Body Butter To Soothe Dry Winter Skin

Tis the season for dry, cracked hands.

Here’s a simple recipe for home made body butter.

If you don’t have time to make it yourself, give me a call, as I do have a few jars available.

I’ve been using some variation of this butter in my massage practice for years.

In the winter I often add peppermint oil. I also like to blend scents like orange and clove, or clary sage and lavender. Feel free to omit the essential oils if you have sensitive skin, or prefer unscented products.

The main ingredients are shea butter, jojoba, and coconut oil.

Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the shea tree. It can be used to heal minor cuts and abrasions. It is solid at room temperature. It’s often used in soaps and cosmetics.

Jojoba “oil” is actually a liquid plant ester, or wax extracted from the seeds of the jojoba plant. It typically is found in the deserts of Arizona, California and Mexico (the photo above is yours truly in Joshua Tree National Park where I stumbled up on a few jojoba plants growing wild).

Jojoba has the consistency of olive oil at room temperature, but unlike olive oil it has a long shelf life, and is able to withstand high heat without going rancid.

I was first introduced to this product when I was a wee massage therapist in Florida in the 90’s. I have oily and sensitive skin, and traditional massage oils caused me to break out if I did not immediately wash my skin. I once found myself having to go back to work after receiving a massage from a massage therapist who used jojoba. I thought, “oh man my neck and back are going to be so broken out tomorrow”. Instead, the jojoba absorbed into my skin, and I had no issues. I’ve been a fan ever since.

Here’s my favorite brand.

Coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of saturated fat. It has microbial effects, boosts the moisture content in skin and hair, and contains antioxidants that have been shown to lower inflammation, and boost brain health. I put a spoonful in my coffee every morning. You can also use it as a substitute for butter in baked goods (I used some in a recent banana bread recipe). If you’re not a fan of the coconutty scent and taste, look for refined coconut oil.

While the ingredients in this body butter are “all natural” please do not eat it. Jojoba is not meant to be consumed.

Spread this on your hands, not on your toast :).

Having said that, your skin is highly absorptive. As with what I put in my body, I try to stick to skin care products that have a short list of easily pronounceable ingredients.

Ok on to the recipe…

Body Butter Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Shea butter
  • 1/2 cup Coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup Jojoba
  • 5-10 drops of essential oil (optional – I used peppermint for my latest batch)

Directions:

  1. Melt shea butter, coconut oil and jojoba oil in a double boiler. If you do not have one of these you can nest a glass bowl over a saucepan. Start with about an inch or two of water in the bottom pan, so that it comes close to the bottom of the bowl without spilling over the sides.
  2. Whisk the first three ingredients together over medium heat until they are combined. No need to boil them, just give enough to heat so that they melt.
  3. Turn off the heat, and whisk in 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil.
  4. Refrigerate for an hour or until white and solid.
  5. With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the oils until they are fluffy like whipped cream.
  6. Fill glass jars body butter, seal them, and refrigerate another hour.

A note on storage: Depending on the temperature in your house (and the time of year) you may want to keep these babies in the fridge. If you leave them in a warm room, they won’t go bad, they just might melt and lose the whipped texture.

Happy Holidays!

xoxo

Anne

“Anne saved my life!” How I got unstuck out in the middle of nowhere.

“Anne, you saved my life!” This was the first thing one of my clients said at the start or our Monday 6 pm yoga class.

He told a story about being out in the middle of nowhere, falling and not being able to get up. I believe his exact words were, “I’m screwed.” He then remembered some of the ways we have practiced going from the floor to standing, and was able to regain his composure, and figure out how to stand up (and not be bear food).

I know the old commercials where the little old lady says “I’ve fallen and I cant get up” were funny, but seriously, unless you have fallen and not been able to get up off the floor, you may not realize how terrifying this is, especially if you are alone.

