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Welcome this Winter Season with Grace & Ease

Posted by earthygirl81 on December 21, 2018 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome Winter! Today is your day.


Its the first day of Winter and Solstice. The days are dark and cold outside. This can take a toll on many of us, especially mentally. Todays blog is meant to help you understand the underlying reason why many of us suffer from increased depression, anxiety, and fear during the winter months and how to support yourself during this time.


According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM, we are now entering the season of the Element Water and the Organs of the Kidneys and the Bladder. The connection between Water and Kidneys makes sense even in the Western thought of the Organs. Here the Kidneys are all about maintaining the body's fluid balance, water. Looking through the lens of TCM we see the organs as more energetic and connected to nature and the seasons.


In simple terms, our Kidneys hold our ancestral energy/jing/lifeforce passed down from our parents. This is the element and Organs in charge of the persons Will/Zhi, the sexual energy, and vitality in the body. Our Will is our personal motivation, that energy that helps us get shit done! The Element of Water has the ability to flow through and around all obstacles that it encounters. When are Water Element is out of balance or deficient we have a lack of will or ability to overcome obstacles in our lives.


Other aspects of the Water Element are its flavor of salt- which we know is also involved in fluid balance in the body, color black-think how we have darkest days of the year during this season, cold, direction of north, sound of groaning- like when we are extremely tired and have no vitaily, smell is putrid, body parts and orifices of the bones, bone marrow, ears, urethra, anus, & genitals. It manifest in the hair on the head, and it connected to the emotion fear as your adrenals sit on top of the Kidneys and release the hormones associated with fight, flight, & freight.


Thinking about water from a psychological, Freudian/Jungian perspective, I can see the connection between it and the subconscious. As the depths of the water pulls us down into ourselves into our most deepest and darkest fears- our subconscious. This is the same thought that TCM has regarding the Winter season and Water Element. It is the time for reflection, introspection, & hybration into oneself. The Water freezes and we become (or should) less active, slow down, and retreat to gather and preserve our strength the harshness of winter.


I have been taking about fear on my blog lately and how it feels like it is in the air. Because it is! Winter is here, you can keep running and fight nature or slow down and accept it and your truth. Its scary for us, even me, to slow down and take time for self-reflection and to get intune with our own selves. We typically hurry through our days running and hiding from pain and discomfort until the body manifest something and we can no longer able to escape ourselves. Fearful thoughts and emotions may come to the surface during this time, below are some nutritional and natural suggestions for embracing this winter season with grace & ease.


Nutrition & Supplement Support: Eat all cooked foods! Soups are wonderfully healthy and great all winter long. Foods to include in your diet: Parsnips, Squash, pumpkin, kale, mustard greens, butternut squash, beets, chards, winter squash, carrots, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers, bell peppers, green beans, onions, leeks, green onions, fermented kimchi/sauerkraut/vegetable, beets, turkey, chicken, eggs, trout, lamb, duck, wild salmon,tilapia, kidney beans, black beans, legumes, adzuki beans, some beef , shrimp, goji berries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, fig, peach, grapes, dates, cherries, coconut meat, raisins, lemons and lemon water, oats, brown rice, quinoa, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, chestnuts, black sesame seeds, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, goats milk and cheese, and coconut milk.


Think black foods and Kidney shaped foods associated with the Water Element.


Limit: raw cold foods or drinks (its cold lets keep you warm), sugar, and coffee.


Make sure and get enough B vitamins and D3 in your supplements.


Herbs & Spices: basil, fennel, rosemary, sage, thyme,cumin, anise, dill, garlic, ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, parsley, turmeric. These are available in tea, tincture, and capsules form at your local Natural foods store: Valerian Root, Kava Kava Root, Chai Tea, Eleuthero, Turmeric, Maca Root, specific herbs/formulas if needed.


Essential Oils: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cedarwood, sweet orange, lavender, & chamomile.


Lifestyle: Allow time to slow down and reflect, practice gratitude, journal, protect and keep your lower back warm- extra layers of clothes around this area or a haramaki are available as well, therapy, yoga, Tai Chi, spiritual practices, reiki, mediation, going for a walk, spending time in nature, acupuncture, exercise appreciate for your body, and get plenty of rest.


*Always consult a Herbalist and your Physician before taking any herbs and/or supplements.

