Wellness

photography of woman surrounded by sunflowers
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When you hear the word ‘wellness’ what comes to mind?  The majority of people think, going to the Dr. and taking prescription meds is wellness.  I want to challenge you to re-think ‘wellness’, especially holistic wellness.

Holistic wellness is looking at yourself as a whole.  Mind, body, and spirit.  How to you take care of your physical body?  Do you eat fast food and junk on a regular basis and take a pill to control your cholesterol?  Or, do you balance out the junk food and healthy food?  Do you sit all day or do you try to get up and move around or possibly do some form of exercise? Do you take vitamin supplements or not?  Do you wash your hands after going to the bathroom or are you gross?  All these things affect physical health and this is what our western medical system has crammed into our heads.  And, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just not all that there is to health.

But, what about mind?   How do we engage our minds?  When we neglect all aspects of ourselves our physical and mental health suffer.  We have given up reading a real book over memes on FB.  Reading engages our brains and imagination.  We gave up creative hobbies that teach us critical thinking skills for video games and social media.  This causes a reduction of serotonin, and dopamine, which are ‘happiness hormones’ that our brain’s release.  But, don’t worry there is a ‘pill’ for that.

However, the most neglected aspect of ourselves is our spirit.  I’m not talking about the outer divine spirit that you go to church for, but, the very essence that makes us, us.  When was the last time you sat in a peaceful place and just listened to nature?  When was the last time you closed your eyes and just breathed, letting your mind go.  When was the last time you felt that childish wonder when you would see all the pretty Christmas lights or when a butterfly landed next to you?

In a world of instant gratification, technology and now, now, now we have sacrificed our spirits, minds, and thus our physical bodies.  Holistic wellness helps to integrate all parts of ourselves.  It’s a lifestyle and a choice …Mind, body, and spirit.  Eating well, taking care of your physical body with good fuel, enough sleep, and chemical fee products.  Engaging your mind with differing conversation, books, and hobbies.  Feeding your spirit with mediation, nature, and self acceptance.

When we take the time to nurture ourselves, no matter how small.  We are happier and healthier.  We feel more fulfilled and we prosper in so many ways.  So take a deep breath and really let it out as if you are letting go of the weight on your shoulders and smile.  Life may not always be perfect, pills don’t always solve the problem and there are no easy answers.  But, as long as you try to live a holistic ‘natural’ life.  Your wellness will be the better for it.

 

Cleaning Up the Mess

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Imbolc was the midpoint of winter and spring, it is time to start thinking about cleaning.

Not just cleaning around the house, but with ourselves.  As we walk our journey it’s important to learn from them.  The painful moments are the master teachers, we merely need to reflect and process on them, not brush them away.

I have been massaging for 9 years now, and in that time I have seen a constant that affects us.  How we handle stress.  In our society we are taught to ignore it and keep on keeping on.  This is SO detrimental to our health!  When we have thoughts or feelings the brain turns them into chemicals and neurological messages that run through our body.  Chronic negative thoughts/feelings become negative chemicals that over time are harmful.  It creates a chain reaction.  Our heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body because we short breathe when we are stressed, which gives us less oxygen to the blood cells.  Because of this everything else starts to suffer.  Think of our blood cells as a delivery guy.   They drop off oxygen and nutrients to everything in our body, and when they hand off the packages they take away waste and drop it off in the trash receptacles that is our lymphatic system to be processed and filtered out.

If we are short breathing our lungs are not oxygenating these blood cells to 100%.  So they aren’t delivering a full amount of oxygen/nutrients to help the body function and filter toxic waste that is building up.  This then gums up everything else.  Our kidneys, liver, appendix, and gallbladder become overburdened with waste. Our immune system becomes weakened and can not fight off the constant invasion of bacteria and viruses that is in our bodies.  Our nervous system becomes hyperactive which in turn makes our endocrine system (which make hormones/chemicals) hyperactive and over time can depress it, thus creating a chemical imbalance.  Which then can affect our pancreas which controls our insulin and metabolism.  Do you see how this chain reaction is working?  And you thought stress just gave you a tight neck and knots in your shoulders, think again.

It is time to develop our ability to adjust to any situation.  Temporary stress is good, it makes us more alert.  Chronic stress is bad.  We need to learn to make more time for ourselves.  It’s okay to take 5 minutes to meditate, stretch or just take a deep cleansing breath.  Don’t just say I’ll do it tomorrow, do it NOW.  Stop holding on to past arguments, they are in the past now.  Take a moment to reflect on them, what do they have to teach you?  Now take those lessons with you, let that argument go and move forward with the knowledge that those lessons can be used to help others somewhere on your journey.

Start cleaning out your body with drinking water everyday.  If you hate drinking water put a lemon or lime slice in it.  They will give a refreshing taste to your water, and they have vitamin C, potassium, riboflavin, magnesium and many more nutrients that we need.  Get away from ‘fashion diets’ and just simply eat healthy everyday.  Eating fast food 2-3 times a day, everyday is NOT healthy.  Take your lunch to work, eat more veggies and fruits.  You can have snack food, just change to a better quality brand.  Instead of greasy chips switch to kettle or veggie chips.  You’ll be surprised that they do taste good.

