Is Thai or Reiki for you? Which one’s best?

Thai or Reiki

Thai or ReikiWhat do you think is more popular? Thai or Reiki? I don’t know for anyone else, but in my practice, it’s Reiki! Though Thai is a very, very close second. How close? Last year I had 99 Reiki appointments and 97 Thai bodywork appointments. That’s how close!

Even though both services work from the same principle, the approach is so different that people are usually drawn to one but not the other. The question of what is better for them, Thai or Reiki, comes up pretty often as people wonder if they are missing out on something. But what is the unifying principle that brings both services together? That we have energy running through us, and it needs to run unimpeded in order for the body, mind, and spirit to be healthy.

The difference in Thai or Reiki comes in how both services help that energy to move along. In Reiki, a light touch is used and more energy is poured into the body through the practitioner. You can think of it as having a super heavy rain that fills the river that then overflows a dam, sweeping it away. The energy channels in your body are the river, the dam are areas of injury, emotional discord, surgery, painful memory, and so on. That extra heavy rain is the extra energy provided through the practitioner (me, in this case). Even though it sounds somewhat tumultuous, the process is actually gentle.

Thai or ReikiIn Thai Bodywork, the aim is also to move the energy through the body and remove the dam. But here, we use pressure and stretches to get into the nooks and crannies of the body and remove the dams. There is no rain, just the internal force of the river that is now allowed to flow unimpeded, with dams loosened up. As this is a much more physical practice, the body feels differently immediately, with lasting health benefits to follow.

Which one is right for you? It depends! While everyone can benefit from both services, we have our goals and inclinations to keep in mind.

Thai bodywork hopes to achieve wellness through working on the body. The effects are physical to start with. It is a great service if there is tightness in the body or you are losing your range of motion. Sciatica, lower back pain, general tension in the body can all be helped by regular Thai sessions. It also teaches you trust. Didn’t expect that, right? It takes complete trust that I won’t hurt you to be able to relax fully, with body and limbs limp. That trust on the mat can then creep into the rest of your life where you just might be able to stay more in a relaxed state versus the high alert ‘fight or flight’ mode.

Reiki, on the other hand, hopes to achieve wellness by working on the spiritual and emotional level. While I might use a bit of pressure on certain points in the body, this is not exactly significant for the overall session. The extra energy being provided to you does create a sense of peace and relaxation, but how fast would depend on how used you are to relaxing. In other words, if you are typically very stressed, it will take longer and several session for you to come close to what I would consider relaxed. On the other hand, if you are only occasionally stressed and your body has at least a vague memory of being relaxed, you will get to that total body rest much faster.

What is more important to you at this time? What would you like to experience? That’s for you to know and for me to find out when you schedule 🙂

Book here

Yoga of Energy Flow Series

yoga of energy flow

yoga of energy flowI am very excited to be bringing this style of yoga to the North Shore! I really loved my teacher training and enjoyed practicing this style. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.

Drawing from several yoga styles, such as Kundalini, Meridian, and Kali Ray TriYoga, Yoga of Energy Flow is a unique and transformative method that integrates strength and flexibility training, energy cultivation, and open awareness.

Kundalini Yoga activates prana/chi energy, and strengthens the nervous system. Meridian Yoga opens and balances the internal energy flow. TriYoga, a vinyasa style, cultivates the flow of internal energy into a beautiful flow of postures; it is the art of meditation in action. Yoga of Energy Flow integrates these three styles into one unified, transformational practice.

By paying close attention to the movement of the spine in transition between poses and uniting that movement with breath, a unique appreciation for the movement of energy is developed. Your awareness expands and meditative states become easier to achieve.

Olga Kaminsky is a certified yoga teacher, Reiki Master Teacher, and an herbalist. She has graduated Yoga of Energy Flow teacher training in 2010 and has been helping her clients and students find peace and mindfulness amidst the chaos of life. Her wellness studio, Eternal Balance, is located at Cummings Center in Beverly.

This class is appropriate for all levels and beginners are welcome.

These classes will be held at Susan MacFarlane’s Wellness Studio at 186 Cabot St., Lower Level, Beverly, MA.

We are building interest to make this a regular offering!

Our next class is on Friday, December 2 at 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm!

