Healing in the Garden

Healing in the Garden

Claude Monet said, “Perhaps, I owe having become a painter to flowers.” There’s nothing that feeds the senses more than basking in the richness of nature’s canvas. Tending to a garden and bearing witness to its unpredictable splendor is a captivating experience that ignites a sense of holiness and meditation. Many Artists like Monet, Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Dali, and Kahlo cultivated beautiful gardens specifically to give them a pleasing natural subject to paint. Claude Monet used his garden to aid in his recovery from a debilitating depression, and then painted it on canvases to help heal the war-torn French nation.

For years, healing gardens have been found at nursing homes, hospitals, and healthcare facilities where they provide a place of refuge for patients, family, and staff. Places of worship, college campuses, and city centers often have a central garden where people can contemplate and find solace. When I lived in NYC, I was incredibly lucky to live across the street from Central Park, and would often bring a towel, music, or a book and hide out from the chaos swarming around me. Research has shown that when you connect with nature, positive changes occur in the body that include lowering blood pressure, decreasing heart rate, reducing stress, and improving mood. Most of us are dealing with stress in our everyday lives and could all benefit from our own healing garden.

April is National Garden Month, and a good time to create a healing and inspirational garden that indulges your senses. When you create a blueprint for your garden, include a place to sit and observe the beauty of nature. This can be a simple bench, a comfy chair, or a hammock. Add a focal point for meditation and reflection such as a sculpture, interesting rocks, art, or wind chimes. The sound of water evokes a feeling of relaxation and contemplation and can include a water fountain, a pond, or a waterfall. If you plan to spend time in your sanctuary in the evening, use LED lighting to set off plants to their best advantage. Drape a string of lights over an arbor or tree. Encourage butterflies, birds, insects, and other wildlife to the garden with bird feeders, birdhouses, and plants that supply nectar and food.

When deciding which plants to add to your healing garden, remember to grow what you like. Some colorful flowers that grow easily in most environments include:





  Morning Glories








Include some healing herbs that will be easy to dry out and make into medicinal teas:

 Dandelion supports a healthy liver, kidney function, blood pressure, and encourages the healing of skin ailments like acne.

 Echinacea is used as an immune stimulant and the tea is often gargled for a sore throat.

 Fennel stimulates appetite and supports healthy digestion.

 Garlic aids in immune function, supports healthy blood pressure, and is traditionally used in
remedies to eliminate common intestinal parasites.

 Lavender is typically grown for its beautiful flowers and lovely scent. It is traditionally used to support mental wellness. It can be used for tea or in bath sachets.

 Lemon balm supports headache relief, encourages stress relief,
and restful sleep.

 Thyme is used medicinally to support healthy lungs and corrects fungal imbalances.

You can make your healing garden adaptable to any living situation, whether in your backyard or with potted plants on your balcony, or in a sunny corner of your living room. It’s a great opportunity to let your creativity flourish and nurture well-being.

Natasha Kubis is a licensed acupuncturist and certified yoga teacher.
For more
information, visit acuwellhealth.com

Relieving Menstrual Pain

Relieving Menstrual Pain

 What is dysmenorrhea?

Dysmenorrhea is a medical term that means “painful periods” and unfortunately 50%-90% of menstruating women experience it every month. It’s ironic that such an important and life-giving biological function can have such an agonizing physical and emotional impact on us. There are a number of ways to decrease menstrual pain and to increase quality of life, allowing for a more amicable monthly visit from Aunt Flo.

What causes menstrual cramping?

Dr. Vicky Scott is the founder of Asheville Gynecology and Wellness, an integrative GYN practice in Asheville, N.C. She is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology, lifestyle medicine, as well as integrative and holistic medicine. She explains that as women get closer to their period the body starts producing prostaglandins, which are inflammatory compounds that cause the uterus to contract and release its lining. This can cause cramping. Cramps can also occur with an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone, particularly when estrogen levels are too high or progesterone levels are too low.

