La Salud Body Wrap

A few days ago a friend asked me, innocently enough, “What are you going to do about it?” referencing the sporadic recurring pain in my leg from an old skiing accident. I’ve thought about this question a lot over the past few days and wanted to share what I have been doing because, really, most people probably don’t know how one recovers from 3/4 of a broken lower leg and an ovarian cancer death sentence. I mention the cancer because they are inextricably linked to the pain and debilitation I am experiencing now and am recovering from.

We humans are interconnected in so many ways, not just spirit, soul, and body, but also with each other, God, and even further than that: the cells, muscles, ligaments, and tissues of our body’s are connected from one hip to the opposite hand, one foot to the same knee, the chest to the back, etc. Because of this beautiful dance that we have with each other, ourselves, and our Creator, there isn’t a single fix or cure-all for most people. Even the miracle stories we hear, whether they are healing, financial, or otherwise, have a backstory. For example, when the Holy Spirit fell in “tongues of fire” in Acts 2, the “and suddenly” of that miracle was preceded by “all joining together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14). Those “and suddenly” moments (Acts 2:2) happen, and they are miraculous, for sure, but there is more to the story and it usually involves patience. Patience is a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and one that is hard to live through, especially in our modern world of instant everything. As I grow in fruitfulness, i.e. patience, take what I’ve learned back to your own life and be fruitful and healed.

What I am in doing to recover from cancer and a painful old skiing accident:

1. Chiropractic: I have been seeing a Network Spinal Analysis chiropractor since October and for 6 months, saw him 3 times a week. You can check out my guy and why he’s amazing, here.

2. Massage: I’ve been getting it once a week to loosen the hold that the scar tissue has from surgeries (I’ve had 12), falls, accidents, and bruises. I’ve come to think of these two health care practitioners working together like this: my chiropractor is shifting my body structurally and neurologically and my massage therapist is kneading out the bumps in the road, so-to-speak, so that the whole system works better together.

3. Foam Roller: recommended by both my massage therapist and chiropractor, this helps to continue to release the scar tissue and myofascial tissue that has been bound up from all the surgeries and injuries. I use the blue Go Fit Foam Roller and have been really happy with it. I like that it comes with a little instruction book to show how to use it.

4. Body wrap: as my body continues to shift and realign itself, toxins that have been trapped and stored in my cells from the 13 weeks of 8 hours a day chemo, CT-scan contrast, narcotic drug pain relievers, pesticides, herbicides, pollution in the air, and even toxic emotions and bad choices, need to be removed. Some of the benefits of this wrap are: detoxification, growth and regeneration of new skin cells, it’s so natural it’s edible, reduces stretch marks, scars, and cellulite, empties and destroys fat cells. This above picture is me wrapped from the chest down with the wrap.

5. Essential oils: my massage therapist gave me a therapeutic blend of oils to reduce inflammation and it is seeming to help with some of the pain. I’ve been able to get to sleep at night without taking a pain reliever, which is good.

6. Yoga: it boosts immunity, allows for better sleep, and promotes overall better health. You can read more about it here and join me for classes here.

7. R.I.C.E: R = rest, I = ice, C = compression, E = elevation (above the heart). A long standing first aid application for injuries.

8. Nutrition: I eat organic, local, and take supplements to help my body perform at it’s peak. I take a daily multi called Thrive and have added the Monatau Extreme recently to help rid my body of the stored toxins from all the new adjusting I’m receiving from my chiro and massage therapist.

9. Dry brush: Before I shower, I dry brush my skin. Some of the benefits are: increases circulation and lymphatic drainage, tightens the skin, stimulates the lymph system to drain toxins, helps muscle tone, and rejuvenates the nervous system. I use a natural boar bristle dry-brush. You can get one similar to what I use here.

10. Castor Oil Pack: I’ve been applying this directly to my old break site in my leg and I’ve used it on the ileostomy and surgical incision scars on my belly. Benefits include: relives pain, decreases inflammation, detoxifies, it’s also been said to help with infertility. I use cold pressed and cold processed castor oil so the nutrients are preserved and wool flannel to apply it. Plastic wrap will help secure it in place. Learn more about how to apply it and the benefits here.

