What does Eternal Balance mean?

logo-website-1I thought this would be a good time to talk about what does Eternal Balance actually mean as a concept. It seems that people don’t really understand and usually think it means something it doesn’t. Typically, folks skip over “eternal” and just go straight to “balance”. Balance has become a well used and well loved word associated mostly with life/work balance. Right? Is that what popped into your head?

The life/work balance is a great idea, of course, though illusive at best. It seems to me that people who are trying to gain some life/work balance are ones the most stressed out and rushed, trying to fit more activities into their day that promise to bring balance. But to elaborate a bit, typically people think of relaxing activities when they think of balance and life/work balance. They are already stressed and run down with all their other stuff, and something relaxing is seen as needed to counter-balance that.

Well, sorry to disappoint, but Eternal Balance as a concept has nothing to do with relaxation. I know, shocker.

I coined that phrase a long time ago, long before I was thinking of starting a business, and it has more to do with idea of karma than any illusive balance point. My thinking at the time was that whatever you do, will come back to you in some way, shape, or form. Did you hurt someone? It will come back to you. Did you help someone? It will come back to you. Now, it’s not necessarily that it will come back from the same person, most likely not. That’s the “eternal” part. It will come back from someone, at some point in time, but it will come back. The Universe will “balance out”.

In a sense, my attempt with Eternal Balance is a hope that I will send out more good stuff, more good ripples into the world. And eventually, maybe, just maybe, they’ll come back to me too.

 

Period Tips for Women in Your Life

I’ve recently shared an article about using the pill by teenagers for pain management on my personal FB page and I thought it would be valuable enough to share here with you. I liked the article because it makes sense to me and it actually has references cited, a bit more scientific. The comments on the article and on my page all have something in common, what about endometriosis? Or severe cramping/bleeding? The author of the article actually addresses those concerns in the comments as well, but I would like to offer a little something to ponder.

Those first few periods are when the girls’ bodies are learning the whole ovulation, creating new hormones, sloshing old tissue thing… It’s going to take few tries to get right. When we introduce synthetic hormones, the body has no chance to learn to work in the way its meant to. I would love to see a study done where the age the pill is introduced is then compared to pain levels 10 years down the road, presence of endometriosis, fertility and so on.

Proper support at that time of the month is super-important. We have lost the art of slowing down and I think you can agree, pain lying down and not moving and pain walking around are perceived differently. There are also many things that can be tried for pain and flow management before settling on a pill. I remember asking a reflexology practitioner I was taking a class with, “So, if I do these points my period will feel better?” She just looked at me and said that having severe discomfort is not normal and the whole body needs to be addressed. The whole, “I’m not supposed to be suffering” thing stuck with me since then.

But what can you do when you are in pain? Here are some of my suggestions and remember that this is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix necessarily.

  • Drink a cup of herbal tea every day starting a week before the period and several times a day during a period. I have a lovely Moon Ease blend from Mountain Rose Herbs at the studio for sale. I can even ship it to you if you’d like to try it. In the months when I don’t forget to actually drink it, my period is mild and not bothersome.
  • Use an especially formulated essential oil blend from Young Living Oils. Make it into a massage oil and massage the lower back and the abdomen. Contact me to purchase.
  • Reflexology! You’d want to do a couple of sessions before a period starts. Again, the idea is that in a healthy body where everything is functioning, the period should not be too terrible. I offer a lovely Thai Reflexology, that just might help.
  • Acupuncture can also help through the same principle. I am happy to direct you to an acupuncturist I like.
  • Reiki, of course, can be a gentle way to deal with aches and pains.
  • Tibetan Hot Oil treatment is also meant to help with pain and with elimination (and that is what a period is for, to slosh off the old cells).
  • Compression underwear! Yes, I know, but I find it helps in the first few days when it feels like the belly just wants to fall out. Instead of straining to pull it in, outsource the job to those slimming high-waist undies.
  • Gentle yoga poses can help you settle down, relax, and release the tension from your tummy.
  • Lying down and taking it easy. Do not underestimate the power of rest. The world will not stop if you take few days off.

There are many alternative ways of managing pain. They might not be as easy as taking a pill, but you also are not introducing artificial hormones to the body either where long term effects might not be entirely clear.

Now you might think that your symptoms can not possibly be helped by such simple steps. But have you tried them? Try them for three months and see what happens. What do you have to lose?

Where we are going

WAPFlogosstackedRGBMy relationship with food and my weight has changed greatly over the years until I have arrived to where I am now with my choices.

