Diffusing is a gentle and safe method to relieve colds. It works through inhalation, where it allows your lungs to absorb essential oils, affecting the brain and releasing neuro-chemicals to fight colds. Most essential oils are antiseptic, antibacterial, and disinfectant. These qualities possess a great effect in shaking up our environment, and therefore altering the internal vibration of viruses and illness.
I highly suggest purchasing a cold diffuser from a reputable store, or placing a small saucer of cold water near a vent. Never place essential oils under a flame or hot element. Essential oils are highly volatile and flammable, and they will oxidize and be rendered useless. Place 5-7 drops of essential oil(s) in a diffuser or small saucer (a blend of 2 or 3 may be used if desired). Here are some cold warrior essential oils:
When I started training in reiki and energy healing, I was open but skeptical . How could energy healing have such an effect without any apparent physical manipulation? Is this a woo woo placebo effect?
After receiving my first treatment from a fellow classmate, I did feel a shift. I felt more awareness of my body and the tension had melted away. Mental and emotional clarity and freedom began to open up in extraordinary ways. Reiki felt so personal and profound.
Reiki isn’t all that different from the mainstream modalities such as meditation, psychotherapy, yoga. It’s highly individual and experiential where your wholeness is being invited to transform. They may seem obscure as progress doesn’t always seem linear, but breakthroughs may happen and your outlook shifts positively.
Still, my curiosity thirsted to know the “science”. Without further ado, here are a few studies and explanations:
Reiki can be measured in its electrical and magnetic qualities.
One of the most renowned academic scientists, Dr. James Oschman studied energy medicine in great detail by measuring the electromagnetic field surrounding the human body. This is possible through the Ampere’s law, where an electrical current can flow through wires or even the human body to produce a magnetic field. Since the brain, heart, muscles and organs produce electricity, the magnetic field or biomagnetic field around the human body can be produced.
Therefore, Dr. Oschman continues to state that reiki and other healing energies have been measured to produce extremely low frequencies. This means the pulsating energy from the hands of a reiki or energy healer are within the same range of frequencies to instigate repair in living tissue. According to documentation, nerve regeneration requires 2 cycles per second (Hz), 7 Hz for bone growth, 10 Hz for ligament repair and 15 Hz for capillary formation. Reiki therapists emit a range from 0.3 to 30 Hz, and the most frequent frequency is around 7 Hz. This is the same frequency approved by the FDA for the PEMF device to encourage bone growth.
Reiki works through a result of physical processes and not from a placebo effect.
Krinsley D. Bengston, a professor at the Queen’s College of the City University of New York, took five mice with mammary adenocarcinoma and treated them with energy healing for an hour a day for 30 days. After 10 days, the treated mice became healthy and lived a normal lifespan. The other control mice who did not receive energy healing all died within the expected time frame.
Whether reiki is a placebo effect has also been tested on humans. In 2004, researchers in Scotland split a group of forty-five participants to three treatment groups: 1) Group receiving reiki from an experienced practitioner; 2) Placebo group receiving a mock treatment from someone with no Reiki training; 3) Control group with no treatment. The reiki group had a significant drop in heart rate and diastolic blood pressure compared to the other groups.
Becoming “one” with reiki happens through entrainment.
Imagine entrainment like a shop full of clocks. One clock has the most dominant energy with a strong tick tock going. This strong tick tock will pull the other clocks to automatically sync up to the same rhythm.
Researcher Robert C. Beck studied brain waves of healing therapists and he discovered that they all registered brain wave activity in the alpha state from around 7.8 to 8.0 Hz. This state begins to synchronize and align with the earth’s magnetic field at 7.83Hz.
Some scientists believe that when living things become in sync or entrained with the earth’s rhythm, they begin to go back into balance and heal. Being out in mother nature is nurturing and healing.
When you apply entrainment between a healing therapist and client, at first, their energies are oscillating at different frequencies. As an energy healing is conducted, the therapist’s vibrations has a positive and strong influence to affect or entrain the client’s vibrations to become more in harmony. Therefore, this entrainment brings a positive shift in healing and well-being. Your body naturally wants to heal, and your healer is just the catalyst.
Of course feelings of love and compassion contribute to healing!
