Finding Healing With Mother Nature

Archive for the ‘Healing bodywork’ Category

Who Do you Love?

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February, the month of LOVE. We celebrate by giving our love to others. Often in the form of roses and chocolates. Red roses are a symbol and expression of love and passion. In Greek and Roman lore Aphrodite and Venus were the Goddesses of LOVE, beauty, pleasure and procreation which were identified by a Red Rose. 

Chocolate was used widely by the Mayan and Aztecs. They produced a luxurious chocolate drink, served on special occasions and at sacrifices to their Gods. They also believed it had powerful effects on arousal. Christopher Columbus introduced this delectable treat to Queen Isabella of Spain. The popularity of chocolate spread rapidly across Europe beyond artistocracy. Now, everyone enjoys chocolate! Thanks Christopher!

Throughout history gifts were given as tokens of friendship or love. This year, we may be considering what we could give our loved ones as expressions of our love to them.

 There is one person that often gets left out and that is YOU! When was the last time you gave yourself a gift? Or, expressed love for yourself? It doesn’t have to be a box of chocolate or a dozen red roses. Think about it. What have you done for yourself lately to show yourself some LOVE?  One might think it is selfish to give to yourself. On the contrary, giving self love in some form is taking responsibility of your needs. It is essential to our own emotional and mental health.love4

If you feel fulfilled then you will less likely need to seek LOVE outside of yourself.  Being loved by others is certainly a wonderful thing but you won’t need it to feel fulfilled and happy when you know how to make yourself happy.

“In case of emergency, put on your oxygen mask first before assisting others” is the message you hear when flying 35,000 feet above the earth. You can give of yourself more fully when your own “cup” is full.

How many times have you put off doing something for yourself only to fill that time with other not so satisfying obligations?

Or, Have you ever felt anger, even resentment at having to do something for someone else when you were exhausted or unfulfilled? That’s a clue you need to take care of yourself FIRST!

Not everyone has an easy time showing themselves love. But here are some suggestions and tips that could help you get started.

Do something you enjoy, give yourself permission to have fun and pursue your hobbies. The hardest part is actually giving yourself the okay to set aside all of your obligations for a time to fill your heart with joy by doing something you love. The obligations and work will always be there. If you can learn to step away from it for some FUN and R&R then when you come back to the work, you feel more relaxed and get more done in a positive frame of mind.

Meditate or spend time in quiet solitude – This quiet time calms the body and mind nourishing your soul making you feel more relaxed and at peace. Take a walk in nature; the sights, scents and sounds get you out of your head and into the moment. Also, the quality of air in a wooded setting is beneficial for your immune system.

Okay, If you have a harder time giving yourself permission to relax and enjoy on your own, then getting a little help from us can give you a boost. 

  1. Get a massage – Receiving a massage for yourself sends a clear message to you, your body and mind that your health is important, your needs are important. It’ll help rid the body of toxins in the way of negative energy as well as relieve tension, creating feelings of well being.

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  1. Receive a Watsu? –Imagine floating in a warm pool, weightless, no sound but your own breathing, feeling your heart beating. You become present in the moment with yourself, body and mind connected. Supported by the therapist, you are gently moved and stretched through the water.  There is no pain, only relaxation. A sense of timeless peace overcomes you in the watery world of Watsu.   Muscles relax, tension falls away. You let go. It becomes a floating meditation that nourishes and heals.

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  1. Reiki – Reiki is an ancient Japanese healing technique of “laying on of hands”. The practitioner works in your energy field which is about 1-2” away from your body. Your physical and energetic bodies are connected. If there is an issue in one it will show up in the other. Reiki is gentle, non invasive, leaving you feeling peaceful. It can even be given over a distance. You and the therapist do not have to be in the same room.reiki healing hands
  2. Take your vitamins! Food has changed over the years and is less nutrient dense than it once was due to additives, soil depletion and pesticides. A weakened system breaks down much more quickly. Quality supplements boost your immune, repair cell damage and remove toxins while giving you more energy. Just another way to say “Self, I love you! My body and health are important.”

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When you give yourself love, you feel happy and healthy. Your confidence grows and the clarity of who you truly are, begins to shine through.

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This Valentine’s day don’t leave yourself out of the LOVE. 

Not sure which is best for you? Contact us for a 20 minute complementary consultation and we’ll help direct you to the services and products to ensure you are giving yourself the best support possible so you shine from the inside out! Email us at: full.circle@comcast.net

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The Healer in Nature

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I love the outdoors and anything to do with nature! It is important to me to get outside every day. I just don’t feel complete without it.  Getting out in nature feels like good medicine for me. It helps me de stress, think more clearly and feel more relaxed.

