There are many words today associated with wellness. Many of those terms are new for readers, and some of the terms are interchangeable between fitness, wellness, and health. So, let’s take a minute to explain some of the terms you may see from time to time.
Wellness itself is defined as the condition of good physical and mental health, especially when maintained by proper diet, exercise, and habits. Well-Being is one of our top values at Somatic Synergies. We see well being as the balance of all the parts of life in alignment with each other and when one area comes out of balance that steps are being taken to bring back into harmony. These areas can include our physical, mental, emotional, relational and energetic needs.
Meditation, an exercise recommended for everyone, but especially those of us with hectic, stressful lifestyles, is defined as an engagement in contemplation, especially of a spiritual or devotional nature. Meditation has been shown to be an effective method of lowering blood pressure, relieving stress, and promoting overall good health, by simply reflecting upon our day, and finding happiness within ourselves. The benefits have been widely studied and proven, and it is a wonderful compliment to any practice to promote mental and emotional health.
Fitness refers to the condition of our physical body and mental fitness would of course be addressing our mental state. Many fitness centers provide personal trainers, and stationary fitness equipment that can be used with or without guidance to maintain a level of physical fitness. There are numerous pieces of equipment available that perform many different exercises to address specific areas of the body. There are so many forms of exercise that we can only try to cover some of the more popular and well-defined programs. There are aerobic programs that focus on heart rate and your cardiac health. Cardio activities like running, swimming and cycling are great for our aerobic fitness. Weight training and free weights are used for building muscle mass and body-sculpting. Even just simply walking is one of the best exercises available, as it doesn’t jar our bodies, but uses all parts for toning and building heart rate.
Nutrition refers to all the things you choose to consume. This can be the foods and drinks or supplements like vitamins and minerals needed in order for you to sustain optimum physical health. Much discussion is centered on this topic right now, because our nation faces obesity problems of epidemic proportions. Almost all nutrition specialists would agree that a well balanced diet of proteins, complex carbs and good fats can help maintain a healthy physique and prevent many diseases.
Alternative therapies refer to the care options such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, herbal cures, and holistic medicine. Of the examples given here, chiropractic and acupuncture are more widely accepted as complements to the traditional form of western medicine.
Herbal cleansing and healing are terms used by many of the natural healers to describe what ingestion of certain herbal combinations can provide for the body in the effort to bring it back to optimal health, or to sustain optimal health. Things like juice cleanses and The Master Cleanse are very popular for resetting your gut health and metabolism. The Master Cleanse is a combination of Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar, Maple Syrup and Cayenne Pepper in water. You consume if for 24 to 72 hours to clean everything out.
Today, wellness is used not only in conjunction with health and fitness, but also wellness of the mind, body, and spirit. There is an ever-increasing movement among the health-conscious citizens, that wellness should include not only our physical being, but our mental and spiritual health. The only true form of wellness must include the entire person.
Our focus is to help people bring their wellness back into balance between body, mind, emotions and spirit. We do this by using hands on massage techniques for pain and nurturing of the body, guided meditations and breath practices for the mind and emotions, and energy techniques and breathwork for integration of all. Many of us face imbalances due to injuries, past traumas, and beliefs about our behavior patterns that can keep us out of balance. Wellness in these areas is about creating presence and awareness in how we interact with each of them in our lives. Let us know if we can help you find that harmony!!
If you are finding yourself nervous, scared, or worried and don't know why you are feeling this way, you may discover that you are suffering from symptoms of anxiety. To receive a formal diagnosis, we suggest that you see your medical doctor. However, anxiety is fairly common and is not something to be ashamed of, nor is it something that necessarily requires medication to treat. There are some people who only find relief from anxiety by prescription drugs, and we don't want to minimize the importance of that, but many others find natural solutions in home remedies that are extremely effective. Working to find the best solution for you can be a rather trying experience, but there are plenty of great home remedies that can prove to be extremely effective.
1. Alcohol Reduction: It is largely reported by people suffering from anxiety that they feel much more anxious after they have consumed large amounts of alcohol. This points to cutting back the intake of alcohol as one of the most effective treatments that you can do to reduce your anxiety level. If we must be brutally honest though, this will have a limited effect. After all, if you are only a slight social drinker there will be very little you can do to reduce your intake further. This means this particular method is much more suited for those who tend to drink at least a few drinks a week.
