Wellness in the Workplace

I am available for wellness services for businesses for employee appreciation, ongoing health maintenance, or health fairs.

I  provide chair massage, lead groups in seated wellness exercises for circulation and stress reduction, or teach classes on topics such as mindfulness, meditation, stress-busting strategies, or the art and benefits of deep breathing.

Taking time to tend to well-being boosts the health, morale, and productivity of employees.

If you need a team of therapists to provide chair massage, I can organize that as well. I have many compassionate, talented colleagues who I have worked with before and who I trust to bring to your business or event.

I have worked with many populations, including hospital employees, school teachers, state employees, radio station staff, caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s, college students, grandparents as parents, crime survivors,  triathletes, caregivers of the elderly, and more.  I enjoy these special events because I meet new people and work in a different environment for the day, and, as always, I love helping people and empowering them about their health.

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Pruning Your Life

Working with plants and landscapes, a person may do some pruning. When pruning, I notice, it is necessary for me to have some faith that the plants will grow back and fill in. They look so bare, and not so alive when I first cut them back, especially if I cut them back by much. It often reminds me then, of my life.

There are ways we prune in our lives, letting go of old habits, old items or relationships, old thought patterns, old ways of being. Our egos get so attached, so wrapped up in some of these things that it may be hard to let go. It might be scary. Who will I be without that habit? Who will I be without that belief? Who will I be without that relationship? It really is about faith or trust, just knowing that no matter how different it looks at first, new growth will occur there, and be it a plant, or your life, you will find even more beauty there than ever before.

Who knew getting walked on could feel so good?

Apparently, the Japanese did. Barefoot Shiatsu is a form of massage that works with the flow of energy through your body along lines called meridians (the same ones as in Chinese acupuncture). The energy flows through your body, supporting the various systems. If the energy gets blocked (think of it like a kink in a hose), the body manifests illness or pain.   Using hand, foot, or thumb pressure, or stretching, I unblock the flow for you, helping balance your body.

Barefoot Shiatsu is done on a padded mat on the floor. You wear loose comfortable clothing, like a t-shirt and sweat pants. The treatment is a combination of passive stretching and compression applied with hands, feet, or thumbs. It is relaxing and rejuvenating. Because it is designed to work with the flow of your energy meridians, it is usually more energizing afterward than a Swedish massage.

I use my feet to work on your back. Does it hurt? Not usually. I place a stool or chair nearby when I work on your back, and I am able to lean my weight on the chair to regulate how much weight I put on you. The first time I received a Barefoot Shiatsu treatment, the practitioner was a stout man, and when he walked on my back it didn’t even hurt. As in Swedish massage, a particularly sore or tight area may hurt a little when it is worked on.

Through years of experience, I have developed impressive palpation skills with my feet. In layman’s terms, that means that not only do I “see” with my hands when I work on people, but I can also “see” with my feet.   It’s pretty cool what the human body can do!

I recommend Shiatsu for anyone who can get down and up off the floor, and especially for those who need to feel energized after their massage. Typical Swedish style massage on the table can leave a person groggy, whereas Shiatsu, though relaxing, aligns one’s energy via the meridian work, so it’s easier to get up and go afterward. If you would like to try Barefoot Shiatsu, please let me know when you book your appointment, so I can plan ahead to set up the mat rather than the massage table.

Join me for the Art Show!

Your massage therapist, yoga teacher, and Renaissance woman, Bridget Noel Jones, is breaking into the art scene!

I am delighted to be included in this year’s Tallahassee Clay Arts Studio Tour, an art show hosted at several points around town, including many potters’ home studios.  The event takes place November 18, 2017, from 10:00am to 5:00pm.  I will be with Southpaw Pots & Friends at 1320 Eleanor Dr., at the South end of Indian Head Acres.  Gregg Matthews of Southpaw Pots is hosting the event in his lovely garage studio and his beautiful front yard under majestic oak trees.

Enjoy the works of ceramicists, Gregg Matthews, Mary Rault, and Kate Piretti, as well as my paintings and other artisitic renderings, and the Herbalism art and products of Phoenix Fermin.  This is a very fun group of artists.  We’ll have drinks to share, and Kickstand food truck will be selling food, for those who show up hungry.

