Choose The Right Hair Stylist

Choose The Right Hair Stylist – The only thing harder than finding the perfect guy? Finding the perfect hairdresser. We’ve all ventured into uncharted hair territory only to walk out with an accidental bob, botched bangs, and probably some tears. Whether you’ve recently moved to a new city or you’re going through a dramatic hair breakup, we spoke to Devin Toth, a hairstylist at Salon SCK in New York City, on how to find the right stylist to suit your specific needs. Before you plan your next hair makeover, follow these simple steps:

Ask Around

Sometimes the best way to find a trusted stylist is through word of mouth. If you spot a cut or color you love on a friend or acquaintance (or even a perfect stranger), ask them which salon they go to and who they see there, Toth suggests. “Second, ask the person what their name is so you can tell your future stylist,” he adds. “Knowing who referred you will help the stylist understand what kind of aesthetic you like and who to thank for the reference.”

Book a Blowout

This is the safest way to get a feel for a salon without making any major commitments. “Sometimes you can even get a discount by going through promotional booking services like GrouponLiving Social, and Gilt City,” Toth says.

Know Your Products

Obsessed with Oribe or Kérastase? Jot down your favorite brands and visit their websites, the pro adds. “Manufacturers often have a salon locator that allows you to search your local neighborhood for salons that use their hair styling products, shampoos or even hair coloring products.”

Do Some Research

Once you have a few salons in mind, narrow down the choices even further by searching the web. “Try doing a Google search on the salon and the stylist you have in mind,” Toth tells us. “Look up the salon’s Yelp reviews and see what people say firsthand. I recommend averaging out the reviews of any given salon or individual stylist to get a good idea of their capabilities.”

Use Social Media

If all else fails, there’s always Instagram. “There’s no better research than seeing a stylist’s actual work,” says Toth. “Salons often have an Instagram handle or hashtag that can show you day to day images of the salon, the clients, and the finished hairstyles.”

Ways You Can Help Local Businesses Right Now

Small businesses need our help now more than ever. Here are 10 creative ways to lend your support without risking your health.

Ways You Can Help Local Businesses Right Now. Social distancing is the right thing to do right now, full stop. But the worry is that if everyone stays home, we won’t just shut down Covid-19, we’ll shut down small businesses as well. Most local businesses have already lost massive amounts of revenue as people self-quarantine, and some states are starting to mandate the closure of bars and restaurants. With potentially weeks’ worth of lost income, the local businesses that are so integral to the fabric and character of our communities may not have the margin to survive.

So maybe quit panic-buying toilet paper and start panic-buying stuff from the local stores, restaurants, and service providers you care about. Here’s how to support the small businesses that need your help right now — without risking your health.

1. Buy a gift card.
Businesses need cash flow right now, and the easiest way to help them out is to buy some gift cards to use down the road. Lots of shops are offering gift card bonuses right now, so treat yourself. Even better, treat someone else. Email a gift card that lets your nurse friend order some after-work tacos. Donate an art store gift card to your local school. Or stock up on cards from coffee shops, nail salons, yoga studios, and bookstores to hand out as gifts down the road. It may be hard to believe, but Mother’s Day, birthdays, and teacher appreciation week are still going to happen this year. Get your gift-shopping done now when it can make a huge impact on a struggling local business.

2. Get delivery.
Hanging out in your favorite diner is not a good look at the moment. Luckily, most restaurants and shops have stepped up options like delivery or curbside pickup so you can minimize contact with humans. If you can afford it, commit to ordering in a few meals this week.

3. Shop local online.
Lots of local shops keep at least some inventory available to order online. That boutique bag you’ve been eyeing? The great piece of local art? Now’s the time to treat yourself. This is a perfect time to support indie bookstores, too. Many of them have closed to the public but are offering free shipping, curbside pickup, and local deliveries. And trust us: you don’t want to quarantine without a stack of good books. (Prefer audiobooks? Get your favorites through libro.fm, an audiobook company that partners exclusively with indie bookstores.)

4. Tip like a boss.
It’s a crappy time to be a waiter, delivery driver, or barista, because not only are they likely working fewer hours, they’re getting fewer tips from their nonexistent customers. (Plus: Sick leave? What sick leave?) If you can afford it, make someone’s day with a massive tip.

5. Keep paying the people who work for you.
If you’re taking self-quarantine seriously, you’ve canceled the piano lessons and sent the housekeeper and the tutors away. But that doesn’t mean you should stop paying them. Venmo is no-contact and germ-free. Maybe throw one of those gift certificates their way while you’re at it.

6. Skip the refund.
If you missed a local show that you had tickets for, consider writing it off as a donation instead of asking for your money back. Now’s also a great time to sign up for that membership to your local nonprofit arts association or subscribe to the summer theater series.

7. Schedule a service for later.
Coronavirus has created the ultimate cancel culture, but all those missed reservations and skipped services are stressing out local workers. If you can, schedule works with a cleaner, a painter, a plumber, a contractor, or a salon. Simply knowing that work is coming their way can alleviate some anxiety and make a big difference in helping them weather this difficult time.

