Thursday, December 20, 2012

Age is really just a number - Will You Marry Me...

With Kyoko Jasper

With Master Sugimoto Rendo
Self Care, friends!  That is the reason why I started this blog, I wanted to home study Marie-France Muller's method, because it can be done in minutes, can be used every day and it can easily be taught to clients for self care.  And it is done on the face!  

As I was blogging along - when Meg G. and I started the study - we realized that we needed to add other self care we did as well.  
Thus, you read about yoga, breathwork, all kinds of workshops I attend etc.  
It is important to hire someone for body work on a regular basis to keep strong - please, continue to hire holistic practitioners as needed including myself.  However, we also need to take charge and do self care on a daily basis!  I recently was in a work shop organized by my buddy, yogini extraordinaire, Kyoko Jasper with Master Rendo (based in Japan).  He closed the workshop by saying to use your hands on your body.  Let's listen to him!  I could not agree more!  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kripalu Chair Yoga Teacher Training - Krishna Das in Concert

Yoga is seeing life the way it is. - Patanjali Yoga Sutras

After looking at the Kripalu catalog* for years, I made it there on Oct. 8, 3 days shy of my birthdayI happily accepted an invitation to assist Lakshmi Voelker and Tracey Eccleston with their Chair Yoga Teacher Training*; I had assisted them twice at the Open Center where I was trained in Chair Yoga.  The program is awesome and complements everything I do beautifully and anyone can really benefit from chair yoga.  Although I absolutely have no problems getting unto a mat, I love Lakshmi's Chair Yoga** and I was astonished how much the legs get worked despite sitting on a chair. 

One of my favorite self care rituals this summer

Monday, September 24, 2012

Runners' Feet Love DESSERTS: Women's Health Magazine Loves Reflexology

Self Care on the run: Walking through quiet Hells Kitchen (Clinton), I decided to do some chakra balancing by using the biya sounds on my way to Pier 84 at 6am on a recent Sunday; preparing myself for a Reflexology event for runners. Chakra balancing has become one of my self care staples, hey I get to use my singing voice

bija sounds for chakra balancing on the right 
Despite only four+ hours of sleep, I was feeling pretty good.  More grounding, however, could not hurt, never does!  I could even blast the bijas - the young clubbers leaving after hours clubs on the Far West Side coming toward me I was sure would not mind or perhaps not even notice.  I love early mornings!  I added a Root Chakra chant.

Stress leading up to event: I was relieved - my arm and wrist had felt off the day before.  Too many challenges related to my computer had followed troubles with our cable signal that lasted nearly three weeks.  Trying to save my fried (the fan was broken) "vintage" MacBook entailed a couple of bike rides along always busy 9th Avenue, and always very congested 8th Avenue. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Of Golf Balls, Family/Pets, Patience and Humor

Since we are talking about humor.......
My Mom's dog was not doing well a while ago; she is twelve years old.  Flora had fluid in her lungs, and was on heart medication, my mother understandably was very upset; I talked my mom across the Atlantic Ocean through some Dien Cham for Flora on the phone; I kept the instructions simple and had her repeat them back to me and give Flora a session while we were on the phone. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

My strategy worked well on Mowgli's paw!

tumor-like growth on Mowgli's paw
Mowgli during a recent  early morning walk
 A few weeks after the rat poison scare, we noticed that Mowgli kept licking his right paw; there was some growth, a tumor?!  Our vet did not seem to worry but gave us some ointment to use twice a day.  My strategy worked really well, namely, to use it right before his walks; that way he would be distracted and by the time we came back from the walk an hour later he would not remember because hopefully the ointment would have alleviated the itching.  In addition he received his usual Dien Cham treatment even before I used the ointment.  He seemed to get better immediately and there is no trace left of the growth which was the size of the eraser on the back of a pencil.  I do think the timing of the application made a big difference. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Grabbing Surgeon's Arm; MD/Reflexologist Jesus Manzanares Method

Thank God: Unused Antibiotics
Arriving in Boston
Waking up with the rising sun..
I finally decided to undergo oral surgery, namely the extraction of tooth 17 in the very back of the lower left; the decision was made rather spontaneously.   I liked one of the options offered by the oral surgeon I was referred to; previous alternatives just sounded too daunting so I had been postponing a decision.  My initial intention was to save this tooth at all costs but taking the big picture into consideration and what the surgeon suggested made a lot of sense thus I reconsidered, and opted to sacrifice the tooth to improve overall dental function.  

While I was sitting in the chair waiting for the surgeon to begin, I did the usual DC Basic Session and some hand reflexology*, in addition to tuning into my breath to be more relaxed.  I even did a light forward bend - the dentist's chair was inviting me to do so:-)  As usual I wanted to go easy on the anesthesia and being as balanced, as relaxed as possible would support this.   

