Posts Tagged With: healing

Yoga & Meditation for Veterans

It’s common knowledge how healing yoga and meditation is. The benefits of both are plentiful; not just for the body but for the mind and spirit. I came across an article in Yoga Journal discussing the healing powers of yoga and meditation for Veterans. The article itself doesn’t go into too much detail about the healing process. It does however, state the positive results that yoga and meditation provide for Veterans: decreased insomnia, anger, depression, anxiety, and symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The article also interviewed five Veterans that have practiced yoga and meditation. The major themes of their experiences with yoga seemed to be it helped them accept themselves, opened their hearts, provided empowerment, and concentration.

Lastly, the article discusses the Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans program. This is a really awesome training to do if you are already a yoga teacher or just want to give back to the Veteran community. For Veterans, this is a program that may be offered at a local VA Hospital! It’s a win win!

For more info & the slide show of the Veterans interviewed click below:

Check out the Mindful Yoga Therapy website for training opportunities and programs near you:

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Rx: Nature

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Mother nature graces at all four cardinal points of the world. We are blessed with beautiful beaches, majestic mountains, waterfalls, rainforests, parks, flowers, and a wide array of sunrise and sunset hues that keep us in awe if we just stop, look, and listen. Pay attention to the wonders of nature. When the mind, body, and soul need to heal…use the power of nature.

Citizens of our world, such as the Japanese practice Shinrin-yoku which is exercising in nature. As little as five minutes in spent in nature can decrease stress levels and decrease the level of the stress hormone cortisol, boosts mood and self-esteem, and decrease blood sugar in diabetics just to say the least.

Consider a walk in your nearest park, by a lake, near a stream or by the beach where the positive effects of the ocean and its continuous waves pounding against the shore can sooth the mind, body, and soul.

Nature provides us many healing spaces. From the Tan Tan mountain top in Morocco, in Northeast Africa to Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Take your pick of the natural resources readily available. Cast your worry, stress, and nerves aside in a natural space for a moment in time to improve your overall health.

Photo by:O’Connor College of Law License by:Flickr Creative Commons

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H is for Herbs

Purple BasilHey, Herb.

When we think of herbs, we often think of garnish on a plate or atop our favorite culinary delights but herbs have countless other applications that offer incredible health benefits.  So, before you push that parsley to the side, chew on this: reports that parsley, even in small doses, can be credited with the following:

Studies show that myristicin, an organic compound found in the essential oil of parsley, not only inhibits tumor formation (especially in the lungs), but also activates the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, which helps the molecule glutathione attach to, and fight against, oxidized molecules. Myristicin can also neutralize carcinogens like benzopyrene in cigarette smoke that can pass through the body, consequently fighting against colon and prostate cancer.  Parsley is rich with an antioxidant arsenal that includes luteolin, a flavonoid that searches out and eradicates free radicals in the body that cause oxidative stress in cells. Luteolin also promotes carbohydrate metabolism and serves the body as an anti-inflammatory agent. Furthermore, two tablespoons of parsley contain 16% of the RDA of vitamin C and over 12% of the RDA of vitamin A – two powerful antioxidants.  Along with luteolin, the vitamin C found in parsley serves as an effective anti-inflammatory agent within the body.  When consumed regularly, they combat the onset of inflammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis (the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone) and rheumatoid arthritis (a disease causing inflammation in the joints).    The vitamin C and vitamin A found in parsley serve to strengthen the body’s immune system, though in different ways. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen, the main structural protein found in connective tissue. This essential nutrient will not only accelerate the body’s ability to repair wounds, but also maintain healthy bones and teeth.  Homocysteine, an amino acid that occurs in the body, threatens the body’s blood vessels when its levels become too high. Luckily, the folate (or vitamin B9) found in parsley helps convert homocysteine into harmless molecules. A regular garnish of parsley can help ward off cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis.   Two tablespoons of parsley have a whopping 153% of the RDA of vitamin K, which is necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin, a protein that strengthens the composition of our bones. Vitamin K also prevents calcium build-up in our tissue that can lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke. 

And, my friends… that’s just parsley!

