Tag Archives: Health

Acupuncture and Your Health

Asian woman receiving acupuncture treatment on her back

We all have our favorite ways to help improve our health or stress levels. Acupuncture has become a rather popular means of doing so in some circles thanks to its quick turnaround time and the appeal of a time-tested solution for various physical problems. This form of alternative medicine purports to be able to solve chronic pain, skin issues, and issues with internal organs through the proper placement of needles within the body. It sounds a bit silly when we put it like that, but that’s the truth of what most acupuncture is trying to do. Some modern practitioners have scaled back the claims of what acupuncture can do, but even these operate on the same principles as the more extravagant claims. Despite all of this, acupuncture remains wildly popular. Why? It would seem like there must be something to it. With that in mind, let’s take a close look at how acupuncture is supposed to work and the evidence of these claims.

The Claims
Acupuncture, simply put, traditionally claims to work through the manipulation of human life force. Needles are inserted at key points along the body’s flow of this life energy to help disrupt blockages, adjust the flow, and help improve the overall balance of energy within the body. The issues acupuncture seeks to address are credited as being responsible for almost every ill of the human body. These days there are some practitioners moving away from the idea of the practice being the manipulation of life force and opting instead to say that are stimulating nerve clusters or something similar in an attempt to update the terminology being used to more scientific seeming standards. Due to the widespread use of acupuncture, it has a great deal of proponents who claim its efficacy for almost everything. Pain management tends to be the most common thing people credit it as being good for and many people have tried acupuncture and had a positive experience. There’s more going on than you’d think from the surface though.

Facing Reality
The fact is that even the “updated for the 21st century” forms of acupuncture tend to use the exact same placement of needles as the one purporting to manipulate life force. Acupuncture is simply another form of ancient energy medicine that has no real scientific support. The mechanism that it claims to work by can’t be proven. As a practice, acupuncture has been tested time and time again without there being any true evidence of its efficacy. How do we explain everyone who has had a positive experience that seems to make it appear that acupuncture works? Interestingly enough, acupuncture is actually a surprisingly effective placebo treatment where the belief it will work ends up causing the brain to simulate it working a degree. The expectation of pain relief literally leads the body to feel less pain. This has actually been demonstrated through the use of “real” and fake acupuncture in clinical studies where everyone believed they were receiving real acupuncture and experienced similar overall results. That evidence alone would be damning, but there are countless more studies examining the claims in detail and finding nothing.

Woman receiving facial acupuncture treatment

What It All Means
When we take a closer look at acupuncture, we’re forced to conclude it is little more than a per-scientific form of treatment based on a less sophisticated knowledge of how the body works. All apparent benefits of it are well within the statistical range of the placebo effect as well. Like all forms of energy “medicine”, acupuncture cannot stand up to rigorous examination. It can’t even support the basic principles upon which it claims to work. This ends up meaning there is absolutely nothing to suggest it as an actual means of helping to manage any condition. The only exception to this is instances where an electrical current is passed through the needles, but that is a less safe form of an already existing medical treatment. The good news is that acupuncture isn’t that likely to hurt you as long as you recognize it is no substitute for actual medicine and the necessity to ensure that anyone providing acupuncture needs to use sterile needles.

Acupuncture is not a viable treatment for any health issue. It has no provable mechanism of action, no scientific backing, and the statistical analysis shows it to be as effective as taking sugar pills. That doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be relaxing for anyone who enjoys the sensation though. Just be aware of the evidence and indulge responsibly.

Your Foot Needs Support

Woman kicked off her shoes at home

Most of us learn fairly quickly that trying to look our best is an investment of time and energy. Skincare and makeup take a lot of effort to learn how to use properly no matter who you are and all of the little mistakes along the way can end up physically hurting in some cases. Trying to wear stylish outfits also tends to have mixed results as they aren’t always the most comfortable things. All of this brings to mind the old saying that “Beauty is pain”. The idea is to accept a certain level of discomfort as normal when trying to look one’s best, but some people end up taking it too far. They accept actual pain as a normal part of things. This is especially true when it comes to our feet. That’s not a very good idea given it isn’t just heels that tend to cause problems: our beloved flats do too. Your feet need proper support and without it, they start to suffer.

