Browsing articles in "reflexology"
Sep 7, 2014
Nancy Upton

My life on the (beauty) therapist’s couch

Robert Crampton has been trying to get in touch with his feminine side for years – by testing out every new beauty treatment. So when a new hands-on experience from Paris promised to help him drop a dress size …

Funny what life throws at you. I would never – could never – have imagined,
growing up as a (more or less) standard-issue heterosexual male (in the
Seventies, moreover, in the north of England), that I would have become at
the age of 50, if not yet an expert in, then certainly a veteran of, a wide range
of beauty, health, fitness and wellbeing treatments. Or therapies. Or
procedures. Or whatever. I’m sure you know the sort of caper I mean.

And yet that is what has come to pass. Toning and tanning. Plucking, prodding and
Pilatesising. Candling and (ouch) colonicing. Reflexology,

Sep 6, 2014
Nancy Upton

Aurora nurse herbalist offers reflexology demonstration at book launch party …

NAPERVILLE, Illinois (Sept. 5, 2014) – A nursing professor and author continues her mission to bridge the science and art of healing in her new book, Science of Energy Flow®: Foot Reflexology with Herbal Stress Relief.

Dr. Martha M. Libster is celebrating her new book with a book launch party 2:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Naperville location of C’zar Salon ¿ Spa in downtown Naperville, 237 W. Jefferson Ave.

Dr. Libster will talk about her book, demonstrate her approach to reflexology and be available to sign copies on the porch of the salon.

“Health care reform begins at home,” said Libster, a professor at Governors State University who is internationally known for her work on the complementarity of nursing practice, technology, and healing traditions. Author of the acclaimed 2012 book The Nurse Herbalist: Integrative Insights for Holistic Practice and the 2005 national award-winning book Herbal Diplomats, Libster in her new book offers her readers direct access to her 30 years as a practitioner and master teacher in foot reflexology, zone therapy, and topical herbal applications.

Science of Energy Flow®, available at all major book sellers, is published by Golden Apple Publications, an independent academic publishing company based in Naperville, Illinois, that provides health care providers and the public with quality books on healing, women’s history, and culture.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Science of Energy Flow®: Foot Reflexology with Herbal Stress Relief is a step-by-step guide for learning touch and visualization techniques for activating energy fields in the feet that correspond to the entire body and its systems. The Science of Energy Flow® is more than a simple foot massage; it incorporates the ancient healing traditions of foot reflexology, footbath ablution, and soothing herbal oils and wraps with new scientific understanding of ways to affect whole person healing through the hologram of the feet. The Science of Energy Flow® is a gentle but powerful remedy grounded in time-honored healing practices and contemporary scientific research that activates the divine blueprint for wholeness, body memory and healing of the body, mind, and spirit.

Contact information:
Monica Lee
847/683-9798 (landline) 630/945-2890 (cell)
monica@goldenapplehealingarts.com

Copyright © 2014, Chicago Tribune

Sep 5, 2014
Nancy Upton

‘Caring Hands’ program reaches out to cancer patients

When Kim Klocke’s best friend was diagnosed with cancer, she tried her best to lend a helping hand. She ended up using both hands.

“My friend was being treated for liver cancer at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester,” Klocke says, “and when I went to volunteer for anything I could do to help, they suggested the ‘Caring Hands’ program.”

Klocke then was trained to do non-licensed hand massages called “simple palliative interventions” on cancer patients receiving medical treatment.

After moving to Rapid City, Klocke approached Regional Health to volunteer at the John C. Vucurevich Cancer Institute. She connected the nurses and volunteers with the Mayo Clinic and is now the Volunteer Coordinator of the local Caring Hands Program.

“We have given almost 500 hand massages in the past year,” Klocke says.

She covers four shifts every week herself and has helped expand the program to 26 Regional Health Hospice volunteers outside the Institute.

She describes the hand massage Caring Hands volunteers administer as “light, gentle and not enough pressure so the skin bunches up” and will last as long as the patient wants to sit with the volunteer.

The overall objective is to lower the stress of the patient, as well as those offering support through the cancer experience with the patient.

Patients wait for radiation, to get into chemo, for blood work, “sometimes for hours,” Klocke says. “This can just add to the stress of the whole experience.

