Here are some snippets from our weekend workshop on lower leg manual medicine. Eli instructs the class on proper evaluation and massage techniques.
Our next Continuing Education course will be held on April 23rd and focus on pelvic health. If you're interested in attending or learning more about our educational offers, check out our Facebook page.
It’s not about the product; it’s about the process.
Engaging in these creative activities brings us into relationship with all parts of ourselves. We get to observe what happens when we are challenged or inspired, arrogant or humbled, lonely or connected. All of this while we agree to create a container that allows for these parts to emerge and if we are willing, we get to see where we’ve been stuck. We encounter our self and each other in an honest way.
It may be that you just want to put yourself in a situation that allows you to play and create because you know how valuable it is. Like when you choreograph a dance in your head and you can feel the body ache to move it, or unable to fall asleep because you’re so excited to continue to work on that painting the next day. To experience “the flow” where the inner critic is silenced and we are in the “right” brain for even just moments is pure joy.
These workshops are not all about technique they are about discovery of the self. They are about gaining resources to work toward a goal. You show up exactly as you are and maybe along the way, let go of some fears to see who you can really be.
It is the intention to create a space that feels safe. Just know that there is choice along the way, always. You share as much as you like and participate however it feels right.
Join us for the series
Come join Vicki Peltz and guest facilitators for this expressive arts encounter...
On Saturdays from 10a-1p
March 25th- Journal making and exploring written word - $55 April 29th- Freeing the Voice - $45 May 27th– Expression through Movement - $45 June 24th– Discovering your way with clay - $50
Register online at AlchemyBoone.com or call, for questions at 828-406-7060
Vicki Peltz holds a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a certificate in Expressive Arts Therapy. She is currently in private practice and is co-owner of the Alchemy Center for healing therapies. She is also yoga instructor, Vipassana meditator, and mother.
The originator of both Visceral Manipulation (VM) and Neural Manipulation (NM) is Jean-Pierre Barral, a French Osteopath and Registered Physical Therapist. Barral developed VM, a manual therapy that focuses on the internal organs of the body, and began teaching it in the United States as early as 1985. Alongside Alain Croibier, another Osteopath from France, Barral continued his studies into the effects of trauma on tissues of the body. Through this work, Barral and Croibier found that “any trauma to the body impacts and elicits a reaction from the entire nervous system.” Following their discovery, Barral and Croibier developed a form of therapy to focusing on the Nervous System.
VM is a gentle manual therapy that focuses on the organs and helps to improve your “body’s ability to release restrictions and unhealthy compensations that cause pain and dysfunction." Rather than focus on the site of the complication, VM is built upon an evaluation process that takes the entire body into account. A VM Therapist looks for a “compensatory pattern beneath the site of the issue in order to reveal a source and treat the corresponding tissue.” An individual’s body is made up of” interrelated components that are set in perpetual motion." Organs can lose mobility for a number of reasons and when this occurs, the body is forced to compensate. In order for your body to operate smoothly, it needs to be in balance.
“VM treatment is based on gentle compression mobilization and elongation of the soft tissues.” The number of sessions required to treat a patient can vary on a case by case basis; however, most “experience significant improvement within three to five sessions."
NM is a gentle therapy that focuses on the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. If the nervous system isn’t functioning properly, an individual may suffer pain or loss of function in an area of the body. NM works by first identifying “local nerve restrictions and fixation.” Like with VM, beneath the pain or complication there is a pattern that presents itself in a patient’s body, this is what a NM Therapist looks for. Through trauma, a nerve can become “fixed” or dysfunctional, meaning that it can’t move freely with its surroundings as it should. This can lead to wider spread areas of disharmony, which can cause structural and functional problems over time. With treatment, NM helps to “re-establish communication in the body and improve its ability to adapt and restore itself to optimal health.“
“Treatment is comprise of precise gentle engagement, mobilization and elongation of the soft tissues, and most specifically, the nerves.” The number of sessions required to treat a patient can vary on a case by case basis; however, most “experience significant improvement within three to five sessions."
For a visual demonstration, take a look at our YouTube video.
As a PR and Marketing intern at Alchemy, I can’t cite an overabundance of experience in practicing VM or NM; however, I can attest to the benefits I’ve personally experienced. As Eli has been continuing his studies, I’ve been given VM treatments to evaluate areas lacking in proper organ mobility. We found that my stomach was in fact “fixed” in the sense that it lacked lateral movement. This wasn’t too surprising considering I’ve dealt with digestive issues for years. After one session with Eli, I could tell a difference in my general comfort and even experienced less nausea. Since beginning the treatments, I’ve been able to cut down on medication that I’ve taken daily with little change over the past 4 years. What did surprise me is how much change can take place from short sessions comprised of gentle therapies. Having never had a massage before the VM treatments, I was a little nervous, but they proved unobtrusive and effective.
