Tag Archives: meditation

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.
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My love for Yoga

So let me share my love for yoga with you.

I am a mom first( four kids at home), a partner, a self-employed Massage Therapist, an Ayurveda bodywork, you get it ,the list could go on. So my life can get busy, but I keep it balanced. How? I’m thankful for the life I have, the people, family, clients, everything that makes it the life it is.

I spend a lot of time with my clients, helping to create a daily routine that will work in their schedule to bring in a balance, so it is only fair that I work to do the same in my own home. The things that I have found to be the most effective is to make sure I am getting massages, eating well, my meditation, and yoga.

With four kids in the house we searched out yoga teachers that would work best for our family. The girls and I enjoy a fun, more energetic yoga( the girls are 12 and 17) this keeps them interested and wanting to come to class.  As we moved through our journey into yoga and including all the kids we came to a yoga program that has created so much calm, and bless into our home, http://www.learningfromtheheart.com. This program has become such a cornerstone for our family, I felt the need to share with you and my clients.

Last year my parter and I went to our first Kundalini yoga class ( I have been to many yoga classes, this was his first ever yoga class), and we meet so many incredible people, but one would become a gift to the family, Sat Nam Kaur. We quickly realized the work and patient for kids and yoga that she had, and as quickly joined her class. Since then we have enjoyed her class, our oldest son( 20 years old) is helping with the classes, and the difference we have seen in our youngest( 10 years old) who struggles with ADD/ADHA has truly convinced all of use of the power of yoga and this program.

If you have never had the pleasure, or gift of yoga, try it, look around, this program that we have found is a free program to families with children dealing with ADD/ADHD, anger and autism, we are blessed to find a teacher that believes in the power of her work, her gift.

With having kids ,we all have our struggles, and to find something that helps, it is a great please to share with others, with families dealing with the same or simular issues. I share this part of my life in great metta(loving-kindness).

About this Author:

Heather Small is an Ayurvedic body-worker and Massage Therapist at Metta Spa, you can contact her at www.mettaspa..com, or heather@mettaspa.com. Heather works  closely with her clients to help create a long-term goal of balanced health and well-being. To find out more about this yoga program: http://www.learningfromtheheart.com.

Ayurveda Everyday

Buddha, Kamakura, Japan

Buddha, Kamakura, Japan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I first started to learn about Maharishi Ayurveda, and all the different elements, massage, herbs, meditation, yoga, I found it overwhelming. Now, as time goes by, I am referring to it in my everyday life, who knew that Ayurveda everyday would be so easy.

We can take Ayurveda everyday, break it down, take the elements that we can work with everyday and add them to our life. No, I don’t live by a strict routine, I don’t wake up at 5am to start every aspect of the Ayurveda routine, but I do take it into my life, and look at the pieces that will work and benefit my health mentally and physically.

So, what aspects of Ayurveda do I take into my life everyday? I wake early,do some light yoga, meditate, eat a healthy breakfast(yes, I enjoy a cup of coffee), and then start my day. I add massage, meditation, yoga and herbs into my life. I don’t panic over my routine, I just keep it in balance. I am lucky enough to practice massage, and understand the importance, it helps keep the body and mind relaxed, rejuvenates the skin helps balance life’s stresses.I have practiced meditation off an on for at least 20 years, I enjoy the connection that I have with myself mentally and spiritually when I continue to build my meditation practice. Yoga is a great tool to add into your routine. I will add a relaxed simple yoga stretching to my morning schedule, and always exploring and trying new types of yoga. I love the connection with myself  body and mind with yoga, and the flow of my body when working, easy movement no pain or discomfort, keeps me coming back. This brings me to herbs, we all add them to our meals, and understand the enjoyment from the smell and the flavor that they add, but what about for healing? We use herbs for everything from poison ivy,sinuses or tired feet. Learning how to use them is fun, and always exciting when we find another us for an herb that we didn’t think of.

Start simple, maybe it’s your diet, or adding yoga into your schedule, don’t allow it to overwhelm you, bring it into your life in steps. Make it easy, and enjoy!

