With each New Year, we are offered a fresh start to realize our dreams, goals and visions. 2019 is themed with much goodness! It is a time where our Pure Divine (the purity of our spirit) will show itself more clearly than in the past and if we can harness the Grounded Clarity this year offers energetically, we will be in an even wiser position to see our true Soul Purpose.
Our Shaman, Cristina Maria RojasFernandez, has a few tips for welcoming this energy:
3 simple Shamanic/Earth Spirit Wisdom practices to support this in 2019:
Cristina Maria can be reached at (201) 653-7700 ext. 4.
After the hullabaloo of the holidays, the New Year signals a fresh, clean slate. It’s a time to reflect on the successes and lessons learned in the past 12 months, and move forward with a recharged mindset in the direction of your happiest, most authentic life.
It all sounds quite exciting, doesn’t it? But while New Year’s resolutions are supposed to send us on our merry way, they often get a reputation for being fickle—full of good intent, but quick to dissolve in the chaos of our daily lives.
At Hudson Healing Arts, we believe that compassionate self-care makes all the difference in helping you commit to your greatest goals and dreams. We would also suggest that the act of committing to your own wellbeing is a wonderful goal in of itself, one that will benefit you in all areas of your life, from relationships to work. According to HHA founder Beth O’Boyle, wellness is more than just the absence of pain or illness: it’s a sense of harmony among all aspects of the self - physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual - a feeling of being at ease with yourself and with the world around you.
At HHA, we treat you as a whole person and help your energy flow freely, unrestricted by limiting thoughts and feelings. Whether you come for acupuncture, hypnosis, massage therapy, Reiki, Bach Flower Remedies, Shamanic work, a counseling session, or beyond, here’s how our services can help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions and start 2019 off on the right foot!
When we have a strong foundation, we’re in a much better place to reach for our dreams and desires (self-actualization). Licensed social worker Andrea Inauen provides counseling services that empower you to build a pattern of caring for yourself and uncover the answer to a worthwhile question: What’s important to you?
No need to arrive with a “New Year’s resolution” in mind: Together, you will identify what’s important to you and build a life that incorporates this to a certain degree to make sure it doesn’t go neglected.
“I want my clients to be defined by what's most important to them; for them to feel in control of what they want in their world, rather than trapped by it,” Andrea says. You can learn more about the benefits of counseling here!
We’ve all heard the Nike ad “Just Do It.” If it were that easy however, we wouldn’t keep making the same resolutions year after year! Hypnosis Counseling can help
you clarify your goals, release limiting beliefs, and see yourself in a whole new light.
You’ll be guided to explore the ‘Why and How’ factors: Why do you want this change? How will incorporating a new habit or making this change enhance your life? Why is it important to you? The subconscious mind is a virtual treasure trove of information that our Hypnosis Counselor can help you access and focus in a new and beneficial way. You can learn more about how it works here.
Did you ever get scolded as a child for daydreaming? Well, you may be happy to hear that specifically directed daydreaming, which is called “guided imagery,” is actually a highly effective way to accomplish your goals or achieve whatever it is you’re seeking in 2019. For those dealing with health challenges, guided imagery is superb at helping you focus or redirect the body’s energy to support increased health and wellbeing. It’s an excellent partner to your healthcare provider’s recommendations for regaining wellness. You can learn more about the power of guided imagery here.
Bach Flower Remedies
If your New Year’s resolution centers around finding balance, Bach Flower Remedies may be a wonderful fit for you. This gentle yet effective system of stress management offers a way to safely bring moods and emotions back into balance, and to sort through limiting thoughts and feelings that may be holding you back from living the life you want to live (a lack of self-confidence, fear, worry, resistance to breaking old habits,, etc.). Our Registered Bach Practitioner can create a Bach Remedy mix tailored to your specific needs. Learn more here!
There’s no better way to recharge and relax than a Reiki session! It’s the perfect remedy for post-holiday exhaustion and can help to refresh your energy in a way that’s specific to your individual needs, whether it’s renewing and recharging tapped-out energy levels or calming and soothing agitation. Learn more about the benefits of Reiki here.
AshWork Energy Clearing
Don’t have time to visit us or live at a distance? This form of energy work is a whole new paradigm in energy clearing. Sessions can be done at HHA, but are equally effective when done by phone. AshWork can address a broad range of issues, from challenges with relationships to problems at work to persistent thoughts and feelings. For more information about energy clearing, check out this article.
