Whole Body Well Being

Body Ease • Serene Mind • Joyful Heart

Leave a comment

Taking precautions and lots of self-care

scenery at ZB Benefit
Fresh air and sunshine

The info below from the Virginia Department of Health is enough to convince me to pester my family and housemates to wash their faces and hands as soon as they get back from essential outings and to give everyone separate hand towels. As a precaution, I spray and wipe down bathrooms at least 2 or 3 times per day, more if someone is actively sneezing or coughing of course. All clothes get washed after one wearing and I’ll throw the blankets and pillows in the dryer every couple of days. Clotheslines are awesome!

If your weather is nice enough, eat outside then wipe down the chairs and tables out there before sitting them in the sunshine. Better yet sit on a patio or grass before the bugs get too hungry! Do anything else you can think of to reduce a viral load that might put you at risk for a more serious illness. Our immune systems are amazing but do things to keep it from working too hard during allergy season.

From the Virginia Department of Health

To get COVID-19 you need to have had close contact with a person ill with COVID-19. Close contact includes:

  • Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19,
  • Caring for a sick person with COVID-19,
  • Being within 6 feet (or 2 meters) of a sick person with COVID-19 for about 15 minutes, or
  • Being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.).

If you live in the same household as someone sick with COVID-19,

1) the person who is sick must stay home until their fever has been gone for 3 full days without using any fever-reducing medicine,
2) the other symptoms have improved,
3) at least 7 days have passed since the first symptoms appeared.

After this time, the person can stop home isolation and is no longer considered infectious.

You, as the household contact,
1) should stay home while the person is sick,
2) while the person is recovering,
3) for 14 days after their home isolation ended.

View the VDH When to End Home Isolation and Quarantine Infographic (3/27/20) for more.

Check out future blog posts via my website


Above all stay positive by doing normal preventative self-care.

  • Stay hydrated
  • eat fresh foods with lots of colors; leafy greens, peppers, and berries yum yum!
  • Exercise enough to get your heart pumping
  • take some deep breaths for a few minutes (dance, walk stairs or do jumping jacks- your pick)
  • touch base with nature every single day.

Be well, my fellow travelers!

Leave a comment

Inspiration for Well Beings

Self massage with breath.

I find myself noticing all the little tensions in my body. Especially when I slow down enough to drop out of busy mind. One of the techniques I’ve been sharing with my clients is a simple self massage using only your breath.

Imagine your ribs. They move in numerous ways but not very far in any direction individually. As a coordinated team they can make a grand motion that stretches your entire torso to it’s maximum potential. Every organ, every muscle and every bit of connective tissue is going along with your full inhale stretch, smoothing out and releasing the wrinkled compression we get from sitting too much, scrunching our necks to see screens or distant objects, and cringing from the hourly news.

Try it now.

Take one long full breath and sniff a wee bit more air in until you feel like you’re going to burst with air. Hold your breath at this peak to a count of 3 – 10.  (Build up to a comfortable number so it’s a fun challenge- not painful!) During the hold consciously let your arms and shoulders drop and your low belly, hips & face soften a bit.

Then release the breath with control through your nose. At the bottom of this breath use your abdominal muscles to squeeze a bit more air out through your nose with a quick snort. Now hold your breath out to a count of 3 – 10 so it’s a gentle challenge.

Let your next inhale come in naturally and feel the inspiration both physically and energetically! Repeat 3 at a time many times through out your day. Your whole body is refreshed with oxygen, you’ve expelled additional toxins from your lungs AND many muscles have been given a self massage!

Try it when you can lie on the ground and look up at a brilliant summer sky!

clouds above view 036Bliss for all and all for bliss!


1 Comment

Magnificence of Bones

knitted skeleton

Spinal column and torso from  bencuevas.com/knit-skeleton
As archived on Facebook for Anatomy in Motion

I recently joined forces to help with a short presentation to parents about the Waldorf school 8th grade anatomy study. My son’s teacher is a seasoned educator and has taught many subjects over his tenure as a Waldorf teacher. But this was just a 40 minute coffee hour chat so I added in a couple of practical exercises and answered a few questions about range of motion and spoke about transference of forces from the different regions of the vertebral column. Mr. Wright though, blew me away with his illustration on the chalk board of a foot, sole to the sky, and illustrating how the ankle joint is a lever with the pivot point, a fulcrum, in the center of the 3 intersecting arches of the foot through the tarsals beneath the medial malleolus of the tibia. He used that image because in 7th grade he had them working with simple machines and thestudents fully understood all the aspects of levers.

