The Culture of Skincare

What kind of woman likes to look after her skin? How old is she? What colour is her skin? Does she use products to repair the damage done or also take steps to protect her skin from the elements? 

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The answer: “she” is everyone and anyone, “she” is someone who chooses to look after her skin in any way she feels best for her and “she” could also be “he” as of course, many men also love to look after their skin.

Many of us know that looking after your skin on a daily, weekly and monthly basis is worthwhile but what about preventative measures? An obvious element to protect yourself from is the sun. In this respect, all of us likely use a 30+ SPF on our faces as many foundations, BB creams and tinted moisturisers contain it. It’s worth noting that you should use SPF even when the sun isn’t shining, the rays that cause damage such as fine lines, wrinkles and sunspots still get through the clouds.

Another method to protect the skin is to cover up. Many women who love their skin also wear a veil; be this for cultural, religious or indeed for protection from the elements. In particularly arid regions, the veil is used by women to protect themselves from sandstorms, the wind and the fierce heat of the sun. Also, in many cultures, the veil is used to protect women’s modesty and is a major part of the heritage of the country and peoples.

At Niroshini, we believe that women choose to take care of their appearance and look after themselves simply because it makes them feel good and not necessarily because anyone else can see the effects; this is never truer than for our clients who choose to cover their faces with a veil. We recently posted a blog about Ramadan and used an incredibly beautiful image of a veiled woman; with bright and fresh skin, it is evident to see that she must look after it. The veil itself is a beautiful item regardless for what reason it is worn and the options are endless for women to choose from; plain, patterned, beaded, brightly coloured or even jewelled. Dolce & Gabbana has proven with their very popular new line “Abaya” which includes items such as long dresses and veils, that women who choose to cover their skin are just as included in the world of luxury fashion and beauty as those who wish to wear less.

As a global brand, with a multicultural market, we celebrate all women, all ethnicities and all cultures and include anyone who wishes to look after their skin, their well-being or even just occasionally read our varied blogs! Do you have any beautiful images of women revelling in their own skin and femininity while showing their heritage that you would like to share? If you do, we would just love to see them; it will help us plan another blog to celebrate another culture!

To get in touch, visit: http://niroshini-acupuncture.com/contact-us

Thank you to Azamat Zhanisov for the use of this photograph.

The Summer Solstice – a time for appreciating nature and the beauty around us

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, where (depending where in the world you are) we are able to enjoy around 17 hours of daylight and hopefully, vitamin D packed sunshine.

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A day of celebration for many the world over, the Summer Solstice marks the time when the sun’s path changes and our days begin to shorten. The word Solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still) – before reversing direction, Astrologers say the sun appears to “stand still” at the position on the horizon where it seems to rise and set.

The Summer Solstice fell between the planting and harvesting of crops, allowing people who farmed or worked on the land time to relax and revitalise ready for the hard work of harvest and the winter beyond. Due to this rest period and increased free time, June is the traditional month for weddings.

Celebrations surrounding the Solstice have many different themes; religion, fertility and successful harvests being among them. Pagans hold religious rituals on the Solstice with a wide variety of customs. Dancing, singing, prayer and drum playing are amongst the most popular along with the burning of a Yule wreath in a bonfire. Celebration of the Solstice as part of religious practice, is a time for people to attune themselves spiritually with the natural world and all that comes with both the seasons of nature and humanity. Growth, birth, death and life are the rhythms we live with and the ritual of celebration inspires a conscious effort to allow this to resonate more thoroughly.

Linked to the religious rituals is the desire to strengthen the sense of being part of nature and interconnected spiritually with others and the world as a whole. Many feel this is a key reason to participate in the festivities, often referred to as “the turning of the wheel of the year”.

Outside of religion, countless towns and villages host Midsummer festivities, typically held outside where nature can be fully appreciated; flowers and trees are usually used as part of the decoration. People take part in the event to remind themselves of how precious time is and the changing of the season is another marker of time marching on. The celebration is also to encourage community spirit, friendship and an appreciation for our own homes and natural surroundings.

