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Category: Wellness (page 2 of 2)

Reiki…is it for you?

One of the things I always encourage is practicing self-care.  For some, that may include taking time to de-stress from time to time.  One of my ways to attempt to live stress-free is to have a reiki session about every month.  You may be asking yourself “What the heck is reiki?”  Well, you’re in luck because I’m going to give you a little overview of what reiki is, how it works and give you my personal experience to help you see if it’s right for you.

Let’s start with an easy question – What is reiki?  The word itself has Japanese origins.  Rei means “God’s wisdom or the higher power” and Ki means “life force energy”.  Essentially, reiki is spiritually guided life force energy.  And they say you should connect more and more to your life force energy to live a well balanced life.

Reiki is an alternative practice that helps to promote stress reduction and relaxation.  It use a technique called palm healing or hands-on healing.  Practitioners transfer universal energy through the palms to the body to allow the body to heal itself and reach balance.

The idea behind reiki is that unseen life force energy flows through our body and allows us to be alive.  If our energy is low, we are more likely to get sick and feel stressed out.  If our energy is high, we are more capable of being in “the flow” and feeling happy and staying healthy.

Want more info?  Let’s keep going.  Reiki treats the whole person and includes all areas – body, emotion, mind and spirit.  A session can be different for everyone too.  Some may feel the energy literally flowing through the body and around it.  Most feel a sense of relaxation, inner peace, security and well-being.

Reiki works through hand placement on energy lines or chakras along a person’s body.  A person has seven chakras on the body:

  1. Crown Chakra – Our consciousness concerned with perceptions of unity or separation comes from this chakra.  It also involves one’s inner wisdom.
  2. Third Eye – This is where our spiritual perspective comes from, our deep inner level of being.  It’s where our ability to trust our inner guidance comes from.
  3. Throat Chakra – Communication and expression come from this chakra.  All aspects of expressing, listening to and receiving our intuition are based here.
  4. Heart Chakra – The feelings we have of compassion, tenderness, unconditional love, rejection and well-being come through this chakra.
  5. Solar Plexus Chakra – Perceptions of power, control and freedom stem from this chakra.  This is the chakra that allows us to be ourselves.
  6. Sacral Chakra – Our wants and needs, what we find pleasurable and true in emotion come through this chakra.  Food and sex desires come through here.
  7. Root Chakra – This chakra represents security and survival and the ability to be grounded in the present.

If you’re still with me, you probably want to know more about a direct experience.  Well, I can share mine.  I’ve been going for reiki for years now and it’s been an amazing journey. I don’t know what I’d do without it now.  I will say, it took a few sessions before I really felt any changes.  It’s like any other practice…you have to do it a few times before you’ll see results.

I actually went yesterday and my practitioner has me lie down on a table, puts on soft music to help me get in the zone and has me take a few deep breaths before we start.  As she goes through my chakras she moves the energy around and helps balance my system.  Sometimes I can feel the energy being moved and I can see images that may or may not mean something for me.  I have felt like I was floating off the table before.  Believe it or not, I’ve seen the image of the staircase at Hogwarts in my mind.  Yes, strange, but there is a reason…sometimes I’m just not sure what it is.  These types of things happen simply because the energy is being moved about and the life force energy wants me to feel or see these things.

My sessions last about an hour and sometimes go a little over that.  When my session is over, I feel like I’ve had a HUGE weight lifted off my chest.  I feel a sense of relief and feel like the world is alright.  I can relate reiki to going to a therapist for a session.  Although my practitioner and I don’t always talk, she helps me feel better and feel more at ease.  I highly recommend reiki for anyone looking to try something new to help them de-stress and live a more balanced life.

If you’ve tried reiki, share your thoughts below.  I’d love to hear about your experiences and how it helps you.

My Story

Have you ever really thought about “your story”?  I hadn’t really given it much thought.  A few years ago, I was asked to share my story and I had to really think back.  It all started where everyone’s story begins…at birth.

I was born with asthma.  No one knew it initially, but a few years after I arrived, they found out.  I was sick and in the hospital just about every six months until age 4.  Maybe even a little later.  My  mom jokingly told the doctors to “keep me until they figured out what was wrong”.  Nice, right?!  But it worked.  Needless to say, they found out I had asthma.

Because I was sick all the time, I never wanted to eat.  I had absolutely no appetite and was SUPER skinny.  I mean, I looked like I was sickly.  I can remember a picture taken of me when I was around age seven.  I was on vacation with my family on Cape Cod, playing with my sister in the pool and wearing my two-piece bathing suit.  You could see my ribs.  It was not good.  I was scrawny.  Here’s a picture of my dad and I at our Father / Daughter Dance.  My face is very thin and I was very pale.

