Friday, December 30, 2016

Counting Down 2016 - Blessings for 2017

As we count down 2016, I would like to wish you a safe New Year's wherever you may be and a Healthy and Happy 2017

Please visit the "frog"'from time to time in 2017  to hopefully get new ideas for your wellness tool kit.

If you are the recipient of my newsletter you may know that I am offering specials through January 15, 2017.  If you are interested, please, holler and I'll pass on details.

By the way I have been drafting a series of posts related to a recent trip to India and hope to start posting soon.

And last but not least there is a possibility that "Frog on the Face" may  resume on Weebly.


Birgit Nagele, ARCB, LVCY, TSY

Return to balance now:
- Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth on a ha sound...and again, and again, then return to natural breathing and observe...

- Reflexology(feet/hands/face/DIY/Dogs)
Yoga (Gentle Mat, LV Chair Yoga, TSY)
- Private Clients, Corporate, Events 2 Re-Balance 
- EuNYCe (Educating about Reflexology locally, internationally)
- NYC-based 
Tel: (917) 664-5792

Thursday, December 29, 2016

9/11 Part Three: Jon Stewart (prana and chi)

om/yin yang symbols 
"Passing the Zadroga Reauthorization Act is, as Jon Stewart put it, "literally the least we can do."  As a holistic health professional I completely agree:

Many first responders died due to 9/11 related health challenges and survivors continue to suffer.  Fortunately a bill was signed in their support in 2015 but it took a lot of effort - 14 years, and Jon Stewart was instrumental.  

One of my 9/11 clients (see 9/11 Part One) said what came up was the frustration related to getting help, nothing seemed to work except for
  services provided at Olive Leaf, but then funding ran out.  I personally have heard of Olive Leaf and I know a peer provided reflexology there.  The client did not remember if she had reflexology, but was sorry that services were discontinued.

I will not forget the amazing Jon Stewart's comment.  It was then that I started paying more attention to him and I became a fan of his.

When I saw him in the park the week before 9/11we said hi as dog owners often do when their dogs sniff each other.  If the encounter had lasted a bit longer, hopefully I would have thanked him.  Ah, may be not.

"Passing the Zadroga Reauthorization Act is, as Jon Stewart put it, "literally the least we can do."  

How about adding integrative services?  I have a feeling the above mentioned client and the others who took advantage of the holistic services that included reflexology (via CRREW/Voices of 9/11) would agree.  

Having taken the TSY course taught by Dave Emerson and Jenn Turner at Kripalu we learned how the brain/body connection can 
be affected by life changing events like 9/11.

There are many of us (holistic health professionals).  We believe in what we do despite the fact that a large part of the establishment ignores our work. Our clients get it and they feed us in a way.  And of course, our own experience supports us - being  a professional hopefully also means that we practice what we preach.  

Good chi, as Robert Peng (a chi gong master I have studied with) would say. 
Namaste or namasDAY, as Lakshmi Voelker would jokingly say.

And I am inviting you to follow along as I take a deep breath(prana) and let out a sigh, and another one, and one more perhaps, then return to breathing normally.  This is a very quick way to let the body know all is well. 



Birgit Nagele, ARCB, LVCY, TSY
Reflexology (feet/hands/face/DIY/Dogs) 
Yoga (LV Chair Yoga, lTSY)
Private Clients, Corporate, Wellness Events
EuNYCe (Educating about Reflexology)
Wellness is a journey not a destination...
Tel: (917) 664-5792

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

9/11 Part Two: Table of Silence/Lincoln Center

Table of Silence/Lincoln Center
On Sunday, September 11, 2016 I was at Lincoln Center early in the morning to see a dance performance (with Mowgli; Lincoln Center Plaza is dog-friendly).  Table of Silence moved me to tears.  Tears are cleansing.

