Beth's picture

For Your Next Rainy Spring Day....Gain Some Inspiration

       For a long time now, I have cleaned around an old receipt sitting on top of our microwave at home.  It was folded and placed under a gifted piece of pottery holding change and small lotion bottles and other random things.  I would look at the words, "path of freedom" and "mindfulness and meditation" and give those touching words a quick thought and let it pass just the same. What were these words even related to?  A book? That's what I assumed. I had a hard time recalling what conversation was connected to it.  Now, that's some mindfulness for ya   I could tell it was a recommendation from someone at work most likely.  The receipt came from "D's Six Pax and Dogz." The date is from October 2016. That's a long time to keep moving around a receipt. But the words seemed meaningful enough I suppose. Did a client tell me to write down these words?  Or maybe even Carrie McCann, our recently retired assistant manager? She did work outside of the center dealing with mindfulness and meditation with children. I knew that. 

        Finally, on a lazy afternoon, while Kendra was at a friend’s house and Matt and Theo watched a movie, I was wiping down the kitchen counters and got to the top of the microwave and came across the receipt again.  I gave myself that moment to type in the quoted words into a google search online.  There it was, "Path Of Freedom" from Go Project Films, just 9 minutes and 41 seconds long.  It truly captured me.  It starts with a woman talking about "a tough guy world" and talking about running a prison in Rhode Island. Images of prisoners fill the screen.  And then the viewer looks prisoners in the eyes and hear about why they are in prison and how long they will be spending time there. Their voices are not brash. These men are soft spoken individuals. They speak with good-intention. To follow, is a man named Fleet Maull who spent time behind bars as well but is free now, who relied on meditation and mindfulness to get him through his years as a prisoner. The video continues to teach the viewer about a program that Fleet Maull brings to prisons all over to guide prisoners through meditation to find peace within themselves and to teach these men how to re-enter the world outside of jail in a calm and productive manner.   As I watched this video, I felt so moved.  It was inspirational and positive and felt reassuring in a world that can sometimes not feel so much as that.

         So with this positive vibe that held onto me so tightly, I researched a little further.  Go Project Films is "the film production arm of the Global Oneness Project, an online multi-media educational platform."  "Daily Acts" on Vimeo is run through Go Projects Films and shows shorter films that boasts acts of kindness and shares good energy and good deeds for others.  These short films are really worth the watch. On your next rainy and cozy spring day indoors, grab a blanket and give yourself the time to veg out on these beautiful videos on spreading good energy to others in the world.  I can't believe it took me so long to find out what "path of freedom" meant.  What a good suggestion from whoever I can't remember. Thanks for the unknown.

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Beth's picture

Save Time for Stress Reduction This Spring...on YOU TUBE!!!

Ahhh, the joys of spring.  Fresh dew filled air, green popping up with splashes of color all through nature.  The sun is shining again and we are finally seeing blue skies.   Usually,  this alone can lift one's spirits from the winter blues.  But sometimes others may need an extra boost.  Maybe lack of sleep is causing you to be moody.  Maybe the busy schedule and routines that we have are wearing us down, regardless of the beautiful spring weather.  I have felt this burden.  The burden of stress due to being too busy.  I may sometimes internalize it and feel it in my gut and chest.  Anxiety is not good for the spirit.  It is hard to enjoy the positive things in life if we do not make ourselves a priority sometimes.  It is important we take the time to stop and breathe in the fresh air.  It is so beneficial to take time at home to just be as well.   Even if it's only thirty minutes ...or just ten.  If we are going to have such a schedule in life, make this spring your first season to fit in some stress reduction time and make it a priority.   Make it a part of the daily routine. 
At home, my family has a growing interest in you tube.  My daughter makes videos, learns about science projects, has watched math lessons, and spends down time watching creative videos as well.  My son also has some zone out periods at home with you tube...watching trains and Lego videos just to name a couple.  I personally love relaxation music.  I find myself searching you tube for music to relax to in the evening.  Through this type of search I discovered online guided meditations.  Realistically, I can find the time in my busy schedule for this at home.  It helps with falling asleep or shutting down for a small time to be more present with myself with out having to leave home.  It's free.  It shows great example to my kids on how to take a minute and create a quiet space too...(because we all know it is hard to do that with kids running around at home).    But really, it can work.  I would like if you tried.  Believe me, I find myself pretty desperate these days to make this time fit in a schedule of work and activity and play.  But if I can do it, I have faith that you can too. 
Here are some you tube channels and names that I found that can maybe work for you.  I have used these meditations and relaxation music for a sleep aid at night, background relaxation music while working on something at home, or for bringing an anxious moment to a more calm way of being.  It has felt therapeutic and refreshing.  I hope you can benefit from this as well.  These are just a few options.  Taking the time to just search through these meditations finds one relaxation in itself.  Go ahead, give it a try. 
"Letting go: A guided meditation, the Magic Book, spoken word Guided Visualization, waterfall relax."    JASON STEPHENSON
"Surrender Meditation/ A Spoken guided Visualization (Letting Go of Control)"    JASON STEPHENSON
"Guided Meditation:  Deep Relaxation and Stress Release"   LINDA HALL
"Mindfulness Meditation: Guided Ten Minutes"      THE HONEST GUYS

