Ferndale Yoga, massage, meditation and wellness
Often times when you mention energy work, including Reiki, Polarity, Chakras and Auras people's eyebrows raise and the skepticism kicks in full force. Witchery, voodoo and plain 'hooey' are what comes to most people's minds who don't understand the make up of the human body and it's relation to the rest of the world. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction & relaxation that can facilitate healing. It's based on the idea that we all have a 'life force' energy in us that animates us & promotes our wellness. When our energy is low we are more likely to feel sick and have 'dis-ease'. If our energy is high we feel healthier & happier. Now it's how and why energy work has its place in the world I would like to share. Way back when you were in elementary school you listened to your science teacher drone on about molecules and how everything is made up of chemical compounds and energy you were more than likely passing notes or doodling in your notebook. Little did you know how much insight you were being given about how this world works, including you! How about physics? Did you learn about matter? I bet they said 'matter is anything that has mass and takes up space'. I bet you they also said that matter is made of molecules and atoms that contain particles like protons and electrons. Now fast forward a few years into biology and you start studying things like cells and the basic make up of living organisms including the human body. Molecular biology and physiology discuss the make up of the human body which includes atoms, molecules, protons, electrons, neurons and all kinds of chemical processes that are a part of my new-found fascination with the human body and how it works.
Now who can argue that the human body is made up of the same atoms and molecules that everything else in the world is made of? And in addition, if matter has energetic properties then who can argue about things such as the electrical currents between the synapses of neurons in the brain? Electrical currents flow all through the body including the nervous system, the heart and circulatory system all working to regulate the body and homeostasis. In my book suggestion you'll see below there is a chapter on the scientific explaination of Reiki energy and energy work. We are of no doubt made up of buzzing energy the same as the desk I'm sitting at and the light beaming down on me through the electrical current activating the light bulb above my head. Energy is defined as the 'ability to do work'. There is potential and kinetic energy.Cars can move because gasoline is stored energy, TVs & computers run on energy and we can move, run and work because be break down food we eat into energy. Energy is always changing from potential to kinetic, called transformation energy. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one state to the other.
Now back to the voodoo of energy work. Now the idea behind energy work is that we can promote balance and harmony to the body by manipulating the energy fields surrounding it. If the energy field is blocked or disrupted this can promote illness and dis-ease. The fact is energy work is quite ancient and has been around for centuries. It is based on the 'life force' or 'qui' in Traditional Chinese medicine. The Chinese systems of meridians maps out energy pathways that supply vital energy to our physical and subtle body. The subtle body includes the energy field surrounding it. Chakras are like energy transformers found in the body that promote health and healing. They take the life force around us and transform it into energy we need to sustain balance. The are seven chakras starting at the base of the spine and work up to the crown of the head; if they are disrupted or blocked this again can cause unbalance and dis-ease. Auras are a part of the subtle body that extend out from the physical body. They contain many levels of vibration that correlate to the different chakras of the body. Illness can start in the aura, manifesting with negative energy that starts in the subconscious mind. Ever heard of 'bad karma'? Same principle applies to being able to feel the presence of certain people, whether they have good or bad energy.
Now Reiki comes from the Japanese words 'Rei', meaning 'God or Higher Power' and 'Ki' which is life-force energy. So Reiki is 'spiritually guided life force energy'. It is the laying of hands by an attuned practitioner who acts as a channel to pass needed energy already in and around them through them and to the client in areas of dis-ease. An attunement is a process of getting 'keyed-in' to tap into this energy by a Reiki master. Reiki session can be done fully clothed or incorporated into a regular massage session. The practitioner works a series of areas throughout the body, laying their hands directly on or 'beaming' just over the surface of the body. The practitioner will move on to the next spot once they feel each area has received appropriate time for the energy it needs. Anyone can get attuned by a Reiki master, it does not require super extensive training, and once it's there, it's there forever. When I got attuned I was a bit skeptical, I had not really had good luck working with energy work thus far in my education at IMI. However in this process it was amazing the things I felt and saw! Feeling the passing of energy as tingling and heat came to the forefront for me; and I was able to see colors and auras with my eyes closed of the people in front and behind me!