Straining Pains
Much of the potential pain that comes from flats is connected to their lack of support. Feet need a degree of support in many cases so that movement in shoes helps maintain the foot’s natural shape. Causing the foot to lose this natural shape and thereby reduce the overall ability of the foot to maintain proper distribution of weight causes damage. One of the most painful ways in which this can happen is plantar fasciitis. In essence, this condition is caused by the lack of support leading there to be excess tension along a major ligament at the bottom of the foot. This tension can end up stretching and tearing the ligament and causing major pain. This pain is typically center around the heel but can be distributed throughout the foot as well. None of this is good for the health of your feet or your stress levels. To make matters worse, this isn’t even the only way in which flats can end up causing you pain.

Bunched Together
We tend not to think about our toes much if they’re not going to be out and exposed to the world. That’s unfortunate given our toes are a major part of adequately distributing the weight in our feet. Their natural spread helps to ensure adequate distribution along the bones of the feet so that no one bone takes the strain more than the others. Unfortunately, a lot of us have gotten in the habit of accepting shoes that bunch our toes together at the front of the shoe. This isn’t healthy and flats tend to be a major offender. Without that distribution, the weight of your body begins to damage your feet in various ways. The most common result is a degree of nerve inflammation in the foot as the nerves take damage. This can eventually turn into pain or other issues if it goes unaddressed. So, if you must wear flats, remember to ensure that your toes are comfortable in them to avoid causing this problem.

woman wearing ballet flats at home among other shoes

Echoing Pain
Weight distribution issues might not seem like that big of a deal for many of us. After all, we’d like to think that being at a healthy weight might mean we’re immune to such issue. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. A healthy weight decreases the rate at which these problems manifest, but it doesn’t protect us from them in their entirety. Over the long term, wearing flats too much can lead to pain spreading from your feet to your knees, hip, and back as other load bearing portions of your body end up needing to distribute more weight on themselves. The pain from this sort of thing ends up being long term too because it is a manifestation of damage having been done to your body over time and reducing your body’s ability to keep itself intact. Your feet need to be allowed to be in their proper shape and supported to keep your body healthy.

We need to stress here that, despite all we’ve highlighted above, you can still wear flats. You just shouldn’t wear flats exclusively. Flats are good for a short outing where you won’t be out for more than a few hours. You can look stylish and then take them off later and relax. We should all be wearing support shoes the majority of the time we’re wearing shoes though. This will help minimize potential problems and support long term health.

Try These Quick Mood Boosters

Smiling woman with hat among field of sunflowers

Trying to maintain your mood throughout the day can be more difficult than you might think. Random things throughout the day all have the chance of getting to us even if we’d like to think we’re better at handling them than we are. It might be when something happens, what it reminds us of, or something entirely beyond of perception that causes our mood to fall, but we have to deal with it regardless of the root cause. That makes it useful to know some of the quick things you can do to help boost your mood when you suddenly find it beginning to fail on you. The good news is that there are plenty of small things you can do to get your mood back under control. Let’s take a quick look at some the most useful ones that most of us can use the next time we start to feel a bit down so that we can maintain control of our lives and our moods.

Get Some Sun
The simplest and most fundamental way to improve your mood is actually to just exposure yourself to a little sunlight. This doesn’t necessarily mean going out and sitting in the sun though. Simply seeing sunlight and being in the same room as it tends to positively affect our moods. It triggers particular reactions within the body that act as a boost. This makes it an incredibly easy way to counteract a slight drop in your mood. A little time in a warm, sunlight room will start warming your dampened spirits. This can actually help a lot for anyone who is more profoundly affected by a lack of natural light such as people with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Most of us will just get a small, but noticeable boost that can help get us center ourselves. There are other options available beyond sunlight for anyone who wants to add more boosts on top of this one.

Exercise A Little
Another good option is literally to just get out there and exercise a little. A brisk walk for half an hour to forty-five minutes can end up having a distinctly positive benefit on your mood. This is because physical activity that meets a certain threshold actually starts to trigger the release of compounds in the brain that stimulate the areas associated with reward and pleasure in the brain. You naturally start to feel a little bit better after that. There’s also the fact that certain kinds of physical activity can provide an even more pronounced benefit. Runners in particular have an experience known as a “Runner’s high” when they hit the point where they’ve pushed their body far enough and begin to feel wonderful. You don’t necessarily have to push yourself that far to get a small boost though. A short burst of exercise should be enough for most of us to battle everyday dips in our mood.

