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by Star Kolb, Moab Yoga Instructor

You may be thinking about an old victorian or adobe and the process, the time it takes to repair it. Well, there are similarities, the body needs time and attention too! The amazing design of the human body and it’s capacity to heal and be healthy is directly linked with the rest and nourishment it receives.

Did you know that proper rest and sleep: Boosts your immune system.

Improves your memory. Stimulates creativity.

Helps with weight management.

Helps you stay mentally and emotionally fit. Improves concentration and productivity. Slows down the aging process.
Reduces anxiety and depression. Helps you experience less pain.

Improves your overall health, restores, and energizes.

Rest-what can we do if we are stressed or not getting those 8 hours that our doctors recommend?
We can “actively” restore, this is different than sleep or zoning out on TV. In yoga this is called savasana or final relaxation, this occurs at the end of every yoga class. It resets our entire system, restores the body and over time-relaxes the mind. It is taking the time, setting aside 10-15 minutes. How about now? Find a place to lay down on your back (preferably not in your bed, if so-lay the other direction), if you have back pain, put a rolled blanket under your knees or bring your legs up a chair.

Set a timer for 10-15 minutes.
Start to progressively relax the body:
Relax left toes to hip-relax right toes to hip.
Relax left fingers to shoulder-relax the right fingers to shoulder. Relax pelvic floor-buttocks.
Relax the back.
Relax the belly and chest. Relax the neck-ears.
Relax the entire face: jaw-lips-tongue-cheeks-nose-eyes-scalp. Stay lightly focused on your breath and let your body rest. Timer dings and you are ready for the next part of your day.

At different times in my life, I have practiced relaxation(savasana) between each activity in my day. Morning walk-savasana. Work-savasana before lunch. Home-savasana before dinner. This reset cleared my mind, rested my body and brought me present with that part of my day.

Taking 10 minutes a couple of times a day has the potential to change your body and life.

“The evidence is growing that a *yoga practice is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health.” Harvard Medical School.

*To get the most benefit, choose a yoga style that matches your current fitness/health level, as well as your goals for practicing yoga. Try different classes and teachers, and see what works for you.

Moab Yoga opened in 2012 and has 20 weekly classes, over a dozen teachers and yoga styles to choose from. It offers Yoga Teacher Trainings and Workshops. We are delighted to be part of the community and to be a support in your path of well being. Moab Yoga 37E Center St. 435.259.2455.


Worried about the Flu?
by Ray Andrew, MD

Welcome to flu season! This is the time of year when you can expect to hear all kinds of catchy slogans like “Stick it to the flu with a flu shot.” And you can count on being scared with statistics like “80,000 Americans died from the flu last year.”

Unfortunately, the marketing slogans and the statistics are both misleading. At best, when the scientists have guessed correctly which flu strains are going to be active in the coming season, the flu shot is (according to the CDC) 47% effective. But surveillance data show that only 17% of flu-like illnesses in the United States are actually caused by the influenza virus. The rest are caused by other viruses, along with some bacteria, parasites, and yeast.

In other words, more than 4 out of 5 people who see their doctor with classic flu symptoms don’t actually have the flu after all. And because the vaccine is effective in less than half the cases of flu, less than 1 in 10 flu-like illnesses would be prevented by the vaccine.

As for all those deaths, recently the CDC decided to lump flu deaths in with deaths from pneumonia. Separating them out, actual flu deaths are estimated to be approximately 1,000 per year. Compare this to 480,000 deaths from smoking, 190,000 from obesity, 45,000 from suicide, 10,500 from drunk driving, and you can clearly see where America’s real health hazards lie.

Even if the flu shot were effective, consider the cost to your brain and immune system. Before taking that jab, ask your doctor or pharmacist for a copy of the package insert. Don’t be surprised to see that this miracle shot contains the following ingredients: Viruses, chicken egg (causes allergic reactions), aluminum (causes Alzheimer’s), thimerosal (aka mercury, which causes Alzheimer’s), formaldehyde (causes cancer), polysorbate 80 (cancer and infertility), antibiotics (weaken the immune system), and pork gelatin (allergies, religious prohibitions).

The bottom line? Get the facts and make your own decision. No doctor, pharmacist, employer, or government agency has the right or responsibility to decide for you.

Whether or not you choose to take the vaccine, your best protection against both Influenza and the far more common influenza-like illnesses is your own immune system. How can you strengthen it? Begin by avoiding immune toxins, such as nicotine, refined sugar (in all its forms), alcohol and excessive stress. Nobody would take a 3-legged horse to the race track, but this is what we do every time we leave the house after damaging our immune systems with toxins.

