Tuesday, December 31, 2013

12 Days of Fitness Challenge - Day 7

Catherine Basu in Texas is hosting a fitness challenge - here's the link to the Facebook group - though we're just past the halfway mark!! Still - there's always room for one more - please join us for a Last Day of 2013 Workout! 'Even if it's just a 10 minute walk!'

Today I was able to take another Water Aerobics class! My daughter returned to work this week, so she couldn't join me, but her hubby is home with the kids (works for the college - so nice long winter holiday!) I needed to buy a new punch card - $31.50 for 10 classes - use at your own pace!

My friends Nancy & Emily were there, & we had fun doing our crunches, cross country, etc.
I used the 5# weights today (after reading Catherine's post on using heavier weights) ... but did shift to using them lower when Jason kept having us use them above our heads! Again, with the 'massage work outs,' I monitor pretty carefully what feels Okay, & what feels like it could be a strain!

I'm making Hopping John Soup - traditional in other parts of the country for NY eve! It's in the crock pot for a wee get together with friends this evening. One grew up Adventist, so I left the soup bones out, & will add them to my second round!
HAPPY NEW YEARs, one & all!!

12 Days of Fitness Challenge - Day 6

Catherine Basu in Texas is hosting a fitness challenge - here's the link to the Facebook group - though we're halfway through the challenge, there's always room for one more - please join us!! This is a nice way to get a head start on those intentions for the New Year, which often include eating better, getting in shape ...

Today I went to work!
Now, probably most of us went to work in some way, in an office, at home with kids ....

I'm a massage therapist.
Most working days, I'm with my toddler grandkids in the morning, then go to my office & see clients in the afternoon, so on a 'good day' I generally see 2 or 3 clients. Today I had five sessions, back to back (15 minute breaks), two of the sessions were 90 minutes; total: 6 hours of massage. I generally schedule a longer break midday, at least 1/2 hour - but our receptionist scheduled the last 2 before thinking of that ... kind co-workers had extra snacks (inc a great green smoothie!)

Years ago, we were told that offering massage ranked up with professional dance in terms of energy spent. And a calorie counter suggests I burned ~ 1450 calories doing those 5 sessions ....

My massage mentor had polio as an adult, & stressed we MTs need to have good body dynamics - or ergonomics - whenever we perform sessions. I took my first Tai Chi class at her (strong) suggestion, as she felt the principles of movement in that form would translate well to massage - & it does!
I bend my knees, & take a wider stance, rather than bending my back. I use my body weight for deeper work (especially when I'm offering Ashiatsu 'barefoot' massage)

During one of my breaks today, I did one round of the Cherokee (Tsalagi) Dance of Life /Dance to the Directions. I learned this in a workshop combining Cherokee & Buddhist teachings ~ 18 years ago, & as the commentary explains, it looks like Tai Chi or Qigong!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

12 Days of Fitness Challenge - Day 5

Catherine Basu in Texas is hosting a fitness challenge - here's the link to the Facebook group - though we're several days into the challenge, there's always room for one more - please join us!! This is a nice way to get a head start on those intentions for the New Year, which often include eating better, getting in shape ...

 Today I walked the ~ 13 blocks to church for our 11 AM service. I love to walk if I can, if the weather isn't too bad (it was overcast, but not raining! We had a TOUCH of snow earlier in Dec, but our normal 'valley winter' now. So it was a lovely day for a brisk walk ~ 20 minutes.

After the service, a couple of friends said they were going to see Part 2 of The Hobbit!! My daughter & her hubby saw it last week, & I'd been wanting to! I read those books when I was a sophomore in HS, & have read & reread them over the years.... so we walked (just 4 blocks there & back) to our local Natural Food Grocery & Deli for lunch - split pea soup, roasted veggies & extra olives for me (they have a number of Gluten Free options, bless them!)

Then, off to the movies!

It was fun - I even enjoyed the additions - which included a lovely and strong elf maiden Romantic interest! Now, if I can just find my paperback copy, which I've had almost 50 years!! (How is THAT possible??) ....

Saturday, December 28, 2013

12 Days Fitness Challenge - Day 4

Catherine Basu in Texas is hosting a fitness challenge - here's the link to the Facebook group - though we're several days into the challenge, there's always room for one more - please join us!!

