The Truth About Reflexology

Yesterday my sister Amy and I had the opportunity to participate in  a corporate wellness fair at a local business. It was a good day meeting lots of hardworking people with a great sense of humor and providing moments of much needed relaxation and pain relief.

Days like these are a wonderful reminder of the need for our work, the true call to connect with others and serve in a healing way filled with ease and laughter and big smiles.

Through my work as a reflexologist and holistic nutrition consultant, I have the honor of supporting and facilitating health and healing. I see people transform before my eyes, I feel the their muscles and tissue transform through the technique and skill of applied principles in which I have been trained. It is truly amazing how deeply relaxing therapeutic reflexology is.

I have clients living day to day with interrupted sleep that can rest and sleep through the night after a reflexology appointment. I have clients with pain scales of 10 when they come for a session and after 30 minutes, leave with a pain scale of 2. I see clients who struggle with blood pressure, better able to regulate their blood pressure with regular reflexology sessions. I see clients with chronic joint pain and restricted mobility move more freely with regular reflexology sessions. It is widely accepted that the body's innate healing process is greatly supported through rest and relaxation. Reflexology powerfully facilitates the body's innate immunity and restorative cycles.

One of the top questions I get asked is why I became a reflexologist. My answer always starts with service, my call to serve others is a passion, it's what drives me in my family, my work, and my community.  And, I am grateful that my work also serves me by providing a nourishing and peaceful space in which to work. In many ways it is reflexology that saved me, that led me further down a path to whole health, that taught me how important it is to tune in and listen to my body. The truth is, I love reflexology.


Simple Pleasures and Northwoods Treasures

Last spring I was sitting at Bem General, talking with a friend about how I would love to start hosting live music events at the General. Then, a couple weeks later Sonja Bjordal of Feeding LeRoy contacted me, told me she was booking a southern tour the following winter and asked if they could stop off at Bem General and play a night. I was and still am beyond excited. Sonja was here for a farmstay when we first opened Bem General. We sat in the space and talked and dreamed and envisioned all that could be. So, on February 10th at 6:30pm, dreams are coming true. It's going to be a magical night that I am so very grateful to share with you all.
I first met Sonja and Lee in Duluth, MN when my sister was living there. My brother, husband, daughter and I went north for a winter visit. The first time I heard them play together was around our dining room table. It was love at first tune. I was in a room full of people I loved, music and laughter filled the air, I'll never forget it, I was hooked.
In the years following we went back up north for winter ski weekends when Sonja and Lee were playing at the lodge where we stayed. We played in the snow, soaked in the hot tub, skied the trails, toasted in the sauna, plunged through the polar ice on the lake, and ran around in our swimsuits and muks between cabins and tall tall trees; it was like summer camp for big kids in the winter.
Every time we came home from these trips, I dreamt about creating a place like that here. A place filled with simple pleasures, good times, great friends, where we're all young at heart. This February, I feel as though we have a bit of the Northwoods coming to us and I can't wait to share the music of my favorite northern songbirds with you. So come on out and play!


Sisters with a Story

If you have followed along with me here for a while, you may have noticed that I love good food and the health and joy it brings us. My passion for living a good life, full of health and wealth, connected with my community, my family, my animals is what drives me. I am grateful for a life filled with people and work that I love. I am also grateful for the opportunities to learn and grow in health and wholeness. In each challenge, frustration, or heartbreak, I have experienced growth and insight and change. Rarely are these things easy, yet I am grateful. Don't get me wrong, it is not the challenge or hurt these things may bring that I am grateful for, but for the love and compassion with which they can be met I am very grateful.

Love and compassion that grows with every step, for myself, family, community, life.

I've seen a meme going around lately (probably on Facebook) that says "Grow what you have." What a great reminder to be present in the blessings around you and in you, yes seek growth but not necessarily elsewhere or in something new. Foster growth in what you have, make flourish what you have already planted, go deeper not necessarily further.
So, as for my sister and I who share work (and most other things, sometimes willingly), we have begun to share our stories. These are our stories of transformation.

