Monday, August 28, 2017

Yoga Classes

The first set of yoga classes are less than 2 weeks away. I’m getting super excited! I’ve had a ton of questions about these classes from clients. I wanted to share some more information to help you decide if you think that what we’ll be doing is for you. Please don’t let fear of the unknown keep you away. These are going to be wonderful interactive classes to assist you in self-care. 

Why yoga?

Has a doctor told you recently to try some yoga to help with the physical aches and pains of life? Have you been reading the latest studies on the benefits of yoga in your health and wellbeing and have felt that maybe it's something worth trying? 

But have you hesitated because you thought that you're not flexible enough to do yoga from what you've seen in magazines, the movies, or YouTube videos? Or that you can't put your foot behind your head so you’re not qualified? Or have you thought that maybe yoga interferes with your religious beliefs? Or maybe you think that only young and skinny people do yoga? Or maybe that you don't want to ever be seen in public in yoga pants? 

Everything in that last paragraph comes from a place of fear in us. It's where society has drawn a box around something, and we're too fearful to test the boundaries for ourselves. Yoga can help with that - erasing the box!  

Yoga is nothing more than mindful contemplation and movement. It's a tool to aid you in removing judgment of self and in others. It helps nurture the mind, body, and spirit. There is no age limit on that, nor is there a body type requirement! When I was about 5, I could put my foot behind my head. Multiply time by 10, and now I barely get it a foot in front of my face! So, no, you don’t have to be able to put your foot behind your head. Yoga is not a religion, but if you want to pair your intention with your religious beliefs, you're more than welcome to do that. You will not be required to say a prayer to a Buddhist god or do a pose with a Hindu god in mind or bow in respect to some religious concept. I actually have one client that says “Amen” at the end of her practice when I say “Namaste”. That’s perfectly acceptable and appropriate for both of us. And yoga pants? Well, you don’t have to wear them! Simply wear clothing that you can move in comfortably with no restrictions in your range of motion. And besides, when you bring your true intentions to class of self-healing, you’ll forget all about what clothes you have on in addition to what anyone else is wearing! 

Foundations Class

As a massage therapist for the past 13 years, I've been giving yoga homework to my clients on a regular basis. The benefits I bring to teaching yoga is the great understanding I have of the muscles and joints of the body through massage and how the chaos of life impacts us. I plan to incorporate both my massage experience and yoga training into my classes to make them more interactive in combatting the body aches and pains.  

Our foundations yoga classes will guide you on the origins of yoga, the basics of breathing, meditation, and movements of yoga, and most importantly how yoga can help you. These classes will focus on my interpretation of what yoga means to me. And my hope is that when you finish the final class in the series, you'll have your own unique definition of what yoga is to you. My intention in teaching this series is for you to be able to lead your own practice at home, walk into a yoga class anywhere taught by anyone and leave staying true to your own definition of yoga, and/or be able to watch a video of yoga and follow it with your own yoga heart in mind. 

Yoga Class

Our regular yoga classes will be a continuation of the journey of exploring your definition of yoga. It is ever evolving, just like you as an individual. In September, we'll be doing a Yang series - classes that will focus on areas on the back side of the body. We'll explore the head and neck area, shoulder and mid back area, lower back area, and finally the hip and leg area of the body. Our back side is probably the most used, but the least cared for part of our body. We simply can't reach it in most cases. These classes will teach you self-care techniques using props, stretches, and postures to help you gain access to places you once thought you couldn't reach. 

How to get started

I hope you will consider joining us in this yoga journey. If you want to hold your spot in one of our foundations classes, please send a check to MAMAW 127 Rawley Avenue MA NC 27030 for $60. For the yoga classes, if you plan to attend, please just let us know. You can pay the first night for the whole month of September ($60 - $15 per class) if you'd like or you can come to whichever class suits you for $20 per class. 