8. Provide a signal boost.
Give a shout-out to your favorite local businesses by leaving them a stellar review on Yelp, Google, or Facebook — that thing you always meant to do but never had time for. (Thanks, coronavirus!) While you’re at it, follow all your favorite businesses and artists online and share their social media posts. They might have their own ideas for how you can support them. (Indie musician Roxi Copland suggests buying merch online.)

9. Reach out to government leaders to ask for help.
In one of the cities hardest hit so far by the coronavirus, Downtown Seattle Association president Jon Scholes has said, “We need to move quickly at the local, state, and federal level to provide economic relief to the small business and workers who are out of jobs.” To get serious about boosting local businesses through this mess, email your legislator and ask them to help small businesses.

10. Say thanks.
All of us are mega-stressed right now, but local business owners worried about their livelihood have a special level of anxiety. Send a thank-you note or an email to let them know that you see them and you’re thinking of them. A little compassion and connection right now go a long way.

“Ways You Can Help Local Businesses Right Now”

From: https://livability.com/topics/love-where-you-live/10-ways-you-can-help-local-businesses-right-now

By: Melody Warnick is a freelance writer and the author of This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live

HIKING IN NATURE CHANGES YOUR BRAIN

HIKING IN NATURE CHANGES YOUR BRAIN – Immersing yourself in the great outdoors can ease stress and heighten your mood, but a new study shows it can even help you stop ruminating— or overthinking and dwelling on situations and life events. Rumination is linked to mental illness, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as binge-drinking and binge-eating.

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found spending time in nature can lower negative, obsessive thoughts by a sizeable margin. The researchers aimed to find out the impact of nature on the mind. They compared the thoughts of urban dwellers who walked through an urban environment for 90 minutes with those who walked through a natural environment. Those who walked in nature reported fewer negative thoughts. They also had less neural activity in the part of the brain associated with mental illness, known as the subgenual prefrontal cortex.

Hiking Enhances Creativity and Problem-Solving

Disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature can increase creativity and problem-solving, according to a study conducted by psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer. Participants went on a four-day tech-free backpacking excursion and were asked to perform creative-thinking and complex problem-solving tasks. The researchers found their performance on these tasks improved by 50% after hiking through nature.

The researchers noted that technology and urban noise are constantly demanding our attention and inhibiting our focus, which strains our cognitive functions. Going on a peaceful nature hike, while cutting ties with technology, can be just what you need to recharge.

Hiking May Lessen ADHD Symptoms in Children

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHA) is becoming increasingly common among children. Those with ADHD exhibit hyperactivity, inattention, and difficulty focusing.  It often arises in childhood, with symptoms continuing into adulthood. While medication is typically prescribed to ADHA patients, a study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, found exposure to green outdoor activities like hiking can drastically reduce their symptoms. This suggests anyone with difficulty concentrating or controlling their impulses can benefit from spending time in nature.

Hiking is a fun and healthy activity suitable for all ages and fitness levels. So, strap on your hiking boots and go exploring!

“HOW HIKING IN NATURE CHANGES YOUR BRAIN”

by: Nicole Romeo

From: http://blog.spaweek.com/2016/08/30/hiking-changes-your-brain/

Massage measurably reduces stress

A study finds that 10 minutes of massage or relaxation can activate the body’s system for overcoming stress.

Massage measurably reduces stress – The damaging effects of stress are well-known, but fortunately, our bodies have a built-in system for managing and recovering from it. This system is called the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS).

While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that taking time to relax — especially when it involves massage — can activate the PSNS, the new study by psychologists at the University of Konstanz in Germany has scientifically measured and confirmed this effect.

In their paper, the researchers conclude that short periods of relaxation may be psychologically and physiologically regenerative and that the effect is even more pronounced with a massage.

The senior author of the study is Prof. Jens Pruessner of the university’s Neuropsychology lab, who is a member of the Cluster of Excellence “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour.” He explains the importance of the new research:

“To get a better handle on the negative effects of stress, we need to understand its opposite — relaxation. Relaxation therapies show great promise as a holistic way to treat stress, but the more systematic scientific appraisal of these methods is needed.”

The study appears in the September 2020 issue of Scientific Reports.

The study

For their study, the team divided the participants into three groups.

The first group received 10-minute head-and-neck massages with a moderate pressure intended to stimulate the PSNS’s vagus nerve. This nerve contains some 75% of the PSNS nerve fibers, branching out to the many organs in the body with which the system interacts.

The second group of individuals received much softer 10-minute neck-and-shoulder massages as a means of determining the PSNS-activating effect of simple tactile contact.

A third control group simply sat at a table relaxing for 10 minutes.

The researchers used both physiological and psychological measurements to evaluate the degree to which each intervention, or lack of, had activated the participants’ PSNS.

Neuropsychology doctoral student Maria Meier led the team, who assessed the tests’ physiological effect by measuring the participants’ heart rate, as well as their heart rate variability (HRV). HRV is a measurement of variations in the time intervals between heartbeats.

