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>I have been getting different types of bodywork and massage therapy since 1980, but I have found less than a handful of therapists I have liked enough to rebook. Because I am trained in the work, I am as picky about my massages as I am about my food; it’s as rare to find five star food and service as it is to find a therapist whose work is both healing and nurturing. There are some wonderful therapists (Jessie, Jemuel & Shelly) who work on me and whom I work on; one of the traits that all of us share is our quest to continually educate ourselves so we can improve what we offer to others. There is always room for improvement on our skills and refinement of our energy.

I had an introduction to Bowen Therapy yesterday and I am still basking in the glow of the work I received. It is a technique developed by the Australian Tom Bowen which has evolved today into NST (Neurostructural Integration Technique). The main principal is that the body knows how to heal itself, so the therapist facilitates the healing process with a series of soft tissue manipulations that range from 5-45 minutes. Equally effective on newborns, the elderly, and animals, this process is done with the recipient fully clothed and focuses on a series of deep rolling energetic touches that specifically target groups of muscles, tendons, and nerves in our connective tissue. Key energy points are addressed so that your body can integrate and balance any blocked energy flows while releasing any trauma or dysfunction. The pressure can be adjusted from very light (for newborns) to deep for people with large muscle mass, and with one to three treatments, many symptoms are resolved completely. My therapist was Gary Stuart 800-361-2692, but you can find one near you at NST.

The best thing I can say about NST is that after my session I felt as if I was floating and a day later (today) I still feel as if I am on a cloud of good energy. The one caveat is to schedule your session as late as possible because you will probably want to do nothing more than to sleep afterwards.

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I have been getting different types of bodywork and massage therapy since 1980, but I have found less than a handful of therapists I have liked enough to rebook. Because I am trained in the work, I am as picky about my massages as I am about my food; it’s as rare to find five star food and service as it is to find a therapist whose work is both healing and nurturing. There are some wonderful therapists (Jessie, Jemuel & Shelly) who work on me and whom I work on; one of the traits that all of us share is our quest to continually educate ourselves so we can improve what we offer to others. There is always room for improvement on our skills and refinement of our energy.

I had an introduction to Bowen Therapy yesterday and I am still basking in the glow of the work I received. It is a technique developed by the Australian Tom Bowen which has evolved today into NST (Neurostructural Integration Technique). The main principal is that the body knows how to heal itself, so the therapist facilitates the healing process with a series of soft tissue manipulations that range from 5-45 minutes. Equally effective on newborns, the elderly, and animals, this process is done with the recipient fully clothed and focuses on a series of deep rolling energetic touches that specifically target groups of muscles, tendons, and nerves in our connective tissue. Key energy points are addressed so that your body can integrate and balance any blocked energy flows while releasing any trauma or dysfunction. The pressure can be adjusted from very light (for newborns) to deep for people with large muscle mass, and with one to three treatments, many symptoms are resolved completely. My therapist was Gary Stuart 800-361-2692, but you can find one near you at NST.

The best thing I can say about NST is that after my session I felt as if I was floating and a day later (today) I still feel as if I am on a cloud of good energy. The one caveat is to schedule your session as late as possible because you will probably want to do nothing more than to sleep afterwards.

I have been getting different types of bodywork and massage therapy since 1980, but I have found less than a handful of therapists I have liked enough to rebook. Because I am trained in the work, I am as picky about my massages as I am about my food; it’s as rare to find five star food and service as it is to find a therapist whose work is both healing and nurturing. There are some wonderful therapists (Jessie, Jemuel & Shelly) who work on me and whom I work on; one of the traits that all of us share is our quest to continually educate ourselves so we can improve what we offer to others. There is always room for improvement on our skills and refinement of our energy.

I had an introduction to Bowen Therapy yesterday and I am still basking in the glow of the work I received. It is a technique developed by the Australian Tom Bowen which has evolved today into NST (Neurostructural Integration Technique). The main principal is that the body knows how to heal itself, so the therapist facilitates the healing process with a series of soft tissue manipulations that range from 5-45 minutes. Equally effective on newborns, the elderly, and animals, this process is done with the recipient fully clothed and focuses on a series of deep rolling energetic touches that specifically target groups of muscles, tendons, and nerves in our connective tissue. Key energy points are addressed so that your body can integrate and balance any blocked energy flows while releasing any trauma or dysfunction. The pressure can be adjusted from very light (for newborns) to deep for people with large muscle mass, and with one to three treatments, many symptoms are resolved completely. My therapist was Gary Stuart 800-361-2692, but you can find one near you at NST.

