Consider a Therapeutic Massage for You This Holiday Season

When I sit and think about the holidays, it brings me back to my childhood. The crisp, cold air, the exuberating scents steaming from the kitchen, and the delightful gathering of family, friends, thankfulness, faith, and good health.

Have you taken the time to reminisce this holiday season?

It is certainly no secret that the holidays can be overwhelming and stressful: shopping for a perfect gift, getting prepared for family, cooking and cleaning, decorating, and all that goes along with the holiday hustle and bustle. At times I think we often get overwhelmed and stressed fulfilling others’ holiday wishes and forgetting to take time out for ourselves to regain focus and balance for our well-being.

Have you ever considered a therapeutic massage to contest that “overwhelmed” holiday feeling?  The benefits of a therapeutic massage are astounding, especially in helping relieve stress. Many studies have proven the negative effects of prolonged stress, causing chronic muscle pain, forgetfulness, hypertension, lowered immune function, and fatigue, not to mention the other deleterious effects.

Many of us are unaware that when becoming stressed and overwhelmed with planning, shopping, cleaning, and being selfless, our bodies are secretly battling a chemical called cortisol.  The chemical cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone, is a naturally produced hormone with a primary function of increasing blood sugar through gluconeogenesis, suppressing the immune system, and aiding the metabolism of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. When our bodies are under stress for prolonged periods of time the over-production of cortisol can cause significant adverse physiological effects.

So, this holiday season keep in mind the effects of stress and the advantages of a therapeutic massage. A monthly therapeutic massage allows your body to cleanse toxins and function optimally. The physical manipulation of muscles and tissues increases blood and lymphatic circulation, allowing your circulatory system to cleanse itself naturally and leave you feeling rejuvenated and refueled.

Season’s greetings and happy holidays from Isabell & Eve Therapeutic Massage

A Brief History of Tea

by Amber Erickson Gabbey

All tea, shockingly, comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. But from that one plant come thousands of varieties to choose from. Tea is the second most common drink worldwide, only behind water, but if you don’t know what you’re looking at, tea shopping can be a stressful experience.

All varieties of tea boil down to five basic categories: black, white, green, and oolong. The fifth, not really a tea at all, is herbal. Making different teas from the same plant is the result of production, including the part of the leaf used and how the leaves are heated and cooled. This production process turns one single plant into teas that, when steeped, vary greatly in flavor, color, caffeine, aroma, and benefits.

From the medicinal perspective, tea has long been considered beneficial (with the science to back it up) for weight loss, preventing cancer, and preventing heart disease. The main benefit in tea comes from the antioxidants, which work to find and destroy cancer cells. Green tea, specifically, is considered a natural solution to reduce blood pressure, improve oral health, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Now, let’s break down these five kinds of tea to further explain. Note, the market these days includes a lot of blends—either different types of tea, or tea leaves with flowers, other plants, or fruits.

Black tea has a characteristic dark color and when steeped, a high caffeine count compared to other teas. Black teas can have a quite strong and pronounced flavor. Black teas are best steeped under boiling water for several minutes. These teas are often served with milk and sugar. Here are a few common kinds of black tea:

• English Breakfast
• arl Grey (black tea with bergamot oil)
• Chai Tea
• Pekoe
• Darjeeling
• Irish Breakfast

White tea has a characteristic softness, from production to flavor. White teas are made from minimally processed young shoots from the tea plant and steep to a light color. White teas are commonly mixed with fruit and flowers, like jasmine, peach, melon, or lavender.

Green tea has a characteristic yellow-green hue and a soft, earthy flavor. But don’t let that fool you; green teas can be intensely flavorful. To steep green teas, pour hot (but not boiling) water over the leaves and let sit for up to three minutes. Be careful not to over-steep green teas. Here are a few common kinds of green tea:

• Gyokuro
• Longjing
• Bi Luo Chun
• Sencha
• Matcha

Oolong tea is most known for being less strong than a black tea but more robust than a green. This is the tea you are drinking in Chinese restaurants that you may think is black tea. The characteristic flavor and scent profile of oolong is flowers or fruits, and many other styles, like Darjeeling, Earl Grey, and Assam, can be made into an oolong style. Steep oolong in hot (not boiling) water for up to ten minutes.

Herbal tea is not really a tea after all. This type isn’t made from the leaves of the tea leaf and contains no caffeine. Herbal tea is made with naturally caffeine-free plants, flowers, and fruits. Some common herbal tea (also called herbal infusion) flavors include chamomile, peppermint, echinacea, ginseng, hibiscus, lemon, ginger, raspberry, nettles, rosehips, tulsi, etc.

