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Adding Self Care to Your to do List

Life is non stop these days! Juggling work, family and everything else, it can get harder and harder to take care of you! Self care is a necessity… not just a luxury. Especially for all the mamas and caretakers out there, when you are constantly depleting your energy source you need to replenish and receive.

Many studies have shown the benefits of therapeutic massage therapy to reduce stress, relieve pain and enhance your overall sense of emotional and physical well-being. My guide for general maintenance and stress relief, monthly sessions are ideal. For moderate to chronic issues, weekly sessions are recommended until resolved. For more serious injuries, multiple sessions in a short period of time is the most effective, ideally twice a week at first, then weekly until resolved.

The rule of thumb is whatever the issue don’t wait, the sooner you get on the table the better you will feel. Make self care a priority, book a session today!

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Introducing Courtney G Bodywork

Hi friends, I have some exciting news to share! After 18 years the time has come for a fresh new look… new name, new logo, new menu and new spa treatment room! Although I am still on the go, I am working to build my home practice in Woodland Hills and thrilled to announce that I am now offering online bookings!!

I would love to pamper you with my signature East/West Table Massage, complete with hot towels, stones, hand picked music and my fancy new hot stone roller! Or try a Traditional Thai Massage, the best remedy for fatigue after a long travel day. If you are short on time, but in need of relief from neck, shoulder or back pain, come in for The Quick Fix. Check out my MENU for a full list of services.

Mobile services are available for house calls, spa parties or on location for film/TV sets and offices. For any inquiries go to my Contact/Booking page for more info or to schedule a session in my studio click HERE

Stay in touch, click Follow on the right bottom corner of your screen for insights, updates and promos!

 

 

Authentic Ayurveda with Rasa Veda Healing

One of my favorite local healers, the amazing Sheila Govindarajan founded Rasa Veda Healing in 2012 to share the ancient wisdom of Ayurvedic medicine (Ayurveda).
Originating in India over 3,000 years ago, Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic medicinal systems. Named from the Sanskrit word ‘science of life’, Ayurveda is based on the belief that all facets of life can impact your health.

Sheila’s practice at Rasa Veda always begins with an Ayurvedic consultation to determine your constitution and wellness goals. Her signature treatment is Abhyanga (90 min warm oil massage) followed by Shirodhara where warm oil is poured repeatedly and rhythmically on the center of your forehead. The experience is amazing, deeply meditative, relaxing and nurturing.

In addition, she creates amazing herbal medicated Abhyanga oils/salves, Ayurvedic herbal tonics, and custom blended aromatherapy oils. All the oils and herbs are organic, wildcrafted and from biodynamic farming techniques.

Sheila is available by appointment only, Rasa Veda Healing is located in Hancock Park. For more info or to schedule click HERE

 

Daily Meditation for Stress Relief

“A calm mind brings inner strength and self confidence, so that’s very important for good health.” – Dalai Lama

Although I was raised in the Jewish culture I have always been drawn to eastern philosophy, and the practice of meditation. Scientific studies have shown meditation to have so many benefits for your mental and emotional health. Especially these days with the nonstop bombardment of news, texts and tweets.. it’s so important take a minute to clear your head and get some peace of mind.

Here is a simple meditation exercise that I love and really helps with anxiety and stress. Find a quiet place, set a timer for 2 mins (or longer). Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Relax your body and take a few deep breaths. Think of a person or a place that you love, and smile.. Repeat daily!

For more simple meditation exercises check out Pocket Mindfulness

The Ancient Healing Art of Thai Massage

I experienced my first Thai Massage on a trip to Thailand in the summer of 2001 and absolutely loved it. One session not only cured my jet lag, but I felt immediate relief from a headache and low back soreness. In 2006, I went back to Thailand to study and become certified in Thai Massage and Thai Foot Reflexology.

Traditional Thai Massage or “Thai Yoga Massage” is an ancient healing modality that dates back over 2500 years combining acupressure, stretching and assisted yoga postures.The practice also promotes positive energy circulation, joint mobility and stress relief.

Thai Massage is a great alternative to table massage as it is performed on the floor, no lotions or oils are applied and you remain fully clothed. For rates go to MENU.

Music For Relaxation

As a longtime massage therapist, I am always searching for new relaxing, beautiful music to add to my playlist because as you could imagine.. I hear the same things over and over again. Over the years I have noticed that I’ve gotten much more picky about which songs or albums to buy. My standards have become this – the tracks can’t be too busy or have any fast build ups, have any vocals in English, or be to cheezy like ‘new age music’ can be. I tend toward world music artists that have a spiritual feel. Here are my top 5 albums for relaxation, yoga, meditation, reading or even to get inspired. All are available on itunes!

1) Night Book – Ludovico Einuaudi

2) The Spirit of Yoga – Ben Leinbach

3) Shamanic Dream 2 – Anugama

4) Music for Yoga and Other Joys – Ben Leinbach & Jai Uttal

5) Voice of the Esraj – Benjy Wertheimer

Local Escapes to Restore, Renew and Reflect!

This time of year we’re drawn to go inwards, to create new beginnings and transform old habits. Fall is a great time to make a shift – For health reasons or to boost immunity, to focus the mind how to accomplish new goals for the coming year, and uplift our spirits to reset our attitudes. Here are my favorite local escapes to amazing retreat centers that are guaranteed to nurture your body, mind and soul!