Acupuncture is a gentle yet powerful tool for helping you recover from stress, pain and illness. In this video I answer the question, "What do the needles do?", and talk in plain terms about how acupuncture works.
Acupuncture allows the practitioner, the Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.), to communicate with your body through the language of sensation, a language your body understands. To administer acupuncture successfully I must first insert the hair-thin needle as painlessly as possible, and then the therapeutic part begins. Then I will create a mild sensation that may be experienced as tingling, pulling, moving, a mild dull ache, heat, coolness or spreading. Your nervous system then picks up this stimulus and the different points being stimulated collectively creates a message to your body to do 3 main things:
1) Adjust sensation
2) Regulate circulation
3) Recalibrate feedback loops
Adjusting sensation means positively affecting things like pain, nausea, dizziness, fullness, anxiety, etc.
Regulating circulation means improving blood flow through a restricted area or bringing blood flow to an area lacking it, such as an old injury or cold hands and feet.
Recalibrating feedback loops refers to helping your body to recover from out of balance cycles, such as hormonal cycles, sleep cycles and digestive cycles.
In these ways acupuncture allows me to "speak" to the body in it's own language, in a way which sends a clear message to promote a healing response. The body is designed to survive but with a little stimulation in the right way, we can remind it that it also has the intelligence to heal itself.
I would love to hear of your experience with acupuncture! Let me know about it in the comments below.
About five years ago now, Officer William Mast Jr. was shot in the line of duty. Eli Peltz heard the news that same day from his neighbor, a social worker at the Watauga County Sheriff’s office. It was a dark moment for the Watauga community, the type of moment rarely felt in our mountain towns. As Watauga grieved the loss of one of its own, Eli felt a deeper connection with his community and was stirred to action.
“My heart just melted the next day when I saw an officer going about his normal duties. I realized that he may have a family that’s scared for him to go in to work that day. I realized how deeply this affected our community, yet there seemed to be a lack of connection between local communities.
Eli wanted to do something to bring people closer together and give back to the men and women who give themselves for the High Country. Eli didn’t think running for office was the right choice for him, so he set out to create a place that could make a positive impact in the community. This is how the Myo Clinic was born. The Myo Clinic was a center for encouraging health and wellness, especially through massage therapy. Over the past five years, the Myo Clinic has spent greater than 3,000 hours massaging the citizens of Watauga County, including sheriffs, police, state troopers and firemen. Eli feels that these people are what binds a community together and wants to continue with his original mission, to preserve the community through health and wellness.
“If we can relieve just a little suffering, whether it’s fixing an injured shoulder, aiding in proper digestion, or just helping someone to breathe a little easier, we can feel good about a day’s work. I hope this gets taken up everywhere, this project, so that everyone is looking out for everyone else.”
In the past year, Eli has made a number of changes in his practice, expanding it to include new services provided by highly skilled members of the Alchemy family. It’s for this reason that the name was changed. Alchemy, Center for Healing Therapies is where eastern and western medicine meet.
Astrology is not meant to provide answers, it’s meant to raise questions! Here are 3 for each of us to answer for the next 6 months:
Sun/Moon (in Pisces) conjunction with Neptune (in Pisces)
1) Are you making space in your life for spiritual guidance? If not you risk being lost on the sea of distraction. This aspect asks you if you are willing to take 10-20 minutes out of your day to tune out and tap in. It asks you if you are ready to let go of your nostalgic longing for belonging and take hold of your true constant connection. If you’re not making even a little time to clear your mind then you’re gonna flounder, like a fish flopping on the sand. If you’re not sure where to start you could try a yoga or qigong class. You might even tryout the Headspace App, it’s got about 1000 5-star reviews. Check it out here
Saturn (in Saggitarius) square to Chiron (in Pisces)
2) There is divine grace and there is self-responsibility. Both elements are a part of healing whatever emotional wounds you have... and we all have them. Are you ready to take some tangible steps toward living your truth? At some point our past wounds become points of empathy and compassion... if we accept them and work to gain higher perspective. So are you willing to do some of that work? … If not then you may be blindsided by the limitations of the blinders you wouldn’t take off. Should you rise to the challenge though, you may become a force of resource for others going through trials of their own.
