Are you keeping your nose clean?

In some circles keeping your nose clean means staying out of trouble, to me it means using your neti pot. As a wellness coach I recommend using the least invasive methods first. If you are suffering from allergies or dry sinuses then a neti pot may be your new best friend.

Neti PotThe word “neti” means nasal cleansing in Sanskrit. Developed in ancient India, the neti pot has gained popularity with today’s wellness conscious consumers. Non invasive, easy to use and no side effects make the neti pot a valuable tool to lessen symptoms of colds, allergies, sinusitis and post-nasal drip.

The neti pot works by thinning mucus and flushing out the nasal passages. Breathing through the nose filters and conditions incoming air. The inside of the nose is lined with tiny, hair-like structures called cilia whose job it is to push mucus to the back of the throat so it can be swallowed, or to the front of the nose to be blown out. The cilia are covered with a thin layer of mucus that traps dirt, dust and pollen. It is important that this protective layer of mucus is kept healthy, if the mucus becomes too thick and dry or too thin and runny it is easier for bacteria and viruses to penetrate.

Using a neti pot is easy, here are a few things to remember:Tea pot no web

  • Use a true neti pot that is designed for this purpose. Don’t try to stuff a tea pot up your nose because it has a spout!
  • Use only distilled water. Tap water or even bottled water can contain impurities that can make your condition worse.
  • Use pure non-iodized salt in the recommended amount. You can purchase salt made specifically for the neti pot. If you experience burning in your nose it often means you have not used enough salt.
  • And like a toothbrush, everyone should have their own neti pot.

So how exactly do you use a neti pot? Quite simply you fill it with salt water and pour it through your nose. Okay there is a little more to it, but it really is simple.

  1. Make sure you start with a clean neti pot.
  2. Make a saline solution by using ¼ teaspoon of non-iodized salt in 8oz of warm distilled water.
  3. Bend over the sink and turn your head to one side so that your ear is facing the sink. Keep your forehead at the same height as the chin or slightly higher.
  4. Insert the spout into the upper nostril so it forms a comfortable seal.
  5. Raise the pot gently so the water begins to flow through your upper nostril and out the lower nostril. Breathe through your mouth. If the water drains out of your mouth, lower your forehead in relation to your chin.
  6. Repeat the process on the other nostril.
  7. When you are done exhale vigorously through both nostrils while holding your head over the sink to remove excess water. Don’t pinch your nose. You can blow gently into a tissue if you prefer. Do this until most of the dripping has stopped and you can breathe easily.

If there is any remaining saline solution in your nose do the Forward Bending and Alternate Toe Touching exercises listed below to help you expel the rest of the water.

It’s that simple!

But be warned…you might notice easier breathing, a better sense of smell and enhanced taste buds.

Ready to try the neti pot but don’t own one yet? Click here to order a starter kit complete with a ceramic pot, neti salt and more.

Forward Bending:

Bend forward from the waist far enough so that the top of the head is pointing toward the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds, then return to standing. Follow this movement with a few vigorous exhalations.

Alternate Toe Touching:

Place your feet two to three feet apart. Raise the arms out to the side at shoulder height. Slowly bend from the waist and bring the left hand to the right knee, shin, or foot (whichever you can reach without straining). Reach up toward the ceiling with the right hand; turn the head gently and look toward the raised hand. Hold this position for a few seconds. Come back to standing and repeat the movement to the left. Exhale vigorously through the nose.

Feel the Pressure!

I am prone to headaches. Not full blown migraines like some of my friends get, but your everyday tension headache. It is the most common type of headache, a pain in the head, scalp or neck that is a result of the surrounding muscles getting tense.woman-computer-drawing1

Tension headaches can be caused by stress, depression, anxiety, fatigue or any activity that causes the head to be held in one position for a long time. Like when I sit staring at the computer all day.

There are many ways to deal with this type of headache that do not include the use of medication. When I am feeling less than whole I like to use the simplest, least invasive techniques first and only resort to chemical alteration when nothing else has worked.

One of the simplest forms of headache relief is acupressure. Quick and easy, acupressure is a natural solution for tension headaches. Acupressure has been used in China for at least 2000 years and is recommended today by a growing number of wellness practitioners, massage therapists and even some enlightened doctors!

I am by no means skilled in acupressure but the points for relieving tension headaches are so simple that anyone can take matters into their own hands.

Head Accupressure WebThe first acupressure point for relieving headaches is called GB20. It is located below the base of the skull in the hollows on both sides of the neck. Put your hands on your head and use your thumbs to locate the depression at the base of your skull, about 2 inches out from the middle of your neck outside of the large muscles running down the back of your neck.

Press your thumbs in and slightly upward in the direction of your eyes. Press until you feel no more than a comfortable pain, then hold the pressure while you knead the points in very small circular movements for 1-2 minutes. Close your eyes and focus on the points as you press them. If the points are very tender ease off the pressure a bit.

