HEALTH: Japanese Kobido Facial Massage.

Japanese Facial Massage is derived from Anma -the traditional system of massage in Japan. This system of facial massage is part of the ancient teachings of Asian medicine and has been refined by the beauty and cosmetology industry in Japan for over 200 years. This system is now considered a separate discipline in and of its self. Japanese Facial Massage uses the concepts of Asian medicine combined with four distinct stages of techniques to improve one's complexion, remove toxins from the face, prevent and remove facial wrinkles and age spots and balance one's emotions and Ki (life force). This improves one's overall health. Kobido produces the equivalent to an acupuncture face lift without the insertion of needles. Unlike facial surgery, Kobido has no ill side effects. Anyone from infant to the elderly adult can benefit fromit. It's a very effective method of facial care and can be applied any place and at anytime.
In Japan beauty is considered equal to the optimal state of health. Even the most attractively shaped face cannot be beautiful if the person is not well. Health and beauty are not considered separate. When a person glows with the radiance of true health, nothing else is necessary for genuine beauty. Oriental Medicine teaches that there are three major factors to true health: physical health, psychological health, and spiritual health. According to this ancient tradition, beauty arises naturally if a person can bring these three factors into harmony. The intent of Japanese Facial Massage is to help prolong this natural, true health and beauty and to prevent disease.
Causes of Facial Imbalances:
An ancient Japanese proverb states that a person's face tells everything about them. There are three major factors to help us diagnose the world of information contained on our face:

1. So In - genetic and inherited factors which may cause freckles, skin tones, oily or dry skin, and facial hair.

2. Gai In - external factors within our environment such as excessive heat, cold, dampness, and dryness.

3. Nai In - internal factors which are imbalances caused by excessive emotions of sadness, anger, worry, fear, and happiness.

The Four Stages of Japanese Facial Massage:

1. STEAMING STAGE: Consists of neck massage and a hot towel facial wrap. Facial Treatments begin with neck massage to improve the circulation to the face. Neck tensions restrict the free flow of blood to the head and face. Sufficient blood flow is needed to supply adequate oxygen and nutrition to the cells to keep the skin healthy and avoid wrinkles. Neck massage also helps the client to relax and this reduces stress which is known to cause premature aging in the face. Next the face is steamed by wrapping the face with a very warm towel. This opens all the pours of the face and prepares the client for the cleansing stage of the treatment. This also relaxes all the senses of the body producing profound relaxation.
2. CLEANSING STAGE: During this stage a water based cleanser is applied to the face to remove excessive oil and dirt from the skin. Facial massage is emphasized at this stage of the treatment. Very fast and light techniques are used to massage deep into the facial muscles to remove tensions.
3. MOISTURIZING STAGE: Uses a moisturizer to repair skin conditions. The third stage massages a moisturizer cream into the face with many of the same methods from the previous stage. This procedure helps repair skin conditions.
4. ENERGIZING STAGE: Uses meridian energy pathways and Tsubo or acupoints of the face to balance the internal organs. This stage is unique to Japanese Facial Massage. This consists of energizing the face by stimulating pressure points (Tsubo) to give similar effects to an Acupuncture face lift without the insertion of needles. Meridians (Keiraku) are stroked to improve Ki (energy) flow through the face. This also balances the internal organs of the body. In Asian medicine, there are only a few places on the body where one has access to the important turn-around points of energy pathways. The feet, the hands, and the third area is the face. When these important turn-around points are stimulated it helps balance the energy pathways which in turn balances the organs of the body.

Kobido usually takes no more than 30 minutes so as not to over-stimulate the face and should be done about once a week.

NUTRITION: Butter vs Margarine for Holiday Cooking.