Mars/Uranus (in Aries) opposing Jupiter (in Libra) with Pluto T-squaring (in Capricorn)
3) Are you ready to let go of an outmoded system in your life? Are you ready to take big, bold action to lay down some new tracks? We have been dancing with this dynamic of unrest since Nov. 2016 but now the introduction of Mars turns up the heat! With a new level of intensity it poses the question, “What will you do?” Your forthcoming actions over the next 6 months will answer for you. Act with discernment and control and a foundation for something great in your life will be laid… act rashly and there may be a lot of fires to put out in your future. Fail to act and you could be bowled over by chaos and the unexpected.
Yes, there’s a fire lit under us right now! May skillful questions help us find useful answers in the deep water that is the source of life within us all.
My Grandmother, “Mamima” passed away two weeks ago just short of her 90th birthday. Over the past 10 years our relationship had changed due to distance, her condition and many other factors. Visiting her at the nursing home was not a pleasant experience and our visits became shorter. When her health deteriorated over the years, deep down I knew she was READY to die and meet “El Senor.” Mamima was a devout Christian who prayed daily, both morning and night. Nothing to her was more important than her relationship with God, her children, Grandchildren and Great-grandchildren.
Knowing of her willingness to leave her body behind and meet God, I felt prepared that when she did pass away I would have some sadness but mostly celebrate her death as her being “in a better place” and “not suffering.” I was dead (no pun intended) wrong.
My first recognition of the reality of grief happened as soon as the nurse told me to get down to Florida as soon as possible. I couldn’t speak. I choked up with tears. My nose became runny. As a friend noted to me later, this would be the “ugly cry” where snot reigns supreme and there’s no end in sight. When I finally got down to Florida, she had passed. I chanted “Om Namah Shivaya” and couldn’t make it through. She was gone. The woman who told me that she prayed for me every day and asked for God to take care of me was dead. Mamima loved me as a son. She raised me, along with my mother and Grandfather. She was a deep part of my life for the first 16 years, and still a big part for the next 12. She cooked special food for me when I visited, and reminded me of how important a love of God and family were. I had forgotten. She took care of people in her corner apartment in the Bronx with food, an ear, healing hands and prayer.
The grieving took many turns. “Sweet” cries came with a sound, or a thought of something connected with her, a few tears down the face. The ugly cries came in waves, often out of nowhere. I grieve as I write this Blog.
I will never try and make someone feel better when they’re grieving. A simple hand hold, hug, or hand on the back in silence is plenty. Please stop saying things like “they’re in a better place” (Yes, they are) or “it happens for a reason” (never understood that) or my personal favorite “time heals all pain.” It doesn’t. Instead of trying to make me feel better, help me to feel. Grief has no agenda, you shouldn’t either. It is uncomfortable for me to be honest when I know that your discomfort with pain and discomfort is going to lead you to try and fix it. Just stop. Hold the space. It does pass. I am grateful every time I cry, but not while I am crying. Everyone has their method. This is mine.
Grief is not rational. It’s not convenient. It has no boundaries. It comes, it goes. It is deep and it hurts. Let it, even if it has been days, months or years. It is a wonderful teacher, and transformational.
Most of us can attest to the fact that stress is reaching epidemic proportions in modern society. Balancing work, family, health, money, etc. is a challenge that many of us feel ill equipped to face. Eighty percent of the doctor visits in our country are stress related. Our quality of life and health is largely determined by how we adapt and relate to daily stressors. Excessive stress not only takes its toll on our bodies, but strips the joy out of life and suppresses our creative instincts. Without physical health, joy, and creativity, life is scarcely worth living. Dissolving stress is certainly possible, but takes a commitment to making lifestyle choices that create balance throughout our lives. Here are a few ancient techniques for eliminating stress, increasing energy, and creating emotional balance. These are some of the most powerful tools we have for achieving optimal health and preventing future disease.
1) Meditation: Practiced for thousands of years in many Asian cultures, meditation has long been recognized as one of the most powerful tools we have for cultivating peace of mind and balance. Numerous studies have proven the incredibly positive effect that meditation has on stress reduction. There are literally hundreds of meditation techniques taught around the world. For beginners, the most helpful approach is to start with basic mindfulness techniques that develop both relaxation and alertness. Once a basic ground of awareness has been stabilized, then more advanced meditation practices can be undertaken. Meditation is a practice that helps us identify with stillness and silence. It cultivates intuition and surrender. It can deeply help just about anybody, but is truly a miraculous practice for reducing stress and anxiety.
2) Yoga: This ancient practice has also been utilized by millions of people throughout history. Yoga is typically considered a form of meditation that involves putting the body into a variety of poses in combination with deep breathing to induce mental clarity, increased energy, and physical strength and flexibility. The healing benefits of yoga have been repeatedly documented by a variety of clinical studies. There are many forms of yoga and it is best to experiment to determine which form feels the most helpful for your needs. I highly recommend combining yoga with sitting meditation, as they work synergistically to induce deep states of relaxation.
