Last Minute Gift Idea in Raleigh

Christmas is almost here…are you are still searching for that perfect gift for the special woman in your life? How about a gift that you know she’ll love…a gift certificate for a massage!

Make this year all about her, and give her something that shows just how much you appreciate her presence in your life.

Metamorphic Massage For Women is offers gift certificates for 30-, 60-, and 90-minute massages.   Check it out at

Laughter IS The Best Medicine

Did you know that laughter is good for you ?  Not only does it increase levels of happiness, it turns out that laughter can also be a form of exercise!  When we laugh, we tend to breathe much deeper, just like we do when participating in aerobic exercise.  If we laugh hard enough, we also engage our abdominal muscles, and can actually get a mini-workout in!

Laughter also provides several physiological benefits.  It helps to decrease stress, thereby lowering our blood pressure and increasing blood flow.  What a great way to reduce the risk of  a heart attack!   When we are less stressed, our muscles relax, and our immune system also gets a boost. It can also increase energy, and reduce pain through the release of endorphins.  Think about it…how much better do you feel when you are laughing on a regular basis?

Many years ago, I was a whitewater raft quide.  One day, in the midst of an incident, I found myself and half the paddlers from my boat sitting on top of a large rock in the middle of the river,  my boat wrapped around the rock, with rushing water preventing me from easily getting the raft off the rock.  None of my paddlers were comfortable in the water to begin with, so the entire time I worked to get the boat ready for the crew on shore to peel it off the rock, I cracked a bunch of jokes.  This helped alleviate the stress of the situation for the nervous paddlers.  Other people in our boating party were on the banks of the river thinking we were having a grand time…which  we were!  I recall after the trip my participants saying how my light attitude and ability to make them laugh helped calm their nerves.  Using humor helped to shift our perspective from feeling threatening by the situation to it just being part of the adventure.

Find more ways to increase the laughter in your life…learn some new jokes and share them with friends….go to a comedy club….learn to laugh at yourself.  Take life less seriouisly, and feel better!  Its certainly cheaper and a lot more fun than going to the doctor!

Mother’s Day Gift Idea

Mother’s Day is coming up, and you’re looking for ideas for how you can honor the mothers in your life. How about giving her something she will really appreciate…a gift certificate for a massage!

Now through Mother’s Day, Metamorphic Massage For Women is offering a special package for the mothers in your life.  Choose either a 60 -minute or 90-minute session, which  includes the periodic use of heated stones.  After her massage, she will have some time to enjoy some berries and chocolate.  ( This offer is not available with prenatal massage.)

Are you a woman looking for a way to spend time together with your mother or duaghter?  Come in together, for either a 60- or 90-minute massages in separate rooms, and meet up in the reception area afterwards to share a few moments over berries and chocolate.    What a great way to spend some girl time!  16 and over, please.

Gift  certificates are available at

We Are 1 ~~ Women’s Conference

The We are 1 Women’s Conference is being held at the RDU Holiday Inn in Morrisville from April 8 -10, 2010. Workshops topics will include spirituality, health and wellness, inner healing, relationships, social justice, and more.
There is also a great performance Thursday night, celebrating the arts. There will be dance, spoke word, comedy, and music, including a local group of women drummers performing.
For more information, go to

Prental Yoga Class in Raleigh

Pregnancy is  a wonderful time, which can also be riddled with aches and pains.  Besides getting regular massage, it is a good idea to take part in a prenatal yoga class.

Prenatal yoga helps to strengthen uterine and pelvic muscles, improves circulation, and can aid digestion, while increasing the mother-to-be’s overall comfort.  The class consists of gentle postures, breathwork, and meditation.

Anisha Desai will be offering prenatal classed as Gateway Yoga on Oberlin Road in Raleigh, on Fridays from 11:15 to 12:30, beginning on April 23rd.  There is a FREE introductory class on April 18th from 4:00 to 5:15.  No experience is necessary.


West African Drumming for Health and Happiness

Have you ever thought about learning how to play a drum?  It is a wonderful way to reduce stress, while having fun and exercising your brain.  Studies have shown that drumming also boosts your immunce system! 

If you are in the Raleigh/Durham area, and would like to learn how to play the djembe, a traditional drum from West Africa, new classes are starting up soon with Ronnie Pulley, one of the areas’ best instructors.  A six-week beginner/intermediate class is being held at Music Explorium in Durham, only 15 minutes from Raleigh, starting March 16th, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm.  Classes are $85.00 for the entire six weeks, or $15/class.  You will learn basic hand-drumming strokes, discover ways to improve your sound,  learn traditional African rhythms, and build confidence to playin drum circles.  Ivory Coast Djembes are for loan or sale through the instructor.

