Health and Healing Blog
Lauri Lang's picture

New Year Manipura Opening

As we approach the New Year, I invite you to consider your third chakra, the Manipura, and it's significance and magnitude. It is located between the solar plexus and naval, and is the core of our identity, willpower, personality and ego. It is the center of our self esteem, self discipline, and the warmth of our personality. 


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Angie Miller's picture

Self-Massage with Therapy Balls

Clients often ask me what they can do to maximize and maintain the benefits of their massages in between sessions.  And what to do when they have to travel and miss regularly timed appointments. Self massage with Therapy balls! With your own knowing hands and a couple little rubber balls you can work your way into nearly all of your knots and trigger points.  They're a cheap, handy and portable massage tool.  I use mine all the time and never take a trip without them.

Therapy balls are used to pinpoint a tight or painful spot by positioning them between the achy muscle and a hard surface and then applying pressure.  It's a lot like foam rolling, only the balls enable you to be far more specific and accurate in your aim.  Using the floor as a hard surface allows you to make use of your body weight to go deep and hold for minutes at a time if you wish.  Using a wall requires you to press into the balls and gives you more control of the intensity of the pressure, but it can be a little tricky working against gravity to keep the balls in place.

Once you've chosen a spot on the wall or floor and situated the ball near that knot or tender area, apply some pressure. Explore the area by rolling up, down and across the muscle. When you find that sweet spot, sink in and hold or gently rock back and forth. You want to apply enough pressure so that you feel it, but not enough to make you cringe.  It should "hurt good", so to speak.  If it "hurts bad", lighten up.  You need to be able to relax as much as possible in order to experience release.   It may take a few seconds or up to a few minutes, but once the intensity begins to melt or fade you can move on.

Ball Therapy is best suited for targeting the muscles of the hips, butt and back.  They fit perfectly in the narrow and often knotted paths between the shoulder blades.  If you keep them in their little mesh sack they align perfectly with the long muscles on either side of the spine. They do a great job of finding the trigger points deep in the thick layers of gluteus muscle.  I also like to roll them into the tired soles of my achy runners feet or pin them behind bent knees to work the calf muscles.

If you would like a little live hands on tutorial on how to use home massage tools like the Therapy Balls and foam roller, I'll be teaching an hour long class on Saturday, January 14 at 5pm.  If you can't make it to the class, you can also schedule an extra 15 minutes onto your next massage for a quick and condensed lesson related to your session.

Happy Holidays and be well!

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Tracy Sutphen's picture

3 Ways to Create the Perfect Winter Vibe for Your Favorite Space

Salt Lamps

Whether you purchase a salt lamp for is decadent glowing ambiance or to help give your desired space a new sort of Feng Shui face-lift, these beautiful pieces of art are a wonderful addition to any room where you enjoy spending quality time. Salt is a miraculous substance for various reasons and many have claimed there to be powerful health benefits when using salt lamps. Some argue that when heat is emitted through the salt crystal via the light bulb, the photoelectric effect creates a release of negative ions into the atmosphere, which helps to neutralize the harmful effects of the static haze of most of our electro-magnified, forever morphing and moving environments.

Health benefits aside, when it comes to buying your very own salt lamp, there are many shapes, sizes and colors to choose from. Himalayan salt rock is naturally occurring and can have a myriad of white, yellow, orange or deep pinkish shades of coloration. In its natural state an unpolished salt rock will likely have various textures and grooves giving it great character as a hand crafted work of art by mother nature herself. You can also find polished salt lamps in almost every shape  imaginable, including the pinecone shaped one pictured above.

Shopping online is always easy but consider going to your local gems and minerals store to purchase your one-of-a-kind salt lamp so this way you can take time to analyze every detail and coloration before you decide on one - or one for every room in the house! Either way, adding a salt lamp to your home or work space is guaranteed to bring a warm glow that will brighten your spirit and soften the mood. Below are a few links that may provide you with useful information and advice on where to find your perfect salt lamp.


Selenite Lamps 

Selenite is a form of gypsum crystal that has a naturally opaque or clear coloration, allowing light to pass through easily. Renowned for its healing effects, Selenite is known to help aid in the release of negative energy.  It is said to help cleanse and restore all other gemstones and crystals within close vicinity and can be used to help bring a greater sense of self appreciation and awareness, among many other things.

Selenite Lamps are similar to salt lamps in that they are illuminated by a small light bulb which in turn emits a photoelectric current.  The naturally clear coloration of the Selenite provides the perfect vessel to experiment with color therapy.  The lamp pictured above has a kryptonite-esque vibe about it and the green bulb is very easy on the eyes, allowing for the lamp to serve as a great night light as well. Green is also the color associated with the heart Chakra and corresponds with the vibrational frequency of self love and love for others, as well as empathetic openness. Buying a set of multi colored light bulbs can set the mood for any sacred space and provide great relief after a long day or during times of need. Let yourself be found as you glisten in the glow of your new selenite lamp.


SpaRoom AromaHarmony Diffuser

The previous two lamps have their own unique properties and surely help to create a relaxing and uplifting vibe. This SpaRoom diffuser, however, is on another level of mood- setting greatness. It not only provides color therapy using its multi colored LED light system with a setting for a continuously changing flow of colors or a solid color setting, it also acts as a diffuser.  Simply add cold water and a few drops of your favorite essential oils to fill your space with aromatic scents as you enjoy the colorful lights.

During the winter months you can infuse the air with eucalyptus or sage essential oils to help cleanse and sanitize the air, or citrus aromas to help neutralize stuffy odors and induce an uplifting vibe. Warming smells like frankincense, clove, ginger, and cinnamon can be a great accompaniment to any holiday festivity or cozy night in your favorite hangout. To top it off, this little piece of magic also has a built in Bluetooth speaker so you listen to your favorite music or meditation as you bask in the luminous glow of the LED color of your choosing as you breathe in the delicious aromas.

You can find this one in our online store or here in the center!


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nikki's picture

Tumeric Milk Recipe

If you need a new warm drink for winter, try this Tumeric Milk recipe. I recently came across this recipe, and my husband and I both agree that it is D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! In my opinion, it has the same comforting feel as hot chocolate, but with way more health benefits! 


In a pot on your stove combine:

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Sheila Konn's picture

4 Step Coffee Body Scrub Recipe

Here at Pittsburgh Center for Complementary Health and Healing we love scrubs and today we are making a coffee scrub!  Scrubbing is fantastic for exfoliating the skin.  Coffee scrubs specifically are great for tightening and for better skin health overall.  In the winter time we especially love to use coffee scrubs our shins that often become so dry! 


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