“People coming to receive radiation or chemotherapy on a regular basis really appreciate a hand massage,” Klocke explains. “There are so many people waiting to get treatments. It’s nice to provide relaxation and distraction for them and their family members as they wait.”

The right touch

As a licensed massage therapist and certified reflexologist, Don Roberts supports the idea of purposeful human touch to the list of cancer therapies.

“People who undergo treatment for cancer are constantly poked and prodded,” Roberts says. “Muscles are overworking to compensate for those being used in the healing process.”

Roberts, owner of Body and Sole in Rapid City, explains that cancer and subsequent treatments affect the circulatory system and cause the person to feel ill.

“It’s like going through traffic in a big city during rush hour.,” he says. If you overwork the body, it just jams up. We want to move the flow through the body in the easiest way.”

Massage and the one-on-one attention during therapy allow the person to feel better, Roberts says.

His goal is always to redirect fluids away from the surgery area, which is often swollen, and practices his Lymphatic Drainage Training through massage and reflexology.

“I just want to help the body do what it is already trying to do,” Roberts says.

Also, massage techniques quiet the stomach and allow the body to accept medicine better, Roberts says.

And even just a light touch can offer a soothing element to any patient, he says. “During massage, you are paying attention to them, not just to the procedure.”

Healing hands

Additional emotional benefits are unlocked as the patient relaxes during massage, Klocke says.

“Because of the simple human touch, 99 percent of the time, you touch a patient’s hands and they want to share their story and talk,” she says. “We Caring Hands volunteers are good listeners, too.”

Marlene Tucker of Custer was starting bi-weekly chemotherapy last March when she met Klocke.

”I was having chemo, and one day Kim came in and she had such a wonderful smile on her face and asked me if I wanted a hand massage. My first thought was ‘Absolutely!’ It was the most wonderful thing.”

Tucker remembers telling Klocke she felt so relaxed that if she fell asleep, Klocke could just turn off the light after the massage ended. Klocke adds that many patients express a reduced stress level as she gives them a hand massage.

“Some patients wear a constant blood pressure cuff, so I have literally seen people’s blood pressure drop 20 points right there,” she says.

Klocke says the Institute is always short-handed, as patient needs exceed the available assistance, but affirms that the benefits of massage for cancer patients extend to the volunteers as well.

“It’s such a great volunteer job,” she says. “It’s very rewarding to leave feeling like you made a tiny bit of difference.”

The regular hand massages made a big difference to Tucker.

“Having a hand massage and a nice conversation was one of the things I looked forward to when I had to go to chemo,” she says. “It just made me feel so comfortable.”

Sep 4, 2014
Nancy Upton

Moonlight yoga class in Liberty raises money for dog park

Orange gave way to the deep blue of late evening sky as the cloudy edge of that afternoon’s rainstorm receded above people arranging their yoga mats into street-grid rows in a field at Liberty’s Stocksdale Park.

The dim light could outline only silhouettes by the time the hill hosting Moonlight Yoga fully embraced the colored rectangles and bending, bowing bodies.

Over the small public-address system that instructor Patti Stark brought to make herself heard over the prattle of cicadas and grasshoppers, Stark took most of the credit for the rain’s sudden departure.

“God and the weather angels and I, we had a talk early this morning,” Stark, 46, told her students.

So what’s a meteorological miracle going for these days?

“It turns out I’m giving up chocolate for a while,” the instructor said to laughter.

As Soul2Soul, a three-part harmony and guitar ensemble, tuned and started setting the mood, 50 or so yogis warmed up their bodies and kept their eyes toward the brilliant cosmic rarity concealed by the remaining clouds above.

“It’s a, uh, what’s it called? A supermoon, right?” Kristi Soligo Fleshman said, hugging a knee.

She was referring to the moon’s unusually large appearance that August evening as it hit its closest point to Earth in orbit — the perigee. The closeness gives the “perigean moon” a noticeably larger profile.

“Everyone’s making a really big deal about this,” Soligo Fleshman said.

“But for me, it seems more spiritual being out in nature and the universe and the moon — even though there’s clouds, and they need to go away,” Soligo Fleshman said, waving her hand at the misty sky. “There’s something surreal about it.”

Stark is open to the notion that moonlight adds elegance — and a cachet — to the practice of yoga, but any claims beyond that are pure speculation.

