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In 1990, the United States Government announced the launch of an exciting new research initiative, The Human Genome Project.  This project involved scientists from all over the world and focused on mapping the sequence of genes that make up the DNA we inherit from our parents.

It was hoped that learning more about our genes might help explain why some people are more prone to certain diseases, and this in turn could lead to potential improvements in our health and the way we prevent and treat disease.

It was estimated that humans could have as many as 100,000 different genes, which would account for the vast differences in human health and behavior.

By 2003, the project was complete and two surprising facts emerged.

  1. Humans have less than 25,000 genes, only a quarter of the number originally estimated.
  2. Everyones genes, no matter where they come from in the world, are 99.9% identical!

 

There is only a teeny tiny difference between your genes, my genes and the genes of someone born in the Amazonian jungle. This DNA similarity suggests that the genes we inherit have only a small part to play in explaining the vast diversity of health outcomes globally.

Put simply, The Human Genome project didn’t offer the health-changing insights the scientific and medical community had hoped it would.   However, a side benefit of the project was that as technology developed, the cost of gene mapping dropped considerably.

Originally, it cost thousands of dollars just to map one gene. However, thanks to technological advances, the cost to map a gene has dropped to a mere ten cents!

Around the same time, gut-health was becoming the focus of a lot of new medical and scientific research, as evidence came to light that showed what a significant role the gut played in health and wellbeing.

The Human Microbiome Project

Gut microbes are incredibly tricky to study.  Many of them live in dark, little out-of-the-way spaces in the upper reaches of the intestine, which make them nigh impossible to access. The good news is, that while we can’t easily get to them, they eventually come to us. Microbes are constantly dying and being replaced. The microbes that die are shed from the gut and eliminated through bowel motions.

Did you know that your poop is made up of approximately 25% gut microbes?  Now, there’s a fun fact to share at your next dinner party!

As the knowledge gained from the Human Genome Project intersected with the growing body of research on gut health, it was discovered that scientists could inexpensively identify the various microbes in the gut by sequencing their unique genes found in human faeces.  

And thus, the Human Microbiome Project was born, another international collaboration of scientists with the collective goal of improving our health and wellbeing.

New Discoveries

So far, some surprising facts have emerged from this work. Scientists have discovered that collectively, gut microbes have a total of 3.3 million different genes.  This is a 150 times the mere 25,000 genes that make up a human person. Our gut micro-biome is much more complex than our entire body is!

Secondly, it was discovered that your microbiome is totally unique, just like your fingerprint.  Even identical twins have a different microbial makeup. Essentially it was found that humans vary much more in the number of genes they carry in their gut, than they do from the genes inherited from their parents.

Now at this point you may be thinking “but those are bacterial and fungal genes – how does that that benefit me?” Well, that brings me to the next piece of the puzzle.  

 

Humans and Microbes Work Together

It wasn’t that long ago that humans were thought to be totally self-sufficient organisms, capable of producing all of the chemical substances needed for life as long as they consumed enough food and water. We now know this isn’t true. We actually rely on the microbes in our gut for our survival.

We’ve discovered that our microbes do a huge amount of life-supporting work on our behalf.  They help to regulate our immune systems, break down less digestible food, produce essential vitamins and neurotransmitters and protect us from pathogens.  One third of all the small molecules in our blood are actually made by the microbes in our gut. These beneficial bacteria and fungi are so important for our survival that scientists are starting to think that humans are in fact ‘social organisms’, reliant on having a variety of microbes working within their gut for optimal health.

Because our microbes have more genes than us, they can perform many healthy functions that we simply cannot do on our own.

Think of a gene as a software programme or app.  If I have one app on my phone and you have 150 on yours, which phone do you think will be able to perform more functions?  The good microbes in our gut basically have more ‘apps’ than us and therefore they can do so much more than we can alone. They use these apps to promote our health and survival and, in the process, ensure their survival too.  

We can see this inter-dependence in action when we consider a helpful little bacterium, called Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron. This microbe is a champion carbohydrate muncher! Humans lack most of the genes required to make the enzymes needed to break down really complex carbohydrates. Luckily for us, this bug has genes that code for more than 260 enzymes capable of digesting plant matter. This microbe allows us to extract the nutrients from certain fruit and vegetables that we would normally struggle to digest.  

This is just one tiny example of what microbes are capable of doing one our behalf. It illuminates why it is now thought that our individual fates, health outcomes and perhaps even our behaviour, may have much more to do with variation in genes found in our microbiome, than those within our bodies.

