The Importance of Consistency on The Holistic Path

“While many focus on healing the symptoms, if not addressed, the root cause will continue to harm us in other ways.” Erica Ware

How many of us not only wait until we feel pain in our bodies to see our practitioners for bodywork, but we go in with all the hope in the world that it will “fix” the pain in one session? Don’t be shy; most of us do it, so go ahead and raise that hand if you do.

I remind my clients that bodywork is more of a holistic approach to healing and not one of big pharma where you take a pill for a quick or temporary fix. Understandably, we think this because, for so long, we’ve been taught that a prescription can quickly fix all of our ailments. We’re starting to understand that’s not very true, and we are experiencing the side effects of “quick fixes.”

What is the holistic approach? The holistic approach involves healing the whole body, mind, and spirit or healing you mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Taking the holistic healing path means your symptoms are not the main focus. Instead, the goal is to understand and heal the root of the problem, thus healing the symptoms. The holistic approach can take time; depending on the person and conditions, it can take longer.

Think about the condition you currently have, how long you’ve been experiencing it, and how long it may have taken to develop. You may have been dealing with your condition for weeks, months, or years, so expecting to heal after one session becomes an unrealistic outlook. Consistent bodywork will open channels, or pathways, in our bodies and remind the body of how to function healthily. 

Think of it this way, here are the benefits of massage and craniosacral therapy:

  • Pain Relief
  • P.T.S.D
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Pain
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Scoliosis
  • Ease MS
  • Improve Immune Function
  • T.M.J. Pain
  • Helps Insomnia
  • Mental & Emotions Stress Relief
  • Spiritual Clarity
  • Helps Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Increases Blood Circulation
  • Lowers Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
  • & More

That is a list of great benefits. Now, think about how your mind, body, and soul would feel if you received those benefits consistently. We’ll notice things improving like our energy, alertness, immune system, mental health, muscle energy, etc. 

So, what is a consistent schedule for bodywork? You want to be sure the practitioner and bodywork you’re receiving are working for you. If you do not feel a connection with your practitioner, take notice of this – this may not be a good fit, and it can create problems on your healing path. I always recommend trying four sessions, at least three, so your body has real-time to respond to your sessions. This is why I offer a four-session package with an additional fifteen minutes to your session. Depending on your condition, you’ll want to have one session every week, two weeks, or every month. 

A huge goal of my practice is self-empowering. Get in tune with your body – you know what you need and when. You know what’s working for you and what’s not. If you feel better even a little bit, but the pain returns, your body is telling you, “Hey, this is working for me, but we also need to do this more consistently because the pain returns in five days.” If you know the pain returns in five days or a week, when should you have your next session scheduled?

Again, most wait until they feel the pain, but if you know, it returns in a week, set your appointment for five days from your last one. 

The goal is not for you to come in every week for the rest of your life; this is where you are right now. The goal is to remind the body of a healthier way to function so it can perform these actions without weekly help.

When we are patient and understanding of this route, and ourselves, we will begin to see and feel healing in ways we didn’t know were possible.

Interested in scheduling a session with me? Check out my services and four session packages to get started!

Erica Ware – Owner of Holistic Bodywork

Sometimes We Keep Ourselves from Peace

We convince ourselves that, for some reason, we do not deserve happiness and we need to stay where we are a little, or long, while longer.

What keeps you stagnant?

Sometimes what keeps us from healing or experiencing happiness is ourselves – many don’t want to hear that. We convince ourselves that, for some reason, we do not deserve happiness and we need to stay where we are a little, or long, while longer. 

Some people, like myself, at one point, may realize they even understand what it takes to heal and create change, but they just will not do it. In those moments, I sit with myself and ask, “what keeps me where I am? What is the reason I refuse to move forward? How do I feel about doing the work to move forward and be happy?” I’ve discovered that we will give the answers when we are courageous enough to ask ourselves questions. 

The answers? Well, I cannot give your answers to you; only you can do that. I can share some answers I’ve experienced and heard.

Reasons we may not permit ourselves to be happy and live:

  • Guilt because of something you’ve done or didn’t do.
  • Accustomed to living in chaos. 
  • We’ve been taught to sacrifice our wants and needs for others. 
  • Fear of your light and power.
  • Fear of adversity.
  • Fear of facing ourselves.

