How To Use a Neti Pot in Five Easy Steps (video included!)

This week’s self-care exercise will require:

  • 1 neti pot (available through Walgreens, Whole Foods, or Amazon for $10-20)
  • Saline Solution (you can buy this prepackaged or you can easily make your own)
This practice will benefit you:
  • Physically
  • Energetically
How to use a neti pot in five easy steps


Last week I introduced you to the Ayurvedic practice of drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning. How did it go? This week’s self-care practice has two things in common with last week’s: it also comes from Ayurvedic medicine and it also involves water!


If you ever wake up with allergies, congestion, dry sinuses, nasal pressure, a sinus headache, or a cold/flu (and, let’s face it, we all sometimes do), this week’s self-care practice is for you. Here are my five easy steps to using a neti pot:
  • Step 1: Heat up some filtered or distilled water. When using a neti pot, it is extremely important to never use tap water. (Note: you can get in the habit of warming up a kettle of water in the morning and using some of it for your lemon water and the rest for your neti pot!)
  • Step 2: Put the saline solution into the neti pot. Walgreens sells…
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14 Reasons You Should Be Drinking Warm Lemon Water Every Morning

Today’s self-care exercise will require:

  • 1 mug (free, assuming you already have one)
  • 1 lemon ($0.50)

This practice will benefit you:

  • Physically

14 Reasons You Should Be Drinking Warm Lemon Water Every Morning -
The first self-care practice that I want to talk about is having a warm cup of lemon water first thing in the morning. This is especially easy to do in the winter, when it’s cold out. I’m not saying you have to replace your morning cup of coffee/tea, but this is an idea that you could implement before that daily cup of joe. Try it for a week and see how it goes.

This health tip comes from ancient Ayurvedic medicine (that is, the traditional medicine of India). Modern research supports this self-care practice by informing us that lemons have powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties and are loaded with citric acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, B vitamins, bioflavonoids, pectin, limonene, enzymes, antioxidants, and fiber. As a result, we know that having a warm glass of lemon water on an empty…

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Yin and Yang: An Eastern Perspective

“If Yin is a noun, then Yang is a verb, and life is a complete sentence.” – Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide To Chinese Medicine, pg. 52

We recently started a discussion about the Autonomic Nervous System and I explained the breakdown of the sympathetic nervous system versus the parasympathetic nervous system. That was all a Western/conventional/allopathic understanding; now let’s discuss the same concept from an Eastern/alternative/holistic perspective.

Having studied Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for the last few years, I’ve learned quite a bit about how they view the world in the East. It’s fascinating. One of the fundamental concepts in Chinese Medicine is that of yin and yang (pronounced “yong“). We’ve all seen the yin/yang symbol (see right), but I’ve noticed that most people don’t have a clue what it means. This newsletter will provide you with an introduction to these very concepts; the full theory behind yin and yang are much more complex and could easily fill an entire book, but I believe that this will be a good 101.
Yin and Yang are a way of viewing life. Simply explained, yin and yang provide a categorical way to approach the world….

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The Autonomic Nervous System Explained

People often ask me about the science/logic/reasoning as to how the services that I offer (i.e. massage, acupuncture, yoga, etc.) promote health and wellness in the body. I could answer this question from many different angles; we could talk about knots, trigger points, reflex areas, fascia, lymph, inflammation, circulation, endorphins, energy/qi, and so forth. Today, however, I want to go a little deeper with my answer.

Throughout my thousands of hours of training in alternative medicine, I’ve had the privilege to learn from some pretty phenomenal practitioners of both Western and Eastern medicine. What I’ve noticed is that people generally tend to have a great Western/allopathic understanding of health, or they have a good grip on the Eastern/holistic perspective; only a small number of people have studied both. Not only have I actively pursued studying health from both a Western and Eastern approach, but I’ve been building bridges between the two for the last several years. In this newsletter, I’m going to explain what I do from a Western point of view and then next month I’ll explain everything from an Eastern outlook (and I’ll show how the two perspectives parallel and are really one and…

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An Introduction To Alternative Medicine

Today I want to discuss alternative medicine. When defending the alternative/holistic movement, it can become frustrating for me as a practitioner. You see, there isn’t an organization or handbook that says such-and-such a modality can be considered “alternative”, while this other method cannot be considered “alternative”. As a result, everything from vitamins to past life readings can fall under this category of the “alternative” health movement. You’ll have some practitioners with impressive credentials (MDs, scientists, chiropractors, psychologists), while others are fly-by-night psychics, shamans, and certifiable kooks.

All of these different alternative modalities have been clumped into one category, but we need to unpack them. Just because you’re a believer in Rolfing and acupuncture doesn’t mean you are sold on concepts such as iridology and Ayurveda. That’s a big part of the conundrum that I face as a holistic practitioner; people hear me say “holistic”, and their mind thinks “hippie” or “New Age” or “quack” (or that one gentlemen that still thinks I’m a witchdoctor). In my opinion, the “alternative” medical umbrella has too many modalities that fall underneath it.

Alternative medicine is one of those things that people tend to make a “black or white” issue. They either think…

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Stress Test

An official “stress test” is The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale which can be found here if you’re interested  in taking it to discover your current level of stress. I prefer a holistic questionairre that was created by Dr. Lissa Rankin. Every time you answer “no” to any of the following questions, you are uncovering a potential stressor in your life.

  1. Do you feel well supported with loving community and intimate relationships with friends and family who allow you to express your authentic self?
  2. Do you feel in touch with your life’s purpose?
  3. Are you able to stay in alignment with your integrity in your professional life?
  4. Do you feel financially secure?
  5. Are you in a nurturing relationship with a romantic partner who allows you to express your authentic self?
  6. Do you feel satisfied sexually, either with or without a partner?
  7. Are you able to set healthy boundaries with the people who stress you out?
  8. Are you comfortable saying no?
  9. Do you feel spiritually connected to a Higher Power that you trust has your best interests at heart?
  10. Do you have a healthy way to address negative emotions, such as anger, resentment, grief, anxiety, and depressed mood?
  11. Are you an optimist?
  12. Do you practice gratitude?
  13. Do you engage…
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