Blue Heron Holistic Health Shaping Healthy Bodies, Minds, And Hearts Through Chinese Medicine

Tag Archives: Amma

The Cost of Health Care

“I believe that the medical system is the number 1 risk to human health today on the planet outside of war.” –Sayer Ji (author, researcher and founder of GreenMedInfo)

Most of you who have found me and work with me understand the value of holistic care and want to receive something that addresses the body, mind and spirit. My approach with Amma and Coaching is to continue to meet people’s health needs in a natural way. One reason I found Eastern medicine is because of seeing my granddad suffering for years on medications. He knew the interactions from the medications were giving him new symptoms, but he felt that he had to take the prescriptions to stay alive. You can imagine the disempowerment this brought. Prior to his retirement, he had a career that he loved, but once he was supposed to be living his golden years, he was in chronic pain. He would tell me when I visited, “I’m not worth a darn.” It hurt to know he felt hopeless, helpless and was only getting some small benefits from using Western medicine. His life was prolonged, but there was no quality. What makes me the saddest is that he wasn’t able to develop a deep relationship with me and my family because of it. Now I know that he had dreams and hopes and ideas just like you and I. And he is part of the reason I have dedicated my life to helping others be free from chronic pain.

I don’t believe that medications are needed forever, or that they should even be a first go to. Now you all know I believe in a time and place for medication, but what has hit home for me again recently are how many people are suffering on medications and the risks involved from long-term use. As I have moved into working with more chronic illness, I see the ramifications on a weekly basis of long-term medication usage, as well as surgeries that may have been unnecessary, and that have continued to do more harm than good. When faced with a choice between the cost of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) and Allopathic (Western) medicine, consider these statistics: The American Pain Foundation found that in 2006 only 23% of clients felt their treatment with the use of opioid medications was “very effective”. And according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, deaths from opioid overdose went from 4,030 in 1999 to 16,651 in 2010. In that same year, prescription painkiller overdoses killed 15,000 people. These are huge numbers that we should be scared about. Surgeries don’t get much better results. Surgeries for sciatica and low back pain cost up to $50 billion in health care costs annually. One of the studies that looked at surgeries vs. non-surgery techniques including acupuncture, physical therapy and massage showed the outcomes to be the same within two years. In a study of those with arthritis and two groups: one using standard medicine and the other using acupuncture found those who used the acupuncture or herbs got the same or better results. The Institute of Medicine put a cost for the management of chronic pain of $261 to $300 billion for medical treatment in the U.S. With all of that said, we have more reason to believe in the efficacy of alternative therapy. I continue to work with those in chronic pain, those with autoimmune diseases, adrenal fatigue, hormonal and menstrual imbalances. And I believe food is medicine. The right supplements and herbs can help carry us along until we find homeostasis. I created Blue Heron Holistic Health because I want to uplift people and get them to a place where they are healthy. When people become healthy, they have quality relationships; they serve their friends and families, their communities, and this precious planet.

Cheers to Holistic Health!

~Tanya

Let Go of Stress

Were you rushing out the door to work this morning or to your last appointment? We often feel stress in our busy lives… When you’ve come home and you hear that reminder ding on your phone one more time. When you are driving along and you are startled by someone blaring on their horn. When you feel the construction from the nearby street vibrating through your house and you spill your tea down your shirt. When we are told from our supervisor we need to make an improvement at work, but we’ve been doing the best we could every day. When we feel like we give and give and our partner tells us we aren’t doing something enough and they need more help. How many stressors are you bombarded with on a daily basis? While these are all things that we at times deal with, I’m going to share ways to bust through stress and especially emotional, nutritional, environmental and spiritual stress. We all know that we live in a society that doesn’t honor the body and soul or its needs. But, we all live in it and have to navigate it.

Nutritional stress is one that you hear a lot about from me. The soil, air and water are all full of toxins, so even when we are doing our best in terms of eating whole foods and organic, we are not always able to get the nutrients we need. Of course we are all on a spectrum on our eating and healing journey and some of us are still eating foods that are not so nutritionally dense, or lacking in nutrition. Yes, these foods are processed. But remember, we aren’t aiming for perfection, only working to get better. And when we don’t get the nutrients we need for our body, there are break downs that happen. You have heard from me about some of the vitamins that are synergists, such as calcium and magnesium. These are ones that work together as a team. In the body, there are many of these that need to be in play to get the body into full alignment and orchestration. Some of us are putting things into our body that are drawing minerals and vitamins out such as coffee, birth control pills and medications. While there may be a need for some of these, there is a causal effect in the body. These things and others can deplete the body and we can experience nutritional stress that will manifest in ways such as fatigue, cravings, mood swings, muscle tension, insomnia and sometimes even more chronic issues. When you come in to see me, I can tell you what foods and supplements you will need according to your patterns and symptoms to get the body synergizing.

