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  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020 6:00 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Padmasana

    Sheryl Wolover


    Greetings and Happiness 2020! The new year is well on the way and I hope that you have kept all of your dreams and goals in mind.
    Direct that energy! Be a seeker of Knowledge! And practice Yoga everywhere you go!

    Oceans and Mountains of Peace, Sheryl





    Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us:

    There is no way to Happiness, Happiness is the way,

    There is no way to Peace, Peace is the way,

    There is no way to Enlightenment, Enlightenment is the way.



    Greetings I'm Sheryl Wolover, native to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.  Mother of two children raised with Susun Weed's herbal infusions  somewhere in the 1980's~
     
    I am the creator of YOGA LEGENDS. Yoga DVD's that link poses together through story telling~  
    Owner of Pacific Elements studio for Massage Therapy (1984) and Yoga classes (2003)~
    My family (including the animal family) live around a beautiful lake side where we garden and gather herbs for food and medicine~
    *=Oceans+Mountains^^^^ of Peace,Sheryl ~ yogalegends.com

  • Thursday, January 16, 2020 10:09 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Usnea
    By: Jessica Godino




    Anyone who has walked through the forests of the southeast has encountered Usnea, but you might not have noticed it. You probably didn't know that the inconspicuous gray-green fuzzy stuff covering many of the trees is one of the gentlest yet strongest immune tonics in the herb world.

    Usnea is a lichen; a combination of an algae and a fungus growing together. Also known as Old Man's beard, it grows in little hair-like tufts, with the green algae covering the white string like fungus. The best way to identify Usnea is to pull a string apart and look for this white thread. However, since Usnea is nearly impossible to find in field guides and rarely in herb books, I recommend showing a sample to a knowledgeable person to confirm you've got the right plant.

    This plant grows profusely in wet climates, like the Pacific Northwest, where I have seen tufts up to a foot long. The species that grows in our area tend to be smaller, which can make gathering it an arduous task. I recommend gathering after a big wind storm, because the wind will blow down the higher branches which usually have more Usnea on them. Or, find an old orchard to harvest in. Usnea loves to grow on aging apple trees and the branches are usually easy to reach.

    Usnea is an immune system tonic that can be used in acute situations as well as for long term immune enhancement and general prevention. It has no side effects or contraindications, and is safe for children and animals. It can be used along with or instead of Echinacea. Usnea is more specific for strep and staph infections than Echinacea, and its antibiotic properties are most specific to the respiratory and urinary systems. Use it to help heal respiratory and sinus infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, strep throat, colds, flues, as well as urinary tract, kidney, and bladder infections. Usnea is also beneficial for women with yeast infections, trichonomosas, bacterial vaginosis, and chlamydia. It can be helpful for people with chronic fatigue, HIV, herpes, and other chronic conditions related with depressed immunity.

    This tough little plant doesn't make much of a tea, so I recommend using it as an alcohol extract, also known as a tincture. Making your own alcohol extract is easy and will save you of money. Fill a jar of your choice with Usnea (the more freshly harvested the better, although this plant contains so little water that it's hard to distinguish fresh from dry). Pack the jar full, but not crammed. Then fill the jar again with 100 proof vodka. Make sure the alcohol totally covers the plant material. Label your jar with the date and contents and cover it with a lid. Let it sit in a cabinet for six weeks (feel free to open it up occasionally and taste it). It's not necessary to shake it. After six weeks strain off the liquid, compost the Usnea, and pour your extract back into the jar. It will have turned brownish-orange. You can pour some into amber dropper bottles for easier use. Congratulations! You now have your own supply of Usnea extract!

    Whether you make your own or buy some from the store, be sure to remember this humble but powerful plant when the cold and flu season comes around this year, or any other time your immune system needs an extra boost.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Jessica Godino has been teaching people about herbal medicine for almost two decades. After training with Susun Weed she co-founded Red Moon Herbs, an herbal medicine company. Her deep love for the plants and easygoing teaching style makes learning about herbal medicine accessible to everyone. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina where she practices acupuncture and teaches herbal medicine. She can be reached at http://www.fourflameshealing.com/.

  • Monday, January 06, 2020 5:32 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    Headache Cures

    excerpt from Travelers Joy
    by Juliette de Bairacli Levy




    For a headache, make a strong brew of wild or garden mint (not peppermint). Take strong drinks of this frequently. Apply the mint cold on cotton cloths to the entire forehead, and bandage lightly in place. Or pound up a handful of lavender sprigs, wild or garden, and infuse them into vinegar for several hours.

    Then apply this lavender vinegar to the forehead, using cotton cloths in the same way as the mint brew. Apply also to the wrists and to the nose. A few drops can be taken internally on a lump of sugar, three times daily. Mint vinegar can be made if lavender is not available.

    Treat very severe headaches as an illness, and rest in a darkened room and follow a diet of fresh fruits only until the headache is cured. To induce sleep, make a strong tea of wild poppy flowers or heads, and take with honey. Or a tea of lime blossoms or hops or cowslips (can be used alone or mixed) all sweetened with honey.

    Help can be had by use of the “cool” things such as slices of lemon, raw potato or cucumber, rubbed and patted onto the temples and across the back of the neck. Direct exposure of the head to hot sunlight is a common cause of headache often severe. The wise nomad people always protect their heads from sunlight, wearing cotton scarves, or turbans, or hats of straw. (Nylon and other plastics are useless.)

    For extra protection, keep the headwear sprinkled with cold water. Keep renewing the water if needed. My choice is a wide cotton scarf, and I dampen it well before putting it onto my head.