Woman treating herself to dessert in a cafe

Treat Yourself
When in doubt, nothing says you can’t indulge a little when you start to feel bad. Most of us get a quick boost to our mood by getting something we enjoy. How this is defined is going to vary though. Some of us might prefer to get a sweet treat to enjoy while others might promise a particular bit of music they want to themselves later. The key here is simply getting something small that you will enjoy. It gives your brain a little boost of happiness that can alter the course of a downturn in mood. You don’t even necessarily have to buy anything either. Studies have shown doing something as simple as adding things to a wishlist on a website can actually give you a similar boost to actually getting the item due to how the brain works. All you need to do is allow yourself to get or take a step towards getting something for that little boost to keep your day going well.

It isn’t unusual to feel or mood and motivation flagging at times during the day. Physical and mental energy are being depleted all the time that we’re doing things and it can end up making us have less of what we need to keep getting through our day. Taking the time to use a quick mood booster or two can keep us moving steadily towards the end of our day though. In the end, that will help us to stay all the healthier and have a more satisfying life.

Take Precautions Against Tinea Pedis

Woman listening to music with her feet propped up

Exercise is one of those things that we cannot genuinely go without. The human body evolved under circumstances that required fairly consistent movement to find the necessary foods to survive. It helped to shape everything from the tastes we value to the rate at which our metabolisms work on average. Despite our cultural and technological advancements, our bodies are still quite solidly back in the hunter-gatherer era and expect a certain level of movement. Our bodies suffer if we don’t get it. Overcoming the initial hurdles to exercise such as the difficulty in starting and maintaining motivation can be difficult, but once you do it the rewards tend to help you keep going. Admittedly, it does start creating circumstances where tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, will affect us. Taking precautions against that can ensure we get our exercise without dealing with an uncomfortable condition.

Socks Are Your Friends
One of the easiest ways you can minimize your chances of athlete’s foot is simply to wear socks. These seemingly easy to overlook articles of clothing provide a barrier between your skin and contact with various kind of bacteria that can end up leading to athlete’s foot. Wearing socks most of the time will provide you with two kinds of protection. The one we’ve already covered helps by ensuring you don’t accidentally pick up bacteria from the floor of your home or another interior area where you’re walking around without shoes. Additionally, socks offer a good way to draw moisture away from your feet. Keeping your feet from being habitually moist helps to stop them from providing an environment that supports the growth of the bacteria responsible for athlete’s foot. As a result, socks are a wonderful way to protect your feet. The reasons for this all point to another good habit to cultivate to help you avoid experiencing athlete’s foot.

Woman drying feet after a bath

Dry Your Feet
Damp feet are a major risk factor for athlete’s foot. As we highlighted above, it relates back to the fact that a damp environment helps support bacteria growth. Most of the time we’re not going to have terribly damp feet as long as we’re wearing socks, but certain circumstances do create that situation. The most common one is getting out of the shower or bath. Not only are our feet damp, but the room tends to be damp as well and a lot of the time we’re going to be barefoot. This makes the bathroom a very clear place one can pick up athlete’s foot. Another one is a pool and the changing rooms or bathrooms. The entire area is once again damp and promotes bacteria growth. Pools tend to be a bit more egregious about this than bathrooms though given how many people will be walking around. Try to remember to fully dry your feet when getting out of the shower or pool for this very reason. It will support the health of your feet.

Wear Shoes That Breathe
In continuing with the theme of avoiding damp feet, make sure that you wear shoes that permit at least some airflow over your feet. Air flow is important as it helps to further reduce the chance that your feet will be damp. Drier feet are less likely to be a problem. Additionally, this simply makes shoes more comfortable overall. It is worth noting that sandals and similar shoes are even better thanks to the greater level of air flow. The fact that they are also exposed to the sun doesn’t hurt either. We do need to stress that most of these benefits do hinge on you wearing socks in addition to the shoes. Remember that the interior of your shoes can end up damp or pick up bacteria too. Even the surfaces of sandals can end up being a problem quite easily. Without clean socks, your feet are potentially exposed and you will have to deal with the consequences.