Emotional stress has a role from the nutritional stressors as you can see. When we are already having a lack of nutrition, it can affect the mood. I studied Cultural Anthropology in college initially and indigenous people work maybe 4 hours out of the day. The mere fact that we have to produce often is probably the largest modern day stressor. The importance of feeling our emotions and finding a way to express it in a healthy way is imperative to healing. We are leaving an old way of being where we had to stuff our emotions or were told to suck it up and keep going. But we know those ways never helped any of us and now we are learning to undo this programming. Finding a healthy way to express yourself is of vital importance to healing the body. And deep listening to our issues is also needed. We need to set aside our judgments of how we “need” to be, “should” be, or “could” be. Our body and soul have the wisdom to teach us when we stop and listen. And using Emotional Freedom Technique can help you feel and release these emotions. Let me teach you how to do this, and you will have this tool for life!

The other stressors we experience today are from technology, noise and light pollution and environmental malaise. What do I mean by that? In Chinese Medicine they have something called Geomancy. This is how we are in relation to where we live, the landscape around us, both in our home and outside of it. If there is a noisy freeway outside of our home, this will be a stressor. Our health is directly influenced by our environment. This is why the practice of feng shui has been helpful to people and we are rediscovering its value to our overall health. And remember, cell phones are a new phenomenon and the EMF’s emitting are being proven to have detrimental effects to us. I recommend at least one day a week to not go on your social media or email. Keeping notifications off of emails and app alerts unless absolutely necessary will help you find more peace in your day to day being. Be sure and turn your phone on to vibrate when you want your family time in the evenings and weekends, and also put your phone in airplane mode if it’s in your bedroom while you sleep. Finding a way to bring beauty and balance to your home will greatly assist your health. And if you aren’t happy where you are living, begin steps to make that move so you can have the peace and happiness you deserve!

We all know that spending time in nature is healing and I recommend finding more ways to incorporate this into your spiritual practice. Spiritual stress is a common one today. This is why the self-help movement has become so large. A practice or ritual is important. When you take time for meditation, yoga, walking, journaling, and resting, you are honoring your body and soul and you will often arrive at answers that you didn’t have before. There is no right way to get in touch with the divine, but practicing it will bring inner peace. Finding a community that supports and is in alignment with your values is also a way to meet your spiritual needs. Lastly, when we are of service, we feel our best. This boosts our immune system and feeds our feel good hormones in our body. Remember though that volunteering should be something you love and feel great about during and after you leave.

Stress builds in us and it erupts in many ways. For some of us it’s anxiety, some a back ache, for others it will develop into premenstrual issues, digestive issues for others and the list goes on. When you come in, I can help you to understand the ways in which stress is affecting you in your body and mind and I will coach you through that while you get the energy moving. I am always pleasantly surprised to see what Amma can do to assist in healing the mind, body and soul.

Here’s to letting it all go! 

Many Blessings,

Tanya

Year of the Yin Fire Rooster and You!

The year of the Yin Fire Rooster began a few weeks ago on the New Moon, January 28th. Every year I like to talk about the energies from the changing of the guards with Chinese Astrology. So, let’s have some fun and explore what the rooster is calling in!

The rooster is best known for its greeting to start the day. Its exuberance, diligence, patience, and timeliness are all characteristics that can be found in a rooster year. We also see that the rooster can be boastful and is very confident in its self, and not afraid to honestly call it like it is. Devoting some time to beauty and what we want to see in the greater world as beautiful will be a good place to put attention. The rooster is not only lovingly devoted, but resourceful, hardworking and delights in doing things to the best of its abilities. Roosters are true to their word so you can trust they will be a good friend as well as walk their talk. Taking charge in your life and owning your power will be themes both individually and as a collective. The rooster is a leader, popular, active, and talkative, as well as dressed for success. This year it will behoove us to make planned action, get organized and take risks only if they are calculated. Perseverance will be a helpful energy from our friend the rooster, as this is a fire yin year and the energy can be tumultuous. With the dedicated and observant rooster on hand though, we can expect to solve issues and make great strides if we apply all we learn. They also signify a feminine aspect and we will want to pay more attention to our intuition. Overall, we can expect more predictability with a rooster year, but the fire will make things intense and there will be a lot of action and growth. Get out there and energize your life by owning your beauty and power and you will have an amazing year!