Still, these nighttime yoga sessions have always been freighted with deep fascination coming from a place within Stark that refuses to grow up.

“I mean, who as a kid didn’t love being outside under the light of a full moon?” she said. “It’s just that whole coolness of, hey, let’s hang out under the moonlight.”

By night, when the weather is warm enough and the moon is full, you’ll find Stark leading Moonlight Yoga, doing sun salutations under the stars. By day, she’s an instructor at Serenity on the Square, her yoga studio in downtown Liberty.

Stark’s monthly summer ritual does more than just lift spirits, though. It’s a fundraiser for Stocksdale Park’s off-leash dog park, which was constructed in the fall of 2011.

Moonlight Yoga has pulled in just shy of $1,500 since the tradition began in 2012.

Growing community interest led to the creation of the dog park, and it has been funded mostly by private donations to the Liberty Parks and Recreation Department Charitable Fund.

Former Mayor Greg Canuteson said the recession restrained the city’s ability to launch new projects, but the $9,500 in donated funds covered about 90 percent of the cost of building the off-leash area.

Before long, Canuteson recruited Stark for the fund’s leadership, specifically to see that the dog park flourished.

He credited numerous individuals, including Eagle Scouts and Friends of the Dog Park as well as Stark, for contributing to the citizen-led effort to enhance the park.

Stark approached the fund’s board members with the idea that became Moonlight Yoga, and she quickly got the green light.

Canuteson said Moonlight Yoga and other benefactors have fostered a culture of private investment in the dog park, which continues to enjoy a consistent stream of charitable donations because of it.

“People like Patti Stark have made that possible,” the former mayor said.

Stark just wanted to show her support in the best way she knew how.

“I thought, ‘What a cool thing for me to raise money doing what I’m passionate about,’” Stark said.

And to do it for someone she’s passionate about.

That would be Stark’s 2-year-old border collie, Sushi, an avid dog park enthusiast. Around Sushi’s house, “dog park” is a term that has to be spelled out letter by letter unless you’re prepared to follow through with an actual visit.

On the surface, yoga would seem to have little to do with dogs, but Stark said they’re more alike than not.

In their own niches, both dog owners and yoga practitioners become members of a fraternity formed by a shared interest.

“People who love dogs … have that sense of community, that sense of we’re all in this together,” she said.

The first Moonlight Yoga sessions were spare affairs with 10 to 15 people moving into poses sound-tracked by an iPod.

This summer’s events are accompanied by Soul2Soul, which Stark formed with friends Mary Jilka and Sophie Falcon-Cordero.

In the time between the iPod and consistent appearances by Soul2Soul, Stark recruited various musical acts to play at the lunar sessions.

One of the acts at last summer’s practice was the son of Stark’s longtime friend and mentor Marti Lee.

Lee was there for that evening’s Moonlight Yoga session and remembers the sensory magic — strong blue light from the cosmos, fireflies, crickets — an experience mediated by someone she described as an especially sensitive, caring and intuitive teacher.

The two met 10 years ago. Stark had been teaching meditation for six years when she walked into the yoga class that Lee was teaching at Gold’s Gym in Gladstone. It was Stark’s first yoga session ever.

The highlight for Stark was how the instructor not only moved everyone through the poses but created an experience. It reminded her a lot of the more familiar sensory territory inside her meditation practices. Stark said Lee suddenly helped the universe make a lot of sense all at once.

“You know where you have that moment where you’re like, ‘Huh, OK, it’s all coming together’? It was that moment,” Stark said.

She approached Lee after class, and the rapport was immediate.

A decade ago, Lee’s class was one the few places in Northland to practice yoga, but Stark said Lee has created a following north of the Missouri River — and more than a few teachers.

“Not to mention I opened my business,” Stark said.

She acquired Serenity on the Square, 14 E. Franklin St., in June 2008 and turned what was a massage and reflexology center into a yoga studio.

Lee followed suit in 2012 and opened InBliss Yoga at 5106 N.W. Waukomis Drive in Kansas City.

As a business owner, Stark sees herself as someone with, metaphorically speaking, a bouquet of flowers she’d like to share with as many people possible.

“For me, anything I can do to have a more enjoyable life is good. Yoga and meditation — these are the things I do in my own life, and it brings me joy,” Stark said. “And if I can share it with others, why not?”