This work is very subtle, and I have had success with it so far in my practice. The transfer of energy can be felt as tingling or heat, or it can be so sublte that you don't feel much of anything but the work is still done. Reiki can never do harm, it can only add energy in places where you need it or be done for an over-all feeling of balance. Be well everyone!
Nurture your mind, body and spirit~Namaste :)
Book Suggestion: The Spirit of Reiki by Walter Lubeck, Frank Arjava and William Lee Rand-Lotus Press
There's on old English proverb, 'don't dig your grave with a fork and a knife'. In an economy where processed and fast foods have become staples and good, nutritional food like fresh produce has become somewhat of a luxury it's no wonder we are the unhealthiest people in the world. With our busy schedules, limited time and sometimes money keeps us from eating they way we should, and quite frankly some of us don't have much of either. One portion of my education at IMI that I especially liked was the Food Science and Health series by Dr. Kerri Saunders. Here she discussed how we are on the Standard American Diet (also known as S.A.D.; fitting) which is high in animal & saturated fats, low in fiber and complex carbohydrates and low in plant-based foods. All of these factors in one's diet increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and intestinal disorders. Cultures who eat the opposite of the SAD show a significant decrease in all of these pathologies. It's a SAD statistic that one out of two Americans has the chance of dying from a heart attack. The truth is all we need is a little TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Change).
Some say that the USDA Food Pyramid is just a marketing ploy designed to fuel the American economy and has no real value for optimal health. Now I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but like I say knowledge is power-and the more I learn the more I discover what the body needs and what it really doesn't. I am not a vegetarian and I love red meat, but seeing what is on the shelf at grocery stores and what I think is healthy I am shocked at how sneaky marketing really is. There are so many diets these days, between fads, whole foods, raw foods, vegans, vegetarians, semi-vegetarians (pese-, pure-, ovo-, lacto-, pesco-) high carb, low carb....oye vay! According to a new study, called Nutriginomics and the PCRM (physicians committee for responsible medicine) we can get all of the nutrition we need with whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits. It is said that humans digestive system is most closely built like that of giraffes, cows and deer as opposed to tigers, lions and wolves. It's also said that an average American on the SAD diet is responsible for the death of 14-22 animals a year. I've heard the argument that the only milk we should consume is that of our own mother's after birth to deliver the proper nutrients we need to grow. Truth be told we receive the most calcium from green leafy vegetables rather than cow's milk and dairy products, and quite frankly after hearing certain things I have strictly switched to almond milk-which is quite delicious!
Back on the subject of food labels, I usually pride myself on shopping healthy and checking labels for things like 'fat free', 'low sodium' and 'sugar free'. I'm always checking calories and cholesterol and making a valiant effort to not buy junk. But food labels are just as sneaky it seems. The SAD truth is that if something is fat free, it's usually full of sugar and if it's cholesterol free it's full of saturated fats or hydrogenated oils. Most things labeled 'fat free' are based on weight, not nutritional value.
When reading food labels and you look at fat, check out total fat and then check out the saturated fat. Our diets should be no more than 30% fat, and monosaturated fats are the best. These come mostly from plants oils such as olive, peanut and canola oil. Other good sources are avocados, nuts and seeds. People eating a Mediterranean diet that consists of many monosaturated fats are said to suffer much less cardiovascular disease.
