The Benefits of Weleda Arnica Massage Oil

As a Tai Chi instructor, I can’t stress enough the importance of physical activity to enrich your body and mind. However, when deciding to undertake an activity, the mantra that I tell all of my students to remember is the seemingly simple, “If it hurts, don’t do it!”

Exercise is meant to be mindfully enjoyed, not dreaded, and there are a variety of steps that you can take to feel more comfortable before and after physical activity.

Researching your activity, allowing yourself the proper time to warm up, and listening to your body are all ways to care for yourself and make your exercise regime one that you won’t want to quit 4 days later.

Have You Tried Massage Oil?

Another option that may surprise you is massage oil. Weleda Arnica Massage Oil may be just the tool you need to reduce soreness and promote relaxation before or after physical activity, or even just at the end of a stressful day. This oil contains plant oils, including sunflower and olive oil, mixed with the popularly medicinal arnica flower.

Arnica flowers are beautiful yellow flowers, related to sunflowers, that have traditionally been used for everything from pain relief to vision problems, including vision problems that occur post-stroke. This makes arnica a powerful flower that can potentially help alleviate complications from serious conditions. These special flowers have even been used to reduce bruising and help with the pain of arthritis. Weleda’s arnica oil combines these flowers with healthy plant oils to create a massage oil that is healing, soothing, and marvellously reinvigorating.  

Mindfulness and Physical Activity

Exercise is often thought of as a completely physical activity, but this of course isn’t at all true. Physical activity can help reduce stress and improve mental health, giving you the overall full body wellness that you deserve. While any exercise will provide these benefits, there are certain exercises that seem more geared toward accomplishing both than others, simply by the very nature of the activity. Tai Chi, swimming, and walking are just a few examples of activities that encourage participants to slow down and focus on their bodies and their environments.

As the fitness magazines make clear, physical activity is so often viewed as something that should be taken to extremes. We’re told to run as fast as we can, for instance, and for as long as we can, without regard for how our minds and bodies are feeling. When performing any kind of activity, use it as an opportunity to also train your mind. Notice your breath and be present in the moment. Try to clear your mind, letting thoughts come and go as you focus on your exercise routine. My soon-to-be-released book will go into greater detail on mindfulness, but taking these steps now will allow you to be at peace in mind and body, giving you the maximum benefit from your workout routine.

Massage Oil: Beyond Pain Relief

Weleda’s Arnica Massage Oil isn’t simply healing. It’s also another way to relax and  practise mindfulness. You’ll first want to warm the oil by placing a few drops into your hands and gently rubbing them together. Then, you’ll want to carefully massage the oil into the muscles impacted by your workout, or the parts of your body most impacted by workday (or general life) tension. Really pay attention as you massage, allowing your mind to breathe in the arnica, and using this as an opportunity to practise mindfulness. Note the feeling of the oil on your fingers, guiding yourself to be present in this moment.

Have you tried a massage oil like Weleda’s arnica oil as part of your exercise plan? How do you practise mindfulness during physical activity? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook for tips, tricks, and updates on my upcoming book.

All About Salt Lamps: What Do They Do?

Himalayan salt lamps are all the rage these days, and for good reason. These aesthetically pleasing lamps come in a surprisingly wide variety of styles and colours, from natural amber to hand-painted designs, and they boast an equal array of benefits. But, what exactly are these unique-looking lamps? And, how can they potentially help you?

Artful Decor

Himalayan salt lamps are, at their heart, decorative lamps. Although various types exist, the most common setup consists of a wooden base with a small light bulb and power cord with a “shade” that extends from the base and completely covers the bulb comprised of pink salt crystals which are extracted from areas near the Himalayas. When lit, these lamps emit a calming amber hue that provides the ideal ambiance for homes, workplaces, and areas of meditation. They are also great for physically mindful areas of activity, such as in a Tai Chi or yoga studio.

Of course, there is so much more to a Himalayan salt lamp than merely its artistic appeal.

Turning the Negative Into a Positive – Helping to Balance Yin and Yang

Himalayan salt lamps have the positive effect of producing negative ions. Despite its optimistic name, positive ions in the air, generally created by the electronic devices in our lives, are thought to cause a host of issues, both physical and mental.  Himalayan salt lamps draw in these positive ions and send back out negative ions. These negative ions occur in nature from things like the ocean and lightning. They produce positive effects such as increasing your energy levels by increasing oxygen and blood flow in the body. As such, having a Himalayan salt lamp around can be extremely beneficial to your overall health and well-being.

Help with Allergies, Asthma, and More

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about Himalayan salt lamps is their ability to help with allergies, asthma, and other conditions that involve particles in the air. The salt lamps are hygroscopic, meaning they attract moisture in the air to themselves, an act which often causes the lamps to “sweat,” particularly in moist environments. As the lamps attract moisture, particles in the air join along for the ride.