I’ve gained quite a bit of weight when I was going through my divorce years ago and then used all kind of methods to try and lose it. I exercised religiously and intensely, I followed different diets, took diet pills, counted calories. You name it, and I probably did it. I’d lose weight, I’d gain weight, but overall, I did lose weight and got to a better place weight-wise. But it wasn’t until I started practicing yoga that I became at peace with my body and maintaining my healthy weight stopped being a struggle. I have also discovered Weston Price Foundation through attending an Herbal Conference. A lot of the teachers there emphasized how important good nutrition is and their advice was very different from Standard American Diet guidelines. That new way of eating seemed to make sense though, and so that’s what I’ve been following for the last maybe 5 years. I’m not a strict adherent to this diet, but this is something I always go to when I’m feeling less than good or if my clothes start fitting a little tighter.
So, what is it in a nutshell?
  • No processed foods – if it comes in a box or a can, you probably shouldn’t be eating it.
  • No substitutions, imitations, or fat-free anything – this is a full fat diet where healthy fat is your friend, not your enemy.
  • Dairy is allowed, with preference given to full-fat, raw dairy from grass-fed, pastured cows. Raw milk is available at Artichoke Farm in Newbury. If you are not up to raw milk, non-homogenized (second best) is available at Appleton Farm in Ipswich.
  • All grains, seeds, and nuts should be soaked before cooking. I don’t do this for nuts, but I also don’t eat a lot of them. If it’s a big part of your diet, you should soak and then dry them.
  • Fermented foods are a staple, eaten every day (small amounts).
  • Bone broth is another staple that you have regularly.
  • This is not a raw veggie diet, most vegetables are cooked before eating.
It takes some time to have everything in place and it shouldn’t be an all or nothing approach. Like with any diet, it works best to plan your meals and then it just takes some time to get used to thinking about your meals a bit differently. It doesn’t take a lot of effort for me to put some beans in a bowl with water in the evening and then put them in a crockpot the next day. After they are done, I can add them to my meals much easier. The same with the bone broth – I make it in my crockpot and after it cools, divide into portions and freeze to use later for soup.

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[Back to Basics] week 1

honeylemonwaterThis week we are focusing not so much on taking foods out, but on adding certain things in. Think of this week as a transition week that will help you prepare.

Mainly, we are adding two things to your day:
  • Starting the day with some warm honey/lemon water
  • Drinking yogi tea throughout the day
Start the day with warm honey/lemon water

After you get up and brush your teeth, have a small cup of warm, not cold, honey/lemon water. This should be your first drink of the day. I use a small cup and fill it with about 4 oz of hot water, add half a teaspoon of raw, local honey, and then a squeeze of lemon. I cut a lemon in half and just squeeze the half into my cup, but not all of it. I think I end up with about a tea spoon of lemon juice. You want to sip this as you are going about your morning and then have breakfast.

Tips:
You really should get honey at a farm stand. Tendercrop on 1A, formerly Canaan, has local honey. If you are buying at the supermarket, just read all the labels. A lot of supermarket honey is not actually honey. You are looking for raw and local. Local just has more benefits later on in the year as it will help with your seasonal allergies.

I got a big bag of lemons at Costco, which makes it convenient and affordable since I’ll have enough to last me the whole month. If you have one of those squeeze bottles of lemon juice, you can use that in a pinch, just go easy on it. You are looking for a pleasant lemon flavor, not to feel like you stuck a lemon in your mouth 🙂

This little drink helps kick-start your digestion and prepare you to have breakfast. It’s important that water temperature is hot or warm, but not cold. I also find that about 4 oz is enough and you do not need more than that, unless you want more.

Here is a link to an article tooting its benefits: https://www.healthambition.com/many-benefits-of-lemon-water/

Drink yogi tea between meals

You can buy yogi tea at a store, but it’s much nicer to make your own, it just tastes better.

Here is a recipe:

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil
Add 20 whole cloves
Add 20 whole green cardamom pods
Add 20 whole black peppercorns
Add 5 sticks of cinnamon
Simmer for 15-20 minutes (uncovered is fine, it smells nice!)
Add 1/4 teaspoon of any black tea.
Simmer for 1-2 more minutes and turn off.

In a large cup, pour 8 oz of tea and add 4 oz of milk, enjoy!

Tips: Basically, you add half cup milk to a cup of liquid. I like to pour hot tea and then add a splash of milk, so it’s not exactly the same proportions as the recipe.

You want to avoid heating this up in the microwave, just on the stovetop. But if the only way you’ll drink is by using microwave, go for it.