So I sat there pondering the mechanical forces at play in our body noticing the ease and fluidity our bodies maintain in most areas despite the injuries and compromises we have because of our primarily sedentary lifestyles with devices always at our fingertips. And I was and am thankful because I’ve been given this gift of helping others regain some of the fluidity and ease that is natural to us through movement and rest. It’s always so lovely for me to gain another layer of understanding of why Zero Balancing works. In this case, the way I nestle my fingers into the multitude of joints on the feet can help that fulcrum point soften as if I were applying grease onto the lever, through the ligaments and tendons getting gently stretched and/or compressed so that excess tension is released. When the ankle joint moves more freely then the pressure on the knee can lessen and a cascade of relaxing and re-balancing occurs through the adjacent tissues and joints. Thus we have Zero Balancing! It is physics and the body’s own magnificent healing potential at it’s best.

Leave a comment

A clearing gift

I’d like to share a timely and pertinent gift I received today. I hope you will find it helpful too!

After 10 years of the multi-tasking roles of wife, parent of an active young child, carpool driver, country dweller with pets and large animals, devoted daughter caregiver, home renovation manager, small business owner, student and spiritual seeker, my living spaces have become over filled with materials and memories that were once much needed and still have potential value. I have always been a fan of spring cleaning and joyfully tackle whole rooms, garages, garden sheds and closets with gusto 2 or 3 times a year. But after becoming a parent and shortly thereafter a caregiver to my mother more possessions were added. The major daily distractions, most of them completely enjoyable, reduced my time to thoroughly clear out to a few minutes or maybe a few hours per month- usually when not sleeping well very early in the morning.

After completing my required course of study for massage therapy (part time for 3 years) I found I had some time & space at last. But how to go about dispersing the build up of stuff? It was hard to know where and how to start. Because I have inherited my grandparents and parents thriftiness caused by living through the Dust Bowl in the Great Depression I am programed to save useful and valuable things which I thoroughly organized and plan how to use or share. BUT now I don’t need half of it or know exactly to whom I could give it! So a web search turned up A Year to Clear What is Holding You Back! by Stephanie Bennett Vogt distributed through DailyOM.com.

 She calls her method of clearing clutter, the slow drip method. She uses all the major tools that most home organizers use but she weaves in looking for underlying emotional attachments and habitual patterns that may underpin our gathering instinct/logic borrowed from others. So I enrolled for a daily “lesson” for a year for a very reasonable cost. Often a lesson consists of a couple of sentences and a moment of contemplation building up to an exercise or video for 10-30 minutes once a week. (You can go back to the ones you’ve completed too.) It is totally doable and yet very empowering.

Today’s lesson was spot on for me, something that surprises me when I catch on to the fact that it is happening. Negative self-judgement or the poor “pitiful me” inner whisperings. Who doesn’t occasionally have it? Her post took it further into the underlying negative feedback loop “Things are against me to do well today.” There is a very subtle self-victimization that I want to STOP and clear out the mental clutter. Since I usually think of myself as a very positive person, I want to focus a laser beam to catch myself when I move into this space. Here is Stephanie’s personal experience of how she reframes the conversation. If you like this look further. She has several youtube videos. Try this one and go from there! https://youtu.be/By2IHlqxhC0

Happy clearing

A Year to Clear What is Holding You Back!  by Stephanie Bennett Vogt
Lesson 136: Zip It, Zap It

Stopping a mind that thrives on drama and is stuck on a default setting of doom and gloom, takes awareness, and lots of practice. If you took some of the stringy stuff I’ve been known to chew on over the years (with sound-effects included), here’s what detaching might look like (on paper):

  • [Aghhh] The traffic is terrible, we’re going to be late to the airport, we’re going to miss our plane, our vacation is shot. Strike that.
  • [Ugh] This task is taking forever. I don’t think I’ll ever finish clearing my piles. It’s time to check my emails. Strike that.
  • [Groan] I have no time, there’s no food in the fridge, the house feels cold, I’m fried, this day has gone from bad to worse. Strike that.

