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2116 Sunset Ave
Ocean Township, NJ, 07712

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Filtering by Category: self-care

The Lymphatic System

Vanessa Siravo

What is it? Why is it important to health? What are ways to promote healthy lymph flow?

The lymphatic system is the silent transport vehicle that facilitates waste removal at a cellular level, moving it from the tissues to the blood, where it can be filtered by the liver and kidneys. The waste that is carried through the body consists of proteins, plasma, cell waste, debris, airborne pollutants, environmental toxins, and bi-products of bodily processes. 

The lymphatic system is a system that is made up of lymph nodes and lymph vessels. It incorporates the spleen, thymus and adenoids as well as the circulatory and urinary systems. The lymphatic system also plays a role in bringing nutrients and oxygen to cells.

Lymph is a clear-to-white fluid made of white blood cells, especially lymphocytes which are the cells that attack bacteria in the blood and fluid from the intestines, which contains proteins and fats.

There are between 600-700 lymph nodes in the body that filter lymph before it returns to the circulatory system. When bacteria or other foreign invaders are recognized in the lymph fluid, the lymph nodes make more infection fighting white blood cells, which can cause swelling. The swollen nodes can often be detected in the neck, underarms and groin.

Lymph only flows in one direction-upwards towards the neck. It flows into the venous blood system through the subclavian veins which are located on either side of the neck near the collarbone.

If our lymph is not flowing through the body as it should, the immune system and ultimately the whole body suffers.

Signs of Stagnant Lymph:

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Brain fog

  • Swelling in lymph nodes (like throat, armpits or groin)

  • Muscle aches and pains

  • Joint pains

  • Excess weight and cellulite

  • low immunity

  • Headaches

  • Frequent infections or viruses

  • Fibromyalgia symptoms

  • Arthritis

  • Skin conditions

  • Cold hands and feet

  • Digestive disorders

  • Sinus congestion

What causes stagnant lymph?

Stress, Stress, Stress. Stress has been identified as the cause of about 80% of all disease. The chemistry of stress is degenerative and lymph congesting as cited by Dr. John Douillard.

Chronic digestive imbalances like constipation and diarrhea due to irritated intestinal villi are classic causes of lymph congestion. As the majority of the lymph in the body surrounds the gut (Gut Associated Lymphatic Tissues GALT), the quality of the villi is critical for proper lymph flow, detoxification, assimilation and immunity.

Iodine deficiency is also a common cause of lymphatic congestion. Iodine protects us from a toxic environment and supports the lymph at the cellular level.

Why do we want to support proper lymph drainage?

  • To move fluid out of the tissues into lymph nodes where bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms are destroyed

  • To reduce swelling and pain in the body

  • To stimulate immune system

  • To increase circulation of white blood cells

  • To support healthy circulation and skin tone

Ways to Encourage Healthy Lymph Flow

Breathe. Deep breathing in and out of the nose. Do this as much as possible!

Hydrate. Drink plenty of purified or filtered water throughout the day.
The lymphatic system depends on a constant supply of fluid. 

Add a sprinkle of Himalayan salt or fresh squeeze lemon juice to your water to support kidney health.

Move & Groove. When your muscles move, they massage the lymphatic system and promote the flow of fluid through your lymph vessels. Regular exercise like running, walking, yoga, and strength training keep the lymph juices flowing.

Jump! Jumping on a rebounder stimulates internal organs, supports intestinal health and assist in flushing toxins out of the body. It can also help support heart health, reduce body fat, firm legs, thighs, and abdomen; and strengthens muscles throughout the body.

jump

Sweat. Sit in an infrared sauna or steam room to raise the body temperature to release excess fluids and toxins. This will also support the healing of tissue repair.

sweat

Massage. Manual lymphatic massage stimulates the lymph nodes and helps promote fluid movement in lymph vessels. It can also relieve sinus pressure, and reduce fluid retention in the face

Dry Skin Brushing. Use a dry body brush every day to increase circulation and boost a sluggish lymph system. Spend 3-5 minutes of brushing before you jump in the shower in the morning. Start at with your arms and legs and use long strokes to move the brush towards your heart.

Herbs including (but not limited to):

herbs
  • Red Clover: which is one of the best blood purifiers, aides in detoxification and reduces inflammation in: the body.

  • Calendula: can improve lymph congestion and swelling

  • Cleavers: supports the flow of lymph, bringing white blood cells to the areas where they are most needed.

