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Going to PT sucks…and I’m a Physical Therapist

Guys – I’m going to level with you. I hated the thought of going to physical therapy (PT). I hated the idea of having to be someplace at a certain time. I hated the thought of doing something I didn’t want to do, and I hated paying $40 a visit for it. So I didn’t. And I limped around for 1.5 years until I had a “Come to Jesus” talk with a friend and decided I was too young to be limping.

So I got on board, made an appointment, went to a PT that someone recommended to me, and laid it all on the table. She listened to me and let me vent a bit as I gave her my long history of aches and pains. I’m also fairly certain I told her I was going to be a “bad patient”, and then she pointedly asked me, “do you want to get better?” My response was, “I’m here, aren’t I?” (side note: I knew this was the wrong answer, but I couldn’t help myself!)

First rule of PT: if you don’t actually want to be there, you’re not going to get anything out of it.

It was after my first or second session, that I started thinking about the bigger picture – that being someplace physically is not the same as being “all in” and mentally present. That half-assing it wasn’t going to work and I wasn’t going to measure up. So I dug deep and decided I was going to practice what I preached. I was on time for each of my sessions, I worked hard at it, and I got better.

But that’s not really the lesson I’m working on teaching you guys. I’m here to tell you that I know what it’s like to be on the other side; to be a patient and to not want to be there.

My first session was an hour long, spent one-on-one with my PT where she asked me a lot of questions! We spent a good chunk of time going over what brought me there to begin with, how long I had been in pain, and what my goals were for PT. She typed while I talked, and then she took at look at my body; she watched me walk, squat, monitored my movements in my hip and spine, and also measured my strength. After that, she walked me through her findings.

What I loved was that Jen asked if I wanted to be the patient or a PT patient (most PTs are terrible patients!). She took me through the mechanics of what she saw and the plan she would like for me. The most important thing, was that she asked how I felt about that plan and if I had any input that needed to be added. To all you readers out there, this is the most important thing I can teach you:

Find a PT who values your opinion and recognizes that you know your body better than anyone else! The only way you will benefit from PT, is if there is a true partnership between you and your PT.

Being the patient was terrible! I sucked at the exercises – they were all hard and made me feel super klutzy. I knew they were valuable, but man did I break a sweat. Jen chatted with me through all my exercises to keep my mind distracted, but made a point to check in and see how my body was feeling. If I was in pain or uncomfortable, she also made it a point to re-direct my body if it was going haywire and moving of its own volition.

After my first session, I felt rough because my body was tired; but also felt incredibly humbled. Most of us challenge our bodies on a daily basis – 90 min yoga classes in heated rooms, 75 min spin classes, 10 mile obstacle course races, etc; but these itty bitty exercises put all of that to shame. Standing on one leg with your eyes closed on an unstable surface is LEGIT.

Because I’m a terrible patient, I didn’t do nearly as much of my homework as I should have. Once I told Jen that, she tapered my exercises down each week and would say things like “how many exercises are manageable for you this week?” Being able to choose made a big difference in my mental shift from “homework” to “exercise I choose to do”. They were still tough, but I made it a point to do them daily!

I’m not sure that I can pinpoint the exact session when it all clicked, but what I can tell you is this:

When I sat down to write this article, I realized that what I got out of those sessions was more than physical.

Yes my hip got stronger, but so did my mind. I learned that I can always push myself to do “one more rep”, that I can be completely unwavering when it comes to doing a hard exercise. I learned that the mind-body connection is one of the most important connections we have and shouldn’t be undervalued. Lastly, I learned that all of the things I tell my patients are things I truly believe in:

Your attitude can change your pain, sleep matters, and having a good relationship with your PT can be inspiring, insightful, and one of the most powerful agents in helping you achieve your goals. So find one you like!