The second acupressure point for relieving headaches is CO4, a hand point. Do not use this point during pregnancy!

Hand Accupressure Collage

This point is located on both hands, about 1 ½ inches in from the edge of the webbing between your thumbs and index fingers. Put your left thumb on the right hand point and your left index finger on the other (palm) side of the webbing to create a pinching motion. Squeeze and massage the point in very small circular movements for 1-2 minutes. Repeat on the other hand. Close your eyes and and focus on the points as you press them.


Stretch It First

I strained a muscle in my back. I couldn’t bend over and it hurt. Sound familiar?

As a massage therapist many people tell me “my body hurts but I don’t know what I did to cause it”. The same was true for me this time; I had no idea what I had done. My best guess was that I pulled something when I was hauling sand to the fairy garden, but I didn’t feel anything then. Of course I was having so much fun with the fairies that I wasn’t paying attention to my body mechanics.

The truth is I could probably have avoided that strain if I had stretched that morning before I got out of bed.

Most of us know to stretch before physical exercise, making sure to warm up before our workout. But do you stretch before you get out of bed to start your day? You have been lying down for 7-8 hours and your body is relaxed. Stretching before you get out of bed is an important part of maintaining flexibility and can be a great way to wake up. It is also super easy!

Lie on your back. Hug your knees to your chest. Take 3 deep breaths. Release.Stretch Pic Web

One of the simplest exercises to perform; it is a great stretch to release tension in the back and open the lumbar spine.

Add this quick stretch to your morning routine and enjoy more wellness!

If you have a little more time and want to increase your stretch try this additional exercise. Lie on your back. Pull one leg up to your chest while extending the opposite leg fully. Hold for 3 breaths then release. Repeat with the opposite leg. Hug both knees to your chest and take 3 deep breaths. Release legs.

Get a little nutty!

It is the beginning of the year, a time when many people make New Year’s resolutions that include losing weight, exercising more, eating better or some combination of the three. What if you could make one simple change that would help you lose weight and eat better? Go nuts.

Particularly raw tree nuts, such as almonds, cashews, walnuts and pecans which have been shown to help with cholesterol, heart health, weight control and some cancers. Nuts are underutilized as a nutritious snack. A small handful of nuts contain protein, fiber, unsaturated fats and important vitamins and minerals.

Cashew Nuts webAlmonds are good for your digestive system by providing a healthy dose of fiber and balancing blood sugar. They are also rich in vitamin E and can help with weight loss. Cashews are rich in zinc, a boost for your immune system. The magnesium found in cashews can boost memory and they taste good! Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce inflammation.

Steer clear of nuts that have been flavored, roasted in oil, honey-roasted or heavily salted. These processes add unhealthy fats and unnecessary sodium. If you are concerned about your salt intake but really like the taste of salty nuts, mix both salted and unsalted nuts together and shake to distribute the salt evenly. If you want salty buy nuts that use sea salt.

If you want to add a little spice to your nuts try this sugar-free Sweetish Nuts recipe….

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract and 1 ½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large bowl. Add 4 ounces each of raw walnuts, raw pecans and raw cashews. Massage spices into nuts, then place on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool and store in airtight container.

Spiral Garden

I was really to busy to read the email but my head just needed a break from thinking. If it had been about clothes or shoes I would have deleted it without opening, but it was plants. Not just plants, but plants on SALE. I told myself there was no harm in just looking. It was usually only the culinary herbs that were on sale, not often did I see medicinal herbs on a good sale so I didn’t see any harm.

A box arrived a few days later with 18 new plants. It was a good sale.

Box of herbs

Valerian, Echinacea, St Johns Wort, Sage

Of course new plants meant they needed to be planted somewhere. Now was the time to build the spiral garden I had been wanting. The first time I saw a picture of a spiral garden I wanted one. It is so me. Combining a spiral with plants….genius!

A spiral garden is a compact vertical garden that allows you to plant a larger variety of plants in a limited amount of space. The spiral structure naturally creates both sunny and shady spots in the garden. The downhill slope allows water to flow to the bottom for plants that need more moisture and leaves a drier planting area at the top. The bricks used for the structure hold heat and insulate the plants in cooler weather. Also the plants are in a raised bed and easy to reach.

I secretly picked out a spot and then tried to casually tell Tom what I thought would be a nice addition to our yard. He knew the game. I wanted one and he was going to have to figure out how to build it. I did a poor job of explaining a spiral garden so I showed him some pictures and a YouTube video of how to build one. He loved the idea and began sketching what it would look like.Spiral Garden

It turns out that you can build a beautiful spiral garden in a weekend!

I planted white Sage at the top since it likes the dry heat. In addition there is Lemon Balm, St John’s Wort, Peppermint, Oregano and garlic Chives. There is still plenty of room.

So you know what that means…..more plants needed!

Armand & Angelina In Concert

International performing artists, and inspirational speakers Armand and Angelina, perform a fusion of Classical, Popular, Broadway and World music for a once in a lifetime experience of love, laughter and music.

