Republic Skins Zine 09 Nov 2009
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Republic Skins Zine 09 Nov 2009

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Just a little excerpt of our online blogs for the month of November. Feel free to view more on www.blog.republicofskin.com

Just a little excerpt of our online blogs for the month of November. Feel free to view more on www.blog.republicofskin.com

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Republic Skins Zine 09 Nov 2009 Republic Skins Zine 09 Nov 2009 Document Transcript

  • November 9th, 2009 Published by: Republic of Skin Republic of Skin's Zine We are running a promotion in November for our Reasons for the name change. clients to win $500 worth of treatments through By SKIN BLOG on November 9th, 2009 the new look REPUBLIC OF SKIN. To learn more, visit www.republicofskin.com. In closing, we want to hear from you on your thoughts in regards to the changes. You can leave comments on our blog or email us at jenny@republicofskin.com Thank you and see you again shortly. Jenny & the team. Share and Enjoy: Let it out:Why we cry. By SKIN BLOG on November 9th, 2009 For some time now,The Skin & Body Workshop has provided the local community in Thirroul with a venue to provide solutions for healthy living and vibrant skin. In return, we have received amazing community support and we have grown an amazing stable of customers who we are very passionate about. We are passionate about skin and people. Over the past 3 months, we have researched and repositioned our Crying is an emotional reaction that’s completely unique business to better service our customers and promote healthy to humans. Our capacity for complex thoughts and feelings living. With the goal of evolving our serviceability and means that we can cry whether we’re overwhelmed with any engagement with our passion, we have created an online emotion—happiness, despair, or fear—but not everyone cries platform for information for healthy living, lifestyle, latest the same way or for the same reasons. Some people break innovations, mind training and of course…ways to ensure into tears at the drop of a hat; others remain stony-faced even GREAT SKIN. when confronted with great tragedy or pain. Understanding We are now connecting with a larger audience of readers and the impulse to cry isn’t always easy, but understanding the our new web site, through our blog has readers in various parts psychological and evolutionary reasons we do it is even more of the world. It is our way of bringing the Thirroul community complicated. to the world and the world to Thirroul through our new online Sad or Hurt, Same Response presence. All tears are comprised mainly of water, oil, and mucous and To encapsulate our vision to provide solutions and healthy are produced in the lachrymal glands near the eyes. Made of living to people, we have re-named our business to REPUBLIC the same stuff, we actually have three different kinds of tears: OF SKIN. After all, we are for the people and we are all about basal, which protect and moisten our eyes; reflex, which flush SKIN. irritants and foreign objects from our eyes; and emotional This is an exciting time for us and our journey into the online tears, which are produced in response to strong emotions or world of blogging has been an interesting journey connecting pain. The body automatically produces basal and reflex tears, us with people we never knew we could reach. It is fun and but emotional tears are only ones produced by the process inspiring and we want to share the experience with you. You we think of as crying. Emotional tears have been shown to can find us online at www.republicofskin.com or go directly to contain higher levels of certain hormones like prolactin, which our blog at www.blog.republicofskin.com. is associated with breastfeeding and milk production, and manganese, which helps regulate our moods. 1
  • November 9th, 2009 Published by: Republic of Skin Emotion and pain are both processed in the limbic system, vulnerability to caretakers. From an evolutionary perspective, the area of the brain that also processes memories, our senses, crying might work the same way in adults. A study from the and behavior. Humans can cry whether we’re in emotional University of Texas at Arlington found that when women cry pain or physical pain, and regardless of the stimulus, the during arguments with men, they were more likely to reach tears are the same. Because of this lack of differentiation, a resolution to their conflict. In arguments where the woman some researchers believe that the body can’t really distinguish did not cry, the conflicts escalated, suggesting that for women, between emotional and physical pain at all. Even though the crying is a valuable tactic that lets people know that the crier mind knows the difference