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

Tag Archives: Holistic Nutrition

Semiannual Review Time!

It’s hard to believe we are over half way through the year and it’s time to do a semiannual review of life to see what we’ve accomplished and where we are headed. It is time to celebrate all that we have done and look at what we are planning. Let’s make sure we are on track with our soul’s highest intentions and see what has been working so far and what needs to be let go of.

If you already journal, take some time to look back through it. Or, look over your calendar or goal list if you save it to see what you’ve been prioritizing. If you did write out goals or a plan for the year for yourself or your business, get that out and see what you can celebrate and what you want to change.

Here are thoughts for you to reflect and journal on:

  • What are your top triumphs?
  • What lessons have you had?
  • What areas can you see that you’ve grown in?
  • What would you like to be different?
  • What steps do you need to get to where your goals are?
  • What are you grateful for?

And, if you’d like to dive deeper into this, I am now offering Transformational Coaching. If you are wanting to get more clear on your path, achieve a goal quicker, get through a change or tough time in your life- whether it’s career, health, relationships related, or just stay on track with all of your to-do’s and get more organized and efficient, then this coaching is for you!

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

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

Proven Ways to Stay Well

It’s that time of year again! Time to figure out how to stay well! As an Amma Therapist, I am often treating clients through the fall, winter and spring with colds and flus. Many people come in to see me with symptoms of runny or stuffy nose, watery eyes, sore throat, fever and aches. All of those things are often pushed out within a one hour Amma session! That means that yes, usually by the next day or the day after, they feel that they no longer have a cold or have very minimal symptoms. That is the best deal you can get to stay well. Now, there are things that need to be done to keep the cold from coming back, and there are things to prevent them.

In order to stay well, we must address the physical body. How do we get sick in the first place? Usually it is because we are overdoing it, stressing ourselves and not giving ourselves enough sleep or rest time. If you want to be well the best ways to prevent illness is listening to your body, getting adequate sleep, getting regular Amma treatments, getting sufficient stretching and movement time in, and eating well!

In the autumn we begin to eat mostly cooked foods. We can add in more pungents at this time, as well as bringing in some sour and bitter to keep a good balance. Focusing on squashes, root vegetables (especially turnips, beets and parsnips), basil, cardamom, rosemary, thyme, spinach, kale, turnips, baked pears and apples), warm lemon water and nettle tea.

As metal is the element for the autumn season, we must address the principles of metal. There are metals in the body and we must look at minerals and detoxification. See my last email and blog for detox tips. Are you getting enough foods with minerals? If you aren’t sleeping well, you may have a mineral deficiency.

Metal is also a conductor, so has to do with communication. How are we communicating in this season? We must be assertive and know when to speak up for ourselves and loved ones. If you are having trouble communicating your needs, you may have a metal imbalance. Amma therapy also addresses these in treatment.

Remember, the best way to stay well is to be preventative! Giving yourself the gift of Amma each month is a way to honor your body’s need for rest, positive touch, energy balancing, and letting go of ways in which we have become “stuck”. In order to serve you better, I am offering a 15% discount this month to boost your immunity.

To Health!

Tanya

On Cleansing

With the season change, minimizing and simplifying are an important   
consideration. I recently found a way to cut out meal planning,   
cooking and long grocery trips~ it’s called cleansing! Lol!! No, I   
actually love all of the above, but it is nice to take a break, as   
with all things. And, as with minimizing clutter in our outer lives, 
it is good to clean house within!

Cleansing is a great way to give our digestion a rest. It has many   
health benefits, but after a lot of research recently on the detox   
process and cleansing, I have learned that it is a necessity. We   
live in a toxic world and no matter how good you eat and how careful 
you are to avoid chemicals and toxins they are in all of our air,   
water and food. Yes, even our organics. This is why it is even more   
important to always buy organic when possible, to have a good water   
filter, and to use glass containers for food storage.

As an Amma Therapist, I treat and work with people with autoimmune   
conditions, gut issues and other imbalances that are due to living   
in a toxic world! Often, our bodies are carrying a load for a long   
time before we notice and feel dis-ease. I have much to share on   
ways to detox for specific conditions and how to unload the toxin   
burden from your body.

