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Warm up to Autumn with Cozy Self-Care

How can autumn not feel romantic? Her ushering in of brilliant colors, the sun’s magical dapple transforms dying leaves into sparkling jewels of red, orange and yellow. Enticing earthy aromas, cozy fires, and pumpkins, resonate like a storybook.

Suddenly there’s a raw chill in the air or even an early snow! The weather sweeps from one extreme to the other and you find yourself wrapping up in blankets rebuffing raw cold.

As our season turns brisk, most of us feel a natural pull to quiet our lives, turn inward and temper everything down.

All the tools availed of our modern society keep us firing on all cylinders year-round. Unfortunately, it imposes a pace on us that’s counter to our overwintering nature from a million years past. As humans, hardwired for transitioning into states of deep slowness, our species hasn’t evolved long enough for dormancy behaviors to weed out of our DNA.

So how can you stay in balance when nature and culture are out of sync? Do you have a self-care plan for sustaining your health and wellbeing through cold months? Even frosty weather lovers need extra reserves to stay strong. What can you do to stay well as your body goes into overdrive?

Try some of these nourishing self-care options:

Reiki helps your body do what it does best: heal. Reiki releases toxins and strengthens immune function. It brings deep relaxation and stress reduction by switching off your "flight or fight" response and activating "rest and restore." Why does that matter? When you in a true state of deep relaxation, your body does its most powerful recovering.

Improved positive emotions and mental clarity from Reiki can relieve seasonal affective disorder, anxiety and depression. The benefits of touch therapies have demonstrated benefits in promoting an uplifted mood, so healing Reiki treatments can resonate year-round in helping you feel enlivened.

Essential oils can support your specific physical and emotional needs such as hormonal changes, respiratory issues, cold weather blues, insomnia, and killing off infectious germs and bacteria.

Methods for using include diffusing, inhaling, steaming, or applying topically. Some of you might remember your mom slathering Vick's Vapo-Rub on your chest. It turns out it had a huge benefit, and now, as a big kid, you can do the same with some oils like eucalyptus and tea tree blended in a carrier oil.

You can purchase oils from reputable retailers or have something custom blended for you. If you choose a custom blend be sure a knowledgeable practitioner is working with you because essential oils are volatile chemicals. They are ultra concentrated liquid constituents of hundreds of pounds of herbs refined into tiny bottles. Also, be sure to choose top quality oils. In this case, price does matter!

Herbs and herbal infusions are chock full of potent vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Infusions are large amounts of an herb brewed for a long time in sealed jars. They more powerful than herbal teas because the loose herbs steep for several hours.

They taste good, warm you inside, and rev up your immune system. They also keep your body's organs functioning well. Herbs are medicinals that have been used for millennia, and their curative properties pack a punch.

Infusions of herbs such as stinging nettle, hibiscus, rosehips, raspberry leaf, and oatstraw are especially beneficial during cold and flu season. You can purchase organic loose herbs at your local health food store or online from a good herb shop.

Other excellent choices are ancient adaptogens like ashwagandha and holy basil, that modulate their function according to your needs.

If you're more inclined to take an oral supplement than turn to an infusion, most of those same herbs can be found in capsule form.

Choose what fits for your lifestyle, or ask a wellness practitioner for a comprehensive self-care plan for staying strong and feeling whole. What else can you do? Layer on activities that nurture you such as reading, listening to music, moving your body, deep breathing, meditating or praying, and expressive arts. Spend time with people and pets who make you feel good about yourself and your life. Eat warm, nutritious foods, drink your beverages at room temperature or warm, and rest as your body tells you.

The best way to stay healthy through the season is to start off healthy. Amp up your self-care before you start feeling sick. A big part of staying health is balance, listening carefully to your body and spirit, and answering to what it asks of you, knowing that nothing is more important than your good health and wellbeing.

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reiki master teacher & practitioner
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