Category Archives: A Healthy Mind

Becoming “Immune” To Medications

Before I start, I want to again say that I am not a doctor. I do not pretend to be trained in prescriptions or medical diagnosis. The things I discuss here are based on my observations as a Licensed Massage Therapist, personal experience and conversations with fellow colleagues in the alternative care realm. Now, here’s my theory on this gem of a subject 🙂

For some, a medication can seem to loose it’s effectiveness over time. Many assume they’re “becoming immune” or “getting used to” the medication. Then what happens? Your doctor either changes your medication or increases your dose to give you some relief.

What if what’s really occurring is a form of chemical addiction? When someone is addicted to a chemical their brain creates a sensation or need to force you to give the brain more of that chemical it’s addicted to, yes? So the medication reduces the problem…but once the brain is addicted it creates the problem again so you keep giving the brain the chemical in the medication it craves.

For example:
Sleeping pills – You can’s sleep so you start taking sleeping pills. Take them for long enough and the brain stops creating it’s own sleepy chemicals (like melatonin), creating a need for you to take more sleeping pills in order to get sleepy.

Nasal spray – Your nose is plugged so you give it a squirt. Squirt to often and the brain creates more mucous and inflames the sinus tissue, creating a need for more spray so you can breathe.

Pain Medication – Now here’s a hum dinger few have thought of: You’re in pain so the doc man gives you something with…let’s say an opioid (derived from opium) like Percocet (since we all know that’s addictive, right?). Brain LOVES opioids after awhile. Now what do you think the brain would need to create for you to take more pain medication?? That’s right…MORE PAIN! Bum deal huh!

The point in my little rant here is this: If you’re looking for a bandaid for your chronic condition – go for the pharmaceuticals. Don’t get me wrong, if you’ve just had a tooth pulled, broke a bone, have the flu or some other right-now-type-problem then take those suckers! They’ll do their job for those acute issues.

But if you’ve got a chronic pain, frequent headaches, constant constipation, depression, sciatica or other ain’t-going-nowhere-soon-type-problem then consider finding someone who will look for the cause rather than just treat the symptom with a magic blue pill.

I’m not gonna lie; it may take some time, and you may have to actually participate in your own healing (like loose a few pounds, stretch every day, meditate or change your diet). The up side is that you’ll actually be treating the problem instead of throwing a little dirt on it and hoping it goes away. It won’t, and if I’m correct in my logical deduction, it will come back as an angry Hulked-out chemically addicted pain in the butt an elephant gun can’t kill. Doesn’t sound fun at all now does it?

Want to start looking for the real cause of your problem? Here’s a few places to start. I know first hand these people will do everything they can to find the root of your problem and get you feeling better.
Body Harmony Massage – Meridian, ID – Specializes in pain management/chronic pain conditions
Vitality Acupuncture – Meridian, ID – Acupuncture for a variety of body & wellness issues
Boise Integrated Chiropractic – Boise, ID – Chiro who combines many other forms of treatment
Back 2 Life Chiropractic – Meridian, ID – Chiro with in-house x-rays and long term treatment plans
Guaranteed Healing – distance Chakra/Energy Healing (don’t knock it ’till you try it!)

Jennifer Parker, Body Harmony Massage
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Your Perspective Sets Your Reality

20131017-191538.jpgYou’ve heard of “the power of positive imaging”, right? The whole idea of visualizing what you want or acting happy will make you happy?

Don’t dismiss this as wishful thinking folks. There’s some legitimacy to the idea.

Let’s start on the flip side to prove my point. Everyone knows at least one person who is constantly negative about everything. “The Frowner” (picture Jeff Dunham’s “Walter” character here 😦 ). Say you take The Frowner to a restaurant with you. The Frowner will immediately start complaining about the decor, the service, the location, whatever. They’ll finish up their little rant with “and the food’s probably gonna stink too”. They are “glass half empty” people…because that’s the perspective they choose to take on just about everything. They LOOK for the negative! Even if you took this person to the finest place in town they still wouldn’t be happy. Why? Because negativity is the perspective they choose to take on life. You know this guy…and you avoid this guy.

