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Saturday, May 22, 2010, 10AM-3PM

Come get a mini table massage from me, and check out first edition of my new book, Circle of Healing: Helping Extraordinary Clients with Yoga and Massage, A Practical Guide.

Pechanga Resort & Casino

45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula, CA 

Sponsored by Riverside County (CA) Commission for Women

60 vendors and speakers

Admission free with non-perishable canned food item or grocery store gift card for $5.  Refreshments provided with admission.

The County of Riverside Commission for Women seeks to improve the status of all women by ensuring opportunities for each woman to develop to her full potential.  In support of this mission, the Commission for Women identifieis problemsl, defines issues and recommends policies and procedures to the County Board of Supervisors regarding, but not limited to, women and health, the workplace, family, education, violence, law and society.

More information, contact me at 951-677-5962 or Michele Broad, Women’s Health and Wellness, 951-304-3180.

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(formerly titled My Animals Are Dying)
This time last year my cat Leo passed over.  He was a smallish gray tabby my husband brought into our house from a feedstore eleven years ago. The owner had been arrested for brandishing a gun, shooting up into the sky, and accidentally grazing someone standing in the way. I am not sure why my husband thought we needed Leo in our life. Having a rescued wild mustang, another horse, two burros, several goats, a million rabbits and some ducks, plus several cats and about eight dogs, with our seven year old running around with them seemed like enough. And we were in the middle of a town on a couple acres, so we had to maintain some semblance of normalcy.
Leo wasn’t sure about being there either and upon arriving climbed up my body, leaving several scratches and bites on all accessible parts of me. He then ran up the edge of a door and spent forever sitting up there. But soon he became accustomed to us, and mostly hung out with the other cats, but also with Rosie’s litter of puppies. My dog Winnie grew up with Leo.
After several moves we ended up by an arroyo near Murrieta Hot Springs, CA and Leo reigned. He outsmarted the coyotes at every turn, and befriended each new cat that showed up at our door. His last few months were difficult due to us getting evicted and he and our other cat and Winnie the dog living several places. In our recent quarters, I thought I would give Leo the healing energy he needed and would get him well again by having him sleep curled up with me and by giving him daily, gentle massage.
But the vet said he was in pain in both front legs, had fluid between his ribs and lungs, and was in danger of drowning in his own fluids any day. Leo had perked up for several days on Metacam for pain, and even caught a mouse outside, and liked the scratching board and stretching. Previously, whenever I had a stomach ache he would lie on the area until it got better. But recently he wouldn’t stay long and soon disappeared into his closet.
Leo died from cancer. My dog Rosie died in the spring from diabetes and Cushings Syndrome, after having two toes removed that were cancerous. Gravy, Rosie’s mate, died a year earlier from abdominal cancer. My ex husband’s wife’s pitbull died of cancer, and the black lab I picked out as a pup in Long Beach died this spring of cancer. Two other dogs that were part of the pack in Aguanga, at the Back 40 where my ex lived for awhile died in the last year, of cancer.

What is happening? Are animals dying the same as always but we never bothered to have them diagnosed? Or is the water they are drinking, the food they are eating and the air they are breathing killing them,? Should we throw out the commercial food and just let them eat the purest grains and fruits and veggies, with some protein? I am thinking that Paul Newman brand pet food is a good way to go, but there are many wholesome dog food brands.  We need to get them affordable for everyone.
Leo, I wonder what we should do to keep your animal friends well.
I am so sad you had to go, faster and sooner than you or I wanted.
We love you, and trust you are with your friends in the spirit energy realms, feeling no pain, and at peace.

I highly recommend checking out veterinarean Michael Fox’s website. www.twobitdog.com.   He is former vice president of the Humane Society of US,  author, world traveler.  He writes of helping our pets get healthy with pure drinking water and wholesome food, enough exercise, massage, love and many other things!


