From the Blog of Pure Wellness

Stress Posts

Never Stop Learning

Though most of my clients, who have been with me a long time, know me as their Massage Therapist, others may know me as their facilitator or teacher.

Growing up, I struggled in traditional school. As soon as I started college, though, something clicked. I found my passion and I did well! From that point on I couldn’t learn fast enough. Life is full of so many wonders and infinite information to learn. When I realized I enjoyed facilitating knowledge in a non-traditional setting, that was it. I knew it was where I was supposed to be. In turn, it has continued my own learning process as well.

I want to share with you all the different classes and workshops I offer and hope you join me soon! I offer them in groups, privately or online. Most of these life art classes and workshops integrate self-care and meditation.

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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.

The Language of the Skies & The Feeding of the Soul: The Astrothecary

The first time I picked up an astrology book was when I was 15. Connecting to my sun sign of Aquarius was like opening up a book and reading about my life. From then on, astrology flitted in and out of my life. About 6 years ago, I started really delving into it, reading as much as I could and pulling up charts to try to decipher them. A year ago I made the leap to start studying with a teacher and mentor who has been doing astrology for almost 40 years.

You may ask “what the heck does this all have to do with wellness, Cathy?” It took me this long to realize what an important, historical, life art that astrology is and how it has woven itself in and out of my own wellness path, but it kept showing up in sessions with clients, my classes and life in general. And isn’t wellness the overall arc of life?

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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.

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Women’s Self-Care

For a very long time, women were pushed further and further into the background. Though we have been making strides in the last century, women still tend to forget themselves. Taking care of loved ones, working, keeping up the home, and general modern life stress can take a toll. We make excuses, even sub-consciously, “no time”, “too tired”, “not in the budget”. But it is extremely important to even take a moment each day to breathe. Being tapped out on energy can leak into other areas of our lives.

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Herbalism Education: Linden Blossom

The Linden flower comes from the Tilia tree family. Some common names you might recognize are Basswood trees or Linden tree or Lime Flower Tree.

Linden flowers may be used fresh or dried in infusions, teas, tinctures, infused oils and essential oil. It has a sweet taste and aroma. Suggested uses: uplifting, calming, expectorant, anti-inflammation, anti-spasmodic, sedative.

Quick Tip: Use the light green straight leaf attached to the flowers in a tea for a cheerful treat, served hot or iced.