Welcome to Qualicum Beach Sanctuary

Welcome! As many of you are aware we closed our Heat to Heal Studio doors in June of 2016 and have transformed our lovely home and property into a Vacation Rental Sanctuary. Dr. Black continues to offer private yoga teacher trainings by arrangement for groups of 3-5 people and will add great health and wellness posts to our site.  Please feel free to follow us on Facebook at Qualicum Beach Sanctuary. We are currently rebuilding our website, so thank you for your patience. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us!

Daily Therapy Tip 10

Welcome back to the work week.  You may have noticed we didn’t post from Friday-Sunday.  That will be the way some weeks are.  We encourage you during those times to go back over the previous posts and apply them in your life.  You may find an entirely new perspective on the tip!

DSC_5697Heat to Heal Daily Therapy Tip 10: The Wall is Your Friend

Yes, that’s right – the wall.  So many of us only think of walls as the dividers between rooms or the perfect surface for that great piece of artwork, but the wall can be one of your best therapy tools.  In several of our Yin, Restorative, or Therapy classes, we use the wall for almost the full practice.  You can help your entire body through a series of stretches with the solidity of the wall, but for today, let’s just work on one.  Legs up the wall.  Sit down with your right hip up against the wall and your feet and legs extended at 90 degrees to the wall.  Lie down on your side and swivel your legs up the wall finishing with lying on your back.  You may have to practice this a couple of times to get it, but once you do, it’ll be easier every time.  Be sure your buttocks are right up against the wall and your legs are a 90 degree angle up the wall.  You can use a folded blanket under your hips if the floor is too hard – or if getting up and down off the floor is too difficult for you, use your bed and put your legs up the wall above your headboard.  If your hamstrings are really tight, you can lie on the floor and put your legs on a chair, ottoman, or the sofa.  Try to stay here for at least 15 minutes.  This one pose will help your legs drain all that built up fluid back to your lymph system for processing out of the body.  I actually routinely practice this pose in our infrared sauna.  The added heat of the infrared and the healing properties of this pose are pretty amazing. For those of you who cannot have your feet above your head (i.e. you get dizzy or have a health condition that restricts this), then use the chair or simply put your feet up on a bolster or pillow.   Whenever you’ve been on your feet all day – or sitting – or traveling, get home or to your hotel room and get those legs up the wall!  Please feel free to book an appointment with us or attend one of our restorative classes and we can teach you this pose and give you more information on the benefits.

Heat & Healing,

Kathie Head Shot April2013Dr. Kathie M. Black, PhD

Daily Therapy Tip 9

Welcome back! Thank you to our clients, students, and readers who have let us know they are finding these tips helpful.  Your support gives us therapeutic boosts throughout every single day.  Are you ready for Daily Therapy Tip 9?  Here goes.

IMG_4202 - Version 2Daily Therapy Tip 9: Finding your way through the Fog of Fatigue

As many of you in BC, especially on Vancouver Island and in the Greater Vancouver area know, we have been socked in with fog.  It makes our days a bit dreary and maybe a little bit eerie.  News stations are sharing driving tips and weather photos of the magnificent fog.  The fog does make for some beautiful photography opportunities, but also for some sadness or fatigue. Even those who don’t suffer with a chronic illness, such as Fibromyalgia – where “Fibro-fog is considered a symptom of a flare, are experiencing a bit more fatigue during these dark days of our BC winter. So, what can you do to lift that fog? The answer is relatively simple – get some more light in your daytime hours.  Going outside always helps, but using a seasonal disorder light (SAD) in your infrared sauna or as an addition to your work environment will also help. Boost up your vitamin D with supplements and fresh fruits and vegetables. Try not to succomb to that chocolate chip cookie, unless it is fresh out of the bakery’s oven, in which case enjoy that cookie!  One of my good friends does lots of ‘mind games’ (like Luminosity) to keep her mind sharp and others find puzzles are helpful, too.  What do I do? The SAD light in my sauna is extremely helpful as is listening to my body.  When it is telling me to be cautious – either through bits of pain or not remembering what I was trying to say – I know it’s time to start boosting up on rest, good foods, infrared heat, and light.

