Are you following your dream?

                              “A Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” Lao Tzu

                            “A Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” Lao Tzu

Sitting comfortably in a chair at home, I find myself wandering back to memories of my family's cross country trek over the last 3 months. I take a deep breath.

It’s so easy now to look back and see why this sabbatical was essential for the health of my family, but it wasn’t always so easy.

There were many reasons not to do it: there were all the "should’s" and the doubts, along with people’s judgement that were occupying my thoughts; the pressure of not continuing my successful private practice and teaching schedule was limitless. I had created the perfect dilemma.

It’s moment like these that define our character - Who we are. What we stand for. I had a dream that began a long time ago. I was a young boy, the youngest of two. My mother and father wanted to take my brother and I across the Atlantic Ocean in a sailboat, followed by a year or so of living in Europe. My father, being the son of an Army Captain during WWII, spent some of his adolescence living in Germany, post war. He wanted us to see the world, just as he had. But then something terrible happened....

My brother and I were outside playing with our neighborhood friends when one of our friend's mother ran out with a deeply concerned look on her face shouting, “GO HOME RIGHT NOW!” We quickly got on our bikes and raced home to find out our dad was in the hospital and we needed to see him right away.

Later we learned his aorta had torn, from his heart down to his left kidney, and he was going into massive open-heart surgery that night. I can still see the colors of the wallpaper, the not-so-pleasant smells of the intensive care unit and the feeling of the cold aluminum hospital bed bars touching my body. My father was going to die. His dream of sailing across the Atlantic with his boys would have to wait for another time.

One of my Qigong teachers always says “Strike while the iron is hot!” We are making decisions in our life whether we are conscious of it or not. The moment is always ours. Sometimes the decisions we need to make aren’t easy, but necessary. I decided to follow my dream. This one is for you, Dad!

Join me at the link below to learn how meditation can help you follow your dream.

www.healinginfusionsgroup.com

Spring is here!

                                    Perspective and Vision are energetic qualities of early Spring

                                   Perspective and Vision are energetic qualities of early Spring

 

Moving from the Start of Spring to Rain Water

Last week we moved from the Start of Spring to Rain Water (Ancient Chinese names for this season). When we say rain water, we do not only mean actual rain. It also means the wetness and humidity you start to feel all around you and in the soil. The earth is coming out of the frozen time of year and the eternal warmth of the earth is defrosting everything that was frozen.

The change that's happening now is the birth of things that have been dormant like plans, creativity, visions. There is now an opening for those plans, creativity, and visions to come through. 

We are moving into a spaciousness.

If you have had ideas brewing, keep in mind that it's important to strike while the iron is hot and take advantage of the creative energy that is flowing. Get creative now. Don't wait until November to start thinking and planning. 

While this is happening around us, the Yellow Emperor's Classic (Huangdi Neijing) recommends to walk more and move more. I recommend walking in Nature. In Japan, they call it shinrin-yoku "forest bathing", the Japanese practice of connecting deeply with nature. It is a practice that involves all the senses and has extraordinary effects on health and happiness. Watch the video below for my favorite "forest bathing" collecting Maple sap!

For more information regarding shinrin-yoku "forest bathing" and/or tapping Maple trees for sap or making syrup. Thomas recommends purchasing the following books below:

"Shinrin Yoku: The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing"

http://amzn.to/2FMEsRV

"Backyard Sugarin': A Complete How-to-Guide"

http://amzn.to/2F72CcJ

Some of the things that go along with walking are practicing Taiji Quan and/or Silk Reeling Qigong, otherwise known as Chan si gong. It's so good at moving the joints in a nice relaxed, circular way, allowing openness, flexibility and flow. Read below for more information about Saturday's Art of Silk Reeling Workshop.

http://www.thomasgarbarino.com/workshops/2018/2/27/owvrkgh60qqwmuotcwwg1er6b79vjj 
Also recommended is the Spraying Qi Empowered Breathing, which is excellent for detoxifying the body. You can follow along with me in the videos available in the Healing Infusions Group and learn how to incorporate the movements with your breathing. 