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mowgli is back to normal!

Shaking off after a swim...

Refreshed but reprimanded - see the slight  snarl, hey, hey Mowgli! 

some more cooling off after 3 hours of exploring...

Mowgli seems to have recovered so well from that terrible rat poison incident.  Luckily, he never showed any symptoms and about three weeks after he was caught eating poison, we went for a lovely hike on one of these perfect spring days.  Mowgli ran for three hours and did some swimming as well.  I am so happy about the vets' treatments.  And, of course the Dien Cham sessions continued to keep stress levels down to support the healing process.

Re Cold: Herb Pack and Savasana, Herb Pack as Pillow

herb pack for shoulders ...
...the same pack used on chest at night

Tools included in my self care/wellness kit are three herb packs I bought a couple of years ago at one of NYC's holiday markets.  During the worst of my cold covered in my previous post, I used one of them designed to be worn like a collar to soothe shoulder tension.  Alone the fact that it smelled good made me happy.  It was draped over my chest after heating it in the microwave (for 90 seconds, flipping it over midway) to keep the chest area warm, to help the area to open, then I fell asleep.  Four hours later at 4:00am,

Friday, May 18, 2012

In the Woods: Happy Perfect Lungs!

Green All Around Us...

Sunshine; One of the Lakes
Shades of Green and Blue...

 On Saturday, we went for a hike around Cold Springs on the Hudson.  It was a gorgeous day.  The memory of my cold was still fresh and my lungs were not completely back to normal.  The fresh air would do me good, but I had no idea just how good it would be for me.  I had absolutely no problems walking for three hours and there was not one cough, my lungs felt back to normal, were they?  Well, as soon as I returned to the city I felt a slight constriction again.  Could it be that the diminished air quality has an almost immediate effect on my lungs, does NYC cause that much stress?  Am I that fragile now?  Well, I am making a note of that!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wanted N O T: Another Cold ever again!

Child's Pose with Fitness Ball - Hugging that big ball!
When I had a bit of energy during the worst of my most recent cold (the 2nd or third bad cold ever), I wrote some notes on my i-phone which I am sharing below; although I was trying to pay attention to the details, it was impossible.  (The healing artist in me is very curious about pain, its patterns, alleviation so part of me was observing the symptoms which helped me get distance from the pain rather than completely be consumed by it).  However, there was just too much going on so I just let go and rested as much as I could, I needed to get back on my feet.  I was generally very weak for two days and there was no way I could do all the self care I wanted to do, so I did something whenever I had a bit of energy, whatever I needed most then.  Connecting to my breath was the one thing that I did the most because it allowed me to simply rest and close my eyes.
I think I would have gone to the doctor but due to what happened last time (the prescription caused side effects that were scarier than the ones I started out with) I decided not to.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What a Scare: Mowgli Ate Rat Poison

Mowgli and I in Central Park
 Mowgli was caught eating rat poison in the country.  Dogs are attracted to it just as rats are. Mowgli did not throw up despite the salt shoved into his mouth, which is what one should make the pet do - he was taken to the vet in the country immediately, who tried to make him throw up as well by putting pellets into his eyes; the key is to avoid allowing the poison to make its way into the animal's blood stream and depleting the body of vitamin K.  Back in the city our vet ordered Vitamin K after the blood test was positive (there was poison in his blood stream); the poison prevents the blood from clotting so the ingesting party can internally bleed to death - I found myself doing research on the internet and missed a workshop I was signed up for - I was a bit panicky for a few hours after finding out but then, I  made sure I did not miss one day of doing Dien Cham on Mowgli - the protocol I use entails general equilibrium, relaxation/calming, revitalization, liver, kidney reflexes, as well as psychological balance

Monday, March 12, 2012

Alpine Desire Satisfied! Snow! New Insight!

Almost full...
Finally some snow!  It just took a 5-hour drive to Killington, VT since we have barely had any in New York.  We were so lucky and had amazing snow as well as sun shine.  As per the reports of the inn owner it had been a very bad season until about two weeks before we were there (the first week of March) as well as during our first night there.  The skiing was bliss although, don't get me wrong - skiing does make me a little nervous these days because I do it only once a year.  The thought of ice for example and practically vertical slopes I nevertheless let myself talk myself into going down on; of course, there is something of a baby daredevil in me.
Appalachian Trail(Mt Pico)
I brought some fresh juices and a bottle of fresh almond milk along since I was invited to join a Wellness Support Group at YCT Foundation.  The dried mangoes I also brought Mowgli feasted on while we went to get some tea at my favorite diner at the Taconic Parkway.  He left a piece on my seat and was literally sitting on one.  My guess is that we either surprised him or it was getting too sweet for him; so no mangoes to munch.  
With members of the support group I have been doing a cleanse this spring and have been eliminating items such as coffee, wheat, dairy, red meats, sugars, etc. and replace them with more veggies, juices,  whole grains, seeds ...  sugar is not an issue, neither are red meats, alcohol, nicotine (although it's time to confess that I smoke a cigarette then and again).  For me it's mostly about adding more vegetables and dropping wheat (I am very curious about possible changes); I may revisit this subject and may share some of my recipes shared with the group.  
My 2-day VT routine was: Dien Cham Basic Session in bed, morning hike on the Appalachian Trail with Mowgli who was ecstatic, Chi Gong, some yoga stretches before or after breakfast (oatmeal with fresh almond milk and fruit), then a few hours of skiing interrupted by lunch, tea/bathroom breaks, back to the trail with Mowgli, hot tub, dinner, a bit more of Chi Gong/yoga/breathwork/listening to mantras, bed - no nonsense. 