Heat & Healing,

Kathie Head Shot April2013Dr. Kathie M. Black, PhD

Daily Therapy Tip 8

It’s the middle of another week, and January is flying by!  Welcome to our Daily Therapy Tip 8

Gail ContemplationDaily Therapy Tip 8: The art of saying, “no”.

Yep, that’s right, in today’s Daily Therapy Tip 8, I’m looking at the art of saying, “no”.  So many of us are taught to never say no to a request for our time, our skills, and even our money.  We are bombarded daily by event invites, advertising campaigns, activities to participate in, family member and friend requests for something.  Our animals need us, our laundry needs us, our houses, jobs… all need us.  So, how does saying “No” become an art?  Well, like all art forms it takes patience and practice.  It takes being able to gently let someone know that you are declining their invitation.  Sometimes, it is just being silent when asked or passing by that invite on facebook or add from a supplier.  Saying “no” becomes a choice to make – not an obligation.  Yes, practice.  Practice happens on a daily basis.  Perhaps asking yourself things like, “what would be a healthy thing for me to say, yes to today?” followed by, “what things will saying no to help me become more rested and renewed?”  Of course, for many of us our body is the thing that tells us no until we can learn the art for ourselves (see Gabor Mate’s When the Body Says No).  As a business owner, advertisement is a key part of our business life, so we are inviting others always to see our products or participate in our services.  It’s important for us to invite in such a way where the choice is always left to the person.  The yes – or the no – is their choice and responsibility.  A part of practicing the art of saying ‘no’ is also accepting when someone says ‘no’ to our requests.  We were taught in marketing (way back in the 70s), “Never take no for an answer”.  So saying ‘no’ and accepting being told ‘no’ really became quite an issue.  I’m certain this has led many to seek counseling in their lives and on to choices later regretted.  However, it is never too late to learn a new skill.  It just takes patience and practice.  So today, take a few moments and consider the ways in which you can lovingly, politely, and honestly say ‘no’.  I wish us all luck & would love to hear your experiences.

Heat & Healing,

Kathie Head Shot April2013Dr. Kathie M. Black, PhD

Daily Therapy Tip 7

It’s cold and flu season.  It’s winter.  It’s time for your Daily Therapy Tip 7!

Daily Therapy Tip 7: What works for you in staving off a cold or the flu?

DSC_1647 - Version 2So, what does work for you in holding the colds and flu viruses at bay?  Do you know?  Or do you simply catch and hold onto everything that comes your way?  Do you do all you can to prevent catching a cold or coming down with the flu, but still get that bug? I think it’s rare for anyone to go an entire winter season without having at least one annoying (and miserable) form of the cold or the flu; however, I do have people who tell me they haven’t had anything for years.  I would love to know their secret!) As a person with a chronic illness and weakened immune system, I find dodging the bullets of viruses actually quite difficult.  Many are against flu shots, but after succombing to a horrible flu in 2013, I went back to having the flu shot.  When my health crisis was at the worst or when I go back into an extreme flare, I do go with the extra help.  For many years, I was able to build my immune system back to a great state where I could fight off most things, or at least get over the virus quicker; however this year, I felt like I needed the extra help. Will it help or hinder?  There are many many opinions out there for the pros and cons of flu shots, but you will generally see them recommended for those working in the health field and for those with weakened immune systems.  This post is not to debate the flu shot, but to really take a look at the things you can do to boost your immune system for the season.  Here are my favourites:

1. Stay rested

2. Stay hydrated

3. Wash your hands often, especially after being in public places

4. Blow your nose (and/or use your neti pot) after exposure to someone with a virus

5. Take some Oregano Oil (the picture above is of a great little booklet by Dr. Joyce Johnson, ND, all about the benefits of Oregano Oil)

6. Increase your Vitamin C

7. Add in some echinacea

8. Use an infrared sauna daily – the infrared heat helps speed up and sweat out that cold!

Would you like to add something to my list?  I’d love to hear from you on what you do to help stave off or help those viruses a bit more tolerable.  Have a wonderful evening.

Heat & Healing,

Kathie Head Shot April2013Dr. Kathie M. Black, PhD