For example, when the body is in fight-or-flight mode, there is a very little variation because the heart beats quickly at a steady rate. This will provide a low HRV value. When the body is relaxed, a greater degree of variation occurs, resulting in a higher HRV.

All of the participants had significantly higher HRV levels afterward. However, the most dramatic increases in HRV belonged to those who had received massages. The type of massage did not matter.

Simple tactile contact proved just as effective for helping an individual relax as a massage designed specifically to activate the PSNS.

Psychologically, all participants reported feeling less stressed and more relaxed after the tests.

Overall, the experiments confirmed that simply taking a few moments to relax can help a person manage stress. Adding a relaxing massage does, even more, to activate the PSNS and alleviate the physical and mental effects of stress.

Stress management

Meier concludes: “We are very encouraged by the findings that short periods of disengagement are enough to relax not just the mind but also the body. You don’t need professional treatment in order to relax. Having somebody gently stroke your shoulders, or even just resting your head on the table for 10 minutes, is an effective way to boost your body’s physiological engine of relaxation.”

Equally important as the study’s finding is the development of a system for objectively evaluating relaxation therapies. With experts often citing stress as the driver of diseases such as depression, a reliable means of validating relaxation techniques clearly has value.

Says Meier, “Massage, being such a commonly used relaxation therapy, was our first study. Our next step is to test if other short interventions, like breathing exercises and meditation, show similar psychological and physiological relaxation results.”’

From: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/massage-measurably-reduces-stress

 

How much hair product should you use?

How much hair product should you use?

How much hair product – Wondering how much of your favorite styling products to use? We were, too—so we asked David Shablesky, Senior Education Development Manager here at Moroccanoil, to give us the (appropriately sized) scoop.

The amount of product you’ll want to use depends on a few factors:

Your Hair Type

“The amount of product partially depends on the length, texture, formation, and density of your hair,” David says. So long, coarse, curly, and dense hair can generally handle more products than short, fine, straight, or sparse hair.

Your Style Goals

“The goal of the style may influence how much product you use,” David advises. For example, if the goal is a “sleek” style, you may want to layer Moroccanoil Treatment, Hydrating Styling Cream, and Smoothing Lotion to create your look. For a more “natural” look, you may want to use less product.

The Product Itself

Obviously, this is a big factor! For something concentrated like a serum, you might start with a pea-sized amount—but for a mousse, you’d want to think bigger (think an egg). David broke down a few Moroccanoil favorites for us:

Moroccanoil Treatment

“Apply several pumps to towel-dried hair, from mid-lengths through ends,” David says. “Distribute evenly with your fingers or a detangling comb. Apply more product as needed, depending on the length, texture, formation (straight, wavy or curly), and density of your hair.”

Smoothing LotionCurl Defining Cream, or Hydrating Styling Cream

Since these products are a little lighter, you can apply them starting from your roots! “Apply several pumps to towel-dried hair, from roots through ends,” David says. “Distribute evenly with your fingers or a detangling comb. Apply more product as needed.”

Enjoy this article? Read more. 

“how-much-hair-product-should-you-use”

From: https://moroccanoil.com/blog/beauty/how-much-hair-product-should-you-use/

Natural Ways to Relieve Stress

Constant worry over money, job security, family, and health keeps your stress system on high alert all the time

Stress comes at you all day, from every angle, now more than ever. Constant worry over money, job security, family, and health keeps your stress system on high alert all the time — and it feels like you can never calm down. That can lock you in a never-ending stress cycle and likely search for natural ways to relieve stress.

Chronic stress makes you feel awful — mentally, emotionally, and physically. It can even change the way your body manages stress, making it much harder to break the stress cycle.

Plus, long-term stress adds an extra strain on your body.

It takes an enormous toll on your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to any infection that’s going around. And when you’re already feeling anxious and worried, the last thing you need is a stressed-out immune system.

Unfortunately, you can’t avoid stress completely. But you can take specific steps to help your mind and body calm down — even in the face of non-stop stressors.

Constant Stress Derails Good Health

Stress isn’t just a feeling — it’s a whole system of physical reactions that are supposed to keep you safe from imminent danger. Those reactions protect you when you’re facing immediate, temporary threats like avoiding a car crash. Their sole purpose is to help you survive by stimulating “fight or flight” action. When the danger passes, the system turns off and resets.

But when you face stressors all the time — work deadlines, traffic jams, bad news — the system can’t turn off. It stays on ready alert around the clock and never gets to stand down. That’s when “survival mode” transforms into a threat on its own. Constant stress knocks your whole body off-track, causing physical, mental, and emotional distress.

Physical Effects of Stress

Chronic stress takes a huge toll on your physical health. That’s why you probably feel sick when you’re stressed out. Maybe you get stress headaches, maybe stress hits you in the gut, or maybe it just makes you tired. Those symptoms you feel come from the physical effects of stress, which include:

The way stress affects your immune system can be especially troubling. When alarm protein galectin-3 gets activated in response to stress, it kicks off a series of inflammatory reactions.