Actually all of us need nature to survive. Nature can live without us but we can’t live without nature. Think about it. Your home, your clothes, your food, our most basic needs require nature. So it is safe to say that nature is good for our health. Aside from basic needs, how else is it good for you? everythingisconnected

As a holistic practitioner specifically, Massage therapist, Reiki Master/teacher and Watsu practitioner it is important for me to incorporate nature into my practice. How you might ask?

First there are essential oils which are concentrated oils from herbs and plants that have therapeutic properties. When these oils are applied to the skin through a massage, the two work together to bring the body back into balance. The massage loosens tight muscles, stimulates circulation removing metabolites that cause soreness and fatigue. The oils penetrate the skin into the bloodstream to assist in the removal of metabolites and repair cell damage.

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Then there is Reiki Energy. Everything living on the planet has energy. You can’t see it but can see the effects of it. We have an electrical system within our bodies and emit electromagnetic energy which we call an aura. You don’t need to touch a hot stove burner to know it’s hot; you can feel the heat radiating when your hand gets close to the burner. Similarly, the practitioner hovers her hands a few inches above the recipients’ body and is able to feel where energy is weak which might indicate a physical issue or disruption.  The practitioner acts as a conduit allowing energy to flow through her to the recipient.

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Let’s not forget WATER. Water is crucial for life on this planet. Water is what brought life forth on this planet. Our bodies are 60% water. We resonate with it like a tuning fork and is quite healing to the body. Now take WATSU. Watsu is an aquatic based bodywork given in a warm pool. It’s based on principles of shiatsu massage. Shiatsu is an ancient oriental technique that incorporates stretching, pressure points and joint mobilization. It’s known to be deep work. Watsu incorporates these principles into the water which makes for faster healing. Water conducts electricity. A client floats on their back with the therapist’s assistance as she gently moves, stretches their limbs, applies pressure to points along the body all help to release muscular tension, improve circulation and decrease pain. Healing speeds up in the water. The warm water, buoyancy, sensory deprivation, support of the therapist and gentle moves create a profound experience resulting in a deep relaxation, improved sleep and reduction in anxiety, stress. Some call it instant meditation. This work penetrates deeply but is pain free.

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Studies have concluded that 90% of most illness is due to stress. Reduce your stress and you reduce your chances of serious illness. Bodywork is a wonderful way to reduce your stress. So is getting outside into nature. When you feel the pressure of life weighing on you, take a moment, take a breath then step away from the computer, put down your cell phone. Just go outside, take a walk, explore a nearby wooded setting or sit and pay attention to the sounds, scents and sights of nature. This takes you out of the chaos of mind chatter, helping you to relax and de stress. Keep breathing deeply and understand the Earth breathes with you.

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We are an integral part of nature made up of the same stuff as the earth and stars. When we connect with nature we connect with ourselves on a deeper level and realize our stress is all created within our mind.

If you are feeling stressed and searching for exceptional bodywork services please contact us by visiting our website at www.fullcirclewellnessllc.com

Happy Trails!

Audrey  S Filardi

Full Circle Wellness LLC

Sweetwater, NJ  08037

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Relieve chronic stress with meditation