This is the headline of an email I received from the Government Relations Chair of the American Massage Therapy Association California chapter today, April  9, 2010.   Having just received my state (voluntary)certification after 36 years of working in the field of bodywork and healing arts I am dismayed.   Ever since I moved to California in 1992, I have observed local law enforcement  creating difficulties for bodyworkers to practice their profession. 

I thought Senate Bill 731  was the beginning of positive change, that finally bodyworkers were going to be acknowledged and respected for the valuable work they do.  It is particularly troubling to me that massage therapists and law enforcement and other first responders work so closely in the face of natural and manmade disasters, and yet are at odds when it comes to this issue.  At  least SB 731 was a beginning.

Apparently Assembly member Sandre Swanson has introduced Assembly Bill 1822 into the legislature and if it becomes law (albeit  not until after December 31, 2015), all massage therapists will again be required to have local permits for each city in which they practice.  That means that in addition to the fee paid to the California Massage Therapy Council,  for fingerprinting and background checks and certification process, that they will have to pay an additional $75, or $100 or more  to practice per city and to fund local background checks.  Also local law enforcement would have the final say regarding whether or not to certify someone.  

 Under local permitting procedures, massage therapists are subjected to humiliating and unreasonable requests that have nothing to do with their fitness to practice massage therapy.  I can personally attest to this. 

Some people believe that this issue is being driven by fear.  Fear of non-western medical health care, fear of the power of healing practices, and fear of the practitioners themselves, who are mostly women.  I hope this is not the case, but I think we need to carefully examine the motives.

Is separating legitimate massage health professionals from prostitution the real reason for the the law wanting to enforce this?  Or, is it profit for local jurisdictions?  Or is it power?  I know when my city first devised its police-run massage therapy ordinance, one of the creators of the ordinance was a business man who was not a bodyworker.    As a 36 year veteran of the bodywork field, I have to question the logic of that.

Massage therapists need to be regulated like other healing professions are – by a state board, not by police departments.  AB 1822 would undo everything that massage therapists, consumers, and law enforcement gained with SB 731.

If you would like to become involved in this, sadly, ongoing battle or have questions, contact the Government Relations Chair Amanda Whitehead at gr@amta-ca.org.


Hello & Season’s Greetings from Wendy Hammarstrom!
Please remember to take care of yourself during this hectic holiday season & come and relax at yoga class, let go of your concerns with a 30 minute or 60 minute massage, or experience the peace and contentment from creating your own mandala art.

  • I have created and hand made a large variety of mandala coloring card kits for children of all ages, as well  gift cards and greeting cards.  available at Korrie’s Pilate’s Place, 34859 Fredrick St, in Wildomar off Baxter Road, east of Rte 15 & up the hill  (Look for large YOGA sign)—by donation. 951-609-9080.
  • My Thursday night yoga classes continue at Korrie’s Pilates Place, 7-8:15PM– by donation. 
  • Hour massage holiday price for the month of December is $50, the same cost as for gift certificates – at your home or business or Korrie’s Pilates Place. 

 

Call me at 677-5962 if you would like to set up a massage or private yoga appointment,  purchase a gift certificate, or host or participate in a 2010 class in mandala creating,  pet massage, yoga or massage therapy.

I am looking forward to seeing you at this year’s end or early next year!    

I hope all is well with you,

Wendy Hammarstrom

www.WendysWellnessWorld.Wordpress.com


Last summer my ninety year old father was hospitalized for a broken hip.  He was not getting much touch as his nurses were over-worked, and he developed a MRSA infection which meant no one could touch him without wearing plastic gloves.  In addition, his hearing aids were lost, and perhaps most challenging was the fact that he was brain damaged from an accident forty years ago.  When I got there his legs were blue from the knees down, and his feet were ice cold.  He was sleeping but seemed agitated.  I massaged his legs, feet and back.  He never woke up but when I left him he was sleeping with a peaceful look on his face.  The next morning his feet were warm and his legs and feet were a healthy color, and he was in good spirits.