  • Echinicea: can be used as an anti-inflammatory and has powerful immune-enhancing effects

  • Licorice Root: supports in filtering debris from the lymphatic system and reduce swelling of lymph nodes

  • Red Root: supports the spleen in filtering impurities from the blood, and helps move nutrients from the digestive system to the liver for breakdown before entering the bloodstream.

September Self-Care

katie strakosch

How does this month find you so far?

The lazy dog days of summer are sunny memories as we flow closer towards Autumn.

For many, this month brings about a new wave of change in schedules and routines.

This can be a challenge with integrating the aspect of time management and trying to ‘fit everything in’ during the day; yet trying not to lose the essence and lightness of summer energy.

One thing that should not be forgotten or pushed to the backburner during this time is ‘Self-Care’.

Self-Care IS NOT Selfish.

Self-Care IS NOT a guilty investment of time or energy.

Self-Care can be a TWO-minute investment of time that leads to a LIFE-CHANGING experience.

I like to call self-care rituals: ‘Bookend Rituals

These are non-negotiable aspects of self-care.

A non-negotiable means that it is a part of your routine that will not be compromised. The way I view a non-negotiable is that it is just as essential as food, water and sleep. We know we need these foundational pillars to keep us ticking. We can’t go without food, hydration or sleep for too long (we try to push the limit, sometimes too long)

With the bookend rituals, we look at what can recharge and jumpstart our day in the morning and we look at what can help us unwind and ground down in the evening.

What type of morning and evening bookend rituals

can you integrate into your days?


Here are few tools to explore on your SELF-CARE JOURNEY:

Don’t hop right onto social media or email first thing in the morning.

Early morning is a sacred time to ease into waking hours. Take at least 30 minutes to ease into the ‘external connection’ with the world.


Start your day with a cup of warm water with a slice of lemon.

You can also add a kick with a capful of apple cider vinegar and a dash of cayenne pepper for an extra zing of energy! This is a natural way to jumpstart your digestive enzymes for the day & to naturally detox your liver.


Shake it up!

Movement mobilizes toxins! Exercise regularly to gently release toxins through skin via sweat and jumpstarts the Lymphatic System.

Turn on your favorite song and let loose. It doesn’t need to be graceful, just MOVE that goddess body! My favorite daily remedy is jumping on a REBOUNDER! I keep one in my office, take a pause every few hours, turn on an upbeat song and JUMP! It revitalizes my body and mind.


Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs offer many benefits to the body including gastrointestinal remedy, supports lowering cholesterol levels in the body, antimicrobial (antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal), anti-inflammatory and can support inflamed joints due to arthritis or overuse, immune system and lymphatic stimulant


Add plenty of color to your plate.

Foods rich in color (natural color, that is) means it is rich in chlorophyll from the leaves feed the blood, and help your body flush out toxins from summer fun. They are also rich in antioxidants to flush out free radicals, boost immunity and reduce inflammation.


SWEAT with an infrared sauna session.

Sweating is the body’s safe and natural way to heal & stay healthy. Far infrared heats the body directly causing a rise in core temperature resulting in a deep, detoxifying sweat at the cellular level, where toxins reside. Read more about the benefits of an infrared sauna here!


Soak in a hot bath.

To boost the cleansing effects, just add a cup of Epsom salt, Himalayan salt or baking soda.  These alkalize the water to help neutralize acidic toxins.  Epsom salt help your body to absorb magnesium which neutralizes acidic toxins, relaxes muscles and is required by hundreds of functions. Relax and breathe while you soak.


Write it Out.

Take time to reflect on the day, emotions, feelings, worries, fears, dreams, visions…Let it flow! Write with no judgement. This is a beautiful exercise to practice in the morning and evening (just upon rising and just before going to bed).


What are some of your favorite self-care rituals?

My Winter Women's Wellness Guide

katie strakosch


Yoni Steams

womb (1).jpg

 

A yoni steam is a warm steam bath for the vagina. It combines a customized blend of herbs and warm steam generated from a pot beneath a seat. It is a powerful and grounding experience that can be a vehicle in healing on all of these levels.

Yoni translates to ‘sacred seat' all-encompassing of the reproductive system: physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

A yoni steam is a gentle way to bring warm steam and heat to the pelvis and to the womb, increasing circulation and energy flow. The moist heat opens up the pores of the tissues and the herbal infusion offers the medicinal benefits of the plants.

The vaginal tissue is one of the most porous and absorbent of the entire female body. As a result, the steam is supportive for women’s reproductive, urinary and digestive health.