If you love tea but find yourself going back to the same kinds, use this opportunity to try something new. If you like green tea, try white or herbal. If you like black teas, try an oolong, or try something totally outside your comfort zone. There are thousands of tea varieties and blends on store shelves right now. Have fun with it.

Some of Our Favorite Tea …

Our Picks:
• Organic African Nectar
• Orange Dulce
• Organic Spring Jasmine

Mighty Leaf Tea supports the fostering of long-term prosperity for artisans and their communities locally, regionally and globally in tea-growing regions through monetary program support. We also promote and encourage sustainable farming and production methods for tea-growing regions around the world through corporate partnerships and sourcing practices. More at


Our Picks:
• Tutti Fruiti
• Lemon Spearmint Energy
• Brain Booster
• R&R

Herbal tea works with the body in an all-natural way to promote balance and good health. Almost any herbal leaves and roots can be made into tea.

Every blend of Urbal Tea is designed to assist in the healing, nourishing and preserving of the entire human body. All of the herbs contain numerous vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and each blend targets a different ailment or need. Meant to be enjoyed every day, Urbal Teas provide a bounty of nourishing herbal infusions to benefit the entire body and soul. A local Milwaukee, Wisconsin company – much more at



Numi’s SAVORY TEA combines real organic vegetables, wild herbs, decaf tea and aromatic spices for a satisfying experience. Inspired by recipes from around the world, these satiating veggie-spice-tea blends are rich in flavor, yet light enough to enjoy any time of day. It’s not quite a soup, but more than a tea. Enjoy a comforting cup of garden goodness one savory sip at a time!

Numi inspires well-being of mind, body and spirit through the simple art of tea. Our company is rooted in the principle of creating a healthful product that nurtures people and honors the planet. In all of our company initiatives, we strive to foster a healthy, thriving global community while bringing you the purest, best-tasting organic tea. Much more at


Our Picks:
• English Breakfast
• Earl Grey Supreme
• Organic Bangkok
• Japanese Secha

It is not only the Harney mission to deliver quality tea products to their customers, but also to educate the world of tea history and taste. Whether through their dedicated customer service team, their published guides to tea drinking, or their two tea tasting shops, the Harney & Sons team works to pass on their passion of tea to a wide audience. From lugging heavy tea filled chests down their basement stairs, to stocking shelves at Targets nationwide, Harney & Sons remains committed to delivering their customers a superior tea drinking experience. More at


Our Picks:
• Genmaicha Green Tea Blend-Organic Japanese
• Chocolate Chai Tea Blend-Organic and Fair Trade
• Tropical Coconut Oolong Tea Blend
• Pu-erh Bordeaux Tea Bag – Organic and Fair Trade

Rishi Tea has imported premium organic tea under strict European Union Organic standards since 1999. We were among the first to earn organic certification and at the forefront in the advancement of Fair Trade Certified tea, becoming one of the highest payers of social premiums from the sale of fair trade tea. The fair trade projects we have established, as well as those we partner with, directly support a better life for the tea-farming families and their communities.  Much more at

Thrive in 2015

Are you ready to make the rest of your life the best of your life? Let’s get you THRIVIN’ in 2015!

Do you or someone you know suffer from:  low energy, low mood, joint discomforts, inflammation, headaches, managing your weight, or trouble sleeping?  Then the THRIVE Experience may be just what you are looking for!

As hard as we try to create a healthy food environment for our families, it can be extremely difficult due to farmlands having nutritionally depleted soil and using over-processed ingredients. These circumstances make it almost impossible to fill all of the nutritional gaps in our bodies.

The THRIVE Experience is a new direction in simplicity. Take two capsules before your feet hit the floor in the morning, take our THRIVE lifestyle shake mix, slap on your DFT foam, and you are done for the day!

This simple three-step system provides our bodies with over 100 synergistic vitamins, minerals, probiotics, nutrients, digestive enzymes, amino acids, and antioxidants that fill those nutritional gaps in our bodies to allow us to run at an ultra premium level.

Le-Vel is redefining  the term FREE, with their innovative Direct Sales company.  Anyone can join the Le-Vel team for free, whether it’s as a customer or a promoter. They are a Cloud-based company, which allows them to invest in the highest grade ingredients available, as well as an industry-leading compensation plan.

If you would like to know more about the THRIVE Experience, please visit or give Tiffanie (Independent Brand Promoter for Le-Vel) a call at 715-495-8432.

