It may be spooky season, but it’s also “spleen season” - in Traditional Chinese Medicine, that is!
From the TCM perspective, humans are a microcosm of the universe. This means that what’s happening in nature is reflected in our bodies, including seasonal changes. Each season is associated with an organ, and nourishing that organ helps us embrace the season feeling strong, supported, and balanced.
While the spleen tends to fly under the radar, it deserves a moment in the spotlight - this organ does several important jobs to keep your body thriving. Thankfully, Joe DelGiodice, our resident acupuncturist and nutritionist, is full of wisdom on how to nurture the spleen for a healthy and harmonious autumn.
Fall: A powerful time to strengthen the spleen
Because the spleen acts as a filter for your blood, protecting your body from old, damaged cells and any invading germs, it’s an important part of your immune system. It also plays a role in digestion, helping to break down and distribute nutrients from the foods and fluids you ingest.
While it’s always a good time to strengthen any of your organ systems, now is the most powerful time to focus on the spleen. When the spleen is in balance, it brings about smooth digestion, mental clarity, and physical energy. In this state, you’re able to move through life with efficiency and ease. You might notice that your tasks for the day seem to flow in a synchronized and aligned way.
The spleen is like Mother Earth, providing harvest and stability for all of the other organs. Of course, this means it can become worn out quite easily. An overtaxed spleen can show up as brain fog, digestive issues, exhaustion, excessive work habits, and ‘monkey mind.’ With weak spleen qi, your thoughts might feel muddled or pensive. That’s where the role of food as medicine comes in!
Eating to nourish the spleen
At Hudson Healing Arts, we always recommend eating seasonal foods to naturally support your immune system. Now is the time to move away from raw, cold foods, and nourish the yin element with warmer foods. This includes drinks, too - Joe encourages people to drink licorice root tea, rooibos tea, and green tea to help strengthen the spleen.
Joe shares that an unbalanced spleen craves sweetness, but what it really needs is whole foods that are mildly sweet. Think sweet potatoes, yams, and carrots rather than any processed sugars. Here’s what else he recommends:
● Butternut or acorn squash
● Apples and pears
● Orange peppers
● Fingerling potatoes
One of Joe’s favorite snack recipes for early fall is to slice Japanese sweet potatoes into the shape of steak fries, spread organic horseradish on them, and then bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. He shares that orange, yellow, and gold foods are all wonderful for the spleen, especially root vegetables. This is because they’re grounding and nourishing, which is exactly what we need after a long summer of being on the go and in the sun.
“Over the summer, the season provided warmth. Now, we have to prepare to provide it for ourselves. What comes up must go down, so after an active summer, it’s time to get grounded,” he says. “This time of year is all about getting strong for late autumn and winter, which is lung season in TCM. Nourishing your body now will help strengthen your immunity for the cold days ahead.”
Because we’re getting less solar energy from the sun, it’s also a great time to get your bare feet in the sand, soil, or grass to absorb the energy of the earth. Even sitting against a tree for a quiet moment can provide a sense of grounding. Joe recommends going to bed earlier in the evening to begin preparing your body for a healthy winter.
Self-care for the spleen
According to Joe, little acts of self-care all add up and can make a big difference for the spleen. This means being gently mindful about things like eating well, setting boundaries, getting fresh air, and giving yourself more transition time in the day so you don’t have to rush. Acupuncture is also beneficial, especially when it comes to stimulating points that have a direct connection to the spleen (although acupuncture is always personalized to the individual).
“Remember, it’s not just ‘spleen care’ - everything is connected,” he says. “The spleen does so much for the other organs, so when we nurture it, there’s a positive ripple effect. It’s also very closely involved with the lungs, which comes after the spleen in the seasonal flow of energy.”
At Hudson Healing Arts, we’re always here to support your wellness journey. Click here to check out the full list of holistic healing services. Here’s to a healthy, happy autumn!
Here at Hudson Healing Arts, we’re big fans of keeping things simple, especially when it comes to taking care of yourself. In a world of oversaturation, there’s so much power — and peace — in getting back to the basics.
That’s why we adore Dr. Dickson Thom’s philosophy of following the “natural laws”: natural habits that are foundational to good health. As a naturopath and a dentist with 45+ years of experience, Dr. Thom observed that there are universally beneficial guidelines to wellbeing (regardless of the health issues you may be dealing with). Here’s a quick introduction to his philosophy:
“We are nature. Just as rocks contain calcium, so do our bones. Just as rivers contain water, so does our body. Just as lightning conducts electric current, so does our brain. And yet, over many generations of increased industrialization and technology, we have distanced ourselves from everyday cycles of nature, becoming removed from that which we are. This separation has led us to become a society with more illness than wellness.”
In other words, living in accordance with these natural laws doesn’t require lots of money or specialized knowledge. It’s simply about aligning with nature to stay well and be in a more balanced state. The beauty of following these natural laws is that when you relieve stress from the body and mind, your energy can focus on what truly needs to be supported.