As mentioned in my previous article, the Heartmath Institute have conducted numerous studies on the heart and how it contributes to our health with beneficial effects to ourselves and radiating outward to our own community and beyond. Healing practitioners communicate this caring through touch and increasing their compassionate feelings. Physical touch and feeling cared for in a safe environment enables us let go of tension and become more aware of our true selves, while amplifying the electromagnetic fields.
I am thankful for the growing number of scientists and doctors who are daring to explore and research more into reiki and energy healing. It helps Reiki to become better understood and accepted as a viable modality for many health conditions at various hospitals and hospices as well!
Reiki is better Than Placebo and Has Broad Potential as a Complementary Health Therapy by David E. McManus, PhD.
Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis by James L. Oschman
Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide by Pamela Miles
Duration to prepare: 10 minutes
Total time: 30-40 minutes
Here's a great way to use your ripe banana featuring chia seeds in a healthy dessert! Chia seeds are the powerhouses of nutrition! They contain ample amounts of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein with essential minerals and antioxidants. Chia seeds greatly aid digestion, while preventing against heart disease and diabetes. They are so easy to sprinkle on salads, smoothies, oatmeal and dessert!
- 3 tbs of chia seeds
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbs cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1) Mash up your banana with a fork into a bowl or container and add your chia seeds.
2) Add the rest of your ingredients and stir everything together.
3) Store in fridge for 30 minutes or more until the chia seeds start to expand with the liquid. Enjoy!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Today could be thought as a celebration of love and affection to significant others, friends and family. Valentine’s Day evokes the vision of love and the deeply felt, energy of the heart. Expressions such as “follow your heart”, “have a heart to heart talk” and even “know it by heart” illustrate how much the heart drives meaning and passion.
The heart is the first organ that is formed when we are developing in the womb, and it connects our physiology with our spirituality. In other words, the heart is the gateway between the physical (as it communicates with the brain) and the non-physical (expression of love and desires in life). The heart is the soul of our emotional intelligence. The purity of love has the power to lift up others and it also shares great intuitive wisdom in life decisions when we bypass “overthinking”.
The HeartMath Institute have conducted numerous scientific studies on the heart and how its energy affects ourselves and those around us:
As a gift for this Valentine’s Day, please enjoy this guided heart-centred meditation audio. Credits for the relaxing music goes to Bensound.
The heart energy is infinite and expansive. For a quick version of this meditation, simply place your hands over your heart. Breathe slowly and deeply to send that intention and focus through your heart to feel love and warmth.
Duration: 30 minutes approximately
Here's a quick and healthy meal that will fill up your tummies while giving you protein and energy! The ingredients balance each other nicely, while the parsley adds a fresh flavour and texture to the mix. I've found lemon and tamari complement each other well, and I've even used this pairing in creating pasta dishes.
- 1 whole swiss chard
- 1 parsley
- 1-2 medium tomatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cans of red beans
- 1/2 squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp basil
- 2 tablespoons of tamari or soya sauce
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
1) Cut and wash swiss chard, tomatoes, onions, parsley into bite sized chunks.
2) Add oil to large pot and heat up to medium heat.
3) Add tomatoes and onions and stir for 2 minutes. Then add swiss chard, lemon juice, basil and tamari sauce until swiss chard is wilted.
4) Add the parsley and beans and stir for another minute. Turn off the stove and serve.
"Nothing, in all of the Universe is more delicious than to be in this physical body
allowing the fullness that is you to be present in the moment."
- Abraham Hicks
The physical body is the gateway to experiencing life through our five senses. We feel the wind, sun and rain. We hear children playing in the playground. We see beautiful paintings and architecture, and relish in its creation. We taste delicious food from our grandma and enjoy every bite.
Everything we experience expresses itself in energy - whether visible or invisible. Invisible energy, more known as subtle energy, is more familiar than we realize. Have you ever been to a live sports game or concert and felt the positive energy of a crowd? What about the pain of heartbreak and although your mind has moved on, your body feels it deeply within your heart? Or maybe as you're stepping out the door, you get a feeling that you will bump into a particular person that day?
It’s undeniable we sense these subtle energies. We experience energies in an unique and personal way, and sometimes it’s hard to explain. Tuning in, deeply processing and experiencing the world beyond our senses are all part of our intuition. Our intuition guides us in sensing or “picking up” energy as an informational imprint to inform us about the world and ourselves.