The following are the most common symptoms of dysmenorrhea:

• Cramping and pain in the lower abdomen

• Low back pain

• Pain radiating down the legs

• Nausea

• Vomiting

• Diarrhea

• Fatigue

• Weakness

• Fainting

• Headaches

It is very important to see a gynecologist to address any underlying causes of dysmenorrhea. Other conditions that can cause cramping, pelvic pressure, low back pain, heavy or prolonged periods, and gastrointestinal issues include the following:

Endometriosis is a condition that causes the tissue that usually lines your uterus to grow outside the uterus.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormone disorder affecting approximately 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. This is when the body tends to produce higher than normal amounts of male hormones. Symptoms include heavy periods, prolonged periods, excessive facial and body hair, weight gain, trouble losing weight, acne, thinning hair, or hair loss.

Fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop inside or outside of the uterus. They range in size from as small as a seed to large masses that can cause an enlarged uterus. The symptoms vary depending on the number of fibroids, their size, and location.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a bacterial infection of the female reproductive organs. It’s usually caused by sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. Symptoms include painful intercourse, bleeding during or after sex, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, burning sensation when urinating, fever, and spotting between periods.

Adenomyosis is a thickening of the uterus. It occurs when the endometrial tissue that lines your uterus grows into the muscles of your uterus and can cause your uterus to grow two to three times its normal size.

An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small birth control device that’s inserted into your uterus. There are different types of IUDs available, some containing hormones while others are hormone-free. They’re safe for most people, but they can occasionally cause side effects, including severe menstrual cramps, irregular periods, and heavy menstrual bleeding.

How to treat painful periods

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, help reduce menstrual pain by inhibiting prostaglandin activity, and reducing inflammation.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is another option if NSAIDS fail to work, or upset the stomach.

Hormone therapy such as the birth control pill, skin patches, or a Depo-Provera shot may prevent ovulation and reduce the severity of menstrual cramps. They can also make periods lighter, shorter, and less painful. This is not an option for women who smoke, have a history of blood clots, high blood pressure, or cancer.

Regular exercise increases endorphins which can decrease pain.

A heating pad across the abdomen can help relax the abdominal muscles.

Pelvic floor physical therapy can relieve pelvic floor pain associated with excessive tightening and cramping by helping shortened and contracted muscles to stretch and relax.

A hot bath with aromatherapy oils such as lavender, chamomile, and sage can be soothing.

Give yourself an abdominal massage by placing your hands over your navel. Begin by making small circles in a clockwise direction. This should be done slowly with moderate pressure for about a minute. Then gradually increase the size of the circling until you are rubbing the entire abdomen.

Food as Medicine

Dr. Scott often recommends proper nutrition and dietary changes to support a healthy and pain free menstrual cycle. Foods eaten can either increase the estrogen effect or reduce it. There have been studies that show that women who eat a high fiber and low fat diet have less estrogen levels and less painful cycles. Here are some dietary and lifestyle recommendations from Dr. Scott:

Eat whole grains such as brown rice, whole-grain bread, and oatmeal.

Eat vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, and Brussels sprouts.

Eat legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils.

Eat fruits such as apples, mangoes, berries, and oranges.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.

Avoid refined grains such as white bread, refined cereals, and pastries.

Avoid fatty foods such as doughnuts, cheese, French fries, and potato chips.

Reduce stress: psychological stress may increase your risk of menstrual cramps.

Drink herbal teas such as chamomile, ginger, lemon balm, fenugreek, peppermint, and cramp bark which contain anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic compounds.

Supplements such as vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-1 (thiamine), vitamin B-6, and magnesium may effectively reduce menstrual cramps.

A Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach

In Chinese medicine, the most common reason for menstrual cramping is because of the stagnation of blood circulation in the lower abdomen. Acupuncture is a safe and effective technique used to increase blood flow, relax contractions, and move stagnation.  Researchers at The National Institute of Complementary Medicine at Western Sydney University in Australia conducted a study to compare the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of dysmenorrhea. The researchers found that, in all cases, acupuncture led to a significant reduction in the intensity and duration of menstrual pain after three months of treatment.

Yoga as Medicine

Vinita Khatavkar is a seasoned yogi who teaches in the Asheville area. She has been practicing yoga since 1989 and says that regular practice of asanas (yogic postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques) are beneficial for relieving menstrual pain. Every asana can be held for 5 to 6 deep breaths or for a longer duration if it helps with the pain. She notes that inversions such as headstands and shoulder stands, as well as deep twists and backbends, should be avoided while menstruating.

