“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.
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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.
As we explored last month, spring isn’t just for refreshing your home... it’s also an ideal time to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit. What better way to accomplish this cleansing and renewal than through the healing practice of acupuncture?
The Significance of Changing Seasons
Although we’re more than happy to welcome the blooming flowers, chirping birds, and sunny days of spring, many of us don’t feel so hot at this time of year. According to traditional Chinese medicine, humans are microcosms of the natural world, so it makes perfect sense that the transition of seasons affects how we feel. It’s a time of significant change for all living creatures, humans included! With the changes in temperature, humidity, sunlight, and air quality, our systems need to readjust biochemically and energetically.
Getting extra support from acupuncture is beneficial regardless of your age, gender, or lifestyle. At Hudson Healing Arts, we have two highly-skilled acupuncture practitioners: Carla San Diego and Joe Del Giodice. Carla explains the importance of acupuncture during this time further, saying, “Physiologically, we survive through homeostasis, so our systems thrive on routine and keeping things balanced, whether it’s our nervous systems or our yin and yang. Acupuncture calms and balances your system to encourage a smoother, shorter seasonal transition.”
Benefits include reduced allergies, arthritis, sleep-cycle disruptions, digestive disturbances, fatigue, and anything else that is a reflection of the body trying to readjust to environmental changes--and that’s just the short list!
Acupuncture & the Liver
Acupuncture links each season to an organ system in the body, and spring is the season of the liver. As one of the most valuable organs in the human body, the liver has many essential roles in keeping us alive, including storing and detoxifying the blood as well as regulating qi (energy flow) through the body.
During this seasonal transition, the liver’s “responsibilities” can get out of whack. Signs of liver disharmony include tension headaches, digestive disturbances, stiff muscles, aching, eye fatigue or dry eyes. Spring, a time of growth and expansion, is optimal for nourishing, healing, and supporting the liver.
Each organ in acupuncture also has an associated emotion; the liver’s happens to be anger, so liver imbalance can manifest as frustration and outbursts of irritability. Emotional ‘stuckness’ can mimic the physical stagnation that takes place. (In Chinese medicine, a person with a super-healthy liver is supremely calm!)
In addition to acupuncture, other healthy ways to nurture liver detoxification include…
Now is the perfect time for a tune-up to help your body adjust internally to the changes swirling around you, so that you can ‘spring’ forward in optimal health and joyous spirits.
We look forward to seeing you at Hudson Healing Arts!
It’s that time of year again where we start to open the windows, let the fresh air in, and roll up our sleeves for spring cleaning. Just as we prioritize cleansing our homes (and feel so much better after doing so!), it’s essential to our wellbeing that we clear our energy fields as well. The arrival of Spring is the perfect time to shed the baggage that has been wearing on us and renew our spirits.
When we cleanse our own energy, we positively impact other areas of our lives and allow our circumstances to blossom. Here at Hudson Healing Arts, we offer AshWork, a gentle, new paradigm for energy clearing. Humans, animals, situations, and environments alike can benefit from this technique, which provides a new, broader perspective or resolution and a feeling of lightness and calm.
Regardless of the type of issue you’re dealing with, this form of energy work helps to support greater acceptance of yourself, in turn helping you to accept others too. This technique has been successful in addressing everything ranging from pets’ thunderstorm anxieties to human fears of public speaking to transforming a room or house with negative, ‘stuck’ energy.
Everything Is Energy
Have you ever heard the expression (one of my favorites) “Don’t poke the bear”? This non-invasive modality follows that credo - bringing relief and resolution without endlessly harping on the issue (which we all get tired of doing at some point!). Created in 2001 by renowned energy worker Rudy Hunter, AshWork encourages a sense of greater ease in your body, supporting a sense of increased wellbeing.
This form of energy work calms the parasympathetic nervous system, taking us out of fight-or-flight mode to gently shift patterns. This in turn helps to support healing, making it a wonderful shortcut to change and improvement that releases stuck patterns and restores harmony.