This was major game-changer for my body! After I first experienced this tool, I knew life would never be the same. I have consistently practiced monthly yoni steams for the past few years. My cycles have never been so beautiful: regular, no PMS symptoms, PCOS has cleared. My own practice led me to explore a certified training program. This was very complementary to my background in nutrition and herbs. This has enhance my passion to share this tool with other woman

**Please note that it is essential to work with a trained practitioner when you begin to explore your yoni steam practices. The yoni is a sacred seat of a woman's body. **

Read more about womb wellness work here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/wombwellness/


Yoni Eggs

yoni egg bowl.jpg

 

The practice of yoni eggs involves wearing a gemstone carved like an egg inside the vagina. When you practice with a Yoni Egg, you engage the muscles of the vagina and the pelvic floor. While practicing, the brain can begin to create new neuron connections correlated with areas of the body. 

Living our busy lives, we do not engage the pelvic floor muscles. This leads to loss of sensitivity and sensation in the vaginal area, reproductive health problems, urinary health interferences, PMS, disempowerment, decreased libido and a disconnection to our sacred feminine energy.

Studies show that the main culprit of reproductive dis-ease is lack of blood flow to this area of the body.

According to the Yale University School of Medicine, women overall have an up to 60% rate of incontinence and 50% rate of POP (pelvic organ prolapse) post-partum today. 

Yoni Eggs offer many health benefits including,but not limited to:

  • Gain control of the perineum and all groups of pelvic floor muscles
  • Support Orgasmic Health: including vaginal, cervical and uterine orgasms
  • Reducing PMS, menstrual cramps, breast discomfort; as through regular practice it can increase blood flow to pelvic organs and help move stagnant energy.
  • Stimulates the ovaries in a gentle way balances hormone levels

Read more about Yoni Eggs here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/wombwellness/


Plant Based Collagen

This is my favorite way to naturally boost collagen in my body. It strengthens bones, nails, hair, tissue and skin. I love how it supports an inner and outer glow!

Read more about it here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/shop-sunshinekates/anima-mundi-plant-based-collagen

 


 

V-Magic Down There Care

 

 

This an all-natural vulva and intimate skin cream that soothes, protects and calms. This nourishing cream provides immediate relief for dryness, redness, itching, burning and general discomfort. Vaginal tissue is vulnerable to temperature change and dampness. This is a proprietary blend of antimicrobial and antibacterial ingredients that can counter the irritated tissues.

This is an everyday cream that can be used both day and night.

Read more about it here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/shop-sunshinekates/v-magic


V-Magic Feminine Wash

vmagic wash.jpg

 

This gentle wash soothes, calms and nourishes the most delicate area of a woman's body. It's divine rejuvenation for the winter months.

Read more about it here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/shop-sunshinekates/vmagic-gentle-feminine-wash


 

Infrared Sauna Therapy

sauna catherine.jpg

 

Infrared Sauna Heat warms your body from the inside out. It helps increase your core body temperature which in turn:

-Reduces Inflammation in the body

-Supports Circulation

-Supports Lymphatic Drainage

-Supports Reducing Stress

-Improves Cellular Renewal

-Boosts the body's resistance to bacteria and viruses

-Chromatherapy Lights support mood, reduce SAD (Winter Blues), enhance relaxation

I work a few sauna sessions into my week to support my body and mind. I am a sun-worshiper. I thrive in the warm months. Using the sauna has reduced my response to the winter blues, keeps my spirit up and has improved my immune health.

Learn more about the infrared sauna here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/infraredsauna/

 

 


 

Cheers to nourishing your body this winter!

I would love to hear some of your favorite winter self-care tools!

Summer Glow: A Woman’s Personal Care Guide to Inner and Outer Radiance

Vanessa Siravo

Summer is finally upon us! I was beginning to think that I was living back in Seattle with all the rain we’ve experienced here in NJ!

While we are ready to shed layers of clothing to soak up the long-awaited vitamin D, I wanted to share a few of my favorite personal care products with you. These products support whole body health both internally and externally.

Cheers to a summer filled with vitality!


V-Magic: The perfect antidote to long days spent wearing bathing suits.

vmagic

This an all-natural vulva and intimate skin cream that soothes, protects and calms. This nourishing cream provides immediate relief for dryness, redness, itching, burning and general discomfort. Vaginal tissue is vulnerable to temperature change and dampness. This is a proprietary blend of antimicrobial and antibacterial ingredients that can counter the irritated tissues.

This is an everyday cream that can be used both day and night.