Raindrop Aromatherapy Treatment
Who doesn’t love a relaxing aromatherapy session? Raindrop Treatment not only is
deeply relaxing, it’s also a helpful support for the immune system, particularly during cold and flu season. Learn more about aromatherapy here.
Acupuncture can be a supportive ally in achieving your New Year’s resolutions because it quiets the overstimulated nervous system. “The support of acupuncture can help the mind and body let go of the surface noise so you’re able to listen more deeply and clearly to your true self,” says Carla San Diego, one of our two resident acupuncture practitioners.
Getting started is always the hardest part. To help you make that first step, Carla is offering 6 sessions for the price of 5 (so the first one is free!) for all of January and February. Acupuncture is most beneficial on a regular basis, every week in the beginning. If you’re new to acupuncture, 6 consecutive sessions is recommended. For details, you can reach her at (201) 653-7700 ext.5. and you can also learn more about acupuncture here.
Carla encourages doing a consecutive 30-day challenge to help build momentum toward your New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, a sleep ritual, a daily walk, or beyond, just 10 minutes each day can make a huge difference. If you miss a day or two, no need to fret; just get back to it! Remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
2019 is fueled with dynamic energy. Connect with your Soul Purpose through Shamanic Healing at Hudson Healing Arts with Cristina Maria Humming Bird Medicine, our resident shamanic practitioner and the only Medicine Woman in Hoboken! Cristina Maria helps your natural order (body, mind, and soul) find harmony...not a bad way to start 2019! You can learn more about shamanic healing here.
~ A Reading Session ~ is great to receive guidance and understanding through spirit/animal/ancestral guides around life goals, a specific intention and plan creation.
~ A Limpia will cleanse, restore and realign energy and bless the beginning of the year with clear and focused energy.
~ An introductory Platica/Talk Session by way of verbal and intuitive communication offers clarity around goals, visions or unresolved areas and helps with establishing a plan.
~ An initial Spirit Medicine Session combines a reading, limpia and healing/upgrade work gifting a profound sense of wellness, clarity and grounding to areas of need and with goals, intentions and plan creation.
If you’re not sure where to start, call us at (201) 653-7700 ext. 1. With a brief description of your goals and challenges, we’ll be happy to guide you towards an effective program to help make 2019 a great year for you!
“Better to lose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles.” -Maltbie D. Babcock
As children, we’re taught that “please” is the magic word. But the words “thank you,” when not just said but truly felt and lived, can produce truly magical results in your life.
The concept of gratitude really comes down to acknowledging the good in your life, and it’s not something that’s easy for humans to do. The human brain is wired to concentrate on the negative and overlook the positive. To overcome this built-in negativity bias, we must intentionally look for ways to cultivate gratitude.
The good news is, you can have a lot of fun doing so--and the payoff is enormous! Gratitude has the power to improve your mental and physical health, strengthen your relationships, increase your happiness and self-esteem, ease anxiety, and improve your sleep (and that’s just the short list). Plus, it can be instrumental in reviving that sense of joy and wonder you felt during the holiday season as a child.
There’s no one “right way” to boost the gratitude in your life. At Hudson Healing Arts, our practitioners enjoy a diverse variety of simple practices, and it’s our sincere hope that you find inspiration in the ideas below. We encourage you to experiment and discover what works for you. And, as a holiday treat to express our gratitude to you, we’re also offering special discounts below!
Cristina Maria Hummingbird Medicine:
The Season of Gratitude & Giving is upon us. Deeply resounding hollowing trees and spiraling leaves in the changing winds of autumn. It reminds me of a beautiful excerpt taken from Rose Red Elk Medicine Stories, Red Feather Woman Series, Book 1, The Hawk and The Four Directions. It reads:
“The direction of the East replied, “Your nourishment comes with breath. Your breath gives you your existence. Every breath is precious. As you speak, it is your voice that directs, teaches and gives hope to all those who listen. Every breath brings new enlightenment to Mother Earth, for it is she who gives you the air to breathe. Remember this and be thankful. Do not forget to remind all to be thankful. Every day is a new beginning.""
Here are 3 simple ways to give thanks:
As the Wise Woman Tradition reminds us, "Keep it simple. Keep it true. Keep it nature. Keep it you." The connection with our breath (externally known as the natural element air/wind) is our life force. Through it we can create calm, peace and grounding, as well as demonstrate love, care and gratitude for all things.