Energy is expressed in vibration and flows through our bodies; it’s the the expression of our soul. It is known in many cultures under different names: such as Chi, Ki, Ti, Prana, Life Force and love. Energy is the creative force that our bodies are composed of, and brings light to our consciousness. It also flows outside our bodies, where also our thoughts, actions and words all contain this vibrational energy. How we choose our words, reactions and attitude have as much impact as getting adequate sleep, exercise and eating well.
Health, in the holistic viewpoint, focuses on the connection of mind, body and spirit. When you are unwell, there may be blockages around your body. These blockages can manifest in weak energetic areas due to factors such as physical injury, mental or emotional stress, not taking proper care of oneself, etc.
In a healing session, Universal Life force energy is drawn down through the energy healer to the individual. The energy has an intelligence of its own and goes to where it’s needed most. Therefore, an energy healer becomes a catalyst to encouraging your body back to a healthy, balanced state. When you create awareness to bring back ease into your well being, you become your own healer.
Energy healing is about that opening up, looking within and relaxing into a process that releases all that doesn’t serve you. It may shine a light on deep processes on how we hold tension, solutions to issues in our lives and how to find your way back to feeling like yourself. Allow it to move past you and learn from difficult experiences and stress in a gentle manner.
Use a blender
Makes 1- 2 servings
Spirulina is highly recommended for working out. Seriously! It packs a punch with essential amino acids, antioxidants, calcium, minerals, icon, protein, B, C, D and E vitamins. Just one ounce contains 39 grams of protein alone. It's excellent for detoxing heavy metals, preventing cancer, alleviating allergies, lowering blood pressure, losing weight, reducing cholesterol and increasing endurance and decreasing muscle damage from exercise. It's one of the most nutrient dense foods on earth! Please check your family doctor whether it's safe to take spirulina. People with autoimmune disease and pregnant or nursing women may have complications taking this supplement.
Yes, it's an algae and not the most palatable. The best way to drink it is to hide in a smoothie!
- 2 tablespoons of spirulina
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup of blueberries or mixed berries
- 1/4 steel cut oats (soaked in water)
- 1-2 tbsp. of nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew - your choice)
- Almond or any nut milk
- 2 generous tablespoons of kefir or plain yogurt
- 1 soaked date ( but I find that the fruit adds enough sweetness)
- 1 tbsp. raw cacao, unsweetened dark cocoa or carob powder
- 1-2 tbsp. flax seeds/hemp hearts or chia seeds
1) Place all ingredients together into a blender and blend. Pour enough milk for your preferred thickness.
2) Pour into a nice smoothie cup and enjoy! Flex some muscles while at it.
Time Duration: Approximately 40 minutes
- Ingredients -
- pasta of your choice (can be gluten free)
- 1 cup of raw cashews
- 1 head of medium cauliflower
- 1 tbsp tumeric
- 1/2-1/3 cup of milk (or substitute any nut milk)
- 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar (or substitute lemon to taste)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- zucchini or any other desired veggies(optional)
1) Prepare cashews and soak them for 2 hours.
2) Cook pasta to desired hardness and set aside.
3) Boil a large pot of water. Wash and cut the cauliflower and place into the pot. Cook until soft (around 5 minutes).
4) In a food processor, combine the cashews, turmeric, milk, apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Add all the cauliflower slowly until well mixed into a creamy sauce.
5) Stir fry any veggies until almost fully cooked in the same pot used for the cauliflower.
6) Combine the sauce and pasta. Enjoy!
I envy those who are fearless in taking on the world. Most encounters may be met with unsurpassed composure and confidence. They may be headstrong, ambitious and certain. They know themselves and shrug off disappointments and rejections. They have much life experience in these areas or maybe they are robots… :P
I’m in the camp where my mental state goes to alarm bells whenever the scenario is unfamiliar and out of my comfort zone. I was that painfully shy child who struggled with speaking in class, young, neurotic adult who used to find driving to be the most anxiety ridden thing ever and even now, meeting new people can make me nervous.
