Chia Seeds ... Who knew?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Natural High! Why that high five feels so good.

A high five hands on yours, a hug from a family member…we have recognized the therapeutic healing power associated with feel and touch for a long time now. Yet research has shown that even small expressions, little touches, as well as physical contact between individuals, leads to surprisingly good behavioral adjustments.

In one study conducted with Brigham Young University, research workers trained partners to keep them self updated on one another’s feeling by means of nonsexual touch of the neck, shoulders as well as hands. They discovered that couples which practiced this kind of contact acquired higher levels of oxytocin, the hormone which boosts the sensation regarding binding as well as wellbeing, and resulting in a lowered level of apha ayylase, a tension signal stress indicator, than partners who had not receive the instructive training.

This past year the New York Times reported that students who obtained any supportive touch such as a mild pat on the shoulder from a teacher have been about twice as prone to volunteer in class as those who did not…and that the same type touch from a physician made patients think that their physician's check-up had lasted twice as long as those that had not received the physical contact.

And also consider the high five or closed fists bumps? In a study from University of California-Berkley scientists discovered that National Basketball Association teams whose players had good positive tactile contact performed far greater than teams that did not.
These studies concluded that physical contact appeared to encourage cooperation…ease stress…and create a cozy as well as trusting environment.

So please, be sure to…hug your family members often…give your young ones all the affectionate physical contact you can…and don’t hesitate to interact with nonfamily members by simply placing your hand on their’s. That's effective medication.

Living the Therapeutic Touch: Healing as a Lifestyle  instructional


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How to Be a Better Kisser

Cherie Byrd

Kissing is more than a prelude to intimacy -- it is a healing act. A
soulful kiss triggers endorphins and melts away tension... brings us back into the moment... restores energy... cultivates profound closeness... and contributes to a fulfilling, loving relationship.

Most people kiss with only a fraction of their awareness. They deliver quick, routine pecks that send the message This is all the time I have for you right now, or engage in longer kisses while their minds are elsewhere, such as wondering whether the kiss will lead to lovemaking.

Unfortunately, we lack good role models for kissing. On TV and in the movies, kissing usually is depicted as mashing lips together roughly. Mashing, puckering up and the quick smooch all suggest that a person has predetermined how the kiss is going to be, rather than letting the kiss evolve through the back-and-forth interplay between partners.

The following exercises can help anyone become a better kisser -- and are fun to do...


Surprise your partner with a slow, luxuriant kiss. Place your hands on his/her face, and gently turn it toward you. Look into his eyes and take two deep breaths -- as though you are drinking in the essence of your partner. Continue to look into each other’s eyes as you draw his face closer. Feel your connection to each other throughout your whole body. Don’t kiss yet -- instead, revel in your partner’s nearness and enjoy the tease and the hunger that precede the actual kiss. Finally, gently embrace your partner’s lips by wrapping both your lips around one of his. Keep breathing as you let your whole body sense the tenderness between you.


We spend a great deal of time thinking and planning and not enough time sensing and experiencing. To be better kissers and truly enjoy kissing, we need to reconnect with our bodies.

Practice becoming aware of physical sensations during everyday actions. When you walk, feel the sensation of your foot striking and coming off the pavement and the temperature of the air on your face. When cooking, let yourself fully appreciate the aroma and visual splendor of the food you are preparing. In the shower, feel the pulse and heat of the water on your skin.

Choose a favorite variety of chocolate, and eat it as slowly as possible. First, gaze at it, appreciating its shape and color. Place it in your mouth. Before biting down, notice how it feels against your tongue. As you slowly consume it, savor the changes in texture and flavor.

Exchange foot massages with your partner, taking time to enjoy the relaxation and stimulation that arise from the sensitive nerve endings in the feet.

When you kiss, extend your sensual awareness to your partner as you delight in stroking his face and hair and inhaling his scent.


Indulge in pillow talk. Before or after making love, or any time you are cuddling, share with your partner something he/she did that made you feel good. Example: "When you touched me this morning, I felt alive, and I kept feeling your touch all day long."

Make noise. When you are kissing, notice any urge to sigh, murmur or even moan. Give in to the urge to express your feelings in sound.


Match your partner’s breathing. You can do this without telling the other person -- just pay attention to the pace of your partner’s breath, and breathe in time with it. This creates a deep sense of connection. The two of you also can do this together, consciously, deciding who will match whom. For most couples, it is a good idea for the man to match the woman’s breathing first. Many women are used to attuning themselves to others, and they feel deeply appreciated when a partner attunes to them.

Don’t feel that you have to be serious doing this exercise. If you find yourselves giggling, that’s even better. Laughter is a powerful connecting force.

Put on some tango or other Latin music, embrace each other and dance around the room as you kiss. Feel the rhythm of the music throughout your body. Improvise with your lips as you let the music inspire you.

Take turns offering and receiving. Have one partner be the "lead kisser" for five minutes, then reverse roles for five minutes. After that, let spontaneity take over as each of you leads and responds.


It’s never too early or too late to begin a conversation about what you prefer in a kiss. Do you like moisture? How much? Yes, a little, not so I have to wipe off my face, and never in my ear. Oh, and no loud smacking kisses anywhere near my ears, please. Share feedback about what you and your partner most enjoy. Build on this, and keep adding to your repertoire for as long as you two shall kiss.

A word about tongues: As kissing continues, use your lips and tongue to invite your beloved’s tongue to come and play. Tongues become something of a third lip, adding dimension and complexity to the kiss. Kisses, like your breath, your touch and your connection, become more fully and deeply engaged as you share your energy back and forth. The conversation of tongues becomes more expressive -- teeth begin to nibble and grab, sucking of lip or tongue may ensue and a pause of lip-locked stillness can open the moment into a rush of pure connection, engendering passion and floods of hormones.

For a professional advice on how to be the best kisser in town…
Seal It with a Kiss: Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for Delivering the Knockout Kiss 

Cherie Byrd, MA, is a holistic psychotherapist based in Seattle, who has been practicing and teaching the art and energy of intimacy for more than 35 years. She opened the Kissing School in Seattle in 1998.