My Herbs Blog
Neville Lancelot Goddard- February 19, 1905 – October 1, 1972
Very interesting book written by this man, called "Feeling is the Secret."
I really like this book, because so much of what I have learned about health and well-being can be tied to feeling. First of all when you go talk to anyone about your health, do you know start by talking about how you feel. You may say "I am tired," "I don't feel good," "I have a headache." Or you may say "I feel great." "I have energy." "I am really good."
Assessment begins with description of how things feel. It is a great initial assessment tool. It is also really helpful when you take into account how a person says they feel day in and day out. If someone is talking about not feeling good consistently- is it a surprise that they never seem to get better or improve?
FEELING IS THE SECRET. Neville explains that everything starts in the conscious mind as a thought. Let us say that you see a symptom appear. You think about it. Then you start attaching some feelings to that symptom. Maybe those feelings are fear or anxiety. The feelings then imprint on the sub-conscious mind, and Neville explains that what ever you feed the sub-conscious must make itself known, or must express itself.
The key to any success in life is to therefore impress positive statements or affirming beliefs from the conscious mind, to the sub-conscious. He does not mean that you suppress reality or deny how you feel, but rather.... you recreate an image of one you desire, instead of mulling on the one you do not.
I want to try to explain this better, as far as I understand. The premise behind this is mind blowing, and will change your whole entire life.
A number of years ago I was really struggling with my health. It was after my 4th child. I was drained, exhausted, not sleeping well, fatigued, stressed, and having digestive issues. When I finally decided that I needed to do something drastic, I made a plan for myself that included some outside help, massage, art, diet, nutrition and herbs. Now I was already an Herbalist. I had already been studying for years and years, but some lessons elude us, I suppose, until we really come face to face with them.
I realized that I was so focused on my feelings, my negative feelings. I just hoped they would go away. I was taking herbs, but not doing other things to nourish my mind, body and soul. I was having symptoms that were hard to ignore. Some days I really had to drag myself through the entire day. Actually I think that was more days than not.
As part of my new health plan, I had to rewire the thoughts in my brain. I had to imagine or believe I felt good and was well before I saw evidence. I did this in a few ways. I had used some meditations to hypno-birth. I knew that I could use meditations to help my body heal. I would listen to relaxing meditations that helped me visualize positive images of peace. I would lay in my bed every morning and tell myself I was happy, healthy, wealthy and wise. I would repeat this dozens of times a day. The key was believing and FEELING that feeling, even when I really didn't.
I would draw images of wellness. I am an artist, so that might be easier than for most, but you can cut images of wellness. You can write words of wellness. I wrote many many statements that began with I am.... I am free, I am brave, I am healthy. You can find portions of my art journals and lessons attached in my book called Mommy and Me Art Journaling Activities for Love and Serenity at this LINK: https://linktr.ee/sheephillherbalist
I imagined my body the way I wanted it. I visualized my inner organs being flooded with white healing light. This is what I understand from what Neville is teaching. My conscious mind says "I am not well." Ok I recognize this. I am not going to DWELL on it though and impress it on my sub-conscious mind. I am going to rewire, rework and imagine what I want to see.
I began to see significant changes in a short period of time with this new approach. It is really a discipline of the mind. It is difficult, but possible. So if you are taking all the supplements, and doing other modalities, and not seeing results. It may be time to add your imagination into the picture. You may need to FEEL and believe the feeling of wellness, or wealth, or happiness before you see it manifest. That is faith. "The substance of things hoped for the evidence of things unseen." (Bible reference).
Today I am excellent. I am all those things I wrote about and repeated to myself. I am amazing! I am healthy! I am wealthy! I am happy. I created the life I wanted with my imagination and words. You can do the same.
Study is wonderful. Reading and learning is great. I do it all the time. I ready daily and study what others have recorded. The best reading or best books are written by people who have had actual experience, and then attempt to write that experience down as clear as they can for others to benefit.
I have studied and read about plants for 20 years. Reading about a plant, does so very little in the way of getting to really know the plant. Reading provides me information and knowledge, but there is so much more when you spend time in the growth cycle with the actual plant. I just think about all the millions of people who lived before the written word, or when those who could read and write were small in number.
