Women and Heart Disease
By Nancy Weshkoff
February is Heart Health Month and the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Movement. I applaud the American Heart Association for their work in bringing to light this very important issue.
Here are some key factors about heart disease in women that you need to know:
– Did you know that heart disease is the NUMBER ONE killer of women in the United States?
– Did you know that if you stacked up ALL cancer-related deaths for women together (breast, lung, ovarian, liver, skin cancer, etc), that all of these cancer-related deaths together would still be number two behind heart disease?
– Did you know that 1 in 3 women in the United States will die every year from heart disease? If you are sitting in a group of women, look to your right and to your left. One of you will die from heart disease. And of this number, did you know that more than 1,800 of these women who die from heart disease will live here on Long Island in New York?
– Did you know that you can help PREVENT becoming one of these very sad statistics by proactively taking steps to lower your risk?
While there are some things that you cannot change, such as your family history of heart disease, there are several things that doctors all agree that you CAN do to lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. These include:
– Engage in moderate exercise on a regular basis. Sitting on a couch and not moving is bad for you in so many ways. Your body needs to move. Yoga is extremely helpful in helping you with your exercise goals. The postures in a yoga class will build strength and flexibility, and at the same time, the deep breathing techniques (pranayama) used in a yoga class increase the flow of blood to your heart and your organs.
– Reduce your stress levels: We all face stress. How we deal with stress is key. Being in a “fight or flight” mode, which is how our body reacts when our stress levels are high, is putting a huge strain on your body functions – including your heart. Meditation is a wonderful tool to help you lower your blood pressure and stress levels. Yoga classes also help you reduce your stress. The yoga and meditation classes at Moonflower Yoga can get you on the path to accomplishing your stress-reduction goals. We have a fabulous “Stress Buster” series of classes on Tuesday evenings at 730 PM. Or try the popular “Stretch and Meditate 101” class on Thursdays at 5 PM, where you gently stretch and begin to develop a meditation practice. Try one of these classes or the other great yoga classes taught by our yoga teachers on the Moonflower Yoga schedule.
– Learn to be “in the present moment”. We often worry unnecessarily about things from our past that we cannot change or things in the future that MIGHT happen but haven’t happened yet and may never happen. In our classes and workshops at Moonflower Yoga, we teach you ways to be more in the present moment and let go of unnecessary worries bringing you more peace and calm.
– Lower your blood pressure: Moving more, decreasing your stress levels, and using tools such as meditation and yoga mentioned above can all help you with this. How about learning something new? Spending some time reading a great book or engaging in a fun activity can help lower your stress levels. We have several fun “Clubs” at Moonflower Yoga including the Moonflower Yoga Book Club, the Moonflower Yoga Needle Arts Group where you learn to crochet or knit (very meditative!), the Moonflower Yoga Mah Jongg Group, and the new Women’s Gathering Group where women meet to discuss topics relevant to women. There are also fun workshops on the Moonflower Yoga schedule where you can have fun painting, or doing a craft, or just learning something new. These types of interesting and meditative activities can help you on the path of stress reduction and lowering your blood pressure.
– Try Reiki: Reiki is being offered now by leading medical institutions as an alternative therapy. Reiki is a wonderful, hands-on tool that you can learn to reduce blocked energy and send healing energy to yourself. Moonflower Yoga offers Reiki Healing Circles where you can discover Reiki, as well as training to be a Reiki practitioner. Click on the “Reiki” tab on the moonfloweryoga.com website for further info.
As someone who has a history of heart disease in my family, I take heart disease very seriously. My stress levels and blood pressure were very high – all red flags for being on the path to a heart attack or stroke. Through yoga, meditation, learning to be more in the present moment, and spending time in engaging activities such as reading and needle arts, I have been able to lower my blood pressure to normal. You, too, can lower your risk. We hope to see you soon at a great yoga class, meditation, or workshop at Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore in Nassau County, Long Island, where we can help you reduce your risk of heart disease as well. We welcome people from all over the area including Wantagh, Merrick, East Meadow, Seaford, Massapequa and Freeport. Let’s lower these frightening heart-disease numbers for women!
WHAT IS REIKI?
By Nancy Weshkoff
Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore, Long Island (New York) offers Reiki training as well as Reiki Healing Circles. Before opening Moonflower Yoga over 5 years ago, I was not familiar with Reiki. Since then, I have taken the path to learn Reiki and practice Reiki, and am now a Reiki Master sharing Reiki with many others. I have personally watched Reiki help many people feel better.