Visit Hudson Healing Arts Events/What's New page for information on seasonal specials on Spirit Medicine Healing, Shamanic Earth Spirit Teachings and More!
May this season be filled with warm love, sweet joy and magickal blessings and may the divine light of your spirit shine eternally true!
Carla San Diego:
Here’s a beautiful passage from the Tao Te Ching:
See the world as yourself.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as yourself;
then you can care for all things.
My interpretation: show up for yourself first, then you can show up for others and actually be there for them.
A gratitude practice, like any new habit, can take time to cultivate. Regularity is
important in developing any new pattern, so choose a consistent time or a few times
during the day for it.
You might begin your day with gratitude – always a wonderful way to set the tone for the day to come! Take a few moments to feel thankful for a new opportunity to have a fresh start. The best way to create a happy life is to first accept where you are and be grateful for what you do have.
Ending the day with gratitude is also a good practice. Think of 5 things you’re grateful for today. If it’s been a challenging day, say thank you for getting through it and for being able to start over tomorrow.
Remember the things we tend to take for granted all too easily: a place of shelter, food to nourish you, family and friends, good health. How about the senses that let you delight in the smell of a fresh cup of coffee, the sight of twinkling lights and the miracle of snowflakes, the feel of a warm sweater or a cozy scarf around your neck?
When you’re making out your gift list, think about adding a donation to a charity. You’ll feel better for it and it will enrich another life in ways you may not even imagine. Volunteering is also a great way to pay it forward and remind yourself of the blessings in your own life. Take time to smile and say ‘thank you’ to sales clerks, waiters and waitresses, your local barista. Their good service makes your life easier and they deserve acknowledgement and a kind word – especially during the holiday season!
What did you delight in as a child at this time of year? Chances are it will still enchant you! Instead of coffee, have a cup of hot chocolate or spiced tea. Take a few moments and breathe in the aroma, savor a sip, and remind yourself of life’s blessings.
The holidays bring a time of wonder, kind hearts, and special moments with loved ones, but the busyness and pressure to fit everything in can mask the beauty of the season! Please remember to take care of you during the season, to be consistent with what is important to you in your every day, and to set small, achievable goals for making this season memorable, enjoyable, and peaceful. A possible tool for your toolbox:
Sunday morning 20-minute retreat:
On Sunday or before the start of your week, do the following short exercises. You can do them more often than once per week, but starting with this achievable goal can make a world of difference!
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 these 3-5 minutes of breathing and tranquility, ask yourself what you want your week to look like - note, not what you NEED to do, but what you WANT it to look like. Do you want it to be productive, peaceful, joyful, chaotic, predictable, surprising, quiet, 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 of your day and week.
3. Then, start to make a list of the few essentials that you need to fit in - work, childcare, committed responsibilities - try to keep these to no more than a few if you can. You are only one person!
4. After the few big essentials are down, then fill in the remainder of your list with what you might want to do - buy gifts, see a movie, call a friend, make holiday cards.....recognizing 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 huge commitment - but rather phoning a relative, buying a coffee for someone who you think could use one, making a small donation to a charity of your choosing, giving a compliment to someone you work with...these small acts can remind yourself to be grateful for what you have and that you have the capacity to give. Add this somewhere on the list too.
5. That is it! Look at your list, 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. Yes there are so many 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.
Wishing you a healing and meaningful holiday season!
There's no better time to treat yourself to a Raindrop Aromatherapy Treatment then when you're feeling tired and frazzled. Enjoy the soothing and restorative benefits at a $15.00 discount during the month of December. Or take advantage of this treatment after the holidays when you pre-pay through December 31, 2018.
Use code: "Raindrop15" when paying through our website, or mention this blog post when calling to book your treatment.
Don't have time to stop in for a session? We've got you covered! Purchase one AshWork Energy Clearing session and receive the second session for 50% off when using the code 'AshBogo50'.This energy clearing is done remotely by phone, which means you can relax and enjoy it from the comfort of your own home. Sessions can be scheduled any day except Sunday. For more information on AshWork, please see our Tele-Sessions page.
Joe Del Giodice is offering $15.00 off your first acupuncture treatment through December 31, 2018. He hasn't forgotten about existing patients - just ask Joe for your holiday discount when scheduling your session! Call Joe at (201) 653-7700 ext.3 to schedule your session.
Cristina Maria has a very special offer for you this month - details are below:
Hypnosis often gets a somewhat mysterious or even negative reputation. The truth is, however, that hypnosis is a totally natural state of mind. In fact, you’ve been in this state countless times in your lifetime!