Now lets think about that one person in our lives who’s always smiling. Let’s call them “Sunshine” (like those ever-smiling yellow happy faces 🙂 ) and take them out to dinner. Sunshine notices every cute nuance in the decor, the waitresses nice shoes, the flavor of the food and OMG look at the DESERT MENU! Everything makes Sunshine smile and get all gitty about silly little things that don’t even get noticed my most others. You cannot rain on Sunshine’s parade…they’ll just look up and wait patiently for their rainbow. They’ve chosen the “bright side” perspective in life. By doing so they are surrounded by things that make them happy regardless of the dung pile they may or may not be standing in…and people flock to their side to enjoy the light that emanates from Sunshine.

Who would you rather be? Your reality is set by your perspective. If you see the good, the world IS good! Am I saying if you choose the positive perspective you’ll win the lottery? No. What I’m saying is if you choose the positive perspective the simple things like a hug will make you feel like you just did.

Jennifer Parker, Body Harmony Massage
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5 Ways to Stress Less this Thanksgiving

thanksgivingTurkey day is on it’s way and though the holidays are a time of celebrating family and friends, sometimes it can be a time of stress and utter frustration. The trick here is to acknowledge what it is that causes your stress and address it before it becomes a problem. Here’s a few tips to point you in the right direction:

1. You are allowed to say “No”. – Not every request has to be granted. You don’t have to visit every family member’s dinner every year. You don’t need to make the requested ham and turkey or two different kinds of stuffing. Realize that if you become the “yes man” everything you do will end up being sub-par because you’ve stretched yourself to thin. Decide what’s a priority and what you can legitimately handle, then stick to it. “No” is not a dirty word and you should not feel guilty about using it when necessary.

2. Delegate. – My family did a pot-luck Thanksgiving for years and it worked out great. Whoever’s hosting makes the turkey and a couple other easy things. Everyone else gets assigned the fixin’s. Less stress for the hostess (since getting my house clean and ready for company is usually stress enough) and everyone gets to share their signature dish. Win-win situation.

3. Prep in advance. – Do not wait until the week of to go grocery shopping! The crowds alone will immediately make you want to kick yourself. Let alone the inevitability that the store will always be out of some critical ingredient you need by then. Plan your menu and shop 2-3 weeks early. Also, if you can find any make-ahead recipes (I make my mashed potatoes in advance and freeze them) they are a huge time and stress saver.

4. Accept that you can’t make everyone happy all the time. – Families are diverse…and to some degree every one is dysfunctional in their own special way. That being said, they will not all be happy all the time and that’s ok. Grandma will hate the gravy, your sister will pick a petty fight, your uncle will hate your stuffing or your husband will buy the wrong wine. Regardless, you’ve done your best, you’ve spent quality time with the people you love, and you’re thankful for another year with those closest to you. That, my dears, equals a successful Thanksgiving…no matter how the turkey turns out 🙂

5. Schedule a massage for right after everyone’s gone. Have it already booked. I know this sounds like a shameless plug, but hear me out. If you went through the entire week of Thanksgiving KNOWING there was a massage waiting for you at the end…wouldn’t things stress you out a little less knowing you had a prize waiting for you afterwards? It’s like a kid who braves the doctor knowing they’ll get a sucker and a sticker afterward! And don’t you think after coordinating the family feast you earned a little relaxing “me time”? I think yes!

And a little extra bit of advice: Don’t get so caught up in the stress of the holiday season that you forget the whole point. This is the time of year when we make a little extra effort to show our love and appreciation for friends and family. It’s not about gifts and food and marketing…it’s about celebrating what we already have and being thankful for it all.

Jennifer Parker, Body Harmony Massage
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7 Ways to Make Mondays Suck Less


We’ve all woken up on a Monday morning and went “Uuuuuggghhh I hate Mondays!”. Fortunately, they don’t have to be so awful. Here’s 7 tips I’ve found to make them suck a little less. Enjoy!