11. Prayer: Everything is possible to those who believe (Mark 9:23). Jesus told us to pray for God’s “will (to be) done on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10) and because there is no sickness or disease or pain in heaven, I am praying and asking for prayer for this to manifest in my life, and in yours. One of God’s many names is Jehovah Rapha, which means healer (Exodus 15:26).

12. Advil: when all else fails. I am not a fan of drugs, but when the pain is too incomprehensible and all my other efforts haven’t worked, I need a relief. This is a good point for many reasons: don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater; God gave us pain relievers; don’t abuse, stop using them and try other things first; this is not meant to be a way of life: your body is in pain for a reason and it’s a signal that something needs to change; being in too much pain is exhausting and not good either, the body needs a reprieve in order to mend and heal.

I don’t do all these things at once or even in the same week. Too much detoxification can be dangerous as well and your body can experience a detoxification crisis. Talk to your health care practitioner and get help with your specific situation. We are all different and it helps to be in community and on a team to be the best you possible. La Salud offers a Health Coach and is a great place to start.

As with all things, go slow, take your time, and enjoy the journey. I’ll be smelling the roses, come join me!

Namaste and God bless.

Bali Yoga Video: Day 25: yoga, market, stickers, Celeste and Jesse Forever

Radiantly Alive Yoga Studio was again my playground this morning. I took the RA Vinyasa class and the Core Yoga class for 2.5 hours of yoga delight. My thighs are sore from it and it’s great! I really enjoy taking other instructor’s classes so I can 1. Enjoy and not think about sequencing or leading, 2. Learn new poses, music, sequencing, cues, adjustments, etc. and 3. Because I just love yoga! After, I again had a kombucha at the Bali Buddha Café along with a salad and a raw cocao mint dessert. I am sincerely going to miss these $5 raw meals.

This video is of the Ubud Market which I strolled around after yoga and lunch. I was on the hunt for an I love Bali sticker which a friend had told me a stall at the market had. After about 30 minutes of sweating, wandering, asking, and not finding any, I prayed. Within 5 minutes, I found it, of course. I’ll be sticking it to my SUP paddle. It was really nice to wander around the town and see some new sights.

The roommate Joey and I just finished watching the movie “Celeste and Jesse Forever” and I really liked it! I’m pretty particular with my movie choices, as my good friends know (documentaries and real stories are my favs, although a good romantic comedy is a good choice too), and I was pleasantly surprised about this one! What I really enjoyed about it was the characters were so real. I have definitely been in both Celesete and Jesse’s shoes: breaking up with the guy and then it dragging on and on with no clear boundary while we each date other people, hurt each other, say really awkward and selfish things, but what was so great about this movie, was that it ended so maturely. Even with all the stupid choices they made, hurtful things they said, wrongs the did, they moved on. It wasn’t easy but it was beautiful and they both became better people because of it. (The yoga references were great too. ☺ ) I think this is such a testimony of the power of God. No matter how immature we are, no matter the bad choices we make, no matter how we may hurt others, He is good and the best will come to us if we are open and change to make room for it. There is so much more to this but as a whole, love wins.

May you know that you are not defined by your choices. May you know that you have a choice. May you know that goodness always wins. May you know that you are loved, regardless. Thanks for reading. Tomorrow I fly home. Namaste. Xx

Bali Yoga Trip: Day 24: yoga all day long

It’s been a great day! I spent most of it at the Radiantly Alive Yoga Studio and the Bali Buddha Café. I took 3 classes at the Studio (Hatha, Roll and Release, and Fly High) and ate raw pizza, a raw food platter with spreads, kombucha, and raw chocolate pudding dessert. I spent maybe $11 on all that raw food and 2 kombucha’s. Ah-mazing!

