There’s a lot to love about summer — but the abundance of fresh, vibrant fruits and veggies might just win out. June’s arrival is the perfect time to add delicious variety (and nutrition) to your plate.
Luckily, HHA’s resident nutritionist, Joe DelGiodice, is passionate about keeping us healthy, inspired and eating well through every season! This month’s blog is all about superfoods that help us unlock greater levels of energy and vitality, so we can enjoy summer to the fullest. With a background in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Joe also shares his perspective on why certain foods are especially beneficial for nurturing the fire element of summer.
Welcome to fire season!
It probably comes as no surprise that summer is all about the element of fire, in both nature and the body. TCM teaches us that the heart and small intestines are connected to the fire element, and that the heart regulates our heartbeat, blood flow, and pulse. When the fire element is in harmony, there’s a healthy flow of chi — you’re able to access joy and passion in a balanced way.
Food is an incredible way to nourish the fire element on an everyday basis. You can energetically “feed the fire” with hot and spicy herbs and foods, which are great blood flow agents. In equal measure, Joe recommends activating the opposing element (water) with cooling foods to stay properly hydrated.
Here are just some of his favorites!
● Coriander seed
● Chile peppers
● Spicy horseradish
● Sweet tomatoes
“Look at the bright, vibrant color spectrum available to you during this time! This is the aliveness of summer,” Joe says. “All of these pigments are more than just pretty to look at: They provide you with antioxidants, DNA corrective agents and longevity agents. Because free radical activity ramps up in the heat, antioxidants are especially vital to our wellbeing in the summer. Antioxidants work their magic to maintain the health of our cells.”
Joe’s famous tabbouleh summer salad is great for this purpose, and super easy to make. Start wih a mix of ⅔ parsley and ⅓ mint leaf; add cucumber, tomato, lime, lemon, a couple tablespoons of hemp seeds, and organic olive oil.
One of his favorite summer snacks is even simpler: Watermelon seeds! “Watermelon seeds are one of the most nourishing seeds on the planet,” he says. “They’re filled with amino acids, proteins, and nutrients, offering some amazing health benefits.”
Note: If you have diverticulosis or diverticulitis, watermelon seeds should be avoided.
Stay healthy and hydrated
While eating water-rich foods is a great idea in the summer heat, it’s not a substitute for drinking enough water and consuming electrolytes. Lemons, limes, oranges and watermelon are all quick electrolyte sources; Joe also recommends drinking organic coconut water or organic cactus water.
“Electrolytes are crucial for hydration. These minerals allow everything in the body to expand and contract properly, so that oxygen and nutrients get delivered to your cells,” he says. “When we sweat, we lose a lot of important minerals, so replenishing electrolytes is a must in the summertime.”
Joe is also a big fan of herbal teas to keep cool. His favorite summer recipe is filled with nourishing compounds:
● Purified water
● Mint leaves (an organic mint tea bag works too)
● Chrysanthemum flower
● Goji berries
● Lime juice (you can squeeze it in or grate it and add in the zest)
Want more recipes? Visit Joe’s YouTube channel, supernaturalhealth forever, for plenty of delicious and entertaining tutorials. He also recommends the Blue Zones website, which features recipes from the world’s longest-living cultures.
To learn more about nutritional counseling or schedule a session, feel free to contact Joe at (201) 653-7700 ext. 3. He’s helped clients ranging in age from 3 months to 102 improve their health and wellbeing, and is happy to answer any questions you may have.
Thanks so much for reading this month’s blog. Wishing everyone a summer of health, happiness, and wonderful food!
We have some exciting news to share here at Hudson Healing Arts! Warmest of welcomes to Melissa Rosa, the newest member of the team.
Melissa is dedicated to empowering her clients to heal through Reiki so that they can show up in all areas of life feeling refreshed and balanced, and we couldn’t be happier to have her with us.
Melissa’s passion for helping others heal came from experiencing the transformative power of Reiki firsthand. After years in an unhealthy marriage, she reached a point where she lost her sense of self. “There was zero self-care or self-love in my life,” she says.
During this time, she found a yoga training program on how to bring yoga into the classroom. As an educator and elementary school teacher, she wanted to help her students — but the teachings also struck a chord deep within her soul. Melissa continued to learn everything she could about energy work. She knew that Reiki would be the next part of her healing journey, and was honored to train with Asha Surti in Hoboken.
“Reiki empowered me during a huge life transition,” she says. “Through Reiki, I could alchemize everything messy, everything that wasn’t serving me, into a good thing. I hope to help my clients find that gold within them. It’s something we all have, and can all come back to.”