If you’ve been playing the djembe for a while, another option is the Intermediate/Advanced class meeting on Monday nights in Cary. The next session starts on Monday, March 8th, and runs from 7:00 – 9:00 pm.  the fee for the class is $100 for the entire six weeks, or $20 per class.  This class is designed for serious drummers, and you learn both Djembe and Dundnun parts of traditional West African songs, as well as learn to play solo tecnhniques and other advanced techniques. 

If you would like more information on these classes, contact Ronnie Pulley at

Stress Management Tip of The Week ~~ Focused Muscle Relaxation

When I am feeling stressed, I notice how tension builds up in my muscles.  Over the years, one of the best methods I have found to reduce this stress (besides getting a massage) is through Focused Muscle Relaxation.

Beginning at your feet, tense up your muscle groups one at a time, holding them tight for 10 seconds, and then releasing for 20 seconds.  Tense up and relax your feet, then your calves, thighs, buttocks, back, stomach, hands, arms, shoulders, neck, and end your face.  Remember to breathe deeply while you are doing this exercise.  This progression will only take about five minutes, and should leave you feeling relaxed and at peace.

Its also a great technique to practice if you are having a hard time falling asleep at night. 

Holiday Special on Massage Gift Certificates

It’s the Holiday Season, that time of year  when many of are looking for the perfect gifts to honor the ones we love.  Most women welcome gifts that truly show how much they are cared for and appreciated.  A gift that is all about them, that will give them time to nurture and care for themselves.

 What better way to show the women in your life how much you care, than giving them a gift of massage? During the month of December, all session-specific gift certificates are 15% off. (Not valid on dollar amount gifts) These can be purchased online at Raleigh Massage Gift Certificates for Women  or in person, by arrangement, by calling 919-602-5742.

Give that special woman in your life a gift that feel good to both you you, the gift of massage!

Sleep, Glorious Sleep….

Sleep…it sometimes feels like we never get enough of it.  There always seems to be something that needs to get done that keeps us up just a little bit later than we intended, or a show on television that we just have to watch that keeps us up past midnight.  When the alarm clock goes off at 6:30 a.m., we drag ourselves out of bed and into the kitchen for that jolt of caffeine that we are sure will give us the energy we need to make it through the morning.

Lack of sleep takes its toll on our bodies in more ways than we imagine.   Studies have shown that lack of sleep contributes to cancer, heart disease, obesity, and a weakened immune system.  Not to mention the fact that it makes us less alert during the day, and contributes to a higher level of grumpiness.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.  Does that seem unrealistic to you?  Stop and think about how you feel when you get a full, good night’s sleep.  You awaken with more energy, in a better mood, and feel you can conquer the world, or at least that huge pile of work on your desk or those heaps of laundry gathering in the laundry room.

Why can’t you get a full night’s sleep?  Stimulation in the latter part of the evening can make it harder to fall asleep.   Avoid watching television or using your computer an hour before your planned bedtime.  Yes, watching the Late Night show while in bed can make it so it takes longer to fall asleep once you shut the tv off.  And while regular exercise does contribute to better sleeping patterns, it is best left for the earlier parts of your day…in other words, don’t exercise within 3 hours of going to sleep.  This also includes avoiding things like household tasks such as vacuuming and spending 1/2 an hour picking up dirty clothes and toys off the floor.

So what can you do to ensure abetter night’s sleep?  Perhaps grandma was right when she suggested drinking a glass of warm milk before bed…Ayurvedic texts suggest that this ritual promotes a sense of well-being in your body, helping you to relax and fall asleep easier.  Other activities that can help relax you, such as taking a hot bath, reading a chapter of a good book, deep breathing exercises, or dimming the lights and having some lovin’ time with your mate are all great ways to help encourage sleep. 

You can also try using some essential oils to help relax your body and mind to insure sleep.  Just one drop of lavender or jasmine on a tissue, or the corner of your pillow case can contribute to a deeper, more relaxing sleep.  Just don’t overdo it with these oils, as too much of the scent can be stimulating.  Less is more when it comes to using essential oils as sleep aids. 

Do something good for your health, and get a good night’s sleep every night!




Summer Zucchini Salad

One of my favorite things to do with zucchini in the summer, when there is an abundance of it in my garden, is make a salad with other fresh garden veggies.


Summer Zucchini Salad

4 descent sized zucchini, cut into 1 inch quarter rounds.  Steam until tender. 

 While squash is steaming, mix together:


2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 cup chopped cilantro                                                                                                                      

 1/2 cup cooked black beans


When squash is just tender, remove from pot, cool then mix with the rest of the ingredients.  Chill for at least an hour before serving.

For a complete vegetarian meal, this goes great with cheese enchiladas and avocado.  You can also mix in 1/2 to 1 cup of corn into it for a truly colorful salad.