It confuses your immune system so much that it triggers immune overreactions and under-reactions. The overreactions can leave you struggling with autoimmune disease symptoms. At the same time, immune system under-reactions could leave you catching every cold, flu, or other bugs that’s going around. All of this makes it all the more important to explore natural ways to relieve stress. Read on for proven tactics…

Mental Effects of Stress

When you’re constantly stressed out, it feels much harder to think clearly. That’s because chronic stress keeps the brain flooded with high levels of cortisol — the stress hormone — and that can interfere with optimal brain function.

Chronic stress has been linked to:

  • Brain fog
  • Inability to focus
  • Difficulty learning and retaining new information
  • Trouble adapting to change
  • Memory lapses

Scientific research also shows a strong connection between chronic stress and Alzheimer’s disease. So learning how to manage your stress today may help protect you against that devastating loss of self in the future. Research shows that a number of healthy stress relief strategies, including those listed below, also offer protection against Alzheimer’s and other forms of cognitive decline.

Emotional effects of stress

Stress can have a whirlwind effect on your emotions. You may feel more worried, snap more easily, or have bigger emotional reactions than would normally match the situation you’re in.

And since stress triggers galectin-3, the alarm protein, it also sets off inflammation … even in your brain. That inflammation reaction is a key way that chronic stress leads to serious mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. In fact, eye-opening research shows a direct link between galectin-3 and depression, making this alarm protein a strong potential target in treating stress-related mental illness.

There are so many ways that chronic stress harms your body, mind, and mood. And while stress is unavoidable — now more than ever — you can take steps to help your body respond in a healthier way. The more effectively you cope with stress today, the healthier you’ll be for the rest of your life.

7 Natural Ways to Relieve Stress & Calm Down Your Anxiety

Coping with stress is a full-time job, and your body needs all the support it can get. That support comes from immediate actions that help you calm down at the moment, as well as longer-term solutions that increase your body’s resilience and coping abilities. Use a combination of these stress-reducing methods to calm down your mind and body no matter what life throws at you.

Meditation: If you’ve never tried meditation before, you might feel like you’re doing it wrong — but there is no wrong here. There are many different methods and techniques, so keep trying until you find a practice you feel good about. As you practice meditation over time, you’ll notice how much clearer and calmer your mind and emotions become. That helps your body better adapt to rapidly changing situations and shut down stress responses more easily. It’s one of the top stress relievers out there. And it’s free!

Nature: Spending time outdoors in nature helps your body and mind relax. Go for a walk in the woods, dip your feet in the ocean, or relax on a hammock in your backyard. Taking even 10 minutes in nature can lift your mood and reduce your stress level.

Yoga: Practicing yoga promotes relaxation for your mind and body. Yoga involves more than stretching your muscles. It involves focusing on mindful breathing and spiritual engagement. Regular yoga practice helps regulate your nervous system and reduces the harmful effects of stress.

Healthy eating: When you’re feeling stressed, your instinct may be to grab for sweet, salty, fatty foods — but those can add to your body’s stress load. Healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables, packed with nutrients and antioxidant compounds help your body cope with the damaging effects of stress.

Exercise: Physical activity helps your body blow off steam, but its benefits don’t stop there. Exercising leads to the release of endorphins, natural “feel-good” chemicals that combat the effects of stress. Exercise also helps regulate your body’s stress responses so you become less reactive when faced with stressors. So go for a walk, take a bike ride, or dance around the room and let those endorphins kick in.

Read More: 11 Surprising Life Extenders

Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP): When it comes to supplements that reduce the effects of stress, clinically researched modified citrus pectin (MCP) doesn’t usually make the list — but it should. Along with increasing your overall resilience, MCP blocks galectin-3, the alarm protein that triggers inflammation and causes many of the harmful effects associated with chronic stress. MCP also helps clear out toxins that can stress your immune system. Those gentle detox abilities make it easier for your body to cope with other challenges, including chronic stress.

Honokiol: When stress and anxiety overwhelm your mind and your life, honokiol — a compound extracted from magnolia bark — offers quick, calming relief. Honokiol is a powerful antioxidant known to specifically improve brain health and function. It also helps reduce brain inflammation, which has been closely linked with depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Honokiol acts like a natural antidepressant has also been shown to relieve anxiety, and demonstrates important benefits against Alzheimer’s. And when you pair honokiol with MCP, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of both increase significantly, offering more stress relief for you.

Let’s face it: Today’s stressors aren’t going away any time soon. But with proactive, natural stress management strategies, you can increase your resilience — and receive lasting benefits for every area of health.

“Ways to Relieve Stress”

Natural Ways to Relieve Stress, According to a Leading Integrative MD

By Isaac Eliaz, MD, MS, LAc

November 16, 2020

Which Massage Should You Choose?

Swedish massage is for relaxation, circulation, and detoxification.  Choose Swedish if you want the most relaxing massage without deep pressure or working on specific issues like sore muscles.

Deep Tissue, the therapist is penetrating into muscles in order to work-out soreness and remove lactic acid, which causes sore muscles.  Choose Deep Tissue if you have sore muscles from skiing or other activities.

