Sunday, January 30, 2011

Guided Imagery for Deep Relaxation

Some people may think this technique for relaxation sounds corny or strange but for me and many others it really works and all you need are a few minutes a day when you feel you need it the most.  It is excellent before bedtime for a great nights sleep or to relax yourself to face an active stressful day. In fact it works so well that it is also used in hospitals and private nursing care facilities to help patients.
"Guided imagery is the use of visualization techniques to help your body enter a relaxed state. In other words, you close your eyes and imagine the sights and sounds of a place that you find relaxing. The most common visualizations often involve a tropical beach, warm sun and soothing sounds of the ocean -- in fact, this is the visualization that I find most relaxing. If you find, however, that some other imagined scene is more appropriate for you, such as sitting in front of a roaring fire on a blustery night, by all means make use of that setting. The type of scene is not important, what matters is that you imagine every sight, sound and smell and transport yourself to that place." Quote taken from the following link:

You can find many great Guided Imagery videos on YouTube. 



 
http://www.guidedimageryinc.com/home/what_is_guided_imagery_.aspx

What are you waiting for? Give it a try.  Your mind, body and soul will thank you.




 

Friday, January 28, 2011

How my obsession with the bees began....


Over the last 25 years I have been busy with raising my three sons who are all now in college. Last Summer, to fight the "empty nest syndrome", I started to try and find things that I am interested in and enjoy. I always loved photography but never really had the time to explore my interests. One nice Summer day morning I stepped outside to enjoy a cup of coffee on my back deck and brought my camera to take pictures of my two basset hounds, Clyde & Opie. As I was sitting there, as I did many times, I was admiring my three Rose of Sharon bushes with all their amazing flowers when for the very first time,  I took notice of the enormous amount of bumblebees flying in and out of the flowers. I never really paid much attention to them or gave them much thought. For the heck of it I grabbed my camera and began to take pictures of them. That was where it all started - the obsession and appreciation of these little hard working creatures that go so unnoticed unless they buzz past you. I had never thought about how I had them to thank for the abundance of flowers that were produced this year. The more I took pictures up close and personal the more I was amazed by them. Even on cooler, wet and windy days these little guys would not give up. Pollen would stick to them like glue and they would keep going. If they got too heavy they would fly (like a drunken pilot) to the nearest branch and rub the pollen off by rolling on the branch rubbing as much pollen off as they could and back to the flowers they would go. I started "googling" all I could to find out more about their lives and was surprised I had never heard of the Honey Bees crisis and how the bumblebees were also dying off. It may seem small in the scheme of things with everything else in life to worry about but really it is a red flag about the condition of our environment. This Spring I ask that you plant some bee loving flowers and bushes in your yard.  I had no idea when we planted the Rose of Sharon bushes along my walkway to the side entrance to my house that they would attact so many bees.  We walked right past them (and through them)  all Summer and they were too busy to bother with us but I recommend you plant them away from a main traffic area. 

Rose of Sharon


Rose of Sharon Flower


carpenter bee full of pollen in on a rose of sharon flower
Rubbing off the pollen:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lemon Balm Herb - to relax you and also helps to save the bees!!!

Lemon Balm is one of my very favorite herbs for my personal "wellness".  It is in the mint family of herbs but it actually has a very strong, soothing lemon scent when you rub the leaves. It has been used as far back as the Middle Ages as a "calming" herb to reduce stress and anxiety, to promote sleep and so much more.  It is grown all over the world.  Plant some in your garden this year with your herbs and you will also help with the bee population! There is just so many ways to use lemon balm.  You can purchase the pure essential oil and burn as aromatherapy or place few drops in your bath for total relaxation. (That is my preferred method of use.)  It is also sold as teas, capsules,  extracts & tinctures.  Crops are grown all over the world and used in everything from medicines, cosmetics and furniture products. As with anything, if you have a medical condition consult with your physician.  I do not promote use of herbs as an alternate choice  in place of proper medical care.  I have used Lemon Balm in the bath for over 20 years and my experience is an overall relaxed feeling of well being afterwards. 
Here is a video I found on YouTube for more information: 