The best thing I can say about NST is that after my session I felt as if I was floating and a day later (today) I still feel as if I am on a cloud of good energy. The one caveat is to schedule your session as late as possible because you will probably want to do nothing more than to sleep afterwards.

>My friend Pel told me about a Thai massage place in the Valley that she said was wonderful; Pel should know, she lived in Thailand for some time and she is a massage connoisseur. Unfortunately, she couldn’t remember the name of the place and only knew the general area, so she told me to meet her at Vara’s (which is where she thought she had gone).

It is said that all things happen for a reason, and I guess the reason is that we were supposed to discover a new place together. For those who have never had a Thai massage, it is similar to interactive yoga; you wear loose clothes (scrubs are provided by the spa), lie on a futon/mat and the therapist stretches you and walks on you. It is good for people who love pressure (they will tone it down if you want less), and also a good style of massage for those who do not like being undressed for a massage.

Vara’s is very clean, very hospitable, (the kind and polite culture of Thailand translates to Thai businesses in the U.S.) and very professional. My therapist Ann did a good routine (I would rate her work a 6.5), and Pel’s therapist Da did some good deep work (she rated her work a 7), so the therapists are well trained. I am as picky about my massages as I am about my food, so my ratings are as tough as Olympic judges (who haven’t been paid off-I have never gotten paid for a post about a company or service). Your therapist may not speak English very well, so make sure your preferences are clear before and during your session.

For only $39 per hour (longer sessions and varied styles are offered at higher prices), it is definitely worth trying traditional Thai massage if you haven’t yet. Now that Pel has remembered where she wanted to take me originally, we plan to try that place next week.

Stay tuned for next week’s ratings….

My friend Pel told me about a Thai massage place in the Valley that she said was wonderful; Pel should know, she lived in Thailand for some time and she is a massage connoisseur. Unfortunately, she couldn’t remember the name of the place and only knew the general area, so she told me to meet her at Vara’s (which is where she thought she had gone).

It is said that all things happen for a reason, and I guess the reason is that we were supposed to discover a new place together. For those who have never had a Thai massage, it is similar to interactive yoga; you wear loose clothes (scrubs are provided by the spa), lie on a futon/mat and the therapist stretches you and walks on you. It is good for people who love pressure (they will tone it down if you want less), and also a good style of massage for those who do not like being undressed for a massage.

Vara’s is very clean, very hospitable, (the kind and polite culture of Thailand translates to Thai businesses in the U.S.) and very professional. My therapist Ann did a good routine (I would rate her work a 6.5), and Pel’s therapist Da did some good deep work (she rated her work a 7), so the therapists are well trained. I am as picky about my massages as I am about my food, so my ratings are as tough as Olympic judges (who haven’t been paid off-I have never gotten paid for a post about a company or service). Your therapist may not speak English very well, so make sure your preferences are clear before and during your session.

For only $39 per hour (longer sessions and varied styles are offered at higher prices), it is definitely worth trying traditional Thai massage if you haven’t yet. Now that Pel has remembered where she wanted to take me originally, we plan to try that place next week.

Stay tuned for next week’s ratings….

>My friends who live in California are buying property in Austin. Yes, they are moving to Texas (it’s ok to go now; the state idiot doesn’t live here anymore). Austin has grown more metropolitan with the influx of people looking for an affordable place to retire and simply to live as prices on the West Coast have skyrocketed; a three bedroom house on a nice piece of land in Austin costs less than a one bedroom condo here in Los Angeles. They are already known for having a vibrant country music scene and a world renowned University, but do they offer what displaced Californians would want? It seems the answer is yes. Celebrities like Sandra Bullock are opening hip restaurants in Austin using green philosophies (their “plastic” to go utensils are made of potatoes), and I found some surprisingly upscale offerings that blend the luxury of city tastes with the country style of Texas.

For the ultimate in facials, the Lake Austin spa resort offers an 80 minute diamond facial which stimulates collagen production and uses diamond particles to make your face sparkle for $230 (diamonds are expensive). They offer other unusual and slightly less expensive options too, including Asian cupping, marine facials, and a tour of Texas session which includes a scrub using prickly pear, an aloe wrap, and ending with an essential oil massage; try out more than one offering if you have time. This spa resort was named by Conde Nast Traveler magazine as the #1 readers choice in North America in 2008, so it is worth a trip to Austin. If you go with six or more people, you get 40% off their regular rates, so get a discount by making it a party!