Her business name, Golden Rose Reiki, reflects that wish to help others find the gold within. This name is extra meaningful because of her beloved grandmother Luz, who passed away in 2018. Luz, which means “light” in Spanish, is synonymous with golden. Her grandmother also adored red roses, and Melissa loves the fact that they represent beauty and strength. Not to mention the added symbolism that her last name, Rosa, translates to “Rose” in English!
What is a session with Melissa like?
Melissa offers in-person sessions for adults and distance sessions for children. She starts with a 10-15 minute “soul chat” to learn about what’s on your heart and mind (though you don’t have to share anything if you don’t want to). Melissa often will incorporate aromatherapy, mantras, and meditation into your time together.
Regardless of the reasons that draw someone to Reiki, Melissa says there’s almost always a stress release that occurs. There's often a sense of feeling more at ease within yourself — more at home in your own skin.
“It’s truly an energetic reset. When you take this time to restore your energy levels, it’s going to reflect in your relationships with your family, your coworkers, and everyone in your life,” she says. “You are able to show up balanced, refreshed, and less stressed.”
When Melissa’s not teaching or working with Reiki clients, she loves diving into anything to do with spirituality. Her two young daughters were a huge motivating factor in her healing journey, and her favorite thing to do is spend quality time with her girls. You can find them at the beach, watching movies, having dance parties, or reading together. She is originally from Jersey City, and now lives in Bayonne.
To book a Reiki session, email her at email@example.com. You can also follow Melissa on Instagram (www.instagram.com/goldenrosereiki).
Ways To Let Go & Release Anger
Happy spring, everyone! Whether you feel a spring in your step or spring fever, there’s a natural craving to cast away the winter doldrums and soak up life during this time. Just like the plants and hibernating animals, we’re attuned to the seasons in body, mind and spirit, so it makes sense that this energy can feel a little restless and scattered.
To ease this transition period into a new season and feel more balanced, Traditional Chinese Medicine encourages us to nurture the health of the organ associated with the season. Spring is all about the liver, which most of us know for its role in detoxification. What’s not as well known is that the liver also rules anger and stress. When this organ is in a state of imbalance, you may find it difficult to manage emotional outbursts and truly ‘spring forward’ with the sense of lightness and joy you desire.
In our society, most of us never learn how to accept our anger in the first place - let alone process and release it. This month, our practitioners came together to share their personal insights on honoring anger and letting it go. We sincerely hope that you enjoy their tips, and find lightness and harmony for your best spring yet!
Beth O’Boyle (Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner, Certified Hypnosis Counselor, Reiki Practitioner, Advanced AshWork Practitioner)
~Look at it as a signal. There’s a tendency to label emotions as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Anger is an energetic signal that arises when something is out of balance in our lives, and realizing this fact can change your perspective on anger. Instead of looking at it as a negative emotion, we can view anger as an opportunity to turn inwards, reflect on the underlying cause of what’s out of balance, and notice if there’s a proactive step to take.
For example: a person who tends to be a people=pleaser might feel anger arising when they find themselves immersed in yet another task or activity they either don’t want to do or don’t have time for. Rather than feeling angry because you always end up doing what a particular friend wants to do instead of what you’d prefer to do, you might notice what prevents you from either saying ‘no’ to her or offering an alternative option.
~Use it as momentum. Anger is great for spurring people into action. You can’t control the world - but take a moment to consider what you can do. I encourage doing something physical to get in motion and release some of the pent-up stress. Go for a run. Clean the house. (Cleaning is actually very effective. Not only will you feel better - you’ll end up with a clean house. Win win!) Sometimes anger arises in the form of another emotion such as grief, anxiety, or sadness. If you feel comfortable doing so, try sitting with the feeling without judging it. Breathe. Ask yourself what’s prompting the emotion. You might be surprised at what it has to say.
~Consider healing modalities that can help. All of our services at HHA can help you release anger in different ways. AshWork energy clearing is a great way to gently shift the energy without having to dwell in the story. The key is to approach it from the desire to solve the problem or to make a change. Reiki is helpful for facilitating the flow of stagnant or stuck energy. Anger can be a sign of feeling tapped out, as though you have nothing to draw from; Reiki can replenish energy that is depleted. Bach Flower Remedies are great for supporting balance and a new perspective. They address the underlying reasons for the anger: irritation, intolerance, worry, envy, etc. and support a shift of energy.
Noreen Haren (Registered Nurse, Certified Practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education)
~Embrace movement. Movement can be a non-threatening way to address emotions. From a Feldenkrais perspective, we all unconsciously hold emotions such as anger and fear in our bodies. This can lead to unnecessary and uncomfortable restriction of movement. The Feldenkrais Method uses a series of gentle movements to help us identify areas where we may be holding tension with non-judgmental curiosity. At the end of a Feldenkrais lesson, most people notice they are breathing more fully, feel more grounded, and are moving with more ease. Personally, if I am feeling stressed or angry, the first thing I do is check in and see - am I clenching my jaw, is my breathing restricted, are my shoulders up near my ears? I notice, take a breath, and let go. It helps me feel better immediately.
