Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Weight Balance Challenge - Special Meditation

How did the intro steps go? Did you find it easy or hard to love yourself exactly as you are right now?  Were you able to work out any issues in this that you wouldn’t mind sharing?

In changing our Mindset so that we really love and work with our bodies, we can actually tell our body what we need it to do and then expect that to start happening.  Ok, there is a little background info to understand here.

First, when we tell our body out of love what we need it to do, this has a completely different energy that demanding, begging, or talking down to.  “Body, I love you so much. We’re going to be working together to balance our weight differently than it is right now and I would adore your help with this. You have some incredibly important work to do on your end and I appreciate your grasp of the details. Thank you!”

It’s very interesting that when we speak out of love in this way, who are we that is saying this? It’s us, but we’re connecting to our Higher Self also, and there’s an energy of power associated here.  Whenever we completely feel love – gratitude – appreciation and we speak or act within this feeling, we are connected to our Higher Self.  The feeling it part here is very important.

Here’s an easy, fun meditation to work with over the next few days. Doing this right before bed can be really nice! But do it whenever you have a quiet moment.

  1. Bring your attention to your heart center and consciously breathe here, as if you are inhaling and exhaling from your heart center.
  2. At a certain point, your breath will naturally slow, and this signifies that physiological changes are starting to take place. Enjoy the slow softness of your breath.
  3. In the slow breathing, start to feel love for yourself.  Allow the feeling to grow until you feel your entire emotional state shift and expand.
  4. Consciously radiate this feeling of love coming out of you beyond your body, into the space that surrounds you.  Can you fill the area or room with it?
  5. When we do this, our brain waves literally change.  You may feel as if you are experiencing a slight altered state that is extremely light and clear.
  6. In this state say to yourself “Subconscious Mind, I direct you to begin right now doing what is necessary to change my weight.”  You can tweak this sentence to fit your own words as long as you speak directly to your subconscious mind and tell it exactly what to do – in a state of love.

Let me know how this goes – I’m excited for you to try it! And it’s so much fun to see what your subconscious mind knows you need and starts to do for you. 

Weight Balance Challenge - Introduction

What this is:  We are going to blend a variety of real-life natural techniques found in Oriental medicine that work.  This is going to be done in steps that allow us to experience and integrate genuine changes into our daily routine that bring us into a more balanced state of being.  Through mindset, reaching a higher vibration, caring for and moving our body, and using gifts from the Earth like herbs and crystals, we are going to have FUN shifting into our natural weight and feeling absolutely wonderful about it.

What this is not:  This is not a New Year’s Resolution.  It is also not a diet.  It is not a quick gimmick to lose 5 or 10 lbs then gain it right back.  If you’re looking for an external source to change you, there are plenty available out there.

How to participate:
  Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting specific items and ideas to work with, so make sure you Like my Facebook page ( and watch for them.  I’ll also re-post everything here on our blog in case you missed it, or so you can come back to it anytime.

These will be actionable items that you’ll need to play with and actually do.   I like to make things flexible enough to allow them to fit your own unique preferences and ways, because all of this has to work from you and through you.  It’s you that is changing you – not me or anyone else doing something to you. You create your own beauty from within, and all of the upcoming activities will help that come out.

The first item to work with is Self-Love.  In order for all of this to work as fluently as possible, we need our bodies to feel incredibly loved – no matter what - and invite them to work with us. 

This may take some inner work, because often if we want to change our weight we don’t like how we are right now.  Really look at the self-talk you have going on inside about this.  What do you think about yourself and how your body looks?

If you already say “I love myself exactly as I am right now. I’m beautiful and perfect!” then keep doing more of that.

If you say anything at all like “I’m too fat. I’d look good if I lost 20 pounds. I look terrible.” Etc. etc., then become very aware of exactly what you are saying.  You’ll need to add a disclaimer at the end.  You can make up what works for you, but it needs to be something like:  “I’m too fat. But I totally love myself anyway.”  “I’d look good if I lost 20 pounds. But I completely love myself right now regardless of my abundant weight.”  “I look terrible. Well I love my terrible looking self so much it doesn’t matter what I look like!”

