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Invigorating Practices: Dry Brushing

As someone who has poor circulation and dry skin I decided I wanted to start dry brushing. I had heard of this practice while I was living in Boston, but it wasn’t until I moved to California that I realized what I had been missing out on. I am not someone who likes to spend a lot of money on beauty products and luckily I found a lovely brush that was reasonable in price. I recommend going to your nearest natural food store to find a brush with natural bristles.

So what is Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing is the practice of brushing the skin with a natural (non-synthetic) brush. The brushing stimulates the skin and activates the lymphatic system.

The benefits of dry brushing include:

  • REMOVING LAYERS OF DEAD SKIN
  • INCREASE CIRCULATION
  • STIMULATE NERVE ENDINGS
  • INCREASE MUSCLE TONE 
  • STIMULATION OF YOUR OIL GLANDS AND HORMONES
  • DECREASING CELLULITE. 
  • CLEANSE YOUR LYMPHATIC SYSTEM
  •  IMMUNITY BOOST
  • STRESS RELIEF
  • UNCLOGS PORES

How to get started:

1. Get naked and stand in a bathtub (water should be off)

2. Begin brushing by starting at your feet and moving in long sweeping motions toward your heart. Always brush toward your      heart.

3. Brush several times in each area.

4. Once you’ve brushed your entire body, jump in the shower. Try alternating from hot to cold water to stimulate circulation.

6. After getting out of the shower, pat dry skin and apply coconut oil or a natural oil of your choice. I use EarthBody oils because of the amazing scents and because I have sensitive skin.

7. Continue to dry brush your entire body every day. Twice a day is recommended for best results.

*Clean your brush with soap and water and leave out to dry in a clean and sunny spot inside your home.

Happy Brushing!

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Mindful Moments: Intentions and Meditations

“Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.” -Thich Nhat Hahn

I remember being 6 years old and whining when my mother came home and had me to my chores over again. I grew up in a home where we all carried our own weight no matter our age. We couldn’t work so my parents decided that we would be in charge of dusting, making our beds and learning how to do laundry.  I remember my parents saying, “do everything as if it were for God.” Well, I did not know what that meant. I just thought they were trying to make me feel guilty. Now that I look back at that saying I see the beauty I didn’t see as a child.

In my lifetime I have done countless mindless and seemingly pointless things. I have felt empty and drained even though I was not straining or working hard at all. I have sat on the couch for hours just watching images on the screen because I was lonely or because I was bored. I have used the adult version of the “time-out” to just sit there with absolutely no thoughts. While I think we can all use a personal time-out every now and then, I also realize that instead of letting myself be completely empty, I can set an intention for those moments of silence or the moments of crazy when you just need to focus. Instead of being an empty vessel, find one word to think about.

An intention is a thought. A good thought. An intention is something you wish for. It is something you hope for. An intention is like holding something or someone in your thoughts. Intention is the recognition of something and having a non-judgemental thought about it. Intention is awareness.

For example:

Let’s say you are washing dishes and you are annoyed because you don’t want to do them.

Recognition: “I recognize that I am feeling annoyed, this is what annoyed feels like.”

Action: Take 3 full inhalations and 3 full exhalations

Intention/thought:  “I am at peace”. Repeat this phrase to yourself while you are doing dishes and as you continue taking deep breaths.

Another example is:

Let’s say you are practicing yoga and the instructor asks you to set an intention for your class.

Recognition: “I am really tired today and would rather be at home sleeping, this is what tired feels like”

Action: Focus on your gentle breathing. Feel your belly rise up as you breathe in, and fall as you breathe out.

Intention: “I am blessed to have the ability to move my limbs. Today, I practice for those who are unable to move about

freely.”

Using one word or phrase intention is a mindful meditation.  Meditating or thinking about one word helps with focus and attention. I know some people don’t know or understand the idea of meditation. It can be quite daunting for some people. If you are not a meditator and need a place to start here are some tips:

1. Make it your own: Start small. Start with breathing and just repeating the word “peace” throughout your day. Choose words that resonate with how you want to feel throughout your day.

2. Let it be a personal practice: This is an internal practice. No one needs to know all of your inner thoughts, prayers, etc.

3. Use an app: I have some reservations about meditation apps, however there are a few good ones that might be helpful for beginners or for anyone needing a reminder. Some free meditation apps go off at random times during the day. The sound works as a reminder to take a moment to relax and breathe.

