10 Ways To Make Yoga More Than A Resolution


10 Ways to Make Yoga More Than A Resolution

Whether you are new to yoga or are looking to restart your practice there are some things to remember so as to avoid overwhelm.

10. Start with a five minute practice if you don’t have much time or start with a home practice if you can’t get to a studio.  Don’t let the inability to get to a group class keep you from experiencing the benefits of a practice.

9. Classes are always crowded at the beginning of the year.  If you tried going to classes for the first time in January or February and they were packed, know that by now things have calmed down a bit.

8.  Don’t let the new and crazy sounding words scare you.  Your teacher will show you what they are asking you to do and if you feel lost give it a couple of chances rather than just giving up right away.  If you feel lost after a couple of classes find a new class and a teacher that makes you feel comfortable.

7. Don’t feel like you need all of the “gear”.  You don’t need a special mat, expensive clothes or yoga socks.  You don’t actually even need a mat to get started.

6. Go to the appropriate yoga class and practice the right kind of yoga for your body.  If you have not moved your body in so long that you wore leg warmers the last time you went to a class then don’t start with an advanced Vinyasa class.  Find a Gentle or Beginner’s class and give yourself permission to start slowly.

5. Know that it is ok to not be able to do every single pose that is taught.  Go with the flow and do what you can.  There is a reason it is called a yoga “practice”.  It takes time and work.

4. Try not to compare yourself to your neighbor.  Your teacher may say that to you and you might laugh to yourself and think ”right…” but really don’t do it.  Yoga is not about comparing so stop doing it and enjoy your practice more by just being in the moment.

3. Remember to laugh a little (or even a lot).  Yoga makes us feel joyous and laughter is just another expression of joy. A yoga class doesn’t have to be serious and stuffy.

2. Take care of yourself after class.  Drink water, eat healthy foods and get some rest.

1.  Start where you are.  Forgot needing to be flexible and just go to a yoga class!

Emily Loupe is a yoga teacher, yoga therapist, massage therapist and much more.  She has a passion for wellness and helping people use the practices of yoga to create health, wellbeing and happiness.  She teaches and runs a teacher training program in Austin, Texas called Elemental Yoga School.  Elemental Yoga School will be offering online yoga programs in 2014.  Find out more at http://www.elementalyoga.org

Honoring Your Family’s Natural Rhythms

I found out the hard way that I was the destroyer of my family peace.

Disruption of circadian rhythms has been linked to such problems as diabetes, depression, dementia and obesity, says Steve Kay, a professor of molecular and computational biology at the University of Southern California. *source The Wall Street Journal


image source: National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Having never considered myself an A-type push, push, push personality it was a rude awakening the day I realized I was pushing my loved ones past their natural limits in an effort to achieve.

It started with a three alarm meltdown from my daughter, then just three years old.

I had done away with the nap in an effort to “keep up” with my peers that were swearing by a no nap/ earlier bedtime for their kids. These peers had convinced  me that this new arrangement would allow me may hours in the evening to do my work and thus be more productive.

Now here we were at her group playtime at the YMCA losing our collective minds.

The meltdown was so severe I did not even know how to handle it.

I just let it roll out, tears, full volume screams, sideways glances and sneering comments about seeking a child psychologist from the adults that run the playgroup etc.

It was a terrible, heartbreaking moment.

After the dust settled I knew it was sleep related.

My daughter is prone to big emotions and big outbursts but, this was different.

I had rearranged her biological clock to fit my needs not her natural rhythms. We all ebb and flow to a deeply centered biological clock that receives its data from mother earth and the surrounding universe.

Basically, I messed with God’s plan and my child suffered.

Now before you go telling me it’s all a learning process and not to be so hard on myself. I know that. I got it. I just want to illustrate how our ingrained programming to go, go, go forth and be productive can come at a price.

The price of happiness lost.

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony -Thomas Merton

After this sobering event I realized I had pushed this glorification of busy on myself and my husband.

I recalled the days I had huffed and puffed about the house resentful of my husband resting on the couch. He seemed to always need a daily siesta and it bothered my undercover overachiever demon. I used to make him feel guilty for needing a nap when in fact the truth was the whole family should have been taking a natural quiet time each afternoon as our bodies were calling for it.