Fifteen years ago, 9/11 became our impromptu house warming.  We had friends and friends of friends over for the first time after we moved to Hell's Kitchen (Clinton).  Because of the chaos and confusion, many could not get home and offices closed.  We sat in the living room and watched the news.
  I remember the helplessness and confusion I felt in the days to follow: I could not even donate blood; there were so many donors. I remember being told to go shopping and being angry about it.  Shopping?  Really?  Don't think so.  

Friday, November 25, 2016

Freeing the Breath with Donna Fahri and Luigi (the border collie mix)

Back from my grandfather's funeral in Austria, walking on Broadway through Times Square to work one morning, the icy wind felt soothing.  It must have been late 2004.  I brought up his death to a coworker in the elevator.  He changed the subject.  Many of us feel uncomfortable speaking about death.  My younger brother, grandmother, grandfather and one of Regal's nephews all died within one year more or less.  

Saturday, September 24, 2016

2-Day Pop-Up Puppy/People Event/Central Park

Join us at Chess and Checkers!
Thank You for Joining Us!!!
While it Was Two Grey Days, it Did Not Rain.
We Witnessed Late Summer Transforming into Fall.
Our Lungs Greatly Benefited!!! 

2 Day POP-UP 
REFLEX (ology) 
and PLAY (FunFoodFlip)!

Please, join us!

Please, bring your friends and puppies or borrow your neighbor's puppy. 

Wednesday, Sep. 28; 9am - 1pm 
Thursday, Sept. 29; 9am - 1pm


Central Park
Chess and Checkers House Terrace 
MidPark at 64th street

There's a flyer with additional info:

Definition of Reflexology by Reflexology Association of America (RAA) 

Reflexology is a protocol of manual techniques, such as thumb and finger-walking, hook and backup and rotating-on-a-point, applied to specific reflex areas predominantly on the feet and hands. These techniques stimulate the complex neural pathways linking body systems, supporting the body’s efforts to function optimally. The effectiveness of reflexology is recognized worldwide by various national health institutions and the public at large as a distinct complementary practice within the holistic health field. (RAA 2016).

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

9/11 Part One: Supporting 9/11 First Responders and Families

Reflexology at the bottom

It seems so fresh and yet so far away, 9/11, that is. 

Reflexology was offered via CRREW (many thanks to CRREW) at the annual Voices of 9/11 event at Downtown Marriott very close to the 9/11 Memorial.

I did this event once before and have worked in many communal settings.  The reflexology community I am part of (NYSRA) also did 3 fund raisers to benefit STWS (I have mentioned them in previous posts) which has been supporting the 9/11 community with holistic services.

My wonderful colleague Carol Schwartz who was also part of the 3 fundraisers in 2011 and I offered:

·      Foot reflexology
·      Hand reflexology

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Puppy Stress: Is Shelter, Food, And Love Enough?

Out and about with Mowgli
This is what happened one recent morning in the West 50s (Hell's Kitchen/Clinton) within ten minutes on the way back home: 

- A tiny dog, very friendly, and not afraid of Mowgli at all.  I chat with the owner.  Puppy lost one eye due to abuse by his former owner, but seems utterly happy just to be alive.  Nevertheless, this puppy would benefit from daily puppy reflexology despite the fact that it seems unaffected.  

- An owner sitting on the stoop with his puppy, 
a handsome pit bull, small but muscular.  He gets

Thursday, September 8, 2016

#wearewater Hello!

Peace pipes vs. pipe lines, please.
Pipe lines jeopardize the quality of water.  We hear so much about water contanimation; this can not be taken lightly.  This should be an easy decision.  The only way at this point in time is the clean green way, and it is possible.  If we can go to the moon, and we have, we can go green, too.  