Get an early start on holiday shopping, enjoy the fresh air on a fall day, and schmooze and have a drink with artists and art lovers, alike.

I’m Teaching Yoga at Crystal Portal Again!

I am teaching Kundalini Yoga classes at Crystal Portal in the Railroad Square Art Park again.  They moved across the street from where they were to a lovely place with a much bigger yoga room!  Come check it out.

This week, on October 11, 2017, at 7:00pm, I am teaching Meditation 101.  We will do some yoga to set ourselves for meditation, and sample a few different styles of mediation working with such elements as breath, mantra, and mudra.  Great for those new to yoga and mediation, and good for experienced yogis hoping to deepen their practice.  Bring a mat, a pillow, and perhaps a water.  Crystal Portal does have extra mats and pillows if you do not bring your own.

Kayak lake pic 2017

On October 18, 2017, we will do Yoga for Prosperity.  Let’s get our energy aligned and ourselves ready to receive abundance!

Classes are $12.00 and run from 7:00pm to 8:30pm.  You are welcome to pay when you arrive or to reserve a spot via Crystal Portal by phone or internet (Facebook event invite).  On Facebook, follow me, Bridget Noel Jones, LMT, and follow Crystal Portal, to get the latest on our upcoming classes.

 

The Truth About Our Pet Peeves

Pet peeves are little things in life that we get more bent out of shape about than necessary. One of mine has been the scent of other people’s laundry detergent, because since I cleaned up my diet twenty years ago, I have a powerful sense of smell. Another is when people pluck their eyebrows in a way that doesn’t look even remotely natural and that doesn’t flatter their face. What are yours?

I am a yogi and someone who very much enjoys observing and exploring my own consciousness and feelings, and observing others’, always curious about what it is to be human. I thought I would share with you what I have noticed about pet peeves in my life.

When I am feeling strong, confidant, healthy, inspired, and in balance, my pet peeves don’t bother me.   They don’t peeve me. They aren’t even my pets.

Why is this? When we feel great, we tend to stay on the good feeling trajectory, thinking more positive thoughts, looking at the world like it supports us, seeing synchronicities more easily, and tuning into inspiration naturally.

But what about when we are nursing some internal turmoil, doubt, fear, anxiety, or a victim mindset?   That is when we notice somebody chewing granola loudly with their mouth open, or that they spelled our name wrong again, or that people are tailgating in traffic, or that those are the stupidest eyebrows we have ever seen.

Now, when I see a pet peeve is peeving me, I get the clear message to check in with myself and get the needed time to reset my vibration to one of ease and love, ASAP.

Can your pet peeve be a person? Yes, it can. I love all the people. I do. That’s how I know that people can be our pet peeves, because once in a while, a person will become that thing that just upsets me, no matter what. Luckily, since loving people is easy for me, I can tell something is out of sync if I am letting a person be a source of irritation, and feeling very much the victim of whatever story I repeatedly tell internally about them.   When I feel great, I love this person, or perhaps they fade into the background, no longer a main character in my life.

I am grateful for these chances to be aware, and to take responsibility and shift my perspective.

Sometimes people will latch onto the pet peeves because they feel like they aren’t in control of things in their lives. We get scared sometimes. We reach for control because we think it will soothe us. We want things to be different than how they are, because we think it will make us happy. For best results, though, we need to go inward, reach for our heart, soul, and Source and the knowledge that life’s okay and we are safe, so we can flow with life again. This internal self-care is what we can control, what we are in charge of. Here is where we find empowerment.

That person who is late to your class may always be late. Do you want it to upset you, or do you want to be the source of your own happiness? You get to choose.

My 94-year-old Grandma says, “Things always have a way of working out.” She’s been paying attention for almost 100 years, so I really try to remind myself of this wisdom when I have forgotten.

Take life lightly, and let those peeves go, or at least find the wisdom in them, and tend to your sweet heart and soul.

