Gem Beauty: Gua Sha

In women’s magazines as of late, Gua Sha has celebrated praises and reformed celebrities’ faces, although it’s not a new invention: in Chinese Medicine it has been used over thousand years.


Ingredient-free skincare with face massages is a rising thing everywhere. Accompanied with a face massage a Gua Sha is a superior ally! Using Gua Sha relaxes muscles and supports facial circulation, which leads to making the skin firmer, to brighten it up and even it out.

In Chinese Medicine Gua Sha -treatment is meant to reduce heat and pull toxins out of the blood and tissues, and also bring help to cellulite problems.

Gua Sha is designed for the face and the body, and is usually made by rose quartz, green aventurine or black onyx.

It is used in activating skin’s lymph- and blood circulations gently pressing and lightly stroking across the face: forehead, cheeks and jaw.

It’s said to banish double chin and raise the microcirculation to another level and therefore improve the skin health.

Many are excited because of a Gua Sha -massage take away all kind of swelling and puffiness. The treatment can also be intensified by putting the Gua Sha in a refrigerator.

Gua Sha -face massage is always done on a clean, make-up free face. And it’s best to use face cream or oil for an optimal massage and movement of Gua Sha. Take a look at proper instructions online.


Gua Sha is fitting also for the body. It activates body fluids, relieves muscle pains, openes muscle locks and facilitates fascia tension.

Like with face, use lotion or oil for using the Gua Sha on the body. Massage muscle stiffness firmly, but not painfully. Notice that activating the muscles, they can leave bruises, which will fade away in few days.

The maintenance of Gua Sha is easy! It can be washed with soap and water and then dried.


It gets enthusiasm also amongst people giving birth, especially relating to drug free pain relief. In labor, Gua Sha is used to stroke bare skin, which has been lathered with oil.

To relieve labor pain, it’s used on a lower back stroking from up to downwards on each side of the back bone.

To start a labor or to move along already started labor, Gua Sha can be used on the neck: gently stroking from neck to shoulders.

Gua Sha -treatments can be started well before the labor, since pregnancy week 37.

Ruohonjuuri-shopiin: Shop

Information (c) Ruohonjuuri

X Johanna

7 days

Everyone has 24 hours. It is up to you how you’ll spend it and what you’ll focus on. Here’s a week of strengthening your core, psychologically.

The point is to strengthen you, so try to do as much as you can alone for a week (except on day 7). And if you’re an introvert, who actually enjoys being alone, then try to go outside your own box and be on days 1-7 among people.

Think of the body as a ring one might own: the outside might be in turbulence, but the inside is calm. Or like in a hurricane, where the center is tranquil, while there’s a storm going on.

Sounds like meditation, but let’s go deeper.

Day 1. Have lunch alone in a restaurant / Get a group of people and have lunch in a restaurant

Day 2. Wake up at 5am, just because. Try to live A DAY 5AM Club -style

Day 3. Take a walk about 45min while listening to a playlist

Day 4. Do a crossword puzzle and try to do some sort of mathematical puzzle as well

Day 5. Yoga / deep streches

Day 6. Focus on the things that are not comfortable

Day 7. Go to coffees with a friend and make a vision board

X Johanna

Gem Magazine August: Meditation

Guided meditation focuses on experiencing the present moment fully. Be more present and mindful.

Most of guided meditations start, include and end with the breath. This is the hardest part (for moi). Just sitting quietly. Why would one do what is simple?-someone would ask.

See, whenever thoughts arise (oh and they will!), go back to your breathing once again. If some emotions might rise to the surface, I guess put them in your memory bank for the time being, and deal with them once the meditation is over.

From guided meditations you then can evolve doing them all by yourself.

I’ll keep this short and sweet, mostly because something like meditation is a personal thing and also because you have to find your own type.

X Johanna

Gem Magazine June+July: A month

If you never try, you’ll never know what you are capable of.

John Barrow

For me to write about a month’s progress, I’d have to live that progress. Not the one to shy away from the things you can do in a day or in a week times four. A month.

