Meet Gina: Reiki Master and Interpreter of Crystals

Gina Crosheck decided to embark on her spiritual path shortly after both her husband and her sister died within the same week. In this interview, Gina explains the healing method of Reiki as well as how she developed her interest in the healing power of crystals.


Learning the Art of Holistic Cooking

My whole food shopping spree was a success! I opted for organic fruits and vegetables, and as hard as it was to stray from the oh-so-comforting box of mac n cheese, I stayed far away from processed packaged meals. I also stopped by the local farmers market for some farm raised meat, and picked up a couple healing essential oils with mood enhancing ingredients such as lavender and orange blossom as well.

(Figured I ought to stock up on these antidepressants seeing as I am one of many who will unfortunately be plagued by seasonal mood disorder in the upcoming fall and winter months!)

The next step was to find some healthy and healing holistic recipes and cooking tips. For this, I went straight to the Island Druid Holistic Wellbeing website.

According to Island Druid, in order to cook holistically, one needs to incorporate all aspects of his or her being – Body, Mind, and Spirit. Cooking for holistic practitioners is considered a means of meditation, connecting one’s mind to his or her actions in preparation of natural foods. While preparing my own holistic meal, I took it as a time to relax and block out the worries of the day, focusing in onwhat I was doing at the present time – creating a healing and nutritious meal.

Holistic recipes, I learned, are actually quite simple. Since they incorporate only whole foods and all-natural ingredients, many recipes I came across in my research require very few ingredients. Since I have always had a love for fruit, and wanted to ease my way into the world of holistic cooking, I decided my first holistic food experience would be in the form of a fruit and vegetable smoothie found on the Holistic Cooking Goddess blog.

Green Smoothy
1 apple
1 banana
1 pear
2 stalks celery
1 baby coz lettuce
2 big handfuls spinach or kale
juice of 1/2-1 lemon
400-450mls water
small knob ginger optional
(all organic ingredients, of course)

I popped these ingredients in a blender and blended until smooth. Who knew holistic cooking could be so quick and easy? Not to mention tasty!


Here are some more Holistic cooking tips I found on Simple Holistic Food.

Principles of Holistic Cooking:

1. Purify and filter your water.

2. Prepare food in the best stainless steel pots and pans you can afford.

3. Avoid the use of microwave ovens.

4. Use healing sugars only.

5. Use healing fats and oils that work with your liver to detoxify your body.

6. Get adequate protein.

7. Use salt with trace minerals and sea vegetables.

8. Perform nutritional analysis.

9. Use herbal teas.

10. Use at least four whole grain flours on a rotating basis.

11. Use organic and local ingredients whenever possible.

I’ll definitely be using these guiding principles when I manage to actually cook a holistic meal. I am thinking an organic bean and vegetable soup may be the next step in my cooking journey…

Please comment if you have any other suggestions for me!


Homeopathy v. Naturopathy

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Confused about the difference between Homeopathy and Naturopathy? Click on the image above for some clarity. You will find informational videos and links to articles highlighting the relationship between the two natural practices, real life stories regarding the benefits of Homeopathy and Naturopathy, and also natural/herbal alternatives to prescription medications to battle pain and the flu!

A Link Between Stress Relief and Clearer Skin

Bad Skin Condition? Holistic Stress Relief May Cure It

According to a report released on August 7th, 2014 by the American Dermatology Association (ADA), research suggests stress relief techniques may help relieve skin outbreaks. Alternative forms of treatment in the form of stress relief techniques could become treatment options for dermatology patients.

Dermatologist Richard D. Granstein, MD, FAAD of Weil Cornell College department of dermatology explained the relationship between the nervous system and skin conditions in the ADA article.

He stated that the nervous system has an affect on inflammatory skin conditions. Stress can cause the nervous system to increase the production of certain chemicals that casuse inflammation in the skin.

Since this finding, alternative treatments to reduce stress such as mediation and yoga are being recommended by dermatologists.

Dr. Heather Ciliberto, MD, dermatologist affiliated with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, supports this latest research. “Stress can trigger numerous reactions within the skin,” she said. “When patients are having to cope with a certain skin condition, the addition of stress and anxiety only makes their condition worse, more often than not.”

Dr. Ciliberto suggests her patients suffering from stress due to their skin condition also be treated for anxiety and find stress relief outlets. She suggests practicing deep breathing daily.

So what kinds of stress relief outlets are there?

Many holistic healing sites, such as, recommend doing yoga for stress and anxiety relief.

One student at the University of Iowa, Taylor Stewart swears by this.

“The only times I break out are when I’m stressing over a test or something at work,” said Taylor, “I try to do yoga whenever I can to eliminate my stress.”

“Yoga provides a release in the body,” stated Kristin Cass, yoga instructor at Hot House Yoga in Iowa City, Iowa, “when you detoxify your body in this way, it could contribute to less acne and definitely to less stress.”

Cass has frequent skin rashes as a reaction to stress. In order to self-treat this condition, she practices the yoga routines she reaches daily at Hot House. “I tend to get rashes when I am stressed out,” she said, “I do the full routine more often, and the rash goes away.”

(–>Check out this yoga routine on MindBodyGreen as well!)

Now, holistic healing facilities and yoga studios could expect an influx of patients suffering from stress-induced or exacerbated skin conditions. Those suffering from persistent acne or stress related outbreaks might want to consider taking up yoga or meditation as a form of therapy.

So next time you find yourself breaking out, sit back in a peaceful spot, and try yoga-inspired meditation. That’s what I’ll be doing.


Nutrition First, Mind and Spirit Next

Holistic Living focuses on three interconnecting aspects of the human being: the mind, the body, and the spirit. It is only through the healing and maintenance of all three of these sides that one can fully live, and ultimately heal, holistically. Tackling all three of these aspects at once could be quite taxing, however; I will attempt to adjust and heal each side of myself one at a time, step by step, beginning with my body and, specifically, my nutrition.

In my research on the holistic lifestyle, I have come across several different blogs and websites preaching of the benefit of moderation, choosing fresh, whole, and organic foods, and drinking plenty of water. Adopting these lifestyle changes has an inevitable impact on not only one’s physical health, but also one’s mental health and emotional well-being.

According to a recent video published on Healthy Holistic Living, nutritional deficiencies are direct causes of mood disorders such as depression and panic disorders. Now, not all of us may be suffering from mood disorders of this severity, but I believe if nutrition plays such an integral impact on those suffering from such disorders, a simple improvement in diet and nutrition will definitely improve an emotionally healthy individual’s emotional well-being.

So how am I going to adjust my diet in order to better my nutritional intake and general mood?

Well, I’m starting with a grocery shopping spree! Broke college students such as myself struggle to find affordable and quick meal solutions. Dorm food and the plethora of chain restaurants, burger joints, and Mexican grills definitely do not help in this nutrition dilemma either. With that being said, a trip to the local Hy-Vee is a must. Let the search for cheap, fresh, organic, and whole foods begin!

Next step – learning new recipes to cook all of this food and boost my Holistic Living repertoire. But that will require another blog post, of course.

Until Next Time!