Good Clean Love Balance: pH balanced personal wash

Vaginal pH is prone to disruption with the warm temperature and swimsuit fabrics.  The soothing botanical ingredients of aloe, Oregon grape root, goldenseal, lavender and calendula  help to restore vaginal flora and soothe irritated tissue. This is wash is 100% vegan, petroleum-free and paraben-free.


ISUN Antioxidant Sun Butter

A soothing, moisturizing aromatic mix of organic and natural seed butters that protects against harmful UV rays. This butter is rich in antioxidants such as buriti fruit oil from the Amazon rain forest.

I love this sun protection as it is so nourishing and has an incredibly delicious aroma!


Adaptogenic 7 Mushrooms & Cacao Powder

Tis the season for loving up those adrenals (as they should be loved up every season)!

The adrenals help to maintain stable energy along with healthy cortisol levels and hormone levels in the body. But they are compromised due to high stress, lack of sufficient sleep, exposure to environmental toxins, poor mineral/vitamin intake and lack of movement.

Anima Mundi Herbals Adaptogenic Powder supports healing, rejuvenating and revitalizing the body on a cellular level. The cacao adds a boost of magnesium to the body which supports the nervous system and reproductive health.

This tasty superfoods powder can be mixed into tea, coffee or a smoothie.


Anima Mundi Herbals Euphoria Elixir

An elixir known to awaken loving awareness within the body. 

The summer is a lush season known for celebrating the divine feminine and creative energy. It’s the season for reaping the efforts and intentions cultivated over the first part of the year.

This exilir is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, and promotes nourishment to the reproductive organs and enhanced blood flow throughout the body.


Farmhouse Culture Gut Shots

gutshot

Gut health = overall health. A happy belly supports immune function, stable moods, overall mental health, hormone balance, ability to eliminate toxins as well as supports skin health.

Gut Shots are a simple blend of fermented cabbage, caraway seeds and sea salt. This tasty drink can support keeping the bloat at bay.

The Art of Yoni Steaming

Vanessa Siravo

yonilife

You may have come across the lingo through Gwyneth Paltrow or Tia and Tamera’s blogs…forget about the Hollywood buzz.

The art of vaginal steaming dates back thousands of years through indigenous African, Mayan, Native American, Caribbean, and Asian cultures. It is mentioned in early chronicles of Spanish friars.

A yoni steam is a warm steam bath for the vagina. It combines a customized blend of herbs and warm steam generated from a pot beneath a seat. It is a powerful and grounding experience that can be a vehicle in healing on all of these levels.

Yoni translates to ‘sacred seat' all-encompassing of the reproductive system: physically, emotionally and spiritually. 


Why would I do such a thing?

A yoni steam is a gentle way to bring warm steam and heat to the pelvis and to the womb, increasing circulation and energy flow. The moist heat opens up the pores of the tissues and the herbal infusion offers the medicinal benefits of the plants.

The vaginal tissue is one of the most porous and absorbent of the entire female body. As a result, the steam is supportive for women’s reproductive, urinary and digestive health.

The customized blend of herbs is crafted together based on a client’s intake of her health concerns, symptoms and focus points.

A yoni steam is a very gentle process that does not involve any sort of high-pressure application of hot water or steam. The steam does not enter through the vagina itself, but rather the porous exterior tissues.

Aside from the physical benefits, the yoni steam can offer healing on the emotional and mental levels.

vmagic

What to look for when seeking out a yoni steam session?

Since the yoni is the seat of a woman’s soul, this should be regarded in sacred  and respectful approach it is important to work with a trained womb professional.

Seek treatment from a practitioner who has undergone a certification to understand the physical, emotional, mental and energetic components of a woman’s body ESPECIALLY HER WOMB!  This practitioner should have an womb certification and a background in herbal medicine.

I am proud to share that my education encompasses herbal science, nutrition and I have completed  both a certified womb training and continued education in this work.


How long do I steam for?

The herbal infusion is placed into a pot beneath a yoni seat. During the session, a woman will sit comfortable on the seat. She is dressed comfortably and wrapped in a blanket to keep the body temperature warm. The steam session will last anywhere from 20-45 minutes. This time is devoted to breathing, meditating, reading, journaling and connecting to one’s self.


What are the benefits that can be gained from a yoni steam?

  • Steams can support reducing the pain, bloating and body fatigue that is associated with menstruation.

  • Support reducing the stagnant blood flow that appears as brown or purple in the beginning or end of menstrual flow

  • Can support toning and healing the vaginal tissues after birth

  • Can enhance and increase fertility

  • Can reduce the symptoms of menopause including vaginal dryness and discomfort

  • Support natural detoxification processes in the body

  • Can offer anti-microbial properties to the body

  • Can support releasing stored emotions and trauma in the sacral chakra

  • Invites a new connection with the female body and recognizing the sacred place of creativity and flow

Benefits vary from woman to woman.  