As Jilka walked around the yoga mats, picking a gentle transition from a G to an A minor, Stark stood before the class and meditated on the meaning of the supermoon.

“It’s about trust,” she said establishing the thesis. “It’s a reminder of how full our lives are and that we’re already full. Not only are our lives full, but we are full as well.”

The first poses put the yoga enthusiasts flat on their backs. With an indoor practice, eyes are usually closed to imagine a something more interesting than a ceiling. But on this night, eyes remained wide open as the breaking clouds revealed stars dusted with traces of lunar glow.

“Let’s just let go of the weekend,” Stark said.

“That’s it: in and out,” she said marking a cadence for the students’ breathing while Soul2Soul began marking out the first verses of the Coldplay song “Yellow.”

After a series of easier, ground-based poses, Stark moved the students through sun salutations, a movement cycle that takes one from standing to bent over to all fours — the famed “down dog” — to prone with the chest up, what’s known as “cobra.”

Stark narrated the session, not just with instructions for poses, but with a stream-of-consciousness meditation on self and meaning. She spoke in soft tones, pausing every now and then to participate in the practice.

“Ask what’s inside you. What could you affirm to the world?” she said as the bodies silently locked themselves in to the upside-down V’s of down dog — simultaneous movements paled by diffuse light. “What if you could shoot to the moon, right?”

Incoming Kearney High School seniors Julia Tucholski and Mary Gravis — both new to the practice — were happy to leave planet for the moment.

“It’s just so peaceful out here being in nature,” Tucholski said. “Like all the stress and tension is gone.”

Though this was Gravis’ first time as a yogi, she seemed pretty sure she’d be returning to yoga as her senior year wore on.

It wouldn’t be until after the mats had been rolled up, after cars chasing light took everyone back to their respective lives, that the supermoon was fully revealed, washing the grassy field in its brilliant light.

More Moonlight Yoga

The next session of Moonlight Yoga will be at 9 p.m. Sept. 9 at Stocksdale Park, 901 S. La Frenz Road in Liberty. There is no admission fee, but donations to the off-leash dog park are welcome.

An October date will be announced later, provided the warm weather lasts.

Sep 3, 2014
Nancy Upton

Nurturing body and mind in the moonlight, nighttime yoga class in Liberty …

Orange gave way to the deep blue of late evening sky as the cloudy edge of that afternoon’s rainstorm receded above people arranging their yoga mats into street-grid rows in a field at Liberty’s Stocksdale Park.

The dim light could outline only silhouettes by the time the hill hosting Moonlight Yoga fully embraced the colored rectangles and bending, bowing bodies.

Over the small public-address system that instructor Patti Stark brought to make herself heard over the prattle of cicadas and grasshoppers, Stark took most of the credit for the rain’s sudden departure.

“God and the weather angels and I, we had a talk early this morning,” Stark, 46, told her students.

So what’s a meteorological miracle going for these days?

“It turns out I’m giving up chocolate for a while,” the instructor said to laughter.

As Soul2Soul, a three-part harmony and guitar ensemble, tuned and started setting the mood, 50 or so yogis warmed up their bodies and kept their eyes toward the brilliant cosmic rarity concealed by the remaining clouds above.

“It’s a, uh, what’s it called? A supermoon, right?” Kristi Soligo Fleshman said, hugging a knee.

She was referring to the moon’s unusually large appearance that August evening as it hit its closest point to Earth in orbit — the perigee. The closeness gives the “perigean moon” a noticeably larger profile.

“Everyone’s making a really big deal about this,” Soligo Fleshman said.

“But for me, it seems more spiritual being out in nature and the universe and the moon — even though there’s clouds, and they need to go away,” Soligo Fleshman said, waving her hand at the misty sky. “There’s something surreal about it.”

Stark is open to the notion that moonlight adds elegance — and a cachet — to the practice of yoga, but any claims beyond that are pure speculation.

Still, these nighttime yoga sessions have always been freighted with deep fascination coming from a place within Stark that refuses to grow up.

“I mean, who as a kid didn’t love being outside under the light of a full moon?” she said. “It’s just that whole coolness of, hey, let’s hang out under the moonlight.”

