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Stephanie Dent, BCTMB, LMT, LMBT

Holistic Wellness and Massage

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Holiday Gut Survival

Posted on November 15, 2017 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (7)

For a prettier version with pictures and links, view my Docs version.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QNDTv_edIbGIuGMYD4v90lmP9dBDH2UIlNmKbp3C6ZE/edit?usp=drivesdk" target="_blank">https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QNDTv_edIbGIuGMYD4v90lmP9dBDH2UIlNmKbp3C6ZE/edit?usp=drivesdk


The season is here for fun and cheer, but there are food stuffs lurking at the holiday tables. With all of the talk about sugars and processed food causing immune issues, you might be worried that you'll be captured by Aunt Sue's apple pie or Uncle John's barbecue meatballs. Everyone deserves a treat and there are ways to help you prepare your body for the foods to come.


In this blog, we'll address how you can clean and feed your body in a way that will build your defenses.


You might wonder how it is that diet actually influences immunity to fight away communicable illness. To put it simply, all of the body is interconnected and permeated by the lymphatic system, which houses the white blood cells, your body's army against disease.


When it comes to the digestive tract, you begin absorbing substances into the lymphatic system as soon as the food passes from the stomach to the small intestine.


To ensure the cleanest operation at this intersection of foods, bodily fluids, and lymph, you must first have the avenue clear of debri.


One simple thing to add to your daily routine can kick start this clearing is to drink freshly squeezed lemon juice in water first thing in the morning and several times throughout your day.


Lemon water is underestimated, but is seeing the limelight more these days. Though highly acidic outside of the body, lemon will alkalize, internally, and stimulate the production of bile from the liver. Bile is a key ingredient to the breakdown of things passing through the duodenum of the small intestine. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499388/" target="_blank">NCBI)


Keeping this area free of debri allows for the lymphatic vessels in the wall of the small intestine to be receptive to the nutrition that you put into your body (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3026597/" target="_blank">NCBI). Also, lemon will help to keep the kidneys clear, so that debris can be easily eliminated from the body (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4265710/" target="_blank">NCBI).


Some other great benefits of lemon are that it kills bacteria, promotes hydration (sometimes, by making you more thirsty for water), and it packs a vitamin C boost that can kick a cold in the tuchus (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499388/" target="_blank">NCBI).


For a comforting treat, add some local raw honey to warm lemon water. Raw, unfiltered honey does more than just combat seasonal allergies. It has strong antioxidant abilities, which means it helps to eliminate free radicals (annoying little cellular energy thieves) from the body. Honey soothes and aides in healing ulcers in the digestive tract, adding support to the absorption of nutrition. And, should you end up with a tickle in your throat, honey can soften the scratch as an all natural and sweet cough syrup. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583289/" target="_blank">NCBI)


Speaking of sweets, we need to cover the importance of avoiding processed sugars for the sake of your gut and immune system, as well. Research continues to show us that processed sugars cause inflammatory bodily responses in multiple ways. Inflammation in the gut is going to interfere with absorption of proper nutrition and make the liver work harder to process what you've consumed. No matter where in the body, inflammation will halt the proper responses to invading illnesses by the white blood cells. Essentially, inflammation indicates high acidity, which is what you want to avoid. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2868080/" target="_blank">NCBI)


Who am I kidding? We are all going to consume something sweet this season, so what can you do to help your body process it?


One quick sugar zapper is unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, which comes in liquids, tablets, capsules, etc (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1785201/" target="_blank">NCBI).


But, let's face it, not everybody can stomach vinegar.


If you want a lighter flavored sugar combatant, just make sure you eat your greens and veggies Al dente. This will give you a soluble fiber boost, which means less sugar absorption. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499388/" target="_blank">NCBI)


As for things to put into your body for prevention and quickly kicking a cold, I have compiled a succinct list from my own family's experience:


Garlic - one of the best blood and lymph cleansers (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4417560/" target="_blank">NCBI).

My husband has eaten a single raw garlic clove to treat a sinus infection for almost an entire day. We eat garlic regularly to battle the symptoms of mold exposure.