Where is this journey all going

My plan is to run a regular foundations class series each month. I hope to offer a couple different day and time slots to meet client schedules. The yoga classes will expand and morph in shape based on client demand. Yoga comes in many shapes and sizes. I hope to offer a Yin series in October to focus on the front side of the body. In addition, I plan to offer classes for the parent and baby, parent and toddler, and prenatal yoga needs. There are a dozen types of classes I can offer based on client demand. Finally, there is always the option of private individual sessions. Some people just aren’t comfortable in a class setting. If that’s you, let me know ASAP! I will definitely be catering to everyone’s needs just like I did with massage. There is also the possibility of having different yoga instructors teach at MAMAW. Just like my belief that getting massage from different therapists is a must for a body, I also believe learning the unique definition another teacher holds has great value. Our perspectives are formed by our exposures. And I know I don’t hold any special position in my yoga practice that another instructor can't provide. Variety is key in guiding you to your best self!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Phases of our Journey

When I look back on the many roads (both paved and dirt), pathways, and barely recognizable animal trails I’ve traversed in my life, I try to be grateful for each. There are times when I can see the clear line between point A and B. There are many more times when the line is very fuzzy and has taken numerous crooks and turns. In the journey to my own wellness, I try to keep in mind that I didn’t get to where I am today overnight, and that the journey is far from over.

I’m as guilty as the next person in thinking that when I conquer the current phase I’m in, I’m home free. I’ve done this over and over and OVER! I guess it’s just human nature. The good news is that I have gotten a little smarter and when I get to fretting over the current phase, I do have the ability to stop, breathe, and come to the realizations of that first paragraph.

I’m a passionate person. I’m a 150% full steam ahead person. I’m my worst critic. I have expectations of my own perfection. I have expectations of others’ perfection. Too many times these traits of my personality have left me frustrated, dissatisfied, and…. stuck!

From my type A+ a gazillion personality days to my ever reaching for type A- days, I do see progress in myself. Well, that is when I’m closer to the type A- days. It’s the days when I wander back over into the type A+ territory that do me in.

In starting this new business venture, I’ve found myself in that territory too much. It’s a never ending game of balance. “Stoic professionalism” on one end to "bitter resentment" on the other. "Full steam ahead" to “crawl under a rock”.  I am a person ruled by my emotions, so this roller coaster between the two can be exhausting. And now that I’m more aware and present in my mind, body, and soul, the battle between my good angel and my bad angel can leave me spent and exhausted.

As I sat reviewing this past week, the urge to write all of the emotions churning through my spirit hit me. I haven’t written in a long while. I’ve used the excuse that I’ve been too busy to take the time. Writing is one of my outlets. Today I’m choosing to let it out versus keep it contained any longer. I know I’ll feel better when it’s out and will be far healthier!

My hope is that by sharing the mental acrobatics that toss and turn through my being it may help others that might be experiencing the same things. That when you’re sitting alone with your many thoughts thinking that you’ve completely lost your mind and all is lost, that you’ll know you’re not alone. That this is life. This is normal. This is human... even for a massage therapist and yoga instructor. 

I think some people (including myself) feel that folks in this profession have this zen state of life and can never process our humanity. I don't know that it's that we can't process it exactly, but more that we have somehow magically worked out all of our human condition-ness and don't have these sorts of feelings. Let me be the first to tell you how untrue that is.

It is a constant struggle. I often tell folks that I don't practice what I preach 24/7. It's not that I purposefully or even knowingly break the zen code. It just happens. Just as it happens in every single person in the world. The sooner we accept our own humanity, the sooner we’ll be able to be calm and just breathe.

Now I’m going to set my drama queen self aside and get back to living this imperfect, but most enjoyable life!


~ Machelle

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Reiki - The Healing Touch

Once it is realized that our body is a healing machine, the realization that everything which lives and breathes has the power to heal becomes known.  When a finger is cut or a broken bone occurs, there is a natural process that takes place inside our body.  The cut will begin to become shallow, and create a protective barrier called a scab and the finger may be splinted for the components within the body to begin their work in bringing the bone back together.  Our bodies were born with these very healing features already innate within our DNA.  Not only are we a physical being however, we are created with emotions and a spirit.  In the same way that the body naturally has the power to heal itself physically, so do the emotional body, and the spiritual self.  By design we are created part of the universe; to work in and with the elements to create wholeness.  Now the question is, where does this power come from and how can we harness it?