At the root of AshWork is the principle that we are much more than we perceive ourselves to be. Everything is energy, and by changing our perception and emotional state, we change our vibrational frequency. This new frequency, in turn, changes our physical reality.
A session begins with identifying the issue at hand (if the session is for an animal, the owner will speak on their behalf). Then, multiple rounds take place where the practitioner will conduct energy work on different facets of the issue, and make time for quiet reflection. Your only job is to relax and receive. After each round, you’ll take inventory to rate how much the problem is impacting your life; the intensity will likely decrease throughout the session.
The act of “noticing” after each round helps the energy work integrate into the nervous system. You’re looking for things that are lighter; a new arrival of a sensation or awareness, perhaps a lifting of something that felt pressing or heavy in some way. Sometimes, the environment you’re in even seems to change. That’s because when the energy field gets cleared, the air, lights, and your perception really does change. Often, a session ends with envisioning your best self or best possible circumstance, helping you gain greater peace and clarity.
Benefits of Energy Clearing
After a session, it’s common to feel immediately lighter, more relaxed, and most importantly, less focused on the problem. You may notice improvements in the coming weeks, hours, and maybe months. It’s a way to quiet “the monkey mind,” open yourself up to new possibilities, and also improve your sleep.
Sessions are typically conducted remotely by phone, although it is possible to book in person as well. It’s entirely up to you how often you receive AshWork, though we recommend regular energy clearing for a deeper sense of serenity, stability, and positivity.
It’s important to mention that we always have someone’s direct permission before tapping into their energy field. Also, AshWork is never a substitute for medical or psychological help. Rather, it is a wonderful complement for the health-promoting practices you already partake in.
Receive a 20% discount on AshWork Energy Clearing sessions purchased through May 13. Mention this blog post when you call or email, or click the button below and use the code "Energy20" when checking out.
We also offer gift certificates – it’s a wonderful Mother’s Day gift!
To schedule a session, call Beth, our Advanced Ashwork Practitioner, at (201) 653-7700 ext.1 or send an email to Beth@hudsonhealingarts.com. Please remember to leave your phone number and a few good times to return your call.
If you haven’t yet experienced acupuncture, there’s probably a reason why: You can’t imagine how sticking needles into your skin could possibly be relaxing!
The truth is, acupuncture doesn’t hurt and is a deeply healing, rejuvenating practice that’s been fine-tuned and perfected over thousands of years to treat a variety of maladies and enhance overall wellness. It’s not uncommon for people to fall asleep during a session, so effective is its ability to calm the nervous system and lower your blood pressure.
So, what is acupuncture all about?
The holistic health technique of acupuncture originated in China over 6,000 years ago. Today, it’s one of the most popular practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the West, prized for its ability to activate the body’s self-healing mechanisms-- sans medication and unwanted side effects. The ancient healing art has a long track record of successfully relieving stress, chronic pain, inflammation, migraines, nausea, insomnia, and far more.
Qi (a Chinese word that roughly translates to energy) plays a vital role in the practice. Just like a river, Qi flows through the meridian energy channels in the body. By inserting tiny needles into various points in the skin, the healthy movement of Qi is facilitated and the organ that is linked to that point is stimulated. The meridian channels interconnect just like bodies of water, which is why a positive ripple effect ensues to help the body function in harmony.
Other positive benefits of acupuncture include its ability to increase circulation, support the immune system, decrease inflammation, and lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone that many of us are too familiar with). This healing modality is remarkably effective at increasing your body’s natural pain-killing chemicals: endorphins.
What Else Should You Know?
The great thing about acupuncture is that almost everyone, unique medical history and all, can benefit. If you’re suffering from a specific condition, acupuncture will bring you relief. However, it’s just as beneficial if you’re well to receive acupuncture and maintain that wellness while boosting your immune system, improving your sleep, and easing stress.
It’s ideal to receive acupuncture at least once a season to help the body adjust to the changes, while those treating a specific ailment should come in more frequently.