2. Quality Sleep & Vitamins: Getting as much sleep as possible to ensure you are well rested. A lack of sleep has been attributed to increasing the occurrence of anxiety attacks. In addition to the additional rest as needed, taking some additional B vitamins such as can be found in most vitamin supplements has also shown great promise to help relieve symptoms. An additional benefit to the vitamins is the ability to allow you to pick up any additional nutrients that you might be missing out on due to your typical dietary habits.
3. Sugar Reduction: Many people have had great amounts of success by limiting their intakes of sweeteners. This includes natural sugar, as well as the artificial sweeteners. In order to really obtain the biggest benefit, you should try to watch your reactions to certain sweeteners. There are some that can make the problems worse for you, while others may not bother you. If there is a sweetener that you can safely use, it is important to stay with it, while avoiding the others that tend to aggravate your anxiety.
4. Caffeine Reduction: It is recommended that you avoid any products that are extremely high in caffeine. Because caffeine is extremely likely to spike anxiety, many people who are anxious tend to suffer much more than necessary. Reducing caffeine intake can often provide some rather rapid differences that might otherwise never come. If you are in a habit of drinking coffee each morning, you can simply switch to decaffeinated in order to reduce your caffeine intake while still enjoying your morning cup of coffee.
5. Movement: Another suggested home remedy that has provided great benefits is getting up and starting to walk around or exercise whenever you feel anxious. By getting up and moving around, you are taking your mind off of the anxiety that you are feeling and allowing yourself to slowly clam down at your own pace. This is extremely effective for most people since it will allow you to refocus your attention to the activity that you are doing, rather than on the actual anxiety that you are presently feeling.
6. Book a session with us: We offer services that can significantly reduce your symptoms. Book a massage therapy session with us for instant relaxation! Join us our weekly breathwork sessions. Schedule a cranial-sacral therapy session with us. Join one of our workshops! If you are feeling ready to dig deep, book Dynamic Alignment. All of these offerings have the potential to minimize your symptoms for the day and/or completely transform your relationship to your anxiety. Most importantly, know that what you are experiencing is common and normal. You are not alone and we are here to support you!
By using discretion about the use of medication to treat anxiety, you may be able to avoid many of the harsh side effects that are otherwise experienced from them. It may take a while to find the right solution for your needs depending on exactly what factors are encouraging the stress, but a solution really is possible with the right effort.
Meditating is a practice recommended for everyone, but especially those of us with hectic, stressful lifestyles. Meditating is defined as an engagement in contemplation, especially of a spiritual or devotional nature used to focus the mind. It has been shown to relieve stress and promote overall good health, by simply reflecting upon our day and finding happiness within ourselves.
Our mind has varying levels of operation, known as brainwaves. As we pass through the different stages of our day, we enter various stages of brain wave activity. The brain uses this tool as one way to allow us time to rest our busy mind, and cope with all the pieces of information we’ve received, a way to kind of “mind file” for the day. Meditating can lead us into deep states of these brain waves, aiding in relaxation, higher brain function and cognitive abilities.
Modern alternative medicine and holistic healers believe in the power of the energy that flows through our bodies; this energy radiates from our mind as well. It is believed to be the chief form of transportation for our body’s nervous system to carry out communication. Breathing techniques, music, aromas, and candle therapy are all strategies of mediating we can use to reflect on our day, allowing our mind to rest and replenish itself for further use. But are these methods keeping us mentally fit? Yes! The great benefit in meditating, however, is the mind’s ability to transform itself into a vehicle for higher awareness. Meditating strengthens our minds to become aware that there is more to our being than just our physical activity. We have so much more potential locked away in our mind, resources that we never tap into until we have the chance to quiet the mind, quiet our surroundings and open the door to the possibilities we don’t examine on a day to day basis.
In a meditative state, thoughts that never have the opportunity to be heard during the bustle of the day are afforded the opportunity to come forward and be heard. Every step that we take is a step in some direction for our life. The opportunity to set our own destiny, develop our manifest of what we believe our life should be, are just some of the opportunities meditating provides. Every action we’ve ever taken started as a thought. The thought was then brought into reality by our action on that thought. So, are we able to produce new thoughts and new possibilities, in this time of quiet reflection?
It is in these small moments of creativity and higher conscious operation that our mind heals itself from the stresses of the everyday activities, and maintains a real level of healthy operation. Our mind is like our body, we don’t have to look unhealthy to be unhealthy, and sooner or later, the illnesses show.
