Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Oh, Peppermint, how I love thee!  Let me count the ways.  Actually, instead of recapping a book or someone else's list of how you can use Peppermint essential oil, I'll share some of my favorite uses of peppermint.

We all know that pure Peppermint helps aide in digestion, treats sore muscles, and re-energizes you.  How about using Peppermint on your temples and at the base of your skull the next time a headache, or even worse, a migraine comes a callin'?  Why pure?  Hopefully your Peppermint essential oil is free from additives.  Like most things in life, there are "degrees" of quality.  Pure Peppermint essential oil will have a variety of compounds, an "herb-y" scent that will expand energetically in your head when you inhale a whiff.

Finding it difficult to fall asleep at night?  Maybe you are dealing with a lot of stress?  Sometimes, our Bodies and systems are so fatigued that in order to fall asleep, you need to balance out some of that cortisol that is cursing around in your blood.  Having Peppermint in the air can help you fall asleep.  You can either diffuse the essential oil (if you have a diffuser), or put a few drops on a kleenex/cloth and have that near your head during the night.  Using Peppermint forever isn't the point; be willing to look at your lifestyle and nutrition to see how you can support your Body so it's not constantly in a state of stress.  Josh and Jeanne Rubin at EastWest Healing are a great resource to help you through your nutrition and daily habits.  Check them out!

Finally, you may or may not have heard of "vaginal steams."  I'll let you do the research on what that is exactly.  For us women, our reproductive organs take a hit when we are in times of dis-ease, stress, or fear/anxiety.  (Men, on the other hand, may experience more in their chests when they have dis-ease, stress, or fear/anxiety.)  Though this isn't exactly an "essential oil," using the herb Peppermint in your steam can have various supportive affects on your vagina, uterus, and ovaries.  Peppermint can have an astringent effect, an energizing effect, an analgesic effect, a soothing effect (yes, it can be both energizing & soothing), etc.  Find a practitioner in your area to get more help with vaginal steams.

As with all other scents, we can have memories associated with Peppermint.  Maybe Grandma's hand soap was Peppermint-scented, or your favorite candy as a kid was Peppermint Patties.  Be open to smelling a variety of Peppermint essential oils from different companies to find the oil resonates with you best.  Happy smelling!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's not just a "massage" when you have breast cancer.

There are some interesting statistics about breast cancer put out by the American Cancer Society.  Between 2006-2010, the median age at the time of a breast cancer diagnosis was 61.  In that same time, a woman living in the USA had a 1 in 8 lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, up from a 1 in 11 risk in 1970.  Caucasian women appear to have more occurrences of breast cancer, especially in later years.

As of January 1, 2012, there were 2.9 million women who were living with a breast cancer diagnosis, cancer-free and not.  Survival of breast cancer was increased by 34% between 2000 to 2010, due in part to early detection and more effective therapies.  Some keys to healing from breast cancer are strengthening the immune system, diminishing stressors on the body, improving mood (positive attitude), dealing with the side effects of treatment, and finding positive avenues to deal with the variety of emotions that arise with a diagnosis of breast cancer.

A study, published in the July 2004 Journal of Psychosomatic Research, showed positive benefits for women with breast cancer.  It was concluded that “Women with Stage 1 and 2 breast cancer may benefit from thrice-weekly massage therapy for reducing depressed mood, anxiety, and anger and for enhancing dopamine, serotonin, and NK cell number and lymphocytes.”  Why might this be? Various massage studies have shown that:

Massage is effective in reducing stress by reducing the level of cortisol (stress hormone) in the blood.

Massage is an effective treatment for reducing pain and muscle tension.

Some people enjoy massage because it can be a safe, comforting place, and it provides a connection with another person.

Anxiety and depression are relieved with massage therapy.

                  Massage can boost white blood cells count. 

Massage therapy, in this day and age, is not just another pamper session.  I would encourage you to schedule regular sessions with me, or with a local-to-you valuable therapist.  And if you are facing the cancer monster, it is vital to your success that you include massage therapy in your treatment plan.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pregnancy and The Foot Massage, part 1

How often does swollen, tired feet come to mind when you think of a pregnant woman?  And, if you have been pregnant, or currently pregnant, have you hear the one about not having your feet massaged during pregnancy?  Maybe your feet very ticklish, and the mere thought of someone touching your feet brings on that sensation right before you get tickled?  
Your Feet are super-duper important any time during life.  There is so much going on with your Feet.  They move you.  They bare your weight, up and down.  They help heal you (think reflexology, meridians, nerve endings, relaxation, etc).  They are a great conduit to absorb negative ions from our great Earth when you walk barefoot outside.  And there is a lot of things that get unbalanced with your Feet.  