Soaking once a month in an epsom bath will reduce inflammation in your body, and pull out lactic/uric acid from your muscle tissue.  Work out or walk a few times a week.  You don’t have to be a gym rat to work out.  At least 4 times a week I work out.  I get the kids on the bus, come home, do 2 reps of flutter kicks, some people call them scissor kicks.  Push ups and 3 yoga poses with meditation.  This takes me about 30minutes and I feel energized, relaxed and ready to conquer the world for that day.

When the weather turns nice start making an effort to walk in nature.  We forget that we come from the Earth and that we are tied to it.  We need to connect to wildness to re-energize our spirit.  Too much urban jungle and technology depletes us.

Monthly massage and reiki will help flush out toxic build up, reduce pain and boost your immune system.

I know, I know.  I can hear the excuses now.  “I don’t have the time”.  Yes, you do.  Turn off that negative news walk away from the tv and start taking time for your body’s spiritual and physical needs.  Practice makes efficient, the more you practice the easier it will become to step away from external stress and start taking care of what really matters… you.

 

“Thinking” about Healthcare.

imageLet’s discuss a dirty subject…… change.    I know, I know.  Pennsylvanian’s HATE change, even if they do better after the ‘change’, it’s the whole process of re-looking or re-thinking at something new or different that is scary.

We as a society as a whole hate change and have a hard time re-thinking subjects or tasks.  “Don’t fix what’s broken” right?  Wrong!!!!!   General Patton said “If everyone is thinking the same, no one is thinking at all.”

I’m asking you to re-think healthcare.  What is it to you?  In this country our ‘healthcare system’ is very broken and it’s only going to get worse.  What western doctors are failing at is, they no longer get to know their patient.  What are you eating, doing for exercise, what are you doing to feed your spiritual self, what products are you using on your body?  Any more it’s ‘here is a pill and if that doesn’t work let’s up the dosage’.  How does that work for anyone?   It doesn’t!  Yet we, like lambs to a slaughter say okay and take the medicine thinking that the expensive education said doctor has had is good enough.  Then when the medicine isn’t working or you now have to take another type of pill for the side effects for the first pill we complain about how the healthcare system isn’t working all the while we keep going to fast food joints, don’t work out and shove junk into our bodies and wonder why we as a country are so unhealthy.

This is our wake up call.  It’s time to re-think our healthcare and it starts with you.  In my experience when I tell someone I’m a massage therapist or an Earth Mama, oh boy the jokes just come on out.  My question is why?  Because society told you massage therapists or Earth mama’s are a stereotype?  Yes, therapists in a spa are lotion pushers.  Because, that’s what a spa is.  I’m not a spa, I’m a holistic practitioner.

Healthcare starts at home.  From what you are drinking to eating; bath products; beauty products; cleaning products; yard products; etc.  Somewhere along the way we stopped listening to those ‘old wives tales’ and began to listen to “educated men” who knew more about science than women who passed along knowledge for generations.  We lost our grassroots knowledge of what God has provided us.  Natural medicine that is in our very food and weeds that grow around us.  Now, don’t get me wrong  surgeons and doctors who set broken bones are most needed.  What I’m talking about is basic healthcare that prevents high blood pressure, inflammation, diabetes, fibromyalgia, acid reflux and all the other issues we deal with in everyday life.

Living holistically IS healthcare.  I listen to my body and do my very best to take care of it.    I buy organic products from food to shampoo, grow as much as I can in my garden, don’t use chemical cleaners where basic vinegar and water can do the trick, and honor mother earth where I can.  How does honoring the earth healthcare?  Think about it.  Toxic air, polluted water that has to be treated with chlorine and other chemicals are part of our healthcare.  My lungs want to breath clean air.  I want to drink water that doesn’t taste like pool water.  I’m sure the old kidneys love to filter chlorine out of your body.  Fast food to us is a treat not an everyday food source.

Massage, (especially my massage) IS healthcare because the therapist is pushing your lymph fluid (which is part of your immune system) to your kidneys and liver to be filtered.  Your blood is being pushed back to your lungs and heart to be oxygenated and reused to deliver nutrients to your muscles and organs.  Your nervous system is being calmed down so your brain can tell your other organs to stop making cortisone (stress hormone), your muscles are being worked and released, your metabolism is being increased.  It goes on and on, massage affects your entire body inside and out.

Living holistically is an everyday event.  You MUST make time to exercise and move, you MUST make time to care for yourself and you MUST feed your spiritual self.  Ignoring your spiritual self is ignoring YOU!!!!  You are not just a bag of flesh and bones are you?  You have a personality, you feel connected to ‘other’ (unless you are a robot).  Pick up a dandelion and make a wish.  Delight in how the seeds float on the wind carrying your hopes.  Find something that fires your spirit and makes you feel alive, you weren’t born to work for ‘the man’.  You were born to experience, to grow, to become wise and share that knowledge.  This is all healthcare, and most of it is free.  Ask questions, read labels, seek more than you are, re-think your healthcare.

Blessings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insights, thoughts and knowledge on Massage and all that is Holistic

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