I think of our inner self-talk like talking to a child.  How does a child respond that is told he/she is too fat and looks terrible?  It’s not a good feeling.  Usually it’s a heavy, energetically damp feeling that weighs down morale and slows down the energy flow.  This can directly translate into a slower metabolism.

If we tell a child “You’re beautiful! You’re perfect! I love you so much!” and we mean it deeply and genuinely – now we’ve got some amazing energy to work with and we can be motivated and play and love what we create within.

So start today – right now - and look at your inner self-talk about your body and weight.  Wherever you think or say something negative, imagine you are talking to a beautiful innocent child and change it around.  Add a disclaimer, or apologize to your body, forgive yourself, and think/say a better thought filled with unconditional love.  This takes commitment and practice, so keep doing it until it’s so natural the love you feel for yourself becomes emotionally palpable.

I’d love to hear your comments and experience with this, especially if it will help someone else who can relate or is having a hard time.  Thanks! Have fun & be creative with this.

PS: Throughout the challenge if you feel like you need one-on-one personal assistance please call to make an appointment with myself or the other amazing practitioners at the Oriental Healing Arts Center.  Your success means a lot!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Massage Therapy For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - It’s painful, and those that suffer from it know it doesn’t take many flare ups before it has to be addressed.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)?
According to The American Massage Therapy Association, “ Carpel Tunnel is the inflammation or entrapment of nerves within the carpal tunnel of the anterior of the wrist”. (Michelle Vallet 3/7/14 Massage Therapy Journal)
What are the symptoms? Shooting pain down the wrist to the hand
Severe burning sensation
Numbness with burning and pins and needles type pain like your hands and or wrists are asleep.
Wrist and hand weakness
Sometimes the pain can be limited to a couple of fingers.
Many people experiencing CTS express that the pain is worse at night when the body is at rest and can be so painful that sleep is often interrupted.
What causes CTS?
There are several causes associated with CTS. Repetitive motion, such as working at a computer all day, or factory work that requires turning screws or other repetitive hand manipulation. I have known mechanics, massage therapists, potters, and wood workers that apply pressure to their wrist joints repetitively that have suffered from CTS.
Simply put, overuse and repetitive flexion and extension seem to be the biggest cause factors, although genetics - having small carpel tunnels and medical conditions and pathologies must certainly be considered.
How to treat CTS.
Western Medicine traditionally would assess a person, based on symptoms and level of pain.
The Mayo Clinic ( protocol is as follows:
Non surgical treatment: Ice therapy and resting the wrists throughout the day.
Wrist splinting - Nocturnal splinting - where your wrist is aligned and unable to move and offer some relieve.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - Ibuprofen, Advil etc. may offer some short term pain relief.
According to the Mayo Clinic there is no evidence that such drugs improve CTS.
Corticosteroids - where a doctor injects your carpel tunnel with a corticosteroid which relieves pain by decreasing inflammation and swelling which takes pressure of the median nerve.
Surgery - Many people opt for a surgical option when dealing with carpel tunnel syndrome. If symptoms are persistent and the patient feels they have given the no surgical therapy enough time without positive results - no pain.
In the surgery according to the Mayo clinic, whether the patient has endoscopic or open surgery the procedure essentially does the same thing.
The surgeon goes into the wrist and cuts the transverse carpal ligament pressing on the median nerve. The patient we be advised to avoid forceful wrist motions, may have to continue to wear wrist braces and the symptoms may never completely subside.
No where in the Mayo clinic literature did I read anything about assessing any other region of the arm or shoulder or neck where the median nerve may be affected by repetitive motion. So I went to the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons ( to see what they had to say:
Their information was very detailed and included an anatomy lesson with slides and a video.
The Physical examination portion of the site described the test the doctor would perform with the patient such as pressing down or tapping along the median nerve at the anterior side of the wrist to see if there is tingling or numbness (Tinel’s sign) Phalen’s test and several other tests. To my amazement all the tests were performed on the wrist only, and there is a quite a number of tests.
Nerve conduction studies, electromyogram, ultrasound, X-rays, and magnetic resonance imaging MRI.
The treatment plans were actually close to identical to the Mayo Clinic treatment plan.
Traditional Chinese Medicine - looks at CTS with a completely different set of tools. Traditional Chinese Medicine acknowledges the impingement of the median nerve. However according to Sarah Cherry - Practioner of Chinese Medicine -acupuncturist and herbalist ( are two primary etiologies for carpal tunnel syndrome
1. Channel sinew taxation damage leading to qi and blood stagnation.
2. Invasion of wind- cold.
According to Cherry the principle treatment plan would be to
Nourish the blood, soothe the sinews and course energy through the meridians.
This is done through accupuncture or pressure on local and distal points, Chinese herbs and moxabustion.
This site also suggested exercise and massage.
Is massage indicated?
Yes! According to Mary Bennett LMT and owner of Alleviate LLC in Bloomington Indiana. She explains that a good understanding of the area is very important so that you don’t harm the client.
According to Kanoa General owner of Blue Turtle Healing in New York “sound critical thinking is a must, as well as knowing how to apply massage techniques to help resolve the problem.”
General advises that if you don’t have experience in treating carpal tunnel that you seek advice from experienced professionals. Former instructors, your cohorts at the office or clinic.
Do a through intake especially if the client has been to a doctor for pain medication injections.
General states that he always assess the pronator teres, the shoulder and cervical region for compression along the median nerve.
According to General internal rotation of the shoulder and arm is typical.
Richard Garcia LMT from Peyton, Colorado emphasizes the importance of clear communication throughout the treatment process. What pressure helped? What exercises, stretches are being beneficial? Garcia also states that carpal tunnel is rarely strictly a wrist problem, “the probability of other muscles being out of balance is approximately 100 percent”.
Many people have found lasting relief from massage and exercises, as well as a CTM approach to healing in a harmonious way.
To summarize Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is a common (over 2 million cases documented annually, with 20 billion dollar pay out in workers compensation and over 450,000 surgeries annually according to OSHA and the US dept of labor) condition that has many treatment options available, so if this is a condition that you suffer from consider a Chinese Traditional Medicine approach, combined with the benefits of massage therapy, qigong and energy work before going under the knife.
Benefits of Massage for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is extreme fatigue that does not go away with rest. It is recognized as a collection of signs and symptoms that can range from being mild to completely debilitating.