Athlete’s foot is a very common worry and yet typically shouldn’t be a big issue in clean environments. If you regularly clean your bathroom, you probably won’t pick it up there. The biggest worry is typically just avoiding your feet being damp for too long. Even if you do get athlete’s foot, it isn’t that hard to treat. It is always worth taking precautions to avoid a simple problem though. You’ll be all the happier for the effort and your life will be far less disrupted.

Total Body Anti-Aging Solutions

Smiling middle aged woman at home

The signs of aging are varied and difficult to keep under control unless you know what you’re looking for and what to do. Most of the time we tend to be fairly focused on the face when it comes to preventing the signs of aging. It makes perfect sense given how prominent of a place our faces have, but there are other areas of the body that can be equally revealing if we’re not careful. Proper anti-aging skincare involves being aware of your entire body. It isn’t that hard to pick out what area is going to need the most attention on your body if you know what increases their chances of being a problem later. We’re going to review the most common problem areas and quick way to help counteract the effects of time. There is no fully stopping the signs of aging, but appropriate attention and awareness can ensure you age gracefully.

The Face
While this is the most obvious area for attention, we can’t skip it without ignoring part of the body. Most of us are well-acquainted with many issues that beset the face as we age. Wrinkles, dull skin, oiliness, and sagginess are all major issues that we hope to avoid for as long as possible. Some of the core problems come from damage done to the skin over time through sun exposure. As a result, you want to counteract it by nourishing your skin with products rich in vitamins A, C, and E. These will support your skin’s overall healing processes as well as providing the materials necessary to fuel it. Anti-aging products rich in antioxidants are particularly encouraged as they help to minimize the long term damage of sun exposure. Remember to pay special attention to protecting the area around your eyes due to the over thinness of the skin meaning that area will begin to wrinkle first.

Neck
The problem with the attention we place on the face is the fact that it tends to need to the neglect of the neck and the decolletage. This area tends to suffer just as much, if not more, from overall exposure to the sun and elements as the face. Care for the area isn’t even that hard. All you really need to do is continue your facial skincare routine down along your neck. This is needed because the skin of the neck is as thin or thinner than the skin of the face in some areas. Without the attention and care, your neck will begin to sag and show lines faster than your face. This betrayal of your apparent age will undermine the rest of your efforts. Don’t forget to moisturize and exfoliate the decolletage regularly. This area can benefit from nourishing skincare too, but basic skincare can be enough if you make sure to tend to it regularly.

Woman hands putting lotion

Hands
We almost never actually think about the health of our hands unless they are feeling uncomfortable. It is another unfortunate truth about skincare because the hands truly need care and attention to stay healthy. They are almost never covered, we don’t think to apply sunscreen to them, and constant motion means the skin is continually stretched and folded as we go about our daily routines. All of this is a recipe for a long term lack of health for the skin. The best way to counteract this is to remember to regularly moisturize your hands. Keep a hand cream available to use when the skin of your hands feels taut instead of ignoring the feeling. Try to find moisturizers that nourish your hands as well. This will help give them an extra boost. Lastly, don’t forget to treat them like the rest of your skin. Apply sunscreen to them front and back.

These three areas represent the parts of our skin that tend to suffer the most as we age. Exposure, movement, and a lack of attention to detail can lead us into a situation where our skin ends up prematurely aging. Remembering that and taking steps to counteract it with a good card will go a long way towards ensuring you’re able to look your best for years to come.

Know The Dangers Associated With Sleep Apnea

Woman sleeping on white bed

Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty breathing during sleep, is a surprisingly common disorder that many people don’t know that they have. It is technically defined as pauses in breathing when sleeping or periods of excessively shallow breathing during sleep and by this definition doesn’t necessarily seem like the most dangerous thing in the world. A brief pause, after all, is only a pause. We all know that breathing is automatic and trying to hold our breaths results in it only being a matter of time before our bodies are forced to breathe. The truth is that sleep apnea can actually be a good deal more dangerous than it seems on the surface. Sleep apnea can both directly cause or be a sign of particular issues with the body that needs to be addressed to ensure one’s continued health. While loud snoring, a common symptom, is certainly going to be troublesome to any partner you’re sleeping with, we’re going to focus on the dangers the condition represents specifically to the person with sleep apnea to keep thing simple.

