I’m Lucie Fink and this is 5 Days of Natural Remedies. Hey guys! What’s up? Welcome back to Try Living With Lucie. This week I’m really excited because we’re going all natural. This topic is particularly interesting to me because this entire YouTube series has given me a new holistic approach to life that I did not have before. Before we start and before any of you start commenting: “This is pseudoscience.” “This is a sad waste of money.” “Why do people still do this stuff?” Please wait. Hold up. Let me just say: I know that a lot of the things I’m about to try this week are widely considered to be pseudoscience and have no scientific evidence to support that they work. But I know so many people who do these treatments on the reg. And not only do they do them, but they really, really enjoy them. And some people even swear by them. So because of that, I’m committed to testing out these natural remedies this week. And then sharing my feelings with you completely and 100% unbiased. I started out today with one of the most well-known forms of alternative medicine: acupuncture. Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of traditional Chinese medicine. The idea is that we all have this life force or this energy running through us called a qi. And that qi is circulating along different lines in our bodies called meridians. But every so often, these meridians get jammed up and we have energy blockages. So acupuncture says by tapping these thin, metal needles into different acupuncture points around your body, it supposedly can improve your body’s functioning by allowing that energy to flow more easily. I did a bit of research before I went into this and I did read that it is pseudoscience. I’m going to say it upfront: that’s what I read. But I’ve seen acupuncture being done in hundreds of movies and it was something that I’ve been really wanting to try. So I did it anyway. Acupuncture regulates the body to keep the equilibrium homeostasis, that’s when the body is feeling well and healthy. She had me lie on the table. It won’t hurt but you do feel sensations—different kinds of sensations that you never felt before. The needles do not hurt. They’re so, so thin. Is it in? Promote. Let flow. She put needles in my feet, my legs, my hands and my arms, my stomach, my face, and the crown of my head. Good for memories. Good for concentration as well. At first, there was no pain, no feeling at all. But then she tapped a needle into this one spot on my left shin. —A few more on this one.
—Oh! Oh! That’s the energy you’re feeling. Yeah, wow. That’s traveling down the meridian. And I felt a jolt run through my leg. It went down from my shin, all the way to my toes. Because that is a very strong energy regulated point. She took a really thin space blanket and she put it on top of me to trap all the heat in. And I was starting to feel a little numb and tingly and twitchy. My hand actually feels kind of weird. My right hand. I sort of started to feel like I was going to pass out. So I asked her, “Has anyone ever passed out during this?” And she said, “Yeah.” So acupuncture is very activating. So if someone is very deficient and tired, that can create some fainting spell. And the moment she said, “Yeah,” I started to see spots and I asked her if she would please remove the needles immediately. You know why? You had coffee. Is that why? Right beforehand, right? Yes. This might be a problem for you right now. My heart’s back to normal. Okay. Do you want to do the back treatment? Yeah, sure. When she was putting the needles in my back, something really weird happened. I felt a sharp pain in one spot and I was convinced that one of the needles was digging in a little too deeply. So I guided her hand to that one spot and when she got there, I said, “Yeah, yeah that’s the spot.” And she said, “There’s no needle there.” So she took another needle and she actually tapped it into that exact spot where I was feeling pain. And just like that: the tension was released. See where I didn’t have the needles, where the energy traveled to and then that’s where you feel like something blocking there. I went in thinking it was fake, but then I actually felt physical results from it. And the moment the acupuncture was over, I felt like I was energized and ready for the day. I’m feeling incredible. Honestly, I did not think that I was going to feel that way. And I actually really, really liked the way that I felt. I’m a fan of everything that happened yesterday but I really felt like I couldn’t go another day into this episode without first sitting down with a health expert. So I know that you’re doing this 5 day experiment and as the Senior Health Writer here at Refinery29, I just want you to know a couple of things. First off, it doesn’t sound like anything you’re doing is really going to hurt you. But at the same time, I don’t want you to expect some sort of miraculous benefit from these things. There’s just not a lot of research that proves conclusively that they are doing that much for you and definitely not proving that they’re better than other treatments we already have. And even though I knew that at the end of yesterday, I’m still really curious to try out a lot of these natural remedies and see how they make me feel. I started out today with a lot of natural, organic skincare products at home. I used Crude Personal Care’s Oil Cleansing Starter Kit. Basically you take their Everything oil, which is a mixture of plant and essential oils and you drop it on your face to cleanse your skin. And then you use their pull cloth to pull all of that makeup and debris off your skin. I even followed their oil cleansing kit with a detox mask made out of French green clay and green tea. It’s totally dry and it’s ready to wash off now. The camera operator. What the? Not too dry yet. Smells good. Feels good. It’s my first mask. It’s pretty nice, Lucie. I made a lemon and honey rub. I took half a lemon. I spread manuka honey on it and then I rubbed it all over my face and let it sit for five minutes. Oh! Right? —It’s soft.
