Sunday, February 17, 2013

Restore and Regenerate

  As winter made one more blast this weekend, I found myself thinking of the promise of rebirth that is just around the corner. The regenerative cycle that is always at play, all year, everyday, just below the surface... 
"Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes." 
~Carl Friedrich Gauss

“Of all the beautiful truths pertaining to the soul
None is more gladdening or fruitful than to know
You can regenerate and make yourself what you will.”
~William James 
     How do you get back to your best self? What is it that recharges your battery? How do you restore and regenerate? It is important that we take the time to know what recharges/refuels us and that we find ways to enhance our well-being by always supporting ourselves and especially during times of stress. 
    The dictionary defines REGENERATE as
1. formed or created again
2. spiritually reborn or converted
3. restored to a better, higher, or more worthy state
     For me, it is all of the good things that I do for myself regularly that recharge my batteries-yoga, meditation, eating good healthy food, fresh air, mindful breathing, loving my family, reading uplifting and inspiring books, daily self-help, etc. And to really restore and regenerate, regular Jin Shin Jyutsu keeps me on the path to harmony and balance.    
   The following Self-Help Tip is a great way to Quietly Regenerate Body, Mind and Spirit.The key to Quietly Regenerating is Safety Energy Lock #25. It is located at the sit bones. Anatomically part of your pelvis (the ischial tuberosity), the sit bones are quite literally the bones under the flesh of the butt that you sit on.
Holding the 25's will relieve bodily tensions, lower back tensions, knee and leg discomfort while helping you maintain alertness and memory. This flow filters out all toxins released during physical activities and removes tiredness from the body to enjoy the benefits of exercise. The 25's relieve mental tension, bring us an energetic mind and a sound body, and takes care of our overall sense of vitality.

It is said that holding the 25's for 20 minutes per day does the equivalent for maintaining the body and mind in good shape as an hour and a half hour jogging session! The 25's can be helpful in appetite balance, to support weight loss and will clear out the colon. 
Simply Sit on your hands (with the palms up or down, which ever is most comfortable for you). I do this simple flow myself most nights while watching TV with my family. If it is too hard on your hands to sit on them, I find that doing this while lying in bed is pretty easy too! The longer you can sit on your hands/hold your 25's, the more grounded you'll feel.
"Be gentle first with yourself if you wish to be gentle with others."
~Lama Yeshe

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

"Love is all you need."
~John Lennon/Paul McCartney

Happy Valentines Day to you! I love this quote by the Dalai Lama, "Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive."  I can't seem to think of Valentines Day this year without remembering my favorite moment from our wedding last year. This photo is such an expression of joy and delight! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Empowered Kids

Empowered Kids
"You are very powerful,
provided you know how powerful you are."
~Yogi Bhajan
     Last week, I got a phone message from my 11 year old daughter. She was as at school and  having a belly ache. She had been having a belly ache before school, so I had given her some self-help to do. When I saw that there was a message from the school, I thought... oh no.. she needs to come home. But her message said, "Mom, I don't need you to come get me, I just wondered if you had something else you could suggest for me to do so that I can stay at school, my belly is really hurting..."
     Wow, I was amazed! It was one of those proud mama moments. One of my goals (both as a parent and as a holistic practitioner) is to empower people to take charge of their own health through Jin Shin Jyutsu Self-Help! and here was my dear one asking for ideas on what she could do to help herself! Pretty cool, eh?!
     Mary Burmeister wrote a children's self-help book called Fun with Happy Hands, which offers a delightful introduction to the Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu and helps children of all ages learn simple and FUN ways to help themselves. My daughter, Rebecca, has owned this book since she was pretty little and has been actively learning Jin Shin Jyutsu Self-Help from me and this book most of her young life.
     I think that it is important that while we are teaching our children self care skills like potty training, tying shoes, making healthy food choices, how to get dressed, and so many others, that we also empower them to actively participate in their own care and well-being. Teaching your child independent skills can be easier said then done, especially if they are accustomed to having things done for them. But if we give them the tools that they need to self-soothe and help themselves, they become empowered with good coping skills and a confidence in their body's ability to heal.
     I  like to think that from an early age that I taught Rebecca about her ability to balance attitudes by simply holding her fingers. But in actuality, she taught me a lot about them! I would watch her at a few months old choosing which finger or toe to suck. Confidently and consciously choosing! It was amazing to watch and taught me so much about the innate nature of Jin Shin Jyutsu. We are all working towards helping ourselves all of the time. The practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu brings awareness to what we are doing and allows us to have a different relationship with our BE-ing.  We literally hold BALANCE in our own hands!
Self-Help Tip:
We can teach our children how to cope with emotionally difficult situations like worry, fear, anger, sadness and the challenges of being true to ourselves (pretense/trying to). If we are always trying to do it all and being burned out, stressed out and overwhelmed, the lesson that we gift our children with is how to be stressed. However when we use these same self-help techniques to enhance your own coping skills, we teach them how to cope and BE. Simple! 
"Happiness is not a matter of intensity 
but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony." 



