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Self Protection is a part of Wellness too!

Self protection should also be part of your daily wellness practice. A few times a year I ask my friend Jane to come over to Aqua Serene Wellness to share her immense knowledge and product line she sells for self protection to my  female clients. 

Damsels In Defense Photo

Her events are done in the “Home Party”  format, we have cheese, some wine, a lot of laughs and share stories.  The subject matter is more intense, softened a bit by a pink pepper spray canister and a purse that has a place for self defense items built in. Let me tell you that pink or blue or flowered pepper spray canister packs a serious punch, be not fooled by it’s “girly exterior” and don’t be fooled by my girly exterior either!

Jane shows you how to use all the tools she sells as well as learn to be aware, confidant in what you do have on you to defend yourself, and where to strike that is most effective. She shows us how to get out of duct tape, zip ties all while quoting some sobering statistics.

There are quite a few products, stun guns, striking tools, personal alarms etc., I am not here to sell to you or promote a business. I am here to share with you some of my personal experience with “stranger danger” and unfortunately not so stranger danger.

striking tool

I have done a few self defense classes over the years out of necessity. I also played adult women’s soccer from 1997-2002, which is quite the contact sport in and of itself. Imagine a bunch of women over 40, peri menopausal, half of us divorced and angry attacking the ball and sometimes each other all in the name of competition!  I think this helped me a lot with being confrontational if necessary.  I have had to defend myself physically, emotionally and legally so I am no stranger to conflict or abuse.

I have learned to pay attention to my surroundings, keep my car door locked when filling the gas tank, Parking in well lit areas, wearing my purse strap across my body, etc. all the normal things you have heard to do…I do them. I keep my pepper spray hooked to my key ring or purse, I have a stun gun for those dark walks in a parking deck and I have a striking tool (my personal favorite) hooked to my purse by a break-away tether.

I have unfortunately had to grab my pepper spay and sticking tool both recently!

my personal striking tool

I have a pepper spray canister conveniently located in reach at my front desk. The people that work out of my wellness center all know where it is and we all watch each other’s back. Massage therapist are sometimes a target for “Creepers” We have seven female practitioners in our center and I think they all have attended the self protection workshops, possibly more than once. While our center is located in a very safe community, it can and does happen anywhere.

So now for a few of my recent  “Oh $hit” moments:

One evening this Spring I was getting ready to leave work. I had shut down all the lights, outside and inside except the front office. I was at my desk getting my notes finished up on the daily files and felt a creepy feeling rush over me. I was looking down taking notes and when I looked up there was a strange man standing at my desk. I never heard him come in the door and my desk has a high top counter so I didn’t notice him walk up to it. I should have locked the door but I was only going to be a minute writing notes and then leave for the day. It was about 7:30pm, already dark outside.

I am not sure how long he stood there staring at me, but he saw I was visibly startled when I looked up and saw him. He never said sorry to startle you, or hi, or anything, just stood there staring at me. I asked if I could help him, while my hand found the canister of pepper spray stashed at my desk. He said he wanted an appointment for massage “now”  I told him we were closed for the day and he mentioned that the door was open. He seemed pissy that no one was available last minute and I told him we are by appointment only. He grumbled something inaudible and left. I got up and locked the door behind him and then waited to leave, watching him sit in his car for several minutes in the parking lot. Once I saw his car leave I grabbed my keys with my striking tool in one hand and my purse pepper spray in the other and headed to my car. 

It only takes a few seconds of inattention to get yourself into a situation.

My most recent moment happened in August on Mass Ave on a Sunday evening. It was a hot steamy early evening (still daylight). I was meeting a friend for dinner and then we were going to see another friend perform in a show. I got to the restaurant early to put our name in. They told me it would be about 15 minutes for a table,  the place was packed. There was no place at the bar to wait so I opted to wait outside. There were several others outside waiting as well. To my right were two young ladies and a man standing down the sidewalk quite a ways and to my left was an older couple about 20 feet down. I leaned up against the brick wall of the building taking in the sights of the busy downtown area. I put my cell phone in my back pocket so I could feel the text alerts from both my friend and the notification our table was ready. Most of you that know me, know I try never to keep my phone on my body, I usually keep it in my purse. I knew I wouldn’t hear or feel it there so I jammed it into my pocket. 

I saw a man coming down the sidewalk at a fast pace. His brilliant white, fresh out of the wrapper t-shirt was so bright against his skin, it still had the prominent “fold lines” in it. Funny that is what caught my attention. He was making a bee line right towards me and at first I was searching the file system in my brain for a familiar face match, did I know him?  No….I did not.

He literally got 2 inches from my entire body and stood in front of me, our eyes were in a deadlock stare. I could feel and smell his breath on my face! He had glassy eyes with pin point pupils and I immediately recognized substance use disorder. I had a death grip on my striking tool behind my back, it was attached to my purse with a break away tether.

He said nothing, although he seem to be ready to pounce on me. I stared him down, I said nothing but in my mind I was saying to him. “don’t touch me, don’t step closer, I will plant the striking tool into your temple” Once I finished that sentence in my head, he shuttered and stepped back and ran. It was the weirdest thing. I let the breath leave my body and right then my back pocket buzzed to alert me of the table being ready and I almost dropped to the sidewalk!

The two ladies and guy down the sidewalk came up to me and asked me what happened. They saw the entire bizarre thing happen. The one girl said she thought he was going to grab me.

I was calm during the incident, that comes from being prepared and knowing how to use what you have on you. I fell apart after the initial threat some and I can to this day see his wild drug infused eyes staring back at me.

At this point my friend arrived and oddly enough we were seated at a shared table with the three people outside who witnessed the moment. They were still talking about it.

There is a list being shared all over the internet lately about the things a woman has to think of for safety compared to a man, it is pretty eye opening. It was published by a man named Jackson Katz Ph.D who uses it in his presentations: 

He asked men and women what they do to protect themselves from potential abuse: The male response was ; “Nothing, I don’t think about it”

The female response had over 35 items! Here are a few examples:

  • Hold my keys as a potential weapon
  • Check the backseat before getting in the car
  • Don’t go jogging at night
  • Never put my drink down & come back to it
  • Always watch my drink being poured
  • Have a male voice on my answering machine
  • Park in well lit areas
  • Never use a parking garage
  • Watch what I wear
  • Don’t get in elevator with a lone man or group of men
  • Make sure my family knows my itinerary
  • Lock my car doors as soon as I get into my car
  • Make sure not to rent first floor apartments
  • Carry pepper spray
  • etc…..

 

I have had my share of abusive situations, physical, emotional and legal. Without going into private details,  I was a victim of a crime and my case helped to change the verbiage of an existing law here in Indiana that protects your reasonable right to privacy. Believe it or not the original wording only protected you from strangers! Not your significant other, husband, wife,  etc., Technology and other advances leave many things in the dust unless we challenge them to change with the times. 

