Who Is
The Fragrant Muse?

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Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, United States
I'm a Creative Soul and Happy Person. I have a passion for my Family, Aromatics, Fairy Gardens, Pugs, SoulCollage, Miniature Worlds, Visual Journals.


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All rights reserved.
Please don't use my written word, photography or art without my permission.
Thank you.


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Thursday, October 29, 2009

What I Learned at a Recent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Seminar

Yesterday I attended a really excellent seminar in Harrisburg called "Effective Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome" which was given by Cross Country Education.

Here are some things I learned:

1.  Bodyworkers need to address the entire median pathway when treating CTS, not just the arm and wrist.  This means specific neck and shoulder work.

2. Besides repetitive movements, some of the contributing factors to carpal tunnel syndrome are:   poor posture, vitamin B6 deficiency, pregancy (edema), the use of vibrational tools, long periods of time in cold environments, soft tissue dysfunction,  misdiagnosis and lack of information about the condition

2. Most doctors, upon giving a diagnosis of CTS, immediately want to do surgery.

3. Surgery should be a last resort for CST.

4. If you do put a rubber band around your fingers then open and close your hand for 20 seconds, a couple of times a day, you'll increase hand strength.

5. Dry skin brushing is a good way to warm the tissue before working on the fascia.  It feels like heaven.

6.  The instructor was Gary Adkins from Michigan.  He has about 20 years of bodywork experience and knew the material inside and out.  He kept the class engage with humor, superb preparation and lots of hand-on practice.

 7.  You can do some interesting neck work using a towel.

8.  If you run around the room taking pictures of people on the massage table, you never know when someone will pick up your camera and take
your picture.

  8.  It was fun being the student for a change.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Therapy of Throwing Stones

My husband and I have always felt that regular contact with our natural environment is essential to emotional health, and as our boys were growing up we made a concerted effort to take them camping in our tipi and exposing them to the outside world.   Now we are doing the same with our grandson, the Bean. 

Because the Bean lives in a city, he doesn't receive the powerful effect of nature on a regular basis, so whenever he stays with us - about two weekends each month - we make at least one play date with Mother Nature.

In his important book The Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv explains the crucial role nature plays in the lives of children.    He says:  The outdoors is as essential to a child's health and well being as good nutrition and plenty of sleep.   Every parent has likely noticed the powerful effect of nature on children: an anxious child will relax and forget her worries as she rolls in the grass; sibling arguments -- fought so bitterly in the car -- quickly dissipate on a windy beach; and the darkest mood of a teenager can be washed away by a plunge in the lake.

This is true for adults as well which was affirmed recently when we introduced the Bean to the Susquehanna River which runs alongside our town.

 For the Bean, throwing rocks is as natural as breathing.  It must be a boy thing.
What do you think was the first thing he did at the river?


At first he was tentative.
  Throwing rocks at home usually results in being told to stop.

Then he got more confident

and thought it was hilarious when his stones hit the water

There was no stopping him after that.
He started tossing bigger stones

and watched with fascination at the concentric rings that formed

He began to use his whole body when throwing
and soon discovered he could make the stones go farther


I couldn't let him have all the fun, so I had to try

 Then my husband and I began a game.
One of us would throw a stone and the other would photograph it
the minute it hit the water.  It wasn't so easy.

In this picture I threw a hunk of wood.

Not bad.
Now here's my photographic attempt of my husband's rock throwing.

I wanted to throw the Bean in,  but hubby said no.

Being in nature is good for the soul,
but throwing stones in nature is even better.


Tutorial for non-bloggers: How to leave a comment

Yesterday I read this post from Debra at Sojourner offering a lesson on leaving comments on a blog.  Like Debra, I have friends and family who aren't  bloggers, but read my blog and would like to leave comments but aren't sure how to go about it.   I'm taking the liberty of repeating the lesson here for my own peeps who read The Fragrant Muse and have something to say.


Below is an excerpt from my last post. Just before the icon of the envelope and pencil in purple font is '5 comments'. Click on those words and you'll get a comment box.

Posted by The Fragrant Muse at 5:30 AM 5 comments Links to this post
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You can comment with your name or email/blog name.

After you type in your comment, you can choose to remain anonymous or sign up and "follow".  When you follow, you'll receive email notifications when I publish a new post.  It will ask you for an email address and 30 seconds later, you're a follower!

Then click
publish and your message will show up on the bottom of my post for me to read (and anyone else).

I adore receiving comments, it's validating knowing that someone is reading my posts and  it's a great way to connect and meet new friends!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday: What do I wish to say YES to?

Today Jamie Ridler asks a wonderful question!

If you read my post last Wishcasting Wednesday, I wrote about letting go of a heavy massage schedule in order to develop other avenues of income - specifically in the area of aromatherapy instruction as my current
students are asking for more classes.    I have come to realize that my resistance to offering advanced aromatherapy programs is a desire to augment my own training so that I may offer the best possible education. 