$18

Reserve Your Spot!

Relaxation, a need or a hype?

restorativeI have to admit, I am not a fan of relaxation. There, I said it! Anytime I read an event description that is all about relaxation, I have zero interest in it. I view relaxation for relaxation’s sake as a form of escapism. I see it as a way to escape your troubles, your discomfort, your unease instead of dealing with it. As such, it just doesn’t hold a lot of value for me. I feel that we learn and grow when we are uncomfortable, when we can face our situation head on and acknowledge it, accept it, and change it if we need to. If you are just trying to avoid dealing with it by attending a variety of “feel-good” events, how will you change the course of your life?

Now, stillness, mindfulness, those I hold in high regard. In those rare moments of stillness, that’s when magic happens. That’s when invaluable insights have room to show up and be noticed. That, I can get behind on.

But guess what? We are so stressed and overwhelmed, we are so rushed along our lives, that we no longer know how to be still and mindful. It is no longer a natural part of our lives to slow down. And this is where relaxation does come in. If you are able to relax and let go, you will be able to be still and mindful. You can get out of being stuck in your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and back into your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). And did you know that we are supposed to live in “rest and digest” mode? With short bursts of activity in “fight or flight”? It feels as if though everything in today’s world is stack against that.

I can’t tell you how many clients I have seen that have trouble relaxing and letting go. I see it both in Reiki sessions and in Thai bodywork. With Reiki, they do eventually settle down and relax or doze off. It is also more of a mind that might stay agitated. The body lays still, so it’s easier to relax. But with Thai, and all the movement that comes with it, the person has to consciously relax the muscles so that I can move them without resistance. And I remind them to do so if I feel tension. One of the most common answers to that is, “But I feel like I am relaxed.” Nope, there is still tension, still effort. Slowly, they learn how to let go and relax and boy, what a difference it makes!

LifeBreath

lifebreath

lifebreathYou know that it is important to breathe deeply at least once in while. You might have heard that advice of “just breathe!” as a remedy to stress and anxiety. But do you know how to actually do it? The LifeBreath is close to my heart as taking a deep breath was something I struggled with growing up. I always felt like there was something preventing me from filling my lungs with air all the way, and my lung capacity test results were abysmal. As a result, I was excused from aerobic activities in physical education classes, and feeling short of breath was a normal occurrence for me. It was not until I started to take yoga classes that I learned to breathe better and feel better as a result. I want to pass that information to you in a form of LifeBreath class.

It is without fail that my clients with anxiety are unable to take a deep breath when instructed. They are usually also breathe incorrectly – their abdomen pulls in when they inhale and extends when they exhale.

Give this a try yourself… take a deep breath into your abdomen, with your abdomen extending out as a balloon. Now, exhale all the way and squeeze the belly button towards your spine. Did this work for you? You are in good shape! You would still benefit from LifeBreath, but just remember to actually breathe with a long, slow exhale and your stress levels will go down.

Now, what if this was difficult and it’s just not clicking for you? Come to this class! We’ll run through a few exercises that will help you tune into your diaphragm and practice controlled breathing. When you do that, your parasympathetic system is activated and you feel relaxed.

Controlled breathing gets easier with time and practice and it’s a great tool to have to help you calm down and feel great.

Thursday, September 22, 7:00 – 8:30 pm

$20

Simple Pampering: Facials

facial

 

facialI am fresh off spending two days learning all about skin and taking care of it in my herbal studies class. Whew! There was so much to learn! As my skin care routine is rather simple and almost non-existent, it was fascinating to learn how much there is to know about skin and taking care of it. It has also made me crave some good home-made facials I used to do for myself before the girls were born.

Our skin is our largest organ of elimination and over half of the blood supply goes to the skin. While great skin begins on the inside, with your digestion and the state of the immune system, we can still affect it from the outside. The skin renews every 14-30 days, so better looking skin is not too far away!

This has inspired me to put together a fun evening of doing facials! I’ll provide all the supplies, you bring your clean face, ready for pampering!

We will scrub, steam, apply masks, toners, and finally, a rich cream to seal in all the goodness. Your face will shine from all the love and care we’ll lavish on it! We’ll use herbs and essential oils that promote skin health and enjoy a little do-it-yourself pampering.

