Tag Archives: balance

A NEW HEALTHY LIFE-STYLE – EXERCISE

Our bodies are designed to move…a lot. Everything in the body is in constant movement, inside we are like a beautifully designed machine where everything fits together. But the machine needs to work (move) to function. When we move circulation is enhanced; oxygen in, toxins out. There is no other way to do this. When we don’t move the opposite occurs; bad circulation, accumulation of toxins in our system, weak muscles that can’t keep the posture, the skeletal system goes out of whack because there is no muscle support and we end up with a whole array of aches and pains. The way our society is built today does not leave much space for movement. We sit at work, sit in our transportation, sit at home. We take the elevator or the escalator, even if it means waiting. We are constantly stressed and in some kind of pain because the body is not getting what it needs. And when the body doesn’t get what it needs, nor does the mind. When exercising, the brain secretes all kind of yummy, feel-good hormones that make us high and happy.

The benefits of exercise are huge: Less risk for osteoporosis, better circulation, healthy hunger and healthy demands from the body, clarity of mind, improvement of mood, more energy, better sleep-patterns, reduces stress, the list is long. Look at children; they move all the time and their bodies are strong and fit. They don’t have problems with posture, aches and dislocated vertebrae…

If you are not used to exercising, start slow: Take the stairs, take a walk, park your car further away from the mall. Walk those 2 bus-stops (it’ll probably be faster than waiting for the bus), dance. Little by little you add on; walk further, start doing other exercises, run, skip, jump, climb a tree. When you are at the playground with your child, play! Climb, swing and use the playground equipment to exercise. Check out videos on YouTube “playground exercises”.

  • Aches and pains: If you have problems with your body, chances are that they will heal or get better with movement. Just be careful not to overdo it. If you have problems with your knees walk the stairs up and take the elevator down. Going downstairs or downhill creates a much bigger impact on your joints. Walk, don’t run or jump. Climbing is good. Push-ups is a brilliant exercise for the whole body and can be done by anybody. If you can’t do full push-ups, start on your knees or against a wall or an elevated surface. Menstrual pain always lessens with movement. Head-aches often clear.
  • Time: You can get a really heavy-duty work-out in only 15-20 min. Cardio by running, skipping rope, dancing, step-ups or using the stairs. Strength by using interval-training. This can be fit in any time during the day; lunch break, morning, evening. Instead of sitting through stupid programs on the TV or hanging out with your best buddy – the computer, move! You can even fit in more than one session in a day.
  • Expenses: There are none unless you want to. For weights you can use cans, water-bottles, rocks…whatever. You can use an ordinary rope for skipping, your body-weight is already something to work with. You can do everything in your living-room, garden, play-ground, park, forest…use your imagination. If you want to invest, buy some dumb-bells, they are not too costly. I invested in a timer for interval-training, it’s called Gymboss and you can purchase it either in a sports-shop or here. It costs about 20 US dollars. Interval training is hard to do on your own without a timer.
  • Body-weight & Balance: When you do body-weight exercises, you use all the muscles in your body because while you are moving, the body constantly has to stabilize and balance itself. I prefer this to working on machines because the machine targets only one area. By using your whole body you get balance, coordination and strength. There is no end to the movements and combinations you can create, so you don’t have to get bored. Besides, you can do it anywhere. I LOVE interval-training (or Tabata); it’s fun, fast, easy and efficient. I do it in my living-room in winter, in my garden in the summer and sometimes in the forest where I can use nature’s equipment.
  • Warm-up & Stretching: Always warm up before training and stretch after. This will keep stiffness and soreness to a minimum, keeping you muscles long and supple. Some stiffness is to be expected when you start, or step up, your work-out. The best way to get past this is by exercising. Over time your program will get too easy, then you need to add more movements or weight.

Here is a great video to show how interval training is done:

You will love the look and feel of your new body; toned muscle, good posture, looking radiant and strong. You will find yourself taking every chance to move; walk, take the stairs, turn the house-cleaning into a work-out šŸ™‚ Health is all about loving and respecting yourself.

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STRESS & PRIDE

One thing I have noticed time and time again is that many people seem to be very proud of their stress. They are forever listing all the things they have to do, and if you do not praise them they get upset. They are the people who always do more than anybody else. If you say you worked 16 hours in a row, they worked 24. Then there are the people who are forever complaining about their stress; how hard their lives are, how bad they feel and how nobody understands.

What I am hearing in these two groups is the same: Victimization. Stress is nothing to be proud of, it is a sign that all is not well. Most often it is a sign of not listening to yourself and lack of self-respect, no matter if you are boasting or crying about your stress. Both these groups are very difficult to deal with, because they will not accept change. When I make such people list their daily activities, much of what they do is pure rubbish or bad organization and when I point this out, they get upset and I become a “bad guy”. There are forever excuses to why change is not possible, even for such mundane things as changing curtains 3 times a year.

