Sunday, February 9, 2014

In Requiem...

Treat each moment separately. Never know....

"Dear Tina -

Just wanted you to know you are a beautiful, funny and smart woman who does NOT deserve any portion of the shit steak being served to you right now. You DESERVE to be loved and appreciated by many. Don't forget this. I know you feel hurt and betrayed by the ass-holic acts of "others". May you find a little humor in this. Ever need to talk, call me. (I never sleep anyway. lol.) HUGS!!! Love, Stace, "

Never got to give this to her.....When we last spoke face to face, she seemed more angry than anything, but understandably hurt. This link reminded me of her, and thought it might help get her to smile that big, beautiful smile.

May somebody find some value in this, anyways. Here is the link:

http://erikanapoletano.com/blog/your-messy-messy-life/

Proper Time Management vs. The Proper Use of Time


I lost a friend today.  I am re-posting this because I never got to tell her all the thoughts and wishes I had for her because we were beaten over the head by the clock. Rest well love. See you again.








       Just got home a little while ago from one of my "brick and mortar" jobs where I work as a massage therapist; and for some, a confidant and cheerleader for helping others to achieve a happier and healthier, pain-managed life-style. I am passionate about what I do. The Universe has granted me a sound mind to cipher the intricate puzzle of the human body, including recognition of patterns and pains that can be debilitating if not dealt with in a kind and understanding fashion. These "patterns" are sometimes easy to figure out from a physiological stand-point. These can be observed in repetitive motion injuries, or improper work-out strategies for the particular body at hand. Sometimes postural distortions are discovered that were previously unmentioned. They show their insidious harm in the way a person compensates in his or her daily activities. This comes as a beautiful "AHA!" moment for some people that have been struggling with pain for a very long time, but never knew why. Sometimes, though, the chain of pain runs deeper. Sometimes, the reason behind a painful postural distortion comes from what it is happening, or has happened, in life. These cases require a special kind of care and patience. The problem with this particular "brick and mortar" job, is it is run by a corporation that is more concerned with "numbers" than real results. Enter: problem; at least, for me.
        Tonight, I did six hours solid of body-work, back to back. At this particular job, each hour of therapy is supposed to actually yield 50 minutes therapy time to each client. In the 10 minutes remaining, the therapist is responsible for: bringing the client in and seeing how his or her body is feeling, gleaning what he or she wants to be worked on, and getting the client ready for the job at hand. Apparently, there is no time allotted for gushes of approval over how much better the client is feeling since the last session, concerns over what did not work and needs to be done, or talk about the weather, grand-kids visiting, stress at work, or anything else that might be affecting the healthy integrity of the whole living, human being before me. Okay...I look at the clock that has passed several minutes past the top of the hour after this has all been revealed. I still have my 10 minute "slush-fund" to work with. It's all good. Now comes the session.
      Sometimes the client will relax right into the face-cradle, just needing to be touched to let it all go. Sometimes he or she will continue talking the whole time to "get it all out" while I work at the physical problems that ebb and flow throughout the session. But sometimes, there will be that one client that needs "just a little more time." Extra time is needed to go through Muscle Energy Techniques to release that bundle of muscle fibers that never let go after a gruesome hockey game two days ago. Extra Time is needed to quiet the nerve and stress bundles acquired by a young person trying to make "REGIONALS" at an important swim meet. Extra time is needed to disengage the shoulders from being worn as "earrings" from a person trying to accommodate demanding "in-laws". Extra time is needed to allow a person who is deaf and blind, to be able to find the table, know when and how to turn over, and how to find her clothes to get dressed after the session. Time. For the love of God and the Universe, it takes time. I can usually get it done within the time allotted; but sometimes, I just can't, or should say, WON'T. Apparently, this is not acceptable, at this particular "brick and mortar" job. Therapists are no longer able to keep one room for their shifts. (We are now required to bounce from room to room each hour, to show the rooms are being used "effieciently". I guess it "looks better" on the books this way.) We are also required to change sheets and clean the room and do all of our case notes which are housed in the front office, so as, to comply by HIPPA laws, in between clients. (Please do the math on how long all of these items should really take. Remember, we have ten minutes.)
      I got reprimanded today, because: I take too long to get out of my room assigned for the hour before going to the next room, and, I quote, "You laugh too loud when you are in there". (This was a response to a particularly funny story a client was relating to me while she was on the table.) Another very humorous regular client was on the table a little while later. He is a very kind, fatherly-like character who has "adopted" me has his "go-to gal" to unwind his ill-placed golf-swing.  I caught myself laughing, and apologized and explained myself. With his usual wit, he replied, "Tell them you can show them how it is done, if they would like." I had to stifle myself, to be sure. I warned him I couldn't go over in time, as I had to be mindful of the clock. At the end, he thanked me, as he always does, then told me he would be out in 15 minutes. I closed the door laughing...loudly. Thanks for keeping me honest, dear sir. :D


Trying to be in the present moment doesn't always work in the world, I understand. But if you were on my table, how would you like me to proceed? Your comments are whole-heartedly welcome. Bright Blessings!

