BLOG


Nourish your skin with hydrosols

nourish your skin with hydrosols

What are hydrosols and how can they nourish your skin?

Hydrosols are aromatic waters that are produced from distilling flowers, fruits, leaves, and other plant materials with hot steam. They are also known as “flower waters” or “floral waters”.  Hydrosols are much less concentrated and more gentle than essential oils. They have a lighter, more delicate scent than an essential oil. Their production dates back to the early 1500s. Hydrosols nourish your skin by delivering a fine mist of theraputic plant essence to your skin.

A true hydrosol is produced by hot steam distillation, and fresh plants are used rather than dried plants. It is recommended to select a hydrosol that is made from a dedicated water distillation rather than a water that is collected as s byproduct of an essential oil production. A dedicated water distillation ensures a more potent, theraputic, and fragrant content of essential oil in the hydrosol. Additionally, some products are marketed as hydrosols that are made from reconstituted water and essential oil with chemical dispersants added.

 

How to use hydrosols

Hydrosols provide moisture and nourishment to the skin. One great way to use them is to spray lightly around the face and neckline for a soothing, reviving mist. Mist throughout the day to freshen the face. Hydrosols are wonderful for maintaining moist, healthy skin, as well as nourishing skin that is dry from travel, air conditioning or heat, and stress. They’re a great pick me up, and can feel like a treat to take a revitalizing break during the day. Close your eyes, give a gentle spray to the face and neck, inhale, and exhale with a smile.

 

Hydrosols can be used in a more concentrated form to treat specific skin conditions. For skin care, after cleansing, spray a cotton ball or compress about five times and apply to the face and neckline. Follow with your favorite serum and / or moisturizer. Finish with another spray of the hydrosol if desired.

 

Hydrosols can also be used as room sprays. They are great for refreshing the air in a room, whether in a dry or warm climate. Mist freely to add a subtle fragrance to any room. Hydrosols can refresh, revitalize, and deodorize a space. They can also clear negative energy from a space.

 

Our preferred hydrosol source

We prefer Snow Lotus hydrosols at HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese medicine. Snow Lotus hydrosols are made from organically cultivated and ethically wild harvested fresh plant sources. They are genuine hydrosols produced through hot steam distillation dedicated to creating the hydrosol. Snow Lotus hydrosols are wonderfully fragrant and theraputically potent. Snow Lotus is a California-based company founded by Licensed Acupuncturist and Medical Herbalist Peter Holmes. Peter personally sources and selects plants and oils directly from the artisans who grow and distill the plants. He selects artisans who focus on regional biodiversity and sustainability.

 

Our favorite hydrosols

We love using the following Snow Lotus hydrosols at HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese medicine. Here are some of our favorites:

 

Chamomile

Origin: France

Properties: Relaxing, sensuous, cooling, and soothing.

Best for: All skin types, especially sensitive and combination.

Additional benefits: Very gentle.

 

Geranium

Origin: France

Properties: Relaxing, soothing, harmonizing.

Best for: Mature, oily, and sensitive.

Additional benefits: Anti-inflammatory, heals broken capillaries, wrinkles, stretch marks, bruises, wounds, ulcers, acne, boils, and rosacea.

 

Helichrysum

Origin: France

Properties: Soothing, sensual, nurturing.

Best for: All skin types, especially sensitive or delicate.

Additional benefits: Toning, firming. Healing and soothing properties treat damaged skin, broken capillaries, and veins, stretch marks, and mild cuts. Sooths irritated skin, inflammation, and itching, including sunburn, eczema, rosacea, and shingles.

 

Lavender

Origin: USA, California

Properties: Soothing, refreshing, rejuvenating.

Best for: All skin types.

Additional benefits: Calming to irritated and ‘hot’ skin.

 

Lindenflower

Origin: France

Properties: Harmonizing, calming, soothing.

Best for: Dry, delicate or combination skin.

Additional benefits: Soothing and cooling for skin irritation, sunburn, scalds, rashes.

 

Neroli (Orange blossom)

Origin: France

Properties: Uplifting, clearing, euphoric.

Best for: All skin types, especially sensitive skin.

Additional benefits: Hydrating delicate or sensitive skin.

 

Rose

Origin: Bulgaria

Properties: Harmonizing, calming, soothing, nurturing.

Best for: All skin types, especially dry, delicate, or mature skin.

Additional benefits: Very hydrating, soothing, and conditioning on the skin.

 

Want to know more about how to nourish your skin with hydrosols and the treatments available at HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese medicine?  We’d love to hear from you. Reach out and email through our website or call or text 910-622-4269.

