Year of the Dog - What Does it Mean?

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Friday, February 16th, 2018 marked the Chinese New Year. This it the largest celebration of the whole year in China, where people crowd the street wishing one another good luck, health and prosperity for the year ahead. 

This year marks the Year of the Dog on the Chinese Zodiac calendar. The Chinese Zodiac calendar moves in a 12-year cycle, meaning those born in 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 and 2018 are all considered Dogs. According to Asian astrology, the year you are born and the animal that year represents, says a lot about your personality.

Those born in the year of the dog are known for their loyalty, sincerity and honesty. They tend to do anything for the person they think is most important and are always willing to help others before taking care of their own interests. With their needs met, a quiet life and a good family, the Dogs can easily forget about the any bad or evil in the world.

Dogs are attentive and great listeners. They give great advice and are compassionate by nature. The dogs are the people you turn to when you need a good shoulder to cry on. They tend to be happy people who enjoy good health and a good disposition. Most dogs are not motivated by power or money, therefore they often feel less stress and tension around their professional lives.

It is believed that the year of the respective animal doesn't necessarily bring good luck to that animal during that year. In fact, it is thought to be more of an unlucky year. However, due to the good nature of the dogs, they tend to fare much better than other animals.

Check out the Chinese Zodiac Chart below to find your zodiac animal:

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How to Cultivate {more} Self-Love

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Today is Valentine's Day. Traditionally our focus is on showering those we love with love. While this is beautiful, more often than not we are better at loving others than we are at loving ourselves. Many of us are much more comfortable expressing love to others than we are expressing love to ourselves. But, the truth is - all love starts with self-love. Self-love is the prerequisite to receiving and giving the abundant flow of love around us.

The term self-love is popping up everywhere and is creating quite a buzz in the world of health and wellness. As a culture, we are beginning to recognize the value in loving ourselves and prioritizing our self-care. We have come to learn that without the practice of self-love, we cannot truly feel compassion and love for others. But, how do we cultivate self-love?

Self-love is both an act and an attitude. It takes practice and patience and builds out of our thoughts and actions. The most important thing to remember about your self-love practice is that it is just that - a practice. Some days it may feel easier than others, but eventually, it will start to flow through you.

1. Become Aware Of Your Self Talk

Once you truly start to pay attention and become aware of your self-talk, it may come to surprise you how negative and critical you can be of yourself. You may catch yourself saying things like, 'you're so stupid, why did you do that?'. The problem is, you actually start to believe these things that you may (mindlessly) be saying to yourself. Tune in to your self-talk and when you catch yourself using negative language towards yourself, make the immediate adjustment to something like, 'well, that was a learning experience'.

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2. Ease Up On The Self-Criticism

I recently had to shoot a video for Ebb & Flow Cape Cod (you may have seen it). It was SO easy to watch it back and rip myself apart. If I'm being honest, things went through my head like 'my face looks bloated', 'do I really talk with a lisp?', 'I need to make a little more effort with my appearance'. It was so easy to step into a place of self-criticism and a wonderful opportunity for me to practice my self-love. Instead I tried to say things to myself like, 'this isn't easy for you, but you did a great job!' 'You have so much passion for what you're doing - look what you've helped create'.

When you notice the self-criticism starting to flow, take a breath and shift your mindset. There are always simple ways to appreciate yourself. For example - 'I look so old with this gray hair' can become, 'I'm so lucky I have my hair. I know so many people who have lost their hair due to stress of illness.' Try it.

3. Set Boundaries

An important part of respecting and honoring yourself is the ability to say no. As someone who is a natural people pleaser, this one has required some work over the years. One of the best ways to set your boundaries is to know your limits. The ability to know your limits develops over time (and after one too many burnouts) and is constantly shifting. Check in with yourself before making commitments. 'Is that something that will make me happy?' Once you've established your limitations, make sure they are clear to yourself and others. Open, honest communication about your expectations and limitations keeps everyone on the same page and helps eliminate resentment.

4. Practice (simple) Self-Care Techniques

The act of loving and caring for yourself can be quite simple - but recognizing and appreciating even the tiniest acts of self-care can go a long way for our self-esteem and self-love. Some simple self-care examples; lotioning your body after the shower, making a nourishing meal for yourself, taking yourself outside to breathe some fresh air. The truth is, we are all practicing enormous amounts of self-care throughout each day. Recognize those acts. Celebrate even the smallest ones and remind yourself how much you're doing for yourself - always.

5. Follow Your Joy

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One of the most profound ways to practice self-love is to live intentionally and follow your joy. Practice making decisions and choose directions that best support YOU. What fills YOU up? What gives you a sense of purpose? What brings you joy? When you are in line with your hearts desire and following your true purpose, you are practicing the ultimate act of self-love.

 

 

 

Beth Madden Warner, is the founder of Therapeutic Bodywork, a fully integrative Wellness Center in Cotuit offering Reflexology, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & Organic Skin Care.

Having experienced the benefits of integrative medicine her whole life, Beth understands the importance of a holistic and comprehensive perspective in terms of treating the body.

She is the co-editor of Ebb & Flow Cape Cod - a magazine focused on Health, Wellness & Sustainability on the Cape. Beth is passionate about educating others about the importance of integrative therapies and empowering people to take control of their own health.

