Embracing the Energy of Spring
“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.
Festive Feeling Round-up
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!
HHA Inspiration Spotlight: Andrea Inauen
Here at Hudson Healing Arts, we feel incredibly lucky to have Andrea Inauen on our team as a counselor. Since 2002, she’s helped empower clients to be in the driver’s seat of their own lives.
There are so many things we admire about her approach to counseling -- one being her dedication to holding her clients in unconditional positive regard. Driven by the belief that each and every one of us is capable of whatever we put our minds to, Andrea has a wonderful gift for helping people discover their strengths and define what’s most important to them in life.
In this month’s blog, Andrea is sharing the influences and inspirations that have shaped her philosophy, as both a counselor and a human being. We hope you enjoy learning more about her background!
The power of choice
Like many young people, I faced a lot of angst and uncertainty about my career path. I was torn between staying in Connecticut or moving home to be close to my family, and on top of that, I felt guilty for not knowing what to do.
A college career counselor shared some simple words that made a profound impact on my life: “You have the right to do what’s right for you. It’s okay not to know. It’s okay to try and then change your mind.”
More than 20 years later, this advice continues to empower me. I realized that I did have the right to choose what I wanted. On top of that, I didn’t have to “get it right” the first time. As a young person, I just didn’t feel like I had the license to do what I really wanted at the time. Her words of wisdom inspired me to be my own advocate and give voice to what I wanted.
It turned out that my first choice (business) wasn’t for me -- and like she said, that was okay! I got my master’s in social work, in part because of that powerful concept she gave me: What would it be like to give other people a choice, to empower themselves, and to advocate for what's important to them?
Unconditional positive regard
In one of my very first social work classes, I learned the term ‘unconditional positive regard.’ This idea of offering clients full acceptance and support has stuck with me ever since. Creating a safe, compassionate, and non-judgmental space for people to explore their feelings and experiences is so important to me. It takes great courage and strength to come to counseling and truly look in the mirror, and I admire each and every person that does so.
Mary Richmond, one of the pioneers in social work at the turn of the 20th century, is also a strong influence in my initiation into social work for her concept of ‘person in the environment’ or PEI for short. Richmond acknowledges that there are environmental forces that influence your perception and interaction in the world and yourself (rather than something being “wrong” with you or fundamentally flawed).
Embracing & celebrating strengths
The strengths-based perspective, which comes from Dennis Saleebey, has had a profound impact on the way I approach each and every counseling session. The idea of encouraging people to embrace their strengths to manage life challenges resonates with me deeply.
While I'm honored to hold space for people to process their trauma, the ultimate goal is to empower them to tap into the strength within to navigate those traumas. It goes along with the idea of unconditional positive regard: People have what they need within them to survive what they've gone through. I work with clients to develop these tools and rediscover the beauty that’s within them.
It might sound corny, but Mister Rogers is someone who’s always inspired me. He radiated genuine kindness and created a safe space through his programs for children to gather and talk about difficult things. Permission for feelings and kindness to others and also to self is a tenet that influences me and my practice.
It’s okay to be human
Oprah is another human who embodies kindness. Despite her success, she owns being a human being and doesn’t try to act “perfect.” I admire that she is always trying to learn about herself and others, try new things, and do good. She used to say “When you know better, you do better,” which comes back to that lesson I learned back in college: You don’t have to have it all figured out!
People often ask where the name Gigi Counseling came from. Gigi refers to a kind of bamboo plant I was introduced to a long time ago. Bamboo is flexible, resilient, and strong, and it tends to resist breaking when placed under stress. It has qualities within that are not necessarily visible at first glance, but with nurturing and growth, its strengths become apparent. Sound familiar? It is what I know to be true about the clients with whom I work.
These are just a few of the influences that helped shape me as a person and a counselor. My job is not to tell people what to do, but rather to create a safe, kind, and non-threatening space to support them. The ultimate goal is for my clients to discover what they truly want, and to believe they’re capable of it.
It’s so rewarding for me to see people begin to trust their own instincts and values. I love seeing them recognize that they have agency to work through struggles and to care for themselves in a compassionate way.
If you are interested in learning more or setting up an appointment, feel free to reach out at (973) 886-0941.
Introducing Brendan Thorson
We are thrilled to welcome a new practitioner to the Hudson Healing Arts family! Brendan Thorson recently moved to Hoboken from Seattle, and brings 20+ years experience in energy work, healing, and qigong to HHA.
With a passion for empowering people to boost their inner strength and wisdom to reach their potential and enjoy optimal health, we couldn’t be happier to have him join us.
Read on to learn more about the healing benefits of an Energy Medicine session with Brendan!
Qigong (pronounced “chee-gong”) is a powerful way to increase your vitality and youthfulness on multiple levels. When you add chi to the body with intention through qigong exercises, it nourishes you from the inside out.
