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Sunday, 15 November 2015

Finding yourself more scatterbrained, stressful and restless? Try these meditation techniques for a calmer you

If you have been stressed lately, you might have noticed that you are becoming a bit more irritable, impatient and unable to concentrate — it’s time to de-stress. While, there are a number of ways to let go of pent-up stress, meditation is something that can really help you let go and simply relax; all in the comfort of your home.  It not only helps you relax your mind, but it also make you less aggressive, more confident, poised, tolerant, healthy, and helps you concentrate so you can make better decisions.
Suneel singh
Contrary to what you might believe, meditation does not involve simply sitting for hours on end. There are numerous methods of practising it. While some forms of meditate may be easier than the others, the method you choose depends not only on your physical health, but also your profession, nature and the amount of time you have. This post  tells us about the various methods of meditation and how they can help you beat stress. 
Before you start:
The first step to a good meditative experience is to have a separate space to yourself, specially meant for meditation. Decorate your meditation room with inspiring and calming pictures — you may choose to use one of a great saint, an ornate picture of your favorite deity or simply something that you find soothing. Another important factor is to clean your hands, legs and face before you start meditating, this helps clean up your body and makes it more receptive to positive energies. While any time is good to meditate, try doing so between five to seven in the morning and six to eight in the evening. 
Meditation type#1: Om mantra dhyanam(தியானம்)
Sit in a comfortable meditative pose with your eyes gently closed. Keep your back straight and stretched with your shoulders relaxed. Recite the ‘Om Mantra’ silently with full attention, maintaining a focus on the rhythmic flow of the mantra. Practice this for a minimum for 10 minutes every day and slowly increase the time as and when you feel more comfortable.
Meditation type#2: Jyoti dhyanam(ஜோதி தியானம்)
Not only does this type of meditation help reduce stress and anxiety, but it is also a part of the ‘tratak shatkarma’, an essential yoga kriyathat helps improve eyesight. To do this type of meditation, sit in a comfortable meditative pose with your eyes open. Keep a burning candle or lamp four feet from you at the level of your eyes. To start, just look away for a while then concentrate on the flame for as long as you can, without blinking. After some time close your eyes and mentally envision the flame. Try to focus on the mental image of the flame for as long as you can. Practising this for at least 10 to 15 minutes on a daily basis is extremely beneficial. Do it daily  for a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes. 

Meditation type#3: Walking dhyanam
When you feel agitated or restless, walk for a minimum for 10 to 15 minutes. It can be anywhere, down a corridor or through a park. Try to harmonize your steps with your breathing. The repetitive motion of your legs and arms help you to enter a meditative state which relieves anxiety and anger.

Meditation type#4: Image dhyanam
Place a calming picture in front of you. You may choose a picture of God or simply your favorite painting. Now, sit in the meditative posture and concentrate gently on the picture till your eyes start to water. Then close your eyes and visualize the picture. Once you are comfortable doing this once, you can repeat the process.
Meditation type#5: Memory dhyanam
Read two to three pages of a book. Then close the book and try to visualise or remember what you just read. Focus on the words on the page and allow your mind to associate, classify, group, combine and compare. This type of meditation is great to help improve your memory and ability to recall details.
Meditation type#6: Dhyanam on thoughts
Sit comfortably in any meditative posture and keep your back upright as you relax your neck and shoulders. Close your eyes gently, concentrate on whatever thoughts come to your mind. Without any restrictions, let them come and go. After some time you’ll notice that the thoughts disappear and your mind becomes completely quite and calm. Stay in this meditative state for as long as you feel comfortable. You can start with practising this for a short period of time and then increase it to about 15-20 minutes in a day.
Meditation type#7: Nad dhyanam
Sit in your favorite asana. Close your eyes and your ears with your thumb and forefinger. Try to hear the innate sound of your body known as the ‘anahat sound’ (mystic sound). After practising this for about two to three days, you will hear various kinds of sounds such as that of a flute, thunder storm or humming of a bee. This might be a bit unsettling in the beginning but allow your mind to overcome this. After a while you will find that you no more hear sounds and your mind is calm. 
Meditation type#8: Chakra dhyanam
This is an advanced meditative practice in which your concentration is focused on the various energy centers or chakras. There are 7 chakras in human body and they correspond to the different endocrine glands in our body. To do this type of meditation, pay attention to each chakra for as long as you can. Imagine you are breathing in and out from the chakra you are focusing on. Try this method for about 10 to 15 minutes every day. It is believed that perception of these psychic centers will help in the development of the endocrine glands.