Meditating and Meditation are not to be confused. Meditating is the action we do to achieve the state of meditation. Focusing on the breath, following a guided mediation recording, observing. flame are all things we do to bring our awareness back to when the mind wanders. Meditating is practice of focusing the mind. IT WILL WANDER!! It is designed to. The practice eventually leads to the state of meditation. This is the state that the magic happens. Sometimes it takes 30 seconds, other times you can meditate for an hour and continually bring your mind back to your focal point not quite reaching that flowing meditative state. Which is the point. Every time we catch the mind wandering and come back to our focus, it is like one rep in our set time of mediating. Sometimes we get in 5 or six reps, sometimes its more like 500 reps. At some point along the way, you realize many moments have passed and you did not have to remind yourself to keep your focus and a clarity or flow state sets in. This is meditation.
I am often told that meditating is hard, or that the mind wanders too much. Start with just 8 breaths. Breath in and out 8 times, focusing your attention on your breath. Count them. Feel the chest or belly rise and fall. If you lose count, start over. When you are able to get to 8 breaths without reminding your mind to focus, try for 12 or 16. You don't have to start by trying to meditate for 20 minutes. That is like running a 10k when you can't run around the block. It can take a little time and dedication, but I promise you it is worth it. It becomes a practice that you can come back to at any time. Even right now, come back to your breath, even if it's just one. We are always one breath away from our presence.
If you have had a chance to attend a breathwork class, it is probably safe to say that the experience, regardless of what kind, was profound and unlike any other. Who knew that something we subconsciously do throughout the entirety of our physical existence has more depth and power than we ever realized?
First, what is breathwork and how is it different from natural, day-to-day breathing? Breathwork is the conscious and intentional controlling of your breathing patterns for either short or extended lengths of time. It has the potential to influence a person's mental, emotional, and spiritual state and can be incredibly therapeutic. Breathing techniques can be used in a variety of ways. Some examples can be from simply warming or cooling the body, to easing the mind from stress and anxiety, to tapping into your ability to go into the subconscious, to even having a profound spiritual experience, such as, receiving messages from angels or loved ones that have passed on. The possibilities are endless, and each time is different than the one before. One thing I know for sure is that the breath always meets you where you're at and shows you what you need in that particular moment.
Here is just one testimony from one of our team members, Talia, who had never gone through a breathwork session before attending one at Somatic Synergies.
"I came into my first breathwork session without a lot of information about it. I have pretty extensive experience with yoga, and I took my Yoga Teacher Training, which both include simple breathing techniques and usually an explanation of what they do; but I'd never done any kind of breathwork for an extended period of time. I went into it with an open mind, but without a lot of information, and that was my intention - I wanted to have a genuine experience without any preconceived notions of what would happen.
I came into the studio and picked up any props to make myself feel the most comfortable to be laying down for an extended period of time. Nate began with an introduction to let us know what could potentially happen as not to be alarmed by some of the sensations that frequently come up. Even though I didn't do research beforehand, I am thankful that he started class this way so that I wasn't alarmed by what I felt. He did a demonstration of what our breathing pattern should sound and feel like. Then we laid down, got cozy, and started to breathe.
I didn't have a great sense of time, but I'd say about 15 minutes into it, I started to feel tingling in my lips, fingers, and toes. As I continued breathing in this way, my extremities continued to tingle until they started to become stiff and curl inwards, which I learned later on is called 'tetany' and has something to do with oxygenation of the blood. It was startling at first and brought up a lot of fear and anxiety until I decided that this wouldn't harm me, and I let it go. About 45 minutes in, we stopped the active breathing and went back to our natural state. I'm not really sure where I went for the next half hour or so. I wasn't asleep, but it seemed like I was in a deep state of relaxation as I had sent my brain into another frequency. After some time in that state, we were slowly and gently brought back into the room and into our physical bodies.
Over the course of the last year, I've continued to join breathwork classes and I can tell you that every time is different. Nate does a great job of creating the container and allowing the space for whatever needs to come up to come up freely. There are so few times in life that we have full permission to do that, without judgement.
What I've learned is that I have the power within myself to do deep, transformational work to heal what needs to be healed. I've learned that this work is incredibly important, not only for my own personal happiness (which is very important), but that there is deeper value there that extends much further beyond myself. There is a ripple effect and an impact we all have on the world around us, and it begins deep within ourselves, in our breath, and in our souls. We have the power to heal wounds inside of us, and in turn, opportunities to help heal the world. This makes me think of a powerful quote by David W. Orr which says, 'The plain fact is that the planet doesn't need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who will live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.'
How incredible is it to know that such transformation can all start with something as simple as breathing?"
