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When our nervous systems are out of balance, we feel fatigue, confusion, and experience poor performance.  When proper energy flow is restored, feelings of clarity and effectiveness are regained.  Yoga movements are designed to integrate the body and mind, clear the body of accumulated toxins, increase oxygen to the cells, and to strengthen, stretch, and activate muscles and tendons that may be atrophied, constricted or sore.  If you are a person with special needs, before you start any exercises be sure you are comfortable with good back support and proper alignment.  If there is “negative space” (an unsupported part of your body) use rolled up yoga mats or soft balls to fill space and create support.  Make sure there is plenty of distance from wall, tables, and chairs.  

 Yoga is a Sanskrit word for union of body and mind; some people say it describes the union of the individual with the divine. For a super athlete or for an immobile person, yoga is about finding one’s center.  It is also about finding one’s limits and playing that edge. An advanced yoga student may hold a full backbend for twenty minutes, using the breath to go deeper into the pose.  For someone paralyzed from the neck down, a stretch for opening the chest and elongating the spine can be as simple as sitting in a wheelchair with soft rubber balls between the shoulder blades, leaning back, and breathing into the area.   

Here are some other ideas for simple stretches that you can do seated, lying on the floor, or on a bed.  Remember not to hold your breath, and imagine your breath is traveling to the areas that are being stretched to help them release. Take your time, pay attention to how you are feeling, what works and what doesn’t, and enjoy the possibly new sensations!  Notice any changes in your movement, or posture throughout the day and the next days.

  • Tennis balls, rubber balls (different sizes depending upon flexibility of client) behind any area of the back
  • Towel or exercise mats rolled up to prop up spine and stretch spinal muscles and open chest
  • Ties or belts as extensions for arms that can’t bend or stretch very far
  • Balls at base of skull to massage sub-occipital muscles (for reduction of pain and tension, and headaches)
  • Balls or beanbag pillows under hamstrings
  • Large balls or beanbags under legs as ottoman for circulation and to stimulate acupressure channels

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    Healthcare-NOW!
    Dear single-payer activist:Sunday, August 29th at 8pm Eastern Time, join Healthcare-NOW!’s monthly single-payer activist call to discuss moving single-payer healthcare forward.

    Please use this Dial-in Number 1-218-862-1300 and Conference Code 441086. To mute and unmute the line, please hit 4*.

    Proposed agenda:

    • Update on Hands Off Our Medicare and the deficit commission – Katie Robbins
    • Candidate pledge/Bird dogging
    • March for Jobs October 2nd: Bringing the single-payer message – Donna Smith, National Nurses United
    • Update from Retirees for Single Payer
    • Update from Physicians for a National Health Program
    • Healthcare-NOW! November Strategy Conference
    • Open discussion

    Please submit any additional agenda items or questions to info@healthcare-now.org.

    Looking forward to hearing you on the call!

    For Improved Medicare for All,
    Katie and Jeff
    Healthcare-NOW! National Staff


    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.


    My childhood was healthy, thanks to my mother, and father. My mother gave me nutrilite, vitamins of several colors that came in a green plastic container with several compartments. We almost always had salad with meals, and we often stopped at the orchard market down the road for apples, peaches and pears. She encouraged me to play outside with my dog or my friends, even though due to her heart condition she usually could not join me and supported me in my modern dancing days because she could “vicariously enjoy” the movement.  As she got older she got even more into her garden and made her own sprouts, cooked lentil casseroles and any other vegetarian food she could think of.  What we did not share — yoga and massage — I have successfully shared with my daughter and she is slowly following my footsteps, and carrying on a legacy of healing movement.  She is a peer counselor for college students in santa barbara, where she speaks and gives presentations on self care.  She organizes yoga classes and chair massage for her fellow students, is learning more about yoga and will be teaching aerobics at LA fitness this summer.  She has been receiving massages since her first day and before, and now is reciprocating.
    She is also getting me more serious about working out.
     
    My mother’s mother was a friend of Isadora Duncan, the free spirited improvisational dancer who danced as her spirit led her.  My grandmother always asked me to dance for her, and I think she and I shared a connection with Isadora.  My daughter has also been a natural mover and dancer from the get go.
    May the power and joy that comes from these healing practices continue on, and on.