To learn more about how to stay healthy naturally through the seasons, please join me at my Facebook group HEALING INFUSIONS www.healinginfusionsgroup.com

To receive a FREE healing meditation, and sign up for my bi-weekly newsletter with loads of helpful tips on staying healthy through the seasons, click on this link:  www.freehealingmeditation.com

Qigong and PTSD

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My Journey with PTSD

PTSD is in the media a lot these days, and many of us are dealing with it personally. People come home shell-shocked from wars and other violent experiences; these days there are many ways people experience various forms of trauma in their life. Some might experience a milder version of it. Many times, people don’t even realize they have PTSD until they are diagnosed, or become aware of the condition another way. They are stunned by it, or at least that was my own experience.

I had no idea that I was experiencing PTSD.

As a child, I experienced many different forms of trauma. Growing up in a culture where it was more acceptable to "think" than "feel" I learned early on to brush my feelings off. I had convinced myself that traumatic situations were normal, and that everyone probably experienced life like I had. I was surrounded by adults that just didn’t know how to communicate. Their assumptions about kids not needing to know ultimately created more stress and confusion for me and the other children involved.

It wasn't until much later in my adult life when I walked into a hospital (just as I did quite a bit as a child), I suddenly became aware of the smell of the hospital, the sounds of the monitors buzzing, the intercoms...and Immediately my body would go into what I now know as shock.

My body would start to get cold and I would start trembling. My mind felt slow. It was hard to relax. All I wanted to do was get in that crouched position. I felt frozen.

I would get to the point where my cognition would stop working and I couldn’t hold a conversation. I wasn't able to comprehend or understand what was happening. The first time I just brushed it off. I told myself it was just a weird bug or something. However, it happened again and again. This has been my reality for much of my early adult life.

As time passed and I developed more awareness through my meditation and qigong practice I was able to breathe through the intense waves of PTSD and keep myself from drowning in it’s grip. My nervous system still feels the shock from the traumas long ago, however, now with the help of qigong the volume and intensity is significantly lower.

Of all the techniques I have learned from qigong, I have found the Qi Empowered Breathing to be one of the best for situations dealing with PTSD. This intensive breathing technique mixed with a relaxed focus allows the mental awareness to drop deep into the nervous system and ultimately releasing the negative messages stored there. To learn more about PTSD and how qigong can help click the link below: www.healinginfusionsgroup.com

To understand more about PTSD and how it affects our nervous system Thomas Recommends reading "Waking The TIger: Healing Trauma" by Peter Levine                                                      Click the link below to purchase it

http://amzn.to/2G1Bc5g

To learn more about to stay healthy naturally through the seasons please join me at my Facebook group HEALING INFUSIONS www.healinginfusionsgroup.com

To receive a FREE healing meditation and sign up for my bi-weekly newsletter with loads of helpful tips on staying healthy through the seasons click on this link: www.freehealingmeditation.com

Sleep Through the Seasons

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Sleep Cycles

We’ve talked a bit about what you can do to get ready to go from autumn to winter and about a couple of things that you can do to get your body prepared. A lot of this information comes from a highly revered book called Huang di Neijing, "The Yellow Emperor’s Classic". This book is often considered the bible of Chinese medicine and how to live a healthy long life in harmony with the cycles of Nature. One of the topics mentioned that we have yet to discuss is sleep patterns and how the body needs different amounts of sleep through different times of the year.

 

In the summer, it is recommended that you stay up late at night and wake up early in the morning. This is because the sky is lit up by the sun from early in the morning until late into the evening, the Yang energy has reached it's fullest expression. As we move into fall, it is recommended that we go to sleep earlier and wake up in the morning earlier. This reflects that the Yang energy of the sun is waning earlier in the evening bringing more darkness or Yin energy. However, as we move into winter, we should still go to bed early (maybe even earlier than during the fall), but we should also stay in bed later in the morning. Yin energy has now reached it's fullest expression which is represented in the longer evenings and shorter days.

