Blue Monday-Let the Sun Shine In-Wellness Tips for the Dull of Winter

Usually around this time of year the dark days and chill of winter begin to weigh on me, I curse the cold and long for my summer garden. Blue Monday is a name given to the third Monday in January which is reported to be the most depressing day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Monday_(date)). Luckily there are many natural alternatives out there to bring the light back in to our spirit and in this post I’ve listed a few of my favorites.

Herbal Support

Herbs support the body in a natural way and can be used to bring the body’s systems into balance.  A well known herb is St. John’s wort which is a wonderful tonic for the whole body and an excellent nervine which has the therapeutic ability to calm the nervous system and support a healthy mood. It has been called the herb of the sun and signals the time of midsummer which is also when its healing properties are at its strongest. Energetically its sunny disposition can be used to dispel the darkness and protect against evil spirits. It is important to get your herbs from reputable sources as some forms have been found not to be pure, recently a bulletin was released about the adulteration of St. John’s wort supplements. A true specimen of the plant should naturally produce the characteristic red color in the preparation and should not contain dyes to make it look that way and the best tinctures are made from the fresh flowering tops of the plant, harvested during the proper time when the healing properties are strong in the plant.

Another favorite herb of mine to use is Lemon Balm, Melissa officinalis, or “Melissa’s Geist” (Melissa’s spirit), as my Oma called it. Melissa’s uplifting aroma and therapeutic properties help to gently calm and uplift and the same time. Using herbs can be a great way to naturally support your body but some do carry contraindications, especially St. John’s wort which can interact with some medications.  It is best to consult a qualified healthcare provider when considering the use of herbs. The studio provides wellness consultations which can help you find the best holistic health support options to choose from.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy can be an easy and fast way to positively affect the mood due to the body’s smell receptors being directly linked to the limbic system, the emotional center of the brain. Many studies like this one have been done to show that inhalation of certain essential oils can help to regulate moods. Some of my favorites include lavender and uplifting citrus scented oils like lemon, orange, and bergamot. I have a fun aromatherapy workshop coming up on January 21st, Banishing the Winter Blahs, where we will be making a nice uplifting blend for you to keep.  There are still a few spaces left for anyone interested, registration is required.

Exercise

There is a strong link between exercise and the mood and researchers have found that people on a regular exercise program show not only physical improvement but mental and emotional health improvements as well (http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise.aspx). Exercise need not be strenuous as a simple walk in nature can work wonders and connect you to the earth and your natural cycles.

Rest and Relaxation

Don’t push against the natural cycles of nature, we are meant to slow down and rest in the winter. Recharge yourself and allow the energy to be stored. There are many ways to incorporate relaxation techniques into your lifestyle which can include meditation, yoga, getting a massage, or a Reiki session. Far Infared Heat Therapy is a great way to relax wrapped in warmth and gain many health benefits. The far infared sauna here at the studio provides the same heat as the sun without the harmful ultraviolet rays, perfect for the dark days of winter.

By incorporating natural healing methods into your lifestyle you are investing in your health and well being and you are surely worth it! Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup so to be able to give your best to others you must first honor yourself. I’ll soon be sitting down with a cup of tea, sifting through the seed catalogs, and dreaming of the return of Spring.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

 

 

 

Far Infrared Sauna Sessions Coming to the Studio

I am excited to announce that far infrared sauna sessions will now be available here at the studio and sessions are now being scheduled. Online booking of this service will not be available until sometime next week so contact me for your appointment.  Far infrared heat is needed for the optimum health of all living things and the radiant heat that surrounds you in this sauna penetrates deep into your joints, muscles, and tissues, and increases oxygen flow and circulation. Longwave far infrared heat is completely safe and produces the same far infrared heat as the sun without the harmful ultraviolet rays. A session in the sauna often results in a deep detoxifying sweat, and regular sauna use helps to remove harmful toxins from the body. This far infrared sauna is of superior quality and made with organic hemp, you are completely surrounded by the healing infrared heat, front and back.

Far infrared sauna sessions can be added on to any service or scheduled as a stand alone service. Money saving packages are also available. Note that far infrared saunas may not be indicated for certain people or health conditions, this will be discussed during your intake. This particular sauna is a “dome” type which is like a narrow tube around your body which you lay in.  You will need to be able to climb in and out of the tube easily.  If you have mobility concerns this type of sauna may not be a good fit for you. Please read through the entire page for what to expect from your far infrared sauna session here at the studio. Some benefits of a far infrared sauna include:

  • Stress Reduction and Improved Sleep– traditional saunas are mostly hot air that make you sweat, but far infrared heat provides a gentle, soothing therapeutic heat that promotes relaxation and improves sleep, helping you to relax and promote a deep tissue sweat that leaves you feeling renewed.
  • Pain Relief and Increased Circulation– the deep penetrating heat helps peripheral blood vessels dilate which helps to bring relief to muscles and soft tissues.  Increased blood circulation carries off metabolic waste products and brings in oxygen rich blood to the depleted muscle allowing faster recovery, the heat also helps to reduce soreness.
  • Detoxification– far infrared heat increases blood circulation and stimulates the sweat glands promoting a deep tissue sweat that helps to release built up toxins in the body. Regular sauna sessions help the body rid itself of accumulated toxic chemicals like lead, mercury, nickel, alcohol, nicotine, sulfuric acid, and more.
  • Weight Loss– As the body increases sweat production the heart pumps harder to increase blood circulation. This increase in metabolism burns more calories.
  • Improves Immune System– core temperature is raised which is like inducing an artificial fever which is the body’s natural healing mechanism, this accelerates the immune response.  Enhanced immune system combined with elimination of wastes and toxins form the sweating increases overall health and resistance.
  • Skin Cell Rejuvenation- deep sweating carries off deeply imbedded impurities and dead skin cells leaving the skin glowing and clean.  Increased circulation draws your skins own nutrients to the surface bringing improved tone, elasticity, texture, and fresh color. Increased heart rate and localized blood circulation work together to stop fatty deposits from accumulating liquids in the fat cells to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Before your session– hydrate! Always drink plenty of water before and after your session.

During your session– you may not sweat as much during your first 2-3 sessions which is normal for people who do not usually sweat a lot. It may take a few sessions for the body to get back into the natural rhythm.

What to wear- more skin exposure is preferable, you can wear loose fitting shorts and a tee shirt, a swim suit, or your birthday suit.  If you wear clothing into the sauna you should bring a change of clothes since you may have wet clothes from sweating when you get out.

After your session- make sure to hydrate with water after your session and the rest of the day.

Prices are as follows:

30 minute session- $35

20 minute session- $25

15 minute add on to any service- $20

30 minute add on to any service- $30

Package pricing- buy 4 30 minute sessions get 1 free $140

Package pricing- buy 4 20 minute sessions get 1 free $100

Photo credit and information courtesy of Clearlight Sauna