Goofing off after a fall...
My self care routine gave me confidence.  As there was virgin snow and there was no ice I got to work on my technique and I realized that I collapsed my chest ever so slightly especially going down moguls; it all started with my decision to work on NOT dragging my poles which I had been aware of for a long time... ah (light bulb), not keeping the upper arms close enough was supporting this dragging which of course resulted in some tension; so standing atop a mogul slope that I could not say no to but did not feel that comfortable about either, made me pay attention to my breath; I was having a little conversation with myself, "yoga off the mat, calming down, you want to do it gracefully and most of all you want to be safe."  From then on I applied my newly gained insight and mastered the moguls so much better, wow what a difference!  I felt I made a big leap.
What led me to this eye opening moment was my basic routine that supported me "off the mat", beginner's mind, checking in with the body, my emotions, taking a few deep breaths to ground, observation, revelation!
At one point I had to make a sharp turn to avoid a jump which resulted in a pull in my left knee, no!  So I took it very easy getting to the base; once on the chairlift I did slow knee extensions/flexions.  My knees' tracking is not very well supported - they have never caused me much problems, as I fortunately have been aware of it for a very long time (one of the benefits of yoga is that you become aware of your problem areas).  In some yoga poses I feel some strange tension so I am very proactive in dealing with every bit of funk going on there - have been for a long time.  I also cupped my knee and worked the knee reflexes on the face, which are just outside the corners of the mouth, I think the hiking strengthened my knees as well; both mornings I sniffled which made me add that sniffle protocol!

What a lovely two days in the country, fresh air, sun shine, hiking. It all started with an incredible sunset over the Taconic Mountains; it's still all with me and the new insight keeps on nurturing me.


Monday, February 27, 2012

A pictorial-Chamomile treatment for Mowgli

Looks like a pussy eye to me....
...time again for soothing Chamomile tea...

.....after a minute or so, Mowgli is resting  his head on my leg;-)...

This was the second time I treated Mowgli's eye with Chamomile (tea).  By now he is so used to getting his Dien Cham sessions (and sometimes a  full body massage that includes the belly) that he knows when I approach to "treat him" it will feel good, that he'll like it; he did not object to the treatment at all, as a matter of fact he actively participated by holding still and relaxing with ocean breath (yeah, to you yogis out there ujaii breath)!  Of course I also tease him a lot all the time, but he is very trusting and he knows I will not hurt him.  I let him smell and lick the paper towel immersed in cooled off Chamomile tea so he knew what he was getting himself into.  It all just took a minute; I repeated the process later in the afternoon and will do it again in the evening, I hope to not encounter any puss tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Water Dragon! Shiva's Lingham-Back on Track!

Lucky Bamboo
Shiva's Lingham
Dragon - Shiny Pearl Symbolizing Wisdom
Chinese New Year's has come and gone, the Year of the Water Dragon.  The veggie dumplings on Mott Street were delicious, the lucky bamboo I bought for the apartment and friends were beautiful and add happiness on a daily basis - taking some time for private time, reflection and fun! 
For better (or for worse) I happen to be a dragon and I am practically giving away my age as one of my friends remarked, when I mentioned it on facebook.  It certainly had crossed my mind, but then I concluded again that our biological age is just a number anyway and that I made peace with the fact that I am not a spring chick, done that, been there!  On good days which I equal with balanced days in my opinion we all look ageless because we shine, we move about with ease, everything flows.  Are you with me?  On off-the-center kind of days we tend to look and feel more the biological age we really are.  In yogic terms our age is determined by the flexibility of our spine and the flexibility of our mind probably, and I would add the quality of our breath and there are other factors, but I will stop here.  Perhaps I am as young as a baby when I breathe effortlessly like a baby (hm will give this some more thought) I was having a "age discussion" with my partner a while ago and I realized that I generally feel much better now than when I was younger and that applies to all layers of myself.  This is attributed to knowing myself better and the effort to keep a lot of self-produced stress at bay or at least to counter it as much as I can.  There are days when nothing makes sense and I ask myself "now what, when, how?"  When I do not practice yoga for two consequent days which happens occasionally, I start feeling weak and a bit insecure about my health and I get a bit worried.  The benefits of yoga are a no brainer to those who regularly practice.  (I wonder how Chi Gong compares to yoga in terms of spinal health.  Chi Gong is very fluid, slow and easy on the joints, although yoga can be slow paced but often, it is not; I love using Chi Gong as a warm up for yoga, but I also do it by itself in case of time constraints and I am so glad I took it up last year - the plan for this summer is to practice in the big outdoors as often as I can).  
Confetti Rockets at the After Party in Chinatown!
This was the second time I had problems doing it;
I worked really hard; once it released, it went off
horizontally more than up into the air; I hit a group
of spectators, who thought it was great fun (thank God);
We all had a good laugh!  

