Body Talk: Running from Couch to 5 K

Running is hereditary, you catch it from your kids…

My whole life I’ve had this thought that I could not run. My knees hurt over short distances chasing the kids in the yard. Over the years I’ve worked out on a yoga mat, played at water aerobics and using general housework as my workout for the day. Who knew vacuuming brings on a good sweat!?!?!?!!!

This fall as our two kids donned their running shoes it occurred to me that I might put some on myself. They both have improved their stamina over the course of a few short weeks. Both kids have improved their run times and are making “PR” (Personal Record) for the courses they are running.  On Facebook many friends  are running 5 K races with their kids, or without them. “Mapmyrun.com,”  “mapmywalk.com” “mapyourride.com” are just a few of the apps I’ve watched my facebook friends use in the past few months. Then “Couch to 5 K” came to my attention and I decided to “get off the couch and get running!”

See the plan below.

Today is the middle of week two for me and here is what I’ve begun to learn:

1. I’m not so much a couch potato as I thought. The recommendations are to run for 90 seconds, walk for two minutes three times in the first week. By the third workout  I was beginning to stretch the last of my 7 cycles to 2 minutes of running.  This week, I am running for 2 minutes, walking for 90 seconds, repeating for 7 cycles. I did my second run this morning, skipped the walking between 6 and 7th cycle, in order to run for 4 consecutive minutes! Who knew?

2. There is a post run elation that sets in after running. My brain feels more clear, my mind organizes thoughts better. I notice the world around me, changes in terrain, the sun’s rays catching the tops of trees as it rises across the land and my arms swinging at my sides.

3. My body responds to running differently at the beginning or ending of my run. During my first 2 minutes, my body finds it’s way into a rhythm, oxygen makes its way to the muscles and the joints begin to free up. The second 2 minutes my knee is stiff, tight and somewhat painful. Once I get into the third or fourth 2 minute runs, my body is flowing freely, I feel my arms pumping and notice it is possible to swing my arms and feel as if I am flying! That last 4 minutes this morning felt fluid, energizing and grounding. The land moved beneath my feet with each step. Maybe I was moving the Earth, rather than pushing off the Earth into the sky?

4. Big thoughts come as I settle into a pace with my body. My mind became something that I choose to witness while I am running. Ah… there is a thought about A-B-C, and another about D-E-F. With my legs moving underneath my body, arms pumping at my sides, I let go of the mind and allowed the sensations of moving to be a focus and from that place of moving, thoughts scrolled through effortlessly.

5. There is excitement in me that I might actually be able to run! It feels good to run. In a short time I can feel my body gaining strength, the ability to process Oxygen more quickly and even the energy to keep running ever other day. In less than two weeks, I can feel my body wanting to run on my “rest day.”

My kids have inspired me to get running and I hope one day to run alongside them. It is not a race. One day, one step at a time. For now, I’m grateful to have a body that is willing to try running!

In Peace with Gratitude and Love,
Sarah-Elizabeth

I think even I could do this..ya know if I ever attempted to get in shape.  | 5k running plan, Couch to 5k, Running 5k

Body Talk: The Psoas Muscle

The article on the Psoas muscle came to my awareness recently. For years, I’ve understood the importance of releasing this major muscle of the body. The psoas lies along the inside of the spine and back, connecting the lumbar vertibrae and the femur. The psoas moves the hip in flexion, lifts the leg forward to take a step for walking or running. See the attached article for some amazing views of the muscle.

The psoas muscle relates to four chakras: the root chakra, the creative center, the solar plexus or power center and it reaches up towards the heart center. A mantra that I envision for this muscle is: I AM CREATIVE,  POWERFUL AND LOVING. When the body tightens up and is unwilling to walk forward, look to releasing the psoas muscle to regain your ability to step forward once more.

The Psoas: Muscle of The Soul hyperlink: http://bodydivineyoga.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/the-psoas-muscle-of-the-soul/

Empower yourself to create love with attention to the psoas muscle.

Peace and Gratitude,
Sarah-Elizabeth

Body Talk: Feet in the News

Do you wear high heel shoes, pumps, stiletto heels, platform shoes? Are you feet tired at the end of the day from walking on your toes? It could be time for a massage to release the tenderness in your foot joints, ankle and calf muscles.