There is a wealth of information to be learned by observation and study in nature. A child will even be able to teach you from this kind of study. My son Caleb loves birds, and has spent hours looking for them, and listening to their voices. He can identify dozens of birds by their call, not to mention their sight. He also can identify by seeing their nests. I find this amazing.
Plants may seem like a mystery to those only use to purchasing from a store, or who only grow a very few in their garden. Plants are mysterious, but they are also very identifiable and you can get to know their properties and abilities after a full season of watching them bloom, grow, respond to the weather, flower and seed. Each year I make it my mission to learn more plants this way, and the ones I already know, I watch for their many characteristics. I truly get excited to see what each tree will do in the year. Will it blossom early? Will there be more fruit? Will it be strong?
This brings me to Black Walnuts- because I have spent a lot of time with this tree, and its fruit. Oh what I would have done without this tree?! It has helped me so much with my skin, and healing long standing skin issues. It is truly a helper, a friend, and a beneficial part of creation that I am grateful for.
In the video below I will talk a bit more about Black Walnut hulls- turned into medicine. I also have other videos on Black Walnut Hull Tinctures at my You Tube Channel, Sheep Hill Herbs (you can find them after you link over there). If you have had an amazing experience with Black Walnut (herb), leave a comment below.
This evening, I found out that our state of Pennsylvania is going into a further lockdown mode again, right before Christmas. My first immediate reaction is a blood-boiling spike of adrenalin. Ok- wow that sounds bad? Right? It makes me angry on so many levels. For one- I am upset that so many people gripped in fear over this virus. I do not mean to diminish their reality, but in my reality I am not afraid at all.
I guess I have an unusual training, but The School of Natural Healing in Utah, really prepared me for all sorts of life "issues," so to speak. Having a large family, there is always someone who needs extra tending. I also live in a very religious area, where many of the people gravitate to plant medicines, and I have helped quite a number of people in my community over the years with various things.
I have seen plants work time and time again, but always coupled with a good and sound dietary plan. Diet is key, and we know that obesity and heart disease is rampant in America. Since all of this 2020 stuff started, I would go to the grocery store, and see people buying so many terrible foods, yet wearing a mask, and from what I know about diet and health- yes, I can see why you may need to wear a mask. The thing is though- if you eat an unhealthy diet over run with sugars and starches, and processed foods, and sodas, you may always need to wear a mask.
That does not mean that those of us who know about health, and nutrition, and diet, and exercise, and plants need to be under the same restrictions, and punishments, does it?
I really am failing to see why all of us need to be under the same restrictions for those who do not know how to take care of their body. It is a shame, but maybe much more than the majority do not. Plant medicines, knowing the land, living off the land, and taking care of oneself is a lost art. From cradle to grave we are invested in a hospital, or most of us are. Most people do not even consider another way.
And I am so grateful for the emergency services provided, but day to day prevention and just wellness is sorely missed in our culture. I am not sure how we lost touch with our true nature, are true selves and who God created us to be, but we have.
So as I sit here this evening, after having calmed myself down, I think.... "God, or The Divine, whatever you want to call the all encompassing life force that Created us all, He works all things to the good for those who love him and are called according to His purpose."
If I am really honest, I have to say that I have enjoyed this year of breaks. Breaks from sports, breaks from too much gathering, breaks from spending, breaks from activities. It was almost like a year when I was pregnant. You nest, and learn many spiritual lessons. Spending lots of time at home, with nature, I have really dug deep with God and His Divine wisdom. Although I am in the flesh not wanting to abide to more restriction, I have to believe that all this will be worked out to the Good. Hopefully I will be a part of that good, sharing what little herbal and wellness nuggets I have to share.
I read about what is happening in the world, and I want to tell you something. We have been fooled- we have been duped. We have been told that we are not smart enough, brave enough, young enough, expert enough, old enough, wealthy enough- the list goes on and on.
We have been fed since babes that there are experts and people in places of power that are more intelligent than we are. Do you know that the world was built buy people no smarter than you?
Do you know that most Geniuses, and I mean actual geniuses like Albert Einstein, Jake Ducey, Bob Proctor, Dr. Christopher were not considered so in school. School is not a measure of your genius.