Excessive Fatigue
Perhaps one of the most obvious dangers of sleep apnea is that the brief pauses in breathing end up regularly disturbing sleep. It may not wake the person with the condition fully, but it will wake them enough to disturb their sleep cycle. These continual interruptions to sleep tend to result in one only get rest in fits and bursts. A pattern of disturbed sleep like this results in a lack of proper rest that in turn translates to a distinct level of fatigue all day long even after what one might think was a full night’s rest. The dangers of excessive fatigue during the day can’t be overstated. Most of us spend at least some of the day driving and even a brief lapse in attention during a drive can result in disaster. Fatigue degrades our ability to work at our full capacity as well. Affecting our performance in this way can have negative consequences at work. Lastly, our ability to actually interact with others will be reduced as we become irritable and our physical health declines.

Weight and Other Issues
Interestingly enough, sleep apnea can actually trigger the release of particular hormones in the body that make you crave higher calorie foods. Sugary foods and other carbohydrate rich options become more attractive and it can be easy to put on weight before we realize what is happening. In turn, this extra weight can actually make sleep apnea more intense as fat in particular areas begins to make it yet harder to breathe. This vicious cycle doesn’t help anyone. It may also increase one’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes if one isn’t careful. Trying to control your weight through exercise is also more difficult thanks to the excessive fatigue we’ve already discussed. It doesn’t help that your body will also already be under stress from that lack of sleep. Overall, sleep apnea ends up creating a situation where our bodies begin to decay out from under us due to fatigue and motivating poor lifestyle choices without us noticing.

Pensive woman sitting on bed

Heart Disease
As we’ve highlighted above, sleep apnea puts a strain on your entire body. That strain doesn’t evaporate as long as the condition goes unmanaged. Your body pays for it more and more with time. For instance, constant stress creates a situation where your chances for high blood pressure begin to go up. Your body will be doing all it can to solve a situation it doesn’t know how to and works harder and harder at it each night. Your heart and circulatory systems have to struggle every time you stop breathing and that struggle will eventually amount to more than high blood pressure. Heart arrhythmia isn’t unheard of in people with sleep apnea and that only increases the chances of experiencing a heart attack as time goes on. The higher blood pressure won’t help with one’s chances either. Sleep apnea is not a harmless condition. The potentially lethal consequences of leaving moderate to severe cases untreated for too long are all too real.

These are some of the major consequences of sleep apnea. There are others still that will work against anyone with sleep apnea having a healthy and enjoyable life. It takes our rest and then it works on our bodies and minds. If your partner or a friend who shares space with you tells you that you’ve been snoring loudly and you notice excessive fatigue, that may be worth discussing with your doctor to ensure you’re not one of the many people suffering from sleep apnea.

Improve Your Internal Constitution For Better Skin

Smiling woman eating salad at home

Skincare often becomes easily obsessed with the surface of our skin. It is easy to understand how this happens. The surface is all we can really see, touch, and feel. That’s how we get feedback on how things are going deeper in our skin and within our bodies. This does lead to an unfortunate situation where we forget that what is going on inside is just as important as what we’re doing for our skin on the outside. All of our topical products can only do so much if we’re dragging our body down in other ways. In this way, our internal health is directly related to the health of our skin. There are certain things we can all do that will help improve our health internally and in turn improve our skin. They’re worth considering if you truly want to make the most of your skincare and health as they’ll help your skin be more resilient and ensure you age that much more gracefully over time.

Watch Your Diet
This may seem like a given, but it needs to be highlighted given so many of us tend to take shortcuts when it comes to our diet. A healthy diet is good for all of you. Your body needs you to eat a balanced diet so that it has all the materials necessary to keep itself functioning and healthy. We often forget this and end up thinking about eating as simply a matter of not being hungry. Eating a healthy diet is easier than you might think, but it does take some lifestyle adjustments. The human body is best support with a diet heavy in fruits and vegetables with meats playing a supporting role in our diets. That will generally get us the nutrients we need without it involving too many excess calories like a meat heavy diet. Changing one’s diet can be a difficult process though. Consider talking to your doctor for help in adopting a healthier diet and working towards an overall better lifestyle.