Podiatrists are taking a closer look at our feet wearing high heels. Recently they have turned the CT Scan into a way to look at feet with shoes on, supporting the body while standing. These views will enable a complete understanding of the origins of foot pain. Article here with some amazing views of a normal foot in a high heel shoe:

http://www.today.com/health/what-your-foot-really-looks-high-heels-8C11017156

As a massage therapist, I find this way of viewing the body fascinating. Each time I “look” at a foot with my hands, I begin to feel the restrictions around the toes, metatarsals, and ankle bones. With appropriate pressure and decompression, these restrictions release and free the bones of the foot to move more easily. Foot pain is reduced, range of motion increases as the body begins to walk with a new found ease.

Wearing comfortable, flat shoes is important for life long care of our feet. Stiletto heals may be fabulous at making women taller and slimming the look of the leg. The article goes on to say:

“Among the issues some women may develop are a shortening and tightening of the Achilles tendon, which may prohibit a woman’s ability to wear flat shoes. Tendonitis, pinched nerves, bunions, hammertoes or metatarsalgia, an inflammation of the bones in the ball of the feet, are also problems associated with the sky-high heel, explains podiatrist Jeffery Alexander, assistant professor at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.”

The next time you take off your high heels at the end of the day, only to rub your tired foot joints, think about giving me a call to schedule an appointment. We’ll reduce your pain and get you on track to wearing flats!

Peace and Blessings,
Sarah-Elizabeth

Body Talk: Trauma

Have you recently lost a loved one? Left a long term relationship? Or ? If you answer, “Yes.” to any of these questions, you would benefit from a series of massage appointments begin to bring back joy to you life. Releasing the physical body of tension can improve your outlook on emotional issues such as grief, loss of a loved one, a relationship breakup and other stress that life throws our way.  Lyn Prashant in the article “Free the Body from Sadness” (link to full article here: http://tinyurl.com/cbtytlo) writes:

“Massage, primarily intended to induce relaxation, is also powerful for stress reduction and is tremendously beneficial for the maintenance of well-being. The goal of the Degriefing process is to actually unlock blockages, which have developed in our bodies, and shift the systems to a more harmonious state. It may be helpful to explain to your massage practitioner your emotional state so that she/he can address the session with a clear intention of healing and integrating.”

When trauma is received by the body, pain often is a result. Trauma comes in many forms: physical, emotional, situational. When the stress of trauma is held for long periods of time, the body may respond by creating a holding pattern. Watch an older person walk down the street, head forward, shoulders curled or leaning sideways slightly or walking with a limp. The posture you see has been created over a lifetime of dealing with stress. Regular massage therapy addresses the physical tension in the body and invites awareness of holding patterns.  One can move more freely with awareness and let go of old holding patterns.

Massage therapy releases the tension held by the body, allowing for improved range of motion and reduction in physical pain. In addition the emotional trauma that was received during your accident is reduced by inviting your body to feel safe relaxing and moving gently into positions that may have been uncomfortable.

Call today to schedule an appointment: 603 365-0852 or email me: relax@sarah-elizabeth.org.

Many Blessings!
Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT

Body Talk: Put yourself first in 2013

As 2013 begins, it is time to reflect on the year past and make plans for the year ahead. What plans do you have to take care of yourself this year? Exercise, healthy eating and reducing stress are all at the top of most people’s list. Stress reduction often takes a back seat to the others, yet stress often impacts how we choose to eat and exercise. Taking time to retreat and relax is one key to reducing the stress on your body/mind/spirit. Change your body, change your mind.

Often we hear, “Make sure to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before attempting to help someone else put on theirs,” as we settle into an airplane flight. In 2013, it is time to put yourself first in your life. Take care of those aches and pains you are carrying, release the physical tension in your body and you will be ready to take care of the world!

Massage and CranioSacral Therapy sessions with Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT are an experience which will open the doorway to a new you. As your body releases tension, pain decreases from long held patterns and your body will be ready to stick to that exercise routine you plan to implement this year. Less pain to hold you back from hiking, skiing, swimming, walking, running, biking, yoga practice  and more.