So, what can help us out of stagnation? As I said above, sit with yourself and ask tough questions. Some people may feel frozen and numb and, because of that, find it difficult to speak with themselves and find answers. This is where I come in with craniosacral therapy and shamanic healing – these two therapies will help restore you and dissipate energetic, emotional, and physical blocks. When those blocks are released, it helps bring things to the surface or bring the shadows to the light. This may look like a release from pain, emotional release through crying or laughter, realizations, clarity, mental liberation, etc. 

For some, this may take time, depending on the person and their situation. If you feel these therapies are for you, I recommend arriving with little to no expectations. Just grant yourself the ability to receive what you are to experience. 

Your tired body, soul, and mind are waiting for your permission to rest, especially if there is no danger around every corner. There is no reason to live in fight or flight if you do not have to. Permit yourself to be happy and at peace – you deserve it, and now is the time to help yourself believe that.

Interested in a session with me? Book Here and ask me about Shamanic Healing .

Erica Ware LMT and Owner of Holistic Bodywork

Shadow Work During Winter Solstice

Grief, pain, and your shadows are inevitable, but during Winter the energy grows. Winter is the perfect time to use this energy as a helping hand to heal and understand our shadows.

The winter solstice was December 21st, and its energy lasts three days after and is often celebrated until the first of January.

Many of us have a hard time with winter because of its long nights and short days, its frigid cold temperatures, and its symbolism of death and letting go. If you think about it, these are things we tend to ignore and avoid.

Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year and forces us to be in the dark and within our shadows. It encourages us to figure out how to create our light or understand that we are the light within the shadows – many times, burning yule logs enforce this.

This time is vital because, without the shadows, we wouldn’t appreciate the light and wouldn’t have transformation. Do you have a hard time with winter?

Winter solstice is a perfect time to transform your shadows into gold – an ideal time to be your light in the shadows. Ask yourself, “What does winter represent for me?” Some may say death, coldness, pain, or dormant. Ask yourself what your representation is and encourage yourself to go deep within yourself.

Winter represents death. When we hear “death,” we probably think of fear and danger mainly because we only think of the end of the physical body. After understanding where my hate of death came from (fear of change, the unknown, and trusting myself), I saw that death brings new beginnings, and avoiding it only keeps me stagnant and in pain.

To me, death is the end of cycles that no longer fit in my life; death means making room for new energy, and it means new beginnings.

What does winter represent to you, and how can you explore yourself to turn these shadows into gold and light?

Traditions of the Winter Solstice:

  • Have a fire to create a symbol of light
  • Journal and list the things you’d like to let go of – burn the list.
  • List things you’d like to heal within yourself – burn the list.
  • After the solstice, the days get longer. Invite in the light by creating a list of energy you’d like to bring in or build on. Keep this list and place it somewhere safe.
  • Have a feast.
  • Light candles and incense, sit and meditate, or just Be.

EricaChinise – Owner & Healer of Holistic Bodywork

Let’s Talk About Seasonal Depression

Around this time (late autumn), many of us feel a shift in our bodies with the time change. We begin to experience a ray of emotions like sadness, anxiety, depression, bursts of anger, and grief. Experiencing these emotions is not coincidental – most likely, it is Seasonal Depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.). With the feelings mentioned above, we may also notice a lack of energy, loss of interest in activities that would usually help us out of our funk, fatigue, being withdrawn, and feeling worthless or hopeless. 

S.A.D. is a vital thing to speak on continuously. I can’t begin to tell you how many clients have come to me thinking something is wrong with them and not understanding what’s happening. I have also been confused, and it takes me days to know what I am feeling. 

The seasonal change usually triggers S.A.D, but we mainly notice this in late autumn and winter. In these months, we see the length of daylight shift. Why is sunlight so vital? Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because it is produced by the sun. When we are vitamin D deficient, we notice a drop in serotonin which creates hopelessness and sadness – sounds familiar, right? With vitamin D deficiency, we also feel bone pain, hair loss, poor sleep patterns, muscle weakness, and loss of appetite. 