Finding what works for you is important. Sometimes the things that have the biggest impact in our lives start as simple and easy practices. The less complicated you make it, the more you will want to do it. Soon enough you will do it automatically and not even realize you are doing it.

Coping with Infertility Stress Through Hypnotherapy

One needs to “understand the importance of simmering down the emotionality of infertility and recognize that the emotional distress cannot help but land in the body” (On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility by Helene Adrienne).

Many men and women struggle to conceive, while single or in relationships. This struggle, commonly referred to as infertility, is similar to chronic illness as it requires adaptation over time and does not have immediate resolution. It is important to see and understand the affects of the symptoms and diagnosis in each circumstance holistically as experiences and perceptions vary from man to woman, couple and individual. Individuals dealing with infertility may experience existential, social, physical, emotional and relationship stressors that can impact their ability to cope with their diagnosis. Disclosure of infertility can cause a series of physical, emotional and social stressors that can create more tension within the individual. In addition, feelings of isolation may be due to the perceived stigmatizing nature of infertility.

Research indicates that hypnosis is not just a technique that aids in the reduction of stress to the nervous system but also a tool that can encourage communication between the mind and body. This can be achieved by sending messages to the hormonal system, which is directly connected to the reproductive system.  For example, hypnosis has been found to promote physical relaxation and stress management. These components can enhance feelings of control in the individual, empowering them to find new ways to cope with stressors caused by infertility. Hypnosis is a “letting-go” technique that provides a link between the mind and body. In addition, hypnosis offers various techniques that can be used to enhance the experience. These techniques include deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation.

Stressors often experienced are:

Existential Stress

  • Alters a woman’s idea of her future.
  • Infertility creates an intergenerational effect on parents and siblings
  • Procreation is tied to cultural and social beliefs about sexual identity.
  • The inability to have children can cause an individuals self-perception of femininity or masculinity and a feeling of failure, feelings of being defective, and unattractive.
  • Infertility can cause the individual to lose self-confidence, optimism for the future, and raise doubts about the individuals competencies in other roles, such as parenting and marital relationships

Social Stress

  • As peers become pregnant and close friends and relatives begin to ask about children, the individual may become increasingly aware and self-conscious about their inability to have children.
  • Disclosing this information may cause individuals to receive unhelpful and insensitive advice from their social support

Physical Stress

  • It is estimated that 31% of couples seek medical treatment for infertility. Upon start of treatment the individual may have to undergo several tests, monitor their hormones on a regular basis, undergo biopsies, etc. Waiting for test results may cause additional stress and anxiety. If tests are inconclusive, they often lead to additional testing and medical interventions.

Emotional Stress

  • Stemming form the inability to predict the future, infertile women are more aware of their reproductive functions and timing of sexual activity
  • Emotional reaction to infertility may be anger, depression and guilt. Feelings of being inferior and guilt for not getting pregnant can lead to depression

Relationship Stress

  • Infertility may cause couples to re-evaluate their union. The individual with the reproductive problem may feel guilty for not fulfilling their partners desire for children, feel unworthy and like they are holding their partner back from having a family of their own.
  • Financial strain because of medical treatments, sexual dysfunction, communication problems or not telling their partner about their infertility for fear of losing their partner.
  • Sexual relations may become a chore because it is no longer spontaneous.
  • Each month the anticipation of getting pregnant and having the onset of menses or when the pregnancy test comes back negative.

How Hypnotherapy can help:

Relaxation reduces stress, anxiety, fear of change, and defensiveness and provides a sense of empowerment. Things become more manageable and less overwhelming when you are relaxed. In addition to relaxation, hypnosis guides the individual and empowers them to find the solution by focusing internally.

The use of hypnosis purely for its relaxation component will reduce stress and enhance feelings of control, which may be a valid reason for using it even if not used to induce a specific outcome. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation during hypnosis offers a way to return the body to neutrality and receptivity from a state of frenzy that the infertility experience has most likely been provoking.

Considering hypnotherapy for infertility may benefit individuals seeking a mind-body approach.

Hospitality Tea: My Exploration of Moroccan Mint Tea

I love tea. There is just something so magical about a hot cup of tea. The way the dry tea opens itself up to reveal its flavor and how the leaves dance together in the water as you pour the hot water into your cup. It reminds me of how only under intense pressure and heat will the seed pods of the Redwood tree open up.