Sports Massage incorporates stretching and movement into the massage in order to address specific issues you may be having.  Sports let our therapists use all their knowledge and training in order to alleviate pain, soreness, and stiffness, so you’re feeling better and ready for your next mountain activity.

Hot Stone is a relaxing massage where smooth river stones are heated, placed on the muscles, and incorporated into the massage.  The stones penetrate heat into the muscles, making for a soothing and relaxing massage.

Due to COVID-19 we have temporarily disabled our online booking in order to schedule services accordingly. Unable to take walk-in’s so please call for an appointment. Please call 970-453-2044 or email Info@alpinespaandsalon.com to schedule. Thank you for your understanding.

Swedish Massage
30 Minutes                                        $60
60 Minutes                                        $90
90 Minutes                                        $125

Hot Stone Massage
30 Minutes                                        $80
60 Minutes                                        $115
90 Minutes                                        $155

Sports Massage
30 Minutes                                        $70
60 Minutes                                        $105
90 Minutes                                        $145

Deep Tissue
30 Minutes                                        $70
60 Minutes                                        $105
90 Minutes                                        $145

Couples Massage
60 Minutes                                        $180
90 Minutes                                        $250

Pre-Natal Massage

60 Minutes                                        $105

Aroma Therapy
                               $10
CBD Relief Cream                          $20

We offer 3 different Aroma Therapy Blends:  Relaxation, High Altitude Relief, and Sore Muscle

Which Massage Should You Choose?

 

Best essential oils for Winter

Best essential oils for Winter

With all of the viruses and ailments circulating this winter, it’s no wonder people are searching for the best essential oils for colds. And the flu. And dry skin and sore throats. Cooler months bring a unique set of health challenges. When this time of year sets in, I like to use essential oils as part of my first line of defense.

Whether you’re completely new to essential oils or looking to expand your comfort level with new oils, this list identifies some of the go-to oils for common winter and fall issues. As always, essential oil safety is important to understand, too. Not all oils are safe to ingest or apply to your skin. Your age, medications, and pets in the house will also play into which oils are best for your household.


Best Essential Oils for Colds 

Thyme oil may be best known for its antibacterial properties, but it packs a potent antiviral punch, too. In fact, its germ-killing qualities are so effective, you’ll find thyme oil as the active ingredient in many commercial green cleaning products.

Warming ginger essential oil also comes in handy during the cold season, thanks to its mucus-clearing properties.

 


Best Essential Oils for the Flu

When flu season is in full swing, you may be looking for more natural ways to ease symptoms. As always, if your symptoms become severe or do not improve, check in with your healthcare provider. But many people are able to support their bodies and use essential oils and other flu natural remedies to get through a flu episode.


Essential Oils for Dry Skin

Humidity levels typically drop in late fall and winter, leaving our skin parched, flaky, and sometimes even cracked. So many lotions and moisturizers on the market contain really harmful synthetic scents. I opt for natural oils to keep my skin feeling smooth and less damaged.


Essential Oils for Sore Throat 

If you find yourself searching for essential oils for sore throat issues this winter, you’re not alone. Viruses like the flu and common cold often cause irritating sore throats.

 


Essential Oils for Arthritis

If you’re living with arthritis, you know the transition to cold weather can be brutal. Add to that the wild fluctuations in temperature and humidity we’ve experienced this season, and it’s easy to see how people’s joints are feeling the effects.


Essential Oils for Sinusitis

Clogged sinuses can last for weeks or even months. In fact, about 35 million Americans suffer from sinus infections or sinusitis annually. These are the oils I turn to when I feel sinus issues starting to crop up.

 


Essential Oils for Cool Weather Allergies

Thankfully, brutal ragweed and other pollen-related allergies aren’t in full swing in the winter. But that doesn’t mean a break from all allergies. If you’re irritated by cold-weather allergies, you may want to look into these essential oils for some relief.

By Leah Zerbe, MS, NASM-CPT, NASM-CES

January 29, 2018

Boost Your Immune System

How to Boost Your Immune System — Top 19 Boosters

By Christine Ruggeri, CHHC

We are continually exposed to organisms that are inhaled, swallowed, or inhabit our skin and mucous membranes. Whether or not these organisms lead to disease is decided by the integrity of our body’s defense mechanisms, or immune system.

When our immune system is working properly, we don’t even notice it. But when we have an under- or over-active immune system, we are at a greater risk of developing infections and other health conditions.

If you are wondering how to boost your immune system, be advised that it doesn’t necessarily happen overnight. It’s a matter of strengthening your immune response with lifestyle changes and the use of immune-boosting antimicrobial and antiviral herbs. But hopefully, you find comfort in knowing that your body is made to combat germs and protect your body from harm.

What Is the Immune System?

The immune system is an interactive network of organs, white blood cells, and proteins that protect the body from viruses and bacteria or any foreign substances.

The immune system works to neutralize and remove pathogens like bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi that enter the body, recognize and neutralize harmful substances from the environment, and fight against the body’s own cells that have changed due to an illness.