Omega 3 fatty acids are so good for us, and can help reduce risks of dementia, depression and cardiovascular disease. Best source of these are flax seed, walnuts and fatty fish like salmon. Supplements are good, just do your research and if you take fish oil be sure it is standardized and purity certified for heavy metals. So what is trans fat? "A trans fat is a normal fat molecule that has been twisted and deformed during a process called hydrogenation. During this process, liquid vegetable oil is heated and combined with hydrogen gas. No amount of these trans fats is healthy - if your diet doesn’t contain enough good fat, your body will use the deformed trans fats instead, which could possibly contribute to major health risks from heart disease to cancer." -helpguide.org. So careful of trans fats, these are mostly found in things I love like tortilla chips, microwave popcorn, baked goods and fried foods.
If you have high blood pressure like me you know you need to watch your sodium intake. Sodium is most high is packaged, frozen foods-and watch for words like smoked, cured brined and sodium bicarbonate. These are all very high in sodium. Recommended sodium intake is 2400 mg/day, so if you must dash some salt on your nightly dinner (even before you taste it!) try and use sea salt-it has more mineral salts than just sodium chloride.
Carbs, carbs, carbs. To eat or not to eat?! The truth is, carbohydrates are one of the most important elements of a balanced diet and primary source of energy to the muscles and the brain. They are consumed as complex or simple sugars and broken down into glucose, fructose and galactose. They are used by the body as fuel, but just be careful as an excess of glucose will be stored as fat. Fiber is a special kind of carbohydrate the body cannot break down usually found in the outer layer of plants. Fiber is so important because it aids in digestion and helps in absorption or foods nutrients and regulating blood sugar levels. It slows down the eating process and helps you feel like you are full, therefore preventing overeating. The best sources of fiber include whole-grain breads, fruits, veggies, nuts, beans and all natural cereals.
And finally protein. Protein is essential for proper function of the body and for its proper repair. Protein contains amino acids that help repair muscle and bone and aids in growth and the production of hormones and antibodies. A great source for protein other than processed meats are green leafy vegetables, nuts and beans like black and garbanzo.
The best diet we can eat would be high fiber, low fat, low cholesterol, low protein and high carbs. To see more check out my book recommendation below by Dr. Kerri Saunders.
So to recap, taking the time to pay attention to what you put in your mouth can really pay off to you overall health. This guideline by holistichealing.com lists the terms of packaging to pay attention to while shopping.
*If it's '_____' free-means that none of the listed item is present, however something else is compensating. If it's cholesterol free it probably has hydrogenated oils. No good.
*'Good Source' means 10-19% of your daily value.
*'High' -to be high in a certain element every serving must contain 20% of nutrient listed.
*'Lean'-means less than 10 grams of fat, less than 4 grams of saturated fat & less than 95 mg cholesterol
*'Extra lean' -less than 5 grams fat, 2 grams sat. fat & 95 grams cholesterol
*'Light'-can either mean it's fat content has been decreased by 1/2 or more, or been altered to have about 1/3 less calories than original.
*'Low fat'-3 grams or less per serving
*'Low Sodium'-less thank 140 mg/100 grams of food
*And finally % fat free-pertains to the weight of the item fat free. Suppose a hot dog package says 85% fat free. Well, it's based on weight. So the hot dog is 7 grams of fat/serving & 90 calories.. Each gram of fat has 90 calories, which means the dog has 63 calories, or 70% of calories, from fat. Not too fat free if you ask me.
The more we know the better decisions we can make on a daily basis to lead a healthier life on a REGULAR basis. We all cheat, we all binge. We all don't care sometimes. But if we start caring a little bit more we can make all the difference in our overall health and hopefully lead a preventative lifestyle. As always I hope this info was helpful, I enjoyed revisiting this subject. If you have any questions or concerns I can get you in contact with Dr. Kerri Saunders who is a food consultant; and can even go shopping with you to show you how to read labels and eat wisely! Next time I will talk about one of my new loves which is Reiki, I can't wait to tell you all about it. Be well everyone!