Natasha Kubis is a licensed acupuncturist and certified yoga teacher.
For more 
information, visit acuwellhealth.com

The Ancient Art of Cupping

The Ancient Art of Cupping

By Natasha Kubis

When Olympic Gold Medalist, Michael Phelps, appeared in photographs sporting red circular marks all over his body, people questioned if he had been in an altercation with an octopus. In recent years, celebrities and athletes alike have brought the ancient art of cupping therapy to the public eye, making it more mainstream than ever before.

Cupping may be trending at the moment but it is in fact a universal therapy practiced by many cultures around the world. It can be traced back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern times, and as early as 1550 BC. It was prescribed for various ailments in the records of Herodotus, Hippocrates, Celsus, and Aretaeus. Its roots can be found in the ancient healing systems of Tibetan, Oriental, and Ayurvedic medicine (traditional Indian medicine), as well as Unani (a South Asian and Middle Eastern folk medicine).

As ancient and widely used as this technique is, it is widely misunderstood in our modern culture and the marks that it leaves on the skin can make people quite apprehensive, understandably so. Having some knowledge about the technique may help transform it into a viable option to treat your aches and pains.

What is cupping used for?

Cupping is effective for relieving pain, relaxing muscle spasms, increasing local blood circulation, and detoxifying local tissues. It can increase range of motion in the joints, and promote flexibility in the ligaments, tendons, and in-between muscle layers. It is most effective for neck, back, knee, and elbow pain, as well as for conditions like tendonitis, sciatica, tension headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia, and arthritis. It can be used for bronchial congestion caused by allergies, asthma, and the common cold.

How does it work?

There are several cupping methods. A traditional technique used by practitioners of Chinese Medicine is called Glass Jar Fire Cupping. The practitioner will light a cotton ball on fire and use it as a heat source to warm the glass cup and to remove the oxygen from inside of it. The cup is then placed on the skin and as the air inside of it cools, a vacuum effect causes the blood vessels to expand and the skin begins to rise.

More modern versions of cupping methods used by massage therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors, or for home use do not use fire, but instead, create the vacuum effect with glass, bamboo, earthenware, or silicon cups that are moved across the skin, or remain stationary.

Is it similar to massage?

Cupping has a similar effect on the body as massage except that cupping uses suction or negative pressure rather than the tissue compression used in massage techniques. The suction stretches the tissues up from the underlying structures, thereby releasing muscle tension and loosening areas of restriction. This creates an expansion of the tissues while increasing blood flow, promoting better functioning of sweat and sebaceous glands, flushing capillary beds, and dispelling stagnation and congestion.

How does it affect the skin?

The suction of the cups often leaves temporary marks on the skin. The marks resemble bruising, but are not painful. They are the result of bringing blood and toxins to the skin’s surface. The color of the marks can range from light pink to dark purple, depending on your condition. The marks can last from about 3 to 10 days. To help reduce this duration, it is recommended to drink plenty of water after your treatment.

Does it hurt?

No, it does not hurt. Most people find it relaxing and feel a warm suction, as though their skin is being lifted.

How many treatments will you need?

The effects of cupping are cumulative and the treatment should be repeated until the ailment is resolved. The severity of the marks will usually diminish with each follow up treatment, indicating that the stagnation in the tissues has decreased.

Are there any risks associated with the technique?

It is important to see a licensed acupuncturist, Doctor of Chinese Medicine, licensed massage therapist, physical therapist, or chiropractor who has been adequately trained in the technique. Do not be shy about asking about their training before booking a session. The risks of cupping are very low with a trained professional who has adequate experience. There are cupping sets available for home use, but it is important to have proper knowledge of safe cupping practices before trying it on yourself or others.

Cupping is contraindicated for those with blood clotting disorders (like deep vein thrombosis or history of stroke), bleeding disorders (such as hemophilia), or those who take blood thinners (such as warfarin). It is not recommended for skin conditions such as allergic dermatitis, psoriasis, or eczema. Cupping is contraindicated in cases of severe diseases such as cardiac failure, renal failure, ascites due to hepato-cirrhosis, and severe edema. Cupping should not be applied over broken bones, dislocations, hernias, and should not be used on the low back or abdomen during pregnancy.

The Takeaway

Cupping is a wonderful option to help ease pain and inflammation, increase blood flow, promote relaxation and well-being by calming the nervous system, aid in detox, and provide a deep-tissue massage. The cupping marks also make for a good story when wearing a bathing suit or a strapless dress!