When you’re reading, daydreaming, wrapped up in a movie, or just super engrossed in an activity, it’s not the work of mind control or some outside force. It’s simply you allowing yourself to drop into this altered state of awareness. Hypnosis at its core is direct, deliberate, and deeply relaxed focus. Your mind naturally knows how to get there, but with the help of a professional guiding you, you can harness the power that already exists within you to solve everyday problems.
It’s a fascinating but intuitive concept: When you consciously bypass the conscious mind, you can make profound changes. You’re able to have a powerful conversation with your subconscious, free of distractions and over-thinking, to replace beliefs that aren’t serving you with ones that do! In essence, it couldn’t be further from “mind control”: hypnosis is an empowering tool that puts you in the driver’s seat.
How Does Hypnosis Work?
At Hudson Healing Arts, Certified Hypnosis Counselor Beth O’Boyle can help you to release undesirable patterns of behavior, limiting beliefs, and thoughts that prevent you from living life fully and joyfully.
Hypnosis has countless applications, but common uses include improving self-esteem, relieving stress, aiding weight loss, improving athletic performance, and supporting the immune system. Since it’s a natural therapeutic tool with no side-effects, hypnosis is also a beneficial complementary treatment for people living with illness or chronic pain. Numerous clinical studies show that hypnosis can successfully help support healing, particularly when used in conjunction with other types of treatment your physician suggests.
Before a session takes place, Beth will work with you to outline your goals and ideal outcome. She’ll also get a sense of your history. This is part of what makes hypnosis so effective: the purpose is to get to the root of the problem instead of covering it up. By doing so, you can help your subconscious reframe potentially harmful memories or events (no matter how innocuous they may seem) in ways that support you.
You’ll begin by comfortably lying down and enjoying a progressive relaxation. During this time, Beth will help you tune in to your breath, let go, and be present. You might experience sensations of deep relaxation, slowed-down breathing, and a feeling of heaviness or weightlessness. It’s also important to note that Beth encourages you to imagine a “pleasant, safe place” that you can return to at absolutely any time. This is essentially a safe, stabilizing place for your subconscious to continue gently focusing on your inner awareness.
One common misconception is that you must be in a super deep state of mind to be hypnotized. However, you can work equally as effectively in a light state. There’s no cause for worry if you hear a noise outside--that doesn’t mean you “failed” or it’s not working! Everyone has their own natural level of relaxation. You’ll find that the more often you experience hypnosis, the easier it is to relax into a deep, restful , and receptive state of awareness. You also don’t need to fret about losing control: hypnosis is a two-way communication. You will always be able to hear Beth’s voice and respond in a way that’s appropriate for you.
If you’ve repeatedly tried to make changes and find yourself sliding back into old patterns or habits, hypnosis offers a totally different perspective to your problem. Sometimes, we’re unable to untangle ourselves from an issue. With hypnosis, you can simply be a witness to it and unlock the power of your subconscious to support you.
If you’re interested in experiencing the transformative effects of hypnosis yourself, this month’s special offers 20% off your first session. Use the code: “hypno20” if paying through our website, or mention this article when booking your session. Beth can be reached at : (201) 653-7700 ext.1.
We're delighted to announce that Cristina Maria will be teaching a workshop on Herbal Plant and Spirit Medicine this weekend, November 10 and 11, in New York City. It's a wonderful opportunity to learn how to practice the sacred ways of working with plants and herbs from a Medicine Woman.
Watch the video below to let Cristina Maria tell you about it in her own words.
The announcement below has all of the details. Space is limited - register now to join this informative and enlightening class!
We're delighted to share with you a wonderful article about Cristina Maria RojasFernandez, written by Hannah Chenoweth, our resident blogger, just published in Spirit Guides Magazine. Cristina Maria and Hannah met around this time last year, right before Samhain - or as we know it- Halloween. It gives great insight into the heart and soul of a shaman and her deep respect for, and love of, nature and Spirit.
We hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your comments! Here's the link:
There’s far more to a scent than meets the nose, a fact you likely recognize when considering the powerful memories and emotions certain aromas can evoke within you.
Enter mankind’s first medicine: aromatherapy. Essential oils are highly-concentrated volatile liquids distilled from a variety of plants and their parts, and carry the true essence (and associated healing properties) of the original plant from which they were extracted. Ancient cultures have been harnessing the powerful influence of essential oils for centuries to enhance the wellbeing of the mind, body, and spirit.