One important way to remove the toxin burden from our over-stressed   
systems is with a cleanse. The more I have read into the Stanley   
Burrough’s Master Cleanse and used it myself, the more I have come   
to believe that not only is it a very safe and effective cleanse,   
but it may be the only one really needed to clear someone out   
regardless of what kind of condition~ be it acute or chronic that   
you may have. I also recommend some additional teas or supplements   
before or after this regime, but this is a great one! Please always   
consult with your doctor before starting a cleanse and enJoy!

The Master Cleanse

   1.  First, squeeze organic Lemons or Limes (approx. ½ lemon)
   2.  Then add real Maple Syrup, or Molasses if you have blood sugar   
issues
   3.  Then add 1/10 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper into 8 oz. pure Water   
(room temperature)
   4.  Combine the juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper in a 10 oz   
glass jar w/lid and fill with the room temperature water. If it’s cold outside, warm water should always be used. Shake it up and drink.
   5.  Drink a minimum of six to 12 glasses throughout the day   
whenever one is hungry
   6.  Take a laxative before bed.
   7.  Instead of the morning laxative, you can do the Salt Water Flush.

  INTERNAL SALT WATER BATHING DIRECTIONS: Prepare a full quart of   
lukewarm water and add two level teaspoons of sea salt. Do not use   
ordinary iodized salt, as it will not work properly. Drink the   
entire quart of salt and water first thing in the morning. This must  
  be taken on an empty stomach. The salt and water will not separate   
but will stay intact and quickly and thoroughly wash the entire   
tract in about one hour. Several eliminations will likely occur. The  
  salt water has the same specific gravity as the blood, hence the   
kidneys cannot pick up the water and the blood cannot pick up the   
salt. This may be taken as often as needed for proper washing of the  
  entire digestive system. If the salt water does not work the first   
time, try adding a little more or a little less salt until the   
proper balance is found; or possible take extra water with or   
without salt. NOTE: Do not take enemas or colonics at any time   
during the cleansing diet or afterwards. They are unnecessary and   
can be extremely harmful. This method will cleanse the entire   
digestive tract while the colonics and enemas will only reach the   
colon or a small part of it.

To Health! 

Tanya

 

 

Body Psychology: A Holistic Approach and the Modern Day Experiment

There is so much information out there on how to be healthy and what to eat. A big focus with my clients in guiding them to health in treatment is with Holistic Nutrition. But, as I often tell clients, it’s not just what  you eat, but how  you eat that makes a difference.  We are living in a time where people are having record weight gain, including children. Many people are sending their body mixed signals with not knowing what to eat, eating when they shouldn’t and feeling bad about their choices. There are challenges for each of us in keeping up on science research and sorting it from the trends.

We humans will always be evolving in our knowledge and even our body’s nutritional needs will continue to evolve. This particular time in history is especially interesting though, because in no other time in human evolution have we been exposed to as many environmental toxins, and in no other time have we eaten “foods” that do not exist in nature. Couple that with how our lives are taken over by media and electronics and we live more sedentary lives. In addition we are increasingly spending less time out in nature than in past generations. Our lives are full of stress and as we expose ourselves to more anger and violence through the media, our bodies respond by raising our insulin and cortisol. This constant stress makes our bodies weak and we are prone to illness and autoimmune conditions.  We are the Great Experiment.

You may have heard “Food is Love” and “You are What You Eat”. Perhaps you have heard the expression there are two types of people: Those who ‘eat to live’ and those who ‘live to eat’.  If we want to find health, then it is imperative to think of health in a holistic concept of nourishing the body, mind and spirit.

My recommendations to make this happen include making a commitment to create the healthiest gut ecosystem possible. We can do this by consuming whole foods which are foods that are grown in nature in their original form, unprocessed and unrefined. Processed foods and especially sugar are what we want to limit, as these are what create inflammation and stifle healthy gut flora.

This does not mean being perfect or never eating desserts or giving up an entire food group. There are do’s and don’ts, but these are for each individual based on their metabolic and biochemical needs. What is important is that most of the time we eat foods that are full of nutrition, that we enjoy them, and eat mindfully.  We all can help this process by becoming curious about our connection to foods, to our body’s needs, and learning when we are eating out of distraction, being tired, or to cover up an emotion.