What are contraindications of doing a steam?

  • Pregnancy

  • IUD present

  • Active Herpes outbreak

  • Severe Infection


Who can benefit?

Any woman from the onset on menses beyond wise woman years, outside of contraindications listed above.

What type of herbs are used? All the herbs used are food-grade, certified organic herbs.

**Disclaimer: The practice of yoni steaming is a sacred wellness practice that is offered with the intention for each woman to devote to divine self-care. This service is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Those seeking treatment for a specific disease should consult a qualified integrated physician, preferably a holistic physician, prior to participating in the service.**


What clients are saying:

Our wombs hold much wisdom & house our emotions, innocence, intuition & intelligence. Most of us have never been taught how to care for ourselves never mind our womb. In an age where more & more women take a pill to cease menstruation, Kate is on a mission to re-connect the feminine with her radiance once again. I recommend her services to women of all race, gender & age.
I recently had a Womb Wellness session with Kate and felt compelled to share my personal experience in the hopes that more women will utilize Kate’s offerings & empower themselves to let go & surrender to their beauty, grace & inner wisdom.
Kate is one of the most supportive, compassionate & intelligent women I have come to know, appreciate & respect. She soothingly guides you through a meditation as you receive the warmth & comfort of the steaming herbs, inviting you to dive deeper into yourself & gently unearth the shadows shading your light. Upon Kate’s exit, I was able to sip soothing raspberry tea & journal as my experience began to unfold.
Over the course of 48 hours post session with Kate, I continued to experience a powerful release of emotions & felt more comfortable surrendering to my own vulnerability which is often a challenge for me.
Thank you Kate for your light a beautiful experience!
— KH

Farmer’s Market Vitality Salad

Vanessa Siravo

farmersmarket

This fresh and vibrant salad sourced with mainly local ingredients is packed with color, nourishment and flavor. The greens offer a load of nutrients to add a glow to the skin and cleanse the blood. The carrots provide antioxidants to the body. Beets support natural detoxification through the liver. Avocado provide internal hydration for the skin and naturally lowers cholesterol levels in the body. Pumpkin seeds are a source of essential fatty acids and provide zinc to the body, which boosts immune function and help reduce stress levels in the body. Raw sauerkraut improves digestive health, protects heart health and helps eliminate inflammation in the body. 


Ingredients

  • 4 cups greens of choice such as arugula, kale, watercress
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 2 beets, peeled and cut into half-moon slivers
  • 1 avocado, peeled and cut into slices
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup raw sauerkraut

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, chopped (rosemary, sage, thyme)
  • Himalayan salt 
  • Fresh ground pepper

Preparation

Rinse greens and drain. Place greens in individual bowls. Add carrots and beets. Mix in avocado. Scatter pumpkin seeds over greens. Add sauerkraut. Drizzle dressing over salad just before serving. Enjoy!

Yoni Egg 101

katie strakosch

You might have caught wind of the buzz these beauties are receiving.

They’ve been around for centuries, but have gained popularity in recent years.

The Housewives of Atlanta, Tia and Tamara and even Elvis Duran on the Z100 Morning Show have recently spoken about them.

There are many, many whole body benefits to be gained from using these gemstones aside from what Hollywood is sharing.

Let’s spend a few minutes together here, and have a chat on Yoni Egg and Womb Wellness 101.

I invite you to fix a cup of tea and get comfy.

Here we go!

‘Yoni’ is a Sanskrit word for the womb and means ‘sacred space’. This is the center that supports creativity, flow, fluidity and love. A woman’s womb and yoni is her inner sanctum, a place to access her wisdom and her power.

Before you stop reading this because you find yourself saying ‘Honey, my womb was removed a long time ago’


Stop.

You will always have an energetic connection to all of your beautiful organs and this connection is just as powerful in developing a deeper connection with your yoni.

The pelvic floor is a large group of muscles that form a ‘basket’ or a diaphragm which supports all of our internal organs. It is said that life force/prana can leak through the pelvic floor and be lost if those muscles are weak.

This life force energy is essential for maintaining energy levels and longevity in the body.

Living our busy lives, we do not engage the pelvic floor muscles. This leads to loss of sensitivity and sensation in the vaginal area, reproductive health problems, urinary health interferences, PMS, disempowerment, decreased libido and a disconnection to our sacred feminine energy.