Nobody knows what causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, it can be a combination of different factors such as viral infections that trigger the disorder, impairment of the immune system or hormonal imbalances.

Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may include:
Memory loss or concentration
Brain Fog
Depression or mood problems
Sore throat
Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or armpits
Unexplained muscle pain
Joint pain that moves from one joint to another without any swelling or redness
Unusual headache (new type, severity or pattern)
Visual disturbances (Eye pain, blurring, sensitivity to light)
Problems with sleep/non-restored sleep
Extreme exhaustion more than 24 hours after physical activity or mental exhaustion

The benefit of massage for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are that it stimulates a parasympathetic response, when exercise may be too much to handle it stimulates circulation, helps with sleep quality, lowers anxiety, relieves muscle and joint pain.

Some other massage techniques besides swedish that are popular for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are myofascial therapy, craniosacral therapy, and manual lymphatic drainage. 

In manual lymphatic drainage it helps the circulation of the lymph and superficial blood, removing toxins and stagnate lymph replacing it with clean lymph. An active lymph system activates the immune system helping detect and eliminate viruses that may cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Massage is indicated for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The only contraindication is if a fever is present.

Western treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can be a combination of immune-suppressant drugs and low dose anti-depressants.

In a Traditional Chinese Medicine point of view Chronic Fatigue Symptoms include:
Weak and lean
night sweating
irregular chills and fever
dream disturbed sleep
impaired digestion
muscle and joint pain
irregular pulse

Treatments include prescriptions that replenish the body’s deficiencies. Formulas are used to invigorating qi and yang, nourishing yin and blood, adjust sleep and emotion and clearing heat resistant pathogens. One formula is a combination of Ginseng and Astragalus which tonifies qi and strengthens the function of the stomach and spleen. 