This subject is touchy, a hot button and not talked about very much. It is important to speak about it and to be prepared. Chances are you may never need to protect yourself, but you should know how. If you would like to reach out to Jane Norton and see her products click the link below;

Damsel Pro Jane

We see all these campaigns, news stories and political posts on social media, while it is a good idea to raise awareness, I see many people give opinions that have no experience to back it up. They have judgement about how someone should behave, what they should say etc., Unless you have been there please remember your judgement comes at the expense of another.  It drives me nuts and it is also a trigger for those of us that have had such an unfortunate experience. I have been on the witness stand, I have been cross examined, I have sat in depositions, interviewed by police detectives, prosecutors, attorneys and digital forensic investigators. I have had to ask for several protective orders, been harassed by the criminal and the system. I have watched the system fail me on more than one occasion and I have witness triumph as well. I have an opinion that is backed by experience…protect yourself, learn how, stay aware, teach your children about stranger danger and not so stranger danger. Be gentle with those who have been on the dark side, the incident might be over, but the triggers are everywhere, and memories are hard pressed to go away. PTSD is real and it is life changing.

Wellness comes in many forms. Be safe out there.

 

Disclaimer: As always this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not to be copied or published without the full written consent of the author. The events described within are from the authors memory of how, when and where the events took place and any similarity to actual people living or dead are purely a coincidence.

 

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day

Mom and I

The day we celebrate the person who sacrificed alcohol, cigarettes, Tylenol, hanging clothes on the line (old wives tail) and all around being a “normal” human being for 9 months so she could be a healthy host to us; the perfect little parasite!

Yes, for the majority of us we started out leaching nutrients, wreaking havoc, punching, kicking and growing inside our mother. We kept her up at night, caused her to throw up breakfast for a few months, demanded special food for her to crave at midnight, made her feet swell, her beautiful skin etch with stretch marks, her body to become uncomfortably large, her emotions to go wild and then into sheer panic on how and when the heck we would exit the facility!

That is the easy part of being a mother…

 

I have a mother and I am a mother.

It is the absolute hardest job in the world. There are no real requirements, degrees, certifications, or graduations to qualify you for this, on both ends of the spectrum, to be a mother or to have one.

First let me explain a bit about this day for my family and I. Mother’s Day has brought many tears to those I have loved. Both of my grandmothers and my mother in law all choose this day to take their Heavenly Journey. While the actual date differs yearly, the “day” still will always be Mother’s Day.

It has taken years to enjoy a Mother’s Day and not have that sadness take over, it still creeps in, but I have learned to make peace with it. Both of my grandmothers were older, in nursing homes and in poor health, but my mother in law was only 60 years old and it took us all by utter shock! I remember the day so vividly. My children had spent the night the evening before with her and their grandfather. We were all going to meet over at their house for lunch. My kids were 5 1/2 and 8 years old. They found her.  She had died suddenly that morning and our world was turned upside down. Explaining to my kids how Grandma was now an Angel was almost impossible. One thing that helped, she loved Angels and had them all over her house so this seemed to make sense to two little boys and for that I was grateful. Mother’s Day 1996 was by far one of the saddest days of our lives.

My youngest son with his Angel: Grandma Kaye 1992

Through the years my mom and I would joke about still breathing by midnight-01 and expelled a sigh of relief that we escaped the curse of Mother’s Day for yet another year. We have spent a lot of Mother’s Days together and they become more and more special as she ages into her mid 80’s. This year Mother’s Day brings the impending wait for her heart surgery to be scheduled. We both Thank God that regularly scheduled heart surgeries don’t take place on Sundays! She has asked for a date AFTER May 13th for the surgery just to be safer.

Mom and I Mother’s Day 2017

So having a mom comes with responsibility as well.

As children we worry them, as teenagers we make them angry and worry them, as adults we make them proud if we are lucky and still worry them. Then as time moves on we have to make decisions, medical, financial, caregiving, etc., that are difficult, and knowing “someday” is  getting closer and we have to prepare to say good bye and learn to live with them in our hearts…this also worries them.

Not to be too morbid of course, but to also honor a day that for many is filled with fancy dinners and flowers, for others it is a very hard day to get through. There are many among us who have lost our mothers and grandmothers. There are many who have lost children or cannot have a child and this day is extremely difficult.  We must remember to be gentle with people, we may not know or understand their story.

To BE a mother is a full bag of stuff as well.

My boys age 8 and 6

I have two boys that are now ages 27 and 30. Shortly after they lost their grandmother my husband and I got divorced. I became a single mom, although I had felt like one since they were babies. 

Being a single mom comes with all kinds of difficulty and rewards. As I look back on those times when it was just “us three” I am filled with good memories. I am surprised I managed so many things on my own. I taught them to drive a tractor, use a push mower and a weed-eater. I showed them how to make a fire and keep the wood burning stove going, use a power washer, power tools and more. They also learned to cook, use the washing machine and rescue and rehab dogs. We had so many fun times and so many nights I lay awake terrified I was screwing up.

Mother’s Day 2016 Daniel, Devin and I

Now that my kids are adults, I am thankful we still have each other, we have faced some very difficult times together, “us three”. I know I have messed up some along the way, I know I probably still will. It never stops, being a mom, the worry, the tears, the love…it doesn’t even stop once we are gone.

To quote Elizabeth Stone:

“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”

 I also was a stepmom for 9 years, which is a whole different kind of mom, for that you get a warrior badge! 

Here is wishing you all a Happy Mother’s Day and I hope you take the time to pat yourself on the back for being a mom and for having one!

Mom and I Mother’s Day 2014

We love having all Mother’s come to Aqua Serene Wellness for pampering anytime of the year. We are located in Carmel Indiana, home of the never ending Round-A-Bout!

Aqua Serene Wellness offers Colon Hydrotherapy, Digestive Support, Holistic Facial Services, Organic Skin Care by Dr. Hauschka, Energy Therapies, Massage, Acupuncture, Functional Medicine, Health and Wellness Coaching, Ionic Foot Detox and Coolsculpting® Services.

Check out our services here

Disclaimer: As always my blog is for educational purposes only. We do not offer medical advice, treat or diagnose. Check with your medical professional before taking any supplements or undergoing any treatments.

Holidays Can Be Heavy, Like A Bad Menstrual Cycle

The Holidays can be Heavy, like heavy menstrual cycles, they are uncomfortable, a PITA, messy and you just want it all to be over!

Interesting comparison that many women will get and most men at this point have covered their eyes (ears) and moved along. To the men, I ask you to stay because this is about us all.

One thing I always think to myself is “don’t leave this earth around a holiday” I don’t want to do to my kids what my dad, grandmothers and my in and out-laws have done to me… like they had a choice in the matter! So far Mother’s Day has chalked up 2 grandmothers and my mother-in-law, Thanksgiving my dad, and my dog Porter, Christmas my Great Grand Father, July 4th my neighbor, Easter my dog Chino, Halloween my ex father in law (my kids grandpa) and the list goes on.

Holidays are tough as it is. In an era of commercialism and consumerism, we have totally missed the boat. It is stressful enough without adding a dearly departed to the mix!

We are ever pressured to be like the TV commercials, have the perfect decorations, sipping champagne and wearing high heels and a designer dress, all the while our matching flatware, silverware and designer food looks too perfect to eat. Really? At my house we don’t have 8 dishes that match, I have haphazardly broken every good wine glass and we only have 5 spoons we keep rewashing because they are always in use. There is Christmas China somewhere in a box that has to be hand washed and real silverware that needs polished, who has time for that? My house is too small to entertain in anyhow, so I am grateful to those who invite us to theirs!