I saw clearly how I pushed us all  through times of feeling weak aka tired or depleted.

And clearly now I could see how this wasn’t amping up our productivity at all. It was just making us resentful, tired and downright crabby.

So, wheres the happy ending?

I realized that when it’s time to rest it’s time to rest.

The entire family now enjoys a blissful interlude mid day. And what do you know an earlier bed time is still part of the package. Because I allow her to recharge mid day my daughter isn’t filled with frenetic energy at bed time.

The moral – never be afraid to admit you are wrong.

Here are a few ways you can honor your own families natural rhythms.

The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature. – Joseph Campbell

1 Know your tribe.

Don’t be blind to your family’s specific needs. We are not cookie cutter humans. We all tune into the universal rhythms but we all also have different internal clocks. Some people are natural night owls Other people have medical conditions that override their biological clocks. My husband for example has low thyroid activity thus rendering him tired and depleted more often than others. Know your people and honor their differences schedule your events accordingly. Do not make family members feel guilty for their natural physical reactions to different parts of the day.

2 Work with your natural environment.

When the sun goes down turn your screens off. This is crucial. I know that a lot of us work at a computer and a lot of us do this at night while our family sleeps. I get that. But, as often as you can honor the universe and its endless cycles of day to night, When the sun goes down reduce exposure to artificial light so that bodies can continue on their natural cycles.

3 Be willing to always be working and reworking what works.

Only you will know or observe what is working and what isn’t. Like a good editor always be revising for optimal results. Also be willing to challenge the current constructs you are working within such as  school or work schedules. Be willing to challenge these things and see if you can find some give or leeway.

4 Think like a scientist.

Observe the earth, moon, sun, stars, tides, seasons etc. Notice how this system is already perfect. Learn what you can take from natural systems to implement in your family.


As with everything holistic keep an open mind and be willing to implement new things.

Tell us in comments or at the Facebook page how you honor your natural rhythms.


Kiki Harshman

On most days Kiki can be found seeking elevated states of being through better food.  A certified kitchen witch since the age of seven, Kiki is always continuing her education in blissful states of consumption. She is certified in Raw Nutrition by Raw Food trailblazer David Wolfe through the BodyMind Institute, where she continues her training. She has also completed an introduction to herbalism course through the Herbal Academy of New England. Currently taking a break from personal blogging, her curriculum vitae is available at her About.Me page.

Simple Living for Holistic Beings

simple living

A balanced life is a well lived one. Ask yourself right now – are you living up to your full, meaningful potential?

Holistic nutrition is just one part of our existence where we can mindfully choose to embrace healthy, active lives. We are what we eat and the softness of our skin, the strength of our hair and the density of our teeth show us if we are on the right path, or whether we have an imbalance in our diet.

There are simple things we can do to correct dietary imbalance:

  • Eat seasonally
  • Buy locally
  • Support organic farming
  • Forage for nutrients
  • Reduce grains and refined sugars
  • Eliminate processed foods

To only change our diet is not enough to overcome the imbalances created by a consumer-driven life. We must become unbusy so that we have time to enjoy things that truly matter. We must declutter to find space. We must reduce stress so that we can be grateful. We must regard all of nature and the greater environment if we strive to become holistic beings.

We must understand connections if we dream of a sustainable world. Then we need to act.

Simple living is a gentle way of life that reminds us of how interconnected the world actually is. We become conscious of what we own, what we waste and what we really need – and with a different, more aware mindset we will find that it is much less than what we have been led to think.

Natural simple living may be right for you, if:

  • You are seeking a less complicated way of life
  • You are ready to live in a non-toxic home
  • You are willing to search for health through food, rather than medication
  • You realize the importance of organic clothing – for your body and the future of agriculture
  • Your natural beauty is ready to shine through
  • You already feel the positive benefits of earthing, or are ready to walk barefoot like a child once again
  • You desire more self-reliance in your life

There are a myriad of ways to slow down and enjoy the benefits of a simple life. Choose a place to start and take the first steps towards a lighter tomorrow.

simple living

A special offer for Holistic Dad readers!