3) Qigong: One of the pillars of traditional Chinese medicine, Mindful Movement Exercise (qigong) involves learning to feel the harmony and continuity of various movements as they are coordinated with the breath. Qigong involves gathering the mind to focus on the body in its relationship to gravity and motion. Using the breath as a tool for feeling expansion and contraction throughout the whole body as you engage in simple movements allows you to release stress and clear the mind. This also has profound calming and energizing benefits and, like yoga, is a form of moving meditation. Qigong practice is often focused around benefiting the different organs and their functions in the body such as digestion, respiration and circulating and cleansing the blood. Like yoga, there are many forms of qigong, some which have general benefits to well-being and some which are better prescribed and taught by a qualified practitioner to benefit specific health problems. Tai Chi is another popular exercise with similarities to qigong in practice and benefits.
4) Deep Breathing: This is a simple tool that can have immediate stress reducing benefits. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Then, simply lie down flat and place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Take a deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm inflates and the hand on your belly rises. Aim for 6 to 10 deep, slow breathes per minute for 10 minutes. This should immediately reduce your heart rate and even lower your blood pressure. If you can make it a daily practice for 6 – 8 weeks it may have more long term benefits on reducing the physiologic effects of stress in the body.
5) Nutrition: Eating a diet high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and low glycemic carbohydrates can go a long way toward healing stress. The standard American diet (high in processed foods, saturated fat, sugar, and transfats) has been linked to anxiety, depression, and increased stress in numerous studies. Change your diet to an organic, whole foods approach and both your body and mind will reward you beyond measure. Poor adaptability to stress is often a sign that our brains are starving for nutrients that we aren’t getting from our standard American diets.
Making these lifestyle changes may not be easy in the initial phases. It is often helpful to seek out the support of a health care practitioner to guide you through these transitions. Once you start feeling the enormous payoff of making such changes, there truly is no turning back. Your stress will dissolve, your weight will decrease, and your energy will skyrocket, not to mention the preventative measures you are taking for heart health. Isn’t that enough to warrant making a few changes?
There's three symbols to give us some focus, some intentions to set our heart toward for the year ahead. That's the idea anyway, of naming the year by animals instead of just an endless number count. The moon moves in circles and guides cycles around and within us. Cycles are the basis of life and of time... seasonal cycles, lunar cycles, weekly cycles, day and night, hours, minutes, seconds... all cycles! So it makes sense to track time with a circle of symbols that brings us around in a 360 degree perspective.
But let's take a closer look at these three symbols that are relevant to us right now.
Yin This means that we should focus our intentions more inwardly this year, look at what we can sense about ourself that we'd feel good about changing. In a yin year we should set aside time regularly to be introspective, to observe the way we feel so that we can respond in a nurturing way, set up some time and activities for self-care... like regular acupuncture, massage, counseling, yoga, tai chi or alexander work! :-)
Fire Always moving, never in the same spot the same way twice, fire has the characteristic of impulsive activity fueled by emotion. As a symbol of guidance it means we should allow ourselves to move on, to break into new territory as we look within. It tells us not to fear the habits or compulsive thoughts we find in our introspection but to go ahead and try new ones on for size. Instead of sitting quietly and judging ourselves, we should look to grasp quickly the essence of what we discover and toss it into the fire of our deeper hopes and dreams, letting what we are truly passionate about come to light in our life. Be affirmative, optimistic and relentlessly encouraging with yourself this year!
Rooster Focused and motivated, Rooster has the auspicious gifts of forward thinking and self-confidence. Keep your chin up, be bold, spread hope to others! We all have a rooster inside, the part of us that knows what it knows and won't be shamed into fearful retreat. There's a part inside of you that, despite doubts and uncertainties, knows how to keep your eyes on the prize, to focus on the optimal and steadily strut toward your goal, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that you ARE worthy.
Together the symbols guide us to stoke the fire of our inner passion, to remember who we are and why we're here. They tell us to contain our fire, to bank it in and let it warm our bones. Feel it's heat, the heat of your individual greater purpose and fill yourself up with certainty. Set aside a little time every day, every week or every month to look inside and connect passionately with that reason, let it inflate you with the confidence and focus to walk your talk. You are put here in this place and time, in this cycle, for a darn good reason and now is the time to focus on that which is inside the fire of your motivations.
"Yeah, here come the Rooster, yeah... You know he ain't gonna die" - Alice in Chains