Tag Archives: bodywork

Why HeartMath®?

“Inner stillness is a place where our heart can speak
without the mind running it off the road.”
~Doc Childre

I’ve come to realize that my path to practicing HeartMath® came about quite by accident and yet was clearly meant to be part of my healing journey.

I’d heard of HeartMath® but never gave it much thought, assuming that it was only about healing physical heart problems, something I fortunately don’t have. But then, heart related “things” started popping up in different areas of my life.

Several hypnotism sessions turned into heart-healing experiences that I didn’t even know I needed. And an eye-opening weekend workshop with the brilliant, Dr. Joe Dispenza, shed light on the connection between our heart and our head and how the battle of the brain to control the heart causes stress in our bodies and struggle in our lives.

And then, when I met Anne Taylor through Kundalini yoga and learned that she is a HeartMath® coach, I knew as a student, I was ready and my teacher had appeared.

Now, six months later, I’ve completed the coursework and implemented daily HeartMath® practice sessions via my HR adapter and the Inner Balance app. I’ve graduated from Read the rest


What is HeartMath?

what is heartmath

“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe,
to match your nature with Nature.”
~Joseph Campbell

A Dynamic Window into the Autonomic Nervous System

You may have heard of HeartMath®, but did you ever wonder what is or try to explain it someone else? Or perhaps HeartMath® and the concept of heart coherence is new to you altogether. This short article will explore what HeartMath® is (more broadly Heart Rate Variability biofeedback) and how a HeartMath® centered practice can support healing, personal growth, and inner transformation.

HeartMath® is a research and technology institute that focuses on mastering the harmful effects of stress through the power of the human heart, and what it calls “heart coherence”. Physiological coherence, in general, is the synchronization of all the oscillating fields within and outside the body—simply think of it as Joseph Campbell explains in the above quote: we are syncing our heartbeats with the heartbeat of the universe.

The weaker fields within the body (i.e. brain waves, respiration) will align with the stronger field of the heart. Electro-magnetic fields nesting within resonating elects-magnetic fields. It is a moment of tao, all is aligned with the great oneness … Read the rest


Energy Healing 101

 “The whole universe appears as a dynamic web of inseparable energy patterns…

Thus we are not separated parts of a whole. We are a Whole.”

~Barbara Ann Brennan

Along with your vascular, nervous, and skeletal systems, you also have an energetic system that is, like all energy, invisible to the naked eye. Your energetic system, or subtle body is like a holographic overlay on your physical body and is made up of power centers (chakras), energetic fields (auras), and conduits (nadis). Information about your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual states live within your subtle body.

Energy healing works in this realm. It is a general term for many modalities that remove blocks and energetic cords attached to others, grounds your energetic system to Earth energy, connects to light energy, repairs any energy leaks within the auric field or chakra system, and disconnects from any energy that is not your own.

If you are wondering why any of this matters, it is blocks within the energetic system that manifest as illness in the physical body.

Evidence of energy healing practices dating back 1000s of years is found in cultures throughout the world. The ancient Egyptians practiced Sekhem. a form of energy … Read the rest


What is EFT and How Does it Work?

finger touching hand

“EFT offers great healing benefits.”
~Deepak Chopra

Along time ago, after a severe traumatic event, I began suffering from panic attacks and developed severe, chronic anxiety. The side effects included averaging 2-3 hours of sleep a night, becoming destructively low functioning in my work life and having rapid heartbeats and stomach pains become the replacement for my morning alarm clock.

Thus began my journey to find a way to calm my nervous system down and get back into the driver’s seat of my life. This journey took me over 10 years. Against the wishes of therapists and physicians, I refused to start taking anti-anxiety meds, sleeping pills or anti-depressants. Instead, I tried almost every alternative therapy that I knew of. I wanted to walk through the fire to get to the other side instead of pretending the fire inside me wasn’t there.