Sign up for Natural Simple Living: Crafting Solutions for Your Healthy Life and Home – a month long, 8 lesson e-course to help get you back to the simple, meaningful life you long for, at a reduced price of $35…

and receive a free bonus – 21 days of e-nspirations for Everyday Simplicity.

The knowledge gathering takes place in the month of February, starting on the 1st. Special offer valid until January 31st, 2014 – take the first step right here.

A $60 value now offered to you for nearly half the price!


cheryl magyar


Cheryl Magyar is a sustainable life designer who shares a blog with her husband at Handcraftedtravellers. Sign up for their free newsletter Weekly Ideas for Simplifying Your Life at Home and Away and step into a simpler day!

Follow more inspirations of a simple life on –  Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest

Making The Commitment To Healthy Living In 2014

Healthy Living 2014

Guest post by Greg Denning, a holistic dad of almost six kids, from DiscoverShareInspire.com and GregDenning.com  Sign up for his FREE 90 min audio Purpose, Potential, and Peak Performance.

It’s a new and wonderful year.

What a great opportunity to re-commit to healthy living and a holistic and FANTASTIC life.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, it’s not always easy to make the best choice in the moment.  That requires us to develop our discipline.

Sadly, too many of us give up what we want most for what we want at the moment. That’s why a new year and a new beginning is a great opportunity to raise the bar and reach upward toward total holistic living.

I’ve lived an incredible life; from homelessness to pure awesomeness.  And the most difficult times led me to the most important and long lasting decisions.  Holistic living being one of the most important. Listen to my story….

Click to listen. Right click to save MP3.

For more inspiration and motivation, visit www.GregDenning.com

Online Intermediate Herbal Course


study herbalism


Step beyond the concrete jungle and into the natural world where life’s pleasures reside and where our souls may take refuge. We are here to help promote lasting health and radiant beauty in mind body and spirit.

– Marlene Adelmann, Director at the Herbal Academy of New England


For the past several years, I have been interested in the healing power of herbs. My wife healed her Postpartum depression with the help of a local herbalist in LA; it was at that moment when we realized we truly needed to learn about herbs and their uses as they could have such life changing results. So for the past few years, I have embarked upon researching herbal medicine both here in Asia ( where we live) as well as in Europe and North America. 

I am happy to announce that on November 25, 2013, I will be joining students from around the world in the Intermediate Herbal Course from the Herbal Academy of New England. If you want to learn more about herbs as medicine and as food, and if you’re just too busy to enroll in an in-person program, join the HANE community for a comprehensive and convenient online herbal course you can complete anywhere and anytime—right on your laptop! And here is the great news: to celebrate my enrollment, HANE is offering readers 15% off now through the 25th. Just enter the code 15BY25 when enrolling for your discount! 




In this program, students will dive into advanced topics, discussions about theory and energetics, in-depth coverage of physiology and guidance for diagnosis and herbal formulation. Other topics covered throughout the Intermediate Herbal Course include herbal formulations, safety/side effects, and regulations for building an herbal practice. Learn what your great ancestors knew about the natural world and begin to build your own Materia medica and apothecary. You’ll be learning how and why.

The Intermediate Herbal Course includes:

  • Printable Intermediate Herbal Certification upon completion

  • 10 outstanding units

  • 40 in-depth lessons

  • Over 100 herbal recipes

  • Interactive ebooks

  • Printable handouts and charts

  • Videos throughout every unit

  • Online forums open for discussion and questions

  • Quizzes!

  • Easy access to a team of herbalists and medical professionals

  • A community of herbalists on the same path towards wellness


The Intermediate Herbal Course begins on November 25, 2013. Click here to learn more and register!

About the School

With roots in greater Boston, The Herbal Academy of New England is an educational resource offering online programs and local workshops, herbal clinics, and weight loss counseling. The academy is committed to researching and gathering information and tools to help support a lifestyle of self-awareness and whole body care. It is the Herbal Academy of New England’s desire to encourage individuals and society to make sustainable and meaningful changes so as to use earth’s resources with greater wisdom and respect. Herbalism includes stewardship of the earth.

And now friends, we have an AWESOME giveaway for you! HANE is not only offering 15 percent off for anyone of your who joins before the 25th (just enter the code 15BY25 when enrolling here) they are also offering one lucky reader FREE enrollment! Entry is super easy, simply scroll down for details!

