Crafty Night at White Willow

We had our first craft night last month and it was a blast! If you missed it, don't fret, we're doing it again this month. Until then, you'll have to make due with the photo documentation of the event. Armed with a glass of wine and an iPhone, Charley snapped a few blurry photos for your viewing pleasure: 

Philip worked on his next masterpiece. 

Philip worked on his next masterpiece. 

Knitting and drawing and chatting, oh my! 

Knitting and drawing and chatting, oh my! 

Apparently the moths like this yarn, so Charley gave it a nibble. 

Apparently the moths like this yarn, so Charley gave it a nibble. 

Adam had feelings about the Goodfellas pizza. 

Adam had feelings about the Goodfellas pizza. 

Kendal colored next to this person who came for the wine. Wait, that's Arielle! She's not really a wino, but she does know a funny photo opportunity when she sees one. 

Kendal colored next to this person who came for the wine. Wait, that's Arielle! She's not really a wino, but she does know a funny photo opportunity when she sees one. 

Breanna was frightened by Arielle's shenanigans.  

Breanna was frightened by Arielle's shenanigans.  

We all had a great time and we intend to make this a regular monthly event. Come craft with us! Our next crafty night will be Thursday, April 28th at 6pm. Click here to RSVP.

Let Your Cares Float Away...

Have you ever felt like your daily stresses are actually weighing you down? What if I told you that there is a therapy out there that can and will dissolve your stress so deeply that you feel like a brand new person afterwards? Well, it exists, and it is called Sensory Deprivation Therapy. Sounds kind of scary, but it is an incredibly valuable and relaxing experience. 

Picture from floatationlocations.com  Here is a picture of a float tank. They look like something from Star Trek!  

Picture from floatationlocations.com

Here is a picture of a float tank. They look like something from Star Trek!  

So, what is it exactly? Sensory Deprivation is designed to reset the mind and body in a zero-sensory environment. No sound, no light, no physical stimulation. Just pure, unadulterated consciousness. 

Float tanks are chambers that are filled with around 800 pounds of epsom salts and water the same temperature as your resting body rate. The epsom salts' purpose is to make your body completely buoyant. The temperature is a very important aspect, for the goal is to lose the sensation of having a physical body so that you can delve into your essence, or pure consciousness. It can be a jarring experience at first, but once you can relax it is a beautifully harmonizing place to be.

I recently traveled to Colorado and gratified my curiosity with a float session. I was hoping to have an experience where I could be fully supported by water and to provide space to dissolve into my being. After I settled into my float, I started to realize just how much tension I hold in my spine, especially my neck! With some mindful breathing and conscious corrections I started to trust the water and to let go and feel that deep, chronic tension melt away. I cannot express the deep sense of relief this brought to me. Now that my body was totally at peace, I could start to work on my mind. A lot of re-programming of the consciousness can occur in the tank. Whether that is to just silence the inner chatter or to go down to the root of some of your core issues. I was so deeply relaxed and I even drifted out of my body a few times. Each time I came back I had a deeper sense of oneness and calm. 

Upon exiting the tank after 90 minutes I felt like a brand new baby! My mind was crystal clear and receptive and my body felt like it had been resting for years. What an incredible feeling.

We don't realize how much sensory stimulation is thrown in our faces every day. To be in an an environment where there is nothing but your own mind can be scary, but it can also provide us with the healing that we cannot acquire anywhere else. I found floating to be just the reset that I needed. 

Floats are known to help : 

  • Stress relief
  • Muscular pain
  • Rheumatism
  • Chronic pain
  • Fatigue  
  • Fertility
  • High blood pressure
  • Migraine headache
  • Jet lag
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Back pain
  • Depression
  • Pre-menstrual tension
  • Post-natal depression

Lexington now has several float tanks at Source on High! Go try it out for yourself and see if you benefit the way I did. 

Happy floating~~~

Arielle Ferrell, LMT

 

 

Beat the Winter Blues!

So far, December in the bluegrass has been mostly warm and sunny. Soon, however, the clouds and cold will move in. Seasonal depression is not uncommon at this time of year. Many people experience mild winter blues, while others feel like they can hardly get out of bed.  

