From the Blog of Pure Wellness

Pain Posts

The Care and Feeding of the Body, Mind, and Spirit

Most often when clients come in for massage, there is only one thing on their mind: their body. Aches, pains, injuries. And rightly so, as pain can be debilitating and fog up thinking.

But the body and it’s physical needs do not happen in a vacuum. The mind and our spirits have a lot of say in what signals it’s sending. Stress can increase pain and how we experience it. Overwhelming thoughts, too much to do, social media scrolling, work, home, relationships, spiritual crisis, children, friends… should I go on? I bet your shoulders are raising just reading that list.

So what can we do at home?

  • Be aware of your posture: pull your shoulders back and down away from your head, straighten your spine, take a slow breath in and slowly out.
  • Unhinge that jaw: even if you aren’t a grinder, most people don’t realize how contracted their jaws are or how much they clench while they think they’re just in a neutral stance.
  • Take purposeful moments of silence: Get up from where you are and change your scenery, whether outside or another room that is quiet. Allow yourself even 1 minute of aware, slow breathing.
  • Take care of yourself in all ways: Are you feeding yourself nourishing foods? Are you hydrating your body? Are you attending all of your medical and self-care appointments? Are you taking time to take care of you?

What can you do at your sessions?

  • See above: do all of these when coming in for a session. It’s very important you allow your body to completely relax. This helps your body, mind and spirit to balance out as well as allow your therapist to do the work they need without resistance from the body and mind.
  • Don’t fight or help: Many people forget they are holding their muscles in positions that are tight and sometimes they think they are helping the therapist. When you are fighting or helping it makes it more difficult for your therapist to move the muscles that need to be moved in a flowing way. If you are fighting because something hurts or strains, tell your therapist right away. Forcing can also backfire as well.
  • Let your therapist know what’s on your mind: every session is confidential. If you have stress going on or feel that your energy is off, this can help guide the session. It can also help if you need a referral to a different professional or switching to energy work like reiki.

Allowing yourself and your therapist to be honest and know everything that is going on will fulfill your sessions in a more meaningful way and in turn, your life.

Everyone Has Stress (Even the Good Kind)

After doing a little estimating, I realized I’ve had at least 6,000 appointments (thousands of people) for wellness appointments (massage, reiki, meditation, self care classes) over the past 10 years. Every single one of them comes in with some type of stress, even if they’re coming in for injuries or chronic pain.
So many lives and stories all pointing back to one thing: stress.

Stress does not necessarily mean something bad either. Some have stress from happy events or even things they enjoy doing regularly.

So… are you taking time to just Be? Are you taking time to do nothing? I know. Many people prickle at the thought of doing nothing: they think it may be lazy, unproductive, or even boring. I’m not talking about days on end. I’m talking about an afternoon, an hour or even 5 minutes of actually breathing. Listening to your breath travel through your nose and down into your lungs- one of the things that keep you alive.

I’m also talking about putting time aside for that thing you enjoy doing but causes you stress because you’ve crammed it into an already too-packed schedule.

I know, some say “no time! No privacy”. Take your kids to the swings in a park. Sit by a tree for 5 minutes. Go to the bathroom and lock the door for 10 minutes.

Ask for help.
I have to ask for help too.

Now take a deep breath.

A New Resolution: Taking Care of Yourself

Whether or not you make resolutions, it’s become more important than ever to take care of yourself. Besides living a long life and being around for your loved ones (including children), don’t you want your long life to be as stress-free as possible? Many people are probably laughing at that last thought, but of all the things you can  control: How to relieve your body of unwanted stress.

Have you heard of 21st Century Stress? Yes, it’s a real thing. Whether we want to admit it or not, our lives are a constant buzzing around, checking emails, posting on facebook, tweeting this and texting that. We’ve actually somehow added to the day to day stress of just living, working, and even playing.