For years different cultures have been using tea in ceremonies, as part of rituals, as a form of hospitality and as a sign of friendship. Even the way you pour tea is considered an art form.

I have recently taken up my own version of this art form when I learned how to brew kombucha and as I have been drinking hot water with the juice of half a lemon in the mornings before breakfast. As part of my quest I have been experimenting with different fresh herbs and trying different versions of the classic “Moroccan mint tea.”

Moroccan mint tea is traditionally brewed using gunpowder tea from China, fresh mint leaves, sugar and hot water. This tea is traditionally served to guests as a sign of friendship and hospitality. If there are two things I love it’s hosting people for dinner and drinking tea.  After trying several versions of this tea, I have come up with one that I love the most and that I have served at a few gatherings. This new take on the traditional “Moroccan mint tea” is more of my “ode” to it and one that can still be considered hospitable to serve before, during and after a shared meal.

Ingredients:

1-2 handfuls of fresh mint sprigs

1 fresh lemon (juiced)

1 fresh grapefruit (juiced)

1 tbsp of grated ginger (optional)

1 large pot of hot water

What you will need:

Large pot

Strainer

Container to hold tea (preferably glass)

Recipe:

*Bring a large pot of water to a boil, lower the heat and drop the mint leaves into the pot. Leave simmering for 5-8 minutes on low heat. Add juice of lemon and juice of grapefruit into pot. You can drop the grapefruit and lemon into the pot after it has been juiced for an added flavor. Add the ginger for a warming effect. Strain and bottle, add some ice for a cooler beverage and some thinly sliced lemon and sprigs of mint for garnish.

Health benefits:

Mint: Aids with digestion, nausea, headaches, coughing/respiratory ailments, asthma, depression, fatigue, weight loss, oral care.

Ginger: Immune booster, digestion, gastrointestinal health, anti-inflammatory.

Lemon: Indigestion, constipation, high blood pressure, respiratory ailments, weight loss, dental care, fever.

Grapefruit: Packed with vitamin C, ranked high in anti-oxidants, inhibits tumor formation, lowers cholesterol, prevent kidney stones, protects against colon cancer

I hope this inspires you to explore the enchanting world of tea. If you have any recipes you would like to share I would love to hear about them.

Happy sipping!

Tips For The Spin Class Newbie

So you have decided it’s time to finally take a Spin class. You have probably wondered why anyone would sit on a stationary bike in a dark room with a bunch of strangers and become a sweaty mess. Nonetheless, you are willing to try it.

As a long time Spinner and a certified Spin instructor I can tell you first hand that it takes a lot of physical and emotional gumption to get through a class. You will probably want to quit 30 minutes in, watch the clock constantly and feel like you have been riding a horse for hours after your first class. This is completely normal, and even those of us who have been Spinning for years can attest that sometimes we still have a hard time getting into the right mind-set and leave feeling like it was our first time. Other times, you will have such an amazing ride that you will leave on a high and want to stay longer.

If you have tried Spin once and hated it, give it another try or try a different instructor. If that isnt an option go back anyway! Try changing bikes, locate a fan and sit close to it. If you need help with your bike settings ask your instructor. It might be that you just need a slight adjustment to make your ride smoother.

Some tips for your first ride:

Bring a towel: You will get sweaty and drip everywhere. Wipe yourself off! No one wants to feel your sweat as it splashes them in the face.

Hydrate: Bring a large water bottle. You will be exerting a lot of energy and you will need to replenish yourself.

Reserve a seat: There are a lot of regulars in Spin classes. If you are able to reserve a bike do so. Some regulars can be what I call, “bike snobs” meaning they will only Spin on the same bike every time. Don’t just come in and take a bike, reserve it if you can. No bike reservations? Then first come, first serve.

Attire: If you have moisture-wick work out clothing wear it. If not, cropped pants, shorts and a t-shirt are fine. Some veterans wear padded shorts, if you plan on making this a regular work out you might want to think about padded bike shorts. If not, some shops sell padded seat covers which work great too.

Shoes: The majority of gyms do not rent cycling shoes; that is okay. If you have tennis shoes you can wear those. However, before going to a class check out the website in case they require you wear specific cycling shoes.

Heart rate monitors: These are great for those who are training of those of us who just want to keep a close eye on the calories burned. They are not a requirement for your class, but if you find that you want to track your progress it might be a good investment.