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Beth's picture

Dry Brush for Body and Skin Renewal

The time has come for reorganization. It's a time for raking up old, dead leaves, for sweeping off our porches, uncovering our porch furniture (if we even chose to cover it), and to clean out our homes.  We want to get rid of the winter blues stack up that we collected over the past season and just let go!  A lot of us may have sat around all winter with the sluggish attitude of "holding on".  Holding on to the idea of being lazy and tired and more stagnant than usual.  Productivity lessened a bit and it now shows come spring season.  I think it's time to feel inspired by the warmth of the sun and get moving.  It's a time for evaluation on what our lives and our space at home needs. That space includes ourselves.  How do you feel when you wake up in the morning?  Are you still needing a little boost even though this spring weather can feel so refreshing and motivating?  I have an easy suggestion.  It only takes about five minutes.  And it has so many benefits, you will wonder why you never tried this before. The suggestion is dry brushing.  It's simple, it's quick, it's beneficial, and barely costs a thing.  Let it be a part of your spring renewal this year!

What Are The Benefits?

-  It helps the skin absorb nutrients better because it aids in eliminating clogged pores.
   This gives the skin a glowing and smooth appearance.
-  Sloughs away dry skin from the harsh, cold winter weather
-  Promotes tighter skin, cell renewal, and blood flow.
-  It helps the lymphatic system release toxin build up.  When the body rids itself of toxins,
   it is able to run more efficiently.  
-  When done first thing in the morning, it is awakening and invigorating because of its
    benefit of increased blood flow.
-  Increasing circulation to the skin can aids in lessening the appearance of cellulite.  

How to dry brush?

You are not limited to this, but dry brushing before you get into the shower is a good time.   
Start at your feet and move up the legs.  Always move toward the heart.  Brush in long, sweeping motions, lightly and briskly.  Brush the abdomen in a circular clock-wise motion.  It should take about five minutes. EASY!

What type of brush?  And where can It be bought?  

The brush should have non-synthetic bristles. The bristles should be stiff, yet not too hard.  And long handles can be good to get to the hard-to-reach places on our bodies. But there are both long-handled brushes and hand held brushes as well.   

*You can buy your brush from us, The Pittsburgh Center for Complimentary Health and Healing
  The East End Co-op is another location that supplies these specific brushes.

I hope the best for you with your spring and skin renewal this lovely season.  I know we all have to feel ready for some change!

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Beth's picture

An addition to my practice in massage : Oncology Massage

The time for our continuing education courses has arrived!  I am really excited for my decision to take a course in Oncology Massage at The Pittsburgh School of Massage.
Oncology massage is an individualized massage created to support and  specifically care for someone who is currently in treatment for cancer or for someone who had a past experience with cancer treatments as well.  Presently I enjoy working with oncology clients by doing energy work and/or reflexology.  I have found this work to be so beneficial for my clients so far but I am eager to be able to provide yet another type of healing touch through their time of treatment. I know it can be very difficult to find a positive light in such a difficult time in their lives, but our work at the center gives these clients a haven to come to where touch is made with special attention and care according to their specific needs.