Studies show that the main culprit of reproductive dis-ease is lack of blood flow to this area of the body.

According to the Yale University School of Medicine, women overall have an up to 60% rate of incontinence and 50% rate of POP (pelvic organ prolapse) post-partum today. 


What are Yoni Eggs?

This practice to strengthen vaginal health emerged in ancient China.  They’ve been used for over 2000 years.

Yoni Eggs are also known as Jade Eggs, and can come as Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Jasper, Carnelian and many other stones..  

These stones are carved into an egg shape and polished to be worn inside the vagina


How are Yoni Eggs Beneficial?

  • Gain control of the perineum and all groups of pelvic floor muscles
  • Support Orgasmic Health: including vaginal, cervical and uterine orgasms
  • Reducing PMS, menstrual cramps, breast discomfort; as through regular practice it can increase blood flow to pelvic organs and help move stagnant energy.
  • Stimulates the ovaries in a gentle way balances hormone levels
  • Reduce menopausal symptoms and balancing estrogen levels
  • Regular practice stimulates the bartolin gland inside the vagina that is responsible for producing lubrication. One of the first effects women experience is feeling juicier, which can be helpful for menopausal women.
  • Overcome traumatic experiences of sexual abuse, as it can promote a sense of trust back in the body
  • Can help to release stored emotional and energetic imprints, as the vaginal tissue holds onto these psychological blockages
  • It can prevent incontinence
  • Develop and enhance a deeper and more loving relationship with one’s body
  • Awaken creative energy, passion and libido and sexuality

How to use Yoni Eggs?

Inside the vaginal canal there are reflexology points which connect to the heart, lungs, spleen, liver and kidney.

By using the Yoni Egg, these points are stimulated increasing their functions, which works in a similar way to acupuncture.

One you feel that you are ready to insert the egg, place it with the larger end next to the entrance of your vagina and start moving the egg in slow circles, slowing letting the egg go inside. 

**Always insert the egg by placing the larger end of it inside the inner labia.**

Once inserted, practice flexing and contracting the muscles.

Yoni eggs will only build muscles if you do the work!

Just like holding a free weight in your hands without moving it won’t necessarily build arm strength, the same principle stands for working your yoni muscles!

Work it, goddess!


Will the egg get stuck??

No! Don’t worry that the egg will get lost in your body. It cannot pass through the cervical walls!!

To give you peace of mind, opt for a ‘drilled’ egg. This means there are two tiny holes drilled on the bottom the egg. You can thread string through these holes, and then once inserted into the body, the strings remain outside the body. The string will enable you to control pulling the yoni egg out of your vaginal canal. This can be helpful to use when you are getting started with your yoni egg practice.


How Long to Use the Yoni Eggs?

Begin using the egg on a daily basis for just a few moments every day. This will acclimate your body to it, while building strength in vaginal muscles.


Here are some exercises to explore with your yoni egg:

All these exercises work best if you repeat each of them for a few minutes, and at least a few times a week.

Laying on the back:  Inhale & squeeze the yoni muscles as much as you can for a few seconds then exhale and relax completely

On the belly: Find yourself in locust pose and practice lifting one leg at a time as high as possible + inhale, then exhale bring the leg back down. Observe what’s happening inside. You are working on the sides of the vagina.

From cobra pose: find yourself inhaling and squeezing as you rise up, then exhale, relax and release.

Sitting:  Inhale & squeeze the yoni muscles as much as you can for a few seconds, then exhale and relax completely

Squeeze the yoni muscles 30-50 times in a row as fast as possible. **Very important to follow this with a phase of relaxation and rest**


Removing the egg

Lay down and relax, push out a little. Let your yoni muscles relax and the egg will come out.

If you have used string with your egg, then that’s the time to use it – gently pull the string and release egg from your body.

**Be mindful of your body’s needs – keep the egg in for as long as you are comfortable.  Practice keeping the egg in for just a few moments at a time when you begin to work with it.**

Create Sacred Space to work with your egg. Tuck yourself away from all distractions. Light a candle. Turn on soothing music. Tune into you!

Ready to order an egg? We have to tools you need!

Two Brains, One Body

Vanessa Siravo

Did you know that your gut serves as your second brain?

Research has shown that the body is actually composed of more bacteria than cells. Wow! These trillions of bacteria are called the microbiome. Most of those bacteria reside in our gut, sometimes referred to as the gut microbiota, and they play multiple roles in our overall health.

Our gut microbiota play a vital role in our physical and psychological health through its own neural network: the enteric nervous system (ENS), a complex system of about 100 million nerves found in the lining of the gut. The ENS is sometimes called the “second brain,” and it actually arises from the same tissues as our central nervous system (CNS) during fetal development.