Citrus fruit - boosts the immune system with vitamin C (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499388/" target="_blank">NCBI).

We consume vitamin C in oranges, juice, and tablets to keep our family healthy when others are passing around sicknesses.


Full Spectrum Omegas - essential fatty acids that build cellular tissue and promote general wellness (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11802309" target="_blank">NCBI).

We consume whole fats in avocado, nuts, and coconut oils every day to boost the effectiveness of the rest of our diet and our mental wellness.


Probiotics - having the correct levels of good flora in your digestive tract has proven to boost immunity and maintain general wellness (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18183940" target="_blank">NCBI).

Our family uses MegaFlora as a daily supplement, but we also consume foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, sourdough, and kefir.


Hopefully, you now feel ready to enjoy the season with the ability to sustain your gut health.


Stay tuned for more empowering tips, soon to come!

Coming from the Heart's Center: What is inside of us

Posted on October 30, 2017 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Before I began school to become a massage therapist, I hadn't ever heard of the phrase, “from the heart's center.” However, in the years to follow, I not only heard the phrase used many times, but I have grown into an understanding and humble respect for what it means in my practice of the healing arts. In the beginning, it meant, more simply, to be present and focused in the moment with each individual client. Now, it encompasses so much more.


The heart, itself, is an extraordinary organ, being the first of our bodily organs to develop in utero and from which later tissues derive their inherent vibration of being. The heartbeat is the first of all things for us to feel as our tissues form in the womb. We feel this vibratory rhythm from the mother and from our own heart before we are able to sensorially hear the rhythm. In concept and concrete, this rhythm is part of of our being when we are “simple” gametes along for the ride inside of the mother's ovaries. From our very manifestation, energetic or otherwise, we thrive on the heart's guidance.


This rhythm guides the first of our circulatory tissues into motion, connecting the still and separated blood islands that form inside of the newly developing fetus. These islands expand with blood until they form into the tubes that become circulatory vessels (Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy p. 80, 81). Then, the heart takes shape, simultaneously manifesting with neural tissues that produce the heart's own pulsations apart from the mother's (Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, p.80,81). The “stillness” of these earliest formations is an incredibly important concept to embrace and understand when working with the craniosacral system, but is more broadly the blueprint for healing facilitation using the heart's generative qualities. Not only does this fluid stillness (as I would like to call it) of the heart's rhythm facilitate embryonic development, but it amazingly nourishes beyond the blood system and gives rise to other bodily systems (Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, p.80+). In fact, the heart's EMF is the actual guiding rhythm for all bodily development from conception (consciouslifenews.com). The pulsing draws the early fetus to bind with the mother's uterus until the child is born and physically separates.


Indeed, the heart has so many ties to the outset and sustaining of life. Perhaps, you've noticed the quote on my Philosophy page, “what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us,” - Ralph Waldo Emerson. The heart is a true testimony to this statement. In quantum physics, the heart's electromagnetic frequency can be measured at an average of 1.25 Hz. This resonance is actually quite a bit stronger than the field emitted by the human brain. Thus, the heart is a very influential tool.


Quite amazingly, researchers have been able to take images of the heart's ability to generate energy. In Germany, 1997, a study on heart-centered meditations documented that with meditative focus, the heart can actually produce light (The Subtle Body, Cyndi Dale). After all, the heart does have more neural cells than muscle cells (consciouslifenews.com) and is classified as a sensory organ that intelligently decodes the feelings we pick up on in our environment.


It is from this perspective that I approach my practice and as many situations as possible. Tuning into the nurturing of the lower vibratory fields, I look to find the fluid stillness that is in the most primitive part of myself. Studies show that approaching encounters with others with the heart as the guide influences their state of being vibrationally, as well (consciouslifenews.com). In working from the heart's center, I aim to magnetically influence both the environment and the person/s receiving my influence. The heart's center is not only about what is inside of me, but what is also inside of the other.


I highly recommend this short and easy to understand video about this topic:


youtu.be/QdneZ4fIIH

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