I am lucky to get the fake Christmas tree up and decorated so that it looks like it hasn’t been smashed back into a box for the past 6 years, not a single “pre lit” light even worked after year 3! This year with Nina Josephina the Crash-Bash-Zoomie Great Dane rescue puppy, the tree will probably make it’s last stand! A real tree is out of the question because I am allergic to pine and the dog would probably “mark” it. Yes, we are always channeling The Griswalds at the holidays!

The worse Christmas that I can think of was the year I got divorced from my second husband (2008) I was alone, my kids were at their dads so I got a bottle of vodka, some mixers, blasted Christmas music and smashed every ornament that had anything to do with my years married to a psycho. The Christmas tree didn’t go back up until 2011! I have since gathered new ornaments and new memories and do not regret smashing the old ones, it was therapy!

One of the best Christmas Days I have had (not counting when my children were little) involved catching a plane early that morning and being on Bonita Beach by 1:00pm that day, 80 degrees, just Tony and me drinking umbrella drinks and eating fish tacos. Tropical Holidays are amazing, nothing like listening to Frosty the Snowman with your feet in the surf!



While this all sounds like a trip down melancholy road, it is not. I do my best to find the “funny” in most of the moments I can. I honor the dearly departed with a drink or two, share some memories and count my lucky stars I am still sucking O2 into my lungs at the stroke of midnight on any given Holiday.

This year, as always I will be heading to my mom’s for Thanksgiving so the hours at Aqua will be adjusted. I will be here Monday 11/20 11:30-6, Tuesday 11/21 10:30-6 and Weds 10/22 10:30-1:00 Closed Thursday 11/23 through Monday 11/27. Small Business Saturday will be actually be Turkey Tuesday! LOL the Tuesday AFTER Thanksgiving 11/28, we will have a one day in house sale on Charlotte’s Web™ Hemp CBD Oil 15% off limit one per person, CBD Living Water 15% off and Erbaviva Sunscreen (for those super lucky tropical holiday travelers) 15% off.



Cyber Monday we will have Online Sale on services 15% off Regular Colonic, Dr. Hauschka Targeted Facial, Ionic Foot Detox, or Herbal Foot Spa, Promo Code at check out: 15percent

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, we will be here to help you get rid of the excess!

We are located in Carmel Indiana, home of the Round-A-Bout

We offer Colon Hydrotherapy, Digestive Support, Holistic Facial Services, Organic Skin Care by Dr. Hauschka, Energy Therapies, Massage, Acupuncture, Functional Medicine, Health and Wellness Coaching, Ionic Foot Detox and Chiropratic Services.

check out our services here

Disclaimer: As always my blog is for educational purposes only. We do not offer medical advice, treat or diagnose. Check with your medical professional before taking any supplements or undergoing any treatments.

Vacations and finding the perfect Bathroom!

 

Vacation, that short stint of time many of us work all year long for. We squeeze in sights, beach time, hikes, local food, drinks, and sports and often our cheeks. We pack too many clothes, not enough money, and usually forget something. We end up with a few trinkets to remind us of our time away and then return home to be paid back for leaving in the first place. Strange food, drinks and even stranger bathrooms.

I remember many vacations in my life. I was “lucky” and got to go on one every summer as a kid. My parents packed up the family car, my brother and myself and off we went to spend July 4th in another state. Those trips took us to Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia Beach, West Virginia, and Georgia to name a few.

I was a kid who got car sick, and I still do. My brother made that trip so much more miserable. Not only did he say and do things to further my suffering, he also punched really hard in the innocent game of slug bug. My father would threaten to turn the car around most of the trip and eventually he would have to separate us. I remember begging to stop and pee and my dad making me wait.  I threw up on the road side in every state south and east of Ohio. We never really went west…

My mom would make my dad stop at a hotel before dark so we could go swimming. My brother and I shared a full size bed in a Travel Lodge or HoJo’s and he would kick me to the floor, where I ended up with a pillow and the hotel bedspread. I cringe to think what was on either of those now that I am an adult.

My dad would always joke that I had “visited” every restroom in every city we had ever been too.  I even had to potty in a minnow bucket under the bow of our boat (my dad’s idea of a cruise vacation). Unless you have done number 2 in a minnow bucket at full throttle under the bow of a boat with nothing more than a Campbells Soup beach towel for privacy then you have not fully committed to the term ” make due”!

make shift toilet

As I grew older the need to “visit” every bathroom (or makeshift bathroom) has never changed. I found out as an adult that I have some extra stuff, 4 renal pelvis(s), 2 sets of ureters, and the smallest bladder in the world! So what this means basically my capacity for filtering and getting rid of fluids is 2-4 times the clip of a normal set of kidneys, and what a joke that I also came equipped with a tiny bladder! Top that off with loosing part of your Large Intestine, that makes me an expert bathroom finder on any given adventure! I am the one who will get up as soon as the seat belt sign shuts off to use the plane bathroom, one of several reasons I am an isle seat girl. 

The”Welcome” sign of relief!

To quote my long departed grandmother: “Never skip the opportunity to empty your bladder”

I have been to some fabulous bathrooms in my day and I have also had to improvise. I will only tell you a few stories so as to save you from my embarrassment!

Yet another sign for relief

Some top notch Bathrooms I have visited: 

The Princeville Resort, Princeville Hawaii (Kauai) the view was amazing!

View of the Napali Coast from Princeville Resort

  

The Signature Room Lounge in the John Hancock Building womens restroom, best ever view of Chicago!

View from Ladies room Signature Room Lounge

The town of Kohler Wisconsin, (nuff said)

The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai  on The Big Island  (they have an outdoor shower) check out their website here

Sax at Keystone at the Crossing. I always use the bathroom there because that is all I can afford to do in that store!

I won’t make a list of the worst, not much compares to a cramped port-a-pot on a 95 degree day that has not been emptied for the entire weekend! #soccermom

 

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I have had to makeshift my way more than a few times. The minnow bucket is one of my earliest memories!

I have hiked up a path in the Red Rocks hoping not to get bitten by a rattle snake.

Several “side of the roads”:

Once along the Blue Ridge Highway and I was walked up upon by some astonished hikers.

In no mans land West Va. We stopped at a gas station that they had either just dressed a deer in the restroom or murdered someone. I was not quite sure, nor was I going to stay around to find out. The side of the road on that rainy fog laden night was a safer choice,  McDonalds napkin in hand!

I’ve dropped my drawers in the Painted Desert, and in a cornfield on the back roads of Hendricks County. Handing off the wheel of my truck to my then 12 year old son because I could not sit upright to drive the rest of the way home from a BBQ. I made him swear to never tell because not only was it illegal for him to drive it was highly embarrassing! (It was field corn btw)

I even left my “Vicky’s” behind on a Greyhound bus in Galveston, Texas on the way to the airport due to a drinking binge on the last night of a cruise vacation. There was no TP, Paper towels or fabric to be found. 

