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This Transformative Face Mask is Under $10

June 30, 2020 at 11:00AM

After a recent (pre-quarantine) massage, I fumbled off the table and back into my clothes to straighten myself up in the mirror expecting to find a puffy face and an asymmetrical bun in my hair per usual. Massages may be a glamorous luxury, but they can sometimes leave you looking anything but. Looking in the mirror, I expected to find one of those tell-tale face-to-sheet wrinkles across my cheek. Instead, I found that my skin was mark-free, dewy and completely aglow. During my massage (it was this transformative therapy, by the way!), the therapist had applied a caffeine-infused jelly sheet mask and I left my treatment nearly as happy about my skin as my refreshed muscles.

On Caffeine in Skincare
As skincare ingredients go, caffeine is nothing new. Coffee itself can be found as an ingredient in half the beauty DIY tutorials out there. To be honest, I’m not a big DIY beauty enthusiast. So it’s highly likely all those used coffee ground scrubs and hair rinses in my teens had kept me from any enthusiasm about more sophisticated uses of the ingredient. These are the days of marula oil, hyaluronic acid and cannibinoids, after all — there are so many other ingredients to try.

An ingredient like caffeine can be easy to overlook. Here’s why I’m now a big proponent — and apparently the last to know!

Caffeine acts as an anti-inflammatory, reducing redness and irritation, as well as flushing toxins from the skin as a diuretic. Caffeine is also packed with anti-oxidants that fight cellular damage, especially the type that comes from UV exposure.

100% pure detox market caffeine mask

Shortly after my massage experience, I went to (Instagram Stories to tell everyone about it) stock up on 100% PURE’s Caffeine Mask online, happily discovering that the sheet mask goes for just seven dollars a pop. It turns out the hydrogel mask is made from 95% organic aloe water and infused with green coffee extract, green tea, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and seaweed collagen. I now keep a small stockpile of these masks in my refrigerator door at all times and have since used them on quite a few early mornings to the same result: glowing, taut, calm and bright skin. I haven’t loved a mask this much since Herbivore’s Blue Tansy.

Apparently, 100% Pure (a brand who has also been around forever and is also easy to overlook) has another claim to fame in their best-selling hero product, Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream. I’ve not yet given the caffeine-packed treatment a try personally, but after my experience with their hydrogel Caffeine Mask I’m guessing the eye cream is as good as their 3,049 five star reviews claim.

By the way, this post was not created in partnership with 100% Pure. We do partner with many beauty and wellness brands, all of whom we vet closely and adore (like this and these). Sometimes, a brand just gets lucky and we happen to stumble into an incredible product we just can’t stop gushing about!

Do you have a favorite caffeine-based beauty product? Have you tried this culty eye cream? Or do you have an incredible mask we need to try? Let us know in the comments!

 

Detox Market 100% PURE Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream

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Author Suzanne Hall | Thechalkboardmag
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Are Probiotics Why My Skin is Suddenly So Perfect?

June 29, 2020 at 11:00AM

Free People Beauty + Wellness Spotlight | Free People’s Beauty + Wellness Shop has become an incredible resource for shopping top wellness and clean beauty brands we love. In addition to their assortment, they offer editorial articles highlighting pro-vetted guides, industry interviews and immersive ‘I tried it’s’, you can discover all the most rave-worthy products and practices around on their website. If you haven’t explored it yet, shop now and find a slew of TCM-approved products, brands and articles for the summer season including our top picks for probiotics below inspired by Free People’s article Are Probiotics The Reason Why My Skin Is Suddenly Perfect?.

The quest for glowing skin usually starts with a skincare spending spree — whether through an online brand, a big beauty retailer or even a dermatologist’s office. While no one’s sense of self-worth should be based upon how skin looks day to day, we know that chronic breakouts can be frustrating, uncomfortable, distracting and painful. People with perfect skin may never realize all the mental and emotional gymnastics that go into managing problem skin — whether it’s trying to look natural at the beach while still covering up breakouts or heading on a trip to a hot location without worrying about the havoc it’s going to wreak on your skin. Managing acne is a battle we’re more than happy to have put behind us.

What we’ve learned after years on the wellness scene is that clear skin is often high on the list of priorities in the pursuit of high-vibe health. And there’s truly nothing wrong with that. Above all, clear skin is connected to balanced gut health — a truth that is usually music to the ears of those who have tried everything in their pursuit of clear skin.

