Mindfulness Classes

Have I mentioned that I love to teach?

Well, I do. Sharing my experiences and knowledge with others is one of my favorite things to do. This year, I started homeschooling my 12 year old daughter.

Homeschooling has been a great experience for both of us; and just what she needed to thrive in her studies. A couple weeks ago, when she started feeling overwhelmed with our workload, we took a break from her book work for a couple of days and had mindfulness classes.

We watched a couple of documentaries and talked about the science of a stress response (that’s right, I am sneaky. . . I made sure we were still learning).

The activities that my daughter and I did together were helpful for both of us to take some time and look at our daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly routines for self-care and set some goals.

The fact that we were able to be flexible with our schedule and take some time for this when we needed it is invaluable.

I quit my job

I quit my job.

Eventually all the pieces fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment and know that everything happens for a reason.

I have lived by this quote, this piece of knowledge almost my whole life…certainly during the happy and more peaceful times in my life. There have been times that I have lost sight of this piece of invaluable intelligence, when that happens the I feel myself struggle.

My mom would tell me all the time, as I was growing up, that everything happens for a reason. During some of the most challenging times in my life, it has been the belief that everything happens for a reason that has gotten me through to the other side.

When I was a little over a year into a master’s degree in health care administration, there were some dark and shady abuses of power happening in the department that I was working in at a hospital. In short, I was extremely close to a promotion until my superior decided to prevent that from happening. When that happened, I questioned everything…I was unable to go to work because of the anxiety that my superior caused. I barely got out of bed for a week or two.

In the months preceding that event, during my studies of health care administration, I had taken 2 courses with a professor who was, a bit jaded with regard to the health care system in our great country. The required readings and material for his classes had supported a thought that I had already been aware of…the current health care system is BROKEN.

As long as I can remember, through every job that I have had, the one thing that always remained constant, is that I want to help people.

How can I help people within the confines of a broken health care system?

How can I help people when corrupt people with cruel intentions can prevent me from moving to a more integral position with lies?

I just kept telling myself, everything happens for a reason. When I would tell my story to friends, family, my doctor, I would cry and through my tears, I would say, everything happens for a reason, right? Maybe I am not meant to continue with this master’s in health care administration. Maybe I am not meant to stay with this company that has such a beautiful mission statement, where I thought I would retire from someday.

Then one day, I decided to follow an impulse and found myself sitting in the admissions office of a massage school. Right there on the wall behind the desk of their recruitment specialist was the quote that pulled me out of my darkness.

Eventually all the pieces fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment and know that everything happens for a reason.

When she stepped out of her office to make a copy, or retrieve another form, or something; I sneaked a picture. I sent it to all of my friends and family who had listened to me cry for the last few weeks. I told them all, this is it!! I quit the masters degree studies and I quit my job at the hospital and I started massage school.

My Dreams

I have written a few posts about the things that I want to share with people. I want to teach people to implement healthy self care practices in their daily lives. Now, I want to take a minute to tell you about my grand dreams for the future. Someday, I will welcome you to a holistic, mind, body, spirit, spa retreat. A place to heal and align themselves and learn.



I will help people achieve their health and wellness goals on a beautiful piece of land, close to St. Louis, Mo because that is where my family is.



My mission now, and will remain, is to provide nurturing therapeutic experience through education, empowerment, and presence.



There will be trees and water and grass to lay in a watch the stars or feel the warmth of the sun for an afternoon nap or picnic.



We will have a big house with a kitchen that always smells like delicious healthy food and a long dining table where my family will gather with all of our guests to talk and share experiences.



Comfortable and relaxing community spaces, inside and out, where people can spend time alone or with a group.



There will be treatment rooms for body work, energy work, colonics, a sauna, salt baths, acupuncture, and more. Larger rooms for yoga and other group classes.



For those who want to stay for a night or week or more, there will be a bunch of those cute little tiny houses that have everything you need.



Whether your goals are just to take a break from your day to day stresses and reconnect with nature, learn how to incorporate healthy self care routines when you go home, or you want to learn Reiki so that you can take home a skill to help yourself, family, and friends achieve balance and healing; this will be the place to achieve those goals.

The possibilites are endless….I know an amazing community of holistic health practitioners, who I will invite to join me for a week or a month or on a more regular basis to provide my guests with a variety of therapies and classes and more.



My wife is a veterinary technician; so in addition to helping people, we plan to have animal rescue kennels and a barn. If you want to bring your pet or board your pet in the kennels they will be welcome. If you just want some puppy snuggles and kisses while you are reconnecting with nature those will be provided as an added bonus to your experience.



Expanding my business now, means getting closer to my goals and dreams.

I will have a space where people can come to heal themselves. Where people can come to transition. Where people can come to get back to nature and feel more grounded, centered, and balanced in their lives. I hope that you will join me there.

Follow my blog, my YouTube, my Facebook, Instagram, however you want to follow me, I appreciate your support in my journey to change the way that people view the importance of their self care, their health and well being, body, mind, and soul.

Be like a Jedi


NOTICE

What if I told you that you have the Jedi power to control the unconscious functions of your body?



