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Tapestry Life Resources & Body Balance II NewsletterResources for Body,
Heart, Mind & Spirit
December 2011

All articles written by Suzanne H. Eller unless otherwise indicated.           Suzanne H. Eller, 2011

in this issue
:: Ayurvedic Body Types and Massage
:: Essential Oil of the Month...Balsam Fir
:: History of the Candy Cane
:: Holiday Health and Safety
ornaments Greetings!
The holiday season can be exciting, comforting, or stressful as we renew relationships, give gifts and time, and try to get everything done that we must to share the season with family and friends.
 
Understanding how our bodies can get out of balance and what we can do to restore that balance is an important gift we can give ourselves. Doing so can make us more available to others and keep our outlook bright and cheerful during this month of shortened daylight and increasing obligations.
 
This month's issue has some tips for keeping yourself well and safe. When you are healthy, you can enjoy this season more fully. There is also a fun fact article about the origins of the candy cane. We hope you enjoy this issue.
 
We also hope that you have a great end to 2011. It is hard to believe the year is almost gone. When you make your 2012 resolutions, consider adding regular massage to the list. It heals your body and soothes your mind.
 
Please accept our wishes for a Merry Christmas as well.
 
Ayurvedic Body Types and Massage
What's your dosha?

three doshasLast month Suzanne attended continuing education in Ayurvedic bodywork techniques. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian philosophy that aims for total wellness and is especially suited to bodywork techniques. The most well-known Ayurvedic practice is yoga. Others may be familiar with the Ayurvedic concept of the chakra system.
 
If you've had a massage in the last month, you may already have experienced dry brushing (garshana), or stroking the skin with special gloves to stimulate the circulation and lymphatics, refresh the skin, and release accumulated toxins. You may also have had the add-on service of Ubtan massage, which uses oil and a powder made of rose petals to exfoliate and detoxify. After the treatment, the oil and powder are removed with hot towels.
 
One of the most interesting aspects of the workshop was a discussion of the Ayurvedic body types and massage. According to these ancient principles, there are three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Every person has all three, but they appear somewhat like a stack. One dosha predominates, one influences, and one is weak. Our particular stack influences our body shape, our digestion, or respiration - everything about our health. When our doshas are out of balances, we experience pain, illness and emotional imbalances. You can take an online quiz to determine your dosha stack by clicking here.
 
The Vata dosha is characterized by a smaller, thinner frame. Vata predominate people are usually either tall and thin or petite. They may have dry skin and hair and need moisturizers to feel comfortable, especially in winter. In fact, they dislike cold weather and may have chronically cold hands and feet. When out of balance, they may have respiratory problems and joint pain. Emotionally, they tend toward anxiety under stress. They may enjoy the relaxation of Swedish massage or Pillossage with hot, flaxseed pillows.
 
The Pitta dosha is characterized by a strong, muscular physique. Their skin may be ruddy or fair and may be prone to sunburn. They dislike hot weather. When out of balance, they tend toward digestive problems, inflammatory diseases, rashes and fevers. Emotionally, excess Pitta causes anger, frustration, and impatience. They may enjoy Craniosacral Therapy.
 
The Kapha dosha is characterized by a larger frame and a sturdy body that has difficulty losing excess weight. Their skin and hair is often oily and moist. They dislike damp weather especially if it is cold. When out of balance, they may gain weight, catch colds or flu, and have reproductive ailments. Emotionally, stress can make them feel depressed or clinging. They often enjoy deep tissue massage.
 
The purpose of all Ayurvedic treatments is to release toxins and restore balance to the body. Massage and bodywork are basic elements of Ayurvedic well-being. The next time you feel out of balance, try a massage to get yourself back on track.
 
Essential Oil of the Month
Balsam Fir

body balance logoA great essential oil for the Christmas season is Balsam Fir Essential Oil. It has a marvelous, woodsy, evergreen fragrance that uplifts the spirits and yet has calming and balancing effect so that it is considered to be an anti-anxiety oil.
 
Balsam is a warming oil. It is good for excess Vata and Kapha, and it relieves all types of joint pain, including arthritis and rheumatism. Like other conifers, it is good for the respiratory system, and it is especially effective in breaking up tight, dry coughs.
 
Try rubbing a few drops of Balsam on the soles of your feet for a cough or the sniffles. Add a few drops to you bath water or make a foot or hand soak for achy joints. Diffuse in your home for a holiday smell, especially if you have artificial tree but miss the aroma of a real tree. Use a few drops on a cotton ball in your pantry to discourage mice. 
History of the Candy Cane
Fun Facts

body balance logoOriginally, the candy cane was all white. The red stripes did not appear until the beginning of the 20th century, and that was almost 250 years after the crook was added to make candy canes easier to hang on trees.
 
