Monday, December 6, 2010

Cranio-Sacral Massage

I've never had one of these before. I had one on Saturday from Shaw at Cavallo Point Spa.


It's not technically a "massage" so much as it is a manipulation of pressure points to free up tension and areas of stuck energy and get that energy flowing again. That's my personal interpretation of it. There may be a better, technical one out there. Google it. Or simply just try one for yourself.

To some people who are not as open to more esoteric forms of healing, this may seem like some of that mumbo jumbo hippy dippy new agey stuff with no basis in science and therefore . . . fake or a sham, a way to rip you off and take your hard earned money. To those people I say, look, I'm a big fan of science. BIG. I need facts and evidence to prove things to me. But, I've also learned that personal experience is pretty damn conclusive. I don't think science disputes the fact that we are all, at our fundamental levels, made of energy. Yet, most of us never really do anything to ensure that our energy is flowing freely.

For months now I've had a difficult to explain tension in my neck area, just at the base of my skull. I know I hold all my muscular tension there as many people do, but this isn't the tension I am describing. This is in addition to the muscular tension, because even when my muscles were in a completely relaxed state, I could feel this internal gripping tension even more clearly. It's difficult to explain other than a gripping feeling in the base of my skull as if my body was desperately trying to hold onto something I didn't want to lose. (Uh, you know, like control over every minor aspect of my life, including the ones you can't control.) I named it chaos. An anxious feeling that things in my life and around me are careening scarily out of control.

I've been working this past month with a Reiki practitioner on balancing my chakras and learning to let go of the need to control every little thing in my life. (We all know that in reality you cannot do this, but it doesn't stop me from stressing out about it nonetheless.) I cannot control what others do, only my reaction to their actions. This is working; but that gripping tension remained. So, when it came time for our office holiday spa trip, I opted for the cranio-sacral massage hoping that it would focus on the tension in the base of my head. It did. And then some.

During the session, as he worked on different pressure points, I could feel all the energy centers in my body start to open up and really feel the flow of energy. The best way I can describe it is by saying it's a rush. You can feel a pulsing, sometimes tingling feeling throughout your body and limbs. Almost like feeling your blood pulsing through you and the beating of your heart. It's a wonderful feeling. You feel completely relaxed and yet completely invogorated all at the same time. By the time I left, I could move my neck in directions that I didn't think were possible to move in any longer. Without pain or tension. Not only did my head feel open, but so did all of my other joints and muscles. I followed that with 15 minutes floating in the warm meditation pool. Bliss.

Two days later, and I still feel very much open and energized. I highly recommend this treatment for everyone during this stressful, busy time of year. For me, this is the busiest December I've ever had in my life. But, I'm handling it with a calmness that I've never experienced before. It'll all work out, or it won't. Either way, I can only do what I can do and I can only control what I do or how I respond. My energy is flowing and I'm feeling less chaotic amongst all the chaos that is my life right now.

All I can say . . . cranio-sacral massage . . . BEST.THING.EVER.

Monday, November 22, 2010


When I originally started this post a couple of weeks ago it took a completely odd turn into a host of other food related information and musings about society and food and guilt. Perhaps I'll rework that and post it later. What I really intended was a more personal blog about me (I'm a Leo - deal with it), so I'm starting over.

I love food. OK, I know, most people do, so this is no big shocker. This isn't the real problem, however. There are lots of people about who love food, eat lots of food and still manage to stay healthy and fit. No, my problem is that food doesn't love me quite as much. It's like a bad relationship that I can't seem to leave. We're frienemies. It'll act like my BFF (comfort food anyone?), but in the end it always turns on me.

I have Type 2 Diabetes. This is different than Type 1 Diabetes that requires insulin shots on a regular basis, no matter what you eat. On the other hand, Type 2 Diabetes and how well you manage it has a direct connection with food and specifically with what types of food you actually eat. I know, there's a lot of propaganda, er, um, I mean information out there on Diabetes and eating healthy and choosing whole grains and healthy carbohydrates according to the Food Pyramid, blah, blah. You know what my body says to that? It says FUCK YOU Food Pyramid, FUCK YOU Glycemic Index, FUCK YOU American Diabetes Association healthy eating guidelines. My body says "a carb is a carb and I'm going to treat it equally across the board. Sucks to be you." I can't eat a sandwich at lunch and have my blood sugar levels stay within normal ranges no matter how healthy the bread I choose. And don't even get me started on breakfast. Anybody on a low carb diet will tell you what a pain in the ass breakfast can be. I've gotten breakfast down to a protein shake with instant coffee inside. It's breakfast and a latte all in one. Works for me.

