Author: Dennis Mace

Holistic Martial Arts Instructor and Illustrator, seeking the Sublime in each moment. Dedicated to inspire my students to get connected by discovering and expressing their creative inner-power. Chivalry is my way of life, I have a desire for learning and a passion to share my art with the world. I care about my students, and am committed to cultivating authentic skills in each one, to enhance their health, confidence, awareness and well-being.

Sleep Well & Happy Holidays!

Winter Dragon by Dreoilin - Ashley Stewart2013
Winter Dragon by Dreoilin – Ashley Stewart 2013

 

Season’s Greetings!

Tonight is the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, and you might feel a bit sleep deprived, with Holidays and the Year’s end upon us.

While the days are shorter and the nights are longer, do you find yourself wanting more sleep than usual? Maybe waking in the middle of the night and struggling to get back to sleep?

Rest assured, you probably don’t have a sleep disorder — I can certainly relate, and am looking forward to catching up on rest!

Sleep is necessary for us to “recharge our batteries” energetically, to “reset” and heal our body, mind and spirit. Good, restful sleep is deeply restorative in many ways:

  • keeps our mind sharp and alert
  • keeps our heart healthy with stress recovery
  • reduces weight gain by balancing metabolism and cortisol levels
  • keeps our nervous system functioning at the optimum level
  • increases vital energy — therefore boosts our immune system and pain threshold
  • boosts motivation and libido
  • improves mood and relationships

One of my Bagua Zhang instructors recommended waking up in the middle of the night to train and meditate because of the lack of distractions and optimal energy flux in our bodies’ natural cycles. There are ancient Taoist manuals that recommend practicing Qi-Gong around 2am because of this energetic circadian rhythm.

I remember when I was child waking up in the wee hours of the night and having profound moments of clarity and calm. I sometimes still do this, but because of our modern perception of what our sleep cycles “should be” (8 hour blocks), I wondered if I had a sleep disorder.

You might be surprised, as I was recently, to find out it was once common to have a bi-modal sleeping pattern, referred to as ‘first sleep‘ and ‘second sleep‘ before electric lighting in homes, where people would go to sleep around 8pm, wake up between 11pm and 1am to read or write for a couple hours before returning to sleep again… therefore the expression “burning the midnight oil.”

Apparently, bi-modal sleeping patterns are more natural, and our modern perception of sleep cycles are distorted and need some revision… This lends credence to the adage “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise“…

Here’s a great article that challenges the myths of getting “a proper night’s sleep”:

How Our Ancestors Used to Sleep Twice a Night and Highlighting the Problem of Present Shock

By

Other research suggests sleeping more than 6 hours at once can be detrimental

  • to our muscles (due to inactivity),
  • to our use of nutrients (starving then stuffing your body), and
  • to our mind and perception (long periods of consciousness being separate from the body can lead to anxiety about physical reality, a sense of unnatural separation of the personality, causing a distorted view of the polarity of good vs. evil, etc).

A better solution could be sleeping in 4-6 hour blocks, and then taking a nap later on if necessary.

The truth is, we all have different individual needs that change season to season, and under different conditions. So, listen to your body’s needs, including following your own sleep patterns, and you’ll feel much better!

Wishing you and yours very Happy Holidays and a refreshingly restorative Winter!

Sincerely,
Dennis Mace
Look within to reveal and heal your True Self!
Vajra Visions – Mace Martial Arts
cell/text 206-440-9187

P.S.: The impressive dreamlike vision is called “Winter Dragon“, by talented artist Ashley Stewart, enjoy!

First Published on: Dec 21, 2013,
Edited on: Dec 20, 2016

Fresh Start! 2013

Relax and Recharge at

New Seattle Massage!

 

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Come in to check out my new space and get a great massage at New Seattle Massage in Seattle’s University District!

Starting this month I will be consolidating my practice from Bothell and Seattle to one central location, with more availability for your schedule at New Seattle Massage.

To enhance your healing experience, this tranquil and beautiful environment offers

  • warm spacious massage rooms with heat lamps and soothing music,
  • a sauna,
  • a steam room,
  • a spacious class room and
  • showers for after your massage session!

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To schedule an appointment with me at New Seattle Massage,
call (206) 632-5074.

New Seattle Massage
4519 1/2 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

Validated Parking available for the nearby lot on Brooklyn Ave NE between NE 47th Street and NE 45th Street.