If you are going to make the trip, make sure that you stop at Jeffrey’s which shows that Texas isn’t just home to BBQ and cowboys anymore. Jeffrey’s has the kind of food that is putting Austin on foodie itineraries with twists on American comfort food and European techniques that are as beautiful to your tastebuds as they are on a plate. You can be decadent with Petrossian caviar and blinis to start, or adventurous with crispy oysters on yucca root chips with habanero honey aïoli, then for an entree, choose either the balsamic braised short ribs with cheddar chive potatoes & roasted garlic olive sauce, or the prosciutto wrapped chinook salmon with fettucine, mushroom tapenade, and pistachio pesto. Make sure you save room for a dessert like their caramelized crêpes with butter pecan ice cream & citrus confit (or share it).

Austin may not have been on your radar, but there are more reasons than ever to explore it as it grows into a destination for spa and food lovers with roots in southern hospitality.

My friends who live in California are buying property in Austin. Yes, they are moving to Texas (it’s ok to go now; the state idiot doesn’t live here anymore). Austin has grown more metropolitan with the influx of people looking for an affordable place to retire and simply to live as prices on the West Coast have skyrocketed; a three bedroom house on a nice piece of land in Austin costs less than a one bedroom condo here in Los Angeles. They are already known for having a vibrant country music scene and a world renowned University, but do they offer what displaced Californians would want? It seems the answer is yes. Celebrities like Sandra Bullock are opening hip restaurants in Austin using green philosophies (their “plastic” to go utensils are made of potatoes), and I found some surprisingly upscale offerings that blend the luxury of city tastes with the country style of Texas.

For the ultimate in facials, the Lake Austin spa resort offers an 80 minute diamond facial which stimulates collagen production and uses diamond particles to make your face sparkle for $230 (diamonds are expensive). They offer other unusual and slightly less expensive options too, including Asian cupping, marine facials, and a tour of Texas session which includes a scrub using prickly pear, an aloe wrap, and ending with an essential oil massage; try out more than one offering if you have time. This spa resort was named by Conde Nast Traveler magazine as the #1 readers choice in North America in 2008, so it is worth a trip to Austin. If you go with six or more people, you get 40% off their regular rates, so get a discount by making it a party!

If you are going to make the trip, make sure that you stop at Jeffrey’s which shows that Texas isn’t just home to BBQ and cowboys anymore. Jeffrey’s has the kind of food that is putting Austin on foodie itineraries with twists on American comfort food and European techniques that are as beautiful to your tastebuds as they are on a plate. You can be decadent with Petrossian caviar and blinis to start, or adventurous with crispy oysters on yucca root chips with habanero honey aïoli, then for an entree, choose either the balsamic braised short ribs with cheddar chive potatoes & roasted garlic olive sauce, or the prosciutto wrapped chinook salmon with fettucine, mushroom tapenade, and pistachio pesto. Make sure you save room for a dessert like their caramelized crêpes with butter pecan ice cream & citrus confit (or share it).

Austin may not have been on your radar, but there are more reasons than ever to explore it as it grows into a destination for spa and food lovers with roots in southern hospitality.

My friends who live in California are buying property in Austin. Yes, they are moving to Texas (it’s ok to go now; the state idiot doesn’t live here anymore). Austin has grown more metropolitan with the influx of people looking for an affordable place to retire and simply to live as prices on the West Coast have skyrocketed; a three bedroom house on a nice piece of land in Austin costs less than a one bedroom condo here in Los Angeles. They are already known for having a vibrant country music scene and a world renowned University, but do they offer what displaced Californians would want? It seems the answer is yes. Celebrities like Sandra Bullock are opening hip restaurants in Austin using green philosophies (their “plastic” to go utensils are made of potatoes), and I found some surprisingly upscale offerings that blend the luxury of city tastes with the country style of Texas.

For the ultimate in facials, the Lake Austin spa resort offers an 80 minute diamond facial which stimulates collagen production and uses diamond particles to make your face sparkle for $230 (diamonds are expensive). They offer other unusual and slightly less expensive options too, including Asian cupping, marine facials, and a tour of Texas session which includes a scrub using prickly pear, an aloe wrap, and ending with an essential oil massage; try out more than one offering if you have time. This spa resort was named by Conde Nast Traveler magazine as the #1 readers choice in North America in 2008, so it is worth a trip to Austin. If you go with six or more people, you get 40% off their regular rates, so get a discount by making it a party!