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Top Ten Daily Uses for Essential Oils with a Giveaway!!


Today’s guest post comes from Stephanie Doyle at  My Chemical Breakup!


In our hectic world, taking the necessary time to center and nourish your body, mind and spirit is so important.  Essential oils are an excellent way to give your body exactly what it needs to find physical, mental and spiritual balance and wellbeing.  Here are ten easy ways to incorporate the healing benefits of essential oils into your daily routine.

  1. Wake up energized with citrus and mint.

I like to alternate between Lemon, Lime and Wild Orange essential oils in the morning along with invigorating Peppermint.  Put one drop of each into the palm of your hand, cup your hand near your nose and mouth and inhale deeply for instant energy and focus.  As a bonus, rub the remainder onto the bottoms of your feet (this is one of the best places to absorb essential oils quickly) and start your day feeling positive and energized!


  1. Nourish your hair with Rosemary.

One or two drops of Rosemary essential oil, massaged into the scalp before a bath or shower will do wonders for your hair.  (Shampoo as normal after massage.)  Rosemary is very balancing, so it can be helpful for both dry and greasy hair; and it’s also a great oil for stimulating hair growth.   If you have problems with itchy scalp or dandruff, add a drop of lavender in addition to the Rosemary.  You can also add 1 or 2 drops of Rosemary and Peppermint to unscented shampoo for a clean, invigorating hair cleansing experience!


  1. Boost oral health with Peppermint and Clove.

Both Clove and Peppermint essential oils are analgesic, antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory.  Peppermint oil mixed with water makes a great natural mouthwash.  If it’s too “hot”, cut it with a drop or two of Lemon.  Have a toothache?  A drop of Clove essential oil applied to the affected area will numb the pain while fighting germs.  (Note:  If you are sensitive to hot oils, dilute with a carrier oil before applying to the mouth.)


  1. Support body and mind with Frankincense.

Frankincense, by far, is my very favorite essential oil.  (Although there are many close seconds.)  Many people, myself included, find that Frankincense helps to stabilize moods as well as calm anxiety and nerves.  This is not surprising, since Frankincense is one of the few oils that can pass the blood brain barrier and is therefore often recommended for issues dealing with the brain.  It’s also a great immune system booster as well as an incredible anti-inflammatory.  Basically, Frankincense is good for just about everything.  It’s great on cuts and scrapes, skin conditions, digestive issues, it’s an anti-depressant, anticatarrhal, anti-cancer, anti-tumor, expectorant and sedative, just to name a few.  One to two drops on the bottoms of the feet would be beneficial any time of day, and a great addition to morning or nightly routines.


  1. Clean and freshen with Lemon.

Toss a washcloth with 2 or 3 drops of Lemon essential oil in with your laundry for super clean clothes and uplifting scent.  This is also a great way to freshen up a load that, ahem, you may have let sit a bit too long in the washing machine.  (Not that you or I would ever do that.)  Lemon is a natural antiseptic, so it can also be used to wipe down counters or even stainless steel.  For counters, add a few drops of Lemon to a glass spray bottle with water.  For the stainless steel, apply a drop of Lemon directly to a microfiber cloth and buff to a shine.  (Note: be sure to use a glass spray bottle when using citrus oils, never plastic, as Lemon dissolves petrochemicals.)  Lemon is also known as antidepressant, so while you clean you’ll be giving your mood a boost as well!


  1. Improve your outlook with uplifting Bergamot.

Apply one or two drops of Bergamot essential oil to the back of the neck, over the heart, or on the bottoms of the feet to increase self-confidence and combat negative emotions.    Bergamot may also be helpful in dealing with stress, anxiety and nervous tension, making this an excellent oil to diffuse as well.  (Note: as with all citrus oils, do not apply on areas that will be exposed to sunlight for up to 72 hours after use.)


  1. Find your focus with Peppermint and Wild Orange.

2 or 3 drops of Peppermint and Wild orange essential oils make an amazing, energizing blend for diffusion.  Not only will this blend help you get through an afternoon slump, but it can help improve focus and concentration as well.  If you don’t have a diffuser, add a few drops to a small spray bottle with some water and use as a natural room freshener.  You can also place a few drops on a cotton ball and set it behind a desktop fan to help circulate the therapeutic aroma throughout a room.