Moving From Fear to Gratitude

Posted by earthygirl81 on December 17, 2018 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Have you noticed the energy of fear seems to be the underlying current these days? I have both inside my office and outside. People are taking about and experiencing feelings of Anxiety and Fear all around. I too have struggled with anxiety and fearful thinking most of my life and I am still learning and healing. Anxiety manifest in varies ways for many people from obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors, chest palpations, excessive worry, making up situations and issues that could happen but are not currently happening nor may ever happen, and so on. These are just a few of the ways anxiety and fear shows up in our lives. For me, I know fear shows up in situations where I feel powerless and have no control over the outcome, the dark unknown. Yuck right...


This can debilitating for thousands of people. It can cause us not to do what we want or need to do in our lives, stop us from connecting with others, and ultimately steals our joy. Fear can also show up in the biggest moments and places of joy in our lives. Its so vulnerable to feel love and joy for someone or something. Or even feeling vulnerable to be really seen by others. Scary shit right! Because this means we have something in our lives worth losing. There is truth, according to Buddhist philosophy, that everything has the essences of impermanence, so fear holds us right where it hurts in our reality. I say this only to shine light on reality, and how hard it is to push through and overcome when fear has a grip on our minds and lives. Fear also helps us, it tells us there is danger and to be careful, so its a needed emotion that we can't just turn off. It saves us, at times.


What can I do then when fear takes over you may be asking yourself. I think really looking at what the fear is telling you, what are you afraid of losing or afraid of happening. Ask yourself whats the root of your fear in the situation. This gives you information into what you hold sacred and what you hold dear. You can thank the fear for helping you see and then get fucking grateful for that thing or person you hold so dear. It a daily practice of awareness and mindfully shifting your energy and thoughts. Some days are better than others and the healing is slow, however very possible. Gratitude can help to shift us from a place of fear to realizing that what you hold dear and brings you joy is to be mindfully cherished.


Along with a gratitude practice, there are several herbs that can be used to help manage anxiety and fear. As a herbalist & reiki practitioner, I am always looking at what natural foods, plants, and alternatives can help us along our healing journey. These are not a magic pill or tea to take away the feelings of anxiety, instead, they help soften the blow the intensity so you can relax enough to reflect on what your body and mind are telling you.


Herbs- Albizzia (wonderful for grief related anxiety and depression), Skullcap, Kava Kava, Chamomile, & Passionflower. These can be taken 3x daily in tea, capsule, or tincture form. There are other formulas available that I can provide with a deeper look at your bodies constitution. Most of these can be find at your local Natural Food store. Locally Rainbow Blossom has 5 locations and Whole Foods on Shelbyville Road.


Essential Oils- Lavender, Chamomile, & Lemon


Supplements- Magnesium powder (Calm from Natural Vitality, and Magnesium Serene from Source Naturals- both taste great and are sugar free, safe for kiddos). GABA is also helpful for anxiety as it is an amino acid and neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates communication between the brain cells. When this is low we may have increased anxiety levels.


Lifestyle Suggestions- A daily gratitude practice, acupuncture, journaling, therapy services, yoga, spiritual practices, reiki, mediation, going for a walk, and spending time in nature.


*Always consult a Herbalist and your Physician before taking any herbs and/or supplements.

Reiki Defined

Posted by earthygirl81 on December 11, 2018 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

What is Reiki?


A Brief Overview


Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.


The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words - Rei which means "God's Wisdom or the Higher Power" and Ki which is "life force energy". So Reiki is actually "spiritually guided life force energy."


A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing. Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.


Many have reported miraculous results. Reiki is both powerful and gentle. In its long history of use it has aided in healing virtually every known illness and injury including serious problems like: multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and cancer as well as skin problems, cuts, bruises, broken bones, headache, colds, flu, sore throat, sunburn, fatigue, insomnia, impotence, poor memory, lack of confidence, etc. Drink plenty of water after your reiki treatment as it can have mild detoxifying effects.


This information is sourced from The International Center for Reiki Training website.

More information can be found online at www.reiki.org/


Aromatherapy Healing Properties and Uses

Posted by earthygirl81 on November 26, 2018 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Aromatherapy has become a big hit over the last few years. You may still be unsure what Essential oils are and how to use them. As a Herbalist and former Natural product business owner and maker for over 12 years I hope to answer a few of the FAQ’s here.