One day, during an annual lunch with some girlfriends, one of them starting talking about Tapping. I asked some questions and then went home to do some research. Two weeks later I had an appointment with a local EFT Practitioner and went without any expectation or preconceived assumptions about how it might help me. I had learned years … Read the rest


Timeless Medicine From The Owl

“The owl offers the inspiration and guidance necessary to
deeply explore the unknown and the magic of life.”
~Native American Teaching

What are you are seeking in your life? Health – Direction – Inspiration?

Every aspect of nature has a unique gift that goes beyond the obvious food or materials each provides. In many cultures, visitations from animals or other creatures are considered “medicine.”

For example, an eagle, who is the national bird in United States represents freedom, power and keen big-picture sight. The mouse has the gift of sensitivity of vision and smell to find details in front of its path. Ants are revered for their great strength and remarkable unity with their colony. Plants, trees and stones also play a large part of “medicine” for us.

As humans, we also have special gifts to offer with our communication, creativity and healing. Each of us has the power and aptitude to connect to the natural world for problem solving, art, music and healing.

annie thoe w monkeysThroughout my life and practice in the healing arts, I’ve been blessed with medicine from countless teachers in nature: from domestic dogs and cats to a wide range of wild animals, including monkeys, gorillas, dolphins, coyotes … Read the rest


Duality: Can Authenticity and Career Co-exist?

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all the others.”
~Brian Buffini

Some people are lucky, they know their life’s calling early on–or so it appears on this side of the not so green grass. From an early age, I’ve had multiple callings, loud sirens usually leading me in opposite directions. After decades of practice, I learned to keep my vocations (or voices) separate, neat, and tidy in their respective “boxes”. Or so I thought.

two headed coinThe current duo at odds has been the real estate broker and the Kundalini yoga teacher. The Realtor and yoga teacher have strong opinions about one another, some not so pleasant. Kundalini is not a gym class kind of yoga experience. It is a spiritually based practice (of course all yoga is, just not always taught that way). The Realtor fears her clients won’t take her seriously if they see her Kundalini side, especially decked out in white clothing, chanting, sitting on a sheep skin, and sporting a white turban. Fine (I think), keep this pair in their separate boxes. 

Recently starting at a new real estate office, the owner suggested that I attend the company’s annual convention in … Read the rest


What is the Feldenkrais Method®? How it Works

“Feldenkrais work is the most sophisticated and effective method I have ever seen
for the prevention and reversal of deterioration of function.”

~Margaret Mead, PhD, Anthropologist

I began studying the Feldenkrais Method® in 1984, after seeking every possible treatment (Osteopathic, Physical Therapy, Chiropractic, various Massage therapies, Rolfing, Cranial Sacral, Acupunctureannie thoe w patient, etc.) for chronic, debilitating knee pain. I couldn’t walk, hike, bike or swim without pain. In one lesson, I experienced a profound shift in the alignment and coordination of my legs with my entire body. While it took me a while to shift the pattern causing this pain, over the three decades in studying this Method, I continue to refine the ease in my movement and life. This was the beginning of my career in bodywork and awareness study. I use this method (along with Nature Awareness) to help expand awareness to move past obstacles in learning, healing, performance and problem-solving.

dr feldenkraisThe Feldenkrais Method® named after its founder, Moshe Feldenkrais, is a sensory method of learning to refine one’s movement, improve function and expand awareness. Feldenkrais developed his method in the mid-1940s after suffering a crippling knee injury. He found he could teach himself (and others) to align, … Read the rest


Spirit Babies + Pregnancy

“Writing, the art of communicating thoughts to the mind through the eye,
is the great invention of the world…enabling us to converse with the dead,
the absent, and the unborn, at all distances of time and space.”

