Naturally after our beautiful babies arrive in the world we notice that our bodies are changed by the experience. While some of these changes will be with us for the duration (hello stretch marks!), other changes ebb away with time and our body gradually returns to some version of its previous self. Read
As you may know your hormones affect the muscles and ligaments in preparation for delivery. They become more lax and open which allows the bones to shift throughout the body. When this begins to happen there is a greater strain placed on the muscles causing muscle spasms. Because of this, many times the muscles then compress the nerves running through them. During pregnancy this frequently manifests as sciatica, carpal tunnel or thoracic outlet syndrome. As the pregnancy continues to develop your center of gravity shifts forward and your muscles must continually compensate for this change in their normal functioning.
In Traditional Chinese medicine the Middle Jiao is the area generally below the heart to the pubic bone. All Middle Jiao issues revolve around the transformation and transportation of food and fluids. We can include the Stomach, the Intestines, the Spleen, the Liver, the Bladder and the Uterus in the Middle Jiao. Read
A vaginal steam (V-Steam) is an effective and relaxing way to promote reproductive health. The V-Steams are ph balanced to help the body naturally cleanse the vaginal and uterine linings in a safe and gentle way. The warm steam and natural essential oils from the plants nourish and tonify the vaginal and uterine tissues. While improving circulation, the steams alleviate symptoms caused by, or related to, congestion in these tissues
- In a medium covered pot, pour 8 cups of water (preferably purified water).
- Place one handful of fresh herb(s) or 1/4 cup dried into the water.
- Bring water to a soft boil for 5 minutes.
- Turn of the heat, leave the lid on and steep for another 5 minutes with the lid on.
- Pour 4 cups (half) of water into the bowl you have placed in your toilet.
- Wave your hand 8-10 inches over the herbal water to make sure it is not too hot.
- Remove you underwear and sit on the seat above the steaming water.
- Drape a large blanket or sheet around your waist down to the floor making sure no steam escapes.
- Make sure you keep yourself warm, keeping something on your feet (socks, slippers) and neck. You do not want any cold to get into your body while you are trying to warm it.
- You should feel a warm, rolling heat for about 10-12 minutes.
- 11.When the steam dies down dump the water into the toilet. Starting with step #4 begin the second dosage. If it has cooled too much reheat but test again before sitting over the steam.
Benefits of a V-Steam include
Clears dark menstrual blood from the beginning or ending of the cycle
Dysmenorrhea (painful periods aka cramping)
Stop and start periods
Yeast infections and other vaginal bacteria
Support for Cervical Dysplasia
Vaginal dryness and painful intercourse
Increases cervical fluids
Helps relax the vaginal canal and cervix
Nourishes the and tonifies the uterine lining
Assisted Fertility Cycles
Increases the effectiveness of assisted (IVF, IUI, Donor). Please Note: consult an Arvigo Practitioner before using steams during these cycles!
Special NotesIt is very important to test the temperature of the steam before using. If it is too hot wait 15 seconds and test it again until it feels comfortably warm to steam with.
Do not add or use “essential oils” they are too strong and may burn sensitive genital tissue.
It can temporary increase menstrual flow with more dark fluids or debris. Menses may start earlier than usual due to the cleansing effect.
Plants: Dry or fresh plants are suggested. Also, if possible, use organic plants. Many plants you find on your spice rack are perfect. Most commonly used are basil (move fluids), rosemary (anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial), oregano (antiseptic, antispasmodic, expectorant), calendula (anti- inflammatory), motherwort (tonifies, cramping, infections), mugwort (all purpose), marigolds (same properties as calendula).
*** Avoid V-Steams if you are pregnant, after ovulation (if attempts have been made to conceive,) if you are bleeding heavily, during the full flow of period, you have an acute infection, and/or you have vaginal sores or blisters.
Here at the YinOva Center you can schedule a V-Steam with a trained and experienced therapist. However you can also steam at home, but consult an MD, herbalist, or certified abdominal massage practitioner when combining herbs (do not use essential oils, since quality is hard to regulate, few are pure, and they’re too concentrated and strong for internal use).
This year we had a bumper crop. Whether it is the blazing heat of summer or the depth of winter, we often use peppers in our recipes. For thousands of years, people from South America to North Africa have created spectacular dishes, using hot peppers to bring on a little fire. Peppers like these habaneros we are growing, also have medicinal qualities. They have been used in traditional herbal remedies for centuries and today there is an ever-growing selection of over-the-counter products that make use of their healing powers.
The active ingredient in peppers is called Capsaicin and it is the compound that gives them their heat. Chemically it hyper-stimulates sensory nerves which causes the burning sensation on your tongue and other sensitive tissues. In controlled amounts though it can be used topically to reduce the pain associated with arthritis, shingles and the neuropathy of diabetes. This analgesic ability comes from capsaicin’s effect on your body’s neuropeptide substance P, which is involved in the transmission of nerve pain. Also, as a local irritant, capsaicin in the right amounts can dilate capillaries and promote circulation. Taken internally, the health benefits of capsaicin in peppers continues to be studied and has been shown to have many potential benefits. These include
- Thinning mucous secretions in some respiratory conditions
- Treatment of prostate and lung cancer
- Risk reduction of atherosclerosis
- Diminishing the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia
- Reduce insulin resistance in type 1 diabetes
- Treatment of cluster headaches
In traditional Chinese medicine peppers that contain capsaicin are, predictably categorized as hot and spicy. Like ginger and cinnamon they are by nature therapeutically warming, promote circulation, and can help relieve pain, depending on how and in what amounts they are taken. Before taking a new herb it’s always a good idea to talk with a qualified practitioner. However there are lots of sensible ways to use the healing power of hot peppers on your own. Of course cooking with peppers is fun and once you find one that’s to your taste, they can add tremendous flavor –not just bite- to dishes. In my pozole recipe, there are 5 different kinds of pepper, balanced for taste.