Healing; How To Choose the Right Modality.

There are many different types of healing modalities. At a recent group meeting we discussed the benefits of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping. Along with Acupuncture, and various supplements. All of which have been shown to provide miraculous healing. There are many others out there as well. Reiki, Yoga, Mindfulness, Pranic Healing, Sound Therapy, Essential Oils, Massage, Hypnotherapy, Nutrition, Affirmations, Shamanism, Crystals, and the list goes on and on. So, how do you know which one is the right choice for you? How is it possible to know you will get what you need from a particular healer?

I have been heard to say I believe in everything. Which is not all together true. I am also a great big sceptic in many ways. I do not trust easily, despite the fact that I try and see the good in all people. The truth of the matter is this; none of these healers are actually healing you. They are not. The healing occurs within you. Your body, your mind, your spirit has the power to heal itself. Let me say that again. Your body, your mind and your spirit have the power to heal your body and your life. I am still 100% in favor of getting these other healing modalities and that may sound confusing, since I just told you you can heal yourself.

This is because, sometimes, we just need a little help. Sometimes our bodies need a little urging. Sometimes we are like Dumbo andneed to hold the feather to believe we can fly. These holistic modalities can be beautiful ways to unlock the power that is within our bodies. They can help us move past blockages and get the energy flowing. Many are ancient and have been used for hundreds or even thousands of years. Others are newer but are based on the more ancient traditions and philosophies. Quantum Physics is opening up a whole new realm of understanding.

Many people are skeptical of these modalities but there is research out there that showsscientifically that many of these modalities have proven positive results. These skeptics can look at the science and tell you it is just the placebo effect because the people in the study believe they are going to get better so they do. So, lets look at the placebo effect. According toDictionary.com a placebo effect is, “A beneficial effect in a patient following a particular treatment that arises from the patient’s expectations concerning the treatment rather than from the treatment itself.” So basically the person gets better because they believe they will get better. In studies on medications, a number of test subjects are considered the “control group” they get the sugar pill instead of the actual medication. Science accounts for a certain number of the control group having a placebo effect. 

Dumbo’s feather or placebo effect or holistic healing. It is all unlocking the power we have to heal ourselves. I totally believe in holistic healing experiences. I have used EFT to relieve a headache and a stiff neck. Energy Healing helps me relax and I feel centered and grounded once it is over. Acupuncture releases blocks and relieves pain like little else I have tried. These things do work but they work because they allow my body, mind, and spirit to do what it is fully capable of. These holistic modalities facilitate our bodies innate ability to heal itself.

Do I suggest any of these modalities to others. Yes. Which ones you may want to know? I suggest you follow your internal compass. Choose the healing modality that you feel drawn too. Others may try and steer you toward the one that was beneficial for them, but it is important that you listen to your own wisdom. Your soul knows what will best help you. Even if a certain modality was not helpful to your friend, it can still be extremely powerful for you.  Trust yourself.

No matter what modality you decide to use, all of the power exists within you. You are all powerful. You have the ability to do miraculous things. You have Divinity within you. Believe in the possibility that you can feel better. Believe that good health can be in your future. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you find the health that you are seeking, as if by magic.

*Photo taken at Castle Bled in Slovenia.

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A 40 Day Practice

Kundalini Yogis love their multi-day practices. Some commit to a 40 day practice but others commit to 90, 120, or even 1000 days. 1000 days equals 2.7 years and if you miss a single day of practice, you have to start over at day 1. Wow, what a great motivator to not miss a day! Especially once you get a ways into it. When I did my teacher training in Kundalini Yoga, I did a 40 day practice. That was a number of years ago and I do not remember a lot about it; other than really committing to myself seemed to be the hardest part. I now feel compelled to again do another 40 day practice.

During our retreat we did a very motivational YouTube video of Nahbi Kriya. I had already been feeling drawn to start a 40 day practice of this yoga set, so when we did it together that Friday night on the boat, I knew I had to keep going. Emy and I decided we’d both commit to a 40 day practice. We text each other each day as we check off completing our practice for the day. Tonight I completed day #12 and that puts me a little over 1/4 of the way to the finish line. According to 3HO, a 40 day practice, “Will break any negative habits that block you from the expansion possible through the kriya or mantra”.

There are days that seem more difficult and some days when it takes every ounce of my strength to begin again. The thought of having to start over at day 1 again though,  gets me onto my mat and fulfilling my commitment to myself. I have learned some things along the way already, and one is that I am a driven person. I am not good at sitting and resting. I always want to get to the goal as quickly as possible. As I reflect on the 40 day commitment, I realize that I can’t rush this. 40 days is 40 days! I can’t do it 2 or 3 times today to get to the goal sooner. I have to commit to myself and complete each day and then patiently wait for the arrival of the next day.

