Tag Archive | menopause

my year of balance (or Regina Mae floats away)


I take care of my body with intention.  I practice yoga.  I get acupuncture.  I do detoxifying foot soaks.  I get rainbow oil treatments.  I tap using EFT.

yin-yang symbol

I am a Reiki master.  I meditate.  I pray.

Four years ago, I was overweight, stressed and unhappy.  Perimenopause meant hot flashes and out of control emotions.

Four years ago, I started my journey into holistic medicine.

Four years ago, I started seeing my brilliant acupuncturist, Dr. Rahmie Valentine.  Week by week, her needles worked their magic on my meridians, or energy channels.  Lying on her table, I feel myself float away.  From the table.  From my troubles.  From my pain.

As my meridians opened up, I saw definite, palpable improvements to my body and my emotions.  My hot flashes went away.  My emotions came under control, allowing me to stop using Lexapro.  My digestion cleared up, resolving a lifetime struggle with IBS.

During one of my treatments, I mentioned to Rahmie that I had inexplicably started doing yoga at home.  She referred me to Carrie Peterson Wandall, who became my beloved yoga instructor.

girl in downward facing dog yoga pose

Yoga helped me get in touch with my body.  It helped me start to hear what my body was trying to tell me. I lost twenty pounds in yoga.  I learned what peace feels like in my yoga classes.

After surgery, I told Carrie that I felt like I just couldn’t shake the anesthesia.  I felt like I was walking through a cloud.  She referred me to Barbara Bock, R.N., Ph.D.

Barbara is a registered nurse who earned a Master’s Degree in Health Care Management and her Doctorate in Health Care Administration.  Barbara spent years in traditional medicine before her own health crisis led her to holistic healthcare.  She is a Reiki master and Licensed Massage Therapist who uses her life experiences and intuition to change people’s lives.

Barbara introduced me to the world of detoxifying foot soaks.  After the first soak, I felt like a new woman.  I slept better.  I had more energy.  I felt lighter as I walked out of the treatment room.

reiki hands and om symbol

Carrie also brought me to Reiki.  “Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing.”  Carrie introduced me to Bob Calabrese, who gave me my first degree attunement, and Vivian Quattlebaum, who gave me my second degree attunement.

Eric Burns gave Carrie and me our Master attunement together.  I met Eric at one of Carrie’s Holiday Restorative classes.  She lined up several Reiki practitioners to go around the room and give Reiki to the participants as we laid in various restorative poses.  When Eric gave me Reiki, my entire body tingled.  To this day, I’ve never met a more powerful Reiki practitioner!

Four years after starting my journey into holistic healing, my body is healthier than it’s ever been.  Yoga and meditation are easy ways for me to keep in touch with my body and mind on a daily basis.  Monthly acupuncture visits keep my meridians flowing.  Rainbow oil treatments are the newest feel-good addition to the repertoire.

I can’t wait to see where this journey leads me next.

Question: What do you do to take care of your body and soul?

yoga whispers


Yoga came to me in a whisper.  And it saved my life.

At the yoga studio where I practice, I am the poster girl for “if she can yoga, anyone can.”  My yoga instructor has told me that she’s never seen anyone so completely disconnected from her body.round yogini in loose forward fold

Disconnection was my coping mechanism.  That was my survival method for enduring an unhappy marriage for over twenty years.  My body practically shouted at me, “Pay attention!  You are hurting! Life can be better!” But I was adept at tuning out the shouting.  But one night, lying in bed, I heard a whisper.  Just a whisper.

“You should start doing yoga.”

Yoga?  I was an overweight forty-something.  It would be difficult to find someone less athletic than me.  I spent my childhood curled up with books, hundreds of books – sneaking them out of the house under my shirt when my mother ordered me to play outside.  Thanks to two ear surgeries, my balance is still precarious at best.  But the whisper was persistent.

You should start doing yoga.”

So I did.

I started with easy beginner yoga videos, and within weeks, I was hooked.  Eventually, I got up the nerve to start taking classes at the local yoga studio.  The knowledge and support I received at YogiVeda transformed my practice. The friends I made in yoga class became my support system and my lifeline in the dark days ahead.

Within months, I lost weight, my blood pressure came down, and the hot flashes that were keeping me awake at night (thanks, early menopause!) were under control.  I could touch my toes for the first time in my adult life!  My back pain disappeared.

Within six months, I was ready for my first weekend yoga retreat!  My insightful, beautiful yoga instructor, Carrie Wandall, started the class by giving each of us a piece of paper.  As we meditated for a few minutes, she told us to think about what was toxic in our life, and write it on the piece of paper.  She told us we dedicate our practice to ridding ourselves of whatever was most toxic to us, and symbolically burn all those little pieces of paper at the end of the class.

I obediently sat with my knees crossed and eyes closed, asking myself what was toxic in my life.  The same answer came to me over and over again.

My marriage. 

My marriage is toxic.

My marriage is killing me.

That’s the day I knew my marriage had to end.  It took another year and a half to have the courage to walk away, to ask for the divorce I knew we both needed.  But that was my beginning.

Yoga class showed me what peace felt like.  For years, I memorized Bible verses about peace.  I craved peace in my life, in my home.  But I never knew what peace felt like until I found it laying in Savasana, corpse pose, at the end of yoga classes.    Then, I’d come home and feel that peace being sucked out of me, replaced with my old frenemies, Anxiety and Anger.

Thanks to yoga, today my heart is filled with peace.  My house is filled with peace.   And when my body talks to me, I listen ever so carefully.

What is your body telling you? Is your body shouting at you? Do you listen for the whisper that’s trying to save you?