Andrea Inauen (Licensed Clinical Social Worker)
~Feel it all first. We are human, and human emotions (even anger) are part of the process. It is important to acknowledge that anger happens, and can even be healthy when channeled well. It is the holding of anger for too long that is often toxic, harmful, and compromising. So, in therapy, you will often hear me talk about the importance of allowing the feeling, acknowledging it, looking at it, processing it, validating it...and then releasing it. Stifled anger tends to brew, fester, and harm self and others too. Talking about the feeling - the antecedents, emotions, and impact- allows for the anger to lose its power, to be digested, and ultimately released. You may also hear me explore what having a physical or verbal release of the anger in a healthy and safe way can look like (if we could, as adults, have that temper tantrum that kids have in a toy store, we might be better off because it is at least released!)
~Embrace vocal release. This might take the shape of vocalizing your feelings to a trusted member of your support system, or talking to yourself to give voice to what you’re feeling without inadvertently projecting it onto others. When I am struggling to let go, I acknowledge anger's weight, find ways to be gentle with myself, and sometimes also temporarily put it on a shelf or in a jar and shift focus to gratitude. I do not want to minimize the feelings, but temporarily re-focusing when I am having trouble letting go can allow the hurt to 'not take up all the space in the room' which can help achieve better release in the long run.
~Know that it’s all temporary. I am, like most humans, always learning, and that means that anger sometimes takes up more space in my life than I want. However, as intense as the feelings may be at a given time, no matter how horrid the situation or feeling, I have learned that the intensity will change over time. Acknowledging the anger, pain, and related emotions (and the patterns that accompany them) is so important because then we have the opportunity to re-center, breathe, and allow the rest of self to exist and take up space as well. And that makes room for healing, release, and growth.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read our blog. We truly hope that you find it hopeful in letting go of the tension, irritability, and anger that tends to arise during this time. As always, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section and to connect with you on Facebook.
Wishing you a wonderful, happy, and healthy spring!
Since Hudson Healing Arts opened its doors back in 1998, it’s amazing to think of how much has happened in the world. Through all the ups and downs, we’re here to provide a healing sanctuary where you can relax and rebalance your energy on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level.
With our 25th anniversary on the horizon next year, we thought it would be fun to take a little trip down memory lane to revisit HHA’s roots and reflect on how we’ve evolved…
Back to the Beginning
Founded by two acupuncturists, HHA was focused on Traditional Chinese Medicine practices like acupuncture, herbal medicine, and Qi Gong in the early days.
HHA’s current owner, Beth O’Boyle, actually started out as an acupuncture client back in 1999. At the time, she was dealing with a huge amount of stress in a very different field (sales and retail in the cosmetics and fragrance industry). “I was really on a healing journey to resolve the stress I was dealing with,” she says. “Something in me wanted to explore deeper.”
She was also enjoying transformative sessions with a hypnosis counselor in Montvale, and was incredibly drawn to the space he had created — it felt quiet, soft, and welcoming, totally different from a traditional doctor’s office.
“When you stepped in, it just felt like you could actually breathe,” Beth says. “I had a real love for that environment, and it sparked a desire to have a place like that in Hoboken.”
As luck would have it, Beth’s acupuncturist asked if she would be interested in renting space at HHA for Reiki and hypnosis counseling. Within six months, both founders had left to pursue other passions, and Beth was offered the opportunity to take over as the owner of HHA.
“I had a mental image of a big present being handed to me,” Beth says. “It was time for a change, and I wanted something that would help me feel free to work in the way my soul craved.”
HHA in the Present
According to Beth, the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine are still a vital part of HHA’s foundation. Today, however, there are a number of diverse modalities to help clients find balance: acupuncture, herbal medicine, sound healing, Reiki, Bach Flower Remedies, hypnosis counseling, energy clearing, the Feldenkrais Method, counseling, and guided imagery.
Regardless of the service a client comes in for, HHA’s calm, peaceful environment is something that’s incredibly intentional and designed for optimal healing. It’s also something the practitioners are very protective of, making use of energy work and techniques to clear, harmonize, and rebalance the energy after each client.
“In one training course I took, we were asked to create the hospital of the future from the ground up. It really made me think: What would be my vision for a place where you could get back to a harmonious, healthy state while feeling safe, happy, and at ease?” Beth says.
That visioning process is evident in HHA’s welcoming, peaceful atmosphere today, with lots of different practices to support all facets of being (emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual).
“The energy here is really beautiful, and we’re very protective of it,” Beth says. “It’s a place where you can feel safe and relaxed, where you think, ‘I can be well here.’ I’m thankful everyday that I get to do something I love with people I love and respect.”
