Monthly Archives: March 2014

On to your heads!

If you are a sufferer of chronic acne, raise your hand.

If you have tried every acne product or home remedy known to man, raise your hand again.

Now, raise your hand if you’ve tried standing on your head to remedy the problem.

I bet that last phrase has significantly fewer hands than the two previous ones, and with good reason – it’s not really a remedy that has been lauded by western medicine. But I grew up in a family where we used holistic cures for everything. When I’m sick, I drink lemon and honey tea. I breathe in vapors from Vicks Vapo-rub, and dump ginger into everything. Everything.

So when my mom heard that standing on your head – Sirsasana for the yogis in the house – could help remedy skin problems, she pushed me to start. The idea is that by inverting your body, you’re delivering additional flows of oxygen to your face, thereby enabling your skin to better heal itself. While you can do this at any time of the day for results, experience has indicated that doing it early in the morning before you eat is really best for your skin!

So, how exactly do you get there? The first step is to have a padded floor and a wall – I’ve found that a pillow, carpet, and yoga mat are all effective. Just lay your soft surface against the wall. Then, kneel on your knees and rest your forearms on the floor, with your hands clasped. Your clasped hands should be roughly six inches from the wall, and you should be facing wall.

Lower your head until it rests between your forearms, and start moving onto your feet. Move your feet up towards your hands until they’re almost off of the floor. At this point, kick off gently and invert yourself! Use the wall to steady yourself and make sure you don’t fall. Press into your arms and hands to keep the pressure off of your head, neck, and spine, and hang out for a while. The view is great :)

As you get more comfortable, you can also leave the wall behind and start stabilizing yourself without it – just be careful and keep your spine supported at all times.

My first few days were pretty rough – I could barely get upside down, and I kept rolling sideways when I did! With some patience though, I found that it really was effective – and sort of fun!

Keep in mind that this is not a cure – it’s an ongoing solution. You will likely only see changes after a month or so, and it took three month for my acne to disappear fully! If you stop for more than a month or so, your acne will come back after a couple of months. It’s a system for maintenance, a holistic approach to ensuring that your acne goes away, and not a panacea.

So if you’re ready to try a hippie health cure for the acne that’s plagued your face since the dawn of puberty, ¬†give this one a try, and let me know what you think!

An adventure of one’s own

I want to travel – I’ve made this very clear on this blog, and it’s still a priority for me. I want to see something of the world before I have even more people I owe something to. I already have debt from undergrad, I’m only going to add on more with grad school or law school or whatever else I wind up doing. It’s really never going to end, and I just need out for a little while. All I’m asking for is a gap year – I’ll live somewhere, work, and figure it out from there.

And if any of my male contemporaries had suggested such a plan, they would have been encouraged. They would receive affirmation of their own worth, and well wishes.

But as a woman, I’ve been the recipient of doubtful glances and worried looks. Some people suggest that I go with a man, someone I trust. My mother, rejecting that idea, suggested I wait for a group of four to five girls I could go with (this is after I shot down her suggestion that I wait until marriage). But where am I supposed to find these women who have the same interest and timeline that I have? Why should I change my own plans to suit someone else?

I get it – it’s not necessarily safe for a woman to travel alone. I’m not trying to deny reality at all. But at the same time, there are things you can do to keep yourself safer. There are measures I can take. And I do take my own safety seriously. But I’m really tired of always being held to others’ expectations for what a woman should do. I don’t want to wait, calmly and sedately for the ideal traveling companion (or, as my mother suggested, my husband). In the first place, where would I find such a person, and in the second, I already know that I am my own ideal travel companion! I know where I want to go, I know what I want to do – who better to keep me company than…me?

I know people are scared for me. And I’m not unaware of the consequences or anything. But I don’t want to spend my whole life waiting for someone else to keep me safe. I don’t want to always feel like I’m not able to do things on my own by virtue of being a woman.