Exercise
A good diet is a beginning point to improving your internal health. It provides the materials your body needs, but you can take measures to improve distribution of those materials. Regularly exercising goes a long way towards helping to maintain better overall circulation throughout your body. This is particularly important to your skin as it often has lower priority than other organs of your body. Improving your overall circulation through exercise will ensure your skin, like the rest of your organs, gets its fair share of the nutrients that you’re eating. Improved blood flow is also associated with improving your skin’s ability to repair itself. All of this contributes to improve your overall internal health as well. Your body will be more resilient in the face of various kinds of damage and better able to handle whatever the world throws at it just like your skin. Diet and exercise are incredibly useful for improving your internal health and thereby your skin quality, but you do have another important thing you can do too.

Happy woman exercising at home

Corrections
Improvements to internal health take many forms. There are active things we can do like the ones we’ve discussed and then there are the passive ones that involve making sure we’re not doing something. Giving up some of our bad habits tends to go a long way to improving both internal health and skin quality. Drinking more than one should is one of the big culprits here. Remember that alcohol is technically a poison and every drink has to be processed and filtered out of your body. One to two drinks a day is the maximum for adults looking to keep their health and what counts as a glass will vary depending on your choice of drink. Another major culprit is smoking. The particular combination of chemical introduced through smoking hurts your internal health and can end up directly damaging your skin. Giving up the habit is necessary if you want to ensure you have the best skin possible. This doesn’t mean smoking less, but truly giving it up and staying away from the habit so your body can repair the damage. It may be hard, but your health will improve.

Your internal health and the health of your skin are intimately connected. Working your way towards the best skin possible requires making sure that you’re taking care of it both from the outside and the inside. Remembering this will help ensure your body has all it needs to take proper care of itself and ensure your overall health and appearance are more to your liking. Making the adjustments to care for things like this will take effort, but it will repay itself in time.

The Lowdown on Collagen

Smiling woman sitting on the floor

We spend a lot of time focusing on the effects various products have on collagen in the body. There’s a good reason for why collagen is such a fixation in skincare. It is one of the fundamental components of your skin. Without it, your skin begins to suffer and is unable to take care of itself properly. That pretty much explains why we tend to be so fixated on what it can do for your skin and how to make the most of it. Not everyone has even basic knowledge of what it is, what it does, and how to help maintain it though. That’s unfortunate when you’re devoted to taking good care of your skin as it always serves you best to understand at least some of how your skin works to ensure its overall help. That’s why we’ve got a quick primer for anyone who isn’t aware of this vital element of the body. By the end, you should have a clearer understanding and appreciation of collagen and its role in your skin.

What Is It?
Simply put, collagen is one of the primary structural proteins in your body. It helps to fill out a lot of tissue within your body. Varying types are used all around it ranging from it providing a core component to the organic parts of your body to supportive fibers in your muscles. The type used in your skin is best viewed as a kind of firming filler. It helps to hold up your skin and maintain its overall shape. Your skin can return to its usual shape after being pulled or pushed thanks to a combination of the proteins collagen and elastin. Collagen tends to take damage constantly though. This happens every time your skin moves and creates a fold. Repeated folding causes deep damage to the collagen that becomes harder to repair and that’s how we form fine line and wrinkles. As a result, keeping your collagen healthy is a crucial part of ensuring your skin’s health. You can do this by cultivating good habits and knowing what products to favor.

Habits To Avoid
Things that are bad for your body end up almost necessarily bad for your collagen. Excess drinking is a particular one that can end up leading to sagging skin through damaged collagen. Smoking is even worst for your skin as it will do the same thing through the introduction of chemicals and the introduction of free radicals into your body. These free radicals tend to bounce around in your body and damage cells as they go. Your body can repair the damage, but the constant movement of free radicals tends to reduce the effectiveness of all repairs your body tries to make. As a result, it is best to avoid such a habit. Similarly, you’ll want to protect your skin properly from the sun. Sun damage also gets to the collagen in your skin as well as introducing free radicals. Remembering to protect your skin and avoid tanning will help keep your collagen intact. Keeping these habits will help your product choices be more effective too.