That’s why qigong is known as energy cultivation or energy development. Brendan first discovered the benefits of this ancient Chinese modality when he was looking for a natural way to reverse his joint and muscle pain. However, he found that the impact extended far beyond the physical, improving his mental, emotional, and even spiritual health.
“This practice really transformed my life and my health, allowing me to overcome years of fatigue, exhaustion, excess fears, and anxieties,” he says. “After these powerful energetic experiences, I knew I wanted to share qigong with others.”
Benefits of qigong
Brendan says, with Genesis Qigong we can harmonize the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. We can also specifically work on each one of the different body systems.
For personal growth, one of the best things about Brendan’s qigong is that it helps us tap into our body’s guidance and wisdom. He describes it as a gradual process of internal realization that sets us on our true path.
“Throughout your qigong practice, the body begins to give you more information,” he says. “It reveals the areas where you have unhealthy or repetitive programs limiting you. Better yet, it helps you overcome one stage after another as you release those patterns.”
That’s why he calls his practice Genesis Qigong — it’s a reflection of the growth and awareness that this modality enables. Other benefits include:
● Improve sleep quality and energy
● Harmonize the thyroid
● Increase Reproductive system vitality for men and woman, helps with infertility or menopause challenges like hot flashes
● Woman can increase estrogen and men can increase testosterone from lower hormone levels or hormone changes from midlife transition
● Strengthen the immune system
● Boost self-esteem
● Transform depression and anxiety
● Connect the mind and body more deeply for greater self-awareness
“Think about when your phone is on low battery, and other functions begin going downhill,” he says. “Humans are the same way! When there’s less energy to support one function in the body, it gradually weakens the supporting systems. Qigong allows you to reset and restore this energy where it’s been depleted.”
What is a session with Brendan like?
According to Brendan, the ideal frequency of sessions depends on the individual. Weekly sessions are wonderful for most people, but those who need a lot of healing and support may benefit from a little bit more.
He describes the payoff as similar to putting money in a bank over time — as you invest in yourself with the qigong, your energy levels continue to increase. Brendan works with all kinds of clients who come in for a variety of reasons, offering both private sessions and semi-private sessions (up to four people).
“As the energy increases over time, you’ll feel your youthfulness increase. Those who are new to qigong often feel the energy very solidly and tactically. It’s common to feel more grounded and calm, yet lighter and happier,” he says.
During a session for a newer client or student, he’s focused on getting you grounded to the earth and sending energy to different parts of the body based on each person’s individual situation. Typically, this starts with strengthening the adrenal gland and kidneys, and then calming the nervous system. Brendan is also passionate about sharing exercises that people can do in their daily life to strengthen and balance their energy.
“It’s all a domino effect,” he says. “So many of us suffer from adrenal fatigue and are easily stressed. When we create extra energy in the kidney center, it allows the adrenals to be more relaxed. This shifts you out of fight-or-flight mode and begins to reduce issues related to fear, self-esteem, and willpower.”
To learn more or schedule a session, Brendan can be reached via text or phone at (206) 354-8216. You can also learn more on his website: qigongedu.com. When he’s not practicing qigong and tai-chi, Brendan loves to enjoy the outdoors, the mountains, swimming, good movies, and good company.
Make sure to follow us on Facebook for more wellness inspiration and resources from Brendan and our other practitioners!
It’s amazing to reflect on all the teachers and influences that shape not only our lives, but also our philosophies to life. When you find the right voice that resonates with you, it seems like one leads right to another.
In our upcoming blogs, we’re excited to celebrate those who have been instrumental in each of our practitioners’ paths. This month, HHA founder Beth O’Boyle shares her personal inspirations! If you’re interested in learning more about energy work and healing, you’ll enjoy all of the free resources Beth recommends.
Caroline Myss: Teacher, author, and speaker in the fields of human consciousness, spirituality, and mysticisn, health, energy medicine, and medical intuition
As the first teacher I found in this field, Caroline has been the voice in my ear for over 30 years. When I first read Anatomy of the Spirit, I couldn’t believe how much it clicked with me. If you want a foundational course in energy 101, this is definitely the book to read. It opened my eyes to the possibilities and extent to which we can control our own healing.
Thanks to Caroline, I was able to recognize the connection between energy and emotions, and how the physical body resonates with it. She set the groundwork for my understanding of energy work. Caroline is a brilliant teacher. Learn more about her on myss.com; her recordings are also available on Sounds True, a multi-media publishing company with a mission to disseminate spiritual wisdom.
Donna Eden: Originator of Eden Energy Medicine and the Eden Method
Back in 2000, Donna’s book Energy Medicine literally jumped out at me from the shelf. Her story is incredible. From a young age, she was able to see the energy field in a way and at a depth of perception that is quite unique.. She faced multiple food and chemical sensitivities, as well as a diagnosis of MS at a young age.
