My Writings. My Thoughts.

Friday’ Gift

// October 29th, 2009 // No Comments » // Meditation

Primordial Sound Meditation

Discover the silence that creates inner peace for the challenges of daily living

As we move into the world of Body Mind Medicine and into new paradigms of thinking, we move ever closer to the understanding of the myriad of benefits offered by the simple act of sitting quietly, with no conversations, in meditation. Meditation is one of the most powerful tools there is to help us restore the harmony within and to gain access to our body’s inner intelligence. In meditation we re-connect with our essence. This connection extends to our daily lives and can result in improved health, more fulfilling relationships, enthusiasm for life and increased creativity.

Primordial Sound Meditation is a technique that originated from the ancient knowledge of India. Deepak Chopra, MD and David Simon, MD, have revived this authentic process and made it available in a format that can be easily learned and practiced by everyone. During PSM our minds become quiet, allowing our bodies to gain the deep rest necessary to release stress and fatigue.

Primordial Sounds are the basic, most essential sounds of nature. The specific sounds which are used in meditation are called mantras. These mantras are used to help take our awareness away from the frenzy of the daily activity of the mind to the stillness of our spirit. The effect soothes our entire physiology — mind, body and soul.

PSM can be learned by people of every age, education, culture and religion. It does not require specific beliefs or a change in behavior or lifestyle.

“Meditation is not forcing your mind to be quiet; it’s finding the quiet that is already there.”….Deepak Chopra

Mindfulness meditation can heal, boost immunity and improve mental and physical health. In a study conducted by West Virginia University, 103 adults participated in an 8 week study in which they learned, practiced, and applied mindfulness meditation to daily life situations. The group completing the meditation program showed a 44% decrease in  psychological distress and a 46% decrease in medical symptoms. Williams KA, et al. Evaluation of a wellness-based mindfulness stress reduction intervention: a controlled trial. Am J Health Promot. 2001:15(6):422-32

For more information on Primordial Sound Meditation, or to schedule a class, please contact Ellen LaRocca, Certified PSM Instructor, at

FYI – help your body prevent Swine Flu

// October 24th, 2009 // No Comments » // Events

Prevent Swine Flu – Good Advice

Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MBBS,DRM,DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid specialist) having clinical experience of over 20 years. He has worked in institutions like Hinduja Hospital , Bombay Hospital , Saifee Hospital , Tata Memorial etc.. Presently, he is heading our Nuclear Medicine Department and Thyroid clinic at Riddhivinayak Cardiac and Critical Centre, Malad (W).

The following message given by him, I feel makes a lot of sense and is important for all to know

The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it’s almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. “Hands-off-the-face” approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

3. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don’t trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected o ne. Don’t underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but *blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.*

5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. *Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

Friday’s Gift

// October 23rd, 2009 // No Comments » // Events

Foods For Energy

Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired??????

We are all familiar with the current recommendations of our government telling us about the latest in the food pyramids, but do we really understand the needs of our bodies for good health maintenance? Here are some suggestions to put into daily practice.

EAT. Start with breakfast. Skipping this meal leads to bad eating habits that sabotage the days of your life. If you are responsible for children, please start this life habit. Actually, eating several meals throughout the day is important to keep the fires of digestion stoked. Calculate the calories that you need to maintain s good weight and plan your meals by dividing the number of calories evenly for each meal. A 2000 calorie day, divided by 4 meals, equals 500 calories per meal.

Include great foods full of fiber; whole grains, pears, broccoli, bean burritos, etc. If you can get organic fruits and veggies, be sure to eat the whole thing, peels and all. Blueberries are great for brain function, memory skills and of course, intestinal mobility. Dark leaky greens are nutrient dense foods. Your muscles need carbs! The whole grain variety, not donuts. Sugar zaps energy, have healthy snacks available to handle temptations. Protein builds and repairs muscles, Eating a variety of meat and non meat choices is best.

And to be sure, getting the right amount of water for hydration of your cells, on a daily basis is mandatory. The formula is 1/2 your weight in ounces of water. Don’t forget high quality nutritional supplments.

Remember to allow a few hours for digestion before bedtime. The body is in restoration mode during normal sleeping hours, if it is dealing with food in the system, most of  it goes into storage, ugh!