Natasha Kubis is a licensed acupuncturist and certified yoga teacher.
For more
information, visit acuwellhealth.com

Tea Culture

Tea Culture

By Natasha Kubis

Next to water, tea is the most commonly consumed drink around the world. It is deeply integrated into many cultures because of its abilities to bring people together, to soothe the soul, to please the senses, to elevate the mind, and to heal the body.

“No matter where you are in the world, you are at home when tea is served.” – Earlene Grey

I will never forget my experience with Moroccan hospitality while traveling through that enchanting country. Every person I met along the way was eager to help and connect, even when language was a barrier. Their most common tool for communication was their national beverage, “Berber Whiskey,” or mint tea. Light-hearted Moroccans coined this phrase because consuming alcohol in public is not allowed in Morocco. Mint tea was served in almost every situation, whether doing a business transaction of any kind, when arriving back to my riad (hotel), with every meal, and even while in the middle of the desert, camping in a tent, around a bonfire with Tuareg folks playing hand drums on empty gasoline cans. A moment in Morocco is never complete without a cup of mint tea. In most Arabic cultures, tea is more than a beverage, it’s a bridge for intercommunication, fellowship, and communion. Its ritual is at the very heart of the Arabic way of life.

Maghrebi mint tea is the traditional green tea that Moroccans use. It is made with spearmint (or peppermint leaves) and sugar. It is popular throughout Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania. The green tea serves as an antioxidant, while the fresh mint energizes you, cleanses your palate, and freshens your breath. Thanks to the anti-inflammatory agents found in mint, its properties are said to help fight seasonal colds, flus, allergies, and stomach ulcers.

Moroccan Mint Tea Recipe

  1 tablespoon of loose Chinese gunpowder green tea

  5 cups of boiling water

  3 tablespoons of sugar

  1 large bunch of fresh mint

Put the tea in the teapot and pour in 1 cup of boiling water, then swirl it around gently to warm the pot and rinse the tea. Strain out and discard the water, reserving the tea leaves in the pot. Add the remaining 4 cups of boiling water to the tea and let it steep for 2 minutes. Stir in sugar and mint sprigs and steep for 3 to 4 minutes more. Serve in small heatproof glasses.

Some other varieties of Arabic tea include the following:

Sage tea is usually served after a meal to aid in digestion, get rid of heartburn, and stop flatulence.

Anise is a licorice-tasting tea that has been used for hundreds of years for treating coughs and flu symptoms. It also helps improve digestion, alleviate cramps, and reduce nausea.

Thyme tea is said to help improve memory and cleanse the stomach.

Cardamom tea helps aid digestion and increase saliva flow. For this reason, it is usually sipped before meals rather than after, to help prepare your digestive enzymes.

Black tea is the most common tea you’ll find in any kitchen cupboard, and a staple among Arabic people. It is the tea with the highest caffeine content. Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. It also may reduce the risk of stroke.

“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.” – Lin Yutang

For Chinese culture, tea is synonymous with life, and has been used for traditional medical purposes for the last 5,000 years. The tea leaf was first discovered in China back in 2737 BCE, when the Emperor Shen Nung came across the Camellia sinensis, while relaxing under the shade of a wild tea tree. He was boiling some drinking water and a breeze blew a few leaves from the tree into the pot, giving the water a pleasing flavor. He experimented further and found it to have medicinal properties and urged the Chinese people to cultivate the plant for the benefit of the entire nation. Over time, he has become the legendary Father of Tea.

Popular teas in China include the following:

Green tea, perhaps the most widely studied tea on the planet, has numerous health benefits, such as improving blood flow and lowering cholesterol. Green tea has also been shown to help block the formation of plaques that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease. In one Swiss study, MRIs revealed that people who drank green tea had greater activity in the working-memory area of their brains. It has also been shown to keep blood sugar stable in people with diabetes.

White tea is the least processed tea and its health benefits include preventing tooth decay, promoting healthy skin and hair, and increased energy and alertness.

Oolong tea may offer benefits for heart health, diabetes prevention, bone health, and weight loss, possibly due to the high antioxidants content. It also contains theanine, an amino acid found to promote relaxation.