If you don’t drink milk, do not use milk substitute (almond or soy milk). Instead, you can add a bit of coconut oil, or ghee. If you do drink milk, best is raw, second best is non-hydrogenated. That is available at Appleton Farm in Ipswich on 1A (call ahead, they don’t always have it, it has yellow top).

I find that this is sweet tasting enough, but you can also add a little honey to it.

You can heat up the tea together with milk, instead of adding milk later.

These are two things I’d like you to start doing. You might find that by drinking yogi tea you are not as hungry. Honor that feeling. Try to distinguish when you are truly hungry from when you are eating because it’s time to be eating.

And please share your experiences and ask questions!

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YL Oils: R.C. and breathe easy!

So… I recently signed up to be a Young Living essential oils distributor. While I don’t care about the distributing part, I did want to have access to high quality oils for myself and for my clients. I got my starter kit just the other day and after excitedly smelling each and every oil that was in the kit, and sharing them with my husband, I wanted to actually diffuse something. Since few of us are sniffly, I thought that the blend with eucalyptus would be a good choice. The blend that was in my starter kit is called R.C. and it includes essential oils of three different types of eucalyptus along with other things. I got the diffuser set up with this oil and within minutes was telling my husband that my sinuses feel open. It was super quick and it smelled good too 🙂

I would recommend this blend for the fall when the sniffles come around. It’s also very economically priced, just $13.49 retail. You can read more about the blend here. And if you’d like to purchase it at some savings, just let me know and I’ll be happy to order it for you.

And, if you check Young Living oils and decide you want to become a distributor, please use this link to sign up or provide my member ID: 3199529 when signing up.

My best allergy tips

allergiesHow are your allergies this time of year? Are you sneezy, snootie, and with watering eyes? I can sympathize, my friend, I really can. I’ve had my ups and downs with all that and August/September used to be the worst! I could not drive with my windows open and had to stay indoor as much as possible.

After going to a specialist for a test, I turned out to be allergic to practically everything. I was allergic to mold, trees, grasses, cats, and most of the other things they test for that I don’t even remember now. I was prescribed medication: spray for the nose, eye drops, and some kind of anti-histamine. The medication worked great! It definitely managed my symptoms. But after using it for a bit, I wasn’t too happy with the side effects. Nose spray was addictive and gave me nosebleeds. Anti-histamine made me foggy, made my hands shake, and gave me heart palpitations. The eye drops were OK, maybe I didn’t use them often enough?

In my search for alternatives, there was a time when I haven’t exactly figured it out, and so had plenty of sneezing and runny nose attacks. While it’s too late to be completely sneeze-free at this point, it’s not too late to get better.

So, what do I do to stay off medications and still get out of the house without being a mess? At least as long as sneezing is concerned?

Do this now:

  • Get yourself some nettle tea. It really helps and has a lot of benefits besides allergies. You can pick it up at Eternal Balance, look for it online, or at health food stores. I sell organic and responsibly harvested tea from Mountain Rose Herbs. You will have to brew it strong – 1 T of plant material to one cup of water. Pour boiling water over it, cover(!), and let steep for at least 10 minutes. Once a day is enough for me at this point, but if you are feeling pretty bad, I’d go for two cups a day.
  • Invest in a neti pot. Mine is just simple plastic that I got at Walgreens, but I’m thinking of investing into this ceramic one. It’s fine if you say, “eww, gross!” in public, but do use it in private. Frankly, it’s way less gross than wiping your nose. It takes a little bit to get the hang of it, but 2-3 days and you’ll feel so much better! I’d just do it before bed, but morning and evening are good if you are really snootie.
  • Get some local honey and start adding a teaspoon into your nettle tea. Wait until after it’s steeped and not as hot to mix honey in. This will take a while to kick in, so it’s best to do it anytime you have tea throughout the year.

Do this during the year:

  • Keep using local honey in your tea. Don’t get store-bought honey, it might not even be honey. Get one at your farmer’s market. There are plenty in our area. Even if the honey is from Vermont, the pollen there is still more alike to ours than one in Florida.
  • Try to figure out what else might be causing inflammation in your body. I really think that allergies are more pronounced when the body is already agitated by dealing with other stressors. So, clean up your diet, your cleaning and personal products, and so on.
  • Lastly, stress makes everything worse. Make yourself laugh everyday! At the end of the day, if you haven’t laughed, force a loud laugh out. You will look so bonkers, it is bound to make you laugh!

I hope these allergy tips will bring some immediate relief and will keep you sneeze-free come next spring and summer!