Each session is specially tailored to your needs. Here at Hudson Healing Arts, we have two highly skilled practitioners, Joe DelGiodice and Carla San Diego, who both bring their own unique style to each session and decades of collective experience. Both practitioners use only the highest-quality sterile needles: Joe uses micro-fine Japanese needles (thinner than a human hair), while Carla selects from a wide range of gauges, depending on individual sensitivity and desired result. At the beginning, the practitioner will assess which points should be stimulated for maximum healing through different diagnostic methods.
As the needles are inserted, you may feel a tiny sensation, or perhaps nothing at all. Once the needles are in, your only job is to breathe and relax as the needles do their magic. As we mentioned above, it’s super common to actually fall asleep and to leave feeling extremely relaxed from the release of so much stored tension.
We look forward to seeing you here at Hudson Healing Arts! Joe is available for home visits as well. Mention this blog post to receive 20% off your first session with Joe through April 30, 2018.
Reiki is an ancient technique that’s different from almost all healing modalities. Not only is it a uniquely safe and gentle method, but anyone can benefit from just a few minutes of Reiki-- children, animals, and plants included!
The principle behind Reiki is that there is an animating energy inside us and around us that can’t be seen, but is felt. Everyone has the ability to connect with this healing energy to help themselves and others. Reiki is not taught - this flow of energy is transmitted or activated by the meditation and touch of a Reiki Master to a student. Through a gentle “laying-on” of hands on a series of body points, Reiki activates your body’s natural healing process and restores emotional wellbeing.
The Roots of Reiki
Let’s first break down the Japanese word (pronounced ray-key): Rei refers to the spiritual dimension, soul, and Higher Intelligence, and Ki means vital life force energy. Together, Reiki means “universal life energy”.
The origins of Reiki go way, way back to the Tibetan Sutras. It wasn’t until the mid-to-late 1800s that Reiki was rediscovered, thanks to the extensive search of Japanese monk educator Dr. Mikao Usui. After meditating on Mount Kurama for 21 days, Dr. Usui received a healing for himself and the opportunity to share with the world what he learned.
Even if you’re not familiar with the concept of Ki, also known as Chi or Prana, you intuitively know what it feels like when your Ki is strong--these are the times you feel ready to take on the world, and this positive state of mind encourages physical health. On the other hand, you’ve likely suffered imbalances from blocked or weak Ki. Reiki’s effect is always beneficial, and energy naturally knows where to go to restore free-flowing Ki.
What Reiki Feels Like
Reiki is offered through a light touch, with the practitioner’s hands placed on or above a series of locations on the head and body. Part of what makes Reiki so deeply relaxing is you’re required to do absolutely nothing but lie down and receive!
The practitioner channels the energy through their hands, and this positive energy begins to flow through your energy field. As you welcome this energy, you may feel a surprising warmth from the practitioner’s palms or awareness of energy gently washing over you.
Negative energy is released, a sensation which many people describe as feeling noticeably “lighter.” At Hudson Healing Arts, we incorporate a few unique techniques to make the energy system as resilient as possible, including a chakra balancing and energy weaving. These elements support the flow of energy in the body and integrate the session into your system.
How Will I Feel After a Session?
Each individual will experience Reiki differently, though it’s most common to feel immediate stress release and a sense of peace. Many report a refreshing mental clarity and wonderful feeling of radiance. It’s not unusual to sleep better than usual after a session.
Long-term benefits may be more subtle and cumulative. Reiki assists the body in releasing toxins, helping to maintain and improve health and manifest an outward harmony, confidence, and happiness.
When we are relaxed and stress-free, our natural ability to heal is triggered, making Reiki a wonderful complementary therapy that enhances other care or treatments you may receive.
As for frequency, once a month is a good general maintenance to rebalance your energy. If however, you’re going through a particularly stressful time, we suggest you schedule your Reiki treatments more frequently.
In today’s rushed world, there’s a tendency to “slot” wellness into our busy schedule. However, it would be of the greatest benefit to just give yourself time to truly process a treatment. Instead of racing somewhere afterwards, we encourage you to give yourself time and space to break with the old, take a walk, and just “be,” if possible.