I felt a bit like Julia Roberts in “Eat Pray Love” today. If you haven’t seen the movie, Julia visits Bali (Ubud even, if I’m not mistaken), as part of her journey to find herself, discover more about life, and do things that she’s always wanted to, all by herself. I brought a book with me, Richard Branson’s “Losing My Virginity,” and read it at the Café in between classes. I met and talked with some of the other yoga students (one was even from CA) and explored a few of the shops near the studio. It started down pouring with rain at around 4:00 pm and I thought it would be over by the time my class ended at 6:45, but it didn’t. I walked back to the home stay in the steady rain covered with only a shawl. I got pretty wet but happily refused taxi’s and enjoyed living in the moments. It’s been a great day: one of slight uncertainty, one of adventure, one of exploration, one of trying lots of new things, one of meeting some great new people, one of exploring new yoga classes and areas of my body, one of testing limits, one of prayer, one of raw food eats, and one of lots of love, not to sound cliché. I am planning on doing something similar tomorrow. I want to try the Radiantly Alive Vinyasa Flow class tomorrow and follow it with the Core Yoga class. We’ll see how I fell after tonight’s Flying High class. I might be a little sore from it.

I hope you enjoy this video of my Home Stay! I just tried to take a shower but the hot water lasted for about 30 seconds and as I tried to get the cold to make it warm, I lost all the hot. I’m planning to shower at the studio tomorrow. It’s actually a much nicer facility.

Until next time, may this inspire you to follow your dreams, to roll with what comes your way with childlike amusement, to try new things, and to talk to strangers. Namaste!

Bali Yoga training: Day 17: peak

This is the final week of my yoga teacher training! I can hardly believe it, yet it does feel like it’s been a long time. I’m very, very happy to be here, in hot, humid, sweltering Bali while there is SNOW in Redding! God is so perfect. I am not opposed to snow, at all, but it does present a challenge to leading/teaching a stand up paddleboard yoga class with On Water Yoga when the lake is frozen. I actually hope that it begins to warm up for when I return! I would love to be able to take my new skills to the water, but one step at a time, which leads me to this video.

I am scheduled to teach an active Vinyasa Yoga class this Thursday morning with my group of 7 (8 total including me). We will be the last group to teach and so far we’ve seen 2 groups go already. It’s been really nice to slowly take our time, practicing, gaining insight via what other groups have done, continue to learn adjusting techniques, sequencing, alignment, etc. I am really happy with my group, our choice of poses, intention, meditation and opening, and the peak pose I picked and am leading. Each of in the group teaches 15 minutes of the 2 hour class.

A Vinyasa Yoga class is designed around a “peak” pose so that the warm up and middle of the class is designed to prepare one’s body to be ready for the most difficult, or the peak pose. I picked one we haven’t done yet here in Bali and one I have introduced to my land yoga classes in Redding, but would like more guidance and skill at teaching, particularly the modifications. When I asked my yoga instructor Gabrielle about the pose and it’s name she said, “Wow, you’re not messing around! Going straight into it!” Well, yes! Yes I am! It’s been a good challenge for me and the group to think how to structure for something we haven’t done in class and which no one in my group has ever done before, yet, it’s been easy at the same time. I am really happy with the way my group is working together, being supportive, open, and up for the challenge. There was really no questions asked, just an ok, let’s do it attitude!

There has been an overall sense of things starting to wind down and come to an end, along side the energy around us teaching classes. Today Chris, one of the co-founders of the Awakened Life School of Yoga, talked about meditation after our training is over and suggestions for how to integrate it in to our everyday lives. I have to admit that when we first started I wasn’t that interested in the meditation component as was presented in our pre-work assignments, but I can really see and feel how meditation can be used to tame the wildness of the mind and let our spirit be our guides. Before this yoga training, I had only done contemplative prayer meditation (choosing a verse, some words, or other such inspirational teaching and turning the mind repeatedly back towards it for a set amount of time) but now I’ve done several different types of meditation here, maybe 5 or 6 different ones. I’ll probably write more about this in another entry. It’s late now and I’m starting to fade, but to touch on it briefly, I am beginning to think about how I can incorporate more meditation into my life back in Redding.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting me. Thanks for praying for me! I pray that you are encouraged, enlightened, and that you experience more freedom and happiness in your life from reading this.

Until next time, namaste!