  • Monday, January 06, 2020 3:58 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    I live in a cold climate, where the winter months can be quite long.  Because fresh, local, wild food and herbs are not as readily in the winter months, I spend a lot of time during the fall months preparing food and medicine to have on hand for winter.  As I harvest and put up winter stores, I ask what might  I need for the upcoming months to keep myself, my family and my community healthy.  Of course this is a multi-layered question, requiring a range of responses. Preparing requires planning as well as action. In order to prepare I start by brainstorming  ways to stay healthy and strong as well as some of the winter ailments and issues that we have dealt with in the past. Below you will find a list of things you will find in our pantry as well as items found in our medicine chest. I hope these inspire you as you fill your pantry and medicine chest with nourishing food and herbal remedies.


    The Pantry
    Here a list of food items I like to have on hand so that we are stay healthy and strong. I am sure this list is not entirely complete, but it is the foundation for my winter food stores.


    ~Bones, lots of bones. We make bone broth quite often and either drink it or add it to the eternal winter stew pot. We also have venison and rabbit in the freezer, and the salmon our neighbor so generously shares with us, from their fishing trips.  


    ~Green vegetables, I like to freeze vegetables and wild greens so that I can continue to eat local and wild greens throughout the winter. We also water bath can tomato sauce, adding wild greens and mushrooms as well as seaweed and herbal vinegar to increase the nutrient density of the sauce. I also lacto ferment many a vegetable including cabbage, carrots, beets, kalhrabi, green beans, brussel sprouts and many more. Over the years I have fermented almost every vegetable that has crossed my path.


    ~Root vegetables, I like to store these in cold storage for as long as possible so that they can be eaten fresh. Beets I like to put in a vinegar brine and water bath can so we can eat them throughout the winter. I also lactoferment them. 


    ~Fruit, putting fruit and particularly berries in the freezer as well as canning them whole and in the form of sauces and jams and jellies. We also dry fruit either whole or in the form of fruit leather. Fruit leather is nice added in small pieces to homemade sourdough bread, but also just eating it is satisfying and most of all nourishing. One nice thing about canned fruit, is you can open it, put a tsp of whey in it and/or add a kefir culture, let it sit for a couple of days and you have fermented fruit, which is delicious and nutritious. 


    ~Drying greens and herbs for later use. For making nourishing herbal infusions as well as for adding to the soup pot. We will dry throughout the year the wild salad greens that we do not finish fresh. We dry them on a screen or flat basket and then store them in the pantry. We dry a vast array of greens in the salad, and we dry nettle, oats, rosehips, comfrey, linden and mullein for our daily infusions.


    ~Drying nuts and storing them for winter is another important staple in our pantry. We dry black walnuts, hazelnuts and hickory nuts. We have a friend who sends us pecans and we enjoy them as well. These are added to many of our meals and I make a snack of soaked and toasted nuts, tossed with seaweed.


    ~While I do not always collect my own seaweed, since I no longer live on the west coast, I do like to have large quantities on hand. Seaweed can be added to whatever else you are cooking ie egg dishes, roasted vegetables, soup, stews, oatmeal, wild rice etc. Really in small pieces it adds salt to your food and you don’t even know it is there….although the seaweed I like Nereocystis leutkeana is quite tasty and I have converted many a skeptical person into a seaweed enthusiast. If you would like to add seaweed to your stores you can order it from: http://www.ryandrum.com/IslandHerbsOrderForm2013.pdf


    ~Wild Rice, this is one of the biggest delights that has become a staple in my house since I moved to Wisconsin. Wild Rice is delicious nourishing and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It blends well with anything we eat and I like to have pounds of this on hand. This is true wild rice, not the patty grown wild rice, there is a big difference. If you would like to add wild rice to your stores you can find sources at this link: http://www.nativewildricecoalition.com/


    The Medicine Cabinet
    ~Herbs for topical application. Dry skin, sore muscles as well as strains and sprains are things I like to be prepared for for the winter months. Infused oils are an important component of my medicine chest and I like to have Calendula (Calendula officinalis), Chickweed (Stellaria media), St Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum) , Comfrey (Symphytum officinale), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Cottonwood (Poplar sp) and Lavender (Lavendula officinalis) on hand. These herbs will help me in responding to many concerns including dry skin, inflammation, cold sores, sprains and strains and sore muscles (after shoveling snow). 


    ~Herbs for internal applications. The medicine chest contains dry herbs for making infusions, which are in the pantry section, as we drink these daily. It also contains dry herbs that we many only enlist if we have symptoms ie fever, sore throat, cough etc. In addition, to dry herbs we like to have tinctures (alcohol extracts) on hand.  Many of the herbs we put up in oil form, we also store as a tincture ie St Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)   , Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Calendula (Calendula officinalis), Cottonwood  (Poplar sp) and Chickweed (Stellaria media). Tinctures are nice as they can be accessed quickly and applied right away. We also put up in tincture form herbs that have an affinity for the immune system: two of these are Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) and Bee Propopolis. We make many tinctures for many purposes, but these are staples that we often use during the winter months. We also make cough syrups, the simplest of which are oxymels.


    ~Locenges or Pastilles. We make these in a very simple form by  using powdered herbs and our own honey. Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) and/or Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) Root Works well. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) , Rose Petals (Rose sp) and orange peel (Citrus × sinensis) are wonderful herbs to add as well.


    ~An oxymel is just a sweet and sour herbal syrup. It contains: vinegar, honey & herbs. They’re very beneficial for respiratory conditions, so the herbs contained therein will usually reflect that.

    How to make an oxymel

    ~Fill a jar about half to three-fourths full of herbs.
    ~Pour the jar 1/3 with honey. Ideally this would be raw local honey.
    ~Fill the jar 2/3 or the rest of the way with vinegar OR for a sweeter syrup, try 1/2 jar honey and 1/2 jar vinegar. (I am using raw apple cider vinegar).
    *the amounts that you use can be flexible. Both honey and vinegar act as preservatives, so you’re not going to ruin the mixture by altering the ratios.
    ~Stir it all together; it might not blend well at first, but it will settle and blend over time. Just stir and or shake until it is blended. Then strain the herbs out, bottle it up and store in a cool place or the refrigerator.