Friday’s Gift

// October 16th, 2009 // No Comments » // Aromatherapy

967808More On Aromatherapy…

Aromatherapy – described as ‘the skilled use of specific essential oils extracted from the root, wood, leaf, seed, herb, fruit, or flower for physical, psychological, and esthetical purposes’. The use of essential oils is based on the theory that each scent operates at a unique frequency, affecting the body in different ways, creating calm, healing, and energizing effects.

The process – fragrant substances, as opposed to pungent, sharp odors like ammonia, pass into the limbic system (the most primitive part of the brain) without being registered by the cerebral cortex (conceived by the intellect rather than by emotions). In fact, it is via the olfactory brain that the cerebral cortex is able to be stimulated into energy and inspiration by a scent. The cerebral cortex is a much more recent addition to intellectual processing, developing much later than the ancient limbic system. Fragrant substances reach the innermost control centers of our brain, the place where fragrances ‘touch our heart’, so to speak.

Odor stimuli in the limbic system, or olfactory brain, release a number of psychoactive (brain affecting) chemicals, including encephalin (reduces pain and creates a feeling of well-being), endorphins (kills pain and induces sexual feelings), serotonin (helps relax and calm),  and noradrenalin (helps keep you awake).

The sense of smell touches many of our subconscious perceptions, affecting sexuality, memory, creativity, moods, emotions, basic drives, and motivated behavior. It also helps balance our autonomic nervous system. Fragrance can therefore stimulate the center of our very being and create many associations that can inspire us deeply.

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

// October 13th, 2009 // No Comments » // Women's Health

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:

A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that persists through the menstrual cycle.

A mass or lump, which may feel as small as a pea.

A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast.

A blood-stained or clear fluid discharge from the nipple.

A change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple (dimpled, puckered, scaly, or inflamed).

Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple.

An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast.

A marble-like hardened area under the skin.

These changes may be found when performing monthly breast self-exams. By performing breast self-exams, you can become familiar with the normal monthly changes in your breasts.

A breast self-exam should be performed at the same time each month, three to five days after your menstrual period ends. If you have stopped menstruating, perform the exam on the same day of each month.

Friday’s Gift

// October 8th, 2009 // No Comments » // Women's Health

Being Breast Healthy

Breast cancer is a malignant (cancerous) tumor that starts from cells of the breast. It occurs mostly in women, but men get it too. It is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer. And it is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.

The statistics are wild. In the United States, the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her lifetime is 1 in 7; the chance her dying is 1 in 35. (About 40,480 women will die from this disease this year.)

We know that certain risk factors are linked to breast cancer: being female, being over age 55, having a certain genetic risk (BRCA 1 or 2), having personal or family history, being Caucasian, early start menstrual cycle, late menopause. Also: not having children or having them late in life, using birth control pills, being overweight or obese, not exercising, smoking, and having 1, or more, drinks of alcohol per day. The other factors we haven’t mentioned are environmental, to be discussed in detail later. So what can we do? Be proactive and take control.

Get annual mammograms, annual clinical breast exams and perform monthly breast self exams. The monthly breast self exam should follow a routine that is easy to remember and repeat each month. Knowing the landscape of your breast tissue is very important, as you will easily notice any changes that may occur in the future.

So here we go: With no shirt , blouse, or bra on, stand in front of a mirror with your hands on your hips, check for lumps, differences in breasts, nipples, (are they inverted, do they have a discharge?) turn to get a side view of each breast. Do the same with your arms raised above your head, is a breast hanging heavily? Now bend forward, with your hands on your hips and check how your breasts appear in this position. Note the differences so that you can really know what is normal for you. Next, you will have to lie down with a folded towel under one of your shoulders, let’s say the right shoulder. Raise your right arm behind your head. Use the pads of your three middle fingers on your left hand to check your right breast. After you have checked your right breast, put your towel under the left shoulder, raise your left arm behind your head and use the pads of the three middle fingers on your right hand to check your left breast. Be sure to check your entire breast, including under your arm (in the pit area). Use light, medium and deep pressure (three passes, each breast). You can move your fingers in circles, a grid pattern (vertically or horizontally), or the clock method.

