|Tapestry Life Resources & Body Balance II Newsletter||Resources for Body, |
Mind, Heart & Spirit
All articles written by Suzanne H. Eller unless otherwise indicated. © Suzanne H. Eller, 2012
It is nearly Thanksgiving, and we want to first wish you a blessed Thanksgiving and holiday season. We have so much for which to be grateful here at Body Balance II, and we want to thank you for your patronage and for making our business a success.
Susan and Suzanne are back from their trips to Europe and the Southwest, respectively. They both attended the national American Massage Therapy Association convention in Raleigh and took some amazing continuing education classes on the neck and feet.
Suzanne also attended the Southern Spa and Salon Show and took classes in facelift massage (ask about a Honeylift) and sugar scrubs and body wraps. Look also for Suzanne to add massage cupping, which Susan already performs, to her toolbox soon. We'll have an article about it next issue.
This month's Warp and Weft focuses on walking safety, using massage to relieve depression and anxiety, and the health benefits of that favorite fall food, pumpkin, with some recipes. We hope you enjoy reading it.
Just a reminder that Christmas is fast approaching. Gift certificates make great gifts for the loved ones in your life. We are also taking an order for the Mother Earth flaxseed pillows we use in our treatment rooms. They can be heated in the microwave or placed in the freezer for a hot or cold treatment. They also make great gifts. We have a new product as well from Natural Options Aromatherapy. These are creams for a variety of conditions: Fibromyalgia Relief, Arthritis Relief, Restless Leg Syndrome/Night Cramp Relief and RSD/Neuropathy Relief are our best sellers. Call Suzanne (828-315-9900) to ask about them.
Once a again, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
|Fighting Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder|
Massage can help you beat the blues
As the days get shorter, many folks notice that their joy for daily activities decreases. They may want to sleep more, have difficulty concentrating, and may avoid activities they usually enjoy. These can be signs of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and depression.
The causes of depression are varied and include biological triggers like genetic predisposition, mental illness, physical illness, hormonal imbalance, poor diet and lack of sleep; psychological factors like low self-esteem, anxiety, or grief; and environmental factors like lack of sunlight, toxins or pollutants, traumas and stressful work or social situations.
Research has shown that massage may help relieve depression and that blue feeling. Indeed, touch has been shown to stimulate the release of the mood enhancing hormones serotonin and dopamine and to reduce the stress hormones cortisol, ACTH, noradrenaline and adrenaline.
Releasing muscular tension and aiding relaxation, massage also improves circulation, lymphatic flow, and respiration. It helps stabilize blood sugar levels and lowers blood pressure. All these can lead to a feeling of calm and well-being and decreased anxiety and depression.
While massage is not a substitute for medical care in treating depression and anxiety, especially severe cases caused by bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder, it can ease symptoms and aid in reducing stress and elevating mood. Touch is a powerful healer. Make it part of your self-care regimen.
|Yummy Pumpkin Recipes|
Ways to use this seasonal fruit
Pumpkins are a versatile food that can be used traditionally to make pies or in just about any recipe you would use sweeter squashes or sweet potatoes.
Canned pumpkin has become seasonal in many supermarkets, so if you like it, you need to stock up during the holidays when canned pumpkin is plentiful and relatively inexpensive. You can also prepare and freeze pumpkins from the patch to use later. Be aware that sometimes the water content and consistency of frozen pumpkin can vary, and you may need to adjust your recipe to accommodate that.
Cooking a Whole Pumpkin in the Oven
- Cut your pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds.
- Place the pumpkin halves face down on a cookie sheet or baking dish. Add 1/2" of water to pan to keep the pumpkin flesh moist.
- Bake at 450º for about 45 minutes to an hour or until you can pierce the skin with a fork.
- Scoop flesh with a spoon, and drain in a colander. Then place in freezer bags or containers.
- 1 3/4 cups pumpkin
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk.
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix above ingredients and bake in unbaked 9 inch pie shell at 375° for 30 minutes.
Easy (and Delicious) Pumpkin Cake
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 4 beaten eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 cup pumpkin
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Dash nutmeg
Mix all ingredients in large bowl until well-blended. Pour batter into greased and floured tube pan. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.
Spicy Pumpkin Soup
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Pinch ground cayenne pepper
- 3 (15 oz) cans 100 percent pumpkin or 6 cups of chopped roasted pumpkin
- 5 cups of chicken broth
- 2 cups of milk
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Melt butter and saute onions and garlic until softened, about 4 minutes. Add spices and stir a minute more. Add pumpkin and broth; blend well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Puree soup in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return soup to saucepan and low heat. Add brown sugar and slowly add milk then cream while stirring. Adjust seasonings to taste. If too spicy, add more cream to cool it down. Salt to taste. When served, add a dollup of sour cream and sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds.
- Two 14 ounce packages gingerbread mix, prepared and cooled completely
- 5 ounce package vanilla cook-and-serve pudding mix
- 30 ounces canned pumpkin pie filling
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 12 ounces tub Cool Whip
- 1/2 cup gingersnaps
Prepare pudding and set aside to cool. Stir pumpkin, sugar and cinnamon into the pudding. Crumble one batch or gingerbread into trifle bowl. Pour half the pudding mixture over the gingerbread and layer half the Cool Whip on top. Repeat layers and sprinkle with crushed gingersnaps. Refrigerate overnight.
|Fall Fitness |
Walking safely in cooler weather
Walking is a great way to stay fit in the fall and winter months, but even the most avid walker knows that conditions change for safe walking as the seasons change.
We are fortunate in Catawba County to have several great places to walk from the parks that offer hiking to places like Mt. Olive Church with its community track. The downtown area and around Lenoir-Rhyne are also popular places to stroll. Indoor facilities at Highland Recreation Center, the YMCA, and Valley Hills Mall are widely used. My favorite place is in my neighborhood where I feel safe and comfortable.