 

Winter Skin Care Essentials

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Winter can wreak havoc on our skin. Between the cold, harsh temps and the dry, indoor heat - delicate winter skin can take a beating. The result can be lackluster, dull skin, rosacea, and dry, itchy skin. But, there are ways to maintain your healthy glow even through these winter months.

 

1. Use a Humidifier

Heating systems dry out the air, zapping moisture from your skin. A simple solution to add moisture back into the air is to add a Humidifier to your bedroom. Your winter skin will thank you!

2. Hydrate

We tend to drink a lot less in the winter when temps are much cooler. However, hydration is essential in keeping your skin healthy and preventing dry skin. Try sipping on warm herbal teas or warm lemon water during these cold months.

3. Exfoliate

It may seem counter intuitive to exfoliate to prevent dryness, but nourishing skin care products and hydrating moisturizer cannot penetrate skin that has a build up of dead skin cells. Winter is a perfect time to schedule a Dermaplaning treatment to deeply exfoliate winter build up.

4. Moisturize + Sunscreen

Select a rich, thick moisturizer for these winter months that will work to nourish and protect your skin. And, remember, even though winter may have it's fair share of grey days, you always want to apply your sunscreen before heading out for extended periods of time.

5. Use a DIY mask at home

Most often, the best nourishment for our skin comes right from the pantry. Experiment with a couple of different DIY masks using moisturizing ingredients like; honey, avocado, yogurt, olive and jojoba oils, almond oil, bananas, and aloe. Here's one of our favorites:

  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 handful of oatmeal
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  • Mix all the ingredients together and apply. After 20 minutes, wash off with a warm, damp cloth. Apply yoru favorite moisturizer.

6. Schedule a Winter Blast Facial

Combat your winter skin woes with the Winter Blast Facial. This facial combines the exfoliating power of the Yogurt Power Peel with the vitamin and anti-oxidant rich Carotene Essentials Rich Mask + Moisturizer. Unveil radiant skin and keep your healthy glow all winter long with the Winter Blast Facial.

Includes a warm cinnamon scalp massage and is offered for $129 for a limited time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Hummus

This sweet treat is a quick, easy and healthy fix for a chocolate craving.

It takes about 5 minutes to make and is even lighter than traditional hummus because it contains no olive oil or tahini.  It is a great way to get kids, (or spouses), to eat beans – and it is very low in sugar- or sugar free, depending on how you choose to make it.

Oh- and it’s delicious too.  An all around WIN!

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What you need:

1 ½ cups cooked, or a 15oz can of drained and well-rinsed black beans (or garbanzo beans)

3 Tbs  maple syrup (adjust to your own taste and/or use a sugar substitute of your choice)

½ tsp vanilla extract

4 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder.  (Use what you prefer.  I went with Special Dark)

2 Tbs (more or less as needed) water or almond milk

How to prepare & enjoy:

Combine all but water/almond milk in bowl of food processor of high-powered blender.

Pulse a few times and then blend until smooth, adding the water or almond milk as small amount at a time until you reach the consistency you are looking for.  A lighter cocoa and almond milk with give more of a milk chocolate flavor, while the darker cocoas and water will taste more like dark chocolate.

If you use a powdered sweetener such as granulated sugar or a sugar substitute, expect to add more liquid to smooth the hummus to make up for the liquid nature of the maple syrup.

Get creative and experiment by adding espresso powder, cinnamon, nut butters, coconut, or even chiles!

Great with berries or pretzels – or even just a spoon!

What is Dermaplaning and Why You Will LOVE It

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Dermaplaning is currently trending as one of the hottest skin care treatments. However, unlike other skin care fads, we think this one is here for to stay and for great reason. Dermaplaning is simple, and incredibly effective; providing long lasting and profound, immediate results without any downtime. Added on to any facial or used as stand alone treatment, dermaplaning is a fabulous treatment any time of year. Here are FIVE reasons you'll want to add dermaplaning to your skin care repertoire now:

1. Shed Winter Build-Up:

Dermaplaning is an incredible exfoliation that can remove up to 3 weeks of dead skin cells. This deep exfoliation triggers new cell regeneration - ultimately leading to a healthier glow. With harsh winter weather and the dry, heated indoor air, skin gets dried out faster - which makes winter an ideal (do we dare say 'necessary') time to dermaplane.

2. No Downtime:

Unlike other skin care treatments, the results of dermaplaning are immediate and do not require any downtime. The only side effect is smoother skin and a glowing complexion!

3. Removes Vellus Hair (aka, Peach Fuzz)

Another incredible side effect of dermaplaning is the removal of that peach fuzz that, yes, gets worse with age. (Thank you, hormones!) Without this peach fuzz, make-up and other skin care products are more easily absorbed into the skin.

4. Smooth Uneven Skin and Reduce Pores

Dermaplaning gently resurfaces the skin - resulting in even skin tone and reduced pores. With repeated treatments (every 4 weeks), fine lines disappear and skin is visibly smoother.

5. Better Absorption of Product and Flawless Makeup

With the deep exfoliation and removal of the vellus hair, active ingredients in skin care products are more readily absorbed and make-up is applied flawlessly. Ever feel like you could just keep applying moisturizer, but it's not penetrating - book a dermaplaning session now.

For a limited time - add Dermaplaning to any Facial for only $30.  (Normally $40)*

You do not want to miss this outrageous offer - your winter skin will thank you!

*(offer expires 2/28/18)