By night, when the weather is warm enough and the moon is full, you’ll find Stark leading Moonlight Yoga, doing sun salutations under the stars. By day, she’s an instructor at Serenity on the Square, her yoga studio in downtown Liberty.

Stark’s monthly summer ritual does more than just lift spirits, though. It’s a fundraiser for Stocksdale Park’s off-leash dog park, which was constructed in the fall of 2011.

Moonlight Yoga has pulled in just shy of $1,500 since the tradition began in 2012.

Growing community interest led to the creation of the dog park, and it has been funded mostly by private donations to the Liberty Parks and Recreation Department Charitable Fund.

Former Mayor Greg Canuteson said the recession restrained the city’s ability to launch new projects, but the $9,500 in donated funds covered about 90 percent of the cost of building the off-leash area.

Before long, Canuteson recruited Stark for the fund’s leadership, specifically to see that the dog park flourished.

He credited numerous individuals, including Eagle Scouts and Friends of the Dog Park as well as Stark, for contributing to the citizen-led effort to enhance the park.

Stark approached the fund’s board members with the idea that became Moonlight Yoga, and she quickly got the green light.

Canuteson said Moonlight Yoga and other benefactors have fostered a culture of private investment in the dog park, which continues to enjoy a consistent stream of charitable donations because of it.

“People like Patti Stark have made that possible,” the former mayor said.

Stark just wanted to show her support in the best way she knew how.

“I thought, ‘What a cool thing for me to raise money doing what I’m passionate about,’” Stark said.

And to do it for someone she’s passionate about.

That would be Stark’s 2-year-old border collie, Sushi, an avid dog park enthusiast. Around Sushi’s house, “dog park” is a term that has to be spelled out letter by letter unless you’re prepared to follow through with an actual visit.

On the surface, yoga would seem to have little to do with dogs, but Stark said they’re more alike than not.

In their own niches, both dog owners and yoga practitioners become members of a fraternity formed by a shared interest.

“People who love dogs … have that sense of community, that sense of we’re all in this together,” she said.

The first Moonlight Yoga sessions were spare affairs with 10 to 15 people moving into poses sound-tracked by an iPod.

This summer’s events are accompanied by Soul2Soul, which Stark formed with friends Mary Jilka and Sophie Falcon-Cordero.

In the time between the iPod and consistent appearances by Soul2Soul, Stark recruited various musical acts to play at the lunar sessions.

One of the acts at last summer’s practice was the son of Stark’s longtime friend and mentor Marti Lee.

Lee was there for that evening’s Moonlight Yoga session and remembers the sensory magic — strong blue light from the cosmos, fireflies, crickets — an experience mediated by someone she described as an especially sensitive, caring and intuitive teacher.

The two met 10 years ago. Stark had been teaching meditation for six years when she walked into the yoga class that Lee was teaching at Gold’s Gym in Gladstone. It was Stark’s first yoga session ever.

The highlight for Stark was how the instructor not only moved everyone through the poses but created an experience. It reminded her a lot of the more familiar sensory territory inside her meditation practices. Stark said Lee suddenly helped the universe make a lot of sense all at once.

“You know where you have that moment where you’re like, ‘Huh, OK, it’s all coming together’? It was that moment,” Stark said.

She approached Lee after class, and the rapport was immediate.

A decade ago, Lee’s class was one the few places in Northland to practice yoga, but Stark said Lee has created a following north of the Missouri River — and more than a few teachers.

“Not to mention I opened my business,” Stark said.

She acquired Serenity on the Square, 14 E. Franklin St., in June 2008 and turned what was a massage and reflexology center into a yoga studio.

Lee followed suit in 2012 and opened InBliss Yoga at 5106 N.W. Waukomis Drive in Kansas City.

As a business owner, Stark sees herself as someone with, metaphorically speaking, a bouquet of flowers she’d like to share with as many people possible.

“For me, anything I can do to have a more enjoyable life is good. Yoga and meditation — these are the things I do in my own life, and it brings me joy,” Stark said. “And if I can share it with others, why not?”

As Jilka walked around the yoga mats, picking a gentle transition from a G to an A minor, Stark stood before the class and meditated on the meaning of the supermoon.

“It’s about trust,” she said establishing the thesis. “It’s a reminder of how full our lives are and that we’re already full. Not only are our lives full, but we are full as well.”