We are the authors of our own destiny! The world is created by imaginative power. God created the world with HIS words and imagination. We too have that same divine power. We can CREATE we are Co-Creators of our own destiny.
The problem is we have been programmed to think otherwise. This programming has made it really really really hard to get success, health, well-being, wellness, and wealth, even if we want it really badly. The program has to be re-written. You need to start re-writing the story. You need to start changing the narrative in your mind, to have the end of the story that you want.
I can't imagine the enormous power of a world united in CREATING abundance, wealth, and joy... instead of one based on fear and control. We live in a beautiful, and abundant planet with much good. There is a lot of good. I want to cry and really weep at what is happening and what is being taken away. We as a collective need to believe we have the same smarts, the same intelligence, the same creative power as those in charge of our lives.
You are Divinely made. Divinely inspired. Divinely perfect.
I eat gluten free and have for over four years. I grew up eating wheat galore. Through college, the same. Pizza was my favorite food!! Oh and spaghetti. About 4-5 years ago I started seeing a Nutritionist/ Chiropractor who did Nutrition Response. We discovered that all grains were seriously bothering me. In fact they were causing so much stress and inflammation that my body was kind of going backwards in health and not stabilizing or healing. This perplexed me greatly because grains are the "staff of life." "The daily bread." How could I have problem with foods that have sustained people for thousands of years. Well what I discovered was that grains were A. Not GMO thousands of years ago. Wheat had much, much less gluten before the seeds were messed with. B. The modern processing left grains very acidic, and very hard to digest. In ancient times people knew how to prepare grains properly with soaking, sun-baking, fermenting, grinding. A many step, loving system that made the grains easy to assimilate.
Consequently I have had to remove Gluten foods from my diet for the past 5 years, and honestly do not even miss them! Mainly because I feel amazing without them. ONCE in a while I will test and see, but sampling something. I know within a short time that my body is still saying NO to that food. That is ok. That is where I am right now, and like I said, a whole new world of food opened up to me with removing the same old crackers, pancakes, bread, bread, bread, pasta, donuts, everything everything wheat!
Below is one of my recipes. I love these! I have various alterations to this main recipe, but to me it is satisfying, especially to my sweet tooth, nutrient dense, and nourishing. Hope you make some and comment down below.
Pumpkin and Almond Butter balls, with a sesame seed coating. Being gluten free is challenging in finding foods, especially dessert-like foods that are delicious. It is however, really rewarding to cut the grain.
No more brain fog. More energy. No excess weight. Digestive stress gone. Clear breathing. Waking up energetic. Some of the benefits of going gluten free.
1 1/2 cups pumpkin (I like Libby's- linked here, unless I have time to cut my own pumpkin and grind it).
1 cup Almond butter
*almond butter is much tastier than peanut butter in this recipe.
3/4 cup ground raisins. (I heated the raisins on the stove with a little water first.)
1 tsp. Cinnamon (Moutain Rose herbs- see banner in footer has great cinnamon powder)
1 tsp. Orange extract
1 tsp. Chinese 5 powder spice
1/4 cup Slippery elm powder ( https://amzn.to/37G6s8b )
**Slippery elm is an herb that is powdery and can absorb liquid. It is very soothing to the digestive tract and absorbs toxins.
1/3 cup Licorice root powder ( https://amzn.to/3glwX6L )
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup chia seeds
Sesame seeds to roll
Mix all the ingredients together, except for the sesame seeds, and let sit for 10 minutes. If you mixture is too wet, add a little more Slippery elm.
Roll into balls, and then in a bowl, pour in about a half cup sesame seeds and roll the balls before setting on a clean plate.
#glutenfree, #glutenfreedesserts, #pumpkinballs, #healthytreats, #healthyfoods, #cinnamon, #slipperyelm, #licoriceroot,
I love Black Walnut tincture, made from Green Hulls. It is truly the best way to enjoy this plant and herb. Every fall I can't wait to pick the green hulls and make A LOT of tincture for the year. It is one plant and remedy I always wildcraft and make from scratch. I just have not found the dried version of black walnut hull powder to be as effective.