This year, we invite you to get one step ahead of the winter blues. Here are some tips and tricks:

1. Get out in nature! Even if you don't want to, and even if it feels too cold, we encourage you to get outside. Just be sure to bundle up and drink plenty of water. Yesterday I went to Veteran's Park in Lexington before work. If you haven't been, I highly recommend it. They have grassy trails around a wooded creek and you can even take your dog. It'll do you both a world of good. 

2. Try  essetial oils. You might keep a couple of bottles at work and at home so that you can smell them a few times a day. You can use a cotton ball to drop the oils onto, or you can diffuse them. Essential oils of orange and grapefruit are uplifting and may help to remove the fog of winter from your mood. 

3. Count your blessings. Whenever you're feeling down, make an effort to turn your thoughts around. Keep a gratitude journal or simply speak your gratitudes in your mind. Be thankful for your health, for sunshine, for a warm house, and for your food. Be thankful for your friends and family. You might feel better after you remind yourself of all the great things in your life. 

4. Organize a family or friends dinner party. Winter starts off with a bang! We're very busy in November and December with holiday celebrations and New Years, and then the rest of the winter is pretty slow. Break up the monotony of day-to-day life by throwing a little party, maybe in February when things get quiet. 

5. Take time to appreciate the season rather than wishing it away. Winter is an important time. Time to slow down. Time to hibernate. This slow season gives us time for reflection of the past year and planning for the new year. Time for crafting, cooking cozy dinners, and curling up with a good book. When you step outside, try to see the beauty of winter. The trees aren't dead, they're only sleeping. 

6. Get a massage! Really! Massage helps your body to release lots of feel-good hormones and endorphins to keep you healthy and combat the winter blues. The massage table is warm, the music is ethereal, and your muscles are ready to relax under the hands of your friendly massage therapist. 

Here are some photos from my walk through Veteran's Park yesterday:

Note: If you're feeling depressed, you might consider seeing your healthcare practitioner. I'm particularly fond of Chinese medicine and can recommend a good acupuncturist if you'd like a referral. 

Be well! 

-Charley Caudill, Licensed Massage Therapist

 

On Being Present: Struggles of a Frantic Girl

It's hard to believe that it has been nearly four months since the official opening of White Willow! It's been great. Now, at the end of October, I've hit a good routine. I feel settled into my treatment room and happy in our office. It's all perfect, really. A couple of weeks ago, when I realized that I'd worked through all the business projects on my list, I thought, "What's next?"

The truth is, all of my life I'm thinking, "What's next?" Even more than I love a good project, I love dreaming of the next project. Plotting, planning, stressing, calculating, juggling, it's all part of my familiar routine. I needed to learn something new. A new massage modality for my tool belt, perhaps, or maybe something different altogether. 

When I couldn't land on any one thing to study, I decided to meet with an advisor. I talked to him about what I've been doing the past few years and asked for his assistance in setting new goals. He said "It looks like you're in a good place right now. Why do you want to learn something new?" I replied, "Well, if I'm not learning then I'm stagnant, right?" He chuckled a bit and said, "No, I'm not sure that's how it works. I think you have plenty to learn right in your massage room. You're learning every day." I protested, "I think maybe I'm bored." Sternly, he said "You're not bored, you're frantic. You've gotten accustomed to being so busy all of the time, but did you ever wonder what it would feel like to slow down? You've worked hard to get to where you are. Maybe you could be comfortable with a slower pace. How long has it been since you enjoyed your day without thinking 'What's next?' I think you need to learn to be in the moment and appreciate your life as it is now. Learn to be present."

For two whole days after meeting with the advisor, I thought I'd wasted my money. He didn't help me find my next direction, and he definitely didn't tell me what I wanted to hear. But then, as I was recounting the meeting with a friend, I suddenly understood what he was telling me. It's funny how you can hear and repeat the same advice over and over, but never really understand it. As cliche as it sounds, I realized that if I keep my current pace, I could let my whole life pass me by. How can I possibly enjoy my life if I'm firmly rooted in the future? 