Fan of music? Well in that case checkout these surprising, Science-Backed Health Benefits of Music

How Music helps you Physically:

1. Ease pain: Music can meaningfully reduce the perceived intensity of pain, especially in geriatric care, intensive care, or palliative medicine (an area of healthcare that focuses on preventing and relieving the suffering of patients) 
2. Motivate people to bike harder: A study of healthy male college students found that, while riding stationary bicycles, the participants worked harder while listening to fast music  . Extra bonus: They also enjoyed the music more.
3. Improve running motivation and performance: Here’s an easy way to beat your best time if you’re a runner: Listen to your favorite “pump-up” music. Listening to music may help people run faster, boost their workout motivation, and enhance their endurance  .
4. Increase workout endurance: Listening to those top workout tracks can boost physical performance and increase endurance during a tough exercise session  . This works partly through the power of distraction: When we're focusing on a favorite album, we may not notice that we just ran an extra mile  .
5. Speed up post-workout recovery: One study found that listening to music after a workout can help the body recover faster  . While slow music produced a greater relaxation effect post-exercise, it seems that any kind of music can help the physical recovery process.
6. Improve sleep quality: Listening to classical music has been shown to effectively treat insomnia in college students, making it a safe, cheap alternative to sleep-inducing meds  .
7. Help people eat less: One study found that playing soft music (and dimming the lights) during a meal can help people slow down while eating and ultimately consume less food in one sitting (perhaps because slowing down helps them to be more mindful of fullness cues)  .
8. Enhance blood vessel function: Scientists have found that the emotions patients experience while listening to music have a healthy effect on blood vessel function. Music both made study participants feel happier and resulted in increased blood flow in their blood vessels.
How Music helps you Mentally:

9. Reduce stress: Research has found that listening to music can relieve stress by triggering biochemical stress reducers(think of these physiological processes as anti-stress ninjas)  .
10. Induce a meditative state: Listening to slow musical beats can alter brainwave speed, creating brainwave activity similar to when a person is meditating or in a hypnotic state. Some research suggests that using rhythmic stimuli (such as music) to induce these states can have a therapeutic effect, easing symptoms of migraines, PMS, and even behavioral issues  .
11. Relieve symptoms of depression: When you’re feeling down in the dumps, music can help pick you up (much like exercise)  . Research suggests the kind of music matters: Classical and meditative sounds seem to be particularly uplifting, whereas heavy metal and techno can actually make depressive symptoms worse.
12. Elevate mood: A study found that music helped put people in a better mood and get in touch with their feelings  . Study participants rated “arousal and mood regulation” and “self-awareness” as the two most important benefits of listening to music.
13. Improve cognitive performance: Background music may enhance performance on cognitive tasks  . One older study found that listening to music allowed test takers to complete more questions in the time allotted, and get more answers right  . More recent research suggests that whether or not music improves cognitive function depends on whether the music first improves a person’s emotional state.
14. Help people perform better in high-pressure situations: Want to sink the game-winning shot when the pressure’s on? Listen to some upbeat tunes before the big game. One study found that basketball players prone to performing poorly under pressure during games were significantly better during high-pressure free-throw shooting if they first listened to catchy, upbeat music and lyrics.
15. Reduce anxiety as much as a massage: One study found that music’s effect on anxiety levels is similar to the effect of getting a massage  . Here’s an idea: Treat yourself to a massage and bring your favorite chilled out tunes to play during the session. Double the relaxation!
16. Relax patients before surgery: One study found that listening to music helped put cardiovascular surgery patients at ease as they awaited their operations  . That’s a major benefit for the nearly four million people who get heart surgery each year.
17. Ease stress after surgery: Music isn’t only helpful pre-surgery. Another study revealed that listening to music while resting in bed after open heart surgery helped relax patients and decrease their stress levels.
18. Elevate mood while driving: Listening to music while driving can positively impact mood  . So when you’re feeling cranky in the car, try cranking some of your favorite tunes.
19. Help cancer patients manage stress and anxiety: Music has been found to help cancer patients communicate their feelings, manage stress, and ease physical pain and discomfort  . It can also reduce anxiety and improve their quality of life .
20. Ease recovery in stroke patientsResearchers in Finland concluded that when stroke patients listened to music for two hours a day, their verbal memory and attention improved and they had a more positive mood compared to patients who didn’t listen to music or who listened to audio books  .