Food: It is okay to have a light snack before class. When I first started Spinning I made the mistake of having a yummy burrito for dinner….let’s just say that was a bad idea. Don’t have dinner and go to class afterwards, you might make a big impression and so will your dinner.

Before class:

Come early to get help setting up your bike. This is so important in order to avoid injury!

During class:

Go at your own pace. Just because everyone in class is doing everything the instructor says that doesn’t mean you need to. Pace yourself, take water breaks, and most importantly, listen to your body.

The resistance knob is your friend! Use the knob to “up” your resistance or to bring it down. It might take you a few times to get the hang of how much resistance is right for you. Just don’t pretend to turn the knob. It is there for a reason and also to help you avoid hurting your knees.

After class:

Stretch! Don’t skip out on stretching after class.

Post work out food: Drink plenty of water! It is recommended that you eat a small, balanced snack of carbohydrates and protein to help your muscles recover quickly immediately after a workout.

So gear up and enjoy your ride!

Spirituality, Infertility and Rites of Passage

I like to think that I am not affected by societal expectations. The truth is that I am affected every single day. The truth is that social media makes it worse. I am genuinely happy when I hear that a friend becomes pregnant, once, twice, three times…however many times. Whether planned or unplanned, married or not. Regardless of that woman’s situation I feel sincere joy for the life stirring in her belly. It’s hard not to, I am a doula after all. I love being able to be a part of the expectation process, the birth, the tears, the fear, the sheer joy. My heart and my spirit swell with happiness for her because even though I have never experienced such joy I feel it when I hold her baby and as I slowly cradle that baby’s tiny body in my hands.

It’s kind of funny to think that as a pre-teen and most of my adult life I was against having children for myself. I remember sitting in church camp at the age of 13 and praying to God that he would never give me children. My thoughts were always very mature and I knew that in my heart I was not ready nor did I want to bring a child into the world when I was still too selfish to care for anyone else.  My little selfish heart felt so strongly that I knew that even as an adult I would feel this way.

Now at the age of 29, after being married for almost 5 years, I am feeling this strange bubbling inside of me. Even though there is the “unspoken” pressure to have children my stubborn self won’t do it just because my mother, husband, sisters, etc. ask me to or tell me that “it is time to have children.” First of all, stop it. Just because we are close does not mean you can tell me when I should have children. Furthermore, I would not say that it’s my biological clock because I think that is a crock of shit. No, what I am feeling is this overwhelming urge to love more deeply. I don’t mean love my husband more because the love for him is not the same as this other type of love. I don’t know how to describe it but to say that it is what I imagine what my mother’s love is for me; a tiny glimpse into how God loves us. This “maternal love” that feels so heavy inside of me reminds me of my grandmother. I feel it so deep inside of me it’s like my roots, or my ancestry is crying out for nourishment. I feel this on occasion in my waking life, but it is in my dreams that I feel it the most. This feeling in my dreams occasionally lingers about in my mind as I go about my day. These messages that linger often feel like someone or something is trying to speak to me. As I sleep I accept these visions as true and real, but in my waking life I disregard them as just dreams. My inner critic chocks it up to just wishful thinking and reminds me that I never wanted children in the first place. Who knows, maybe this isn’t even about children.

Perhaps it is that my infertile womb wants what it cannot have. I don’t know.

But my dreams tell my soul a different story; one of deep, unexplainable love. I don’t know.

Maybe the deep rooted love my soul craves isn’t for a physical being. Maybe the deep rooted love I crave is for a deeper spiritual connection and to be reminded of those who came before me. Maybe this infertile womb has a greater purpose; a deeper and more meaningful purpose that cannot be filled with the same joy experienced by the women around me.

What is Reiki? A Guide for Women

By Shirley Johnson

When I first became interested in wholistic health, I studied mostly about nutrition, food, and herbs.  Learning about the foods to eat and herbs to take to fuel a healthy body were useful to me and interesting.  However, when I began to learn about the more energetic healing modalities, I became fascinated.  Reiki was one of these energetic healing modalities that seemed so powerful and yet simple.  This is one of the many reasons I love reiki.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is an ancient Japanese healing art modality.  The word Reiki is a Japanese word that can be roughly translated into English as Universal Life Force.  Universal Life Force is found in everything – trees, animals, human beings, bodies of water, wind and so on.  Many cultures around the world believe in this life force energy and it is called by many names – prana, chi, mana and num – to name a few.  In this practice, it is believed that the reiki practitioner is channeling this universal life force through themselves and into the recipient.  In this way both the practitioner and the recipient become recipients for this Life Force.

