The Master Stone | and all of its various faces

Retail  Quartz crystal gemstone
Master healer. Highly versatile. Different shapes for different uses.

Gemstones are a crystalline form of energy, which have been utilized in many cultures since ancient times. The crystals are used to attune us by influencing our subtle energy, and are thought to enhance good energy, reduce stress and cultivate happiness and peace.

Quartz is a highly spiritual stone and connects all the chakras.

Quartz is a must for all beginners; a beginner energy worker, a beginner mineral collector… and even a beginner designer.

However is takes time to master this powerful and majestic crystal.

Holding Quartz and focusing your intentions while gazing into the crystal is said to be a powerful manifestation technique and amplify your energy.

Quartz helps magnify and is perfect for intensifying the glowing radiance of a plant or a Reiki session.

Lining a treatment table with Quartz underneath the cushioning or hiding it under pillows or even under the table can be a simple easy way to intensify a session. Just be sure that you are ready for that. A great way to handle the intensity is to have a window with sunlight or moonlight. This helps guide your session and gives you a place to send any energy that is “pulled out”.

Follow for future posts on the different types and shapes of Quartz.

New Year’s Inquiry

Instead of a new year’s resolution, I have decided to upon a new year’s inquiry. This is to reflect, process, and discover. I would like to reflect on my current situation, how I got here, and where my trajectory is headed. I would like to process everything that has happened, and everyone that has taken part in my life. Lastly I would like to discover how I feel about events, people, and priorities. Am I allocating my resources, time, and effort in places and ways that are aligned with my priorities? Am I supporting and encouraging myself?

Suggested exercise – choose a couple of your favorite questions, and start journaling … see where it takes you. Afterwards, take time to reflect on what you discovered, and what it means to you.

  • What was my favorite memory from this year?
  • What made it special?
  • Who have I stayed in touch with?
  • Who have I lost touch with?
  • What changed this year that was not in my control?
  • How did that make me feel?
  • How did I adjust to the change?
  • What is different about me from last year?
  • What can I do to continue to support myself through change?
  • What has helped me stay grounded this year?
  • What do I want more of in my life?
  • What can I do to make space for more of that in my life?
  • What do I feel I could spend less time on?
  • How is my mental health?
  • Was there anything that I did this year that helped my mental health?
  • How is my physical health?
  • Was there anything that I did this year that improved my physical health?
  • How is my focus and concentration?
  • What seems to make my focus worse?
  • Is there anything that seems to make my focus better or improve?
  • How am I feeling emotionally?
  • Am I being gentle with myself?
  • Am I being gentle towards others?
  • Is there anything that makes me feel emotionally well?
  • How do certain favorite smells make me feels?
  • How do certain colors make me feel?
  • How do I talk to myself?
  • What have I done recently to improve my mood?
  • What are my favorite hobbies?
  • Who are my favorite people?
  • What can I do for my favorite people to brighten their day?
  • Do I have something in my life that makes me feel a sense of purpose?
  • What were my goals last year?
  • Have my goals changed?
  • What can I do to work towards my goals?
  • How can I make time for myself?

After reflecting, you might ask yourself.. Am I allocating my resources, time, and effort in places and ways that are aligned with my priorities? Am I supporting and encouraging myself?

Brain Power

Refocusing your attention and developing the ability to stay focused is great for your brain power. These practices are generally referred to as mindfulness practices.

One of the most basic forms of meditation is simply sitting (or laying) and paying attention to your breath. When you notice that your thoughts are wandering, simply refocus on your breath. The act of refocusing your mind back to the simplicity of your breath can be seen as a repetition – if you will. Repeating this action has the potential to strengthen your ability to maintain focus.