between a broken heart and a needs attention and support. stubbed toe, the body generates the same response to both. Even with other women, crying can be a signal that we Crying—The Body’s Pressure Valve need help. The University of Texas study found that after Although the mechanisms of crying are not yet fully watching a film clip of a woman crying, female test subjects felt understood, the presence of hormones seems to indicate that emotionally closer to the woman. The researchers theorized shedding emotional tears is a way for our bodies to restore that this demonstrated women’s biological need for social equilibrium. When we experience any kind of heightened support networks. emotion—grief, jubilation, anger, or pain—hormones surge People who cry more than normal may have learned over through our bodies. Once they’ve built up, the body needs a time that it’s a simple and effective method of getting what way to release them and crying may be one way it equalizes they want. However, crying louder and longer isn’t necessarily itself. the best strategy for getting attention. Many evolutionary Confirming the conventional wisdom, a study at the University biologists believe that crying is ineffective when it isn’t of Florida found that most test subjects reported that their genuine. Crying too often is like “crying wolf”; eventually it mood improved after a bout of crying. Despite high levels of fails to elicit the right response from others. If someone is anxiety and increased heart rates in response to stress, many known to be prone to fits of tears, other people may take those of the criers eventually report feeling calmer and more relaxed tears less seriously than the tears of someone not normally than the non-criers, and those that showed the most benefit disposed to crying. were those who received some kind of social support while The science behind crying is imprecise and inconclusive and they were crying. although there are many promising theories about why, when, Some research shows that people who cry in response to stress, and how we cry, plenty of questions remain. When it comes to pain, or emotion are generally healthier than those who don’t. crying, only one thing is clear—if it makes you feel better, then It’s widely known that keeping emotions pent up contributes go ahead and cry your eyes out. to stress levels, which in turn can cause headaches, heart Allison Ford disease, depression, hair loss, and a host of other physical maladies. Crying in order to alleviate stress may be one of the body’s ways of protecting itself. Share and Enjoy: Nature vs. Nurture So why do some people cry at the drop of a hat and some Found another cool site-this never seem to shed a tear? By the time we reach adulthood, women cry on average of sixty-four times per year, but one’s for the YOGA fans out men cry only seventeen times. It might be a result of the there. hormones, especially prolactin, which directly affects puberty, By SKIN BLOG on November 8th, 2009 breastfeeding, and childbirth. Women have 60 percent more of it than men. Dr. William Frey, in his book, Crying: The Mystery of Tears, suggests that prolactin and its interaction with the endocrine system may be the reason that some women are more emotionally volatile than men. Up until the time when children start school, boys and girls cry at about equal rates. It’s only after then that boys start crying far less. Scientists have yet to determine whether societal pressure forces boys to stifle their tears or whether it’s hormones that ramp up crying once girls hit puberty. However, it’s interesting to note that in old age, when men and women’s hormones equalize again, women begin to cry less and men begin to cry more. An Evolutionary Adaptation Could it be that women are evolutionarily programmed to cry more often? Deep down, are we just damsels in distress? Crying is the first form of communication for humans. During Can’t make it to yoga class? Check out this really cool website the first few months of life, babies don’t produce emotional that allows you to do yoga from the comfort of your own tears; their crying is purely a social signal to relate their 2