 

About the Author

Ericca Burke is the owner of HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine where she provides acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments in Wilmington, NC. Click this link to read more about Ericca. 

 

About HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Wilmington, NC

HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine is an acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice located in Wilmington, NC just minutes from beautiful Wrightsville Beach. Click this link for contact information and directionsClick this link for a listing and description of services offered.

What acupuncture can treat – it may surprise you!

acupuncture can treat

I had no idea that acupuncture can treat all that!

People often ask me what acupuncture can treat. They are usually surprised by my response. I tell them that acupuncture can treat almost anything that is causing someone to feel unwell. That is, except for life threatening or acute conditions like a heart attack, stroke, or severe bleeding. In those cases, I advise a prompt trip to the emergency room. So, why would I make such a broad statement about acupuncture? Acupuncture and Chinese medicine focus on identifying where the body’s energy flow needs support. If a person’s energy is blocked, excessive or deficient, then pain, discomfort, and illness can result.  Acupuncture and Chinese medicine help restore the optimal flow of energy so the body can heal itself. Therefore, it is effective in helping with a multitude of challenges people face.

 

Examples of conditions that acupuncture can treat

Dermatological

  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Pruritus
  • Psoriasis
  • Rosacea
  • Rashes / hives
  • Dryness
  • Swelling
  • Wrinkles
  • Sagging skin

Digestive

  • Heartburn
  • Acid Reflux
  • Bloating
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Chronic indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Acute and chronic gastritis
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Side effects of chemotherapy

ENT / Respiratory Pain

  • Sinusitis
  • Colds / Flu
  • Cough
  • Allergies / wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Hearing issues
  • Tinnitus
  • Symptoms from long COVID

A note on allergies – people are surprised to learn that acupuncture can even treat the “red meat allergy” to alpha gal, where someone is not able to consume red meat or products containing alpha galactose. You can read more about the treatment for the alpha gal allergy in my blog How auricular acupuncture can help the alpha gal allergy.

 

 Mental & Emotional Wellbeing

  • Stress
  • Anxiety, palpitations
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Grief, healing from trauma
  • Weight loss / loss of appetite
  • Smoking cessation
  • Addiction

Neurological

  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Vision issues
  • Twitches, tics, tremors
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Recovery from stroke

Pain

  • Sports injuries
  •  Muscle pain and cramps
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sciatica
  • Back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Leg, ankle and foot pain
  •  Arm, wrist and hand pain
  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Jaw pain (TMJ)
  • Dental pain
  • Arthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • Myofascial pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Eye pain
  • Postoperative pain
  • Cold hands / feet

Reproductive / Genitourinary

  • Menstrual issues
  • Fertility
  • Menopause
  • Hot flashes / night sweats
  • Incontinence

 

Articles about what acupuncture can treat

Here are links to articles from the Mayo Clinic,  Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the Cleveland Clinic that describe conditions that acupuncture can help.

Want to talk about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you? We’d love to hear from you. Reach out and email us through our website or call or text us at 910-622-4269.

 

About the Author

Ericca Burke is the owner of HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine where she provides acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments in Wilmington, NC. Click this link to read more about Ericca. 

 

About HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Wilmington, NC

HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine is an acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice located in Wilmington, NC just minutes from beautiful Wrightsville Beach. Click this link for contact information and directionsClick this link for a listing and description of services offered.

 

Enhance your vitality with qigong

Qigong

What is qigong?

Qigong is a practice of cultivating energy. The word “qi” refers to energy or life force, and the word “gong” in this case refers to work or practice. Qigong is a combination of gentle movements with mindful breathing that balance and move energy. Qigong can be practiced by anyone at any age or level of health.

  

Why I love it

I love qigong because it is so simple and effective. It can be practiced anywhere. I don’t need any equipment or to go to the gym. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining outside or too hot or too cold. I can practice if I am sick or injured. I can tailor and recommend qigong movements to every one of my patients regardless of their age or level of health.

 

Benefits of qigong

Practicing qigong has been said to be like recharging your battery. It gives you energy. Qigong balances your energy, and it can help calm and disperse uncomfortable energy like stress and anxiety. The body is then able to use this energy to heal anything that may need to be healed. Qigong benefits mental, emotional, and physical health. It can also be very helpful in boosting immunity.