Who Can Practice Reiki?

Anyone is able to practice reiki once they are attuned by a reiki master.  This practice believes that all people regardless of their age, gender, race, socioeconomic class, career choice, etc has the potential and ability to share this gentle healing technique.

Why Reiki?

1)      Reiki is a non-invasive and gentle healing technique.  For some of us, receiving something that is so gentle and subtle can feel safer than techniques that use more force and are more invasive to the body.  Reiki can be transmitted by laying hands or just by allowing the hands to hover over the physical body while not touching.

2)       Reiki cannot be messed up by over-thinking or the brain.  Reiki works for the highest healing good so even if you are unsure about it, reiki will do what it needs to do.

3)       A growing number of hospitals and other healthcare institutions are bringing in reiki practitioners to complement treatments and provide added value to healthcare consumers.  Because reiki is so gentle and can be done anywhere, it is an easy addition to institutions and spaces that may have limited resources.

4)       In my own practice of reiki, I have seen this practice provide a state of deep relaxation for recipients.  Relaxation may seem simple, but it seems more hard to come by for many modern individuals.  Deep relaxation can help to bring better sleep, more calmness to an overactive mind, and more balance in dealing with life.  In this way, this simple technique can help women to live a life where they are feeling more empowered and confident in their decisions.

There is a great amount of power in the bodies and minds of women.  Not only is our intuition so perfectly connected to nature, but within our physical bodies holds the power to create life, nurture life and transform life.  Reiki is a practice that will help those who may need a friendly reminder of the power that is within them to create healing and healthy minds, bodies and environments.

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Shirley Kali Johnson is a native New Yorker, bringing inspiration, wholistic wellness and yoga to modern yogis and yoginis. A graduate of Brown University, Shirley  went to work in corporate finance and real estate development after college.  She found yoga the most effective way to deal with her stress and eventually decided to create a life around it.  Shirley  completed her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Goa, India at Ashiyana with Paula Tursi and has studied with a number of yoga teachers and various lineages including Kripalu, Kundalini and Prana Flow Vinyasa.  She is inspired by astrology, dance, flowers and metaphysics. Shirley  is currently a graduate student at California Institute of Integral Studies studying psychology and is a practicing astrologist and reiki healer.

web: www.soulisticwellness.com

9 Tips on How to Survive Summer Travel Season

By Allison Knox

We are in the heart of vacation and travel season when so many of us are hurriedly wrapping up life and heading to the airport and, with that in mind, I wanted to share some of my ‘must-have’s’ when I fly. I seriously love to travel, and over the course of numerous flights, both domestic and international, I’ve really honed my carry-on game and wanted to share it with ya’ll:

  1. Water bottle– nothing zaps your energy and mood like being dehydrated. On my way to the gate, my first stop is to fill my water bottle. Plus wherever I’m traveling it’s always nice to have h20 close at hand.
  2. Chapstick – there is nothing like recycled air and mass travel to dry your skin and mouth out and one of my best friends on planes is my Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment.
  3. Snack – it can be very difficult to make good decisions around food when traveling and I’ve found that my best motto is ‘be prepared!’ Especially when it comes to food. I always keep some trail mix, fresh or dried fruit or snack bar handy when hunger strikes.
  4. Tote bag – one of my favorite travel purchases has been my Madewell tote. It’s comfortable and easy to carry, the perfect size to hold everything and, not to mention, the perfect accessory to any outfit!
  5. Earbuds – I find music can set the mood in a really great way (and help to drown out crying babies, overly chatty strangers or flight attendant announcements). It can be so comforting to slip these in your ears and retreat into your own world. (it should be noted…I’m an introvert)
  6. Gum – Again, I cannot stress the need for moisture and freshness when traveling. It’s amazing the little zip this little nugget of chewiness can provide. Don’t forget to offer one to your neighbor!
  7. Tea bag – I enjoy sipping tea when I travel but airlines only carry the tar-black tea variety so I bring my own favorite flavors and just ask for hot water!
  8. Wrap-me-up Scarf – the air temperature fluctuates so much on planes and this is an easy accessory to keep in your bag and throw around your shoulders or your lap as needed.
  9. All-in-one skin care – This is my favorite skin-care product I’ve found…and it’s organic! It serves as a facial cleanser, moisturizer and even make-up remover. I dip in as needed for a little face love after a flight. It is appropriately called Skin Savior from One Love Organics.