Bread is one of my most favorite things in the whole wide world. If you told me that I would have to spend a week eating only bread and butter I would be fine with that. I'd say "Bring it on!" I might be in a diabetic coma by the end of the week, but just before that I'd be happy. I can't eat bread. Also, those little bitty powdered donuts? Love 'em. There's a lot of candy I can do without, but just about every candy bar on the product list of Annabelle Candy is at the top of my list of things I love. For the most part I can resist the urge to eat the cake and ice cream and pie in the fridge on the rare occasions when we have it, but put an Abba Zabba in front of my face and it'll be gone in no time flat. Crap. Now I want an Abba Zabba. SIGH.

Obviously, donuts and candy are unhealthy food choices, but your body doesn't care if it's bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta or a donut. Carbs are carbs, don't let anyone else tell you differently, and once your body converts them to glucose, it's all the same in the end. Some Diabetics can eat a good portion of carbs every day and still be OK. But many can't and unless they learn to say no to these foods completely, their blood sugars will be out of control. Out of control blood sugar can lead to a whole host of problems, including loss of vision, loss of limbs and even death. Well, hell, that's not good. I kinda like living and I'd prefer to keep my sight, as limited as it is, and my arms, legs, hands and feet, thank you very much. You'd think this would be enough motivation, but for some, like myself, apparently it's not.

Fortunately, my Diabetes has been, for the most part, well controlled, until about a year and a half ago where it went totally off the rails. I now take medication to help keep it under control and at the last test it was back in the low numbers of manageability where it has been for about 12 years. Which is good. Problem is that I feel myself slipping back into those bad patterns once again. Not getting enough exercise, eating late at night, eating too much at meals, eating when I'm not hungry, etc. My worst problem isn't so much what I eat as when I eat it. I can't seem to get my late night snacking under control. Now if I would do my late night snacking while exercising . . . hmmmm. Oh who am I kidding. Who wants to do yoga at 11 p.m.?

I've been coming across a lot of information lately about binge eating and compulsive overeating. When I think of these terms I envision someone sitting there and just pigging out on mounds of food, hiding food and sneaking it when no one is looking, ordering two meals at the drive-thru and eating both of them. I don't do these things. Must not be my problem, right?

My deal? I'm an emotional eater. What does that mean? It means I'll eat when I'm happy, sad or depressed, when I'm anxious or stressed out, when I'm angry, and when I'm upset. I also eat when I'm bored, when I'm feeling lazy, when I want to treat myself to something special, when I watch TV, when I watch movies, when I play on the computer, when I drive in the car, etc., etc., etc. You get the idea, I like to graze. The problem with grazing is that you eat a shitload of carbs and calories before you even know it. Because, let's face it, when you get a craving for a snack, most people don't say "Ooooh, you know what sounds really good right now? CARROTS! Oooh, and CELERY!" Yeah, not so much. Let's talk bread, cheese and crackers, muffins and scones, little bitty mini powdered donuts (on the rare occasion I do buy them). They can't be bad for you! They're so small! Ha!

I am pretty much fine during the day and can control what I eat much better at work. But once I get home, it's a whole different story. I don't know. That's not compulsive, right? Sigh.

I realize that I can't continue to ignore my need to eat everything in the house once I get home. I need to do something serious about my eating habits. And soon. So this morning I downloaded Mcayla Sarno's audio series on binge eating. I've been thinking about doing it for weeks now, so I guess it's a big step that I finally did. One step at a time, right?

