Radical Self Care – I’m learning, exploring…and you?

Iworkpict always seems that I have to get that universal kick in the butt before the concept of self-care crosses my awareness. In complete opposition to what I encourage with my clients. Yes, guilty of doing, more than being.

A recent round with a cold/flu virus knocked me back…again…seems this year I’ve caught everything that is going around. I probably should have received the message the 2nd time around with a cold but it took this last knock for me to sit down and reassess. My body had been talking pretty loudly before the virus…knowing I needed to do more yoga and meditation, take more time for soaks in the tub and “do nothing”time. But as many of us do, I kept putting it off until I “had the time”. Well the universe made sure of that.

This time I paid attention. I took time to review just how busy I had been through the last months and in that business had neglected my being. We all get caught in the hamster wheel of “busyness” but I was more than a little surprised to see just how many hours I was logging in with work tasks each week. No wonder I was achy and sore given that both my jobs, holistic therapist and dance instructor, are so physically demanding. I let that number of hours echo around in my brain for a few days realizing I was the only one who could make the changes needed for a more balanced life.Holisticentrepreneur

What I find tough in that is how much I love the work that I do and how difficult I find it to say no when a client has injured themselves and is in pain, or a student is working with a choreography and has hit a wall. I realize that I’m not very different to a lot of others in the varied personal service industries, if you’ve been at it for any time at all it is likely because you have a passion for what you do. But again, I’m brought back to I tell others; if you get sick or disabled and can’t work what is going to happen in the different aspects of your world?

So what changes have I made? With both businesses I’ve reduced the number of hours that I am making myself available. Saying no is difficult so I’ve decided during the off hours I will stay away from the computer email messages and turn the phone off. A little self preservation that will go a long ways and I KNOW that in the long run, I will have more to give to both others and myself. It is the first in a few steps that I need to implement but it is a start!

(for my adjusted hours at Hand To Health please click here)

What steps are you taking, right now, to look after you?

Wry Neck Pain

Has this happened to YOU?

You wake up in the morning and can hardly turn your head, severe pain in your neck and perhaps shoulders and you have no idea why. You didn’t do anything differently yesterday, just woke up like this in the morning. And … it hurts!

Wry Neck happens as a result of shifting or turning the head too wry1quickly (which can happen while we’re asleep). The Menisci between the vertebrae or joint surfaces in the neck becomes trapped during the turn and the joint locks.  So why doesn’t it happen every night? It may be that you slept with a cool draft on your neck muscles (open window?) or lifted something the day before that created a small muscle spasm which was made worse while turning during the night.

Why write about this? I have clients that come to me with this condition quite often. The pain can be severe and perhaps not just in the neck, but in upper back and shoulders too. Some experience headache as well.

First step is to REST! I probably don’t need to say this because the pain is so severe it is difficult to move anyways, but remember that the muscle needs some time to heal and release the spasm.

While many therapists recommend putting ice on the area, I always recommend to work with what feels best to you. For myself, I find heat works better. So while resting be sure to have an ice or heat pack on the areas.

wry2The next and most important thing is to get yourself in for a massage as soon as possible in order to loosen the spasm. A massage to the back, neck and shoulders often brings immediate relief. Massage for wry neck is wonderful! It loosens up the muscle spasm which encourages the joint to unlock and release the menisci.  Sometimes it will take a couple of sessions to ease the spasm.

After the massage continue to “baby” your neck. Keep the area warm, soak in an Epsom salt bath and the next day, very gently, stretch the muscles in and around the area.

Reiki Classes in Abbotsford

The last classes for 2015 at Hand to Health, join Reiki Master Teresa Graham for Reiki Level 1 and Reiki Level 2 classes!

Fall Reiki

For more information click here

Healing Anxiety Holistically (Part 2)

Anxiety and Taking Care of YOU in the Moment

Our mind/body/spirit connection is never more obvious than when we’re in a state of anxiety. Fear driven thoughts may bring forward a biochemical response in your body (fast pulse, dry mouth, nausea, shallow breathing, dizziness), and your mind views these symptoms as evidence that something is definitely wrong.

Developing grounding and mindful movement “tricks” can help to reduce anxiety, more quickly bringing you to a physical and emotional sense of calmness. Practising some of these, while not in a state of anxiety, may help you to more quickly remember these tips when you feel anxiety coming on.

  • Affirmations
    Developing some positive messages
    to repeat when anxiety is Hand to Health Abbotsfordlooming can help us to feel more in control, which at times can bring an anxiety or panic attack to an end. My favourite one that I keep in my list is “I’ve done this before and I can do this again”, others may include: “I am safe with myself”, “I breathe in calm and breathe out fear”, …
  • Mindful Breathing
    Bringing your focus to your inhalation and exhalation can help to move your attention from fearful thoughts to being in the present moment. Taking deep breaths notice the first place in your body you feel the air entering and the last space you feel the breath as it leaves the body. Sometimes counting these breaths can further help.
  • Grounding Music
    Having a CD handy with music that brings awareness can be really helpful. My personal choice is music with a heavy bass or steady medium to slow drum beat. Music has a great impact upon the mind and can bring us out of our head and into our bodies. If you are inspired to move to the music as well, feel the beat through your feet and let it flow through you.
  • Ask yourself Questions
    Challenge your fearful thoughts. Is the fear and anxiety your feeling about something happening now or are you projecting fearful thoughts about something that may or may not happen in the future? Is the story that you are telling yourself true? If it is something happening now can you talk with someone or ask them to help you?

    Next: How Holistic therapy sessions can help you with anxiety

Healing Anxiety Holistically (part 1)

Over coffee with colleagues a few weeks ago in which we share holistic health ideas, our conversation turned to our clients and how many of them are feeling a lot of anxiety lately. Anxiety about finances, relationships, health issues, family, etc. But what seems most prevalent is a deep anxiety about feeling a lack of power in their lives to deal with the issues that are making them anxious, that they feel out of control.

Hand To Health AbbotsfordAnxiety can impact upon many aspects of our physical and emotional self; digestive problems, trouble sleeping or waking up tired, lack of energy and drive, mental confusion, body aches and pains, headaches, muscle tension, depression, sadness, anger …  When we ignore or don’t acknowledge that we’re anxious it takes its toll.


I’ve had a number of clients dismiss their anxieties as something they “just have to get over”, “others have worse things happening so my anxiety is stupid”, “there is nothing I can do about it so just have to live with the problems”. Yes, some pretty self defeating words whether spoken out loud or as self-talk.
During the month of October  the at Hand to Health, in Abbotsford, the discussion is going to be around Anxiety. The power gained in acknowledging its existence and some holistically healthy ways to ease or resolve anxiety.
I was absolutely thrilled when I saw Cindy Bernicot’s next EFT Tapping & Meditation topic for her October workshop at Hand To Health because through tapping we open up to firstly Hand To Health Abbotsfordacknowledge that the issue is there and how we honestly feel about it. Then we move on to taking back our own power to deal with the issue. Anxiety, like any other energy, needs to be moved in order to let it go, rather than resisting or denying its existence. I can’t think of a better stepping off point than with Cindy’s amazing guided workshops.

For more information about Cindy’s workshop and how to register click here

Join in on Wednesday, October 14 th to experience
Tap Away Anxiety – Using EFT Tapping & Meditation to Deal with Anxiety & Panic Attacks