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January 27, 2018

The origins of cupping are diverse, images and detailed  accounts of their use have been found in Egypt, China, and Greece. The original “cups” were made of animal horns and later of pottery and glass. Cupping has changed over the centuries and has expanded in its application. We now have rubber and silicone cups that provide a wide range of uses, including massage.  

Cupping is thought to be one of the best deep tissue massage available.  It has been found to affect the body up to four inches into the tissue, causing tissues to release toxins, activate the lymphatic system, clear blockages, help activate and clear the veins, arteries and capillaries.  Cupping helps soften long standing muscle tightness and adhesion's by breaking up the multiple layers of fascia and bringing blood flow back into ischemic tissue. This method can help with treatment of chronic injuries, which respond to treatment but come back. It also unblocks meridians and stagnant energy and returns balance to the...

April 20, 2017

Spring is a time of regeneration, new beginnings, and a renewal of spirit. The world is alive with buds and blooms, and sweet fragrances fill the air. Just as the outside world is being reborn, so are our bodies.  Spring is the ideal time for cleaning and clearing, not just our homes and yards, but our bodies as well. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine’s (TCM) Five Element Theory, spring represents the wood element (the five elements of TCM are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water). The principles of the Five Elements describe the flow of energy or “Qi” within the body. They state that all change within the body and the world at large occurs in five distinct stages with spring being the time for wood energy, and regulation of the liver and gallbladder.

Springtime energies stimulate the liver and gallbladder to cleanse the blood and internal organs of impurities. These impurities may be due to processed, fatty or undigested foods, enzyme deficiency, or environmental toxins such as...

August 23, 2016

Massage has been practiced throughout recorded history and has been an important part of pregnancy and childbearing for millennia.Pregnancy and birth are a sacred journey, one that creates a miraculous environment for awareness and healing. As a massage therapist, there is nothing quite like working with a mother and her unborn child. The beauty of pregnancy and the energy of new life in the womb gives rise to a deep reverence for the journey the mother and child are on together.

Historically, pregnancy and childbirth were seen to by midwives, healers, birth attendants and family members. Massage was an important tool in assessing the mothers well-being, the position of the unborn child and managing stress and pain before, during and after the birth. With the rise of modern medicine and a more clinical birthing environments we have lost some of these beneficial practices. Prenatal massage is making a comeback through the rise of birthing centers and the resurgence of midwifery and doula...

July 11, 2016

The Meditative Mind

Meditate verb. to think deeply or focus one's mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.

The mind is like a river, it is always flowing and coursing with thought. We often fall into the river of thought and get swept away, surfacing at some point down-stream, and wondering how we got there. Meditation allows us to sit on the banks of the river of thought and observe it, without attachment, without getting swept away. Meditation is a means of training the mind to stay present, to acknowledge the thoughts as they come and allowing them to go without following them into the rapids. In meditation we sit. Yes, just sit, we do not “do” anything.

This may sound like a superb waste of time, how and why would we want to just “sit”? Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits. Meditation engages the parasympathetic nervous system and activates the “relaxation response”. This is a term coined...

June 27, 2016

We, as a society, have become accustomed to stress as a part of daily life. How often do we respond to inquiries on our mental status with “I’m just so busy” or “I’m stressed out”? Over scheduling and a general sense that "the busier we are the better", have become our way of life. Would we be any less productive or responsible if we weren’t stressed? Would our lives be less meaningful if we took time to stop and smell the roses or made time for daily reflection? I think not, in fact the opposite is true.

Stress is the leading cause of disease in America with up to 75% of all doctor visits being due to stress related illnesses. According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide. Stress is literally killing us.

Over the next few weeks we will explore different options for stress relief, and how to cope with the demands of the day. Ascension Wel...

May 18, 2016

 

We live in a world of constant stimulation. On any given day we are bombarded with cell phones, email, facebook, twitter, traffic, billboards, television, (bad) news, not to mention most of us have calendars packed full of events requiring our attention.  All of these stimulate our central nervous system and can activate a stress response in our body.  Stress creates a cascade of chemical reactions in the body releasing substances such as epinephrine and cortisol. Prolonged stress causes damage to the body systems and results in decreased immune function, sluggish digestion and is the cause of many diseases of both body and mind.

The problem is clear, so what are people doing about it? More importantly what are you doing about it? Self care is the answer; we must balance the stress in our lives with its natural opposite, relaxation. Relaxation shouldn't just be that 2 weeks a year when you’re on vacation lounging in a hammock reading your favorite book and sipping a margarita, it...

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