To Great Health & Prosperity!

~Tanya

Why a Candida Cleanse?

Here’s the skinny on what the heck candida is, why you may have it, and could benefit from a cleanse!

Candida is a fungus that is a form of yeast that lives in our intestines and in our mouth. We all have some and it aids our digestion when it is in healthy parameters in our body. Candida or yeast overgrowth breaks down the intestinal wall linings when it overpopulates. Once this happens, the waste from it goes into the bloodstream and causes leaky gut. At first, too much candida will go unnoticeable. After time however, they will lead to sugar cravings and then you may experience such discomforts as gas, bloating, persistent heartburn, constipation, or diarrhea, fatigue, brain fog, recurring vaginal infections, vaginal or rectal itching, urinary tract infections, kidney and bladder infections, athlete’s feet, toenail or fingernail fungus, dandruff, or skin rashes such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea, white spots on the tongue or inside the mouth, burning tongue, severe seasonal allergies, difficulty concentrating, poor memory, mood swings, anxiety, or depression. Once it progresses even longer this imbalance can manifest into an autoimmune diseases such as MS, Lupus, Hashimoto’s, Graves’, other thyroid dysfunctions, cancer and other conditions from low-immune systems. Do you or a loved one suffer from one of these?

So many of us are suffering with this and it often grows out of control due to stress and diet. The Western diet and protocols has greatly contributed to this problem. The main culprits that cause an overgrowth are sugar, alcohol, refined carbohydrates and processed foods. Even some fermented foods such as kombucha can contribute to this problem. Oral contraceptives, heavy metals and use of corticosteroid drugs and antibiotics also cause candida overgrowth and contribute to killing off or crowding out the good bacteria in our gut.

This year, I will help you to kick that candida! It will take a little perseverance on your part, and with support from me you will and can do this! Make 2017 the year to be healthy and make you come first! There are two ways you can get support: one is through an Amma session which will help your body detox and I will give you all the protocols at the end of the session. During your Amma, I will talk you through pointers and planning. The second is through a Coaching session in which we will cover all the information in-depth on what to eat, what not to eat, supplements and lifestyle needs. These sessions will include 45 recipes to assist you! With all this support you can be candida free and feel and look your best this year!

Looking forward to assisting you,

Tanya

Spring Energetics

The season of spring is upon us and with it comes more yang (activity), longer days and nature is awakening from its dormancy. Yay flowers, colors, and growth!!! With the season of planting, ideas are birthed and this is a time of creating new growth in all areas of life. What is your vision for your life and for your health? This is a good time to take an inventory, make new goals or check your progress.

Wood is the element from the five element system of Chinese Medicine that governs this spring season. When we are in harmony with the wood element we are flexible in our lives and we have good judgment. We are able to focus, organize, plan, make decisions and stay calm.

With a wood disharmony a person may exhibit poor flexibility (problems with ligaments and tendons), spinal problems, headaches, and neck and back tension. Being out of balance can add to poor immunity and illness can come up. From a psychological/emotional standpoint a person may become unrooted, anxious, angry, easily irritated, controlling, lack vision, or unable to decide or plan.

Enjoying sour foods during this season will assist in keeping the body in harmony with the wood element. Be careful to not overdo it, as too much sour also shows an imbalance.

The liver and the gallbladder are the organs associated with the spring. These organs are able to purify the blood, regulate metabolism, influence hormones and store vitamins for later use. If the gall bladder and liver are overloaded you will have more of the disharmonies mentioned above. It is important not to overdo alcohol, drugs, fried foods and meats. It is time to add a little more raw veggies in and sprouts are a great addition. Spring can also be a great time to cleanse. Let’s talk before you begin though, to be sure your body is up for doing so.

Come in this month for a check in on your health goals! Amma therapy brings the organs into harmony, and you will feel at ease and have clarity once again!