Here is a link for my favorite herbal wellness company where I get my Melissa  "lemon balm" Bath.
http://susiedurrschmidt.swissjust-usa.com/Products/ProductDetails.aspx?prodid=114&cid=115&ct=t

   

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I love Burt's Bees ~ Earth Friendly Personal Care

Bumblebee on a Sunflower
I have loved Burt's Bees products for years but the more I researched their products and their company, the more I love them!  I started using their products many years ago.  Our skin is our bodies largest organ so I have always tried to use natural products and lotions. 

 Burt's Bees products are also affected by the "Honey Bee Crisis". 

While browsing around their website I clicked on their "Wellness Program Overview". 

"At Burt’s Bees, Inc., we care about the well being of our employees. They’re the heart and soul

of Burt’s Bees, and we strive to support them - body, mind and spirit. The aim of our Wellness
Program is to inspire and assist our employees in succeeding in their health and life goals.
Toward that end, we've assembled an assortment of benefits and services to help them stay
healthy and live the life they want to live."
http://www.burtsbees.com/natural-products/body-moisturizers/
They not only offer great products, they appreciate and care about the wellness of their employees by offering them things like fitness centers, massages, yoga, heath fairs and fun activities. I, unfortunately for me, am not associated in any way with Burt's Bees other than being a loyal customer who wants to share their wonderful product to those who haven't tried it. 




http://www.honey.com/savethehoneybear/
 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Creativity For Relaxation & Stress Relief



Stress is a normal reaction to positive and negative moments in our lives.  Let's face it though, nowadays there seems to be a lot more than our usual "everyday stresses" to stress about... like reading the headline news and hearing about the insanity going on in the world, the state of the economy etc.


When we experience stress our bodies have a stress hormone called "Cortisol" that increases.  That hormone affects body functions like blood pressure, insulin for blood sugar and proper immune function.
So our bodies are equipped to handle stress but too much stress for too long can lead to all kinds of health problems like heart disease, stroke, cancer, depression, obesity, diabetes, memory loss  -etc. 

That is why it is important to find different ways for you to relax under stressful conditions so you can lower the stress hormone back to a normal level.  I try to  find natural & healthier ways to relieve daily stresses like exercise, relaxing music, herbal baths, aromatherapy and the like.  Today I thought about how stress relieving creativity is.  Whether you love  drawing, painting, sewing, writing (blogging!), photography - whatever it is you enjoy to create, it gives you a sense of fulfillment and takes your mind away from whatever is causing you stress to give your body time to regulate. It is good to find a creativity within you that doesn't add to your stress - something that you enjoy. As you may already have read in a prior post here on my blog, I have become very interested and concerned about the situation of the Honey Bees.  Lately I feel like Richard Dreyfuss in the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"! You know, the part where he is driven to make a mountain out of mashed potatoes??

                                    

I have been driven by the crisis of the Honey Bee situation to make a video to create public awareness of the situation.  It might seem like a small problem in the scheme of things but in fact it really is of large concern to our health and environment in the future if research does not find out why the honey bees are leaving their colonies and dying.



So, get yourself a carton of Haagen-Dazs ice cream and please view my new video creation on the right top corner of my blog page titled "The Honey Bee Mystery" and find out what you can do to help.
http://www.helpthehoneybees.com/#helpingpartners
http://www.helpthehoneybees.com/#crisis


American Beekeeping Federation—abfnet.org

American Honey Producers—americanhoneyproducers.org

Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium—maarec.cas.psu.edu

National Honey Board—honey.com/about

Pollinator Partnership-pollinator.org—http://www.pollinator.org/

Penn State Dept. of Entomology—ento.psu.edu/HoneyBeeResearch.html

U.C. Davis Dept. of Entomology—entomology.ucdavis.edu/dept/beebio.cfm

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fight off Winter Cabin Fever!

       
I had a bit of Winter "cabin fever" with all the recent snow storms.