Without further ado, here’s a quick overview of Dr. Thom’s natural laws!
Be outside 30+ mins a day
There’s a ton of research to confirm that spending time outside has profound benefits to our wellbeing. Fresh air and sunshine are both forms of medicine in their own right. It’s recommended to be outdoors for a minimum of 30 minutes a day to lower your stress and anxiety levels, strengthen your immune system, and even help you sleep and breathe better.
Play on a daily basis
It’s so easy to get caught up in what needs to be done — but what if you reframed play as something that’s foundational to your health? According to Dr. Thom, one of the most important questions you can ask yourself is “Did you have fun today?” Play is vital to helping us unwind our nervous system and move through the world from a place of greater balance. For a great example of this in action, watch animals. They instinctively know how to maintain the balance between sleep, food, and play.
We may take thousands of breaths each day, but not all breaths are created equal. Harnessing the power of your breath is one of the best and simplest things you can do to put yourself in a parasympathetic state. Deep, intentional breathing sends a signal to your brain that you’re safe to relax. Another benefit is that moving your diaphragm stimulates the liver; which means that deep breathing is like getting a massage for your body’s main filter.
Dr. Thom recommends a minimum of 100 deep breaths a day. Start off by inhaling for 1 count, holding for 4 counts, and exhaling for 2. You can also double each number as your breathing naturally deepens (inhale for 2, hold for 8, and exhale for 4). Remember, you don’t have to do extended periods of breathwork to feel a shift! To make it a habit, try putting post-it note reminders on your mirror, or simply take some deep breaths when you’re standing in line at the store.
Staying hydrated is vital to your overall health, energy levels, and mood. Babies start out as 70% water, and that number drops as we age. Most people with chronic illnesses are also cellularly dehydrated.
We all need different amounts of water to feel our best, but the general rule of thumb is that you need half of your body weight in ounces. If water tends to run right through you, it may mean you need more electrolytes. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is one great way to up your electrolytes. If you need help with this balance, consult your healthcare provider.
It’s easy to overthink exercise, but there’s a way to keep it simple: Move your body! We were never designed to stand still or sit at a desk, so just find a way to be active each day for at least 30 minutes. Your body, mind, and mood will benefit tremendously (and yes, walking counts!). If you can’t manage 30 minutes at a time, try 10 minutes 3x a day or even 5 minute periods of exercise 6 x daily.
Did you know the lymphatic system is the only system in the body without an active pump? It needs motion of some kind to create flow and push the toxins out of the body. Thankfully, there are plenty of easy ways to stimulate it. It’s best to do so at night, because most of your cleansing happens during sleep.
Getting enough sleep is essential for your overall health. Seven and a half to eight hours is necessary to keep your body physiologically in balance, and a big part of that is being proactive about creating the right conditions.
Good sleep hygiene is all about getting back to the basics. Just the act of keeping your phone out of reach and sleeping in a totally dark room (which stimulates the pineal gland) will improve the quality of your sleep. If blackout curtains aren’t an option where you live, try a blackout sleep mask. It works!
Meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting in silence for hours on end. If you regularly put yourself in a relaxed position, it will go a long way in settling your parasympathetic system and helping every organ system get in a better state.
Eating a nutritious diet doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, you can keep it as simple as possible with this recommendation: The more colors you eat each day, the greater the benefit. Aim for 10 different colors of fruits and veggies a day.
Dr. Thom is also a big believer in organic apple cider vinegar. Hem recommends adding a ½ teaspoon to a glass of water and drinking it 15 minutes before a meal, to help your digestive system be ready to digest the food you’re eating.
Remember, keep it simple!
The simplicity of these natural laws may seem misleading — but the reality is that they tend to be “common wisdom, not common practice.” Adopting these habits is a wonderful way to help access your natural state of wellbeing and maintain your health.
Remember, you don’t have to jump into all of this at once. Start adopting these guidelines as slowly as you need to, and honor that adjustment time in taking even better care of yourself. To learn more about Dr. Thom’s philosophies, visit drdicksonthom.com. You can also watch his YouTube presentation on the natural laws here.
As always, we hope you enjoyed reading this blog! Feel free to follow us on Facebook (@HudsonHealingArts) for more holistic healing inspiration and resources.
Simple pleasures are what summer is all about — and delicious summer recipes are at the top of the list!
Here at HHA, we’re lucky that our resident nutritionist, Joe DelGiodice, is committed to keeping us healthy, inspired, and eating well through every season. Summer’s arrival is the perfect time to share some of Joe’s favorite seasonal dishes, and take advantage of the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies!
It’s also worth a reminder that the food you eat has a direct impact on your mood, mental state, and energy levels. That’s why each recipe below contains superfoods and nourishing compounds to help you feel your best and enjoy summer to the fullest.
Superfood Summer Smoothie
Between hotter temperatures and the fact that we’re more active in the summer, sweating causes us to lose important minerals. Replenishing those electrolytes is the key to staying healthy and hydrated, and this smoothie from our resident nutritionist Joe DelGiodice does just that!