As for Self Care,  I wound up doing the basic protocol only for two days and yesterday I felt the ripple effect in form of some tightness in my chest and a tickle in my throat as well as some pain on the L side of my neck and my L shoulder.  I did do, however, for the most part do my usual program of Chi Gong, light yoga and breath work before falling asleep and first thing when waking up and while still in bed- I LOVE BREATHING and I fueled up on some fresh Poconos country air on the weekend.  The weather is continuing to be unpredictable, but I have been keeping healthy so far this winter.  

Today I returned to Dien Cham which I did sitting at the counter in the mirrored kitchen which allowed me to study the location of the points in detail, the anatomical landmarks which I really only did in the very beginning of my exploration.  Sometime it still amazes me how quickly I started "finding the points", now bear you in mind, I do use my fingers/Shiva's Lingham or other stones and many of the points I work by rubbing over them and treating them more like reflexes so I am not looking for a tiny point, but still, I found it remarkable how quickly I got comfortable.  
Shiva's Lingham (which is great for balancing; it represents female and male energy) I used for certain points and I have done so in the past.  It's surface is very smooth and I have been using it on clients as well.  How rejuvenated my face looked after the session - alas! I must have said it before, natural botox!  Does not cost a penny, no negative side effects!  Protocols used: basic/standard/immune deficiencies/dry cough and L shoulder reflexes (frog).  There has been some mucus release already.  Hours later despite spending too much time at the computer, no symptoms, or am I in slight flight/fight mode?     

Some of the points were rather sensitive which did not surprise me: Point 41, Point 60, Point 3, Point 39, Point 85.  I decided to do the basic session a few more times before the day is over as well as these points.  Bed time will be earlier than usual I hope.  Tomorrow will be a busy day.  The intention remains to continue to be as proactive about my health as I can.     

As I was typing I had some of Juice Generation's Sweet Greens juice.  Valentine's Day meant some chocolate eating but also a healthy home made meal with just a sip of white wine and a late evening walk in the park.  Hopefully I will have help eating the remainder of the chocolate; I am rather undisciplined once chocolate is in the house!  

The paper dragon puppet which has been inhabiting the refrigerator door for a couple years I thought needed some repair and to be dusted off before the beginning of the Year of the Dragon festivities started on January 23 and ended on February 6  (I believe).  I did some de-cluttering although that has been an ongoing project.

Monday, January 16, 2012

End of 2011 Symptoms followed by HEALTHY, FRIGID PLUNGE in 2012!

Post-Polar Bear Plunge Glow Coney Island
Belatedly: Happy New Year!  Happy 2012!
Well, I had no choice but to prepare myself well for the Plunge on New Year's Day!  Through the greater part of December "I just did not feel quite right," it was either chest and/or throat tightness and/or I was beginning to suspect that I was developing chronic heartburn, not that I knew exactly what it was supposed to feel like, but I do sometimes eat dinner rather late - although my diet is pretty healthy.  Two friends mentioned suffering from heartburn in the recent past and were doing something about it; one of the keys seemed to not eat late at night which I do try to avoid, but sometimes it does happen.   
In addition, on December 26 I had some stomach cramping, it did not last very long, but after thinking that it was caused by something I ate I started suspecting that it was a mild virus instead (a friend had the same symptoms); cramps lasted up to two minutes and continued for two to three days in intervals of 5-6 hours, fortunately, my sleep was not affected.  Either way, I could not help but be feel confused about so much going on in my body at the same time.  I took some deep breaths and decided to let go of trying to figure out "the whats and whys" and decided instead to leaf through the book.  I was going to undo this, I smiled having regained some confidence.  I wanted to be healthy for my New Year's Plunge, I wanted to turn this around this year not next year!  If symptoms did not change, I feared it would not be smart to go into the water and I would miss out on this crazy, crazy, sexy, uplifting, tradition.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wooden Frog on the 2011 Christmas Tree

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