Since her doctors had offered no hope of recovery, Donna decided to take the responsibility for healing into her own hands – literally! She could see a disconnection in her energy field between her hips and legs and intuitively began to reconnect the energy flow with her hands. One discovery led to another until she no longer had such a heightened response to food and chemicals, nor did she have any trace of MS. She’s now in her 70s, and her energy radiates just like the sun beaming at you. It’s a joy just to be in her presence! You can learn more about her story in this interview.
As someone who has always been sensitive to energy, Donna made me feel more normal and comfortable. She also showed me a new way to help clients empower themselves, which I love. While I’m honored and humbled when someone seeks out my help, it feels really important for me to give people the tools to help themselves. If you’re having a tough day or can’t sleep, I want to give you ways to shift your energy and feel better when you need them. There are plenty of free resources and courses available on her website and her YouTube channel
Dr. Edward Bach: Creator of the Bach Flower Remedies
I admire Dr. Bach for truly being a man ahead of his time who followed his heart and intuition. Although he was a traditional physician of the early 1900s, he had the strength to forge a new path because he knew that nature gave us everything we need to keep ourselves healthy.
Thanks to Dr. Bach’s courage and steadfast pursuit of the remedies, we now have a simple and effective system that anyone (even babies, pets, and plants) can use to bring themselves back into balance. The fact that Bach Flower Remedies are safe, gentle, and free of side effects is so extraordinary to me. You can learn more about this healing system and Dr. Bach’s philosophy on this website and our blog.
Belleruth Naperstek: Teacher, author, and creator of numerous guided imagery audio programs for health and wellness
What I love about Belleruth’s work is that she is so intentional about the language she uses. She offers guided imagery for people with various medical conditions and emotional states. Her wording is very specific so those in need of help aren’t inadvertently triggered.
Belleruth strikes a great balance between being specific enough to help you focus, yet open enough that you can still fill in the details. Early on, I patterned my flow after her. Her recordings are now available on the Hay House websire. I still use her work all the time, both for myself and as a resource for clients. It’s deeply restful and resorative to listen to her programs – she has the most lovely calming voice!
Rudy Hunter: Master healer, teacher, and creator of AshWork Energy Work
Rudy has been a dear friend I have deeply admired for years. He suffered with tremendous anxiety for many years, and vowed he would make his work available to others in need of help if he found a way to do so. When he introduced his pioneering AshWork course - one of the many techniques he employs - I felt privileged to attend.
Through years of studying with and observing some of the most extraordinary (and at times ‘out there’) group of people in the healing arts, Rudy found the most incredible way to tap into energy in a way that I hadn’t experienced before. He expanded my awareness of what’s possible with remote energy work. The pandemic allowed me to experiment more with these distance sessions. Although distance work can be mystifying to many people, to me it feels cleaner because I’m not being directly influenced by the energy field of my client. I can hold the space for the energy to connect more fluidly from my end…a wonderful gift from Rudy! His website is full of helpful resources. Be sure to also visit RudyHunter.com, HuntersHealingCalls.com and his YouTube channel, which is full of free resources.
There's an immense healing and restorative quality to nature. Not only is it beautiful and often awe-inspiring, but nature knows how to balance herself.
If you think of many of the stories circulating during the lockdown period of the pandemic, that's a great example. Animals, birds, insects, and plants began to return to their habitats. Deer and an eagle were spotted in Hoboken! As one species returned, it literally affected an entire chain of flora and fauna.
For an idea of how wide reaching the impact is when we allow nature to be in balance and flourish, there’s an inspiring story you can easily find on the internet about the wolves returning to Yellowstone after the government banned the hunting of the population. 25 years later, one of the effects has literally been a change in the way the rivers flow! It's called a trophic cascade and is so encouraging in a time of such changes in the world.
In short, nature knows how to restore her balance. We're part of nature, so it makes sense that we do too. Being in nature reminds us that we're all connected.
The HHA Practitioners
This conversation wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the amazing HHA family. It's an absolute joy and privilege to work with each of them. I am inspired by their kindness, integrity, and skills on a daily basis. Every day, I thank my lucky stars to be part of this amazing group of people!
Each and every one of these inspirations has shaped my approach and growth as a practitioner. I’m quite clear that I’m the conduit of the energy work, not the source. I consider myself to be like an extension cord providing the connection between the potential of what can be and the client. My job is to hold the space. I consider it a privilege to offer this work and to facilitate a restoration of balance for my clients.
In this line of work, it’s so important for the practitioner to get their ego out of the way. The success of this work truly depends on the client’s willingness and receptivity to heal or balance. When someone is open and ready for something to shift, that's when the magic happens.
Just as I’ve been inspired by all of these wonderful voices, I am just as inspired by this community! However you came to find our peaceful little oasis on Hudson Street, I feel honored to be a part of your healing journey.
Hannah Chenoweth is a Hoboken-based conference producer and freelance writer who enjoys covering all aspects of health and wellness.
AshWork Energy Clearing
Bach Flower Remedies