Summer Solstice is celebrated all over the world by many ethnicities and cultures. In Scandinavian countries, bonfires are lit, usually near lakes and by the sea and traditionally, unmarried women create a garland of flowers for their bed to dream of their future husband. A tradition that is still maintained today and is indicative of the fertility perspective of the Summer Solstice and how the natural world is interlinked with our own fertility and encouragement of new life. In China, the Summer Solstice is closely connected with “yin” and “yang” and celebrates the Earth’s “yin” femininity, the opposite being the Winter Solstice and “yang” masculinity.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire is amongst the most famous of locations to celebrate Midsummer and welcome the breaking dawn. Stonehenge aligns to the Solstice, allowing the rising sun to reach the middle of the stones and shine on the central altar only on the Summer Solstice. A prehistoric site long linked to spirituality, peace and nature, Stonehenge plays host each year to around 20,000 people who celebrate in the longest day with quiet meditation or exuberant revelries and dancing.

How will you be celebrating the Summer Solstice? Our Niroshini Tip is if you haven’t got any celebration to attend, make sure you connect with nature, even if it’s for 10 minutes. Kick off your shoes and walk on the grass or beach. It’s so important to connect with what is part of us; by doing this, it allows us to become grounded, aligned and stronger on an emotional, mental, spiritual and physical level.

We wish you love and peace.

Fasting for Spiritual Enlightenment & Self-Improvement

The practice of fasting dates back over 5,000 years and is observed in different ways by many faiths including Muslims, Jews, Christians, Baha’is and Hindus. Most Religions believe that fasting opens a powerful gateway to God and allows oneself to become spiritually attuned.

The Purpose of Ramadan & Fasting 

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In addition to prayer and refrainment from any selfish desire, fasting is a significant part of Ramadan. During the Holy Month, the purpose is to enter a state of taqwa; a state of constant awareness of God. By adhering to rigorous fast and prayer and refraining from other human urges, Muslims are strengthening their willpower and self-control to ultimately “guard against evil” and bring about self-improvement and increase spiritual awareness in everyday life.

Muslims use time not spent eating and drinking during Ramadan to concentrate on prayer to achieve the state of taqwa and expand upon their spirituality. Outside of Islam, many people use this time to work on self-improvement, to meditate and free the mind or to participate in activities that encourage relaxation.

During and after a fast, people say they feel mentally stronger, more thankful and more in tune with their body and mind than prior; this feeling is often attributed to the ability to exercise and maintain self-control. By increasing the awareness of one’s human needs and denying this, a sense of personal and collective strength and achievement is felt which allows us as humans to feel more connected to ourselves, our peers and our Gods, whilst in a fasting state.

Health Benefits of Fasting

Not only does fasting have a strong link with spiritual and mental well-being, research shows that fasting has a multitude of health and physical benefits also. Some 2,500 years ago, The Father of Western Medicine, Hippocrates, was recommending abstinence from food or drink to aid the body’s natural recovery process from illness and disease. This is still practiced and advised today to improve mental and physical health in Western, Chinese, Alternative and Homeopathic medicine cultures.

Studies show that fasting can have a wide and positive impact on the body in individual areas and as a whole. By allowing the body intermittent periods of rest from digestion, it is able to burn through fat cells more efficiently in this period thus resulting in weight loss.

Fasting has also been shown to improve brain function by boosting the production of a protein that activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, triggering a variety of other chemicals which promote neural health also.

The benefits also extend to our outermost layer, our skin. Fasting has been shown to help clear the skin by expelling toxins. With our body not focussing on digesting periodically throughout the day, it is instead able to concentrate its regenerative energies on other systems and is able to clean up toxins and regulate organ function across the body, including our biggest organ of all.

Who Fasts?

Many, many millions of Muslims, of course. Plus, a multitude of other Religions. However, fasting is not only a religious act and can be undertaken by anyone who would like to practice mindfulness, give their body a break to regenerate or indeed for health reasons. Fasting is a difficult challenge (and one that should be undertaken with care) but why not see how the challenge could improve your mental well-being, your spiritual connection and also your skin!

Thank you to Mohammed Hassan for the use of this photograph.