    Take oxymels by the spoonful for sore throats, thick congested coughs or as a general treatment to combat colds and flu.

    Some herbs recommended for use in oxymels

    *Elderberries (Sambucus sp):  relieves flu symptoms, alleviates allergies, and boosting to overall respiratory and immune health
    *Bee Balm (Monarda sp): eases a sore throat, antibacterial, relieves thick congested coughs as well as fever
    *Elder flowers (Sambucus sp): specific for sore throats, immune stimulating and antiviral
    *, Garlic & Onion: fights colds and flu, boosts immune health (it is suggested that these herbs are minced & that the mixture be refrigerated)
    *Horseradish: opens the respiratory system and fights off infection.
    *Mint, Ginger and/or fennel: stomach soothing, digestive aid
    *Oregano: antibacterial, antiviral, useful for upper respiratory infections
    *Rosemary: Useful for low energy and poor circulation, good for digestion and nerves.
    *Sage: antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral.
    *Thyme: for upper respiratory infections, coughs, bronchitis, antiviral and antibacterial. 
    *Lemon or orange peel can be added for their bioflavonoids, vitamin C and flavor



     

    Linda Conroy is a bioregional, wise woman herbalist, educator,wildcrafter, permaculturist and an advocate for women's health.

    She is the proprietress of Moonwise Herbs and the founder of Wild Eats: a movement to encourage people and communities to incorporate whole and wild food into their daily lives. She is passionate about women's health and has been working with women for over 20 years in a wide variety of settings.

    Linda is a student of nonviolent communication and she has a masters degree in Social Work as well as Law and Social Policy. Linda has been offering hands on herbal programs and food education classes for well over a decade.

    She has completed two herbal apprenticeship programs, one of which was with Susun Weed at the Wise Woman Center and she has a certificate in Permaculture Design.

    Linda is a curious woman whose primary teachers are the plants; they never cease to instill a sense of awe and amazement.

    Her poetic friend Julene Tripp Weaver, eloquently describes Linda when she writes, "She listens to the bees, takes tips from the moon, and follows her heart."

    Listen to a thirty minute interview with mentor Linda Conroy

     

    Study with Linda Conroy from Home

    ~Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making~
    ( Link to detailed description of Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making )

    The goal of the course is to have participants become familiar with herbal medicine, to become comfortable incorporating herbs into daily life and to gain hands on experience making simple remedies at home.

  • Thursday, December 26, 2019 7:04 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    New Moon in Capricorn Oracle Reading (Pick-a-Card)
     by Kathy Crabbe



    Enjoy this 3 card spread and pick-a-card to find out what's in store for you in the moonth (or year) ahead. Cards are from my self published decks : Lefty Oracle deck, Elfin Ally Oracle deck and coming soon, the Goddess Zodiac Power deck (Spring, 2020).

    Time now to go deep.
    Relax.
    Take some breaths.
    Choose a card above then scroll down for the REVEAL.


    Capricorn New Moon Reading



    Card 1: Aquarius (Zodiac Goddess Power Deck)

    Aquarian Meditation

    Aquarius is the knowledge that all we do effects humanity.
    We are humanity. We are love.
    A new vision is birthed from the old.

    Aquarius Affirmations

        I      seek out unusual people and experiences.

        I      overstep my boundaries to create the unusual and manifest my dreams.

        I      teach unconditional love.

        I      believe in the limitless possibilities of life.

        I      am called to the circle where I tend the web of community.

        I      am a force for change.

    Change Begins With You

    - See the interdependence of all life forms in an unbroken web of consciousness
    - Feel hope and freedom as you dream of the future
    - Know that the earth is alive
    - Teach us how to care ethically
    - Spread goddess consciousness wherever you go
    - Walk your talk

    Zodiac Goddess Power Deck




    Card 2: Black Duck (Elfin Ally Oracle Deck)

    Keyword: Fierce


    Meaning: Your daring-ness is quietly impressive and will take you where you need to go.
    Reversed: Don’t be too quiet for too long.

    Affirmation: I hear you.
    Astrology: Aquarius, Moon, Neptune, Pisces, Pluto
    Element: Air, Water
     
    Medicine: Your call awakens the Divine within.

    Lore: Despite her late start in life, she was simply, fantastic and with Black Duck as her ally she would find and refine the DELIGHT that beat in tune with her heart.

    Elfin Ally Oracle Deck




    Card 3: Nambia, pleasantly present (Lefty Oracle Deck)


    Mantra: I relax.
    Affirmation: I am pleasantly present and focused upon one project, and only one project at a time.
    Element: Air

    Song
     I am
     at peace
     with
     myself.

    I rest.
     I float
     untethered.
     Pleasantly
     present.

    When this card appears in a reading you definitely need a break. Take some time for rest and relaxation, to shed your worries, get pampered and have some fun. This is not a time to crack down and get busy. You’ll achieve far more later by taking it easy now. Figure out an easy way to charge your batteries and make time for YOU.

    In my own life, I love to simply just sit in nature, breathe in the smells and enjoy the sights; not thinking or doing anything, just being.

    Lefty Oracle Deck



    Kathy Crabbe has been an artist forever and a soul reader since awakening her intuitive gifts at age forty after five years painting with her non dominant left hand. This awoke her intuition in a big way. In 2008 she created a Lefty Oracle deck and started giving intuitive soul readings that have touched many lives in profound and playful ways. Kathy lives in sunny Southern California with her pet muses and architect husband in an adobe home they built themselves.