Hear their live house concert at….

Peaceful Spirit Enrichment Center

Friday, December 5th at 6:30pm

Arnamd & Angelina togetherGifted with one of the most angelic and heart-opening voices of our time, Angelina is often compared to Sarah Brightman. Armand’s brilliant compositions, powerful vocals and engaging presence inspires us to love life passionately.

Come and hear them sing their versions of Hallelujah, Aquarius, Amazing Grace, Ave Maria, Pie Jesu, plus many of their original humorous and love songs.

Bring your family and friends to enjoy an inspirational evening! We will provide the fresh popcorn and light snacks, you can provide your own beverage of choice.

Space is limited and expected to sell out.Save Seat Image

Soundwave Table

Sound Healing Now Available at Peaceful Spirit Enrichment Center

Soundtable Outside WebThe soundwave table is a combined sound healing instrument and treatment table with a 40 string monochord on one side and a tongue drum on the other side. Lovingly handcrafted right here at the Peaceful Spirit Center by the talented Tom Dunlap, each step of its creation was infused with spiritual connection and healing intention.

Holistic medicine believes that disease, at its core, is a misalignment of energies, that our cells, muscles and organs store blocked energy and this manifests as disease. Recent scientific studies have proven the benefits of sound therapy as a vital part of the healing process for illnesses such as cancer, depression, fibromyalgia and PTSD just to name a few.

Sound healing is a type of energy medicine that uses harmonic vibrations to reduce stress, manage pain, increase immunity and create the deep sense of peace and well-being needed for healing. The soundwave table directly accesses the cellular memory needed to release blocked energy and bring the body back into alignment on a cellular level.

To receive a treatment you recline onto the curved surface of the soundwave table, allowing you to hear as well as feel the angelic vibrations from the monochord strings and the grounding heartbeat created by the tongue drum. The soundwave table becomes a channel of sound and vibration that realigns your physical, emotional and spiritual energies bringing you into perfect harmony.

After sessions clients experience a deep sense of peace, clarity and vitality. Many report out of body experiences while staying deeply rooted within, a reduction in pain and the ability to sleep soundly – many feel the effects of treatment for several days.

Now you can experience this one of a kind healing experience for yourself at the Peaceful Spirit Enrichment Center! Available in 30 minute or 60 minute appointments.

We Survived the Flood!

Water WebThank you to everyone for the phone calls, emails, texts and facebook messages yesterday checking on us here at the Center! You love, concern and support was very touching.

We received over 4″ of rain by the time it was all over! The washes were raging like we have never seen them. We have had minimal damage, lots of debris down, rocks undercut and rearranged on the Labyrinth, flooding in the garden and lots of ditches dug by the water run-off. The fairy garden looks a little worse for wear but no fairies were harmed. The walking paths around the grounds are all washed away but considering all the damage around New River we consider ourselves very lucky.

Cactus Down WebI won’t lie…we may need your help to fix things up. A large portion of the sand on the Labyrinth was washed away and it is hard work to haul it back. We have lots of downed limbs and tree damage that needs tending and the paths will have to be rebuilt. If you want to help we will be scheduling a volunteer day where you can pitch in. We have to get the place back into shape so we can gather for the AZ Goddess Conference!

Again thank you for all your support. I know your thoughts and prayers combined to protect us from harm.

Many of you have asked how you can help right now. We are open for business so book a healing session, attend an event or purchase some products. Your continued support is what keeps us here! Thank you!

Blessed be,
Melanie, Tom & Lisa

Enzymes Words

No More Mid Day Slump!

Your digestive system is the key to overall health. Even people with the healthiest dietary habits may not be getting all the nutrients they need because they are missing the enzymes that break down the food.Fruit Face Pic Polaroid

Everything your body needs comes from what you eat, that puts a high priority on digestion. Other systems, like immunity and energy, have to step up when the digestive system is struggling. That is why when you don’t eat properly you get sick or suffer from low energy; your body has reassigned its resources!

Enzymes are what the body naturally uses to digest the food you eat. You get enzymes in two ways, from the foods you eat and by your body making them. There is a good chance you are not getting enough enzymes from either source.

When we cook food we kill the enzymes. That’s right, anything cooked over 118 degrees destroys the enzymes needed to digest it! And, as we age our body’s ability to produce enzymes diminishes.

Having been gluten free for over 6 years I thought my digestion was on the right track. I avoid any wheat products, eat my veggies, buy organic whenever I can and drink water until I slosh. But like anyone else I had little issues. A few months ago I started taking digestive enzymes and what a difference! I don’t experience gas or bloating after I eat and I have more energy throughout the day. No more mid day slump!

I was so impressed at how they worked on me that I started offering digestive enzymes from Allegany Nutrition to my clients. Designed to work in a wide pH range, gluten free and plant based made the decision an easy one for me. If you have questions about your digestion and using enzymes contact me for a FREE 20 minute strategy session.