For all that’s written and spoken about sleep, we all know on some level that sleep is a complex, spiritual event necessary to maintain our health and keep the body and soul together.
I was recently quite ill with a “sinus infection of global proportions” as described to me by a healing friend. My first tip off was when I decided on a Wednesday afternoon that I suddenly needed to rest. Fortunately, I followed my body’s demands and crawled in bed. I promptly went to sleep and woke up on Sunday morning.
On Sunday morning, I was quite tired but felt better. I drank a lot of water, ate fresh fruit, and made it to the doctor’s office on Monday to find out what my problem was. Within a couple of hours, I had had enough blood tests, x-rays, and other scans to learn that I not only had the enormous sinus infection but I also had pneumonia.
I also had a physician who was angry at me, a daughter nurse who was angry at me, and several other medical professionals who were angry.
I doubt if I’ll have this experience repeat itself again. And, I’m certain that this sleep, while highly therapeutic, may have needed some breaks for hydration, etc.
Nevertheless, I’m also convinced that, on some level, the sleep helped my situation.
I was fortunate because I fell asleep without trouble. Sleep is not always available to people who are ill or suffering with troubled health for whatever reason.
And, sometimes people are ill and need nothing more than a good night’s sleep to make things better. So, encouraging a good night’s sleep on a regular basis is a good thing. Sleep, experienced regularly, is important for wellness and good health in general.
What provision do you make for a regular sleep schedule which includes enough sleep every night? Are you able to include enough hours to offer therapy to your self and lifestyle?
Is your pillow adequate for the job?
Truthfully, I’ve blogged many times and will blog many times more about all the things a person can do to get enough sleep. Keep after your sleep until you are able to support your physical, mental, and spiritual health.
The first step involves honoring your self and your need to sleep well in order to live well.
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Artwork provided by Jennette Nearhood
Better sleep includes getting enough sleep at night and waking gently in the morning. That’s what alarm clocks and cell phone alarms are for. Use them to remind you to begin to calm down in the evening and to gently wake you in the morning.
Sleep Encouraging Techniques for you
As you journey down the path toward a better night’s sleep, don’t think of your bedroom as just a bedroom. Think of it as your sleep sanctuary.
Some people report they get to sleep easier if they use a diffuser with a lavender essential oil. You may want to try this. Lavender is one of the most popular and calming essential oils out there but not everyone likes it.
If you like lavender, you can use it knowing that studies find lavender essential oil improves your mood, decreases the heart rate, lowers the skin temperature and blood pressure a bit.
A bonus here is that lavender is not one of the most expensive essential oils. So, this may be an economical solution for you.
Do you have any plants in your bedroom? If not, you may want to add one or two. They purify the air as they reduce mold, filter toxins, release oxygen at night. And, plants are fun to look at.
Lower Lighting is Important for a Good Night’s Rest.
As you prepare for sleep each night, lower the lights in your sleep sanctuary. Bright lights just before getting into bed can trick you into wakefulness. You need light as you get ready for bed, but you just don’t need so much.
When You are Ready to go to Sleep, Turn out the Lights.
Then, when you get into your bed, set your intention. My intention is always for a deep, healing, relaxing sleep so that I will wake up refreshed in the morning when it is time to get up.
Follow your intention with a short breathing exercise .
Begin this sleep breathing by getting comfortable in your bed. Take a deep breath and hold it for an extra moment. When you release this breath, focus on releasing all tension and worries. Blow them far away. With the next breath, let go of any discomfort your body is holding. With every exhale, focus on the word “relax”.
Breathe in peace…breathe out relax.
Hold your breath for a moment and then repeat: Breathe in peace…breathe out relax.
Now, breathe in peace…breathe out relax.
Finally, enjoy your final peace breath and then breathe out relax.
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In this blog post, I deliberately chose lifestyle changes which will offer you multiple health benefits. This is part of a series of healthy lifestyle tips to improve your life. Here are some new ones for you to choose from. Try them out. Some will work for you for a while. Others will be habits you’ll adopt and live with. These are all positive changes to improve your life.
GROCERY SHOPPING? – Choose whole, natural foods rather packaged or processed foods.
