Finding Healing With Mother Nature

Posts tagged ‘nature’

The Blessings of Solitude

be with yourself

 

In a world that seems to move ever faster in this always on, always connected lifestyle we’ve grown accustomed to, It is no wonder we are more stressed and anxious. We feel lonely but are never alone. Maybe that is part of the problem. We need more alone time. When was the last time you were alone with yourself doing something you enjoy, for yourself? Not by yourself on your phone or on the computer but alone in quiet solitude.

Now a days it seems people are afraid of being alone. Perhaps they are afraid of what thoughts or feelings might arise that they’ve been avoiding, even denying. Maybe others view spending time alone as selfish or taking away from their loved ones.

It is perfectly healthy and normal to desire, to claim time for you.

Maybe your loved ones won’t understand why you need to be alone, they might become upset by it if you haven’t done it before. Stand your ground and do it anyway. They’ll soon see the happier you and will be encouraging you to do it more often.

Time alone is actually a gift to yourself.

What would happen if people spent more time alone?
For me, spending time alone allows me to re-charge and gain clarity into my life.
1. Spending time alone allows you to enjoy your own hobbies for the joy it brings. You don’t have to be an expert.
2. When alone, your mind wanders away from thoughts allowing creativity to flourish.
3. There’s no demands or deadlines so you can detach and destress.
4. you get to know yourself better and begin to enjoy your own company.
5. Spending time alone gives you the opportunity to nurture your soul and explore your inner world.  Alone time is nourishing and empowering sending the message: “I am important.”
How do you spend alone time? if it’s been awhile since you’ve given yourself some quality time, here’s some suggestions.
Take a walk, especially in nature – Scientific studies found walking in a woodland setting lowers blood pressure, heart rate, stress hormone levels and boosts immune function.
Write in a journal, garden, The possibilities are endless!
Receiving bodywork is another positive way to give yourself time to nourish body, mind and spirit. Although, in a massage you are with the therapist you can still be alone. Instead of conversing, stay quiet and be with yourself.
Visit our website to read about our upcoming retreats. They are the perfect way to claim time for nurturing yourself.  www.fullcirclewellnessllc.com

enjoy

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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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What is it about Nature?

2008_091808kayaking0015So what is about nature that makes people want to spend a day at the beach? Camp in the forest, Kayak waterways, explore caves or swim under waterfalls and generally just be out in nature?

Studies have concluded that communing with nature relieves stress, anxiety and tension.016

In the summer everyone crowds the beaches to stay cool and relax.  There has to be something that draws people to the beach besides keeping cool.  There is!  Being by the ocean does boost your health!  Research has proven the sound of Ocean waves alters brainwave patterns to induce soothing and a deeply relaxed state.

The refreshing salty air is full of negative ions which are charged hydrogen particles that act to fight free radicals. These negative ions also help to balance serotonin levels which is the chemical in the body associated with mood. Negative ions are also in the air around waterfalls, rushing water, such as river rapids and even after a heavy rain!

When you are actually in the ocean swimming, riding waves, surfing or just working up the nerve to dive into the oncoming wave, the minerals in the sand and water detoxify the body.

You run in the sand back to your beach blanket or for exercise.  That warm sun is your main source of vitamin D, Vitamin D releases endorphins that make us feel GOOD.

No wonder we feel so refreshed after a day at the beach!

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Just looking at nature activates parts of the brain associated with happiness and balance.

Shin Rin Yoku is Japanese for forest bathing and is prescribed by Dr’s to their patients to spend time in nature.  At Tokyo’s Nippon Medical School they have gathered sufficient evidence that women who spend 2-4 hours in a wooded setting on two consecutive days experienced nearly a 50% increase in cancer fighting white blood cells.2008_1129batsto0018

Perhaps this is one reason people love to go camping!

I know many people are in need of spending time in nature because they spend too much time indoors, on the computer or connected to their technology.  Not enough time in nature actually causes one to become more hostile, agitated even depressed.

People are happier when in nature. We love nature because we evolved in it. We need it for our psychological well-being because it’s in our DNA.

In nature time slows down. We lose the urgency of “beating the clock” and so we slow down with nature and begin to adjust into our natural rhythm.

You can’t control Mother Nature. Surrendering to her puts life into perspective that you will adapt to conditions and situations. When you accept that there are some things you can’t control, and accept what is be it positive or negative creates a sense of joy to being alive

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Standing witness to the beauty of nature you feel a sense of awe and joy. From the largest mountain to the tiniest flower you begin to experience your connectedness to all living things.  Taking in the beauty of nature reminds us we are ALL made of the same substance.