But this is different, because, well, first of all, I’m somewhat maximising the summer month and doing it The 5am Club -style.

Sunday 12th June

The first morning I woke up (because it was so bright outside or because I was so excited to start?) at 3.50am, and tried to get back to sleep but couldn’t. The first ‘need to nap’, an exhaustion, came about at 9am, and the whole day of sunday went sleepily.

Monday 13th June

Now, on to the next day. On monday I woke up full of energy and excitement at 7.30am. Spend quite a bit of the day online shopping; the energy was incredible and I just saw visually how good everything would look. This kind of day, was the thing that kept me surviving the next.

Tuesday 14th June

First of all, I woke up at 9am. Already felt somewhat off. Since waking up, I was like: “Is that already the time?!” The whole day went on the couch, flu and hormones combined are a terrible mix and I just felt nauseous, even in the AM. If you ask me, you can just strike Tuesday of off that week, thanks!

Wednesday 15th June

I feel like the early hours, 5am Club style, are finally kicking in! Though, it is not my goal to start waking up at 5am every morning, like before (I think it’s on Bookshelf: Robin Sharma, The 5am Club).

Woke up, by myself and not the alarm, at 5.30. Finally. I set up an alarm at 5.30 on that crappy tuesday. Plus I had the strangest of dreams and I’m pretty sure that they woke me up. Moderately tired in the evening, although having just had the flu, it’s kinda tiring not to burn some energy off through movement.

Friday 8th July

It was never a goal to wake up at 5am. In July, I usually wake up right before the alarm 7-8.30am. I set up an alarm in the evening, so that I’d get at least 8 hours of sleep in me, or would not function. Right..’The last weekend’ before returning to maybe 4 hours of studying per day, because I’ve already decided that on monday it’s somewhat back to autumn schedule. See just half of 8 hours, what is waiting for me later. Yeey! Shopped couple of things on that “to study” -plate.

So, how has the month been? Feel wiser than in June. In one goal-oriented book says that you should make 1% of progress/day, so in a month it’d be 1% x 30.

Saturday 9th July

I start this morning with breakfast and two cups of coffee watching Castle. It’s my newest obsession. It’s no wonder I don’t dream of that show. I don’t, yet, though.

Sunday 10th July

And what a Sunday that was!

Imagine how you’ll know of a topic of your interest 30% more than today.

X Johanna

Gem Magazine May: Future me

For this magazine, everything that has been on Gem so far, and probably some things which have not been featured, is a huge help! And will ultimately lead to the following.

Talking about the absolute right nutrition, your circadian rhythm, taking the needed supplements, practicing mindfulness and making vision boards, writing yourself future letters, changing the navigation constantly on your plans, educating yourself and adjusting your social media and tv intakes etc.

This’ll be leaning more towards easy biohacking. Biohacking can mean so far as DNA research (which I’ve done btw), but for now, let’s keep it way more simpler.

Easy biohacking; meaning previously stated and mostly psychological biohacking.

So, welcome to the spring of 2022 and May!

Now, imagine a moment and place you’re in at in the future. Your own future, which you alone have created and manufactured.

Infact a key is to visualise yourself there; what you are wearing, what you’re eating or drinking (tea, coffee or perhaps something stronger?), and with who you’re with, or with whom you’re talking on the phone. Etc.

It can be kind of unsettling to see and live that specific moment in your future. Again going back to Feb/March issue with vision boards, it’ll not be a possible future, if there’s no work behind it. If you’ve never tried anything new, then nothing new happens…right?

Meditation is a great tool to help you see further. By meditation I’m not particularly talking about sitting cross-legged for 20min.

Each finds their own meditation features; whether it’s actually sitting in silence or a walking meditation etc. F.e mine is stopping to reroute many times a day while watching a numbing tv-show (on purpose, btw!), or being so active myself, I prefer walk/jog rethinking++out of the box thinking, while there’s movement and fresh air.

Or, just use a guided meditation. Quite easy, all you have to do is to relax.

