Tag Archives: Boston

Winter Tea

Winter Tea

winter herbal tea

My main focus in staying healthy is with massage therapy, along with that I add herbs, meditation, and a balanced daily routine to help maintain a healthy self.

People that are close to me and come to me as clients, know that I work to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  One of the many ways I work to keep healthy during the winter months is with herbs, and making winter teas is simple, warming, and relaxing. Winter teas are a great way to balance the immune system , relax the mind and warm the body. When I look at putting together a batch of winter tea, I start with a few base questions

  • 1) when do I plan on drinking my tea
  • 2) what is the focus of this tea,
  • 3) who is drinking this tea

Looking at a few basic questions helps me plan my tea, example: I would like to drink my tea in the late afternoon – so no caffeine. Focus is on health immune – nettle, oat-straw, ginger, elderberry and so on. The last question is important, I have 4 kids, and some herbs kids love – I don’t want to form a long term hate for herbs, so I work to keep softer, fruiterer teas with the kids(our older two kids drink any tea, the younger two are rather picky –  find that I may add the herbs into a soup in place of tea sometimes). Right now we are drinking rose-petal lavender infused green tea in the morning, for a light calming from the lavender, soft smell from the rose, and energy from the green tea. As our morning rolls into afternoon we have a cumin, coriander fennel tea to help flush and move things through the system, to decrease a buildup of toxins in the system. We will drink winter tea throughout the day , and adjust our teas as needed, if we have a cold, or a very busy work week, etc.

Weather you chose to buy your teas from Metta Spa, or find that tea that is just the right balance for you, or experiment with your own blends at home, take you your time and enjoy. Herbal teas are a great addition to a balanced daily routine, give them an average of three weeks to start to notice the benefits( some people are more sensitive and see changes quickly, others need a little more time.

Ayurveda and Meditation

English: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi - Huntsville Ja...

English: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – Huntsville January 1978 Français : Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – Huntsville Janvier 1978 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ayurveda is the oldest continuously practiced health care system.
Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge or science, so Ayurveda is the science of life.  Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation program,  revived Ayurveda around the world and worked with top Ayurvedic experts in India to restore the purity and ensure the effectiveness of the many areas of treatment that Ayurveda offers.
The term Maharishi Ayurveda signifies that the highest standards of Ayurveda that  Maharishi Mahesh Yogi placed are met. Ayurveda goes deep into massage, meditation, yoga, diet, herbs and daily lifestyle, we will touch on many of these areas each time, this month we are diving into Transcendental Meditation.