  • November 9th, 2009 Published by: Republic of Skin computer screen by all the top yoga instructors around the human skin. Compared to proteins, it has simpler structure, is globe. more stable, easier to produce in bulk and nonimmunogenic. www.yogavibes.com A number of wrinkle fillers have been developed on the basis of HA. As of the time of this writing, the most widely used Share and Enjoy: type of HA based fillers is the so-called stabilized non-animal hyaluronic acid gel (NASHA). The best known NASHA brands are Restylane (and its variants), Captique and Juviderm. A Review on Anti-wrinkle process by which NASHA is made is rather sophisticated. A specially bioengineered bacteria produce HA nearly identical injections to the one found in human skin. Then HA is purified and By SKIN BLOG on November 7th, 2009 treated with a cross-linking agent, which firms it up and converts it into a stable gel. Finally, the HA gel is dispersed in Hyaluronic acid-based such a way as to create injectable microspheres. Depending on the degree of cross-linking and the size of the microspheres, wrinkle fillers the products for different cosmetic purposes are produced. In particular, Restylane (regular) and Captique are for moderate wrinkles and lip enhancement. Restylane Perlane is for deep lines, facial contouring, and lip enhancement. Restylane Touch is for very thin superficial lines. Restylane SubQ is designed to replace fat loss in the face and create or restore a more defined facial contour. Juvederm, a newer variant of NASHA, has smoother consistency than its counterparts and, like Restylane, comes in a range of formulations. It remains unclear whether Juvederm’s smoother consistency translates into objective benefits. (There have been no published comparative studies so far.) Allergan, the manufacturer of Juvederm, claims reduced numer of side-efects and greater patient satisfaction. Do not confuse HA gel-based wrinkle fillers, which are injected under a wrinkle, with topical skin care products containing HA. Topical HA does not penetrate skin. It may act as a good moisturizing ingredient but has no effect on wrinkles. Advantages of NASHA NASHA has a number of advantageous features. Since it is very close structurally to natural human HA, very few people develop allergic or other immune reactions to it. No allergy test is required prior to treatment. This is an advantage compared A perfect wrinkle filler should meet a number of requirements. to bovine collagen, which has a high rate of reactions and It has to be long-lasting, nontoxic, and fully biocompatible; it requires allergy testing. On the other hand, the more expensive must never trigger persistent host responses (such as allergy, collagen derived from human tissues culture has about the autoimmunity and chronic inflammation); it must be easy same low risk of causing allergic reaction as NASHA. to remove or adjust noninvasively, easy to standardize and manufacture, and also be affordable and widely available. The effects of NASHA injections lasts for about 6-12 month, Well, you guessed it right: such filler does not exist. In fact, it after which the treatment has to be repeated. It is better than is unlikely to come about any time soon. 3-6 month for collagen injections, but still creates a recurring drain on one’s wallet. On the bright side, if the injections have This does not necessarily mean that you have to wait for created any unacceptable irregularities, they should dissipate decades to get your deep wrinkles or folds filled (assuming on their own in a few month. a filler is the best way to go in your particular case). In recent years, significant progress in wrinkle fillers changed Since NASHA is based on HA synthesized by bioengineered the situation from dismal to promising. This article is about bacteria, there is virtually no risk of contamination by animal hyaluronic acid gel, a class of fillers which, by some measures, or human pathogens. This advantage might be exaggerated is an improvement over some older favorites like bovine in some advertising materials because even animal or human collagen. derived products tend to have high degree of safety as long as the manufacturer has diligently used proper purification and The choice of hyaluronic acid (HA) as a basis for creating decontamination protocols. Nonetheless, avoiding animal or a wrinkle filler makes good sense. HA is a nontoxic, human sources might provide an extra safety margin. biodegradable, biocompatible polymer naturally found in 3
  • November 9th, 2009 Published by: Republic of Skin There is one other interesting advantage. As a natural that they are less durable than NASHA. In reality, there isn’t polymer, HA can be broken down by a natural enzyme called enough published data for a good durability comparison. hyaluronidase. If a patient develops any post-injection bumps or irregularities, they can be quickly corrected by simply injecting hyaluronidase in the same area, which causes the filler to degrade quickly. The viability of this remedy has been tested and confirmed in several studies. Bottom line For certain types of deep wrinkles and folds, injectable filler may be the only viable alternative short of surgery. While Disadvantages of NASHA no filler is ideal, HA gel-based fillers represent a reasonably good balance of durability, safety and reversibility for properly selected candidates. A short-lived inflammation and/or swelling at the injection site is relatively common. It usually resolves on its own in a Share