Massage and Meditation,part 2

 

Meditation

Meditation (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

Massage and Meditation  is a great tool for relaxing the body, settling the mind, and helping the body to heal from stress or trauma. Many of us have over the last few years have heard about the benefits of massage and  meditation, and when you look at them, you see similarities,so why do they work so well? What if we take them and combine them into one massage?
Your body is working hard everyday, carrying you, protecting you, supporting you on the physical and emotional level.. Allow the body to rest, release the the tension in the body and mind, while being walked through a gentle guided meditation. The combination of massage and meditation can bring the body to a state of relaxation helping the body and mind settle down. The body is better able to work with stress,injuries, illness when the body is allowed to rest.

This type of massage modality came from working with clients that were post stroke or trauma(s after a car accident, another after the passing of a family member). I have been very  lucky to work with many different types of clients, and with my background in massage, Ayurveda,Thai and Reiki we came to working with massage and guided meditation. The outcome has been overwhelming, so I was able to bring this style of massage to my clients coming in from any aspect.

This massage and meditation is a very gentle relaxing massage, we focus on releasing negative energy and encouraging a positive energy flow. My clients are feeling a sense of strength mentally and physically, and the benefits only get better with each massage session. I recommend that you do this massage and mediation in a serious of three, this allows the body to relax and absorb the changes slowly.
Give yourself this time, and feel stronger mentally and spiritually.

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

Time for yourself

Metta Wellness

Taking a little time each day for ourselves is a powerful tool for long term health.

You wake up, start your day, make breakfast, pack lunches, walk the dog. You are making sure everyone is set and taken care of, before you take the time for yourself. Then, rush out the door dropping the kids off at school, always getting stuck in the carpool lane, no matter how early you try to leave in the morning, your late. This is how your day progresses, rushing from one thing to the next, trying to get everything done, becoming stressed, overwhelmed, and by the end of the day, your done. Only to start over again the next morning.

Over time, stress builds up, you will notice it your moods, you may be quick to snap over anything. You may notice that when you take a break from work, your exhausted…

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Time for yourself

Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Shrewsbury, Massachusetts (Photo credit: Dougtone)

Taking a little time each day for ourselves is a powerful tool for long term health.

You wake up, start your day, make breakfast, pack lunches, walk the dog. You are making sure everyone is set and taken care of, before you take the time for yourself. Then, rush out the door dropping the kids off at school, always getting stuck in the carpool lane, no matter how early you try to leave in the morning, your late. This is how your day progresses, rushing from one thing to the next, trying to get everything done, becoming stressed, overwhelmed, and by the end of the day, your done. Only to start over again the next morning.

Over time, stress builds up, you will notice it your moods, you may be quick to snap over anything. You may notice that when you take a break from work, your exhausted, that you end up home sick with a cold or flu. This is your bodies way of letting you know that you are out of balance. As a single mom of two teenagers, and newly self employed, I grasp the difficulties of finding balance.

Then something happens and nature has a way of letting us know that its time to bring our lives back into balance. Last weekend , here in the New England(Massachusetts, New Hampshire) area, we had a blizzard, 34.5inches of snow fell in a two day span. This gave most of us a large amount of time , not caught in the daily race, but home, possibly with no power. So, I took this time to reflect, spending a large amount of the weekend with the dog by the fire.

I enjoyed this time, we took long walks in the snow, plenty of time shoveling, and space to myself to read, write on my blog, and meditate. The key to having these reminders in our life, is what we do with them. Reflect on your space, see what it is, and where you can take some time to yourself. Maybe its meditation, reading, taking a walk, booking a massage, or yoga, that helps bring you into a space of calm. Schedule time in, maybe its 10-15 mins a day, or you set aside time every week for yourself. Overtime you will see that you will take that space of calm into your life, more and more everyday. The small things will be just that, small things.

So, stop, look at your life, are you in balance, or do you need a reminder. Start today, start small.

About me: I work for myself at Metta spa in Shrewsbury, MA. I am an Ayurveda body-worker and Massage therapist, you can find me at http://www.mettaspa.com