Supporting Your Skin
The right products make all the difference when it comes to maintaining collagen. One of your best options is looking for anti-aging products. These tend to be rich in antioxidants which will help neutralize the free radicals bouncing around in your skin. This will help your skin be overall happier and healthier. Additionally, those same products tend to have high concentrations of vitamins A, C, and E. Those three vitamins represent some of the best support you can give your skin. Vitamin A helps to boost cell turnover rate in your skin and thereby makes it easier for your body to repair the damage. Vitamin C offers various components that help to actually fuel the production of collagen in your skin and the process of healing damaged areas. Vitamin E offers the same benefit as vitamin C and thereby increases the overall effect of a product. Focusing on products that utilize such ingredients goes a long way towards keeping the collagen in your skin healthy.

Collagen, as a vital protein in your skin, should be respected. You need it to keep your skin looking and feeling youthful. It provides the firmness that keeps your skin filled out and smooth. When it starts failing, everyone notices and all you can do is try to make up the difference. It isn’t that hard as long as you maintain healthy habits and use the right products. Hopefully, you have a better understanding and respect for collagen now as you’ll be benefiting from its presence whether you do or not.

The Path To A Holistic Lifestyle

Happy woman with outstretched arms

Most of us want to lead complete, full lives that speak to every part of us as a person. After all, no one wants to look back later in life and be overwhelmed by regrets. Part of learning how to lead a full life involves starting the path towards a holistic lifestyle that speaks to and supports all of you. This means learning to cater to your mind, body, and spirit in your life. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a manual to help with this sort of lifestyle. We all have to piece together what supporting those aspects of ourselves means in our own lives. There are some semi-universal options that we can try on the path to leading a holistic lifestyle though. These offer ideas on how to properly support ourselves during our lives without allowing the world to entirely overtake us. Let’s do a quick review of some of the best ways to support the three major pillars of all our lives. With a little luck, we’ll all have a good idea of where to begin on our own path by the time we’re done.

Mind
Nurturing our minds isn’t always the easiest thing in the modern era. We’re constantly busy and moving from one project to the next as we make our ways in the world. It doesn’t leave much time for self-improvement or catering to our individual needs. Learning how to care for our minds means making the time for ourselves and our hobbies though. Engage and indulge in the things that make your mind race and think of the possibilities. Work to expand your horizons by teaching yourself new skills, hobbies, and improving your ability to intelligently engage with the wider world. Building your mind up has countless benefits that help to ensure you remain actively engaged with the things that matter in your life instead of passively accepting that things are going to go one particular way and not daring to stray out of a narrowly defined window of what the world finds acceptable to think about. This will help set you on a path to ensuring you are and remain aware of the needs of your mind.

Smiling woman doing yoga in park

Body
A holistic lifestyle that remembers the body focuses on physical health and wellness through multiple avenues. The most obvious of these are beginning to regularly maintain an exercise routine. This is often harder than we’d like to think due to the difficulty in maintaining motivation to do something that regularly taxes or body and can result in soreness. It is entirely understandable that so many of us end up giving up on an exercise routine. All it takes is briskly walking for half an hour to an hour and a half three to four times a week though. Try to get a friend to engage in the same form of exercise and you’ll both be able to maintain motivation longer. Exercise is a good start, but you’ll also want to look into ensuring you’re eating a good diet. Balanced diets are heavy in fruits and vegetables while being light on meat. Working out a good diet with your doctor will help further your goals of living a holistic lifestyle and help you be happier and healthier for longer.

Friends getting together in a cafe

Spirit
This often seems to be the most ephemeral of the pillars we have to support for a holistic lifestyle, but in many ways, it is the most human. Life wears on us all and the constant demands of it all have a way of isolating us and robbing us of the connections to others that matter. Working to support our spirit involves making sure we connect with the people important to us and do it regularly. Renewing ties of friendship and family speaks to the deeper parts of ourselves and allows us to feel more whole than we otherwise would. Additionally, engaging in mindfulness exercises is another good option as well. Meditation and mindfulness help us increase our awareness of the things that speak to us in our lives and help us value what we have. This expands our gratefulness and allows us to more fully embrace all aspects of our lives. Embracing others and the totality of our lives will, in turn, support our spirit and help us keep feeling like our best selves.