Our immune system works to protect us every day, and we don’t even notice it. But when the performance of our immune system is compromised, that’s when we face illness. Research indicates that under activity of the immune system can result in severe infections and tumors of immunodeficiency, while overactivity results in allergic and autoimmune diseases.

For our body’s natural defenses to run smoothly, the immune system must be able to differentiate between “self” and “non-self” cells, organisms, and substances. Here’s a breakdown of the differences:

  • “Non-self” substances are called antigens, which include the proteins on the surfaces of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Cells of the immune system detect the presence of antigens and work to defend themselves.
  • “Self” substances are proteins on the surface of our own cells. Normally, the immune system has already learned at an earlier stage to identify these cells proteins as “self,” but when it identifies its own body as “non-self,” and fights it, this is called an autoimmune reaction.

The amazing thing about the immune system is that it’s constantly adapting and learning so that the body can fight against bacteria or viruses that change over time. There are two parts of the immune system:

  • Our innate immune system works as a general defense against pathogens.
  • Our adaptive immune system targets very specific pathogens that the body has already has contact with.

These two immune systems complement each other in any reaction to a pathogen or harmful substance.

Immune System Diseases

Before learning exactly how to boost your immune system, first understand that most immune disorders result from either an excessive immune response or an autoimmune attack. Disorders of the immune system include:

  • Allergies and Asthma: Allergies are an immune-mediated inflammatory response to normally harmless environmental substances known as allergens. The body overreacts to an allergen, causing an immune reaction and allergy symptoms. This can result in one or more allergic diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and food allergies.
  • Immune Deficiency Diseases: An immune deficiency disease is when the immune system is missing one or more of its parts, and it reacts too slowly to a threat. Immune deficiency conditions, like HIV/AIDS and drug-induced immune deficiency, are due to severe impairment of the immune system, which leads to infections that are sometimes life-threatening.
  • Autoimmune Diseases: Autoimmune diseases cause your immune system to attack your own body’s cells and tissues in response to an unknown trigger. Examples of autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes.

Immune System Boosters

When searching for how to boost your immune system, look to these herbs, foods, supplements, essential oils, and lifestyle factors.

Herbs

1. Echinacea

Many of echinacea’s chemical constituents are powerful immune system stimulants that can provide significant therapeutic value. Research shows that one of the most significant echinacea benefits is its effects when used on recurring infections.

A 2012 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that echinacea showed maximal effects on recurrent infections, and preventive effects increased when participants used echinacea to prevent the common cold.

A 2003 study conducted at the University of Wisconsin Medical School found that echinacea demonstrates significant immunomodulatory activities. After reviewing several dozen human experiments, including a number of blind randomized trials, researchers indicate that echinacea has several benefits, including immunostimulation, especially in the treatment of acute upper respiratory infection.

2. Elderberry

The berries and flowers of the elder plant have been used as medicine for thousands of years. Even Hippocrates, the “father of medicine,” understood that this plant was key for how to boost your immune system. He used elderberry because of its wide array of health benefits, including its ability to fight colds, the flu, allergies, and inflammation.

Several studies indicate that elderberry has the power to boost the immune system, especially because it has proven to help treat the symptoms of the common cold and flu.

A study published in the Journal of International Medical Research shows that when elderberry was used within the first 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, the extract reduced the duration of the flu, with symptoms being relieved on an average of four days earlier. Plus, the use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo.

3. Astragalus Root

Astragalus is a plant within the bean and legumes family that has a very long history as an immune system booster and disease fighter. Its root has been used as an adaptogen in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Although astragalus is one of the least studied immune-boosting herbs, there are some preclinical trials that show intriguing immune activity.

A recent review published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine found that astragalus-based treatments have demonstrated significant improvement of the toxicity induced by drugs such as immunosuppressants and cancer chemotherapeutics.

Researchers concluded that astragalus extract has a beneficial effect on the immune system, and it protects the body from gastrointestinal inflammation and cancers.

4. Ginseng

The ginseng plant, belonging to the Panax genus, can help you to boost your immune system and fight infections. The roots, stems, and leaves of ginseng have been used for maintaining immune homeostasis and enhancing resistance to illness or infection.

Ginseng improves the performance of your immune system by regulating each type of immune cell, including macrophages, natural killer cells, dendritic cells, T cells, and B cells. It has also proven to possess antimicrobial compounds that work as a defense mechanism against bacterial and viral infections.

A study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine suggests that ginseng extract successfully induces antigen-specific antibody responses when it’s administered orally. Antibodies bind to antigens, such as toxins or viruses, and keep them from contacting and harming normal cells of the body.

Because of ginseng’s ability to play a role in antibody production, it helps the body to fight invading microorganisms or pathogenic antigens.

Foods

5. Bone Broth

Bone broth supports immune function by promoting the health of your gut and reducing inflammation caused by leaky gut syndrome. The collagen and amino acids (proline, glutamine, and arginine) found in bone broth help to seal openings in the gut lining and support its integrity.