So ironically I find myself in the “potty” business. It really is funny when you think about it. I have the Cadillac of Toilets (Angel of Water Colonic Machine) and you can do your business fireside in our beautifully designed colonic room, equipped with bluetooth speakers for your personal music or podcast, a fire place and wifi.

Our Serene Colon Hydrotherapy Room Featuring the Angel Of Water

There are many funny bathroom stories in my life and my clients usually have a classic to tell me. So if you are interested in sharing your story I am always up for a good bathroom tale.

Meanwhile we have lowered the price of colon hydrotherapy through the end of 2017 for our “Fourth Quarter Blowout”! Ha! Plus we carry several items to digest your adventurous vacation food choices.

Loomis Digestive Enzymes

For those going south of the border we have Absinthium,  (best choice for travelers diarrhea), Intesta Cleanse and let’s not forget Para A for those little friends we may bring home with us often known as parasites!

Marco Pharma Products

Then there is the trusty Enema Bucket. You might want to pack this item in your checked bag.  You could get some funny looks if they decide to unload your carry on luggage at the airport!

Enema Bucket Kit

We are located in Carmel Indiana, home of the Round-A-Bout, kinda what I feel I am on when looking for the ladies room in a strange town!

We offer Colon Hydrotherapy, Digestive Support, Holistic Facial Services, Organic Skin Care by Dr. Hauschka, Energy Therapies, Massage, Acupuncture, Functional Medicine, Health and Wellness Coaching, Ionic Foot Detox and Reiki.

check out our services here

Disclaimer: As always my blog is for educational purposes only. We do not offer medical advice, treat or diagnose. Check with your medical professional before taking any supplements or undergoing any treatments.

 

Rescue for Me, is Another Form of Wellness

Jimi my beautiful rescue boy who never missed a meal once we saved him from starving.

 

Rescue is a huge part of who I am. As a kid I rescued bugs, snakes, frogs and stray anything that came into our yard. To my parents dismay I once rescued a huge snapping turtle from the middle of the road. I put it in a metal coca cola cooler, loaded it into my wagon and brought it home. My dad convinced me it was heading to a nearby creek and that I needed to take it on over to the creek and “keep mindful of your fingers, snappers love little girl fingers for lunch”! So after naming him and trying to feed him flies and a few grass hoppers to no avail, I loaded him in my wagon and took him to the creek and set him loose. The next day he was back in our yard and my dad was sure I never took him to the creek. He loaded a crying me and the turtle into his car and we took him back to the creek. I was sure he would return to justify my stance with my father, but I think after meeting my dad and watching me defend our journey, he decided to stay put.

Turtle near my childhood home

My sense of adventure was never stifled by my parents, we were encouraged to play, get dirty and more importantly experience our little world and all of it’s gifts. My first actual “job” was to collect night crawlers for all my dad’s fishing buddies. I would water the yard and wait until dark, go out barefoot with a flashlight in one hand and a Sanka coffee can in the other, catching worms for the profit of .03 cents a piece.

The neighborhood I grew up in was pretty much right out of the movie The Sandlot. We spent many summer nights playing searchlight tag, kick the can, hide and seek, and football. The neighborhood had a small lot for us kids with a basket ball goal and some bases for kickball and that was it. We all gravitated towards the woods that none of us were actually allowed to go into. We would venture deep into the woods to the swamp. We spent many winters playing ice hockey on it and many summers hanging out catching frogs and fireflies. I set them loose after a day or two in a ball jar with holes in the lid. You could say from the outside my childhood looked idyllic, but it wasn’t. Youth had it’s rough times and I spent more than my share of nights crying into the fur of whatever animal I had rescued at the time. Dogs, I find are great listeners, they want to comfort you, while cats pretty much would tell you to “shut the hell up, quit bitching and do something productive already!”

As I grew up, rescue stayed a part of me. Dogs became the focus and Giant Breeds stole my heart; St. Bernard, English Mastiff and now Great Dane. I cannot count the fosters, rehabs, evaluations, home visits, shelter visits, vet bills, transports and dogs I have held while they crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I have volunteered, been on the BOD, and have been the state coordinator for several English Mastiff Rescues. Some of those dogs became foster fails (that means they never leave, just become family) Some moved onto their perfect forever home. They all took a piece of me with them.

About 1993 My son Daniel and Two of our St. Bernards

As the years have moved on and the rescues come and go, I have to admit they have all rescued me as well. My life certainly has had it’s struggles, those that really know me know my story and if it weren’t for the dogs, my heart would be even more fractured than it is today.

This is Hank, a Neo I helped transport a few times

How does all this relate back to Wellness you ask? It does because the love you give, the care and the joy come back at you tenfold. There is no supplement, herbal, facial, massage or other treatment that can do the same as sharing and caring from a giving heart. We care for our clients with that same giving heart.

As I write this it is the summer time, that is a slower period in our industry. Learning to go with the flow and accept the slow pace is difficult, especially when the rent, utilities and bills don’t slow down with it. However giving into the slowness has opened up space…

Space for a new heart that needed rescued.

As many of you know I had to send my beautiful mastiff (rescue) boy Chino over the bridge on Easter weekend and a piece of my heart went as well. He was almost 10 and for a giant breed that is technically “beyond his life expectancy”  There were not enough tears in my eyes for this moment, it seemed impossible to even breathe, let alone cry. He had a great life, he was loved by all of us, spoiled and happy until the end. We went home from the vet with his empty collar in  hand, it matched the giant hole in my heart and in our home…silent, empty, sad. I cleaned up his bowls, packed up his toys, canceled the auto ship to chewy.com, threw his bed in the trash and cried.  He deserved every tear that we all shed for him. For the first time in my 56+ years I was dog-less. Life no longer revolved around making sure someone was home to let him out, feed him, give him medicine, comfort him during a storm or fireworks. I only had to run the sweeper once a week, wash the nose prints off the window one final time. I placed his ashes and die cast paw print on the shelf along with the others. We could go away and not have a dog sitter, I didn’t have to go straight home from work, I could go shopping or out with a friend. It was oddly freeing and sad at the same time.

My beautiful boy Chino

 

Every one kept asking us if we were going to get another dog. My answer was; “in time” my heart was still hurting and I kinda wanted a “real” puppy this time (cue up Pinocchio)  A well bred puppy that no one had the chance to mess up yet. The guilt of that ripped me up inside. I preached constantly “Adopt Don’t Shop” didn’t I finally deserve a dog of my choosing, one that had not been starved, neglected, abused, dumped, sick, injured, homeless, unruly, wild, afraid of men, hats, sunglasses, loud noises, trash bags, hoses, fireworks, being left alone? Hadn’t I saved enough dogs, cats, mice, frogs and turtles along the way to get a brand spanking new puppy breath, pot bellied, fur baby?

Then along came Nina….

Nina the day we got her

Nina The first time inside the house. She curled up in a corner and feel asleep.

A bit over a month ago I got a phone call from a good friend with mastiff rescue. She said “We need a foster home and great dane rescue hasn’t answered the call”  (giant breed rescue people help each other’s breeds out) there was no room at the Inn as usual, foster homes were full. I was at work, listened to her tell the story of this desperate girl. She was 6 months old, had been bounced a few times and was being tied outside, neglected. She was hungry, dirty, sick, eating bugs, milk bones and dirt. The people couldn’t take the proper care of her that she needed. I am so happy a friend convinced them into contacting rescue instead of dumping her. I don’t want to begin to imagine what her life would have been if they put her on Craigslist or gave her to the shelter.