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A little stress in life is okay. It helps motivate you to get things done and keeps you safe. However, too much stress experienced over time will wear down your body making you sick both physically and mentally.
During stressful situations your body releases cortisol (stress hormone) triggering the fight or flight response. During this response your blood pressure rises as your heart beats faster, breathing quickens, muscles tighten and immune system is suppressed, your body stores fat and cells including brain cells begin to break down.  Your body is preparing itself to fight the danger or flee.
In our society we are always “on”, over scheduled and always connected to our electronic devices and cell phones leaving little time for quiet moments. Each person handles stress differently. Our bodies were not designed to handle long term, chronic stress without consequences.
Stress is experienced on every level. On an emotional level stress may make us feel agitated, overwhelmed, moody, tearful or depressed.
On a physical level stress can cause us to feel low in energy, headaches, upset stomach, chest pain, rapid heartbeat and may even feel like a heart attack. One may also experience insomnia, frequent colds or infections. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding are additional signs of physical stress.
When we are under stress we tend to worry more, become forgetful or have racing thoughts or an inability to focus along with negative thinking which only makes us sink further into a downward spiral to depression.
Certainly our behavior is also affected with stress. We may lose our appetite or over eat, procrastinate and even avoid our responsibilities. Some may turn to using alcohol, drugs or cigarettes as a means of self-medicating. Of course nail biting, pacing and fidgeting are also common signs of feeling stress.
Long term consequences of stress even affect our mental health causing depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attack and strokes.
The daily clutter of incessant thoughts in our minds becomes a nagging presence. However, just as we spring clean our homes and de-clutter closets, garages and attics. We also need to de-clutter our minds.
Meditation is great way to reduce stress and is the number one reason people practice it. Regular meditation creates benefits on all levels of being, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
You don’t have to sit and chant for hours. The purpose is to quiet the mind while strengthening the relationship between your mind and body to focus on the present moment. It sounds easy but with our over active thoughts, sitting quietly can be daunting even frustrating at first.
Meditation isn’t about doing it “right” but becoming acutely self-aware. It’s learning to listen with your heart. The more aware you are of the sensations in your body, the feelings in your heart and thoughts in your mind, the better you can understand your life and how your thoughts effect your emotions which affect you physically. Becoming a master at monitoring yourself and your thoughts and feelings puts you in the driver seat to your life so you are able to steer it onto the desired path instead of allowing life to happen to you making you feel like a victim.
Meditation helps you transform your self-image into greater confidence and self-belief by getting to know who you really are and learning to accept and embrace every part of your true self. Through meditation, you will discover that your doubts, insecurities and fears you thought defined you, are only superficial. Then you can tap into your true unlimited potential that is within you.
Benefits of meditation:
Decreased blood pressure
Lower cholesterol levels
Improved oxygen use by the body
Increased production of the anti aging hormone DHEA.
Studies have found that as little as eight weeks of daily meditation not only helped people feel calmer but produced growth and changes in areas of the brain associated with memory, empathy and sense of self.
So why meditate?
1. Reduce your stress – Helps you focus on the present moment not in the past or future.
2. Helps to clear the mind and become aware of your inner dialogue.
3. Helps reduce physical pain
4. Improves overall mood through the day.
5. Helps to create distance from situations or events to gain a new, more objective perspective, observing from the outside rather than being immersed and reacting to these situations or emotional triggers.
Are you ready to sit in the driver’s seat of your life? Here are some techniques to help you get started with a meditation practice.
Before meditating do some simple stretches which helps to start the process of going inward.
1. Light a candle and stare at the flame. Sit quietly and pay attention to the flame, color changes, how it dances with air movement. Whatever thoughts, emotions come up allow them to come and go without judging them or attempting to push them away. Be aware of them then continue to focus on the flame.

2. Sit quietly for 5 minutes each day either before your start your day in the morning or when you are quiet just before bed. Focus on your breathing. Slowly, deep inhale through the nose for a count of 4, hold for 4 seconds then slowly exhale for 4 count, Allow thoughts to come and go. Repeat breathing sequence.

3. Weather permitting, sit outside with eyes closed and pay attention to the sounds, scents and sensations. Birds chirping, wind blowing, leaves rustling. As you sit, scan your body noticing any tightness or sensations. Remain aware of thoughts, emotions and how your body feels. If you are feeling any particular emotion, can you identify it and where you may feel it in your body?

4. Use a mantra, which is a word or phrase to help quiet the mind. Try So Hum (I Am). Say in your mind as you inhale “So”, as you exhale say in your mind “Hum”. Repeat for as long as you remain in meditation.

Sat, Chit, Ananda (Love, Consciousness, Bliss) is another mantra or you may use any positive phrase that resonates with you.

If you find you are becoming frustrated, remember to breathe and let it go, then re focus. Start your meditation 5-10 minutes long and as you become more experienced you will find you are able to sit for longer periods.
Remember, meditation is like anything in life. To master it you have practice it and make it part of your daily routine. If you make the time to meditate and quiet your mind you will find life becomes smoother, answers and deeper insights come and your reactions to others and situations are less unconscious. You will become the master of your life guiding it with Love.

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fullcirclewellnessllc.com / 609-839-3810 / full.circle@comcast.net

Silence Please!!

Have you ever noticed how little time people spend in silence? I mean actually being quiet, without their phone attached to their ears or thumbs and no radio blaring or TV droning? Look around, folks everywhere and I mean everywhere are obsessively attached to a device. In the stores, in their cars. I’ve heard ladies on the phone in the bathroom stalls and in the changing rooms of a department store. And have you seen the couples at a restaurant sitting across from each other, heads down, on their phones texting or web surfing? No words pass between the couple.