Get a pet to boost health and happiness(Watching and working on your health with your inner-self)

Those who love spending time with animals would agree that nothing can beat the special feeling one gets after being greeted with the innocent look and wet kisses from a pet. Believe it or not, pets are the most powerful antidote to a stressful day. What’s more? The stronger your bond with your pet, the greater the antidote action will be.
Several studies till date have suggested that spending time with pets is good for stress relief and boosting overall health. They help reduce blood pressure as well the as levels of stress hormones like cortisol, which increase in conditions like depression and anxiety. Moreover, they also increase desirable hormones like oxytocin that induce relaxation and a happy feeling. In a study conducted on people having pets, within five minutes of spending time with pets caused an increase in endorphins and dopamines, chemicals that are linked to positive thoughts and happiness.
So, be it a dog or cat, if you like animals you should have a pet. 

Well I love dogs, so here is what I could find ya about having a dog,

How do dogs improve mood and health?

More than any other animal, dogs have evolved to become acutely attuned to humans and our behavior and emotions. While dogs are able to understand many of the words we use, they’re even better at interpreting our tone of voice, body language, and gestures. And like any good human friend, a loyal dog will look into your eyes to gauge your emotional state and try to understand what you’re thinking and feeling (and to work out when the next walk or treat might be coming, of course).
While most dog owners are clear about the immediate joys that come with sharing their lives with canine companions, many remain unaware of the physical and mental health benefits that can also accompany the pleasure of playing with or snuggling up to a furry friend. It’s only recently that studies have begun to scientifically explore the benefits of the human-animal bond. The American Heart Association has linked the ownership of pets, especially dogs, with a reduced risk for heart disease and greater longevity.
Studies have also found that:
  • Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
  • People with dogs have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. One study even found that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.
  • Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
  • Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
  • Heart attack patients with dogs survive longer than those without.
  • Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.
One of the reasons for these therapeutic effects is that dogs (and cats) fulfill the basic human need to touch. Even hardened criminals in prison have shown long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with dogs, many of them experiencing mutual affection for the first time. Stroking, hugging, or otherwise touching a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothe us when we’re stressed or anxious. The companionship of a pet can also ease loneliness, and most dogs are a great stimulus for healthy exercise, which can substantially boost your mood and ease depression.

How can dogs help you make healthy lifestyle changes?

Adopting healthy lifestyle changes plays an important role in easing symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. Caring for a dog can help you make healthy lifestyle changes by:
  • Increasing exercise: Taking a dog for a walk, hike, or run are fun and rewarding ways to fit healthy daily exercise into your schedule. Studies have shown that dog owners are far more likely to meet their daily exercise requirements—and exercising every day is great for the animal as well. It will deepen the connection between you, eradicate most behavior problems in dogs, and keep your pet fit and healthy.

  • Providing companionship: Companionship can help prevent illness and even add years to your life, while isolation and loneliness can trigger symptoms of depression. Caring for a living animal can help make you feel needed and wanted, and take the focus away from your problems, especially if you live alone. Most dog and cat owners talk to their pets, some even use them to work through their troubles. And nothing beats loneliness like coming home to a wagging tail and wet kisses.

  • Helping you meet new people: Dogs can be a great social lubricant for their owners, helping you start and maintain new friendships. Dog owners frequently stop and talk to each other on walks, hikes, or in a dog park. Dog owners also meet new people in pet stores, clubs, and training classes.

  • Reducing anxiety: The companionship of a dog can offer comfort, help ease anxiety, and build self-confidence for people anxious about going out into the world. Because dogs live in the moment—they don’t worry about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow—they can help you become more mindful and appreciate the joy of the present.