The first poses put the yoga enthusiasts flat on their backs. With an indoor practice, eyes are usually closed to imagine a something more interesting than a ceiling. But on this night, eyes remained wide open as the breaking clouds revealed stars dusted with traces of lunar glow.

“Let’s just let go of the weekend,” Stark said.

“That’s it: in and out,” she said marking a cadence for the students’ breathing while Soul2Soul began marking out the first verses of the Coldplay song “Yellow.”

After a series of easier, ground-based poses, Stark moved the students through sun salutations, a movement cycle that takes one from standing to bent over to all fours — the famed “down dog” — to prone with the chest up, what’s known as “cobra.”

Stark narrated the session, not just with instructions for poses, but with a stream-of-consciousness meditation on self and meaning. She spoke in soft tones, pausing every now and then to participate in the practice.

“Ask what’s inside you. What could you affirm to the world?” she said as the bodies silently locked themselves in to the upside-down V’s of down dog — simultaneous movements paled by diffuse light. “What if you could shoot to the moon, right?”

Incoming Kearney High School seniors Julia Tucholski and Mary Gravis — both new to the practice — were happy to leave planet for the moment.

“It’s just so peaceful out here being in nature,” Tucholski said. “Like all the stress and tension is gone.”

Though this was Gravis’ first time as a yogi, she seemed pretty sure she’d be returning to yoga as her senior year wore on.

It wouldn’t be until after the mats had been rolled up, after cars chasing light took everyone back to their respective lives, that the supermoon was fully revealed, washing the grassy field in its brilliant light.

More Moonlight Yoga

The next session of Moonlight Yoga will be at 9 p.m. Sept. 9 at Stocksdale Park, 901 S. La Frenz Road in Liberty. There is no admission fee, but donations to the off-leash dog park are welcome.

An October date will be announced later, provided the warm weather lasts.

Sep 2, 2014
Nancy Upton

Focus on mind, body, spirit

Healing Hearts Fair

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6

Pine Grove Community Center

225 Laneda Ave., Manzanita

503-516-3243

Free

Posted: Monday, September 1, 2014 5:00 pm

Focus on mind, body, spirit


0 comments

MANZANITA — Come to the Pine Grove Community Center for a Healing Hearts Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6. This free community event will present to the public a range of different healing methods – mind, body and spirit – all under one roof.

The fair will feature items for sale including art prints, suncatchers, jewelry, sacred objects, ceremonial supplies, stone crystals, healing herbs, hand-crafted items and more.

Vendors will provide services like massage, energy healing, astrology, palmistry, intuitive and tarot readings, psychic readings and energy portraits. Visitors can find life coaches, nutritional counselors and more. You can also learn about the alternative medicines of reiki, reflexology and qigong.

Participating vendors include Lane deMoll of Lane’s Greenwitch Garden; Dana Zia of Shamanic Astrology; Luna Dauhnn of Red Spiral Hand; Janet Maher of Three Village Massage; Roxanne Celestine of Bear Foot Woman; Vivi Tallman of Tall Woman Tonics; Sharon Frantz of Rose Forest Remedies; Cindy McGonagle; Rena Hatch of Stretch Beyond Stuck; Connie Brindell of Total Reflexology NW; Cimi; Solara Jayne; Brooke Duling of Love Warrior Gardens; Kathleen Moore; Cerridwin Martin of Carrot Wings Healing Arts; Mindi Bender of Living Dreams Reflexology and Reiki; and Maia Holliday of Maia de Gaia’s Garden.

The event is produced by Red Spiral Hand. Pine Grove Community House is located at 225 Laneda Ave. For more information, visit www.healingheartsfair.com, email red@redspiralhand.com or call 503-516-3243.

© 2014 Coast Weekend. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Sep 1, 2014
Nancy Upton

4 Alternative Treatments to Uplift Your Work Self

Now that you have the long weekend ahead of you, you should take some time to invigorate yourself over the holiday. If work has been getting to you, consider and explore these four alternative treatments.