True or False:

1. Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys but when it killed the turkeys, investors in the research wanted a payback so they added the yellow coloring and sold it to people to use in place of butter.
FALSE: According to the National Association of Margarine Manufacturers, Margarine was the idea of a Frenchman named Hippolyte Mege-Mouriez in response to a request from Emperor Louis Napoleon for ideas for a substitute for butter. In 1869 he used margaric acid and the name of his formulation became known as Margarine. It became a hit in the United States in the late 1800's.

2. Both have the same amount of calories. TRUE: A tablespoon of butter is 100 calories. A tablespoon of Margarine is 100 calories.

3. Eating margarine over butter can increase heart disease in women by 53% according to a recent Harvard Medical Study
TRUE: Harvard's most recent study states that: "Today the butter-versus-margarine issue is really a false one. From the standpoint of heart disease, butter is on the list of foods to use sparingly mostly because it is high in saturated fat, which aggressively increases levels of LDL. Margarines, though, aren't’t so easy to classify. The older stick margarines that are still widely sold are high in trans fats, and are worse for you than butter. Some of the newer margarines that are low in saturated fat, high in unsaturated fat, and free of trans fats are fine as long as you don’t use too much (they are still rich in calories)."

4. Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams compared to 5 Grams.
TRUE: A tablespoon of butter is 7g of saturated fat. A tablespoon of margarine is 2g of saturated fat.

5. Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other Foods. FALSE: Or at least not proven yet.

6. Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few only because they are added!
IT DEPENDS: The advantage of butter is that it is a more natural product than margarine and does have more vitamin content. But butter is high in saturated fat, which is associated with increased heart attack risk. Saturated fats are the ones that are solid at room temperature and increase the "bad" cholesterol (LDL) as well as the "good" cholesterol (HDL). The disadvantage of true margarine is the trans fat level. The more solid a margarine is at room temperature, the more trans fat it contains, as much as 3 grams per tablespoon. Margarine makers have responded to that by releasing tub or liquid products that have either reduced or eliminated trans fats. Watch for the labels. Heart doctors recommend butter over normal margarine but recommend trans fat free margarines over butter. It all gets very confusing. There are even margarine products now that say they actually lower cholesterol.

7. Margarine increases the risk of coronary heart disease.
TRUE: The most recent PubMD article called "Margarine intake and subsequent coronary heart disease in men."
By researchers Gillman MW, Cupples LA, Gagnon D, Millen BE, Ellison RC, Castelli WP.
states. "Margarine is a major source of trans fatty acids, the intake of which has risen since the early 20th century. Some data indicate that consumption of trans fatty acids increases the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD)"

8. Margarine increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol). TRUE.

9. Margarine lowers the quality of breast milk.
TRUE: There are studies showing that a mother who eatis trans fats increases the level of trans fats in her milk. One study, for example, comparing Canadian breast milk to Chinese breast milk found that Canadian mothers had 33 more trans fats in their milk than the Chinese mothers. So the quality of the breast milk can be affected by the consumption of trans fats.

10. Margarine decreases immune response.
TRUE: We found several references to this including an article by nutritionist Dr. Mary Enig that said that consuming trans fatty acids "Affects immune response by lowering efficiency of B cell response and increasing proliferation of T cells."

11. Margarine causes diabetes.
TRUE: Actually the trans fat can increase blood insulin levels, which increases the risk for diabetes.

For healthier alternatives to fatty spreads ,read last month's health article on substitutes for margarine and butter in cooking.


- Ask a Nutritionist (Must be a Circkles member.)

- Ask an Herbalist (Must be a Circkles member.)

The brain needs some healthy time too. Stop by The Cyber Lounge on your way out.
(Must be a member.)

Also see the Motivity Page for Inspirational and motiva-tional health. (Must be a member.)

- Find More health articles under the Articles Tab.
(Must be a member.)

- Health Product Reviews: In The Hangout. (Must be a Circkles member.)

This health section is updated monthly to give our members a chance to view it, so check back the first of every month for new posts. Disclaimer: This page is designed to offer information only on topics the average person can use themselves. It is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice.