My theory is; as convenient as cell phones have become, people have become more afraid of silence. To the point they almost feel they cease to exist if there is no connection on the other end. Or, perhaps they are avoiding silence because they don’t want to have to look at their perceived misfortunes or problems. And people wonder why they are so stressed, why bad things happen to them. It’s because they are not paying attention to what is going on, on the inside of their head and hearts. Yes, People have become disconnected from themselves and keep seeking on finding the answers in the next phone call or on the internet. Really people need to stop talking and start listening, to themselves, to their heart. It is speaking loudly but they can’t hear it above all the other noise.

Silence seems scary, as it implies being alone or isolated. However, it is quite the contrary. In silence we find answers to our life’s questions and dilemmas. Try it sometime. The best way to experience silence is to take a walk in nature. Your mouth is quiet as you pay closer attention with your ears, eyes, nose, and touch. Listen to the birds and watch them fly, feel the bark on a tree, smell the changing scents in the air. In silence, we come to truly know ourselves and that makes us feel more confident, less insecure.

Another effective means to try on silence is in an aquatic bodywork called WATSU. You float in warm water with the assistance of the therapist. As she moves you slowly through the water, you become keenly aware of your own body as it relaxes. The weightlessness and sensory reduction of being in the water transports you to an almost meditative state. In the water the world is quiet but you can hear your own breathing and safely go within yourself without getting lost.

Monks take a vow of silence in order to become enlightened, not only about themselves but about the world around them. They learn to communicate without speaking. They learn love and compassion by listening.

In silence, we can go within ourselves to find our own enlightenment of who we truly are. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo schedule a watsu session and experience the depth of silence and peace felt. Visit my website at http://www.fullcirclewellnessllc.com, or visit me on Facebook at fullcirclewellnessllc. These sessions are given at the AtlantiCare LifeCenter in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.

“Isn’t there anything YOU can do?”

Last month my husband awoke and began complaining of pain in his lower right abdomen. “Could it be food poisoning?” He asked. I reminded him that he would be violently sick by now if it were food poisoning. Besides the fact that I ate the same meal he did. As he described his symptoms he asked what else I thought it could be. I am not a doctor but I listened to my intuition and I said “It could be diverticulitis.”
He immediately went to the computer and scoured the internet. All his research led him to the same conclusion. The lack of appetite, loose stools and location of the pain was indicative of diverticulitis. I suggested he see a Dr to confirm this but it was the weekend and we were going away. He’d have to wait until the following week. “What if it gets worse while we’re away?” He asked. I knew that was his way of saying, “Isn’t there anything YOU can do?” I immediately consulted one of my favorite books, “The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy” by Valerie Ann Worwood. Scanning the index, there it was a recipe of essential oils for diverticulitis.
Diluted in 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil mix
2 drops peppermint oil
1 drop chamomile
3 drops rosemary
1 drop clove
I reached for the various oils from my essential oil apothecary and mixed up the concoction. As the book instructed, my husband immediately began to rub the mixture on his abdomen. After a couple of days of applying the oil, avoiding foods that would exacerbate his condition as well as drinking lots of water. He felt significantly better and never got any worse. He never did go to the Dr except to see the chiropractor.
The chiropractor suggested another possibility, that a portion of his lower intestine was twisted. Perhaps that added to the discomfort. However, my husband continued applying the oils and watching the foods he ate and no longer has any pain.

So, before you take any over the counter medicine, try some alternative and natural approaches. Natural approaches help aid the body in healing more completely and gently. If you are not sure what natural approaches to try? Give me a call or email me. I can help you with that.

So what does hiking have to do with wellness??

Ever since I was a kid, I trekked into the woods  behind our house to explore and be by myself. It was so quiet and comforting among the trees.  Through the years  my hikes in the forest have helped me heal on many levels.  In the silence of  nature I heard the answers I was seeking, I understood lessons I needed to learn and how I kept myself a prisoner of my own mind, believing the thoughts I had about myself were true.  This kept me in fear  which held me back from my dreams and goals. Fear is nothing more than FALSE, EVIDENCE, APPEARING, REAL. My journey’s into the woods helped me to understand this. I’ve come to learn that we are the Architects of our lives. And so, this series of mindful hikes was born out of wanting to share with others the powerful healing qualities nature possesses.

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What does Hiking have to do with Wellness?