Disclaimer: No part of this post is intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness. Nothing on this post is to be construed as medical advice; I am not a doctor, I am only relating my personal experience. Please discuss your personal health with your personal, qualified health practitioner before making changes to your diet or adjusting/discontinuing any medication. I am not responsible for any adverse outcomes associated with using or misconstruing advice or information on this site.

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Lucy’s Love Bus

Lucy's_Love_Bus_Logo_wTagI am grateful to be able to participate in Lucy’s Love Bus program and provide my services to children that need them. What a great organization! I hope you consider donating to them and also pass the word on that this program exists!

Happy Independence Day!

eagleI love July 4th! I love the celebration, the fireworks, the idea of freedom and independence. There are many shades and nuances to freedom, I think. Of course, there are very literal interpretations in the case of a slave or a prisoner. It is unfortunate that even now literal slavery still exists in the world. And the prison population in the US is nothing to be happy about. But if you are reading this, chances are you are well removed from those two instances.

The question then is, “Are you free?” My favorite teacher always closed her yoga classes with the following blessing, that I also use:

May you be happy as I wish to be happy.

May you be healthy as I wish to be healthy.

May you be full of joy as I wish to be joyful.

May you be free from suffering, as I wish to be free.

The last line always made me unsettled. My thoughts would dart to slaves or prisoners and I would feel rather uncomfortable saying that I wish to be free. “I AM free!”, I thought, “What suffering?” Given that I had a comfortable middle-class income at that time and practiced with my all-white middle class colleagues made it all the more silly. But yoga and repeating things over and over have a funny way of sticking with you. Eventually, I had a light bulb moment as I was endlessly going over and over of what to do with my life. Do I leave said comfortable, but numbing job and do what I really feel can help others and be fulfilling, or do I write that dream off and stick with my career. The indecision and going back and forth was just painful. And that’s when I got it, that’s suffering! Yes, different kind, the one that we create ourselves, but suffering nonetheless!

Since then I have begun to view the superfluous mental activity as suffering. The kind where you keep worrying about things that are out of your control, where you think up all the different possible scenarios and not good ones either. And in that light the freedom looks a bit different too. Am I free from other people’s expectations of me? Am I free to do what my heart desires? Are you?

I hope as you are drinking some beer this weekend (make it a local one) and munching on some food (local?), you’ll have a minute to think of both physical and emotional freedom and toast to that.

Some History

I have to admit that life kind of got away from me. Here I was, 6 years ago almost to the day, graduating from my Reiki Master training. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I was ready to change the world. “Yes, I can!”, was my attitude. I quickly hit my first snag though; no one wanted to take me into their practice. Granted, I didn’t make too many inquiries, but the recurring conversation was this, “Do you have clients?”, “No, I am just starting…”, “We can’t take you on at this time.” It seemed to be like that chicken-and-egg problem that I couldn’t get out of. Not to be discouraged, I finally found someone to take me in (for a ridiculous amount of money) at the Cummings Center. As luck would have it, that wellness practice was going out of business and I ended up taking over the space in couple of months. And Eternal Balance was born, complete with a shiny new 5 year lease.

The lease on my own was not too fun to pay, specially with very few clients. As I started looking to share the space, I found a lovely massage therapist who was doing well and who just ran a coupon deal. Those deals seemed great for bringing people in and I wanted to do one for myself. The coupon site, however, was not interested in running a deal for Reiki (not profitable enough), and we ended up bundling it with a massage. And that’s when things gotten away from me. As massage therapist moved on, I had to find someone else to provide those massages that were part of my Reiki deal. And so we kept going and going with that. Like everything else, this strategy had both pluses and minuses. On the plus side, people found out about Eternal Balance and tried my services. On the minus side, I would get buried in phone calls, scheduling, and running payroll.

A bit of a wake up call came when a client commented how she loved Eternal Balance and that it was so much more than a massage place. What?! Massage place?! My business?! How did this happen?! My goal always was to offer alternatives to mainstream, to question things, to discover what is it that YOU actually want to do with your life. I really wasn’t sure how to get back to that place though. But now, with Plamen off, it feels like a good time to get back to what I want to do. Maria is fully capable of taking care of her own business and I am looking forward to a more collaborative approach where I don’t feel so much like a manager and a secretary.

I am excited about the change. I’m a little apprehensive, but this feels right, and I am going with it. I hope you’ll stay for the ride! There are so many things I’d like to do and offer, I know this will be great.

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Thanks!

Thank you for staying with us! Newsletter is the best way to know what’s happening at the studio.

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Do you write things down?

