The power of touch

I have been practicing yoga for about 15 years. When I first started, yoga teachers would adjust you, touch you, sometimes wrap their arms around you and it felt like you and your yoga teacher were one. Then around 8 or so years ago, it stopped. Completely! Well, you get a tap here and a tap there but really it changed pretty drastically. I realized quickly in this litigious society we live in that they were all afraid of getting sued. Thus I adjusted to the new way of doing yoga…no adjustments and finally after awhile, I accepted it.

I bring this up because recently while in yoga I got the royal treatment and realized how differently I felt when I left the class. My teacher did the full on shivasana treatment, pulled my legs, ran his hands down my back, pulled my shoulders up, smoothed my forehead out. Little does this yoga teacher know how much he made my day (or maybe he did). Then in another class the other day, I was feeling down and desperately hoping my yoga class would change my mood. Towards the end of class, a woman next to me that I had never met before (turned out to be a yoga instructor), just reached out and gently laid her hand on my leg giving me an adjustment in my supine twist. It literally snapped me out of my funk (thanks Valerie :).) 

Which got me to thinking about the power of touch and how much it can transform the way you feel and if it transforms the way you feel, what else does it do? Well I researched it: touch triggers the release of brain endorphins: an endogenous analgesic more powerful than heroin or morphine. Wow!

I believe for the most part, we all liked to be touched and it can literally transform a moment of being kinda blah to feeling so good, even transforming your entire day. Touch is a powerful tool and I think people are deprived of it in our society. We are a “touch phobic” society due to the reports on sexual harassment, child molestation, etc. when the simplest hug can be completely innocent.

Our 9-year-old son Zach and his buddy Quinn

From our first moments of life, the sense of touch is the most important of our five senses. We can’t live without it. It is a basic human need. This isn’t surprising when we think about how infants need loving touch to be healthy and develop properly. Additionally, touch can heal. Many conditions can be alleviated by the healing touch of another human being: headaches, stress, anxiety, difficulty relaxing, tiredness, chronic pain, strained or injured muscles. Healing touches release the body’s natural capacity to heal. It’s holistic; starting with the skin, it “touches” the mind and spirit as well as the body.

 

So my message is, if you see me, touch me! Hee-hee. No really, hug someone, reach out and touch someone, a loved one, a friend, TODAY. Don’t be afraid to touch. You could literally change the way that person or yourself feels for the rest of the day and best of all, it’s free!

Hugs,
Nancy

I LOVE Madonna

Last week, I didn’t watch the Superbowl, but I did watch the halftime show on YouTube. I was pretty impressed with this 53-year-old woman who looked amazing up there dancing, but I was more impressed with her pre-game press conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta9gbgRqalI

She was nervous, honest, mentioned her mid-western roots (she grew up 20 miles away from me in Michigan), talked about prayer, talked about God and did a little salsa dance. She looked even better in the press conference than on stage, I thought.

The first time I really took notice of Madonna was in New York City in 1999, when I moved back to the states from Sweden and Nancy took me to her yoga studio. We were laying out our mats in this tiny studio downtown, and this 5 ft tall girl on the mat next to Nan says, “Nancy do you have an extra scrunchie?” Nan gave Madonna a hair band like it was nothing. I spent 5 years in Hollywood and was never very interested in seeing stars. I was totally star struck doing yoga next to Madonna for 2 hours. She was so unassuming, normal, and a really good yogi. Plus she’d just recorded our guru’s opening prayer as a song on Ray of Light. I thought that was risky to say the least.

It’s so easy to be critical of someone like Madonna. I’m reading this really great little book my mom gave me called “The Quiet Mind.” It says among other awesome things, “Enlightened ones do not get angry nor do they judge anyone. The young in soul are quick to pass judgment on others. Always find the goodness and light in everything. You can purify your own atoms by right thinking, right speech, right action and judging no one.” Needless to say, I’m way into purifying my atoms and if loving someone like Madonna helps me get there, I’m all for it.

Anybody in your life or in the world you might have a hard time loving? Can you find the goodness and light in them? It will heal your soul, I promise and so does The Quiet Mind, “If you train yourself to think in terms of love and forgiveness every moment of your life, a most beautiful healing will take place in you.”

Love,
Lance

Raw? No way!

We wanted to thank you for all your wonderful messages you left on our last post. We kept it up for the past couple weeks as we were relishing in your comments. We appreciated them so much and wanted to reply to each and every one but were worried unless you went back to the replies you wouldn’t see them. I realized that another reason for not sharing Lance’s MRI results initially besides the reasons I wrote (jinxing, needing it to sink in and relish it) was that I was worried about diffusing this healing energy that seems to be working. Then I realized,”Wait! They are our healing energy!!” You have completely supported us in so many ways and your love and continued caring has been a big part of all this process. So this is a BIG THANK YOU TO ALL. The cheers all around us makes us feel like we’re Madonna at the Super Bowl!

It’s been awhile since I posted a veggie recipe and I want to make sure you are all eating up your veggies since to me there is no food more important.

Ever since I was in NY last fall, I can’t stop thinking about the Italian man who asked me to be his lover….I mean my raw brussels sprouts salad(!) that I had at a restaurant in the West Village called Frankies. Actually, the Italian guy stopped me on my the way to the restaurant, but he was quickly forgotten when I was served my brussels sprouts! They were delicious and I couldn’t believe I was eating raw brussels sprouts. So when I returned to Boulder, I called the restaurant and did some research and found quite a few raw brussels sprout recipes and since I have been on a brussels sprouts binge all winter, I wanted to get this recipe out before they go out of season. This is combination of several recipes including Frankies in NY.

Shaved Raw Brussels Sprouts with grated cheese, toasted walnuts, lemon and olive oil

This is a quick 10 min preparation recipe that is simply delicious.

  • 1lb brussels sprouts (washed and ends cut off), put in food processor or chop finely
  • 1 cup walnuts (lightly toasted on 300 for about 10-15 min)..oh wait, i guess that makes preparing this a little longer.
  • 1/3 cup finely grated hard cheese like a pecorino, parmigiano-reggiano, castelrosso, or manchego (my preference since it’s a sheep cheese).
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil, potentially more if it seems like it needs it
  • Lemon zest (use a lemon zester)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Himilayan salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir it all up. Voila.
  • YUM

Here is a few facts about the nutritional qualities of Brussels Sprouts:

  • They have a high glucosinolate content which means they have special cancer-preventitive components.
  • Brussels sprouts (especially raw) can lower your cholesterol.
  • Brussels sprouts may have unique health benefits in protecting your DNA!

Sending you veggie love,
Nancy