Remembering to change with the seasons is important, but sometimes our bodies need help adjusting. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (T.C.M.), autumn is tied to the lungs, and grief and sadness are the emotions linked to the lungs. Autumn is a time to tonify the lungs, but remember we are in late autumn going into winter, which is kidney season. The kidneys carry sadness and fear. What helps the kidneys? Warmth, especially from the rays of the sun. T.C.M. also recommends stimulating our Qi (energy) to keep away from stagnation which also leads to fatigue, depression, sadness, etc. Here are some tips to tonify, stimulate, and warm your body:

  • Exercise – it doesn’t have to be strenuous. 
  • Soak in the sun – I know it is the colder months, but there are still so many activities we can partake in to soak in that afternoon sun. Skiing, going for walks, or hiking.
  • Check your diet – around this time, we want to consume warm broths, fish, mushrooms, and other fatty fish. You also want to eat foods high in Vitamin D, like beef liver (also in capsule form), Kale, Parsley, and Spinach. 
  • Acupuncture can help tonify qi and organs in the body, which will help you transition into these dark seasons. Try Turtle Tree Acupuncture.
  • Journaling
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Wellness Coaching
  • Talk Therapy and E.M.D.R.D.R.
  • Meditation

In shamanic healing and other spiritual practices, when dealing with seasonal depression, we encourage people to turn inward as well. What is your current situation in life? Is it stressful? How is your self-talk? Is it harmful? Autumn is the season of letting go; what within or around you are you having a hard time letting go of? We are entering dark seasons, which coincides with a phase in healing – we have to reveal the shadows of ourselves to heal. We mainly feel the pull of this energy during autumn. It makes sense this is the season of letting go, right? When we are within our bodies, we are more intuned with the changes, and when we are intuned with the changes, we can prepare ourselves for the shifts happening around us (seasons). 

Finding the combination of things that works well for you is essential. Many things exist to help us heal, and many work exceptionally well together. Rarely do I find that one thing solved or helped everything for someone. As the saying goes, it takes a village.

Erica Ware – Owner of Holistic Bodywork

To Be Where You Need To Be, You Must Accept Where You Are

There has been a theme these past few months. Let me know if you connect with this: To be where you need to be, you must accept where you are.

When I’ve said this to people, I’ve noticed two reactions: people are either hit with clarity or immediately feel angry. Whichever you’re met with when hearing or reading “accept where you are to get to where you’re going,” ask yourself why that is your reaction. 

Is the clarity you experience after trying to push your way to where you want to be? Is the anger you’re experiencing during years of you trying to make your way to where you want to be? Or is it due to fear? Maybe grief?

If we are constantly living in the future, how can we provide what we need for ourselves in the present? 

For example, a client with an inflammatory disease experienced excruciating pain and found herself in a wheelchair. She desperately searched for things to help ease her pain and help her walk again. She did find some relief, but she felt the pain immediately creep back in and was still unable to move without a wheelchair. Every day, this person would experience anger, depression, and sadness due to the effects and reality of this condition.

When you’re in pain, it becomes your total focus. You search only for things that will help ease that pain, which is understandable. Most of the time, what we find can help reduce the pain temporarily, and/or it makes it worse in the long run. When people hear, “Accept where you are,” they think of defeat because many feel they’re being asked to “give in” to the disease. But, you are actually choosing to listen to what your body needs at the moment. It is not defeat; it is quite the opposite.

My client accepted her current situation by admitting the unknown time length of her condition, accepting this condition came with discomfort, and realizing the uncertainty of being mobile without a wheelchair. Her mindset began to shift. Instead of focusing on a place she is not, she started researching her inflammatory disease to understand how to support herself within the condition.

My client discovered that specific foods triggered her pain, so she completely changed her diet. After self-exploring, there was clarity on what eased pain at the moment. Making changes also makes her mentally accept the unclarity of how long she will be in the wheelchair. All of these changes she made not only shifted her mental & emotional health but it helped her pain physically. 

We’re trying to heal a physical body that is not there in the future. When we shift our mindset to the here and now and understand where we are with our conditions, we begin to experience mental, emotional, and physical healing.

So, again, I say this isn’t defeat, but quite the opposite. You’re taking your power back and changing your mindset. There’s so much power in understanding what you can control. 

My client no longer needs a wheelchair and is just fine while managing her inflammatory disease. 

Everyone’s body and situations are different. Healing comes in various forms.

Erica Ware – Owner of Holistic Bodywork

Okay, But Change Your Diet First

“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” – Ayurvedic Proverb.

Our diet is crucial for a healthy body, mind, spirit, and soul, but it is also one of the things we abuse. Most of us are too busy to take the time to prepare meals, don’t understand what our body needs, and are unaware we have unhealthy diets or are on a cookie-cutter diet. So many illnesses, diseases, pains, and even mental and emotional upset come from poor diets. 