In fact, Joe calls this smoothie “liquid goodness.” More than just delicious, it contains a full spectrum of amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids.
Cactus water (helps support the function of the kidneys and adrenals)
Miracle Reds Macro Greens powder (full of alkalizing superfoods and veggies)
E3 Live organic blue-green algae (contains over 65 vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids)
Banana (great source of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C)
Blueberries (packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids)
Irish sea moss powder (rich in silica and helps support the process of cleansing via the intestines and liver)
Cinnamon (antioxidant properties)
Flora Udo's 3-6-9 DHA oil (helps support the brain and liver)
Sprouted watermelon seeds (full of vitamin C, antioxidants, and magnesium)
Simply add all ingredients to the blender and enjoy! You can learn more about the health benefits of this smoothie in this video from Joe’s YouTube channel.
Joe’s Famous Tabbouleh Summer Salad
This cooling and flavorful tabbouleh salad is packed with antioxidants. Because free radical activity ramps up in the heat, antioxidants are especially vital to our wellbeing in the summer, helping to maintain the health of our cells and boost our immune system.
2 Tablespoons hemp seeds
Extra-virgin organic olive oil
Start with a mix of ⅔ parsley and ⅓ mint leaf. Add the rest of the ingredients and any other toppings you’d like (such as a sprinkle of sea salt). Watch Joe’s YouTube video here.
Organic Summer Fruit Salad
This simple organic salad celebrates the fresh and colorful fruits of summer while keeping you hydrated.
Mint leaves (a potent source of antioxidants and vitamin A)
Cube each piece of fruit and mix in a bowl; top with mint leaves. Watch Joe’s YouTube video here.
It may not be August yet, but this ultra-light salad is perfect for keeping you refreshed in humid weather!
Freshly squeezed orange
Sprouted sunflower seeds
Pink volcanic sea salt
Mix ingredients in a bowl and enjoy. Watch Joe’s YouTube video here.
Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Who said chili is just for sweater weather? HHA founder Beth O’Boyle is sharing this recipe from the God’s Love We Deliver newsletter, and her timing is perfect. Summer is all about the element of fire, and hot and spicy foods are an incredible way to energetically nourish the fire element and increase blood flow.
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound ground turkey, white or dark meat
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid (Beth uses fire roasted)
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 cup water
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. sea salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
*Beth also adds 1 red or yellow bell pepper (cored, seeded, and chopped) and 1 (15
oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, bell peppers, jalapeno, and
garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes more. Ladle chili into bowls and serve (serves 6).
Recipe courtesy of Whole Foods Market and the God’s Love We Deliver newsletter. For more information about God’s Love We Deliver, a wonderful organization distributing nutritious, healthy meals at no charge to those living with serious illness, visit www.glwd.org.
Unlock the benefits of a nutrient-rich diet
No matter the season, eating a nutrient-rich diet is one of the best things you can do for your health, mental state, mood, and energy levels.
Even better, you don’t have to do it alone — Joe has decades of experience creating personalized nutrition plans for clients from all walks of life, drawing on his in-depth knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine and naturopathy.
If you’re interested in booking a consultation or want to learn more, he can be reached at 201-653-7700 ext. 3. To stay inspired, you can also subscribe to his wonderful YouTube channel (@supernaturalhealth).
“Spring is proof that there’s beauty in new beginnings.” ~Matshona Dhliwayo
If you feel a desire to “spring clean” in more ways than one, you’re not alone. With warmer weather and new life reawakening all around us, it’s natural to crave a fresh start and sense of greater lightness during this time of year.
Here at Hudson Healing Arts, we’re big believers in creating space - emotional, physical and mental - to make room for new possibilities. Here are some of our favorite tips for embracing the season of renewal!
Spring cleaning for the soul
All seasons have their purpose. We can thank the quiet rest and reflection of winter for helping us welcome spring with energy and vitality - and gratitude for its vibrancy! Now is the perfect time to shake off the winter doldrums and ask yourself:
“Letting go” in this sense can feel like cleansing as decluttering your home. If you think about it, your mind is a home too - so making it a nice and nourishing place for your thoughts to live is a worthy goal! And when you free up emotional and mental space, it allows you to relax more deeply and focus on what you do want to cultivate.
Embrace the magic of spring cleaning
Spring is all about joy, and that applies to chores too. If spring cleaning feels daunting this year, try to reframe it as a sacred act. Viewed through a lens of love and care for your home, cleaning can almost feel like a moving meditation - or at the very least, something that directly benefits your headspace and mood.
There are ways you can make it fun, too! Blast your favorite feel-good music and dance while you clean the kitchen. Donate those clothes that don’t quite fit right without looking back. Tuck lavender-scented sachets into your storage bins - your future self will thank you.
Admire the gifts of spring
Life moves quickly, and it’s all too easy to miss the miracle of the earth reawakening right under your nose. Make the time to put yourself in the way of beauty. Even if you’re having a bad day - in fact, especially if you’re having a bad day - spring has a way of reminding you just how wonderful it is to simply be alive.