Another thing I have learned, along the way, is about my nature to attempt to be perfect. My form is not always going to be perfect. Some days my practice is going to be better than others. Some days I will have time to do the full 45 minute versos and other mornings where I am needing to get to the airport; so the 25 minute version may just have to do. I have to trust that adjusting the practice to fit my life, while still maintaining the commitment to myself, is okay. I know that even if today’s best is not the same as my personal best or someone else best, that it is still okay.

Tonight’s practice was done surrounded by family. The grandchildren and a couple of the adults joined me. It was not as peaceful and meditative as it usually is when I perform it in my hotel room; with the toddler was bopping around from person to person, but tonight it was filled with joyous energy and love. Tonight I learned that I can keep commitments to myself even while spending time with those I love.

What commitments would you like to make to yourself? How would you see this taking place in your life? What do you think you might learn from it?

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May your life be filled with fulfilled commitments to yourself, as if by magic.

*Photo was taken on New Smyrna Beach

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Finding a Connection

Whether you use the word God, Universe, Creator, Spirit, or some other term we are all talking about the same thing, that force of life that is in all of us, that guiding force that lets us know there is something greater than ourselves that we are part of that. It is not something separate but something that connects us. For me, it is important to feel this connection. That does not happen by going through my mundane life, plodding along and checking the boxes. It takes an effort on my part to attend events, connect with others on the same spiritual path, and go to locations where I can feel that connection. This weekend I had just this sort of event on my calendar, because a friend had reached out and asked me to attend with her. I am so glad she did. It was an amazingly moving event that inspired us and left us fulfilled.

On Saturday night we went to a Kirtan. What is Kirtan? According to Courtney Amundson and Chi Johnson (the people lead the Kirtan we attended) “Kirtan, also called Bhakti Yoga (the yoga of devotion), is an ancient practice that stems from India. The call-and-response nature of Kirtan involves both performers and audience, setting a unique and sacred space that quiets the mind, reduces stress, and awakens your spirit within. Kirtan is open to all people, regardless of spiritual or religious beliefs!”  It was held in a beautiful space. A yoga studio in the lower level of the Compass Center in Stillwater, MN. The people in attendance ranged from an infant to seniors. Some people sat on the floor and others in chairs. The music was beautiful. The voices, raised together in song, created a beautifully energetic connection between all in attendance.

The music moved my body. As I sat on my yoga mat, I could not help but feel my body swaying in response the rhythms that filled the room. My voice raised signing/chanting the response to the call from the facilitators. I do not feel I have a gift for singing nor do it in public, but on this night, my voice would not be silent. I was a part of the communal energy. The vibration that resonated through the studio. The 3 month old infant was mesmerized by the music and her tiny foot also moved in response. The beauty of this experience even moved some to tears. When I had entered the room, my neck was tight, full of knots, and uncomfortable. It had been a harried day of trying to get projects completed, readying for the arrival of winter, and keeping promises to friends. I walked into this beautiful room, stressed from rushing about and with a headache. As the music and the voices were raised, as I was picked up within the loving, supportive vibrations and everything changed. The stress dropped away. The knots in my neck seemed to melt and released. The headache disappeared. I felt renewed. I felt energized. I felt connected.

I am grateful that my friend reached out to share this experience with us. I am blessed to have a husband who will try new things and is open to attending events like this with me. My life is magical. This spiritual adventure was one of the many blessings that flow into it everyday.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May your life be filled with events that fill your cup in whatever way you need, as if by magic.

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12 Holistic Treatments for Sciatica and Back Pain

People who are experiencing back pain (or sciatica pain) often feel the enjoyment of their life is dimmed by this chronic pain they live with, on a day to day basis. Here are somethings that can be tried to combat this type of pain and help restore the joy to your life. Some of these can provide lasting relief and others can help with momentary relief of especially severe pain.  The goal of all of these is comfort and being able to live the life of your dreams. 