Namaste

Stress management basics

So I suppose that I should start with the basics that everyone knows but often overlooks. Granted they are super basic but we often forget about them because they’re so simple and yet they can wreak havoc when neglected.
I often underestimate the power of a regular sleep schedule, nutrition, hydration, and outdoor sunlight. Yet when I abide – I feel so good. Why so quick to forget… no idea? It probably has something to do with the fact that our brain remembers negatives more than positives and we don’t focus on things that are going well. Call it evolution or survival. …

But in all seriousness when we don’t get enough sleep adenosine actually builds up in our brains and caffeine might temporarily sit on those receptors but adenosine still continues to build and build until we can no longer stay awake. Sleep deprivation can actually kill us! That’s why I like to stress the importance of sleep and sleep hygiene. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with sleep hygiene but it basically is the premise of not doing anything in your bed other than sleeping, sleeping in a dark and cool environment, and trying to sleep regular consistent hours that are a minimum of seven hours. In all honesty I don’t really know anyone that requires less than eight. We just fool ourselves. Sleep can also affect the way we are able to handle stress and a major way.

If you wake up hot in the middle of the night, (that’s also something you should mention to your PCP) you can look into a cooling blanket. People who deal with hot flashes/night sweats love them. They can also be great for anyone who just wants to sleep better.

Simply being outdoors and in nature regardless of sunlight also has profound effects on our stress response. So much so that in certain areas of the world there is a thing called “nature bathing” in which you simply just sit outside. (Not naked in case you were wondering).

When possible 5-15 minutes of sunshine first thing in the am helps set our circadian rhythm.

Exercise is another often overlooked but incredibly helpful habit for stress response. It enables us to fall asleep faster and obtain a more restful sleep. It also changes our brain chemistry in ways that we are able to handle more stress. 20 mins 4 – 5 days a week typically does the trick and it takes affect almost immediately. The nice part about this is that if you fell off the bandwagon you can just get right back on.

Beyond the basics
This I think is the fun and interesting part. ..
Starting with a few favorites
-Mindfulness practices
-Telomere health / multitasking
-Decision fatigue

Mindfulness practices such as the audiobook how to meditate by Pema Chodron are crucial to mental well-being and enduring the condition we call life.

Despite societal pressure to get as much done as possible in the shortest amount of time , multitasking is not only proven to be less efficient but it is also actually bad for our brains, cognitive ability and our telomeres. Telomeres are a whole other topic that you can start with a Google search and we can have a whole separate chat at another time.

Lastly I will touch on Decision fatigue which sounds ridiculous and made up but is very real. Interestingly, people like Steve Jobs do not wear the same thing every day because it is iconic. They wear the same thing every day because they realize that their brain has a decision capacity on a daily basis. If you automate as many processes as possible and habituate as many practices as you can- you leave your brain enough power to make the real decisions that it needs to every day. We all know that awful feeling we get when we have decision fatigue and we just can’t make a decision.

Cleaning indoor air

As the season changes we spend more time indoors.

It is important to be mindful of the quality of the air that we are breathing. Hypoallergenic house plants can be a great option. Remember to keep a few things in mind. ..

Check the lighting requirements. Depending on the room and desired placement of your plant, you might need to either pick a low light, direct light, or indirect light plant. If you have a specific plant in mind, make sure to place it appropriately.

Check the maintenance requirements. Some plants require more TLC than others. Succulents are known for being low key. Other plants are notoriously finicky and might not be best for beginners.

Where to buy… depending on your location, visiting a near by nursery or plant shop might be the best option. They can assist you in choosing the right fit. If that does not sound ideal, you can purchase plenty of live plants right on amazon and they can be delivered to your door.

Plants known for air quality?

  • Snake Plant
  • Dracaena (not pet friendly)
  • Aloe Vera
  • Spider Plant
  • English Ivy
  • Areca palms

Chronic Pain

Neck pain • Back Pain • IBS pain • shoulder pain

Factors contributing to pain and pain perception

Sitting
Sitting too long is one of the worst culprits. We often don’t notice until we try to get up and feel all those aches and pains. Ideally the longest anyone should be sitting is one hour.