  • Adding structure and routine to your day: Dogs require a regular feeding and exercise schedule. Having a consistent routine keeps a dog balanced and calm—and it can work for you, too. No matter your mood—depressed, anxious, or stressed—one plaintive look from your dog and you’ll have to get out of bed to feed, exercise, and care for your pet.

  • Providing sensory stress relief: Touch and movement are two healthy ways to quickly manage stress. Stroking a dog lowers blood pressure and can help you quickly feel calmer and less stressed.

Body, Mind and Spirit: Understanding the Links Between Health and Consciousness(Exploring your inner-self)

Body, mind, and spirit are often presented as the “wholeness” of health. However, body, mind, and spirit are poorly defined, poorly distinguished and poorly articulated in many health (sick care) practices.
Philosophers have pondered – for centuries and more – the definitions and locations of mind, and spirit. We often confuse, or mix discussions of body, mind, and spirit with body, mind, andsoul. I will not discuss the concept of ‘soul’.
We each have one body, at least two brains, many minds, and many, many spirits. To develop a science of healthicine – as opposed to medicine – we need useful, functional, practical definitions and distinctions.

The Brain:

We can start with the brain. In the hierarchy, the brain is an organ, or a number of organs. As an organ, it is a collection of tissues that perform certain functions – sensing, filtering the senses, and reacting to sensations. The brain is part of the whole body – the collection of all body parts.
Where do you find the mind? In the body? Or in the brain? Nowhere. The mind is separate from the body, separate from the brain. We cannot find the mind in the brain.
How do we recognize the mind, and recognize components and functions of the mind, from components and functions of the brain? The brain can exist without consciousness – the mind is consciousness. There are animals that have a nervous system but no mind. The first functions of the nervous system are to sense danger and food, and then to move the body away from the danger and towards food. When does the mind emerge from the brain? It’s a difficult question, so I propose a simple answer. When we learn to pee. To pee, or not to pee. That is the answer.
Gradually, animals develops sentience, the first hints of thinking consciousness. We don’t need to draw an exact line – we only need a useful distinction. The mind is conscious. Boxers are knocked ‘unconscious’ for short periods of time. We make conscious decisions that can be incredibly complex. The line between the brain and the minds lies in conscious control of the minds, over the body. Yes, we have more than one mind, we are of more than one mind, indecision is an important component of intelligence, an important component of healthiness.

The Spirit:

What about spirit? When does our spirit emerge? Shakespeare’s Hamlet discussed a battle of minds and spirits. Our spirits are our wills, our desires, our longings, to live, or not. To be, or not to be. We do not have one spirit. We have many. Take care, it’s easy to confuse ‘sensations’ with ‘spirits’. Some feelings are what we sense. We smell food – and move forward. We feel intolerable heat – and move away from danger. These sensations are feelings. And spirits? We anticipate danger, and we want to move away from it. This is our spirit. Indirect, separate from direct ‘sensation’. Of course we translate our spirits back into feelings, and complexity arises. We think about death, “to be or not to be”, the thought of death drives away the joy of life, drives away the fear of the pain of dying, and we feel melancholy. Is melancholy a feeling? Or a spirit?
Gradually, as complexity grows, consciousness grows to develop awareness of ‘self’. Self-consciousness is an attribute and function of the mind. The mind can remember and think. It can be aware that it is thinking. It can think about thinking. It can think about thinking about thinking, and so on. All the while, the mind is also affected by bodily sensations, feelings, etc. Do whales and elephants, who also have large brains, think about thinking? Or is language required? More questions that might never be answered.
Our minds and our spirits evolved together. They are intricately interlinked, interwoven. Maybe it is folly to try and separate them. Maybe not.