How Do Essential Oils Work?
Smell is considered the most primitive of the senses, and is closely linked with memory and mood. While other sensory input (like sight and sound) is delivered straight to the thalamus, aromas first take a fascinating detour to the brain centers that rule emotion. There are endless ways to use essential oils to boost your emotional state and heal a number of ailments, from nausea to congestion.
However, before we share a few of our favorite ways to use aromatherapy, it’s important to note that all essential oils are not created equally. At Hudson Healing Arts, we only use Young Living, which is considered the gold standard for essential oils. The reason it’s such a big deal? In the USA, essential oils actually aren’t regulated by the FDA. Rather, they’re the purview of the Cosmetic Act, which states that a make-up of just 5% pure oil is considered to be ‘pure.’
So while you might get a pleasant scent from other brands, the product often is in a base of carrier oil and lacking the healing properties that would make it true “medicine.” Other brands also use higher heat and greater pressure to quicken the distillation process, which can burn off the delicate plant oils. The result? An oil that costs less but often doesn’t have the full healing potential of the plant.
With Young Living oils, you receive 100% pure, highly-concentrated, therapeutic-grade oils (a step beyond food quality standards).
Now, onto the fun part! Here’s how to harness the power of aromatherapy in your own life…
Most people associate the sweet fragrance of lavender with relaxation, but it’s actually an adaptogen, which is a fancy way of saying that it seeks to restore balance in the nervous system and adapts to what your body needs in the moment. This means lavender will help you relax if you’re wound up or anxious, but it will balance your mood if you’re feeling sluggish. How’s that for versatility?
This invigorating oil is perfect for when you need an energy boost! It’s also a wonderful support for nausea, inflammation, headaches, and congestion. Note: A little goes a long way, so use sparingly and keep away from very young children. It’s also important to keep away from the eyes!
It’s no secret that the fresh, zesty scent of lemon is uplifting...but did you know it also has antibacterial properties, helping to reduce the growth of unwanted bacteria? In fact, hospitals in France used to be cleaned with essential oils such as lemon and rosemary - can you imagine how wonderful that must have smelled?
Purify your water with a drop or two of Lemon Vitality oil (especially helpful for when you’re eating out or travelling and don’t know the source of the water!).
Legend has it that a combination of cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary, clove, and lemon protected four robbers from catching the plague in 15th-century France while looting infected sufferers. Once the robbers spilled the secret of their saving grace to the King, they were freed--and today we call this deliciously rich, spicy combination “Thieves”!
Beyond these four versatile oils, Hudson Healing Arts practitioner Beth O’Boyle also recommends Young Living oil blends. A few favorites:
Valor: This woodsy, fortifying mix was given to Roman soldiers before they went to battle--today, it has a very grounding effect and gets the energetic system in balance.
Peace & Calming: A sweet, gentle blend that creates a relaxing environment; it helps to soothe restless children and is a great aid for sleep problems.
Purification: Because this refreshing mix contains citronella and lemongrass, it’s great for repelling insects; it also helps to cleanse the air of any unpleasant odors.
Aroma Siez: A miracle-worker for helping to soothe aches and pains and for stimulating circulation with a sweet, minty scent. If used topically, dilute with a natural oil (V-6 is a good option or any oil you’d use on your skin, such as jojoba or grapeseed.).
These suggestions are most effective when using high-quality oils. We do not recommend ingesting any brand of essential oils other than Young Living Vitality oils - verified to be safe for consumption. These suggestions are not intended to offer or to replace medical advice. Please consult your physician if you have any health challenges or are taking medication.
Young Living’s website, www.youngliving.com, has excellent suggestions and tips for using essential oils safely.
Remember, essential oils are highly concentrated, so it’s important to start slow and be careful-- always follow the directions on the bottle. If you’re new to the world of essential oils, we recommend diluting any oil before using it on your skin. We like V-6 oil for its nice ‘slip’ and absorbability, but any oil used on the skin such as jojoba or grapeseed oil is fine.
We truly hope this article has opened your mind to the various ways aromatherapy can enrich your well-being...now we want hear from you! So, what’s your favorite way to use essential oils? Let us know in the comments below!
If you have questions about using essential oils, you may contact Beth O’Boyle--she would be happy to help you in your aromatherapy journey! If you’re interested in ordering Young Living Oils, feel free to use our referral number: 220708. Beth can be reached at (201)653-7700 ext.1 or Beth@HudsonHealingArts.com!