 I hesitated on the phone before answering my friend, a Great Dane was not really something I wanted.  I had a mastiff once that had great dane mixed in, and he was absolutely the best dog ever, but  I was a mastiff mommy after all. Then she said’ “you wanted a puppy” and I thought well crap…I did put it out in the Universe that I wanted a puppy, and the Universe knew my guilt and struggle with the need to rescue, not buy….So I said OK, we can foster her, rehab her and move her along to a wonderful Great Dane home… Yeah, Right!

“Princess Nina” will be officially a foster fail. She is a 70 pound (underweight)  handful of giant puppy. She was quite sick, covered in fly and flea bites, her hair was falling out in patches, ear infections, parasites, an intestinal infection and her toe was about chewed off, plus she was filthy! You could count every rib, there was literally no meat on this girl. She had zero manners, pulled you everywhere on a leash and puked all over the back of my truck on the ride home. She was so hungry we had to hand feed her small amounts, and wet down her food or she would throw it back up and eat it again. She didn’t know what to do inside our house.  Those first few days all she did was eat, and sleep. She was so exhausted and starved that I think she would not have made it much longer outside in the elements.

Nina doing her best Guard Dog impression

She has a grateful heart, a sweet soul and the best kisses and hugs you could ask for. Her name was not Nina, we changed it immediately. I named her after Nina Simone, an R& B Soul signer from the 50’s. The song “Feeling Good” is her theme song now, and she does chase butterflies. She is learning to be a house dog, can clear the coffee table and the ottoman in one giant leap.  Her nose is even with the kitchen sink and if you leave a dirty spatula or plastic container she will grab it and take off. She hates her crate, only because it means she is going to be alone. I have not taken a shower or gone to the restroom alone in a month! Her name is NINA MARIE, Or NINA NO STOP THAT When she is in trouble, which is often. She finally has gotten a clean bill of health from the vet, even though she is still underweight. We are getting there, she is learning that there will always be food, she will never live outside alone chained up and be eaten up by the flies, mosquitoes and fleas again. She is filling the empty space of my heart that Chino took with him. She is rescuing me…

This is Nina on Fly Patrol, she still thinks she needs to eat bugs!

Follow us on Instagram to keep up with Nina and her progress (antics) . We love her, even when she eats the corner of the kitchen wall, drinks your coffee when you aren’t looking or decides the tops of your feet are great to dance on.

Enjoy the rest of your summer, we hope to see you soon! We are located at:

301 E Carmel Drive

Suite C-100

Carmel Indiana

317-564-0930

Tues, Weds, Thurs 10-6:30

Friday and Saturday* 10-3:30 (*Closed the 1st & 3rd Saturdays of the month)

We offer Digestive Support, Colon Hydrotherapy, Holistic Skin Care, Raindrop Technique, Jin Shin Jyutsu®, Energy Therapies, Ionic Foot Detox, Massage, Acupuncture, Functional Medicine, Health and Wellness Coaching

Finally a Grown Up Survey! My Thoughts on Social Media Stuff.

My Brain is on Fried Mode:

 Today while browsing Facebook I saw the below survey posted on several of my friends status. I never fill those out, but I always read them and answer in my mind.  Another rule of mine is I never “copy/paste this status in your time line for one hour to show support for…….” or this one gets me too: “I know only my true friends will share this…… and so on”.  I have trouble following the crowd. I am a rebel. I take the high road as well as the wild weed infested twisted paths though the woods and through life. I have the cuts, bruises and sticker bush scratches to prove it! 

As a business owner I am constantly trying to keep up with Social Media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Blogging. I cannot speak about Snap Chat or Musicly (I don’t even know if I am spelling that correctly) because I cannot go there without my head exploding! I still have not mastered the new Instagram version of “Your Story” the first time I tried my camera setting was aimed at my scrawled up facial expression, catching me “Live” trying to figure the specifics out and next thing you know it’s posted and I had an “Oh $hit how do I delete that” moment.

Onto the blog posting part, the art of trying to produce “engaging content” is hard enough but before you post it there are all these perimeters of getting all the dots green on the SEO optimized check list. It is like trying to decipher the codes to the Universe. Then there are Keywords, Focus Keywords, Meta Descriptions, Character Count and so on and on and on…I am not an IT person, I am just a 1960’s  girl trying to navigate my way through the 2017 world of SEO, Blog, Social Media, and Marketing one link at a time.

 So anyhow,  just for fun and a break I thought I would copy the Grown Up Survey from Facebook and answer the questions here. If you are so inclined please share your answers with me or in your head is fine too.

The Grown Up Survey:

(My answers are in all CAPS)

Tired of those surveys made by high school kids? ‘Have you ever kissed someone? Missed someone? Drank alcohol?’
Here are 35 questions for Grown Ups:

1.What bill do you hate paying the most?
TAXES
2.Where was the last place you had a romantic dinner?
PROBABLY IN CHICAGO AT QUARTINO
3. What do you really want to be?
A PHILANTHROPIST
4. How many colleges did you attend?
ONE COLLEGE & SEVERAL TECH SCHOOLS
5. Why did you choose the shirt you have on?
IT IS PRESENTABLE FOR MY JOB AND IT IS SOFT, NO SCRATCHY TAGS !
6. Thoughts on gas prices?
I WILL DRIVE 5 MILES OUT OF MY WAY TO SAVE TWO CENTS!
7. First thought when the alarm goes off in the morning?
I NEVER SET THE ALARM, I WAKE UP EVERY DAY BEFORE 6:30 AM, I FIGURE SOON IT WILL BE 4:00 AM TO EMPTY THE OVER ACTIVE BLADDER I HEAR I WILL ACQUIRE ACCORDING TO THE LATEST DRUG COMMERCIAL. I AM GIVING MY SELF A FEW YEARS YET.
8. Last thought you have before you go to bed?
THERE IS NO LAST THOUGHT, MY BRAIN SPINS A MILLION TIMES A MINUTE MOSTLY AT BEDTIME!
9. Do you miss being a kid?
I MISS THE FREEDOM OF BEING A KID, EATING JUNK FOOD AND NEVER WORRYING ABOUT WHAT I WAS EATING. WARDROBE CHOICES WERE SO MUCH MORE SIMPLE, IT DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO MATCH!
10. What errand/chore do you despise the most?
CHORE: CLEANING THE FLOORS.  ERRAND: GOING TO PICK UP WATER JUGS
11. Up early or sleep in?
UP EARLY
12. Found love ?
THIS IS A VAGUE QUESTION, LIKE “LOVE” IS MISSING OR SOMETHING. I LOVE MY MOM, KIDS, AND BOYFRIEND. I LOVE FOOD, TRAVEL, AND LIVE MUSIC. I LOVE DOGS, NATURE AND THE OCEAN, SO YES I GUESS I HAVE FOUND LOVE.
13. Favorite lunch meat?
NOPE, NOT A FAN, NOT EVEN GOING THERE. HOWEVER I HAVE NIGHTMARES OVER THAT STUFF CALLED PIMENTO LOAF AND SPAM!
14. What do you get at Walmart every time?
A BAD FEELING
15. Beach or lake?
BEACH
16. Is marriage outdated?                                                                                                                                                              
OUTDATED NO, BUT CHANGED YES, IT SEEMS TO BE MORE OF A BUSINESS ARRANGEMENT OR A TYPE OF LEGAL CONTRACT THAN A HAPPILY EVER AFTER CONCEPT. THE FAIRY TALE SEEMS FORGOTTEN.