    Kathy’s art and writing has been published and shown throughout the world at museum shows, galleries, art fairs, magazines and books including the San Diego Women’s History Museum, We’Moon Datebook, and Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach to name a few. She has self-published several books, zines, oracle decks and ecourses and maintains a regularly updated blog, etsy store and portfolio site. Kathy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Queen’s University and a Graphic Design Diploma from St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Canada. She has been working as a professional artist since 1992. Kathy has been an educator and mentor at Laguna Outreach Community Artists, Mt. San Jacinto College, Wise Woman University, Inspire San Diego Studio, HGTV, Michelle Shocked’s International Women’s Day Show as well as teaching her own classes: “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul”, and New Moon Circles. She is a founding member of the Temecula Artist’s Circle, the Temecula Writer’s Café and the Riverside Art Museum’s Printmaker’s Network. Metaphysically speaking, Kathy has studied with Francesca De Grandis (Third Road Celtic Faerie Shamanism), Adam Higgs (psychic mediumship), Om, devotee of Sri Chinmoy (meditation), Atma Khalsa (yoga), Susun Weed (Green Witch Intensive), Joyce Fournier, RN (Therapeutic Touch), Steven Forrest & Jeffrey Wolf Green (astrology) and she received certification in crystal healing from Katrina Raphaell’s Crystal Academy.
    Learn more here.


    Kathy’s 4 week eClass “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul” is once again being offered at Wise Woman University so get ready to Moon Collage your heart out starting one week prior to the New Moon each month…more details here: eClass.

  • Wednesday, December 11, 2019 9:40 AM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Comfort Touch:
    Nurturing Acupressure Massage for
    the Elderly and the Ill

    ~ Part Two ~

    by Mary Kathleen Rose



    Comfort Touch
    So what is Comfort Touch and how can it be distinguished from other forms of massage and bodywork?


    - Safety concerns and the condition of the client: Comfort Touch is a form of bodywork designed to be safe and appropriate for a broad range of people, for whom other styles of massage would be contraindicated. For example, in the elderly the skin can be very fragile and Swedish massage strokes of effleurage or petrissage can actually tear the skin or cause bruising of the blood vessels.


    - The setting of the massage: Comfort Touch can be practiced anywhere. No special equipment is required. The client can be fully clothed in a chair, recliner or on a bed of any height.


    - Body mechanics for the giver of touch: The therapist must adjust to the client by adapting her body mechanics to maximize effectiveness of the contact and ensure safety. During the training, stools, chairs or cushions are used by therapists as they work. Practitioners must be comfortable in their own bodies to offer comfort, and in some situations will need to limit what they do in order to respect their own bodies.


    - The positioning of the client: Comfort Touch is usually performed with the client in the supine position. The prone position is contraindicated due to the limited mobility of the client, as well as concerns about breathing. It is also difficult to communicate with a client in the prone position. Techniques are adapted to be performed in the supine position, as well as the seated or side-lying positions. Pillows and towels are used liberally to position the client comfortably.


    - Specific techniques of Comfort Touch: The techniques of Comfort Touch are largely derived from Asian bodywork (shiatsu and acupressure), which gives great adaptability and flexibility to the work. It incorporates an understanding of the energetic qualities of the meridian system of the body, as well as major motor points of the muscles.


    - Principles and intentions of Comfort Touch: This work is characterized by the intention to offer comfort. Other general principles that govern the work are described below.

     

    The Principles of Comfort Touch
    There are six principles that guide the practitioner of Comfort Touch. An easy way to remember them is to use the acronym "scribe," which relays the intention and quality of touch used in this work. Comfort Touch is:


    - Slow -- Relax and be present in the moment, letting your own breath be full and deep. Moving slowly creates a restful atmosphere and allows for a safe and appropriate experience for both the giver and receiver of touch.


    - Comforting -- Make the person comfortable and offer a soothing, nurturing touch. Your intention is to ease pain, not to try to cure or fix the person. The word "comfort" literally means "with strength." To give comfort one must come from a place of inner personal strength and share that strength and support with the person who needs it. To comfort also means to acknowledge the individual's inner strength and resources.


    - Respectful -- Always maintain a respectful attitude toward your clients, appreciating the vulnerability they may feel about being touched. Listen to what they tell you, verbally and non-verbally. Be sensitive to their feedback about your touch. A respectful attitude that is compassionate and non-judgmental contributes to a safe and healing atmosphere for the client.


    - Into Center -- The direction of pressure in Comfort Touch is in to the center of the particular part of the body you are touching. Pressure is applied perpendicularly to the skin, thereby preventing tearing of the skin or bruising of the tissues. The focus of intention is into the core or central axis of the part of the body being touched. This specific direction of pressure and accurate focusing inward of intention allow for a penetrating touch, even with light to moderate pressure. Both the giver and receiver of touch experience a profoundly deep sense of connection.


    - Broad -- In general, all strokes are applied with a broad even pressure. This contributes to a feeling of soothing comfort and connection. While the pressure may be firm, the broadness of contact prevents the likelihood of injury or discomfort. Let the entire surface of your hand, especially including your palm, make uniformly even contact with the part of the client's body you are touching. Imagine your hand is melting into the person's body.


    - Encompassing -- Let your touch surround the person's body. Be aware of the relationship between your two hands and the energetic field that exists between them. Hold the person in this space. When touching a large area, such as the back, acknowledge the shapes and contours of the body. When touching a limb or a toe, for example, encompass and enfold that part of the body. Encompassing touch contributes to a feeling of wholeness, of being cared for and acknowledged as a worthwhile human being.


         *********************************

    Mary Kathleen Rose, CMT, has more than 25 years experience in the holistic health field. She supervises the massage therapy program at HospiceCare of Boulder and Broomfield counties in Colorado, and offers trainings in Comfort Touch in various massage schools and medical settings. Find her at: http://www.comforttouch.com/index.htm


    Resources
    Rose, Mary Kathleen. The Gift of Touch -- Comfort Touch: Massage for the Elderly and the Chronically and Terminally Ill. Hospice of Boulder County, 1996.