 

I remember a teacher of mine who used to say that the last hour you spend in bed during winter time can really help strengthen your kidney energy, not only in your lower back, but your knees, brain and bones. I don't think there could be a better recommendation from the doctor than to sleep in every morning. Now, for some of you, that might seem like an impossible task, however it's always "Good, Better and Best": If you don't have an hour, start with five minutes or whatever works for your schedule. Remember this ancient wisdom is a prescription, and if done regularly, it will build your immunity during Wintertime, ultimately making you healthier, stronger and happier. 

 

There are so many things you can do to protect your qi as the seasons change. For more practical tips, be sure to head over to the Healing Infusions group on Facebook by following this link http://bit.ly/healinginfusionsgroup 

 

 

The Energy of the Time

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Shuang Jiang- Frost Decent

In the ancient Chinese calendar, the year is broken up into 24 segments to really understand the energetics of the seasons. As of October 23rd, we moved into what is called Shuang Jiang, Frost Decent.

 

In Shuang Jiang (Frost Decent), we have entered the last phase of autumn. The northern hemisphere is now experiencing less light from the Sun. This causes the energy of the Earth's qi to descend below the surface, storing the lifeforce in the roots, in the core. The cold will now be more present. You’ll see we’ve gotten the last days of warmth, the last colors, the remaining crops have begun to wither. Notice how this change in the environment affects our internal qi.

 

One thing that we all do to adapt to this change is wear warmer clothes. Wool will replace cotton. Parkas, scarfs and hats come out of the closets. It is recommended to also cover your feet by wearing socks, slippers and shoes, as floors and the ground are getting colder. This will help tremendously by making sure the qi in your meridians is protected from the cold (We will talk more about this in the coming posts).

 

Another thing that you can do to protect and strengthen your qi is to start eating and drinking warmer foods and drinks. This doesn’t necessarily mean hot, as in spicy, or that the temperature is really hot, but what it does mean is that the food is cooked, not raw. In the earlier phases of autumn we were able to still eat from the leafy vegetables and fruits, but we are now starting to put our focus on the roots and tubers: Squash, pumpkins, gourds, potatoes, etc. It is recommended that we cook these vegetables by adding spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamon, pepper, coriander, turmeric and cumin to give the food a little extra warmth.

 

You can also keep the body warm by drinking warming teas: oolong, pu'er, red teas, and black teas. Chai tea is also a good thing to ingest during this time because it contains a lot of the warming spices mentioned above. However, you’ll want to avoid white and green teas as they are cooling teas. Avoid ice in your beverages, as this will affect your digestive qi negatively.

 

There are still a lot more things you can do to protect your qi as the seasons change. For more practical tips, be sure to head over to the Healing Infusions group on Facebook by following this link http://bit.ly/healinginfusionsgroup .

Be the first to join my upcoming monthly subscription Facebook Group!

I'll soon be launching a monthly subscription Facebook group, as a way in which I'll be able to provide even greater resources in between sessions, classes and workshops designed especially for remote clients or simply as a way to empower your continued healing!

Here's what you can expect:

  • Weekly Livestreams in which you can show up and ask questions live that I'll be able to answer right then & there! If you're unable to make it during the live event, you can ask questions in advance that I can address.
  • Additional teachings, healing insights, successful healing stories and invaluable knowledge to support your own personal healing journey.
  • Powerful weekly guided Healing Meditations.
  • Online community to share, discuss and learn together. 
  • Super-charge your Qi healing with weekly breathing and chanting exercises
  • And, much more!

The entry price will be $11 for the first month and then a reoccurring membership fee of  $37/month. If you're interested in being in the group, please click the link below!

https://www.facebook.com/Healing-Infusions-118972542165945/

Once at the Healing Infusions page click on the BLUE button that says "LEARN MORE".