  1. Keep headaches at bay with Peppermint.

Peppermint is one of those oils that has so many different uses!  A tiny drop on the temples or back of the neck and help relieve headaches and can prevent little headaches from turning into giant ones. (Be sure to keep well away from eyes!) Peppermint is also very soothing to the digestive system; a drop applied topically to the stomach does wonders for both indigestion and nausea.


  1. Wind down with Lavender and Roman Chamomile

Add 1 or 2 drops of each to a half cup of Epsom salts for a soothing, calming bath.  If you don’t have time for a bath, add 2 drops of lavender and 1 drop of roman chamomile to 10 or more drops of carrier oil (I prefer fractionated coconut oil) and massage over feet, neck and shoulders to help tension melt away.


  1. Encourage restful sleep with Lavender, Marjoram, and Vetiver.

Lavender oil on its own is can be very effective for encouraging sleep and relaxation.  Massage a few drops onto your neck, feet, or even around the ears just before bed; or add some Lavender to a small spray bottle with water for a relaxing pillow spray.  If you are still having trouble sleeping, try adding equal parts Marjoram or Vetiver.  Marjoram can help relax muscles and may also help with anxiety that may be keeping you awake.  Vetiver is a deeply relaxing oil, and while it does smell a bit pungent, it is extremely effective for those who have trouble falling or staying asleep at night.  To tone down the smell, you can add a few drops of lavender.  This oil is best used on the bottoms of the feet or (if you don’t mind the scent) the back of the neck.


Modern Essentials Fourth Edition, Aroma Tools

You can learn more about Essential Oils by contacting Stephanie on her blog, on her facebook page. or her DoTerra consultant link.


And now for the Give Away – Don’t forget to come back every day and share the post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and even your blog!  Just copy and paste the URL of the location you shared it and enter it in the first box for a quick 10 points!

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Acetylcholine: Finding More Creative Energy with Nutrition and Lifesyle

Writer’s Block, Dry spell, Brain Fart, Blogstipation.  Whatever slang or artist’s terminology you can utter to describe it, you may be one of the millions that feel your creative energy has been sapped this past week, month or who knows how long. Horrible things you wouldn’t wish on your biggest competitors like –

  • Music not stimulating your thoughts into productive action.
  • A fading memory where sometimes you feel that your college lifestyle is coming back to haunt you… Simple things like names of schoolmates, old vacation places or years, and where you put your !@#$-ing keys are gone to the land of the lost.
  • Utter emptiness; searching for fulfillment or inspiration in the form of aesthetic beauty that would bring about the fire inside you to create your passion in whatever gives you a sense of harmonic freedom.

Yeah… at times, I feel this too.  I think we all do and I’m sure more bullet points could be added. writer'sblock


But know there is something nutritionally and holistically that can be done.

Gaining back your inner Picasso starts now with learning about the biochemical that directly affects your mind, memory and creativity.


Acetylcholine  is a neurotransmitter created in the parietal lobes of the brain.  These lobes control your thinking functions – intelligence and language comprehension even your ability to pay attention.

Acetylcholine controls brain speed, memory, and your ability to take in new sensory experiences.  Deficiency causes forgetfulness as memories get partially stored and your brain is unable to connect to incoming stimuli.  Brain speed lessens and is noticeably different when just 7 milliseconds are lost.  At times, you mentally feel a loss of enthusiasm for life and have memory lapses and maybe the beginning symptoms of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

So if you’re looking to improve your ‘brain age’ this is your #1.

What to do? – Easiest is to increase your choline nutrients.  This close relative of the B vitamin (both are made in the liver) is converted into acetylcholine in the body.  It creates insulation around your brain cells enabling them to keep the stored info and prevents them from possible damage or dissipation.

What to Eat? – The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for choline is 550 mg/day for men and 425 mg/day for women.  For vegetarians, this one is a little more difficult, like for most B vitamins.