Acupuncture is highly recommended for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, it releases endorphins which increases the body’s immunity. The combination of acupuncture and an herb remedy helps balance hormones, reduces stress and anxiety and restores immune function and promotes detoxification in the body.


Werner, Ruth. A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology. Philadelphia: 2002. Print

Chikly, Bruno. Silent Waves Theory and Practice of Lymph Drainage Therapy An Osteopathic Lymphatice Technique. Scottsdale: International Health &Healing Inc, 2004. Print

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Benefits of massage therapy for fibromyalgia

Benefits of massage therapy for fibromyalgia
By: Rebekah Zellers

What is fibromyalgia? -  It is a musculoskeletal condition; muscles and the soft tissue are affected. More than 12 million Americans have fibromyalgia. Causes widespread pain or aching in the joints and muscles, chronic fatigue, multiple tender points, morning stiffness, nonrestorative sleep, inability to concentrate, numbness and tingling in feet and hands, chronic headaches, and hypersensitivity to heat and cold. The muscles can twitch, burn, or even cause sharp stabbing pain. Your muscles seem to feel as if they are over worked or pulled but with out doing any physical activity at all. The symptoms lead to depression and even social isolation. It is the most common of the musculoskeletal conditions after osteoarthritis. Yet still one of the most misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Contributing factors include; neurochemical imbalance, central nervous system hypersensitivity, disrupted sleep patterns, and dysfunction of myofascial repair mechanisms. Women are ten times more likely to get the disease than men.

Western medicine treatments and medications – There is no cure for this complex condition. There also is no “one” medication for fibromyalgia. We can only treat the symptoms. Instead a combination of medication, exercises- aerobic and strengthening muscles, and behavioral techniques are used for treatment plans. The FDA approves of 3 medications for fibromyalgia; Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Savella. Lyrica helps with pain associated with fibromyalgia, while Cymbalta and Savella are a part of drugs known as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
 Benefits of massage therapy-Research from massage therapist and their clients from the University of Miami school of Medicine, Touch of Research institute, conducted studies and have found that massage therapy does help relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Benefits include; increased serotonin levels, decreased circulating hormones, decreased levels of substance P, decreased tender points, improved sleep patterns and an overall sense of well being. 
Techniques and contraindications for massage therapy- While the patient will already feel as if there muscles are over worked; deep tissue massage is to be avoided when first starting treatments with fibromyalgia patients. Begin by using long soothing strokes, mild rocking with a combination of trigger points, and cross-fiber techniques. When muscles are warm deeper friction strokes over knots are used to breakdown fibers and release toxins. This helps reduce creation of the pain fibers. Client should come to see therapist in the beginning every 1-2 weeks for the first 10 sessions, after the first 10 session light work outs are to be started, followed by monthly maintenance visits. Suggested not to leave a patient on there stomach for more than 12 minutes at a time. Sideline positioning on neck and upper back is recommended and no chair massages.  Any form of massage that will cause therapeutic inflammation, including intense exercise and stretching programs is to be avoided as well.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for fibromyalgia- TCM looks at fibromyalgia as a Bi-syndrome. Which looks at the disorder from the obstruction of the meridians, sluggish of qi and poor blood circulation.

TCM uses a threefold strategy to treat fibromyalgia; resolve syndrome and expel wind, cold, and damp, treat any underlying factors contributing to syndrome, provide symptomatic relief by stopping the pain. 
  A combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and Qi-gong are used in an effective treatment plan.
            Acupuncture and moxibustion is used to control the pain using 3 different kinds of points; local points in the area of tenderness and pain are needled, specific acupuncture points associated with Bi-syndrome are needled, and any underlying factors contributing to the Bi are treated.
            Herbal medicines use herbs to address the 3 levels of treatment. These individualized herbal prescriptions will stop pain but also expel the pathogenic factors responsible for BI. Herbs that affect any predisposing factors may be used as well.
            Qi-gong treatments help correct imbalances in the body by offering gentle physical movements and stretching. Thus helping reduce pain, moving blockages in channels and maintaining movement. Mindful Qi-gong massage relieves pain and increases the flow of Qi.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Auricular Therapy for Weight Loss