About a year later, things started to change.  My asthma started to get better and I discovered something so amazing, I thought I’d lose my mind.  I learned what food was.  Yes, I’m kidding.  My parents fed me, but I found my appetite.  I would eat anything and just about everything.  I LOVED food!  I remember on Sunday mornings after church, my family and I would go to a specific restaurant for breakfast.  Sadly, this restaurant is no longer in business and my parents jokingly blame my sister and I for that.  We could literally clean out the whole buffet if we wanted to.  I definitely found my appetite!

Thankfully despite this appetite, I was active.  I played soccer in the Fall and Winter and soccer and softball in the Spring and Summer.  If I wasn’t this active, I would have gained weight a lot faster than I did.  My parents were happy I had gained a few pounds, though.  Because I was so active, dinners were quick – pasta dinner, fast food, microwaveable meals.  If it was cheap and fast, my family probably had it.  Strangely, I remember having lots of orange soda too.  Odd.

My journey in sports continued through my Sophomore year of high school.  In my Junior year, I stopped being so active because I had to get a job.  I needed things, like a car, gas money, clothes, etc.  My jobs during this time kept me active – I was a janitor, an umpire, a cashier and bagger at a market.  I continued to have jobs like this in college, but that experience with food was much different.  Let’s just say, I won’t forget those steak and cheese subs at 11:30PM.  And adult beverages were everywhere.  It was not good for my waistline.  And being short didn’t help things.  Unfortunately, I didn’t notice my body was changing yet.

After college, my activity level continued, but I was only working.  At a normal check up with my doctor, she noticed a mole.  She did a biopsy and initially the test came back inconclusive.  The C-word popped up in our appointments.  I’m not going to lie, I was nervous.  All I said was “Let me have hair for my wedding”.  Because I only cared about looking good, not feeling good. I was 28 years old, I was the highest my weight has ever been, I was on medicine for high blood pressure and about to be put on medicine for high cholesterol.  Yet, I still didn’t notice something was wrong.

I finally started to notice on a trip to Las Vegas.  We went with friends, including a friend that had a baby shortly before and was already back to her pre-baby weight.  And then I realized, I would be the “fat girl next to the skinny girl at the pool”.  This is what I was telling myself.  Yes,  it was negative self-talk that got me started, but hey, at least I got started.  In a quick 90 days, I lost two dress sizes and 15lbs.  I had changed my eating habits, got myself exercising and off the medications.  Even my asthma was better.  I was feeling like I was on Cloud 9.  Fitness became my drug of choice.  I couldn’t stop and didn’t want to stop.  I ended up losing 25lbs since my journey started and more importantly, I learned what it was like to be HEALTHY!

This was a comparison from our wedding day to our second trip to Las Vegas.  I had changed a lot.  And even since then, I’ve continued to chance.  I have since put some weight back on, but have learned that life is about peaks and valleys and what we do with the challenges that we face.  My work schedule is different now and I have to find time to fit in the health activities that I love.  I make compromises to make it work for me.  Today, my mindset is healthier and I’m happier for the journey I’ve gone down.  Each one of us has a gift to give others and for me, I’ve found living a healthy life is my passion.  I want to help others find the same and if my story can inspire just one person, then I’ve done my job.

If you have read through to the end, that means you’re still here with me.  I hope I’ve helped inspire you in someway.  If I can help more, I’d love to.  Comment below or contact me to set up a time to chat.  Together, we can help you find the life you were meant to live.

**Product Review** – Honeywell Console Humidifier

You may or may not know, but I am a member of Influenster, a company that lets you try out products for FREE!  Amazing right?!  Well, recently I got to try out the Honeywell Console Humidifier.  I was so so excited when I learned I’d be trying this out because I live in New England and when the temperature changes, sometimes the air gets really dry.  As an asthmatic, the New England weather can be challenging too.  In the winter, I’m bundled up with double gloves, a hat and a scarf.  In the summer, I have to watch my breathing and go easy.

I received the humidifier and first and foremost, the box was HUGE!  I had no idea the product would be this big.  When I read through the booklet that came with it, I understood why.  It’s made for larger or multiple rooms.  It has two (2) tanks, one on the left and one on the right, dials on top to set the level of humidity you want and the fan speed.  The light indicators tell you when the room or rooms have reached the desired humidity level and when the water tanks are empty.  So far so good!