You may be wondering why I offer hiking excursions when I am a bodyworker. What does one have to do with the other? Well, as a massage therapist I manipulate the muscles and fascia on a person to relieve muscular tension and improve circulation that will carry away metabolites. I am helping that person heal on a more physical level. I may use Reiki energy work or essential oils in a session. Watsu is a massage given in a warm pool. These are all elements of nature. Of course the rest they receive during the massage is beneficial for relaxing the mind and massage helps improve body awareness.
After a massage the person experiences a kind of euphoria from the improved circulation, release of endorphins and time of rest. This may last for a short duration.
Shinrin – Yoku is Japanese for forest bathing. It is actually prescribed in Japan as a form of therapy. Japan has done many studies that prove spending time in nature among trees has a host of healing benefits, such as lowers blood pressure, increases immune function and has anti cancer effects. It was found that the trees emit phytoncides which are an oil that protects the trees. When in the forest this oil is present in the air so is taken in to the body when we inhale.
Couple the physical healing qualities of being in a forest setting with mindfully walking through the trees; your heart rate increases improving blood and oxygen flow, so you are breathing in more of this healing oil.  Increased heart rate also releases endorphins, the feel good hormone. As you admire nature around you, it takes you out of your thoughts and brings you to where you are in that moment. You experience feelings of peace, calm and joy.  You become more aware of yourself.
During our hiking excursions we will be doing some meditation and quiet reflecting which will calm our minds. In the quiet of the forest we experience BEING. Focusing on the moment of here and now and with each breath we take in the protective compounds of the trees. In this experience one learns to become aware of their thoughts and can change them.
So you see, the forest is actually giving you a massage of sorts. One that is healing on ALL levels. Think of it as a massage for the soul.

 Upcoming Events!

 

Click on the links to find out more and to register

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June 12, 2014
9am-4pm
Learn the Japanese healing art of Reiki
Level 1
$250.00
Call for details or to register
 

What is Reiki Energy Healing?

What is Reiki Energy healing?

Reiki energy healing has become a popular modality in complementary therapy. It is being used in hospitals, spas, wellness centers and clinics worldwide.

Reiki is an energetic healing system that dates back at least 2,500 years, there is evidence that Buddah used a similar technique. The Reiki system that is used today was developed in the 1920’s by a Buddhist scholar in Japan, Dr. Mikao Usui.

Reiki is a safe, gentle, hands on technique that uses life-force energy to treat physical ailments. It is more a holistic system for balancing, healing and harmonizing all aspects of the person
to include body, mind, emotions and spirit. You may have also heard it called “Laying on of Hands.” It assists and complements any other form of therapy one might be using. In its long history of use it has aided in healing virtually every known illness and injury including more serious problems such as multiple sclerosis, cancer and heart disease.

All living things have a life force energy that flows through them. In Oriental terms it is called Chi. Our Chi emits an energy field around our bodies. Don’t believe me? Put your hands palm to palm an inch apart without letting them touch. Close your eyes; now slowly move your hands apart and then closer together. Do this for a couple of minutes and just relax. Do you feel a sensation between your palms? It may feel like a pulsing or warmth. That’s because you are alive and giving off energy. Have you ever “felt” someone in the room with you before seeing who was there? It’s all energy. A comforting hug, a kiss, rubbing your child’s scrape. You can’t see it, but you can learn to feel it.

So how does Reiki work? When you receive a Reiki treatment you may have a particular problem to address. You lie on a table, clothes on. The Reiki practitioner hovers her hands over your body as she senses the areas where your energy field is interrupted. A physical issue usually has an energetic component to it or lack of energy around an area afflicted. The practitioner will hold her hands over an area of the body that needs healing and will act as conduit to assist in focusing the universal energy (energy around us from ALL living things) to your body. It may feel warm, tingly or cool. Sensations are normal. You may become emotional as it works to release blocked energy within your body. You may feel very tranquil and sleepy afterward while others may feel energized.

The wonderful attribute of Reiki is that the energy will go wherever your body needs it most. Reiki is so gentle that people with major injuries or illness that cannot tolerate touch can receive therapeutic healing work. It can even be done long distance, without the recipient being present.

You can tune into the energy around you by practicing the palms together, then imagine that energy in your hands is a ball as you move your hands, arms and body around without losing the “ball” of energy. The more you practice the stronger you feel the energy. Let me know how you make out with this exercise.

I will be offering a Reiki level 1 class in March if you are interested in learning this simple technique. You can even use it on yourself, your plants and your pets as well as your friends and family!

Sincerely,
Audrey Filardi