Seeing the blooming flowers and trees coming to life is also a powerful reminder that there’s rebirth at every turn, even after a long winter. What other lessons can spring teach you in your own life?
Open up to new possibilities
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), spring is associated with the element of wood, since it’s a time of growth. Wood asks us to look ahead across the horizon and refocus our vision.
Since spring is all about activating new life, it’s an amazing time to harness your renewed sense of energy and drive. Is there a creative project that’s been stirring your soul, or perhaps a home renovation that you’d like to do? Maybe it’s finally planning that dream trip for the summer, or even something more mundane, like finding a new method for organizing your stuff. Whatever it is, spring is the time to create and make it happen!
Recognize the power you have to shift your energy
Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, I’m just not there yet. I’m still in my winter hibernation!
In the winter, it’s easy to convince ourselves to take that nap, to cancel plans, and withdraw. If you’ve been down or drained lately, taking small steps forward can be so transformative - even if going for a walk with a friend feels like the last thing you want to do. As contradictory as it seems, sometimes you have to expend energy to create energy.
Whether it’s embracing aromatherapy or volunteering, prioritize those acts that lift your spirits and trust in the vital energy of spring to carry you forward. We promise, you’ll feel better for doing so!
Take care of yourself
Spring is the perfect time to usher in a beautiful new beginning and greater wellbeing, and the Hudson Healing Arts team is here to help! AshWork and Reiki are especially beneficial forms of energy work for feeling lighter and more relaxed.
We also offer a wide variety of other holistic modalities to help you find greater peace and balance. You can view our full list of services here.
Happy spring, and thanks as always for reading!
Did you know that acupuncture is incredible for supporting health and wellbeing through all seasons of a woman’s life? In honor of Women’s Month, our March blog is dedicated to spotlighting the physical, mental and emotional benefits that this ancient practice offers women in modern times.
Here at Hudson Healing Arts, we’re fortunate to have two highly skilled acupuncturists - Joe Del Giodice and Kyla Hanley - with decades of collective experience. Thank you Joe and Kyla for sharing your insights with us!
A personalized approach
Regardless of what issues you’re dealing with, almost all women can benefit from acupuncture’s ability to activate the body’s natural ability to heal.
“Whether you’re looking to treat a specific condition or for general stress relief, acupuncture stimulates your nervous system and alters your body’s chemistry,” explains Kyla. “When you needle a point, it sends a message to your brain to bring about a healing response.”
This holistic technique embraces your body’s self-healing mechanisms , such as calling on your body’s natural painkillers, triggering an anti-inflammatory response, and increasing your serotonin and dopamine levels (all without any unwanted side effects).
Another reason that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be a gamechanger for women’s health is that it’s not generalized or numbers-oriented. Instead, every individual is treated as unique.
“Everything in TCM is a constitutional form of care, which means it’s very specific and tailor-made for a person’s constitution,” says Joe. “While there are things that are common among a demographic, we always fine tune it for each particular person.”
This is true even for an individual at different points in time. Every time you come in for acupuncture, your session starts with an evaluation. This may be a bit different from what you’re used to - methods like a tongue exam, listening to your pulse, and a questionnaire about your health history help our practitioners evaluate your needs from a TCM perspective. The focus is always on finding the root of the problem, rather than putting a bandaid on any symptoms.
Improving your general health and wellbeing
One of the defining principles of acupuncture is the saying: “If there is free flow, there’s no pain. Where there’s pain, there’s no free flow.”
“The meridians are seen as pathways. When there’s a traffic jam, everything stops and you get stuck,” explains Kyla. “We all know that when you put health issues or stress on the backburner, it becomes a bigger problem. The point of acupuncture is to keep Qi moving and flowing.”
For women, who often take care of everyone else’s needs before their own, acupuncture is both maintenance and prevention. By boosting your immunity, promoting good sleep, and reducing stress, it sets you up for greater overall wellbeing while also helping with other things that pop up (from injuries to unexpected life stressors).
Kyla also adds that in today’s hectic world, taking the time to “schedule relaxation” can have profound effects on the quality of your life. Even if it’s one session per season, acupuncture is a resource that helps you slow down and find clarity about what’s important.
“Being proactive about your wellbeing is such an act of self-love. You can have huge shifts,” says Kyla. “When I first started acupuncture, I experienced more perspective and gratitude. I began to walk a little slower, notice the color of the sky, and simply see the good in each day and feel better. We often rush around…but are we here to finish a ‘to-do’ list, or experience joy and love each day?”
Promoting hormonal balance
Beyond improving your general wellbeing, acupuncture is a great complementary treatment for a wide range of health issues specific to women. One of the big reasons is that acupuncture promotes hormonal balance - from your first monthly cycle through menopause.
