I’ve received some emails from some women lately looking for legal recommendations. I think the understanding here is that I’m a woman you’ve grown to trust and my background in law may allow me to give worthy suggestions. I’m honored.
First of all, I’d be sure that whenever you are in need of a lawyer, if you can afford to be picky, go with someone you feel comfortable around. If you feel more comfortable around women, you should have female legal representation. If you feel more comfortable around people of your background (racial, ethnic, socio-economic, etc), you should have similar legal representation.
Second of all, respect their up-fronts and count on them to respect yours.
Third, read reviews but with an open mind.
Fourth, if you ever feel like you are being taken advantage of or swindled, tell your legal representation exactly how you feel, what lead you to feel that way, and what you expect them to do about it. Females are often discouraged from discussing feelings because it makes us appear weak which makes it easier for males in power positions (like your attorneys) to manipulate you without giving you an opportunity to express your concern. Be expressive. And if they don’t give you an answer that suits you and you haven’t hired them yet, keep moving.
And finally, of course the first search will be online because it’s 2016. But some law practices are more concerned with representing their clients fairly than having a fancy website. Take a website like this one for personal injury attorneys. It gives you all the information you need, it’s informative, it introduces you to the partners, and it has no unnecessary “bells and whistles.” Don’t discount a practice website because it doesn’t have unnecessary functionality like live-chatting or online submission platforms. You will still have to deal with humans throughout this process, so you should start by meeting the humans.
I keep trying to convince you readers that my approaches to healing are not *hokey* but I actually don’t find anything wrong with hokey healing. Sure there is no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of crystals, but if people believe crystals are making them better and as a side effect of that belief, they begin to get better – then didn’t the hokey crystal work?
Now this “power of placebo” is not limited to holistic healing but (my opinion alert, don’t sue me!) because most holistic healers and practitioners and users tend to be female, it’s not taken seriously. For example, it’s pretty “hokey” when sports fans refuse to wash a jersey because last time they wore it, their team won.
There is power in positive thinking. I’m just trying to elaborate on ways of harnessing that power and using to improve your enjoyment of time on earth.
I do not believe that Himalayan Salt Lamps are purifying to the air or those around it – but I have one in my apartment because I like the purifying notion of it. I do not believe that crystals have any scientific power over my health, but when I’m feeling very stressed and I spend a minute clutching my sapphire, I don’t care if the crystal is the reason I feel better – I just enjoy the feeling of betterment. I don’t know that inhaling lavender before going to sleep helps me to sleep more soundly and easily, but I know that I sleep as such after inhaling lavender. While I have a profound respect for science and research, I don’t need science to tell me the things I already know. And neither do you. You can have faith in both science and yourself at the same time without a conflict of interest.
Massage is another great way to incorporate holistic approaches into your self-care. Even as an attorney, I would treat myself to one massage a month as it promoted self-care and countered my overly-excited exercise regime at that time. But it has come to stand for a lot more in my life as I’ve continued to receive massage but have made a career out of performing them for others. My specialties are as follows:
- Trigger Point Therapy allows me to locate and treat particularly irritable spots in soft tissue due to injury, posture, or just repetitive motion with not counter-motion. This is often reserved for those who sit at a desk looking at a computer all day.
- Fascial Therapy massage allows the tissues to move freely after unraveling the fascia – which is the tissue surrounding all muscles and organs in the body. This helps to reduce pain, improve blood flow, and increase joint mobility.
- Deep Tissue massage is the most well-known as the practitioner applies deep pressure into the soft tissue to digitally loosen adhesion and reduce muscle and tissue pain. This kind of massage may result in some soreness as your body adjusts to the loosened tissues.
- Reiki is an ancient Japanese technique meaning spiritually guided life force energy. I administer this by harnessing and using life force energy between my body and the body of my client. I like to incorporate reiki into deep tissue massage, creating a deeper physical connection between myself and my client. If that sounds hokey to you, it probably won’t work on you! And that’s ok!
Meditation doesn’t have to be a big event, a journey, or a guided breathing endeavor. It certainly can be these things and I do believe it contributes to a greater quality of life, but for those of us just trying to make it through a tough day at the office, an uncomfortable ride on a train or plane, or just a bad day – taking a moment to center yourself and your emotions can greatly improve your overall wellbeing. If you’re having a lot of trouble, I think Code Brew developed an app that walks you through the process. My meditative guidance for first-timers is as follows:
- Make yourself as comfortable as you can in your environment – you cannot always change your environment but you can almost always change your relationship to it. So if you’re sitting cross-legged on the M-train, responding to emails on your phone, put your phone in your pocket and place the bottoms of both your feet on the floor. Rest your arms at your sides or in your lap. Close your eyes and allow your body to sway to the rhythm of the train. Ignore distractions. Just be as comfortable as your environment will allow.