“I spent 30 years trying to get away from the me that was you. And I’ll tell you what, kid. I hate to say it, but you were the best part all along.” Adam Reed, The Adam Project

X Johanna

Gem Magazine April: Circadian Rhythms

Although you won’t hear it tick, your body has its own clock. The physical and mental changes it causes are called circadian rhythms. Most living things have them, including animals, plants, and even some germs.

Circadian rhythms affect your sleep patterns as well as other ways your body works, like your hormones, body temperature, and eating habits. When they get out of sync, they might also cause problems with your health. They’ve been linked to different disorders including diabetes, obesity, and depression.

To get good, healthy sleep, it helps to know what keeps your body’s clock on track and what might throw its rhythm off. The internal body clock sets the timing for many circadian rhythms, which regulate processes such as:

sleep/wake cycles = hormonal activity, body temperature, rhythm of eating and digesting.

Different Patterns for Different People

You’ve likely noticed that you feel more alert during certain parts of the day and have lower energy at others. This pattern has to do with your “chronotype,” or personal circadian rhythm. They vary from person to person, although they tend to run in families.

Most of the time, people fall into one of two groups:

Early birds: If you find it easy to wake up in the morning and feel you have the most energy early in the day, you’re a morning person or a “lark.” Some research suggests that an early bird’s body clock may run slightly faster than 24 hours.

Night owls: If you’re an evening person, some research suggests that your body clock runs slower than 24 hours. You’ll find it hard to wake up in the mornings and feel alert. You’ll have the most energy much later in the day, like 11 p.m.

Your chronotype isn’t set in stone, though. Circadian rhythms naturally change as you age. For example, the body clock shifts during adolescence, making teens want to go to bed later and sleep longer than younger kids.

Your work or school schedule may mean that you need to switch from a night owl to an early bird. You can try to alter your circadian rhythm yourself, but do it slowly. For example, try waking up 15 minutes earlier each morning over the course of a week.

How Circadian Rhythms Work

Within the circadian (24-hour) cycle, a person usually sleeps approximately 8 hours and is awake 16. During the wakeful hours, mental and physical functions are most active and tissue cell growth increases. During sleep, voluntary muscle activities nearly disappear and there is a decrease in metabolic rate, respiration, heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure. The activity of the digestive system increases during the resting period, but that of the urinary system decreases.

About 20,000 nerve cells make up your “master clock,” a part of your brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. This structure, which sits inside an area called the hypothalamus, controls your circadian rhythms. While largely guided by your genes and other natural factors inside your body, things in the outside world can also alter them.

Hormones secreted by the body, such as the stimulant epinephrine (adrenaline), are released in maximal amounts about two hours before awakening so that the body is prepared for activity.

The biggest cue is light. Your body is wired to sleep when it’s dark and stay awake when it’s light outside. Nerves directly link your eyes and your body’s master clock. When daylight fades, your eyes signal your brain to make more melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. And when the sun rises again, the signals tell the brain to turn down the melatonin.

Light enters the eyes (even through closed eyelids during sleep), stimulating a signal in the back of the retina and down a nerve tract to the circadian clock in the brain. (Adapted from NIH publ. no. 04-4989,

Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland, especially in response to darkness, and has been linked to the regulation of circadian rhythms.

Millions of Americans take melatonin to fall asleep. It’s one of the most used supplements in the U.S. But to get the most from it, it helps to understand how it works and what it can and can’t do for you.

What Is Melatonin?

Before you start taking melatonin, ask your doctor how it could affect other medicines you take!

Screen time. Any amount of light signals tells your brain that it’s time to be up and alert. Even the blue light from your tablet, smartphone, or TV has this effect. To get a good night’s sleep, unplug from all screens 2 to 3 hours before bed. Other artificial light can have the same effect, so turn off hallway lights and face your alarm clock away from you. If you’re bothered by light outside your home, put up blackout curtains or use a sleep mask.

Your period. Many women notice that they sleep worse before their period starts. This may be due, at least in part, to a change in circadian rhythms. Some studies show that less sleep during this time can reset your body clock and give some relief. Bright daylight or light therapy may also make a difference.