From Amy:
This time last year I was calling Washington University Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Center to cancel an appointment I had made in the middle of December. We had dreams of having our own children, like many, but started behind in the game. My husband, having had children already, was infertile when I met him. We incurred a large cost for the reversal in hopes that would be the only obstacle to overcome. We were wrong. And thank goodness we were, because it gave us a tremendous opportunity to take a good look at ourselves and our health. People may often only think of women's health for reproduction and hormonal balance, but men's health and hormonal balance is just as important. After a year and half of building in nutrition through whole foods and supplementation, bodywork and self-care we were able to give our baby girl the best possible foundation for health. Living our happiest healthiest lives yet!!

From April:
Sometimes it's hard to even remember how bad I used to feel, until I begin to write down symptoms that I experienced on a daily basis. There was about an 18 month span where I was in and out of Drs. offices, underwent blood tests, MRIs, scans, surgeries, was on prescription antidepressants, pain relievers, and convinced I was suffering a major chronic debilitating disease like MS.
What I know now is that I was suffering a major gut imbalance and candida overgrowth. Issues such as these can be triggered from antibiotic use, chronic and acute stress, acquired food sensitivities, toxin overload, and just plain overworking ourselves and our bodies. Today I begin airing my laundry list of health issues that no longer challenge me or minimally challenge me since I have begun to restore balance in my gut through probiotic use and avoiding simple sugars.
-joint pain
-interrupted sleep (like eyeballs peeled wide awake at 3am)
-eczema, rashes/hives
-dry flaky scalp and skin
-tired (sick and tired of being sick and tired)
-irritability, anxiety, depression, panic attacks
-bloating, alternating diarrhea and constipation
-chronic sinus/allergy infections
-autoimmunity lupus/shingles
-nerve pain shooting/tingling/numbness
-headaches, migraines
-PMS, missed periods, excessive bleeding, hair loss, infertility
The top 3 things that have helped me regain my health:
1. Restore Balance of gut flora with probiotics and fermented foods
2. Heal gut lining with anti-inflammatory and collagen rich supplements and 
whole food.
3. Reduce cravings and simple sugar intake with whole food and natural 
supplement substitutions.
I don't really want to call these "before and after" photos. I'm still moving through this health journey. I am, in so many ways, a different person than that girl on the lower left. I barely recognize her, and could easily convince myself she never existed (if it wasn't for this old facebook photo.) Instead, I honor and acknowledge what I have learned along the way, and am grateful for who I am now. Stronger, deeper, happier, healthier, bolder, braver.


Bone Broth Heals

If you follow us on Facebook , you may have already seen the videos we posted this week on making your own bone broth. As part of our holistic health services at Bem General, we highly recommend incorporating bone broth into our everyday diet. Bone broth is integral in the healing process as it contains basic nutritional support for nearly every system in our bodies. We can take in many of the nutrients found in bone broth from various sources, but none is as easily digested as broth. 

“It’s been known through history and across cultures that broth settles your stomach and also your nerves,” said Sally Fallon Morell, an author of the new book “Nourishing Broth.” “When a recipe has that much tradition behind it, I believe the science is there too.” -Bones, Broth, Bliss

As we begin another new year, many of us renew our vows for a healthier year than last and set our intentions to achieve these goals. Incorporating bone broth into our daily lives is one routine that can improve our well being inexpensively and simply. There's comfort in the tradition and ease in the preparation.
Bone broth is rich in trace minerals, collagen, gelatin, and protein amino acids. It has been implicated in healing digestive issues, inflammatory diseases, joint pain, skin issues, and much more. Several of the essential trace minerals are found to be deficient in people with chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, hypothyroidism, diabetes, immune disorders, anemia, nerve disorders, dermatitis, asthma, and seizure disorders.
These minerals play an important role in antioxidant function, metabolism, bone development, and wound healing. Collagen and gelatin are also important building blocks in joint repair and healing of the gut mucosa.
A Nutritional Snapshot looks something like this: 
Bone Broth Nutrition Overview- 8oz. serving
32% DV recommended Daily Value Protein and Amino Acids
27% DV Vitamin C
31% DV Vitamin B6
13% DV Iron
43% DV Manganese
10% DV Selenium

Today is the day to start your healing journey! Watch the first of our Restore Balance video series >>>here<<< contact us via bemgeneral.com to order grass fed, pasture raised bones from our Bem General CSA farmers.

sources: nutritiondata.self.com, whfoods.com, Ipi.oregonstate.edu, nytimes.com