1. Do something you enjoy on Mondays. Go to Yoga, stop at your favorite coffee shop, have a lunch date with your friends, walk in the park or whatever makes you happy. If you know every Monday you’re going to do something that will make you smile, maybe you’ll start actually looking FORWARD to Mondays! It could happen!

2. Make Mondays “desert day”. Yes, many of us are on a diet of one kind or another. Regardless, even the experts say you should allow yourself an occasional “reward”. Soo…I say we should now dub them “CAKE MONDAYS!” (or pie or wine or whatever your vice is that you’re currently denying yourself). Mmmmm….cake.

3. Have mini date nights every Wednesday. Go have a drink after work with your honey or friends every Wednesday. Part of what makes Mondays suck is that there’s 5 whole days before fun-time Friday gets here. Break up the week a little so it doesn’t seem so long.

4. Schedule Massage Mondays. Yup, I said it. I LOVE getting massages on Mondays. Why? Because it just makes the whole week go by smoother when you start off the week all relaxed and happy!

5. Start your week on a different day (if you can). Mondays are packed full of negative energy because everybody’s grouchy that it’s even Monday. If you can start your week on a different day you can avoid being pulled down by everyone else’s “Monday blues”.

6. Do shower meditation. I’ve recently discovered this one and it really changes my outlook on any day. When you take your morning shower close your eyes and just feel the water pouring over you. Let all the crummy feelings run off with the water and down the drain. I know it sounds a little hooky, but try it. When I do this I step out of the shower refreshed, energetic and ready to take on the world. It’s pretty awesome.

7. Change your perspective. Why do Mondays suck so bad? Is it really because everything bad happens on a Monday? Or could it be that they suck because we get out of bed with a sucky attitude that bleeds into our whole day? Put a smile on people! They’re contagious you know, and you just might start doing it automatically 😉

Jennifer Parker, Body Harmony Massage
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In honor of World Mental Health Day, let’s talk about depression.

Excellent blog post about Depression & mental illness

Invigorate Massage and Wellness

An estimated 1 in 10 adults in the United States suffers from some kind of depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That’s around the same percentage of American adults who are left-handed, and yet while handedness is seen today as a quirky curiosity (or sometimes an advantage, in the case of athletes), there is still stigma and silence surrounding depression as an illness. So let’s talk: what is depression? Why is it problematic? And is there anything that can help?

What is depression?

Let’s start with what depression isn’t: a bad day, a brief period of mourning after a loss, or a pessimistic outlook on life. It consists of a period of more than two weeks of a bad mood, decreased interest in things that one normally finds enjoyable, and can also include fatigue, changes in weight, difficulty concentrating, inappropriate guilt, and even suicidal thoughts. While two weeks…

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Clairvoyant Distance Healing – My Unbelievable Experience

In my personal quest to experience several different alternative healings, I found myself drawn to Chakra Cleansing. Oddly enough, even though I’m deeply involved in alternative medicine this is not typically something I’d even consider. I’m a very “hands-on” type massage therapist and the whole energy healing thing honestly always seemed a bit hookey. I’m a logical, skeptical thinker. A Taurean-Rooster who’s stubborn and, as Erin ended up putting it, suffers from “mental constipation”. This of course I found hilarious, mostly because I always feel I let my head get in the way of things. My point is even after I paid for this and made the appointment I was nervous and had some serious doubts.

Nevertheless, I like to go with my gut on things and I was drawn to one particular website…Guaranteed Healing. Guaranteed? Really? I kept going back to it, but she’s a clairvoyant distance healer no less…so my logical mind kept dismissing it as not possible and I moved on.

But I kept going back. Over and over I’d check out her site, read TONS of positive testimonials and watch the video testimonials from all around the world. All swearing on the wonders of this woman’s abilities. Doctors, Chiropractors, joe-schmos and completely sane sounding people! Finally I said screw it and just jumped in. I purchased a 90min session…go big or go home right?!

I cannot explain to you the shock I experienced from her accuracy just in the first few minutes. She knew little things, that I’m a Taurus & my boyfriend is of Mexican decent…but the big things…those are what get your attention! Details about some big family issues, opinions I had of myself, fears I had for my son and my relationship. Not run-of-the-mill anybody could fit in stuff, but DETAILS. Intimate details all laid out on a shiny silver platter. No sugar coating. Just straight, honest, companionate truth.