Cabin fever  explanation from Wikipedia:
"Cabin fever is an idiomatic term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in, in a small space, with nothing to do, for an extended period (as in a simple country vacation cottage during a long rain or snow). Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, irrational frustration with everyday objects, forgetfulness, laughter, excessive sleeping, distrust of anyone they are with, and an urge to go outside even in the rain, snow or dark." ......yup, I had cabin fever!
  I needed to force myself to get some fresh air and go find some "nature therapy" in the middle of this cold  month of January.   The moon looked like a big snowball in the sky.  Maybe the moon is frozen too?? That got me thinking about the temperature on the moon. I found out that because there is no atmosphere on the moon, the temperatures there are very hot during the day (100°C) and very cold at night (-173°C). That's extreme!




      (I don't think I want to move there but I know a few people I would like to send there! ) The one good feature about living on the moon is I would weight alot less...check this out:
http://www.tsgc.utexas.edu/everything/moon/calculator.html

Next I ventured to the town fishing dock to see my feathered friends. 










After a little fresh air and exercise I felt renewed.  Cabin fever gone.

                                                                 


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Health Benefits of Honey. Save our Honey Bees!

One of the most amazing natural foods is honey.  We all know it is great to add to hot tea or oatmeal but it has so many health benefits. Honey is a natural energy booster, immune system builder and is a remedy for many ailments ranging from cuts and burns, hangovers, sore throats and sleeplessness to name a few.
Honey does not cure cancer but it possesses carcinogen-preventing and anti-tumour properties.
It's antiseptic properties inhibits the growth of certain bacteria and helps keep external wounds clean and free from infection.

Recommended reading:


HELP save our honey bees!
Did you know that our honey bee populations are disappearing at an alarming rate!

"Over the last three years more than one in three honey bee colonies has died nationwide, posing a serious risk to our natural food supply. "

"One cause of these losses is an alarming phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder, or “CCD.” When a hive experiences CCD, the honey bees mysteriously desert their hive and die. CCD symptoms have been reported by more than thirty-five states across the U.S. and in many other countries." 
Researchers do not know exactly what causes CCD, but they believe there may be many factors contributing to the problem, including viruses, mites, chemical exposure and poor nutrition."
http://www.helpthehoneybees.com/#crisis
You can help by planting a bee friendly garden:
http://www.helpthehoneybees.com/#helpgarden







http://hubpages.com/hub/amazingnaturebynancyann





Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Pleasure of Music...

Imagine this.....a world without music?  I can't, can you? It is such a vital part of our lives.   We all enjoy it and everyone has their own genres they enjoy.  There is more to music than people realize.  Research shows that music  can help you concentrate, or put you in a meditative state, prevent the affects of cronic stress, lower blood pressure, calm muscle tension, keep you alert, help with depression and the list goes on and on. Music therapy promotes health.  As a matter of fact Music Therapy is a growing field of health care.  Please take a moment and click on the following link  and read the article to find out more.  http://stress.about.com/od/tensiontamers/a/music_therapy.htm


I used to teach herbal wellness classes.  Guests would relax to stress reduction music while enjoying an herbal footbath & aromathery . Although the footbath and aromatherapy was enjoyable, it was the music that helped make it  even more affective.  You probably already have a library of the music you enjoy.  Shop around, go outside the box and treat yourself to something for total health & relaxation!


As you can probably tell by now, the artist that works for me for "mind, body & soul wellness is anything and everything by Ray Lynch.  Find what works for you & be well!


Please take a moment to view my YouTube video  set to The Oh of Pleasure by Ray Lynch & Tom Canning, from the album Deep Breakfast. cp Ray Lynch Productions.  If you are a fan of video games, this song is featured in Grand Theft Auto IV! 


