~~A guest blog by Sheila Olson of fitsheila.com
Wanting to become or stay fit while still enjoying life is a challenge for many of us today. Some may aspire to be the world’s strongest man or woman, some are recovering from addiction, and some just want to live a healthy life in general. Whatever your story, fitness and self-care are equally important on the quest for a thriving life, and finding balance is essential to long-lasting wellness. Though it takes time and energy, a healthy rhythm that is right for you can be found. Below are a few tips to help you on your quest.
Build a plan
Making a carefully considered fitness and self-care plan will encourage healthy living for the long haul. By realistically examining your life and goals, you can make objective decisions about your exercise routines, diet, and other ways to take care of yourself. If you’re like most people, it’s hard enough to juggle work, leisure, family, and friends in your busy life. Nonetheless, try to prioritize wellness and build a plan that works for you and your schedule. Don’t forget to keep it fun and don’t be afraid to change the plan to accommodate your changing life.
Keep a journal
Once you have a plan, it’s good to reflect regularly on your routine. How are your workouts going? What food are you eating? Do you feel well rested? What goals have you met, and where have you fallen short? Recording your thoughts in a journal can help you make sure you’re balancing your fitness and self-care. Those who make time to write often experience a boost in self-esteem and a reduction in stress and anxiety. It’s easy to forget the good things in life, and it’s hard to see growth as it’s happening. Jotting down something or someone you’re thankful for and documenting your progress can help put things in perspective.
Focus your breathing
Focusing on your breathing can help you find your fitness and self-care rhythm. How you inhale and exhale affects strength workouts like lifting weights and pull-ups. Matching the pace of your breaths to your arm swing or footsteps helps to get you in a flow while doing cardio movements like running or water aerobics. Besides working out, focusing your breathing in everyday life situations can also prove beneficial. There are several breathing methods that can be done anywhere at anytime, such as the 4-7-8 exercise, which can help reduce inner tension in stressful moments and help you fall asleep.
Don’t overdo it
When taking steps toward a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to remember that you can easily overdo it. It usually happens when you realize how much progress still has to be made or when the honeymoon stage at the gym ends. If you’re not careful, knowing you’re a long way from hitting your target weight can lead you down a rabbit hole of joyless eating. Likewise, never taking a break from working out can lead to burnout, especially when the shine wears off your new gym membership card. Whatever it is, overdoing it is counterproductive, and it can quickly revert you back to the sedentary lifestyle.
Whether you’re striving to be the next greatest athlete, using exercise to help you recover from an addiction, or simply wanting to improve your well-being, health and wellness are within reach. Making a plan, writing in a journal, managing your breathing, and taking it easy every now and then are all ways to see fruit from your labors.
Photo Credit: Pexels
Crystals and gemstones have been used for physical, spiritual, and emotional support since ancient times. One stone which has proven useful for PTSD is Septarian. Septarian is a conglomeration of yellow calcite, brown aragonite, and grey limestone. It is associated with the lower three chakras which are the solar plexus, the sacral and the root chakra. This stone is used during times of crisis, fear, and anxiety because of it's soothing properties as well as its grounding abilities. It is also helpful for communication and public speaking. Septarian is great for self-esteem and confidence. It also supports the joints and muscle/skeleton system. Septarian is great to alleviate nightmares. Why not give it a try? Obtain a piece and hold it in your hand while meditating or praying, carry it with you, or sleep with it in your pillowcase. These are all ways of benefiting from its energy.