            COMFORT TOUCH DVD - NOW AVAILABLE

      This beautifully produced video introduces the viewer to the principles and techniques of Comfort Touch, a nurturing form of acupressure massage designed to be safe and appropriate for the elderly and the ill. Drawing on her many years of experience practicing and teaching this work in home-care and medical settings, Mary Kathleen Rose shares the essential elements of Comfort Touch with demonstrations of its applications in the seated, supine and side-lying positions.

    This program will inspire the viewer - whether healthcare professional or family caregiver - to offer the benefits of touch to those for whom conventional massage may cause discomfort or even injury. While Comfort Touch provides soothing relief for the elderly and the ill, it can enhance the quality of life for anyone in need of a caring touch.

    Includes 40-page Video Guide, complete with Principles and Techniques of Comfort Touch, Benefits of Comfort Touch, Precautions in the Use of Touch and Self-Care Exercises for the Caregiver.


    ~ See More Here ~


    *****************************************************


    Also check out Comfort Touch Acupressure Teleseminar with Susun Weed and Mary Kathleen Rose!

     
    ~ Read More Here ~


    Comfort Touch® is a nurturing form of acupressure that can bring the benefits of touch to a broad range of people. While it is safe and appropriate for infants, the elderly, and the ill, it can also be enjoyed by anyone seeking relief from the stresses of daily life. Based on six guiding principles, Comfort Touch® offers a safe, respectful, and nurturing approach to touch. It is calming to the nervous system, so it promotes deep relaxation and relief from pain.

    While Comfort Touch® is a complementary therapy offered in medical settings, is can be safely practiced at home with family and friends. It provides an enjoyable way for members of a family to care for each other, as part of a general focus on health and wellness.

  • Tuesday, December 10, 2019 4:55 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

    Comfort Touch:
    Nurturing Acupressure Massage for the
    Elderly and the Ill
    ~ Part One ~

    by Mary Kathleen Rose
       



    "The tiger is ready to go. That was grrrreat!" These are words spoken by an 82-year-old man who had recently been released after a month in the hospital. He had just received his first session of Comfort Touch. Peg, the massage therapist who relayed his story to me, had recently attended my workshop "Comfort Touch for the Elderly and the Ill."


    Another therapist, Kathleen, shared her experience of using Comfort Touch in a hospital: "It is incredible. You look in the eyes of the patient, knowing you made a difference."


    For more than 12 years now, I have listened to the stories of both the givers and the receivers of Comfort Touch. I am grateful for the many massage therapists and other healthcare providers who have been participants in my classes and contributed to the understanding of this work as I developed it. All have been a part of this journey of discovery about massage with the elderly and the ill.

     

    The Beginning
    My story began in 1984. I was a student at the Boulder School of Massage Therapy, and I had decided to practice massage in a skilled nursing facility for my fieldwork placement. Over a period of 10 weeks I had the opportunity to offer massage to many of the residents. They represented a range of ages, physical conditions and emotional states of being. I remember bracing myself for the experience as I walked in the door of the building for the first time, not knowing what to expect, unsure of how I would touch the people I met.


    In school I worked with other healthy, and relatively young, people like myself. Now I was confronted with individuals who were in wheelchairs or hospital beds. Some could speak and communicate their needs. Others could not. Some could get around with the help of walkers, others were bedridden, or recovering from strokes or major surgeries. I remember the looks of pain, sadness and loneliness. I remember the ramblings of those suffering with dementia. I remember the sweet smiles of those who were simply grateful that someone looked at them and noticed they were alive. They had no idea what to expect from me. The administration and staff were also unsure if massage would be useful.


    And so I began with the notion that they could benefit by being touched. Isn't this a basic human need, as essential as food, water and shelter? An inner compulsion guided me as I met the patients, and I trusted my intuition to let me know how to touch them safely and appropriately.

     

    Hospice
    In 1989, I began to volunteer to give massage to patients of our local hospice, an organization that provides comprehensive, compassionate end-of-life care. Again, as with the residents of the nursing home and clients in my private practice, I found myself responding to the needs of these patients, often with little idea of what approach I would take. There are considerations about the physiological conditions of the elder populations, and/or those living with chronic disease, that require significant adjustments in technique to ensure the massage is both safe and appropriate.


    Unlike the work for which most massage therapists are trained, I was working with those who were bedridden or had limited mobility. So I worked with them in their beds at home or in hospital beds if they were in a facility. To be effective in offering touch, as well as to prevent injury or discomfort to my own body, I had to learn how to adjust my core mechanics.


    I also developed a greater understanding of the importance of non-verbal communication and how to respond not only to the physiological needs of the client, but to respect the emotional and psychological processes that people are experiencing as they deal with life-threatening illness. Most people who are active in this field also acknowledge the personal work they must do to stay clear in their own boundaries. While offering compassionate care, it is important to take care of one's own emotional being.

    Beginning in 1991, the st

    aff of HospiceCare of Boulder and Broomfield counties asked me to teach others what I knew about massage in this context. I had spoken with other massage therapists who had offered massage to hospice patients over the years. Our local hospice had been a pioneer in the use of massage and, coupled with graduates of the Boulder School of Massage Therapy, had initiated a program in the late 1970s. But there had been no real supervision or training. Now, as more massage therapists indicated interested in the program, it became obvious that it would be valuable to establish some guidelines and offer specific training. Since that time, I have trained hundreds of massage therapists, as well as other healthcare professionals (from the fields of nursing and physical and occupational therapy) and hospice volunteers in the style of massage that is referred to as Comfort Touch.