Due to several complications he died several weeks later.  But during those weeks, at my insistence, he was graced with caring and loving touch from his immediate and extended family, and his entire Quaker meeting.  We in turn were graced to be sharing that sacred time with him.

Most people, like my father, appreciate caring touch.  Many, unfortunately, experience touch deprivation including people with AIDs, people with cancer and other illnesses; infants in Neo Natal Intensive Care Units, especially those who have been abandoned by their parents; people with injuries and amputations and deformities, the not very visible part of our population that is challenged with physical abnormalities; those recovering from addiction; victims of physical and emotional abuse who find it difficult to trust any touch; those suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome including victims of natural and man-made disasters and even car accidents; the elderly and the dying, and many veterans returning from Iraq who are suffering from the wounds of war. 

During times of high stress and financial hardship, healing touch is a gift you can offer someone, either done by you or if you prefer, you can find a reputable bodyworker who will work with you financially to find a price that works; most massage therapists I know offer holiday gift certificate specials.

Besides the emotional comfort of caring touch, massage therapy oxygenates the cells which increase endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers; it increases flexibility and movement in joints and eases stiffness and pain in arthritis sufferers and it gets the “chi” or life force moving, which helps us feel revitalized.  Healing touch reduces or eliminates stress related headaches, eases digestive disorders and chronic muscular pain including fibromyalgia, improves body image and speeds healing after surgery, and improves the immune system.  By increasing circulation, massage is invaluable in preventing bedsores that are so problematic, and too often life-threatening for the immobile.  It relieves agitation in Alzheimer’s patients, enhances blood pressure and pulse in geriatric patients, and helps women with all phases of the childbearing years.  Massage therapy comforts and relaxes children with attention deficit disorder, those with autism and people with many forms of mental illness.

You can start with those closest to you — your family and your immediate circle, including your pets.  My teenage daughter reminds me constantly that she needs massage to loosen tight muscles after an extreme physical work out, or to help her get to sleep when she is over-excited.  Our aging dogs need massage to help them with a myriad of conditions.

As vital as food and water is to our survival, so is touch and giving from the heart.


mandala celticI am confused.  My understanding of bodyworkers in California getting state certified was so we wouldn’t have to pay every city or county we worked in!  How many other jobs ask that of their employees?  Does that mean I need to pay a business license fee (about $75 in Murrieta) if I work in Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Escondido, Fallbrook, Menifee and Moreno Valley?  As it is many of us are getting paid less than we received when we started.  (In 1982 when I began doing massage therapy professionally, I would not accept work that paid me less than $30 an hour. ) And sadly, places like Massage Envy came into the area advertising $39 massages.  The public response is of course to expect that from any bodyworker.  I would be the first person to suggest people pay less money for healthcare and I hope we get a non-criminal health care system soon.   I hope massage therapy becomes covered by insurance, as it is all over the world.   This all feels wrong to me.  I will get back to you after I consult with the California bodywork certifying agency!


solstice mandala Good news!As a result of hard work of many dedicated people  including lobbyists, California now has  state certification for massage therapists.  After becoming certified,  massage therapists can work anywhere in the state of California.  Before now, massage therapists paid for a city license and then were unable to work in another city unless they paid that city’s fee.  (Or in some places, there was an extra fee for crossing county lines.) Many states in the US have state certification, and soon it will be nationwide.

As a result of this I will be offering massage therapy at Korrie’s Pilates Place (formerly A Balanced Body Center) in Wildomar, and at The Herb Peddlers on Main Street in historic Lake Elsinore.

More good news:   With a lot of help from friends, writers, editors, etc., the book I have been working on for six years is almost finished!

Yoga class:  I am still not in my home on Via las Flores.  The lawsuit with the bank is still pending.  So I am gathering students for a  class at Korrie’s Pilates Place.  Evening?  or noon hour?   Or if you know a home or business that would like a class there, contact me and we can work out details.

If you would like to host an infant massage class, a pet massage class or mandala creating class, talk to me!