The Mind:

People have complex minds, which we use to manipulate not just our body, not just our mind, but also our spirits. We can want to be calm. We can take some deep breaths, and calm our body, minds and spirits. We can use our mind to control our spirits, and we can use our spirits to control our mind. It’s not simple. It shouldn’t be. To ‘want to be’ is an action of spirit, even when the ‘want’ is in the past.
Our mind can sense our feelings, our wants, our spirits. We can use our conscious mind to look at our sensations and ‘feel our own pain’, past – present, and future, and ‘sense our own joy’ – past, present, and future. It can calculate and decide, taking many, often conflicting desires into consideration. Or, as in Hamlet’s soliloquy, it might decide to not decide, but to ponder. Or did Hamlet’s spirit override the mind, asking the mind to ponder termination of life, and with it, termination of the spirit?
As the mind cannot be found in the nervous system, the brain, or the body, the spirit cannot be found in the mind. It emerges as the complexity of the mind, the brain, the body rises. The spirit can fade too, if the body, brain, and mind are so overloaded that they can barely perform their base functions. The mind too can fade or disappear when we are knocked unconscious. When we say someone is ‘brain dead’ – they often have a brain, but it is not in control. They are ‘mind dead’, ‘spirit dead’. This circumstance can be mild, moderate, or severe as the mind and the spirit shrink or lose function. Our medical systems, with their fear of ‘spirits’, don’t recognize spirit death nor weakness of spirit – except perhaps in a moralistic sense.
We can recognize the mind, and the spirit. The mind exercises control, sometimes in very, very complex ways. The spirit wants to exercise control, even if we are not certain what we want.


There is another layer in the hierarchy of life, the hierarchy of healthicine. We each have many minds, many spirits, but one body. When we combine our bodies, our minds and our spirits, we create another layer – community. We create communities that are very, very complex, that have minds, and wills – spirits of their own. There is no difficulty distinguishing community from body, minds and spirits. Maybe that’s why community is almost invisible to health (sick care) practitioners – because it is in plain sight. Easy: to see, or not to see.

Things that help to live in the moment and let go( linking Body - Soul - Mind)

The toughest thing in the world for me is to let go and just breathe. I speak nineteen to the dozen and think way faster than that. Like any spirited person, I tend to focus on each and every word, action or reaction of mine and of those around me. Every day is a roller coaster of emotion and bouncy house of ideas, plans and what not as I multi-task and process things rapidly, just because I can.
I have a single-minded focus during a crisis or when emotions ride high, tempers flare or adrenaline is pumping. During such episodes, I am almost in a meditative state because I can zero in and concentrate on the overriding thought, feeling or experience of the moment. Those moments are far and few. At all other times, I am fairly certain, you can feel my mind racing.
To someone like me, slowing down is worse than staying still.
Recently, however, I came to a grinding halt when a friend told me to try and live in the moment, and soak in the present for a bit. She was referring to conversations at a breakneck speed and darting at an all for leather pace (mentally) in many directions. And how it can get overwhelming for others.
But, it also made me think about how ‘being me’, affects me on a day-to-day basis. It makes me constantly do, or think, or act, or plan. It makes me cling to memories. It makes me never forget because I am constantly processing things without slowing down and assimilating, or discarding. I am not really moving on to the next thing, but hoarding each and every thing, and in effect carrying baggage.
Then, I took a step back and thought about all the times I have paused and just lived in the moment. It is not as though I had an epiphany or anything. It is something I have sporadically thought about and tried to do off and on over the years with varying degrees of success. I came up with a list of things that have helped me slow down in the past.
I have taken stock of what worked and what didn’t and can check the items on my list using the fingers of one hand. If you are anything like me, or have to deal with someone like me, this list should come in handy.
  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
I will try to focus on the larger picture, which means not being nit-picky about why people behave the way they do. For example, if you are good to me on the whole, I will chalk your minor indiscretions, insensitive reactions or any other nastiness to a bad day or a momentary lapse of good sense.
  1. Let people arrive at a conclusion on their own.
Remember how Chandler used to wait for Joey to get there? I promise, I will try to wait till you finish your train of thought and stay with you through the next steps instead of waiting for you 3 stations ahead and expecting you to get there faster. I do not think you are slow, but I think I need to adjust my pace so we can arrive at a different conclusion or the same one together.
  1. When in doubt, ask!
Just because I have considered what you said through all possible angles and arrived at a different conclusion, doesn’t mean that is what you intended to say or do. So I will not fret about it till I check with you!
  1. Pick my battles
I need to focus on one agenda at a time and at a stretch. I will pick and choose the one thing I want to win you over for and let the others go, so you win some and I win some.
  1. Can’t forgive or forget? Make my peace with it.
I have hoarded a bit too much over the years. It’s time to let go of things that are not in my control. That does not mean I have to act or decide or do anything specific. I just have to realise that a particular emotion or idea is lying in the recesses of my mind and it can continue to lie there. I won’t actively bring it up or examine it from time to time.