We know that gut health plays a major role in immune function, so consuming bone broth works as an excellent immune system booster food.

6. Ginger

Ayurvedic medicine has relied on ginger’s ability for how to boost your immune system before recorded history. It’s believed that ginger helps to break down the accumulation of toxins in our organs due to its warming effects. It’s also known to cleanse the lymphatic system, our network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials.

Ginger root and ginger essential oil can treat a wide range of diseases with its immunonutrition and anti-inflammatory responses. Research shows that ginger has antimicrobial potential, which helps in treating infectious diseases.

It’s also known for its ability to treat inflammatory disorders that are caused by infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites, as well as physical and chemical agents like heat, acid and cigarette smoke.

7. Green Tea

Studies evaluating the efficacy of green tea show that it contains antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties. It works as an antifungal and antivirus agent and may be helpful for immunocompromised patients.

Strengthen your immune system by drinking good-quality green tea daily. The antioxidants and amino acids present in this tea will help your body to fight germs and get well.

8. Vitamin C Foods

Vitamin C foods, like citrus fruits and red bell peppers, improve the health of your immune system by providing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Studies display that getting enough vitamin C (along with zinc) in your diet may help to reduce the symptoms of respiratory infections and shorten the duration of illnesses like the common cold and bronchitis.

The best vitamin C foods to add for a strong immune system include:

  • citrus fruits, including orange, lemon, and grapefruit
  • black currant
  • guava
  • green and red bell pepper
  • pineapple
  • mango
  • honeydew
  • parsley

9. Beta-Carotene Foods

Beta-carotene has powerful antioxidant activity, allowing it to help reduce inflammation and fight oxidative stress. Instead of taking beta-carotene supplements, researchers propose that beta-carotene can promote health when taken at dietary levels, by eating foods rich in the carotenoid.

The richest sources of beta-carotene are yellow, orange, and red fruits and veggies, and leafy greens. Adding the following foods to your diet can help promote a strong immune system:

  • carrot juice
  • pumpkin
  • sweet potato
  • red bell peppers
  • apricot
  • kale
  • spinach
  • collard greens

Supplements

10. Probiotics

Because leaky gut is a major cause of food sensitivities, autoimmune disease and immune imbalance or a weakened immune system, it’s important to consume probiotic foods and supplements.

Probiotics are good bacteria that help you digest nutrients that boost the detoxification of your colon and support your immune system.

Research published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition suggests that probiotic organisms may induce different cytokine responses. Supplementation of probiotics in infancy could help prevent immune-mediated diseases in childhood by improving the gut mucosal immune system and increasing the number of immunoglobulin cells and cytokine-producing cells in the intestines.

11. Vitamin D

Vitamin D can modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses and a vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as increased susceptibility to infection.

Research proves that vitamin D works to maintain tolerance and promote protective immunity. There have been multiple cross-sectional studies that associate lower levels of vitamin D with increased infection.

One study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital included 19,000 participants, and it showed that individuals with lower vitamin D levels were more likely to report a recent upper respiratory tract infection than those with sufficient levels, even after adjusting for variables such as season, age, gender, body mass and race. Sometimes addressing a nutritional deficiency is how to boost your immune system.

12. Zinc

Zinc supplements are often used as an over-the-counter remedy for fighting colds and other illnesses. It may help to reduce cold-related symptoms and shorten the duration of the common cold.

Research evaluating the efficacy of zinc shows that it can interfere with a molecular process that causes bacteria buildup in the nasal passages.

Essential Oils

13. Myrrh

Myrrh is a resin or sap-like substance, that is one of the most widely used essential oils in the world. Historically, myrrh was used to treat hay fever, clean and heal wounds, and stop bleeding. Studies conclude that myrrh strengthens the immune system with its antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.

A 2012 study validated myrrh’s enhanced antimicrobial efficacy when used in combination with frankincense oil against a selection of pathogens. Researchers expressed that myrrh oil has anti-infective properties and can help to boost your immune system.

14. Oregano

Oregano essential oil is known for its healing and immune-boosting properties. It fights infections naturally due to its antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-parasite compounds.

A 2016 study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found that the main compounds in oregano that are responsible for its antimicrobial activity include carvacrol and thymol.

Several scientific studies show that oregano oil exhibited antibacterial activity against a number of bacterial isolates and species, including B. laterosporus and S. saprophyticus. 

Lifestyle

15. Exercise

Incorporating physical activity into your daily and weekly regimen is extremely important to strengthen your immune system.

A 2018 human study published in Aging Cell revealed that high levels of physical activity and exercise improve the immunosenescence (gradual deterioration of the immune system) in older adults aged 55 through 79, compared to those in the same age group who were physically inactive.

The study also highlights that physical activity doesn’t protect against all of the immunosenescence that occurs. However, the decrease in a person’s immune system function and activity can be influenced by decreased physical activity in addition to age.

16. Reduce Stress

Studies prove that chronic stress can suppress protective immune responses and exacerbate pathological immune responses.