I am reveled by the intuitive nature that we each possess to tap in and have knowingness to our own pain, be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Through the guidance of Creator our being will show us where that pain originated and how it is manifesting.   A healing practitioner becomes a vessel for the Spirit in guiding to an area in or around the body that needs healing.   The healing does not come from the practitioner, it is an energy that exists in all things, Creator’s breath of life.

What is Reiki?
Reiki (Ray-key) is made up of two Japanese words: 
  • Rei - meaning universal, spiritual or free flowing, God
  • Ki - meaning life force energy, breath of life

Reiki is a God’s breath of life.
This energy is being discovered and better understood in the modern science world through the study of quantum physics.  Science is beginning to recognize the subatomic energy which exists in all matter.  Throughout history various cultures and ancient civilizations have shared their understanding of this energy, including Ch'i (Chinese), Prana (Asian Indian), Barraka (Islamic countries), Ruach (Hebrews), Mana (Polynesians) and Orenda (Iroquois Native Americans), to name but a few!

What Can Reiki Do?
  •          Provide relaxation, increase confidence, offer peace and joy
  •          Remove tension, negative thoughts and feelings
  •          Create balance and focus
  •       Assist in developing self –love, and love for others
  •       Encourage accountability for personal goals an interests
  •       Enhance any other treatment or medication without interfering with other treatments 
  •        Increase spiritual awareness
  •        Accelerate the natural healing process

What is Reiki used for?
Reiki is a non-invasive healing modality administered by the laying on of hands.  Reiki increases energy, reduces pain, and produces deep relaxation aiding in individual growth and healing.    A Reiki practitioner becomes a vessel for the healing to move through.  The intention of the practitioner is to correct any imbalances that are in the body, be it physical, emotion/mental, and or spiritual. Because the practitioner merely acts as a vessel for the energy, he or she also benefits from the Reiki energy as it passes through them.

Reiki accelerates the process of natural healing that our bodies are created with; encouraging healing in not only the physical, but the emotional body, and the spiritual self.   Reiki can work with orthodox medicine to heal holistically.

What will happen during my Reiki Session?

Before a session the practitioner will offer water to the client in order to encourage the cellular body to prepare for the session.  Treatment will be discussed for the current session as well as reviewing treatment from a previous session if applicable.  Both the client and recipient remain clothed, the client will be asked to remove shoes.  Any tight fitting clothing or large metal accessories may be asked to be removed as well, so not to distract from the session.  The client will lie on a treatment table or sit in a chair.  A full session can last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.  While the effects of the shorter session may not be as long lasting as a full session, remarkable results can be obtained even in this short time.  The treatment room will have relaxing music and aromatic fragrances to create a peaceful environment.  These are not essential to the treatment and can be removed if requested. Therapy is administered by placing hands on, or slightly above parts of the body that correspond with the major energy centers (Crown, Brow, Throat, Heart, Solar Plexus, Navel and Root).  The hands are left in each position for 2 to 5 minutes.  After the session is complete client will have the opportunity to share the experience and discuss with practitioner if desired. 

~ Christin Ardito

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Nourishing the future - Health and Nutrition Tips through the Trimesters

Scientists are increasingly discovering that a mother’s health and nutrition during preconception and
pregnancy have a profound effect on the health of the infant and that patterns of disease in adulthood can be traced to infant nutrition.
-Patrick Holford, The New Optimum Nutrition Bible

The lifestyle choices you and your partner make before and during pregnancy have a powerful influence on the lifelong health and well being of your child. Healthy lifestyle choices begin at least six months prior to pregnancy and include whole foods nutrition, adequate hydration, regular exercise, stress management, quality sleep and surroundings that encourage good health physically,
socially and emotionally. Avoiding harmful chemicals in cigarettes, household products and health and beauty aids is also an important part of protecting your baby’s health (7). As your pregnancy progresses, your nutrition and exercise choices will need to be adjusted to the increased size and demands for energy of your growing baby. Additionally, you may require more rest and extra help from family or friends with daily tasks and chores.