A useful tip for new mommies - A Natural remedy to safeguard your baby from painful diaper rashes

Wet and tight diapers can lead to the bothersome diaper rashes. A baby’s skin is soft and sensitive and needs to stay away from chemicals and harsh skin care products. Most mothers resort to home remedies and natural ingredients to prevent and reduce diaper rashes. Sesame oil is one such ingredient. Read about the causes of diaper rashes.
How sesame oil helps?
According to a study conducted in China on 80 babies suffering from diaper rashes, applying sesame oil proved to be more effective than a diaper cream of a popular brand. Sesame oil has also been traditionally used in India to prevent diaper rashes. Being a natural emollient, the oil soothes and moisturises the baby’s skin and provides relief from the itching or burning caused by rashes. It also acts as a barrier and prevents diaper rashes. Sesame oil is also a key ingredient in many herbal formulations to treat rashes, skin allergies, dry skin itching and other skin issues. The demulcent and antibacterial properties of sesame oil reduce inflammations and relieve pain 
Gently massage a little sesame oil on the rash prone areas every day to prevent rashes. You can apply it on existing rashes for quicker healing.

5 tips to banish them :

1) Diaper rashes in babies are very common. These rashes can be painful and bothersome to your little one making the skin go red, spreading all over the private parts. While it is painful to see your baby cry and wail in pain with those rashes, there is a lot you can do to prevent them. Try these tricks to deal with your baby’s diaper rashes.
2) Offer a change of diaper frequently, one in every three hours would be ideal. Even during the night. Clean your baby’s privates thoroughly during every change and pat dry. Do not rub the privates vigorously. Remember to sanitize your own hands before and after every change.
3) Chuck the diapers which promise better fragrance or are perfumed. They are bound to be loaded with chemicals. Also keep away from wipes that are dabbed in alcohol solutions or have other sweet smells. Rinse your baby’s bottom with warm water or wipe out with a wet cloth. If you use cotton nappies make sure you wash them thoroughly so there are no remains of harsh detergents.
4) Introduce one food at a time and wait to see if it causes rashes anywhere in your baby’s body, including the diaper area. If it does, do the obvious. Take that food off the plate for a while. Breastfeed your child as long as you can even after introducing solids, as it ups immunity and helps to reduce the chances of rashes.
5) Do not fasten the diaper too tightly. Buy a pack that’s right for your baby’s age and weight. This will ensure better air circulation and fit well. Try few brands before you end up with the best one. Try and keep your baby off diapers whenever possible. Allow him to sleep bare bottom with a plastic cover over your mattress at times.

Winter's coming and don’t let it rob your glow! Try using sandalwood for soft, moisturised skin

Winter is soon approaching and your skin probably hates the weather. Dry and flaky skin accompanied by itching is quite a common complaint during winter. Skin lotions contain a host of harmful chemical, with a natural ingredient or two thrown in. While it may moisturise the skin to some extent, the chemicals may cause harm too. This is why using all natural remedies for tackling skin issues is beneficial. Sandalwood — one ingredient that can help solve your problems of dry skin and prevent wrinkles. It is a popular beauty ingredient used liberally in soaps, face packs and for several other medicinal purposes.
Here’s how sandalwood helps?
Sandalwood is amazing for treating dry skin caused due to harsh weather or chemicals. In fact, sandalwood also helps in dealing with flaky skin caused due to skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis. Its emollient properties provide the skin with the necessary moisture and keep the natural oils of the skin intact by preventing dryness. The active ingredients of sandalwood is santanol, which helps in shrinking the pores and acts as a natural toner, reducing the signs of ageing.
How to use it?
Sandalwood oil mixed with olive or coconut can be applied on the skin directly to keep it moisturised. For the face, sandalwood powder mixed with rose water is the simplest and most effective face pack. Sandalwood paste can also be massaged on the face to make the skin soft and supple. The powder can be added to curd or honey and mixed with egg yolk to prevent wrinkles.

