Preparing for Menopause

If you are a woman enter your late 40s or early 50s, you may be wondering when “the change of life” will happen, and what it will be like.  Menopause represents a major transition in the lives of most women, signalling the end of reproductive function. A diet rich in whole foods and proper supplementation supports a stronger life force and the ability to better handle the changes occurring during this time. 

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Beating the Blues

Are you interested in trying to deal with the issues you are facing in a natural way - through counselling, exercise, and eating properly?  While you may know that eating healthy can affect your mental health, you may wonder if there are specific foods that can help!  Glenys Bowers, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist in the South Surrey area, has some practical help for us in this area.

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Meals and Mindfulness

You’ve just arrived home after a long day at work.  You have been fighting deadlines at work, difficult people, and then that commute!  As you come in your front door, you look at your kitchen and think “there’s no WAY I have energy to cook tonight!”.  Or if you have kids, your mind goes to the meme that’s been making its way around Facebook “why do they want dinner every single night!”.  And besides, there’s activities to get to in about an hour, or another meeting for the organization you are volunteering for.  Who has time for a home cooked dinner?!

Fast forward to the end of the night, and you are in bed reflecting on your day.  Do you remember what you ate?  Were you able to connect with friends or family today?  

What if you were able to make one change to your day so that you felt connected to your family, or were just able to stop and breathe for a few minutes, and care for yourself?  One of the words that comes to my mind is a pretty trendy word right now – “mindfulness”.  Some of you will read that word, and stop reading this blog, because you’ve heard it too much.  Bear with me!

Mindfulness is the act of slowing down enough to focus your awareness on what is happening in the present moment, and then taking time to calmly acknowledge and then accept your feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.  For a lot of people that means yoga or taking time out of their day to meditate.  However, it doesn’t have to be something that is added on to your already busy schedule.  What if mindfulness was about slowing down to eat dinner at the table instead of standing in the kitchen, sitting in your car, or while watching TV?  What if it was slowing down and setting aside 20 minutes to be aware of what you are eating, interacting with your family members, or taking time to appreciate how good of a cook you are?

There is a lot of research that shows that having dinner as a family on a regular basis can affect behaviours at work and school, susceptibility to eating disorders, and overall self-image.  One article I found stated that engaging in family meals is viewed positively by both adolescents and parents and can be a useful tool for enhancing a sense of belonging and attachment.

So how do you make this happen?  How do you cook a healthy, nutritious meal to sit down to on a regular basis?  There are many ways to try this, and it really comes down to trial and error to see what might work for you.

Here are some resources that I have found that helped me at various stages in my life.  My hope is that at least one might resonate with you and help you to be able to experience mindfulness, attachment and stress release as you sit down to your meals next week.

Meal planning on your own

Slow cooker recipes

Freezer meals

Happy cooking!  Let me know if any of these resources helped you, or if you have one you’d like to share!

Massage can help anxiety

Do you experience anxiety or stress in your life? Meeting with a counsellor can help you find new ways to cope with the feelings that arise as a result of that anxiety.  These tools can help with the emotional and mental side of your experience, but it is also important to address the physical side of anxiety as well.  Massage can help to manage anxiety as it has been proven to address two of the most significant symptoms of anxiety: sleep issues and muscle tension and pain.

As you probably know, both the body and mind repair and regenerate during sleep. Being deprived of sleep can affect our mental and emotional state.  The areas of the brain that control our emotions, decision-making capabilities and social interactions all require sleep to repair and regenerate. When we do not get enough sleep, or do not sleep deep for long enough, we can start to lose our ability to think straight and begin to feel anxiety and depression.

Massage has been shown to improve sleep, and therefore reduce the overall symptoms of anxiety. Massage can reduce stress, and improve the ability to fall asleep and the quality of sleep in those who struggle with anxiety.

Let me introduce you to Karin Poller, who runs a home-based massage business called “Me-Time Massage”.  I have asked her to share some of her information in case you are looking for a masseuse in the Surrey area.

Massage therapy has been a life-long passion of mine, to help people as part of their personal healing process such as dealing with anxiety. I know from my studies, and my own practice, how good it makes people feel and how helpful massage can be. Me-time massage is all about relaxation and pampering oneself. We create a warm, comfortable and inviting environment that is enhanced with soft music and delightfully fragrant aromas. The focus is on you and your quiet enjoyment.

I came to Canada about 14 years ago, from Colombia, where I had trained to become a physiotherapist. Today I live in Surrey, BC with my husband and two young boys. As a stay-at-home Mom, with my sons full time in school, I decided I wanted to get back to my career. I opened my own small business, as a massage practitioner, to build on my background experience and because I enjoy interacting with and getting to know people.

I also decided I wanted to focus on women only. Knowing myself how stressful life can be, including as a mom and a wife, I wanted to bring the opportunity of deep relaxation, and more personal service, to the women around me, but at an affordable price compared to the bigger spas. Having the spa in my own home allows me to provide these professional services but at a lower cost. We have a private room right beside our front entrance that has been elegantly decorated.

Depending on your specific needs, to address some stiff muscles in a particular area, or just to be spoiled for a moment, I offer:

  • 1-hour full body relaxation massage, ideal for pampering
  • 1-hour full body hot stone massage, to try something different, or
  • 30-minute trigger-point massage, our most popular service, to focus on a problem area or if you have less time.

Whichever massage you choose, it will provide deep relaxation and stress relief – something we all need more in our hectic lives.  As mentioned above, we all carry this stress in our bodies – even without knowing it sometimes, as it builds up. Even more so when dealing with anxiety or depression.  Massage has many other benefits as well, including:

  • creating a calming and comforting effect,
  • reducing muscle pain,
  • helping with getting proper sleep,
  • helping to clear your mind,
  • supporting good physical health, and
  • providing an opportunity to spoil yourself, or someone you care about.

 A recent client had this to say: “Thank you again for the wonderful healing massage yesterday. It was very relaxing, helpful and blessed me so much.” We love hearing such wonderful feedback about me-time massage, knowing that we are helping women be able to forget about the stresses of life, if just for a short while, and enjoying a moment all about them.

Whether you yourself are, or someone you know is an overtired Mom, an over-stressed professional, a wife overdue for some pampering, or all three – consider a me-time massage! Visit me on Facebook or my website for more information, or book an appointment today by sending me an email at