Part of this curiosity can be channeled into each of us being our own best doctor. This may sound like an oxymoron, but it takes educating ourselves with reputable research which often entails seeking out a mentor who is knowledgeable about Holistic Nutrition.  This can be in the form of reading things from sources outside of media that may have an agenda. Once we have solid information, we can make informed decisions. We can and must also listen to our bodies. You are the only authority on your body! We each get to make decisions and learn through them. We can see what our intuition says. And when the body detects something foreign such as a chemical toxin that ends up in our foods, our bodies will reject these foods through pain and discomfort. When we continue to not listen, it will ‘up the ante’ and give us issues with these foods through food sensitivities, intolerances, allergies, or illness.  As these things come up in our lives we can see what changes we need to make and seek out help when it’s appropriate.

We get to be scientists as we get curious, seeing how our bodies react each time we eat. And also it means not beating ourselves up when we make a mistake or eating something we know is “bad”. When we constantly bombard ourselves with body judgment and criticism, we are not sending our body love. Our relationship to ourselves is modeled to our children as well. If we want them to be healthy and live long lives, then we must show them how to do this. Here’s an example. Sugar isn’t bad but how we use it can be. (It is arguably a drug that we as a society deem acceptable and overuse.) So talking to the young people in our lives about their choices is imperative. Having conversations with ourselves and our loved ones such as, “How does your body feel after you eat the sugar coated cereal?” is a strategy to empower us. By listening to how our bodies interpret what we put into it, we gain control and are able to make healthy choices through knowing the consequences.

Our body sends signals to us about our health all day long. We need to listen to our bodies telling us when we aren’t getting enough down time, or when we are pushing ourselves too hard during exercise, or not moving our body when it is begging us to! Being aware of adrenaline coming up after listening to loud and chaotic music, or to the stress response in our body after watching an action movie is important if we want to calm down the nervous system. Looking at our environment and assessing how it is impacting our health is necessary too. Living in areas where there is a lot of noise, air or light pollution can be a drain on your health. Last of all we need to spend time with ourselves and figure out the input we are receiving from body signals. We may have so many bombardments with physical, spiritual, emotional and mental needs that it may take some time to sort and process it all.

While we live in a world that seems to be accepting of denying body wisdom, we each have the responsibility to choose differently. When we don’t listen to our bodies they become sick. As someone who had a chronic autoimmune condition and suffered for years, I choose to be proactive in continuing learning to take preventative care of my body. I encourage you and support you to do the same!

Wishes for Optimal Health,

Tanya

 

Why I Practice Amma

I have often been asked why I became trained in Amma and why this is the path I have chosen. Those who know me are aware of my passion for Chinese Medicine and Eastern and Holistic Nutrition. There have been many reasons that I began this work. First off, there was seeing my grandfather suffer for years on medications and the results of their side effects and interactions with one another. Then there was always my passion for alternative health and living ideas, which coincide with my holistic view of the Earth and deep care for this sweet planet we call home. The implications of being born into a time and place where we have grave environmental contamination from pollution of all kinds and where we all are paying the consequences has weighed heavy on my mind since I was a late teen. And then there has been my personal journey in which I have had blood sugar issues all my life, and later on I was faced with being diagnosed with a “disease”. I was told I would have to either have radiation, surgery or be on medication the rest of my life. I knew there were alternatives, and I have incorporated those to become dis-ease and pain-free! Today I am not on medication and have never had invasive Western treatment because of several Amma Therapists that shared their wisdom and knowledge with me. I am grateful.

For those I haven’t shared with I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease, a form of hyperthyroidism that speeds up your metabolism and your heart rate. Not only was I constantly eating and hungry, but I was an emotional wreck on a daily basis. At that time in my life I was close to losing everything: my mind, my job, my relationship, and I have never felt more out of control. While I did get on Western medication to get stabilized (and for which I am deeply thankful), I quickly reversed my condition and within three months was off of medication, never to be on it again.

It has now been four years and I no longer suffer. I have adopted a gluten-free life which is imperative to my thyroid health. I also take many high quality supplements daily and have incorporated a daily meditation practice into my life. I eat organic and many locally-raised foods. My exercise regime is full of regular hiking, dancing and mindful movement. And last but certainly not least are the Amma treatments and other energy and healing modalities I receive monthly or more. My thyroid only acts up a little now and again when in times of stress and imbalance. It is a reminder to me to take the self-care needed to feel good in my body.