- Begin to relax, breathing gently in three-part intervals: 1. Deep breath in for three seconds, 2. Hold it at the top of the breath for three seconds, 3. Deep breath out for three seconds. Repeat. Doing this alone for one full minute may drastically change and improve your day.
- If you are in a comfortable environment and able to let yourself really sink into it, you’ll start to develop your guiding images, experiences or mantras. I like to consider something in the world that makes me happy over which I have literally no control as it helps to put into perspective the things over which I do have control. Deep breath in, that’s the sun rising one morning. Hold it at the top, this is the passage of that one day blessed by the sun having risen. Deep breath out, this is the setting of the sun and the closing of the day.
- Coming out of a meditation is a return to awareness. I like to start at the bottom, becoming aware of my toes, wiggling my toes. Become aware of my feet and ankles, flexing them. Becoming aware of my legs ending at the floor where my feet are planted, and adjusting my legs. Becoming aware of my fingers, wiggling them. Becoming aware of my hands and wrists, flexing them. Becoming aware of my arms at my side or in my lap, and adjusting them. Becoming aware of my head, mind and neck, turning it from side to side and nodding it up and down. Becoming aware of my heart, reconnecting it to my head. And then waking it all up and carrying on with the day whether it’s sunrise, daytime, sunset, or night.
I had a thirteen year career in the legal field before retiring and finding my true calling in holistics. To that effect, I respect every person’s journey towards or away from natural healing. It doesn’t work for everyone – but neither does exclusive modern medicine. We’re all animals, let’s have some patience for one another’s processes.
But since you’re visiting and reading my blog, I’ll tell you of my journey here as a little break from *lecturing.* For thirteen years, I worked in personal injury law battling shitty employers trying to deny their workers adequate compensation for workplace injuries. I loved this career, I felt fulfilled helping wrongfully terminated or inadequately compensated employees get their dues. I was the epitome of a big city rat race participant. I dressed in black every day, drank black coffee each morning, avoided eye contact with strangers at the gym and on the train every morning, and then sat in a windowless office on a computer for ten hours before avoiding eye contact the whole train ride back home. This life made me happy.
I started seeing an integrative healthcare provider who was happy to provide prescriptions for modern medicinal healthcare but only after exhausting some alternative suggestions. Whether this was vitamins, oils, meditation, yoga or simple breathing exercises that she had printed on the back of her business cards, I almost always found a way to make this first suggestion work. Besides an IUD as placed by a holistic midwife she referred, I took no prescription drugs or treatments for four healthy years.
Alternative medicines and treatments became a bigger and bigger part of my life while modern medicine became smaller and smaller. Of course, when my appendix became infected on Christmas, I went straight to the emergency room and modern medicine my appendix right the fuck out of here. But my post-surgical care was 90% holistic.
I spent my last three years as a personal injury lawyer completing night and weekend in holistic medicine and massage classes. I retired from my lucrative law career at the age of 39 with full intentions of becoming a holistic healer.
I’ve been running my massage studio and personal wellness center ever since and while the money is less, it’s of less importance. And I was always a good saver!
In rereading my previous blog entry (from a personal standpoint I don’t want to give any misinformation and cause any readers distress; from a legal standpoint I don’t want to give any misinformation, cause minor distress and get consequently sued – so I do lots of editing) I realized I did not adequately explain the use of carrier oils.
Carrier Oils are easy to gloss over because they don’t contain therapeutic constituents like the oils I mentioned above. They are naturally derived oils from vegetarian sources and they don’t evaporate as rapidly as therapeutic essential oils. Using a carrier oil reduces the concentration of your therapeutic oil while carrying them and their therapies for longer. Not all carrier oils work for all users, so I would mix and match until you find your favorites and their concentrations.
- Grapeseed oil: This is light, thin, and deeply moisturizing making it great for carrying massage oils like lavender. The only downside is its relatively short shelf life, so start with a small bottle and see how you like it.
- Almond Oil: Almond oil has a sweet aroma meaning it mixes great with the stronger therapeutic oils like clove and peppermint. It a thicker than grapeseed oil which allows its richness in vitamin E and oleic acid. This is great for anyone who doesn’t have a nut allergy.
- Jojoba Oil: I love using this one on its own for skin and hair health. I live in a very cold climate so for about 6 months each year, my scalp, nails and hair are screaming for moisture. Accompanied by whichever essentual oil I’m in the mood for (usually lavender) I massage jojoba oil into my scalp, cuticles, hair and face two evenings a week before bed. This one has a long shelf life too, so one bottle can last you the entire winter and maybe some of next winter!