I also consider and find through my personal experience the Energetics of the plant materials are important. Energetics are simply the energy of the plant itself. Meaning does this plant have heating properties increasing Yang in the body or are the properties cooling and increase Yin in the body. The list provided below has the propriety listed next to the oil. This is important to consider (esp. for topical applications) when selecting your oils.


The process is easy- think about how you are feeling and your intentions for the oils use. If you are feeling warm/hot, irritable, angry, & so on you may want to select cooling oils such as peppermint or Ylang Ylang to help reduce and soothe this excess Yang your body has. The same is true the other way as well. If you tend towards depression, slow moving, low energy, feeling cold, and etc. you may find warming, circulating, uplifting oils stimulating and helpful such as cinnamon and sweet orange. Ideally you are trying to achieve a balance between to warm or to cold, like Goldie Locks porridge, finding that just right temperature, so mixing warming and cooling oils may be ideal for you. Listening intuitively to what your body needs is key here. Some plants are neutral in energy meaning they are helpful for both excess heat or excess coldness.


What are Essential oils?

Essential oils are 300x concentrated oils/extracts of plant materials. These contain Constituents including Volatile Oil, which is what gives them their beautiful smell and magic. They are divided into the type of note they have. Top (light and evaporate quickly, ½ hour, smell first), Middle (last 4-5 hours), and Base (deep and staying power 8-12 hours, smell last underneath) notes are used to create your formula.


What are Notes in Essential Oils?

Each Essential Oils is classified in Notes. Meaning how long do they linger for during use. Top (light and evaporate quickly, ½ hour, smell first), Middle (last 4-5 hours), and Base (deep and staying power 8-12 hours, smell last underneath) notes are used to create your formula.


What brand do I use?

I recommend- Mountain Rose Herbs & Aura Cacia as they are undiluted, available organic, and easily attainable. If the Essential contains other ingredients it is not at the full strength and as already been dilated.


Should I use Therapeutic grade Essential Oils?

Essentials oils can not be graded therapeutically. They are already ‘therapeutic’ as the plants contain the healing powers. I focus more on organic and undiluted as the raw plant materials, source, and treatment/process of extraction is what is important.


How can I use them?

This medicine can be absorbed into the body through inhaling and topical applications. Since these oils are highly concentrated they need to be diluted in order to be used. I never support Essentials to be taken internally. If you have to dilate something in order to apply it to your skin, doesn't sound smart to take them internally. If you do, however, decide to take these internally please consult an Aromatherapist, Herbalist, and your Physician before doing so.

Diffusers - electric and tea lights are available almost everywhere now.

Add them into a carrier oil to apply to skin ~ ratios for dilution are 12 drops per fl. oz. of carrier oil or 2 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil. (Carrier oils are oils such as Olive oil, Grapeseed Oil, Coconut oils, etc.)

Add to creams, lotions, soaps, and other skin care for therapeutic values and smell

On Clay room diffusers for cars

Plug in room air fresheners

Inhale on a cotton ball or simply out of the bottle for a quick use


What do specific oils do? How can they help me?

Here is a list of some common Essential Oils and their healing properties and notes:

Bergamot- warming fresh, uplifting, citrus, lift sadness & depression (may discolor skin-sun) Top

Lavender- neutral, middle, floral/herbal, calming, antidepressant, harmonizing/balancing, anti-bacterial, anxiety, insomnia, acne, skin irritations (burns, rashes, etc.

Sweet Orange- warming, uplifting, citrus, top, bright, sunny, refreshing, balancing, depression, uplifting toning skin

Cinnamon Sticks - warming, Base/Middle, spicy, increases circulation, sore muscle

Lemon- cooling, bright, sunny, toning for skin, antiseptic, astringent, anxiety, depression, digestive issues

Cedarwood- neutral to warming, Base, grief, increase hair growth, depression, skin support, insomnia, insect repellant, relaxing

Peppermint- cooling, uplifting, top, rejuvenating, headaches, refreshing, sinus congestion, sore muscle, fatigue, antiseptic, mental stimulant

Eucalyptus- Top, cooling, sinus congestion, sore muscles, insect repellant, antiseptic, chest congestion

Ginger- Middle, nausea, sore muscles, warming, digestive issues, earthy

Grapefruit- bright uplifting, clean, cleansing, balance appetite and emotions,

Patchouli- warming, Base, earthy, deep, need very little, depression, antiseptic, deodorant, anti-fungal

Ylang Ylang- cooling, Base, floral, sweet, strong, calming, relaxing, depression, antiseptic

Rosemary- warming, great for muscle aches and pains topically, and memory issues.