 

How I incorporate it into a treatment

In addition to offering telehealth appointments with customized qigong exercises, I will often recommend qigong exercises to my patients who come in for acupuncture treatments. This is especially useful for people who want to continue to enhance their vitality and well-being at home. At the end of an acupuncture session, I will teach patients a simple exercise or two. We’ll practice it together to make sure they can feel the sensations and ask questions if needed. Here are two  examples of simple qigong exercises that can be done at home:

Shaking:

  • Stand with feet shoulder with apart.
  • Start at your hands and begin a shaking motion that moves up your arms and through your body. Include your head, torso, legs, etc.
  • This moves energy and stuck emotions.
  • Let yourself exhale deeply to release tension.
  • Open your mouth and make a sound if you like. This could be a sigh, a grunt, or whatever feels right to you.
  • This exercise is great for stress relief.

 

Calming:

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart.
  • Inhale and raise arms with palms facing up over your head, and then exhale with the palms facing each other and gently let them float down.
  • When your palms pass in front of your face, turn the palms down to face the ground and continue lowering your palms in front of you until they reach your hips.
  • Repeat at least three times.
  • During the last time, let your hands rest on your lower abdomen with palms facing in, and take a few more slow breaths into your abdomen.
  • This exercise is also referred to as “waterfalls”. It can be helpful to envision gentle water washing over you, easing away tension and invigorating you as you practice.
  • This exercise smooths, calms, and grounds your energy.

 

Resources

There are so many wonderful books, DVDs, and even free videos on Youtube dedicated to qigong practices. Some are tailored to areas like stress and anxiety, headaches, back pain, insomnia, digestion, and immunity to name a few. Others focus on certain populations, like chair-based qigong for elderly or injured people.

 

Here are links to some of my favorite teachers and videos: 

 

Want to learn more about qigong and get customized exercises just for you? I’d love to hear from you. Reach out and email me through our website or call or text 910-622-4269.

 

About the Author

Ericca Burke is the owner of HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine where she provides acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments in Wilmington, NC. Click this link to read more about Ericca. 

 

About HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Wilmington, NC

HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine is an acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice located in Wilmington, NC just minutes from beautiful Wrightsville Beach. Click this link for contact information and directions. Click this link for a listing and description of services offered.

The value of Health and Wellness coaching

health and wellness coaching

What is Health and Wellness Coaching?

Health and wellness coaching is a structured partnership where coaches work closely with clients to enhance health and wellness through lasting behavior changes that are aligned with the client’s values.  A health and wellness coach holds a respectful, positive, and supportive space for their clients. A recent article from Harvard Medical School entitled “Health coaching is effective. Should you try it?” shares how a Harvard Physician, Dr. Grinspoon, found that health and wellness coaching has helped people attain health goals that had previously been out of their reach. Dr. Grinspoon listed Duke Integrative Medicine as one of top four most respected training programs in the country. I received my foundational and certification training from Duke Integrative Medicine, and I agree that is a top-notch program.

 

How does it work?

It all starts with you, the client. You’re probably reading this blog because you are interested in making a change in your life to improve your health and wellness. Has there been a behavior or part of your life that you have wanted to change, but you haven’t had the tools to be successful? Has a health concern has arisen that you need to address? A coach will help you develop and realize your optimal health vision. You are the expert on yourself and your life, and the coaching partnership focuses on making and supporting meaningful changes that will work specifically for you and your unique needs.

 

Why is it effective in helping people realize their optimal health and wellness?

The coaching partnership is based on respect, non-judgement, and accountability. The coaching methodology I learned through the coaching program at Duke Integrative Medicine is based on the neuroscience of behavior change. This is a very motivating and empowering process for creating lasting change.

Specifically:

  • Coaches work with you as a whole person. They listen to your concerns and ask powerful questions to help motivate you to make the changes you desire.
  • Coaches spend time exploring what is most important to you in your overall health and wellness and allow you to choose your course of action.
  • Coaches guide you through a process to maximize your success.
  • You and your coach work in partnership to identify obstacles to change and create strategies for achieving your goals.
  • Coaches support you in tracking your progress and hold you accountable for your commitments.
  • Coaches provide additional resources as needed for making healthy behavior changes.

 

What are appropriate topics for health and wellness coaching?

Health and wellness are affected by multiple interconnected dimensions. These dimensions include physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, as well as support from healthcare providers. Any concern that gets in the way of taking care of your optimal health and wellness is the perfect place to start. Therefore, any topic you want to bring up that you think will contribute to your optimal health and wellness is an appropriate topic for health and wellness Coaching.

 

Here are some examples of potential topics:

  • Managing stress and anxiety
  • Building healthy sleep habits
  • Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Improving nutrition
  • Starting or adapting an exercise program
  • Making a career change
  • Pursuing an unachieved life goal or hobby
  • Creating a healthy and safe home or work environment
  • Navigating difficult relationships
  • Planning preventative and routine medical care
  • Quitting smoking
  • Working through a health concern like diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol

 

This is just a taste of some of the things that can be covered in health and wellness coaching. Whatever matters most to you is the best place to start.