During the first trimester of pregnancy your body undergoes a flurry of hormonal changes as it prepares to host the embryo. ‘Morning sickness’, while considered a normal symptom of early pregnancy may be an indication of nutrient imbalance. Vitamin B6 and vitamins K and C taken as nutritional supplements have been used effectively for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (5) and can also be found in spinach and other dark, leafy green vegetables, bell peppers, cauliflower and broccoli. Some women find ginger, in food and supplement form, to be useful and eating small, frequent meals throughout the day may help alleviate symptoms.

It is also during the first trimester and into the second that the essential structures of your baby’s major organs and systems develop (3). Optimal nutrition is extremely important to support the growth and development of these tissues so as to avoid physical malformations, defects or functional deficiencies. Of particular importance during pregnancy are essential fats and protein and it is crucial that adequate, high-quality calories are consumed. Fat intake during pregnancy should make up 20 to 35% of total calories and protein needs increase by about one-third, to at least 70g per day (3). The
essential fatty acid known as DHA is important to the development of the brain, which is the center of the nervous system, and to tissues of the eye as are cholesterol and arachadonic acid. Fat is also necessary for the absorption and utilization of the fat-soluble vitamins. DHA and vitamins A and D and choline, another brain nutrient, can be found in a combination of quality cod liver oil, free-range eggs and ‘clean’ fish (see the Resources section). Plant-based sources of healthy fats are raw nuts and seeds, coconut and olive oils. High-quality protein can be found in wild-caught cod and salmon, free-range eggs and chicken, grass-fed beef, wild venison or turkey, raw or whole, organic dairy
products (purchased from a reputable source). Good plant sources of protein include spinach, asparagus and Swiss chard. Regular consumption of soy products is not recommended during pregnancy due to potential hormone influence on the developing fetus. If soy products are consumed on occasion look for non-GMO or fermented products.

Folate, iron, magnesium and calcium are also vital to a healthy pregnancy and fetal development. Folate, also sometimes referred to as folic acid, is generally recommended to be a part of your daily
nutrition habits before you become pregnant and may be depleted if you have been using hormonal contraception. Most of these nutrients are present in the recommendations for whole-fat dairy and dark green vegetables previously mentioned, though other food sources do exist.

During the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, you may experience symptoms of heartburn or constipation. Chewing your food thoroughly, avoiding caffeine and other beverages that contain
sugar and artificial sweeteners and consuming adequate fiber in your diet will aid in optimal digestion. Fibrous foods include fresh or soft cooked vegetables, berries, some beans and whole (pre-soaked) oats. Smaller, frequent meals can also help. Green leafy vegetables provide magnesium, which is useful in preventing and resolving constipation. Throughout pregnancy your beverage of choice should be water2, striving for 8 -10 eight-ounce glasses per day. Avoid drinking with
meals to ensure adequate acid production for optimal digestion.

Other guidelines for a healthy lifestyle for you and your baby:
• Strive for 30-minutes or more of exercise of moderate intensity most days of the week. Consult with your physician before beginning or continuing any exercise program (6).
• Minimize stress and get adequate rest (4). If you aren’t sleeping well or are experiencing emotional difficulties, talk to your partner, a trusted family member or to your health care provider for guidance.
• Evaluate everyday products like shampoos, lotions and make-up, as well as household products and medications for potential toxins that may create unnecessary risk to your family’s health.

The health and success of your child begins before you become pregnant and extends for their lifetime. Making health supportive habits a part of your lifestyle and continuing them as your child grows will offer them the best opportunity for a long and healthy life.