Take advantage of Sarah-Elizabeth’s special packages for 2013:

2013 SELF-CARE PACKAGE:  12 sessions, on a month for the year. Commit to body/mind well-being with a monthly session. All year long, take time to check in with your body, release tension that creeps into your life. Listen to your body and let go under the healing touch of Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT.   12 one-hour sessions      $ 1111 or 12 one-and-a-half hour sessions $ 1555

TRANSFORMATION PACKAGE: 5 sessions, once a week for 5 weeks, followed by 5 one-hour sessions bi-weekly. This package is for you to release and heal from the long term injuries that continue to nag your body. Make the commitment to your own healing of injuries that hold you back from being the strong, vibrant self that you are meant to be!  5 one-hour sessions $ 444 or 5 one-and-a-half hour sessions $ 655

INJURY RECOVERY PACKAGE:  5 sessions spaced out at intervals determined at each session. First two sessions intended to be one week apart, next sessions two or three weeks apart. This invites the body to release tension, incorporate new changes and heal  gently over time. Best results are to follow-up with the Self-Care Package. 5 one-hour sessions $ 466 or 5 one-and-a-half hour sessions $ 677

TUNE-UP PACKAGE: 3 sessions spaced out over 4-6 weeks. Step into my office every 1-3 weeks to experience the reduction stress for a short period of time. Introduce your body/mind to the possibility of living with less tension, improved joint movement and reduced pain.  3 one-hour sessions $ 288 or 3 one-and-a-half hour sessions $ 399

PRENATAL MASSAGE PACKAGE: 6 sessions for the mother-to-be. Scheduled from the end of the first trimester through birth. Pregnancy is often difficult for both mother and child. Monthly prenatal massage sessions allow time for mother to relax and release stress that accompanies the body changes as the baby develops within her body. This is a great gift for both mother and child. Research shows reduction in postpartum depression for mothers receiving massage during pregnancy.  6 one-hour sessions $ 555.00

TRY-IT-OUT PACKAGE: 1 session. Experience the balance, health and well being that comes with a single session with Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT. Good for those who wish to experience massage or CranioSacral Therapy for the first time.  1 hour session $99,  1.5 hour session $ 144

Contact me below, to set up your first appointment and begin the journey of self care today! Purchase a package before January 31, 2013 and receive an additional $25 off these prices.

Happy New Year!

Sarah-Elizabeth

NOTE: Prices may change in future years.

Body Talk: Tears

For some, massage therapy is a way to get in touch with the body of emotions that life has heaped upon you. The physical body when injured locks away the experience in scar tissue. As these scars are released during a massage session, the emotional energy of the situation that has been trapped inside a scar releases along with the gentle stretch or pressure.

Here is an article from a massage client who found tears welling up during a session: http://tinyurl.com/bxeek5t

When you do have emotions coming up on the massage table, please feel free to let them go. The release of emotional energy as the body unwinds brings a deeper, more lasting effect.

Many Blessings and Happy Holidays!
Sarah-Elizabeth

Body Talk: Heart Hugs

The body is just amazing, beautiful and intricate! Each part is woven into the fabric of the next part, interconnected to serve the whole of our being in some special way. Lately I’ve been working with the breath, noticing how the breath is connected to my body, through the lungs movement and the heart’s beat. Each breath is moved by the contraction of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles. While the lungs expand outward, they are also pressing in wards towards the heart, giving the heart a gentle hug!

In invite you to stop for a moment, to notice your breath. Notice the movement of the ribs outwards, the chest rising and falling. Pause a moment between breaths to notice the hug at the heart center. You can actually feel the gentle hug each breath brings the heart. Breathe into your lungs, giving your heart a hug and notice your heart beat. As you exhale, notice the release of pressure on the heart.

I have come to believe that this is part of why our breath is so important to life. It is well known that breath is one of the signs of life – at birth a baby’s first breath brings physiological changes to the body as oxygen is breathed directly into the lungs, offering the blood it’s first charge of atmospheric oxygen. These breath bring the first knowing of life as separate from the mother. From then on, the body gives the heart a hug with each breath of air. The hug of the heart with each breath brings the opportunity for us to be reminded of the preciousness of life.