The above photo of me and my older brother was taken in the Alps in the early 70s; everything changes but safe water has to be a priority, even 40+ years later.  #wearewater


Birgit Nagele, ARCB, LVCY, TSY
Reflexology (feet/hands/face/DIY/Dogs) 
Yoga (LV Chair Yoga, lTSY)
Private Clients, Corporate, Wellness Events
EuNYCe (Educating about Reflexology)
Wellness is a journey not a destination...
Tel: (917) 664-5792

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Climate Change: Cleaner Cooling Options/Pleasant on the Senses

chilled herb packs
(- Still have not figured out how to fix the formatting, but this is time-sensitive, so thank you for bearing with me.)

Does anyone still believe that Climate Change is a myth?
It has been so hot in New York.  Labor Day was last weekend, but there will be more hot days.    

A while ago
I found myself trenched in sweat and my hair felt like wool.  Somehow I had not been able to put it up neatly away from my head and look nice for a presentation I was doing during the day.  That has never happened before.  When your thinnish/straightish hair feels like wool, it must be very hot, no?  I was ready to take scissors and get to work but then I decided to list cool but simple ways I like to cool off and have cooled off with and to be more adventurous

I have mentioned these two before:

Chilled Jade rollers: Both Mowgli and I love them.
Sitali Breath is cooling, you can do try it right now.  Dogs do sitali, too, for sure.  It takes a teacher who has lived in the desert to teach this pranayama.  Thank you, Lakshmi Voelker.  I am curling my tongue right now.

I have used heated herb packs for chest colds, but I decided to explore using them for cooling.  I have two big packs (one for shoulders and one for the back) so I indulged in a few-minute meditation on the cooling sensations on the massage table and even added an eye pillow I stuffed with ice cubes but chilling it it is better.  Wow - a keeper for super hot days!  I did it again before I fell asleep.
The weather has been more extreme than ever, and I am getting older.  Still, air conditioners are overused in my opinion. What's the point of summer?  Heat has wonderful healing benefits (sweating detoxes) and hydrating adequately with water, eating water melon or other light and watery foods will often do the trick.  And the body conserves heat for the winter.  

chilled eyepillow 
We may also lose may lose weight during the summer.  In case you drink a lot of coffee and alcohol (which are dehydrating) you may have to drink even more water.  Better yet ease up on respective consumption.   

Wearing light clothing (cotton, linen) and straw hats help. When I was in the dessert many years ago I dumped my hat in water and then wore it - amazing and nobody noticed - sitali for the head, and once the head is cool, you will be overall cooler; does not work for the office, however.

Spending less time outside midday.  Morning or evening hours, etc., are better.   

Finding shady spots (I am a shade friend) oh and slowing down because you can't have a straight thought anyway; or is it just me?  And that is so relaxing; it also means you may have less "monkeys" in your head. 

Some time near Hudson River, in a shady public space with a fountain (Lincoln Center has a very nice fountain and if there is a breeze you may even get sprayed) or Central Park or perhaps a movie, but then one should remember to bring a shawl; movie theaters are often like ice boxes.  The nearby brand new state-of-the-art library is cool but not too cool. 
Then there is foot soaking - cool water with a drop or essential oil - perhaps lavender or peppermint.

Drinking mint tea.

hair like wool
And I personally am hoping to return to the Delaware sooner or later, wade in a refreshing creek or do some cooling off in a lake.   

And of course, there are the beaches one can get to via subway, such as Coney Island or Rockaway, but bring a parasol and/or hat and light clothes to cover yourself to prevent sunburn. 

In the meantime it's a combination of the above for me, depending on what is going on.  Also slow pace urban park yoga most likely early or late.  

At night have a fan blowing air over your body, but keep it away from the face.  You do not want to wake up with a head ache or a sore neck.  


Keep cool.


Birgit Nagele, ARCB, LVCY
Reflexology, Chair Yoga, DIY
tel: (917) 664-5792

Dragonfly: When Time Was Not Money (Labor Day Weekend)

Regaining Strength
I was studying, practicing and hanging out with Mowgli on the dock.  But I was also letting myself get interrupted and admired the mostly red dragonflies and other activity on the lake, when I noticed a blue dragonfly in the water.  