17. What famous person would you like to have dinner with?
THIS CHANGES PERIODICALLY FOR ME, BUT IF YOU ARE ASKING FOR AN ENLIGHTENING AND/OR ENTERTAINING DIALOGUE WITH DINNER, THEN I WOULD HAVE TO SAY GABRIELLE BERNSTEIN, ANITA MORJANI, GRACE SLICK, AND CARROT TOP, IN THAT ORDER.
18. Ever crashed your vehicle?
YES
20. Strangest place you’ve brushed your teeth?
IN MY CAR
21. Somewhere you’ve never been but want to go?
THIS LIST COULD BE HUGE BUT FOR THE READERS SAKE: BALI
22. At this point in your life would you want to start a new career or relationship?
RELATIONSHIP….WITH MYSELF FINALLY!
23. How old are you?
56
24. Do you have a go to person?
I HAVE SEVERAL DEPENDING ON THE SITUATION. THE ONE I RELIED ON MOST IS NO LONGER HERE ON EARTH.
25. Are you where you want to be in life?
ALWAYS EVOLVING SO NOPE
26. Growing up what were your favorite cartoons?
JOHNNY QUEST, ROAD RUNNER, PINK PANTHER.
27. What about you do you think has changed since you were a young kid?                                                                          
BESIDES MY ENTIRE PHYSICAL BODY, I WOULD SAY
MY SENSE OF ADVENTURE, THE JOY AT JUST BEING IN THE MOMENT AND NOT WORRYING ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE. THAT PLACE OF BLISSFUL IGNORANCE AND THINKING THE FUTURE WAS GOING TO BE SO FUN.
28. Looking back at high school were they the best years of your life?
NO
29. Are there times you still feel like a kid?
ON VACATION TO THE BEACH, IT MAKES ME FEEL HAPPY
30. Did you have a pager?
YES AND THERE IS A WHOLE SCARY STORY INVOLVING THAT THING YOU CAN READ ABOUT IN MY BLOG HERE
31. Was there a hangout spot when you were a teenager?
WE HUNG OUT AT KENT STATE UNIVERSITY ICE ARENA AND THE PIZZA JOINT ON CAMPUS.
32. Were you the type of kid you’d want your children to hang out with?
YES I SUPPOSE, ON THE SCALE OF LOYALTY AS A FRIEND, I GOT YOUR BACK KINDA WAY.
33. Was there a teacher or authority figure that stood out to you?
IN A GOOD or BAD WAY? GOOD: MR. EILAS MY D.E. TEACHER. BAD: MR. CALCIE HE WAS A JERK.
34. Do you tell stories that start with when I was your age?
HA HA DON’T WE ALL?
35. Are you religious?
NO, I AM SPIRITUAL, BELIEVE IN THE CREATOR, BUT I DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THE ORGANIZATION OF RELIGION.

In Conclusion:

It can be enlightening to reflect back and see how answers to questions change with time, perspective and experience. I find things that used to be easy, hard and things that used to be hard, easy. I find that there are moments in life I think I have it together and then there are those Holy Crap I can’t figure it out days. Right now I am doing the best I can, which is not enough for some people, probably never will be. When I am frustrated I try to remember and apply this to myself and others in life “if someone is doing the very best they can, even if that does not meet your standards, remember they are giving you their best and that’s the most anybody can do.” So I may not have the website right, the blog optimized (this one for sure there is only one picture!)  the social media down pact, the marketing strategy laid out but I am giving it my best try and for now that will have to work.

If you feel inclined to leave a REAL COMMENT and not spam please do so. This Blog was written and published by me, the survey was not, I have to credit Facebook with that one. I am going to plug now for the sake of keywords:

Aqua Serene Wellness Located in Carmel Indiana where we feature (along with a sense of humor) Colon Hydrotherapy, Organic Facial Treatments, Dr, Hauschka Skin Care, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Functional Medicine, Health and Wellness Coaching, and Energy Therapy.

Come see us!

The Quest for the Perfect Turd

The Perfect Turd…

First off, let me get the disclaimer out of the way:

This post is based on my personal opinion and experience. It is not designed to treat, diagnose or make any medical claims or advice. It will however most likely offend someone, since no one likes to be told they are full of “crap”

When I started thinking about writing this blog post, I shelved it twice. It is a subject most people find embarrassing, offensive, private and quite gross. I had many titles for it; The Perfect Poop, The Scoop on Your Poop, Tales from the Toilet, but really who gives a $hit what you call it, the point is, here is my blog post and it’s about The Perfect Turd, (I divorced it…twice.)

When you come to my office and fill out the intake from you will see a diagram of The Bristol Stool Chart.

People either skip this little exercise all together or check off every one of the boxes. It helps people understand a bit more about their “habits” Usually the discussion is enlightening and people can set a personal goal and figure out the what, why and how of making The Perfect Turd. Then, once successful they can throw a private cheer party for themselves in the bathroom at home one day, document the moment MENTALLY (please no photos) and have a happy day because they are now less full of crap then the day before!

The Why….

I am going to give you a small bit of history on why I do what I do. I have been a colon hydrotherapist for about 8 years. I had some very good teachers along the way and made many friends over discussing bowel movements. Conversations with me tend to go to crap!  I met my friends Robin and Sharon this way, we worked together in the “industry” Water cooler talk?  Our water cooler was an Angel of Water® Colon Hydrotherapy Machine. Later on, I met Tina and Trina, both became colleagues of mine in the same Crappy Job, you could say we were plumbers of a sort. We are all still friends, even though they have moved on and I am still slinging “it”. We get together on occasion for dinner, a glass of wine, some live music, girl talk and the conversation always turns to what we ate, what supplement is new, the latest on gut/brain research and the scoop on poop.

Angel Of Water Colon Hydrotherapy Machine

How Soccer Saved My Life…

It is with pride that I celebrate the Private Cheer Party in my bathroom, considering I am missing part of my large intestine. This is the story of how it all began:

I was injured in a soccer game, thrown into the wall by another player bound and determined to score and take home the title of “Over 40 Women’s Indoor Soccer Champs 2002” You got a T-shirt and everything! I had several T-shirts as I had been playing for 5 years or more. Our women’s team was the one to beat. Little did I know, that hormone driven adrenaline junkie beast of a woman who slammed me into the wall most likely saved my life! I left the field not by my own accord, she actually felt so bad she scooped me up and carried me off the field and set me on the bench. Sitting there I desperately sucked razor blade laden oxygen into what I was sure were collapsed lungs. Wiping tears of pain from my eyes, I drove home hunched over the steering wheel of my truck.