I have depended on Black walnut to heal my skin of some pretty persistent eczema, which is really a concoction of bacteria, and fungal issues combined on the skin. Nothing has worked so effectively for me as this wonderful plant.
We have also been saved or our teeth have been saved by swishing the tincture at least 2 times a day. I have seen teeth enamel repair and harden from repeated, consistent care. (DIET IS ALSO IMPORTANT). We eat a Paleo diet. Grains, especially processed can really leach minerals from the body because of acidity. Properly processed grains, the ancient way as not acidic. I personally do not have enough time to process my grains the old fashioned way. We do have some brown rice, and buckwheat once a week or so. Wheat and Gluten- no. Just found my family healthier without it.
I have multiple videos on Black walnut, especially how to make your own tincture. I also have a few other blog posts here on this site. For now, I wanted to share my most recent video on this wonderful herb. I can't wait to see the blooming trees next year. They line our property and street. They are the sign of summer and give me a feeling of well-being with their big green hulls.
My own tincture can be found at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SheepHillHerbs
Not all herbs are created equally, or rather not all plants grow with equal strength. It really is like people.....Human beings are all different based upon many factors, and largely shaped by the nutritive condition of their parents before conception and especially by the mother during pregnancy.
A plant is greatly influenced by the soil, and other weather conditions of where it lives and grows. The seeds that a plant makes can be "less than," if the plant had poor soil; it can even fail to produce seeds. Saying that Basil is good for you, or Peppermint is used for stomach distress, is only part of the story. What is not being said, is that not all basil, not all peppermint is created equally.
You can buy dried basil from the grocery store, and be getting very little nutritional or medicinal benefits. You could then grow your own basil, enrich the soil, compost, and have Basil that IS GOOD FOR YOU. Maybe you are new to herbs, and just trying to figure out how to make tea, or make a simple remedy. Maybe you have tried some herbal remedies and have found them lacking.
The reason may be in a lack of quality of the herb you are using. Let's look at it another way. Is there not a difference between cheap diner food (sorry I know some diners are great, maybe I should say food from a gas station that has been on the heat rack all day, and food prepared at a fine dining 5 Star restaurant? YES! Of course! Your herbs are like that comparison. Your big box store, or chain store is going to have a lesser quality herbal product that a small shop, small company or local herbalist. Usually - and this isn't 100% of the time, small herbal farms, or herbal product producers put a lot of care, time and love into their herbals. I have found that small batch herbal products are usually great.
That being said, there are two companies that do not disappoint when I want dried herbs. I grow a lot and wild-craft (that is collect from the wild or from neighbors who don't use their herbs). Since I run a business I order a many extra herbs. My two favorites companies are Mountain Rose Herbs and Starwest Botanicals. This banner links to Mountain Rose Herbs and I am an affiliate of this company. I have always loved their herbs. They are bright, vibrant, colorful, full of flavor and scent. This is what you want from your herbs.
I also love Starwest Botanicals herbs. I personally have a Wholesale account because I run a business, but you can buy Starwest herbs on Amazon. I really am happy with their herbs, and they are sourced from many farms or wildcrafted. The color is vibrant, and the herbs definitely work. Just like when you decide to cook a meal, homemade is often the best way to go. Making your food from your own ingredients will give you a fresh meal, and hopefully a tasty one too. The herbal companies I am suggesting have the "ingredients"- herbs that can be bought in ounce amounts. They typically are broken down into 4oz., 8oz. or 16oz. (1lb.), and sometimes a more rare herb will be offered in 1 oz. amounts.
I have a number of blog posts, and many videos that show you what to do with these ingredients. I also do sell some of my own formulas, but even though I do and would love sales, I have to say that a properly made tincture at home, or salve made at home will be a bit more energetic because it has gone through less, less shipping, less movement, less handling. Now- of course an "expert" herbalist can make a product that is amazing and not easily replicated. That is like saying just because you make homemade cookies, they will be better than someone who is a baker. The person who bakes for a living will more than likely have a tastier cookie.