Our Editor-In-Chief first got serious about nutrition after a gut-healing protocol years ago dramatically cleared up her skin, we put one former editor on a test-round of probiotics last year and she wrote, “The benefits became more and more obvious over the course of a month. Without changing any other habits, I noticed that my skin had a new ‘alive’ look to it . . . I even noticed a significant uptick in my mood and stress tolerance.”

We’ve met hundreds of women and men in wellness — from herbalists to nutritionists to holistic health coaches — and one thing nearly all of them have in common is skin that seems to glow from within. The common thread? A pretty major commitment to a lifestyle that supports gut health and a balanced microbiome.

Our favorite example of this is Whitney Tingle. As founder and co-CEO of Sakara Life, Whitney is one of the glowiest girls around. It’s almost impossible to imagine Whitney with problem skin, but according to the healthy exec, she struggled with her skin so much that it’s what first drove her to the wellness space in the first place.

“I never wanted to talk about it. I never wanted anyone to even notice my skin, let alone have a conversation about it. I spent years trying to heal it with everything from acupuncture to Accutane. Lights, lasers, and intense peels. The kinds that required days of downtime, hiding from the sun and from other people,” Tingle recounts. “My dermatologists had me on so many antibiotics.”

Whitney’s skin eventually healed once she embraced a protocol addressing the powerful connection between microbiome health and skin vitality.

“The biggest revelation to healing my complexion was understanding that I did not have a skin problem; I had a gut problem.”

Whitney and her partner Danielle went on to start Sakara Life to help thousands of other women discover the power of harnessing a gut-healing lifestyle for themselves. At the core of their anti-inflammatory and microbiome-balanced diet are the brand’s professional-grade probiotics.

“Skin issues are most often an inflammatory response,” Tingle says. “When the body is under constant stress—whether it’s physical stress due to a lack of sleep or improper diet, mental stress from work, or emotional stress from relationships — it throws the ecosystem of the microbiome out of balance.” This shift allows for “bad” bacteria or yeast to grow inside your body. It also triggers a natural inflammatory response—your body’s reaction when it’s trying to heal itself.

“This microbial imbalance in the body can show up in many different ways — and it most definitely can show up as acne. In order to actually rebalance the microbiome and decrease inflammation, you must feed the ‘good’ bacteria and recreate that healthy ecosystem.”

The simplest and perhaps most important way to build and bring balance to our microbiomes is with a daily probiotic. Creating gut health is not an overnight miracle, but takes time to allow the body to adjust. We’ve found that thirty days are usually enough to begin to see a difference in skin quality, but everyone is different.

SAKARA LIFE COMPLETE PROBIOTIC FORMULA | A professional-grade daily probiotic that promotes healthy digestion, immunity, energy levels, weight management, skin, hormone balance and stress response. This supplement contains eleven strains of healthy bacteria to improve your gut health, as well as a prebiotic and emzyme blend to reduce inflammation and relieve bloat. SHOP NOW

SAKARA LIFE SAKARA RX: THE FOUNDATION | These curated daily supplement packs are made from clean, plant-based, whole-food ingredients and botanicals, designed to fill nutrient gaps caused by diet, stress, and lifestyle and help you look and feel like your healthiest, most radiant self. 6 pills per packet: Superfood Multi (x2), Complete Probiotic Blend, Macro Minerals, Algae Omega, and Adaptogenic B-Complex.  SHOP NOW

ORA ORGANIC VEGAN PROBIOTICS WITH PREBIOTICS CAPSULES | Ora Organic’s vegan probiotic capsules contain their own probiotic blend that contains clinically documented andacid resistant strains to improve digestive health, immune function, mood balance, hair & skin health, and pathogen-fighting support. These capsules also include organic prebiotics that helps good bacteria in your gut to thrive so that your probiotics work even better. SHOP NOW

Shop Free People’s curation of top wellness and clean beauty brands we love like Sakara Life. If you haven’t explored their editorial articles yet find them here featuring a slew of TCM-approved products and brands for the summer season including the impact of probiotics for your skin!

This story is brought to you in partnership with Free People. From time to time, TCM editors choose to partner with brands we believe in to bring our readers special offers. The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.

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A Guide To Mudras: 12 Mudras To Use In Your Yoga Practice

June 29, 2020 at 10:17AM

Leave it to the guys behind So We Flow to break down these yogic hand positions with such ease. Mudras can actually alter your state while you meditate or do yoga — try them and tell us you don’t experience the difference. 