For more info on Ray Lynch  http://www.raylynch.com/grand_theft_auto_iv/index.html  




                                        





                                                                   

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Treasure found in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor Maine

Years ago when my two oldest sons were very young, their Father and I took them on a road trip to Bar Harbor, Maine to Acadia National Park, on the summit of Cadillac Mountain, overlooking the sea at Thunder Hole, and on the shores of Jordan Pond. There is something already very magical about this beautiful place.   The summit of Cadillac Mountain  is the first place the sun touches the United States when it rises every day.  If you have never been,  you must put it on your "places I must travel to and experience" list. After an exhausting day of travel and sightseeing, the babies weren't the only ones cranky and exhausted.  We stepped into a little gift shop and instantly felt relaxed and calm listening to beautiful music playing throughout the store. We lingered in the store to hear one song after the next. Each one captivated us.  I looked down to see both boys falling fast asleep in their strollers.  I commented about the music and the sales clerk advised me that copies of the tapes were on sale right there in the shop. (It was the late 80's so tapes were popular then.)  That was when I found the treasure of the amazing artist Ray Lynch.  The album was called Deep Breakfast.  We listened to that tape everytime we traveled in the car even after the third son was born and it is still one of my very favorites - it is a must have in your library.   It doesn't amaze me that I stumbled upon this brilliant artist's music in one of the most magical spots in the United States.




Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sharing the love of Coconut Oil..here's why....

Run out and buy yourself some coconut oil!!  How many products do you know of that you can  lather it on your head & skin  to moisturize & relieve stress while putting some in your oatmeal cookie recipe?
Seriously, coconut oil has amazing health benefits. Easily found at your local supermarket near all the cooking oils. Check it out!
There are many brands available but this is what I have in my pantry now...
Great for cooking but I also put some in a small container in the bathroom and massage some on after a shower while skin is still moist - great Winter moisturizer!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The calming power of sweet orange essential oil



My personal experience with the powers of orange essential oil: After a relaxing week at a wellness spa in Hotel Kurhaus training on herbal wellness with 30 colleagues from the USA in a small village nestled in the foothills of the Swiss Alps in Walzenhausen, Switzerland, we had a long stressful flight to Boston, Mass.  Once we arrived in the Boston area we had to circle the airport for almost an hour.  We were one of the last flights they allowed in due to a severe ice storm.  After we slid into a stop on the runway we entered the airport terminal.  Fatique and stress took a toll on me and I had blurred vision, nausea and the entire floor of the airport was rocking as though I was on a ship in the high seas in the perfect storm.  It was the quick thinking on the part of my traveling companions, my sister Susie and friend Val, that saved the day.  We had gotten essential oils from our herbal wellness company.  Sifting through their bags they found and cracked open a fresh bottle of orange essential oil and stuck it under my nose and made me inhale the oils right from the bottle.  Within seconds my panic, stress, blurred vision and sea sickness disappeared - true story!  Sweet orange oil provides a soothing and refreshing effect on your mind and soul, and reduces restlessness and tension as well as many other amazing uses.

http://susiedurrschmidt.swissjust-usa.com/Products/ProductDetails.aspx?prodid=105&cid=114
http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-orange-essential-oil.html

Looking forward to relaxing in Costa Rica................

My dear friend & soul sister Karen & her wonderful husband Greg are in the process of creating a retreat center in Costa Rica.  Follow them on their journey....
http://newcostaricaretreat.wordpress.com/
http://www.facebook.com/posted.php?id=134988613209188#!/SanctuaryForTheSoul

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The relaxing power of Lavender Oil.....

Lavender oil has a calming effect, it is used in the treatment of tension headaches, migraines, depression, anxiety, stress, etc. Lavender oil is also used for treating insomnia, as it has been found that this essential oil can stimulate sleep in people with complaints of insomnia.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wonderful Chill Out Music - Underwater [HD]

Click on full screen & if you have them, use ear phones & enjoy.

All it takes is 5 minutes a day!

Hectic day? Under alot of stress?  Before you retire for the evening unwind and relax by using visualization set to relaxation music.  Click on full screen, put on ear phones if you have them ....and just chill. 
http://www.youtube.com/user/clydelady2#p/u/1/VEO1-83mBAk