Moving
Moving and stretching our body encourages our body’s natural pain killers. Not to mention it’s vital to maintaining joint function. Take the stairs when you can. Take your cat or dog for a walk. Swim. Try yoga (yin yoga is nice and slow). Our personal favorites are yin yoga and Pilates.

Sleep
While sleep could be a whole series in itself, trying to maintain some basic sleep hygiene can help. Lights dim an hour before bed, going to bed at the same time, and reserving the bedroom for sleep are all ways that can improve sleep.

Stress
Stress management can help us sleep better. Stress impacts so many areas of our lives. Stress can affect our ability to concentrate, our mood, our productivity, our immune system, our gut health, and even affect our pain perception.

Stress management techniques range from breathing exercises, to cardiovascular exercise. Some of our favorite methods for stress management include meditation, slow weight training, and of course Reflexology and Reiki.

Shifting energy

Seasons change
the winds shift
the temperature drops

Fall begins the transition from Pitta to Vata. With fall breeze, comes the airy energy of Vata. Vata season is dry, changing, cool, and full of creative energy.

We may find that this is a good opportunity to shift our mindset, and focus. Vata season can inspire us, and create an open space for change.

Eating seasonal local fresh food, particularly root vegetables can be helpful in assisting in our transition to autumn.

Children at home and gluten

Play Dough and finger paint are fun activities that many of us grew up with. Come to find out many of these products contain gluten.

There are a couple issues with this. First is that this stuff gets everywhere and can cause contamination of surfaces for other family members.

The second issue is that somehow these products always end up in someone’s mouth. If you are lucky enough not to have any celiacs or gluten challenged people in your house then no big deal.

If however you do have gluten challenged family members you might want to think twice before smearing gluten all over the house.

That being said, playing with your hands as a child is very important. Perhaps a homemade mixture of cornstarch and water?

There are gluten free finger paints… you just have to look for them.

Here’s one that I like

Here is a company that is very open and honest about gluten in their products.

Your Holistic Nurse, Carolee

Ayurveda

What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is literally translated to mean the science of life.  This knowledge of life is more than 5,000 years old and describes ways to stay well emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  Practices such as yoga, meditation, herbs, nutrition, and aromatherapy are all incorporated into a persons customized recommendation for health.  Yoga is considered to be a sister science of Ayurveda. Knowing your dosha can help determine what practices are good for you.

What is your dosha, you ask?
Your dosha is an assessment of all of the different elements that you are currently experiencing. In Ayurveda, the elements are ether (space), air, fire, water and earth. Simple things like, diet, exercise, sleep, caffeine, work and home environments can greatly impact your dosha. Want an example?  Peppermint has a cooling affect and decreases fire, while cayenne has a warming affect and increases fire.  Because these elements seem to present themselves in groups, these elements have been labeled as doshas. Vata = Ether + Air    what moves (creativity, change) Pitta = Fire + Water  what burns (transformation, achievement, metabolism)

Kapha = Water + Earth   what sticks (groundedness, stability, growth)

try this online Dosha Guru!
A consultation is best, but this is the best online tool I have found
http://doshaguru.com/

Did you know that your “constitution” is not the same as your “dosha”?!
Although you may have overheard many conversations where these two terms are used interchangeably, they are very different.  As we previously discussed, your dosha is what you are currently experiencing due to lifestyle, sleep, work, diet, and home environments.  Your constitution (AKA prakruti) is what your natural tendencies are, or you innate makeup.  For example if your constitution, or natural tenancy is to be very calm and relaxed, but you drink 8 cups of coffee every single day you may not be experiencing that a feeling of calmness or relaxation.  Your constitution is something that takes a skilled practitioner to discover and analyze, as you can imagine, since it is not quite so apparent, and only needs to be done once, since it doesn’t change.  Your dosha on the other hand should be evaluated on a regular basis, and is a bit easier to determine.