Your gut produces more of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is known to have a positive influence on your mood, than your brain does. 90-95% of serotonin is released from the gut. Serotonin is the ‘happy, feel good’ hormone in our body.


How do you support both brains through food?

Boost your gut health, brain health, mood, immune function by incorporating fermented foods into your diet.

What are fermented foods?

Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This fermentation process preserves the food. It also creates beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and strains of probiotics.

Where do I find fermented foods?

Fermented Foods include sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kimchi, natto as well as kefir and fermented coconut water

Fermented foods have been explored throughout many cultures due to their health benefits.  Some of these cultures include:

  • During the Roman era, people consumed sauerkraut because of its taste and health benefits.
  • In ancient India, it was common to enjoy lassi, a pre-dinner yogurt drink. This traditional practice is anchored on the principle of using sour milk as a probiotic delivery system to the body.
  • Bulgarians are known for their high consumption of fermented milk and kefir, and for their high level of health.
  • Ukrainians consumed probiotics from a fermented food list that included raw yogurt, sauerkraut, and buttermilk.
  • Various Asian cultures ate pickled fermentations of cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash, and carrots, and consume these fermented treats until today. - sourced from Dr. Mercola

Why are fermented foods so beneficial?

They boost the body’s supply of Probiotics.  Eating and drinking fermented foods and drinks can:

  • introduce beneficial bacteria into your digestive system and
  • help the balance of happy bacteria in your digestive system
  • have been shown to improve and support bowel health
  • improves digestion
  • fights candida
  • improve immunity
  • support mood
  • eliminates allergies

Some of my favorite brands of fermented foods include:

  • Eden Organics
  • Bubbies
  • Hawthorne Valley Farms Sauerkraut and Kimchi
  • South River Miso Company
  • GT Kombucha
  • Kevita
  • Cheers to a healthy and happy gut!

How to Become Clear on Setting Intentions and Manifesting What You Truly Desire in Life

katie strakosch

intentions

As we flow from day to day, it is easy to get caught up in the daily grind. We wear many hats during the day, and we can lose sight of our deep desires and dreams as we stay focused on what is directly in front of us. 

Are you ready to discover the ways to create the life of your dreams? Now is the time! You deserve it! 

In order to start creating this new reality, it is important to become clear on what you want in life. How do you want to feel? What do you want to experience on a daily basis?

Begin by exploring a writing exercise with these questions. Let the answers flow with no judgement attached!

  • What do you dream of being, doing, and having more in your life?
  • Where do you feel stuck or burnt out lately?
  • Are you looking for new direction in your life? What is calling to you?
  • Do you long to start something new but aren’t sure what? 
  • What do you desire to experience with more satisfying relationships with others AND yourself.

Rose Cardamom Latte

katie strakosch

This combination is divine femininity in a mug. It's sensual and fragrant.

This drink is a great source of Vitamin C and antioxidants to support the immune system and maintain healthy skin. Rose petals support reducing inflammation in the body and promote cellular rejuvenation.

This tea invokes a sense of calm and sweet stillness with every sip.


Ingredients 

  • 8 oz coconut milk (you could also use almond, rice or regular)
  • 2 oz water
  • 1 tbsp rose tea 
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • optional sweetener such as local honey, to taste

Method

  1. Combine milk and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a simmer, then add tea. Please note, if you are using tea in a bag, cut it open and add the leaves directly so that the liquid can really absorb the flavor.
  3. Allow to simmer over low heat for about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 5-7 minutes. Strain. Pour in a mug and enjoy!

Cheers!

Time Change

katie strakosch

We’ve just turned back the clocks and continue on the journey towards the shortest day of the year next month…

How does your body adjust to this change?  

For many, this time of the year can be a challenge. We gain a bit of daylight in the morning, but then find the nights becoming longer and longer as well as the temperatures becoming colder and colder.. With this shift, our routines change a bit.

I’ve prepared a guide for you that will support your physical, mental and emotional health during this time of year.


How to Thrive while Adjusting to the Time Change

Secure a Solid Sleep Routine. 

Go to bed and rise at the same time every day. This will support your natural circadian rhythm.

Get as much natural light that you can during the day.  

Natural light boosts serotonin levels in the brain and can have a similar effect to antidepressants.  Start the day by spending a few moments outside in the early light.

Explore ‘Chromotherapy’.  