If you’re interested in experiencing the relaxing, restorative effects of Reiki yourself, feel free to book a session here. Receive a $15.00 discount through March 10 when you book online and use the code 'Reiki15', or mention this blog post when you call to schedule a session to receive the discount.
Since ancient times, aromatherapy has been used to heal, harmonize, and promote well-being of the mind, body and spirit. Aromatherapy is even considered to be the world’s first medicine, in the context of indigenous healing traditions.
Today, our knowledge of the gentle yet powerful benefits that essential oils offer has only deepened--and we know that smelling good is just the icing on the cake!
At Hudson Healing Arts, we honor the notion of medicine as anything used to facilitate healing and use only the highest-quality oils (Young Living Therapeutic Grade A Essential Oils). And after the wear-and-tear of the holidays, we believe there’s no better time to use aromatherapy to bring yourself back to balance and support your immune system...
A Brief Background
Aromatherapy is defined as the art and science of using essential oils to enhance both psychological and physical wellbeing. Each essential oil (the volatile liquids and aromatic compounds from the leaves, blossoms, seeds, or roots of plants) has its own unique healing properties.
What’s so awe-inspiring is that the purest essential oils are far more powerful than the botanicals from which they were extracted, which is why just a little goes a long way.
There are endless ways to reap the therapeutic benefits of essential oils, which can accomplish everything from promoting better sleep to sharpening focus to soothing nausea. The most commonly-used oils include peppermint, lavender, tea tree, lemon, eucalyptus, rosemary, and frankincense, but there are hundreds of oils and blends that help ease virtually any imbalance you can imagine.
The Magic of the Raindrop Treatment
A truly blissful experience takes place when beautiful aromas, guided imagery, and a soothing environment join forces. The Raindrop Treatment, developed by Young Living founder Gary Young in the 1980s, consists of a gentle flowing of essential oils on the spine and feet for a uniquely rejuvenating session.
Though the treatment lasts about an hour, the benefits listed below can last for up to a week…
The Raindrop Treatment harnesses the powerful properties of seven different oils. They are especially great for beating the wintertime congestion and flu season: thyme and oregano support a healthy immune system, marjoram warms the muscles, cypress is grounding, basil is calming and soothing, wintergreen invigorates the mind and senses, and peppermint can help reduce inflammation.
The experience starts with balancing your body energy. A practitioner will gently start by focusing on your feet: these precious powerhouses store stress, and hugely benefit from the soothing blend of Valor oil. It's wonderful for balancing your energy.
Essential oils are then “dropped” in flowing strokes about 6 inches above the spine, simulating a gentle raindrop falling on you (which is how the treatment got its name). After the oils are lightly feathered and fanned down your spine, a damp towel is placed on your back back so your skin can “steep” and absorb the oil.
All in all, the Raindrop Treatment feels like being wrapped in a deeply calming, delicious-smelling cocoon. The magic of Raindrop is that it takes various routes to balance all of the body systems, from inhalation to the absorption of therapeutically active molecules through the skin.
At Hudson Healing Arts, we also offer the Emotional Freedom Treatment. This session is best suited for those going through a challenging emotional time, and uses a series of essential oils applied topically to help soothe and restore emotional balance.
A Few Last Words
Just like any treatment that encourages detoxification of the body, it’s highly recommended that you drink plenty of water both before and after your session. It’s also important to note that everyone experiences the treatment differently, depending on many factors. Common after-effects run the gamut from increased energy, emotional release, tiredness, deep relaxation, or a sense of overall well being.
If you have any medical conditions, please consult your physician before starting any type of essential oil treatment. This is not a substitute for proper medical care.
One thing everyone does have in common? People will be telling you how delicious you smell all day long--we recommend you don’t shower until the next day
Book a Raindrop Treatment now through February 3 to receive a 20% discount. Call (201) 653-7700 ext. 1 to schedule a session and mention this blog post to receive your discount. Or- click the button below to add a session to your cart and use the code "raindrop20".