I’ll be looking forward to helping you again soon!

Sincerely,
Dennis Mace, LMT
Look within to reveal and heal your True Self!
Vajra Visions – Mace Martial Arts & Massage Therapy
cell/text 206-440-9187

P.S.: If you have a massage package or gift certificate that hasn’t been completed or redeemed yet, please schedule with me at either my Wallingford or Bothell office before they expire at the end of October ~ you can forward the credit to a friend or family member as well ~ email or call me if you have any questions!

 

Published on: Oct 2, 2013

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Relax & Recharge: Massage Therapy & Epsom Salt

The Wondrous Benefits of Massage Therapy & Epsom Salt

 

Wonder why I recommend an Epsom Salt bath after massage therapy? Well, let me break it down for you!

During your massage therapy sessions, I release metabolic waste from your muscles. Drinking extra water helps flush some toxins, but you might be sore for a couple days after the massage. Just add 2 cups of Epsom Salt to your warm bathwater, to enhance the toxin-flush by increasing perspiration and draw wastes (like uric acid) through your skin.Caution: stand up slowly after the bath, and drink plenty of water, as Epsom Salt will dehydrate and could make you feel more light-headed than a regular hot bath. Seek the advice of your physician before you take an Epsom Salt bath if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or a heart or kidney condition, or before you start any new treatment plan.
What is Epsom Salt? Magnesium Sulfate is a natural mineral, named after the town of Epsom, England, where the salt was produced from a saline spring. Used as a natural remedy for numerous ailments for hundreds of years, Magnesium plays an important role in several bodily functions:

  • helps produce serotonin, which improves sleep and creates feelings of calm and relaxation,
  • increases energy & stamina by encouraging production of ATP (cellular energy), and
  • reduces irritability by lowering adrenaline effects.

Epsom Salt is therefore a natural stress reliever: stress drains the body of magnesium — when Magnesium Sulfate dissolves in warm water it is absorbed through the skin, replenishing your body’s magnesium. The salt draws toxins from the body, sedates the nervous system, relieves inflammation & joint pain, making it beneficial in treatment of

  • sore muscles,
  • bruises, abrasions and cuts,
  • sprain/strain injuries,
  • bronchial asthma, and
  • migraines.
Furthermore, soaking in an Epsom Salt bath
  • improves neuromuscular function by regulating electrolytes that govern muscular & nervous systems,
  • therefore relieves muscle cramps;
  • removes odor and softens skin,
  • relieves colds and congestion,
  • reduces soreness from childbirth,
  • prevents heart disease and strokes by lowering blood pressure, preventing hardening of arteries and blood clots to reduce risk of heart attacks,
  • as well as increase insulin effectiveness, helping to lower the risk or severity of diabetes.

So treat yourself ~ you’ll be happy you did!

Sincerely,
Dennis Mace, LMP
Look within to reveal and heal your true self!
Vajra Visions – Mace Martial Arts & Massage Therapy
Tel (206) 440-9187

P.S.: Back to School Special! If you register for a Vitality Package this week,

you get a $50 September Discount!

I’ve designed this Neck & Shoulders Vitality Package to help you reach your optimum health, for Stress RELIEF and Injury RECOVERY, so you can enjoy your work, play without care, and live your life without limitation!

Each Vitality Package includes:

  1. Three 90 minute Massage Sessions,
  2. a personalized treatment plan to achieve your health goals,
  3. a 15 minute Consultation where I will share customized exercises & stretches that compliment the bodywork,
  4. Aromatherapy Epsom Salts from O’Malley & Potter, and
  5. Relaxing Stretch Video so you can progress faster at home in just minutes a day

You can expect:

  • Reduced Stress Levels
  • Increased Range of Motion
  • Faster recovery from injury or chronic pain (without drugs)
  • better sleep
  • increased efficiency and performance at work (and play!)
  • Reduce the frequency/intensity/duration of headaches
  • Increase Vitality with more efficient muscle function (less energy wasted on tense muscles)
  • Increased Immune System Function

Click HERE to register now and get on the path to health and vitality!

Published on: Sep 8, 2013

A Secret to Pain Relief and More Energy – Part 3

Qi Gong - Energy/Breath Cultivation
Qi Gong – Energy/Breath Cultivation

In my previous article, I introduced two crucial deep breathing methods to reduce pain and increase your energy. Now, I’ll be taking you to the next level, to help you eliminate pain, get grounded, more connected and discover your inner-power!