Today was another Qigong day. I did three Palms Rising and 5-Element Standing Stake, about 10 minutes. Plus strolling around our Farmer's Market, getting wonderful OG kale, Collards (for Hoppin' John New Year's soup), parsley, squash, apples, & then a pasture raised (no grain!) leg of lamb.

It was also our second family Christmas party, with my son & his family, niece & her daughter at my daughter Mary's home. I completed my knitting project for my son; this pair of fingerless gloves (knit earlier in the week) & the Jacques Cousteaus hat, which I finished yesterday! It took awhile to get the size 'just right' - & to figure out the decrease - LOVE it, & plan to make a few more!

The wool is from a heritage flock of Navajo-Churro sheep from Bide A Wee farm. I was able to show off the finished goodies to my farmer Karen. The darker grey was commercially spun from their wool, & I spun the paler grey from washed wool I carded on wool cards my mom & her mom used when preparing wool for hooked rugs. The wool is a joy to work with, & I am growing increasingly fond of the meat!

"The Navajo-Churro sheep were brought to the North America by the Spanish Conquistadors in the 16th century as a source of food and clothing for their armies. By the 17th century Churros were popular with the Spanish settlers in the upper Rio Grande Valley.  Flocks of Churros were also acquired by Native Americans through raids and trading, and soon became an important part of the Navajo economy and culture.  A series of US Government sponsored flock reductions and "improvements" (by cross breeding) decimated the Navajo flocks until the old type Churro sheep nearly disappeared."

What did you do for your health & well being today?

Friday, December 27, 2013

12 Days Fitness Challenge - Day 3

Catherine Basu in Texas is hosting a fitness challenge - here's the link to the Facebook group - please join us!!

Today I've been finishing some Christmas presents (for our family gathering this weekend) so my FINGERS have been busy knitting! And playing some tunes from my new harp book, a Christmas present from daughter Mary and family.

I returned to Qigong today, doing the longer 'Soaring Crane Qigong' form (~ 30 minutes) that I learned over a decade ago. A lovely feature of qigong is its focus on INTERNAL movement, while practicing the forms, one's mind is on vitality (qi or chi) & the movement.
Master Zhao, Jin-xiang began teaching his form in 1980, & it was brought to the US by professor Chen, Hui-xian. My teacher learned it from Prof. Chen when she was teaching at the Oriental Medicine College (OCOM) in Portland Oregon.

Master Zhao had pleurisy & tuberculosis, & was sent to a sanatorium in 1962, where he learned a seated form of Qigong, developed by the head of the sanatorium. His health improved enough for him to return home, where he continued to practice. Eventually, he began treating patients (having learned Traditional Chinese Medicine), & realized that could help them help themselves if he taught them Qigong. He began to develop his own form, which is very effective in eliminating disease.

One of my massage clients was taking Soaring Crane when she realized she had breast cancer (Professor Chen was recovering from breast cancer when she met & studied with Master Zhao). My client refused radiation or chemotherapy, though she did have the lumps removed. She began coming to me for Reiki (which goes hand in hand with qigong, energizing the the giver as well as the recipient) & massage. 15 years later, she is still cancer free, & comes monthly for sessions. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

12 Days Fitness Challenge - Day 2

Besides my early morning Qigong (just 3 palms Rising today), my daughter Mary & 1st Granddaughter joined me at the pool for WATER AEROBICS! So an hour of cross country, crunches, dolphin kicks, pull ups (LOVE pull-ups on the side of the pool!) & weights. Then a bit of time in the hot tub, ahhh....

Nadya, Alyssa & Mary
I got to W A fairly regularly until my youngest grandson needed day care when Mama Mary returned to work, & I began spending mornings with the little guy ~ 2 1/2 years ago.

But with Mary & her hubby off this week, we've been able to go to the deep water class! It's been SO much fun to have Mary, then this morning 'Sissa join us! Our friend Nancy goes regularly, & we convinced her daughter 'Juju' (who used to babysit the kids) to come to - the 'girls' both agreed, but ONLY if the other was coming.