  1. Guided imagery – This can be done via watching a YouTube video or though use of facilitators/hypnotherapist who do a lovely job specific to your needs. I have used this technique, in the past, with my hospice patients and it provided a break from chronic pain for them. 
  2. Progressive relaxation – As a yoga instructor; I have used this technique with my classes, as well as with hospice and even stressed staff members at work. It is a way of starting, at a spot in the body, then progressively relaxing the muscles until they are all relaxed. Tight muscles increase pain so deep relaxation can provide relief, if even for a little while. This too can be accomplished either via a live facilitator or a YouTube video. 
  3. Yoga – Many years of practice and research have shown that yoga is a very effective method of relieving back pain. It provides some nice stretching as well as strengthening. All of this and we have not even talked about the centering quality of yoga. I personally love Kundalini Yoga, but there are many different types. There are even chair yoga classes and again (you guessed it) YouTube videos. If getting onto the floor or standing is not an option for you. 
  4. Turmeric – This amazing root provides us with a natural anti-inflammatory effect that is very beneficial when dealing with these types of pain. I, because of my medical history, cannot take medications such as  Ibuprofen and Aspirin. So Turmeric is my goto for inflammation relief. 
  5. Frankincense Essential Oil – This essential oil is like magic! I think it can and does truly work miracles. If you follow my blog, you probably notice I recommend it for a wide variety of discomforts. Rubbing it on the bottom of the feet can totally resolve Sciatica and back pain. It is worth a shot, even if you think it seems a little to alternative for you. Plus you get the added bonus that you will smell great! 
  6. Acupuncture – You have probably heard me speak of the benefits of acupuncture in the past. Amazing! I wrote an earlier blog called Acupuncture; Have You Tried It?, Here’s the link if you’d like to read and learn more. It is what I lovingly refer to as the “Big Guns”. It helps the energetic flow in your body return to a healthy state as well as increasing the blood circulation to injured areas. 
  7. Arnica – This is a homeopathic remedy. It is deleted to the point where no actual molecules remain and works via the energetic properties of the plant. Arnica is great for pain and comes in tablets (that dissolve under the tongue), gels, or lotions. 
  8. Tai Chi – You have seen the people in the parks practicing their slow, in-synch movements. This is another way to have the energy of your own body doing the healing. It unlocks ancient secrets to allow the energy to better align within your yourself effecting relief.
  9. Cold Packs – I find that ice packs can be a bit much for me. So I have a cherry pit pack that lives in my freezer at all times. It is a nice gentle cold pack and the cherry pits easily mold to fit my body.  Want to make your own? The easiest way is to take a sock and fill it with dry beans, rice, dry corn, or cherry pits (if you happen to have some of those dried and laying around) then sew it shut and throw it in the freezer. 
  10. Cherries – I read, somewhere recently, that cherries have a pain relief property to them. I have not tried this or known anyone who has, but thought I would mention it anyway. 
  11. Louis L Hay’s Affirmations – Louis wrote a book called Heal your body A-Z. She believed that all “disease” in the body was created from negative emotions and belief patterns. So she created positive affirmations or new thought patterns to replace the ones causing us trouble. The one for Sciatica is, “I move into my greater good, my good is everywhere and I am secure and safe”. There are others for back pain depending on where in the back it is located. I have used and recommended Louis’s affirmations many times over the years. They really work. You can put them on sticky notes, where you will run into them during the day and say them out loud or to yourself.
  12. CBD – This last suggestion has been shown to provide amazing benefits. I myself have had it used on me and found my pain relieved. It comes from the Cannibis plant or Hemp. This has caused some controversy around its use. It does not contain THC, the substance that makes people high. For more information follow this link. I have found that it is being more widely used by massage therapist, acupuncturist, and other healers recently. 

Well there you go! There are a dozen ideas to try for your or your loved one’s back or sciatica pain. I would encourage you to try several of them so you can find the ones that are the right fit for you. Also, if it doesn’t work the first time, don’t give up. Be willing to give it another try. You may find it works on you after all.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of comfort, as if by magic.

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Coon Dee What Eee Yoga? ~ A short description of Kundalini Yoga

Have you heard of Kundalini Yoga? It is very different from other yoga you may have tried. I recommend that you give it a shot even if you think you don’t like yoga. I stumbled upon it many years ago and took my first class in the teacher’s backyard with one other student. I was hooked immediately. I have since continued to practice it off and on and even became a certified teacher.  I love it that much!

Kundalini Yoga started in the 60’s when a Guru named Yogi Bhajan saw the kids using psychedelics. He started teaching, this yoga, that could give them the same experiences without the danger and bad effects of drugs. There is still a striving Kundalini Yoga community of really remarkable people. There is even research studies done on the positive and healing effects of Kundalini Yoga.

Things are different when you step into a Kundalini yoga class. First off, the teacher will likely be dressed in all white and have their head covered in some way. We dress in all white to expand our radiance. I always feel radiant in my Kundalini whites and I love wearing them. The head cover is to protect us from all the energies. There is no need for students to wear white or cover their head but, of course, you can if you so choose.