Sejal Gajarawala is a local physical therapist with 15 years of experience. She believes in a holistic and comprehensive approach – along with manual therapy – leads to a mindful treatment. She can be reached at: sgajarawala@gmail.com

Energy Forms & How to Set Them

Each morning I take healing walks. During my walks I set a series of energy forms that are particularly helpful for keeping us balanced and processing amidst the tremendous social, emotional, spiritual, political, and environmental upheaval and change of our current time.

These forms came from the beings Kwan Yin, Miriam, and Leah (not me), channeled by my long-time mentor Linda Crawford, an empathic healer and therapist in Massachusetts. These forms are equipped to replace the energetic grounding practices many of us have used for decades (rooting into the Earth) when Earth herself is in a state of massive change. These times call for a grounding tool that can be stable amidst massive change and movement. One of these forms is gyroscopic. If you haven’t ever seen a gyroscope look up a video, it’s spinning keeps it steady even when it’s axis tips or it hops to another location.

To set the forms:
I have described a visual of the forms below. Imagine the visual in your mind’s eye, then allow the mode(s) you experience energy to confirm your setting of the forms.  For example you may experience energy in pictures, little movies, energetic/physical sensations, colors, sounds or words, scents, or taste. Visualizing the energy form in your mind’s eye is all you need to set the forms, and don’t be surprised if you get your own sensations that accompany it. I like to set my forms as I walk. It feels important to my process and growth to work at this spiritual level while also moving physically through the world. However, you may find it is much easier to concentrate on setting the forms while in a seated meditation or stillness. Experiment with what works for you.  You could even pair each one with a yoga asana that embodies the energy you feel from it.

Form 1: Pranic Tube/Central Power Core
See/feel/locate a circular column of white light 3” in diameter reaching from the heavens down along your spinal column and down into the core of the earth. At your heart feel a tuning chamber of unconditional love and acceptance, that tunes all this white light/charged pranic life-force energy and sends it out to all parts of your body.

Form 2: Universal Heart Chakra (the gyroscopic form)
Between your heart and solar plexus chakras place a basketball-sized spinning golden ball of light, with a denser band of golden light at its vertical midpoint. Notice that as you move this Universal Heart Chakra stays steady.

Form 3: Labradorite Form
From the crown of your head to the base of your spine (in the same geographic location but on another dimensional level than the Pranic Tube/Central Power Core) set the form of a 4” square column of Labradorite-colored light (think winking greens, blues, golds, and oranges within a base of translucent deep grey). At both the crown and base of the spine a hopper shape flares out from the square column parallel to your shoulders and hips. These hoppers would appear triangular when viewing you from the front or back and have a shallower (4”) side profile. Once the hoppers are set ask to connect your Labradorite form to the Labradorite Net or Web, which has been with Earth since her beginnings and connects you to all those beings working to bring forward the Divine Feminine on Earth throughout all times, levels, dimensions and lifetimes.

Using the Forms:
Now your forms are set! You are ready to do any healing/balancing work you need to through them. To do this I use whatever is up for me at the moment. These forms will help you balance literally EVERYTHING!!! It can be current events, anxiety, shame, anger, gratitude, joy, power dynamics, hopes, I dedicate all that I am working with through these forms.  Even through the INSANITY, massive flux, and chaos of what is happening in the world with the presidency, white supremacy, xenophobia, famine, sexism, and environmental devastation—all very much up in our collective for us to face and heal in heal in humanity and in relationship—I am able to keep my personal balance through the use of these forms.

How to do it:
When you notice a pattern, a thing out of balance, a physical discomfort, or a strong feeling (I dedicate gratitude and joy too, to benefit the collective!)  Say the following:

“I dedicate this _____ to and through the web, for the benefit, blessing, and healing of all beings who may take benefit and blessing from it throughout all times, levels, dimensions and lifetimes for the greater good of all.”