It’s the most magical time of the year...and now more than ever it’s important to take good care of yourself. As adults, all the festivities can come with a giant heaping of stress and exhaustion. It’s all too easy to let the holidays go by in a blur, never really savoring the beauty and wonder of the season.
At Hudson Healing Arts, our job is to help you navigate the holidays with less stress and more joy! That’s why our practitioners joined forces to put together a list of our favorite quick and easy ways to decompress. And, as a holiday treat, read on for special discounts on services from each of our practitioners!
Beth’s Holiday Tips:
* Take the time to think about what you’re doing. Are you repeating traditions that have lost their meaning? Consider narrowing down that list of ‘must do’ and choosing what you and your family really enjoy. Maybe it’s preparing simpler holiday meals, but taking more time to savor the pleasure of each other’s company. You might also create a new tradition, such as watching some of the old, great holiday movies as a family. Turn off the phones and tablets, get out the popcorn and settle in together. Pop in a DVD or stream one of the classics like A Christmas Carol, The Bishop’s Wife, or Miracle on 34th St.
* Favorite apps: Insight Meditation Timer and My Calm Beat. Both help restore a sense of calm – even if you only have a few minutes.
* Give yourself some down time before going to bed. Unplug-- turn off the phone, the tablet, and the laptop an hour before your bedtime if you can. Let your body unwind from the day. You’ll find it improves the quality of your sleep.
* Give– there’s nothing like helping those who are in need to help you regain a sense of perspective about your life. Support a local shelter or donate to a charitable organization. Instead of rushing past a homeless person the next time you’re on your way to or from work, dig in your pocket and give. You might also take a moment to make eye contact as you do so – it feeds the spirit. You’ll feel better for having done so.
* We highly recommend celebrating Winter Solstice on December 21st! It’s the shortest day of the year and heralds the return of light to the earth. There are no big meals to prepare, no gifts to buy, no decorations to put up. Light a candle, breathe, think about all you’re thankful for this year and set your intentions for the coming year.
AshWork Energy Clearing sessions are offered at 20% off through January 6. Sessions are a half-hour in length and are conducted remotely by phone, so there’s no need to worry about traffic or parking or moving from your comfortable couch1 They’re a great way of creating change quickly and easily. Energy Clearing sessions may also be purchased as gift certificates and redeemed later. For more details, see our Tele-Services page. To schedule a time, call (201) 653-7700 ext. 1 and mention this blog post. If paying through our website, use the code "AshWork20"
Joe’s Holiday Tips:
We all know how busy the world gets around the holidays – rushing to and from work, shopping, tending to chores, and hopefully getting in a few minutes for some down time or a workout.
During these stressful days, home is where we can find a reprieve from the chaos. What I like to do before leaving in the morning is to turn on the radio to my favorite classical music channel so that stepping through the door brings me to a place where there is already a relaxing atmosphere filling the air. So, tune in and enjoy the music- and the peace! Wishing you good health.
(Beth adds: Your plants will benefit from it too!)
Through January 6, take 20% off an initial consultation with Joe. It's a great way to insure a healthy start to a new year! To schedule your consultation, call (201) 653-7700 ext. 3 and mention this blog post.
Ellen’s Holiday Tips:
In between massages, and when feeling holiday panic setting in-- stretch it out! Stretching allows us to connect with our bodies in a gentle way that helps us relax, and become aware of tension areas that need to receive breath or mindfulness attention.
Take 5 below:
1 - Shrug your shoulders by raising them both towards your ears, and do circular motions to the front, and then to the back.
2 - Rotate your wrists clockwise and then switch direction by rotating counter-clockwise.
3 - Hold your hands together above your head, palms facing towards the ceiling, and then stretch upward toward the ceiling.
4 - Tilt your head to the side, bringing your left ear towards your left shoulder till you feel a stretch. Alternate to the right side.
5 - While sitting down, extend your right leg forward and then reach towards your toe till you feel a stretch. Alternate between legs.
Take advantage of a holiday special of 25% off with Ellen H. Gomez today through 12/31/2017. Reserve your session here.
Dusty ’s Holiday Tips:
The following suggestions are all good for your Mind Body & Spirit to reduce Holiday stress...
