In Chinese Astrology, 2014 is the year of the Green Wood Horse, leading us from the trepidation of the last Black Water Snake year, into a bold, new era.
According to this ancient wisdom, we are at the brink of startling new growth and exhilarating potential.So saddle up, and let’s ride the Horse to Health and Happiness!If you’re feeling blocked, stiff or sore, come in to get some relief, clear your body and mind with a soothing massage so you can get focused and back on track!
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”:
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!
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!
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
bruises, abrasions and cuts,
bronchial asthma, and
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.
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!