Often my first dedication scratches the first layer of the thing and will start a release of emotion. I continue with what emerges from that layer until I get to the foundation/root of the pattern. After I am done with setting my forms I journal each dedication I made, this helps you to ground the work allows you to grow in your use of the forms and track what you are working with. Much of what needs to be worked through in this current time are distortions of Ignorance, Intolerance, and Power. So, you can add this to the dedication too, starting with:

“I dedicate the ignorance, intolerance, and power related to____to and through the web…”

When you do this work know that you are healing a pattern for yourself and the collective simultaneously. I imagine it as a dual-ended violet flame of healing that burns both inward and outward simultaneously. When something triggers me in the news, I do inner work related to it, for example:

“I dedicate all parts of myself that turn those in need of help away, distance myself from others, or build walls to protect myself to and through the web…”

And I also work with the outward distortions so I am healing both the piece of the pattern I hold personally and part of the collective pattern to ease the balancing and shifting of that pattern in the world.


Written by Leah Nguyen, Artist-Healer and Creator of Planet Paint People.

One Question That Will Change Your Relationship With Yourself

I showed up to yoga, stressed to the max with everything I had to do. I had talks to give, taxes to do, people to get back to, a book to complete, and a blog article to write. As my yoga instructor was guiding us through her sequence, I found myself cycling between feeling overwhelmed about how I was going get everything done, what I should write my blog article about, and trying to remind myself that I needed to be present.

When suddenly I had an epiphany.

I realized that with my crazy workload, that I was treating myself in the same way my parents treated me. Growing up the mantra was to work hard, and if you weren’t good enough, it was because you weren’t working hard enough. There was no room for taking a breath. There was no room for fun and play. There was no room for acceptance of myself just for being me. Nothing I did was ever enough.

But just because my parents instilled these workaholic, you-will-never-be-enough messages on to me, it didn’t mean that I had to continue to treat myself this way.

And so in the spirit of yoga, I asked myself, ”What is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?”

Suddenly with this one question, everything shifted for me. I realized I need to infuse this question throughout my life. I realized that asking this question would help me say no to the things I did not want to do. Asking this one question would help me have more my balance in my life. Asking this one question would help me forgive myself when I do things I regret. Asking this one question would help me better recover from loss. This question is a profound expression of self-compassion.

There are many other benefits to self-compassion. An increasing body of research is showing that self-compassion foster’s mental health. When we realize we are all human, and thus will make mistakes and even fail, it becomes easier to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and get back on our feet again. So many of us beat ourselves up when we make mistakes or fail, and that only takes us into a downward spiral of self-loathing, and increases our stress. Alternatively, when we exercise self-compassion in those moments, we can focus on how to do better next time. Self compassion breeds resilience.

Self-compassion also helps us recover from loss. We might be good at being there for others when they experience loss, but struggle to do it for ourselves. Learning to treat ourselves as if we were our own best friend, will help us deal better with loss and move on.

My answer to this question was that I needed to limit the amount of time I spend on each task, and to make sure I prioritize my need for rest and renewal. Just by making this decision alone, I felt an enormous amount of relief! My new goal is not perfection with my work, but practicing self-compassion in the face of imperfection.

So in the spirit of the upcoming Valentine’s Day, I invite you to express love towards yourself by practicing self compassion. You can do this with one simple question sprinkled through the day. Make sure you have the question handy when you feel stressed, have experienced a loss, or feel inadequate.

The question is:

What is the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?

Has this question inspired any insights? How do you think it will change your life?

Please share in the comments below!


This post was written by Collective member Dr. Tina Huang of Lifelong EnerJoy.  If you would like more support in expressing self-compassion, Tina has a relationship detox to empowerment program that might be a good fit for you. Learn more about it here and contact her here to schedule a complementary consultation.

February Wellness News

Hello!

This blog post kicks off Three Moon Collective’s very own blog, where we will be featuring articles and stories written by our Collective and the Seattle wellness community. Have an idea for a blog post? Send us an email at hello@threemooncollective.com to share it!