Your melatonin level usually starts to rise after the sun sets, and stays high during the night. It drops in the early morning, which helps you wake up. That quality — rising at night, disappearing during the day — gives melatonin its nickname: the Dracula of hormones.

What Are the Drawbacks?

If you take melatonin at the wrong time, it will throw off your body’s internal clock.

You may be tempted to take more melatonin to get sounder sleep, but too high a dose can also cause those side effects, which could disrupt your sleep even more. Don’t try to take more than you need.

You shouldn’t use melatonin if you:

– Are pregnant – Are breastfeeding – Have an autoimmune disorder – Have a seizure disorder – Have depression

Should Kids Use It?

Melatonin may help children with conditions such as autism and ADHD get better sleep, but that’s a decision a pediatrician should approve.

It seems to be pretty safe as a short-term sleep tool, but scientists don’t know a lot about how it might affect kids who take it for a long time. The supplement may also cause side effects, like drowsiness and the need to pee more at night. So always talk to your child’s doctor before you give melatonin.

Circadian Rhythms Out of Sync

Small changes can upset your circadian rhythms. These include:

Travel. When you pass through time zones, you can adjust your watch but not your body clock. It will try to function on the time it is at your home, a problem you may know as jet lag. The more time zones you pass through, the more off you may feel. Your body clock will reset to the new time you’re in, but it can take a few days. To deal with jet lag, take melatonin when you arrive at your destination at the time you’d like to go to bed. Some studies have found that taking it as early as 3 days before your trip can help jet lag symptoms. Keep in mind, though, that melatonin is best when you’re traveling east. There’s no evidence that it helps you adjust to westward travel.

Night shift. If you work the night shift, take it at the end of your workday, but never before you drive home and if you work nights, you’ll need to sleep during the day. This can be tough since your body is programmed to be awake when it’s light outside. Over time, you can start to have what’s called shift work disorder. You’ll find it hard to stay awake at night, yet struggle to sleep during the day. Naps during the day or your night shift can help.

Extra sleep. Your body clock works best when you stick to a schedule. In an ideal world, you’ll go to sleep and wake up within a half hour of the same time each day, even on weekends.

Circadian rhythm in adults

Adults should have a pretty consistent circadian rhythm if they practice healthy habits. Their bedtimes and wake times should remain stable if they follow a fairly regular schedule and aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Adults are likely get sleepy well before midnight, as melatonin releases into their bodies. As adults, we reach our most tired phases of the day from 2 to 4 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.

Older adults may notice their circadian rhythm changes with age, and they begin to go to bed earlier than they used to and wake in the wee hours of the morning. In general, this is a normal part of aging.

How to reset your circadian rhythm

You may experience disruptions to your circadian rhythm, but you can get it back on track. Here are some tips for promoting a healthy 24-hour schedule:

1. Try to adhere to a routine each day.

2. Spend time outdoors when it’s light outside to boost your wakefulness.

3. Get enough daily exercise — 20 or more minutes of aerobic exercise is generally recommended.

4. Sleep in an environment that promotes rest with proper lighting, a comfortable temperature, and a supportive mattress.

5. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine in the evenings.

6. Power down your screens well before bedtime and try engaging in an activity such as reading a book or meditating.

7. Don’t nap late in the afternoon or evening.

Links (straight copy-paste):

X Johanna

GEM Kitchen: Coconut smoothie

I think the title says it all! For a while (this week) I’ve been developing easy smoothies, especially after a ski-trip for example. Adjust the quantities according to taste.

Mix in the dry ingredients first! Talking about experience. Otherwise lots of unnecessary splashing ahead.

1/2 avocado

A banana

1 tbsp of Chia

1 tbsp of coconut flakes

2 tbsp of MCT-oil

2 cups of pineapple juice

2 cups of coconut milk

~ 4 cups of coconut barista

X Johanna

Gem Bookshelf: Intuitive Fasting, Dr. Will Cole

Published in 2021, the book is a New York Times bestseller.