~ Abraham Lincoln

Babies in utero talk to me. Specifically, their souls speak to me. The first time this happened, my mind tried to tell me it was a figment of my imagination. The baby’s voice was so clear, however. And it felt so true that I knew if had to be real.

boy and pregnant motherSince that first experience, I’ve worked with pregnant women and couples to energetically align and communicate information to and from their baby prior to birth. This can strengthen the bond between parents and baby before entering our world, especially in the case of second or third pregnancies when you have a toddler at home and are working a full-time job.

A session together is a respite from the everyday and a deep-dive in soul connection. You learn about personality traits, why your baby’s soul chose you now (yes, each of us chooses our parents), inklings into what their future might hold, and things to put in place before birth.

I … Read the rest


Building the New Habit Muscle

“Habits are first cobwebs, then cables.”
~Spanish Proverb

It’s not BREAKING NEWS! Habits are hard to start, much less change.

Jerry Seinfeld, in a random conversation years ago with a young comic* seeking words of wisdom from the master, expanded on a tool that parents and teachers have known for eons; the Achievement Chart.

When asked for tips on becoming a better comedian, Jerry replied simply,

“The way to be a better comic is to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes is to write every day.”

keep building the chainHe said to get a big wall calendar showing a whole year, hang it where you’ll see it every day, get a red marker and make an “X” on every day that the young comic sat down to write jokes.

After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.

And as the saying goes, the rest, my friend, is history. This short conversation has become what is known as the Seinfeld Calendar … Read the rest


Walk Your Way to Health and Happiness

“Walking is Man’s best medicine.
~Hippocrates, the father of Medicine

I’m a believer. What a great time of year to “step” into (or back into) the pleasurable practice of walking outside. Watch and experience the rebirth of your natural surroundings as you awaken your body through movement, one step at a time.

Here are some tips for starting a walking practice and why walking, particularly outside, is good for body, mind and spirit:

  • Walk outside. Did you know we spend 80-90% of our time indoors? Enough is enough. Walking outside and spending time in nature feels good and promotes mind-body health. It beats going to the gym, where the air is stale, it’s noisy, smelly and, let’s be honest, swimming in bacteria. Being outside allows you to experience the natural rhythm of the day and the season while soaking up a healthy dose of Vitamin D. You’ll find that walking outside lifts your spirits and releases stress like nothing else can.
  • Walk alone.Nothing against a social walk; they’re good for you too. But, developing a personal practice of walking alone will take you to an entirely different place. It is a fantastic form of mindfulness meditation and will
Read the rest

HypnoBirthing®, The Mongan Method

 “When you change the way your view birth, the way you birth will change”
~Marie Mongan

Empowering Women to Connect to Their Natural Instinctive Birthing Bodies

Have you ever heard these types of statements?

  • Giving birth is painful
  • It’s something you just have to get through
  • Labor and childbirth is not something to look forward to
  • You don’t need to tough it out. Just take the drugs
  • It’d be great to just be knocked out and wake up with a baby

The women I teach in my HypnoBirthing®, The Mongan Method childbirth education classes, tell me they sure have! They hear these types of disempowering statements from well intentioned friends, family and even complete strangers. They find it interesting how people will readily share their “horror” stories when they see a pregnant woman!

Just like the majority of us, they’ve seen the movies that portray childbirth as extremely painful or comical and something to dread.

Anticipating pain and dreading bringing your baby into the world doesn’t sound like a great way to spend nine months! Yet, too often, this is the mass message that permeates our culture. It produces fear, stress and anxiety in expectant moms. This can often lead … Read the rest


Stand Tall— It’s Good for You

You can tell a lot by someone’s body language.”
~Harvey Wolter

The way humans’ express victory or celebration is universal: we throw our arms up to the sky; we leap into the air; pump our fist or do a happy dance. Body language can tell us a lot about other states of mind, too. If someone is curled into themselves, head in hands, slumped—it doesn’t take an intuitive to see the person is sad, depressed, feeling powerless.