 Jake Wood, founder of So We Flow makes clothing the way we want to wear it: their organic and recycled T’s and organic jersey basics like this make us pretty jealous that the clothing line is just for men. Explore the movement-based line for the men in your life and then try the So We Flow team’s suggestions on Mudras for Yoga… 

Have you ever been in a yoga class where everyone starts performing bizarre gestures with their hands & you’re left thinking, what the hell’s going on?

These hand gestures are called mudras, which mean ‘mark’ or ‘seal’ in Sanskrit. In the Mudra philosophy, it is believed that our 5 fingers correspond to the 5 elements of the universe – water, earth, ether, air and fire. Each of these elements has a distinct role in the balance of our physical body, state of mind and mental well-being.

Thus, through pressing, touching, curling or pointing our fingers or hands in different ways, we can direct energy flow to specific parts of the body and brain, stimulating particular emotions, reactions and effects.

Whether you believe it or not, many of us have felt something exquisite when we introduce mudras into our practice. So you may as well give it a try, you never know…

mudras

12 Mudras To Get You Started

1. Gyan Mudra

How  Touch the tip of the index finger and thumb together. Extend the other 3 fingers.

Why  Increases concentration, memory, creativity and reduces negativity.

2. Prithvi Mudra


How 
Touch the tip of the ring finger and thumb together. Extend the other 3 fingers.

Why  Strengthens the tissues of the body such as muscles, bones, tendons and nails.

3. Varun Mudra

 

How  Touch the tip of the little finger and thumb together. Extend the other 3 fingers.

Why  Amplifies the ability to communicate effectively and promotes the circulation of fluids in the body.

4. Prana Mudra


How  
Touch the tip the the thumb with the tips of the ring and little fingers. Extend the other 2 fingers.

Why  Energises the body, alleviates tiredness and enhances eyesight.

5. Apan Mudra


How  
Touch the tip of the thumb with the tips of the middle and ring fingers. Extend the other 2 fingers.

Why  Balances the body, stokes the metabolism and helps stimulate digestion.

6. Vayu Mudra

 

How  Touch the tip of the index finger on the base of the thumb and apply a light pressure with the thumb. Extend the other 3 fingers.

Why  Balances air in the body, relieving both flatulence and joint pain.

7. Shunya Mudra


How  
Touch the tip of the middle finger on the base of the thumb and apply a light pressure with the thumb. Extend the other 3 fingers.

Why  Improves hearing and can be restorative for throat and thyroid conditions.

8. Surya Mudra

How  Touch the tip of the ring finger on the base of the thumb and apply a light pressure with the thumb.

Extend the other 3 fingers.

Why  Raises metabolism, heats the body and aids digestion.

9. Adi Mudra

 

How  Fold the fingers into a fist over the thumb with the thumb touching the side of the little finger.

Why  Expands lung capacity, stimulates blood flow and improves the function of vital organs.

10. Anjali Mudra


How  
Press the palms firmly together with the fingers facing upwards.

Why  Alleviates stress and anxiety, boosts focus and lends a hand in achieving a meditative state.

11. Hakini Mudra


How  
Touch the tips of the fingers with those of the opposite hand, mirroring each other. Keep the palms separated from one another.

Why  Boosts memory, brain power and concentration.

12. Shambhala Mudra


How  
Create a fist with one hand and a flat palm with the other. Press the fist into the palm of the straightened hand.

Why  Lifts the mood and promotes vitality and positive thinking.

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Hey, Overachiever: 3 Signs It’s Time To Take A Mental Health Day

June 26, 2020 at 11:00AM

Sometimes feeling great simply means sticking an extra adaptogen or two in our morning smoothie, other times it means pulling back when our job has us feeling fried. Over-achievers, halt the freakout; we’re not trying to change you — just make you feel a bit more well. Here’s how…

The truth is we all struggle to sustain work-life balance from time to time. The ladies behind Career Contessa want us to know that there’s no shame in needing a break  — or in actually taking that time for ourselves. Whether you’re owning the WFH balance, a bit turned around by it, or anywhere in between, read on — in the name of self-care — for three definitive signs that you’re due for a mental health day.