Did you know things like inflammation in the body (arthritis, asthma, gastritis, etc.), seasonal allergies, mood, and energy are affected by your diet? All these listed depend on a healthy gut (stomach, intestines, spleen).

The next time you wake up with a crushing headache, sinus pressure, and sneezing, ask yourself, “What have I been eating?” Have you consumed dairy, sugar (bread and pasta), processed and deep-fried foods? If you have, this can encourage a slow-moving digestive system which allows everything to sit in your body a little longer than it should, turning into phlegm or inflammation. Now, I’m not saying 100% of your ailments come from your diet; it is just a really, really good place to start, and what you eat can exacerbate your symptoms.

When my clients see me about herbal medicine, I always recommend they see Jessica Hill Powell, the health & wellness coach at Meridian Integrative Wellness. Most of the time, we have an attachment to our diets – Jessica helps us figure out that attachment and create a healthy relationship with food. When diet is taken care of, my clients tell me they feel at least 90% better. 

Did you know herbs used in Herbal Medicine can be included in your diet? Yeah, food is your medicine. Herbs like dates, blackberry, red grapes, and other things encourage a healthy heart, kidneys, and arteries. Dan Gui (women’s ginseng) root is often used in soup or stir fry.

Want to increase your health or begin healing your pains and disease? Take a look at your diet. Pharmaceuticals have their place and can work wonders when absolutely needed, but I wonder where our health would be if we put effort into understanding the perfect diet for ourselves.

Interested in Herbal Medicine? Get more information Here.

Interested in Health Coaching? Get more info Here.

Erica Ware – Owner of Holistic Bodywork

The Importance of Emotions

Emotions can be tricky, or instead, we make them tricky. We label them as “Good” and “Bad” feelings, which encourages us only to feel specific emotions and run away from others.

Let’s look at what most call “Good” emotions:

  • Happiness
  • Love
  • Pleased
  • Inspired
  • Motivated
  • Relaxed
  • Peaceful
  • Amused

And now the “Bad” emotions:

  • Depressed
  • Heavy
  • Upset
  • Jealousy
  • Rejected
  • Abused
  • Angry

How do you feel when you see the emotions you sometimes or frequently experience listed as “Bad”? 

I’ll share how I feel: I felt “bad” or broken when I was told I should not be feeling jealousy, anger, depression, or sadness. I felt there was something wrong with me. I then masked those emotions with the “Good” feelings. The masking is the beginning of us losing our identity – we cover up what we feel and eventually who we are so that we fit in with a world that loves to tell us who we should be. Losing our identity takes us down the rabbit hole of continuous masking, and others’ identities become our own. 

What happens when we suppress our emotions? Stress translates to physical pain and, of course, mental and emotional upset. Some may experience bursts of anger, frustration, and weeping when feelings are hidden. Many people may feel this physically as low back pain, rib pain, or blockage in the throat. We are all living a different life than the next, and everyone’s body is not the same, so the same emotion can bring pain in other areas depending on the person. While I experience rib pain and low back pain when I feel anger, someone else may experience rib pain and stomach issues – it all lies at the root of the emotion. 

Emotions are human nature; they are essential for us to feel. They are vital to experience good health. Our emotions do not create illness within us; dwelling in emotion or stagnation of emotion is what harms us. We either decide to live our lives through these emotions, or we decide to evade these emotions by stuffing them down – this creates stagnation. This creates a loss of identity. This creates tension physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

How can you release your emotions? Again, this depends on the person, but here is a list of things that may help everyone and is healthy to partake in:

  • Breathing Meditation
  • Nature Walk
  • Barefoot Walk – Earthing
  • Craniosacral Therapy
  • TaiChi
  • Yoga
  • Journaling
  • Acupuncture
  • Exercising
  • Massage
  • Therapy

Another thing essential to the list, and it’s the most important thing, is You. Get to know yourself. Sit with yourself. Many say, “I don’t know how to do that” or “I don’t know where to start.” Well, you’re already doing the work by reading this blog. Ask yourself, “What brings me joy, happiness, calmness?” or to bring about the locked away emotion, ask, “What makes me emotional? Why?” When you think you’ve asked “Why?” enough, ask it again. When you feel that emotion arise, let it come, and at the moment, ask yourself, “What am I feeling? Why?”

Why do we label emotions as “Bad”? I believe it is a scary and shadowy path to walk down, and many are afraid of losing themselves, but it is in the shadows where we find the light. We don’t have to take it all on at once; we can do it slowly.