Here’s to a Healthy and Vibrant Spring!!!

~Tanya

Daylights Savings: A Good Idea?

How many of you wake up to the sound of (alarm) going off to get your day started? Raise your hands. How many of you would like to wake naturally? I know I would and was prior to this last Daylights savings. And it took me a long point in life to get to a place where I could do this!

According to the Journal of Sleep Medicine a 2009 study said that it can take from one day and up to 3 weeks for some people to get back adjusted to their schedule. “Like anytime you lose sleep, springing forward causes a decrease in performance, concentration, and memory.”

How many people in this room experienced more high stress episodes or emotional breakdowns in their lives over the last two weeks after we “lost” an hour? How many saw an increase in mistakes or accidents? How many experienced a decrease in concentration? I asked these same questions on a poll that I took on my Facebook page the week after Daylights Savings had happened to see how it affected people.

Here are some of the results: “Kids having difficulty and behavior has reflected this at school”, “totally sucky week”,  “I have had a harder time waking up and falling asleep making me more tired throughout the day. Also, I am sick today and I haven’t been sick in a year or so”, “Caught a rare cold”, “Worst week in months…similar to last year when the change happened. I find I still go to bed and try and wake on the old schedule, and take it extra easy, because I am all out of sorts. Normally, I know what time it is, in my gut, all day. When the change happens, I just feel CRAPPY.”, “I missed an appointment, for a MASSAGE. I never miss any, especially not that!”, “Friends have had sudden onset of anxiety attacks”, “I was late because I couldn’t get up in the morning! Have been very sleepy, groggy/foggy and not productive at all…I’m noticing how hungry I seem, too! This whole week has been a hurdle. I made a huge purchasing mistake on my credit card, too! I thought I was paying $89 for software when it was, in fact, $869!!! “, A woman who teaches special ed preschool, put it bluntly, “I have not had a stellar week.”

It’s important to know that when we change the time and have to get up either an hour earlier or an hour later, we are changing the circadian rhythm of the body. To put it another way, our bodies have an internal clock that tell us when to sleep and to do all these physiological processes, most of which we don’t have to think about. Disrupting the body’s sleep cycle is not a part of the natural biological rhythms of the body! You may have heard about when someone tried to explain Daylights Savings to an old Indian chief he said, “Only the white man’s government would be so stupid as to cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it onto the bottom, and think they have a longer blanket.” This makes me laugh every time I hear it!

I will also say that in my FB study, some people said they did okay with the transition. One woman said black tea helped. And I will say that many people who do better ingested higher amounts of caffeine, or regularly use it, or they were already up when it’s dark and so didn’t notice as much of a difference.

In a 2007 study published in the journal ‘Current Biology’. The researchers suggested that humans never really adjust to DST, and they explained that “the biological clock is in tune to natural changes in light throughout the seasons, and doesn’t respond well to artificial or social changes in the time.”

My body definitely wants to wait to get up with the sun. And personally, the saddest part about losing the hour is not getting to slowly gain that hour over the course of days, weeks and months, experiencing that light getting longer and longer.

Each person’s ability to adapt to the time change is different and varies depending on how much sleep you are currently getting, the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume, as well as how much exercise you are getting. Other things that interfere with the body’s natural circadian rhythm is how much light you are exposed to during the day, how much artificial light exposure before bed, what medications you are on, and what you eat.

How does Daylights Saving impact the body? The journal ‘Open Heart’ did a study in 2014 looking at the number of heart attacks on the Monday following daylight saving time, and heart attacks increased 24 percent. This was compared with the daily average for the weeks surrounding the start of daylight saving time. Researchers also found when people gained an hour of sleep at the end of daylight saving in the autumn, heart attack numbers fell by 21 percent. There were more than 42,000 heart attacks during this study period, looking at a good balance of days at the start or stop of daylight saving time with other days during the study period.

Another study done by the American Academy of Neurology, compared the rate of stroke in more than 3,000 people hospitalized the week after a daylight saving time shift, to the rate of stroke in more than 11,000 people hospitalized two weeks before or after the week of transition.  The researchers released this study based in Finland on February 29th 2016, showing that after daylight savings, stroke was 8% higher. Cancer patients were 25% more likely to have a stroke during that time, and people older than 65 were 20% more likely to have a stroke. We have to be thinking about our stress levels this time of year and risk factors! If you aren’t exercising, are smoking and eating poorly, please pay attention to any chest pains that may occur.