    ~ Page Two ~


  • Monday, December 09, 2019 12:39 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    BAKING BREAD AND MAKING SOURDOUGH

    by  Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt


     


    Flour, water, and salt is all that is needed to make a natural sourdough bread with a wonderful wholesome flavor. During the process of making the bread, the protein in the wheat flour, called gluten, sucks up moisture. When the dough is kneaded the gluten proteins stick together and become 'rubber like. The gluten can then hold little pockets of gas given off by the sourdough as it breaks down the starches in the wheat. This ability of the wheat to hold these gases is what "leavens" the bread. During the baking process, the gluten hardens while the starches keep moisture in the bread. The result is a light, airy wonderful tasting and nutritious bread. A whole wheat sourdough bread will keep fresh for weeks if kept in a dry cool place. When the bread is a few days old individual slices can be steamed and will taste like newly baked.

    The protein in the wheat is what creates this special gluten, That is why wheat usually is used in sourdough bread making, however other grains can be used successfully as well. How the bread turns out also depends on the quality of the wheat, the amount of starch and protein in it,  the quality of the water, and salt, the climate and the season, and especially the strength and quality of the sourdough. Sourdough bread making is a beautiful art and requires tender loving care.

    To make sourdough starter:

    A good sourdough is "alive" and needs to be taken care of. It needs to be kept cool at all the times and should have a sweet/sour aroma. To begin a sourdough from scratch try this simple process.

    Day 1. Mix 1 cup of fresh ground wheat flour with 1 cup of spring water in a jar. Cover it with cheese cloth.
    Day 2 and the next 2-6 days the sourdough will need to be "fed" once a day.  Pour the sourdough into a bowl. Mix 1 Tbsp flour and 1 Tbsp water in a cup, and add it to the sourdough. Clean and dry the jar before returning the sourdough to it. Keep the jar cool all the time, so that the sourdough can develop strength and aroma. There should not be a grayish liquid on top, nor should it smell of vinegar. The finished sourdough smells pleasantly sour and sweet. It may be kept in a refrigerator until it is to be used for baking.

    Every time you make a bread with your sourdough, remember to take 1 cup dough aside for use next time making bread. The sourdough can be sprinkled with a little flour or salt and kept in a jar in the refrigerator. Feed the sourdough with a cup of water and a cup of fresh ground flour once a week if not used in baking bread.
    If a sourdough is well taken care of it will remain strong endlessly and create wonderful bread for generations.

    WHOLE WHEAT SOURDOUGH BREAD

    1 c sourdough           

    3 1/2 c-4 1/2 c whole wheat flour

    2 c warmed spring water       

    1/4 tsp sea salt



    Mix the sourdough with 1 c water, add 1 c flour, stir well. Let it sit covered with a wet cloth  for 8-10 hours. It will make bubbles on the surface and have a pleasant sweet and sour smell. Add the salt and the rest of the water and flour. The dough should be moist, but not firm and have a consistency like an earlobe. Kneed the dough well. Use water instead of flour on the kneading board if the dough is too hard. Cover it again and let it sit for 2- 3  hours. Take 1c of the dough aside, which is the sourdough for next bread making, and store it cold in a jar. Kneed the dough again before placing it in an oiled baking pan. Let it rise until almost double size, about 4-6 hours depending on the temperature of the room. Make a cut in the middle of the bread and bake it on high heat (400 degrees) for 15 min. Then lower the temperature to 325 degrees, and bake it for another 30 min. Let the bread cool before slicing it. The bread will taste deliciously sweet, not sour. Store the bread in a paper bag (or cloth) inside a plastic bag in a cool place for several weeks.

    *Variation: Use different kinds of flours with the wheat. A finer textured bread is made by adding sifted  flour, and a more substantial bread is made by adding cracked or whole soaked or cooked grains. Try also adding some seeds, nuts, raisins etc. to the bread dough.




     
    Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt is a Waldorf class and kindergarten teacher, biodynamic farmer, author and nutritional counselor. She has taught nutritional cooking and counseled for 25 years in her homeland Denmark, Europe and the United States.

    She trained as a macrobiotic cooking teacher and counselor and studied the principles of oriental medicine and the research of Dr. Weston A. Price before embracing the anthroposophical approach to nutrition, food and cooking.




    This Four week course will explore some of the many benefits of fermented and cultured foods, and why it is important to include them regularly with every meal. You will be guided through the steps of making sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled vegetables, kefir, soft cheese, and yogurt, as well as get a chance to discover new fermented drinks such as kvass, wines, and beers. I will aim at answering personal questions around your culturing and fermenting experiences.


    Intuitively we know that cultured and fermented foods are real health foods. Naturally fermented and cultured foods are an exceptional way to prepare different ingredients and some of the most important side dishes and condiments in our diet. They are often overlooked or not mentioned when we describe what we had for dinner, and yet they are pivotal in creating a well-balanced, nutritious meal.

    They add a bounty of nourishing, life-promoting substances and life forces, almost miraculous curative properties, and a wealth of colors, flavors, and shapes. They increase the appetite, stimulate the digestion, and make any simple meal festive and satisfying. The course will be highly practical with many hands-on activities.


     

    In this Four week course you will learn about the nutritional needs of your growing child and receive delicious, seasonal, wholesome nutritious menus and recipes on affordable budget so as to encourage children to eat and live healthy.

    During this course we will explore the nutritious needs for your growing child.

    We will discover how rhythm, simplicity and nourishing activities support a healthy child development. You will find new ways to encourage your child to develop a taste for natural, wholesome foods as well as receive and create delicious, seasonal nutritious menus and recipes that stay within the limits of your budget.