There are zero “Bad” emotions – they just “Are.” When we work to let them come, feel them, and understand them, we can let them go. This is a continuous reminder for myself, for all of us – it is a journey. While you’re on that journey, please remember that I, and your other practitioners, are here to walk beside you in the shadows. 

Erica Ware – Owner of Holistic Bodywork

Social Media? No Thanks, I’m Good!

It all started with excitement, curiosity, and new experiences. You introduced me to new friends and re-introduced me to people I had not heard from in so long. You were sure to tell me how beautiful and wise I was. When I was out of the loop, you updated me on recent “what haps.” The experience you gifted me was like no other.

Things, however, quickly changed. I began longing for your attention to tell me how beautiful and wanted I am. You introduced me to all of your mental and emotional abuse. Then you began keeping me from seeing friends and family or keeping them from seeing me. You instead began filling my mind with poison.

This sounds like a toxic relationship, right? Well, it was a relationship, but not with a person – this is with social media.

I’ve officially decided to leave social media for good. Wow – that feels good to type out. I don’t know about you all, or I may have an idea, but the addiction to social media is Real. This addiction creates mental & emotional stress and, we’ve seen, physical harm. Social media, in the beginning, was great for me. However, I began to realize how dependent on it I was. Dependent, yes. I’d wake up and check my news feed to get my daily dose of anger, stress, some funnies, and sadness from all of the other accounts experiencing the silent stress like me. I check my notifications so they’ll tell me how wonderful of a life I live and how I’m doing such a great job. Social media wasn’t something I did only in the morning; it was ALL DAY.

I decided to take many breaks from social media throughout the years, and it felt like something was being ripped from me – I missed the scrolling. I couldn’t make it a day without someone telling me, “that’s fire.” But here I am today, and I haven’t been on social media in a week, and it feels right. The difference? Honestly, I did some self-work and understood I don’t need to be told I’m wanted or beautiful because I’ve always been those things – it just took me some time to understand that. I also got tired of trying to be convinced that I should hate other people and that I should become distracted from my life’s work.

What happens when you realize you don’t need that from anyone else because you are it for yourself? You kick everyone else out from where they shouldn’t be, which is in your mind, body, and soul. When you do that, hell, you begin living for yourself, not the “That’s fire” comments on social media.

Now, in no way, shape, or form am I saying, “If you’re on social media, you’re doing it for the reasons listed above.” No, that is my experience. I, however, have spoken to many people with similar experiences.

I used to convince myself that I needed social media for work, to stay updated on the world, and to get my spiritual word out. The truth is, it was just an excuse for me to stay. No more.

So, here I am writing to you through my blog to get my word out while reading Google’s updated news for the day – all without social media.

Erica Ware – Owner of Holistic Bodywork

“Negative” Emotions are Healthy to Experience

The energy becomes negative once we begin to dwell or block these emotions – this is called stagnation. It is human to experience every emotion and feeling that flows through us.

I work with you to release this energy and stress by way of massage, craniosacral, and herbal medicine. I’m so happy to be with Meridian Integrative Wellness because they also offer coaching for life transitions and therapy to help you along your path.

We learn to navigate in the shadows so we can help guide you through yours.

Let’s Heal Together

Erica Ware Owner of Holistic Bodywork

Giving Matters – Healing the Community

Extending Energy to Heal Our Community – Opportunites for a Free Session

I am a person rooted in empowerment, healing, and change. My goal is to share my energy and encourage healing within others through my offered services. I have pondered how I can help others and my community for so long. I provide healing sessions and products, but I realize many of those are not accessible for everyone. With “Giving Matters,” I plan to extend my energy to help heal the community.

I believe understanding the importance of caring for each other is one of the critical missions in life. We can only help others if we have first helped ourselves. I plan to help others help themselves and hope they will help the next person.

It is beautiful to take care of each other just “because” and with no ulterior motives.

Giving matters is a program that presents more opportunities for people who do not have access to healing support. Every new season (equinox or solstice), one person from the Louisville community will enjoy a free session, and two other people will be chosen to enjoy an herbal product.

People who nominate someone will create an entry of one or two paragraphs about the nominee and why they should have the service or products.

The person chosen for the service, and the other two persons selected for the products, will be announced the day of the coming solstice or equinox. To begin your entry and to read more about the program, please visit the Giving Matters page.

This is only the beginning, and I hope you all join me on this path.

Let’s heal together,

Erica Ware – Owner of Holistic Bodywork