Herbs contain anti-oxidants, essential oils, vitamins, phyto-sterols and many other beneficial nutrients that aid our immune system by combatting germs and toxins.  Herbs are, in fact, medicines in smaller dosages.*

Herbs are a great addition to foods and beverages and ideally, should find their place in your daily meal planning.  They not only impart flavor but offer some protection to the foods they enhance due to their anti-microbial properties.   In addition to culinary applications, healing herbs can be used in various forms such as teas, tisane, bath, pills, tinctures, infusions, extracts, poultices, ointments, oils, compresses, salves and creams.  The possibilities for incorporating herbs into your wellness plan are limitless.  So, whether you’re considering planting your own herbal paradise or simply relishing the relish, do yourself (and your date) a favor, and eat that parsley!

Below is a comprehensive list of commonly used herbs and their healing properties:*

*As with any changes to diet, please consult your physician before implementing any herbal therapy into your wellness initiative.  A small quantity of herbs may potentially produce significant side effects and therefore must be used with caution.

  • ALFALFA- Health builder, arthritis, fatigue, appetite, pituitary gland
  • BARLEY JUICE – Energy, super nutrition, increases S.0. D. to fight aging & rheumatism
  • BEE POLLEN – Allergies, quick energy, nature’s most perfect food, natural no-doze
  • BILBERRY – Strengthens capillaries, night blindness, antioxidant, improves vision
  • BLACK COHOSH – Estrogenic effects, hot flashes, nerves, pain
  • BLACK WALNUT – Cleanses parasites, anti-fungal, skin rashes, eliminates toxins
  • BLESSED THISTLE – Takes oxygen to brain, digestion, increases mother’s milk
  • BURDOCK – Reduces swelling and deposits in joints, blood cleanser, gout, eczema
  • BUTCHER’S BROOM – Improves circulation, phlebitis, leg cramps, varicose veins
  • CAPSICUM- Circulation, strokes, blood pressure equalizer, colds
  • CASCARA SAGRADA -Constipation, increases peristaltic action, gall bladder
  • CATNIP- Colic, nerves, colds, flu, digestion (nature’s alka seltzer), gas, hiccups
  • CHAMOMILE – Insomnia, improves appetite, nerves, calming, drug withdrawal
  • CHARCOAL – Antidote for poison, intestinal gas, hangover; insect bites and stings
  • CHICKWEED- Appetite depressant, burns fat, fatty tumors
  • CORNSILK- Kidney, bladder, bedwetting, painful urination, prostate
  • DAMIANA- Hormone balance, infertility, frigidity and impotence, balance energy
  • DANDELION- Anemia, liver, blood cleanser, age spots, hepatitis
  • DONG QUAI- Hot flashes, hormone balance, nerves, brain nourisher
  • ECHINACEA  – Natural antibiotic, lymph system, blood purifier/builder, immune system
  • EYEBRIGHT- Improve vision, eye strain, cataracts, allergies, styes
  • FEVERFEW – Migraine headaches, muscular tension, intestinal worms
  • GARLIC – Normalizes blood pressure, yeast and bacterial infections, colds, cell rebuilder
  • GINGER – Digestion, gas, diarrhea, motion and morning sickness, flu
  • GINSENG – Energy, stress, endurance, depression, impotency/stimulant
  • GOLDEN SEAL – Infection, natural insulin, cleanses urinary system
  • GOTU KOLA – Brain food, memory, learning disabilities, vitality, senility, “feel good”
  • GUGGUL LIPID – Circulatory system, lower cholesterol
  • HAWTHORN BERRIES – Strengthen heart, hardening of the arteries, adrenals, blood pressure
  • HOPS – Insomnia, nervousness, decrease desire for alcohol, hyperactivity
  • HORSETAIL-Helps stop hair from falling out, stops split ends, nails, tumors
  • HYDRANGEA – Arthritis, gout, kidney and bladder problems, dissolves stones
  • JUNIPER BERRIES – Restores pancreas and adrenals, diuretic, dropsy, uric acid
  • KELP – Thyroid, fingernails, goiter; helps take fat off hips, complexion
  • LICORICE – Adjusts blood sugar; hypoglycemia, quick energy, hoarseness, adrenals
  • LOBELIA – Asthma, congestion, pneumonia, strong relaxant, pleurisy, cough
  • MARSHMALLOW – Bladder and kidney problems, bedwetting, inflammation
  • MULLEIN – Nervous cough, lung and sinus congestion, TB, lymphatic congestion
  • PARSLEY- Combats bad breath, blood building, high in potassium, kidneys, diuretic
  • PASSION FLOWER – Relaxing, helps nervousness, insomnia, headaches
  • PAU D’ARCO – Historically used for cancer; leukemia, tumors, yeast infection
  • PSYLLIUM HULLS – Scrubs colon, best fiber; diverticulitis, colon blockage
  • RED CLOVER – Cancer; tumors, skin problems, relaxes nerves, spasms
  • RED RASPBERRY – The pregnancy herb, nausea, diarrhea, gastritis, cramps
  • ROSE HIPS – Natural vitamin C-complex, colds, infections, blood purifier, flu
  • SAFFLOWERS – Gout, hydrochloric acid for digestion, reduces cholesterol
  • SAGE – Stimulates hair growth, improves memory, sore gums and throat, nerves
  • SARSAPARILLA – Testosterone, body building, impotency, hair growth
  • SAW PALMETTO – Prostate, breast builder (small or saggy), colds, clears mucus, glands
  • SLIPPERY ELM – Diarrhea, acid stomach, digestion, diaper rash, hiatal hernia, ulcers
  • SPIRULINA – High source of protein, energy, weight loss, blood builder
  • ST. JOHN’S WORT, Concentrate – Anti-depressant, stress, relaxant
  • UVA URSI – Spleen, bladder and kidney infections, diabetes, gonorrhea, cystitis
  • VALERIAN – Natural tranquilizer, pain, muscle spasms, nerves, promotes sleep
  • WHITE OAK BARK – Hemorrhoids and bleeding, varicose veins, pyorrhea, pinworms
  • WILD YAM – Female glandular tonic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal
  • YARROW – Obstructed perspiration, nosebleeds, chicken pox, colds/flu/fever
  • YELLOW DOCK – Anemia, blood purifier, itching, liver, skin problems, hepatitis
  • YUCCA – Natural cortisone, arthritis, reduces joint inflammation, skin problems