Last weekend, my daughter Katie visited from Michigan. One of our excursions was to Bisbee, AZ, an old mining town. This quaint town is nestled into the mountains a couple hours Southeast of Tucson. Bisbee is touted as a bohemian town with street performers and a laid-back vibe. Here you will find art galleries, antique shops, mine tours, ghost tours, restaurants, unique shoppes, and breweries. On this trip, we opted to visit the Mining and Historical Museum. The admission is $8 for adults, $3 for children and $7 for seniors. On the first floor, visitors will find a picturesque tour of the history of Bisbee and the surrounding areas, a well-stocked gift shop, and a bonus room featuring an oak office and a display of copper high school diplomas. The upstairs is where I enjoyed myself the most. There were numerous displays of minerals and crystals commonly found in the Bisbee mines such as Malachite, Azurite, Calcite, even some Silver, and Gold, and of course, Copper. There is a cut away of what the inside of a mine looks like as well as many interactive displays representing miners on the job. You can even play with Tonka Trucks! After our tour, we visited the gift shop. There were several books that I wanted! I ended up purchasing Rock and Gem by Ronald Bonewitz. This is a remarkable book, 360 pages bursting full of photos of minerals, crystals, gems, and fossils. Rock and Gem is a comprehensive guide which contains geological, archaeological and descriptive information. I cannot wait to dig in! Of course I couldn't leave without also purchasing some gemstones. I opted for three chipstone bracelets: malachite, amozanite, and ruby in zoisite. Overall, I enjoyed the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum and will include it in my future trips to Bisbee.
By Keasha LeClear-Morse, Advanced Crystal Master and Reiki Master
So you’ve heard all of the hype about Crystal Healing and now you’re intrigued enough to give it a try. You have called and made the appointment, but you aren’t quite sure what to expect. You have some questions, like: What should you wear? Do you stay clothed on the table? How long are the sessions? What will the practitioner do during your appointment and what are you expected to do? What if you fall asleep? Are there any rules or suggestions for after your session? Let’s take a look at a typical Crystal Healing session and try to answer some of these questions.
A Crystal Healer will typically have a space which is set aside just for the healing sessions. It is made as relaxing as possible with low lighting, serene decoration, an aroma therapy diffuser, a source of music, and often a fountain. The temperature is neither too hot nor too cold. There is most often a massage table in the room, though some healers use a mat on the floor. Be sure to alert the practitioner to any mobility issues you might have. There is usually a seat, and desk or table where the practitioner conducts the intakes.
Your Initial Appointment
When you arrive, your Crystal Healer will welcome you into their healing space. Often there will be calm, meditative music playing. The lights will be low. There might be a scent of essential oils from a diffuser or the smell of sage which has been burned in the room in order to clear it from any negative energy. If you have any allergies, be sure to alert the practitioner prior to your appointment so she can avoid using those particular scents.
Your practitioner will show you the facilities, including the bathroom, to be used as needed. She will now conduct a short intake with you, as this is your first appointment. Paperwork will need to be completed, which include a Healing Intake and Consent form. On this form, you will write your contact information; disclose any medical conditions; divulge any previous experience with complimentary or alternative healing practices; sign consent for treatment; and acknowledge that the practitioner does not guarantee effectiveness nor give medical advice. Lastly, this form acts as an agreement for payment at time of service. You will also be given a copy of the HIPAA policy and a copy of the Client Disclosure Form, which advises you of your practitioner’s qualifications, certifications, and commitment to her clients. Both of these will be signed as an acknowledgement of receipt. There may be other paperwork according to your practitioner’s personal preference. A healing session generally lasts 60 minutes, though the initial appointment is usually 30 minutes longer in order to complete paperwork and to answer any questions you might have.
After the intake is completed, there will be a brief explanation of Crystal Healing, and the crystals that are to be used during your session will be shown to you. This is the time to ask any questions that you might have. Before getting on the table, you will be asked to remove any gemstone jewelry, any stones which you might be carrying, along with glasses, shoes, and belts. You will also empty your pockets, and shut off your cell phone. Now is the time to use the bathroom if needed. Once on the table, you will be asked how the temperature in the room is for you. You might want a blanket or sheet covering your body, but that is completely up to you. All of your clothing stays on during the Crystal Healing session, except for your shoes, glasses, jewelry, and belt. You will lie face up on the table and will be asked if you would like a booster under your knees, which is especially helpful if you have any back issues. There will be a pillow for under your head. You will usually be offered an eye pillow. Some practitioner’s warm it, and some keep it cold. Others offer it at room temperature. Sometimes the eye pillows are scented with lavender to help you relax. You may decline any of these items, though they are all offered for your ultimate relaxation and healing experience. As mentioned before, there will be calming music playing, and often essential oils in a diffuser. Once comfortable, you will want to close your eyes and relax. There is nothing more for you to do except enjoy the experience and allow yourself the space to heal.