TAKE YOUR VITAMINS AND MINERALS daily. Choose ones that you need to supplement your diet. A nutritionist helps me choose the best supplements for my lifestyle situation, body type, age, and health. Think of your daily vitamins as a sort of wellness insurance policy. It’s hard to get all the nutrients we need each day. Vitamins make the job a bit easier.
SET YOUR ALARM to go off 15 minutes earlier each day. That way, you can slowly wake up . You’ll have a few minutes to stretch your arms, legs, hands, toes, feet, ankles, legs, neck and back. This will bring extra oxygen to your entire body and get your day off to a good start.
MAKE YOUR MORNING DECISIONS THE NIGHT BEFORE. That means you choose what clothes you’re going to wear the night before. Choose what you’re going to eat for breakfast. The more decisions you make the night before, the easier your morning will be.
KEEP A TO-GO CORNER where you put all the things everyone is going to need as they run out the door. This will include keys, wallet, book bags, gloves, hats, and whatever else will be needed.
CHOOSE A SHOWER. It’s healthier than a bath.
DRINK A LARGE GLASS OF WATER. You wake up each day dehydrated and you’ve been fasting all night so the water is good for you.
LISTEN TO FIVE OR TEN MINUTES OF QUIET MUSIC EACH MORNING. You’re probably going to hear people talking all day long. A few minutes of quiet music is helpful preparation.
KEEP YOUR BREAKFAST ROUTINE EASY. Healthy breakfasts can include granola, whole grain cereals, cottage cheese, yogurt, hard boiled eggs. Try spreading apple slices with peanut butter. Don’t forget the blueberries! Substitute peanut butter for butter.
TREAT YOURSELF TO DARK CHOCOLATE AS A TOPPING FOR YOUR CEREAL.
Dark chocolate has lots of antioxidants to keep your arteries healthy.
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UPDATE: The second edition of the Healer’s Handbook is officially published and available. You can purchase it online at thurmangreco.com.
Thanks for your support. Without your continued support, there would be no second edition of this book! Thanks again!
Can I offer you Ten Good Tips that will improve your life significantly and still be easy to adapt to your lifestyle?
I hope so! Well, they may not all be super easy to become a part of your life but don’t hit the escape button yet. Please just read these Ten Good Tips and see how many of them you already do and how many of them will be easy for you and how many will be a challenge.
I honestly believe this list is going to be easier than you think. Just, give it a try.
Drink a cup of tea each day and then drink seven more cups of water throughout your day.
Walk 10,000 steps a day. Actually, this may be a lot easier than you think. Many people already walk 10,000 steps daily. If that doesn’t work for you, try to walk for thirty minutes every day.
Can you quit smoking? Have you already quit smoking?
Every day, sit down and put your feet up. Get quiet for five minutes. That’s all.
Reach out to a friend every day. Just to say “hi” if nothing else.
Enjoy a piece of chocolate every day.
Eliminate prefabricated foods from your diet. You know what I mean. The instant macaroni and cheese that I lovingly call “yellow death” and the canned chili with ingredient words no one can pronounce. And, don’t forget the peanut butter with an ingredient list that takes up half the label.
Switch over to olive oil based salad dressings to control cholesterol.
Skip sugary soft drinks and bubbly sodas that have sugar substitutes instead of sugar. Either way, your body won’t miss them.
Add blueberries to your diet to enhance your memory. I buy frozen wild blueberries in bulk to cut their cost. Wild ones actually have more nutrients which are found in the skins because wild blueberries are smaller than the farmed ones. I put them over plain yogurt. Love it!
I’ve added a couple extra items to the list so you’ll have a choice.
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The Second Edition of “A Healer’s Handbook” should be available within about two weeks! Thanks to every for your support of this book! Thurman
For a person struggling to sleep, it sometimes feels as if a good night’s sleep will never happen. Well, I don’t believe that. I’ve had too many client partners journey down the path to good sleep habits.