*10 minute Meditation daily (I use Headspace app and I love it) for self-care
*Full Body Massage (a 10 minute Chair Massage/Hand Massage at the nail salon is beneficial too)
*Breathing exercises are super helpful for anxiety/stress
*Time Management and sticking to a schedule helps reduce anxiety/stress, as long as you’re not trying to pack too much into the day.
* Saying ‘no’ can reduce the chance of being overwhelmed
75 minute Massage for the price of an hour (20% discount) limited to in studio (i.e. at HHA) -no house calls.
Cristina Maria’s Holiday Tips:
The blessed holiday season gifts so much. Through songs and hymns, with bells and sweet melodies, we are reminded of the eternal presence of Spirit! That place, living so deeply within, a mere whistle away, is your Spirit; it guides you through all and serves as a guardian of the physical being. During the month of December, grant yourself the 'gift that will keep giving' ~ all year...eternally ~ by connecting with your Spirit, through the Spirit of the Holidays! The holidays ~ a time of increased joy and love, sadness and stress ~ invoke all feelings, opens us to the deepest inner planes. Allow this Holiday Spirit to come through, regardless of the feeling, with gentleness and gratitude and let the rejoicing begin - for you are alive and being rebirthed each and every day!
Below is a gift on how to connect with your Spirit ~ to allow this full feeling time ~~~ have a notebook and pen and small glass of water nearby; (if you choose, you may open with prayer and a call to Spirit/God/Divinity (whatever it goes by for you) to guide you in connecting with your Spirit, then go to the meditation.
Click here for a link to the meditation.
May this exercise guide you, connecting you more deeply and grandly to that infinite space of your Spirit...opening you to the presence of love and beauty in all, especially during this sacred holiday time. Wishing you a blessed and sweet holiday season! May we see you soon!
Cristina Maria’s Special:
Join us on 12/12 from 7:30 - 9:30PM, the Day of the Virgin Guadalupe, for a special holiday event!
Hudson Healing Arts' Spirit Medicine Gathering
We will gain an understanding of:
What is "Spirit Medicine"?
How to commune with it daily ~ Benefits, Process, Ways, etc
How it connects to Shamanism, Herbalism, Curanderismo and other Earth/Celestial-Centered Traditions
How it is an invaluable tool for healing (i.e. alignments/illnesses, physical manifestations)
What ways "Spirit Medicine" is being offering at Hudson Healing Arts . Bring your questions, curiosity and openness to receive. To close the evening, together we will invoke and experience the presence of our Spirit ~ that which knows all ~ through sound, song, prayer and journeying (a shamanic tool).
Space for this event is limited. Please RSVP at email@example.com.
It is our sincere hope that at least one of the suggestions strikes a chord with you this holiday season. Wishing all of our clients and Hoboken friends a wonderful holiday --and a reminder to have love and compassion for yourself during this time! Now more than ever, self-care ensures we can fully bond and connect with loved ones and truly revel in it.
On the heels of last month’s introduction to Cristina Maria, we are thrilled to further expand our Hudson Healing Arts family. We extend the warmest of welcomes to our new massage therapist, Ellen H. Gomez.
It is a joy to introduce Ellen, who brings a calm, gentle energy and unique desire to help caregivers and those in their golden years, to our sacred space.
The Importance of Nurturing Touch
Growing up in upstate New York near Poughkeepsie, Ellen feels fortunate to have lived next door to a skilled MT who exposed her to massage as a legitimate, scientifically-backed healing modality. Captivated early on by the power of compassionate human touch infused with professional expertise, she describes herself as a lifelong lover of massage.
It wasn’t until pursuing her dream in massage school, however, that Ellen felt a pull toward the “touch-starved” older population. Statistics show that older individuals are far less likely to access massage services. She also recognized the enormous need for stress relief among their caregivers. This realization culminated in her decision to participate in hospice training and focus on palliative care therapy/geriatric massage to reduce pain and medication needs.