and Enjoy: few days. Chronic allergic, inflammatory or other reactions to NASHA are rare but can occur. The persistent reactions Mineral makeup-in review reported in the literature included allergy, inflammation and By SKIN BLOG on November 6th, 2009 sarcoidosis. However, the incidence is similar to other highly- biocompatible soft-tissue fillers. In some cases, injection of hyaluronidase helped accelerate the resolution of a reaction. Occasionally, an NASHA injection may create a bump or an irregularity under the skin. This is often a result of improper filler selection, incorrect dose or insufficient experience of the administering practitioner. Make sure to find a board certified physician who has performed at least a few hundreds of such injections and also is familiar with the administration of hyaluronidase in case things go wrong. As I mentioned, NASHA degrades and has to be re-injected every 6-12 month to maintain results. Other hyaluronic acid (HA) based fillers There are a number of animal HA based fillers on the market. (For example, Hylaform and Hylaform Plus contain HA extracted from rooster combs.) Their advantages and Mineral makeup is just as the name suggests made disadvantages are largely similar to NASHA. The main from minerals. These are naturally occurring minerals and difference is that they come from animal sources and inorganic pigments from the earth that are very finely might present a somewhat higher risk of contamination crushed and milled. They contain no oils, no preservatives, no with pathogens potentially harmful to humans. The allergy fragrance, no talc and are safe for even very sensitive skins. risk may be higher as well. However, the magnitude of these additional risks, if any, is debatable because unbiased Not only is Mineral Makeup not harmful for the skin, it is information is scarce, whereas the manufacturers tend to actually good for it. The ingredients are so finely milled that make risk comparisons in favor of their products. they will not clog your pores and because it is made from inorganic minerals it will not gather moisture to feed bacteria therefore it is totally pure. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory Costs agent, helping to calm and soothe irritated skin. NASHA (Restylane, Captique, Juvederm) cost around $500- How is Mineral Makeup different to other cosmetics? $600 per cc (cubic centimeter). A typical amount per Most traditional makeup formulations contain some mineral treatment is from 3/4 to 2 cc. To maintain results, the pigments, but are also filled with synthetic dyes, talc, oil, treatment has to be repeated every 6-12 month. Juvederm is fragrances, and alcohols; additives that can clog pores, pollute sometimes offered at lower promotional rates because it is and dry the skin as well as cause sensitivities and allergic a newer product and needs to gain market share. Juvederm reactions. Pure minerals conceal imperfections and provide discounts are likely to shrink if its use becomes widespread. long-lasting protection for any skin type. The fillers based on HA of animal origin tend to be about 20-30 percent cheaper than NASHA. Some experts maintain The thick, creamy formulas of traditional bases and concealers can cake and be difficult to blend. Thick, heavy cosmetic products also settle into fine lines and wrinkles, accentuating 4
  • November 9th, 2009 Published by: Republic of Skin imperfections. In contrast, mineralmakeup can provide a an ingredient is unnecessary, unnatural and detracts from the flawless finish, while allowing your skin to breathe. They also benefits of using a mineral product in the first place. deflect light, which further minimizes the appearance of fine How is Mineral Makeup different to other cosmetics? lines and wrinkles. Most traditional makeup formulations contain some mineral Be careful though—all products touted as ‘mineral’ are not pigments, but are also filled with synthetic dyes, talc, oil, equally natural. “There are lines of mineral makeup that do fragrances, and alcohols; additives that can clog pores, pollute contain fragrances, dyes, mineral oil and preservatives. Before and dry the skin as well as cause sensitivities and allergic you buy a mineral cosmetic, look at the ingredients; mica, iron reactions. Pure minerals conceal imperfections and provide oxides, zinc oxides and titanium dioxides are the only minerals long-lasting protection for any skin type. that a quality product need contain. Anything else listed as an ingredient is unnecessary, unnatural and detracts from the The thick, creamy formulas of traditional bases and concealers benefits of using a mineral product in the first place. can cake and be difficult to blend. Thick, heavy cosmetic products also settle into fine lines and wrinkles, accentuating imperfections. In contrast, mineralmakeup can provide