If you had a sprained ankle, you wouldn’t try to run ten miles, right? You’d listen to your body, ice it up and rest to avoid injuring it further. Same goes for our mental health. Sometimes, after a few 12-hour days or an upsetting personal event, our minds are screaming at us to just take a break — before we have a breakdown.

It’s not like you can X-ray your mind, find a sprain and call in sick. But there are signs of burnout that signal it’s time for a day of rest (or a day of Korean spa — whatever you need to recharge).

You’re more irritable than usual.

Working with the same people all day every day, some personality conflicts are inevitable. Still, watch out for any sudden changes in mood. Are you snapping at the situations that you’d normally just shrug off? Does every single request from your boss send you spiraling?

Let the unresolved tension simmer and you’ll snap — if not in an actual screaming match, then through the passive-aggressive emails nobody wants to get. Separate yourself for a day to calm down. It will help break the cycle.

Your work is unusually sloppy.

You’re rushing to meet a deadline and, inevitably, miss little details — punctuation, calculations, etc. Your boss calls you out and your anxiety ratchets up even more, starting a vicious cycle of stress, underperformance and self-blame.

We’re not perfectly oiled computers so we can’t operate at 100-percent capacity for eight hours per day, five days per week, indefinitely. And at some point, the double and triple checks won’t save you from making uncharacteristic, embarrassing mistakes.

If your stress is hurting your work performance, working more isn’t the solution. Give your mind a break, and it’ll pay off in the form of better attention and creativity all week long.

You’re showing physical signs of stress.

Maybe you’ve mysteriously gained weight, maybe your face is breaking out, or you’re barely awake throughout the day, but you still can’t sleep at night.

All of these seemingly unrelated symptoms point to chronic stress. Emotional stress spikes our stress hormones and makes us sick. Brain fog, insomnia, anxiety: they’re as real as an ankle sprain, so treat them as such. The longer you wait to give yourself a break, the worse those symptoms will become.

One Netflix marathon won’t solve your long-term stress, but taking a day to prioritize and create some coping strategies — or do nothing at all — is a great place to start.

This story originally ran Aug 14, 2017, but we felt it was relevant and brought it back!
 Looking for more ways to manage stress? Find our favorite stress management tools here. 

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Biofeedback: An Alternative Therapy That Works Like A Natural Painkiller

June 26, 2020 at 11:00AM

It may surprise you, but your brain may be your most flexible body part. Emerging science on ‘neuroplasticity’ shows that our minds and brains are able to adapt and change far more dramatically than we may have previously assumed. That’s why meditation, yoga and breathwork practices can all have such a profound effect on our sense of well-being. One science-driven therapeutic technique used to help master the mind-body connection is called biofeedback, and it’s a potent, pill-less tool for managing conditions from chronic pain to anxiety.

Biofeedback trains patients to control some of the body’s automated responses — including the perception of pain. With practice, one can consciously change bodily sensations, reactions to thoughts, stress response and even certain electrical activities of the brain. We asked functional medicine expert, Dr. Josh Axe, to tell us all about biofeedback and how we can start mastering the mind-body connection through the lens of science and technology…

What Is Biofeedback?

Biofeedback therapy is a type of training program with the goal of teaching patients to control involuntary physiological processes — meaning those that are both mental and physical — that contribute to painful symptoms and distress. A report published in Mental Health in Family Medicine words the biofeedback definition as “a mind–body technique in which individuals learn how to modify their physiology for the purpose of improving physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.”

Biofeedback therapy is sometimes used to manage high blood pressure, muscle pain or tension, anxiety, IBS symptoms and insomnia. What do so many of these health problems have in common? They’re triggered, or at least made worse by, chronic stress. For that reason, some experts believe that biofeedback is beneficial and able improve overall health and wellness because it’s effective as a natural stress relieving technique.

How The Therapy Works

Various forms of biofeedback therapy — performed using certain muscle relaxation, breath and mental exercises — are now being proven in numerous studies to treat more than a dozen health conditions. But how does this mind-body intervention work? At its roots, this therapy helps reduce a wide range of symptoms by lowering sympathetic arousal. Through identifying and changing certain mental activities and physical reactions, biofeedback trains patients to help regulate their own unconscious bodily processes and better control their stress response. Biofeedback therapy acts as a natural painkiller and a natural headache remedy, among other things.