  • Acupuncture: There are certain points on your body that harnesses your body energy or chi. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice that manipulates needles on your body to treat all sorts of ailments from pain to stress. It’s definitely something you should check out if you’re feeling a little haggard lately. The effects of acupuncture will last briefly after your first treatment, and you need to go for a couple more sessions to see a longer lasting effect. It’s advisable to see an acupuncturist after work or on the weekends because acupuncture can sometimes tire a person out, especially if they are new to it.
  • Reflexology: Reflexology or foot massage works similar to acupuncture. The Chinese believe that certain points on your foot are linked to parts of your body. When you visit a reflexologist, remember to tell them what problems you’ve been having so they know what to focus on. Reflexology actually works really well in regards to energizing people, while acupuncture has more of a calming effect.
  • Herbs and supplements: Make an appointment to meet with someone who is proficient in alternative medicine, perhaps a traditional Chinese medicine doctor or an integrative care doctor. Ask them about herbs and supplements you can take that will help you if you’re suffering from symptoms of burnout. For example, omega-3 oil is very good for brain health and theanine, an extract found in green tea, has calming effects. If you’re on medication or are being treated for a medical condition, don’t take anything before you get it approved with your primary care physician.
  • Talk therapy: Sometimes, all you need is a friendly ear. Maybe your friends don’t really want to talk work with you because it reminds them of their jobs, and maybe your partner has had enough of hearing about your stresses. Perhaps you should consider making an appointment with a therapist to talk things out. This way, you’ll be able to get an objective opinion from someone who is not part of your life, and perhaps you’ll be able to confide things in them that you haven’t been able to share with anyone.

Still need some cheering up? Check out these free ways to increase your happiness.


Aug 31, 2014
Nancy Upton

Brian Groder Trio – Reflexology (2014)

When Brian Groder issued FluiDensity with pianist Tonino Miano last year, it struck me as “an elegant dance between jazz and classical”, but the broad-minded Groder finds more than one way to make improvisational music. Reflexology — released last month — presents Groder in a trio format, playing songs that stick to the far modern jazz side of things. Crucially, he chose sympathetic partners for this cause, drummer Jay Rosen (Joe McPhee, Sonny Simmons) and Michael Bisio of the Matthew Shipp Trio.

Through this collection of eight tunes, Groder eases his trio through twisting melodies that blur the distinction between what’s improv and what’s charted. With no full chords at hand, Groder leans on Bisio to make up the gap, who tracks perfectly with the trumpeter on his sinuous themes and then discreetly slips out to solo. All the while, Bisio stays in touch with Rosen, and both alternate between keeping time and venturing out to follow the flow.

“What Not,” the opening track, sets this sort of tempo for the album. Groder moves to his own rhythm in an elliptical orbit around the rhythm section. Bisio knows just what to do, playing in lock-step with Groder when the head needs to be presented and peeling away for his own interpretation which he does while serving as the vital link between Groder’s horn and Rosen’s drums. “Hexadox” is structured in a similar fashion: another trumpet-bass head , some cooked-just-right trumpet soloing and an eventual return to the head. But before then Groder leads the trio briefly down some side alleys and they stay right with him. The pensive, nocturnal “Tarried Breath” slows down the pace with Bisio taking a turn with a bow. Groder does an exquisite job melding his trumpet with the arco bass.

Each time out by Groder is a different adventure, but he consistently creates sketches of definable character performed open-ended but never unhinged and above all, polished. Reflexology attains all of those things, with a rhythm section that acts as a natural extension of its leader.

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Aug 30, 2014
Nancy Upton

Five Questions with Laura Johnson: Woman brings traditional reflexology to … – Casper Star

Laura Johnson can’t take prescription drugs.

“I’ve been into the alternative/complementary medicine for a long time because I have been always allergic to prescriptions drugs, medication and things like that,” she said. “So, I had to find another way to stay healthy.”

The Casper woman opened Aromatherapy by Laura J. last fall. She started selling essential oils and offering consultations and mixes before adding reflexology.

Reflexology is a complementary therapy in which pressure is applied to nerves in the feet, hands or ears. These nerves correspond with glands, organs and other parts of the body.

There are many different methods of reflexology, three of which are offered in Casper. Johnson’s is the first traditional method to be offered.

A year ago, Johnson started studying toward a certificate in reflexology using the Ingham method.

“Eunice Ingham is the founder, and she is the person credited with mapping the foot and the hands to say that this is the reflex point on the foot that corresponds to the neck, the liver, things like that,” Johnson said. “It’s quite an extensive training program.”