- Coconut Oil: Googling coconut oil will convince you that any human ailment may be repaired by a thin layer of coconut oil. I don’t necessarily disagree! Coconut oil is solid at room temperature but can be heated into an oil with a distinct coconut aroma. It’s so moisturizing, just so so moisturizing. Natural-haired may love it for moisturizing their hair but if you have thin hair, I don’t advise using this unless you want to be washing it out for two weeks. It’s great as a gentle make-up remover, cuticle repair, course callous treatment, etc. Oh and you can cook with it, which I do regularly.
Again, from a legal standpoint I must remind users to not use any of this advice to override that of their healthcare provider. I do however heartily suggest these life changes as supplements to your current regimen of care.
Whether you work as a holistic massage therapist aligning chakras or a personal injury attorney chasing justice for those wrongly injured, your personal life may benefit from the incorporation of essential oils. Again, I’m certainly not suggesting oils to replace any medications your healthcare provider may prescribe or suggest, but I am heartily suggesting supplementing your self-care routine with oils.
Essential oils are highly concentrated plant compounds and while those teeny bottles seem pricey, it can take up to 4,000 pounds of the plant to get just one pound of its oil. And the use of them is often highly diluted. Keep your eyes on the labels for pure, medicinal, steam-distilled oils and stock up on jojoba oil to use as a diluent. And here are my top ten oils and their usages:
- Eucalyptus: this may be used to loosen tightness in the chest or sinuses during cold season if inhaled through a vaporizer. It may also work as muscle soreness relief is used with a hot bath. If you’ve ever found yourself in a spa suddenly able to breathe easily through your nose and chest, it’s likely because they’re diffusing eucalyptus oil for this just this reason.
- Lavender: I like to combine my eucalyptus oil – which can be an overwhelming scent – with lavender which balances it with an herbal, floral finish. This is a very versatile oil as it’s commonly known for its relaxing quality, but it’s also great on skin irritations. My favorite use of lavender oil is to put about three drops into my hands and rub them together right before going to sleep.
- Peppermint: This oil is more of an *upper* that the aforementioned two. It purifies and stimulates the mind and can increase mental alertness. I like to add a couple of drops to my morning coffee to help with digestion and mental acuity. This is a strong oil for the skin though, so if you’re going to use it topically – mix it with a good diluent like jojoba oil first. Peppermint oil, while not a chemical component, can cause something akin to chemical burns if used on the skin in too high of concentration.
- Lemon: Lemon oil is great if you have blemishes or acne. I like to drop a big into my evening moisturizer for this purpose. This is also a great oil to keep at the law office as it can help with focus. Just drop a couple drops into the hands, warm it up, and breathe deeply into your palms for thirty seconds. You might find yourself sharper and more focused to follow. This may, of course, be more attributed to the momentary meditation, but why not supplement it with an uplifting sensory experience.
- Clove: Clove oil is very very strong. Please understand that disclaimer before using it in any capacity. That said, clove oil is an excellent anti-imflammatory and antiseptic so if you’re having any dental issues or a toothpain and can’t get right into the dentist, clove oil may be your best friend. Just remember to mix it with a carrier oil (I use coconut oil, due to its versatility in form) as it’s very strong!
Oils and holistic healing options in general tend to get a bad rap, being resigned to “witch doctor” status or “hippie wicca healing” which can be true. But essential oils have been around and in use in different cultures for millennia. To discount them just because hippies and witches use them is to do yourself and your health a disservice.
I’m a healer and a believer in the power of crystals. I am by no means a medical professional and I’m not suggesting using what I tell you to treat your ailment. However, I do suggest supplementing your medical treatment with respect for and understanding of crystals.
Think of your body as an energy grid requiring certain energies in specific regions (chakras). Your body is surrounded, at all times, by the energies it requires. But the energies are unharnessed rendering them unable to tend to the regions of your body requiring them. Crystals harness these energies, direct them to the chakras requiring them, promoting wellness and sound chakra alignment.
The energies are placed on the aligned chakra region(s) and while the bodily energies align, the mind meditates on the expected outcome of the alignment. I often incorporate the power of scent into my routine by diffusing lavender and eucalyptus oils during the meditation.
I’m fully aware, skeptical reader, that there is no scientific basis for the practice of crystal based chakra alignment. But I’ve found it to be calming, centering, and profoundly impactful on my quality of life. I believe in science. And I believe in the things unable to be explained by it.
The crystal starter kit consists of: Quartz Crystal, a spiritually healing conduit; Tiger’s Eye, strong and emotionally balancing; Amethyst, physically cleansing and healing; and Sapphire, mentally comforting.
If nothing else, setting aside time in your life for focused meditation and self-healing – with or without crystals – is proven to be enriching. So maybe start there and if you find yourself interested in crystals, incorporate them later.
Next time, let’s talk about the essential oils that you may incorporate into your crystal or meditative healing.