Bowls, Massage, Reiki, and More Bowls; Along With a Little Course Correction

IMG_1106Okay yes, it’s been hot… REALLY HOT. And this week we are expecting cooler temperatures with highs in the high 80s – as in 89 degrees. Looking at the thermometer on my back porch, I’m okay with 89 degrees…

Today is day three of a four day retreat. Furlough Fridays are especially nice when added with leave on Monday. I’ve participated in a group Shamanic Journey, Reiki Crystal Empowerment, TWO sound massage swaps and a short Myofascial massage. I was in Upper Marlboro at Holistic Dynamic swapping sound massage with my teacher, Ginger Marcus. I had a bit of a headache caused by a lot of tightness in my neck and shoulders and remnants remained after the sound massage. As synchronicity would have it, Elizabeth Zander Hale was in another room and had just finished giving massage to a client. Ginger told her of my pain and the next thing you know, I was on her table.

Elizabeth is AMAZING! Ginger had warned me that Elizabeth would get deeper than deep tissue massage. And Elizabeth shared that there are two types of Myofascial massage – gentle and not gentle – AND the one she performs is NOT GENTLE! Oh was she right! She first had me turn my head to both sides so we could determine my current range of motion. Then, she went to work, stretching my neck, head, and shoulders.

Honestly, I don’t take well to physical pain but I understand when it’s necessary to achieve the results I’m looking for. There was a time or two that tears came to my eyes. Elizabeth told me to tell her when it hurt too much because oh and ow would not communicate STOP. Only once (I think) did I have to say stop. The session only lasted 20 or 25 minutes. That’s all I had asked for. But my range of motion was AMAZING by then, and the pain that had been lurking behind my head and into my shoulders was completely gone!

When the massage was over, Elizabeth rubbed a locally made muscle relaxing cream on the area and explained there could be pain in the morning and what I might do if that happened. But I have had NO PAIN since I got off her table. I cannot recommend her service strongly enough. [Elizabeth doesn’t have a website and I can’t figure out how to link her email address so you can reach her at if you are looking for an extraordinary healing experience]

There are things that get trapped in my body; unresolved issues or emotional upset that I deny or resist feeling. When I was a child I played outside but as an adult, I’m more likely to curl up in the house (or a shaded hammock) with a good book or journal. I’m mostly in my head and my emotions. And one thing I’ve learned through migraines and recovery is that analysis will only take me so far on my healing journey. I have to include the physical aspects of releasing and letting go. Massage, Sound Massage, Reiki, Yoga, Dancing, and Walking are what help me do that. And this week, to be completely honest with you guys, I did not walk very much.

Say it was the rain, the heat, the appointments, or just plain laziness. None of that matters. I’m using the opportunity to FEEL how differently my body feels after a week of maybe three walks in comparison to a week of five or seven walks. And the difference is HUGE. I’m no longer scolding myself because I didn’t do something but rather, FEELING the difference and deciding to make a different choice. I’m also patting myself on the back because I’ve started asking myself the question, “Can I walk there?” before every errand I run. IMG_1095And I’m finding that in my one to two mile radius of errands, I can easily walk rather than drive! So I’m pumped and ready for a new week of walking. To top it all off, I’m going to visit my sister for a bike ride through Valley Forge National Park at the end of the week. We haven’t ridden bicycles together since we were kids and I’m looking forward to it in so many ways! I’m three weeks into this journey. And I feel good…on track with what I have planned for myself. I love that I’m not afraid of IMG_1107a VEGAN chocolate chip cookie; that I am mindful of improving my health and reducing my weight while continuing to enjoy life. I may have indulged a little more than I wanted to (now that I’m looking back on the week) so that’s an easy course correction too. This week’s intention is to keep up the good work and remind myself that it is all about movement! Moving my body every single day, several times a day, beginning with morning yoga and by the end of the day, a nice long walk.

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