Some experts use the metaphor of “learning to putt a golf ball” to describe how biofeedback works. As someone practices putting and seeing where the ball goes, the feedback helps to improve their next stroke. In biofeedback, a patient follows measurements of their physiological responses — and as they move in a healthier direction, positive reinforcement and learning take place.

After reviewing more than 60 studies related to biofeedback, The Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London described the therapy as a “non-invasive, effective psycho-physiological intervention for psychiatric disorders,” concluding that over 80 percent of studies reported some level of clinical decrease in symptoms as a result of biofeedback exposure. According to their research, biofeedback interventions have been used successfully to treat common disorders including anxiety, autism, depression, eating disorders and schizophrenia.

But biofeedback therapies aren’t just useful for managing mental disorders — they’re also becoming more common in the treatment of injury recovery and chronic pain. Because therapists now offer several different biofeedback modalities, experts recommend patients try multiple bio-regulating approaches during their sessions. This has been shown to be most effective in significantly reducing symptoms.

Conditions that are commonly treated with biofeedback therapies now include: chronic pain, muscle tension or spasms, urinary incontinence (frequent urges to urinate), high blood pressure (hypertension), tension or migraine headaches, TMJ symptoms (temporomandibular joint dysfunction), trouble sleeping or insomnia, digestive symptoms including constipation, IBS and diarrhea, anxiety and depression, eating disorders, ADHD and autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy, cancer recovery, heart disease, and just about any other condition made worse by stress…

What is A Session Like?

A trained biofeedback therapist first takes an assessment of a patient’s condition, usually by performing several tests. These tests help the practitioner determine how their symptoms might be minimized by learning to manipulate involuntary physical and mental behaviors.

Biofeedback requires specialized equipment. A biofeedback machine converts physiological signals (like heartbeats and brainwaves) into meaningful information that the patient can understand. The types of tests that are frequently used in biofeedback therapies are those that measure skin temperature, heart rate, muscle tension and brainwave activities. Biofeedback machines that are used to performed these tests include skin surface scans, electromyography and MRI brain scans.

Currently, the most popular type of biofeedback therapy performed by doctors is called “electroencephalographic neurofeedback.” Anxiety disorders are the number one type of health problem treated through this biofeedback training, although other popular uses include pain management. In many biofeedback settings, small electrodes are attached to a patient’s skin. This sends feedback to a visible monitor, tracking and displaying the patient’s physiological symptoms.

Because sessions require active patient participation, biofeedback therapy is somewhat similar to certain aspects of physical therapy (PT). Like PT, biofeedback training usually involves practicing at home between sessions, includes some trial and error to determine what works best and requires patience on the part of the patient.

Most biofeedback therapy sessions take about 30 to 60 minutes. The typical course of treatment usually lasts two to three months in order to provide the most benefits. Some patients, however, choose to participate in biofeedback therapy for much longer, sometimes even for years. The goal is for the patient to be able to practice self-regulation techniques that they’ve learned from their therapist on their own, even after formal sessions end and the monitoring machines are no longer used.

The 6 Benefits of Biofeedback Therapy

Reduces Chronic Headaches

Because it can lower someone’s stress response, clinical studies shown that biofeedback is effective in reducing the frequency and severity of tension and migraine headaches. One study published by Harvard Medical School found that biofeedback training allowed many patients to decrease their dependence on pain medications and to experience less pain overall. (Although researchers also found similar benefits from teaching patients general relaxation techniques alone without additional using biofeedback.)

Patients in the Harvard study also learned pain theories regarding relaxation techniques. A portion also went through additional education about biofeedback training. All patients showed a statistically significant decrease in the frequency and severity of the headaches in the first 12 months;  that benefit continued for 36 months. Both groups also reported lower medication use and less medical care costs.

Helps Regulate Digestion

Biofeedback therapy is considered a well-established treatment modality for patients with several forms of chronic constipation (including dyssynergic defecation and fecal incontinence). Randomized controlled trials have found that 70 to 80 percent of all patients undergoing specialized biofeedback training in treatment centers experience improvements in symptoms.

Therapists now use biofeedback to help teach patients suffering from reoccurring constipation to better sense and control muscles in their digestive system that are related to bowel movements. For example, impaired rectal sensation and poor ability to squeeze muscles in the abdomen are both corrected using biofeedback maneuvers. Although barriers to biofeedback still exist within the general population (including lack of insurance coverage, distance to local treatment facilities and acute medical issues), researchers continue to work on improving ways to offer this therapy in an affordable manner to those with serious digestive complaints.