The automatic nervous system is the control center in the body for the unconscious functions. Most of the changes that happen when the automatic nervous system responds to sympathetic nervous system response and parasympathetic nervous system response are beyond conscious control.

Parasympathetic nervous system response is the calm, peaceful, homeostasis, when you are resting and digesting and not responding to stress or any life or danger situation.

When we learn to notice the physiological signs of stress, or the switch to sympathetic nervous system response in your own body, we can begin to control our unconscious responses, like a Jedi.



We cannot control the stressors and outside influences that cause our body to go into a stress response. Our bills are still going to be due each month, we still need to work, sometimes we need to drive in traffic, in many situations we have to interact with other people at work or the grocery store and such, and there are countless other things that we experience and have interactions with each day that we cannot control.

Our bodies respond to stress, whether we want it to or not and that is a good thing. We do not want to completely turn our bodies stress response off, because there are some times that we need to fight or flight for our protection. However, when we are not running from a bear, we do not need for our bodies to go into a sympathetic nervous system response.



The first step to helping our bodies stay in a parasympathetic nervous system response when we are not in life or death danger, rather we are just under stress in our lives, is to NOTICE when our bodies start responding. If we can train ourselves to notice the first physiological responses to stress, then we can begin to put a stop to that instinctual response when it is not necessary to our protection.

What to NOTICE…

In order to notice when our body is having a physiological response to stress, we must first know what the symptoms of a stress response include:

• The heart rate quickens
• The respiration quicken
• Digestive secretions stop
• Digestive smooth muscle contractions stop
• Sexual arousal is turned off
• Muscles are tense and ready for movement
• Vision is more acute but narrows

There are also a number of secondary symptoms of stress. Especially when we are under chronic stress and our bodies are in a stress response for long periods of time. Chronic stress response can be dangerous in and of itself, causing long term health issues.

After we notice, sometimes we can pinpoint a cause for the physiological response that we just experienced. In that situation, we can remove that trigger for our future self or at least notice when we come in contact with that trigger and stop the response before it starts.

In other situations, our body begins responding to stress when there is no apparent trigger. That is a panic disorder, and a topic for another day.

Are you RUNNING from a bear?

Are you running from a bear?

As the sun rises in the morning, you wake, stretch and take a slow deep breath. Get out if bed, greet your family members and discuss plans for the day and decide what to have for breakfast. You begin to prepare yourself for the day, all of a sudden you hear a sound…you recognize the sound and know that your family is in danger. Gather your family and as many belongings as you can and RUN. Your heart is racing, it quickened and feels like a drum in your chest. Your breathe is fast, taking in more oxygen to your muscles that are tense and help you flee. You are no longer thinking about breakfast or feeling hunger. Your vision narrows, you do not see distractions just what is ahead of you and how you will get to safety. You are running from a bear.

This might have been your reality if you lived hundreds or thousands of years ago. The stress that our long ago ancestors faced would likely be a life or death situation, like being face to face with a predator. The physiological response to that stress is to be in what we refer to as fight or flight.

When we are faced with life or death situations, such as coming face to face with a predator, that fight or flight physiological response is helpful and necessary. However, in current times, we are rarely coming face to face with a predator and being put in life or death situations; but our bodies are still responding to stress in the same way. Stress at work, deadlines, unpleasant interactions with people, traffic, bills/ finances, and such are the types of stress that people deal with on a daily basis. All of these stresses are not life threatening, but our bodies are responding as if we are running from a bear.

The automatic nervous system in the body controls the unconscious functions; heart rate, respiration, digestive secretions, digestive smooth muscle contractions, reproductive organs, and hormone secretions. At any given time the automatic nervous system is either in a sympathetic nervous system response or a parasympathetic nervous system response.

Sympathetic nervous system response is what we refer to as fight or flight, or stress response. The sympathetic nervous system response connects the brain to the organs of the body through the spinal nerves. During the fight or flight, stress response, the body reacts in ways to prepare for protection.
• The heart rate quickens
• The respiration quicken
• Digestive secretions stop
• Digestive smooth muscle contractions stop
• Sexual arousal is turned off
• Muscles are tense and ready for movement
• Vision is more acute but narrows

Parasympathetic nervous system response occurs when we are not in a stress response, this is a rest and digest state. The parasympathetic nervous system response connects the brain to the organs of the body through cranial nerves, more specifically the vagus nerve. During rest and digest the body is at a more calm and regulated and in a balanced homeostasis state.

Are you running from a bear?

I am committed.

I am committed.

I am committing myself to a 30 day challenge, because I am committed to spreading peace and well being to more people. Spreading peace and well being is nothing new for me, I have committed my whole life to helping people.

My first adventure in helping people was to earn a bachelor’s degree is social work. I spent a few years working in the field of social work, helping people.

I worked for a doctor’s office and then a hospital and worked towards a master’s degree in healthcare administration. When I took those jobs and started that degree program, I thought that I was helping people…helping people is a hard thing to do within the confines of a broken system. (That is a story for another day)

While I spent all these years, helping people, I was struggling in my own life.

I struggled in maintaining balance in my life.

I struggled financially.

I struggled with my health.