*As with any changes to diet, please consult your physician before implementing any herbal therapy into your wellness initiative.  A small quantity of herbs may potentially produce significant side effects and therefore must be used with caution.

Written By: Michelle Frati, SJC Staff Member

Photo By: JamieSanford    License: Creative Commons

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Dream Work and Healing

DreamingBrainHow many times have you woke up and recalled a dream. The dream could have been pleasant. We sometimes wake up and remember a dream that shakes us to our core. Dreams link us up with someone who has passed on, we meet spirit guides and/or ancestors, dreams transports us to majestic places. Often people recount that they dream that they are flying. We also are subject to recurring dreams, messages from our physical body, messages from our emotional centers, dreams that we are falling, battling in war, or have premonitions of what is to come. We may wake up, out of breath, sweating, smiling, in utter awe, inspired, angry, scared, happy, at peace, or feeling a sense of wellness and healing. We wake up and say… What is going on? “It was just a dream”… or was it?

Ancient civilizations such as ancient China about 4500 years ago, belief system included the correlation of our dreams and the body, mind, and spirit connection. In Greece, Hippocrates, “The Father of Modern Medicine” about 400 BCE used dream therapy and encouraged the use of a designing your own healing dreams. Throughout the ancient world, dream temples could be found. The ancient Temple of Asklepius in Greece is an architectural and historical proof of a dream temple. You can research it.

Galen of Pergamum, a Greco-Roman physician who greatly impacted on European medicine, receiving his training in the second century AD used dreams for both diagnosis and treatment. He even used received dream guidance to perform surgery. Dr. Bernie S. Siegel, a leading surgeon in the U.S. and an interested party in the matter of dream healing states, “As a practicing surgeon, I explored the active role of the mind in illness and was astonished at the amount of information available via dreams.”

Dreams are an abstract portal to healing! Understanding the connection between dreams and healing started in ancient times. For thousands of years dream healing was respected. Throughout history, dream healing has gone through being removed from modern healing to becoming a very important component in integrative medicine at this moment in time. At present, Psychoneuroimmunology or PNI is providing the science behind our mind/body/spirit connection.

Dreams and nightmares subject us to waking up in a stir of emotions, perceptions, and patterns of behavior that need our conscious attention. Dreams spotlight our inner conflicts. Dreams outline our fears. Dreams have the ability to show us how to move through this journey we call life to achieve our deepest desires and hopes. Healing Power of Dreams offers techniques for using our dream imagery to positively impact the immune system. Dream-work methods in unison with time-tested relaxation and guided imagery practices are powerful tools in healing. Using dream imagery through a variety of meditative activities, you learn to transform nightmare experiences and to integrate healing imagery into the waking state. In doing so, an expert in dream healing can assist you discover the many levels on which dreams do indeed heal!

