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