As a Chinese Medical Practitioner, I am always seeing clients for sleep related issues. In fact, it is one of the most common complaints that I see in my office. People typically don’t come in to get help for this, they come in with back pain, with headaches, menstrual issues, with high blood pressure, and then after they tell me about their fatigue, stress, pain and their emotional highs and lows they add in, “Oh ya, and I haven’t been sleeping well.” I find it odd that so many people don’t think about their sleep enough to come in and say first thing, “I am not sleeping well”.

Christopher Barnes an associate professor of management at the University of Washington who researches the impact of sleep deprivation, especially in the workplace says, “As a society, we tend to treat sleep like a luxury or a necessary evil rather than a health issue. We work and live in a culture that tries to cram in so much activity. Because of this, everything else suffers. I always tell my students that sleep makes everything better: your work, your life, your health and your relationships.” I couldn’t give more sage advice.

To health!! ~Tanya

Mindful Movement

After talking with several clients about movement, it occurred to me that the language of it is imperative. Many of us have negative connotations with the word exercise and I believe it is because so many of us feel that we are failures at it or have not enjoyed the activities associated with “exercise”. Some people have aversions to words like “yoga” and prefer “stretching”. See if word play can help you to enjoy getting movement into your day. Movement is medicine and you are actually nourishing your body and being your own doctor by taking the time to do so.

The way we were taught to think about moving the body in Amma school is referred to as mindful movement. Part of my practice of this includes Qigong and yoga, dance and hiking. There are many activities that you can be mindful in. The key is to stay in the moment of what it is our body needs now. It may be up for a vigorous hike or a swim, or it may need some Tai Chi or yoga. Perhaps your body needs a day off for rest. Not listening to our bodies is often what leads to injuries, or not being able to enjoy the activity.

Repetitive movements at work also cause problems and this includes sitting for too long as well as typing on a computer all day. Our bodies actually create scar tissue from repetitive movements and often times we don’t necessarily have injuries so we don’t realize the blockages that have occurred there. Amma is the perfect modality to address this either way and moves the fascia as well as moves the stagnant energy in the body. It will get qi and blood flowing where you have been stuck because of improper exercise.

Improper exercise can be doing things in a way that is hard on the body, but it can also be overdoing it. While some people can work up to running, if you have just begun working out, it is not the wisest place to start. Look at prior injuries, weight, age and your comfort with an activity before you begin something. If you are feeling worn out afterwards and feel totally depleted, it may not be the right movement for you! Remember, no two bodies are alike and while everyone you know may love Tai-Bo, it may not be for you. The other thing to be aware of is to be sure of the best time of day to work out. If you aren’t a morning person, requiring yourself to go to the gym at 6:30am will probably set you up for failure. If you are someone who has insomnia, a hard cardio at 8pm could keep you up too late.

Other thoughts with movement are in regards to your goals. Remember that some days are better than others, and while we all wish we made it to the gym 3-5 times a week, we are going to miss some days because life happens. Be compassionate with yourself when you don’t always achieve your goals. And remember some days that ten minutes of stretching or twenty minutes of walking is better than nothing. We don’t always need the hour long aerobics class, and we sometimes need to (and have to!) do less. That is okay too.

The last thing to think about in getting yourself moving is to be sure and get support. Find an accountability partner, a movement trainer, talk to your doctor or Amma Therapist, and use goal planning skills. Some of you may be familiar with SMART, but even more fun is to remember to RUMBA! Goals should be R=Realistic (Attainable, but do stretch yourself a bit), U=Understandable (Clear and in language that you like), M=Meaningful & Measurable, B=Believable and A=Agreed (Share it with others to have it stick!)

Much Healing and Blessings,

Tanya

Winter’s Energetics

Winter is a time to go within, to recharge and to prepare for the coming time of growth in the spring. It is a time of introspection and yin building, where the focus is on stillness, listening and reflection.

The water element rules the winter. Water is our life blood, and it also circulates all of the body’s fluids. Therefore, water is able to move out waste, help nourish the body, and carries heat to warm us. The kidneys and the bladder are the associated organs and assist the body in cleansing and moving water through the body. The kidneys also help heat the body. When the water energies are in balance in the body, circulation will be present and will help us to maintain warmth.

