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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.

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

Bewitching Witch Hazel

Witch HazelDespite its name, there is nothing to fear from this low-growing shrub, although its healing properties may seem a little like witchcraft. Actually, witch hazel may have gotten its name from its association with dowsing, which was once thought to be a form of witchcraft. Witch hazel’s branches were once the wood of choice for dowsing rods, whose purpose was to locate water, or “witch” a well.

Although witch hazel was once used to find hydration, it is now used as an herbal remedy to dry and cleanse skin. The bark, leaves, and twigs of witch hazel are all high in tannins, giving this plant astringent properties. It is also used as a soothing, anti-inflammatory.

Drugstore witch hazel is combined with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol for use on external skin conditions, this form of witch hazel should not be used internally.

Although Witch Hazel had been used by native peoples for nearly two centuries, it was not until Thomas Dickinson built a witch hazel distillery in 1866 that the tree became commonly known for its medicinal value. Dickinson’s formula remains one of the oldest medicinal preparations to have survived unchanged, eighty-six percent double-distilled witch hazel extract and fourteen percent alcohol.

Healers use a decoction of the plant, derived from boiling its twigs and small branches, to treat cuts, bruises, and other injuries. They also find it helpful with colds and as a salve for sore or injured eyes. A cloth soaked in strong witch hazel tea reduces swelling and can relieve the pain of hemorrhoids and bruises

Witch hazel has been used in hair tonics and aftershaves. It prevents wounds from becoming infected, works as an astringent to constrict tissues and stop bleeding, and soothes windburns and sunburns. It also chases away mosquitoes, relieves swelling and aching muscles, and works specifically to treat diarrhea, and varicose veins.

You can rinse your mouth with witch hazel and myrrh for cases of swollen and infected gums. Again, use fresh tea or tincture, not the drugstore witch hazel, which contains isopropyl alcohol. Place a dropper full of tincture of each herb in 1/4 cup of water and use as a mouth rinse. A teaspoon of strong witch hazel tea combined with one drop each of myrrh and clove oil makes a pain- and inflammation-relieving gum rub.

Witch Hazel as part of your medicine chest:

Acne – use as an astringent to remove dirt and oil without drying skin. A cotton pad soaked in witch hazel can treat blemishes.

Blisters – dry blisters by applying a gauze pad soaked in witch hazel, then covering with a bandage.

Insect Bites – relieve itching and swelling by applying a cotton pad soaked with witch hazel to the bite.

Minor Cuts – a natural antibacterial, witch hazel can be applied directly to the wound.

Deodorant – pour witch hazel on a cotton pad and dab under arms, allow to dry.

Sunburns – gently apply a washcloth soaked in witch hazel to provide relief and prevent skin from flaking.

Toner – the astringent properties of witch hazel tone skin and tighten pores. To make a toner, combine equal parts distilled water and witch hazel. Essential oils can be added for a more personalized toner.

Rose Hips

Rose HipRose hips are the cherry-sized red fruits of the rose bush left behind after the bloom has died. Although nearly all rose bushes produce rose hips, the tastiest for eating purposes come from the Rosa rugosa variety. Their flavor is fruity and spicy, much like the cranberry.

Rose hips have been used since the Stone Age but the discovery of rose hip’s high Vitamin C content occurred during World War II. In this period of citrus fruit shortages, the British government organized the harvesting of rose hips in England as a substitute source of Vitamin C. The fruits are harvested after the first frost when they become fully-colored, but not overripe.

The fruit acids and pectin in rose hip tea is a mild diuretic and laxative. It is used to improve, and relieve the symptoms of kidney disorders, or to help in the case of mild constipation. To make the tea simply pour a cup boiling water over a tablespoon of crushed, dried hips and let steep. After straining out any pieces of the hips, add honey if desired and drink.

The seed oil extracted from rose hips is of value in reducing scar tissue and stretch marks caused by pregnancy and birthing, due to its tissue regeneration properties.

Resist the temptation to harvest the hips off the cultivated roses in parks and gardens. They have substantially less Vitamin C in them, and will potentially have been sprayed with pesticides.

Self Care in the New Year

Are you one of the many people that has used the turn of the calendar year as a time to focus on self care? Maybe you are doing a cleanse or adding a new exercise routine. Maybe you are making a conscious effort to eat right and give up some bad habits.

This time of year many people are undertaking some form of cleansing, either in the food they eat or their physical surroundings. If you have decided to do a diet cleanse it is important to support the functioning of your liver. The intention of a cleanse is to rid the body of toxins. If you are going to cleanse the body make sure the liver is prepared to handle the additional load.

Dandelion Happy FaceA simple tea of Dandelion can support the liver and aid in elimination. Pour one cup boiling water over a tablespoon of Dandelion leaf, cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain out leaves and drink the tea. Enjoy 2 -3 cups a day as part of your self care.

Cleansing or not, it is always important to support your liver and digestive system. A single dose of Digestive Bitters before a meal can improve the digestion of fats and increase assimilation of nutrients. The benefits of bitters extend beyond digestion. Bitters increase the tone of the autonomic nervous system and help reduce anxiety and overall stress.

Whatever path you have chosen for the new year, herbs can help you reach your goal. Herbs can help you with the physical, as well as emotional adjustments that come with any new lifestyle.

Always check with your natural health professional before starting any cleanse program.