Spring- Wood Element & Energy

Posted by earthygirl81 on March 21, 2018 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome Spring!

We have all missed you and have been awaiting your promise of new seedlings and sprouts of growth. With the spring equinox yesterday, March 20th, I was surprised to see inches of snow piled up on my car and on the grass this morning. No worries, we are well on our way to greener days. Speaking of greener days, did you know that green is the color of the Wood Element as we start to see green come alive all around us during Spring.


In Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM, we look to nature to guide our rhythms, diet, and lifestyle. As we are transiting from winter, the Water Element which is connected to our Kidneys, we step in the powerful energy of the Wood Element corresponding to the Liver and the Gallbladder Organs. This is the element that springs forth the energy for seedlings to burst through the ground after winters hibernation. The seeds were long planted like us during winter, as we went inside to nourish, recharge, and restore ourselves. I know I could feel myself ready to reconnect and come out this past week in a desire for spring energy in my life.


Transitioning from one season to another often causes imbalances for many of us. Especially moving into Spring which can flare up allergies for many people, the eyes are connected to the Liver Organ. Taking care of your body during this time and adjusting to the seasons rhythm can help.


First, let's talk briefly about how the Wood Element Energy feels and shows up for us. Wood energy needs to grow and move, our Liver and Gallbladder Organs are all about movement and the flow of our Qi in our bodies. Qi, in simple terms, is the vital life force, prana, and energy in each of us. The Liver makes sure this energy is moving smoothly in our bodies. When the Wood Element is in balance we are motivated and able to plan and move towards our goals. When out of balance or stagnated one can may feel stuck, depressed, angry, or frustrated.


Now, how do you bring balance to your life this Spring:


• Get Creative!!- Making art and music are wonderful outlets for healing and spring is the perfect time to do so. Wood energy loves movement (remember the Liver control the flow of Qi) so creating is a perfect healing tool. Try a painting or pottery class, learn to play an instrument, sing, or make Earth Art to help your Qi flow! Journaling is a great outlet and way to connect with yourself. Spice up your journal and create an Art Journal.

• Move Your Body- Exercise and movement are a great way to break through the ground of Winter Energy and Spring forward. Getting outside for a walk, hike, or to kayak so you can also connect you with nature. Yoga, dance, riding a bike, cleaning, tai chi, or joining a gym are also great ways to move your body. Movement will also help lower the increasing frustration levels with this Wood Energy.

• Eat Fresh- As its getting warmer outside we can start to add in fresh greens such as dandelion and chickweeds. Sour is the flavor of Wood so adding lemon to your morning water will help you detox your Liver. Olive oil & Vinegar dressing, pickles, fermented foods, and all greens are wonderful additions this Spring.

• Sleep- Get to bed by 11pm every night. The times of the Liver and Gallbladder Organs in TCM are 11pm-3am and is an important time to detox your body.

• Be Flexible- Just like the trees bend and sway with the wind, be flexible in your home and work lives. This can help lower stress and anxiety levels. Remember if a tree doesn't bend it breaks. Wood Element rules the muscles and ligaments of the body as many of us hold tense in our muscles, do yoga to increase flexibility. This flexibility is both mental and physical so practicing it on and off your mat is vital.

• Spiritual Practice- Try mediation, prayer, connecting with nature, or your personal religious practice. Even just 5-10 minutes a day of mediating and focusing on your breath can help you slow down, focus, and be more mindful.

• Herbal Support- Help the movement of Qi along with herbal & supplement support. You can find these herbs in tincture, tea, or capsule forms.


  • Rose Petals- Warming, PMS and Depression.


  • Albizzia- Neutral, anxiety, depression, and anger. We call this the happiness bark.


  • St. Johns Wort- Depression with anger, sciatica/nerve pain, and irritability


  • Peppermint- Cooling, Moves Qi, and helps with colds and flus.

 

  • Chrysanthemums- Cooling, great for dry/ red/ irritated eyes, anger, and irritability.


  • Lemon Balm- Cooling, colds/flus, depression, anxiety, colic, teething, irritable.


  • Orange Peel - Warming, indigestion, gas, loose stool, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite.


  • Liver supportive/detoxing herbs- dandelion root, milk thistle, and burdock root.


  • Magnesium powder is wonderful for insomnia, stress, and muscle aches.