  • Choline is prevalent in meats especially the liver, but ground beef, chicken, fish and pork all have high amounts, just make sure you’re eating from a good source – grass-fed and free range, organic.
  • Eggs contain some of the largest amounts – another reason to eat the yolk since just a single slightly-cooked large one contains about 140mg.
  • Nuts are the best choice for non-meat eaters; Pistachios, Almonds, Cashews, Pine nuts, Hazelnuts, and Macadamia
  • Other good vegetarian choices include Avocado, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, and whole grain cereals like oats, barley or to a lesser amount, rye.
  • For Gluten-Free options, Quinoa offers  a whopping 40mg per cooked serving.



Lifestyle – Is it possible to stimulate your creativity?  Of course!

  • Meditation, stimulating conversations, beautiful postcards, aesthetic pictures of old vacation spots, relaxing music, and yes, exercise.
  • Aerobic exercise can restore acetylcholine, exercising 1 hour a day can be extremely beneficial.  Ever tried rebounding?  It’s a No-Impact exercise that is “68% more effective than jogging”, says NASA in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
  • And beware of toxic metals, especially aluminum. Keep an eye on your kitchen and it’s cookware for this zinc-depleting  material because everything nowadays seems to be made with it.

Supplements – Choline supplementation is great, but if you’re already eating enough, not necessary.  Phosphatidyl choline has been know to cause upset stomachs and diarrhea in some and it’s not recommended for those with Bipolar disorders or the genetic disease, trimethylaminuria.  But don’t worry – there are some other options for increasing your brain health!  I recommend this Choline bitartrate from Country Life- due to the – No: corn, soy, gluten, dairy.  It’s also Kosher and vegan.  Yay!  Most other brands use either soy in the form of lecithin or a corn cellulose or gelatin pill.

  • As mentioned before, B vitamins are essential for a healthy nervous system with B12 being the superhero of the bunch. This Bluebonnet product has a small amount of choline, but most important are the lack of other questionable ingredients – no corn, rice, soy, gluten.  It’s also kosher and vegetarian.
  • Antioxidants are also extremely beneficial as a brain food and for protecting the cells against free radicals that damage the surrounding membranes.  So eat your berries and tomatoes and drink your organic matcha green tea or yerba mate.
  • Amino acid L-carnitine assists in building acetylcholine while also promoting weight loss and might help in lowering triglycerides. Again, I found this choice to also be free from soy, corn, gluten etc.
  • Huperzine-A is made from the rare herb Chinese Club Moss and preserves acetylcholine. It has a low occurrence of side effects but it shouldn’t be taken regularly, maybe only 2-4 times a week.  Same – no corn, soy, gluten…
  • Phosphatidyl choline or Phosphatidyl serine both improve memory and the latter has shown to be beneficial to those with depression or MS.  This one as a supplement is more difficult due it originating from soy.  You can find GMO-free soy, but then you run into Gelatin and Glycerin.  Or if you want it sourced from GMO-free Sunflower oil (I didn’t know sunflowers were GM…have to look at that one again…) with no soy you still run into vegetable cellulose – most likely made from corn.
  • Gingko Biloba – The Herbalists go-to guy for building brain power.  It improves circulation to the brain and increases tissue oxygenation.  Also available in a larger size from NOW foods with Gotu Kola and Eleuthero root.  Both are free from… you guessed it corn, soy, gluten!  Or you could get it as a tincture, using only organic alcohol- the best way to extract the benefits of herbs.


I’ll be waiting for your next masterpiece… If you want to share, your HD is always here for you – I’ll read any intro, absorb any painting or artfully drawn picture, and intently listen to your audio snippets! PG rated please – No 50 Shades of Gray or Explicit Lyrics please, young ‘uns have ways of finding everything –  Send ’em to yourholisticdad@gmail.com

Go – Create!



The Edge Effect by Eric R. Braverman M.D.
The Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC


Tapping: Does it Really Work?

When I was working a high stress teaching job in Korea, my wife told me about something she had seen online called tapping or EFT ( emotional freedom technique). She has been suffering from anxiety for years, and the birth of our daughter aggravated it. She had tried doing the easy ( although odd) tapping on acupuncture points and had success, as in less anxiety and not as frequently. One day when she was at the supermarket, with our daughter, she noticed she had not had an attack, even though she normally would have. I decided to try doing it and have used it ever since; I find it particularly helps with headaches or if I am in a bad mood.
I can’t suggest trying it enough. It is free and easy to do!