The class has six main parts

1. Tuning In – This is a chant that connects us into the Kundalini ancestry. It is short and you are     welcome to just listen if you are not comfortable with it at first.

2. Warm up – This gets your blood and muscles moving.

3. The Kryia – This is the yoga set. Kundalini yoga is often a lot of movement during the Kryia. Each Kryia is unique in how many exercises and how long they last. Some are done completely while sitting. Each one is different and for different reasons. They are all purposeful!

4. Relaxation – During this part you lay on your back. Often a gong is used and the sound of creation washes over you while you lay peacefully. I love the gong. It is a powerful part of the class. Sometime the relaxation maybe done without the gong.

5. Mediation – Each mediation is different. Some are quiet and some are chanting. Some are still while others include movement. All are powerful. I have had entire children’s books download into my consciousness while in Kundalini Meditation.

6. The Long Time Sunshine Song – is sung. It is either sung 2-3 times through. It is short but powerful. I especially enjoy doing it three times through; with the first time being to yourself, the second sent to someone you love and the third sent out to the world.

Now that you know the basis of what to expect in a Kundalini class, I hope that you will give it a try. The purpose is to move the Kundalini energy up your spine and connect you to your source or God. It is not a religion but a spiritual practice. When I do it I feel calmer, more centered and inspired. It helps me be the best version of myself.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish for you a lifetime of finding your own centering practice that helps you feel your best today and always. I love you!

9 Way to Improve Back Pain

Many people suffer from back pain. For some it is a chronic condition; for others, it is an occasional occurrence after a strenuous day or twisting the wrong way. It can be debilitating and western medicine does not always have the answers. There are many holistic options to treat back pain that are surely worth a shot as an alternative to narcotics, living with pain, or considering surgery. Here are some of my favorites. 

  1. Frankincense essential oil – I love this essential oil for so many things. Rubbing it on the bottom of your feet can provide miraculous relief from chronic back pain. 
  2. Ice – When I first started having back pain I always went to heat. Ice seemed intolerable. Once I tried ice, I knew I would never go back to heat. The problem with heat is that it increases blood flow into and out of the area. This can cause the inflammation in the area to become worse. Ice decreases swelling. It has made such a difference for me. At the first indication of any back pain I am reaching for the ice pack. Just remember not longer than 20 minutes.
  3. Yoga – The stretching and various poses Yoga has to offer can be great for back pain. There are Yoga kriyas or sets that are specifically formulated for back health. They help get the spinal cord moving, can help compress excess fluid out of the disks, and stretch bunched up muscles. Plus the meditative aspects of Yoga can help to provide over all calming, which can relax those tight muscle in the back. 
  4. Massage – Knots and tight muscles can cause a lot of discomfort in the back and the skills of a massage therapist can really work them out and help provide relief from the pain. 
  5. Acupuncture– If you have never tried this, I highly suggest it! I find it so relaxing. I know that sounds crazy but it provides a sense of calm I do not get from other modalities. The needles help increase circulation and chi to the areas of pain. I am not an acupuncturist but I am sure someone with the qualification could explain this better than I can. I know it works for my back pain. 
  6. Chiropractic – There are many different times of chiropractors out there. If you chose to seek this treatment, do your homework and ask questions. One type of Chiropractor may not be right for you while another may be very beneficial. Some Chiropractors use a tool called an “activator” while others uses their bodies to adjust yours and still others have tables that help to make the adjustments. There are also Chiropractors who work more energetically and with your breath. 
  7. Mantras – Louis L Hay felt that our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves cause the illness in our body. In her book, Heal Your Body A-Z, she has mantras for upper, middle, or lower back pain. This is another thing I have done to find my bodies own ability to heal itself. It is something you can try that won’t break the bank and puts the trust in your own body to heal itself. “I trust in the process of life. All I need is taken care of. I am safe.” is her mantra for lower back pain. For other types of back pain, check out her book. 
  8. Strengthen your core – There are lots of ways to do this. Crunches is one that we hear about a lot but there are many resources or personnel trainers out there who could help you with this. A stronger core means there are more muscle to help your back hold you up. 
  9. Turmeric– It helps reduce inflammation.  When I was doing my Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training it was strenuous, with back to back days of full day yoga instruction. One blessed yogi would bring us golden milk to help our sore bodies. Golden milk is almond milk, Turmeric, and Honey. The anti-inflammatory properties of the turmeric helped us get through the growing we were doing physically, while our mind and spirits continued to be enhanced but the yoga. 

I hope you are able to give some of these a try. I hope that they are beneficial to you. If you have other tips for people suffering from back pain please share. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a day filled with flexibility and ease.

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