Our fast-paced, microwaveable ass society often pushes us to our limits, forcing us to grind day in and day out to make a living and hopefully afford some of life's luxuries. It's common for many of us to juggle multiple jobs just to make ends meet while attempting to maintain balance within other areas of our lives, including our relationships, hobbies, school and oh yeah—me time (which often gets pushed to the back-burner up until we reach a point of exhaustion, forcing us to replenish ourselves).
It's that reason alone that we need to be more proactive than reactive when it comes to our energy. Most of you are probably familiar with the oh-so-popular buzzword, chakras. If this word is new to you, here's a quick crash course about chakras. In Eastern medicine, it is believed that the human body is comprised of energy centers that help regulate all of its processes, ranging from the way we digest food, how we process emotion, and even how we connect with God. There are seven main chakras, which include the root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown chakras. Each chakra has its own unique vibrational frequency that is associated with a specific position on the body, color and functions.
So how do you know if your chakras need to be attuned?
Well, this imbalance of your energy can show up in different ways. The most common symptom of blocked chakras is extreme fatigue and a general sense of sluggishness. Other symptoms can include persistent financial issues, low self-esteem, hella toxic relationships, chronic anxiety, a lack of direction in life, and a whole bunch of other detrimental side effects that make your life way more difficult than it needs to be.
As the sensual creature that I am, I love to indulge in my senses—specifically smell because I know how quickly a scent can change my mood. Since I was a little girl, my parents were big on burning incense, especially on Saturday morning cleaning days. My love of incense eventually carried over into candles and essential oils as well. It has even been scientifically proven that fragrance can be used to "enhance health and promote feelings of well-being." (Yale Scientific Magazine)
Check out more information below on how to balance the seven main chakras using aromatherapy.
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The root chakra, also known as Muladhara, is located at the base of the spine and is one of the most important energy centers due to it being the foundation of your chakra system. It is physically correlated with the legs, feet, colon, and the adrenal glands. This particular chakra is associated with our sense of security and stability within the world. It represents your basic needs for survival (food, water, shelter) and it represents your physical body and experience. Think of it as your more primal nature.
When your root chakra is out of balance, you can experience feelings of fear, anxiety, and greed. Most of humanity is stuck operating from an imbalanced root chakra due to financial strain and feeling the need to compete for resources.
It's important to practice grounding techniques, such as earthing, to attune this particular chakra. Patchouli is a musky-earthy aroma that is used to calm anxiety, alleviate fatigue, and help you stay grounded when it comes to pursuing your goals. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way and adding just a few drops to your favorite carrier oil for a foot rub can be just what you need to gain a sense of safety within your body and the world.
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The sacral chakra, also known as Svadhishthana, is located a few inches below the navel and is associated with the emotions, creativity, and sensuality. Physiologically, this chakra is associated with the reproductive system. It represents the element of water and is known as a more feminine energy center. The way that we relate to others is dictated by how balanced the sacral chakra. Symptoms of an imbalanced sacral chakra include codependent relationships with people or substances, being overly emotional or completely numb to your feelings, overindulging in sexual fantasy, and even lacking a sex drive altogether.
This sacral chakra is associated with how we experience pleasure. For many people, there is a lot of shame surrounding sexual desire and even just enjoyment. If you have a hard time letting loose, you may need to bring this chakra back into balance. Ylang Ylang is a dense, sweet, floral scent known to be an aphrodisiac and is popularly used in many perfumes. This essential oil, paired with a carrier oil, can be used for womb massages to get the energy in your sacral chakra flowing properly. It can also be used to get you and bae in the mood for some sexual healing.
SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA
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The solar plexus chakra, also known as Manipura, is located in the upper part of your stomach where your diaphragm rests. This chakra is associated with digestive system and metabolism. Its element is fire and it is often associated with the Sun. The Solar Plexus governs your will power, confidence, and independence. Imbalances in this chakra can result in a misuse of your personal power through manipulative or abusive tactics (on the opposite end of the spectrum, this can manifest as a sense of helplessness and irresponsibility), a lack of clear direction and purpose in your life, and making a shit ton of plans that you can't seem to practically follow through on.
When this chakra is balanced, we are typically capable of achieving our goals more easily because we feel capable of doing so. Self-esteem is associated with the solar plexus and without it, none of your dreams will be actualized. If you find it difficult really going after what you want in life because the voice in your head is constantly trying to bring you down to size, you could benefit from balancing this chakra. Bergamot, a citrus fragrance, can be used to revitalize your energy and boost your spirit. I personally like burning this in oil in a diffuser or making a homemade spray that I can use whenever I need a pick-me-up.
