August 26, 2015

Virgo the Virgin

She who is whole unto herself
She knows how to rejuvenate her health
Renew her spirit, regenerate her wealth
The artist, priestess and the healer

Strength of the lion, grace of the swan
Shy at times but loves to perform
Harvesting love before it is gone
She can be quite the heart stealer

A young face with an old soul
The epitome of self control
Imperfect in her perfection goal
Turns her break down into a breakthrough

Beautiful, graceful, wise beyond her years
She touches hope, dispels fears
And while this rose does have her tears
How will she touch you?

August 19, 2015

Hypnobirthing

Here is a letter from one of my clients regarding using hypnosis to have the most positive birth experience possible:

Hi Ladies,

Just want to send a long overdue thank you to Joanne Gramo, L.Ac, Kayla Garnet Rose, Certified Hypnotherapist and Dr. Elizabeth Quinn for their wonderful support during pregnancy and after Noemi was born.

Joanne and I met about every two weeks for much of my pregnancy. She helped keep me relaxed and worked hard to keep my anxiousness to a minimum. These visits with Joanne were such a blessing… each time, I would drift off into la-la land and let all cares slip away… and snore. I believe that the ease of my pregnancy was largely due to her acupuncture treatments. The week of my due date, I was ready to get things moving. I had had enough of the difficulty of getting around and the what felt like every 5 minute-pee breaks. Joanne gave me a special labor stimulating treatment and some Chinese herbs to drink as a tea on Wednesday. I started drinking the tea Thursday and by Thursday night at midnight I was in labor. Woohoo! Joanne also offered her services if I experienced any complications during the labor process, which I thankfully did not need. She also followed up with me post pregnancy and assured me that my healing experiences were normal. Joanne - I am so appreciative of the time spent with you. You really work wonders.

Kayla and I met twice for a hypnobirthing session. Once at her office and once with Joanne for an acu-hip session. During the first session she spent a considerable amount of time talking with me about concerns and goals for my birthing experience. She asked pointed questions beyond the labor experience which I found especially helpful as my due date drew near. For instance, she asked how I invisioned my hospital experience, who would be in the room (if anyone) during the labor process, what the next couple days would be like postpartum and the eventual trip home with baby in tow. These were parts of the birth experience that I hadn't thought of much before she brought them to my attention. What was most helpful during the labor process was recalling the recorded hypnosession and her use of the words 'cool' and 'calm' water and the vivid transition of colors that we talked about to describe the 90 second ride through each contraction (Midnight blue turning into Caribbean blue). I made a vision board (picture attached) to represent the cool calm and blue colored water we talked about. Although I didn't look at it much while in actual labor, my ability to recall the hypnosessions and the act of making the vision board gave me something to concentrate on. Both doula and midwife were impressed with my ability to stay focused and breathe. I believe this was largely due to my time with Kayla. Thank you so much, Kayla! I know wholeheartedly that hypno-birthing had a huge impact on my labor experience.

Dr. Elizabeth Quinn and I met shortly after Noemi was born. I think it was week 3 or 4. With all the new weighted and unusual movements I was now making lifting baby, taking the car seat in and out of the car, nursing, changing etc. my back was more than tweaked. One morning I experienced a strange twinge in my back and decided to call Dr. Quinn. She was available the following day! With her magic touch, she realigned my vertebrae, pelvic bones, rib cage and shoulders. She also talked with me about important exercises to help encourage core strength. I left her office feeling much improved and with renewed attention to the importance of moving/lifting/shifting with thought and care. I haven't had to go back yet, but I will in a heartbeat if any further issues arise. Thank you, Elizabeth!

Motherhood is amazing, both extremely rewarding and challenging at the same time. I think of you all often and hope everyone is doing well! Have a wonderful week and I look forward to seeing you all again soon.

With much gratitude,

Ellie

Ellie D. Whisner BS CNCCertified Nutrition Consultant

If you are pregnant (or even thinking about getting pregnant) and would like to experience hypnobirthing, please call or email for more information today!