Nurture your mind, body and spirit~Namaste
'The Vegan Diet as Chronic Disease Prevention' by Dr. Kerri Saunders, MS, LLP, PhD (aka Dr. Food)
What the heck is lymphatic drainage? That's what I said when I started massage school and was looking through my possible electives. So many of the modalities of Myomassology sound so complicated and foreign that I wouldn't feel comfortable asking for the services, let alone anyone who is not in the massage therapist world. Learning so much about the body, how it works and how fascinating all of the different systems are & how they work together I'm learning more and more how important bodywork is. As a society we get so caught up in the daily routine of work, school, kids, carpools and house work it is easy to push aside taking care of ourselves. 'As soon as things slow down' or 'as soon as I get through this month, I'll get back on track and start taking care of myself'. I say that all of the time, heck I said it last week! But the truth is that life is truly what happens when we're busy making other plans, so chosing a way to be and live your life on a daily basis is the way to actively play a part in who you are and will be for years to come. And being active in your bodily maintenance and well being I feel is the best way to ward off illness and live a long, healthy life.
Bodywork has so many subtle techniques that can make just the world of difference in how we feel from day to day. This is what I learned when taking an introduction course in Lymphatic Drainage (pronounced dra-naj) at Irene's. This technique is a very light touch that facilitates in the removal of excess fluid built up in the body. Your lymphatic system is an extensive drainage network in the body that stimulates the immune system and helps keep fluid levels of the body in balance. It is a network of conduits (or ducts) just below the skins surface that carry a clear fluid through the body called lymph. Two-thirds of the body's water is intracellular, or inside the cells. The remaining third is extracellular, or fluid around the cells. This one thirds main component is interstitial fluid. It is the lymph systems job to collect this fluid (where it then becomes lymph), containing plasma and protein to the blood to go back up to the heart and into the cardiovascular system where it can be filtered and eliminated.
Lymph contains many things, some things the body needs and some things that it doesn't. When lymph is collected by a series of channels it is filtered as it moves along and collects in the lymph nodes. These nodes are kidney-shaped organs located in the jointed areas of the body. They produce lymphocytes that capture and destroy pathogens and help filter the lymph. When this interstitial fluid builds up it can result in edema, or swelling. Lymphatic work is light, precise and rhythmic-helping to move along any stagnant fluid or lymph in the body. An educated touch can actually feel the fluid flowing just under the skin. This technique can be incorporated into a regular massage session, or entire sessions can be performed using this technique. Lymphatic work can be done to help with minor swelling, sports injuries, achne, trigger points and sinus issues. It's great for detoxing, fibromyalgia or general good health. Be sure to always ask your therapist if they have proper training, as there are many contraindications (reasons to not perform) for this modality such as acute infections and congestive heart failure.
So, in other words.....lymphatic drainage is an excellent technique to add to your normal therapeutic routine to help stimulate your immune system and aid in your over-all health. It's the little steps we consciously take day to day that make a difference. Knowledge is power, and the more we know the better choices we can make for ourselves and others. I hope this information was both interesting and helpful. To all of you I send out wishes to be well.........
Keep in touch and we'll talk about reading food labels. I still need to work on paying more attention when it comes to this, but after reading what I did about food labels it's no wonder we are the unhealthiest nation around!
"The number one killer of Americans is the American diet-not heart disease, not cancer, not diabetes. The #1 contributor/cause of all those diseases is our overly processed, nutrient weak diet. Up to 80% of these diseases are totally preventable." ~Cindy Holt RN, BSN, CMT
Nurture your mind, body and spirit~Namaste :)
Book suggestion: 'Your Key to Good Health: Unlocking the Power of Your Lymphatic System' by Elaine Hruska.
As a student at Irene's Myomassology Institute I'm learning so much about so many wonderful things-it's literally changed my life. Every week they share healthy tips about improving our lives and eating and living better. I always look forward to my next tip and I have made better decisions on how to be healthier and contribute to my community. I have become passionate about knowledge of the body, how it works and how to make it better. I would like to use this space to share what I have learned as well as post about the different modalities of Myomassology and how they are helpful in maintaining your health. I would love to share these tips and pay it forward so that we may all learn to improve ourselves and lead happier and healthier lives!