Some text straight from The Intuitive Fasting:

“Your goal during Week 4 is to rebalance the most intricate hormones in your system, which means you are tailoring your approach to support:

• Improved thyroid and sex hormone health • Leptin and ghrelin balance, which means balanced hunger signals • Healthy melatonin and serotonin production, which means better sleep and a healthier mood.

One of the biggest focuses this week is on cultivating a healthier relationship with food and with yourself.

You can do this by practicing awareness – awareness of your thoughts and feelings about food.

Ask yourself: What habits were really serving me before this plan and which ones were not? Consider which thought patterns you would like to leave behind and which you want to bring forward.

As you move through this last week of the plan and decide how you’re going to incorporate intermittent fasting into your life, listen to that quiet voice inside you, your intuition.

At this point, you’ll have established some metabolic flexibility and you can trust your intuition about what your body needs. If you feel better eating more carbs, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you enjoy the way you feel on the keto diet long-term, have at it! This week is about slowing down, showing yourself some love, and coming up with a plan that works for you in the long term.”

X Johanna

Gem Medical: Cholesterol

Ever known someone who had a heart or a brain incident of some kind? Because on the body everything is interconnected. I don’t think that’s even Asian medicine, it’s well aware in Western medicine as well!

Ok, so let’s start with the interconnectness of everything in this cholesterol issue.

The Danish footballer had a sudden heart attack on the playing field last summer. I don’t remember his name. Google here I come! (20 seconds later.) It was Christian Eriksen. Now, of course being super-analytical, my mind started racing how this happened.

Sure enough, right as they were resuscitating him, I got to the conclusion of his nutrition had been full of (animal) cholesterol and therefore his veins to the heart (among others?) had been blocked. No matter how much one exercises or is an athlete. A heart fails no matter whos, for sure.

Especially, I am quite small. Tall, yes, but there’s not a lot of pounds on me. So I must be very careful what to eat, and think about the ratio of the foods and exercising. Now, I know I should’ve watched more of what I put into my body.

That’s a wink-wink by the way! It seems quite difficult at first, but surely it grows on you.

In blood and tissue fluid the cholesterol is as lipoproteins, in where the cholesterol molecule (fatty molecule) is surrounded by a water soluble protein.

I believe you’ve heard of this: HDL (the good fats) and LDL (the bad fats).

The liver is the place in where cholesterol goes in first, and any extra cholesterol (LDL) goes into the circulation and any excess blocks veins. And the end. There’s not a magic wand on anyone that makes extra LDL not block.

It can block major arteries to the heart as badly that there’s nothing short of a heart failure happening. And remembering that interconnectness, if the other veins get blocked, then a stroke is waiting to happen next.

I better stop now, before the Gem Medical gets gloom. It didn’t yet!

Watch your mouthfuls.

X Johanna

Feb/March Gem Magazine: Dreams don’t work unless you do

Ever had a dream that literally changed the direction of your life?

This Gem Winter Magazine is going to be a vision board come to life as a text.

Whether you dream of the things that had already happened or are going to happen in the future.

Here comes the headline to fruition: “dreams don’t work unless you do”. The quote is by John C. Maxwell.

That’s also the way that vision boards work; seeing it (or dreams) every day and then put in the work for it. You gotta put in the work for the goal, that’s fairly important. Because dreams don’t work unless you do! It’s reasonably not going to happen that there’s suddenly a million dollars on your bank account without putting in the work, from a dollar to dollar. But you know this! It’s not even Gem material. However, it is manifesting and vision board things.

Stephenie Meyer has said to had have a dream of a girl and a vampire talking in a meadow, before she started writing Twilight or ever thought of writing in the first place. That’s how powerful dreams can be.

If you’re not a crafty person at all (enough of cutting magazines and glue sticking to fingers – type) then f.e Pinterest is great for vision or mood boards.

Just for example, I have one vision board for every month on Pinterest, on where I see any dream I might’ve had, awaken.

There you can keep some (or all) boards hidden and some (or all) boards public.

Joyful visioning days!

X Johanna