I struggled at my jobs.

I struggled as a mom.

I struggled to relax!!

I was doing my best, but I did not know what I did not know…and when I learned what it looks like to have proper self-care routines in one’s daily life looks like, I felt a ray of sunshine guide me out of the darkness.

Now, I work as a licensed massage therapist, certified colon hydrotherapist, birth and postpartum doula, reiki master, pranic healing practitioner, and self care guide. I am a holistic healer and help people every day.

When I became a therapist, and stated working with people everyday, I realized that I was not alone in my struggles. During my year in massage school, I learned how to practice true self-care.

Self-care. I had heard of self-care before, as I am sure that most people have. I thought that I was practicing self-care. I got massages every once in a while, I exercised when the mood struck me, I ate relatively healthy foods, and I took a little bit of time to do things that made me happy.

I learned that there is a little more to it that I was missing…I learned about the physiological response to stress and that effective self care effects the autonomic nervous system to bring the body back to a parasympathetic response. I learned that self care should be practiced EVERY DAY, not just with an occasional massage. Maybe the biggest lesson of all, and the one that brought the most peace to my journey, is that self care is different for all people. It is okay that the self care practices that work for other people do not always work for me.

Ever since I learned this seemingly simple lesson for myself, I have committed to sharing self care with others. I want to be the ray of sunshine that helps guide people out of the darkness of struggle and into a lifetime of happiness, health, and balance.

I have committed my life to help people. I currently work with people individually and in small groups, but I am ready to take my presence to a larger scale.

Bringing my Business Online

Why I decided to bring my personal one on one, holistic health business online.

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

I have made the decision to bring my business online.

As a Holistic Health practitioner, my work is done individually and occasionally in a small group.

My mission is to provide nurturing therapeutic experiences through education, empowerment, and presence.

I am a massage therapist, colon hydrotherapist, birth doula, postpartum doula, Reiki master, Pranic Healing Practitioner, and self-care guide. Most of those practices are unavoidably one to one, in person services; which puts a strict limit to my reach.

I have so much that I want to share. I want to reach all of the people who feel the way that I used to feel and share the things that I have learned that helped me through.

Of course, I cannot give you a massage or be present for the birth of a baby through the internet. I can provide my knowledge, to educate and empower change in your life the way it did mine.

I struggled through years of anxiety and depression. All I ever wanted to do with my life is help people. So, I went to school and got a degree in social work, like my mom who helps people. I started working a job in social work, and I loved it.

I was helping people every day. I was the breadwinner for my family, while working a job that I loved, helping people. What more could I ask for?

We lived paycheck to paycheck, I came home exhausted and overwhelmed by my own life, and every day was a struggle. After a while, the job got harder and harder to invest so much of myself for other people, while my own life suffered. My relationships suffered, because I did not have the energy to give anything when I got home.

I did not know how to relax. When I would get home and try to do something for myself, I would start to relax the muscles in my body…but I would experience pain. I had aches and pains all over, so my muscles would tense right back up to guard those sore spots.

My mind never stopped worrying, about everything. I was dragging myself out of bed each morning to give myself away.

I blamed the job, and compassion fatigue and quit. I worked in accounting after that, in a job that I did not have to be on call or take any part of it home with me. I thought that would solve all of my problems.

It worked for a little while, but I still struggled and now I was not fulfilling my need to help people. I went through a few more jobs. I attempted to go back to school a couple times and never finished because I was too exhausted from giving myself to every one and every thing without taking care of myself.

When I found myself in massage school, I learned so much more than how to run people’s backs. I learned how to take care of myself.

What a novel concept…to take care of ME!! I learned how to relax without pain. I worked through a lot of my aches and pains through not just different modalities of massage therapy, but I learned about other therapies and proper self care routines that changed my life.

I understood the purpose of self care, from a physiological stand point…because the body’s response to stress and especially chronic stress, is dangerous. You can READ HERE *link to come*, to learn more about how to notice those physiological signs of stress.

When you notice, you will want to make some changes to help your body heal. That is why I am here, that is why I have brought my business online. I want to help people who were in the same position that I was in for all those years.

It can be overwhelming to figure out how to do this whole self care thing and to research all of the possible therapies that could help you get all of those negative feelings and emotions unstuck from your body so that you can heal. I am here to help you make sense of the whole process.


Kate ~ Holistic Health Practitioner

Welcome to my blog. My name is Kate and I am a Holistic Health Practitioner.

What does “Holistic Health Practitioner” mean? You ask. . . well, it is my simple way of saying that I am a:

  • licensed massage therapist
  • certified colon hydrotherapist
  • DONA trained birth doula
  • Reiki Master and teacher
  • Pranic Healing practitioner
  • wellness advocate
  • self-care guide
  • and more.

I have a million more things on my list of modalities and therapies that I want to learn and practice. I am add more tools to my belt all the time.

My business (and personal) mission statement is to provide nurturing therapeutic experiences through education, empowerment, and presence.

I am starting a blog and have started a vlog (on YouTube) to increase my presence. With each of the therapies that I practice, I can only reach one person at a time. . . but I have a message and knowledge that I want everyone to hear. So here I go!