However- part of my goal as a teacher of herbs, is to teach people how to have a bit more freedom and take care of simple, every day needs with herbs on their own. (**Just a side note, Rosemary Gladstar says that if an issue is not resolved is a few days or in a reasonable amount of time with herbs, then you need to head to the doctor. I am not referring to emergencies which need prompt handling, but something simple, a rash, bug bites, headache, bumps and bruises. )
Feeling confident with the simple things will give you confidence to try more with herbs. There are many home remedies that make life happier, healthier and more fulfilling. First though, you need to start with good quality herbs. I have given you 2 places to purchase. Mountain Rose Herbs- (See banner below in Footer), or Starwest Botanicals on Amazon. I do want to encourage you to also seek out local community herbalists that may have herbs that you can buy. I am very big of supporting local small business, especially this year! Also, Dr. Christopher taught that herbs, and food from your own latitude are better for you than from some far and distant land.
This morning, I was greeted by 2 little blue flowers on my rosemary bush. I was so surprised. I mean, I know that plants have flowers, and that they bloom, but I have never ever had a rosemary that bloomed. In fact my rosemary's have often died before their time.
I think I was determined this year to have success with my rosemary. I love this amazingly beautiful, and fragrant plant. In the past, I have planted it right in my garden, and when the deep cold of winter sets in, it just is too much for this warm weather loving plant. My sister lived in Texas (I am in PA), and her rosemary bush was gigantic, like an actual bush.
What I have learned is to put my rosemary in pots, and move the pots in and out of the house. I move it in for the winter, usually starting in November, and take it out maybe late March. The problem is, or was, or has been that I never seemed to have one live through the winter, until March and go back outside. Last year was the first year where this very plant, pictured below lived through the winter, went outside and is not happy inside, blooming.
I actually use to say that I didn't have a green thumb. The truth is, I most definitely do. It was a matter of learning some skills, techniques and a whole lot of observation. That mixed with a mindset of not being afraid to fail. I think I use to be so afraid to "kill a plant." I have killed many plants. I would bargain to surmise that this may be a common thought for people who are not really developed in their plant skills. It truly does not feel great to kill a plant.
I remember one time in college- I had a plant in my small dorm room. I can't believe I did this, but I had NO idea what I was doing with plants at that time. I had hot water in my dorm room and because the bathroom was down the hall, with sinks, and I did not want to go down there. I thought I would just water my plant with this hot water. Needless to say the plant died rather quickly (within a day or so), and I felt horrible. Thinking back on it actually, I may have been able to save it if I knew what I know now.
There is a lot of risk taking in working with plants. I think when you approach them with hesitancy, and fear- they sense that. Now, I get in there and dig around the dirt, move, cut, trim, transplant and the plants keep on thriving. I never ever water my plants with hot water though! I do however use my herbal tea, after its cooled down and is no longer of interest to me. When I say cooled, like room temperature. I figure the plant will be enriched by the minerals in the tea.
As I was writing, I brought 2 rosemary pots in this November. The one was looking rather shabby, as it had gone a stretch without water. It is coming around though. The other looked very healthy when I brought it in and it is the plant that now has little blue blooms.
I love what I learned about Rosemary in of course 'Rosemary Gladstar's' book Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide.
"Rosmarinus means "dew of the sea. In reference to the plant's natural habitat on the warm, sunny hillsides bordering the sea." (Medicinal Herbs p. 84)
Rosemary has a great recipe for ensuring that your plants survive indoor settings. I followed her instructions and I have to say, she was exactly correct!
"It loves fertile soil and the full sunlight, though it will tolerate some shade. Water thoroughly, and don't let the soil dry out completely between waterings, but don't over water either. To have a really happy rosemary plant, mist the leaves weekly with a diluted seaweed spray."
-Rosemary Gladstar (Medicinal Herbs p. 84)
I have done exactly that. I have given my plant full sun- or the best sunny window in my house. I have been watering it a lot. Every 2 to 3 days. I am sure what problem I ran into before was that I let the soil become way too dry in-between watering. I have not been misting with seaweed spray, but I have been misting the leaves when I water. I can tell it has made a difference.
I am posting my own video on this lovely plant below. Go check it out on YouTube. My channel is Sheep Hill Herbs.
