the LWTM life-style calendar for August. It comes free with the monthly newsletter (you need to subscribe to this, if you have not done so already in the pink box on the website side bar). In the newsletter you will also find a symbols guide. For our exercise look at the pruning symbol and every time you see it that means it is an extra good day for this activity.

Sap goes up and down in plants and during the Waning Moon and especially during New Moon it is just more auspicious to do proper pruning jobs. One of my favourites is the

New Moon renewal cut: If a plant does not thrive you can try to revive it with this cut. First check if pruning in August is useful, as some plants object to pruning during the wrong season. If it is a good time season-wise, clip all the branches by a good third to half to jumpstart the new growth. You can try this method again at another New Moon.

A few years ago a water pipe burst and almost flooded our garden with the result that some of our established holly bushes were almost dead from a completely water-logged soil. But then I tried the New Moon renewal cut with great result, we managed to save them all.

If you tried a few times and the plant still does not recover then it may be effected by a bad disease or simply the spot you have chosen for it is just wrong – no sun/too much sun, wrong soil, etc.  In this case you can either dig it up and see if it thrives somewhere else or just plant something else in its place.

Cutting back fruit bushes during the late summer:

August is a good month to prune  red currants, gooseberries and other fruiting bushes that have already fruited.  Cut the side shoots back by one third and make sure that there are not side shoots growing on the bottom of the bush.

Your can also cut back summer fruiting raspberries once you have picked them all.  Cut the canes that have already fruited back to about 3cm above ground. The non fruiting canes can be tied to horizontal wires or a fence to bear crop the next year round.

This time of year is very useful to cut back hedges such as box, firethorn and thuja.

Other pruning tasks  in August :

  • deadhead annual roses and flowering bushes , pruning symbol (flowers and scissors)
  • Plant and divide perennials (spade symbol)
  • Prune flowering bushes like fire thorn (pyracantha), hornbeam, thuja hedges and Leyland hedges  (scissor & tree symbol)
  • Prune gooseberries, summer fruiting raspberries and red-current bushes (scissor & tree symbol)
  • take cuttings from Alpines (flower in put symbol)
  • Weeding, start weeding on Heat Days (red squares)
  • Sow hyacinths (indoors) for the Christmas period
  • For further help and information please download and read our e-book ‘Gardening With The Moon’. It will explain how to put a garden design into practice and help you find out what type of soil your garden has. It will further provide you with all kinds of tips. Form planting, digging, feeding, pruning, weeding to composting and companion planting (which plants thrive next to each other and which you should avoid planting together). In short everything you need to know to keep a well-growing biodynamic garden.

To find out more information about Biodynamic gardening, please download our e-book publication 
‘Gardening with the Moon’ in the LWTM menu section.

Create your own oatmeal milk bath essence

Create your own oatmeal milk bath essence

oat meal bath essenceBeauty treatments don’t have to come with a hefty price tag. In fact sometimes it is rather nice to go through the kitchen cupboard and to create your own skincare.

This recipe from grandma’s kitchen cupboard is inexpensive and easy to make, so  in my view an overall winner.

Oatmeal Milk Bath essence:  
This old English recipe will leave your skin nourished and silky smooth. It is also very easy and cheap to make. The traditional oil is lavender, but you can also choose another aroma oil of your choice. I like a mixture of rose and ylang-ylang (3 drops each).

1/2 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup oatmeal
1 tbsp. almond oil
6 drops aromatic lavender oil (you can also choose another aroma oil)
1 muslin bag

How to make it:
Mix the milk powder, almond oil and aroma oil of your choice until they are thoroughly combined. Put the oatmeal in a muslin bag and make sure you tie a knot on the top. Then start running your bath and add the milk/oil mixture directly under the warm running water and drop the muslin bag of oats into the tub.

What are the benefits of an oatmeal milk bath? 

It is an inexpensive and relaxing way to end a day. The oats have healing properties and ideal for dry, irritated and flakey skin. It is extremely rare that people have an oat allergy, but if you are not sure, then try a patch test first. Add a tea spoon of this mixture to your forearm and leave for a few minutes to see if you react.  The almond oil is also very beneficial for sensitive, dry skin.

If you suffer from a sunburn the last thing you may want to do it to have a bath, but an oatmeal bath will help with the healing process.

Here are a step by step guide of how to do it (although this clip uses a slightly different recipe). 

 

Numerology – the numbers of your life

Numerology Numerology is an ancient way of making sense of your life through numbers. It was first practised by the mathematician Pythagoras. Today he and his Math methods are still mentioned in every Math class. Born in 608 B.C. Pythagoras was a free thinker who founded his own university at Crotona, then a Greek colony situated in Southern Italy.  He gathered many students around him whom he not only taught mathematics, but also inspired them in all aspects of personal independence and the meaning of life and love.

One of the subjects he taught was ‘ the Science of numbers’. It sought to answer life’s unsolved mystery and is the backbone of today’s Numerology movement. Numbers were seen as individual vibrations, who could be interpreted and used for life guidance.

Number 1 – the key to self expression and communication

Number 2 – the ‘feeling number’, representing the pair, sensitivity and intuition

Number 3 – belongs to the triangle and symbolises the mind and thinking

Number 4 – is the square, stability, practicality, order and convention

Number 5 – is the centre of the soul, representing love and freedom of expression

Number 6 – can either represent creativity, but also stress and worry

Number 7 – the number of philosophy, learning and sacrifice

Number 8 – the number of wisdom, leadership and independence

Number 9 – ambition, responsibility and idealism

How to find your current ‘year number’?

Here is a small example of how you can use numerology for your own insights. Pythagoras taught that we live in ‘ 9-year cycles’. Once one cycle is completed, the next one starts up.
To decipher your life number you need your date of birth, for example 13th September 1970. Then add up the number of your birth date and month.

1+3+9= 13 = 4  this is your prime number which you then add to the current year

2021 (5)  5+4=9  You would be currently in a number 9 year.

Here is what the individual year numbers mean:

Year 1The year of adjustments. A powerful year of personal growth and change, breaking old habits and self-improvement

Year 2A year of rest & sharing. Continue with self-development but now shift your focus to deepen relationships with others. This could be partners, family members, and co-workers. It is all about interconnectedness.

Year 3A year to expand the mind. Stimulate the intellect, thirst for knowledge, a year of study, and learning new skills.

Year 4A year of security, regeneration, and consolidation. Enjoy the status quo and don’t change too much.

Year 5A year of freedom and personal expression. Hobbies could become new careers, look further afield than your current situation.

Year 6A year of creativity. It is the peak of creativity in home and work life. Be sure to concentrate on new ways of doing things -and rekindle creative collaborations.

Year 7Could potentially be a troubled year. It is important to learn from personal experiences and we learn most from failures. Learn to embrace them, move on and expand your mindset for a more positive future.

Year 8 – Year of independence and wisdom. It is a year of opportunity and financial gain. Enjoy life to the full and watch your investments.

Year 9A year of ambition and reward. The cycle comes to an end. What you have sown during this cycle will come to fruition, good or bad. Enjoy this year, travel, broaden your horizon, and get ready for another cycle.

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