Interesting article on Business Insider here. It’s about how writing things down by hand helps you learn better than taking notes electronically. I know that this definitely holds true for me. If I’m using a laptop, I’m focused on taking the information down, not the actual information.

Do you take notes by hand?

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Baby is here!

The baby has arrived! It feels like I’ve been pregnant for a year, at least 🙂 Little miss decided to take few extra days and was born on December 31, in the morning. We barely made it to the North Shore Birth Center on time! I was waiting around for contractions to become at regular intervals, but that just didn’t happen. After my water broke, it was quick, quick, let’s get to that birth center! Seraphina was born just 20 minutes after arriving to the birth center.

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Couple of hours after birth
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Hanging out with daddy

Little miss was 20.5″ and 8 lbs 12 oz! She is a little chunk for sure. We are settling in at home. It’s a whole different thing having a toddler and a newborn and I’m still rather sore. Here are some pics of the baby! IMG_5648

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After coming home from birth center

 

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My mom loving on the new baby while Sophia is excited to have mommy back.

 

 

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Gift Certificates

Gifts

We offer convenient online gift certificates! Just go to our online store and you can purchase gift certificates in most popular amounts. Fill out all the information and the gift certificate will be instantly emailed to your recipient, great for last minute purchases! Or email it to yourself, print it out, and gift in person!

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Olga’s Reiki journey

AlanChumakPeople often ask me how I got into Reiki. If they read my little bio blurb about being in high tech, it’s all the more intriguing. The answer is both “it just happened” and also “maybe it was meant to be”.

I was working at the time as a SQA (Software Quality Assurance) Engineer and also looking for something, not exactly sure what. I was going through a bad breakup and was searching for who am I, exactly, outside of a relationship. I was reading books on spirituality, personal growth, nature-based religions and what have you. At the same time, a coworker convinced me to try a weekly yoga class that we had at work. During one of the classes, we did a short meditation and energy-sensing exercise. I could feel the gentle pull and push of energy between my palms and it reminded of something very well forgotten by that point.

Back in the early 90s, when I was in my early teens, the USSR had a big psychic experiment going on. Here is the little bit I found that sums it up.

Russia’s second-best-known psychic healer, Alan Chumak, is on state-run television six days a week on a show called “120 Minutes.” On this program the grey-haired mystic waves his hands on camera to cure viewers of whatever ails them, according to the previously mentioned Associated Press dispatch. The story went on to say Soviets with heart disease “are requested to watch” his show on Tuesdays. “On Fridays, Chumak will help viewers get rid of allergies. People with stomach bugs should tune in on other days.” And if these people can’t watch a show on their designated day, they are instructed to just leave the set on, “and a jar of water, juice or massage cream placed by the TV screen supposedly will be ‘charged’ by Chumak’s gestures and can be used later for treatment.”

Like most families at that time, mine watched the show and participated. We always had a jug of water to be charged in front of the TV and parents were pretty open minded about it. Their attitude was that if this doesn’t work, it doesn’t hurt, but if it does work, all the better. Meanwhile, I had dreams of being a healer, wearing all white (of course!) and helping people.

Feeling energy in my hands reminded me of sitting in front of the TV and watching Chumak silently move his arms from behind his desk. It looked and felt as he was doing something, even though visibly not much was happening. I wanted to learn more about energy and how this worked. I asked a question about energy on one of the spirit based forums I was reading, and someone suggested that I look into Reiki. Well, I did, and the rest is history 🙂

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Cough syrup

We are, unfortunately, all at different stages of being sick in this house. I’ve had an annoying cough for a while, then Sophia got sick and now my husband is sick. Being pregnant, there aren’t too many over-the-counter remedies I can take and so I have allowed this cold to drag on and on. I am getting pretty tired of it though! Couple that with my husband’s awful cough, and it was time to do something.

I found a recipe for a cough syrup online that I had the ingredients for and seemed simple enough. I made it just yesterday and my husband has been loving it! It really helped him with his cough, he’s barely coughing today and it’s helping with mine as well. I’ll be making some more in a little bit. A good thing about it is that you really can’t overdose on it.

So, here is the recipe:

  • 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (I just used one lemon and it was a bit more than 3 tbs)
  • 1/4 cup of local honey (I just used an approximate measurement, no need to dirty a measuring cup and lose some honey in the process)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Warm up the ingredients on low heat, just to melt the coconut oil and blend things a bit. That’s it! Make sure to test the temperature before taking a big spoonful. I make sure to mix it before scooping some out and take from the bottom. The coconut oil will solidify eventually, so you’d want to warm it up a bit again as needed.