Help Your Microbiome to Help You

This is very empowering knowledge. Our microbiome is so much easier to influence than our genes.  Your genes are something that you inherit, your microbiome is something you can control. The research is showing that your health is dependent on the health and diversity of your microbiome. The more good microbes we have, the happier and healthier we are.  But if our gut is populated by bad microbes this can have a very detrimental effect on both our physical and mental health. So the upshot is, to maximise the health benefits from our microbiome we need to ensure that it stays balanced and healthy.

You can populate and feed your good microbes by eating a diet rich in fibre from wholefoods, fruit and vegetables, consuming fermented foods like kombucha and yoghurt, taking probiotics and drinking enough water. Avoiding alcohol, sugar, refined carbohydrates, packaged and processed goods will help weed out the bad bacteria. It has been shown that within only five days of changing your diet, your microbiome will also change!  

Never before has there been such compelling evidence that to a large extent our health really does lie in our own hands. Changing your diet is one of the fastest and easiest way to improve our gut health, and improve your overall health and wellbeing.

By Janine Tait.

  • May 8, 2019

Bestow Conference | May 6-7, 2019

Leading the Way in Holistic Skincare

Dear friends,

You are warmly invited to attend a free two-day training event – the Bestow Conference on May 6th and 7th, 2019.  Save the dates in your diary!

 

BESTOW CONFERENCE

LEADING THE WAY in Holistic Skincare

Our conference theme is Leading the Way.  The wellbeing trend in the beauty industry is steadily growing, scientific research continues to validate holistic wisdom and more and more therapists are waking up to the Slow Beauty way of working.

As a community, we are fortunate to have such deep roots in the world of wellbeing, thanks to my mentor, Janesce founder, Janice Sarre-Smith. Her pioneering wisdom and my decades of experience are infused into Bestow products and our philosophy of nourishing skin from within.  

As holistic skincare therapists, we are well positioned to continue to lead the wellbeing trend in the beauty industry, but we need to keep growing and learning.

Our team will share with you time-honoured wisdom and cutting-edge research to enhance your ability to provide effective holistic skincare direction and guidance to your clients.

VENUE
We will gather at ‘Waters Edge’ at The Tauranga Rowing Club, Memorial Park, Devonport Road, Tauranga.
www.watersedgetauranga.nz

 

RSVP
Please email Jenny Barrow by February 20th, 2019 and let her know if you will attend and an indication of how many team-members you intend to bring.

 

COST
The conference is free for Bestow therapists. We will provide a nutritious Bestow lunch and morning and afternoon tea each day. Clinics and therapists are responsible for covering their own travel and accommodation costs.

CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHT
LEADNG THE WAY IN: GUT HEALTH

Gut-health is the phrase on everyone’s lips this year and we have developed an amazing session for the Bestow Conference called the The Gut-Skin Connection.

You’ll come away with new insights AND practical tools and resources you can use to confidently introduce gut-health strategies into your work with your clients. We can’t wait!

THE GUT-SKIN CONNECTION SESSION WILL OFFER YOU:

– An introduction to the wild and wonderful world of the gut microbiome.
– An understanding of how gut health directly affects skin health.
– Simple red flags to watch for to identify an unhappy gut.
– My personal story of healing chronic pain by healing my gut.
– Insight about the importance of gut health in healing skin disorders.
– Fascinating information about the gut-mind connection.
– An introduction to three tools we created to help your clients to put gut-health wisdom into practical action.

LEADING THE WAY

Leading the way in gut-health. Janine and Jenny share their personal gut-healing stories and the tools and resources we have developed to support a healthy gut skin connection.
New release: The Gut-Skin Connection book.

Leading the way in healing sensitised skin. Janine will introduce you to the foundational concepts of a holistic approach to topical skincare. You’ll learn how to respect and repair skin barrier function and heal the skin with soothing plant actives.

Leading the way in skin nutrition. Janine will share her personal experiments with Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of nutrients, the surprising results and what they mean for us and our clients.

Leading the way in skin coaching. Jenny Barrow will share her journey of becoming a skin health coach and strategies to help you to lead clients along the pathway of lifestyle and diet changes for the sake of their skin.

 

We are so looking forward to gathering as a community to be inspired and to learn and grow so we can continue to work at the leading edge of holistic skincare and skin nutrition.

Till then,

Janine Tait

  • December 13, 2018

Jeanine Chell has been mentoring clients through skin transformations for 15 years and has seen some amazing turn-arounds in that time. But when her holistic approach to treating a client’s chin rash led to a dramatic improvement in his heart condition, her faith in the Slow Beauty philosophy at the heart of Janesce and Bestow became even stronger.