“When young women first begin their cycle, the body is seeking to find its footing with this new element that has developed in its constitution,” says Joe. “Acupuncture can help have a balancing effect on these hormonal fluctuations. In fact, pain-free periods can be a reality, but a lot of women don’t realize that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
Research shows that acupuncture can help regulate everything from irregular periods to cramps, headaches, mood swings, and back pain. It’s also a natural way to help support fertility and relieve prenatal symptoms like nausea.
Last but certainly not least, acupuncture can help make the transition into perimenopause and menopause more harmonious.
“Acupuncture balances out the levels of estrogen and progesterone, so that there’s a smoother landing instead of a sharp decline,” says Joe. “This has a positive effect on sleep, hot flashes, and fluctuations in mood and mental acuity. I’ve heard clients share that their mood is steadier, they feel sharper at work, and that they didn’t realize how well they could sleep.”
We’d love to see you at HHA
Interested in booking a session with Joe or Kyla at Hudson Healing Arts? According to Joe, spring is a wonderful time for women to reap the benefits of acupuncture.
“In TCM, spring is ruled by the liver and the liver surrounds the pelvic organs. So on an energetic level, there's a strong link between the liver and women's health,” he explains. “At this time of year, acupuncture is particularly great for nourishing the liver - it’s both strengthening and relaxing.”
To schedule a session, Joe can be reached at (201) 653-7700 ext. 3 and Kyla can be reached at 201-362-9522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks as always for reading our blog and being a part of the HHA community! Wishing everyone a happy and healthy spring.
How Holistic Healing Builds Patterns of Self-Love
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” -Buddha
Here at Hudson Healing Arts, we’re firm believers that the most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one with yourself. That’s why we decided to repost this blog from 2021, which still rings just as true today.
After all, the more you build patterns of treating yourself with love, the more you’re able to extend that love to others. At HHA, we offer a variety of healing modalities to help you find balance in mind, body and spirit. From this place of relaxation, it becomes far easier to embrace the beauty that lies within.
Read on to learn more about how our healing services can help nurture self-love — because you’re so worth it!
Bach Flower Remedies
There’s no shortage of blocks that can prevent us from prioritizing self-care. The beauty of Bach Flower Remedies is that there’s a remedy for pretty much all of them! You may be surprised just how much a little flower power can balance your emotional state. Here’s just a short list of common emotional blocks that these remedies can help address.
● Guilt: While taking care of ourselves enables us to better care for others, guilt often creeps in regardless. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we’re responsible for everyone else’s happiness first and foremost. Pine is an amazing remedy that helps gently remove that weight from your shoulders so you can treat yourself better.
● Procrastination: Does your to-do list leave you with a sense of inertia or mental weariness? If so, Hornbeam is a brilliant remedy. The wood of the hornbeam bush is used to make tool handles, so its essence is great for strength and helping you take on life one step at a time.
● Rigidity: If you’re holding yourself to overly high standards, Rock Water can help you be more realistic with the demands you place on yourself. It helps you to deal with perfectionism so you can find the joy and peace you deserve!
● Physical exhaustion: Sometimes, pure exhaustion keeps us from even being able to consider the thought of self-care. Olive is wonderfully restorative, helping to give you a subtle second wind while encouraging balance and mindfulness about your limits. This is particularly great for tired parents.
● Lack of confidence: Sometimes, we stop ourselves before even trying to start something that will bring us comfort (say, a new exercise routine) because we think we’ll never be able to accomplish it. Larch helps give that much-needed boost of self-esteem to try new things with some faith in ourselves.
● Apathy: If your enthusiasm and happiness feels hard to access, or you’ve had a lot of “Why bother?” thoughts as of late, Wild Rose is great for reigniting that spark of aliveness inside you.
● Stuck: Perhaps you’re simply not feeling the way you’d like to, or you’re stuck in the same pattern of behavior that’s just not working. Chestnut Bud can help you connect the dots, learn from life’s lessons and create new patterns of behavior that encourage your desired result.
Bach Flower remedies are incredibly versatile tools for everyday support. Our Bach Foundation Registered practitioner, Beth O’Boyle, offers phone consultations to listen to how you’re feeling and where you’re facing challenges, and identify the right mix (of up to seven essences) to help your unique situation. Since each person responds differently to different situations, Beth gets to the root of why you’re feeling a certain way. This helps find the appropriate remedy to help your emotions flow through so that you can experience a greater sense of wellbeing.
When we’re dealing with physical issues, such as migraines or insomnia, treating ourselves with kindness is often the last thing on our minds. It’s far more common to berate our bodies for “failing” us. Acupuncture is a wonderful way to activate the body’s self-healing mechanisms — without medication and unwanted side effects. From a space of feeling good in your body, it becomes so much easier to nurture your mind and spirit as well to truly thrive.
AshWork Energy Clearing
If you’re hung up on a specific problem or pattern, AshWork offers a way to ease your burden and shed the baggage that’s been wearing on you. This gentle, new paradigm for energy clearing provides a new, broader perspective or resolution and a feeling of lightness and calm. Regardless of the type of issue you’re dealing with, AshWork helps to support greater acceptance of yourself, in turn helping you to accept others too.