To some people this is part of their “make-up” or personality. It is who they need to be to feel important, to be seen. Victimization functions very well in our society which might be one of the reasons people so easily fall into this trap. (Hand on heart: We have all been there) There are always solutions to any dilemma but we carry the responsibility for our well-being. No matter what kind of person you are, stress will always kick you in the face at one point if you don’t make changes. Some people that I have worked with, become so upset with me that they walk away, only to be back at a later date when they are truly falling apart – usually by disease or unbearable pain. Each time it saddens me that people will allow things to go so far when the problem was quite easily rectified to begin with.

I repeatedly see this phrase in job-ads: “Needs to be stress-resilient”. What is this? Nobody is stress-resilient; some individuals can handle a lot for a long time before they break…but usually they break so much harder. What the job-ads should say is: “Needs to be self-aware”.

I work with health, not disease. My job is to keep my clients healthy and balanced. More often than not people come to me as the “last resort” when nothing else has functioned. From this very low point in their lives it is a long haul to get back to balance. I should be the “first resort”, before things get bad. In China doctors are “judged” by their ability to keep patients healthy and in balance. Maybe a concept that we, in the Western world, should adopt?

 

CARE: health-professionals and aromatherapy

Over the years I have held training courses and workshops on aromatherapy for health-professionals. Mind you, this is not “true” aromatherapy which is individual-based, but the essential oils can be useful in many different areas such as stress-management, care for the elderly, hospice, handicap, physiotherapy and much more. I create safe blends to be used in different areas and I train existing health-care professionals in how, when and why to use them. Very often this small addition to already existing practices gives huge results.

Care of the elderly (usually in old people’s homes); EO-blends help with a wide array of problems; fear, insecurity, stress, circulatory problems and appetite.

Handicapped (also intellectual): Stress, fear, confusion, mood-swings and comfort. If the individual is in a wheel-chair EO-blends help with different physical problems such as head-aches, muscle-tension and circulation.

Massage-therapists: Gives an added touch to the massage.

Physiotherapists: Blends help with respiratory problems, circulation, muscles, emotion and rehabilitation.

Hospice: Smoothing the transition to accept the end of life and giving comfort to the individual.Ā  This work also includes those near and dear to the sufferer.

Another area where I work with EO-blends is for health-professionals themselves. People who are constantly working with others, especially in demanding situations such as with elderly, handicapped or the dying, are very often taxed both physically and emotionally. To be able to do this work they need to stay balanced and healthy and the best way is to make sure that they pay attention to their personal needs and learn to recognize signals of stress or exhaustion. We all need to learn to pay attention to ourselves and review our personal status every now and then, especially if we work with others or with people who are suffering in some way. The only way we can be truly “useful” to our fellow beings is by staying whole ourselves.

STRONGER THAN YOU THINK – BELIEVE IT!

I have had a client with Multiple Sclerosis. She was diagnosed in her late teens, 20 years ago, so this has been a part of her life most of her life. She was surprisingly mobile considering how long she had been ill, but as it goes with MS, it comes in waves, each time leaving her a little worse. I can’t heal MS with aromatherapy, but I can help with mobility, mind-set/belief and emotions. She went to a physiotherapist (who sent her to me) for mobility and balance. As with all diseases where constant medication is involved, there was a degree of toxicity in the body and she suffered from poor balance, especially on her left side. She couldn’t raise her arms and her ribcage was pushed forward, making her a bit wobbly. The skin on her face and back was hard and closed, with very bad circulation. Her dietary habits were fine and I suggested she add Omega3 and chlorella.

For the first session I did a full-body massage with the oils of Hyssop (hyssopus officinalis) and Melissa, lemon-balm (melissa officinalis). We talked about belief-systems. She had learned to believe that she will get worse by the year and finally die from her disease. Every time she got a “wave” she expected the worst. I told her that there is no known cure for MS and yes, she will probably get worse. But she does have a life and after so many years she is still doing fine, so why not believe the best? She liked the idea and went home with that and an oil-blend for her skin and emotional state: Lemon grass (cymbopogon citratus) and Rosewood (aniba rosaeodora).

Next session after 2 weeks, I had done some research and used Cistus (cistus labdanum), Bay leaf (laurus nobilis) and Black spruce (picea mariana) for a full-body massage. She loved the blend and brought a bottle home to use on her shoulders, arms and feet. She reported feeling wonderful since the last massage; seeing an improvement in balance and skin.

Next session, 3 weeks later, she was low on arrival. She was in a “wave” and feeling very bad. Her balance had worsened, her mobility was down and she was depressed. I gave her a full-body massage with Clary sage (salvia sclarea), Roman Chamomile (chamameleum nobile) and Geranium (pelargonium graveolens). During the massage I worked on relaxing her stiff joints and suddenly she had full mobility in her arms – for the first time in many years. She was deeply relaxed and felt very good. As she got off the table, her balance was better, she could move her arms over her head and her back was straighter. I gave her stretching exercises to do every day to keep and improve mobility even more.

We talked then of belief again: How she actually didn’t have all the problems she thought; she was more mobile and better balanced than she believed. But all her adult life she has been told that this would happen to her and, being a good girl, she “obeyed”. This again points to the connection body & mind and how it is impossible to separate the two. The lady didn’t get worse after her last “wave”, because at this point she found out that she was stronger than she thought. She still has to fight fear and despair every day, but now she has a belief that she can also have a fulfilling life, and this change in outlook has gained her so much ground in physical healing as well as emotional.