Add in being pregnant, and your Feet need some extra love and attention.  A competently trained pregnancy massage therapist will know the wheres, whens, and hows about working on your Feet.  You are pregnant, not super fragile or someone who is gonna break with the slightest of pressure.

I enjoy working with Mommies-to-be, because they really appreciate the attention that I am able to afford them.  I have been doing pregnancy massage for almost 15 years and studied with Industry greats.  I keep in contact with my Client on the table (before, during, after the session), to make sure that She is comfortable.  I have worked with Mommies who have pitting edema in their legs and feet, working with the Body to move the fluid up towards the trunk.  I have worked through socks for those who have "sensitive" Feet.  I work with intention, and because I know what I'm doing, I know that working those tired, swollen, achy Feet will add an additional layer of relaxation for my pregnant Client.  

Massage is only part of the picture for the Feet during pregnancy.  If you only see your Therapist once a month, there are a lot of days between sessions where you can tend to your Feetsies.  

1.  Movement: get up and move.  If you are sitting, slavishly 
working  away, get up and walk around...each hour.  If you stand 
all day long in one place, again, move.  If you are moving all over 
the place during the day, see #4.    

2.  Drink plenty water: yes, I understand that you might have to 
pee more.  H2O will help with #1, and 
a hydrated Mommy means healthy Baby

3.  Micro-nutrients (trace minerals or cell salts): I was shocked one day to 
learn that I was dehydrated.  I drink 96-128 oz of water a day, and 
thought I was good.  When you don't have the micro-nutrients to 
absorb the water, your cells, thus your Body, becomes dehydrated.  
There are simple solutions to balance with a Naturopath.

4.  Elevate those glorious Feet: above your heart for 10 min, Missy....several 
times a day.  Give those puppies a rest.  And if you are concerned 
about laying on your back, put a small pillow under your right hip.  
As a Midwife with many years of experience told me once, "If there is 
a problem, your Body will tell you."  If you are really concerned, talk to
your Midwife.    

If you are in the North San Diego County area, near Carlsbad specifically, I'd be happy to do a special 45min Footsie-Tootsie massage for you.  If you find yourself a little further away, then find a therapist you enjoy working with, or get a pedi, or have the FOB massage your feet, or... 


Friday, July 4, 2014

Finding Gratitude and Compassion

Ahhh...gratitude and compassion.  How often through our days do we go without both?  I would like to take today's post to thank Na Pua Olohe with my deepest gratitude for the wisdom imparted to me, and for the safe containers in the form of their workshops that have allowed me to develop sincere compassion, first for myself and eventually for others.  It has amazed me how, by looking at a situation from a different perspective, I am able to replace anger with compassion for others and their life experience.  It is in that place of compassion that we are able to fully love, and fully be present in ourselves, and to stay out of others' s**t.

My first workshop with Na Pua Olohe was in 2001.  I was in search of the "Source" of knowledge of the bodywork that I had begun to study, Lomi Lomi.  Some have called it "Temple Style," "Kahuna Bodywork"...whatever the name, learning from the "Source," Kahu Abraham Kawai'i, was incredible.  Since he passed before my second workshop with Na Pua Olohe, I have been thankful to learn more about Kahu, the body work, and Hawaiian Principles thru Ho'okahi, his wife.  It's been an amazing ride, these last 13 years, and I look forward to my next understand a little more about me, how my body moves, to develop more compassion, and to "enter the canoe" for a moment in time.

As a massage therapist who has focused in this style of work, I love the fact that I have an ability to share a bit of what I have learned through each session I do.  I am able to share how to be fully present in compassion, allowing my client's body to do the healing.  The body is the script...I am merely following It's lead.  The Principle of Family helps me move with greater ease through my life, and allows me to be a better reflection of Health back to each body I am privileged to work with.

I wish for each person the blessing of experiencing gratitude and each moment.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Gettin' your chill on

Happy Monday, All!  I hope the weekend provided some welcomed stress and relaxation.  Yes, stress and relaxation.  We need them both in our life...order and and night...activity and sleep.  The problem comes when we allow more of one than the other.  The Human Body is an amazing creation, and will do it's best it can with what you give it.  So, run the marathon, ride the roller coaster, read the nail biter...then stretch, laugh, and smell the tuberroses.

This article caught my attention, and I wanted to offer it to you today.  Again, some more examples of how to relax.  This morning, I enjoyed getting my chill on by watering the garden.  It was wonderful as the day started to begin to be thankful for the water that came out of the hose to give a good dousing to all the veggies that are doing their best to grow.  What are some of your favorite ways to relax?  What can bring your "chill" on?