If you are going to make the trip, make sure that you stop at Jeffrey’s which shows that Texas isn’t just home to BBQ and cowboys anymore. Jeffrey’s has the kind of food that is putting Austin on foodie itineraries with twists on American comfort food and European techniques that are as beautiful to your tastebuds as they are on a plate. You can be decadent with Petrossian caviar and blinis to start, or adventurous with crispy oysters on yucca root chips with habanero honey aïoli, then for an entree, choose either the balsamic braised short ribs with cheddar chive potatoes & roasted garlic olive sauce, or the prosciutto wrapped chinook salmon with fettucine, mushroom tapenade, and pistachio pesto. Make sure you save room for a dessert like their caramelized crêpes with butter pecan ice cream & citrus confit (or share it).

Austin may not have been on your radar, but there are more reasons than ever to explore it as it grows into a destination for spa and food lovers with roots in southern hospitality.

Healing can also be a state of mind, and loving kindness is a state of being that we can all benefit from on this planet. There is a book called The Power of Kindness by Piero Ferrucci which explores the magnitude of this power in small daily acts that have big impact. The chapters explore different ways we can be kind to ourselves and others, from honesty to respect, and ending in joy (what else would be the concluding chapter?). A pleasure to read and to share, this book is a kind reminder of the power that can come from empathy, generosity, and service.

Another great book which can heal is Ask and It Is Given by Jerry and Esther Hicks. This book literally changed my life after I applied the principal of feeling to my intentions. The basic premise is that we can think and wish for things to manifest, but until we FEEL it, our thoughts do not have the power to create. The simple premise of being honest about how we truly feel and taking a small step toward a better feeling, is the basis of this book. If what you wish is unbelievable to your emotions, then ask yourself what would feel better AND be believable? So many books talk about manifestation, but these are the original authors of the principal that your emotions must be in alignment with joy and truth to create what you desire (more joy and truth).

Sometimes healing is needed by your body; for those of us who have any kind of muscle pain or soreness on a regular basis, Arnica Gold is one product that we must have in our medicine cabinet. This is the highest concentration (20x rather than the 1x sold at most health food stores) of the arnica montana flower that is available over the counter. It is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, and they sell this to surgical offices for patients to apply after surgery to prevent scarring. Massage therapists use this on clients who have chronic pain and I prefer its’ nearly odorless formula over the less effective and smelly ointments we all grew up slathered with whenever we were achy. My massage therapist, Jessie, offers it for sale at his studio. They even have a smaller travel size that is refillable, so you can take it with you when you travel; you never know when you may need a touch of healing.

>Healing can also be a state of mind, and loving kindness is a state of being that we can all benefit from on this planet. There is a book called The Power of Kindness by Piero Ferrucci which explores the magnitude of this power in small daily acts that have big impact. The chapters explore different ways we can be kind to ourselves and others, from honesty to respect, and ending in joy (what else would be the concluding chapter?). A pleasure to read and to share, this book is a kind reminder of the power that can come from empathy, generosity, and service.

Another great book which can heal is Ask and It Is Given by Jerry and Esther Hicks. This book literally changed my life after I applied the principal of feeling to my intentions. The basic premise is that we can think and wish for things to manifest, but until we FEEL it, our thoughts do not have the power to create. The simple premise of being honest about how we truly feel and taking a small step toward a better feeling, is the basis of this book. If what you wish is unbelievable to your emotions, then ask yourself what would feel better AND be believable? So many books talk about manifestation, but these are the original authors of the principal that your emotions must be in alignment with joy and truth to create what you desire (more joy and truth).

Sometimes healing is needed by your body; for those of us who have any kind of muscle pain or soreness on a regular basis, Arnica Gold is one product that we must have in our medicine cabinet. This is the highest concentration (20x rather than the 1x sold at most health food stores) of the arnica montana flower that is available over the counter. It is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, and they sell this to surgical offices for patients to apply after surgery to prevent scarring. Massage therapists use this on clients who have chronic pain and I prefer its’ nearly odorless formula over the less effective and smelly ointments we all grew up slathered with whenever we were achy. My massage therapist, Jessie, offers it for sale at his studio. They even have a smaller travel size that is refillable, so you can take it with you when you travel; you never know when you may need a touch of healing.

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