Esalen Institute – Big Sur, Ca

If you have never been to Esalen, prepare to be blown away! Situated on 27 acres of spectacular Big Sur coastline, The Esalen Institute was founded in 1962 as an alternative educational center devoted to the exploration of the human potential movement.  Esalen soon became known for its blend of East/ West philosophies, breathtaking grounds and natural hot springs. Offering 500 workshops each year in a wide range of topics. For more info click HERE

Optimum Health Institute – San Diego, Ca

The Optimum Health Institute offers an amazing holistic approach to the treatment of cancer, heart disease and other terminal illnesses. Many friends and clients have gone or taken relatives for a week or month and return transformed – physically, mentally and spiritually. OHI provides a holistic healing program where participants cleanse and nourish the body with diet, fasting, exercise, counseling and meditation.  For more info click HERE

The Blue Pearl – Laguna Beach, Ca

Created by two world-renowned yogis, Geo and Katresha, The Blue Pearl Laguna not only offers a calming and gorgeous escape, it also provides proven results. Nestled amongst the trees in Laguna Canyon, this twelve-bedroom, twelve-bath luxurious ashram offers single week and multi-week programs, designed to harness the transformative powers of yoga and nature. Enjoy pure organic food, daily yoga, hiking, massage and meditation. For more info click HERE

Why Organic Matters

As a health food advocate, vegetarian and environmental activist I always seem to get into heated discussions about why organic matters. There is either a lack of information out there, or plenty of false, biased information coming from the major food industries that want the monopoly of our food supply. Eating organic food and supporting organic farming is simply healthier for our bodies, the animals, the soil and the  planet! Here are my Top 5 reasons why organic matters.

1. Chemical Toxins – Conventionally grown crops are sprayed with significant amounts of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides, and chemical fertilizers. Recent cancer rates are as high as one out of every two people and chemical toxins are a leading cause. To learn more click HERE

2. More Nutrients – Scientific evidence shows organic food to have far greater nutrient levels than conventionally farmed food. Although organic food is more expensive, you can’t put a price tag on good health. For more info click HERE

3. Healthier Livestock– Buying certified organic animal products ensures that the animals they came from were raised humanely and were not fed any chemicals, drugs, or hormones. Today, hundreds or thousands of factory farm animals are crammed into indoor warehouses, unable to move, forced to live in their own fecal matter, and never see natural sunlight. To learn more click HERE

4. Carbon Footprint – Research has found organic agriculture to be up to a 60% smaller carbon footprint than conventional. Soil is the foundation of the food chain and the primary focus of organic farming is to use practices that build healthy soils. In response to the rapid pace of global climate change caused by human activity, the Marin Carbon Project seeks to enhance carbon sequestration in range land, agricultural, and forest soils through applied research, demonstration and implementation. Click HERE to find out more.

5. On & Off Farm Pollution – Giant livestock farms, which can house hundreds of thousands of pigs, chickens, or cows, produce vast amounts of waste, often generating the waste equivalent of a small city. Industrial agriculture doesn’t singularly pollute farmland and farm workers; it also wreaks havoc on the environment downstream. Pesticide drift affects non-farm communities with odorless and invisible poisons. The elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen leaching, done in combination with soil building, protects and conserves water resources. Click HERE for more.

Apparel For Change ~ BE LOVE

Every now and then you come across a brand or company that is true to their advertising and really puts their money where their mouth is! BE LOVE is one of those companies who works to share resources that empower communities to create positive social change.

With a mission to educate, inspire and create social justice through the practice of nonviolence, BE LOVE designs original apparel that communicates a message of strength, compassion, and loving determination for peace. Their apparel is also fair trade, sweat shop free, eco friendly and use only organic and sustainable fabrics and materials.

In addition, they donate 10% of all sales to Common Peace, an organization that has created a powerful and comprehensive curriculum for inner city schools that has been designed to help teach the principles of peace, nonviolence, and conflict resolution. The remaining profits sustain BE LOVE and go towards building nonviolence workshops and teach-ins as well as funding campaigns of non-violent direct action.

I am a wearer and supporter of BE LOVE and have been for many years. As a massage and yoga practitioner, I can honestly say that I live and work in their t-shirts, both long and short sleeve.  They also have an adorable children’s line that make great gifts!

For more info and to shop away click HERE

10 Daily Habits for Optimal Health & Happiness

After researching many top 10 lists from other journalists, doctors and researchers, here are my 10 daily habits for optimal health and happiness. (Not in any particular order)

1) Drink lots of water, 8 glasses per day.

2) Eat 3 to 5 clean, light, organic (whenever possible) and balanced meals. Consume fresh juices and foods rich in antioxidants.

3) Breathe fresh air. Take some time to enjoy the outdoors, the sun, the breeze or a great view.

4) Practice good oral hygiene, brush your teeth for 2 mins, twice daily and floss.

5) Be active, make physical activity part of your daily routine. Exercise 20 – 30 mins. Try to include some yoga, cardio or strength training.

6) Practice your passion or hobby, spend 30 -60 mins on what you love to do.

7) Practice mindfulness: For 1-10 mins be present, (think positive thoughts) breathe deeply and smile.

8) Spend quality time with your family and friends.

9) Find joy, purpose and meaning in your work even on tougher days.

10) Be productive. Get something done for yourself and do something for others.

What are your favorite daily habits that bring you happiness? I would be interested in learning some from you!