    Cooking for the Love of the World:
    Awakening our Spirituality through Cooking

    by Anne-Marie Fryer Wiboltt



    A heart-centered, warmth-filled guide to the nurturing art of cooking. 200 pages, softbound


  • Thursday, December 05, 2019 12:26 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)

     

     

    I like to call our Urban Permaculture Farm, the Herbal Homestead. I call it this, because for me it all started with herbs. My first herb teachers were wise woman herbalists. They encouraged me to focus on the herbs growing right outside of my doorstep and this has remained as a pivotal place for me to return over and over again.

    A lot happens at our homestead. We grow food and medicine, we wild forage from green spaces in our community as well as neighbors yards. We tend the critters in our space, we feed ourselves, as well as our family and friends. We strive to expand our understanding of life and to weave ourselves into our surroundings.

    This column will highlight some of the things that happen here at The Herbal Homestead. It is an invitation to spend time with me through stories of daily life. 



    Winter Nourishment: Soup Stocks and Broths

    This morning I awoke and it was cold. We heat our home with a wood furnace, so sleeping 8 hours means that you wake up to a chilly house. My wool comforter made by the local woolen mill, keeps me very warm at night, yet when I emerge from under the covers I have two goals.

    1. To reignite the wood stove

         2. To make something warm to drink.


    I often make a cup of tea, but some mornings only a cup of broth will do.  I was inspired a couple of years ago when I attended a Weston A. Price Foundation Conference to begin incorporating broth into my breakfast routine. At the conference they served broth for breakfast. It was winter and I will never forget how satisfying that morning cup of broth was. I realized that by stereotyping broth as an afternoon or evening food, I was missing out on a very special morning opportunity. Of course I still incorporate broth into my winter stews and soups, but I now have expanded my horizons and added it to our homestead breakfast list!


    Below are a few of my favorite recipes for broth. Broth can be made and frozen for future use.

     

    How to Make Soup Stock: 3 Easy Broth Recipes

    Soup stocks are incredibly healthy, nutrient dense and serve as a quintessential comfort food on a cold day. Soup stock has a long history as a nourishing and healing food. While the village herbalist has always known the healing power of soup stock and chicken soup in particular, it took until the year 2000 for CNN headlines to read, “Chicken soup is medicine, U.S. scientists confirm.” Glad they caught up.


    There is no doubt that homemade soup and soup stock is healthy, tastes good and is easy to make.  The following are recipes that serve as guidelines. I say guidelines, as I am a scratch cook, which means that I add what I have. I love to add new herbs, spices, vegetables and animals parts. A couple of years ago I began adding egg shells. It means the stock that I make is always new and interesting. I often add herbs and spices not only for flavor, but to increase the nutrient density of the stock.

     

    Vegetable Stock


    Place the chopped vegetables, herbs, and spices into a crock pot or stockpot. I like a crockpot, as it can be left unattended for long periods of time. Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables. Simmer for approximately 24 hours. Many people make vegetable stock from scraps such as peels and stems. If you use vegetable scraps to make your stock, you will need to strain them from the stock and discard them when finished. And to note, when you boil vegetables for a meal, a lot of their flavor and nutrients leach out into the water.


    The next time you boil vegetables, save the water and add it to your vegetable stock or next batch of soup. Of course being the seaweed lover that I am, I sometimes thicken and enhance the consistency of a vegetable broth by adding a red seaweed ie dulse, turkish towel and/or irish moss. Red seaweed contains carrageenan, which adds viscosity or thickness to the broth and is nutritious. Carrageenan is particularly supportive to the digestive system.    

     

    Chicken or Turkey Stock

    Place chicken or turkey bones, spare meat, vegetable scraps, herbs and spices into a stockpot or slow cooker. If you have access to the feet of the animal you will want to add them, as this will add gelatin to the broth for a thick, rich, highly nutritious broth. Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables and bones. Simmer for 24 hours. Foam will form on the surface of the stock as it simmers. Use a spoon, or ladle, to skim it off. Strain the bones and vegetable scraps from the stock and discard them.

     

    Beef Stock


    Begin by baking the beef soup bones in the oven at 450 degrees for half an hour. If you have access to oxtail bones you will want to add them, as this will add gelatin. As with chicken or turkey broth, the gelatin will create a thick nutritious broth.  Put the beef bones, spare meat, vegetable scraps, herbs and spices into a stockpot. Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables and bones. Simmer for approximately 24 hours. Foam will form on the surface of the beef stock as it simmers. Use a spoon, or ladle, to skim it off. Strain the bones and vegetable scraps from the stock and discard them.

     

    *For bone broths you will want to place your stock in the refrigerator for 8 hours in order to separate the fat and for the broth to gel. The best broth will be quite gelatinous.


    *Adding herbs to any of these broths will also increase their nutrient density. I often add seaweed, burdock, astragalus, mushrooms, lovage, alfalfa, nettle and whatever else happens to be near by. There is no limit to what you can add to your stocks! Have fun! Seaweed added to stock contributes much needed trace minerals.


    Gelatin extracted from bones is a nutritious source of protein as well as collagen, calcium, minerals and the amino acids proline and glycine.


    Stock made from poultry or other bones increases endurance and strengthens the immune system and veins, arteries, muscles, tendons, skin and bones. It also soothes and heals the gastro-intestinal tract and is thus a potent medicine for people suffering from food sensitivities and digestive or bowel problems. All stock provides an easily assimilable form of vitamins and minerals.

     

    Using Your Stock


    You can use the stock immediately as a base for soup, or you can freeze it and begin making your soup on another day. If you freeze the soup stock, leave a bit of space in the top of the container for expansion. It is a good idea to freeze the stock into the portion size that works best for you. A single cup of stock can be warmed on a cold day for an instant meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner.


    Tossing in leftover meat and vegetables from the refrigerator creates a wonderful meal. Adding cream, pureed vegetables, starch, or flour can thicken soup stock. I also cook rice and other grains in soup stock for added nutrition and flavor. This is a very creative process and a great way to enjoy leftovers in a new and refreshing form.