Please check out the beautiful image by: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Wings-of-Time-One-55051477

Monday, February 3, 2014

Back Pain AGAIN : Ilio-PSOAS, pronounced SO-AZ (and this doesn't mean falling on the ice on your bum!)

 

                                                                                    Fantastic Picture Source listed below. 

     Okay. The title is corny...but by now, to my regulars, would you expect anything different? (hugs!!!!) ;) Anyways...

      The Psoas muscle is a very important and nefarious player in the realm of back pain. It is difficult to address because its location is on the FRONT of the spine and travels down to insert on the inside of the inner region of the hip. In other words, picture scooping out all the intestinal matter from the gut and peering in to the hole left behind will show you where this creature exists. It is deeply hidden, and unfortunately, deemed a "bad guy" when its function goes away. It has an accomplice in its function and hence, pain-pattern. This muscle is called Iliacus. The dynamic duo, for both good and ill, is called "Iliopsoas" because they work together, and connect in a common place of the inner hip.

           (image credit due to BethOhara, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Anterior_Hip_Muscles_2.PNG


      Whether from bad posture (sitting or sleeping in fetal-position too long) or injury (flexing at the waist instead of bending at the knees to pick something up), these closely joined muscles are going to let you know when they are NOT happy. "Ooooooh!!!! MY BACK!!!!" is the usual exclamation. Another popular one is, "ooohhhh! MY HIP!!!!" And sometimes, "My leg!!! Why does my leg hurt so bad?!?!" Welp...because they are all connected.

      There is not just the 2 kindred muscles of Iliacus and Psoas at work here. There are nine muscles in each butt cheek trying to regulate and substitute for the shaky hip flexor and the subsequent shaky hip rotation left to flop out in the breeze when Iliopsoas aren't doing their jobs. (Seeing as many of us spend way more time sitting on the muscles of the butt than exercising them through upright activity, they are weak, too. If you haven't read it, please click on the following :  If Your Back Hurts, It's Usually Your Butt's Fault ).




      There are also postural muscles along the spine called "erectors" that are called to do more than what their name-sake is meant to do: keep the spine erect. At this point, we might as well make mention of demanding the poor Quadratus Lumborum muscles do more than what they bargained for.  They are housed right behind the nefarious psoas and iliacus muscles, and are screaming, "HEY! We are supposed to raise and lower each hip as needed (like when WALKING). That's it!!!" This creates a perfect storm for perfect back pain. Muscles that are recruited to do more than what they are designed for are going to get tired, and eventually, revolt.

      The multitude of needs of my own clients was exacerbated by pleas from readers on another place on the web. It would appear that the problem of treating the Iliopsoas, according to the comments, is finding a therapist who is willing to do it. The reason that many body workers are not able to help is the following:

 a.) The actual location of treating the associated trigger points are very "intimate" as they are housed deep within the anterior pelvic to lower belly region which causes pause (and embarrassment) for many a practitioner.

 b.) Yes: It is very uncomfortable for the client that has developed some horrid trigger points in this area to live through the initial "OWWW!!!" of even breaching the area of consternation.


      The good news is, if  (and only "if") the afflicted client can breathe through the initial point of contact until the trigger point is released, it WILL release. Please bear in mind, it didn't get that bad overnight, and there WILL be some homework to do to get a PERMANENT release. A body in motion tends to stay in motion, and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. (Just ask Newton.) Nothing will change without effort, of both the therapist AND the client. Read this post to a well-trained body worker. The moment the afflicted back-pain victim finds a therapist who gets it, is the moment that person starts to get out of this horrible kind of pain.