In the quiet of nature and its sounds of life you also remember who you truly are, deep down you feel the quiet space within and come to meet your inner self, no longer needing to be or act in a particular way since nature never judges, it just IS. Nature is always in allowance not matter what is happening within it. The simplicity of understanding that nature moves through it’s cycles slowly, rhythmically without fear, worry, judgement or effort gives a sense of calm. You begin to experience the Divinity within it.

Spend enough time outdoors and you will experience it. Call it God, Earth Mother, the Great Spirit or any other name, nature connects you with this powerful, loving presence. You may experience a feeling of not being alone or you may also receive guidance and wisdom to a question or problem. Nature brings you ever closer to your own spirit and to the Divine Spirit.

There are so many reasons why people seek to be in nature. Perhaps the simplest explanation is that it just plain feels good!

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Mother Nature Says Hello

As a business owner of a Holistic wellness business I spend countless hours in front of the computer planning, organizing, and delivering services.
Being an outdoorsy person, I easily become restless, sitting inside while the sun is shining and birds are chirping. Nature calls to me. What is an entrepreneur supposed to do? Okay, maybe I have ADD too.
Last year sitting in the office of my mentor I expressed my frustration at the “work” I had to do when what I really wanted was to get outside and go hiking or kayaking.
She questioned why and what it was about hiking and kayaking I enjoyed. I pondered for a moment to consider the question. I responded: “I love feeling the sun, smelling the air and listening to the wind and birds. I love how relaxed I feel and the connection to something Divine. It becomes very meditative. Life makes sense in the quiet stillness”
Smiling as I spoke, my mentor replied, “Audrey, perhaps that is where your work is.” With a puzzled look on my face she continued. “Sitting in front of the computer is the busy-ness and yes those things need to get done. But if you find Joy being in nature then that is where your work is. Why not offer to take people hiking and kayaking allowing them to experience what you feel out there.”
My body buzzed with excitement. I could hardly wait for her to finish before blurting out; “Oh my God! Of course. I love that idea! Why didn’t I think of that?”
She answered sweetly, “Because you believed “work” had to look and feel a certain way. The next time you go for a hike take a pen and notepad and write down ideas for your business or whatever comes to you.”
So that’s what I did! A couple of months later I hosted our first mindful nature retreat.
The air was still and heavy with humidity one late summer evening in September. It looked like it was going to pour at any moment but we continued. Ten participants arrived for our Yoga in the Pines event. As we spread our yoga mats over the lush carpet of moss, it seemed the rain was holding out for us. We breathed deeply, stood in triangle pose then gazed up at the dark sky in warrior 2. Stood in mountain pose then bent into downward dog. Bringing the session to a close we sat with legs crossed as our yogi instructed us to chant OHM. Under the tree canopy, a low vibration of our voices in unison sounded OHHHHMMM. As soon as our OHM ended, a low rumble of thunder trailed. It was as though nature responded to us with its own OHM. We looked at one another in amazement feeling this response from nature. As we gathered our mats to cool off in the pool the torrent of rain descended.
Nature had held itself giving us the time and space to commune with Her. Since that first retreat we have had others and nature almost always responds to our presence.
I invite you to join us on any or all of our upcoming mindful nature retreats. Mother Nature always has something to say!
Here are the links for more info and sign up to our upcoming retreats. We look forward to sharing nature’s wonders with you!053                                    066

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/welcome-summer-mindful-kayaking-tickets-16202561297

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/yoga-in-the-pines-classes-tickets-16541043707

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hiking-yoga-tickets-16469586978

Nature as Healer

Nature is a powerful healer. Grand views of 001

vast oceans to majestic mountains touch us in a place deep within. However, the healing properties of nature have the potential to penetrate deeper on a cellular level. Native Americans and Indigenous tribes throughout the world have understood and used the resins, oils and plant parts of a myriad of herbs, plants and trees for healing and ceremony.
Before the industrial revolution our society utilized herbal and folk remedies for most ailments and conditions. Then, synthetic drugs and penicillin were claimed to be the drugs of the future. We turned our backs, scoffing at natural remedies derived from nature. We didn’t realize just how powerfully healing Mother Nature was. Only now are we finding most of these drugs that were meant to heal are hurting, even killing us as they help with one issue but create several others as a result of their toxic side effects. Now, we are finally recognizing that Mother Nature knows how to heal best.
The practice of aromatherapy is ever increasing in popularity. In aromatherapy, essential oils derived from a variety of herbs and plants are used in massage, diffused in the air, used in cooking, skin care and alternatives to medication.
For instance, Lavender essential oil is one of the more commonly used oils and is known to promote relaxation and ease headaches to name just a few.
Peppermint essential oil helps ease breathing and acts as a digestive aid.
Melaleuca, from the melaleuca tree is commonly called Tea Tree oil and is a potent antibacterial, antiviral, antibiotic and regenerative for the skin. The list of oils and their benefits goes on and on.
For any essential oil to be effective it must be therapeutic grade oil not synthetic oil.
Therapeutic grade essential oils are not the only plant derived compound found to have healing benefits to the human body. Many natural complexes are used in supplements.
Pycnogenol is derived from the bark of the French maritime pine tree and numerous studies have demonstrated its anti-inflammatory properties.
White Willow bark is referred to as nature’s aspirin. It is a safer alternative to aspirin, aleve or ibuprofen. It is a natural antiseptic, reduces fever, swelling and inflammation.
Resveratrol is better known as red wine extract. They weren’t kidding when they said red wine was good for you! Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant which scavenges free radicals and protects cardiovascular health. Though, I wouldn’t recommend trying to drink enough red wine for therapeutic purposes because you’d have to consume the equivalent of 3 bottles of red wine each day to get the benefit of one daily dose of resveratrol.
So before you reach for the aspirin or ask your Doctor for a prescription, look to Mother Nature first. She’s been around a lot longer and you know the saying; “Mother knows best.”
Not sure where to start? Contact me for a complementary 20 minute phone consultation.
The picture above is the wintergreen plant. Its oils are used in gum, toothpaste, breath fresheners and muscle relief lotions.