Here are some sandalwood packs to help your cause:

Chandan or sandalwood powder is a one-stop solution for most skin problems, possessing exceptional healing properties. It helps provide a soothing effect in summers. You could use chandan powder or chandan sticks to make face packs for glowing skin.  
Here are a few home remedies with chandan you could use: 
Chandan and milk face pack for radiant skin 
If you want to get rid of the dullness on your face, simply apply a mixture of chandan and raw milk. Leave this for 20 minutes and wash well with water. You will find your skin looking healthier with a glow. It is also suitable for people with dry skin. 
Chandan and almond face pack for clear-looking skin 
If you want to relive your skin from marks,  chandan can come in handy.  Mix some chandan with finely powdered almonds (badam) and add raw milk to the mixture. This pack can be applied daily on the face, arms and legs.
Chandan face mask for flawless and smooth skin 
Chandan as an ingredient is antiseptic and anti inflammatory in nature. Hence, this  face mask is ideal to cleanse your skin from the dirt accumulated over time. You need to mix together some rose oil, chandan, turmeric, malai, honey and besan. Apply it on your face and neck and leave it to dry. Peel this mask off your face in sometime and wash thoroughly. This will make your skin soft. Apply this only once a week. A face scrub with chandan also helps get rid of dead skin cells. 

Top 7 Advantages of Oiling your Hair Regularly(Some natural alternatives for hair creams and gels)

Hair are the identifying characteristic of mammals on Earth. Hair grow beneath the epidermis from hair follicle. Taking care of your hair is important, in spite of daily busy schedule. Voluminous hair gives one a good look together with the boost in personality and highlights your pampering nature. In rushing hours, where looking good in health and attire has become a need, we are forgetting the most important part of your look.
Oiling your hair is one of the best workout for your curls to grow and gain strength. Although the method of applying and usage of oil has evolved, oiling for long and strong hair is still followed from the ancient times.
The scalp has its own way of generating natural oil providing nourishment to growing hair. The amount of hair oil applied then becomes a concerned matter. Too much of oil block pores on scalp through which the sin breathes and the oil is absorbed. It is thus advised to use warm oil for massaging. Massaging hair roots with castor oil, olive oil or even the most common one, coconut oil boosts the hair growth along with supplying the essential elements. Keeping oil massaged overnight will help in the absorption of oil. As the invent of luxury oils, the old trend of using greasy oil is outdated. What people want from hair oil is the nourishment, which is provided by oil which are latest in trend. For example Moroccan Argan Oil, Tea tree oil, Hibiscus oil, Jojoba oil. These hair oil are rich in Vitamin E and balances the ph level of the scalp. Luxe oil do not require excessive massaging but applying them before an hour of washing helps to add the volume and to regain the strength lost due to various chemical treatments. A small amount of oil is needed as compared to the oil previously used.
Oiling hair regularly is the most effective treatment towards hair problems. Hair problems, which include hair loss, split ends, frizz, dullness, thinning and graying of hair, has a single solution – Oiling. Although, Excessive hair loss should be reported to dermatologist, who instantly gives you a solution by just checking the condition of your scalp.
Here are the top benefits of oiling hair regularly.
7. Hair Growth
hair growth
Hair grow when they are given enough nourishment to sustain. Although, hair is just a protein strand, it also require regular feed of vitamins and other essentials. Massaging twice a week will regain whatever hair loses in the process of curling, ironing and chemical treatments. Oil acts as a replenishing agent. Massaging helps in opening of pores and better absorption of oil. It also facilitates blood circulation and thus soothes and relaxes you. Oiling strengthens roots and leading to healthy hair growth.
6. Prevent Bacterial and Fungal Infections
Clogging of pores on scalp can have minor to major problems when they get contaminated with bacteria or fungi. These bacteria and fungi provides nourishment and gives suitable environment for hair lice growth and dandruff. And can be the major cause of hair loss or hair fall. If the scalp is getting tender and there are some red spots you must visit a dermatologist. Along with the scalp, hair can get red. Although, bacteria is present all the time but the one mentioned is scalp-friendly. Irritation on scalp and redness can be the result of some harmful bacteria replacing normal one. Regularly oiling hair with honey gives you anti-bacterial treatment and provides scalp the necessary elements to stay healthy and well hydrated.
5. Relaxes mind and body
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Massaging scalp and hair with lukewarm oil helps rejuvenate the loss due to chemical treatments. It also relaxes nerves in brain, thus facilitating blood circulation in head area. Regularly oiling hair before washing, and keeping hot towel wrapped around the head for 20-30 minutes will help better absorption by strengthening the roots. Our brain is the origin of all our activities, and oiling help to soothe capillaries and nerves in brain. Relaxation of mind and body is done through massaging, and scalp massage is one of them. You can use thick oil or luxe oil for this. The rapid increase in hair growth in around two months can make you never leave the habit of massaging scalp regularly. Eyesight tend to improve by regular oil massaging.
4. Strengthens hair protein
Hair is a protein strand that has its roots beneath the epidermal cells. The hair follicle is nourished by oiling regularly. Hair become brittle and leads to baby hair due to weak hair protein. Hair oil such as castor oil, almond oil and olive oil help to regain the old strength of the protein. The hairshaft is prevented from harm and is nourished. The frizz and brittle nature of hair is reduced with the help of vitamin E which is the major component of the oils used to massage scalp. Strengthened hair falls less with their bulbs and are less vulnerable to heat destruction. Split ends, being the major hair problem is reduced when the hair protein is helped to grow from root to the tip.