At the beginning of each month we plan to share what’s happening in the Seattle wellness world so you can see what’s coming and mark your calendars accordingly.  Our newsletter will continue to serve as a weekly reminder of local happenings with a focus on a different wellness topic each week (sign up here).

Events

Monthly Reiki Mentorship Class with Sharlean Windus
February mentorship class topic will be THE ART OF INTUITIVE SCANNING. We will begin with meditation, discuss the Clair senses, spend time in a hands on workshop with coaching on how to do a Byosen scan/chakra scan as well as coaching on how to interpret the information you are downloading.

  • Date: Thursday, February 7th, 7-9 pm
  • Location: Classique Spa, Queen Anne
  • Investment: $30

Gentle Yoga + Reiki Workshop with Jen Minnich
This all-levels class, led by Jen Minnich, will combine gentle yoga and reiki to help you find a deeper state of balance and restoration. You will practice in a room charged with Reiki energy, explore the chakra system throughout your practice, and receive individual Reiki support.

  • Date: Friday, February 8th, 7-8:30 pm
  • Location: Maven Yoga, Fremont
  • Investment: $30

Yoga + Mimosas with Jen Minnich
Join us for our February Yoga + Mimosas gathering in The Tasting Room’s cozy wine cave in Post Alley. This class is accessible to all levels of yoga practice. There will be lots of hands-on assists, an extra long savasana, and celebratory bubbles to wrap up our practice.

  • Date: Sunday, February 10th, 10-11:30 am
  • Location: The Tasting Room, Downtown
  • Investment: $25

Body Reclamation for Reparations
In order to come back into the fullness of life we must learn how to get in contact with our bodies. You will walk away with knowledge about how trauma and our fragmented culture disconnect us from our body and gain practical tools for how to enliven and regulate your nervous system. Myofascial release, yoga, breathwork, and somatic movement will be utilized to help you find a new, more resiliant relationship with your body. When we can get comfortable with being uncomfortable, the whole spectrum of life becomes more vivid, and we can use our resources to be more responsible and sensitive ally’s.

  • Date: Saturday, February 10th, 12:30-5:30 pm
  • Location: Soma Yoga, Ballard
  • Investment: By donation (ALL proceeds from this workshop will be donated towards a scholarship for a person of color to attend Abiola Akanni’s Trap Vinyasa™ yoga teacher training this spring)

Sip & Scan with iTovi & Bethany Jury
An iTovi is a Bio-feedback machine that helps take the guesswork out of what oils and supplements you need to help balance your body. Feeling off? It’s crazy how much this machine works.
Full disclosure, I’m not a scientist: I can’t tell you exactly how biofeedback works. It’s only weird if it works, and it DOES.

  • Date: Saturday, February 16th, 2-4 pm
  • Location: Town Center, Lake Forest Park
  • Investment: Free

Crystalline Yoga Nidra Sound Bath with Sharlean Windus
Join me for a journey of sensation using crystalline energy, sound healing and restorative Yoga Nidra guided meditation. I will guide you through a gentle grounding meditation with a visualization journey and a sound bath using crystal tones singing bowls infusing your mind and body with crystalline energy and healing sound waves. As you end your journey, you will “awaken” to find a single oracle card reading with a message from the crystal kingdom as well as a small cup of optional crystalline charged water to enjoy.

  • Date: Saturday, February 16th, 7-8:30 pm
  • Location: Queen Anne (address will be given upon registration)
  • Investment: $35

Metaphysical + Wellness Fair with Laureli Shimayo
Enjoy 25 Readers, Healers and Vendors at our Metaphysical Empowerment & Wellness Fair! We have a FREE INTUITIVE PANEL from 12-1pm, a selection of our practitioners will offer their work for free in an informal panel format, answering your questions. This is a great way to sample our practitioners – having them answer your question and hearing them answer questions from others. Arrive on time to get your question in!