Living a holistic lifestyle that supports all three pillars of ourselves can sometimes be a difficult thing. It is possible to support mind, body, and spirit in equal measure though. Making the effort to do it pays off by ensuring that our lives retain meaning and quality throughout the entire duration of our lives. The path to a holistic lifestyle may be long, but to many people, there are few things as personally rewarding.

Sleep Your Way to Great Skin

Woman sleeping

Sleep is one of those things that most of us don’t pause and think about how vital it is to our health. We get used to “cheating” when it comes to making sure we get enough sleep. Sure, we do our best to make sure that we get a full night’s sleep, but coffee, tea, and other sources of a wake-up jolt of caffeine are all waiting for if things don’t go exactly right. A strange, modern sort of fear of being disconnected also means we tend to work against ourselves when it comes to getting enough sleep. This just won’t do. It hurts our body and mind in a lot of little ways that we might not notice at first, but there are eventually signs enough that make it clear that we need to get some sleep. Making the effort to get a healthy amount of sleep is actually one of the ways we can all work towards having great skin. Admittedly, that effort can be a little harder than we might like.

Sleep and Great Skin
The connection between your skin and getting enough sleep is surprisingly simple despite them not seeming immediately connected. We keep moving all day long as we burn energy to get through our days and cause wear and tear on our entire body. Our skin quietly takes a lot of unspoken damage in this period of time. When we finally lay down to get some sleep, our bodies get the chance to actually try to heal all of that damage. Yes, they patch things up some during the day, but the truly intensive healing happens at night. That’s because we’re no longer moving and actively damaging our bodies. It allows all that energy we’d otherwise be using to go directly towards repairs. This is necessary for your skin to look its best as it needs to have the time and energy to get your skin’s natural repair functions to do their jobs. Giving it that time allows your skin to look healthier, firmer, and all the more youthful. Getting all the necessary sleep may be difficult, but there are techniques you can use to make it more likely.

Hacking Your Brain
Getting enough sleep can be a frustrating affair. It always seems like something conspires to wake us up or makes it hard to sleep. The latter one can be worked against by training your brain to behave more naturally. This involves giving it definable patterns of rest that allow it to know when it is time to sleep without making it harder on ourselves. A good way to approach this is just to go to sleep at the same time every day. Your body will recognize there is a pattern to when you wake and sleep. This, in turn, becomes gradually ingrained in your mind until it becomes second-nature. Sticking to the pattern will make it far easier to rest. Additionally, you can rely on your brain’s sophisticated internal clock to help you sleep too. It knows when light levels begin to get low that rest needs to happen soon. Swapping to dimmer lights at night will help give your brain the signal to calm down and prepare to sleep even if you’ve had a hectic day. Both of these are effective ways to “hack” your brain’s systems to help you sleep a little easier. There are some more direct approaches though.

Woman reading on bed

Avoiding Bad Habits
Most of us are attached to our personal bits of technology in ways we wouldn’t have fathomed a couple of decades ago. Technology has become so common and convenient that it is hard to imagine our lives without it. We do need to make the effort to disengage occasionally if we want to get enough sleep though. Technically, we should try to disengage from any pieces of technology with an LCD or similar screen a couple of hours before bed to avoid sleep disturbance thanks to the “blue light” the tech emits. Additionally, it is best to turn off all our alerts and alarms on our smartphones, desktops, and other bits of technology. These can startle us back into waking at unwelcome times or otherwise wake us up randomly and make it harder to get a full night’s rest. It takes some adjustment to make these habits for our evenings, but they will help most of us sleep far easier. Trying to read a book in the two hours before bed is believed to help people relax as well and a good way to have an engaging form of entertainment without it being something that makes it hard to sleep.

Working to create an environment suitable for sleep is actually a piece of the skincare puzzle. A good night’s sleep helps your skin have the resources it needs to keep our skin healthy each day and slow the signs of aging. We have to be willing to put in the effort to actually have a good night’s sleep though. Without it, many of us will keep struggling to get enough sleep and that struggle will show on our skin.