Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Diagnosis (Facebook and Netflix)

When reading the Diagnosis column, I always wonder if and how holistic disciplines (especially the ones I am certified in, Reflexology (feet, hands, face, ears) and Yoga (chair yoga, TCTSY) could possibly offer stress relief while undergoing tests that can take weeks,
months or years, especially since stress is believed to be responsible for a very high percentage of health challenges in the first place  and/or can possibly be very high waiting for tests and respective results, and an ultimate diagnosis hopefully resulting in more lasting wellbeing...

The answer is always: I'd like to think yes Reflexology and Yoga can support one to get out of fight/flight and improve general harmony.  Of course, there are many other holistic disciplines to pick from and preferences vary greatly.  

I read Diagnosis will also be available on Netflix.  Diagnosis is a New York Times Magazine column.

Thank you for your visit as always,


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Advocating: Mowgli's Final Moments (Reflexology)

Solar PlexusSandwich (Fall 2018)

This has been difficult to write, it has been nine months: 
Mowgli's final formal reflexology session became a demo for a veterinary nurse I had never seen before.  
We can advocate for our pets the way we (have to) advocate for our human family; we know them best, we know what generally comforts them.  This may be  important in times of crisis or at end of life; it may make a difference in terms of QoL (quality of life) and may support our own grieving process. 

Away from home: We were in a different state - away from home on October 23, 2018 far away from our support system, such as Mowgli's vet, our pet parents friends.

With shaky voice-I somehow managed to advocate for Mowgli and
thus ourselves (after tossing the idea frantically back and forth in my head for a bit, no as a practitioner, I am not prepared for this; yes as a mom, then yes as both).  
And that is exactly what has helped me a bit coming to terms with his passing
I demoed the One Minute Reflexology for Animals on Mowgli to the veterinary nurse while Mowgli was hooked up to IV getting prepared for invasive surgery that could possibly prolong his life (or not!), it did not.  In addition, the fact that my partner and I did not take him for granted, that he was given a voice in a way, helped me as well, he was a much loved family member. 

And then there are many doubts as well; most of life are not necessarily smooth experiences I find and I can also accept that now.  Remember the saying life is a rollercoaster or at least a journey and not a destination... 

"This may provide him with some normalcy surrounding this", I said, "he likes it, we have a daily routine" being very aware of the fact that there were protocols to follow by the veterinary professionals and that there is still not enough understanding of Reflexology and that trauma-sensitivity is not wide-spread unfortunately either when it should be the base we operate from especially in times of crisis.  
Back to Mowgli; the kind nurse was open to it, however I expected her to end our conversation at any moment.  No, there seemed some extra time.  Throughout being at the facility, we were given some space by two to three staff which provided relief (I have had my share of very bad experience, of course, but I admit I also take responsibility for some of it; communication is important and lots of pain is caused by silence).  

Monday, July 15, 2019

Hiking Downhill (downAlps) Only - Ouch!

Innsbruck; Room with a View
Hiking was one of several activities during a trip to Europe last September, such as facilitating yoga in Vienna, visiting my aunt and uncle for lunch (overate as usual), visiting the farm, seeing my brother and his Ensemble on stage (applause) and attending the kick off of the 300-hr. TCTSY Certification in Berlin. 

I also wanted to visit my cousin, her hubby and puppy close to Innsbruck which is surrounded by the Tyrolean Alps.  From Vienna, I traveled to Judenburg, then via Mur Valley to Tamsweg and on to Innsbruck mostly by busses and trains and short rides from relatives (thank you!!).

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Receiving and Giving at Kripalu

Receiving: Positional Therapy.
I finally had my first session with Sally at Kripalu.   It was a wonderful experience and as a Reflexologist I was smitten with the fact that face, ears, feet and hands were visited during my 50-minute session.  S. made me laugh when she called my body buttery and easy to work with while it felt to me that she used my body as if it were clay.  I mentioned to her that I do daily Reflexology and Yoga.   We agreed that daily self care makes a big difference. 

At one of my corporate events I met a lawyer who said that positional therapy “fixes” him when I mentioned Lee Albert (mentioned on this blog previously.  Lee Albert developed Positional Therapy) who advises that using a rolled up pillow seems to be the best way to support alignment during prolonged sitting.  Most of us get tired very quickly sitting which results in gravity taking over aka slouching and muscular strain. 

Giving Reflexology:  