- Regular reflexology sessions really help. Begin with three reflexology sessions a week. After the first week, cut back to two sessions a week. Try to get two sessions a week for two months. Then, cut back to one session a week and continue with this weekly schedule until better sleep habits begin to be a part of your life. Then, you can cut back to a session every other week for awhile. Regular reflexology sessions definitely encourage sleep, glorious sleep.
- Self Reiki offers a better night’s sleep. Whenever you wake up in the night and think you’ll never be able to go back to sleep, spend a few minutes offering yourself a Reiki session.
- Write a sleep meditation for yourself which you can use when you are awake at night. Recite this meditation to yourself when you can’t sleep. Edit it over time until you feel you have it just right. In this meditation, you want to tell your muscles to relax so you can sleep. Tell your body that you are surrounded by a relaxing light that will encourage and support your sleep for the remainder of the night.
- If you feel hungry when you wake up in the middle of the night, fix a small snack for yourself. You don’t want to have an entire meal, or even a large snack, but a small serving of yogurt or a cup of a relaxing tea can coax you back to sleep.
- Try not to let yourself be overcome by worry. Sometimes urgent worry can keep you from returning to sleep when you wake in the middle of the night. Realize that the worry will seem smaller in the light of day.
- Do not let your thoughts control your night and your ability to sleep. After all, they are just thoughts. Let them slip away into the night.
- If you feel you cannot return to sleep, get out of bed and read for a few minutes. Then, maybe you will feel more like sleep when you return to bed.
- Gentle yoga before bed helps.
- Finally, give yourself permission to rest and to sleep.
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More and more people seem to be suffering from lack of sleep. Stress is overtaking our lives, it seems. About a third of the people I encounter are battling insomnia. But, stress isn’t the only cause of insomnia. Low levels of estrogen and thyroid can rob you of your sleep. Adrenal imbalances prevent sleep. Nutritional deficiencies contribute to insomnia. And on and on and on…
With this article, I offer the first in a series of posts dedicated to suggestions you can use to assure you a better night’s sleep. You may have some client partners to share this information with also.
Some suggestions may be things you already know about. That’s okay, it’s always nice to review and update information you may have forgotten you know.
Other suggestions will be new. That’s good, too. It’s always nice to add new skills to your tool box.
But, whether they’re tried and true, or brand new, give them a try.
- Simplify your bedroom. By that, I mean: Move all your electronic devices out of your sleep space. Computers, phones, TV’s, etc., emit signals as well as lights which can disturb a good night’s sleep.
- Hide your alarm clock under your bed or in your closet. The last thing you need on a sleepless night is to be continually reminded of how quickly or slowly time is passing.
- Regular Exercise is important. Try to get at least twenty minutes of exercise daily. This habit will not only help you sleep better, but it will help you feel better during the day, too.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco in the evenings. I know this sounds super boring, but this suggestion is both real and completely spot on. As evening approaches, drop the coffee, and go for other foods and beverages which are relaxing. One of my favorite bedtime snacks is a small container of plain Greek yogurt topped with whipped cream. It’s nutritious, delicious, and it never keeps me awake. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I eat this as a snack to help me go back to sleep.
- Then, there’s the old tried and true Usui Reiki Therapy. When a client complains of insomnia, offer to teach him/her Reiki. I find Reiki to be one of the best sleep aids out there. When I use Reiki as as way of going to sleep, I never make it through a session. I’m always asleep in less than 20 minutes.
- Develop winding down habits to help you prepare to be sleepy as you go to bed. This may mean a guided meditation, calming music, warm bath.
- SKIP THE SLEEPING PILLS. There are many herbal and nutritional preparations that may work for you. Try them out until you find one you like best. For your first selection, you may want to try melatonin, a product which should be taken about an hour before going to bed. Melatonin is not a sleeping pill. It will only work if you have a low melatonin level.
- Start paying attention to your sleep habits by learning when you go to bed in the evenings. Your goal is to be able to allow yourself about eight or so hours to sleep each night.
Finally, I don’t know about you, but I hate the way I feel when I don’t get enough sleep.
Thanks for reading the first in this series of sleep promoting posts. Insomnia is so prevalent these days. It’s accompanied by depression and anxiety.
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Check in regularly to learn more things you can do to get a good night’s sleep.