My client is active, he loves to be outdoors, fishing and golfing. He’s been coming to our yoga class for several years. Occasionally his low back flares up and he does a few one-on-ones with me. He sees the value in strengthening, stretching, and mobilizing his spine, as this helps him stay out of pain, and allows him to do the things he loves.

After class I asked him if I could write a post about his story and he sent this email along with some photos from his trip:

“Hey Anne; A little story about my fall fishing trip:

My favorite fly fishing spot is the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park.

This September I was fishing on kind of marshy, soft and mucky ground. Standing half in the water and half on the land tying on a new fly I lost footing and fell onto the bank. Initially on my back and side I could not get up, and after a number of minutes felt I might be screwed. Then a vision crossed my mind of Anne demonstrating a yoga standing move, butt in the air walking one’s hands towards ones feet. I managed to get on all fours, walked my hands backward and I stood upright.

Funny how things intersect and of course Anne is a hero.”

If you struggle with your balance or mobility, or feel you’re no longer able to do the things you used to do, our Monday yoga class is for you! We start with mobility work, incorporate a few standing strength and balance exercises, then the last half of the class is devoted to stretching. This is a great stress reducer, and a fantastic start to your week.

Still not sure if this is for you? Reach out to me and I’ll send you the code to try your first class for free.

xoxo

Anne

(503) 705-4762

Move, Eat, Rest. Our Fall Reset starts September 19th!

YOU are invited to join our Fall Reset!

What is it?

21 day program to decrease pain and tightness, improve sleep, and reduce stress and anxiety.

Our focus:

  • Daily, pain-free movement
  • Feed your body
  • Rest

How?

Meet with me for 30 minutes of one on one time focused on you and your goals (phone, Zoom, or in person). We will establish your personal game plan, so that you are clear on when and how you will you move your body, prep healthy meals, and find more space, and ease.

When?

September 19th – October 9th

Where?

Online, via email. If you’re local, you may choose to meet with me in person for your one on one. You receive weekly email prompts for pain-free movement, mobility/flexibility, healthy eating, stress reduction, and improved sleep.

How much?

Free for Fit Club subscribers.

$75 for guests.

How do I participate?

  1. Sign up by clicking here.
  2. Meet with me for your one on one.
  3. Read your email prompts, and complete a few short tasks each day.

How do I sign up?

Click here to register today!

Not sure if this is for you? Join our Zoom meeting Saturday September 17th at 11 am to see if this is right for you! (message me for the private link Anne@FluidPortland.com

Strength training with Anne in June at no cost to you!

Are you the perfect person for our June Personal Training experiment?

Find out what you can accomplish when you commit to taking good care of YOU!

  • You are ready to make positive changes.
  • You have a specific goal.
  • You are able to commit to Wednesdays 5:30 – 6:00 pm PT on Zoom, June 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd.

I’m offering four weeks of personal training with me, at no cost to you.

We start with a zoom call to see if we are a good fit. You and I will meet for thirty minutes once a week for strength training. We will finish with an assessment to see what specific what improvements have you made.

To take advantage of this fabulous opportunity to work with me one on one, call or email me today!

(503) 705-4762

Anne@FluidPortland.com

xoxo
Anne

March 13th – The 7 year anniversary of my back surgery, a lumbar discectomy!

This is me holding a heavy box (~35 lbs).

Why am I smiling?

7 years ago I couldn’t have done this. In fact, 7 years ago I could barely stand for longer than about 30 seconds. I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t lay on my back, the only sort-of comfortable position was laying on my tummy on the floor. So I did a lot of that.

This is my back story (p.s. this is a long one. For the TL/DR version jump right to the bottom of the page to learn how I got out of pain, what’s I’m doing now to keep my back strong, and how I can help YOU if you are suffering from chronic pain.)

For as long as I can remember, I have suffered some sort of low back discomfort on a semi regular basis. Tightness, pain, my back “going out”. Trips to the chiropractor. Several other members of my family suffer from back pain. I thought this was “normal”.