“In my own hands I hold a bowl of tea; I see all of nature represented in its green color. Closing my eyes, I find green mountains and pure water within my own heart. Silently sitting alone and drinking tea, I feel these become a part of me.”  – Sen Soshitsu

Perhaps no culture on earth loves rituals as much as the Japanese do. Drinking a cup of tea in Japan is treated with a formality and an elegance. They were one of the first countries in the world to hold tea ceremonies, as tea became a staple drink for the religious classes of Japanese priests. One such ceremony is known as “the Way of Tea”, which is the process focusing on how tea is made, and involves aesthetically preparing a bowl of tea from one’s heart. Everything is always carefully considered when indulging in tea, from the type of drinking vessel to the variety of tea chosen for the particular season. There is a harmony achieved through the ritual of tea drinking and ceremonies are held for a variety of reasons, such as meditative observances of winter sunrises, summer sunsets, the arrival of the full moon, the budding of spring’s first blossoms, and the changing of the leaves from green to gold.

Popular Japanese teas include the following:

Japanese Sencha, an unfermented form of green tea that is steamed to retain all of its aromatic and healing properties.

Matcha tea, a powdered Japanese green tea that is mixed with hot water and therefore the leaf itself is included in the beverage.

Matcha Tea Recipe

  1 teaspoon of Matcha powder

  6 ounces of hot water, divided

Boil 6 ounces of water. In a bowl, combine matcha powder and 1 ounce of hot water. Using a bamboo whisk, whisk rapidly until the mixture forms a thin paste. Slowly add the rest of the hot water to the paste, as you continuously whisk the mixture for about 1.5 minutes, creating a light foam on top. Pour into your teacup and enjoy.

By the end of the 3rd century CE, tea had become China’s number one beverage. By the 8th century CE, the Chinese were already trading tea to Tibetans, Arabs, Turks, nomadic tribes of the Indian Himalayas, and along the Silk Road into India.

It was not until the 17th century CE that tea reached European soils. The British introduced tea to India to break China’s monopoly on tea. Today, India is the largest consumer of tea worldwide. Chai is the national drink in India and it is served literally on every street corner and train station, where you can see people selling it at all times of the day and night. This sweet and spicy tea is said to lower blood pressure, control blood sugar, and reduce bad cholesterol in the body.

Chai Tea Recipe

  8 ounces of water

  4 ounces of whole milk

  Granulated sugar to taste

  1 tablespoon of black tea

  4 cardamom pods smashed with side of a knife

  Small cinnamon stick

  Small piece of fresh ginger

  10 fennel seed

Bring water and milk to a simmer with spices in a medium saucepan.  Reduce heat to lowest setting and add tea. Steep until tea takes on a deep, pinky-tan color, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Strain into a cup and stir in sugar to taste.

Natasha Kubis is a licensed acupuncturist and certified yoga teacher. For more information, visit acuwellhealth.com

Winter Wellness

Winter Wellness

For some people, the chilly winter months embody a heartwarming season, romanticized like a Norman Rockwell painting, with crackling fires, snowshoeing, hot cocoa, and cozy pajamas. For others, the cold weather, gray skies, and lack of sunlight presents a much bleaker reality. Self-care is important year-round but when the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, it’s an important tool to combat depression. This type of depression, that appears at the beginning of winter and subsides at the beginning of spring, is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and affects approximately 5% of the population.

This year, the dark days of winter are compounded by the relentless pandemic, and it’s more important than ever to redirect our energy toward effective relaxation techniques, constructive activities, and positive thoughts. When we are stressed or depressed during the winter holiday season, it can be quite tempting to devour a bag of cookies, have that extra glass (or bottle) of wine, spend too much money on holiday presents, or neglect our sleep and wellness needs.

Here are some winter wellness strategies to make the season a little bit more manageable.

Get sunlight
Do your best to get outside once a day. Winter days are shorter, which means there’s less light. Try to take advantage of the sunlight, whenever possible.

Get a depression screening
Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder, winter weather can bring down your mood. Many clinics will offer free screenings that are open to the public. They can also offer resources to help you manage your depression. Talking to a mental health counselor to help us sort out our worries can be helpful, and often necessary. You can also reach out to a volunteer crisis counselor by texting 741741.

Stay Hydrated
Most of us drink more coffee or tea during the winter months to keep warm. However, these beverages, plus the dry weather, are a recipe for serious dehydration. Be conscious that you’re drinking enough water to keep your body well hydrated. Eight glasses of water a day is standard.