Here is her first-hand account of this remarkable skin-coaching journey.

THIS DAY WAS DIFFERENT

Jeremy* had been a craniosacral therapy client of mine for two-and-a-half years when he asked me to have a look at his skin. His skin was quite dry, sun damaged and fragile in places with impaired barrier function, but since he had come to me for pain management, we had never spoken about skincare.

This day was different: Jeremy asked for advice about a blistery rash presenting on his chin. He said it had developed over the last six weeks and was progressively getting worse. It felt sore and stingy and despite being a level headed and calm man, Jeremy admitted that the rash made feel self-conscious and uncomfortable.

THE DIAGNOSIS

Jeremy’s chin rash was a clear case of peri-oral dermatitis which often presents as raised, red patches and irritation around the nose and chin. This skin condition can often (but not always) occur after periods or stress or ill health. Jeremy has a heart condition and arrhythmia (irregular heart beat). He’d had surgery to address this nine months earlier but it had not been successful. As a result, he went on stronger medication and it was not long after this that the rash first appeared. This may have been the trigger that caused this skin problem.

SETTING THE SCENE

I interviewed Jeremy, gathering new information to consider alongside what I already knew about his habits and lifestyle. Jeremy wears a sleep apnea mask at night, which he thought might be irritating his skin. He ate spicy food and had one coffee a day and three wines a week. He had hot spas regularly at home.

Jeremy tended to eat larger meals and treats at the end of the day and ate very little in the mornings. He had one bowel movement every four to five days, so I knew his digestion wasn’t up to scratch. He also took quite a few supplements and smoothies in place of proper meals.

Jeremy’s liver function was also affected by all the medication he was on so he was having monthly blood tests to monitor his liver health.

MY HOLISTIC SKINCARE STRATEGY

I wanted to keep things simple in terms of topical treatment so as not to cause any further irritation. I was mindful that his skin barrier was weak and that because the Janesce Skincare botanical range is quite powerful I would have to start very gently.

The Janesce Hypersensitive Plus range was the best choice to gently heal and repair his skin.

 

DIETARY AND LIFESTYLE CHANGES

My initial focus was on supporting the skin internally through diet, supplementation and lifestyle changes, which would take an absolute minimum of three to six months to take effect.

Jeremy had some changes to make, including reducing spicy foods, coffee and alcohol. These are all heating foods which increase the capillary blood flow to the skin, exacerbating skin redness and inflammation.

He changed his eating patterns by starting the day off with a bigger breakfast. He added in mid-morning and afternoon snacks in conjunction with a smaller dinner. The end goal was for him to stop taking hot spas, cut right back on heating and congesting foods and drinks, and ultimately eliminate coffee and alcohol altogether.

We reviewed his nutritional intake and found that some essential nutrients were missing. I suggested he start taking the following Janesce skin- specific supplements: B complex, Zinc Repair, and Aperitif (a liver tonic) as well as Bestow Beauty Plus Oil for skin-friendly Essential Fatty Acids. EFA’s are vital for moisturizing the skin from within and for producing quality sebum which acts a healing and protective film on the surface of the skin.

 

 

TIME FOR TOPICALS

I had Jeremy begin soaking his skin using warm water and a soaking cloth morning and night, followed by Janesce Avocado Sesame oil, cocktailed with Janesce Soothing Mist. A month later, I introduced Janesce Lavender Soaking Drops into his skin soaking routine.

 

 

There were times during the first two months where the Janesce Soothing Mist was too strong and made his skin redder after use, so I got him to stop using it for a couple weeks then slowly introduce one spray back into his morning and evening routine.

CHALLENGES AND VICTORIES ALONG THE WAY

When Jeremy came back for his second visit three weeks later his skin looked better but the rash was still prevalent. At his third visit, his skin was still going through the healing process, but he was showing huge improvements in his general health and well-being. His liver function returned to normal, which was quite a phenomenal by-product of this skin transformation strategy. His energy, digestion had improved and his heart was back in sinus rhythm (normal heart pattern) for the first time for over 18 months. Wow!

In this case, taking a holistic approach to diet, supplementation and lifestyle were able to accomplish what surgery and medication had not.

The chin rash took time to heal – in fact it started to look worse before it got better, which is often the case with skin condition flare ups. My confidence wavered so I called Janesce and Bestow experts, Janine Tait and Julia O’Gorman, who reassured me that peri-oral dermatitis is stubborn, taking at least three months to heal. After his fourth visit, Jeremy and I were both thrilled to see a big improvement and at visit five, his chin was almost completely clear.