We have access to an FDA approved device, called the Breast Chek Kit, that can assist you when you perform your self exam. It can make your fingers more sensitive by decreasing the friction that exists between your fingers and the skin of your breast. It magnifies the feeling under your fingers by about 10 times, allowing you to find abnormalities early, when they are small. By knowing what is normal for you and taking your breast health into your own hands, following the screening guidelines, you maximize your chances of finding irregularities early. It is suggested that you do your monthly breast self exams the same time of the month, each month (preferably the 5th day after your period).


For more information on Breast Health and the Breast Chek Kit and Breast Cream, or to schedule a Breast Health Presentation for your office, or group, please go to our contact page and make a request, or visit us at Body Works Massage & Wellness Center.

Quick Fixes

// October 3rd, 2009 // No Comments » // Events



Have Faith

Ask for Help

Smile often

Choose Peace

Take Time

Pause and Think

Be Friendly

Cultivate Patience

Act. Don’t React

Listen To Yourself

Believe In Yourself

Never Give Up

Friday’s Gift

// October 2nd, 2009 // 1 Comment » // Men's Health

Getting ready for Christmas…. ahead of time! Here’s a suggestion for the man, or men, in your life, a great stocking stuffer:  homemade herbal aftershave. Don’t laugh, you can do this and he will love the fragrance and the healing benefits. This is made with witch hazel (very soothing to the skin).

Most of the ingredients can be found at health food stores, stores like Whole Foods, etc.  And witch hazel water can be found at most drug stores.

10 – 12  whole      verbena leaves

1 tablespoon          lavender flowers

1 tablespoon          lemongrass leaf, chopped

2 – 3 teaspoons    chopped spearmint leaves, or mint leaves

2 – 3 teaspoons    chamomile flowers

1 quart                     witch hazel water

Place the herbs in a quart jar. Pour the witch hazel over the herbs, close the lid on the jar. Gently shake the jar daily for about a week.

Strain the liquid and throw away the herbs. Use a strainer and cheesecloth to strain and remove all of the particles.

Pour into handsome, manly bottles.

To use, splash on face after shaving.

Meditation for Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit

// September 26th, 2009 // No Comments » // Meditation

Meditation for healing Body, Mind and Spirit

Soft Belly

Let us begin by sitting comfortably, closing our eyes, breathing easily.

Take a minute to let your body settle, let your breathing slow, feel the beating of your heart deep in your chest. Focus on the miracle of that muscle, the heart, feel it beating, hear it , see it. One of the profound miracles that we witness each, and every day, of our lives. Now we will begin the soft belly breathing. Place your hands on your belly. Now breathe in deeply and be sure to notice if your hands are rising, as your belly pulls your breathe deeply into your body. As you exhale, you should feel your hands descending with your belly as the breathe leaves your body.  Practice this for a few breathes. Now, as you breathe in, say to yourself the word ‘soft’, as your exhale, say to yourself the word ‘belly’. This will be our mantra for a few minutes. The idea is to breathe deeply, effortlessly. To train yourself to feed your body the nutrients that come with breathing, without thinking, without effort. Soft……belly…….soft…..belly….soft….belly…….keep going and I will tell you when to move on. Soft…..belly…..soft……belly……………….

Following Your Breadth

You may notice that your mind is very active and many trains of thought are interrupting your meditation

This is a normal occurrence in the practice of meditation. Do not try to suppress the thoughts, just gently go to your breadth. Your following the breadth in and out of your body will begin to quell the thoughts. Actually, the thoughts are a mechanism of relieving stress, via the nervous system. It’s a good thing, kind of like defragging your computer. You may notice that you sometimes fall asleep, that’s okay, it just means your body needs sleep and you are giving yourself the opportunity to let your body receive what it needs. That, too, is a good thing. So keep your focus on your breathe, in and out, in and out………. Then, you lose track of your breathing, your thoughts are gone, you are really awake! Wow! this is amazing! You have gone into a deep healing state of meditation. And now you are back, thoughts, breathing. And then, again, where did I go? And the dance is on. Stay with your meditation. Anticipate nothing. Let go, let God, let go, let God. Allow the peace to settle in. Let go, let God, let go, let God. Trust the Beloved. God loves you, God embraces you. God loves you, God embraces you. Let go, let go, let go……………

