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Posts from the ‘HEALTH & WELLNESS’ Category

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.

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.

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!

Eat Smarter

The newest release from one of my favorite nutrition authors, Michael Pollan. ‘Food Rules’ an eater’s manual, is a brilliant unconventional diet book for those of us who want to have healthier eating habits, but find it hard to navigate the confusing science of nutrition or tried many different diets that don’t last.  This book offers a welcome simplicity to our daily decisions about food and how we eat.

The health care crisis is in large part a crisis of the American diet of  processed food, refined grains and sugars, too much meat and lack of vegetables, whole grains and fruit.  Roughly three quarters of the two-trillion plus we spend on health care in this country goes to treat chronic diseases, most of which can be prevented by a change in lifestyle, especially diet.  Michael’s “Rules” are not framed in the vocabulary of science but rather culture and a source of wisdom about eating that turns out to have as much, if not more, to teach us than nutritional science does. Here are his top five and my favorites!

1. Eat food
2. Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food
3. Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry
4. Avoid food products that contain high-fructose corn syrup
5. Avoid food products that have some form of sugar (or sweetener listed among) the top three

Click HERE for more info on the author and to buy!