Hope this lights a few beacons to helping some peeps get out of back pain. Bright Blessings. Have a great week! :)



Top Pic: By The original uploader was Harrygouvas at Greek Wikipedia (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Five "Must Have" Essential Oils for the (Very) Cold and Flu Season - PART 2

   




      Greetings! In the last post we discussed :
Five "Must Have" Essential Oils for the (Very) Cold and Flu Season - PART 1

     (Go ahead and click on it if you missed it! We'll wait.) :)

      In this post, we will continue on with HOW to use the aforementioned germ-busting essential oils to help get everyone through the (Very) Cold and Flu Season. (Again, Southern hemispherians, please bookmark this for later.) The first thing to share is a good mix of the ingredients in a usable form. Pure, therapeutic grade oils are very concentrated and very potent alone. It usually behooves the user to at least mix with a carrier oil with most essential oils to avoid irritation of the skin, and in some super-sensitive peeps, the respiratory system. This especially holds true if the respiratory system is already inflamed fighting off the germs we are trying to eradicate. To err on the side of caution, this is a recipe that is potent, but generally user friendly. *


First, the recipe:

                                                "General Germ Control Potion"

     5 mL equals approximately 100 drops from most therapeutic oil reducer caps. That being said, 1 mL = approximately 20 drops. Any questions, just drop a line below in the comments. We will help. :)

     1 mL Clove essential oil

     2 mL Cinnamon essential oil true (True cinnamon essential oil, by bark or by leaf, comes from a variety called Cinnamomum zeylanicum, or, Cinnamomum verum. Not cassia.) 

     2mL Lemon essential oil

     2 mL Eucalyptus essential oil (Globulus species is more than fine.)

     2 mL Rosemary essential oil

     15 mL carrier oil (This is roughly about 1 full Tablespoon or 1/2 oz. Carrier oils that serve well include jojoba, sunflower, grapeseed and even olive oil. Let your nose and the feel guide you.) :)


     Mix all the ingredients together into a capped container and shake well before each application. Different oils have different weights that can separate over time.

For Premium, Uncut, All Natural Therapeutic Essential Oils, visit: www.womanofthewoodshealthportal.com

                                                       
We are Here for You, and All Ears to Your Needs! :)
www.womanofthewoodshealthportal.com



WAYS TO USE:

- Rub a few drops between both hands and inhale deeply. (Be sure to wash hands before touching anything else.)

- Sprinkle a few drops on a bandanna or handkerchief and wear around the neck. You can also soak a few drops into a clay bead and wear as a necklace, too.

- Massage a few drops onto the chest and around the neck. (Check for skin sensitivity, first. This potion can always be diluted further for skin application with carrier oil.)

- Put a few drops on a cotton ball and place in front of an air vent.

- Put mix in a spritzer and further dilute with water or alcohol. Shake well and use as a room spray. If water is used, shake a little more vigorously as the oils will separate from the water. The main goal is to use the water or alcohol as a propellant. (Keep away from any flammables including candles.)

 - Put a few drops on a damp rag and throw in clothes dryer with a load of clothes or linens.

- Diffuse in a warm or cold oil diffuser. (Follow the instructions of your diffuser of choice.)

-Mix 10 to 20 drops in a 1/4 cup of bath salts and dissolve under the running faucet of a bath and soak.


    We hope this helps to prevent germs from getting in your way of this Cold and Flu season. If you have any questions or comments, we are always open to what you have to say or add!

    Bright Blessings to healthy and happy (albeit long) winter. :)





     * As with any natural remedy, it is always highly advisable to discuss any additions to your health-care regime with a qualified heal-care practitioner. Not meant to treat or diagnose. Always test on a small patch of skin to check for sensitivity. Do not use if irritation occurs. It is advised to not be used by epileptics and pregnant women unless given the okay by a physician. Children and animals should also gain the appropriate okay by a tending physician or veterinarian.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Five "Must Have" Essential Oils for the (Very) Cold and Flu Season - PART 1



      The shimmer of the Holiday lights have now dimmed to a memory. True, the days are getting longer with sunlight, but that doesn't stop Old Man Winter from whistling his brutal tune that chills many to the bone in the Northern Hemisphere. (Southern hemispherians, bookmark this for later.) Why is "winter" always labeled as the flu and cold season? It's not because cold weather somehow procreates germs on a whim and then blows them into us with gusty gales. There is, however, a Popular Science article that has one theory mentioned that expresses this. Mind you, it was an 80-year old journal entry stumbled upon in 2007 by a medical researcher named Palese. It was called the "Upper Atmosphere Flu Theory":

     "...And here--in the flu droplet's earthward fall--is where humidity comes in. As this droplet falls, it also begins to evaporate. The drier the air is, the more moisture evaporates from the droplet, and the smaller the droplet gets. AND if it gets smaller, the effect of air resistance gets bigger. Eventually, if enough of the droplet evaporates, the flu virus is whisked away on air currents and can float around for days, until someone else breathes it in."