  • Date: Saturday, February 16th, 12-8 pm
  • Location: Uplift Yourself, Redmond
  • Investment: Free

Online Metaphysical + Wellness Fair with Laureli Shimayo
Enjoy 20+ Readers & Healers at our ONLINE Metaphysical Empowerment & Wellness Fair! Free Admission. We’ll meet online at www.JoinTheFair.com Free Intuitive Panel begins at 12pm PT and runs throughout. We’ll answer questions and do readings plus answer general questions about metaphysics, intuition, energy healing, etc.

  • Date: Sunday, February 17th, 12-5 pm
  • Location: Online
  • Investment: Free

Ladies Night Out- Oil Up! with Bethany Jury
Come learn how oils can aid in self-esteem, confidence, and overall perspective of life!

  • Date: Wednesday, February 20th, 6:30-7:30 pm
  • Location: Omni Bothell
  • Investment: Free

Hawthorn Plant Spirit Sound Bath with Kate Ryan
Both Kate and Vanessa will guide your journey to the cosmic seat of your soul with a powerful sound bath of medicine songs and tones, tibetan bowls, quartz crystal bowls, gong, drum, rattle & more. After permission and offerings, Vanessa harvested and processed hawthorn earlier this fall and has made a delicious syrup to include in our ceremony.

Sensorial Embodiment Ceremony with Kate Ryan and Danielle Kurtz
A sacred moment to experience YOU: An embodied Shamanic Journey with all our senses. Join Kate and Danielle for a journey to experience more of your personal truth & embody it to walk the planet with.

  • Date: Saturday, February 23rd, 4-6:30 pm
  • Location: Eastlake Yoga, Eastlake
  • Investment: $45

Paint & Meditate: A Watercolor Workshop
Join Jen at The Works for painting and meditation in this watercolor workshop! We’ll combine the freedom and exploration of guided meditation with the flow of watercolor painting. You’ll be guided through seated visualizations to dive deeper into inspiration and see what surfaces. We’ll learn foundational watercolor techniques to create a misty mountain scene. You’ll leave with a little more peace and plenty of supplies to continue painting at home, including a palate of paints, two brushes, and high quality watercolor paper. All levels of painting and meditation are welcome!

  • Date: Sunday, February 24th, 11 am-1 pm
  • Location: The Works (Seattle Seed Co.), Central District
  • Investment: $50

Trainings

Yin & Slow Flow Residential Teacher Training
During this retreat we will combine the foundational poses of an active practice (hatha, vinyasa, slow flow) with the quiet poses of the Yin practice. Both practices are essential to enhance and maintain the health of all layers of our being. Students will learn the benefits of Yin, Yang and combination classes as well as how to cue and sequence a Yin/Yang class. Students will also enjoy nourishing vegetarian meals (which will also be free of 8 main allergens) from chef Paige Stoll and two talks by guest speaker, acupuncturist Carie Martin: “On the Yinside: Chinese Medicine and caring for the whole self”, “Get your Yang on—Preparation and recovery for the physical body.”

  • Date: Tuesday, February 19th – Sunday, February 25th
  • Location: Port Orchard
  • Investment: Single room $1375, Shared room $1150, Non-residential $850

The Craft of Teaching Yoga
This training is an interlocution between artistry, yoga philosophy, introspection, and self-realization. Employing yoga’s rich history alongside practical teaching methodology, we empower trainees to lead a creative, musical, and meaningful vinyasa flow. The Craft enrolls practitioners to be an active participant on the mat, and in their lives, with expanded self-awareness, purpose, and presence.

  • Date: February 21st – June 9th
  • Location: Bohemian Studios, Phinney Ridge
  • Investment: $2950

Reiki Level Two with Sharlean Windus
What we cover in Reiki level 2: Review of Reiki 1, Distance healing, Attunement ceremony + 3 symbols, Intro to energy anatomy, Practitioner self care, Reiki rays/reiki balls of light

  • Date: Sunday, February 24th, 11am-7pm
  • Location: Belltown (address provided upon registration)
  • Investment: $250