We’re offering a 20% discount on Raindrop Therapy treatments through October 31, 2018. Click on the link below to pay through our website and use the code ‘essential20’ or mention this blog post when booking your session.
The power of guided imagery is fairly intuitive to all of us. Whether it’s a serene mountaintop or a childhood beach house, most have experienced the instantaneous relaxation that comes from going to our “happy place,” even if not consciously.
When you do proactively harness the positive feelings that guided imagery evokes, there’s a wonderful opportunity to deliver healing and motivating messages deep inside your subconscious. At Hudson Healing Arts, we offer guided imagery as a tool for deep relaxation, stress relief, enhanced creativity and imagination, improved wellbeing, and beyond.
What Exactly Is Guided Imagery?
Guided imagery can be thought of as “directed, deliberate daydreaming.” For practitioner Beth O’Boyle, it was natural to add guided imagery to her repertoire after training in hypnosis. Guided imagery is a form of both hypnosis and meditation, in a way, because it involves entering a naturally immersive altered state, though there are a few key differences.
During a guided imagery session, you’re in a purely receptive, listening state (aka, the practitioner is doing all the talking), whereas hypnosis can involve more two-way interaction. Hypnosis also tends to be goal-oriented - quitting an undesirable habit, for instance. Guided imagery, although frequently focused on stress relief or relaxation, can also be directed towards a achieving a goal, such as transforming a body-centered issue or helping to support the body’s healing resources.
“Our thoughts are incredibly powerful, but it’s easy for our minds to get filled with unimportant or negative thoughts. Doing deliberate work on what you fill your mind with can have a tremendous ripple effect on all areas of your life,” Beth shared.
Beth talks to clients beforehand for a sense of what they want to work on, even if it’s very general. In sessions, she uses specific words or thoughts to evoke or connect into the subconscious, tapping into the power of sensory experiences. Benefits range from feeling a deeper sense of peace, reviving that spark of childhood imagination, creativity, and playfulness that often gets lost in adulthood, to supporting or strengthening inner health and wellness.
The positive impacts have been demonstrated by research as well, showing that guided imagery has the ability to lower anxiety and pain, speed up healing, reduce blood pressure, increase athletic mastery, and boost confidence. It’s also a wonderful complementary treatment for those living with chronic illness. The practice can even heighten our responsiveness to our own intuition and empathy.
Using Guided Imagery At Home
If you feel you’re “just not a visual person,” you’re in luck: guided imagery involves all the senses and is actually experienced through the body, not just in your mind’s eye. Concentrate on the senses. you associate most with--do you tend to recall the way things look, feel, sound, smell, or taste? We all have a different way of experiencing the world around us - there’s no right or wrong. Play to your strengths.
Do a little homework beforehand and have a cheat sheet ready with three ‘happy places,’ so that you’re ready when a stressful situation arises. Think about relaxing environments that bring you peace-- whether it’s the beach, mountains, sitting in your garden, or maybe even being surrounded by puppies! Then, find a quiet, uninterrupted place to sit comfortably (no tight or restrictive clothing) with your eyes closed. Transport yourself mentally by vividly evoking all the senses: the feel of sand squishing beneath your feet, the sound of the seagulls, the sun warming your face and shoulders, the mist of the ocean spraying your face.
Colors are an important aspect of guided imagery, too. Here again, we all have our own uniques sense of what feels good to us. In general, f you need energy and enthusiasm, conjure up bright red, yellow, and orange hues. Those seeking relaxation should opt for soothing blues and greens, colors reminiscent of nature and the ocean.
The beauty of guided imagery is that it’s also fantastic for children. With summer wrapping up, there’s a refreshing “blank slate” feeling in the air - and it’s a wonderful time to introduce guided imagery to your kids to set a confident, excited tone for the school year. This is actually much easier for children than for adults, because they’re naturally more present to that world of fertile imagination. They don’t need a lot of prompting to go into a relaxed, receptive state, either, easily getting there quite quickly.
Beth suggests that parents anticipate where there might be challenges for their children (for instance, starting school or transitioning from elementary to middle school) and set the tone of walking into a welcoming environment. She emphasizes the importance of evoking the senses: tap into what’s heard, sensed, smelled, tasted, and set that up in an imaginary way that’s pleasant and comfortable. Because kids are so receptive to stories, bedtime stories are the perfect opportunity for an impromptu guided imagery session. Keep it short and be mindful of the language you use, gently reinforcing experiences in a positive way.