Another study found that both home-based and office-based biofeedback therapy were effective for the “number of complete spontaneous bowel movements per week as well as patient satisfaction with bowel function.” Research such as this shows the potential to broaden the availability of biofeedback therapy through home sessions without disrupting efficacy.

Reduces Anxiety

Biofeedback helps to make patients more aware of how their thoughts, feelings and behaviors all interact. This is why it’s frequently used in conjunction with other therapies, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or mindfulness meditation training, to reduce someone’s stress response.

As opposed to some forms of treatment, such as medications, biofeedback therapy is a process of training. Trained therapists teach patients to pay more attention to the ways stress impacts the body. For example, anxiety causes someone’s heart rate to speed up, muscles to tense and the mind to worry. This, in turn, makes sleep and relaxation difficult. Through purposefully tracking symptoms and learning over and over again to reduce them using feedback as a guide, relaxation becomes better enforced.

Reduces Pain (Without Pills)

Finding non-pharmacological techniques for controlling both short-term (acute) and chronic pain is now becoming more important than ever, given how much attention has been given to the potential for addiction of pain-killing drugs.

One type of biofeedback, neurofeedback (also known as EEG-biofeedback), is being used in many treatment settings as an alternative method for pain reduction. It’s being used for things like management of strokes, post-traumatic events, headaches, injuries, chronic muscle tension, diabetic neuropathic pain and cancer recovery. Some evidence shows that it takes about 40 to 60 training sessions to achieve the most benefits. Some studies show this amount can result in up to 50 percent less pain depending on the condition. Thankfully, studies suggest it’s useful in both children and adults.

Improves Heart Health

Studies suggest that biofeedback therapy helps improve control over heart rate variability and arousal of the sympathetic nervous system. This neuro-cardio combo is responsible for many of the physical effects of someone’s stress response. Biofeedback training is also important in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases complications including anxiety, trouble sleeping and depression.

One form of biofeedback known as biofeedback-assisted stress management (BFSM) is especially geared towards managing cardiovascular diseases. It aim to lower over-activation of the autonomic nervous system. (Over-activation can negatively affect the heart.) This therapy model could reduce psychologic stress, improve quality of life and improve clinical status in people with heart disease. A 2011 study published in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine suggests that use of BFSM by heart failure patients may actually cause cellular and molecular remodeling of the failing heart, change abnormal heart rate variability and have a positive impact on side effects due to suffering from a serious chronic disease.

Reduces Hyperarousal + Trouble Sleeping

Electroencephalography (EEG) feedback is now commonly used to control symptoms of hyperarousal, including insomnia and ADHD symptoms.(Hyperarousal is a class of symptoms that often impact people living with PTSD.) Research conducted in 2011 by the Department of Psychophysiology at Helfgott Research Institute in Oregon found that two forms of neurofeedback treatments (sensorimotor protocol and a sequential, quantitative EEG model) successfully demonstrated usefulness for treating insomnia symptoms. After undergoing 20 15-minute sessions, both groups experienced significant decreases in dysfunctional symptoms like daytime sleepiness and hyperarrousal during the night. The study participants also reported significant improvements in scores on several insomnia measurement scales (Insomnia Severity Index,  Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Inventory , PSQI Sleep Efficiency Test, and Quality of Life Inventory).

How to Find a Good Therapist

The Association For Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback (AAPB) offers resources on its website to locate a biofeedback therapist in your area. The AAPB encourages patients to receive training services from therapists who meet at least the minimum standards of knowledge, training and experience required to be certified by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA).

Keep these tips in mind when looking for a therapist:

Many state licensing boards include the practice of biofeedback within training for professionals such as psychologists, physical therapists, nurses, physicians and social workers. However, not everyone with one of these licenses will have extensive training or experience in providing biofeedback, so it’s always best to look for a recommendation and additional credentials, certifications, licenses, and so on.

Talk to a therapist before starting training; be sure to make sure the biofeedback type is best matched to treat your problem. The more a therapist knows about your medical history and symptoms, the likelier they are to utilize the most appropriate form of biofeedback and to combine sessions with other effective therapies that will help you.

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs. 

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A Blood Orange Gin Sparkler with Rosemary Simple Syrup

June 25, 2020 at 05:23PM

We found this gem in our archives way back in 2012. Some things never go out of style and nothing’s ever felt more 2020 than a really good freshly made cocktail at home.