The first tip I would like to share is about the importance of drinking water. Water is life. Water makes up approximately 60% of our body weight, and as new borns it is about 75%. Water nourishes every cell in our body helping all of our systems run smoothly and remove toxins. It is the best cure for common ailments and it a great diet aid and fat reducer. Water suppresses your appetite, reduces sodium buildup and helps maintain muscle tone. Not drinking enough water can lead to things such as dry and itchy skin, acne, nose bleeds, constipation, sinus pressure, urinary track infections and headaches.
We are constantly losing water every day; on an average fall day we lose approximately 3-4 cups of water daily just by breathing. Our lungs require humid air to work, the body has to moisturize the air before it gets to the lungs. Ever notice it's harder to take a really deep breath when outside in the winter? That cold dry air makes it hard for us to take air in and the mucus membranes lining your nasal passages and bronchi are not properly hydrated to moisturize the air before it gets to your lungs. So especially now that it's so bitterly cold outside be sure to drink plenty of water, because we could be loosing 5-7 cups of water a day in the winter time. If your fluid intake decreases it can irritate your lungs and perhaps make them more sensitive to dust, cigarette smoke and mold, which could in turn result in a dry cough or even bronchitis.
Pop, coffee and even tea cannot count as water intake, as most of them contain caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic and will actually accentuate fluid loss in the body, same applies to alcohol. Water plays a huge part in removing toxins from the body. We lose a lot of fluid through urination, and a decrease in fluid intake makes it harder for our bodies to remove toxins. If we do not drink enough water our body will try to find other ways to remove the toxins from our body, such as through the skin which could lead to acne. An excess of toxins in our body can also cause headaches and fatigue.
It is a common trend that the older we get, unfortunately the more ailments and diseases we seem to get as a result. Some think that in the older population the reduction of water intake is a direct correlation to certain health problems. It reduces their body water percentage and many of the physical alterations associated with aging may be due to fluid loss in many of the body's tissues. When there is fluid loss on most of your bodies tissues, they are not lubricated to move and function properly, perhaps causing people to slooow dowwwn a bit.
So......if I haven't given you enough reasons already to drink more water, here's one more-it's free!!! I would suggest buying a good filtered water pitcher for your home and a metal water bottle to take with you on the go, as it keeps it chilled better than a plastic bottle. I am terrible at buying bottled water everywhere I go, not thinking that it takes one bottle approximately 450-1000 years to fully biodegrade! So if you do buy bottled water, please recycle. There is so much more on just this subject alone, I can't share it all! But for everything I post I will share my resources and try to have a book suggestion as well.
I hope you find this information helpful, like I said-the things I've learned have changed my life for the better. I look forward to sharing this wealth of information with you and hopefully pass along a good habit here and there. I'm trying really hard to break some of my bad habits and adapt new, healthy ones-so this blog is going to help remind me as well the wonderful things I can do to be healthy. Other subjects I'm excited to write about are Myomassology modalities like Shiatsu, Reiki, Myofascial Release, Orthopedic Assesment and Hot Rocks. I'm am also very influenced by yoga and mediation, and I've learned many benefits of healthy living such as the the benefits of exercise, recycling, how to properly check your produce and the dangers of processed foods and refined sugars. Knowledge is power, and I am currently addicted to expanding my education in holistic practices!
Check back soon for my next blog on what is Lymphatic Drainage and how it is very helpful for the body!
Nourish your mind, body and spirit~Namaste :)
Book Suggestion: Water: For Health, for Healing, for Life: You're not sick, you're thirsty! ~By F. Batmanghelidj
Hello lovelies. I hope you enjoy my journey of discovering my magick and Divine Feminine along with health, wealth of spirit and evolution. I am happy to share my experiences with you to heal, love, and evolve. Namaste-Heather Rae