She’s learned that caregivers often feel much better about receiving a massage when it’s a “package deal,” which is why 1+1 packages are something she offers. For both parties, knowing the other is also getting treated makes it a joyful give and take.
Touch-based modalities are crucial as complementary care for those in older age, especially in Alzheimer’s patients. Because talking can stir up frustration and memory difficulties, those who are suffering truly benefit from comfort beyond words.
On a personal note, Ellen’s experience staying with her grandfather during her college years showed her how the combination of a lack of trust in the medical establishment, and a constant seeking of alternate ways to heal the body and address pain, can result in an older population being more open to complementary medicine. At the time, her grandfather was exploring vitamin therapy. While she's not sure how her grandfather would respond to attempts to massage him, she knows that even holding his hand seemed to have a positive effect. She feels massage is one way of sharing a gift that she knows will make someone who needs a little extra care feel better.
What Does Ellen Offer?
Ellen’s goal to maximize health and wellness for her clients is achieved through Swedish, Geriatric, Myofascial, Deep tissue, Trigger Point, Chair and Sports massage.
Ellen believes massage should be an essential ingredient in everyone’s self-care routine, not just those who are suffering from pain. For one, it’s necessary for easing the effects of constant hunching and sitting, which takes a painful physical toll in the long run. Massage also works on systems of your body that aren’t always accessed in other ways to deepen your overall health. If you’re neglecting these systems, it means you miss the part of your body that involves tissue manipulation and the movement of fluids. This is what causes “hiccups” in your body to become more pronounced over time (more like a “scream,” she says).
Massage is often underestimated for its remarkable power to fix these hiccups. The therapeutic effects extend far beyond being a “luxury”: it’s only when we take care of ourselves that we’re able to take care of others fully. The boost of feel-good endorphins and release of tension in both mind and body drastically improves our ability to interact with others from a calm, loving space.
For older folks, Ellen is licensed to handle special considerations like swelling and delicate skin with expertise, providing a gentle experience in a shorter time frame. For caregivers, she typically finds traditional Swedish, full-body massage usually for stress relief to be a popular choice.
The Woman Behind the Massage
Ellen also works in higher education supporting experiential learning, and is a lifelong learner--one reason she so enjoys delving into the study of anatomy and healing. She especially appreciates the immediate comfort and peace that massage therapy brings.
In her free time, she adores any kind of dancing; especially couples dance with her husband, who happens to also be a MT. She has lived in all five boroughs and recently settled in Staten Island. The two just welcomed a baby boy, Henry, to their family in October, and she also has an 18-year-old son. We are so happy to be included in this time of new beginnings for Ellen!
To get in touch, feel free to give Ellen a ring at (201) 653-7700 ext. 6.
We are so honored to welcome Hudson Healing Arts’ first Medicine Woman: the vibrant, insightful and truly special Cristina Maria RojasFernandez. Offering sessions and ceremonies with Shamanism, Bodywork, Energy/Vibrational Medicine and Ascension Medicine, she brings a new, beautifully soulful dimension to the healing journey for our Hoboken friends.
Cristina Maria embodies her belief that if you are able to be guided by your Spirit, you’re free of fear. With compassion, courage and grace, her aim is to help you remember who you truly are; that is, connecting you to your Godself that lies within.
A Glimpse into Cristina Maria’s Story
Cristina Maria’s journey as a healer has been far from linear, and what makes her Spirit Medicine work so unique is that it’s integrated with her 15 years of experience in clinical social work.
Growing up in Union City in a tight-knit, first-generation Cuban family, Cristina Maria was always a deeply social creature who felt pulled to help people. She comes from a strong lineage and also has five sisters and one brother-- “her tribe.” A lover of humanity, her early childhood memories are colored by a strong empathy for people and their feelings.
Cristina Maria went on to spend 15 satisfying years working in various areas under the social work umbrella, from crisis management to therapy. However, she started to feel burnout from the limitations of the system, and her soul was yearning for more. She honored her Spirit’s request for a sabbatical, venturing from the concrete jungle to the Amazonian jungle in 2012.