Read Full Article

Aromatherapy Education: Balsam Fir

Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea canadensis) is associated with winter time and the holidays, but it can also be a refreshing aroma for any time of the year! Some benefits:

  • grounding
  • great for aching muscles

The essential oil is distilled from the needles. It’s great diluted and used topically for achy muscles and joints. Diffused it is said to help tight coughs and congestion as well as calming and grounding.

Herbalism Education: Herbs in Massage

Did you know you can add food into the mix without being messy?
Did you know you can make massage oils without buying expensive essential oils?

Making your own herbal infused massage oil is actually very easy! You only need 3 supplies and a good 6 weeks to make it happen.
Read below to see which type of massage oil you would like to make.

Pick an herb
Lavender – relaxing
Chamomile – relaxing
Comfrey – soothing
Ginger – warming
Calendula – hydrating
Rosemary – muscle rub
or pick an herb to experiment with. There are SO many!
Pick a carrier oil
Almond Oil
Grapeseed Oil
Olive Oil
Jojoba Oil
or pick another carrier oil that you love.
Mason Jar with Lid

Directions: You can use dried or fresh herbs (make sure you leave no space for any bacteria to grow if you are using fresh). Fill the jar with chopped herb, cover completely with your carrier oil, cap the jar tight and set in a sunny area in the house. You will notice infusion with some herbs with the oil changes color (depending on the herb) or just wait 6 weeks until it’s ready. Strain the oil through cheesecloth and bottle your lovely, new herbal massage oil and keep it in a dark, cool cabinet when not in use.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Herbalism Education: Calendula

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Essential Oil: CO2 extracted

Uses: anti inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antispasmodic, anti fungal, astringent, antimicrobial. Fresh or dried leaves and flowers can be used in essential oils, teas, tinctures, salves and infused oils.

Quick Tip: To have on hand for minor scrapes and bruises, fill a sterilized mason jar with fresh Calendula flowers and top off with any carrier oil (such as Olive oil or jojoba). Let sit in the sun from 2-4 weeks. Strain flowers and keep oil in a dark, cool cabinet. (Compost your flowers!)

Herb of the week is to give you a brief overview of the many plants that grace our Earth. Please research further into herbs before using these on yourself and loved ones. Especially if you are pregnant.

Herbalism Education: Feverfew

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)

Essential Oil: None

Uses: Diaphoretic, Antiinflammatory. Fresh or dried leaves can be used as a tea or tincture

Quick Tip: Use a teaspoon of dry feverfew leaves in a boiling cup of water, along with peppermint at the beginning of a headache to prevent.

Herb of the week is to give you a brief overview of the many plants that grace our Earth. Please research further into herbs before using these on yourself and loved ones. Especially if you are pregnant.

Herbalism Education: Motherwort

Motherwort, Leonurus cardiac

Uses: Nervine, diuretic, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, uterine tonic.  Fresh or dried Motherwort can be used in teas, tinctures, poultice and infused oils.

Quick Tip: For menstrual related nerves and emotions, mix 1-2 teaspoons of motherwort in a cup of boiling water and steep for 5-10 minutes. Add spearmint or peppermint for a more pleasant taste.

Herb of the week is to give you a brief overview of the many plants that grace our Earth. Please research further into herbs before using these on yourself and loved ones. Especially if you are pregnant.

Herbalism Education: Lavender

Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia

Essential Oil: Steam Distilled

Uses: antiseptic, nervine, stomachic, anti-inflammatory, calming, mild sedatitive.  Fresh or dried Lavender can be used in teas, tinctures, liniments and infused oils.  The essential oil can be used in lotions, salves, oils, bath soaks, sprays or diffusers and sometimes neat (please use caution and test before using it undiluted)

Quick Tip: Make a sleep sachet by filling a muslin bag with dry or fresh lavender to hang by your bed. Rub the flowers to release any essential oils again.

Herb of the week is to give you a brief overview of the many plants that grace our Earth. Please research further into herbs before using these on yourself and loved ones.