According to Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy, this physical expression of a mental state can also work in the other direction. Cuddy’s research has established that simply adopting a posture can induce a predictable emotional state; our bodies can change our thoughts and feelings. Standing tall, with your arms raised in victory, causes a spike in important hormones that make you feel more powerful and comfortable. Adopting a powerful posture for even 2 minutes can begin to re-wire your brain; fake it ‘til you make it turns out to have scientific justification.

amy cuddyAs Ms. Cuddy points out, this is a great way to prepare for a stressful situation—like a job interview, or a speech— where you want to feel confident and in … Read the rest


Tap Into Healing

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
~Tony Robbins

Despite its roots in ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine, there’s a relative newcomer to the alternative healing industry. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or “Tapping” as it’s often referred to, is creating quite a buzz. Ask anyone who’s used it before and you’ll get a two-word answer: “it works!” Whether you work with a certified practitioner, figure it out on your own, or a combination of the two, this is a healing modality you’ll definitely want to add to your personal practice. It is one that can be used anytime, anywhere and with significant results.

tapping pointsWhy is it called tapping? I don’t know, but it makes sense because the practice itself “taps” into the body’s energy, releasing negative emotions and symptoms that have accumulated, creating physical results like chronic pain, disease, emotional responses to traumatic experiences, addictive behaviors, non-supportive habits and outdated beliefs. Tapping on the meridians that connect everything in our body releases energy blockages thus restoring and balancing our energy flow to its natural state of being.

As the saying goes, when the student is ready the teacher appears. I’ve been wanting to try tapping … Read the rest


Duality: Can Authenticity and Career Co-exist?

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all the others.”
~Brian Buffini

Some people are lucky, they know their life’s calling early on–or so it appears on this side of the not so green grass. From an early age, I’ve had multiple callings, loud sirens usually leading me in opposite directions. After decades of practice, I learned to keep my vocations (or voices) separate, neat, and tidy in their respective “boxes”. Or so I thought.

coin w 2 headsThe current duo at odds has been the real estate broker and the Kundalini yoga teacher. The Realtor and yoga teacher have strong opinions about one another, some not so pleasant. Kundalini is not a gym class kind of yoga experience. It is a spiritually based practice (of course all yoga is, just not always taught that way). The Realtor fears her clients won’t take her seriously if they see her Kundalini side, especially decked out in white clothing, chanting, sitting on a sheep skin, and sporting a white turban. Fine (I think), keep this pair in their separate boxes. 

Recently starting at a new real estate office, the owner suggested that I attend the company’s annual convention in … Read the rest


What is EFT and How Does it Work?

“EFT offers great healing benefits.”
~Deepak Chopra

Along time ago, after a severe traumatic event, I began suffering from panic attacks and developed severe, chronic anxiety. The side effects included averaging 2-3 hours of sleep a night, becoming destructively low functioning in my work life and having rapid heartbeats and stomach pains become the replacement for my morning alarm clock.

Thus began my journey to find a way to calm my nervous system down and get back into the driver’s seat of my life. This journey took me over 10 years. Against the wishes of therapists and physicians, I refused to start taking anti-anxiety meds, sleeping pills or anti-depressants. Instead, I tried almost every alternative therapy that I knew of. I wanted to walk through the fire to get to the other side instead of pretending the fire inside me wasn’t there.

One day, during an annual lunch with some girlfriends, one of them starting talking about Tapping. I asked some questions and then went home to do some research. Two weeks later I had an appointment with a local EFT Practitioner and went without any expectation or preconceived assumptions about how it might help me. I had learned years … Read the rest


How Stress Affects Your Brain

TEDEd hits another homerun with this short, visually appealing video on the impact of chronic stress on the brain. Once you understand how stress affects your physical body, the decision to implement one or both of the antidotes described at the end of the video become a no-brainer.

From TEDEd: Stress isn’t always a bad thing; it can be handy for a burst of extra energy and focus, like when you’re playing a competitive sport or have to speak in public. But when it’s continuous, it actually begins to change your brain. Madhumita Murgia shows how chronic stress can affect brain size, its structure, and how it functions, right down to the level of your genes.