I tried this baby out in my bedroom since that’s where I am most of the time I’m home and the room is the width of the house so it’s pretty big.  I had to run it for an hour on high so the machine would get accumulated to the room.  While running this test, I found out my bedroom is already pretty humid.  This might explain why I have trouble sleeping sometimes.

Since I’ve been using this humidifier, I’ve been sleeping better, can breathe a little easier when I sleep and feel better in the mornings when I wake up.  Despite the cold air the humidifier blows, I have not had any issues.  I would definitely recommend this humidifier if you’re an asthmatic or someone that needs a little more restful sleep.

Do you have a humidifier?  Which one are you using and how has it helped you?  Leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear about your experience.

Stressed Much??

One of the things I use exercise to manage is my stress level.  And when I don’t exercise, I notice my mental health deteriorates.  Over the past month, I’ve been dealing with some crazy stuff at work and boy, has it been a stressful September!  Needless to say, I have allowed myself to slack a bit and not exercise as much as I should.

 

I know everyone goes through ups and downs with health and fitness but the question is, how do you start back again quickly?  I know this stressful period of time will pass and I will get my life back on track…but when?! It’s like I’m in a movie and the suspense is killing me.
That being said, I have managed to keep up with my nutrition…mostly.   With the holidays approaching, candy and yummy goodness seems to be all around! It has been a battle but I know because I am not able to exercise as much as I would like and because I am not able to control a lot of things with work, my nutrition is the one thing I can control.  I have even parties with snacks galore and been ok.
One  of the ways I’ve managed to keep up with my nutrition is by using the containers that come with the 21 Day Fix program to monitor my portion size.
21 Day Fix Containers
I am able to eat whatever I want (really) within a certain portion and goal for each day.  Because I’ve been able to control this aspect of my life, my weight hasn’t changed all that much and yes, I can deal with my stress level, even if just a little bit.
The moral of my story is that even if you are struggling with your health and fitness, it is okay because you will get back on track.  If you can’t control the time you have available to you, find pieces of your life that you control, like your nutrition intake, your spending habits or the company you keep.  Another thing that has really helped me is having people I can turn to when I need to.  Becoming a Health Coach has helped me realize that there are ups and downs with health and fitness and the Coaches I have met (and now call my tribe) are there for me if I need support.  If you’re in this position and need support, message me!  At the end of the day, remember to keep your head up and know that things can get better if you will them to.

You only live once…

Don’t be a fraud to really live.  I was afraid once.  Then I found some friends that were like-minded and wanted the same things I did.  They helped me to open up, see the world for what it’s really like and help me see what I could really do.

Rightnow, my life is getting to a point where I feel like I have everything I need.  I have a home that I love, I have close friends and family and most importantly, I have my health.  Without my health, I would be nowhere.

Life goes by so fast that we don’t have time to let things just happy.  We need to grab the bull by the horns and do what makes us happy.  We need to stop worrying about things we cannot control and just live.  I’ve discovered that having people around me that want the same things makes me happy.  That being healthy makes me happy.  That having enough money to not worry about anything makes me happy.  And that attempting to live by my own morals and values makes me happy.

I’ve been wondering what the next stage in life is going to be and where it’s going to take me.   What makes you happy?  If you don’t know, you need to find out.  One of my goals is to help people get to a place that is fulfilling and makes them happy.  If you’d like to find out more about working together to achieve this common goal, comment below.  I’d love to hear what you’re working toward.

Are you a micro-manager?

I had a thought today about micro-managing.  We all know it’s awful.  No one likes when it is done to them by someone else, but here’s my question…

ARE YOU MICRO-MANAGING YOURSELF????

I’m asking specifically when it comes to your health and wellness.  You could either be too hard on yourself or too laid back.  Either way, you might need to change up some things.

When I think of micro-managing, I think of someone hovering over you, checking and double checking everything you do, constantly checking in on you when they don’t need to…the list goes on.  You may have a different thought, but for me, this is it!  I’m not someone who likes it or needs it.  I know in my heart that what I say will get done, because that’s just how I tick.

With my health and wellness, I consider this a priority.  I want it to be top on my list because I have health issues and I NEED to be mindful of how I’m taking care of myself.  Right now, I eat clean 85% of the time, I drink mainly water and I exercise about four to five times per week.  For me, that works.  I’m a planner by nature and my days are pretty much scheduled from morning to night.  That includes my workouts.  If you’re not as structured as I am, you may need to watch yourself a little more.

