Introducing Ear Alchemy Piercing Aftercare: A Holistic Protocol Led by Kirsten Shanks of Orchard St.

Introducing Ear Alchemy Piercing Aftercare: A Holistic Protocol Led by Kirsten Shanks of Orchard St.

In a dynamic collaboration, we have joined forces with Kirsten Shanks, Adv. Dip Naturopathy, Adv. Dip Herb Med, Adv. Dip Nutrition. The visionary behind Orchard St. Since its inception in 2012, Orchard St. has been dedicated to elevating the collective experience of wellness. Spanning four iconic Sydney spaces, Orchard St. seamlessly integrates a naturopath-curated product range, featuring potent herbal medicines, conscious lifestyle wares and signature juice cleanse offerings.

Harnessing over two decades of expertise in the realm of plant medicine, Kirsten brings her wealth of knowledge to enhance Sarah & Sebastian's piercing aftercare. Rooted in naturopathic principles and imbued with a holistic aftercare philosophy, Ear Alchemy Aftercare empowers individuals with the transformative potential of healing, providing you with the tools to actively take charge of your healing process.

We sat down with Kirsten to delve into the details of this philosophy, sharing valuable insights and a comprehensive guide aimed at promoting renewal and ensuring the seamless healing of your Sarah & Sebastian piercings.

Kirsten founder of Orchard St and Tamila Purvis head of Ear Alchemy at Sarah & Sebastian sitting at the Orchard St store in Paddington Sydney

Why is aftercare important for piercing, and what is the philosophy behind it?
Kirsten: With great piercing comes great responsibility, or so the adage (almost) goes. Our aftercare philosophy is a holistic one, placing the power of healing in your well-adorned hands. Following naturopathic principles, this journal provides a helpful guide for promoting cartilage renewal and ensuring your new piercing heals as quickly and effortlessly as possible.

How does nutrition play a role in the healing process?
K: The way we nourish our bodies informs its ability to reset and renew. With a focus on reducing inflammation and enhancing healing, we recommend a diet low in processed sugar and refined carbohydrates. Opt for a rainbow of whole foods including gluten-free grains, healthy fats and sustainably sourced proteins. 

Stabilising blood sugar is another handy tip – allowing your body to sink into its recovery ‘rest & digest’ parasympathetic state. Enjoy three balanced meals daily, along with protein-rich snacks such as organic yoghurt, nuts and seeds, tahini and raw vegetables or a plant-based smoothie.

To bolster cell repair and cartilage renewal, choose foods rich in essential nutrients such as Vitamin C, zinc, iron and copper. Citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds and oysters, as well as organic berries, flaxseed, turmeric and pomegranate, are great additions to your whole food diet.

Keep learning: Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

Fruits and vegetables at Orchard St.
How can detoxification contribute to the healing process?
K: A burdened body may struggle to prioritise cellular recovery. When we lighten the load through nurtured detoxification, our energy levels rise, inflammation sinks, skin brightens and cells begin their repair. 

Detox can be actioned through a guided protocol (such as the Orchard St. 10-Day Detox Kit) or consciously made choices. Try swapping coffee for liver-loving dandelion tea, restoring gut health with probiotic foods (think yoghurt, kefir or kimchi) and plenty of fibre or facilitating lymphatic drainage with a good sweat or self-massage.

Keep learning: The Plant Protocol 10-Day Gut Detox Kit

How does plant medicine support the body’s healing?
K: Plant medicine supports our body’s intelligence – bolstering its ability to heal and recover. One of our favourite medicinals, calendula, is a bright yellow flower traditionally used as a skin salve, with potent antibacterial and antifungal properties. Nutrient-rich herbs like nettle and horsetail are high in silica, copper and iron, the building blocks for healthy hair, skin and nails. Daoist herbs also work harmoniously on body systems, with tremella, goji and Schisandra celebrated for their soothing effect.

Source your herbs wisely. We recommend visiting a trusted health food shop, Naturopath or Orchard St. Elixir Bar to access these plant medicines. Enjoy your selection in tincture, powder or tea form, weaving their profound benefits into daily life.

Keep learning: The Plant Clinic by Erin Lovell Verinder

Kirsten Shanks, founder of Orchard St.

Shop Kirsten's Ear Alchemy Styling Look:
1. Opal Overlay Cartilage Earring
2. Nymph Cartilage Earring

3. Micro Sand Diamond Peridot Earring
4. Nymph Hoop

Why is rest and relaxation crucial for optimal healing, and what practices do you suggest to achieve this?
K: The desire to show off a new piercing is strong, but filling your diary ceaselessly can slow the recovery process. Prioritise daytime naps, sleep-ins and mindful movement. Try switching your weekly HIIT class for something slow and considered – yin yoga, Pilates or Qi Gong are nurturing ways to move and reinvigorate. 

You may wish to incorporate a simple meditation or breathwork practice into your day. Even five minutes has been shown to lower cortisol, increase immunity and foster a good mood. Chandra Bhedana, or Moon-Piercing Breath, is a thoughtful way to experiment with breathwork from the Ayurvedic tradition. Simply sit in a comfortable seat then gently block your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through your left. Then, close the left and exhale through the right nostril, ensuring your breathing is natural, effortless and without strain. Continue in this manner, inhaling left, exhaling right, for 1 to 3 minutes. After, you may notice a general sense of cooling the body, enhanced calm and focused attention.

Keep learning: How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell

Herbs and spices


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