Tips for balancing your Dosha…

Vata
– get plenty of rest and sleep (bed at 10 and up at 6)
– eat warm foods (not raw) and warming spices like ginger and cayenne
– practice ways to stay calm, and not rushed, like breathing deeply
– wear plenty of layers to stay warm

Jatamansi essential oil  is derived from the root of a flowering plant called nard ( nardin, muskroot ) which is of the valerianacea family.  It balances the nervous system, and is very grounding for Vata.  Some people like to put a drop on their pillow at night to help them sleep.  Jatamansi Oil has a tremendous ability to calm and sooth frayed nerves.

Pitta 
– eat cooling foods like mint and lime (not spicy)
– limit intake of salt, and oil
– make sure rigorous activities are done during cooler hours of the day
– avoid heat and steam

Kapha
– stay active and exercise
– avoid ice, and cold food or drinks
– avoid cat naps
– eat light
– eat dried foods
– avoid heavy, fatty, oily, dairy foods
– vary your routine
– practice flexibility

Chewing

Ayurvedic Institute Resource Library

Meditation

When you think if meditation, what comes to mind?  When I first started meditating,  I thought that meditation meant that you had to try to sit still, in perfect lotus position, and clear your mind of all thought.  I thought that the only way to meditate was to think of nothing.  Well, come to find out, there are as many kinds of meditation as you can think of!  Guided meditation, breath meditation, and mantra meditation are just a few.  Meditation is one of the most profound healing experiences that I have come across.  It is truly life altering.

One place you can start is to sit or lie down somewhere that is comfortable, making sure that you are warm, and have already used the restroom.  Turn off your phone, and tv.  Then set a timer (preferably one that is gentle and not alarming) for 15 minutes.  Get comfortable, and lightly pay attention to your breath.  Feel your breath filling your body with life energy as you breath in, and feel yourself letting go as you breath out.  Allow yourself to sink into the floor (chair) and let it support you.  After a few breaths, you may want to allow your attention to shift away from your breath, and just experience the present moment.  Allowing any conceptualizations, analysis, or thoughts to float away when they present themselves, and coming back into the present moment.

If you have difficulty, don’t worry.  You are not supposed to get it right away.  That’s why it is called a practice.  Just stay with it, and try it every day for 15 to 20 minutes.  If you can do this twice a day, this is ideal.  When a thought comes into your mind, just acknowledge the thought, and let it pass through you like a warm breeze.  It is natural.
Eventually you will find yourself able to disappear into the gap between thoughts.  This is where consciousness is accessed.  In this gap we can connect to our higher selves, our inner knowing, and a place of inner peace, bliss, and tranquility.  When this inner knowledge is cultiviated and combined with fierce compassion we call this enlightenment.  In this space, we are able to step out of Samsara, the realm of suffering.

Deepak Chopra has some great 21 day meditation challenges that are available online, if you feel that you would like some help getting started, or would like to try a guided approach.  He also has a healing meditation and love mediation album that I find particularly helpful.
Guided Meditations
21 day meditations
Primordial Sound Meditation
The Secret of Healing

Meditations by the Foundation of the Sacred Stream
“a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the wisdom of ancient spritual and healing traditions into the consciousness of those interested in being of service in the world”
https://www.sacredstream.org/Meditations/View-all-products.html

profound podcasts by the Sacred Stream Foundation
https://www.sacredstream.org/Podcasts/View-all-products.html

Vasant Lad, B.A.M.S., M.A.Sc.
Empty Bowl Meditation (Kevala Kumbhak)
http://www.ayurveda.com/online_resource/empty_bowl.html

The Ghanta & Dorje
suited for meditation
The use of the Dorje & Ghanta together symbolize the union of wisdom and compassion, which is enlightenment.

Practices Derived from Buddhist Meditation Show Real Effectiveness for Certain Health Problems