Safety in the era of COVID
Of course, we can’t reflect on HHA’s journey without mentioning the pandemic. When COVID hit, the need for proactive self-care and immune system support came into clear view more than ever.
Many of our practitioners now offer remote services, and we’ve taken a number of measures to create the safest possible environment for those who prefer in-person sessions. When you come to HHA, often the only other person in our space will be the practitioner. We're located in a quiet building where you generally don't see many people, which cuts down on exposure. Masks are also required for both practitioners and clients.
“The best defense against the virus is a strong, healthy immune system,” Beth says. “Our practitioners are brilliant at supporting the immune system and keeping the whole system in harmony. If you’re in good health, the practices we offer can help you stay healthy. If you’re challenged by stress, we can help you get out of your own way and free up your energy to support wellness.”
Thanks so much for venturing down memory lane with us! It’s been a beautiful journey, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the wonderful community we’ve built over the past nearly 25 years.
If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. You can also stay connected by following us on Facebook. Wishing you a happy and healthy February!
'Tis the Season to Give Back
“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” ~Mother Theresa
After our favorite traditions and festivities were put on hold in 2020, this holiday season feels a touch more magical than years’ past. The ability to gather with our loved ones (with safety in mind, of course) feels far more meaningful — there’s nothing like a global pandemic to remind us what’s truly important.
The same can be said for the importance of giving back and community. During the past year or so, we’ve seen firsthand that our actions are about more than just us — we’re all in this together. We’ve gotten to know our neighbors on a whole new level, and that includes a growing sense of responsibility to lift up our neighbors in need.
So many people in our community have experienced devastating setbacks and challenges from COVID-19, but the great news is, you don’t have to be rich to make a difference. What’s more, giving back is the best way to tap into the magic of the holidays yourself!
In the spirit of the season, here are some of our favorite ways to give back...
The Hoboken Homeless Shelter
When you’re blessed with a roof over your head, winter is a cozy time meant for cuddling up in blankets with movies and some hot cocoa. But for individuals experiencing homelessness, the reality is far different and heartbreakingly vulnerable.
The Hoboken Shelter provides food, shelter, case management, counseling, skills-training workshops, and permanent supportive housing solutions, serving more than 1,000 meals per week. There are plenty of ways to support their cause — you can make a monetary donation, drop off supplies, purchase items on their Amazon wishlist, help in the kitchen, or even lead a skills workshop. Learn more on their website.
God’s Love We Deliver
This organization is HHA founder Beth O’Boyle’s favorite! What began as a mission to help one AIDS patient who was too sick to cook for himself has grown to an operation that prepares and delivers over a million meals per year to anyone with a life-altering illness. They make only nutritious, high-quality meals, and have never turned anyone away in their entire history. It’s a pretty incredible mission!
God’s Love We Deliver is based in New York, but serves Hudson County as well. Their most urgent need is for volunteers to deliver meals, and monetary donations are also welcome. If you know someone with a chronic illness who could benefit from a nourishing meal, it’s also a great time to sign them up for a delicious surprise. Learn more on their website.
Dress For Success Hudson County
For so many women in poverty, being able to afford professional clothing is a huge hurdle to securing or keeping a job. Dress for Success is a nonprofit that strives to empower women to take charge of their lives, and they gladly accept donations of time, money or gently used professional attire. If you’re now working from home or going into the office on a much less frequent basis, donating one of your outfits can make all the difference for someone who is trying to get on their feet. Learn more on their website.
The Hoboken Family Alliance
As one of the oldest nonprofits in Hoboken, the Hoboken Family Alliance is devoted to supporting children and families and 100% volunteer-driven. Right now, their 14th Annual Toy, Book & Pajama Drive is underway to help make sure the holidays are magical for local underprivileged children and teens. You can donate via PayPal or drop off new toys, pajamas, or books at various supporting locations in Hoboken. Learn more on their website.
We’re All in this Together
Remember, you don’t have to have lots of money to brighten someone’s holiday. Helping others is the true meaning of the season, and asking yourself one simple question -- “What do the people around me need?” — can help you tap into the wellspring of generosity that lies within you. Maybe that means inviting your widowed neighbor over for dinner, sending a handwritten note of gratitude to someone, or telling your coworkers how much they mean to you (it’s all too easy to assume they know, isn’t it?).
While giving back has a way of inspiring greater wellbeing, we also don’t encourage anyone to pour from an empty cup! Come nourish your mind, body and soul at Hudson Healing Arts so that you can approach the holidays from your natural state of balance, calm, and peace. Check out our full list of healing modalities here.