You may have heard about Reiki but you don’t know what it is. Reiki is a wonderful way to de-stress and help you relax. Reducing your stress can lead to better health including lowering your blood pressure. High blood pressure contributes to heart disease, the number one killer of women in the United States. Practicing Reiki can help you relax and feel better. It is being offered as an alternative therapy in many leading medical institutions. Reiki is available to anyone to learn. Below are some of the frequently asked questions about Reiki that we hear at the Moonflower Yoga studio.
What is Reiki?
Reiki, founded by Mikao Usui, is a Japanese technique for relaxation and stress reduction. It is pronounced “Ray” “Key”. Reiki is being used by leading medical institutions, including major cancer treatment centers, as an alternative therapy.
Reiki works with universal life force energy – the energy in and around all living things. When this energy is blocked, it causes an imbalance often leading to discomfort or disease. When the energy is flowing more smoothly, we often feel better.
Here is some basic information on Reiki:
- Reiki allows loving, healing energy to flow through you.
- Reiki is NOT a religion. No specific religious beliefs are necessary.
- Reiki is spiritual and allows you to have a deeper connection to yourself.
- Reiki is open to all who would like to explore this beautiful, healing energy.
What are some of the benefits of Reiki?
- Reiki can reduce your stress levels. Stress is a leading contributor to many diseases including heart disease and high blood pressure. Reducing your stress improves your health.
- Reiki has helped relieve muscle tension and pain by releasing blocked energy.
- Reiki can provide better sleep at night, and it is important to have adequate sleep to allow your body and mind to function properly.
- There are no dangerous side effects to having a Reiki treatment.
- Reiki can be used to help infants as well as seniors.
- Reiki can be used on pets. Dogs and cats love Reiki treatments!
- Reiki can complement other treatments you receive. Leading cancer institutions offer Reiki as an alternative therapy in addition to radiation and chemotherapy.
- Reiki is easy to learn and it is self-healing.
How does Reiki work?
Reiki works by having universal life force energy flow from the person providing the treatment to the person receiving the treatment. It Is done by having the Reiki practitioner gently lay their hands on the person receiving the treatment. The person receiving the treatment can be seated in a chair or reclining. Unlike other treatments, because universal life force energy is flowing, both the person receiving the treatment and the person providing the treatment both receive healing during a treatment, and the practitioner’s energy is not depleted. It is self-healing. A session usually begins at the top of the head (where stress is often accumulated) and from there the Reiki practitioner can lay their hands gently (as needed) on the shoulders, arms, heart, abdomen, knees, and feet.
How is Reiki learned?
Reiki is taught by a person who has been trained as a Reiki Master Teacher who provides you with attunements at each level. There are 3 levels of Reiki:
- Reiki Level One where you learn basic Reiki healing treatments for yourself and are shown techniques for helping others. You receive the first 4 attunements.
- Reiki Level Two where you further learn how to work on others and are introduced to Reiki symbols which enhance your Reiki treatment. You receive 2 additional attunements.
- Reiki Level Three (Master Practitioner) in which additional symbols are learned and where you receive the final 4 Reiki attunements.
Moonflower Yoga offers Reiki training on all 3 levels of Reiki. Each training session also includes a training manual with illustrations so that you can practice Reiki at home. See below for our next available Reiki training session or Reiki Healing Circle.
What is a Reiki Healing Circle?
A Reiki Healing Circle is a wonderful way to be introduced to Reiki. NO prior Reiki experience is necessary, and it is open to all! In a Reiki Healing Circle, one person in the center of the circle receives a Reiki treatment from the others around the circle. The person in the center is often reclining on a comfortable massage table, fully clothed. The other participants will gently place their hands on the recipient on either the top of the head, shoulders, abdomen, knees, or feet. For those with Reiki experience, they can apply what they have learned in their Reiki training sessions to help the person receive a lovely treatment. For those with no Reiki experience, we will show you how to do some basic positions. Each person has an opportunity to move to the center of the circle and receive a relaxing Reiki treatment.
How can I get more information?
You will see additional information on the Reiki tab on the moonfloweryoga.com website.
I hope you will join us for a relaxing Reiki Healing Circle or take the path to become a Reiki practitioner in our Reiki training sessions at Moonflower Yoga. If you are in the Nassau County area of Bellmore, Wantagh, Merrick, East Meadow, Seaford, Massapequa, Freeport or any area of Long Island, we would love to have you join us. Start your new year in a positive way by taking care of YOU and learning wonderful de-stressing tools from Reiki.