August 12, 2015

Cuddle Meditation

A couple of years ago my sweetie and I went to some workshops on sexuality at our local (and tasteful) adult toy store, Pure Pleasure. The best thing we got out of it was "cuddle meditation" which we have now practiced consistently for two and a half years.

In the mornings, we tend to drink our tea and read/play on the computer for an hour or so. Then we go back upstairs and brush our teeth. Next we get back into bed (no clothes or pjs), and usually I lie on top of (since I'm smaller). We breathe together, hum, giggle, connect chakras, belly laugh, hold silence, and sometimes make love. This can last five to forty-five minutes, depending on work schedules, etc.

The effect has been incredibly positive. We both come from and practice very different spiritual beliefs, and this is way that we can "pray" together. We don't live together and only spend together time Friday through Monday. The first two years of our relationship the distance and separateness was an added strain. Since doing cuddle meditation, we both feel more calm and connected during the week, with much less insecurity and jealousy issues.

Also, when we do have conflict, we both take turns to speak our truth, then end up doing cuddle meditation. The next morning during cuddle meditation we check in to see if we had resolution and completion. This feels very safe, vulnerable and intimate, all at the same time. I highly recommend it.

Have you cuddled mindfully today?

August 5, 2015

Cooking with Intention

A client said, "I have tried to meditate while waiting for the dinner on to cook, but things could boil over, or burn, and I find it harder to concentrate." For me, meditation is a relaxed, focused state of concentration. In hypnotherapy, we call this going into trance. We go into trances all day long - getting sucked into tv or facebook, reading a good book, driving home getting lost in one's thoughts and suddenly you are there.

This activates the parasympathetic nervous system - our natural state of being, as opposed to the sympathetic nervous system, also known as fight-or-flight. When we are stressed out, blood leaves the belly (poor digestion) and the brain (poor thinking) to go into the muscles in order to run away or deal with a challenge. We don't have tigers and bears chasing us any more, but we do have bills and traffic. Even being under low grade stress can wear out the adrenals, cause poor sleep and assorted ailments.

Being able to return to the parasympathetic is crucial, as we think better, sleep better, digest better - indeed, this is when the body and mind can restore, replenish and rejuvenate itself. Meditation is the deliberate act of intentionally entering this state. It can be done with the eyes shut or open, while sitting or walking, actually at any time you choose to. This, to me, is what being mindful is all about. Thus, one can meditate at any time - from brushing your teeth to cooking in the kitchen

So, I would propose a two minute kitchen meditation. While, cooking, take a few deep breaths. Then focus on the smells of cooking, the sounds of cooking, the colors of the foods, the tastes and textures. Really be aware. I like to visualize the whole chain of people who made the meal possible - the farmer who planted the carrot, the worker who pulled it out of the earth, the trucker who brought it to the store, the market clerk who stocked it, the cashier who sold it, the person who cooked it (myself or the restaurant chef if I am dining out), the person who served it (wait person or my spouse). I feel this is a way to bless the food and really appreciate the simple task of creating a meal.

And guess what, washing the dishes can be it's own meditation too!

July 29, 2015

Weeding Meditation

Today I did a weeding meditation. Being mindful in the garden is a delight - really noticing the sounds of the birds, wind, my breathing; seeing the colors of the rich earth revealed as I removed the green and yellow sour grass; smelling the fresh air; feeling the roots give way as I gently tugged on the stems, the stretch in my low back, the little wooden stool supporting me; even the taste of a crisp California foggy day.

I found my mind wandering around the metaphor of pulling out negative thinking, the tenacity of old habits, the constant diligence to prune out the what is no longer serving. Even noticing that the big weeds were easier to get rid of then the little ones - just like my habits, some of the big ones are easier to change, more so than the little self doubts that creep in and take hold.

And then allowing myself to simply enjoy the garden, not just work at it - just like in meditation, enjoying the wandering of my mind, with no need to do anything but explore my inner landscape, appreciating the beauty and complexity, feeling whole and healthy - weeds and all.