The last few weeks, our blogs have revolved around overall wellness and wellness of the mind. Last week we spoke about meditation and awareness and this week we have a special guided meditation. With love in the forefront of our minds this week (Happy Valentine's Day!), we want to offer you a cord-cutting, heart attachment meditation guided by Nate Ewert. Cord-cutting is a healing technique that assists in freeing you from unhealthy energetic bonds and obstructions that are limiting you. Allowing yourself to let go and detach from these bonds, creates the space to focus your awareness on the things that serve you instead. Maybe practice some self-love today by listening to the meditation and referring back to it in the future when you find it helpful. This is our gift to you and you deserve it!
Click Here to Download or you can listen below.
We all know it is not possible to roll back time or undo bad decisions we've made in the past. However, using a presence practice like meditation can start to change the way we feel about the decisions we made so that they will stop tormenting us here in the present. We all carry baggage from the past; things like broken hearts, hurt feelings, events that may have brought us pain, or we may torment ourselves over missed opportunities or guilt from wrong choices we've made.
We must find a way to allow ourselves to let things in the past go that we cannot change or else they can take over our present lives. This take-over shows up in ways that we typically can't see for ourselves. Our past shows up in behaviors patterns, projections of feelings, distractions and reactions. Meditation is simply focusing our mind and observing our thoughts in a way that allows them to be there without interaction. When you learn to start being present with the present, you start healing and forgiving your past. This can shift the way you look at past situations you cannot change, in a brighter light, with a new understanding on the events that have hurt you.
The following exercise is to see how a specific situation from the past is still affecting you today. You can do this exercise with any event from your past, not just an early childhood event.
- Start by finding a comfortable place to sit.
- Set a timer for 3 minutes.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Count to 4 for your inhale and 4 for your exhale.
- Any time your mind wanders, thank yourself for being aware that your mind is wandering and come back to counting your breath.
- Once the timer is up, open your eyes and reflect on the following 6 questions:
1. What is the earliest memory that you can remember from your childhood? (Try to recall a specific event or experience, not just a feeling or impression)
2. What are the impressions you have of yourself in this memory?
3. What are the impressions that you have of each of the people who are associated with your memory?
4. How has this memory changed your choices and past behaviors or actions?
5. How might this experience have impacted the way you relate to yourself today?
6. How might this experience have impacted the way you relate to other people today?
- Take another few minutes to sit in quiet reflection with your breath again, repeating to yourself a mantra such as "I am loved, I am held, I am safe," or "I find compassion and forgiveness for my past experiences and all who were involved."
As we bring awareness and compassion to our past, in the present moment, our perspectives can shift, leading us to a different choice in how we interact with our patterns, behaviors and projections. With awareness and perspective, we gain choice in how we live.
Wellness encompasses our state of being, mind, and health. It is a condition of the whole. Wellness to us means finding balance between all the aspects of our lives and if any of them are off, actively pursuing ways to bring harmony back. The following are some ways to keep the mind in proper balance.
Meditation is preventive maintenance for the mind, and it gives us the opportunity to reflect on our inner self - to listen to that small inner voice that is supposed to help guide and direct our mental processes, but in modern day existence, it is often drowned out due to excessive noise and distraction from all directions. Simple meditation practices are tools we have available to keep our mind in balance and flow with the rest of our systems.
The mind is a complicated and versatile machine, but it can become overwhelmed and unable to function correctly if we don’t take the time to keep it well.. Our mind has varying levels of operation, known as brainwaves. As we pass through the different stages of our day, we enter various stages of brain wave activity. The brain uses mediation as one way to allow us time to rest our busy mind, and cope with all the pieces of information we’ve received, a way to kind of “mind file” for the day. When we don’t give adequate time for these processes, or we simply don’t get enough rest, our mind cannot maintain its state of wellness, just like our bodies aren’t capable of wellness if there is no chance to rest and replenish. Modern alternative medicine and holistic healers believe in the power of the energy that flows through our bodies; this energy radiates from our mind as well. It is believed to be the chief from of transportation for our body nervous system to carry out communication.
Breathing techniques, music and aroma therapy are all ways we can find space to reflect on our day, allow our mind to rest and replenish itself for further use. We must remember over the course of our daily routine, to make time to maintain mental wellness as we strive to maintain physical wellness. The nice thing about the whole process is that as we go about accomplishing these tasks, quite often the opportunities for preservation and care are interchangeable. We can help to quiet our mind as we take a twenty minute walk.