Now to actually listen to it. That's my next hurdle. And so begins my journey to say fuck you food, I don't want to be your frienemy anymore. Wish me luck.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Silence of Nature


I went to the park to find the silence of nature. It was a new park I had not been to before and I was excitedly looking forward to my visit. Close enough to town that you can hear cars and planes if you listen. But I don't. I tune them out. I want to enjoy the silence of nature away from the city noises. I picked a quiet secluded garden spot and sat down to read. I tried to read but found myself constantly interrupted and distracted with noise and unable to do so. The sounds which so incessantly interrupted me? The wind blowing through the trees; the birds chirping and singing; squirrels and birds foraging in the brush; the old eucalyptus tree creaking in the wind; leaves rustling and falling to the ground. A noisy hummingbird darts about. Its wings beating loudly like a motor draw my gaze. I look up and find his eyes staring into mine as he pauses and hovers no more than 2 feet from my face looking at me as if he had found something new and interesting to see in the park. These are the sounds I hear.

I went to the park to find the silence of nature. I found its heartbeat instead.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


There. I've said it. I know. It seems like a contradiction in terms. But I don't. I prefer my cabbage raw, preferably with something on or in it, like Cole Slaw or Lettuce Wraps with cabbage instead of lettuce. Not that I mind lettuce with my Lettuce Wraps, I just think the cabbage holds up better.

This is what I contemplate as I sit here eating my lunch of Chow Mein and Kung Pao Chicken and pick out the bits of cabbage from my Chow Mein. My ancestors would probably chastise me good for that. One, for not liking it and two, for wasting good food.

Due to some recent deaths of family members and ill health of others, I have recently been thinking more about my heritage and how little I actually know about it. I've resumed work on a family tree that I had started many years ago. I've actually spent a decent sum of money on software and genealogical records. I am awaiting receipt of those records so I can trace my family even further back. Hopefully.

It's not that I'm an orphan or anything like that. My family is spread out around the country and for various reasons, I just don't have much contact with most of them. I think I need to try harder to change that. Now if I could just remember that when I'm at home glued to my TiVo and the latest Stargate or NCIS episode, that would be helpful. Also, my family doesn't talk about their past much. Of course, my recent research has turned up a few interesting tidbits of ancient history which are inconsequential in today's day and age, but would have provided much reason for gossip 70 years ago. So, I understand why talking about family history seems to have been silently taught to many generations of Porters. But, maybe I can change that.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Since It's Not Anthrax, I'll Have To Go Shopping

Well, I didn't die from Anthrax yesterday, so that's probably a good thing. I do feel horribly like I have a man cold, though. Which I think is worse. Because at least with Anthrax there's an end in sight. With a man cold it could go on for days and days on end.

With all the whining, I can barely stand myself. My cats don't even want to cuddle with me. I should stay home today and hide under my covers, but I'm a glutton for punishment, so it'll be off to work for me.

I could probably turn it back into a regular cold if I did something very womanly. Like shopping. That's probably what I need to do. Shopping. Or find someone in my family to nag in a shrill voice. Oh, wait, but my throat is all scratchy and if I try to be shrill I'll just start coughing and then I'll fall right back into the man cold hell hole. No, that won't do. If I'm not going to spend the day cuddled under a warm blanket with hot peppermint tea, watching Johnny Depp and Vin Diesel movies, then it'll have to be shopping.

Well, you know what that means, then. If I'm going shopping, I must leave here and go find some cute shoes to wear. I mean, really. It's a requirement.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's Problemly Anthrax...And I Don't Mean The Band

From my Twitter stream this morning:

(Yes, it's backwards, ya'll, that's how Twitter works! I don't know why I say, ya'll, I'm not even from Texas, but I do. Deal with it.)

Cheryl3660: And now I'm on an FBI watch list because I said Anthrax on the internet 3 times and I wasn't even talking about music.

Cheryl3660: From Anthrax poisoning, because this couldn't possibly be a cold.

Cheryl3660: I'm sorry did I say "pay homage" out loud? I meant
"visit." You should all visit me before I die.

Cheryl 3660: Sore throat and a cough. Must be Anthrax
poisoning. You all should come pay homage to me on my deathbed.

And for those of you who are about to comment to me that "problemly" is not really a word . . . it is now: My spellcheck hasn't yet learned that problemly is a word either, so don't feel bad because you didn't know.

If no one finds this amusing other than me, I blame the cold. I mean Anthrax poisoning. SEE! It's affecting my ability to think clearly already!