What’s this you may ask?  It’s a form of light therapy to adjust the body’s vibrations to frequencies that result in boosting health and harmony. Each color is related to different systems. Read more about chromotherapy on my blog here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/blog/chromotherapy-sauna-benefits-color-therapy-explained?rq=chromotherapy

Buy a light box..aka a ‘Happy Lamp’.  

I spent many years in Seattle,  and only wished I learned about them earlier during my time there. You can find them here: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_16?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=light+box+for+sad+therapy&sprefix=light+box+for+sa%2Caps%2C152&crid=PO765XMA98QQ&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Alight+box+for+sad+therapy

Love up your digestive system.

Your gut is your second brain and 90-95% of serotonin is released from the gut. Support a healthy and happy gut biome with naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchee, miso, kefir and fermented coconut water. These foods help keep the good bugs happy. In the market for a quality probiotic?  I am a fan of Garden of Life Raw Probiotics and Jarrow Formulas. You can find some great options here: http://www.pharmaca.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Probiotic%2C.

Don’t overdo it with caffeine and stimulants like sugar.

The body needs time to adjust and acclimate to this change without being overstimulated. Adaptogen herbs like Holy Basil and Cordyceps mushrooms like Reishi and Maitake helps soothe and support the adrenals. Host Defense is a great choice. Here are some great picks: http://www.pharmaca.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=mushrooms

Create a sleep sanctuary.

This means no electronics in the bedroom. Use a good ol’ battery operated alarm clock. Set the mood for a peaceful and restorative environment with candles and low lighting. Clear out the clutter. Your mind is busy enough. This room should be dedicated to simplicity and invoke a sense of peace.

How to Use a Neti Pot

katie strakosch

Tis the season when our immune systems need an extra boost. It is thought that our nasal passages filter 7-8 liters of the air you breathe each moment. That air supplies us our breath of life also brings with it debris, pollutants, and allergens that irritate the nasal passages and sinuses, and often lead to allergies and sinus infections.

Using a neti pot on a daily or weekly schedule can offer many benefits to the body. If you have any health concerns, please check with your practitioner before trying it.


Benefits of nasal washing and sinus irrigation:

  • Clears out sticky, thick mucus and helps reduce nasal congestion by thinning secretions
  • Allows the sinus cavities to drain freely so allergens, irritants, bacteria, viruses and contaminants can be eliminated
  • Helps prevent upper respiratory infections like the common cold
  • Relieves nasal dryness
  • Improves sense of smell
  • Improves sense of taste
  • Reduces coughing and other symptoms of post-nasal drip
  • May reduce snoring
  • May reduce nose bleeds
  • Encourages deeper, more relaxed breathing

Method

  1. Clean your neti pot before use. Thoroughly clean your neti pot with natural soap and hot water.
  2. Make a solution of saline and sanitized water. Mix a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of finely ground non-iodized salt in the neti pot with 8 ounces of warm distilled or filtered water until the salt is completely dissolved. Please make sure to test the temperature of the water before you use it! You don’t want it to be too hot as it can burn your nasal passages.
  3. Do not use untreated tap water! It is essential to use filtered or distilled water. Also, try to avoid normal table salt. The additives in it can irritate your nose. You can find packets of Neti Pot Salts by the Himalayan Institute.
  4. Get ready to rinse. Lean over the sink and turn your head to the side so that one ear is facing the sink. Keep your forehead at the same height as your chin. You will eventually turn your head slightly so the solution flows out of your opposite nostril.
  5. Breathe through your mouth. In order to close off your throat and mouth from the water rinse, breathe through your mouth.
  6. Insert the spout in the nostril facing away from the sink. Hold it close to your nose to prevent water from coming back out the spout. Raise the pot so the water flows into the upper nostril and out of the lower nostril. If it drains out of your mouth, lower your forehead. Use ½ of the pot per nostril.
  7. Repeat the rinse on the second side. Turn your head in the opposite direction and repeat the instructions. Use the other half of the solution to clear out the opposite nostril.
  8. Remove excess water. When you’ve drained the entire pot, lean your head over the sink and blow your nose gently to remove the excess water, so you can breathe easily again.
  9. Blow your nose while standing straight up. Remove the rest of the water and completely clear out your nose by blowing into tissues. Make sure not to close off either nostril while blowing.
  10. Clean your neti pot.
  11. Where to find a neti pot? Check your local health food stores as many carry them.

What to look for? Ceramic over plastic options as the plastic may leech into the water and into your nasal passages.

My favorite brand is Banyan Botanicals https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/nasal-rinse-cup-neti-pot/

Cheers to Radiant Health!