Often just the opportunity to listen to music will allow our mind the chance it needs to relax and regroup. It’s not always the most formal of occasions that we find an available chance to reflect and listen to that inner voice. It can be in the middle of the day, with the wind blowing through your hair, and the radio turned up!
How will you find those moments of peace in your day to quiet your mind and keep it in balance?
Massage therapy has been used for centuries. Most massage modalities have the purpose of encouraging healing by promoting blood flow, relieving tension, stimulating nerves as well as stretching and loosening muscles and connective tissue to keep them elastic.
Massage therapy is beneficial because it reduces waste products such as lactic and carbonic acid that builds up after an activity which causes cramping, discomfort and irritability that can happen after working out at the gym. By working with a therapist, he or she will be able to enhance your immune system and aid in the recovery of the tissues by increasing blood circulation in the affected areas. If you are ill, massage therapy dilates and opens up blood vessels, improves circulation and relieves congestion. It also increases the number of red blood cells for those who are anemic.
Massage therapy also acts as a mechanical cleanser pushing along the lymph and hastening the elimination of wastes and toxic debris. It also helps to eliminate edema or dropsy of the extremities. In addition, it increases blood supply and nutrition to the muscles without adding to the load of toxic acid produced by muscle contraction. This helps you overcome harmful fatigue resulting from strenuous exercise or injury. This will improve muscle tone and prevent or delay muscular atrophy resulting from forced inactivity. It can also relax muscle spasms and relieve tension.
Massage, to some extent, compensates for lack of exercise or muscular contraction; especially for those who are recovering from an injury by returning venous blood to the heart, and at the same time, eases the strain on this vital organ. Massage therapy increases the excretion of fluids via the kidney, nitrogen, inorganic phosphorous and salt in normal individuals. But for those who are injured, it does the exact opposite because these are needed for tissue repair.
Depending on the type of massage therapy given, some people may feel sleepy, stimulated or exhausted. Some forms of massage therapy are able to separate muscle fibers and undo or prevent the formation of adhesions. It also stretches the connective tissue which all helps reduce the danger of fibroids.
Studies have shown that massage therapy improves the general circulation and nutrition of joints and hastens the elimination of harmful particles in the synovial fluid. It helps lessen inflammation and swelling of the joints thereby alleviating pain. It also disperses the edema following injury to ligaments and tendons, lessening pain and facilitates movement.
Massage therapy improves the general circulation and nutrition of tissues often accompanied by an increase interchange of substances between the blood and tissue cells thus heightening tissue metabolism. This type of therapy empties the larger ducts and channels of the body thereby decreasing the auto intoxication resulting from re-absorption of toxic materials in these channels due to constipation or inflammation.
There are so many benefits with regards to massage therapy which is why almost everyone needs it. If you haven’t found a favorite yet, you can try one style this week and then another next week to how different they are from the other.
Nate walks you through a simple exercise to create a relaxation response in the nervous system for heightened states of emotion or anxiety.
Today, I am feeling a lot of frustration and sadness. I have been seeing some very hateful posts and comments and sharing of information that is not true or based in fear and scarcity and lack. I know we get to choose what to interact with. I also know that we get to choose what we want to share and spread.
When I woke up this morning, I had a very clear message from my intuition to share about my opening and processes for tuning into that inner guidance. What do you listen to? How do you know what to listen to? What signs have you always followed? More and more people are waking up to these inner guidances and it can be scary. Nothing like a global crisis to bring out our fears and doubts. We don't get to feel these things any other way. It takes outside circumstances to trigger these things within us to make change.
Several years ago, I awoke to the initial awarenesses of what I now call my guides and angels, or higher self. The awakening came through several traumatic and tragic events I brought on myself. I had to really look at what I was bringing in to the world and what I used as my compass to guide me. Underneath the trauma and fears was this very calm voice that was always there, I had covered it up with my self indulgence and fear of my shadow and light. These now are the things that I work diligently to listen to and to guide my actions.
I remember when I was a child, I used to see all sorts of signs from God, or the Universe, or the Angels. I find that it doesn't really matter what we call it. It is a knowing and understanding that cannot be explained with science or ego. After some time and a few experiences with abuse, being bullied, and self perpetuating the cycles, I decided I could not trust those signs anymore and did everything I could to not hear them or see them.
We are being called to listen to these messages now on a global scale. What is best for our planet and communities, what is best for our families, what is best for our neighbors, what is best for ourselves. The answer to all is the same: As below, so above, and beyond, I imagine. So I will ask one final question: What do you want to listen to that guides your actions right now? The world is literally in our hands.
I would love to help you open up to this more. Please reach out.