Read the rest


Spirit Babies and Trying to Conceive

“Courage is trying while crying.”
~Unattributed

At our essence, we are energy. This energy is also referred to as our soul. Our souls exist as energy before we are born and after we die.

woman and childSpirit babies are the souls of babies ready to be born. They select their parents and many times are awaiting the correct timing for conception to occur. Others are still waiting for exactly the right moment to be conceived and to be born into our world. At other times, energetic blocks in regard to conception are present in the form of past life or ancestral trauma.

If you have any sort of difficulty conceiving, you know the amount of stress involved. Ironically, stress is a leading cause of fertility issues. This is why my first priority is always my client. Sessions include balancing the energetic system consisting of chakras, conveying intuitive information, connecting to the energetic essence of your baby-to-be, and focusing on do-able self-care practices. Flotation talks, green smoothies, and meditation are among my go-to self-care practices as each relaxes the cells in the body.

To understand what stress does to the body, clench your fists really tight. Do you feel how tight that is? … Read the rest


Is a Cleanse a Sprint or a Marathon?

“I choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life”
~Louise Hay

Cleanse. Detox. Fast. It seems that every health magazine, blog and infomercial is hawking their own version. They can range from popping pills or drinking a liquid concoction to eating whole foods and eliminating a list of ingredients.

veggies on a forkIs this the latest money-making gimmick, or is there merit in doing one? It’s worth your while to take a closer look.

Domino Effect

We are exposed to far too many toxins or irritants in our daily life, including many of the things we eat. These can take their toll on our health. Take a mental stroll through your daily routine:

  • processed foods
  • conventional meats
  • genetically modified foods
  • artificial ingredients
  • caffeine and alcohol
  • skin care products
  • cleaning products
  • tap water
  • work environment
  • cell phones, computers and other electronics
  • air, both inside and outside
  • toxic thoughts and emotions

It is a continual onslaught and impossible to avoid completely. This creates a toxic load that our bodies have a hard time managing. Our digestion can become compromised leading to inflammation. Our immune system, which is primarily in our gut, is weakened as the microbiome is challenged. Our detoxification … Read the rest


The Discomfort and Rewards of Change

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it,
move with it, and join the dance.”
~Alan Watts

“I want to run away as fast as I can.”

“I want to hide under the covers for forever.”

“I want to go back to my old relationship….it wasn’t that bad.”

If you have ever had these thoughts, then you know just how uncomfortable real change can be.

We all say we want to change. And we believe it. We want to have more. More money, more fulfillment, more fun, more weight loss and more time to do the things that we really want to do.

But when we finally go for the changes that it will actually take to have a different life than the one we are currently living, we suddenly realize that true change is tough. It requires amongst other things, the ability to tolerate sitting with discomfort long enough for the change to occur. Despite what the motivational speakers tout, real change does not mostly happen in an instant or a day or two.

Real change usually takes time.

if you want somthingAt first, as you sit in the unknown and the discomfort of … Read the rest


Heal Your Energy and Get Unstuck

“To heal from the inside out is the key. “
~ Wynonna Judd

It took me a long time to try energy healing. And in hindsight I would call it the first tool I reached for on my healing journey. Although I had spent years in introspection, countless hours walking, practiced my own version of home-based yoga and read book after book on personal growth, the time came to admit it; I was stuck.

No longer could I function in state of what I pretended was “the blues.” I had to admit to myself that I was likely suffering from depression that was impacting my relationships and my family. I didn’t see a happy ending to the trajectory I was on. This was not the life I wanted to be living. And it was time to own it and do something about it. I knew I need support.

And so I tiptoed to the edge of the metaphorical, transformational pond, stuck my toes gingerly into the water and watched the ripple emerge. I had a professional relationship with someone I knew was an energy healer and began to connect with her on a personal level. We talked about energy healing … Read the rest