Counseling doesn’t have to be a lifelong commitment; in fact, our resident counselor Andrea Inaeun excels in offering short-term support for clients. Counseling is an incredible way to get a framework for what self-care truly looks like for you. Andrea is passionate about helping individuals build “emotional toolboxes” to feel more empowered and resilient in the face of challenges.
It’s only natural that many of us are having a hard time relaxing after the events of the past few years. If you’re sabotaging the possibility of happiness by mentally preparing yourself for the worst, guided imagery can deliberately direct your mind to a healthier, more productive path...one that’s open to joyful possibilities!
The Feldenkrais Method
Feldenkrais is a wonderful way to put the pep back in your step and uncover greater ease and pleasure in movement. This method helps better support your body and improve oxygen flow, which then positively affects the way you think and feel. It’s like a tapestry; once you pull at one thread, you realize just how much everything is affected!
Happy New Year everyone! We are thrilled to start 2023 on a high note by welcoming our new acupuncturist, Kyla Hanley.
Kyla has 17 years of experience treating individuals for their unique health issues using acupuncture. Here at Hudson Healing Arts, she’s excited to incorporate biodynamic craniosacral therapy into sessions to add an even deeper level of healing.
Kyla’s approach to healing
Kyla was born in New York and went to the University of Maryland. After moving to New York City and working in various high-stress environments, Kyla was in search of something more rewarding. She found it at the Tri-State College of Acupuncture, where she fell in love with acupuncture and graduated with a master’s in science in 2006.
Kyla is trained in various styles of acupuncture, including:
As an added bonus at the end of sessions, Kyla often adds gua sha and cupping massage for 2-3 minutes, usually on the back or a tight area of the body, which both feels great and boosts circulation.
“Combining acupuncture and craniosacral therapy is deeply relaxing and brings you to a calm, meditative state,” she says. “From that state, sometimes your mind will work through issues on a different level. It can feel like the benefits of talk therapy, without talking.”
For Kyla, self-care looks like going to her happy place - the beach - and taking Pilates reformer classes. She adores taking new courses in the holistic healing realm. Her inspiration is Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, an herbalist, massage therapist, and midwife who went to medical school at age 40 and served as the Director for the first Interprofessional Fellowship in Integrative Health and Medicine. Kyla admires her teaching style and compassion towards people, animals, plants, and all of mother nature.
Interested in learning more or booking a session with Kyla? She can be reached at 201-362-9522 or email@example.com. Kyla responds faster to text messages.
The holidays are a time of increased love, joy, sadness, and stress — sometimes all at once!
For the past five years, the Hudson Healing Arts blog has explored this “full feeling” time from different angles. We’ve covered tips on getting grounding in gratitude, giving back, finding grace in grief, and taking really, really good care of yourself (which is the best gift for you and your loved ones).
This year, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and share some of our favorite ideas from holidays past! No matter what this season looks like for you, we hope you find healing and inspiration in our archives.
Sunday morning 20-minute retreat
The holidays bring a time of wonder and special moments with loved ones, but the pressure to fit everything in can mask the beauty of the season. That’s why our resident counselor Andrea Inauen is such a big fan of this simple self-care tool for your toolbox. Before the start of your week, this short exercise can help you set small, achievable goals for a memorable, enjoyable, and peaceful holiday season.
1. Take 3-5 minutes in a tranquil space. Do slow, methodical breathing, inhaling for 10 counts, with the 8, 9, and 10 count being as deep an inhale of fresh air as possible, then exhaling for 10 counts until your belly and lungs have expelled the air from your core. Visualize an inhalation of clean, pure air, and the exhale of toxins, stress, and worry. This breathing can help re-center and give you a sense of calm and gratitude to let the joy and wonder of the season take shape.
2. After 3-5 minutes of breathing, ask yourself what you want your week to look like (not what you NEED to do). Do you want it to be productive, peaceful, joyful, predictable, social? There is no right or wrong here, but identifying the tone you want for yourself can be a guiding force to build your week and remind yourself that you are in the driver’s seat.
3. Then, start to make a list of the few essentials that you need to fit in — work, childcare, commitments. Remember that you are only one person!
4. After the few big essentials are down, fill in the remainder of your list with what you might want to do - buy gifts, see a movie, call a friend. Recognize that you will get to some of these, but in order to keep the tone that is most important to you, some of these may have to be moved to another week....and that is okay.
5. What is one act of kindness that you can add to this list? It doesn’t have to be a big commitment - but rather phoning a relative, buying a coffee for someone who you think could use one, or giving a compliment to someone. These small acts can remind yourself to be grateful for what you have and that you have the capacity to give.
6. That is it! Look at your list, and remind yourself that you are in the driver’s seat and that to find joy, peace, or whatever tone you want, at least to some degree, starts with you. Of course, there are external factors that can change things in a split second. However, to start with what is important to you can give you greater navigation and a direction to return to when busyness and pressure try to take hold.