PS: I have more information about insomnia in my book.
Do you attend continuing education classes, workshops, sessions throughout the year? If not, you’re missing out on the most important part of self-care.
Continuing education classes not only teach us new ideas, techniques, attitudes, postures…they stimulate our minds.
Continuing education classes offer emotional and spiritual stimulation.
Continuing education classes offer networking opportunities of a quality not found anywhere else.
Every continuing education experience is reflected in better work on your client partners.
In addition, continuing education classes usually offer a chance to receive and give body work while you’re learning.
You return to your table renewed and rejuvenated.
Continuing education classes offer you a chance to expand your service skills. I am a reflexologist. This is the work I offer my client partners daily.
I am also known for being a companion animal massage therapist, a Reiki master teacher. I have been attuned to nine different forms of Reiki. Finally, I read tarot cards.
I learned all of these skills on continuing education hours.
To be honest, I’ve studied things that I don’t practice but not one minute of the continuing education hours were a bust.
I am a much better practitioner, blogger, writer, teacher because of my fellow professionals who shared their knowledge with me through continuing education classes: Jonathan Rudinger, Penelope Smith, Dawn Hayman, Mary Ruth Van Landingham, Shoshana Hathaway, Tom Rigler, Rev. Dan Chesbro, Kerrith McKechnie, Marge D’Urso, Alberto Villoldo.
So, my message is this: enrich your life, expand your practice, get continuing education hours!
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When you look at your calendar for the coming week…where are YOU on the schedule? If you are not on the schedule, you are not doing the basic self-care things things to protect your career. Self-care is the difference between a two-year career as a healer and a twenty-year career as a healer.
You are the healer. You join the professional organizations. You pay your taxes. You make sure your office is “just right”. You take continuing education classes. In short, you do the things necessary to protect your business.
But, what about you: your body, your spirit, your emotional strength, your thoughts? Where are they lined up here with the bills and the available appointments, and the marketing activities?
For many healers, body workers this is the most difficult thing to do on the entire list. As reflexologists, we’re accustomed to give, give, give. And, we enjoy giving. Obviously we enjoy giving or we would never have taken even the first class.
The bottom line here is that you commit to your own private, inner, personal wellness when you receive a weekly session. You also set an example for your client partners.
Things you can do!:
Begin by filling your spiritual tank. Schedule a session for yourself each week. Every week. Do something. Get a massage. Get a Reiki session. Schedule a session with a shamanic healer. Try out that new chiropractor who just moved into your neighborhood.
Do something! The important thing is to get on someone else’s table at least once a week.
Personally, I receive an hour-long Reiki therapy session every week…no matter what. I also receive a reflexology session every week. The work I do the rest of the week is much better for this hour which I invest in myself.
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In 1513 Juan Ponce de Leon went exploring for the fountain of youth in what is now Florida. He found it and it exists. A branch of it is probably at a fitness center in your community. I found one in my community. It’s called the Fitness Connection and is on Albany Avenue in Kingston, New York.
There is a branch of the Fountain of Youth within reach of you. Can you name one? Do you use one? Regularly?
Being tuned into the Fountain of Youth is important. Don’t ever mistake this. But, it’s also important to be healed. The quality of your life will be much better when you can forgive those who injured you in some way. Forgiveness opens the door to healing.
Without forgiveness, we go through our daily life carrying anger, blame, fear, guilt, hurt, regret, resentment, revenge, sadness.
Getting rid of negative baggage can change your life for the better.
Begin to release this negative baggage by listing the people in your life who you need to forgive. Include yourself in this list if you blame your self for things as well. (Don’t we all?)
Now, spend some time each day forgiving those who need forgiveness. You are forgiving people for yourself…nothing more. You know that when you offer forgiveness, miracles can occur.
Don’t worry about the person anymore. You are releasing this person’s energy into the universe. You are releasing this person’s karmic connection to yourself. You are cutting the cords which have been binding you together.
Healing you never expected will take place.
How does forgiveness happen? How can you make this work for you?
Sit for a few minutes in a quiet place and offer forgiveness to each person individually:
“I offer forgiveness to ………………………….. I forgive you for …………………………………..