Inner-Power“, you ask?

Yep!

In Chinese, it’s called Qi (pronounced “chee“), and means “breath” and “energy”, interchangeably. Have you seen the Star Wars movies? “The Force” is the same ancient concept of connection and Vitality.

Using the Reverse Breathing method I shared in my previous article is a key to tap your inner-power, combining focus and imagination in this transformative healing aspect of Qi-Gong (“Breath/Energy Cultivation“), called “Microcosmic Orbit“.

Microcosmic Orbit

This practice connects the 2 main center-line Acupuncture Meridians*
in your body in a continuous loop.

These meridians flow naturally — as long as we’re alive. By practicing Microcosmic Orbit, you consciously open and “charge” this circuit for increased healing energy, circulation and awareness.

The key elements to practicing Microcosmic Orbit are:

  • As you startfocus on your body’s center of gravity, in the Lower Abdomen at your body’s core, for at least 4 full breaths. This grounds & centers you.
  • press the tip of your tongue up, as if through the roof of the mouth (like switch, or circuit breaker between the 2 Meridians),
  • imagine your body is standing like a tree. Extend feeling through your feet deep into the Earth, like the roots of a great tree. Extend your head upward (as described in the first article “A Simple Secret to Pain Relief“), like the branches and leaves of a tall, powerful oak.
  • As you inhale, grip the ground with your toes and heel, arch the bottom of your feet to create a pumping/suction feeling, and imagine drawing your breath & energy up through your feet, as if through a straw, up your legs, through your spine, to the crown of your head — like a tree drawing sap, rich in nutrients up from the roots through the whole tree.
  • As you exhale, press your feet flat into the ground and allow your breath and energy to sink with your weight, as if it were sunlight and fresh rain, washing through and nourishing the limbs, trunk and roots of your body, from head to feet.
  • when you concludefocus again on your body’s center of gravity, in the Lower Abdomen at your body’s core, for at least 4 full breaths. This grounds & centers you, allowing your energy to safely, naturally “digest” throughout your body.

Practice this cycle for several breaths for the full effect. You may feel warmth, tingling, magnetic pressure, a rush of awareness, as well as physical healing and emotional clearing. You can practice while sitting, standing, and eventually even while walking!

Practicing Microcosmic Orbit will help correct your posture, boost and ground your energy, while helping you feel more open and connected at the same time!

If you liked this article, and want more, I’m creating

  • free weekly articles (with video)
  • with practical tips & ancient techniques for vitality and getting grounded & centered
  • occasional bloopers
  • and special offers & discounts!

So get connected and sign up here!

Best wishes, see you soon!

Sincerely,
Dennis Mace, LMP
Look within to reveal and heal your true self!
Vajra Visions – Mace Martial Arts & Massage Therapy
Tel (206) 440-9187

P.S.: For hands on training in Qi-Gong and much more, come check out my classes, my first 8 week session of Moving Mediation – Bagua: The Circular Art of Transformation starting in 2 weeks!

In these classes, you will learn how to

  • increase energy,
  • become more rooted/grounded,
  • increase intuition and connection,
  • and build self-confidence

through the spiral power of Bagua Zhang.

Classes are once a week, in progressive 8 week sessions, starting in Seattle on Tuesday August 20th or Saturday, August 24th, and in Bothell on Thursday, August 22nd.
Register for the 8 week session now!

* the 2 main center-line Acupuncture Meridians in your body are:

  • Governing Vessel rises through the spine  to the top of the head, then descends to the roof of the mouth,
  • Conception Vessel descends from the tongue through the throat, down the chest and abdomen to the perineum.

DennisMace Driftwood 07Aug2013 HiRes4

Published on: Aug 4, 2013

Pain Relief and More Energy – Part 2

DennisMace Driftwood 07Aug2013 HiRes4

 In my last post, I shared one of the most effective secrets to correct posture and reduce pain — deep breathing.

What results have you noticed from using the posture & deep breathing methods in my previous article?

To enhance the health benefits, here are 2 deep breathing methods that will help you feel more centered, grounded, and energized!

The key to both methods is to imagine drawing your breath deep into your belly, to your body’s center of gravity (below your navel 1-2 inches, at your body’s core).