It seemed to be struggling and got tired quickly, so I got into the kayak and brought it on land.

One of the wings was damaged, but after cheering it on, petting its back gently (that was the reflexology part), but mostly just holding and admiring its' beauty, it regained strength quickly and the wings started moving faster and faster.  After about two minutes, it flew off.  I was secretly hoping for a visit the next day.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


On the Way Home/Herb Bouquet
Coming back to the city with my own herbs instills me with joy, and has been one of my favorite projects for the last six years or so.  It entails many steps from garden to plate or tea or gift which have evolved organically over the years:

Visiting the herb garden (note to myself: meditation) means encounters with froggie (there is always one), bees - they don't seem to mind me, the love is mutual, often a spider carrying a huge white egg, I think; lots of squatting (yoga, grounding).

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Healing Power of the Breath (Dr. Brown/Dr. Gerbarg)

Please, bear with  me, while I am trying to figure out, why the formatting gets so messed up.. it looks fine, when I save and publish...HELP.

Regal and I set foot into our first workshop with Dr. Brown in 2007.  I believe we were the only participants who were neither 9/11 relief workers nor first responders.  I was actually looking for a volunteer opportunity (as reflexologist) with the 9/11 community, but instead we signed up for our first 2-day workshop with Dr. Brown/, another followed and a few 1 1/2 hour follow-up workshops sinceForever grateful for the timing as well as the day "coherence breath" was added to my self care and teaching tools.  I have gifted the book (it comes with a CD) recommended it at trainings/workshops and even sent one to a buddy in Norway.

- Coherence Breath is a really good breath to be aware of; we all benefit from being alert and relaxed at the same time most of the time.  

The book is available online as well as at Kripalu (VT) and the Open Center in New York. 



Heat Wave Specific: Try Sitali Breath for Extra Cooling

(Apologies for the messed up formatting.
I have no idea why this has been happening on and off; if anyone knows, would you please enlighten me!  Oh perhaps my labtop needs some cooling as well... )

Ready to try Sitali Breath?  It's a fun and simple yogic breath (pranayama) that cools the body.

Unfortunately, it is not taught very often. 

I have been finding it very helpful during this heatwave to breathe like it then and again.  Nobody will notice what you are doing, because remember everyone is plugged in or doing the Pokemon thing anyway.

  • Curl your tongue or 
  • open your lips sligthly
  • and breath in through you curled tongue or pull in breath between your teeth 
  • pause if available if only for a second
  • exhale slowly through the nose; 
The moisture of the tongue will cool your breath, and the cool breath will help you cool your body from the inside.

Oh and make sure you are well hydrated.
Thank you for your visit as always. 


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Letter of Support for NYSRA/Reflexology in NY State

Richard P. Brown, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University supports regulation of reflexology in New York State as it is the case in nearly 30 US States.

Many thanks to Dr. Brown for joining the efforts of New York State Reflexology Association (NYSRA) and thank you, Dr. Gerbarg and Jose Mestre for forwarding the letter.  Note, because the letter was forwarded by email, the signature is missing.  If you question the authenticity of the letter, please feel free to contact the author of this blog. 

Dr. Brown and integrative professionals like him have the wisdom and Western education to bridge the gap between traditional medicine and holistic disciplines.  His support is greatly appreciated. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you,
an appreciative NYSRA member (since 2007).

Sweet Gum Tree Produces DIY Reflexology Tool

Spike Ball 
The discovery took place during an evening of Indian music and dance in June at Hudson River and 96th street.

It could not have been more romantic: after almost falling after stepping on one of many on the lawn and collecting them so we could spread out our sheet, I inspected one further, and started playing around with it; the sun was getting close to setting.
While these spike balls look almost cactus-like (ouch) it feels very exquisite to roll the ball around (reflexing the hands) by holding one gently in between the hands.