Protect your sleep
Fewer hours of sunlight during the winter months can make it harder to feel awake throughout the day. Staying well rested is critical to making the winter months feel manageable. Tighten up your sleep regimen during this time of the year.

Maintain your physical health
Physical health is important for maintaining good mental health. With the winter weather preventing us from exercising outside and COVID-19 preventing us from going to gyms, look for things you can do inside, like yoga, or walking on a treadmill. The pandemic has made online classes more accessible than ever before. Most studios are offering online classes to their students, which is a great way to keep regularity in your routine, while supporting your local studio.

Keep making plans with people
The pandemic has also made it more difficult to spend physical time with our loved ones, which is particularly hard around the holidays, but that doesn’t mean we can’t schedule a phone or video call. I have friends that have had game nights, holiday parties, birthday parties, even baby showers, all through online platforms.

Bake some sweet but healthy seasonal treats
There is nothing more comforting than turning on the oven during the cold weather, and filling your home with the sweet aromas of cookies, pies, and muffins. Try putting a healthy spin on one of your most beloved and classic desserts. Check out my recipe for a healthy apple crumble.

Go for wholesome foods
It’s that time of year when you’ll be tempted with sugary, empty-calorie treats, but to be your happiest, most energetic self, it’s best to eat a balanced diet of mostly healthy fats, lean proteins, grains, and vegetables.

Give more of yourself and your time.
Whether it’s at a food bank, helping your elderly neighbor with some errands, writing greeting cards for hospitalized children, or making hats and blankets for donation, sharing your time will warm your spirit and give others comfort. Check out these organizations – cardsforhospitalizedkids.com and knotsoflove.org.

Dive back into reading
Winter is the best time to start that book that’s been on your coffee table for the past few months. Curl up in front of a fire with hot cocoa and a nice book.

Get into face masks
I don’t just mean the COVID-19 mask that has become another appendage on us, I mean the spa mask that soothes our dried-out winter skin. See my recipe for a homemade hydration mask.

Find a winter hobby
Knitting, sewing, and crocheting are not only soothing and meditative hobbies, but they make cozy gifts for the holidays, or for donating to those in need.

Work on your breathing
Conscious, slow breathing can help you when you’re feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. You can practice anytime, even while waiting in line at the supermarket, post office, or drug store.

Rediscover the beauty of the cold months
Winter is quite beautiful, and being mindful of that can help with our overall attitude. Snow capped mountains and beautiful song birds can make for some gorgeous photography projects. Take a hike, and capture all of nature’s splendor with an artistic eye.

Take care of your skin
Colder months can be particularly hard on your skin and hair, with the combination of dry air and hot showers, so it’s important to moisturize properly. Jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, and argan oil are all perfect moisturizing treatment for areas of the skin that tend to dry out quickly, like your elbows, heels, and cuticles.

Say thanks
Try focusing on gratitude throughout the whole winter season. Incorporating a simple gratitude practice into your day is a wonderful way to lift your mood, not to mention dissolve any holiday-related stress or resentments that might be hanging around.

Healthy Apple Crumble Recipe

3⁄4 cup old-fashioned oats

1⁄4 cup chopped walnuts

1 tsp ground cinnamon

3 tbsp maple syrup

1 1⁄2 tbsp coconut oil

6 cups of diced apples

2 tbsp cornstarch

1 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

In a mixing bowl combine together the oats, walnuts, cinnamon, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Stir until
crumbly. Set aside.

In another bowl, toss the apples with the cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Transfer the filling to the prepared dish, and press down with a spatula. Sprinkle evenly with the oatmeal topping.

Bake at 350°F for 25-35 minutes or until the apples are tender and tops are crisp. Enjoy!

Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, and Aloe Vera Face Mask

The combination of shea butter, coconut oil, and aloe vera hydrates, soothes, and softens dry winter skin.

1 tbsp of shea butter

1 tbsp of coconut oil

1 tbsp of aloe vera

Mix until smooth.

Spread the mixture onto your skin. Add extra to especially dry areas.

Let the mask sit for 15 minutes.

Rinse it off with lukewarm washcloth.

Natasha Kubis is a licensed acupuncturist and certified yoga teacher.
For more
information, visit acuwellhealth.com