Sprains, bruises, cuts, broken bones, swelling:
Comfrey Compress: Comfrey root is an amazing herb that many people are not even aware of. There have been claims that it can heal broken bones and there have been a few reports of it actually growing new bone. It works fantastically on injuries that include bruising, swelling and inflammation, and animals and small children tolerate it well because it does not sting but is very soothing. I always keep it on hand because you just never know when you will need it.
Make a decoction by mixing 1 cup water with 1/2 cup chopped comfrey root, cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, keep covered and let steep and cool for 20 minutes. When cool, soak a washcloth or other cloth in the decoction and place on injury as a compress. Wrap with plastic to keep moist and leave on for 3-4 hours. Refresh if needed until injury is healed. Store comfrey decoction in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Can be frozen for up to one year and just re-heated when needed.

Warning: Only use comfrey externally! Do not take internally.

For more Home Remedies, see The Hangout. (Must be a member.)

HERBS: How to use them for maximum benefit. Short and sweet descriptions and uses written by our on-staff Nutritional Herbalist. Always remember that herbs should be treated as a medicine. Almost all of our modern-day medicines are derived from compounds found in herbs and plants. If you have not used a particular herb before, try a half dose at first to make sure you do not have an unfavorable reaction to it.

Bee Balm  Monarda didyma.

Medicinal Properties: This herb has been largely ignored by the scientific community but deserves some mention. For these purposes, we will be referring only to wild bee balm as its domestic counterparts do not have any significant medicinal qualities. Wild bee balm is what gives Earl Grey tea its unique flavor. It has a slightly numbing effect on the tongue and throat and so is useful for sore throats. It is somewhat sedative and for that reason folk medicine has used it for headaches and menstrual cramps. Works well for upset stomachs.

How to Use: Make a tea by steeping 1 tsp of the dried leaves in 1 C of steaming water. Drink 1-2 cups daily. 

Parts Used: Leaves, best before plant flowers. Watch out for powdery mildew on the leaves in the fall.

Growing: Full sun, grows well in the wild.

Some Herb Basics: Most herbs work better on an empty stomach. A few exceptions are garlic, goldenseal and cayenne due to stomach upset. Herbs work in a cumulative fashion meaning they are not a "one dose wonder." They need to build up in the system a little, usually within 2-3 doses, before any real affect can be noticed. Fresh herbs always work better than old herbs and science is always proving the fact that a whole herb usually is more effective than one isolated compound of that herb.

For more Herbs, see our Article Archives. (Must be a member.)


Do you know what foods will give you more energy, calm your nerves, act as an anti-inflammatory, help prevent cancers, or help you lose weight? Hopefully this column will help you to have a better understanding of food and its healing properties. The best diet for optimal health is a wide variation of foods, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and minimally cooked whole foods. Sweets, fatty foods, meat, dairy and carbs in moderation.

Red Beet:

Therapeutic Properties: The root is very good for the digestion when eaten raw or juiced and contains a lot of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Beet Greens are an excellent source of vitamin A and potassium.

Acid or Alkaline: Alkaline

Significant Nutrients: 1/2 C of steamed beet greens contains 3672IU of vitamin A, 82mg of calcium, 49mg of magnesium and 611mg of potassium.

For more Foods That Heal, see our Article Arvhives. (Must be a member.)


RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Refrigerator Pickled Beets.

4-5 large beets
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar
3/4 cup water
1 cup sugar or honey
1 tsp garam marsala
4-5 whole cloves

Slice beets thin and steam just until soft but still crunchy (about 10-15 minutes.) Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small saucepan on medium heat. Heat the brine to boiling while stirring on occasion. Cool. Put beet slices in a bowl or large jar, pour brine over them and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving. Can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

You can find this and many other recipes in The Circkles Hangout under the Main Menu Tabs. (Must be a member.)



Bookmark and Share
Health and Nutrition Circkles
Search our Article Archives: