How Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner Elizabeth Cullen Prepares For Bed
Elizabeth Cullen knows a thing or two about ancient healing therapies. Here, she tells Body + Soul how she gets ready for bed, her beauty routine, and why screen time is a no-brainer if you want a good night’s sleep.
Hello and welcome to our new Bedtime Beauty Stories editorial series. It’s a space where talented people can share how they prepare for sleep, including ways to relax, nighttime beauty rituals, and must-have remedies for falling asleep. We start with Jocelyn Petroni, one of Australia’s most in-demand skin experts, and then Belinda Hughes, who is passionate about natural beauty.
In this edition, traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, acupuncturist and the woman behind The Health Dao, Elizabeth Cullen shares her nightly rituals.
What’s the first thing you do to relax before bed?
After a refreshing shower, I will reflect on my day and think of three things that I enjoy that have happened during the day. Usually I think about the concept of ârose, bud and thornâ. Rose representing something good, bud as something I look forward to and thorn as something that may not have gone as planned, but taking what I can learn from this event or situation.
And the last thing you do before going to sleep?
I like to apply a magnesium spray to my feet and put lavender oil for its calming properties on my temples and acupressure points, including my chest and behind my ears. To try Magnesium Oil Spray ($ 19.99, at Salt laboratory) and Eco. Aroma Pure Lavender Essential Oil ($ 14, at Nourished life).
Tell us about your evening beauty routine …
My nighttime routine varies throughout the month depending on where I am in my menstrual cycle. Throughout my follicular phase of the cycle, my pre-bed routine is low-maintenance compared to the second half of my cycle, of which I implement a more comprehensive routine to promote a good night’s sleep due to ‘a bad night’s sleep ahead. to my rules.
I support my body with Chinese herbal medicine and supplementation. After a licorice or chamomile and ginger tea, [we like: Tropeaka Sleep Herbal Infusion ($22, at Tropeaka)], I’m going to clean my face. Then I apply the traditional Chinese medicine technique of Gua Sha using a Gua Sha tool frozen on my face with jojoba oil. Not only is it relaxing on my skin – I massage my jaw, neck and shoulder muscles after the day, but I also see a huge difference doing this technique two to three times a week for my skin tone, moving the fluid over my face and softening the fine lines.
Mount Lai Gua Sha Facial Lift Tool ($ 42, at Zipporah).
I will be using a frozen Jade Roller to complete my facial routine and if my skin is dry and dehydrated, which is quite common in the winter, I will alternate jojoba oil with a hyaluronic serum. To try The Jojoba Company’s 100% Natural Australian Jojoba Oil ($ 14.99, at Socket) and 2% Regular Hyaluronic Acid ($ 12.90, at Worship beauty).
After toner and moisturizer, I apply tea tree oil to any blemishes I’m prone to throughout the luteal phase of my cycle. In the second half of my cycle, I realize that I need more rest and will go to bed earlier. Once in bed I will read or listen to a meditation such as the teacher Sarah blondin or a Yoga Nidra, before falling asleep.
What are you sleeping on?
I sleep on a cotton pillowcase that I like to alternate each night. Low maintenance here!
What’s your take on tech before bed?
Screen time is limited from dinner onwards as I like the evenings to be a time of linking and checking out the day’s events. I limit social media although I am not opposed to a TV episode. I haven’t owned a TV for a number of years, so throughout COVID-19 I had many seasons to catch up! Finding a balance between not bingeing on TV and finding a healthy balance between watching an episode then reading or meditating is what I find beneficial in promoting a good night’s sleep.
My phone needs to be in airplane mode before I go to bed and I love to use bedtime setting on iPhone to find out how long I’m going to sleep. I find it works like a parent saying “go to bed” and it holds me accountable.
Do you have a favorite snack or are you going late at night?
I prefer an early meal, I would have dinner at 5.30pm each night if that was possible! From the perspective of Chinese medicine, it is important that the body can digest food through the spleen and stomach before allowing the body to rest and fall asleep. I like to follow these guidelines and I avoid late night snacks because my body doesn’t like having a full stomach before bedtime.
What time do you usually jump in bed?
My body likes to go to bed at 9:30 p.m., so I usually go to bed 10 minutes before bedtime.
What are you doing so that you can’t fall asleep or have trouble sleeping – do you have a solution?
Weekly acupuncture treatment supports my circadian sleep cycle, especially in the luteal phase of the cycle. If I stick to my before bed routine, I find it helps me sleep. When I have trouble sleeping, I use the work of breathing to put myself back into a state of sleep. If that doesn’t work, I can read for 10 to 15 minutes or listen to a meditation. It helps my mind rest and helps have a clear perspective in the middle of the night, which I think is important because my grandfather always said, âThe worries of life seem much worse in the middle. of the night. â.
Using these strategies, I find that my body is supported to fall back to sleep if my mind is calm. Supplementation is another option, although if I have complied with taking supplements before going to bed, it usually promotes a peaceful night’s sleep.
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