As always, we are sending our wishes for a safe, healthy, and joyful holiday to all of you! We’d love to hear your favorite ways to spread holiday cheer in the comments below :)
Introducing Shirley Wang
We’re delighted to welcome Shirley Wang as the newest member of our Hudson Healing Arts family. With a gift for helping people feel grounded and safe, Shirley combines Reiki and sound healing to provide healing on a physical and energetic level.
She honors the deep connection between mind, body, and spirit in each of her clients, and we’re so honored to have her join us. Read on to learn more about Shirley and what a session with her is like!
Replenishing your body & spirit
Shirley’s journey as a healer began eight years ago, after a profound spiritual experience in the Amazon jungle. She became a Reiki practitioner in the Usui system, underwent life coach training, and became an Energy Leadership Master practitioner.
She also started holding sound baths for friends, and recognized the powerful alchemy between sound healing and Reiki. Together, these modalities harmonize with each other to offer a deeply relaxing experience that Shirley describes as “a massage for your spirit and soul.”
Shirley left her job in product design to start Yishi Healing (yishihealing.com), and has been dedicated to promoting emotional and spiritual wellness in her clients ever since by improving the flow of energy through the body. While the concept of sound healing may seem “woo woo” or New Age, she explains that it’s actually been embraced by various cultural groups since ancient times.
“Each of the bowls plays a very specific tone that resonates with your body and cells, making them vibrate at a higher resonance to help clear away stress and release tension,” she says. “It's an opportunity to rebalance your energy and fully relax in a way that’s incredibly restorative.”
In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to fall asleep in a session! The best part is, there’s nothing you need to do in a session but lie back and receive. Typically, Shirley begins with learning about your intentions, a guided meditation, and then introduces sound healing with bowls, chimes, and other instruments before the Reiki begins.
She offers 30 to 90 minute sessions for people of all ages and backgrounds, all tailored to your individual needs. Whether you’re dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, or even physical pains caused by emotional turmoil (again, it’s all connected), Reiki and sound healing can help clear negative energy and replace it with gentle, calm, and loving energy.
The frequency of sessions is entirely up to you, with some people preferring to come weekly or monthly while others come on a seasonal or yearly basis. According to Shirley, it’s best to listen to your body — you’ll know when it’s time for your next session. She also recommends wearing loose, comfy clothes that aren’t too restricting. Shirley always has blankets available and encourages people to dress in layers.
Because energy work can make people feel either out of their body or stuck in their body, Shirley places an emphasis on a grounded approach. “As a practitioner, my priority is making sure you feel rooted and nourished, and have that connection to the earth,” she says.
More about Shirley
Shirley is a first-generation Chinese-American and now lives in Jersey City. Her passions include shamanic healing, medicinal ceremonies, knitting, and learning everything she can about plants, herbs, and sound. And while she loves relaxing sound baths, many people are surprised to learn she’s a fan of metal and rock music as well!
Interested in learning more or booking a session? Feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out her website Yishihealing.com and follow her Instagram (Yishihealing).
A little over a year ago, HHA’s resident counselor Andrea Inauen shared her best tips for coping with the pandemic that turned our entire world upside down. At the time, when shut-downs made a single day feel eternal, the focus was on survival more than anything.
While COVID-19 still looms large over our lives, it’s no secret that we’re fatigued from living in crisis mode. The current struggle is more about trying to process the enormity of what we experienced while also being expected to return to work, school, and many pre-pandemic activities (which can come with a lot of anxiety). After such a significant slowdown, returning to our old levels of business and productivity may feel like a shock to the system.
To help you navigate yet another period of transition, Andrea generously shared some simple and effective strength-based tools you can call on to feel more grounded, resilient, and mindful.
Q: Is there a common theme or sentiment you’ve been hearing people struggle with lately?
Andrea: The biggest thing is a locus of control, because there's so much going on right now that we don't have control over. The question I ask my clients is, “What is within your control?” This pandemic is still a threat with many moving parts, but we all want a quality of life that’s more than just existing in survival mode.
So while we’re aware of what’s happening in the world, we have to remind ourselves that the locus of control is within us. It’s up to us to create a sense of joy and purpose and grounding. This means asking questions like, “What’s important to me? What feels good?” There are different areas to explore in this question, from work life to family life. Those muscles went dormant for a while, but we can stretch them a little more — but not to the point where we’re tearing them by trying to do too much too fast.
Q: Are there any other common struggles you’re seeing during this time?
Andrea: A lot of people are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Life is generally filled with peaks and valleys, moments that are both somber and joyful. But when we actually soak in those high points, we gain tools and resilience to help us manage the lows; it replenishes our sense of self. Give yourself permission to enjoy the good, knowing it will help the valleys to be less dark.
I also hear from people who feel guilty about being happy and healthy when bad things are happening all over the world. In essence, we certainly can have feelings, awareness, and compassion, and even get involved in some cases. But to entirely absorb guilt and responsibility is unfair to self and not an accurate reflection of these larger issues.