Here are some wonderful benefits of Oncology Massage: 

  • deep relaxation
  • restored hope
  • reduced post-treatment fatigue
  • improved appetite
  • decreased depression
  • less pain
  • positive distraction
  • a sense of peace and calm
  • decrease in nausea

Recently, I found a wonderful review for our work at The Pittsburgh Center for Complimentary Health and Healing with an oncology client on sums up the experience and benefits for clients with cancer so nicely. I thought I would share. 

"This place has been a god-send for my mom. She is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer and their special treatments for oncology and chemo patients are incredible.  Not only do they offer her relaxation, but they lift her spirits to the point that I truly believe it is helping her make it through this.  They offer various therapies such as oncology massage, reiki, and cellular expansion which I believe help ease the side effects of chemotherapy...."  

This quote from a client's son at our center is  so good to hear.  I look forward to furthering my education so I can be a bigger part of healing for this special kind of client at our center.  It is so nice to be a part of such comfort and healing in someone's life. It gives gives me healing as well, which I am so grateful for in my life.  

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Beth's picture

Spring Renewal

Spring is the season of beauty and the renewal of nature in so many ways. The sun is shining longer and the grass is becoming greener and thicker every day.  The spring rain is nourishing to the grounds and plants around us and the warmth of the sunshine is aiding in all of this beautiful change! Buds on plants and trees develop and grow into new leaves and flowers.  Birds become more present and active. Their early morning song is a new sound to wake up to now that we can open our windows to let the fresh air into our homes.  It is such a perfect time to reflect on ourselves and see what part of us need a spring renewal as well. Here are some suggestions for refreshing your body, mind, and spirit during this inspiring time of year.

*Juice cleanse/detox:  If you are trying this for the first time, possibly start with a three day juice cleanse. Do some personal research about what type of cleanse fits you best. Ask around at local health food stores. I find that the east End co-op always has employees who are willing to a share a wealth of information if you are curious enough to ask.  And they have the product supply to match:)   Benefits range from internal and external changes. It can help one shift away from bad habits, it gives your digestive system a nice break from working so hard in processing large meals, and it also can aid in eliminating toxins from the body...helping you feel and look better.    

*Spring Cleaning:  Cleaning out your home not only creates a more peaceful space to reside in but it also can be an emotional cleanse.  Getting rid of old stuff that collects dust and takes up space can allow an opening to happen in our homes and in our minds for new ideas to explore. This doesn't have to be a "chore,"  it can be a really therapeutic and freeing process!  If you are really motivated you can have a yard sale and actually make a little extra cash. But if not, I believe the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores most always take donations.  

*Start an exercise routine:   Did the long and cold winter days leave you feeling a little sluggish?  Do you have a couple of extra pounds making you feel heavier than you wish?  Maybe now is the time to think about a realistic exercise routine that can help you to feel lighter and more energized.  Whether it be walking, jogging, yoga, or joining a local gym... getting out and moving and sticking with a schedule that works for you can really bring positive change to the body and mind and spirit as well.  Here at PCCHH, Lisa Clark has private yoga therapy sessions. These sessions are customized based on your specific needs and are found to be helpful for positive transformation:)  

*Organize a neighborhood clean up:   Or take a slow stroll around your neighborhood on your own and collect garbage.  My daughter and I have done this and the smallest of efforts can make a large difference.  You would be surprised.  Just make sure you have a sturdy bag and some gloves.

*Massage/Energy Sessions at PCCHH  :   Look at your calendar and set aside a day in May that you can completely dedicate to renewing yourself.  A day that only asks of you to relax and just be.  Come in to our center and enjoy a reiki or cellular expansion or massage session (or both) and give yourself the freedom to just rest in the peace that the session offered you for the rest of the day.  Plan to go home later and soak in a tub with salts and candle light. If home isn't the place for that...find a peaceful spot on a park bench or in the woods where you can reflect on this new season of change and how you too, can create some positive changes for yourself. Take in and keep awareness close on how that massage and/or energy session made you feel. Carry it with you through the week.  A great suggestion for massage:  if you find a day of the week and time that feels fitting for your life...schedule a consecutive amount of sessions in that space over some time. It brings attention to and addresses your needs both physically and mentally regularly and in return you will feel more relaxed and healthy OVERALL.  

I wish you the very best in your spring cleansing process!  

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