Fear is the primary emotion that is associated with the kidneys. When there is an imbalance or stuck energy of the water element, we can become overly emotional and fear can easily rise up.  Being overly negative or constantly anxious will also affect the bladder and kidney. Resentment that is held over a long period of time will strain the bladder, and can cause bladder infections.

The ears, teeth, bones, the spine and knees are additionally associated with the kidneys. If you have any issues with these areas, your kidney energy needs attention. The kidneys are responsible for our overall life force, our growth, development and sexuality. If you suffer from fatigue, overuse stimulants or any kind of drugs, or have sexual dysfunction, this also points to a tax on the kidneys. Inappropriate rest or exercise, and not nourishing the self with high quality foods will deplete the kidneys too. A person’s will is related to the kidney energy. If you lack willpower to make the changes in your life that you wish to, the kidney energy is deficient.

Amma Therapy will address all of these issues by balancing the kidney energies, as well as the other organs that have become stuck and are contributing to the dis-ease. It is always nice to see how much people are able to resolve emotional build up, unhealthy mental habits and physical stress during an Amma session.

Transitioning to Winter: The Season of Rest and Sleep

Seasonal Imbalance and Amma Therapy

Here we are in the transition season from fall into winter. The transition periods between seasons are governed by the Earth element. During these transition times we may feel out of sorts and it is important to get 7-9 hours of sleep, rest and exercise. You may find yourself in disharmony if you are feeling resistive to change, are overindulging, overly ingratiating, extremely fatigued, worried, and foggy-brained. If you are especially drawn to the color yellow and/or have a yellow colored complexion you additionally may have a propensity towards having too much of the Earth element.  By getting an Amma bodywork treatment you can have this imbalance shift and your body will get back into its natural rhythm.

Sleep, TCM, the Heart and Kidneys

Sleep in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is often related to the heart, as it is the organ that is responsible for governing thought, memory and sleep. The acupoints correlating to heart imbalances such as insomnia are stimulated in treatment and the stuck energy is then released allowing the organs to work together in unison and the symptoms to dissipate. The heart also houses the shen, which is the name of the emotional component of the heart, and also referred to as the spirit. Acupressure points can assist the shen when it is disturbed, as there will be either excessive or dream-disturbed sleep, an inability to feel adequately rested, or insomnia. There is also a heart and kidney balance that must be maintained as the heart gives blood to the kidneys, and the kidney raises heat for the fire needed in the heart. Pathogens and a blood deficient diet, heavy menstrual periods and other issues can also affect the heart and therefore sleep. The kidneys not only need to assist the heart, but they store our essence and life energy. They are the organ that predominantly presents with a chronic neglect of rest. As with any chronic condition, continued treatments will assist in building the body back up, along with self-care recommendations and Chinese herbs.

Seasonal Cycles, Stress and Sleep Deprivation

Although we are not taught to slow down this time of year in our culture, our bodies need to be in rhythm with the seasonal cycles. This is the season of hibernation. We require adequate sleep for rebuilding our bodies and processing the day.  Often times with the holidays we feel obligated and excited to be active and social. And there are many positive aspects to doing so when balanced with rest and good sleep. However, since improper rest and nutritional deficiencies are often present, stress-related disorders are high this time of year.  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and depression around the holidays are all too common. And depression is linked to not having proper sleep and rest. Another result from deficient sleep is higher anxiety levels, which are exacerbated by being overly busy and over thinking. Without getting proper sleep, your ability to think, process information and your memory become impaired. Sleep is so essential that when our circadian rhythms are disrupted, our white blood cell count goes down, and our ability to physically respond to stress and pathogens is limited. To top it all off, when you don’t sleep enough, you crave foods and eat things you shouldn’t. This negative cycle takes you down the path to sickness and disharmony.

Insomnia and Sleep Deprivation Prevention

A good way to disrupt this vicious cycle is to create a plan that builds in adequate rest and sleep. If you suffer from insomnia, there are things that can be done at home. Scheduling the TV and the computer to go off an hour or two before bedtime will allow your body to produce melatonin and your body will not be tricked by the artificial lighting into thinking it should stay up late. Too much socializing can lead to late nights and inadequate rest. Challenge yourself to say ‘no’ or answer with ‘let me get back to you’ when you know you could be over-committing. When you find yourself over-committed, sometimes you can gracefully back out. Remember the reason for the season is to spend quality time with loved ones, but you can’t be everyone to everybody.