The next day, I decided that I would make an effort to slow down my thoughts and learn to be present by walking to and from work. My walk is 30 minutes, each way. The first day that I walked, the only thing I could see was the finish line. It wasn't until I reached my destination that I realized I hadn't done what I intended at all. The next day, I tried to view it differently. Instead of walking to get somewhere, I tried to be conscious of my thoughts and to think only about what I saw and felt. Still, that proved to be quite a struggle, so I thought that a photo project might help. Baby steps. 

Here are some things I've seen on my walks:

Dewdrops on a spider web, right outside White Willow. 

Dewdrops on a spider web, right outside White Willow. 

A lovely fall arrangement 

A lovely fall arrangement 

Milkweed? 

Milkweed? 

A neat little gate

A neat little gate

Some perfect flowers. Seriously, Mother Nature is so talented. 

Some perfect flowers. Seriously, Mother Nature is so talented. 

Lots of gorgeous autumn flowers

Lots of gorgeous autumn flowers

Wilson's Grocery.

Wilson's Grocery.

Flowers, flowers everywhere.

Flowers, flowers everywhere.

A garden behind a church

A garden behind a church

A twisty tree

A twisty tree

A dog, who frightened me when he barked. 

A dog, who frightened me when he barked. 

Lots of leaves

Lots of leaves

A magical canopy of trees

A magical canopy of trees

And a cat, mid meow. This one is my own back yard. ^_^

And a cat, mid meow. This one is my own back yard. ^_^

After seeing all these beautiful things, I realized that I never would have noticed them if I hadn't slowed down. I couldn't possibly appreciate an autumn blossom or tree canopy from my car. I think it's pretty obvious that I haven't mastered the art of being present, but I do feel different. Without any particular goal in mind, I think I'll keep walking to work, just to see what happens. 

-Charley Caudill, LMT

Massage Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that is currently incurable, but treatable. The symptoms range from mild to severe, coming and going, while never going away for good. Like any chronic disease or syndrome, it can be hard to cope with the constant pain, fatigue, and variety of other symptoms. Fortunately, also like many other chronic issues, massage therapy can help.

If you or someone you care about has MS, you know that even a few hours of relief can be worth more than gold. Massage has been proven to reduce pain levels and may even lengthen the remission period between flare ups in some people. According to a study reported in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal, participants who received 10 weeks of massage therapy reported pain levels up to 50 percent lower than the control group. The proven stress reducing benefits of massage may also help reduce the frequency of flare ups in people whose symptoms often worsen in time of stress. 

This article from MultipleSclerosis.net was written by an MS sufferer and her experience with massage. It's worth a read, but the bottom line: she's a fan.

When looking for a massage therapist, be sure to find someone licensed in their state, knowledgeable about your condition, and willing to work with your individual case. In cases of chronic illness, it's always a good idea to inform you therapist of any sensitive areas of you body that may need to be avoided or treated gently. During your massage, you comfort is top priority and an important part of your treatment. 

If you have any questions about whether or not massage is right for you, please talk with your health care practitioner and give us a call to discuss your particular plan. 

-Breanna Kinman, Licensed Massage Therapist

"Symptoms of multiple sclerosis" by Mikael Häggström - All used images are in public domain.. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

"Symptoms of multiple sclerosis" by Mikael Häggström - All used images are in public domain.. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons


White Willow Progress

So it's been twelve days since our official business opening. We've got a few things in the works: 

  • Our logo has been slow-coming, and there have been some bumps along the way, but it's almost here! 
  • Our sign, hand painted by Charlie Campbell, is on the way and we have a feeling it'll be gorgeous. 
  • We commissioned an oil painting from Justin Birdsong. We've seen a sneak peak photo, and we love it! You'll see it hanging in our waiting room as soon as the paint dries. 
  • We now (finally!) have gift certificates available for purchase on our website. Massage makes the best gift, of course. 
  • We're working on putting together a grand opening party. Come see the space and have a snack. Stay tuned! 
Our waiting room, sans new painting.  

Our waiting room, sans new painting.