Our perception of fear originates from our hunter-gatherer days in spotting imminent danger. Any perceived threat will have our amygdalas in our brain sending signals to react in flight or fight mode. It’s our survival mechanism. Nowadays, it’s rare to find ourselves in dangerous situations. So no thank you brain for making me scared of asking that cute girl or boy out, being elected for public speaking or going for that job interview. Encountering any of the above may send your heart pumping; your body becomes a puddle of sweat; your stomach is tied in knots and you are petrified to even take a step out.
How do you cope? Here are some tricks and tips that may work for you:
Perceive fears as ongoing challenges to become a better person. Fear is inviting you to step up and do your best to succeed. Keep pushing forward and take those risks. You’ll never know until you try. Believe me, regret is far worse and may leave you stagnant. If you need a little pep talk, Shia LaBeouf is here. This never gets old. :D
Break down the fears if possible. Break down the situation into manageable chunks to gradually expose yourself to that fear. For instance, as a kid, my dad used to challenge me to order fast food on my own. First few times, he would stand next to me for moral support as I fumbled through my words. As I became more accustomed, he would simply hand me the money and allow me to order on my own.
Confront fear over and over until it is normal and boring. Sometimes new situations are unfamiliar to us in the beginning and we build up so much thinking around it. Even though you may not feel 100% ready, you need to keep facing your fears and anxieties until they do become familiar. After all, it may not be as bad as you make it out to be! Think about all the times you were nervous in a new situation, such as starting a new job, and now it’s easy like breathing.
Be okay with failure and rejection. Everyone will go through this and it’s a natural part of learning and growth. As long as you put your best foot forward, do keep trying. Never be afraid to repeatedly “fail” on what’s important to you. Normal people, like the man who made a game out of rejection, and even famous people fail.
However, sometimes… and I do emphasize sometimes, failure is a sign that we’re on the wrong path and we may need to switch tracks. Maybe there is something else in store for us, instead of hitting against a brick wall. Or we may want to change our strategy altogether.
Love quiets fear. Remember that you are your best friend, ally and support. You have everything within your power to do great things. When you are feeling anxious, you could comfort yourself. Say “It’s ok, I will handle this!” Repeat this over and truly feel those words resonate throughout your being. Whatever situation(s) you choose to take, you are showing the world your value, talents, skill and definitely courage. By becoming self-compassionate, you gently bracing wildest adventures that await.
Heartfelt breathing to calm down. This may be a useful technique that can be employed anywhere, especially before big moments of anticipation. Place your hands over your heart centre. Close your eyes and breathe in, allow the love within your heart to flow throughout the body. When you exhale, blow air out with your mouth as if you are cooling off hot soup. Let go and release the tension. Repeat as needed for as long as required. You could also cold diffuse aromatherapy oils, known for bringing down fears, such as clary sage, neroli or orange.
Or reframe fear into excitement! A Harvard study by Brooks in 2014 says that since fear and excitement are both arousal emotions (heart beating faster, cortisol increases, etc.),it’s better to convince yourself that you are excited than trying to calm down. Excitement places you into an “opportunity mindset” opposed to “threat mindset” according to Brooks. This technique may not work for everyone, but it’s worth a try.
Power Posing to regain confidence. One of the most popular TED talk, Your Body Language Shapes Who you Are by Amy Cuddy, speaks on how simply changing your body posture and language to embody the feeling of empowerment. In other words, fake it until you make it.
Try bach flower remedies to gently shift your fears. Remedies specific to fears include Rock Rose, Mimulus, Cherry Plum, Aspen, Red Chestnut and White Chestnut. Read each description to figure out which bach flower remedy works for you. Bach flower remedies can be purchased at your local health food store and how to take the remedies can be found here.
Fears and anxieties are like the looming friend who clutches onto your side. By working with fear, we have the potential to go beyond what’s expected of us. We must remain steadfast and understand how fear is challenging us to seize opportunities. Fear as a teacher encourages us to develop self confidence and become wiser as a result. If we stay in our box, we may not grow and we will never know.
Since it’s fearless Friday, what is your greatest fear? How have you overcome your fears?
A teacher once told me, “How you do something is how you do everything.”
I decided to reflect upon this and relate it to one of my passions… dance. What I discovered about dance was beyond learning the basic steps as it encompassed many hidden life lessons. I began to unlock new attitudes and potential, while learning how to better relate to myself and others.