Monday, June 10, 2019

Ember: Reflexology, Belly Rubs for Newly Adopted Canine Family Member

Ember's favorite ear reflexes
Ember found a home; I am Ember's mom and her live in reflexologist if you will. Her exact age is unknown but she is young, and yet has a complex past.
Ember has been getting Reflexology ever since we adopted her one rainy November day and we have come a long way:  
Dien Cham/Facial Reflexology 
- also some Ear Reflexology.  How can anyone resist these ears, they have a life of their own and are so inviting!  Bionic, a friend called them;- )
- She also gets a bit of Paw Reflexology on all four paws, (hands and feet if you will) (Central Nervous System, diaphragm, lung/heart reflexes).  She has webbed toes like her late brother Mowgli, she swims.  
 The daily practice has been rewarding in many ways and was quickly extended to the booty rub which she asks for already and it is great for red lights when I feel we (yes, we!)are not grounded enough and/or it's a bit too noisy (sirens, construction, etc.).  And I wish I always remembered. 
Her absolute favorite for now seems to be the belly rub.  She gets it clock and counter clockwise in multiples of nine.  Ember very clearly demonstrated one afternoon out on the street that she needed some of that, by throwing herself on her back and thus exposing her belly.  I at that moment remembered that we had rubbed her belly when we met her and how calm she was.  Ever since it has been part of the daily routine.  Luckily, she loves being touched in general, and I picked up on the significance of the belly rub.  (Mowgli as he got older was obsessed with the booty rub and found ways to even ask strangers for it, and loved the morning dien cham ritual).  How do I know that he did not just endure it?  Well, he might have yawned or stretched and did not pull or walk away.
Ember's morning sessions last probably between 3-10 minutes, often she also gets a little something at night, or possibly during the day, too, at least when I am with her, and she also gets kisses and hugs.    

Ember loves touch.
Acclimating/integrating the new family member requires creativity and tips from many of our friends/trainer Bruno with respect to Ember and has been a journey.    What has worked for brother Mowgli (not biological siblings of course) was a great start, but Ember needs much more, we are also 10 years older, and 2019 is more complex than 2009, that is the big picture. 
 Healing is an ongoing process and she is not an adult yet, so she is still developing.  She has made a lot of progress very quickly considering she now lives in a very busy New York City neighborhood, and is exposed to dogs of all ages, breeds, temperaments daily, people, people, people, sometimes coming from all directions at the same time cars, bicycles, strollers, walkers, and sirens, etc.., you get the idea daily life
in NYC, or any other big inner city.   
Healing is never quick enough, is it?  We tend to want convenience at all times, including the perfect pet - we may want them low key when we are tired, engaging when we want to engage, etc. 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Counter Balancing Toxicity - Tips for Every Day

I heard this one recent morning on NPR.
Toxic is the word of the Year 2018; I am not sure about the context (was it related to the environment or politics?), however as far as wellness is concerned, STRESS if it becomes chronic leads to toxicity. 

 - Here are some ideas for the remainder of the holidays (I put this together a few years ago and shared it on my FB channel) to keep stress and thus toxicity down the road at bay- self care for stress. 

- Of course, these ideas can also be used as New Year's Resolution(s).  Baby steps work better for many than big leaps.  It is easier to incorporate baby steps into our often so very busy lives to introduce more balance, better quality of life (QoL).  

Friday, November 23, 2018

In Memorian Mowgli: Olfactory Greetings

Mowgli enjoying „olfactory fireworks“ 
Nov. 19, 2018

"Dogs are not our whole life , but they make our lives whole."  (Roger Caras)

What is this so familiar smell?  Well, it was Mowgli's breakfast.  Two or three days ago I started smelling something very familiar, which at first I could not pin point.

We started feeding him raw food earlier this year.  It had a very distinctive smell.  Even now that I am writing this, it is with me.  I feel comforted and a bit amused.  At times it seems like eons that he is gone, and I am totally okay with it, but other times it seems impossible.  I am not expecting this to change any time soon.  When I see someone who asks about Mowgli, I tend to tear up.  Everyone has been very kind acknowledging his passing with cards, talks and hugs; thank you all for your kindness.

It has been almost four weeks, short and long at the same time.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

YogaActivist(s) and Feature

- Sending cheers and gratitude to DC-based Yoga Activist for their support of yoga teachers, by providing a platform to share about our outreach, and so much more: 

- Thank your for the support, grant, and inspiration.  Many thanks for the feature.  Many thanks to Kate Rice for editing, see link to article at the bottom. 

- There are so many yogi/yoginis taking yoga beyond more traditional studio settings and to communities that may not easily have access to yoga.

Who are these fellow practitioners? 
Why do they do the work they do?  
How do they do it?  
What are challenges, etc., etc.  
Which community do they serve?  

- I am inviting you to take a look at their page (see link  at the bottom). 

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Use a Pillow (says Lee Albert), Love Chairs (say I)

Many of us may have a love hate relationship with chairs - too much sitting is a reality for many of us - considering that our bodies are made to move.

But ever since I was in India (fall of 2016) I have been giving the chair even more thought.  The fact that I love practicing and teaching chair yoga adds to that.

Chairs are wonderful tools.

- India.  Honestly, I thought I was well prepared to sit on floors in India - I was looking forward to the change after all I had been practicing yoga for more than twenty years and sitting on the floor at the beginning or end of a class for a little while in easy pose was never long enough.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Examining Life in Central Park

This lady is examining life...
Amanda was in a way one of my favorite quotes coming to life, even more so because she looked like she stepped out of Ancient Greece.  While she calls her project Examining Life, the quote I am talking about is  The unexamined life is not worth living by Socrates.

We encountered her at the end of a long walk on a Saturday morning in spring; it was sunny and hot.  It was fun to go on camera so spontaneously.  In case you end up watching the video,  I had to keep an eye on Mowgli who was frolicking in the grass with Gus whom you can not see here while Anastasia and Regal were speaking, and I did not even know I was in the frame, while the two were speaking.