To read some amazing personal experiences, check out the Le-Vel Facebook fan page.  For more information, you can also listen to this prerecorded informational call.  1-530-881-1499 Pin 137907#.

Horse Magic

by Jayne Nuutinen Wolff

For those of you who love animals, you know there is a special bond, but you may not understand how that happens. It comes from the fact that most animals are in the present moment and they sense how we feel. We can learn a lot from our animals, especially horses, about being present in our bodies and being in the moment.

Equine Facilitated Coaching is a newer profession that offers you a chance to learn about communicating with horses for personal growth with the guidance of a life coach. You can begin to understand the language of horses by observing how they communicate with each other. It is similar to learning a foreign language and takes practice. Once you have a dialogue established, you can create a partnership. Being in partnership with a 1,000-pound animal is where the magic happens. This is a somatic experience that touches the core of who you are and can help you transform into the person you were meant to be.

Life coaches are great listeners and ask questions that inspire you to find the answers within. Horses are great teachers based on the fact that they are prey animals and must be in the present moment for their safety and because they are social animals that live in a herd. When you put it all together it becomes a transformational experience.

During a session, I will instruct you on how to integrate the Epala® Five Essentials before working with the horse and to embrace all aspects of yourself. All activities are done working from the ground, so no riding skills and no horse handling skills are required. You will have plenty of opportunities to work closely with a horse to gain the awareness of how you impact the horse and the world around you. All you need is an open mind and heart, an appreciation for horses, and a willingness to see yourself from a different perspective to continue your personal growth journey.

Why would you want to do an Equine Facilitated Coaching session? It is a way to find purpose and peace in your life. A chance to change a habit or pattern that is bothering you. It helps with transitions in life: school, work, new business, family, health, relationships, retiring, and empty nesters. Make your dreams come true. Wellness goals. Find more fun and joy in your life. Accomplishing your New Year’s Resolution. Live with no regrets. You name it, we can work on it. Any questions, check out my website and contact me for more information. Here’s to the You that has been longing to show up in the world! Make it an awesome year.

Jayne Nuutinen Wolff,

Getting More Joy in 2015

“Remember that your natural state is joy.” Wayne Dyer

The depths of winter are upon us in Wisconsin. In the frozen ground, right at this very moment, there are bulbs and seeds just waiting for spring to bloom and show off their colors. What seeds did you plant inside yourself last year? Did you vow to eat better, drink less, lose weight, train for a 5K or marathon?

Before you start feeling bad, let’s do a little exercise. No running shoes or yoga pants needed, just a paper and pen. Just for fun, no thinking.

Start with taking a few deep breaths. Write down 3-5 things you really wanted in 2014. No editing. No judging. Just write them down.

Now for the life coaching magic, take each one of those things and just like those Madlibs you loved as a kid, plug it into this sentence:

When I get _______________________(one thing you wrote), I will feel_____________________________.

What would it be like to start feeling like that right now?

Do you really need the thing to get the feeling?

What if you just decided to feel that feeling?

Healthy, more abundance, greater fulfillment, love, peace, happiness, bliss, and my personal favorite, JOY, are all possible for you at this very moment.

Just for this moment, feel joy throughout your body. Feel it with all of your senses. Delicious!

Now as you go back to your normal day, begin to notice when that delicious feeling returns. Maybe it’s the coffee aroma, the smile from your barista, the gorgeous sunrise, or all three that give you a little glimpse back to the moment of joy.  As you move through your day, in awe of the wonderful life you have, focus on gratitude.

“The root of joy is gratefulness.”  – David Steindl-Rast

Gratitude not only extends the deliciousness, but it rewires the brain by strengthening the joy centers and shrinking the fear centers. (The fear centers keep us safe from harm but are overdeveloped and overzealous in our modern world where we are bombarded with everything that is not going well everywhere all the time!)

This takes practice, and sometimes it is necessary to “fake it ‘til you make it.” If you really would love a sportscar or fabulous house, dwell in the way it feels to test drive the car or go to a parade of homes. No need to attach to the idea of a specific car or house; spend your energy in feeling the joy. Sometimes the thing you thought was important is no longer even necessary. Then you are free to move on to some new desire or aspiration.

The more we all work on bringing joy into our own day, the more we have to share and the more seeds we plant for others to do the same.

“Scatter joy!” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Just wait until we all start blooming this spring! It’s going to be AWESOME!

Dr. Jodi Ritsch MD, is available for mindful change life coaching at The Center in Eau Claire ( or family medicine appointments at The Joyful Doc Clinic in Menomonie (