Gratitude for simple seasonal pleasures
It’s so easy to get swept up in the stress of doing more — but as we say at HHA, “more often just means more.” The wonder of the holidays really is found in the simple things. What did you delight in as a child at this time of year? Chances are it will still enchant you!
When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, make a cup of spiced tea or hot cocoa. Take a few moments to breathe in the aroma and savor a sip. Take the scenic route to admire the holiday lights. Curl up with your pet and watch your favorite holiday classic. Whatever brings your heart peace, move towards that! Check out our 2017 blog for more stress-relieving tips.
Get in the giving spirit
The meaning of the holidays can get lost in all the excess, but there’s nothing like helping those who are in need to help you regain a sense of perspective. Remember, you don’t have to have lots of money to brighten someone’s holiday. Asking yourself one simple question — “What do the people around me need?” — can help you tap into the wellspring of generosity that lies within you.
Maybe that means inviting a neighbor over for dinner, giving warm gloves to your mail delivery person, or telling your coworkers how much they mean to you. Take time to smile and say ‘thank you’ to sales clerks, servers, and your local barista. Their good service makes your life easier and they deserve acknowledgement and a kind word – especially during the holiday season!
You might also volunteer or donate to a charitable organization. You’ll feel better for it and it will enrich another life in ways you may not even imagine. Check out our 2021 blog for ways to get involved with local organizations doing amazing work in Hoboken and New York City.
Celebrate the winter solstice
The winter solstice might not get as much attention as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza, but we highly recommend celebrating the shortest day of the year (and of course, the return of the sun!). Amid the holiday frenzy, the winter solstice is a sacred time to pause, reflect, release, and set your intentions for the coming year.
Use social media mindfully
Social media can be embraced as a tool for connection rather than comparison this holiday. It’s all about getting clear about your intentions and paying attention to how it’s making you feel.
For instance, you can FaceTime faraway loved ones to include them in cherished rituals, share a GoFundMe campaign to lift up someone in need, or make a collaborative playlist of holiday tunes with your family. Check out more ideas on our 2019 blog.
Create hygge in your home
Hygge is a delightful Danish concept that has been described as a coziness of the soul. The essence of hygge is comfort and contentment.
At HHA, we’re big believers in the energy of physical spaces. We love the idea of creating cozy spaces, and there are infinite ways to impart this quality into your daily life and boost your wellbeing. Best of all, it doesn’t require you to spend a dime! Take a look at our 2020 blog for inspiration.
Come visit us!
As we often say at HHA, you cannot pour from an empty cup. Nourishing your mind, body, and soul ensures that you can better pour into your loved ones and enjoy the holidays from a grounded, peaceful state.
Check out our full list of healing modalities here. We truly hope this trip down memory lane resonates with you, and helps infuse your holiday with compassion and peace. Sending all our best wishes!
Grief During the Holidays: Give Yourself Grace
The holidays aren’t always the most wonderful time of the year. For those dealing with grief, know that you’re not alone — your Hudson Healing Arts family sees you.
Whether you’re struggling with grief or you want to support someone in your life who is, we are sending you loving energy. This blog is dedicated to ways you can take care of yourself and honor the memory of your loved one during this challenging time.
Honor this transitional stage
Most cultures have built-in traditions to honor those who have passed. Take Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico, a joyful holiday dedicated to celebrating the memory of the deceased. Or consider the tremendous outpouring of grief we witnessed for Queen Elizabeth in the United Kingdom.
As universal as grief is, unfortunately it’s something that our culture doesn’t teach us to sit with. We’re often encouraged to skip the sadness and return to normalcy, which does little to help us heal. Loss and pain are a natural part of life, and it’s perfectly okay if your holiday traditions fall to the wayside in the wake of grief.
Your grief is real because your love is real, and it’s so important to give yourself the time, space, and permission to honor it. There is no timeline and there is nothing you “have” to do, besides feel your feelings and listen to what’s there.
Recognize that everyone grieves differently
Grief can manifest as irritability, impatience, silence, anger, or weepiness…sometimes all at once! While we all grieve differently, we are all hurting. If you are the one grieving, give yourself grace. If you’re dealing with someone grieving, lead with compassion and cut them slack.
Recognize that grief is far from linear: It comes in waves, and the holidays tend to be a tsunami. It’s all a process, and calling on the attribute of grace is more important than ever during this time.
Find ways to keep their memory alive
“When someone dies, our relationship with them doesn’t end — it changes.”
So many of us try to survive the holiday grief through avoidance. However, this often makes us feel even more isolated, and finding ways to honor your loved one’s memory during the festivities can be an incredible source of comfort. Here are just a few ways to keep their memory alive.
Take care of yourself
When you’re in the trenches of grief, it’s easy for self-care to fly out the window. The irony, of course, is that this is the time that you need it the most.
At HHA, we offer holistic healing in many forms, and encourage you to find what brings a sense of comfort, whether that’s Reiki, counseling, acupuncture, or something else. Bach Flower remedies provide a gentle form of consolation in times of grief, and can be taken daily. Star of Bethlehem (the remedy for loss, grief, or shock) can be particularly helpful, but there are also other remedies for the complicated mix of emotions you may be feeling, from guilt to regret to apathy.