You’re going the wrong way!

The Pine Barrens of Southern NJ is my home. Though there is nothing barren about it at all!  This area of land is rich in history and has an ecologically sensitive landscape, known for its white sands, tall Pines and Cedars that tower above the winding rivers and bogs. Spend some time here and you’ll feel it has a mystical quality. I have the privilege to explore and hike the scenic trails and kayak the rivers on a regular basis.

I have always been an outdoors person, trekking into the woods to clear my head or hear my heart speak.  I often dreamed of being an outdoor adventure guide. Then I could be outside all the time. Not long ago it was suggested to me that I offer excursions into the woods to help people reconnect with nature and ultimately themselves.  It was such a genius idea! Why hadn’t I ever thought of that? Immediately I planned and prepped for the mindful excursions.

I sent out email invites, posted the event on Facebook and told people about it at any opportunity.  I wanted to keep the group small to 8 people.  I sent out my request to the Universe and WALLAH!! The day of the event arrives and I have 7 ladies!  We hiked, meditated, talked and laughed, rested and walked 4.5 miles. A big feat for some of the ladies.

As we hiked it occurred to me that hiking through a forest can teach you many life lessons, especially about yourself.

How often do we become entangled in the vines of our incessant thoughts? The more we trash to free ourselves, the more entangled we become. It is only when we stop flailing and calm ourselves are we able to find our way out of the tangled mess.

Yet, other times we are headed in a direction thinking we are on the right path, ignoring the tiny voice that says otherwise. Then soon realize that wasn’t the direction we were meant to go. Again, when we stop and listen to our inner guidance or intuition it is only then we can make a course correction and get back on the right path of our intended destiny.

The Pine Barrens is extremely flat terrain with a thick forest of trees and low growing shrubs. There is little to reference your position from, except for the sun and shadows.  Once under the tree canopies it is easy to get turned around or lost.

Not long ago I was hiking a trail for a short 2-3 miles by myself as I usually do. It’s my quiet reflective time and helps me connect with the Divine.

This particular day was cloudy and for some reason decided to make it more of an adventure by going a little off trail and came to a narrow dirt road. I confidently walked believing I was going in the right direction to get back to my car.  I walked and walked, then began to get a bit nervous but I kept walking. “I’ll make it back eventually.” I thought to myself.  Suddenly I heard a voice in my head, “You are going in the wrong direction.”  I kept walking and didn’t pay any attention to it.  A short while later, the voice echoed again, “Turn around, this is the wrong way.”  “No it’s not!” I shouted out loud. Who was I talking to? I kept walking.  Then I began to really question my direction. Was I going the wrong way?  I stopped, looked around, and listened.  Again the voice commanded, “Please turn around and go the other way!” “FINE!” I called out. “I’m turning around! Happy now?” “Yes” I heard in a less urgent tone.

So upon changing my course of direction I found I was indeed headed in the wrong direction.  I eventually found a trail, which was not the one I originally started on and realized was quite a distance from the original trail I had detoured from.

Was the voice my higher self? Intuition? Guardian Angels? Does it really matter? ImageIf I hadn’t heeded the guidance, I would have surely gotten lost.

So what is the lesson? Besides the obvious of take a compass and don’t go off trail? Whether on the trail or in daily life we need to pay attention to our inner wisdom. It truly knows the direction we are meant to be going.

When you feel lost or your mind is entangled with over thinking. Stop, breathe, quiet yourself and listen not with your ears but with your heart. The voice inside you will guide you peacefully, ALWAYS!