I am grateful for the life I live and while it takes persistence and continual learning, I know that those things come with greater ease than accepting a path without it. I am now dedicated to working with people to prevent pain and to reduce and alleviate pain for those who suffer. I know pain has its lesson for all of us, but I have learned that once you stop and listen to what your mind/body/heart is saying, it will move on as it is temporary like all things in life.

Many Blessings,

Tanya

Breast Health

It was a little over two years ago that I had an annual exam and my doctor felt lumps in my breast. She told me very seriously that I needed to have the lumps checked out, in a firm and urgent tone. I left there feeling anxiety welling in me, and later, panic formed. I was frightened, and facing what many women in our society must: to reconcile that I may have breast cancer. My great grandmother passed from breast cancer and I never got to know her, so I took this information even more seriously. I also knew the possibility that I may be totally safe and the lumps could be benign. However, after leaving there, I developed a fear of my breast tissue that had the lumps. I couldn’t touch them without being thrown into a panic. I knew that this was something I needed to overcome, but the thought of cancerous tissue was more than my mind could handle.

Luckily by this time I was graduating from the Amma Therapy program and was on my way to becoming a holistic practitioner. There was more than the physical going on here I knew, and there were alternatives for me to seek out to help resolve this no matter the outcome. I was armed with knowledge, but nothing trumps an experience of an invitation of death on your doorstep.

I also had a great resource on my shelf, a book: “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” written by an MD. This doctor had been in practice a long time and seen many patients with lumps in their breasts. Her words calmed me. I learned that fear in my body would only create more of a problem. It didn’t mean that everything was going to be okay. I was not yet in the clear. It meant that I needed to change my mind about the way that I viewed lumps in my breasts.

These lumps are commonly benign and are either fibroadenoma or cysts, and sometimes still referred to as fibrocystic disease. Disease is a strong word and I prefer to state that we can be in dis-ease, or I refer to our health issues as disharmonies. Lumps are a common phenomenon and you do not have to be in fear when you find them. There are many reasons they can occur and be there even for some time. After all, 90% of lumps are benign. And if you do have cancerous tissue, there are often ways to work to remove the cancer from the body without having to use chemotherapy, radiation, or remove a breast, especially if it is caught early on.

Over time if the blood, qi and lymph of the breast tissues aren’t moved and become stuck in the chest, lumps can form. This can happen from improper diet, from emotional issues and being exposed to too much radiation, as well as other toxins in our environment. Wire bras constrict the flow of blood, lymph and qi, and can also be a factor in this energy restriction.

The liver meridian is linked to the breasts and the associated emotions with the liver are anger, frustration and resentment. Having any of these emotional issues can block the flow of energy in this area. It is good to keep in mind that many illnesses come about due to blocked emotions. This can be highly unconscious and if you have sent unloving thoughts to your breasts because of size or other body image issues, it will be important to forgive yourself and to love yourself as you are now.

Most people in our society are pretty well educated on the importance of doing regular breast exams. This is good self-care that I highly encourage. Massaging the tissue around the breasts regularly (especially where the bra lines are) to move the energy is important. Taking your bra off when you come home from work in the evening, or at least an hour or two before bedtime assists the energy to flow properly.

Diet, exercise and reducing stress are also huge factors in maintaining healthy breast tissue. Reducing dairy products is known to benefit breast tissue. And if you are consuming any dairy whatsoever, be sure it is organic so you are not adding additional hormones to your body, which may contribute to breast swelling, tenderness and pain. Reducing caffeine (and yes this includes chocolate), sugar and refined carbohydrates will help decrease the overstimulation of breast tissue. Alcohol, caffeine and tobacco are all very hard on the liver, and therefore stagnate the energy in and around the breasts.

Exercise is also essential because you have to move your body to move your lymph (or get bodywork). Working out four hours a week is recommended. Expressing all of your emotions in a positive and balanced way through journaling, meditation, counseling and mindful movement are also important in dealing with stress.

Amma therapy, a form of acupressure and massage, is very effective in helping move lymph, blood and especially the liver qi in the body. An entire treatment is focused on moving energy through all of the body, and getting regular treatments is great preventative health care. Specific points can be done during a session around the breasts and over other areas of the body to help coordinate the flow so that all organs are networked and in proper alignment. Sessions can assist in reducing lumps, pain and treating other women’s issues.

It is my desire to bring peace, clarity of mind, and to assist you in your health so you may go out and do good things in the world!

Blessings,
Tanya