—It’s soft. For healthier and moisturized skin, I made a coconut oil and tumeric blend. A quarter teaspoon of tumeric and a tablespoon of coconut oil. Mix it all together. It’s very drippy and messy. It’s really a mess. But my skin felt really nice. Oh! What’d you think? Soft as silk. Soft as a baby’s bottom. Then I made an acne-fighting scrub using half a cup of sugar, a quarter cup of olive oil, a tablespoon of honey, and about ten drops of tea tree oil. If I thought my face was soft after the honey and lemon, I didn’t know anything. Highly recommend DIY natural skincare because I’m telling you my skin has never felt as soft as it feels right now. Oh! Way back when at the beginning of this year when I was doing 5 Days of Rejuvenation, I went to Naturopathica to get a bioenergy lift facial. Today I went back there to sit with Barbara, their founder, to learn all about essential oils. Essential oils come from leaves, seeds, roots, anything, barks, fruits. Yeah, it could be the pine needles. We sat at the remedy bar and she talked me through each of their cold-pressed oils that they have on tap. They’re made from the grinding of the seed. So arnica, as you know, is an herb for trauma, right? Good for bruising. Any kind of muscle soreness. Then we made a body oil together using their custom base blend. It’s a blend of rosemary, peppermint, marjoram, and lemon. Then I took my new found knowledge of essential oils and I made something really, really fun. I made a DIY play dough for stress release. But to make it super relaxing, I added in essential oils to make a DIY therapeutic aromatherapy play dough. Once I had the mixture going, I split it into four pieces and I added different color food colorings to each so that I had four different colored play doughs. And then I assigned an essential oil to each color. I used frankincense for focus, peppermint for energy, citronella and lemon for creativity, and lavender for comfort. It smells so good. Oh my gosh. Odds are you have most of the ingredients that you need for the DIY play dough at home already. And the essential oils can be found anywhere sometimes for as low as $5. So this is an extremely affordable way to make DIY aromatherapy play dough. Today I tried cupping. Not this kind of cup. Cupping, like acupuncture, is an ancient form of alternative medicine that involves putting suction cups on different areas of your body to pull blood to the surface, stimulate blood flow, and loosen up tight muscles. Like many other people, I was first introduced to cupping when Michael Phelps came out at the Olympics with these bruises all over his back. I had a lot of people from work tell me that it was going to hurt a lot. So I was very scared going into it. And I’m not sure where those people got cupped but mine did not hurt at all. I couldn’t really see because I was face down, but my therapist soaked something in alcohol and lit it on fire. And then he put the fire inside each cup quickly before removing it and sticking it on my back. Oh wow. Is there a huge fire in here? No, okay, relax. Whew! It’s in. You give it—let that hang for a good minute. So as my skin was sucked into these cups, the blood vessels on my back where expanding and my skin was getting really red. It’s kind of like a hickey. I’m not saying it was comfortable. There was definitely a lot of pressure on my back and if I moved around a little or breathed in too deeply, it felt really tight. But it did not hurt at all. And it’s great for blood circulation. Great for muscle detox. I’m just keeping the blood flowing. I can see though how major athletes that are constantly straining and tearing their muscles would find that that treatment feels a little bit like a reverse tissue massage. I know. Sweet relief. I’m certainly going to have marks for a long time. I did not feel like I could do an entire week of natural remedies without at least exploring and skimming the surface of herbal medicine. This practice involves the ingestion or the external application of plants or plant extracts. And what I learned today is that even though it’s called “herbal medicine,” it’s not always used for the purposes of curing something or for “medicating.” Much of the time, people used the term “herbal medicine” to refer to the fact that they’re including these natural herbs in their diet as a supplement to maintain a healthy life and to give themselves an immunity boost. Today I went to Remedies Herb Shop in Brooklyn and I got a quick crash course in herbal medicine from Cheryl, the owner. You know we’re not doctors. We don’t prescribe. We don’t diagnose or anything like that. For my philosophy, this is a great way to improve on your diet, your lifestyle by adding herbs into your life. First she spoke to me about nourishing, herbal infusions, which is really one of the most basic ways to include herbal medicine into your everyday life. And together we made a hibiscus and a peppermint iced tea with a little pinch of organic, unprocessed stevia. We’ll add a nice bit of sweetness. And now we’re going to make a delicious pot of tea. Beautiful. The way that I was taught was to use mason jars, something that can be fully sealed up. Oh my gosh. It’s so good, right? It is so good. It is sweet, but not too sweet. Cheryl is part of an herbal CSA, which is community supported agriculture program, and her shop is used as the drop-off point for all of these fresh herbs. Culinary herbs coming. Medicinal herbs coming. All fresh. You get a choice of five. So you get a selection each week. So when her share arrived today, we went through the box together and we pulled out some fresh lavender and lemon bomb. And we mixed them together to make an infused honey. We pulled the lavender flowers off of the stems and we ripped up the lemon bomb leaves. And then poured in organic raw honey straight from the hive. Very important when you’re making herbal medicine: labels. I labeled the mixture so that I would remember not only what was in it but also what date we made it on because now I need to give it six weeks to let it fully infused with those essential oils. And afterwards I’m going to have this beautiful floral spread that I could put on toast, in my tea, and so much more. There’s something about including natural herbs in your diet and playing around with essential oils that makes you feel really wholesome and fresh and connected to the earth. So I absolutely plan on diving even deeper into this topic on my own once this video is over. Now I want to know what your favorite natural remedies are. So comment below, letting me know. And as always let me know what you want to see next time on Try Living With Lucie. Hey, YouTube! 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