Follow these tips for the best walking experience as the weather cools down.
- Warm Up: Taking a few minutes to stretch and warm up your muscles before you begin can help you avoid cramps, tiny muscle tears, and more serious injuries like tendon and ligament pulls. Walking slowly to begin and then speeding up also helps warm those tissues.
- Wear light colored or reflective clothing: Days are shorter and often cloudy. Don't assume because you can see cars that they can see you. Make yourself visible by choosing clothing that contrasts with the greys of winter.
- Buy good walking shoes: Lots of painful hips, knees and backs can be avoided if you wear the right shoe. Go to a reputable athletic shoe seller and let the staff help you find the best shoe for your foot and gait. It's worth the money in lessened pain.
- Walk with a buddy if you are a beginner: Walking with a buddy is not only fun, but it can be a life-saver if you have certain health conditions like heart disease or arthritis. Walking a dog provides companionship and can help you meet other walkers.
- Bring water: A nurse once told me that if you wait until you are thirsty, you've waited too long. Cooler air is dry, and your sweat evaporates in it. You can get dehydrated in cooler weather without even realizing it.
- Face the traffic: This is especially important if you are not walking on a sidewalk. Facing the traffic helps you anticipate what is coming your way.
- Notice your surroundings: Be careful of ice and pooled water, and notice other hazards like broken pavement and collected leaves which can be slick underneath.
- Avoid headphones on the street: Hearing is one of your best lines of defense against danger. While listening to music is fine for inside walking, when you are outdoors, you really need to be aware of your surroundings.
- Dress in layers: In the winter months, three layers is a good rule of thumb. You can peel them off if you don't need them. The exception is socks when layering can cause blisters; instead, one layer of a good thin woolen hiking sock is better. Also, water-wicking clothing next to your skin will keep you warmer than cotton.
- Wear gloves and a hat: You hands can crack from the dryness of cooler weather. Likewise, a lot of heat escapes from your head and hands. Keeping them covered will keep you warmer on your stroll. If they don't keep your hands and head warmer, it is probably too cold for you to be outside for a long period. Cut your walk short and find an indoor venue like the mall or one of the recreation centers.
- Carry a cell phone and an ID: This is especially important if you are walking alone. If you have a medical condition, think about buying a medical alert bracelet for when you walk. (It's better if you don't carry a visible purse or wallet, which can make you a target for purse-snatchers.
- Listen to your body: If you feel pain, dizziness, nausea or physically uncomfortable in any way, stop exercising. If the symptoms don't go away, call your doctor.
|Health Benefits of Pumpkin|
Pumpkins can add to your fall diet
Pumpkins are so much a part of our fall food fare that countless Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations are made from both real and representational pumpkins. They are made into desserts, soups, and souffles, and they have real health benefits.
Pumpkins are in the squash family and are related to cucumbers and gourds. Native to North America, their name comes from the Greek "pepon" which means "large melon". They are usually orange or golden yellow, but recently white varieties have shown up in area farmer's markets and groceries. They can also be various shades of green, red, or gray.
Pumpkins in the yellow, red and orange color range have the highest concentrations of beta-carotene, a cancer-fighting nutrient that helps produce Vitamin A in the body. They are also loaded with B Vitamins and with potassium, which fights high blood pressure and is important in nervous system and cellular function. Pumpkins are high in the antioxidant lutein, a fighter of macular degeneration and cataracts. Furthermore, their high fiber contents is important for good digestive health. Studies show that fiber-rich diets prevent cancer and heart disease, too.
Pumpkin seeds also have health benefits. They are relatively low calorie and low glycemic load when compared to other seeds and nuts, and they are an excellent source of magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, iron and zinc. Like the pulp, they are rich in lutein and fiber.
The early Native American tribes had other uses for pumpkins. Our own Catawba Indians ate pumpkin seeds to strengthen the kidneys and the Menominees dried the pulp, ground it, and drank it mixed with water to fight urinary infections. Others used oil from the seeds or an emulsion of the pulp to treat wounds, especially burns.
To pick the right eating pumpkin, look for one between two to five pounds. Also, look for one that is heavy for its size as they have more meat. Lighter weights indicate dryness or a large hollow area inside. Of course, you can also use canned pumpkin for convenience.
It's not too early to think of Christmas Gifts. Order a flaxseed pillow from Mother Earth Pillows for your loved ones this Christmas.
Mother Earth Pillows are made from the highest quality products. They are filled with flxseed and herbs, which heat more uniformly than synthetics or rice and stay warn longer. You can also cool them in the freezer and use them as a cold compress.
If you've had a massage recently, you've experienced their delicious, healing warmth for yourself. Many clients have purchased pillows for themselves and for their families and friends.
Our best sellers are:
- Small Bolster (neck pillow), which retails for $25.
- Large TriggerPoint (shoulder wrap-around), which retails for $46
- Little Heartbeat (great for kids), which retails for $19
- SpaBoots, which retail for $50
- WarmMitts (great for arthritis), which retail for $44
In most cases, you can choose the color of your pillow and the scent. Call your therapist at the number below to place your order.
We'll be ordering Dec. 3 to have the pillows in time for holiday gifting. Call now to place your order.
We hope you've enjoyed this issue of Warp & Weft. Have a happy Thanksgiving, and call for an appointment soon.
Suzanne Eller, LMBT #7619
DBA Tapestry Life Resources
Susan Smith, LMBT #6579
DBA Massage by Susan
Laura Queen, LMBT #3224
DBA Queen Company
Body Balance II
318 2nd Ave. NW
Hickory, NC 28601
Gift Certificates Available
Confused about what to get that person on your list who has everything? 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.