Luminere Featured on Best of Chicago

Airing in both August and October, Luminere will be featured on Ion network's Best of Chicago. The mini segment can also be viewed on the website homepage.

You know what's better though than being featured on Best of Chicago? Your referrals, which is the majority of Luminere's extensive clientele. Thank you for your continued support. You are more cherished than you know.

Developing the Senses… Color Therapy, Crystals, Aromatherapy, and the Chakras

chakras1 Developing the Senses… Color Therapy, Crystals, Aromatherapy, and the Chakras

What is color? Color is light, an electromagnetic energy that comes in different wavelengths. When these wavelengths bounce off objects they create light. Different speeds, intensities, absorbent and reflective qualities determine the colors we see. Our bodies are made up of this same energy. Within our system we have different energy centers that vibrate at different frequencies. The seven main energy centers are called chakras. Each chakra is directly associated with and affected by a specific color due to a unique frequency. Our chakras are responsible for much of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. When these centers become weak or out of line, color is one of the most effective vibrational remedies to restore balance and strength to our system.

The olfactory sense is found in one of the earliest developed parts of the brain, and has one of the most dramatic emotional effects on us. Only essential oils, as opposed to impure oils, have real therapeutic value. They are absorbed in two ways. First, inhaling the scent carried it through your nose to your lungs, where it is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Second, by applying the oil to your skin, it is absorbed through the cellular membrane. Twenty-first century life gives rise to many genuine sources of anxiety. Essential oils are helpful in easing a number of psychological problems such as anxiety, grief, mental fatigue, depression, poor appetite, lethargy, memory loss and much more. Aromatherapy is connected to the idea of holism, meaning one must care for the whole person. This begins with the senses. Essential oils, like color and crystals and like us all, are pure energy. Essential oils work on all levels of the human body. Each essential oil has its own properties which work with various body systems and organs - just like the chakras, color and crystals.

The history of color healing goes back over 5,000 years, from the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Native American’s, and Tibetans to present day practitioners and healers. The ancient Egyptians wore amulets of colored stones. They wore red to treat diseases and building strength, yellow to create happiness, and green to increase fertility. Today we use blue light on Newborn babies with jaundice in our hospitals. We know that some prisons use pink rooms to calm the more violent criminal. Also, many police stations use blue rooms for their interrogations, as the suspect is more apt to tell the truth in a blue room. Quartz Crystals have been used since ancient times as powerful healing objects and Meditation tools, and to make medicinal elixirs. Wise adepts have long known about their qualities and have used Crystals for powerful talismans and amulets. Throughout history people have valued the beauty of Quartz Crystals and have used them for ornamental decoration.

 

Midwinter's Day Rejuvenation

Happy December All! I'm so glad you're here.  Let's take a moment to include amongst the holiday celebration the age-old observance of Midwinter's Day.

December 22nd marks the shortest day of the year for this winter, the day when the Earth's tilt in the northern hemisphere is farthest from the Sun. In observance of this day, most every culture has created a way of incorporating its meaning.  Of the Solstices and Equinoxes, the Winter Solstice was the most important, since it marked the rebirth of the sun after the shortest day. The Roman midwinter holiday, Saturnalia, was both a gigantic fair and a festival of the home. Riotous merry-making took place, and the halls of houses were decked with boughs of laurel and evergreen trees. The custom of mummers, or carolers, and yule logs burning were popular in the British Isles and Northern Europe. In Sweden, where it's known as St. Lucy's Day, young girls don white dresses and a wreath of candles and awaken their families with cakes and song.

 
While each culture has there own tradition, one consistent themes is the candle to represent the ever increasing return of the light. Candles are one of the most ancient ways of providing light, so they have come to be its quintessential symbol.
 
Luminere was, in many respects, a Midwinter's creation. The shop opened its doors not shortly before the solstice. More importantly, its meaning had deep roots for me in this holiday. What seems like a lifetime ago now, I was once both a student and a teacher in academia. As a student, I was experiencing some severe challenges one semester, mainly with what is commonly known as 'the old boy's club.' By the end of the year, I was exhausted and felt war weary. Like I'd been in a ship that'd been tossed about by a deadly storm, one I wasn't sure I'd make it out of in one piece. Almost without thinking, I became an expatriate, relinquishing all student duties to take refuge in the French department for a semester. There I found a friend, a professor who had come from the University of Chicago and was smart in many ways. She taught me some valuable lessons, most of which did not pertain to France. It was here I'd first experienced luminere, or a light-bearing journey. I delighted in the French culture, language, and sentiments. More than this, I hung low for a while, taking a respite, gathering my strength, figuring it out. And it made all the difference. By Spring, I'd found my stride again, and felt a little wiser than before.
 
Take time this Midwinter's Day. As a personal ritual of illumination, designate a candle as your "solstice" candle and then assign to it a prayer or wish for bringing more light and warmth into a particular area of your life. As the candle softly glows, remember also all the blessings you already have that light and warm your life. Know that your wish is granted just as so many others have been.

Free Radicals and Antioxidants: An Inside Job

We all understand that the skin must age at some point but do you know how this process occurs and what simple steps you can take to diminish aging effects? Oxidation is the culprit and its henchmen are free radicals. When a cell begins to break down, the electron is lost. The cell then latches to another cell in attempts of gaining its electron. These cells lacking the electron are known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), or free radicals, and are the main determinant in aging.

Certainly, like most things concerning skin, the susceptibility to free radicals are genetic. Other primary causes? You guessed it: over exposure to sun and dehydration.

Antioxidants are the best defense for the skin. Some work through different mechanisms of action, either preventing the formation of free radicals or binding existing free radicals so they think they've gained an electron and stop attacking other cells.

The antioxidants for the skin are Vitamins A, C, and E.

Vitamin A, retinoic acid, supports the overall health of the skin and aids in the functioning and repair of skin cells. It's also been shown to improve the skin's elasticity.

Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is needed for proper repair of the skin and tissues and promotes collagen production.

Vitamin E, tocopherol, helps to heal damage to tissues and, when, used with vitamin A, helps protect the skin from sun damage.

And don't forget the boosters, such as Alpha Lipoic Acid. It is one of the most powerful antioxidant supplements available, helping to combat the signs of aging by maintaining a cell's metabolic function so it can perform at optimal levels. It also increases the positive effects of other antioxidants present in the body such as Vitamin C and E by protecting them and supporting their function.

There is one more thing I have to say while on the topic of aging. I hear throughout the week concerns about looking older. It is my honest appraisal that until you recognize your own beauty, there isn't a cream, a treatment, a procedure, or a vitamin that is going to give this to you. Focus on health because health is beauty. I understand you can't go around all day saying "I'm beautiful, I'm beautiful" and be content about letting it rest at that.

But why not?