a How is Mineral Makeup different to other cosmetics? flawless finish, while allowing your skin to breathe. They also deflect light, which further minimizes the appearance of fine Most traditional makeup formulations contain some mineral lines and wrinkles. pigments, but are also filled with synthetic dyes, talc, oil, fragrances, and alcohols; additives that can clog pores, pollute Be careful though—all products touted as ‘mineral’ are not and dry the skin as well as cause sensitivities and allergic equally natural. “There are lines of mineral makeup that do reactions. Pure minerals conceal imperfections and provide contain fragrances, dyes, mineral oil and preservatives. Before long-lasting protection for any skin type. you buy a mineral cosmetic, look at the ingredients; mica, iron oxides, zinc oxides and titanium dioxides are the only minerals The thick, creamy formulas of traditional bases and concealers that a quality product need contain. Anything else listed as can cake and be difficult to blend. Thick, heavy cosmetic an ingredient is unnecessary, unnatural and detracts from the products also settle into fine lines and wrinkles, accentuating benefits of using a mineral product in the first place. imperfections. In contrast, mineralmakeup can provide a flawless finish, while allowing your skin to breathe. They also deflect light, which further minimizes the appearance of fine Share and Enjoy: lines and wrinkles. Be careful though—all products touted as ‘mineral’ are not Mineral makeup-does it really equally natural. “There are lines of mineral makeup that do contain fragrances, dyes, mineral oil and preservatives. Before cover? you buy a mineral cosmetic, look at the ingredients; mica, iron By SKIN BLOG on November 6th, 2009 oxides, zinc oxides and titanium dioxides are the only minerals Below are some before and after shots of women with various that a quality product need contain. Anything else listed as skin conditions that would look for a makeup for its covering an ingredient is unnecessary, unnatural and detracts from the capacity. benefits of using a mineral product in the first place. The first before and after shot is of a lady with rosacea. Most women with rosacea are quite concerned about wearing How is Mineral Makeup different to other cosmetics? any makeup because they think it may cause sensitive reactions on what appears to be an already aggravated skin. Most traditional makeup formulations contain some mineral However, mineral makeup is actually gentle enough to use pigments, but are also filled with synthetic dyes, talc, oil, on skins directly after salon peels and microdermabrasion fragrances, and alcohols; additives that can clog pores, pollute treatments. The advanced formulations available today offer and dry the skin as well as cause sensitivities and allergic the combination of pharmaceutical grade ingredients, natural reactions. Pure minerals conceal imperfections and provide high pigment minerals(which means you can eliminate talc long-lasting protection for any skin type. as an ingredient) and the power of antioxidants.The result The thick, creamy formulas of traditional bases and concealers for your skin is clinically advanced makeup that gives can cake and be difficult to blend. Thick, heavy cosmetic great coverage,corrects and protects both against free radical products also settle into fine lines and wrinkles, accentuating damage as well as from the sun. imperfections. In contrast, mineralmakeup can provide a flawless finish, while allowing your skin to breathe. They also deflect light, which further minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Be careful though—all products touted as ‘mineral’ are not equally natural. “There are lines of mineral makeup that do contain fragrances, dyes, mineral oil and preservatives. Before you buy a mineral cosmetic, look at the ingredients; mica, iron oxides, zinc oxides and titanium dioxides are the only minerals that a quality product need contain. Anything else listed as 5
  • November 9th, 2009 Published by: Republic of Skin foundation. As freckles generally have a golden brown colour- darker values or golden yellows work well to incorporate freckles. Make-up is there to be played with. Mineral makeup is an excellent choice for younger Experiment a little! skins concerned with breakout or just wanting to chose a healthier alternative for their skin (as opposed to the plastered on look so many go for when they see a pimple surfacing). Have fun and chose a makeup that benefits your skin Mineral makeup allows the skin to breath: Unlike traditional makeup products, glo- minerals is not occlusive on the skin. Share and Enjoy: glo- minerals does not cover and conceal the skin like a lid, but rather lies on the skin like scales on a fish. This creates a porous layer which allows the skin to breath