~ Yvette Ladd, Wellness Pursuits, May 2014 - Pregnancy Nutrition

Resources: - review their consumer guides - a blog for women - a source for non-GMO food choices - a guide for ‘clean’ fish health-topics/diet-for-pregnant-and-nursingmothers/-nutrition recommendations during pregnancy - a source for nutrients in food

1. Academy of nutrition and dietetics. (2013, January). Your Food and Nutrition Source It's About Eating Right. Retrieved May 14, 2014, from Eat Right:
2. Baby Center, LLC. (2014, April). Retrieved May 14, 2014, from Baby Center:
3. Beerman, M. M. (2011). Life Cycle Nutrition. In M. M. Beerman, Nutritional Sciences From Fundamentals to Food (p. 624). Belmont, CA: Wadswoth Cengage Learning.
4. Metz, G. A., & Zucchi, F. C. (2013, February 22). Maternal stress induces epigenetic signatures of ps... [PLoS One. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI. Retrieved May Yvette Ladd, Wellness Pursuits, May 2014 – Pregnancy Nutrition 5 14, 2014, from
5. Michael Murray, N. a. (1998). Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, 2nd edition. Rocklin, CA, 95677: Prima Publishing.
6. WebMD. (2012, August 15). Health and Pregnancy. Retrieved May 14, 2014, from
7. Zissu, A. (2013, October 29). Retrieved May 12 2014, from Healthy Child Healthy World:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What is MAMAW??

I have had a lot of questions regarding exactly what we're doing at Mount Airy Massage & Wellness. First, let me explain the premise of why MAMAW formed. As an ex-corporate professional, I realized the importance of helping others with God given talents find a way to leave the jobs they appreciate, but that is in some way hindering them from fulfilling their true purpose in life. Having traveled that road, I know the fears and uncertainties associated with it. MAMAW is the platform for these healers to congregate, grow, and prosper. It is a nurturing setting designed to let these folks ease into their calling. And with that as the foundation, the business that is created provides that same comfortable and supportive environment for our clients.

In developing the business plan, I looked to my clients to determine what they were needing as it related to their wellness. I've seen hundreds of people with various conditions in my 10  plus years of doing massage. I hear over and over the desire to be well, but they lack support in that pursuit. They're told to contact a physician early to avoid missing a diagnosis, but when they make an appointment to address a problem they're having they get: 1) very little interaction with the doctor, 2) made to feel like they're a hypochondriac, and/or 3) told that tests do not show anything, so therefore nothing is really be wrong with them. There is never any consideration of the fact that they do not FEEL well. Most are given at least one prescription to a medicine that usually doesn't address the original discomfort while at the same time, causes at least 2 or 3 other issues.

In my own aging process, I've experienced many of these same interactions with the western medicine community. I'm not trying to imply that there aren't good doctors out there that help people. I'm simply stating that the large majority of the population has health issues that they cannot get resolved. This is leaving them frustrated which only adds to the discomfort that they are already experiencing.

At MAMAW, we are first and foremost focused on listening to our clients. Using our training in various eastern culture medicinal practices, we can start the process of identifying the root of the issues they are experiencing versus simply addressing the symptoms. We operate on the principle that the body wants to be well.

There are 12 systems that work closely together to provide that health. Each has its own variance level between high and low. When they function within that variance, we achieve homeostasis - internal stability. When any one of these systems comes out of its allowable variance, illness begins that in turn is multiplied by the fact that the systems are so closely linked. A spiral effect takes root very quickly and the body retaliates.

Eastern medicine is based on the fact that everything is made of energy. That energy flows naturally in a specific pattern. In the human body, our energy follows pathways throughout our system. There is not a palpable organ or structure for this energy. These pathways can become blocked and thus sickness and disease take root. If these blockages are not removed, that disease grows. The various practices to remove and/or minimize these blockages are what MAMAW is exploring.

