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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Happy Holidays from East West College of Natural Medicine

Oct 31, 2016 01:23PM

by Nancy Tegan 


‘Tis the season for giving thanks and taking time to appreciate all the wonderful people in our lives. We definitely have the attitude of gratitude here at East West College of Natural Medicine. We are grateful for everyone in our community and the opportunities you’ve given us over this past year to share our mission of wellness. In fact, you might have received a free chair massage, ear seed or acupuncture treatment from our students at various events including Mystical Bazaar, Eco Fest, YouFit or Mind- Body-Spirit Cosmic Faire. 

We say thank you for the support and wish you all a healthy holiday season. Speaking of the holidays, these are among our favorite ways to reduce stress around this time of year. Please take time for self-care this season, and we will see you next year at more outstanding community events. We also hope you will come visit us at the College. 


  • Take Deep Breaths. Improper breathing can imbalance your body’s oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, contributing to anxiety. Conversely though, deep and conscious breaths will calm your nervous system. Practice the following steps to improve your breathing patterns: 

  • Stomach: Place your hand on your mid-section and inhale deeply. Make sure that you can feel the oxygen expanding your belly. As you breathe in and out several times, your hand should rise and fall in a rhythmic pattern.  

  • Chest: Place your hands on your chest and inhale deeply. While your chest expands, keep your stomach flat.  

  • Shoulders: Breathe into your upper chest. Place your arms above your sternum and, during inhalation, you should feel your shoulders rise and fall. After a few minutes, the tension should dissipate.  

  • Allow Time for Breaks. Take a 15–20 minute time-out from your hectic schedule to indulge in a hot bath, curl up with a good book, walk along the beach, listen to soothing music, or simply light a candle and drink a cup of tea. My sister-in- love refers to these as stolen moments.” She prefers to carve out time for practicing the piano. No matter how you choose to spend those moments, they will refresh your spirit, so you can approach your obligations and relationships with a renewed perspective.  

  • Have Lavender On-Hand. Keep a bottle of lavender essential oil in your bag and sniff it whenever you need to combat stress. Lavender reduces anxiety––it’s my secret weapon for all those chaotic family gatherings. 

  • Learn to Say No. Repeat after me: No! We simply cannot be everything to everyone. If you say yes” to each person in your sphere of influence, you could wind up feeling overwhelmed and resentful. Set healthy and realistic boundaries on how to allocate your precious time. People will understand.   

  • Squeeze for Stress Relief. That fleshy part between your index finger and thumb is called the hoku spot in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Apply pressure to this area for at least 30 seconds to reduce stress and tension in your upper body. Just squeeze and breathe––you’ll feel instantly calmer.   

  • Create New Traditions. Don’t be a slave to tradition. Has anyone ever asked why you approach the holiday season through a certain lens, and you find yourself answering, “That’s how we’ve always done it.” You might consider rethink some of those traditions.  Be the family trendsetter and trailblazer! 

  • Think Outside the (Gift) Box. The most meaningful presents are not always the most expensive. In fact, here are two fantastic ideas:  

  • Get a Massage. The benefits of massage include both stress and pain relief. So, what more incentive do you need? If you are unsure where to find talented and trained therapists, we have an excellent massage therapy program at East West College. ($20 per hour, gift certificates available) 

  • Receive an Acupuncture Treatment. We invite you to experience a relaxing and rejuvenating acupuncture treatment at our student clinic. Supervised by our faculty of renowned doctors, your first visit includes both a consultation and treatment. ($20 for first visit, gift certificates available) 


If you are interested in learning more about how to reduce stress, the East West College of Natural Medicine is now enrolling for their Massage Therapy Program (MM 32746). For more information, call 941-355-9080 or visit 3808 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Nancy Tegan, B.S., MAEd, LMT, NCBTMB, is Lead Instructor of the Massage Therapy Program. 



Natural Awakenings of Sarasota April 2020 Digital Edition