Another way to take care of yourself during the holidays is to stay off social media, which can lead us to spiral into loneliness and make comparisons. Some days, simply washing your face might be an accomplishment — and that’s okay. Celebrate each small win of self-care as you take this time to grieve and heal.
Do good in their memory
As cliche as it sounds, lifting someone else up is often the best way to soothe your own pain. Maybe that means donating or volunteering to a cause your loved one was passionate about, or planting a tree or flower in their memory. Perhaps you invite over a neighbor who might be lonely during the holidays, or pay for the person behind you in line.
While grief can make us feel isolated, the truth is that it’s the one thing that connects us all. Just one positive action can help you remember that a broken heart is still an open heart, and that our grief is a true indicator of our ability to love deeply
We sincerely hope this blog helps you to be gentle with yourself during the holidays and every season of grief. Remember, you are never alone in your pain. Your HHA family is sending you warmth, healing, and strength!
To know our practitioner, Noreen Haren, is to know the power of having a safe, positive, and entirely non-judgmental space to grow your awareness. And that’s what the Feldenkrais Method is all about!
Here at Hudson Healing Arts, Noreen’s commitment to creating a playful, curious atmosphere for clients to rediscover the joy in movement is something we deeply admire. So we decided to do a little “story time” with Noreen to learn more about the lessons and experiences that have shaped her approach as a practitioner.
I was born with mild cerebral palsy, and discovered Feldenkrais in the 1980s when I was looking for a way to feel more balanced. In my first session with a wonderful practitioner named Alan, he asked me to walk across the room.
I knew that I walked slightly on my toes. But to my complete surprise, Alan said: “That’s terrific, let’s see what else you can learn!”
It was the first time I hadn’t felt defective...and that’s the transformative effect of Feldenkrais. Alan approached our sessions with curiosity, acceptance, and total support. He also had a great sense of humor and made each session fun. He positively reinforced how well I compensated for my cerebral palsy, and introduced me to the philosophy that no one uses 100% of their brain — we can all improve our movement and our ease in life with awareness.It was Alan who eventually encouraged me to become a practitioner.
When I made the decision to pursue training, I had the good fortune of studying with an experienced group of teachers who were in Moshe Feldenkrais’ original programs (including Alan). Whenever I felt self-conscious or silly, Alan would tell me: “It’s better to be a C student, than an A student because you learn more.”
It took a while for his words to sink in. Once they did, it was so freeing. No one in my life had ever really talked about my diagnosis before. But during my Feldenkrais training, I realized that so many of us are drawn to this work because of our own healing journeys. Young, old, athletic, or not, we’ve all forgotten some things about movement, and we all worry about being good students. Everyone needs compassion during the process.
A lot of Feldenkrais movements involve re-evoking movements you learned as an infant or child. If you watch a baby, they’re not frustrated, they are curious. They get their information
internally. That’s the premise of Feldenkrais: Be gentle and learn to sense yourself to find the pleasure in movement.
It’s a powerful lesson for us grown-ups, because we all try so hard! During a lesson on headstands, one of my teachers once told me: “Don’t push too hard, Noreen. There’s millions of people who went through life without standing on their heads. It’s not that important.”
This simple advice was so powerful. Feldenkrais is about rediscovering ease (and fun!). The goal isn’t to make a person feel like a 20-year-old, but to help them learn how to function maximally within the limits of their ability. It’s so positive, and people leave with a smile on their face. The benefits go beyond enhanced movement. As Moshe Feldenkrais said, “What I am after isn’t flexible bodies but flexible brains. What I’m after is to restore each person to their human dignity.
Healing in movement
Being blindfolded during my Feldenkrais training was one of my most life-changing experiences. The goal was for us to deepen our senses, but I had terrible childhood memories from multiple eye surgeries and was dreading this exercise.
Once I did it, however, I realized that I was 35 at that moment — not that scared five-year-old. It was so transformative, and more helpful than any other therapy. That’s another beautiful thing about Feldenkrais: You can bypass the emotions by working with the body. Emotions will come up, and it’s okay to cry. Movement can be incredibly cathartic. The blindfold experience showed me there’s so many ways to heal, and Feldenkrais taps into the deep knowledge in our bodies.
At the end of the day, I’m such an advocate for Feldenkrais because it’s helped me so much. I’ve seen the transformation for so many others as well. Overall, I’m humbled by people’s openness and the opportunity to teach people to be kinder to themselves.
Through Feldenkrais, you learn the tools to relax and center yourself. Most of our bodies have been wired to hold tension and be in crisis mode. The beauty of Feldenkrais and other methods like acupuncture, hypnosis, and Reiki is that you learn techniques to take yourself out of stress mode. That is the ultimate gift!
Hannah Chenoweth is a Hoboken-based conference producer and freelance writer who enjoys covering all aspects of health and wellness.