Johnson has completed all of the training and practical requirements but still needs to take a four-hour test.

Q: How does the Ingam method differ from other types of reflexology?

A: I looked into a number of them, and the Ingham method required more hours of training and more clinical training. There are places where you can do it all on the Internet and there’s no practical training. I just want to know what I’m doing and I want people to know that I know what I’m doing. That is why I’m going to get the certification.

Q: What are some myths about reflexology?

A: That it’s massage. That it’s a foot rub. …

Massage therapists, in training, get a little bit of reflexology, but they don’t get the in-depth stuff that I’ve had. They work on feet, and they do it more generically, because they’re trying to get the whole body done.

I think some people are afraid, because they have ticklish feet, that it’s going to bother them. I haven’t had anybody with ticklish feet that has felt tickled.

A lot of people think it’s going to hurt. There are some times and places where I say, “You foot’s going to be a little tender,” and that indicates that there is an issue going on in your body in that particular area. It’s sort of like what we call a good-hurt, like when we exercise at the gym.

Q: Is there anything that surprises you about reflexology?

A: How well it really works. I’ve had so-called reflexology — I call it generic reflexology — before, where it’s more like a foot massage. When I had my [rotator cuff] surgery …. and when I have somebody who knows what they’re doing do reflexology on my feet, my arm stops hurting.

What’s the biggest challenge to operating a reflexology business in Casper?

A: The challenge here in Casper has to do with the lack of education about reflexology. The people don’t know what it is, they don’t know how it’s done and they don’t know how it works. The other challenges are really just getting new people in the door to try it for the first time.

Q: How often do you recommend people get reflexology?

A: Miracles do happen, but one session may not do much.

Reflexology is an accumulative result. So, it’s better to do a shorter time frame and more frequently until your body starts to adapt and then … stretch it out a little bit.

Aug 29, 2014
Nancy Upton

Monique Lhuillier’s Countdown to the Big Day

 Monique Lhuillier’s Countdown to the Big Day

Photo: Vincent Peters/Trunk Archive

From weddings to red carpets, Drew Barrymore to Kristen Stewart, designer Monique Lhuillier knows how to make any woman look gorgeous pretty much anywhere. Those showstopping dresses, however, are only one part of the equation. There’s hair, makeup, and the need to stay zen throughout the lead up to a big event like, say, your wedding, so we asked Lhuillier what kind of advice she gives brides. 

Four Weeks Before: Lhuillier tells her brides to indulge in wellness-related activities to help counter the inevitable stress that comes with planning a wedding. “Yoga and meditation channel energy to help you relax,” Lhuillier says. A full body deep tissue massage, or reflexology, is a great de-stressor toward which she steers brides.

Three Weeks Before: Lhuillier believes that fitness plays a crucial role in looking your best, along with countering stress, and she encourages her brides to stay active every day starting three weeks prior. “Beauty is not just makeup, it is about fitness and energy, too,” she says. “It all works together.”

Two Week Before: “More water, less carbs,” is Lhuillier’s pre-wedding diet advice. She also suggests minimizing alcohol consumption and taking out dairy to keep your skin clear and minimize puffiness. On a more fun note, this is the time to focus on your hair. “It will look more natural and ethereal for your wedding day if you cut it two weeks prior and give it time to grow in a bit,” Lhuillier says. You also want to do a test run of your wedding day hairstyle. “Stay true to your personal style with hair. This isn’t the time to try a totally different look.”

10 Days Before:  “You never want to do a facial tooclose to the wedding because it might peel or be red which isn’t exactly ideal,” says Lhuillier.  Instead she advises booking your facialist with plenty of time for the skin to recover and look its best.

One Week Before:  If you normally color or highlight your hair, Lhuillier says this is the optimal time to see your colorist. It looks too done straight from the salon,” she says. “After a week the color washes out a little and it looks more natural.”

Day Of: Lhuillier’s bridal beauty philosophy is that less is more. “You are so happy and glowing on your wedding day. That is something to embrace, rather than hide underneath layers of foundation,” she says. “It looks very dated when brides wear too much makeup.” Instead, she recommends highlighting the eye and keeping the rest of your makeup soft. “A pretty eye, and soft lip is how I like to see my brides.”  

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