Food and Illness

When I was in college, I loved pizza. I worked at a delivery restaurant and ate pizza every time I worked, maybe 5 times per week. I drank multiple cans of highly sugary and caffienated soda during every shift. Sometimes I ate a whole pint of ice cream for dinner, maybe once per week. I loved sweets, and because I was rail thin and thought people avoided sugar merely because it would make them fat, I ate whatever I wanted to. I did not know that my ignorance about nutrition and my favorite snacks and foods would soon be my undoing. I also enjoyed eating a bag of microwave popcorn with a huge glass of orange juice or two. I loved the sweet to salty contrast. After the pizza job, I worked in a bakery and I also learned to like coffee around that time. During my early morning bakery shifts, I drank coffee and nibbled on various muffins and cookies. Of course, as a college student, I drank beer and partied too. One of my roommates expressed concern about me. She thought I didn’t eat enough protein. As far as I was concerned, I was fine. Ramen noodles were cheap and I ate them on the days I didn’t eat at work.

In college, I developed bad sinus allergies. I woke every morning with a faucet-like runny nose. I blew my nose through my classes. Or I skipped them because I felt so crappy. I tried taking over the counter allergy medicines, but soon built a tolerance to the medicine and it only made me drowsy.

Eventually I got on a once-daily, allergy medicine prescribed by my doctor.   It was non-drowsy and non-stimulating and worked for a little while. I eventually built a tolerance to it and was back to faucet nose. And then they discontinued it anyway.

It was hell. I was miserable.

I got bronchitis a lot, too. and the doctors pumped me full of antibiotics.

One fall, after college, I caught what seemed like strep throat and, though I treated it, it morphed into Epstein Barr Syndrome (a fatigue illness like Mononucleosis). Though it was caused by a virus, my doctor of course gave me antibiotics for no reason. He also told me to rest.

This lingered seemingly forever. At my weakest, I couldn’t do more than two hours of activity, tops, in one day. I could work a short shift at the bakery and come home fatigued with a bad headache, or I could go to the grocery store and come home fatigued with a headache. Or go to a movie. Same results.

As I got better, I got some of my energy back, but not all of it. I could do more activity, but I was still weak compared to my peers. If my best friend and I went out to a bar, I would drink one beer and by the end of that beer, have an earache. I couldn’t comfortably swim under water because it hurt my ears too much to go more than a foot or two under.

All of this was dismaying. I had been an active, spry, young adult before this illness.

Then I went to my first massage therapist at age 23. When he looked at my intake form, he saw my various health issues as related. He could tell by my symptoms that my intestinal flora was out of balance, and he turned me on to a product that helped restore some of my friendly intestinal bacteria (which can be killed by coffee, by antibiotics, or by an overgrowth of candida yeast which reproduce asexually by eating sugar). My allergy symptoms decreased some.

Time passed, and I was still weak. Inspired by this massage therapist’s practice, I soon realized I wanted to be an LMT too. I signed up for massage school. On my first day of massage school, I was talking to a classmate during lunch about my health woes. She heard my symptoms and said, “It sounds like you have an overgrowth of candida yeast in your system. You should go to my herbalist, Pam.   She helped me get rid of the same thing, and she’s been through it too, so she is a great support.” I set up an appointment right away. Pam diagnosed me as having candida yeast overgrowth, 2 or 3 viruses and some parasites.   Yikes! No wonder I felt like I did. She explained that in order to heal, I must stop eating sugar for a few months, eat lots of protein and vegetables, and take the herbs and vitamins she prescribed. Stopping eating sugar meant not only avoiding cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup, but also avoiding wheat, gluten, dairy (except butter), fermented foods, and even fruit!!! Now, many people think they could never do that. People wondered how I had the will power. The key for me was my level of commitment. I used to be energetic and full of life. At the time of this diagnosis, I still felt half alive, and that was not acceptable to me. I would rather be fully alive or dead than half alive, so I chose fully alive, and I adhered to the candida diet, doing everything she recommended. I was literally sick and tired of being sick and tired.

After some months went by, my health had improved and I was able to incorporate a few gentle sugars, like pears, green apples, and brown rice syrup as a sweetener.

Now, I eat a typical vegetarian diet, I eat sugar in small amounts compared to most of my countrypersons, I drink an occasional coffee or a beer. I have a lot of energy for a 44-year-old.   I have a lot of energy for a 24-year-old, in fact.

Nene Fest 2016 HooperThere’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned healing crisis to teach a willing learner about empowerment around one’s own well-being. We eat Every day. Learning what to feed oneself is a powerful foundation to good health.