If you've never done water aerobics - it's fun, and a GREAT way to exercise if you have any limitations to movement. Our friend Donna, who's diabetic, isn't able to do high impact classes .... water aerobics classes are perfect for her!

Today marks my mom's passing - nine years ago!  She loved teaching her nieces & nephews to swim in the pond at home, but by the time I came along, the swimming pool was the only option.... that wouldn't be an issue for many folks, but my mom was on crutches from having polio when she was nine. Her ankles had been set for ~ 3/4" heels (popular in the 1920s), so she couldn't walk barefoot. & HATED to ask for any special treatment ... you had to shower, etc.
She did go swimming a few times long after there was a new pool with one of those lift slings, & I think she enjoyed it. So our 3 generation pool time today was extra special! Love you, little mama!!

Now, off with the granddaughters for a 'girl day!' 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

12 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge - 1

On the First day ....

Catherine Basu in Texas has put out a call for a fitness challenge - beginning today. The holidays are a classic time for both indulgence, & for declaring one's intention for doing better - soon! Here's the link to the Facebook group - please join us!!

As a fitness consultant, she invites us to get out there & get moving; & blog about what we do - even if it's 'just' a 10 minute walk.
For years, living in the temperate Pacific NW, a Christmas tradition has been a walk around the neighborhood, seeing what's in bloom! Often 'at least' dandelions, but we had pretty cold temps in early December, so haven't seen any.

Today I did Qigong for 10 minutes, at about noon. The ideal times to practice my form are from 5-7 (AM or PM) & 11-1 (mid day or mid night).

For the last decade, I've focused more on Qigong and dance as my main movement forms.

Last spring I was certified to teach 5 Element Standing Stake Qigong, & do that form almost daily. In 2012, when I participated in an online Qigong intensive, I followed up with the 100 day practice 'challenge' & do the form for 100 days!

I have been doing Soaring Crane & several other forms 2-4x a week for several years, & and took my first Tai Chi/qigong classes 30 years ago, when I was studying massage.

With the holiday 'time off,' I've been puttering around cleaning & organizing a bit. I have a Lamb shoulder roast in the oven -  from a pasture raised heritage herd of Navajo-Churro and Jacob sheep herd at nearby Bide A Wee farm - I have been getting meat from Karen at our Farmers Markets for a couple of years now - and am getting more & more fond of it!

I made some 'John the Baptist Balls' for our family gathering this afternoon - locust (carob), sunflower & pumpkin seeds (soaked first), dates, figs, chocolate, shredded coconut, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla ... 

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New Horizons

In late October, I jumped on board with the Ultimate Blog Challenge, & began my new blog: King's Touch Reiki. You can find my first post here.  I've always loved the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, & this quote  "King, did you hear that? The hands of a healer, I say."  Return of the King - J.R.R. Tolkein 

And though the challenge is only 'official' in some months, the Face Book Group decided to continue in November, & I've been faithfully posting! Over the last 5 or so years, I've taught few Reiki classes, & done more one-on one trainings with client/students, but now I'm wishing to offer more classes. I've  been looking into what space(s) will work best for that. My office, while great for sessions, doesn't lend itself to hosting classes. Recently, a friend has offered to help me with promotion, & getting the ball rolling. I am grateful!

With my renewed dedication to blogging, I dusted off my 'Wishcasting' shoes, & have been revisiting that practice & rekindling my own interest in this blog. & decided to re-join Wishcasting Wed, led by Jamie's prompts. Well & good.

Last week I wrote about Prosperity, & this week when I saw the general prompt of "What Do you Wish For," I thought of my work with Reiki, & with my new blog (possibly that little Reiki Book I've thought of writing? What a good beginning!)

But as I read on, I realized that venue is also morphing: Jamie wrote: "In December, I’ll be launching the e-course so that you can receive wish prompts in your inbox every week for a year! And with that, and this is so hard for me to say, Wishcasting will be transitioning away from its Wednesday spot at the Studio. It’s time to open up the space. It’s time for new ventures to have room to grow and new adventures to begin."

So this week, my wish for myself is that opportunities to teach Reiki, Qigong, making & using Flower Essences and perhaps other self-healing & nurturing modalities manifest easily, & that students be attracted to & benefit from my classes & workshops. I wish for my practice to gradually transition from offering bodywork sessions to more teaching & mentoring.