While massage is a manual manipulation of palpable tissue, it is also an exchange of energy between practitioner and client. Yoga helps clients recognize the energy in their body and discover how their movement and breathing best influences their energy flow. Reiki therapy is the hands on (without manipulation like massage) practice of removing blockages in our energy pathways with the client fully clothed. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to remove blockages and encourage energy flow. We are also exploring Life Coaching and Personal Training. We are still in search of an Acupuncturist and any other practitioners that provide natural and holistic healing techniques.

We are carrying various retail items that are used in conjunction with our service offerings. Some of our items come from nature and are a beautiful reminder of the external energy around us. We have jewelry that is made of elements that have healing qualities. We have essential oils, vitamins, and supplements to assist your system in finding the right balance. We have a great yoga starter kit that will let you focus on the basics. Finally, we're carrying rice packs for hot and cold therapy for muscle tension and joint pain.

Bottom line, our primary goal is to educate people. Everything else is to provide them the tools they need to reach their wellness goals. If you have any further questions that I may not have answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us at 336.719.1633 or via email at We look forward to sharing this journey with you!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Yoga Therapy

"All life, all history happens in the body."
Sidalee Walker in Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells

Today is a day off from training in the Phoenix RisingYoga therapy. I have been encouraged to 'do nothing Phoenix Rising', to take a short break from the intensity of the work, physically, emotionally and mentally. As I sat this morning reading the 'Ya-Ya' book, I took the quote above as affirmation of  the healing potential in this method of therapy.

Michael Lee is the founder of the Phoenix Rising program. In his book A Bridge from Body to Soul he states that 'our therapies must teach us to know and trust ourselves.' He also tells us that 'freeing blocked energy and allowing its expression creates a deep connection to the soul.'

Our bodies offer wisdom and getting in touch with that wisdom provides us opportunity to grow, to rise up and meet life as it is, where it is. We can use our experiences in life -pain, joy, longing- to connect to our divinity - our highest, most precious and true selves. We can do this by feeling, noticing, exploring and being inquisitive about our breath, body and mind.

As a Yoga Therapist, my service is to offer unbiased presence to your experience. With movement and dialogue you are invited to be with what is, just as you are, whole in body, mind and Spirit.

In the Ya-Ya book, Vivi, Sidalee's mother says "Don't hide your light under a bushel." In other words, YOU are a light that inspires and illuminates the life and lives around you. Fan the ember, choose how you want to be. Make a choice to live consciously.

In the spirit of Being Well~


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Personal Training at MAMAW

Hiring a personal trainer isn't something to go into lightly. Paying for their focused attention can be costly and you have to work around their schedule. But if you're looking for help in setting personal physical fitness goals and having someone track your success, seeking the help of a personal trainer is right down your alley. It's also great to have someone there to cheer you on. Their expertise in working with you to really understand your body, identify reasonable goals, and create a work out designed to achieve those goals are all vital components to their value.

At MAMAW, Hannah Puckett is our resident personal trainer. She can utilize her training in PiYo (Pilates/Yoga) to target your core strength and abdominals, hand weights can be used to tone the muscles in the arms, shoulders, and back, and resistance/body weight training can be used to tone the muscles in the lower body and legs. She can also do cardio activities with you outside in the community.

One of the main benefits of training with Hannah at MAMAW is that you're not in the competitive, loud environment of a gym. She will work with you one on one in a safe, relaxed, and supportive environment. You won't build any negative feelings while doing your workout such as being on display or competing with the person next to you.

Another benefit is having the flexibility of training with a friend. We have space for small groups to train together. We don't offer classes per se, but if a group of people want to do a class together, Hannah can work with you to schedule that.

Lastly, having access to the other therapists at MAMAW provides enormous benefit. Your fitness and wellness is not limited to physicality. At MAMAW we have massage therapy, yoga therapy, aromatherapy, life coaching, and Reiki therapy at your disposal. You can give our therapists permission to discuss your case and work toward an integrative solution for your wellness.

Now that you have all of that information, what are you waiting for?! Give us a call today to get started on your road to wellness with Hannah at MAMAW!