The key is to change the conjunction from “but” to “and.” So if your normal mindset is, “I want to have a birthday party for my child, but how can I do that when so many kids are suffering?” then consider this slight tweak: “I am aware of this tragedy and my heart breaks for the people involved and I know that celebrating my child doesn’t take away from that.”
By continuing to live your life, it’s fuel so that you can be more of a support system for someone in pain. It truly doesn’t help for you to be guilty. The answer to guilt is to not deny yourself, but instead to live with gratitude.
Q: Do you have any advice for those experiencing anxiety about returning to pre-pandemic activities?
Andrea: If you haven't exercised a muscle in a year, you can't run a marathon. It’s the same with your social life — recognize that it’s a muscle that needs a little stretching and nurturing. If you haven’t been out in a year, jumping into a trip to Disney World is going to feel overwhelming.
Ease in and listen to yourself instead of overdoing it. You don’t want to pull yourself back and let fear run the show, so just check in with yourself and see what your energy levels are feeling like. Maybe instead of committing to an all-day affair, you meet a friend for an hour. If you find that you’re feeling energized instead of drained, you might choose to extend your outing. Either way, listen to yourself!
Q: How can you differentiate between the real need for rest and self-sabotage?
Andrea: It can help to do a checklist to see how you’re really feeling. You can even put this on an index card as sort of a rule-out diagnosis. You might ask: Is my body fatigued? Is there a physical sense of exhaustion? Is there something else I'd really rather be doing?
If you answer yes to all of the above, maybe you really will benefit most from rest. But if not, it’s possible you’re sabotaging yourself out of fear. Again, if you’re feeling anxious, you don’t want to overcommit yourself. Give yourself an out if you need it. It’s like an arcade game — do you want to add more coins, add another hour? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Sometimes it’s important for you to see that person you have plans with, and even if you’re not feeling super enthused, you’ll stretch yourself more for your friend. Sometimes, it’s not super important and it’s going above your threshold. Find a middle ground and try not to stretch yourself too thin.
Q: Are there any personal lessons you learned during 2020 that you’d like to carry forward?
Andrea: I learned to do what’s important to me with more intention and less speed. Things that would have been put on the back burner — like painting for no purpose, or watching a movie — got moved higher up on the list. Pre-pandemic, I was always trying to be fast and productive. Especially being from the northeast, sometimes I struggle with is not going 90 mph at all times. But if you run a marathon every day, you’ll burn out. These days I’m more realistic and unapologetic about slowing down. I can still say yes to things, but I can space it out to be more connected to myself during the day. There are beautiful things that can come out of speed and passion, but sometimes doing it slower is actually doing it better.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say to the HHA community?
Andrea: We're all human and it's so, so important to be kind to yourself. Whether you're in a crisis or in a joyful mood, be kind and gentle to yourself!
Q: If people are interested in seeing you for counseling, what are the next steps?
Andrea: I welcome the opportunity to talk with you! I can be reached at 973-886-0941 or by email at email@example.com to provide more information, share about what a session might look like, or to schedule an appointment.
At Hudson Healing Arts, our blog is a place where we hope to address the topics that are on your hearts and minds, as well as those that affect your health. This month, we’re shining the spotlight on a hot topic we’ve been hearing a lot about lately — inflammation.
There’s no one better to help us understand inflammation than Joe DelGiodice, a long-time member of the HHA family (since 1999!). As a board-certified acupuncturist, Chinese and Western herbalist, and naturopath, Joe is uniquely qualified to explain how healthy lifestyle practices can help reduce chronic inflammation and improve your overall wellbeing.
What Is Inflammation?
First things first: All inflammation actually starts in the body for a good reason. According to Joe, this natural chemical process is vital to defending our bodies from harmful agents. For example, the redness and swelling you experience after an injury is the “good kind” of inflammation — that’s your white blood cells rushing in for protection.
However, it becomes problematic when the process goes unchecked and doesn’t turn off the way it should. It can also become a concern when the re-injury or assault process doesn't stop (i.e. stress that keeps spiraling, or eating the same inflammatory foods repeatedly).
“This traps us in a repetitive cycle where the inflammatory process becomes an emergency process, rather than one that supports everyday living,” Joe says. “Chronic inflammation can manifest as a wide range of issues, from diabetes to arthritis to heart disease.”
Typically, this “bad kind” of inflammation stems from something happening in excess somewhere in the body. The usual suspects? Insufficient sleep or hydration, unhealthy eating, ineffective stress management, or a sedentary lifestyle. Joe points out that the last one doesn’t necessarily equate to laziness — it often means working so hard that you don’t have the opportunity to be active.
Thankfully, it’s possible to manage and reverse inflammation through practices that support your wellbeing, and it’s something Joe sees happen all the time.
