clock neck exerciseStretching the neck muscles can be challenging and confusing.  Here is a simple, centering neck exercise that can help alleviate neck pain.  It is called “The Clock.”  This is the same pattern of movement as used in the article entitled, Computer Eye Strain Exercises.

Lay on the floor in supine position (face up) on a yoga mat or towel.  You want the surface to be firm but not too hard.  First, feel the muscles of your head on the ground beneath you.  The floor will be your guide as you move through the exercise, so maintain contact with it without too much effort.  Also,  you will be gently massaging these muscles via the pressure on the floor as you move through this neck exercise.  Make sure your head is in good alignment.  Your neck should not be flat on the floor and your chin should not jut out.
Look up and imagine a large clock above you. Now move your head up towards the twelve and then down to the six slowly three times. This will mimic the “yes” movement.  Now, move your head from the three to the nine three times slowly. This will mimic the “no” movement. You can use your  nose as a guide. Remember to maintain contact with the floor beneath you. Now you can hopefully sense your neck in a more centered alignment. Maintain this centered feeling for the rest of the exercise because you will want to return to it as your reference point for these next steps.
Next you will do the opposite diagonal movements of the clock. Look up at the one and down at the seven three times slowly. Place the one right next to the twelve and the seven right next to the six. This will be a more specific stretch. Next do eleven and five o’clock again, imagining them right next to the twelve and the six on your clock. Pause in the center as mentioned before.

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reiki healingREIKI is a Japanese word meaning “universal life energy”. The syllable REI reflects the cosmic dimension, the unlimited nature of this potential while the syllable KI means life energy. Reiki therefore means universal life force. This force is inexhaustible, it is an uninterrupted flow. It is the energy of the cosmos, the force that provides life and sustains everything that lives in our world: men, animals, plants. Maybe you heard of tai chi or aikido? Syllables ki or chi energy are synonymous as in the word Reiki. In other cultures using different concepts such as light
or the Holy Spirit (Christianity) we talk about bioplasma bioenergy (Russian research) or Prana (Hinduism and Buddhism). Reiki is a natural therapeutic method that was rediscovered in the mid-nineteenth century by Mikao Usui, hence the name given to medical knowledge: Usui system,a healing process based on the laws of nature. The most simple and concrete to describe

Reiki is the art of channeling the life energy of the cosmos by the laying on of hands. When Reiki is activated and applied for medical purposes, it communicates with the body, mind and spirit. It increases the body’s ability to relieve symptoms, physical manifestations of the disease and reveal the soul and spirit of the causes of a medical condition, suffering, an existential malaise, inhibitions. It is necessary that you update the underlying causes of a psychological problem or physical condition to take your life fully, and thus be able to taste the joy and happiness that comes from a healthy balanced diet. Reiki is also a way to guide you in your spiritual journey ….Reiki is a method that is both gentle and effective which will allow you to discover your spiritual vocation and the meaning of your life. Reiki creates in you a feeling of unity, a sense of merging with others, with all humanity and Mother Earth.

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As new parents, there is this feeling of constant momentum inherent in taking care of a baby.  A feeling of always having to do something:  to prepare something, to do research on something, and of course to clean up something!  This article for parents is helpful in reminding us all to re-charge.  We get so used to going and going, it is often very hard to find discipline in letting ourselves rest and decompress.  Somehow we get addicted to this feeling of constantly moving and we feel we are being more productive if we keep up this momentum but it is not the case.  This last part is true for many people, not only new parents.

So, what can we do?  First make a choice to not run in that impossible race that does not exist.  Remember there is always going to be something else to do.  The house may not look close to perfect for a while and even if it does it will only last a day!   Make a conscious effort to force oneself to do nothing and to rest at times or reconnect to something that rejuvenates you.  Your vitality and good mood are equally and probably more important to the health and well being of your little bean than most of the “Tasks” we need to do.  Burnout is not something that benefits anyone at any time especially not as a new parent.  Please use this article for parents as a reminder.  There is of course true postpartum depression which is not what I’m speaking about.  If there are symptoms of depression seek professional help immediately.

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spa imageOver the last ten years I have worked in a variety of settings including Medical and Day Spas, Yoga studios, Gyms and Chiropractors offices.  This wide and varied experience has given me a very sensitive and shrewd understanding of the spa experience.  I understand what goes on behind the scenes and can spot a shotty establishment pretty quick.  My background and New York State License in Massage Therapy also makes me an extra picky consumer.  Over the next few weeks and months I will be reviewing several New York Spas and sharing my experience for those of you who live in or are visiting the New York City area.

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