Secondly, give your immune system what it needs to function optimally: Adequate vitamin D, vitamin C, rest, water, exercise, and nutrient-dense food. “Nutrient-dense” means lots of vitamins and minerals (especially antioxidants) without lots of calories. The more natural colors on your plate, the better, especially from vegetables and low-fructose fruits like blueberries. As for vitamin D, ask your doctor to check your level of 25-OH-vitamin D3. This is the only way to make sure you are getting enough but not too much. The traditional recommended minimum level of 30 is fine for bone health, but vitamin D experts have discovered that an optimal level for immune health is between 60 and 100.

Since we began promoting these recommendations in our office in 2009, we haven’t seen much Influenza or flu-like illness. But when we do, we have immune-strengthening tools to help patients get over it faster. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Make an appointment by calling (435) 259-4466.

Moab Family Health: Promoting Health. Ignoring Propaganda. Following the Evidence.

The Healing Art of Abdominal Chi Massage
by Meagan Coy

In January of 2018, I got the opportunity to travel to Thailand and immerse myself in two different massage therapy trainings. One was enhancing my knowledge and skills in Thai Massage, and the other one that I chose to take was titled “Abdominal Chi Massage.” I was drawn to take this training, because I knew it would take me out of my comfort zone, and I was intrigued to learn about and work with the internal organs on a much deeper level. I had a feeling that this work could be very powerful stuff, and after honing my skills on willing participants since I have returned from that trip, I can now confirm that it is!

My teacher in Thailand, Remco, described Abdominal Chi massage, also known as Chi Nei Tsang (pronounced Chee Nay Tsang) as a “massage energy therapy that touches the abdomen gently and deeply to clear the internal organs from stagnant and congested energies and remove habituated emotional patterns, creating an inner space to facilitate healing and realization.” Chi Nei Tsang literally translates as: Chi=energy/information; Nei=internal; Tsang=viscera/organs. According to Chi Nei Tsang practitioner, Kim Knight, it means “working the energy of the internal organs”, or “internal organs chi transformation.” It was used by monks for centuries in the mountain ranges of Taoist China to detoxify, strengthen and refine their bodies in order to carry out the highest level of spiritual practices. In the 1970’s, it was brought out of secrecy to the West by Master Mantak Chia as the physical branch of his ‘Universal Tao’ healing system. Since this secret unveiling, Abdominal Chi Massage has been growing in popularity around the world as its benefits are being more discovered and appreciated.

In a Chi Nei Tsang treatment, the client wears comfortable clothing and lies on their back on a cushioned mat on the floor, and props are used to make the client as comfortable as possible. The abdominal area is exposed, and oil is used during certain parts of the massage to perform some of the techniques with more ease. The practitioner works on the abdomen using gentle, soft, and deep touch, targeting all the major internal organs to help them work more efficiently. On a physical level, Chi Nei Tsang manipulations can feel different for different people, depending on each client and how they are storing imbalances in their bodies. Some of the techniques and areas may feel good to have massaged, while other areas and techniques may bring some discomfort. A Chi Nei Tsang practitioner does not try to ‘fix’ their client. Instead, an attitude of compassion and curiosity is used, and they act as an intermediary to bring the client more in touch with themselves and help the healing to come from within.

Beyond the physical benefits, one of the key strengths of this type of massage is to help people successfully address unprocessed emotions lying hidden within their bodies. When our organs are out of balance, they can become a vessel for holding trauma and negative emotions. Like when we are ‘livid’ or ‘green with envy’ and ‘bitter’, that’s our liver and gallbladder talking, or if you’ve felt ‘heartbroken’ or ‘cold-hearted’, or your ‘stomach is in a knot’ or we have a ‘gut feeling’ or are ‘frozen with fear’(kidneys). On the other hand, when our organs are balanced and healthy, they naturally contain the positive feelings of love, enthusiasm and respect (heart), optimism and courage (lungs), trust, wisdom and gentleness (kidneys), generosity and kindness (liver) and nurturing and balance (spleen). These positive, balanced feelings are who we truly are, and are already within us and seated deep within the organs. By clearing the mental and emotional blocks that have led to an accumulation of negative emotions in the body, Chi Nei Tsang restores a healthy flow of energy so that we can once again be our best selves. If any of this resonates with you, then receiving an Abdominal Chi Massage may just be what you are looking for.

Meagan Coy is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher. She is the owner of M.C.’s Healing Arts in Moab, UT and offers Abdominal Chi Massage in her practice.


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