Always consult with a Herbalist or Health Care Professional before starting any herbal medications or supplements.


Burst through the ground strong this Spring!

Amber




Welcome Winter with Grace & Ease

Posted by earthygirl81 on Comments comments (0)

Welcome Winter! Today is your day.


Its the first day of Winter and Solstice. The days get shorter, colder, and darker outside. This can take a toll on many of us, especially mentally. Todays blog is meant to help you understand the underlying reason why many of us suffer from increased depression, anxiety, and fear during the winter months and how to support yourself during this time.


According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM, we are now entering the season of the Element Water and the Organs of the Kidneys and the Bladder. The connection between Water and Kidneys makes sense even in the Western thought of the Organs. Here the Kidneys are all about maintaining the body's fluid balance, water. Looking through the lens of TCM we see the organs as more energetic and connected to nature and the seasons.


In simple terms, our Kidneys hold our ancestral energy/jing/lifeforce passed down from our parents. This is the element and Organs in charge of the persons Will/Zhi, the sexual energy, and vitality in the body. Our Will is our personal motivation, that energy that helps us get shit done! The Element of Water has the ability to flow through and around all obstacles that it encounters. When are Water Element is out of balance or deficient we have a lack of will or ability to overcome obstacles in our lives.


Other aspects of the Water Element are its flavor of salt- which we know is also involved in fluid balance in the body, color black-think how we have darkest days of the year during this season, cold, direction of north, sound of groaning- like when we are extremely tired and have no vitaily, smell is putrid, body parts and orifices of the bones, bone marrow, ears, urethra, anus, & genitals. It manifest in the hair on the head, and it connected to the emotion fear as your adrenals sit on top of the Kidneys and release the hormones associated with fight, flight, & freight.


Thinking about water from a psychological, Freudian/Jungian perspective, I can see the connection between it and the subconscious. As the depths of the water pulls us down into ourselves into our most deepest and darkest fears- our subconscious. This is the same thought that TCM has regarding the Winter season and Water Element. It is the time for reflection, introspection, & hybration into oneself. The Water freezes and we become (or should) less active, slow down, and retreat to gather and preserve our strength the harshness of winter.


I have been taking about fear on my blog lately and how it feels like it is in the air. Because it is! Winter is here, you can keep running and fight nature or slow down and accept it and your truth. Its scary for us, even me, to slow down and take time for self-reflection and to get intune with our own selves. We typically hurry through our days running and hiding from pain and discomfort until the body manifest something and we can no longer able to escape ourselves. Fearful thoughts and emotions may come to the surface during this time, below are some nutritional and natural suggestions for embracing this winter season with grace & ease.


Nutrition & Supplement Support: Eat all cooked foods! Soups are wonderfully healthy and great all winter long. Foods to include in your diet: Parsnips, Squash, pumpkin, kale, mustard greens, butternut squash, beets, chards, winter squash, carrots, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers, bell peppers, green beans, onions, leeks, green onions, fermented kimchi/sauerkraut/vegetable, beets, turkey, chicken, eggs, trout, lamb, duck, wild salmon,tilapia, kidney beans, black beans, legumes, adzuki beans, some beef , shrimp, goji berries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, fig, peach, grapes, dates, cherries, coconut meat, raisins, lemons and lemon water, oats, brown rice, quinoa, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, chestnuts, black sesame seeds, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, goats milk and cheese, and coconut milk.

Think black foods and Kidney shaped foods associated with the Water Element.

Limit: raw cold foods or drinks (its cold lets keep you warm), sugar, and coffee.


Make sure and get enough B vitamins and D3 in your supplements.


Herbs & Spices: basil, fennel, rosemary, sage, thyme,cumin, anise, dill, garlic, ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, parsley, turmeric. These are available in tea, tincture, and capsules form at your local Natural foods store: Valerian Root, Kava Kava Root, Chai Tea, Eleuthero, Turmeric, Maca Root, specific herbs/formulas if needed.


Essential Oils: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cedarwood, sweet orange, lavender, & chamomile.

Lifestyle: Allow time to slow down and reflect, practice gratitude, journal, protect and keep your lower back warm- extra layers of clothes around this area or a haramaki are available as well, therapy, yoga, Tai Chi, spiritual practices, reiki, mediation, going for a walk, spending time in nature, acupuncture, exercise appreciate for your body, and get plenty of rest.


*Always consult a Herbalist and your Physician before taking any herbs and/or supplements.