Following her Spirit’s call led her to Cuba, Guatemala, Peru, and beyond--she found herself in the mouth of a lion, a new world where she was gaining tools she’d never imagined. Deep in the jungle, she started to work with plants and connect with the indigenous ways of the land. She knew she was getting closer to her roots and ancestry.
In the jungle, the Spirit began to talk to her in a way she could understand for the first time: You're on the path--we’ve been waiting for you. She was also hearing the word ‘shaman.’
A year of beautiful learning and experiences ensued upon her return to America, where she joined the New York Shamanic Circle. She also was initiated through medicine teachers Kate Anjahlia Loye, Irma StarSpirit Turtle Woman (who gave her the medicine name “Humming Bird Medicine”), and Robin Rose Bennett.
It’s been almost six years now that Cristina Maria has been on this path, and three that she’s been sharing her Medicine. She remains profoundly grateful for her career in social work, which gave her so many tools and a broader foundation to work from.
What Is A Session Like?
Cristina Maria's sessions incorporate a mix of alchemy with the Earth and Spirits. Seeing the results of her work has been a beautiful experience. Helping humans actualize, to be and see and live every part of themselves by connecting to the ancient wisdom inside, has felt like the greatest gift she could give.
She offers a variety of sessions, circles, and ceremonies to help your natural order--body, mind, and soul-- find harmony. The Spirit, she says, already knows what to do… it's simply waiting for the rest to follow suit.
Cristina Maria provides the perspective of a trained herbalist, a wise-woman perspective, as well as a shamanic perspective on matters of both the body and mind. A Limpia - removal of energies and cleansing of the aura field and physical body, is a healing practice she uses frequently, and trance work is another area that calls to her. Her energy work aligns the vibration of the body through harmonizing, movement of the hands, rattling, drumming, and other tools from her background in a diverse collection of Earth Centered Traditions and Other Realms. A complete Spirit Medicine session is a combination of the above aspects.
Cristina Maria also treasures the ability to help those who are already feeling great get closer to Spirit. Ascension Medicine helps you continue to evolve and move toward your highest form and potential.
For those who are interested in a session, but unsure where to start, Cristina Maria will start with a reading. Her social work gifted her the ability to truly meet together, and sit in the graceful space of trust and humanness to uncover your intention. The reading will begin your work together for the first session.
How Does It Work?
Time must be given to allow the Spirit Medicine to integrate, clear old energy, and unfold in your life. The frequency of sessions depends on your intention and individual journey, and one session may suffice in some instances. For packages with a clear goal, Cristina Maria believes every three weeks is the about right timing; weekly sessions may be better for soul guidance (talk/plática).
You may be sent home with some “homework,” all meant to further integrate the Spirit Medicine. Although Cristina Maria’s social work career prepared her to come from the perspective of the mind, her new understanding is of the body’s deep experience of its own at the cellular level, and also of the soul as a bridge to your Spirit. Whether it takes a week or years to understand, Spirit Medicine gives your body what it innately needs.
We are ecstatic to welcome Cristina Maria to Hudson Healing Arts. Just like the Humming Bird, she brings forth color, joy, vitality, and courage, inviting you to step into your own divine power. If you’d like to set up an appointment, she can be reached at (201) 463-0204 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All details can be found on the Spirit Medicine Ways Facebook page, and you can also sign up for her newsletter to receive regular updates. Currently, upcoming events include…
Monthly Circles: @ Gypsy Yogis in Weehawken
Women's Circle- every 1st Thursday of the month, 7:30-10pm (November's is 11/2.)
Special events: @ Hudson Healing Arts
Ancestral Limpias and Blessings- Sunday, October 29th, 11-5pm
Spirit Medicine Talk- Monday, November 13th, 7-9 pm
Special events: @ Gypsy Yogis and in NYC
Samhain Ancestors Ceremony- Monday, October 30th, 7-10pm
Herbal and Plant Spirit Medicine Workshop - Sunday, November 5th, 10 - 5 pm
Hannah Chenoweth is a Hoboken-based conference producer and freelance writer who enjoys covering all aspects of health and wellness.