Where you do start, though?  Well, like anything – at the beginning.  Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What are my goals?
  2. Why do I want to get healthy?
  3. How am I going to get there?

I want you to write down the answers to these questions because if you write the answers down, it will become REAL!!!  Let’s break it down:

  1. Your goals should be SMART.  That means they need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-sensitive.  Make your goals using this formula and you’ll be really clear on what you’re shooting for.  For example your goal could be “I want to lose 10lbs in two months.”  This is specific, measurable, absolutely attainable, realistic and time-sensitive.
  2. You need to ask yourself why because without knowing why you are doing something, you may not be as motivated.  Do you have an event coming up that you want to lose some weight for?  Do you have children that you want to make sure you live a long healthy life fore?  Your answer is personal and only you can answer this question.  Go deeper than the surface and you’ll find your real why.
  3. Create a road map for yourself with small goals so you can SEE your plan.  It should have dates, milestones and rewards for each step of the journey.  Get some poster board and literally draw it out and hang it somewhere you’ll see it every single day.  Take yourself back to 4th Grade Arts & Crafts and have fun with it.  The more fun you have creating your map, the more you’ll be willing to want to take that first step.

Once you have that your goals, your why and you plan in place, follow it.  Every single day!  No excuses.  None!  And you might have to micro-manage yourself to help you stay on track  If you have someone close to you, ask them to help.  Do a self-check every week to see how you’re doing with staying on track.  No matter what you’re thinking right now, you CAN do this.  You have to believe you can and then you’re golden.

What’s your current health goal?  Share with me your goal, your why and your road map.  I would love to be able to help you with that goal and get you to reach success!  I believe it is possible for you and together we can get you there!

Personal Development – Do you really need it in your life?!

One of the things that I’ve always heard about is practicing personal development.  I never really thought I needed it but have learned that in order to grow, both inside and out,  personal development is a MUST!

The first question to answer is what is personal development anyway?  To me, it’s any action you take to work on improving the current state of YOU.  Basically, it’s implementing the things you read, the tips you see in videos and using the words brought to you by great leaders in their podcasts to improve yourself and make positive changes in your life.  Personally, I’m a reader but I honestly get more into listening to podcasts because it works for my schedule.

Zig Ziglar is one of the great personal development speakers and man, his words have been so incredibly moving for me.  I currently work a full time job in Boston and my commute is about an hour and a half each way.  I take the train because it’s faster and one of the things I do with my time is listen to podcasts.  Taking this time for me and listening to personal development on these commutes has made a light bulb go off.  Now I realize how important growth is.  For one thing, it’s helped me create a work/life balance.

The podcasts I listen to involve healthy relationships, taking care of yourself, setting goals, paying off debt, building a business…the list goes on!  Every morning I listen to one to two podcasts and I choose which genre based on my mood.  In the mornings it’s usually something about my health and in the afternoon it’s something about finances or building my business.  It’s been great because I’m learning so much and using what I’m learning to help others.

I’m curious, do you practice personal development now?  What’s a podcast, book or webinar you could recommend that has helped you?  Share below…I’d love to hear what you’re doing to grow.

**Product Review** – 3 Day Refresh

Wow!  This 3 Day Refresh kit was EXACTLY what I needed.  What is it?  It’s a program brought to you by Team Beachbody that consists of a meal plan for three days.  It’s three (3) daily shakes, a fiber drink, plenty of filtered water and an assortment of fruits, veggies and healthy fats that you choose from your own market.  Sounds complicated?  Well, I promise you, it’s not.

 

Every day, I had 8-10oz. of filtered water when I woke up.

Breakfast was Shakeology, some fruit and a cup of herbal tea, if I wanted it.

Mid-morning snack was the Fiber Sweep shake.

Lunch was a Vanilla Fresh shake, some fruit, some veggies and a healthy fat.

Mid-afternoon snack was veggies and a healthy fat.

Dinner was another Vanilla Fresh shake and a dinner from the recipe book.

 

That’s it!  It was so easy, especially because you could prep the same food for three days in a row and save time.

One of the things I was worried about was whether I could work out or not.  I’m happy to say that I could workout.  Moderate exercise is recommended so instead of doing a high intensity interval training, I would walk to work and walk home from work every day.  I walked more than five (5) miles a day.

Sounds a little more simple now, right?!  It was…very simple!  In just the three days, I lost five (5) pounds too!  The 3 Day Refresh helped me get off my plateau and made me feel so much better.  Want more info?  Contact me below and we’ll get you started on your own path to refreshing your body!

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