These little lamps pack a big punch in the fight against mould, dust, dander, and other air pollutants, as they actively trap contaminants in the salt. Light a salt lamp in your bedroom, office space, or any other area where you feel that the air could use a bit of freshening, and you can begin to breathe in clean air once again.

Guide Your Mindfulness and Aide Anxiety

Since a Himalayan salt lamp easily lends itself to creating a meditative environment, it is ideal for your mindfulness and meditation sessions. Mindfulness is an important part of your mental health, and while my upcoming book will touch on these topics in greater detail, salt lamps can provide a focal point for your meditative practises, similar to the flame of a candle. You can stare into the lamp as you would a flame, focusing on remaining in the present moment, or on a specific intention.

Mindfulness and meditation can provide great benefit to those suffering from anxiety, as with practises such as Tai Chi and yoga. With its soft glow, a salt lamp enhances the effective stress reduction of these activities. Plus, with the lamp ridding your space of positive ions, you’ll potentially experience further reduction in the levels of stress that they could be causing. It has been theorised that the negative ions it produces may have a positive effect on your mood by stimulating the production of serotonin.

Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder

The mental health benefits of Himalayan salt lamps are without question. Another area they seem to affect is in the condition of Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is a major depressive disorder with symptoms that include a loss of interest in activities and social interaction. This disorder most often affects people during the winter months. This is thought to be, at least partially, due to the lack of sunlight during this time of the year. Himalayan salt lamps produce a glow that is similar to that of natural sunshine, helping you to reduce your risk of SAD throughout the year.

Finding the Lamp for You

While there are many options for Himalayan salt lamps, not all of them are created equal. It may be disheartening to learn that you have to ensure that the salt lamp you purchase is genuine. Carefully observe your lamp. If it gives off a soft glow, that’s a sign of a quality lamp. If, however, you have a brighter kind of light, similar to a typical table lamp, then it’s likely not the real thing. A true Himalayan salt lamp is likely to have originated from the salt mines of Pakistan, and, being made of salt, they are fragile. If you’ve dropped or knocked your lamp and it hasn’t at least chipped a bit, there’s reason to be suspicious.

Another thing to look at is colour. Most lamps will be pink to orange hued. White salt lamps do exist, but they are also a more expensive type of lamp, so if you’re seeking a white lamp, but noticing low prices, be on guard. Also, remember that it is normal for lamps to “sweat” during use. Truly, perhaps the most telling sign of whether or not your lamp is a real Himalayan salt lamp actually has to do with the retailer itself. Genuine retailers know how fragile their lamps can be and so have generous return policies, such as this lamp from Levoit, which carries a 1-year warranty and lifetime support. Levoit is one of the most reputable Himalayan salt lamp sellers on the market today, focused on quality and safety. Plus, their lamps are budget-friendly. You definitely don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a genuine Himalayan salt lamp.

What have been your experiences with salt lamps? Have you purchased one, or do you have questions about what your lamp can do for you? Let me know in the comments, and follow me on Facebook for more tips and tricks to better your health and well-being.

Help for budding authors!

If, like me, you have often contemplated becoming an author then it’s well worth you taking a look at Jericho Writers.

Their website is very well laid out, and offers a mass of free information to help get you started, irrespective of your entry level. I only came across them when the first draft of my book was nearly completed, but I can see that if I had used them at the very beginning it would have saved me a lot of ‘Googling’ time.

One of the main problems with searching on the internet is that information is either being provided by professionals who want your money, or failed writers who are now offering you the benefits of their mistakes! Neither option is inspiring, nor does it fill me with confidence.  I really need to feel I can trust someone with my hard work, and my money, before I fully engage with them.

At the very the beginning of the writing process an ‘expert’ told me that writing the book was the easy part. Oh how right he was! It has been a very steep learning curve for me along the way. Trying to find out what to do next at each milestone was really heavy going, so it was with great delight that I came across Jericho Writers now that I am looking for a professional editor.

Apart from being a great website and having really useful information, Jericho Writers has a huge ace up it’s sleeve which I discovered quite by chance. Long before I discovered the site, I had bought a book called ‘Getting Published‘ by Harry Bingham. I purchased this as a companion to the ‘bible’ of publishing here in the UK called the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook. Both books are well respected, trusted sources of information. Months later as I worked my way through the Jericho Writers website it suddenly dawned on me as to why the website was so useful. It was set up by none other than Harry Bingham himself, a successful published author in his own right.

Clearly, Harry has set out to make a difference! This is not another ‘How to make money from unpublished authors’ site, nor is it the kind of site which aims to guide you down one particular publishing route, i.e. their own. There’s a kind of democracy running through this site which is very refreshing. If, like me, you have already churned your way through many hours of Google searches, or you want to avoid doing that, then this is the site for you.

I am on the cusp of engaging with a professional editor, and Jericho Writers has set the bar for me. I do have a short list compiled from a few other sources, but Jericho is very much top of the list, and I have a strong feeling it is going to win.