I first learned about tooth powder from Dr. Christopher, and The School of Natural Healing. I made a few batches of his formula, and gave it a try, but honestly- I was bothered by the "dirtiness" of my toothbrush and the sink.
Fast forward a number of years later, and out of necessity- I decided to give the tooth powder a try again, and decided to make up my own recipe. I was having some "early cavities" and one of my children had 2 definite cavities.
If you want to learn the REAL TRUTH about Tooth Decay and Cavities, and everything about bone health, read this book: Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel. This book, when I first read it- blew my mind. What I mean is that it shattered everything I thought I knew about mouth, gum care, and healthy teeth.
My previous notion was that you were lucky if you were born with nice straight teeth, and maybe you are lucky. However, I learned that there is a real and true nutritional dynamic behind strong, straight, healthy teeth. Like I said- this is a must read book if you want to get out of the dentists' office, and repair your teeth, or change your family's health for future generations. Diet is so important. Remember when you learned in school that sugar causes cavities. In some respects it does, but in Ramiel's book you will find that the real culprit is the modern, processed grain- which does more damage to our bones, and teeth than sugar.
In the above video- you can follow along as I show you what you will need to make your own tooth powder, and how I use it to brush my teeth. If you only want to read about it- I will give you my recipe. First though I want to elaborate a bit more as to why we needed this.
I am very much against invasive procedures, IF there are natural things that can be done to fix a problem. I most always give natural a try first- and it has worked for me 99.% of the time. I have one teeny cavity, and I honestly don't think it was needed. I do have a few spots that became suspect as I approach 40 years of age. Again- they didn't seem to be in dire need, and I wanted to do everything I could to strengthen my teeth.
Tooth powder works best in combination with a low grain diet. I follow a Paleo diet, for the most part, with Buckwheat the only "grain" that I consume. Every time I go off course, I see my health drop. Now- this type of diet might not be the best for you, but it works for me. I do believe that grains can be part of your diet, if they are processed in the OLD WAY with fermenting and sprouting. You would really need to do some research on this, and one good book is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.
I also employed Oil Pulling- which you can read about here: Real Life Oil Pulling: Avoid Crowns, Stop Infection & Bleeding Gums (deeprootsathome.com)
I do want to say that OIL PULLING alone will not get rid of cavities, or fill in enamel. It is great for helping with infection and cleaning up the gums, but from trial and error I know that multiple modalities are needed.
I also employed essential oils on the gums. I like Young Living Vitality Oils- Thieves in particular or Myrrh if it is of Therapeutic quality to put in your mouth. I would swab the affected area a few time a week, while also doing oil pulling and brushing with tooth powder, and swishing with my Black Walnut Tincture. (Found in my Etsy Store).
Getting back to the herbs you need for the tooth powder:
Yarrow Flower Powder
White Oak Bark Powder
Cinnamon Bark Powder
Slippery Elm Powder
**(I recommend getting your herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs. I have a banner in my footer where you can connect to their website. Their herbs are awesome and if you shop this way, it helps my site. Thank you!) (Or you can connect over to Amazon and buy StarWest Botanicals.) I also love their herbs. I am going to link the above herbs to Amazon. I also receive a partial commission from completed sales. So thank you!
The recipe I use is equal parts of each powder. A part can be 1 teaspoon, 1 Tablespoon or even an ounce, or a 1/4 cup. I typically make a small batch at a time, and when I run out, make more. I keep this mixture in a Tupperware container in my bathroom. I like to use AUROMERE toothpaste on my toothbrush first. It is a delicious and super natural toothpaste with no soaping agents, Fluoride, or anything but goodness. I like to Cardamom- Fennel flavor best.
So I put some toothpaste on my brush, and then dip my brush in the powder, or sprinkle it on my brush and brush my teeth as normal. I will also kind of swish a little longer before spitting.
Ok- so I hope I sufficienty described how to make my tooth powder, and if you are kind of confused, watch my video above. The last thing I wanted to go over, and you will not find in my video above is my Black Walnut Tincture for swishing. I actually do have a video on making your own Black Walnut Tincture, so you could go watch that. https://youtu.be/6tVjuJdxS3U
What I have found, is that the Black Walnut tincture- when you swish a few times a day, really helps to add strength to the enamel of your teeth, along with the tooth powder. It is also good for parasites, and creepy crawlies, so that is a bonus!