This rosemary-spiked sparkler comes from Leanne Citrone, an LA stylist whose home and garden we perused way back when — and whose kitchen we rifled through just this year (see here!). Leanne is one of those natural hostesses who knows how to thrill us with all the right details, like this homemade syrup and a freshly squeezed cocktail.

No need to stress yourself out, if you’re feeling the overwhelm of the present season and making your own herbal syrup seems near impossible, we invite you just to pour yourself a glass of wine and read through the recipes for fun.

The rosemary simple syrup keeps in the refrigerator for a week or so and can be made ahead of time. If blood oranges are hard for you to come by – navel oranges are also delicious!

blood orange cocktail

Blood Orange Gin Sparkler with Rosemary Syrup
Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 10 min

Ingredients

For the simple syrup:
2 cups / 480 ml water
1 cup / 6.5 oz / 185 g sugar
4 tablespoons (~2 sprigs-worth) fresh rosemary leaves
1 bay leaf (optional)

For the cocktail:
blood oranges
gin
ice cubes
tonic water (or sparkling water)

Instructions

Combine the water, sugar, rosemary, and bay in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer for 3-5 minutes, or long enough for the sugar to dissolve, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let infuse for 10 minutes. Strain into a jar to cool completely.

In the meantime, juice and strain your oranges, you’ll need 3 tablespoons / 1.5 tablespoons of juice for each drink.

To make each drink combine you’re going to combine equal parts gin, juice, and tonic water with a bit of syrup and ice. So, its:
3 tablespoons / 1 1/2 oz gin
3 tablespoons / 1 1/2 oz freshly squeezed blood orange juice
1-2 teaspoons of the rosemary syrup in each tall glass
(I used kolsch glasses here).

Stir to combine, fill each glass 2/3 full with ice and top off with 3 tablespoons / 1 1/2 oz tonic water. Stir again and you’re set.

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Supportive Herbs To Boost Immunity, Soothe Your Nerves + Help You Sleep

June 25, 2020 at 11:28AM

As our world opens up more and more again this summer, we’re doing all we can to keep our immunity stronger than ever. Last month, we ran this story with holistic nutritionist and women’s wellness expert, Kristin Dahl. Kristin got so thorough we decided to pull her recommendations for herbs specifically into a story of it’s own.

Whether your nerves are shot from 2020 (learn all about herbs for the nervous system at bottom!) or you’re just looking to supercharge your immune system from every angle,  here’s how we are incorporating more herbal tinctures into our daily routines now…

Supportive Herbs To Boost Immune System

Herbs can help to increase your body’s resilience and enhance your ability to fight off infections. And remember, it’s best to work directly with a holistic practitioner for individualized support.

Immune-supportive herbs help to prevent, fight, and clear illness while building, restoring, and nourishing immunity. Some herbs work as surface immune stimulants while others act as deep immunomodulators. At a time like this, we want to be working with a mix of both (or whatever you have on hand) to bolster immune defense. Powerful antivirals and antimicrobials such as goldenseal, oregano oil & olive leaf are best taken if, or only once, you become sick and only until well again.

Immune-Boosting Herbs + Anti-Virals
Best in tincture or capsule form

Astragalus, echinacea, rhodiola + elderberry are potent defenders that build immune system resiliency, build immune cells, and prevent and defend against viral infections. Herb Pharm has some incredible tinctures.

If you become sick, goldenseal, oregano oil and olive leaf (learn about olive leaf here) are powerful antivirals and antimicrobials that work to clear viruses from the body.

Immune-Boosting Mushrooms
Best in powder, tincture or capsule form

Immune-boosting mushrooms include reishi, chaga, cordyceps + turkey tail. Medicinal mushrooms help build blood cells and are antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral in nature. Four Sigmatic is great, as is anything from Host Defense and Thorne Research’s Myco-Immune.

Nervines: Nervous System-Calming Herbs
Best as loose leaf teas and tinctures

Supportive not just to the nerves, but to the entire system as well, nervines are best as loose leaf teas and tinctures. Chamomile, passionflower, Holy Basil, lemon balm and skullcap help to calm the nerves, soothe anxiety and support restful sleep. Do a deep dive and learn all about nervine herbs here. Check out your local co-op for loose leaf herbs and Herb Pharm for tinctures.

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