So, I invite you to BREATH DEEP and give a BIG HUG to your HEART! Nothing can stop you from being aware of this each day, each moment. There is an opportunity to discover the preciousness that is YOU! So, go ahead give yourself a hug!

Breath deeply, Deep Peace, Much Love,
Sarah-Elizabeth

Body Loving: The Whole Physical Being

How does one love the body? Let me count the ways.
Through feeding and thinking,
Moving and resting,
Seeing and believing,
The whole being comes alive!


I love my body at the dining table,
Serving up a beautiful helping of green, red and blues,
Followed by a glass of cool, clear water
Or a cup of tea, filling my belly with warmth
A bit of sweet to round out the meal.

I love my mind in quiet meditation
Moments of longing to do nothing pass away
Far from comparison
Moments of being in the depths of the depths
Watch and be is all there is “to do.”

I love the freedom of movement
As I run across the meadow
Well worn path slips beneath my feet
Setting my heart pumping, lungs opening to breath
Life courses through my veins.


I love my sight through gentle eyes
The colors of all seasons arrive and
Pass along to the next moment
Being in the flow of changes
Casting love throughout (the boundaries of this or than.)

I love to believe the connection, the between
As foot releases, leg releases, hip releases, shoulder releases neck
Undulations of energy pulse through the body
Open to the possibility of each perfect moment
Unfolding in love, peace and oneness.

How does one love the body?
Listen, the body loves itself into being.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Inspiration struck today with this poem. Enjoy!
Sarah-Elizabeth

Body Talk: Listening to the Body

Take a moment to sit, right now, in this moment. Invite yourself to take a breath… and another … and another breath…. Invite yourself to notice your body sitting in the chair. What sensations do you notice? Does some part of your body call your attention? As you notice this call, invite a breath to flow into that part of your body. Watch… witness… what is in this moment. Notice the sensations in this area of your being. What is happening as you breathe into that place? What shifts in your awareness? Allow yourself to notice, without judging, the sensation. Do you feel Pain? Flow? Release? Holding? Tickle? Tension? Be curious about what you find.

When we take a few moments to listen to our bodies from within, from the breath or with  attention on feeling sensation, an opening unfolds. To listen to the body may be a challenge. So often we miss the opportunity to respond to the signals sent from our body to our mind. When was the last time you stopped eating because you were full? When was the last time you got up for a walk because your legs felt like a stretch? How often do you respond to your bladder when it is full in the middle of an important meeting? All these sensations are felt because our bodies are making requests to fulfill their needs.

Invite yourself to sit and listen to your body for a few minutes each day. Listening is a practice, which allows you to unfold places of tension in the body. Listening is a practice which invites attention and response. Massage and bodywork brings support for the ability to listen more deeply to the messages being sent. In one massage session, you find the attention to breath can support all the body needs to accomplish. If I can be of service, please contact me at the link below.

In Peace and Gratitude,
Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT

Body Talk: Water

Summer is here! The heat is on!

With the hot weather settling in it is time to remember to drink water more often. 2 cups of water in the morning on waking helps the body flush toxins and rehydrates the body. It is recommended to add lemon to your morning water for the vitamin content and to bring the pH of the body into balance. Most doctors recommend 8 cups of water per day.  In the summertime this needs to increase as our bodies sweat to keep cool in the heat.

Have you noticed headaches coming more regularly in the summer heat? Could be your body is in need of extra water. When the head aches the body is likely to be 2 cups behind in our intake of water for the day. Water is a first line of defense for headaches. When the body looses water, the blood can no longer bring enough water to the central nervous system and the brain becomes dehydrated. Without enough fluid, the brain hurts.

So try to drink 16 ounces of water before you take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Take a few minutes to relax  and breathe. It takes 10 – 15 minutes for the water to absorb and make it’s way from the stomach to the blood and into the brain. You may be surprised to find your pain has disappeared!

Are you taking early morning walks? Mid-day runs? Late afternoon bike rides? Plan on taking your body to the water fountain before you head out for an extra cup of water. When you return from your journey drink a cup of water, too. The extra water on either end of the workout will keep your body fluid filled and cooler.

So, this summer stay hydrated and be cool!

Sarah-Elizabeth
relax@sarah-elizabeth.org