You can find my tincture in my Etsy Store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SheepHillHerbs
When I think of all the hundreds of things I can do for self-care and to rejuvenate my body, massage is in my top 10 list of necessities for feeling good. This seems like a no brainer. Massage is great. There are just certain knots that tie up in the muscles, that no stretching seems to break up. I have been getting a deep tissue massage consistently for a year. Previously I would go a few times a year, but last year I made the choice to allocate funds towards a regular monthly, sometimes bi-monthly massage.
Sometimes I may mention to someone that I am getting a massage, and they say "Oh I wish I could do that." I am thinking, you could most definitely do that. There really is no reason. When I did not have the "money" to pay for massages, I use to go get a 10 minute chair massage, for less than $15. Then as time went on and I saw the difference in how I felt, I would pay for longer ones.
Now- it is undoubtedly part of my budget and health routine. There are months when I have had to cancel appointments or reschedule and I really felt it, in fact I may really feel like I am hurting until I get to go. Most of us spend a lot of time on electronics, or looking at our phones, and this does a number to our backs and neck. Stress also really settles in that area. It is a strange phenomenon, and in part I wish I could get rid of that tightness on my own. I have tried hot baths, stretching, and even have a home massager. All of these things help, but nothing works as good as a professional massage to break up the tightness that settles in the muscles.
The following are the reasons I feel that massage is absolutely necessary for me and perhaps you.... 1. I notice that when I start to have tightness in my neck, it travels up the muscles to my head and I will find myself with headaches. 2. My sleep is affected, if my neck is tight; I can't get comfortable and wake up sore. 3. I find myself irritable and tired when I know I need a massage. 4. Getting one releases a lot of pressure and helps the body relax. When in a relaxed state the nervous system is more effective at delivering nutrients to the body. 5. I can get back to work. I find that if I am starting to get too tight, my neck and arms and lower back are pained when I sit at the computer. After a massage, I feel right as rain and ready to tackle my work again.
or Rosemary Gladstar (through her course The Science and Art of Herbalism) really taught me the need for nourishing the body and nervous system. I know a lot of herbs that are beneficial to the nerves. They are called Nervines. Some of my favorites are Catnip, Lobelia, Valerian, Lavender, and Chamomile. What I find with herbs is that herbs work so much better in conjunction with other modalities. An example of a mini self-care splurge that I do is, once or twice a month I will go get a massage, concentrating on my upper back and neck. I like to do this towards the evening, so that I can come home and have a few cups of tea with the above listed herbs. It is really important to drink fluids right after a massage, and the next few days. It is always important, but especially important after body work. Then I do something to continue relaxing. I play nice music, watch an uplifting movie, or go to bed early. The next day I feel like a million bucks! I love my massages and will keep them a part of my routine.
What to avoid: Sporadic massage can feel counter productive. If you only get a massage once in a great while, you may actually feel overly sore afterwards, because the muscles haven't been worked. When I was only going infrequently, I often woke up really sore the next morning. Find someone who you really like. If you get a massage and you find that it was only ok, find someone else. You should really notice a difference immediately when you are on the massage table, as far as relaxation goes. Start with what you can afford, and at the spa or center you can afford. I think a lot of people talk themselves out of going for one because of expense. There are many self employed therapists who charge very fair rates, and are excellent at what they do.
Be willing to try different types of massage. This is something I need to incorporate more. Each type of massage has aspects that benefit the body in different ways. There are essential oil massages, foot massages (reflexology), hot stone, deep tissue, or lighter touch massage. I have experimented some, but need to try some other modalities, because I know there are areas I am missing, and pieces I will receive through trial. Be open to the fact that you may have more clarity, or some kind of spiritual experience, or even sadness afterwards. We can hold pain and sorrow in our bodies, and the trigger points, when pressed by a trained therapist, can release emotional stagnation.
I'd love to hear from you on your experiences with body work, and healing through the different massage techniques available. Have a happy and healthy day!
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