As safe and gentle as it is, guided imagery is a remarkably powerful tool with a wide variety of benefits. Guided imagery helps you to relax, connect with your inner resources, and take care of your most valuable asset: your wellbeing.
You can see for yourself by taking advantage of this month’s special deal at Hudson Healing Arts:
From August 6 through September 15, receive a 20% discount on guided imagery sessions. Use code “imagine20” when scheduling your session to receive your discount.
“Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” – Roy M. Goodman
Ever felt like you need an actual vacation from your vacation?
We’ve all felt the distinct discomfort of indulging a little too much and feeling totally thrown off upon returning home. Traveling (and fun in the sun!) doesn’t have to spell doom for your health, however. In fact, by injecting a little wellness into your travel plans, you may even return feeling truly refreshed.
If you follow our blog here at Hudson Healing Arts, you’ll know we’re big believers in balance. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our best travel tips to help you find balance physically, emotionally, and spiritually this summer, no matter what kind of adventures you have planned...
~When planning your itinerary, give yourself more time than you think you need. So much travel stress stems from a perceived lack of time, which we often bring upon ourselves with crazy schedules and expectations. By giving ourselves the gift of more time, we can truly savor the journey and make room for spontaneity.
~Let each family member choose an activity on the trip so that all ages have something to look forward to--you might even be surprised how much you enjoy the activities that you yourself would never have chosen!
~After you pack, let it sit for a day (or a few hours, if that’s your timeline) and then reassess with fresh eyes. Lightening your load saves yourself the frustration of lugging around an over-packed bag and frees up your ability to bring back a souvenir or two!
Food & Drink
~Dehydration is a common travel foe, but you can beat it by keeping your own BPA-free jug on you at all times--plus, you’ll avoid paying for overpriced water bottles. Decorating your jug with fun stickers from your destinations gives you more incentive not to lose it!
-Healthy, potassium-packed, and portable, bananas are the perfect travel companion. Chia seeds are also an excellent addition to almost any meal; bring them with you to sprinkle on salads, smoothies, yogurt, etc. for a nutritional boost. And don’t forget the coconut water - it’s great for replacing electrolytes!
~Drinking warm water with lemon in the morning and evening is a great way to detoxify and help with digestion. Probiotic drinks like kombucha and kefir are also good choices to boost your immune system, which can be vulnerable while traveling.
~Eating out for every meal definitely takes its toll on our bodies, energy levels, and wallets. Cooking on vacation gets a dreary rep, but really you just have to find the rhythm and approach it in the right spirit. It calls for creativity and whimsical improvisations you normally wouldn’t make. Lemons, olive oil, sea salt, and good bread are staples that can create a wide variety of meals—venture into nearby stores to add a unique local flavor. Theme nights, where everyone takes turns cooking up a meal of their choice, are another memorable idea.
~If you’re staying in a hotel, call ahead about a mini-fridge; many hotels have stopped placing them in rooms, but you can usually request one free of charge.
Mind, Body & Soul
~Journal your experience: A change of scenery often brings with it striking clarity and inspiration for returning to your own life back home. Plus, it’ll help you remember all the interesting people and places you encounter!
~If you’re feeling anxious, bring a small token from home to ground you. This could be a favorite crystal, talisman, or a photo that makes you feel at peace.
~Rituals are so very important to our lives: they center us, make our ordinary lives extraordinary, and transform our perception. During vacation, the rituals you hold sacred don’t have to fly out the window--rather, embrace this exciting opportunity to get inventive. For instance, maybe your normally-still meditation becomes a walking meditation as you soak up the new scenery. If you need inspiration or encouragement, check out Headspace, a brilliant app that’s just added meditations for walking. Just a few minutes of quiet reflection can positively impact the course of your entire day.
~While it’s true that smartphones can make unfamiliar places less intimidating, resist the urge to turn to GPS and Google for everything. By interacting with locals and exploring, you truly live in the present--and welcome adventure. You might just discover something unexpected and delightful! If you have kids, suggest a tech-free day where everyone leaves their phones behind.
~Instead of just supervising, get involved playing with little ones. Kick a ball, hula hoop, whip out water guns or play badminton... your inner child will thank you!
~Simply adding flowers to a mason jar is a small decorative touch that does wonders for the ambience of your campground, cabin, or hotel room.