“While some chronic inflammation can be genetic, healthy eating, exercise, quality sleep, and taking care of yourself all truly matter,” Joe says. “They help halt the toxicity of your inflammatory response and return to your natural state of being with regular body chemistry.”
One major thing you can do is find an effective way to manage stress. While there’s always a level of inflammation that exists in the body, stress plays a big role in triggering and exacerbating the inflammatory process. Scheduling regular holistic healing sessions (whether that’s acupuncture, Reiki, bodywork, or energy balancing) is a great way to be proactive about taming stress, rather than waiting to crash and burn first.
Wondering what else you can do to help with inflammation? Here are some of Joe’s top tips:
Come Visit Us At HHA
At Hudson Healing Arts, we offer a number of services - both in-person and remote - to encourage relaxation and a greater sense of balance, which helps to alleviate chronic inflammation. Check out our full list of healing modalities here: hudsonhealingarts.com/our-services.html.
As always, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section — or feel free to connect with us on Facebook. Wishing you a wonderful, happy, and healthy end of summer!
Over the past decade, there’s no doubt that complementary and alternative care has become more common in the mainstream and recognized by traditional medicine. Still, when it comes to some of the services offered here at Hudson Healing Arts — from energy work to acupuncture — we often hear the same misconceptions.
That’s why we thought it was high time to separate fact from fiction with our very own “MythBusters” edition! Whether it’s helping you understand how remote sessions work or what acupuncture really feels like, our goal is to shine some light on how our holistic healing modalities truly bring balance to your mind, body, and spirit.
So, without further ado...
Myth: Holistic healing is “woo-woo.”
Truth: Most of us understand on an intuitive level that the mind, body, emotions, and spirit are interconnected. Just think of the heart-racing effects of anger, or the deep fatigue that accompanies sadness. However, this concept can often get lost when issues arise — we may try to “fix” individual body parts or conditions. Our practitioners recognize that when there’s an imbalance in one area, it can impact the others, which is why we aim to restore a sense of harmony among all aspects of the self. It’s pretty amazing to see how physical symptoms tend to fall in line once the mind, emotions, and spirit receive some TLC (and vice-versa).
Myth: Remote energy sessions aren’t as effective as in-person sessions.
Truth: Energy has no geographic boundaries; it’s all about intention. We actually send and transmit energy all the time, and Reiki and AshWork are just as effective conducted remotely. In fact, even before the pandemic, 99% of AshWork sessions were done over the phone. Being in a different energy field than the client can even give the practitioner an edge, helping them to be as “clear” as possible and immerse themselves in the flow of a certain energy vibration.
Myth: I didn’t feel any different after my energy work session, so it didn’t work.
Truth: While many people feel deeply relaxed after an energy work session, there are some people who don’t feel an immediate change, and it’s nothing to worry about. It doesn't mean that it hasn't “worked,” just that it's taking longer for energy to settle in. Ideally, you want to give yourself a little space after a session to let it integrate: take this time to drink some water, stretch, walk, or nap if you want. Often clients notice that they feel better later on in the day or when they wake the next morning.
Myth: Adults are the only ones who can benefit from HHA’s services.
Truth: Reiki, AshWork, and Bach Flower Remedies can help restore emotional balance for teens, kids and even pets (their “humans” can act as surrogates). AshWork can also help restore the flow and fluidity in environments that feel unsettled or heavy, because energy gets stuck in spaces.
Myth: Acupuncture hurts.
Truth: Acupuncture is a deeply healing, rejuvenating practice — it’s not at all the same feeling you get at the doctor’s office when you’re being pricked by a needle. It’s also important to understand that the needles used are generally no wider than a strand of hair. As the needles are inserted, you may feel a tiny sensation, or perhaps nothing at all. Once they’re in, your only job is to lie back and relax. It’s super common to actually fall asleep and to leave feeling extremely relaxed from the release of so much stored tension.
Myth: Nutritional counseling is only for people struggling with their weight.
Truth: While nutritional counseling is wonderful for those hoping to achieve a healthier weight, it’s also beneficial for those who are naturally slim. Our resident nutritionist Joe DelGiodice has worked with people from all walks of life, ranging from three months to 102 years old. The first thing Joe asks clients is their purpose: Are you looking to gain a bit of an edge, to become substantially healthier, or even to obtain supernatural health? The food you eat has a direct impact on your mood, cognition and energy levels, so everyone can stand to gain the benefits of a balanced, nutrient-dense diet.
Myth: Hypnosis is scary. I don’t want to lose control.
Truth: Hypnosis is a totally natural state of mind. In fact, you’ve been in this state countless times! When you’re 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 couldn’t be further from “mind control”; rather, it’s an empowering tool that puts you in the driver’s seat.