I am very grateful that I experienced all of this, because I got on a path of self-care and natural wellness at a very young age. I have a truly experiential understanding of what it takes to heal through diet, I have plenty of understanding of what it takes to eliminate foods, and compassion for anyone who needs to change their diet, and I can gently encourage people in my healing practice, because I got through it. So can you.

Gratitude and Love

I am grateful, and I am learning through life experience that a practice of gratitude does wonders.  Look for something to be grateful for every day, every moment, and you will find that life gets better and better, easier and easier.

And one day, or moment, you might forget gratitude.  You might forget joy, or trust, or well-being. You might think a path of gratitude is not helping after all.

But then, remember.  Remember to reach for gratitude.  Can you tell yourself this?  Can you tell yourself that thoughts of gratitude will return? That this is just a hiccup in your positive momentum?

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You are doing great.  You are truly, honestly, beautifully doing your best.  You are beautiful simply because of your humanness.  You are absolutely precious, unique, and wonderful.

Kundalini Yoga on Wednesdays at Noon

045I am excited to announce my new class, Relax and Renew with Kundalini Yoga!  Join me Wednesdays from 12:00pm (noon) until 1:15pm at Crystal Portal at the Railroad Square Art Park, 1031 Commercial Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32310.

Please arrive a few minutes early so you can settle in and be prepared to start promptly at noon.  New students are encouraged to meet me at 11:45am so I can teach you the mantra we use to start class, the basics of breathing, and the root lock.

Kundalini Yoga is usually practiced wearing clothing made of breathable, natural fibers in which we can easily move and stretch.

Please bring a yoga mat or blanket.  Ideally, we practice Kundalini Yoga on natural fibers that do not insulate us from our electromagnetic connection to Earth.  You will typically see Kundalini Yogis using sheepskins, cotton blankets, Mexican blankets and the like.  I will still use a rubber yoga mat under my sheepskin when teaching because most yoga studio floors are hard enough that I need it.  I encourage you also to please use what makes you comfortable in class.  Crystal Portal has a few mats in case you forget yours.  Many students find that it is  helpful to have either a small pillow or perhaps a rolled towel or blanket to sit on when meditating, so bring one if that’s true for you.

You may also want to bring a water bottle for during or after class.

Classes cost $12.00 each, or you can purchase four classes for $40.00.

How Did I Get Into Massage?

022.JPGBack in the 1990’s, I was finished with college, had a BA from UCF in Anthropology, and worked at a restaurant. One of my coworkers told me how proud he was of his girlfriend, who was graduating from massage therapy school. I asked if it was like physical therapy, and he explained that it was kind of similar, with more emphasis on relaxation. This was the first time I had heard of this career choice and I found it a bit intriguing.

One day, a massage therapist ate at our restaurant and gave his waiter some business cards to pass out, with a coupon on the back for a free half hour massage, or a whole hour for the price of half. I was working four doubles that week, so I woke up on my day off, interestingly with the words, “The Laying On Of Hands” in my head. This quickly reminded me of the coupon, and I called to make an appointment. The therapist chided me a little for calling and expecting an appointment the same day, but he was able to get me into his schedule.

I went to his office, which was decorated with a combination of new age music, crystals, incense and walls of very clinical looking anatomy posters. I was 23 years old and had never had a massage. My goodness, the massage felt wonderful, and one thing that stood out to me was that the massage woke me up to an awareness of my body I had somehow lost. When he massaged my feet, it was like, “Oh yeah! I have feet!”

I loved massage therapy and saw this practitioner a few more times. I would look around his treatment room at the anatomical posters and the crystals, and think, hey, I could do this! This job is like a meditation in motion and a dance! Oh, but my Dad only paid for my first four years of college and that’s it. If only there was financial aid….

And one day, I picked up an alternative magazine in Orlando, where I lived, and there was an ad for a massage school and the words “Financial aid available.”

The rest is history, folks! I signed up for massage school right away, including my school’s advanced program, a detailed program about four months long that went much deeper in learning than the six month basic program. The advanced program included not just how to relax someone, but also very specific training in treating common pathologies in each area of the body, giving me plenty of competence and confidence. I took ten months of massage school, and graduated at the top of my class. Now, here I am at your service, nearly twenty years later. How may I help you?

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