That should be a solid start for you and at least get your mind rolling around what your favorite things might be as well.

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Alison lives in Oakland, CA and experiences sheer joy in exploring every corner of the Bay Area, sampling every food, coffee and dessert trend this place has to offer.  She travels regularly to far off places which further fuels her love of adventuring.  She is passionate about connecting with people around the table and sharing in real life.

Miscarriage and Grief

I have been thinking a lot about the grieving process. Specifically for women and couples who have lost a child.

I have read countless articles on the topic. Through this research I came across some statistics that left me wondering how I can support women going through this process.

It is estimated that 15 to 20 percent of pregnancies end in a miscarriage (one of the most common occurrences in pregnancy) 

A lack of knowledge, particularly for those who had not had a miscarriage before, resulted in them feeling shocked by the physical process and anxious about what was happening to their bodies

for many women miscarriage was a lonely and isolating experience

this loss is often not acknowledged by the community because there are no rituals that can be performed, this is often referred to as a “silent event” or an “invisible death”

Care following a miscarriage has been described as one of the most neglected areas in the training of health professionals.

It is surprising to me that despite the frequency with which miscarriage occurs it has only been in the last 10–15 years that research has begun to identify and explore the consequences of early pregnancy loss.

So, what does someone like me who has never experienced this type of loss do with this information?

How do we support women in our community who are going through this “silent event?”

How do we take this very common silent loss and transform it into something that creates meaning and is acknowledged?

As a women’s health advocate  I have been exploring the various techniques available that have been shown to help in difficult emotional situations. One technique to explore is the use of guided imagery. 

Guided imagery used in a clinical setting is a 3 step process:

1—developing self-awareness of both behaviors and internal events (e.g., stressful thoughts increasing your heart rate).

2—new, adaptive thoughts (images) are introduced to replace the distressing ones.

3—the person is encouraged to generalize the newly learned thoughts and behaviors outside of the clinical setting, in real-life situations.

Regardless of what techniques have been shown to be helpful, each experience is different and each response to grief varies. As a friend, partner, or relative, helping her find a way to memorialize the baby may help her cope with the loss. In addition, respectfully asking if the baby has a name, offering to help around the house, bringing her meals, going for walks, spending time with her and listening to her. Above all, letting her find her own way of grieving and respecting her process.

The Power of Imagination

 I have been told that I have quite the imagination. If I think something will go wrong, my mind takes it to the next level. I go from a concerned level to disaster level pretty quickly.

As I sit in class doing guided imagery, and read the research on how visualization can help improve a patient’s response to treatment and surgery, It hits me; we have the power to change our body’s chemistry through our thoughts?!

Sounds a little crazy doesnt it?

So what does “guided imagery” mean?

The Academy for Guided Imagery (AGI) classifies the therapeutic application of guided imagery into three categories:

  1. Stress reduction and relaxation
  2. Active visualization or directed imagery – for improving performance, changing behavior, or influencing an outcome
  3. Receptive imagery – in which words and images are brought to consciousness to explore and give information about symptoms, treatments, moods or illnesses

Guided imagery is the process of listening to someone’s voice guide you through a mental picture. Our minds (conscious and subconscious) can create images in our waking or sleeping (dreaming/daydreaming) lives. Guided imagery helps to harness this natural and amazing ability to CHANGE our physiology.

Amazing, right?

Years of clinical research confirms this. There are studies that show nurses doing a guided imagery with a patients before surgery. The patients decreased their stay in the hospital after surgery, and healed faster than the patients who did not participate in guided imagery.

How many times have you been sleeping and wake yourself up because you dreamed that you were falling? In your dream you may experience fear, excitement, rush of adrenaline. You wake up and notice that you are sweating and your heart is racing. Why, you weren’t actually falling? But you produced a physical response.

Guiding your imagination is a tool you can use but you have to be willing to give it a try. We already use it, we just have to learn how to use it to our advantage.

Professional athletes and olympic swimmers use it to help them focus on their goal. Imagine the possibilities in what you can accomplish if you just imagine that you can and you will!