Here’s to sleep!
Tanya

Tanya Kutterer
Amma Therapist
Blue Heron Holistic Health
tanyabhhh@gmail.com

Autumn and Colon Care

Many of us are finding ourselves fatigued these days and in need of a reset. There are a variety of things to keep in mind at this time and you will have to see what’s right for you to add or change. Whether it’s starting a meditation practice, getting in a new exercise routine, giving yourself permission to rest or get pampered, taking a mini-retreat, or finding a more balanced way of eating, you will need to make the change or your body will assist you through illness. Funny how the body will tell us even when we don’t want to listen and insist we don’t have time. Being sick at home forces you to make time. Instead of waiting, take a well day and get an Amma treatment as your reset.

Besides the overall energy of needing to go inward during the fall, there can be deeper seated issues for a lack of energy. One way to overcome this fatigue is through the care of the colon. The time of autumn is ruled by the organs of the lungs and the colon, which are yin yang pairs. The colon plays a larger role in our overall health than we give it credit for and if we are overly fatigued we may be literally backed up. Sometimes through illness or acute bowel movement issue, we know that the colon isn’t functioning optimally. However, when a person is feeling relatively good how would they know if their colon is working the best that it can?

Here are some ways to tell if your colon is functioning properly: you wake up in the morning and you don’t have bad breath, you are having at least one bowel movement a day, your face complexion is clear, you don’t have bloating or gas after meals, and you have energy throughout the day without artificial stimulants. Surprisingly, skin disorders, headaches, weight gain, eye issues, and muscle or joint pain are often related to a colon disharmony. In fact, most illnesses can be traced back to the colon.

The colon absorbs water and nutrients and eliminates what the body does not need. Diets high in sugar, unfermented dairy products, flour products- especially gluten grains, all tax the colon and accumulate inside of it. In addition, recreational and prescription drugs, birth control pills and antibiotics kill the good flora in your gut, as well as add to the mucosal lining and further prevent absorption of nutrients. Limiting these foods and substances or cleansing to eliminate all of these for a time will assist your body into balance. It is additionally imperative to have an adequate amount of water each day. If you aren’t properly hydrated, the colon will not be able to absorb the nutrients from the food no matter how high the quality.

Anything that you can do to care for the lungs will also positively influence the colon, because they are yin yang pairs. Using big deep breaths, a good cardio workout, expressing and releasing emotions -especially sadness or grief will greatly help the colon (and lungs) to be in good form. If you aren’t getting rest or enough sleep, the colon will not have energy to perform, so sleep is excellent medicine.

Besides food, the colon is easily strained by emotions and stress. There are so many nerves that run into and from the colon that it is probably no surprise that stress and anger cause the bowels to contract, thus impacting proper elimination. Stress will drain the adrenals and thyroid and lead to a greater loss in energy. By keeping your interaction with negative people to a minimum, having meals without stressful conversation, journaling, or finding a therapist to talk, you will be on the right track. Addressing your stress by getting regular Amma bodywork will keep the body in balance and boost the immune system.

How does Amma assist? Amma is a holistic modality and it balances the energies in the body. There are specific techniques to assist the colon such as manipulating over the intestines to help move its contents through. Stimulation of specific points for the presenting symptoms and massaging over the colon and lung channels will unblock the stagnation of energies. Often, stomach and spleen points will be addressed as their role is to assimilate and absorb nutrients. The liver points and channel often need extra attention depending on how much extra work they have been put under. When the colon is dirty, the liver will not eliminate into the colon like it is supposed to. The liver will get further strained causing one to have more anger and frustration, as this is the corresponding emotion of liver. All of the organ systems are interrelated, so energetic bodywork movement with corresponding points that treat the person as an individual and the body as a whole is always the focus. Each patient is also given recommendations to assist their individual system to perform its best- be it with food, herbs or lifestyle.

The best part is that after the treatment you will have clarity and things will seem sharper. You will feel peaceful and at ease, and also fresh like the energy after a storm. That’s why Amma is so amazing!

Here’s to health!

Tanya Kutterer

Amma Bodywork Therapist
Blue Heron Holistic Health
tanyabhhh@gmail.com
208-371-4410