What is Auricular Therapy?
Auricular Therapy, also known as Ear Reflexology, is a special way of stimulating acupoints in the ear as a way to treat symptoms of imbalance.  The method of treating acupoints in the ear has been practiced in Oriental medicine for at least 2,000 years.  This can either be done with small acupuncture needles, or as a non-needle technique that uses massage and small gold or silver beads, or seeds, attached to tape and pressed into acupoints on the ear at precise locations.  

The needles and beads or seeds stimulate the Qi and Blood of the related area, function, or internal organ of the body.  This treatment is commonly used by acupuncturists, and because it does not actually break the skin may also be used by bodyworkers and herbalists trained in Oriental medicine.  (All of the professional massage therapists at The Oriental Healing Arts Center are trained in Oriental medicine.)

What can Auricular Therapy treat?
The ear, hands, feet, and back are places on the body that can each be used to treat the entire body.  Oriental medicine techniques are all used to re-balance the Yin and Yang energies of the whole mind-body-spirit, so from this point of view there is very little that could not be treated at least in part by Auricular Therapy.

In 1990, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) proclaimed that Auricular therapy is “probably the most developed and best documented, scientifically, of all the ‘micro-systems’ of acupuncture and is the most practical and widely used.”   The WHO lists 150 conditions for which Auricular Therapy is appropriate, including headaches, migraines, nerve pain, facial paralysis, tennis elbow, high blood pressure, sciatica, low back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, pain associated with cancer, menopause symptoms, allergies, addictions, depression, and more.

How will Auricular Therapy help me to lose weight?
By identifying the internal organs and functions that are out of balance now, Auricular Therapy is used to stimulate specific acupoints that will act to re-balance you.  This includes increasing the function of sluggish digestive organs, regulating your sense of hunger, regulating hormones and metabolism, and encouraging the body to release excess accumulations and waste efficiently.

What are the side effects of Auricular Therapy?
Used properly, there are no known adverse side effects of this treatment.  It is natural, generally painless, and highly effective.

Is Auricular Therapy done by itself, or do I need to do anything else too?
Our culture is very used to the way that conventional medicine will prescribe a medication to ingest or apply and no other action is required.   Oriental medicine says that if we are experiencing pain and suffering of any kind, there is some aspect of our life that is out of balance and thus supporting our current circumstances.  We must address the imbalance and take appropriate measures to correct it.  According to Chinese medicine, there are 6 main reasons that people experience illness:
1.      Improper eating habits
2.      Too much work
3.      Too much emotional upset (including stress)
4.      Not enough exercise
5.      Not enough rest
6.      Environmental

Except for #6, these are all lifestyle related issues to which changes should at least be considered.  Luckily though, Auricular Therapy will often stimulate the necessary motivation and awareness to catalyze change.

Auricular Therapy can be done alone, but is most often supported with one or more of the following treatments according to individual needs and preferences:
·         Meditation, QiGong and Tai Chi practice
·         Medical QiGong Energy Healing
·         Acupuncture
·         Massage Therapy
·         Five Element Nutritional Counseling
·         Herbal Therapy
·         Chinese Medical Essential Oil Treatments

What should I expect after a treatment?
Results will depend mainly on the degree of illness and the length of time it has been present.  Many conditions will experience immediate relief to some extent, while others will show gradual but steady improvement over time.  Treatments are continued, usually on a weekly basis, until symptoms are gone, or until enough of a push has started a healing momentum that can be maintained on your own.

Ear beads or seeds are kept in from 3-7 days.  They should be gently rubbed for 3-5 seconds each, 3-5 times every day.  A cotton ball should be placed in the ear to protect it while taking a shower.

What if I have pierced ears?It is recommended not to wear jewelry on the ear being treated as this will add stimulation that may affect the energy of the treatment.

Contact us if you are interested in receiving this therapy.  907-279-0135