That is until I tried Pilates in my 20’s. I woke up one day with zero back pain and thought to myself – Ok now, this is “normal”. And this is what I want!

Jump to 2014, I’m running my business here in Portland, teaching weekly Pilates and yoga classes, doing about 10-15 massages a week. My back and hip started to tighten up to the point I am suspecting that I have a pinched nerve. I am terrified that I may have a disc issue that will need medical attention as I do not have health insurance and am self employed. By early 2015 I had tried everything, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy, private sessions with my Pilates instructor, ice, heat, movement, rest.

Nothing gave me lasting relief and I was now at a constant 8 out of 10 pain.
Everything hurt.

By February 2015 I had signed up for a high deductible health insurance policy. My plan kicked in and I immediately got at MRI which showed a herniated disc. I was thrilled to finally have an official diagnosis, and it just so happened that one of the best spine surgeons in Portland was available to see me. Within a week of my diagnosis I had a successful surgery to remove the disc material that had been pinching the nerve in my hip for months.

I woke up from surgery confused because they had rolled me on to my back. I remember asking the nurse why I was on my back (I had not ben able to lay on my back for months) and then once I realized I wasn’t in any pain I just started sobbing. She thought there was something wrong, and I just sobbed “I’m not in any pain!”

I can not tell you how good this felt. I was so relieved to finally be out of pain. I was able to walk, to stand, and to sit relatively comfortably for the first time in months!

My sweet mommy came to stay with me while I recovered. We walked the Springwater trail like a turtle after having eaten a large burrito pace – I think we covered 1.5 miles in about 90 minutes. I didn’t care how slow I was moving, I was walking! I was showered with love and support from all my people. Every day someone stopped by with food, flowers, or just to visit.

I started back to work very slowly. I taught one class while talking my ladies through the exercises, while I remained seated or standing, not demonstrating any of the moves. I rested. I walked in nature.

Now 7 years out I still do have some residual tightness in my hip. I have also learned lots of tools, both to relive pain and tightness, and, more importantly to help calm my mind when I feel myself getting wound up.

Experiencing something like this is traumatic, any twinge of back tightness used to send me into a fear response, what if this happens all over again and I can’t move? Now, I can catch my spiraling thoughts, take a look at them to see if they are true, and decide how I want to proceed, rather than being driven by the fear of “what if?”. Most of the time anyway.

So what’s my current plan, and how did I easily lift that 35 lb. box?

  • I’ve been doing weekly Somatics classes to help calm my mind, and connect my brain and my body.
  • For the past 6 months I’ve been following a structured strength training program.
  • I average 3 strength sessions per week.
  • I do some type of gentle exploratory movement most days.
  • I work on my hip and shoulder mobility several times a week.

The biggest thing I have learned thru all of this is that when something hurts I can now stop, listen, gather information, then take action (or rest).

Before this experience, I didn’t know what to do. I was waiting for someone to “fix me”. After having gone through this, I now have a variety of tools that I use on myself, and with my clients to help both the physical, and the mental aspect of chronic pain.

If you have suffered, or are suffering from chronic pain, I feel for you.
AND, there is a way out! Call me if you’d like support.

TL/DR*:
I suffered a herniated disc that left me paralyzed with fear and in constant daily agonizing pain. I had a successful surgery that led to me learning about different types of movement that helped me realize that no, my body was not broken, no I didn’t do anything wrong, and yes it was ok to move again! I now incorporate aspects of mobility work, soft tissue mobilization, Somatics exercises, and traditional strength work (squats, deadlifts, chest presses, rows…) as part of my ongoing self care plan.

I am thrilled to share what I have learned with you! If you are ready to take control of your pain, if you are willing to work to get better, if you see the value in having me lead you to the land of mind/ body connection and pain free movement, give me a call.

(503) 705-4762

xoxo

Anne

* What the heck does TL/DR mean? It stands for “too long, didn’t read”…all the kids are saying it! 😃