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What is Energy Work?

Reiki, Polarity, Healing (Therapeutic) Touch, and Huna

body auras

The energy field
extends up to
six feet outward
from the physical
body. Public domain
graphic.

In the last half century scientists in biophysics laboratories all over the world have proved what indigenous peoples and Oriental physicians have been saying for thousands of years- human beings are surrounded by energy fields, and sickness shows up in the energy field before it shows up in the body.

What is more, the human energy field can be healed. This can prevent illness in our physical bodies.

There are two primary ancient schools of describing the energy field, both originating in the East. The first is the Aryuvedic tradition that describes the chakra system and originates in India. The second is the Taoist system of Traditional Chinese Medicine that describes the meridians. It is the one used in acupuncture and acupressure and massage modalities like Shiatsu.

In the West, we tend to borrow from both of the ancient systems and from the systems of indigenous peoples when talking about energy healing. Biophysics is also giving us new language with which to discuss how energy healing works. Amazingly, in laboratories all over the world, the systems of both India and China are proving to be accurate beyond what anyone might believe possible.

the chakra system

Each chakra has a frequency that
corresponds with color and tone.

Reiki is a healing system that focuses on the chakras and the aura of energy that surrounds the human body. The major chakras are seven energy centers that are located along the spine, and they energize certain physical, emotional, and mental capabilities. A problem in the root chakra at the base of your spine near the coccyx, for example, might show up as constipation, insecurity or addictions. For more on the chakra system, click our blog here.

There are minor chakras, too. These are mostly located at joints. If you have received Reiki or the Hawaiian energy modality Huna, you may have noticed the practitioner concentrating her hands on the sites of the major chakras or along your joints. Often this is intuitive on the part of the therapist, but it seems that when the energy of the chakras is balanced, physical and emotional difficulties diminish.

Polarity Therapy is another modality that uses the Aryuvedic system. It concentrates more on the nadis, the energy pathways described by the yogis. According to Polarity Therapy principles, the front of the body is more positive and the back, the upper part more positive than the lower, etc. Using the polarity of the therapist's body, energy imbalances can be corrected. through an understanding of these polar principles.

The Chinese system of energy differs a bit from the Indian. The Chinese call the energy pathways meridians and speak more of the three dan t'iens. Acupuncture is the most well known alternative therapy that uses this system, but several massage modalities incorporate its principles, including Shiatsu, Tuina, and Thai Massage. Touch for Health Kinesiology relies on the meridian system heavily.

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Add Massage to Your Weight Loss Program

If one of your New Year's resolutions included losing a few pounds, you need to know about the benefits of regular massage. Massage reduces stress levels and can help your muscles release toxins after a workout.

As odd as it may seem, relaxation is key to losing weight. Studies indicate that long-term stress, not over-eating, may be at the root of many people's inability to shed unwanted pounds. Read on to find out why.

The adrenal glands produce two hormones that come to our aid and trigger the "fight or flight" response. One of these is adrenaline, and the other is cortisol. Cortisol's job is to help your body produce more glucose from protein so that you have energy to confront or evade a threat. When cortisol is released as a response to run-of-the-mill, everyday stressors instead of a real "fight or flight" dangers, the excess glucose is converted to fat.

woman measuring waist
Image: Luigi Diamanti /
FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Typically, this cortisol fat is abdominal fat. This extra belly fat is one of the most dangerous kinds of fat to our health because it is related to greater danger of numerous other diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and hypertension— all diseases that have a connection to stress.

Excess cortisol in the blood can also lead to depression, which in turn can lead to unhealthy emotional eating, especially of foods that ramp up production of the feel-good brain chemical, serotonin. Chocolate and most starchy carbs fall into this category.

Research in several studies indicates that even a 15 minute chair massage can reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol levels did not drop in control groups. Furthermore, reduction of cortisol acts to boost the immune system generally, decrease pain, and induce more restful sleep. Clearly, massage can be seen as preventative health care and not just as an indulgence.

Another way massage can help with weight-loss is by making workouts easier. Massage therapists can employ PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) stretches or other techniques to improve your range of motion. Likewise, massage works to increase circulation and lymphatic flow so that you can better release the waste products that build up during a workout. Improved circulation and lymphatic flow helps to heal the microscopic tears in the muscle fibers that come from unaccustomed exertion by taking oxygen and white blood cells to the site of injury. In fact, massage is an integral part of most professional athletes' training regimen.