Every cure for disease that exists today came from somewhere. There was a time when these diseases could not be cured, when the belief-system said “you will die”. Today people survive and live with all kinds of diseases that don’t have cures; cancer, aids, hepatitis C… I believe it can be done. I believe you need to be honest about a persons condition and not give false hopes, but show them that miracles (albeit small) happen all the time; point out the miracles, the positive and the results will be better. This is such a vital part of healing, I can’t believe it is overlooked. But maybe that is the job of people like me, who can afford to give the time a client needs. Maybe it is time to integrate us alternative therapists in the medical system.

SELF-HELP

There is a saying; “don’t give them fish, teach them how to fish”.

Many people whoĀ  come to see me want a “quick fix”, hoping that I will wave my magic wand and all that is difficult will just vanish. It doesn’t function like this. We have become so used to the quick fixes of medicine and drugs, that we have become unaware of how we live and influence our lives. When there is imbalance, be it physical, emotional or whatever, something needs to be changed and a quick fix only postpones this moment of change.

Often people are shocked by what they need to do to change a negative situation; nutritional habits, sleeping habits, medication, drugs, thought-patterns…. and they get upset by this. Well, we often sit in our imbalanced situations because we allowed ourselves to get there through bad habits and/or choices. We are all responsible for our lives and we are the only ones who can change anything. And no, it’s not easy – but who ever said it would be? If we really want something badly enough, we go for it – no matter the cost or work it entails. This is how we should live our lives.

Some people call me a life-saver, thanking me for saving their lives, others say that I do nothing for them. To both groups I say the same: “I am only a tool, albeit a very good one, but you are the one doing the work and using me as a tool. Results or no, it’s all up to you”. And the people who do the work and stick with it always, ALWAYS, reach their goals. Sometimes we fall down, or off the wagon, but that is also learning, look for the mechanics; why did it happen? then get up, brush yourself off and get on with it. Nothing is ever lost because of small “mis-takes” on the way, but they can be valuable lessons and keys to success.

Everybody can do it


NUTRITION AND HEALTH

healthy foodsBy now most of you know how important nutrition is to me. I agree with Hippocrates who said: “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine your food.” I truly believe this is the straight and wide – if not always so easy – road to health. So today I want to introduce somebody to you:

A friend of mine here in Luxembourg is doing some really cool stuff around nutrition, training and health. His name is Tim Goodwin. For you people who are based in Luxembourg; check out his bootcamps – forest fit – which takes you to the forest to play, because this is what working out should be all about. Check it out here:

http://www.forestfit.com/

Here is a beautiful video to show how much fun it is to move. Remember being a kid?

Tim has also come out with a e-book that can be downloaded (free of charge) from this site; (you will also get a link to Tim’s community page.) I just downloaded it myself.

http://nutritionalresponsibility.com/new-nutritional-responsibility-guide/

There are some really good people out there with lots of knowledge that they share so generously. This makes it really easy to start making changes in life. Sometimes there is also follow up with community pages where you can connect with other people and get their stories. It’s all about sharing the ride. Take a look around, and start creating a healthier, more balanced and happier You.

On my blog-list there are some other great people you can check out. They are doing all the work forĀ  us; research, trials, new recipes…. all we have to do is profit from this and get cracking! And remember – it is not all about loosing weight, which it sometimes seems, it is about health.

fruits

CHANGINGĀ LANES

changing lanesTonight I met a young lady that has been a client of mine. When she came to me a few years ago she had just embarked on the journey of the eternally slim = anorexia/bulimia. She was also “self-medicating” = vodka and cocaine. She had just turned 17, was the biggest liar on earth and thought she had control….

Enter Mama Anna.Ā  The girl came to see me, I saw where she was at and after that I worked with her, or rather, first she worked against me and then we worked together. She realized very quickly that I could “read” her and this made her safe. Finally she went into rehab for her eating problems. At this time she was off the vodka and cocaine. She was in rehab for 4 months and when she came out she started theĀ  journey of healing.

Now she is a gorgeous young woman; she looks good and she is in balance. In her eyes there is a sadness and a wisdom that will always stay. She knows what suffering is, and she knows what it means to change lanes in life. She changed because she wanted to. The work I did with her was to help her want to change. It was about self-definition and where she wanted to go. When we first met she hated the person she had become, and this only pushed her further into self-abuse. Once she was clear about the fact that she could change all this, she started healing. The healing process is always long and hard.

“I take it one day at a time” she said to me with sadness in her eyes “one day at a time”.

I see pride, I see strength, I see belief….and yes, I see pain. I know that this pain will stay part of her forever, a bit of who she is. I also know that she is a mighty strong woman – I can read that behind the pain. One day there will sit before her a young girl full of lies and imbalances, and she will know what to tell the girl to give her the will to live. She will tell the girl what I told her; The Truth.

She calls me her Fairy Godmother. I am honored and touched by this show of affection. I told her the truth, and she accepted it. This young girl managed to change her whole life around, without much support, and she fights every day. She made a choice.

Changing lanes is a matter of will – nothing else.

Fairy Godmother