~Taking a walk once you’ve settled in is an excellent way to not only ground yourself but experience the new sights of your destination.
~Whether you’re on an unfamiliar hike or really don’t want to forget where you parked, snap a picture on your phone for peace of mind.
~If your trip is of the outdoorsy variety, burn some sage and rosemary in a campfire for an au naturale (and delicious-smelling) way to repel mosquitos.
~Rescue Remedy, a Bach Flower blend of five essences for stress-relief, is a wonderful tool to stash in your carry-on so you can keep calm despite any stressful travel situations (you can learn more in our blog post here).
~Work emails are a no-no on vacation for a reason, and our work truly benefits so much more when we unplug. Take this time to read for pleasure, listen to CDs or podcasts that entertain you, watch a silly sitcom you wouldn’t normally indulge in, and enjoy yourself.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
No matter where we go, great vacations are all about enjoying a more relaxed way of living and treasuring quality time with our loved ones. Hopefully, they are also a great reminder to bring that spirit of adventure, play, and exploration into our own daily lives.
Now, we’d love to hear from you--what is your favorite travel tip or way to stay healthy during vacation?
“It’s essential to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others.” How many of us accept this airline announcement to be true without a second thought?
Well, the same concept isn’t always as easy to apply to our daily lives; yet, the more you’re able to build patterns of caring for yourself, the better you’re able to handle your responsibilities and care for others. At Hudson Healing Arts, licensed social worker Andrea Inauen provides counseling services with this driving belief.
Since 2002, Andrea has been helping clients in areas including self-image, depression, relationships and couples counseling, parenting issues, the impact of medical illness on individual and family functioning, and bereavement. What sets her apart is a strengths-based approach; that is, she celebrates what people bring to the table and believes in using their strengths to work through whatever life challenges they are facing.
“My hope is each time someone leaves this space, they feel more connected to who they are and what they’re currently experiencing so they can find peace and joy in the everyday,” she says.
While many events in life are out of our control, Andrea emphasizes the importance of identifying things that we can control and work though. Emotional toolboxes are one way she helps clients find ways to tackle their challenges with less injury to self.
“The goal is for clients to have something to do in the moment to make them feel better,” Andrea says.
She works with clients to develop these tools by pulling from positive experiences. With the goal of helping you help yourself, Andrea helps to identify easily accessible ways to ground and relax you.
“When you learn more about yourself, and what certain sights, sounds, etc. do for your emotions, you can find more joy in everyday activities,” Andrea says. “What’s important to you? It’s an important question. And together, we can identify that and build a life that incorporates this to a certain degree to make sure it doesn’t go neglected.”
One easy way to find more appreciation for the present is to periodically check in throughout the day to observe what you’re seeing, touching, and feeling. She also recommends any activity that can enhance your self-concept and groundedness; whether that’s mindfulness, meditation, guided imagery, present-based exercises, or other centering and grounding practices.
The Benefits of Counseling
For those who have never tried counseling, the advantage of having a safe space to talk without judgment can be invaluable. In our interactions with loved ones, it’s natural to filter our feelings or even feel regretful about “unloading” negative thoughts. The help of a counselor to welcome your thoughts and help you work through challenges with compassion, integrity, and respect can provide remarkable mental and emotional clarity, among other benefits.
Andrea has unconditional positive regard for clients, driven by the belief that each and every one of us is capable of whatever we put our minds to.
“I truly believe in my clients. I think it takes great courage and strength to walk in and look in the mirror at what you’re doing well and what you’re not doing well,” she says.
Another crucial aspect of Andrea’s mission is to help people manage their challenges so they can don’t miss what they can truly enjoy.
“I want my clients to be defined by what's most important to them; for them to feel in control of what they want in their world, rather than being trapped. This doesn’t mean minimizing struggle, because there are huge obstacles, but rather to give it some sort of a container so joy can be found,” Andrea says. “If we define ourselves by our challenges, we’ll miss a lot of the good in life.”
It’s a proud moment for Andrea when clients feel they no longer need to come in, though she explains it’s very healthy to check in with yourself throughout different cycles of your life journey.
“We can serve ourselves and the people we love a lot better and get the most out of our days when we have a strong foundation,” she says.
If you are interested in learning more or setting up an appointment with Andrea, she can be reached at (973) 886-0941.
Hannah Chenoweth is a Hoboken-based conference producer and freelance writer who enjoys covering all aspects of health and wellness.