My wish for Jamie - that all her ventures flow & prosper! Blessings - & thanks for the inspiration!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Live Long & Prosper

Today on Wishcasting Wednesday, Jamie's prompt is 'what do you wish for your PROSPERITY?' With a lovely picture of Chinese Lanterns!

The first thing that comes to mind is Spoc's Vulcan Greeting: "Live Long & Prosper!"

Today, I'll attend the memorial for the husband of one of my long time Massage clients - (I've been her therapist for about 20 years!) ... Joan is 90, & such a delightful, witty, creative being! A calligrapher, artist - we took watercolour & calligraphy workshops together in the mid 80s - & uses a beautiful hand to write the monthly check for her session 'series!'

One of my Square Dance sisters is 101 or 2, & STILL attends dances, & is out there on the floor! 

Prosperity -
  • abundance of time with family & friends
  • a life filled with joy, creativity, dance, flowers, fragrances
  • resources to meet my daily needs, share with others, be a good steward
  • blessings of community
  • love, kindness, peace
What do YOU wish for your prosperity? 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Violet Flame & 200 posts!

Wow - my 200th post! 
Since I've been blogging rather infrequently (eh-hem) the last several years, 

This weekend a friend & I visited the Lavender festival in Yamhill, & (as usual) I came home with several plants.  Always a pleasure to see the booths, connect with old friends & new, view the lovely artwork.  Then today, I took a lovely class on Lightweaving from a friend & fellow Reiki Master - lovely work! 
Sheila writes: "Light Weaving is a method of healing that works primarily with the energetic body. Light Weaving restores missing connections in the energetic body, and also restores connections between the energetic body and the physical body. When missing connections in the energetic body are restored, the related dysfunctional area in the physical body receives more complete information and energy and so can restructure itself properly. This restructuring not only happens in the physical body, it also happens in the related emotional and mental structures. And with this restoration, every pattern related to the dysfunction will heal. Usually with this treatment, people do not have to remember and work through old emotional traumas. With the restoration of the energetic connections they just heal."

We took part I last weekend, & I've been practicing on friends & clients - wow! Some folks 'just drift,' as I often do with energy work, others had revelations or information .... & I found myself drawn to make several flower essence blends, including a 'garden bouquet' where a number of different flowers float in the water - 

Lavender - St Germain Violet Flame Essence
Lavender (several varieties from around the yard) Support to express Sacred wisdom, soothe electrical field
Campanula - I AM supported in abundance, thrive, prosper & make a resounding SUCCESS of Life!
Thyme - The etheric principle of time, chiros time, not clock/calender time, shift perspective
Artichoke - flexibility & grace, open up & have fun! Lid off crown, dissolves judgement
Comfrey - Illuminate core of etheric wound, restore & assist healing on all levels
Purple Pea - harmonizer, participate in community while loving self; compassion
Clematis - reconnects to physical life, support for Life on Earth

Invite the Violet Transmuting Flame to completly & permanently erase all negativity from Mental, Emotional, Physical & Spiritual bodies. 
St Germain, Quan Yin, Archangel Zadakiel, Holy Beloved Amethyst, Angels of the Violet Flame, Diana & Oromabis.  Visualize the flame moving trough your energy field, cleansing & clearing every cell of your body. Invoke forgiveness
I AM the cosmic law of forgiveness & Violet Transmuting Flame of all mistakes I have ever made! May they be transformed & transmuted.
I AM the cosmic law of forgiveness & Violet Transmuting Flame for all the mistakes of humankind on earth. May they be transformed & transmuted!

Visualize the VTF moving through all mankind & Earth 

Molly Sheehan, of Green Hope Farm essences also suggests including a sweep of the Violet Flame after doing a Land Clearing! I have done this several times now, & feel an appreciative 'ripple' whenever I do!   
Molly writes: "The energy process requested most often by the Angels & Elementals after a basic cleansing was the Violet Transmuting Flame. .... the process makes the land feel more harmonious & lighter in vibration." Picture a soothing flame, like a flame in a fireplace, but violet in colour. See it penetrating your very being and world. When you call forth the Violet Transmuting Flame, a flame comes from the hands, heart & head of your I AM presence / Christ Self - and as it touches the ground beneath your feet, it bursts into violet flame! You can also use the essences: Comfrey (Pattern repair) Violet & Lavender to help 'seal' the pattern."