    My friend Mary has been fighting an uphill battle against a variety of illnesses, including cancer, since the early 1990s.  When I met her she had just moved to Murrieta Hot Springs in southern California to get the full gamut of healing waters, massage and other bodywork, yoga, and also the help of some fine MDs.  But, as the hot springs closed to the public, she was forced to look elsewhere and she ended up in a cancer clinic in Mexico, where she rallied and beat the cancer. 

    Today she is facing some more cancer issues and is living in Albuerquerque, NM, where she had moved to care for her mother.  Her mother died this past year, and Mary needs a place to stay to help her heal again.  But where?

    I have called all around the US and Canada to find a cancer clinic that combines the best of modern western medicine, and the best of holistic health, where the person with cancer can live during the treatment.  Many of the calls I made were to hot springs since Mary was always drawn to healing waters.

    I have not made much progress, so I’m putting this wish of hers out to the world.  Any suggestions?  Please email me at Wendy726@verizon.net.


    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.


    Learn yoga poses and self-care techniques for flexibility, to help balance the endocrine system, to create strong muscles and bones, to promote balance and clear thinking.  Learn ways to enhance your midlife and beyond.

    Saturday, April 10, 2010 – 10:45-12:45

    Korrie’s Pilates Place. Baxter Road off Rte 15 in Wildomar – exit east, make first left at Monte Vista, first right on Fredrick St., up the hill and buildings to the left.  34859 Fredrick St., Suite 108

    $25, or $20 to members of Korrie’s Place.

    Questions?  Call 951-677-5962.


     

    I have been researching the many challenges of midlife transitions and being surrounded by people in the 40-60 year age range spurs me on. I have been teaching yoga since 1973, but just recently I have honed in on the value of yoga for women (and men) experiencing osteoporosis. We are told that getting enough calcium and getting enough weight bearing exercise is important. There are two reasons that yoga helps with both of these imperatives.

    Many of the standing and balance poses taught in yoga classes involve bones and muscles of the legs, hips and spine working together; but also, yoga exercises often involve strengthening the upper body and sometimes require arms and hands to support the rest of our body weight. So you are strengthening yourself from all angles! What better way to strengthen your upper body than support your whole body in crane pose?  And what better way to improve your balance and strengthen your body from your feet up than in tree pose or dancer’s pose?

    Yoga poses done on a continuous basis can help activate the endocrine glands that are so important for maintaining calcium balance, and for alleviating menopausal complaints such as mood swings, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, hot flashes, and disruptive sleep patterns.

    Additionally, poses such as dog pose and table top stretch lengthen your spine  to increase space between the vertebrae.

    I think it is important to see our changing bodies and new found challenges in mid-life and onward to be our guides for improving our overall health and increasing our sense of well-being. Yoga is a wonderful tool and a path for increased self-knowledge and awareness


     

    I am now a California credentialed massage therapist. The California credentialing has just begun going into effect this fall after many years of organizing and lobbying in Sacramento.  Although 42 states and Washington, D.C. regulate massage therapists or provide voluntary state certification, it is the first time there has been a state wide massage credential in California.  Voluntary statewide certification of massage therapists was chaptered into California law on September 27th, 2008 through the passing of SB 731.  

    The purpose behind CAMTC’s creation was to serve the interests of the public and the massage profession by making the process of certification the same throughout the state, rather than different in each city and county. At this point, however, massage therapists still have to pay a separate business license for each city they work in.

    I have been practicing and teaching massage and yoga for over thirty years, in Pennsylvania and California, and currently teach a Thursday night yoga class at Korrie’s Pilates Place in Wildomar, where I also offer my unique blend of acupressure and massage therapy.  My other clients have included infants & parents, the developmentally disabled, the medically fragile, hospice patients and animals.

    I was a co-founder of Inland Holistic Health Assn, wrote a column on health and wellness for the Californian newspaper for two years, a bodywork column for Awareness Magazine, and am in the final stages of completing my book, “Circle of  Healing: Finding Our Way to Wellness.”  I am also a member of the Temecula Valley Women’s Club.

    For more information on my classes on yoga, pet massage or the art of mandala making, you can contact me at Wendy726@verizon.net.


    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