What you don’t see, but is the key to the success of this practice, is me acknowledging and feeling the tightness around my shoulders; me noticing that my breathing is halting and shallow; me feeling out of control, afraid to make a mistake, hungry and running on vapors because I haven’t eaten all day and didn’t get much sleep the night before.

What unsupportive thoughts can you zap (nip, lance, strike) today? Right this second?

Leave a comment

Discount extended for January

One Day Introduction to Zero Balancing

Saturday 9am-5pm

Fulton Hill Studios, Richmond, VA  January 16, 2016
Saybrook Ave, Silver Spring, MD      February 20, 2016
Medical Arts Raleigh, NC                     March 5, 2016

Interested in what Zero Balancing might provide your clients? Just need a few CE’s for re-certification? Want to help friends and family but don’t have a health care practice yet? This class  gives you a great day of hands on learning and enough theory to familiarize yourself with the basic principles of Zero Balancing. You go home with a short protocol that  can be used alone or easily integrated into any client treatment.

Cost: $100 If paid 1 month in advance-or when signing up with a friend.
If less than 1 month $150.


The Case for Touch

I really thought you all might enjoy this post from my colleague and fellow ZB instructor, Amanda King. We have shared many transformative experiences together during Teacher Training and in other courses with Dr. Smith, founder of ZB.

Trust in Touch

Hand of Grace 2014My sense, as a bodyworker, that healing possibilities through touch are infinite. Professional touch, while geared to provide a consistency of experience to the client, also allows for that person’s individual response to a multitude of factors, including pain sensitivity, pressure, etc. In approaching a new client, for example, I ask her if she is used to touch, therapeutic or otherwise. If not, I approach such a client with greater awareness so as to provide an experience of the potentials of touch.

In massage, for example, my goal is to recede and to allow the client to feel himself on a multitude of physical levels – skin, muscle, fascia, nervous system, fluids, and, for me, most importantly, bone. Bone is the primary focus of my touch in the work I do known as Zero Balancing. Bone, being the densest tissue in the body, and the deepest, is believed and…

View original post 597 more words


Time and space

I’ve been slowly reading A Year to Live by Stephen Levine.

In it he is describing his journey of really looking at his life as if he only had one year to live. In it he offers many poignant insights into the experiences of people he has personally worked with in the dying process. I’m reading it along with a lovely group of women and we talk a bit about what shifts we have in our perceptions of our daily lives as we read along.

The most interesting bubble up for me has been how I often perceive myself at “war” with time. I want more or want to do more activities in a fixed length of a day. So as I’ve been reading just the first 40 pages or so I keep finding myself doing less. Just being with my sensations and even feeling fine as I accomplish less. I’ve been wondering when I will start feeling guilty for stretching out on the couch a few hours each week and watching my son play or even indulging in solitaire. Often I just contemplate  my current state of mind and body.  So far all the things that must be done are getting done and I’m definitely less often in a stress mode of action. I have had more positive interactions with my family and have been staying well fed and hydrated.

The concept of what would  I let go of if I only had one year to live has been pervading many of my contemplative moments. Needless to say I’m disposing of quite a few things that no longer bring me joy and get in the way of me enjoying other aspects of my life. As  my space is clearing, time seems be more of a friend and as I let go of controlling time, I seem to find more internal space. So as I read along further I hope to share more insights I receive with you. In the meantime if you are curious I can highly recommend this book as a clear, concise and profoundly loving way to review how we live our lives.

Leave a comment

New location

July First has come and gone and at last I feel settled in my new “home.” The Shala Healing Arts Community at 800 E Jefferson Street in downtown Charlottesville is beautiful, welcoming, convenient and full of compassionate practitioners who want to bring health and happiness to all who step in our door. The practice website is shalacenter.com and you can download directions from the bottom of the page.

If you mention this blog when you make an appointment I’ll give you 20%off your Zero Balancing Session.

Three Zero Balancing practitioners share this room so look forward to lots of great experiences on the table. each session just adds a little healing energy to our collective space.Image

Here I am with Dr. Fritz Smith, creator of Zero Balancing. He had many lovely presentations during the Zero Balancing Health Association Benefit at the Claggett Center near Frederick, MD. May 2013. I think this photo shows his warmth and generosity. It is always so inspiring to be with him and to bring back new understanding and skills to my clients, students and mentees.