1) How to Be Yourself
When I was young, expressing myself through words was difficult. Dancing opened a new understanding in how to be myself - developing body awareness and discovering dance style and identity. Literally, I became comfortable in my own skin. I’ve let go of all the masks, labels and judgments and peel off the layers whenever I dance. I’ll dance in my room when no one’s watching or a dance social where everyone might be watching.
Dancing entrusts freedom within my soul. I’m at my best, where I dance meaningfully for myself. I move to shake off rigidity, to revisit joy and to build a new self-confidence. I feel the flow, connection and sometimes, I’m entranced into a meditative state. I connect to the most authentic and intense parts of myself, and I’m not apologetic for that!
2) Letting your Goofy Side Play
I had a friend in University who taught me it’s OK to look ridiculous while dancing. He would make this funny face and bring out all his silly moves at once. My friend told me it’s good to shake off that self-consciousness and laugh at ourselves.
Humour and play is beneficial to life, reminding us not to get too serious and critical. I’ll purposely make others laugh on the dancefloor if the mood and song call for it! Dancefloor comedian is a go.
3) Potential to Explore Beyond your Boundaries
Everyone has a comfort zone with our normal routine and preferences in life. What if you dared to step out and try new things? Strive towards what might bring you out of your usual element?
In the last year, I decided to learn cabaret. For those who aren’t familiar with this style, it requires much acrobatics, tricks and lifts. You need to be conditioned physically to be in top shape, develop absolute trust with your dance partner and naturally perform a grandiose presence in pulling off these epic moves.
I have a few confessions. I am afraid of heights. I’ve never done the splits or any gymnastic training. I’ve never performed before, and I have an unshakeable case of stage fright. This is one of my personal challenges to push beyond my physical and mental limitations.
With that being said, I am achieving baby steps and being gentle on myself when I need rest. You begin to learn that feeling scared is ok and work with it. Exploring your own potential beyond your boundaries is healthy (as long as it’s safe) and adds to personal growth. In these last months, I’m having many moments where I go, “hey, I didn’t know I could do that!”
And yes, I am making serious progress towards those front splits! :P
4) Communication and Adaptability
In partner dances, I’ve learned a great deal about following. Precise following means deep listening to your leads’ guidance. Every lead has a different feel and skill level in leading you. Some leads are strong and clear, rough or light, flashier or sticking more to the basics, beginner or more advanced, etc.
I listen and interpret, where I react to make quick decisions in following. I aim to adapt my dance to complement and bring out the best in my leads. If a lead makes a mistake, I cover up the mistakes. If a lead prefers strict following, I dare not hijack the dance at any point. However, if a lead is open to giving me space as a follow, I may inject more of my personal style, musicality and/or even switch roles to leading.
Non-verbal communication enriches how I relate to others off the dancefloor. I begin to understand more of what others are trying to convey and work together to accomplish a task or resolve misunderstandings.
5) Expanding the Definition of Creativity
Each art form has its own language. Painting captivates visually through composition, brush strokes, colours, etc. Music integrates silences and noise. Film speaks with combining sound, visual, acting, editing and angles to achieve its message.
Embodying a character role is one aspect to infuse creativity into dance. Once in belly dancing class, we had to role play a young girl transiting into adulthood. We were required to bring the powerful, feminine demeanor and engage with the audience. Dance is my type of acting without words.
Creativity in dance also involves understanding musicality. Musicality can broken down to two parts. First is tuning into the music and hearing its dynamics. For example, is it slow and romantic? Fast and anthem-inducing? Second is translating those musical nuances into discovering unique ways to move. For the slow and romantic, I may incorporate soft hand styling and figure-8 hips. Fast and anthem-inducing might inspire me to chest pop with sharp footwork.
Learning set dance patterns from classes and watching youtube videos are wonderful places to foster inspiration. However, I would also encourage experimentation and cross training in other dance styles. You begin to develop an overall appreciation, adopting new artistic elements that work within the particular dance framework and start standing out from the crowd.
Creativity is a process through experience and being bold with your artistic choices. It is best served with flexible and open mind. Plus, there is no right or wrong, only possibilities.
What life lessons have you learned from dance or any other passion? Please share in the comments!
Alana Chin Lue
I am a holistic health and reiki practitioner finding inspiration and wisdom through personal development, health and wellness, spirituality and life.