Now, I am free and you are free, too. I release you to your divine plan of life. Everything between us is cleared up, now and forever.”
When you have forgiven everyone you can remember, go into your past lives and offer forgiveness to those who need it:
“I offer forgiveness to everyone in my past life who has damaged me in some way. I forgive everyone for whatever he/she did. Now, I am free and you are free, too. I release you now. Everything between us is cleared up, now and forever.”
These forgiveness meditations may take more than a day. Actually, they may take several weeks or even months. Don’t worry about this. Take whatever time is necessary. Forgive a person or few persons each day when you have a few moments.
As you do this, notice how you feel when this happens. Notice how much better you feel with each meditation. Notice how much better you look. Notice how much younger you act. Notice how much excess weight you are losing.
You may not observe any changes immediately. However, you will begin to see yourself, your environment, and your world improved, healed, more beautiful.
As you forgive people and release them to their divine plans…
You will feel better.
Your vocabulary will change.
Your thoughts will be positive.
You will feel free.
You will feel light.
Replace the negativity with love.
Bring love alive in your life.
Eat, sleep, and breathe love.
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Spread the word about “A Healer’s Handbook”! Thank you to everyone who has purchased this book. Thank you to everyone who will purchase this book in the future.
Thank you to Michele Garner for contributing her heart art at the top of this blog.
Thank you to Sangi van den Nouweland for contributing the cover art on “A Healer’s Handbook.”
The information about the Fountain of Youth came from the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park in Saint Augustine, Florida.
As a reflexology practitioner, it’s important that you stay as healthy as possible. When you take care of your body, you inspire your client partners to take care of theirs.
Many conditions lurk unnoticed for years to develop in the body before they are recognized for what they are: diseases that, in the early stages, are seen as fatigue, headaches, insomnia.
But, whatever these conditions are called, they are actually ongoing health issues that no one has solved. Often, we just ignore these problems.
“I just need to learn to live with this……” is a remark I hear often. The problem is common, persistent, chronic.
Now is the time to see these issues for what they are and take steps to deal with them before they become full blown, serious, illnesses. Look at yourself:
Do you look healthy?
Do you feel healthy?
Do you have enough energy for all the things you want to do each day?
Do you sleep well?
Do you have digestive issues?
Do you feel toxic?
Make 2017 the year you turn your life around.
Begin by learning to get enough sleep.
The first step in a healthy sleep is having a healthy sleeping environment.
Do you or your sleep partner snore? This can rob you of hours and hours of sleep, necessary to good health. People don’t realize it but snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, a serious medical condition which contributes to Alzheimer’s. So, today, begin to address the snoring.
Snoring is not always expensive to treat. So, make your first step to a healthy year, a trip to a physician to address any and all snoring and sleep issues.
The second thing to do is declutter the sleep space. Move the home office into another room. Move the TV out. The bedroom is for sleeping and sex. Everything else goes in another part of your home or apartment.
About an hour before you are ready to go to bed, begin to calm yourself down. Prepare your body to sleep.
Taking sleeping pills is not the answer.
Instead, don’t watch television or play video games immediately before sleep. Attend fewer evening meetings.
Is your bed comfortable? Do you have enough blankets? How about the pillows?
What is your most comfortable sleep position? Do you sleep better on your stomach or are you a sleeper who prefers to be face up? Do your bed, bedding, and pillows encourage a healthy sleep every night?
Finally, schedule sufficient hours to sleep. You need at least eight hours of sleep in order to get the optimum energy and rejuvenation out of your body the next day.
One thing you can do to improve your sleep situation is to receive a reflexology session weekly. People universally claim that regular reflexology encourages better sleep. So, while you are offering reflexology sessions to your client partners to encourage their improved sleep, schedule reflexology sessions for yourself. At least, that way, you’ll know exactly how wonderful a reflexology encouraged sleep really feels.
Make it a habit to offer self-reiki therapy to encourage sleep. Teach reiki therapy to your client partners so they can give themselves sessions as they go to bed at night.
One of the secrets to a healthy body is sufficient sleep on a continued basis. Share this secret with your client partners!
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