 The spikes break off quickly, and more pressure can be used, and it still feels divine.  I have given myself many a sessions in the meantime and brought some home.  I even did a video.  It was lots of fun to edit it on my iPhone.  For some reason the sound quality changed after uploading as iMovie but I hope to correct this in the near future, although secretly I hope that it'll correct itself:-) - yeah right?! 

Doing a bit of research I found myself getting more and more intrigued: Botanically the Sweet Gum is Liquidambar styraciflua. (lick-wid-AM-bar  sty-rass-ih-FLOO-uh.) Liquidus is Latin for liquid. Ambar is Arabic for amber (the color of the dried sap.) Styrax is Latin for gum, fluxus for flowing. Liquidambar styraciflua: Liquid Amber Gum Flowing.  The sap is also available at the pharmacy as an ingredient in the “compound tincture of benzoin.”  Here is more information.

Using a spike ball for DIY feels very different compared to a golf ball or a walnut (see photo), although they all do the job.  Note, they all are similar in size.  Naturally, walnuts (thank you again Maeda!) and spike balls are nature's product while golf balls (thank you Kevin Kunz) are not.  However, the golf balls I bought a few years ago were recycled which was pretty amazing considering I bought them at huge chain store.  While I am not sure whether there are sweet gum trees in your area, the message is:  consider using tools you come across in nature or check your house for suitable tools if you wish, and then, of course there are your fingers and knuckles.  As far as I am concerned, the more fun I make self care, the more I maintain it, but you may be different.  Ultimately, it's suum cuique, to each it's own.  Enjoy. Blessings, Birgit 
Spike Ball, Golf Ball, Walnut 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Family Matters - Soaking Feet et al.


Sometimes it is not easy to get your family, friends to be as excited as you about holistic methods you swear by and you are sure that would help them.  And this can be frustrating, very frustrating as a matter of fact.  

It can be difficult for someone with little experience of holistic healing to fully understand the power of it.

Even myself having been on this path for more than 20 years am sometimes surprised about the immediate results, be it yoga or reflexology-related. 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Encounters "on the street" with A Legend/Gentleman - RIP Mr. Bill Cunningham

I have known the "on the street" column as long as I have been aware of the New York Times, in other words, many, many years.  Sightings of him always makes my day.  
This morning, however, I won the jackpot.  I was the beneficiary of his gentlemanly and kind manners.

As I was about to cross the street and he was about to make the turn, we both stopped to let the other go.  I was startled by the sight of him, HIM.  Only a few people were out at this hour.  

I: I am almost sure I said, "good  morning, after you."  
He: I think he did not say anything, just gestured the same thing.  "After you."

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tabi or Kinky?

Kinky vs. Tabi - recently on Broadway.
It's barefoot season.

Sensing the surface we walk on through the thousands of nerve endings (the last number I heard was 200.000) on the feet means communicating with the brain and rest of the body.  The feet get reflexed in other words, and this is exactly the reason why I got so curious about barefoot walking and wearing tabi (see photo, right side)

(To architects the design of the foot, the arch particularly, is a masterpiece, I read once.  Oh, arch, architects - lightbulb! And I totally agree for many other reasons.) 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Birgit Loves Mowgli #heartmowgli

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Reflexology Declared Safe for Animals! Human Tests Successful for over 4,000 Years!

Mowgli's adoption day.
Reflexology is believed to have been tested on humans for at least four thousand three hundred forty six years. 

Rejoice!  Reflexology - Safe for our animal friends (our better halves, as I like to say) too!   
Our relationships are better if pet and owner are balanced. Reflexology can support both of us along the way.  

Sharon Gannon, the animal rights activist/yogini (Jivamukti Founder) is in favor of a well balanced relationship with our pets.

Here is a mini video of a reflex on the face that Mowgli likes a lot; I am inviting you to try it on your puppy or kitty.  
However, I suggest you do it on yourself first, so they can see what you are about to do.