May you be blessed on your journey! 


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nourishing Broths

Jamie's prompt this week - "How do you wish to be nourished?"

* In a little while, I'm receiving a massage from my coworker, Jackie (my goal is 2 massages each month)
* I love epsom salt baths with candles
* dancing
* meeting with friends
* hanging out with my 21 month old cherub of a grandson
* a luxuriant, abundant garden

* my most recent passion~ brothmaking ~

"Good broth will resurrect the dead"  - South American proverb.

I've always 'occasionally' made stock/broth; Wm Michael & I used to get 'dog bones' & make Dog Bone Soup (more meat than 'soup bones!' & I usually save chicken bones, & add them to my veggie trimmings for stock .... here's an excellent article on 'Bone Broth' from the Chinese medicine perspective! I love the idea of adding adaptogen herbs!  

After 9 months eating 'Plant Strong,' with little meat, I've gone through another shift - still LOTS & LOTS of OG veggies (mostly local & in season) to adding in more meat & fish - & dropping the grains & dry legumes, at least for a time, as many in the GF community feel this enhances healing the digestive system. (Paleo, or low carb, high fat) Gluten Free RN (who went GF ~ 6 years ago) has been eating this way the last 2 years, & shares her favorite resources here. (an unexpected side effect - though I was already ~ my HS weight, I've trimmed down a bit more, & now my 'skinny jeans' are baggy!!)

Cindy Micleu, MTCM, LAc. writes: "Winter is the ideal time for nourishing the Kidneys, and soup is the perfect winter food. Bone broth is prepared in cultures around the world as both a tasty, healthful soup and an easily digested medicinal food. The prolonged cooking of bones in water results in a broth rich in nutritional constituents that promote strength, tonify blood, nourish in times of sickness and rehabilitation, and help to prevent bone and connective tissue disorders.

"Chinese herbs such as Huang Qi (Astragalus) and Dang Shen (Codonopsis) may be added to increase the medicinal properties of the broth. These herbs not only enhance the nutritional status of the broth, but are flavorful and add to the sweet taste. Huang Qi and Dang Shen tonify the qi, support digestion, build energy, and strengthen immune function. Gou Qi Zi (Lycii berries) may be added for additional blood tonification."
(I have a 'soup packet' from our LAc, Lisa Pool, that I'll add to the next batch! Now, to get some *good* bones from pasture raised animals!)

********* Veggie Trimmings

When I lived at Breitenbush in the mid 90s, one of my housemates was a chef, & taught me to freeze my veggie trimmings!  This is great, as in the past, I'd often just left them in the veggie drawer, they they get mushy ....
I save many trimmings:  mushroom ends, peels, carrot tops & tips, beet & leek tops, asparagus ends, parsley & other herb stems etc etc. in a container in the freezer, & onion & garlic skins in a container on the counter. When I'm ready to make stock or broth, in they go! Bones are generally simmered first (the article has excellent instructions) & the veggie trimmings/whole veggies added for the last 1-2 hours.

Fish stock is even quicker - about 4 hours simmer time.

Brassicas (which overpower general soups/stocks) I keep separate, & simmer a brief time, for cauliflower, broccoli etc soup.

Here in the relatively warm Willamette Valley, I have sage, rosemary & even true Bay leaves available throughout the year, & I add some of those, a handful of dandelions & other wild edibles, as well as a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar to the broth as it brews. & I add a strip of seaweed, usually Kombu.

My CSA farmers made the shift to 'low carb, high fat' (rare beans or grains, but they use cream & fermented milk from their own pastured cows) last fall. & commented they're eating EVEN MORE GREENS than they were before! They pour some broth over the greens & let them cook down (40+ minutes), I pour over some coconut milk kefir, while they might add a dollop of fresh cream! mmmm 

Here are some other stock making articles - from the Healthy Home Economist  & Sally Fallon, & a great bit on making 'portable bouillon' from stock! (ever wonder what folks did 'on the road' before cup-o-soup type things?)

May you be well nourished!