Ayurveda is all encompassing and does not refer to just herbal remedies or treatments for the body but also takes into account the mind and all aspects of the environment.  The key to Ayurveda is to restore and maintain balance internally and externally until permanent balance is gained inside and can no longer be influenced by outside circumstances.  Ayurveda respects the deepest level of intelligence of the mind and body and the intelligence that creates our environment.  By understanding the source of that intelligence and  how that intelligence functions within and without we can eliminate the blocks to its natural flow and restore balance and the natural healing abilities of our mind, body and environment.
One of the biggest threats to our health and enjoyment is stress.  Stress is rampant in our society.  It effects every aspect of our life and is considered by many to cause or complicate most disease.  Stress effects our brain physiology, our health and our relationships.
How do we dissolve it?
The TM (Transcendental Meditation) technique is a simple, natural, effortless technique that creates global EEG coherence in the brain and a deep state of rest in the body which translates into a major 4th state of consciousness called Transcendental Consciousness.   This unique state of restful alertness has many benefits that come directly from the dissolving of deep rooted stress that is not dissolved by sleep.  When we accumulate stress over a lifetime it can build up in our body and can adversely effect our mental and physical health, our behavior and relationships and erode the foundation for success, creativity, peace and happiness in our daily lives.  The good news is we can break this cycle with the twice daily practice of the TM technique.  If you want to build a skyscraper you need a strong foundation and if you want to have successful, fulfilling activity, you also need a strong foundation, and that is the deepest rest possible since rest is the basis of activity.  The unique quality of rest gained during the practice of the TM technique provides that foundation for successful, fulfilling, enjoyable activity.
There is a vast body of research on the TM technique that includes more than 650 studies, at 200+ universities and research institutes in more than 30 countries around the world.   The research points to such fundamental positive change in all aspects of a persons life that it can only be seen as a paradigm shift in the understanding of development of human potential.  This field of consciousness or unified field,as it is called in physics, is the most fundamental aspect of the mind.  The key to the TM technique is transcending, going beyond the field of activity or duality to the field of consciousness or unity. This state of transcendental consciousness is absolutely stable, blissfully silent and an unbounded source of creativity, intelligence and peace.  When we practice the TM technique these qualities become lively within and carry over to activity, enriching all aspects of our life.
One of the beautiful things about this technique is that you don’t need any special abilities to practice, as a child can practice equally as well as an adult. It’s uniqueness requires that it be learned from a qualified instructor who has been extensively trained.  If you’re looking to improve all aspects of your life, then why not enliven that area that enriches all aspects, much like watering the root of a tree enriches all aspects of the tree.
About the author: Heather Small works at Metta Spa in Shrewsbury, MA as a Licensed Massage therapist and Ayurveda Body-worker. She has studied Ayurveda and taught at the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center, Lancaster MA, and Metta Spa, Shrewsbury,MA. In the past year she open Metta Spa where she offers massage therapy, Thai Massage, along with Ayurveda, Ayurveda Lectures, and Meditation.

Ayurveda Everyday

Essential Oils Box

Essential Oils Box (Photo credit: luxomedia)

Ayurveda eveyday is an increasingly useful practice and translated in English means”the science to long life”. Ayurveda originated in India thousands of years ago and has been thriving ever since. Ayurveda is the path to a balanced life of mind and body. Ayurveda can be used in everyday life to take a moment, cool down the body. During this time of year especially after recent events in Boston, we all need a moment to relax. Ayurveda can help you to do that, whether you receive an Ayurveda massage with a simple blend of oils or essential oils to inhale when stressed. Knowing what dosha(your basic constitution) you are can help you find what type of  massage,  essential oil, or type of food that is best for you. My personal favorite is the cooling Pitta which is a blend of essential oils such as lemon, sandalwood and lavender, one whiff for me and I’m nice and relaxed. This oil pared with the Shirodhara(Ayurveda warm oil head treatment) and my day couldn’t be better. The combination of these essential oils and massage help relieve stress and tension after a long day of work or being home with the kids. Ayurveda everyday is an essential part of balancing life and should be pursued by those that are truly committed to balancing their body and mind a a healthy and relaing way. Essential oils can be added to all treatments to improve relaxation and stress release. Once reserved for royalty, Ayurveda is now open to all and is one of the best forms of massage  there is for full mind body connection. These treatments are performed all over the world and are a wonderful way to spend an hour or two. When you leave one of these treatments you will relax and rejuvenate. You’ll have a new way to feel about your life and wont be able to wait for your next treatment.

Moving forward while taking care of Yourself

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Balancing Massage

Massage Faciale © Hélianthal - Office de Touri...

Massage Faciale © Hélianthal – Office de Tourisme de Saint-Jean-de-Luz (Photo credit: Terre et Côte Basques)

As the phone rings, another booking for a deep tissue massage. I sit back, listening to my client explain the areas of pain and discomfort, most of the time ending with stress. Stress form work, long work commutes, not eating well,up late, the list goes on. You come into the spa, you’ve booked your deep tissue massage, we go through a pre-massage interview, and decide on a more balancing massage.

I do my share of deep tissue massage, and find that my clients have great results, I also see more and more clients needing a lighter, balancing massage. I have spent the last few years working in an Ayurveda clinic, with the goal of working with clients for  a more centered and balanced life through daily routines. Working with Maharishi Ayurveda  therapy, herbs,Transcendental  Meditation,dietary intake, yoga, and daily routines you have a balance through mind and body.