EARLY INTO TREATMENT PROGRAM
AFTER

SKIN COACHING TIPS

Jeremy and I have monthly consultations and I make sure to stay in regular contact with him in between appointments. I give him advice and explanations and always ask him plenty of questions. Jeremy was committed right from the get-go and was a great sport during this coaching process. His one weakness is sometimes forgetting to take the Janesce Aperitif, so I have helped him come up with tips so he’ll remember. The impact of this daily liver-cleansing tonic for clearing skin cannot be underestimated.

 

THE END RESULT

Jeremy’s chin is completely clear! His overall complexion is much more hydrated and his skin tone look more even. He feels much healthier and more confident. His digestion has improved dramatically, his liver is at normal function and his heart is still in sinus rhythm.

KEYS TO JEREMY’S SUCCESS

Jeremy’s commitment and discipline to making the necessary changes were crucial. When my confidence wavered, having reassurance from Janine and Julia kept me going. Recognising that the products like Janesce Soothing Mist can be too strong on a weakened skin was important to his long-term success. Probably the biggest lesson to take away from this case study is that working internally is key – it is well over half the battle.

Today, almost one year later, Jeremy’s skin is clear and he continues to nourish his skin from within with Bestow Beauty from Beneath (a skin- specific vitamin supplement) and Bestow Beauty Plus Oil. He continues to soak with Janesce Lavender Drops, uses the Janesce Soothing Mist and Janesce Avocado Sesame Oil. He takes the Janesce Aperitif daily – when he remembers (we’re still working on this one)!

*Client name has been changed.

  • April 12, 2018

Iodine in not readily available in our New Zealand diet so it is quite common for clients to be deficient in this important mineral.

Iodine supports thyroid function, so metabolism, energy levels and weight regulation can all be affected by a deficiency.

The Iodine Test

Paint a 4cm x 4cm square of iodine tincture on the inside of your clients forearm. If the iodine tincture is absorbed before 12 hours, they are low in iodine.

If absorbed before 4 hours – very low
If absorbed before 8 hours – moderately low
If absorbed within 12 hours or more – good levels

Addressing Iodine Deficiency

Bestow Berry Beautiful: One teaspoon of Bestow Berry Beautiful will provide half your daily requirement of iodine. It is suitable for clients with a moderately low deficiency.

Bestow Beauty Powder: If your client is very low in iodine, recommend they take one dessertspoon of Bestow Beauty Powder as this contains the highest levels of iodine in the Bestow Beauty range.

bestow-berry-beautiful

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  • November 24, 2016

What you notice, grows.  Are you spending time noticing the big line of traffic you are stuck in, the way dinner didn’t turn out as you hoped or are you noticing the new spring blossoms on the trees or the warmth of a cup of tea in your hands?

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Research shows that the thoughts you think and what you focus your attention on have direct corelations with your physical body.

In fact, it has been suggested that there are four general levels of thought:

PARASYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM (rest and repair)
1. Pure thought – Joy compassion, love, peace, forgiveness, gratitude
2. Productive thought – solution orientated – creates opportunity

SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM (fight and flight)
3. Non-productive thought – Reliving the bad stuff (The Victim)
4. Destructive thoughts – self-criticism

The two higher levels comprise of positive thinking and these types of thoughts calm and focus our body and mind. They also tip us into our parasympathetic or ‘rest and repair’ nervous system and promote the production of seratonin, our happy hormone.

The two lower levels of thought are negative, pushing our bodies and minds into the sympathetic nervous system or our ‘fight and flight’ mode. Unfortunately, once in this state, it is impossible for us to produce any ‘happy’ hormones until we change our thought patterns to a more positive outlook.

We have created this beautiful Blessings Journal to help spend more time focusing on the positive; those beautiful moments happening in your life right now. The process of recording these enables you to be genuinely mindful of the experiences throughout your day that you are grateful for. Somedays it might be something big and other days something as simple as feeling the sunshine on your face.

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The benefit of keeping a Blessings Journal is not just the joy it brings when you relive these moments and experiences you had during the day but also the myriad of physical changes that can occur as well. You may begin to enjoy greater energy levels, better sleep patterns, reduced blood pressure, improved attentiveness, a more positive mood and increased joy.

As time passes and writing in your Blessings journal becomes a ritual, you may have a greater sense of appreciation of your daily life and increased harmony in your relationships.

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  • November 2, 2015