Abdominal Breathing

Abdominal breathing is the relaxed breathing we naturally use when sleeping. This form of breathing soothes tension and anxiety, clears the mind and calms emotions.
In abdominal breathing, your abdomen naturally expands when you inhale, and contracts as you exhale.

Reverse Breathing

Reverse breathing is the breathing we naturally use when exerting to lift, pull or press something heavy. Referred to as “prenatal breathing” by Taoist Masters, as it is the “breath” used by infants still in the womb. For thousands of years, Qi-Gong (“breath/energy-work”) Masters have regarded this breathing method as a secret to vitality and longevity.
In Reverse Breathing, your abdomen contracts as you inhale, then your abdomen compresses and your lower back (around your kidneys) expands as you exhale. This creates a subtle, yet powerful internal pump that stimulates the endocrine system and energy flow throughout your body.

So, if you are feeling anxious or stressed, practice Abdominal Breathing to calm your mind and soothe tension, and to help wind down at the end of your day.

If you are feeling exhausted or scattered, practice Reverse Breathing to revive and get focused, or to start your day when you wake up — who needs coffee, right? 😉

Dao Yin – Chinese Taoist Yoga & Qi-Gong
More details on Reverse Breathing coming in my next article!

 

 

Stay tuned for my next article ~

I will share more to clarify and enhance the efficacy of the Reverse Breathing method…

If you liked this article, and want more, I’m creating

  • free weekly articles (with video)
  • with practical tips and ancient techniques for vitality and getting grounded & centered
  • with occasional bloopers
  • and special offers & discounts!

So get connected and sign up here!

 

P.S.: If you’d like to learn more about these powerful healing methods hands on, come check out my classes ~  Announcing my first 8 week session of Moving Mediation – Bagua: The Circular Art of Transformation!
In these classes, you will learn how to

  • increase energy,
  • become more rooted/grounded,
  • increase intuition and connection,
  • and build self-confidence

through the spiral movements and coiling power of Bagua Zhang.

Classes are once a week, in 8 week sessions, starting in Seattle on Tuesday August 20th or Saturday, August 24th, and in Bothell on Thursday, August 22nd.
Register for the 8 week session now!

 

Published on: Jul 21, 2013

 

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A Simple Secret to Free Pain Relief

DennisMace Driftwood 07Aug2013 HiRes4

 Do you know a major cause of headaches, neck and back ache, and even numbness in the hands and feet?

I see it every day: poor posture.

The good news: one of the best solutions to correct posture is free!

If used correctly, this secret could save you hundreds — even thousands — of dollars in medical care…

The secret is actually deep breathing.

Try to take as deep a breath as you can with your back hunched, shoulders rotated inward and your head hanging forward… Does your breathing feel restricted?

Similarly, remember a time when you were injured or stressed out? Just thinking about it probably makes your breath shallow. Deep breathing not only helps correct your posture, it also reduces stress and pain.

Click here to watch the video:

 

The keys to effective deep breathing are:

  • Lift your head as if it’s being hoisted up from the crown, and
  • push your head up, as if pushing your head through a tight turtle-neck shirt,
  • draw your chin in (not tilted back),
  • keep your hips slightly forward & tailbone tucked under, so the spine is “telescoping” straight (stretching from the top and bottom) without any hunching or swayback.

This will make your spine feel as if it is suspended, with all your bones stacked in alignment, and your entire body will feel lighter, almost weightless.

Dao Yin – Chinese Taoist Yoga & Qi-Gong
Extend spine upward and downward, and draw breath to your lower abdomen.

How long is a deep breath?

It’s relative. The idea is to gradually increase the depth and duration of your breath with practice. The best way, is to count your heartbeats — this allows you to listen to your body and get in touch instead of forcing it.

Start with 5 to 10 heartbeats per inhale, and just as long an exhale, at least 5 full breaths.
Practice everyday when you feel tense, in the morning when you wake up, and at night before you sleep. After a week, increase the depth of your breath by a few more heartbeats, to a point when you feel a stretch, but not so deep that you feel forced or more tense.


Gradual growth
is the key ~ you’ll be amazed with the results!

If you liked this article and want to receive more, I’m creating something new for you:

  • free weekly articles (with video)
  • with practical tips & ancient techniques for getting grounded & connected
  • and occasional out-takes

Oh, and this will be the only way to find out about my discounts & special offers, so sign up here!

 

 

Published on: Jul 4, 2013

 

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