"Life is not the way it's supposed to be.
It's the way it is.
The way you cope with it is what makes a difference."
~Virginia Satir
     Stressed out, out of control, overwhelmed, burnt out, anxious, depressed....The more I learn about stress, the more I realize that if we are to ever find balance and bliss, eliminating the effects of stress in our lives and our bodies must be our priority! None of us can totally avoid stressful situations. Stress is an integral part of our lives, and thanks to its ability to bring about the flight or fight response, it plays a big role in our survival. But continued stress without relief, is the beginning of all disharmony in our health and well-being. As much as stress and its fight or flight response is critical to survival, finding ways of coping with stress is equally essential to our well-being! 
Our bodies have their own way of coping with stress, it triggers the release of a series of stress hormones.  The prolonged secretion of these stress hormones lead to a break down of the cardiovascular, digestive, musculoskeletal, and immune systems. When we allow the day-to-day stresses to pile-up, they have a detrimental effect on our physical and emotional well-being. But the better our coping skills and stress management are, the less negatively affected we are! 
     The number one strategy for to help manage stress in our lives is RELAXATION! Relaxation, a practical coping strategy, has the power to reverse the stress response, calm the mind and relax the body. Psychology defines relaxation as "the emotional state of low tension, in which there is an absence of arousal that could come from sources such as anger, anxiety, or fear." By decreasing muscle tension, lowering the blood pressure and slowing heart and breath rates, relaxation minimizes the effects of stress. 
     Edmund J. Bourne, author of The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook says, “Regular practice of deep relaxation for 20 to 30 minutes on a daily basis can produce, over time, a generalization of relaxation to the rest of your life. That is, after several weeks of practicing deep relaxation once per day, you will tend to feel more relaxed all the time.”
    And the more time we spend in a relaxed state, our coping skills just get better and better. We become more resilient and better able to manage anxiety and stress in general. In this calm state, we are able to think more clearly and effectively problem solve.
     I invite you to add Jin Shin Jyutsu to your stress busting tool box! Discover the restorative nature of JSJ, be it practicing the simple self-help holds daily and/orgetting regular treatments with a practitioner. The benefit of Jin Shin Jyutsu, also known as the Art of Longevity, is relaxation, calming the nervous system, easing the stress response, and bringing about a return to balance and homeostasis. 
"If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity,
I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension.
And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it."
~George F Burns 