And as holidays are approaching, I am offering gift certificates for massage or private yoga, for $50 for an hour, or $25 for thirty minutes.  This includes house calls.  I welcome working with the elderly, hospice patients, people with physical challenges and special needs, and those recovering from accidents and trauma.                   

Call me at 951-677-5962 or email me at Wendy726@verizon.net.

I hope you are well & enjoying the beginning of cool weather,

Wendy Hammarstrom

Blog: www.WendysWellnessWorld.Wordpress.com  

Website: www.WendysWellnessWorld.com


WisdomToday’s blog is a rambling blog, from computer break down to finishing a book, to the role of communications via cyber space, to finding our center.

Mercury has been retrograde the last few weeks, which means machines, cars,  and communications break down.  I am told we have the opportunity to look back at old or recurring issues. (Do we have to?)  Today it is going direct again so things should begin to feel a little smoother.   My computer decided to pass over during this retrograded Mercury.  Thus,  two and a half weeks later I am catching up with LinkedIn, Plaxo, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress blog, my emails, and haven’t made it to Digg or Delicious yet.  And need to pay the website domain before they make it public again.  Why do we use these methods of communicating and networking and how do they help?   Why is it so difficult for massage therapists, yoga teachers, dancers and artists to stay in that left brain flow?  I welcome any feedback and ideas.  I have gotten a few bites from all this work, but very few.  I always have enjoyed making connections between individuals and groups, so that in itself is rewarding,  but why do I feel like I am waiting for it all to happen?  Is it where I live?  A quasi-cultural wasteland?  Would the time spent on the computer making contacts  be better spent on the phone making follow up calls?  Actually speaking with people?  My animals think my time would be better spent massaging them, and so do my friends and family.

Soon,  thanks to the return of Microsoft Word and Outlook express (and the people that use it) I will have a finished e-book, or self-published book about my 30 years in the wellness field working with special, unusual and wonderful people (and animals.)   My book has gone through years of stops and starts, revisions, critiques, editing, stalling and blaming it on single motherhood, more revisions, editing, stalling, blaming it on losing my home, but  I think it is about to take shape.   Have others out there had help from social networking with selling books?  I have gone from 1000 pages to 500 pages to 250 pages.  It was about me and my life as part of a tapestry, then it was a compendium of knowledge, then hundreds of hands-on techniques and exercises, then my grandmothers stories of living in Greece, and soon will be the perfect balance of them all. 

I was initially dismayed at the thought  life without my computer, but during the two weeks or so without a computer I slowed down.   I felt like my internal compass was navigating, and my brain wasn’t a constant whir of input and ideas.   How do we keep our “center” while remaining receptive to the world outside?  Light


The AnswerMy cat Leo passed over today around 2:15PM. He was a smallish gray tabby my husband brought into our house from a feedstore eleven years ago. The owner had been arrested for brandishing a gun, shooting up into the sky, but accidentally grazing someone standing in the way. I am not sure why my husband thought we needed Leo in our life. Having a rescued wild mustang, another horse, two burros, several goats, a million rabbits and some ducks, plus several cats and about 8 dogs, wiith our 7 year old running around with them seemed like enough. And we were in the middle of a town on a couple acres, so we had to maintain some semblance of normalcy.
Leo wasn’t sure about being there either and upon arriving climbed up my body, leaving several scratches and bites on all accessible parts of me, ran up the edge of a door and spent forever sitting up there. But soon he became accustomed to us, and mostly hung out with the other cats, but also with Rosie’s litter of puppies. My dog Winnie grew up with Leo.
After several moves we ended up by an arroyo near Murrieta Hot Springs, CA and Leo reigned. He outsmarted the coyotes at every turn, and befriended each new cat that showed up at our door. His last few months were difficult due to us getting evicted and he and our other cat and Winnie the dog living several places. In our recent quarters, I thought I would give Leo the healing energy he needed and would get him well again by giving him daily, gentle massage.
But today the vet said he was in pain in both front legs, had fluid between his ribs and lungs, and was in danger of drowning in his own fluids any day. Leo had perked up for several days on Metacam for pain, and even caught a mouse outside, and liked scratching his feet and stretching. Whenever I had a stomach ache he would lie on the spot until it got better. But recently he wouldn’t stay long and soon disappeared into his closet.
Leo died from cancer. My dog Rosie died in the spring from diabetes and Cushings Syndrome, after having two toes removed that were cancerous. Gravy, Rosie’s mate, died a year earlier from abdominal cancer. My ex husband’s wife’s pitbull died of cancer, and the dog I picked out as a pup in Long Beach died this spring. of cancer. Two other dogs that were part of the pack in Aguanga, CA at the Back 40 where my ex lived for awhile died in the last year, of cancer.