My approach to massage is balance,  bring you a more balancing massage to help you bring that back with you into your daily life. Over time all of the stress and pressures  of daily life will result in different imbalances in the body. Depression, insomnia, weight gain, migraines, digestive problems all can be from the build of time and stress. This is where adding a  balancing massage to routine can help.

Benefits from a balancing massage:

  • Slower, gentler massage strokes, will allow you to go into a meditative space
  • Feeling of well rested, more likely to sleep through
  • Rejuvenated,softer skin
  • More positive outlook
  • Decreased stress
  • More in-tune with self
  • Better digestion
  • Long term help with immune system

A balancing massage  is a lighter, slower,  and more energy balancing,sometimes adding an aroma oil to help your system relax and come into a more meditative space. Added into a regular routine, over time this type of massage will help the body deal with stress, relaxing the system and allowing you to carry this into your daily life, living in a more relaxed state.

So, the next time you call to book a massage, check in with yourself, do you need a lighter, gentler relaxing massage.

You can find me at www.mettaspa.com

Back Pain and Shoveling

English: Fix the labeling from pelvic to sacra...

English: Fix the labeling from pelvic to sacral spine described by previous description. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back pain and shoveling go together so well, almost to easy, why you ask, and how can you help it. This winter we have had heavy wet snow, and large amounts at that, at 8- 12 inches each time.  As I sit here at my desk, looking out at the 12inch from this last wet heavy storm, I wait,I know the phone will ring, looking to book a massage for your back, from all that shoveling. So, what can you do to help relieve some of the back pain from shoveling. Prevention, and routine, this will help, may not stop some aches and pains, but will help.

Your routine and lifestyle before the snow comes will help with the back pain and shoveling. Think about this: your day consists of getting up, rushing around, coffee for breakfast, off to work for the day, hours in front of a computer, lunch is whatever you have time for, only to work late, then pick up something for dinner on the way home, most likely some type of quick and processed food. Does this sound like your day, long work hours, and not the best eating habits, and as far as time for exercise or yourself, forget it. What does this have to do with back pain and shoveling, prevention and routine.

So lets start with your daily routine. Our daily routines have so much to do with our long term health, with a few simple adjustments we can help the body deal with so many things. Look at your day, how can you make it a more balanced approach? Start with planning, plan your meals out for the week, this will eliminate that last minute grabbing for foods that are not going to best the best choice(processed foods will weigh down the system – resulting in constipation, back pain, headaches, etc) for the long term. We have a kitchen at our work, and in the mornings I come in, place my rice and vegetable in a small crock-pot, and by lunch they are ready( and smells great). Start with just your dinner then on to  breakfast, this will allow you to make slow changes, and not be so much work.  Another big step you can take is stretching! This will help your whole body, and you can do it throughout the day. After waking up in the morning, start with a few stretch’s, bending down to touch your toes, a few twists, then incorporate some twists, knee to chest, through out your day will keep your back lose and limber.Taking time to your self, such as walking, adding massage into your weekly routine will also help keep the body and mind in shape.

Shoveling is work, and can be very physical, so take it slow. Living in the north,New England area, their is no escaping our winter storms, so when you find that is is that time, to head out and shovel, again stop, be prepared.  Heat up the muscles before going out, do some light stretches to prepare the body for work. Take your time, if you find the snow is heavy and wet, take breaks, protect the back from strain. Once you are done with your shoveling, apply ice to the area(low back,shoulders,etc.) this will help with any stiffness that may occur.

Once the storm is here, and you have snow on the ground, you will now be better equip to deal with back pain and shoveling. Just work on balancing that routine,  a little prevention, along with  massage, better eating habits, and exercise, will go a long way.

Metta Spa , http://www.mettaspa.com , 286 Boston turnpike, Shrewsbury,MA. 01545

Stretches: http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/living-with-low-back-pain-11/five-back-pain-stretches

http://www.chicagosportsdoctors.com/articles/back_pain_and_snow_shoveling.php