But I’m getting off track here…the healing is what I was after. So Erin, super sweet crack-up that she is, goes through each Chakra one by one. She tells you what she sees there, allowing you to recognize it and let it go. Then she removes what she calls “entities”. What feel like negative energy pools that attach to bad experiences in your life and muck up your Chakras, preventing your energy from flowing and blocking positive energy & experiences from coming in because you’re to full of negative energy to accept any positive. (At least that’s my general understanding. Her website & personal description gives much better detail)

Starting with my crown chakra, which tingled the whole time by the way, she tapped on pains in my life that brought me nearly to tears. She helps you let go of the pain and through visualizations & affirmations be an active participant in your own healing, which i feel is the only way one can truly heal. Once we got through removing the last entity here, the tingling in my head stopped and I felt that those experiences were…finally…over in my life.

By the time we got to the heart chakra I was feeling pretty good and, despite myself, was thoroughly impressed with her knowledge and abilities. What I didn’t know was the heart would be the hardest one for me. I’ve had several experiences in my life where I felt let down and outright betrayed by people who I felt should have been there for me. People I’d give my life for. And apparently I held all of that here. This negative energy, when she had me acknowledge it and asked me to give it to her, felt HUGE. As I visualized giving it to her it felt like roots of a tree, black and tarry, filling my chest. I felt the only way to get it out to give to her was to burn it. I burnt it to ash in my mind, mentally put a pile of ash in her hand, then instantly broke out in a sweat and fought the urge to bawl. She said “wow that was a big one” and the tears just started coming…from me the non-cryer…the strong one.

How do I explain what I felt once we were all done? I wasn’t all giddy and stupid happy…but I definitely felt a change. Before the session I would describe myself as “on the brink of sadness”. Not actually sad. Perfectly functional. But always a feeling of “waiting for the ball to drop” and that when it did, it would be the end of my control. I would say I actually feared it. Feared that if one more bad thing happened I wouldn’t bounce back this time. So I tried to control things, emotional things, to make sure I kept the ball up. I don’t feel that now. I’m…good. And even though “good” is the best I can describe it, “good” is freakin AWESOME. This must be what “at peace” feels like.

I’ll definitely be talking to Erin again soon. And I highly recommend anyone who has felt unexplainably “off” in their life to try her. She’s so good she offers a guarantee! Check her out at Guaranteed Healing and tell her I sent you 🙂

Jennifer Parker, Body Harmony Massage
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Negative Nellies

Negative Nellies, nay-sayers, haters…just plain rude people. You know them. With comments like “Must be nice”, “There’s no way that’ll work” & “Oh. My. God. Becky. Look at her butt.” 😉 how can you miss these constantly negative people?

What are they? Jealous. What are they jealous of? Everything. They’re just toxic, because negativity breeds negativity. You hang around with someone like that long enough and they’ll have you convinced your husband’s cheating, your kids are mental and everyone at work is secretly plotting your demise. They somehow make you feel guilty for being happy and/or successful. Like somehow just by smiling you’re ruining their day so they have to take your happiness down a peg with some back-handed compliment.

I know these people well. I’ve taken them on as little projects in the past, trying to shine a little sun under their gloomy thundercloud. And it never fails…pretty soon I’m being rained on too. I decided a long time ago I just can’t continue to let myself be slowly poisoned by association. Not only is it bad for my mental well being, but (since negativity breeds negativity) my entire family would suffer as well. Since that little beauty of a realization I’ve been happier, more positive and no longer let myself be drug down in petty drama.

Do you have one of these people in your social circle? Is it time to decide whether they’re more of a liability to your mental well being than an asset? I’m not one to judge anyone, but I have realized that sometimes when you want to help someone who doesn’t want or think they need help…you may just end up becoming part of the problem. When that’s the case, sometimes one needs to cut their losses and move on. And that’s ok.

Jennifer Parker, Body Harmony Massage
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