What is happening? Are animals dying the same as always but we never bothered to have them diagnosed? Or is the water they are drinking, the food they are eating and the air they are breathing killing them,? Should we throw out the commercial food and just let them eat the purest grains and fruits and veggies, with some protein? I am thinking that Paul Newman brand pet food is a good way to go – but I can’t afford it!
I wonder what we should do to keep your animal friends well.
Leo, I am so sad you had to go, faster and sooner than you or I wanted.
We love you, and trust you are with your friends in the spirit energy realms, feeling no pain, and at peace.


Yesterday I taught three people an in- home pet massage class, along with their three dogs and my elderly dog. Hope the black lab and Gracie the black newfoundland were very clear in their communication. When I suggested that we ask our dogs if it was okay to massage them, they dropped down, rolled over and said, in effect, lets get started!
Gracie could probably lead Zen classes of her own. She had no tension along her spine, where we began the massage, and could sit or lie in apparent bliss and stillness for a long time. After about ten minutes of total relaxation, she stood up, holding that position for five minutes, and then slowly made it into the corner. She was clearly finished.
Hope was almost as relaxed, and seemed to enjoy all the techniques. The only place she had any resistance was in the hind legs as her person slowly extended and flexed. There was one angle that she would not allow. Hope did not seem to have a limit for the amount of massage she could receive, but then she had been a service dog, helping children with emotional challenges her first few years. She probably thought it was time for her love and care to cycle back to her.
The two year old jack russell terrier did not really like my dog being in the family living room, so it was an effort to get him to stop bad vibing her, but he did relax and on occasion lay down.
My dog, Winnie, is eleven years and has gone through considerable stress lately as we lost our home (perhaps will get it back—–depending on outcome of lawsuit.) She spent six weeks living outside only in someone’s (very beautfiul) yard, then several days in an animal rescue setting. She now shares our temporary home with a wolf-hybrid, who loves her and respects her. But her spine has tight areas, especially her lower back, and her hamstrings are tight. If she goes for more than a couple days without walking, she locks up in her hips. In spite of her recent angst, and stress response to new environments such as the home where we had this class, she did relax.
As in pet obedience classes, the animals slowly establish their little bubble of space, and realize they are safe, and then can relax and accept the healing touch.
For someone who wants to get into massage for animals (and this could be for pets, for farm animals, for rescued animals of all sorts (including fighting dogs, lab research experiments, abandoned and abused, and animals soon to be butchered) healing touch can be life changing.
Additionally, massaging an animal can be healing to you. Besides helping your pet’s circulation and immune system, giving healing touch can reduce your stress level, slow you down to appreciate non-verbal communication, and even help with your own immune system. For some people, touching their animal friends is the only touch they receive.
And healing touch can include all creatures, such as lizards, snakes, and birds.
My cats, who also have suffered as a result of losing their home, are benefitting from massage. I haven’t heard of PTSD as something animals experience, but I am sure that they do.
Want more info? I recommend Michael Fox, VMD, website, http://www.twobitdog.com, Carol Tellington Jones’ Tellington Touch, and Cesar Millan.
Is massaging our pets pampering them? Let me know your thoughts.