Releasing trigger points will also improve your range of motion and make workouts easier and their aftermath less painful. Trigger points are taut bands of muscle that inhibit movement and refer pain to other sites in the body. When the rest of the muscle relaxes, they stay contracted, and the result is pain.

Other massage techniques that helps you lose weight are lymphatic drainage and massage cupping, a technique that applies "reverse pressure" to the body, using glass or plastic suction cups that are massaged along problem areas in the direction of natural lymphatic flow. Both methods help the body release dead cells (including fat cells) and may stimulate sluggish metabolism.

Although it sounds contradictory to add a relaxation component to a weight-loss plan, massage has proven itself to help people reduce the stress that can cause weight gain and to improve athletic flexibility, performance and recovery time.

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Respiratory Self-Care

Things you can do during the cold and flu season so you can breathe

sneeze with spray

The Sneeze (public domain: Wikimedia) CDC Public Health Image library ID 11162

When the temperature dips, we stay indoors more, and it is easy to catch a "bug" from someone else. Furthermore, the dust from heat sources and indoor living may aggravate allergies while the change of temperature from outside to inside often causes the nose to dry out and/or drip. (Cold air is dryer than warm air, and the lack of the humidity plays havoc with the sinuses.)

Whether you suffer from dry sinuses, have allergies or catch a cold or the flu during the winter, there are a number of self-help strategies you can use to recover more quickly. In general, you need to stay warm, rest more, increase your fluids, add more humidity to your living space with a vaporizer or a humidifier, breathe steam from the shower or even a bowl, and if you smoke, at least stop over the period of time you are congested.

If your symptoms include the typical runny nose or post-nasal drip, sore throat, watery eyes, blocked ears, and/or headache, but not fever and chills or discolored (yellow or green) mucus which indicate infection, herbal and other over-the-counter remedies will help get your over the worst. Saline nasal spray moisturizes the nasal passages and can be used as needed. Neti pots with saline solutions can relieve congestion and promote drainage, but they should not be used if the mucus is discolored as they can force infection into the other sinuses. If you use a medicated OTC nasal spray, you can actually become dependant on it, so don't use it for more than three consecutive days.

A few drops of essential oils like rosemary or cypress or a slave that contains similar ingredients dabbed above the eyebrows and along the cheekbones can open the sinuses. (Avoid getting these into the eyes.) My favorite recipe is 3 drops tea tree oil, 3 drops eucalyptus oil, and 3 drops peppermint oil in a cup of boiling water; cover the head with a towel and breathe in this great steam to open the head. You can also add this recipe to a tablespoon of olive oil and drop it in achy ears if they hurt because of sinus congestion. Even drinking hot liquids can help, and there are a number of herbal teas that create a marvelous steam that opens the sinuses.

A OTC drug called guaifenesin is found in many cold remedies and acts as an expectorant to loosen phlegm in the chest and to thin nasal mucus. It is often found in combination with OTC decongestants like pseudoephedrine, but you are limited to how much pseudoephedrine you can buy in any period because it can be used to make methamphetamine. There are similar decongestants on the market, and if allergies are involved, you may also need an antihistamine.

Many folks swear by natural remedies like zinc, echinacea, garlic, and vitamin C that may shorten the life of a cold. One OTC remedy of this type that is popular is Air-Borne, but there are others, too. Chicken soup has an anti-inflammatory in it that may reduce bronchial and other inflammation, and so it not just an old-wives' remedy. If your throat is sore, you can make a gargle of a half teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water. Another soothing home remedy gargle is a mixture of lemon juice, honey and warm water.

It is also important to remember that most colds and the flu are caused by viruses. Viruses don't respond to antibiotics, and if you insist that your doctor give you an antibiotic, you may only be decreasing your chances that that particular antibiotic will be effective when you really need it for a bacterial infection. On the other hand, sinus infections are often caused by bacteria, and then an antibiotic is necessary. See you physician so that you can know for sure if you have a bacterial or viral infection. This is especially true if you have a fever of 101 or higher or if you don't improve after a couple of days or get worse. Dizziness, hacking coughs, discolored mucus and labored or rasping breath are also indications you may need to see a doctor.

No one wants to be sick, but with good self-care, you can survive the more frequent winter respiratory maladies.