I never played soccer again…

Two days after my wall kissing event I still could not stand up straight, and I was having the most awful spasms in my back. I could not suck in a full breath.  I was encouraged to get a CT scan, in case not only were my ribs most likely fractured, but my spleen or something else could have been damage as well.

My world came crashing down in a matter of hours. After the scan, several doctors were escorted into the room where I was waiting for results. There were 2 radiologists, and a surgeon. The one radiologist said “ We have your CT results and they are quite “interesting” There seems to be a MASS in your abdomen”. I remember saying, “No you have the wrong CT scan, I broke my ribs” They assured me that my ribs were in fact injured but there was a MASS encapsulating my appendix. I also remember saying “MASS belongs in church, not inside me!”

The next few days were a whirlwind of tests, consultations, big words like surgery, oncology, hemicolectomy, hysterectomy, colostomy bags, chemo, appendix cancer, mucocele, psuedomyxoma peritonei, and so on were coming out of specialist mouths. I did a ton of research on Dr. Google and the prognosis was that of dooms day. I had to do a personal time out and then took control of how I wanted to proceed. Thankfully the one MD on my side was the oncologist. Needless to say I lost a portion of my colon a week later and spent a lot of time (years) undergoing invasive testing and freaking out waiting for the next results to see if “it” had spread.

I’ve learned a few things along the way:

*Think twice before you wear a cell phone or pager on your body (the tumor was right below where my pager and cell phone belt clip was).
*Never take for granted the beauty of being “regular”
*The things we eat, say and feel affect our gut in more ways than one.
*You never know how strong you can be until you have no choice. (Cliche’ I know but true)
*A big burly woman on a path to score at a sport can in fact save your life.
*People can be Turds too.
*Life changing moments take you on a journey.

For me that journey led to my career, opening a wellness center, new friends, wonderful clients, many laughs, a few tears and the Quest for the Perfect Turd! After surgery I went from not going to the bathroom for days to everything I ate came out looking almost like it did on the plate! I spent countless hours trying to figure out what to do. I did a ton of “alternative” things, supplements, essential oils, raw food, elimination diet, fiber, water, cultured foods, acupuncture, colon hydrotherapy and so on. I was a massage therapy instructor during part of that time so anatomy and physiology were my world, I set off on a quest to get to know my guts!

The How….

Colon Hydrotherapy is just a tool along the way for some and for others it is not an option, and that is totally OK. I remind people it is also about enzymes, diet, hydration, implementing relaxation techniques, taking the time to actually go to the bathroom, learning to listen to the signals that tell you to go, probiotics, gut bacteria, supplementation, and seeing a doctor if necessary. Look into the toilet, pay attention to your body, get the support you need. Use a Squatty Potty®

Squatty Potty

 

Digestive Enzymes

Probiotics

Marco Pharma

In Conclusion…

I have decided that in life a sense of humor will get you through many things. I am grateful for the love and support of friends and family. Grateful even for those Turds that I’ve met along the way. Those experiences will give you courage, light your fire, teach you who you don’t want to be in life or in your career. Challenges will push you right out of your comfort zone where then you are forced to grow.

If you want more information on digestive support and colon hydrotherapy, I encourage you to come visit me at Aqua Serene Wellness, we are located in Carmel, Indiana, The round about capitol of the United States. We also have a wonderful group of professionals here that offer Holistic Skin Care Services, Functional Medicine, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Digestive and Holistic Nutrition Consulting, Health and Wellness Coaching, Aromatherapy and Energy Therapy.

Please leave a comment, or share this blog post if you can, it helps keep awareness of our well being and conversations going.

Food and Dream Jobs

Valentines and Porcelain

It is that time of year again where love is in the air. Hearts, roses, chocolates, and Porcelain… What, did I say Porcelain? Why yes I did and I will circle back to that farther on down the line! Ha! If you know me then you get both of those statements.

Valentine Roses

We all have a few Valentine stories, and I am no exception. It is not a favorite day of mine I will confess. Many years ago I got engaged on Valentine’s Day (1980) That is a story for a glass of wine or something stronger, so I will leave that right there.

Back even further there were the years in school before political correctness that we could give Valentines to whom ever we wanted too, not the whole class. I remember being so upset when a boy I liked in fifth grade didn’t give me one. He turned out to be a class A Jerk so I guess the Universe saved me from future agony. On top of that I learned about rejection and how to deal with it early on so for that I am grateful.

Old School Valentine

In high school you could pay for a candy gram to be delivered in class along with a song and dance. I never got one of those either, partly because my boyfriend went to another school and partly because I was in DE so I went to school part of the day then worked the other, and I guess mostly because I was not in the “in” crowd.

 

Before that my dad was my best Valentine. He got me a big heart box of candy every year with….a porcelain doll on top, her beautiful satin dress was part of the box covering and her face and finger nails were hand painted…what I would give to have those now. I stored them in a box that was eventually designated to my parents basement which flooded ruining most of my childhood memories.

Valentine Heart Doll

When my kids were small we had to go out and get Valentine cards and sit down and address each one to every kid in the class. Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles were the popular choices, I was room mom so I made cookies and cupcakes. No one learned about rejection….

As the years went by I received my share of roses and chocolates, homemade Valentine cards from my kids and always something from my mom and dad. Now that dad is gone I send my mom chocolate covered strawberries and a card. These past six years without him here on Valentine’s Day I think of those little porcelain dolls and how much I miss him. I cannot imagine how much my mom does too.

My Dad and I

I will never forget my Dad on Valentine’s Day

Three years ago on Valentine’s Day I was at Lowes looking for the perfect Valentine gift for my boyfriend Tony. I was looking for maybe a tool or some manly gift and I spotted a bathroom sink cabinet on sale. I bought it for our half bath. I think I got him a tool too, I cannot remember actually, but the sink was NOT the gift. I was excited for a new little sink to replace the awful one in our circa 1950’s half bath.

My new sink

I dropped the sink off at home and he reluctantly began installing it. I had left to go to the grocery store when I got a phone call from him. It went sort of like this:

Me: Hello?
Tony: Hey can you stop by Lowes and pick up a toilet?
Me: Why? Our toilet is not that old, I am sure it is still OK.
Tony: No it’s not ok, I accidentally broke it installing your sink.
Me: Hmm……OK
Off to Lowes I go for the new toilet to accompany my “On Sale” new sink.

I pick up a good old American Standard and  a beeswax ring and bring it home….well it didn’t fit. Yep old houses have a different spacing between the wall and the hole in the floor. So off to the plumbers supply store we head to buy and rather expensive retro toilet to fit our bathroom.

Tony installing toilet

The new porcelain!

 

A comment I received that day telling a friend the story was “Happy Valentine’s Day, Nothing Says Love Like New Porcelain”

Considering what I do for a living (Colon Hydrotherapist) how appropriate was it to get the gift of a sparkling new retro fit toilet on this day dedicated to hearts and roses!

So Porcelain it was as a small child on a heart shaped box and Porcelain it is still….Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you, I hope you cherish your Valentine memories as much as I do.