      Okay. Before this starts sounding like a nerdy thesis on WHY winter is the cold and flu season, which it so easily could, let's just skip ahead, skip ahead and...skip ahead to the experience any human that has suffered during the cold and flu season KNOWS. It just IS. Because the kids are back in school flinging germs at each other; because adults are staying indoors passing germs to each other; because Old Man Winter wears us down in resilience and stamina affecting our immune systems; because germs like to infiltrate dry areas, and dried-out noses and throats from dry heat and dry air...WHATEVER. It just IS. Are you with me? What we need to talk about is creating a germ-fighting "safe-haven" to battle the "powers that be" during this time. That's where these five, super germicidal oils come into play. First, we must talk about WHAT they are, and why. Next, and more importantly for many, we must talk about HOW to use them.


PART 1: THE FIVE HEAVY GERM-HITTERS


#1.) - Clove Essential Oil
- Steam-distilled from the flower buds of Eugenia Caryophylatta from Indonesia. Clove oil has a warm, spicy, rich scent. This oil has been prized for throughout history for its phenomenal antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties. It is a warming oil that also has pain-relieving efficacy.
(Cite 1)


#2.) - Cinnamon Essential Oil ("True") - Steam-distilled from the leaves of Cinnamomom Zeylanicum. Cinnamon leaf essential oil is the "kinder and gentler" relative of cinnamon-bark oil. Less likely to cause irritation of already irritated mucous membranes, it has a warm, sweet-spicy, herbaceous scent. Cinnamon leaf oil promotes clarity and courage in the face of adversity. It is a boon to the cardiovascular system and serves to soothe aching muscles and joints. It is also known to be part of the great family of herbs that fight off infections of every kind. (Cite 2)



#3.) Eucalyptus Essential Oil - Steam-distilled from the leaves of Eucalyptus Globulus. This oil has been revered for centuries for its efficacy as an antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-fungal agent. It is also used the world over as an expectorant and mucolytic (breaks up gunk in the respiratory tract) for various respiratory disturbances.The scent is clean and medicinal, and is said to promote over-all purification and healing. (Cite 3)


#4.) Lemon Essential Oil - Cold pressed from the peel of Citrus limonum. A warm, sunny, citrus-y scent, the oil of lemon promotes clarity and invigoration. Properties include powerful immune stimulation, antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-tumorial efficacy. This is especially due to the high limomene content available in this oil. Lemon oil is also reported to have great astringent properties good for the skin and the over-all body.
(Cite 4)



#5.) Rosemary Essential Oil - Steam-distilled from the whole plant of Rosmarinus officinalis. This oil has been highly regarded for centuries as one of the most potent antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic agents available. The aroma is sharply herbal and medicinal promoting clarity, focus and purity.
(Cite 5)





 NOW :  How to use. The five oils mentioned above can be mixed together in equal parts, but Clove and Cinnamon are notoriously "hot" oils which means exactly what it sounds like: they can cause irritation to both the skin and respiratory system if used too liberally. To err on the side of soothing relief, I recommend the upcoming recipe for this Cold and Flu Blend on the following post. Stay tuned! She's being served fast and quick. ;)




Sources and Cites for the Scientifically Scintillated:

http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/patientcare/healthcare_services/lung_diseases/cold/pages/index.aspx

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-01/fyi-why-winter-flu-season

1.) Chaieb, K., Hajlaoui, H., Zmantar, T., Kahla-Nakbi, A. B., Rouabhia, M., Mahdouani, K. and Bakhrouf, A. (2007), The chemical composition and biological activity of clove essential oil, Eugenia caryophyllata (Syzigium aromaticum L. Myrtaceae): a short review. Phytother. Res., 21: 501–506. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2124

2.) Medicinal properties of 'true' cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum): a systematic review.
Priyanga Ranasinghe, Shehani Pigera, Ga Sirimal Premakumara, Priyadarshani Galappaththy, Godwin R Constantine, Prasad Katulanda
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.08). 10/2013; 13(1):275. DOI:10.1186/1472-6882-13-275

3.) Raho G Bachir, M Benali, Antibacterial activity of the essential oils from the leaves of Eucalyptus globulus against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, Volume 2, Issue 9, September 2012, Pages 739-742, ISSN 2221-1691, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2221-1691(12)60220-2.
(http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169112602202)

4.) Electronic Document Format(ISO)
OLIVEIRA, Sarah Almeida Coelho et al. The antimicrobial effects of Citrus limonum and Citrus aurantium essential oils on multi-species biofilms. Braz. oral res. [online]. 2014, vol.28, n.1 [cited  2014-01-25], pp. 22-27 . Available from: . Epub Oct 07, 2013. ISSN 1806-8324.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1806-83242013005000024.