As per, Wendy Pannier who wrote an article on the matter, ” A function of dreaming appears to be emotional processing. During dreaming these highly activated areas of the brain communicate in different ways than during waking consciousness, and allow for emotions to be processed differently. Our limbic system speaks in the language of symbolic imagery. Working with dream imagery in the waking state can help change perceptions and resolve conflicts, which are critical keys for mind/body healing.”

Scientific research proves that the amygdala and hypothalamus, are both highly active during dreaming. They have 40 times the opiate and neuropeptide receptors as other parts of the brain. For example, when we positively affect them they in turn can have a positive impact on our immune system. The ancient Greeks called them “prodromal” dreams from the Greek words “pro” meaning before, and “dromos” meaning running. Thus, prodromal dreams can tell us what is going on in our bodies before the symptoms become obvious and readily diagnosable.

PNI, suggests use of interventions that maximize the right brain “limbic logic” in order to stimulate more profound, positive psychophysiologic change. To date, commonly accepted integrative medicine interventions that do this include guided imagery, hypnosis and biofeedback just to name a few. Dream work and healing falls into two categories: Working with and transforming negative dream images, such as those from nightmares, and working with positive and healing dream images. Dream work shows a person how to transform negative images into positive images and that transformed images from nightmares can be used effectively with visualization techniques aimed at pain reduction, treatment and recovery.

The amygdala is all about perception. Positively change your perception = positive change physiologically.

For more information on Dream Work and Healing click here

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Aura Healing

aura_layersWhat is Aura Healing?

As spiritual beings having a human experience we are so much more than skin deep. Who knew that part of architecture includes Aura layers. Whether we subscribe to the thought or not, there is so much more to us than meets the eye. Aura healing is energy healing. Energy healings are an excellent way to release blocks and unwanted energies, and get your own energy to flow freely.

Aura healing, heals the spirit and spirit heals the body. The primary focus is on body levels. Aura healings focus on our spiritual energy system: our aura, our energy, and the chakras.

As per aura healing principles, the root cause of our physical issues can be traced back to our energy level. The physical manifestation of problems are symptoms of our emotions, our energy channels, or spiritual issues. Their energetic root cause is researched and then the work begins.

Aura healing fundamental principles state that all healing is self-healing. An aura healer supports a person with grounding themselves. An aura healer assists with teaching a person to be ever-present in the moment. The release of energy blocks to create more flow of your own energy is key. As a recipient, you will be required to be an involved participant. We are in charge of the healing.


1. The initial step in aura healing is to help you get grounded to become present as spirit in your body.

2. An aura healer then looks through your aura to support you in releasing any foreign energy

3. The healer goes on to assist you increase the flow of earth, cosmic, life-force, healing, creative energies through your major energy channels.

4. You are also assisted in releasing blocks and creating flow of energy through the seven major chakras.

5. If there is a specific health issue, a trained healer can address that as well.

Distant Healing/Remote Healing: Spiritual energy is not limited by time and space. Distant healing is especially useful when there are physical or geographic limitations. They can be revitalizing and help speed up recovery times for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual issues.

Phone Healings
Healings by phone are convenient. This is a way to release energies and create a healthy flow in your aura…all in the comfort of your own home. Healing and readings sessions by phone take about 1 hour and costs may vary.

For much more information on Aura Healing go to:

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The Healing Power of Green (Plants & Gardening)

The healing power of a green garden is appealing to the eyes, the senses, and overall individual well-being. Gardens are serene and known to reduce stress levels. Nature houses incredible restorative abilities for the mind, body, and soul. Consider bringing the outdoors in today with three ideas on how to get started with you very own personal garden. The space utilized will vary according to availability. A garden can be set up in your very own front yard, backyard, patio, apartment, house, or office. The choice is up to you. 

Choose your plant: There are many plants that you can choose from. A visit to your local flower shop or nursery is key when starting your garden.  The staff can help you with making informed choices in accordance with the living space you will utilize for your garden. There are hard-to-kill plants out there for the challenged green thumb.

Think petite: A nursery or flower shop have many potted plants. The sizes vary from very small to extra-large. Potted plants are beautiful in and around a home or work space/office. 

Get Fresh Flowering: Fresh flowers or a fresh flowering plant is just as exquisite and assists in healing and bringing positivity into our being and home or work space.   

Photo by:dizfunkshinal on Flickr          License: Creative Commons

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