through the 3 Day Face Lift Skin diet makeup. By SKIN BLOG on November 1st, 2009 Not normally a fan of dieting..but this one’s worth a try. Three Day Face Lift The promise of a visible difference in your looks in just three days may seem too good to be true. But if you eat the wrinkle- free way for even a short period of time, you will experience dramatic changes, not only in how you look, but how you feel. I recommend the Three Day Nutritional Face-lift™ as the perfect way to jumpstart the 28-Day Plan – this will allow you to see a drop in weight and visible results in your skin right away. To make it simple, follow this plan for three days. If you feel you need a change from all the salmon, you may substitute poultry or tofu – but remember the special essential fatty acids and antioxidants in salmon give skin a remarkable suppleness, For skins concerned with pigmentation, freckling or hormone radiance and youthful glow. related skin darkening a fuller coverage mineral makeup or concealer is generally required-at least for the specific areas of Three-Day Nutritional Face-lift™ aids in the elimination of concern. As the pigmented areas are darker in nature you will puffiness, increases contours, firms jaw line, etc. You must need to find a mineral makeup range to cater for your skins eat salmon twice a day for the ideal effects of the DMAE, condition. In the case of large areas of pigment/freckling the astaxanthin and the essential fatty acids in the salmon to colour and value of the freckle must be incorporated into the take effect. This will increase radiance, glow and firmness to the skin. Wild Alaskan Salmon is far superior to farm-raised 6
  • November 9th, 2009 Published by: Republic of Skin salmon. For convenient online access to the best wild Alaskan salmon, organic berries and more we recommend Vital Choice Share and Enjoy: Seafood (www.VitalChoice.com) If you do not eat salmon, go right to the 28-Day Plan – Why we dream. although you will not see the dramatic results in the first three By SKIN BLOG on October 29th, 2009 days as you will by using the Three-Day Nutritional Face-lift™. Breakfast • 3 egg omelet and/or 4-6 oz. grilled salmon. I do not recommend smoked salmon or lox on the three-day diet because of the salt intake. • ½ cup cooked oatmeal (not instant). Cooked oatmeal is a great source of fiber, low glycemic carbohydrates • 2” wedge of cantaloupe or 1/3 cup fresh berries. Cantaloupe is very hydrating to the skin and contains important antioxidants – blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries are high in antioxidants Have you ever wondered why people we haven’t thought about in years end up in our dreams? Why do we dream about an • No Juice, No Coffee or Toast. If you normally drink large old boyfriend we haven’t seen in ages or a teacher from high amounts of coffee, drink black or green tea to prevent school? caffeine withdrawal. Dreams are curious, nebulous phenomena and humans have • 8 – 12 oz. spring water Lunch been trying to make sense of them since we first became aware of ourselves. Great minds from the Hebrew Joseph to Carl • 4-6 oz. grilled salmon. Option: you can also use canned Jung have tried to crack the dream code, yet most of us still salmon and mix a little mayo and fresh squeezed lemon wake up thinking, “What did that all mean?” • 2 cups green salad made with romaine lettuce or other Dream interpretation can offer some clues as to why certain dark leafy greens. Dressing: extra virgin olive oil and elements and people find their ways into our dreams, but to fresh squeezed lemon to taste really crack the code takes some work and thought. The Unconscious Mind Never Sleeps • 1 kiwi fruit or cantaloupe and berries as above Sigmund Freud’s pioneering theory of the dream mechanism is still the best one out there. Not only did Freud argue that • 8 – 12 oz. spring water Snack sane people’s dreams are as significant as those of people with • 1 apple mental illnesses, but he posited the theory that dreams are actually what keep us sane. • 2 oz. slice of turkey breast or 6 oz. plain yogurt In order to sleep restfully, according to Freud, our conscious minds need to disconnect from all stimuli, but we also need • Small handful of hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds. Great to maintain some level of awareness so that we can wake up source of fatty acids and folic acid Dinner again. To make sure that happens, while we sleep, our minds • 4-6 oz. grilled salmon channel thoughts and needs into the unconscious brain in the form of dreams. • green salad as described above For example, have you ever dreamt about needing to use the bathroom or eating a great big slice of pie? This probably • ½ cup steamed veggies. Especially asparagus, broccoli, means that your body is experiencing these physical needs, but spinach, etc. NO