In order to promote health and healing, you need to minimize your stress levels. This can be difficult today, especially when people are concerned about becoming ill, but it’s important.

17. Improve Sleep

When you aren’t getting enough sleep, your immune system won’t be able to function properly. In fact, research analyzing the vulnerability of sleep-deprived adults found that those who slept less than six hours a night were more than four times likely to get a cold than adults who slept more than seven hours.

To reduce your chances of catching colds and the flu, make sure you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep every night.

18. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Consuming too much alcohol can certainly impact immune function, which is why you’ll need to cut back on alcohol to fight infections and promote immune system health.

Alcohol negatively impacts gut health, decreasing immune function, and making you more susceptible to harmful pathogens. Stick to one or 2 alcohol drinks a week, or less, to boost your immune system.

19. Take Protective Measures

When there are germs and bugs going around, it’s important to protect yourself and those around you. This means:

  • frequent hand washing, for at least 20 seconds
  • minimize touching your face
  • staying home when sick
  • coughing or sneezing into your elbow
  • seeking medical attention and treatment when needed

Risk and Side Effects

In the quest for how to boost your immune system, proceed with some caution. If you are using these immune-boosting herbs, supplements, and essential oils, remember that the products are extremely potent and should not be taken for more than two weeks at a time. Giving yourself a break in between long doses is important.

Also, if you are pregnant, be cautious when using essential oils and reach out to your health care provider before doing so.

Any time you are using natural remedies like plant supplements, it’s a good idea to do it under the care of your doctor or nutritionist.

Final Thoughts

  • The immune system is an interactive network of organs, cells, and proteins that protect the body from viruses and bacteria or any foreign substances.
  • When the immune system is working properly, you don’t even notice it. It’s when the performance of the immune system is compromised that you face illness.
  • Plants, herbs, minerals, foods, and lifestyle changes can be used to prevent and fight infections due to their antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties.

“How to Boost Your Immune System — Top 19 Boosters

By Christine Ruggeri, CHHC”

Article link: https://draxe.com/health/how-to-boost-your-immune-system/

 

COLD WEATHER HAIRCARE TIPS

Bryce Scarlett Hairstylist represented by www.thewallgroup.com @adjoiningrooms @moroccanoil

BRYCE SCARLETT’S COLD WEATHER HAIRCARE TIPS

COLD WEATHER HAIRCARE TIPS – Changing seasons are the ultimate reminder to evaluate all areas of your life for opportunities for fresh starts—including your beauty routine. And just as your skin likely benefits from richer, more emollient moisturizers as temps start dropping, your hair might need some extra TLC to get it through the cold winter months in ideal shape. We talked to Moroccanoil Celebrity Hairstylist Bryce Scarlett to find out how you can prevent winter hair woes and keep your strands shining all season long.  

What kind of changes should people make in their haircare routines as the weather cools down?

Switch to more moisturizing products—think hydrating masksshampoos, and conditioners. These will help if sun, chlorine, and salt took a toll on your hair over the summer. You can also try using Leave-in Conditioner hair after you shower.

What are easy ways to change things up without undertaking a major cut or color change? 

A great way to do that is by embracing your natural texture. Try air drying to familiarize yourself with what your hair is like when it hasn’t been heat styled.

Are there any products that you recommend for cooler weather? 

For both dryer climates and cooler weather, I recommend Moroccanoil Treatment as it’s a great way to keep your hair moisturized and protected in cold, dry climates.

What kind of changes can people expect to see in their hair and scalp as the weather cools down/humidity decreases? 

Everything will become drier, and it’s very common for people to start experiencing dandruff. Moroccanoil makes a Scalp Treatment that is great for this.

How can people maintain healthy hair throughout fall and winter?  

Keep heat styling to a minimum and work a mask into your hair routine once a week. I highly recommend the Intense Hydrating Mask from Moroccanoil.

What hairstyles, haircuts, and hair color trends do you anticipate seeing a lot of this season?

A lot of people are growing their hair out realizing that they love the look. On the other side of that, after coming out of quarantine, a lot of women are looking for a drastic change so they are going for a bob.

Thoughts on going darker or lighter for a new season?

I think that if someone is getting highlights and they subtly go blonder in the summer and slightly less so in the fall, that’s fantastic. But I do not recommend drastic changes for every season, as that can cause a significant amount of damage.

What do you suggest for people who struggle with static?

Hair Spray is actually a great way to combat static.

If you took a break from heat styling over the summer or during quarantine, what’s the best way to ease back in?

Make sure you are using high-quality hot tools that have proper temperature gauges so that you’re not burning your hair. Then be careful about the temperature you use—if your hair is fine, you should use a lower temp. And also work in a heat protectant like Moroccanoil Perfect Defense.

 

*We wanted to share this article from Moroccan Oil

Original link: https://moroccanoil.com/blog/beauty/bryce-scarletts-cold-weather-haircare-tips/

More about: Bryce Scarlett

Hairstylist represented by www.thewallgroup.com
@adjoiningrooms @moroccanoilwww.adjoiningrooms.com/ep2