As the table time of your session begins, the practitioner may say a prayer or an invocation. Some practitioners meditate and pray before the session and some begin with a short prayer. During the intake you will discuss spirituality and your practitioner will be respectful of your beliefs. The next thing which usually takes place is that the practitioner will check your chakras, your aura, and your energy with her hands or with the use of a crystal or pendulum. Most of this work will be done above your body with very little to no touch. The only touch you should feel is the placement of the crystals. If your practitioner is also a Reiki Master, you might experience some gentle hand placements which are non-invasive. While your practitioner is testing your chakras, she will be quietly informing you of her findings. No response is necessary. Next, the practitioner will choose the appropriate crystals according to her findings. These will most likely be the same ones that she showed you prior to getting on the table, but there might be some slight alterations. She will place the crystals as gently as possible upon and around your body. You may be asked to hold some stones in your hands. Most will be placed on the chakra areas of your body, which are the hip joints, a couple of inches below your navel, a couple of inches above your navel, on the breastbone, at the base of your throat, just above and between your eyes, and on the crown of your head. If at any time you become uncomfortable, please let your practitioner know.
During the rest of the healing session, the practitioner will be working above and around your body. She might be clearing a chakra, breaking up blockages, or moving energy. You might hear her repeating a Bija Mantra, which is a sound she makes in order to help open a chakra. Your practitioner might be led to switch out one or more of the crystals, or she might add additional crystals to the ones already on your body. If she is a Reiki Master, now is the time that she will be placing her hands either above or gently on you in order for the Reiki energy to flow.
Clients experience different reactions while on the table. You might find yourself in a total relaxed state of being, at that place between waking and sleeping. You could also drift off to sleep, and many clients even snore. You might find that you twitch like we sometimes do when we’re falling asleep. You may see colors or images in a dreamlike fashion. It’s also totally normal for a client to experience a release of emotions, such as weeping. If this happens, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Your practitioner will provide you with Kleenex and continue with the healing session. Another potential reaction is to release gas. This is totally within the norm and no reason to feel ashamed.
Once the chakras are in balance, the practitioner might choose to do a more specific lay out according to your needs. She will clear away any accumulative energy and then seal some points around your body to help you to continue the healing process at home. At the end of your time on the table, the practitioner will inform you that it’s time to wake up or to gently come back into your body. Some practitioners will ring a bell or a chime to help you awaken. She will remove all of the stones from their placement except for a rock which is located between and under your feet. She will let you know that that stone has been left there to assist you in grounding and in returning to everyday awareness. She will ask that you lie there for a few moments until you are ready to get up safely. At this point, the practitioner will often offer you some water or tea, and ask for any feedback concerning the session. She will also share with you any intuitive information she might have received and give you suggestions on how to continue this healing work at home. You will be encouraged to drink lots of water throughout the rest of the day. You will then discuss the need for follow up sessions, pay your practitioner, and set up your next appointment. The effects of crystal healing work are accumulative therefore it is a good idea to continue with regular appointments while working on the issues which brought you to the practitioner.
Hopefully this article was useful and gives you an idea of what to expect when you decide to have a Crystal Healing session. Please remember to enjoy it and not to worry about what should happen or not. Your practitioner is there to answer any questions. It’s your job to just go with the flow!
Keasha Marie is a Reiki Master and Advanced Crystal Healer who lives in SE Arizona.