 

Want to learn more about how Health and Wellness coaching can help you? I’d love to hear from you. Reach out and email me through our website or call or text 910-622-4269.

 

About the Author

Ericca Burke is a Health and Wellness Coach trained by Duke Integrative Medicine. She is based in Wilmington, NC, and she is available to coach clients around the world virtually. Click this link to read more about Ericca. 

 

 

Learn the ancient Chinese art of yangsheng – nourishing life

yangsheng

Why yangsheng and the art of nourishing life is important

At the start of the Chinese New Year in February 2021, I listened to a webcast from one of my favorite teachers, Lillian Pearl Bridges. Lillian is an expert on Face Reading. She can tell what’s going on with a person’s health and wellness just by looking at their face. Lillian also has a broad knowledge of Chinese astrology and Feng Shui. I have taken a number of Lillian’s classes, and I look forward to the special Chinese New Year forecast that she presents to Chinese Medicine practitioners each year.

 

This year, when Lillian shared her thoughts about the year of the Ox, she stressed the importance of practicing yangsheng. The ox is a very respected animal, and it is valued for its ability to work hard and endure. This year will require patience and an emphasis on yangsheng. Simply put, yangsheng refers to the practice of nourishing life that has been in existence and documented for other two thousand years. “Yang” translates to nurture or nourish. “Sheng” translates to life or vitality. This is a practice of self-cultivation or self-care that is believed to be crucial to overall health and longevity.

 

How to practice yangsheng

Another favorite teacher of mine is Peter Deadman. He has written a number of books on Chinese Medicine and has delved deeply into yangsheng. He states that there are three main ways to practice yangsheng:

 

First, avoid behavior that causes harm. This includes consuming alcohol excessively, smoking, eating poor quality food, allowing emotions to damage our mental health, and not being physically active.

 

Second, engage in activities that promote health and well-being. This includes eating healthfully, exercising appropriately, fostering positive emotions and managing negative emotions, practicing good sleep hygiene, cultivating positive relationships, and spending time in nature. Follow this link to read my blog on how to improve your sleep. To help manage emotions, click this link to read a blog I wrote on how to manage stress and anxiety.

 

Third, practice exercises specifically designed to nourish life. This includes qigong, taiji (also known as tai chi), and yoga.  Other yangsheng-specific activities include meditation, mindful breathing, and practicing the relaxation response. Follow this link to read a blog I wrote on how you can practice the relaxation response.

 

 

Balance and moderation are key

In our American culture, we have a tendency to overdo things, and we can become unbalanced. To practice yangsheng we need to consider a balanced approach to life. For example, some of us may be great at exercising consistently but we don’t get enough sleep. Maybe we eat really well but we also worry constantly and experience stress and anxiety. In yangsheng, balancing exercise, diet, sleep, and mental health are essential. Everything in moderation. I deeply respect this approach. In fact, the name of the Chinese Medicine school I attended, Jung Tao, translates to “middle way”. Not too far one way or the other. The middle way is preferable.

 

Even though yangsheng concepts are quite simple, they can be very difficult to put into practice. Most people will want more of something that feels good to them. If a little is good, more must be better. This can give way to overeating, overexercising, even oversleeping.

 

Time can also be challenge with so many of us leading busy lives. It is often hard to find time to do all of the things we want to do. As I have been working on cultivating yangsheng for myself this year, I find that some weeks I am successful at including exercise, but I am not able to pay as much attention to healthy eating habits. Other weeks I eat really well and make time to meditate, but do not find time to exercise. Trying to squeeze everything in can create an imbalance of activity and can be counter to the principles of yangsheng.

 

Make time to rest

Balancing doing with non-doing, or rest, is key. Creating free spaces in your day are important to balance all of the activity. What I’ve discovered is most important for me is to be kind to myself and to be as present as I can with whatever activity I am engaged in. That in and of itself is a very important part of nourishing life.

 

Want to talk about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you? I’d love to hear from you. Reach out and email me through our website or call or text 910-622-4269.

 

About the Author

Ericca Burke is the owner of HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine where she provides acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments in Wilmington, NC. Click this link to read more about Ericca. 

 

About HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Wilmington, NC

HAVEN Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine is an acupuncture and Chinese medicine practice located in Wilmington, NC just minutes from beautiful Wrightsville Beach. Click this link for contact information and directions. Click this link for a listing and description of services offered.