Myth: Essential oils may smell good, but that’s about it as far as their benefits.
Truth: Aromatherapy is actually considered mankind’s first medicine! There are endless ways to use essential oils to boost your emotional state and heal a number of ailments, from nausea to congestion. However, it is 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. With Young Living oils, you receive 100% pure, highly-concentrated, therapeutic-grade oils (a step beyond food quality standards). P.S. If you’re interested in ordering any of Young Living’s products, visit youngliving.com and use #220708 as the referral number. Or call us– we’re glad to be of help!
Myth: You need a specific physical issue to take Feldenkrais lessons.
Truth: Feldenkrais can help anyone and everyone move better because we all have habits of movement that we’re unaware of that can cause us pain and restriction. Plus, we all hold stress in our bodies. This makes even more sense when you consider our sedentary culture and tech habits. The goal is to become aware of the ways that we move that may not serve us well, and find better options personalized to you as a unique individual.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read our blog — we hope you found it useful. Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook for regular wellness updates and inspiration. Here’s to a happy and healthy rest of the summer!
“I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.” -Lucy Maud Montgomery
Sweet summer is officially on the horizon, with the solstice arriving this Sunday, June 20th. After the past year and a half, the promise of sunny, carefree days feels more significant than ever. Finally, it feels safe to exhale and embrace a sense of optimism about the future.
While so many of us are eager to jump back into our old lives, we at HHA believe there’s a potent opportunity on our hands during this “in-between” transition we find ourselves in. The light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t mean we have to go back to our old ways and rushed pace of living. Now is the time to mindfully integrate the lessons learned in 2020 to create the life we want to be living — one marked by balance and well-being.
Embracing the summer solstice
The summer solstice, which marks the longest day of the year, is perfect for reflection and intention-setting. Since ancient times, this solar occasion has been celebrated by cultures all over the world. In ancient China, it was a time to honor yin qualities, which meant finding ways to slow down and cool off to maintain balance in the heat.
This year, solstice rituals take on a deeper meaning as we carve out our intentions for not just summer, but “a new normal.” As much as we want to put the dark times behind us, there’s also an unprecedented opportunity to focus more on what matters and to move forward with these principles front and center. Maybe you realized how much joy it brings you to eat at home as a family, the importance of your relationships and community, or just how much beauty there is in your own backyard. Maybe you experienced a shift in perspective or a new appreciation for slowing down.
One simple way to honor the energy you want to bring forth on the solstice is to create a summer altar. An altar is a sacred space for you to draw inward and tend to your spirit, whatever that means to you. You can set up your altar with anything you’d like, such as flowers, candles, photos, or other natural elements that have meaning for you. Perhaps you begin or end the day with a gratitude practice at your altar, setting an intention, or meditating on a mantra (such as, “I am enough” or “I am present in this moment”). Perhaps you just admire the beauty and reminder of abundance you have created!
Reconnecting with simple summer joys
Pre-pandemic, it’s safe to say that our culture embraced a “go big or go home” mentality. But, when we had no choice but to stay home, we found joy in the little things, whether it was baking bread or planting veggies. While our world is always filled with simple wonders, they seem to be more abundant than ever in the summertime.
This summer, we can continue to bloom where we’re planted and find peace in the moment. Here are just a few simple pleasures to inspire you!
*Flowers are at their most plentiful and inexpensive during the summer - so don’t forget to grab a fresh bouquet! If there’s one thing we learned during the pandemic, it’s the power of putting yourself in the way of beauty, no matter what.
*There are few problems that a frosty treat on a hot day can’t solve. Savor the delight of an ice cream cone, lemonade, or some mouth-watering watermelon (even better if you can keep it in the fridge for a day).
*Even if you don’t have the space for a garden, nurturing a container or potted plant can do wonders for the soul.
*Enjoy a barefoot picnic with loved ones.
*Treat yourself to a lazy day spent in a hammock.
*Remember that pure joy of catching fireflies or lightning bugs you felt as a child? Bring it back with your own kids...or your own inner child! And don't forget to set them free!
*Summer is the perfect time to turn ripe fruits into jams or jellies that you’ll be thankful for come winter.
*Don your favorite floppy hat, flowiest sun dress, or all-around most beloved summer attire. Notice the immediate shift in your energy when you do so!
*There’s nothing better than camping out in your own backyard and sleeping under the stars. Or, simply lay in the grass and make shapes out of clouds.
Happy summer everyone, and thanks so much for reading. Here at HHA, the past year certainly deepened our appreciation for our wonderful community — and that’s something we don’t plan on ever taking for granted! Remember to follow us on Facebook for regular inspiration and special offers.
Hannah Chenoweth is a Hoboken-based conference producer and freelance writer who enjoys covering all aspects of health and wellness.
AshWork Energy Clearing
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