We have a contest going until Valentine’s Day. Share this blog on social media, and leave a comment about one of your favorite memories of Valentine’s Day and you will be entered to win a Dr. Hauschka Gift! I posted a video below showing the gift, Click the link. It is on our Facebook Page as well.

valentine special

Come see us at the spa, we are located at: 301 E Carmel Drive Suite C-100 Carmel Indiana

317-564-0930

Tues, Weds, Thurs 10-6:30

Friday and Saturday 10-3:30

We offer Digestive Support, Colon Hydrotherapy, Holistic Skin Care, Raindrop Technique, Jin Shin Jyutsu®, Energy Therapies, Massage, Acupuncture, Functional Medicine, Holistic Nutrition and Weight Loss

My Personal Journey W/ Red Skin Syndrome & Eczema

Red Skin Syndrome, also known as Topical Steroid Addiction and Withdrawal, is a debilitating condition that can arise from the use of topical steroid creams to treat a skin problem such as eczema. (credit: Itsan.org website)

This condition can affect people who use or overuse topical steroids for eczema, rashes, acne and skin treatments after cosmetic procedures. Topical steroids come in creams, ointments, lotions and gels. They can be purchased over the counter or in stronger formulations by prescription. Other names are cortisone, glucocoticosteriords, coticortisteroids.

Not everyone who uses these topical steroids will develop RSS and it is unknown why some people are affected and others are not. Often when prescribed for Atopic Dermatitis it works initially, but when the cream is stopped a rebound will occur, often with even worse symptoms or it can show up elsewhere on the body. Many mistake this for the original problem spreading when often times it is a result of the use of a topical steroid and the withdrawal symptoms.

I have suffered from RSS due to many years of having eczema (atopic dermatits). I have been told there is no cure for my eczema, only treatment. My father had it as well and it is often linked back genetically in families. There was a time in my life when my skin burned, itched, cracked and bled at every knuckle and bend on my palms. Every crease in my legs, between my toes, along my hairline, in my scalp, my ears and the cracks and folds around my nose and mouth. I spent many years covering my skin with over the counter, as well as prescribed creams and lotions.  They would relieve it for a little bit then my skin would burn and itch tenfold. I soaked in oatmeal baths, tried coconut oils, shea butters, African Black soaps, apple cider vinegar, and more. I tried to cover the red and cracked areas on my face with makeup, only to have it look worse. The mirror became the enemy, so did my clothes.

Skin Treatment Mask

Me with a calming mask on my face

My anatomy teacher and mentor in massage school would tell me at times I looked like I had pseudo-icthyosis. It was a play on words for a real condition called Icthyosis. This is also a genetic skin disorder that often appears as fish scales or thickened cracked and peeling skin on portions or all over the body, again, no cure only treatment.

I cannot begin to tell you how miserable it feels to be inside a body that constantly burns and itches, let alone to look in the mirror and see yourself looking like you just survived a fire or chemical spill. Clothes rub and itch, cold weather burns your skin, the sun helps but then there is the conundrum of sun exposure, SPF stings, bug spray burns, perfumes, scented soaps, laundry detergent, make up, the list goes on and that is only topical irritants. Then there are the foods that trigger it; gluten, dairy, sugar, preservatives, dyes, alcohol, spices, etc.

From my own personal experience I will tell you what has helped me over the years. The FIRST thing is stepping away from topical steroids, this took many months (about 20) of rebound and misery. The SECOND was trying to learn the triggers that set off the eczema to begin with. For me it was stress, certain foods, and household and personal care items. I began using only high quality organic skin care products and toiletries. Eliminating chemicals in my home, ie: cleaners, fragrances, pesticides, etc. I wear organic cotton clothes when I can or very soft fibers. I rip out the tags, or buy things without tags.

THIRD and probably most important: Education, it equaled freedom for me! I am not suggesting you go to the extremes I did, the reason I did was to help others as well as myself.

 

I learned about the gut and how it plays such a huge role in our health and mental health as well. I became certified in the digestive wellness arena; Colon Hydrotherapy, Loomis Digestive Enzyme Specialist and other digestive supplementation workshops. I learned about nutrition, absorption, assimilation, and elimination. What to eat, what not to eat, hydration and so on. This eventually became my career and it helped get my digestion in order, but the skin component was missing. I could not discuss this on a expert level with clients so I decided to go back to school to learn about the skin. I needed to add that missing part to the puzzle of helping myself as well as others.

 

Eczema reared it’s ugly head again while I was in Esthetics school.  Many of my fellow students and now friends can attest to my struggle. They were concerned working on my face or body for fear of hurting me. Anyone who has ever gone to esthetics school can relate on how much stuff they did daily to each other in order to learn as well as “get our hours of hands on in” We were  introduced to many professional products some even that had steroids in them for the purpose of reducing the effects of redness and itching after treatments. I drew the line at putting those on my body. There were a few running comments in class; “No Cindy, it is not organic” “Yes, everyone has to get as well as give all the treatments” and from my own mouth “shit that burns, hurts, itches, stings…all the way up to Hell No you’re not putting that on my skin today” I had so many chemicals, petro chemicals, preservatives and acids put on my skin, waxes, dye, make up, micro-derm crystals, desincrustation fluids, galvanic, etc. that you can imagine how bad it felt.  It was all in the normal course of learning and I suffered most days with a smile plastered on my face, expletives screaming in my mind and many tears  alone in my car as I drove home with my skin on fire. I went in everyday on time with perfect attendance, graduating with the highest GPA of my class, one goal in mind; get my diploma(s) so I could continue on to learn the holistic skin care world and open Aqua Serene Wellness Spa! I went on to become the only certified Dr. Hauschka Holistic Esthetician in Indiana and have not looked back. One of these days I will write a blog about my time in esthetics school, there was much frustration as well as a few comical moments and I made some life long friends along the way.

Tricoci

My Esthetics class

Graduation Day!

The tagline in my business name is “from the skin to within” for a reason. It has taken all these components to battle my daily life as a person with eczema and sensitive skin, let alone the journey of life functioning with part of my large intestine missing!

From what you put in your mouth, on your skin, breath into your lungs and what you eliminate is a key factor in our health and wellness.

 

I still suffer from bouts of eczema, stress is the one thing I still have to conquer. I am working on that and have implemented services here at the spa to help with relaxation. We offer Massage, Jin Shin Jyutsu® and Acupuncture. We have our Far Infrared SOQI bed and our CellumaPro LED Light panel.

Far Infrared Sauna

Our Beautiful SOQI Spa room

CellumaPro LED

LED Light Treatments

Celluma LED

We offer two different types of foot Detoxes as well as other energy modalities. I enjoy the times I get to sit in the cozy reception area and visit with clients and friends over herbal teas and laughter. Do not dscount those moments of joining together in conversation and giggles, those are the absolute best stress reducers, and money cannot buy that! I will continue my love of learning,  I not only do it for myself but for my clients and family. We have some new things planned for Aqua Serene Wellness Spa in 2017 and as always we have a great team of businesses and practitioners we refer to in house as well as out.

We wish you a wonderful and health filled 2017!

We are Located at 301 E Carmel Dr Suite C-100 Carmel Indiana 317-564-0930

Disclaimer: This blog is for information only, it is not meant to diagnose or treat any condition or disease. Please seek professional medical advice before stopping or starting any medication or treatment. These are just my own personal observations and experiences and not intended to treat or diagnose.

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