To that end, my wish today is this:

1) I wish to say yes to enrolling in an advanced aromatherapy program
at The Aromahead Institute in Sarasota, Florida this winter.

2) I wish to say yes to trusting The Universe that somehow
I will be able to participate in this program.
  (class, hotel, airfare = approx $2,500).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Random Musings

I haven't made a list in ages and since my mind is all over the place this morning, I thought a brain drain was in order.

1.  I know it's worthless to complain about the weather, but really, snow in October?  That's the Friday forecast for central Pennsylvania.  I brought my fairies in yesterday so they wouldn't freeze their tiny hineys in those skimpy outfits.

  (Click on the picture and you'll see the three girls
in the back are clearly having a chat.)

Why does my Follower icon keep disappearing and coming back?

3My friend from Recovery from a Life not Lived recently made a lovely banner that she made in Picasa.  I've been dying to have a blog banner with photos and found this great tutorial.   Now who can give me two extra hours in my day to create it?  Better yet, who wants to come to my house and just do it for me?  Can I tempt anyone with a nice foot rub afterward?

4. Janet has inspired me to make tags.   A trip to Michaels yesterday rendered a bag of white tags and Tim Holtz ink.  He has some good product demos here.  As you can see, he likes tags too.

5. This week I booked an Art Journaling class at the Mt. Nittany Institute to be held on April 17th, 2010.  I don't know what I love teaching more, aromatherapy or art journaling. 

6. On the same topic, I just got Diana Trout's new book Journal Spilling
and can't wait to try some of her techniques this weekend.  Especially the watercolor pages.  I love the look of watercolor, but am timid with it since I'm a herky-jerky painter, tending to throw acrylic paint all over the page (and the floor and the walls and up my nose).  I've always thought watercolor required a quiet hand and delicate little strokes done by calm people.  Her book has inspired me to make friends with this beautiful medium. 

7. My girlfriend Tami just returned from Morocco and brought me these rocks because I was born there.  She also brought me this bracelet from Tangiers.

8.  I'm enjoying my Joy Diet group immensely and loving the book.  I was afraid I wouldn't have time to commit to the project with my busy schedule but have discovered that working on one simple but powerful  chapter each week is totally do-able.  I'm meeting interesting bloggers and having new insights into myself.

9. I've been listening to an audiobook that I don't want to end - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  If you ever purchase this CD, be sure to get the version with Kate Burton (Richard's daughter) narrating.  She brings the characters to life.

10.  Tomorrow is my birthday and I've given myself the day off.  My first since July.  My husband is also free and we plan on having a play day with lots of sleeping in, eating out and creativity in the form of pottery (him), art journaling and tag-making (me).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday: What Do I Wish to Let Go?

It's another Wishcasting Wednesday over at Jamie Ridler Studios,
and today Jamie asks the powerful question...

What Do You Wish to Let Go?

I wish to let go of my apprehension about
cutting back my massage schedule

in order to spend time developing other avenues of income.

I am blessed to have a successful massage therapy practice. There are therapists who dream of having what I've created. 

Please understand, I don't say this with braggadocio or arrogance, but rather with gratitude, humility and a healthy dose of self-respect.  I have worked very hard to get where I am.  To have a business where I no longer have to advertise because I have a month-long waitlist; where I can pick and choose my clientele and if they don't keep healthy boundaries or if they blow off their appointment,  I can simply say goodbye because someone else is waiting to get in.   A practice where my clients become my friends.  I feel so blessed to have the privilege of spending the day in a beautiful space with lovely music and my little pug next to me, right in the comfort of my own home.

I currently see between 20-25 clients a week,  many for 90 minute sessions.    The money is good, especially as I have low overhead, but there is also a ceiling to my earning potential.  More importantly, after 12 years in practice and with my 52nd birthday around the corner, I question how much longer I can continue to offer my physical energy hour after hour, week after week.   I am energetic, strong and healthy and I know that (God willing) I can continue to work on this path for many years.  But I really wish to reduce the number of sessions per week and begin to seriously develop another reliable source of income where I don't depend on my hands.

I don't wish to give up massage therapy because I genuinely enjoy it, but I do wish to cut back to 3 days/10 clients instead of my current schedule of 5 days/20-25 clients.   In the long-term I will benefit by creating new and exciting aromatherapy education programs both live and online, write the many how-to books that I hold in my head and build a better online vehicle for selling my essential oils.  But it means that in the short-term, I'll have  a reduced income.

I need to learn to let go of the fear of earning less, saying no to my clients and trust that the Universe will provide for me in other ways.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Scenes from Holistic Aromatherapy Class
October 2-4, 2009