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The heart chakra, also known as Anahata, is located in the middle of the chest. Physiologically, this chakra governs the lungs and cardiac system. The primary functions the heart chakra serve are compassion, forgiveness, and love for self and others. When this particular chakra is healthy, we have an easy time receiving and giving love to others. This serves as your sense of connection to the people in your life. However, when the heart chakra is out of balance, you may have a tendency to hold onto grudges, feel extremely jealous, and even completely withdraw yourself into isolation due to fear of being hurt or seen in a more vulnerable space.
This particular chakra is important as it serves as the link between the lower and upper chakras, helping us to integrate the spiritual and physical experiences more effortlessly. If you find yourself living in one dimension more than the other, this can signify an imbalance in the heart chakra. As you begin to balance this energy center, you'll feel more meaningful relationships due to your ability to look beyond your ego. When we are living from the heart, we transcend the limitations of our identity and recognize the common thread between all of humanity. This ultimately increases your capacity to love unconditionally. Rose oil is one of the most common scents used as the fragrant flower is often associated with purity and love. Put a few drops of rose or jasmine oil in your bath for the perfect self-love ritual. If you're feeling witchy, try doing this on a Friday (the day of the week associated with Venus—planet of love).
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The throat chakra, also known as Vishuddha, is located at the base of the throat. It is related to the element of sound, driving our communication and personal expression. This particular chakra is associated with the mouth, jaw, and thyroid and it's also linked to the shoulders and neck. Characteristics of the throat chakra include the propensity to express your truth, your ability to bring forth creative ideas to reality, and realizing your purpose in life. Both the throat and sacral chakras are naturally connected as the sacral houses the emotions and creativity, while the throat chakra actually gets it out there.
When this chakra is out of balance, it can manifest as dishonesty, shyness, and a lack of connection to your purpose. On the opposite end of the spectrum, this imbalance can result in an inability to listen to others due to excessive talking and not being able to hold water, as my grandmother would say. Peppermint oil can be used to stimulate this chakra while lavender can be used to calm it. Try making your own anointing oil by setting some intentions for how you would like to communicate. Whenever you have an important conversation, meeting, or interview, dab a little bit of your oil on your throat to help you express yourself clearly and gracefully.
THIRD EYE CHAKRA
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The third eye chakra, also known as Ajna, is located on the forehead between the eyebrows. It is commonly associated with intuition and foresight, governing the way that we perceive the world. This is probably one of the most well-known chakras, given its notoriety within various spiritual communities and conspiracy theorists alike. Physiologically, it governs the pineal gland which regulates our biorhythms, including both sleeping and waking times. This particular chakra is a key player in activating spiritual awareness and, in some cases, clairvoyance.
When in balance, this chakra helps us perceive the world beyond the veil, granting us access to deep wisdom and insight. It is often the guiding light when things don't make much sense in the physical world and it can serve as a powerful tool during times of transition or the unknown. When your third eye is out of balance, you may feel stuck in the mundane day-to-day activities of life with little to no capability of seeing the bigger picture. There may also be a lack of clarity and inability to tap into the vision for your life. You may also have a tendency to reject any and everything spiritual. When this chakra is overactive, you may fall into the trap of fantasies that easily classify as delusions. It's important that your lower chakras, particularly your root chakra, is stable as you attempt to open yourself up more psychically. Frankincense, commonly referenced in the Bible, is a woody aroma that can be used to activate your third eye chakra. You can either burn some incense or meditate with a chakra candle to help you develop your inner guidance.
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The crown chakra, also known as Sahasrara, is located at the top of your head. It governs your connection to higher states of consciousness radiating outwards into the ethers to receive insight from God/Spirit/the Universe. This chakra is associated with the hypothalamus and pituitary glands which regulate the endocrine system. Due to its placement, the crown chakra is associated with the brain and nervous system as well.
When in balance, we can experience the blissful ecstasy that is felt when we're essentially at one with God and all that is.
When the crown chakra is out of balance, it can manifest as being disconnected from Spirit and overly critical of anything not rooted in the material plane. On the other hand, an overactive crown chakra can result in being way too in your head and not grounded in reality. There could even be a bit of an obsession with spiritual matters, causing extreme disinterest in your day-to-day routines. Cedarwood is a rich, woody aroma that the ancient Egyptians used in their spiritual practices as it helps keep you grounded as you activate higher states of consciousness.
Featured image by Shutterstock
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
What's a classic manicure look getting a fall 2023 aesthetic update? Look no further than the micro-French nails that are trending this fall. Minimal nail art ideas are in, and the super thin lines within the micro-French nail trend scream minimal chic when it comes to nail design choice.
If you're wondering exactly what to request from your nail tech, according to Cosmopolitan, there's been "a rise in micro-French manis on square nail shapes." And if you are in need of a little nail inspo to bookmark for your next appointment, we have you covered on that front, too.
Keep scrolling for design ideas for your future set of micro-French nails.
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