Please bring (or wear) an old t-shirt, a hand towel, and have a way of putting your hair securely away from your face. We’ll go from between doing things ourselves, to working with a partner, to learning an easy face-lift technique.

Snacks will be provided as well!

Sunday, August 7, 3:00 – 4:30 pm

$20

My favorite healthy smoothie recipe

2016-06-28 13.52.35This is one recipe for a healthy smoothie I always go back to when I have all the ingredients. When I don’t, I just don’t use them 🙂 A word of caution, I am not that great with measurements when it comes to food. I eyeballed what I was putting in, so the measurements are approximate.

Don’t forget to read below the recipe for my notes about this healthy smoothie!

This makes two servings, or in our family, one big serving for me and two little ones for the girls 🙂

1 banana

2 generous handfuls of frozen fruit

about 12 oz of milk

1/2 tsp of molasses

1/4 tsp of chia seeds

1/4 tsp of kelp powder

1 TBS of peanut butter

1 raw egg

Blend everything together and enjoy promptly! I would not store this even in the fridge, so whatever is left gets discarded. Otherwise known as, mommy drinks it.

Now, notes:

We do buy majority of our food organic, so everything in this list is organic. I get bags of frozen organic fruit at Costco.

We only drink raw milk at this point and I get it at Artichoke Dairy in West Newbury, MA.

Molasses add a touch of sweetness to the drink and are actually good for you! Molasses are a rich source of iron, B vitamins, folate, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Read more.

Chia seeds have recently come out as a new superfood and you can read more here. The only thing with seeds is that not everyone can digest them well. So using less is probably a better idea than using more. Here is another great post on all the benefits of chia seeds from Jen Reviews.

Kelp is a great source of iodine to support healthy thyroid function. Read more here. In this small amount, you can’t actually taste it in the smoothie, which is a big plus for me.

We get our eggs at Tendercrop Farm. I would not use a store-bought for eating raw. Again, you can’t taste it in the smoothie.


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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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.

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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!

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.

Chakra Balancing Sessions

chakras 2I use Reiki to center and relax you and natural stones to enhance the energy of each major chakra. After that, auriculotherapy and aromatherapy combine to create a powerful healing effect!

I use Young Living essential oils in my sessions for their purity and strong effect. They are applied on the chakra points in your ears, so you get a quick and powerful effect from the oils and the energetic points.

A unique healing session that is sure to leave you relaxed, refreshed, and with food for thought!

I enjoy offering this sessions, but you might want to read my thoughts on chakras first.

Chakra Balancing sessions are 30, 45, or 60 minutes and are also available as an add-on to other sessions.

$40 – $55 – $70

Distance Reiki and Intuitive Energy Healing Session

distance reiki

Distance Reiki sessions are a unique and powerful way to clear your energy, balance your chakras, gain clarity, and promote well-being on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels.

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With Reiki, it is possible to send the healing energy at a distance, without a client being physically present. These distance Reiki sessions can be extremely useful when you just can’t get to the office, but would still like all the benefits of a hands-on session. There are special Reiki techniques for doing this and it works by establishing an energetic connection between the healer and a recipient.

Using your photograph, I am able to tune into your energy field and correct imbalances, clear blocks, and emphasize strong and healthy energy flow. The distance Reiki session promotes peace of mind, clear vision, and enhanced physical well-being.

Reiki can also be sent to the past to heal emotional traumas that are still affecting you today. While you will still have the memory of the event, its emotional effects on your present behavior will be lessened. In the same way, Reiki can be sent to a future event in your life. If you know that a stressful event is coming up, Reiki can be sent to that event so that you will have more composure and peace when the event happens.

What to Expect?

I use a photograph of you to help me establish a connection. You can email it to me here. If there is a question you’d like guidance on, make sure to include it with your photo.

I will email you with a date/time of when I am able to do your session. You do not need to do anything at that specific time, but I highly recommend that you sit down in a contemplative space in the following 48 hours. This is especially important if you were hoping to connect to your intuition and gain clarity. In any case, you will receive the energy whether you sit down or not.

After I am done with your session, I will email you my notes on your energy field, your chakras, and any other intuitive insight.

Cost

$55 (includes 30 minutes of energy healing and a report)