    May the stock be with you during these cold winter days.



     

    Linda Conroy is a bioregional, wise woman herbalist, educator,wildcrafter, permaculturist and an advocate for women's health.

    She is the proprietress of Moonwise Herbs and the founder of Wild Eats: a movement to encourage people and communities to incorporate whole and wild food into their daily lives. She is passionate about women's health and has been working with women for over 20 years in a wide variety of settings.

    Linda is a student of nonviolent communication and she has a masters degree in Social Work as well as Law and Social Policy. Linda has been offering hands on herbal programs and food education classes for well over a decade.

    She has completed two herbal apprenticeship programs, one of which was with Susun Weed at the Wise Woman Center and she has a certificate in Permaculture Design.

    Linda is a curious woman whose primary teachers are the plants; they never cease to instill a sense of awe and amazement.

    Her poetic friend Julene Tripp Weaver, eloquently describes Linda when she writes, "She listens to the bees, takes tips from the moon, and follows her heart."

    Listen to a thirty minute interview with mentor Linda Conroy

     

    Study with Linda Conroy from Home

    ~Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making~
    ( Link to detailed description of Empower Yourself with Herbal Medicine Making )

    The goal of the course is to have participants become familiar with herbal medicine, to become comfortable incorporating herbs into daily life and to gain hands on experience making simple remedies at home.
  • Monday, November 25, 2019 7:58 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
    New Moon in Sagittarius Oracle Card Reading

    by Kathy Crabbe


    Dear Moon Muser,
    It's the New Moon in fiery, truth-seeking Sagittarius on Nov. 26 at 7:06 am PST so scroll down for my oracle card reading and pick-a-card!






    Card 1: Demon (Lefty Oracle)

    Mantra: I transform.
    Affirmation: I journey into the dark to discover inner truths.
    Element: Spirit

    Song
     Be brave dear Soul,
     face your fright.
     open the door,
     welcome the light.

    If this card appears in a reading expect the unexpected! There is a trickster in your midst. Maybe it’s you? Not a mean trickster, but a true trickster; one who shifts your reality and helps you see things from a new perspective. Perhaps you’ve become complacent, or lazy, or overly self satisfied, and are no longer seeing the big picture because you’re too caught up in small details and worries. This WILL change soon so get ready to open your eyes wide and see the world in a whole new way.

    In my own life I do my best to see negative, challenging experiences on a deeper level and I ask questions, such as, “What is the teaching in this? What is being mirrored back to me about myself? What changes need to happen now?”

    Lefty Oracle



    Card 2: Seal (Elfin Ally Oracle)

    Keyword: Kindness
     Meaning: A friend or lover awaits your call.
     Reversed: You are longing for something better instead of being fully present.

    Affirmation: I am Queen-of-the-Sea
     Astrology: Jupiter
     Element: Fire, Water,

    Medicine: Your playful magick entices us to claim our inner Queen, sea-bent on journeying into the Deep.

    Lore: A secret passage to the sea adored by silky Seal, was her True North, encompassing her heart and leading her Home, always Home from whence she got her start.

    You entice me to play and dive and learn about the cycles of the Sea and then forget I’m an elf and become one with the sea, a mermaid at heart.

    Elfin Ally Oracle



    Card 3: Goddess Tiamat (Zodiac Goddess Power deck)

    Goddess Tiamat: a Babylonian dragon goddess who existed before the creation of the world. Her war upon the gods continues to this day. When she was killed by Marduk her body fell into the lower universe where one half became the dome of heaven and the other a wall to contain the waters.

    Sagittarius Affirmations:

        I stretch my horizons to envision the big big picture

        I see the glorious possibilities in everything

        I am free of all restrictions

        I inhale optimism, courage and speed

        I trust in life

        I am lucky

        My courage protects me and my sisters and brothers

    Zodiac Goddess Power Deck





    Kathy Crabbe has been an artist forever and a soul reader since awakening her intuitive gifts at age forty after five years painting with her non dominant left hand. This awoke her intuition in a big way. In 2008 she created a Lefty Oracle deck and started giving intuitive soul readings that have touched many lives in profound and playful ways. Kathy lives in sunny Southern California with her pet muses and architect husband in an adobe home they built themselves.

    Kathy’s art and writing has been published and shown throughout the world at museum shows, galleries, art fairs, magazines and books including the San Diego Women’s History Museum, We’Moon Datebook, and Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach to name a few. She has self-published several books, zines, oracle decks and ecourses and maintains a regularly updated blog, etsy store and portfolio site. Kathy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Queen’s University and a Graphic Design Diploma from St. Lawrence College, Kingston, Canada. She has been working as a professional artist since 1992. Kathy has been an educator and mentor at Laguna Outreach Community Artists, Mt. San Jacinto College, Wise Woman University, Inspire San Diego Studio, HGTV, Michelle Shocked’s International Women’s Day Show as well as teaching her own classes: “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul”, and New Moon Circles. She is a founding member of the Temecula Artist’s Circle, the Temecula Writer’s Café and the Riverside Art Museum’s Printmaker’s Network. Metaphysically speaking, Kathy has studied with Francesca De Grandis (Third Road Celtic Faerie Shamanism), Adam Higgs (psychic mediumship), Om, devotee of Sri Chinmoy (meditation), Atma Khalsa (yoga), Susun Weed (Green Witch Intensive), Joyce Fournier, RN (Therapeutic Touch), Steven Forrest & Jeffrey Wolf Green (astrology) and she received certification in crystal healing from Katrina Raphaell’s Crystal Academy.
    Learn more here.


    Kathy’s 4 week eClass “Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul” is once again being offered at Wise Woman University so get ready to Moon Collage your heart out starting one week prior to the New Moon each month…more details here: eClass.

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