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Essential Oil of the Month:
Rosemary

rosemary
Rosemary Plant
Public Domain from
wpclipart.com

When we recently attended Sinus Massage and Lymphatic Drainage training, I was surprised to learn that rosemary essential oil is excellent for opening the sinuses. I've used a number of other oils, such as eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, and cypress for this purpose, but I have never used rosemary.

I like the herb rosemary on chicken and other meats, but I was unaware that it comes from the mint family as do basil and sage, which also surprised me. The oil comes from the plant's leaves, and it has been used as a health remedy since ancient times. In fact, the medieval physician Paracelsus claimed that it strengthened the entire body.

Today it is well-known for its ability to reduce respiratory problems. It relieves throat congestion, and its antibacterial, antifungal properties make it good for treating respiratory infections, allergies, colds, sore throat and flu. Furthermore, it is antispasmodic and thus good for asthma. Diffusing the oil can help clean and deodorize the air in a home or sick room so that others don't get sick. The scent is pleasant and uplifting.

Rosemary is good for indigestion, which is an added benefit when it is used to season food in its herbal form. However, the pure oil can can be harmful to the digestive tract and should not be consumed. Alternatively, it can be diluted and rubbed into the abdomen or used with a compress for flatulence and menstrual cramps with good result.

Like most of the mints, rosemary oil is good for improving mental clarity and energy. It acts as a brain and nerve tonic, and it is a good remedy for forgetfulness, depression, and fatigue. Its aroma lifts the spirits immediately and gives you a mental boost.

Finally, rosemary essential oil is often used as a beauty aid. It is an excellent hair tonic and is believed to slow down hair loss and graying. It is also good for the scalp and can stimulate growth and get rid of dry scalp and dandruff. When mixed with a carrier oil, it can also relieve dry skin on the face and body. Because of its antibacterial properties, it is sometimes used in mouthwashes to fight bad breath.




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Jan. 2011

In This Issue

Quotes about New Year's

new year pennants

One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: to rise above the little things.
~John Burroughs

May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions!
~Joey Adams

New Year's Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.
~Mark Twain

People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.
~Anonymous

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential.
~Ellen Goodman

purple spiral

Order securely online by clicking link below.
aweo rosemary oil Ancient Wisdom Essential Oils
Rosemary 15 ml: $15.00

Call 828-315-9900
to order from TLR.
Rocky Mountain Oils rosemary

Rocky Mountain Oils Rosemary 15 ml: $13.50

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Copyright 2011
Suzanne H. Eller


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Greetings


snow in iredell county

It's hard to believe that another year is gone or that we are now well into the second decade of the 2000s. It seems like only yesterday we were worried about Y2K. Now we are speculating on what the significance of the Mayan calendar and 2012. We love a good disaster, don't we?

As usual, Christmas was hectic, but the winter months can be almost as difficult. We still have meetings to attend and family obligations to meet. We've already had two snows here in North Carolina, and plans are often upset when bad weather threatens because we just aren't prepared for so much snow here in the South. Most of us just stay in and pray the power doesn't go out.

Hopefully, this Warp and Weft can add a little interest to your winter reading and perhaps elucidate or entertain you a little. This month's newsletter focuses on energy healing modalities, on massage as an addition your weight-loss regimen, and on better respiratory health. We hope you will enjoy it and will re-post it to your Facebook and Twitter friends or forward to it to someone you know who might enjoy reading it.

Suzanne will be in Charlotte from Jan 13-16, taking one of the Chikly Institute Lymphatic Drainage classes and will not see clients those days. Laura returns to nursing school on Jan. 11 and will return to her regular schedule of seeing clients of Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Susan will also be keeping her regular schedule.

It's not too early to think about giving the gift of relaxation for Valentine's Day. We are available for couples massages, but you need to schedule early so that we can coordinate our schedules.

Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2011!

purple spiral

Fun Facts about Sneezes

sneeze

A sneeze travels out your mouth at 100 mph, and the spray can radiate up to five feet!

Sneezes are an automatic reflex that can’t be stopped once sneezing starts.

Between 18 and 35% of the population sneezes when exposed to sudden bright light. These are called "photic" sneezers.

It's difficult to sneeze with your eyes open, but not totally impossible.

You cannot sneeze while you're sleeping.

The world record for sneezing is held by Donna Griffiths from Worstershire, England, who started sneezing on 13 January 1981 and didn’t stop until the 16th of September 1983, 987 days later! She sneezed at least once per minute!

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