3. Shine and lustre
Who doesn’t want shining hair? Shine is the most attractive feature of healthy hair. Hair shine when they are healthy. By Healthy, we means hygiene and nourishment. Hair when destroyed due to heat causes split ends and becomes brittle. The thickness of the hair is lost and is unevenly distributed. Untreated split ends grow giving rough look to hair. Aloe vera along with cold juices and curd helps in obtaining better shine than before. It can be applied with oil or as a hair mask. Regular oiling keeps hair well stranded in a single thread than like lint of thread. Oil keeps the split hair together and nourishes it from outside thus giving lustre and shine to your curls.
2. Prevent Dandruff
Dandruff is the result of dry scalp. Dry scalp stretches and breaks causing dandruff. Dandruff cause itching on the scalp and at hair roots, thus resulting in hair breakage and hair fall. Dandruff is thus the major cause of hair fall. Environment pollution also plays a role in worsening the situation. Also, lice are likely to grow in such situation. Dandruff leaves scalp and can be found highlighting on dark clothes. These are dead cells that makes one embarrassed about one’s personality. Continuous irritation and scratching may give you bad hair volume. People with dry scalp usually suffer dandruff and should thus massage hair and scalp with good amount of hair oil. Oil secreting glands present at the epidermal cells of scalp produces no or low natural oil in presence of dandruff. Massaging help these glands to produce oil keeping the scalp nourished. Although too much of oil can hinder the growth, regular washing off with mild shampoo and using quality conditioner can then help you cater this problem.
1. Prevents Greying and acts as a protective sheath
Premature-greying of hair is common in youngsters and adults. It occurs due to lack of vitamins and protein in the food digested. However, there may be reasons genetically that leads to graying of hair. Melanin present in the skin gives hair its color, as it does to skin. Melanin is a skin pigment that decides color of hair. High amount of melanin present in scalp gives dark color to hair while its lack causes graying. It is the deficiency of Vitamin B 12 that results in graying. Regularly oiling and massaging thus helps to retain the color of your hair, and thus giving you black and shining hair. Also, hair are prevented from harmful rays of sunlight by forming a protective sheath around the hair protein. UV rays are blocked by the oil that nourishes hair. Nourished hair are more resistant to harmful rays.
Although there are a number of other benefits of regularly oiling and massaging, it provide basic nourishment for hair growth. Oil act as lubricant on hair preventing it from harsh environment. Hair oil is a necessary for volume and strength, it is thus called the grandma’s treatment.
Oil you hair regularly with luxe oils to see the change yourself.