5.)
Fu, Y., Zu, Y., Chen, L., Shi, X., Wang, Z., Sun, S. and Efferth, T. (2007), Antimicrobial activity of clove and rosemary essential oils alone and in combination. Phytother. Res., 21: 989–994. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2179








Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Woman of the Woods Health Portal, LLC is OPEN!!!!

     



     Hey there Blogging Friends and Followers!!! I have been gone for awhile focusing on a project that I hope many of you will find useful in the future. We wish to welcome each and every one of you to the grand unveiling of the Woman of the Woods Health Portal website! Please pardon the dust settling as new products and features are being added constantly at this exciting time. Please feel free to come take a look around. We value the input and opinions of each and every one of you! And yes...the blog is coming back online here very shortly. Stay tuned!

Please check it out: www.womanofthewoodshealthportal.com


Bright Blessings!!! Here's to a happy and healthy 2014, and beyond. :)


                                                                       

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Fantastic, Food-saving, Left-over Pie



                                                       




      With the Holiday season in full swing, there are bound to be many feasts to be had and visited in a variety of settings. From a variety of home-cooked Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, to local area "pot-lucks" to New Year's soirees, there is a common denominator that we are left with after the festivities of abundance wind down: food. Now some may say left-overs are never a problem because "care-packages" usually leave with the guests as tokens of good will and cheer...and to make clean-up and wrapping left-overs easier. (C'mon man. You seriously think all those times grandma kept telling you to eat, eat, eat was because she was concerned about the possibility of your starvation? HA!!!) In my house, however, there are permanent and semi-permanent consumers that stay here who look forward for months in advance to the spreads from the kitchen. Left-overs usually wind up in my fridge. Although my beloved consumers have whittled the art-form of snitching and snacking into a skill that would make any Turkey Vulture proud, I have to monitor what gets circulated to the back and bottom of the refrigerator. My family is composed of hard-core carnivores. The side-dishes sometimes get forgotten unless I put together their plates for them. To help combat the chaos of left-over neglect, I use a special recipe to bring the separate stray dishes into one that is brand new and tasty. Bring in: The Left-over Pie. It is also quick and easy. With lots of left-overs, several of these pies can be made at once, sliced and then frozen for meals down the road. So here it is:  how to make Left-over Pie.



                                    "The Fantastic, Food-saving Left-over Pie"



Ingredients:


1 cup Left-overs "one"

1 cup Left-overs "two" - Now, "left-overs" in the first two items refers to potatoes of all kinds, stuffings, casseroles, wild rice, vegetables and even meat (if you still have some). What usually does NOT work well here are soups, sauces, Aunt Flo's Jello-mold or Great Gram's Chocolate "Surprise". Generally, if it is still edible mixed with other things on a plate of dinner items and has substance, it is safe.

1/2 cup biscuit mix - There are some really great, organic renditions of this stuff. I am not going to tout one over another. The message is you can do this and still be GMO-free. (wink.)

2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheese - I prefer aged, Wisconsin sharp cheddar, but I am biased.  Let your taste-buds guide you.


Instructions:


Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a shallow 9 inch baking dish, lined with parchment baking paper, layer Left-overs one and two.

Sprinkle the cheese over the layered left-overs.

In a separate bowl, combine biscuit mix, eggs and milk. Stir until well blended. ( A few tiny, residual clumps are fine. They will dissolve when cooking.)

Pour the batter-like mixture over the awaiting, layered left-overs and cheese. (Cheese will float to the top. This is good!)

Place baking dish in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes. (When finished, the top will be a medium, golden brown. If left-overs used had a little more moisture, like with green-bean casserole or asparagus hollandaise, allow a few extra minutes to get that gorgeous, medium brown to show up. It will. )

Once cooking is complete, pull from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before slicing. If freezing, allow pie to completely cool to the touch before wrapping and freezing.





That is pretty much about it. I hope this gives you a means to an end during these busy holidays.

Happy Post-Thanksgiving, Pre-Christmas, Yule, Chanukah, Kwanzaa and any other celebrations in between....i.e. Bright Blessings to all! :)








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