European Christians began to widely adopt the Christmas tree as a part of their holiday decorations in the 17th century. They often made decorations from foodstuffs like sugar cookies and stick candy. About this same time, a choirmaster in the Cologne cathedral, gave the young singers in his children's choir a stick of candy to keep them quiet during the long "Living Creche" celebration. It is said that he bent the ends into the shepherd's crook as a religious symbol.
 
It is said that a German immigrant named August Igmar decorated the Christmas tree in his Ohio home with candy canes in 1849 and thus brought the custom to America. However, until the 20th century, candy canes were made by hand and were hard to store and transport. Georgia candymaker, Gregory Keller, invented the first machine to make candy canes. In fact, Bob's Candies became the largest producer of candy canes in the world. Adding peppermint flavoring and the familiar red stripes occurred after the candy could be massed produced and sealed in cellophane.
 
Some today say the red symbolizes Christ's blood, and the white symbolizes His purity. This is probably not intentional symbolism, but it works for Christians. Likewise, the inverted crook is often said to be a "J" for Jesus, but again, there is no historical evidence that this was intentional.
 
Even if these interpretations are not strictly accurate, candy canes have become a part of the traditional American holiday season. Besides red and while peppermint, you can find candy canes in a variety of colors and flavors. Candy canes have become a part of the Christmas season.
 
Holiday Health and Safety
Courtesy of the Center for Disease Control

santa and dog cartoonThe stress and activity of the holidays, including shopping in crowds and time spent with family and friends can mean increase the threat of illness and injury. These tips from the Center for Dissease Control and make your holiday safer and healthier.
  • Wash your hands often. Keeping your hands clean by washing for at least 20 minutes in warm soapy water can be a first line of defense against bacteria and viruses.
  • Cover your mouth. If you have to cough or sneeze, use a tissue or your sleeve, not your naked hand, to cover your mouth and avoid spreading germs to others.
  • Dress in layers. Winter temperatures can vary widely in the South, and the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures can cause you to get too hot or too cold. Dressing in layers allows you to adjust for changes and stay comfortable. Wool, silk, and polypropylene inner garments are warmer than cotton because they hold more body heat.
  • Manage stress. Avoid overcommittment, overspending, and sleep deprivation. Try to balance work, play, and home so that you keep a positive attitude during the holidays. 
  • Travel safely. Don't drink and drive. Buckle up. Have your car checked out before long trips. Allow plenty of time so you don't have to speed. Take rest breaks if you need them. No texting while behind the wheel.
  • Handle and prepare food safely. Wash hands and working surfaces often. Avoid cross-contamination of raw meats, seafood and eggs with ready-to-eat foods. Cook foods to the proper temperature. Refrigerate leftovers and other perishables promptly. 

 

 

For more information, please visit the CDC website. We at Body Balance II wish you a healthy, safe and happy holiday.

Last Minute Gift Idea

girl and giftConfused about what to get that person on your list who has everything? Waited too long and now feel too rushed to ehop? How about the gift of massage?
 
The Gift of Massage makes a wonderful present any time of the year, and it needn't break the bank. Whether you drop by the office to pick up your gift certificates or buy them securely online, a 30-minute massage is just $35.
 
You can stop by the office to purchase a gift certificate from Suzanne Eller, Laura Queen, or Susan Smith. We'll even take a phone order and mail them to you. Just let us know how many you need. Be sure to call first if you're stopping by, as we work by appointment only.
 
Online gift certificates are available from Suzanne Eller and Susan Smith. These can be ordered from a secure safe site where your credit card information is safe. Let online gift certificates take the hassle out of holiday shopping. You can even choose the background for your gift certificate and personalize it with a special message. Print it on card stock or photo paper to make it look extra nice.

To order online gift certificates from Suzanne Eller, click here.

To order online gift certificates from Susan Smith, click here.
 
Gift Certificates Swedish and Deep Tissue:
30 Minutes: $35
60 Minutes: $60
90 Minutes: $90
 
Massage packages also available.
 
Christmas mandala
Please accept our wishes for a wonderful holiday season,i ncluding a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

We have enjoyed serving you in 2011 and look forward to seeing you in 2012.

May you and yours be blessed this Christmas.


Sincerely,

 

Suzanne Eller, LMBT 7619, Cell: 828-310-0161 

 

Laura Queen, LMBT 3224, Cell: 828-638-3426

 

Susan Smith, LMBT 6579, Cell: 828-320-6933 

 

Tapestry Life Resources & Body Balance II