root vegetables, such as potatoes, your brain is preventing your conscious mind from receiving carrots, beets, parsnips, etc those signals and waking you up by rerouting them into the unconscious part of your brain, which controls dream content. • Cantaloupe and berries That way, your minor need for a midnight snack or potty run • 8 – 12 oz. spring water Before Bedtime Snack is balanced by your greater need to get a full night’s sleep. Most dream content isn’t so straightforward, though. Freud’s • 1 pear or apple theory was that the unconscious part of the brain is the most primitive and preceded the development of speech. The • 2 oz. slice chicken or turkey breast or 6 oz. plain yogurt language of the unconscious is symbolic rather than literal and • Small handful of hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds. Great therefore, so is the content of the dreams it produces. Freud source of fatty acids and folic acid referred to the images and elements that appear in dreams 7
  • November 9th, 2009 Published by: Republic of Skin as “manifest content” that represents and alludes to a deeper our everyday lives to guide our minds through difficult and personal meaning, or “latent content,” to the dreamer. In other emotional concepts. It’s okay to allow dreams to do this work words, every part of a dream refers to some other thought or on their own; they handle this stuff so that we can just sleep, situation, but this connection can only be understood by the after all. But we can also add much to our waking lives by dreamer. engaging with these apparently peripheral elements of our dreams and trying to understand our true associations with There Are No Random Dreams them. Though dreaming of people we haven’t thought of in According to Freud, then, there is no such thing as a random years may seem like just a fluke of the brain at the time, such element in a dream, only elements whose relevance we don’t random elements are really superficial manifestations of more quite understand. deep-seeded issues. In fact, most of what we see and experience in our dreams is Molly Mann obscure to our waking minds. We won’t have seen or thought about someone in ages, and then suddenly he’ll appear as a central figure in a dream, or someone in our peripheral Share and Enjoy: awareness will come to the fore at a seemingly arbitrary time. There are certainly some universal symbols that appear to carry through many of our dreams, but most are more personal and therefore harder to decode. Making Sense of It All Freud used the technique of free association to get to the root of his patients’ latent dream content. In free association, the patient allows any and all things related to the dream to come to mind without censoring. It helps to trace one’s thoughts back from a symbol to what that symbol represents, and can quickly unfold a dream’s meaning when done correctly. Free association works best with a licensed psychotherapist, but you can also try it on your own. Think of the elements you’re trying to understand better, and allow all associations with that content to come to mind without filtering it. That last part is tricky, since there is usually a reason our mind wants to cloak the original meaning in symbolic language. We dream about peripheral elements in our lives as a way for our unconscious minds to explore those paths safely, and thinking through them for real might be a little too raw. If you can’t get to the bottom of a dream element on your own, and not knowing what it means really bothers you, seeing a therapist who specializes in dream interpretation may be the way to go. Journaling can also help aid dream interpretation, as part of a technique called lucid dreaming. People use lucid dreaming to recall their dreams more vividly, and those that really hone the skill are eventually able to actually control their dream content. To become a more lucid dreamer, keep a dream journal by your bedside and write down everything you remember about your dreams the minute you wake up. This is when the dreams are fresh in your mind; it’s important to take advantage of this time because it’s very easy to lose track of the many elements of a dream. Later in the day, you can use these recorded recollections to free associate and try to figure out what these apparently random elements mean to you. You just might find that old friend is there for a reason, maybe as a manifestation of anxieties related to the time in your life when you knew her. What We Know Dreams operate similarly to literature, art, and music in the way they engage our minds and feelings. Both dreams and art allow us to safely explore experiences by approaching them through symbols. They use what we do know to help us understand what we don’t. Art uses images, literature uses similes and metaphors, and dreams use elements from 8