Coming Back

Now, it’s time to return, keeping your eyes closed, take your time, come back into your body with ease

Keeping your eyes closed, it’s time to go back to noticing your breadth, your heart beat. Put your awareness back into your body, notice your toes, your feet, your ankles…..feel the blood circulating in your body, take your time, notice your legs, your hips, your belly. Start feeling your body. Your chest, your ribs, your lower back, feel your lungs fill with air. Now your fingers, hands, wrists, and arms. Roll your shoulders and move your neck about. Breathe. Feel your facial muscles, your beautiful smile, your eyes, ears, the top of your head. Breathe. Breathe. Now, when you are ready, and only then, open your eyes and enjoy the moment. Enjoy the gift that you gave to yourself.

This meditation is compliments of Ellen LaRocca, LMT, CPSM

Please feel free to contact me to learn more about meditation and receiving your own personal mantra.


Scent of Health

// September 25th, 2009 // No Comments » // Aromatherapy

Using essential oils (e.o.) is not a practice that should be taken lightly, as the therapeutic grade e.o.’s have rhyme and reason for their use. They are very unique in there use and carry with them contraindications. When beginning with essential oil’s, one should take her time, getting to know and understand one e.o. at a time. The scent, the effects that it has on mood, the physical effects it may have on one, how the scent changes in time, quantity needed, and there are many other factors to be considered, all unique to each individual oil. Some oils blend nicely with other oils and some oils compete, not many can be used directly on the skin without a carrier oil. The practice of Aromatherapy is a very elegant profession, bringing the gifts of plants to those of us who are fortunate enough to have the experience to benefit from them.

So, we will start on our journey of understanding essential oils with a comprehensive study of one individual oil and then after studying a few, we will begin to explore blending, how’s, why’s and why not. Any questions, comments, additions… please email me from the contact page.

Let’s get started!

Lavender.  Specifically, Lavandula officianalis (known as true lavender), as there are more than 30 different varieties of lavenders. There are many applications for lavender, it is calming, relaxing, and can balance one, both emotionally and physically. The word ‘lavandula’ is Latin, meaning ‘to wash’. Interestingly, it is used in cleansing cuts, wounds, and in Europe, it is use in treating burns in hospitals, as it also promotes cell renewal. It is a great addition to your 1st aid kit. A burn in the kitchen, voila! A drop, or two, saves the day. I cannot even tell you how many times I have used lavender in the kitchen!

It grows abundantly in France, England, Bulgaria, the Mediterranean, and here the U.S.A.!  (Utah and Idaho have lavender farms, growing specifically to distill into essential oil. By the way, it takes 120 – 150 pounds of this lavender variety to make ONE pound of essential oil.

Personally, I feel that the diverse uses of this lavender make it the one to have, if you can only afford one essential oil. You can use it straight (directly on the skin), you can blend it with other oils, you can use it in a diffuser, in the bath, as a compress, as a facial mask. I bet that you can keep adding to this list. It’s even safe for children.  Safety predicts that you discuss use with your doctor if you are pregnant, or have some other physical reason that you are under a doctor’s care.

As a perfume, it adds a floral note, it is somewhat sweet, with woody undertones. Lavender blends well with many essential oils. We will get to recipes at a later date. The carrier oil that I like best with lavender is Organic Jojoba Oil.

Give yourself a treat, if you have not experienced lavender essential oil, do it soon. You will find that you will always have it on hand for, oh!, so many reasons. Always buy high quality e.o., preferably organic, therapeutic grade.

Try these very simple recipes:

Headaches – 3 drops of Lavender : 1 drop of German, or Roman, Chamomile, massage the head and scalp with this for just a few minutes.

Calming and relaxing bath – mix 2 -3 drops of lavender e.o. with your soap gel, and, before getting into a warm bath, apply to your  body, enter bath and soak for 15 – 20 minutes. Drink some chamomile tea while you soak. Enjoy getting into bed for a deep and peaceful sleep.

Lavender and distilled water in a spray bottle to cleanse the air, spray on your bed linens, spritz your closet…… you get the idea! The formula: 10 – 18 drops of lavender : 6 ounces of distilled water.

Enjoy and ask questions on my comment page. Thanks for the visit!967808

“Listen to the voice of nature, for it holds treasures for us all.”      Huron Saying