Forest Fires and Flu

Forest Fires and Flu

"Fever itself is Nature's instrument.
Fever is a mighty engine which Nature brings
into the world for conquest of her enemies."
~Dr.Thomas Sydenham (1624 - 1689)
You might ask, what do forest fires have to do with the flu?
     When everyone around me is getting sick, I rarely succumb. If I feel something coming on, I boost my immune system with Jin Shin Jyutsu, herbs and Vitamin C and D, and I usually manage head IT off at the pass. In fact, it has been so long since I had the flu, that I can't even remember when the last time was! 
     But as the year turned from 2012 to 2013, I could feel it coming on and even though I used all of my tools to head it off, it was coming. Once the flu hit, it was like being in a long dark one-way tunnel.  So I crawled in bed for the next six days....seems that my body needed a vacation! I focused on keeping hydrated and sleeping. I drank lots of water and herbal teas with lemon, honey and ginger, and Miso soup with garlic and cayenne.  My fever started at 101°F but then hung just below 100°F for 3 days. 
     After recovering, I found that I felt lighter, more expansive as if some of the old junk got burned off! What a great feeling!  
     Most people look at the flu as a bad thing, but Dr Sherri Tennpenny says, "If everything on this planet is here for a reason and there are no mistakes, perhaps an episode of the flu, with the increased mucous, cough, nasal drainage, and diarrhea is the act of cleaning out the internal dross. Supporting the body through this elimination process with homeopathy, herbs, and Chinese medicine, instead of suppressing the symptoms with Western medicine tools may be the key to long-term health and longevity. From this perspective, instead of being the problem, viruses may be part of the solution, the clean-up crew. It should be noted that the human race evolved because of its relationship to microbes, not in spite of it. What a novel thought! Instead of fearing the flu and doing everything possible to avoid it, including spending billions of dollars to create an experimental vaccine, it may be okay to spend a week or two in bed, clearing out accumulated toxicities." 
     Fever is an important part of the body’s defense against infection. Most bacteria and viruses that cause infections thrive at our normal body temperature of 98.6 °F. A fever signals that a battle might be going on in the body. It is considered an ally and a beneficial partner in the healing process.  By manifesting a fever, the elevated metabolic heat can burn off toxins and pathogens at a faster rate. During the higher body temperature the production of immune cells and the blood circulation is increased, sweating helps to eliminate toxins, not feeling hungry saves energy that would be otherwise needed for digestion and the resting helps recuperation and healing. After the fever has served its purpose the body returns to normal. As long as the fever doesn't rise too high or too quickly, holistic practitioners prefer to support the fever rather than suppress it. Fasting, rest, drinking plenty of fluids and beneficial herbs are used to encourage the purposes of a fever.
     All of this has me thinking about forest fires. Like the flu, they are another one of those things that we often think of as destructive and to be avoided at all costs, but recent research shows that forest fires are actually beneficial to soil because they play an important role in helping to maintain the earth's nitrogen cycle and serve important ecosystem functions. Some trees have fire resistant bark and cones that require heat to open and release seeds for regeneration.  Fires typically move through burning lower branches and clearing dead wood from the forest floor which kick-starts regeneration by providing ideal growing conditions. It also improves floor habitat for many species that prefer relatively open spaces. Fever is Nature's instrument indeed! 
     It is not surprising that I felt lighter, more balanced and regenerated after my bout with the flu! 
     Optimal nutrition and hydration, exercise, reduction of stress with Jin Shin Jyutsu, yoga and meditation,  and proper rest are some of the things you can do to boost your immune response. It is recommended to seek medical care if one’s fever is above 104 degrees for over six hours or in any fever in an infant under four months of age.
"The best and most efficient pharmacy is within your own system."
~Robert C. Peale

Jin Shin Jyutsu In the News

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." 
~Helen Keller 
      The Markey Cancer Center at the University of Kentucky offers Jin Shin Jyutsu (JSJ) free to its patients. JSJ practitioner Jennifer Bradley treats patients in a special therapy room or in their chair in the chemotherapy clinic. Research data from more than 450 sessions with 159 cancer patients revealed that all of these patients reported a decrease in stress, pain and nausea levels after JSJ. Based on this pilot data, Bradley's next study will examine if belief in JSJ, or spiritual beliefs in general, play a role in patient outcomes, as well as the therapy's impact on specific radiation side effects.
     "It was interesting to note that regardless of age, sex or diagnosis, cancer patients received a statistically significant improvement in the side effects from treatment," study researcher Jennifer Bradley, said in a statement. "It is encouraging to note that Jin Shin Jyutsu made improvements in these areas without adding additional unwanted effects that so often occur with medication interventions."
"One of the most sublime experiences we can ever have
is to wake up feeling healthy after we have been sick."
~Rabbi Harold Kushner


Stop the Swirl of Holiday Stress

Stop the Swirl of Holiday Stress

"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it."
~Sydney J. Harris
     As time winds down and we get closer to the Christmas-time Holidays and all the hustle and bustle the season brings, it is a good time to remind ourselves to stop and enjoy! We forget sometimes that the time to take time for ourselves is when we seem to have no time at all! I love the above quote and was reminded of it recently when I offered a session to a stressed-out friend. Her response was, "Oh, that sounds so nice. Maybe when things calm down, I will be able to take you up on your offer." I know that a session would have helped her to find some balance in her life, to calm things down for her, and improve her coping skills.
     In my experience, when we come at things from a place of balance, everything calms down. It is important to find ways to replenish our energy, so that we can continue to take care of our kids, spouse, job, family and friends. Another favorite quote of mine is by 
Sierra Goodman and says, "If your own cup is running over, you then have so much more to give to others. Fill your cup first, take care of yourself, do things that bring you joy, and others will benefit from your self love and appreciation overflow." Know that what we really need, is to take time BEFORE we get to the place where we have nothing left to give to the things/people that we care about!
     So, when you find yourself caught up in the swirl of holiday stress, just Stop. Hit the Pause Button. Remember your Breath. Take a moment in the Peaceful Center of the storm. And then Go with the Flow and remember that Peace and Calm are indeed possible in the midst of the holiday season.
"Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace."
~Joan Borysenko