As the famous song goes, “These are a few of my favorite things.”
I decided to create this page in response to the many queries I receive for recommendations. The following items are those that I use and love – I offer them here that you may decide for yourself if they might be a good fit for you.
If you follow the links you will be taken directly to the web pages on which you can read more and purchase if you desire. Please note that in some instances I will receive a very small commission from the selling agent should you purchase through these links.
How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease – Michael Greger, M.D.
When I first saw the title of this book, I thought, “C’mon now. Everyone dies. And who wants to live forever anyway?” But, when I looked at the table of contents, I saw that what Dr. Greger was writing about was how not to die from the 15 leading causes of death in the United States. And that got my attention.
Greger is a highly educated physician and nutritionist, extremely qualified to speak on this topic. The book presents non-biased research findings on what foods best prevent diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, etc. Based on the increasingly acknowledged understanding that the primary determinant of our health and well-being is what we eat and how we live, he shares what foods can help us live healthier and happier lives.
I admit being rather jaded when it comes to doctors preaching eating models; they all seem to be selling something along with the information they share (vitamins, DNA profiles, courses). So, I jumped to the back of the book to the chapter on Supplements. Ah, here it is, I thought. Wrong. Greger is not selling vitamins or anything other than the book and a follow-up cookbook. He also runs the very popular NutritionFacts website where he daily posts useful information on eating a healthier diet. The information is shared freely; you don’t have to buy a membership, and he accepts no advertising or sponsorship.
I really love this book and attempt to follow his Daily Dozen food servings every day.
Put Your Best Feet Forward – Geraldine Villeneuve, NBCR
This is a book everyone could learn from, and it is particularly important for reflexologists to better understand one of the most common sources of chronic foot pain and how people can prevent and correct such issues. Written by a veteran reflexologist and the creator of the Structural Reflexology® program, Villeneuve has based her understanding of feet on the works and teachings of William Rundquist, OD, John Martin Hiss, OD and Simon Wikler, MD. I admit that I agree with Villeneuve’s conclusion that our foot (and other) problems began when we assumed the practice of wearing shoes.
Reflexognosy: A Shift in Paradigm – Christine Issel and Sandra B. Rogers
A book for qualified reflexologists interested in a suggested pathway to propel reflexology into a clinical discipline. Written by two visionaries and pioneers of the field, their work demands that you think; ask why; re-evaluate the role of feet in overall health, and envision a future for reflexology based on high recognized standards of inclusive education. It’s an eye-opening, mind-opening book.
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World – His Holiness the Dali Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Two spiritual giants. Five days. One timeless question: “How do we find joy in the face of inevitable suffering? ”
While reading this book, I felt like I was eavesdropping on two global heroes: Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The Archbishop has never claimed sainthood and the Dalai Lama considers himself a simple monk, and yet, together they have survived more than fifty years of exile, violence and oppression. Despite their hardships—or, as they would say, because of them—they are two of the most joyful people on the planet. In this unique and once-in-a-lifetime collaboration, they offer us the reflection of real lives filled with pain and turmoil in the midst of which they have been able to discover a level of peace, courage and joy to which we can all aspire. This book is a ‘keeper.’
The Five Elements – Dondi Dahlin
If you are one of my clients, you may recall a couple of questions on my Health History form about how you respond to stress and the words that generally describe you. Those questions help me to identify your primary element and how to best support your health.
The interpretation of the different vibrations of universal energy and the materials from which the world is made is thousands of years old. (The original model of acupuncture – Five Element Acupuncture – is based on this understanding.) The five elements -Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal – underlie all aspects of life, from nutrition and medicine to design, exercise and the arts. Each of us is governed by a primary element, and that element affects not only our physical health but also our relationships with the world and others. An interruption in the rhythmical flow of vital life force weakens and threatens the precious balance of life, setting the stage for disharmony and dis-ease at all levels. On the other end, to say a person leads her life as the typical Archetype of her element represents the most affirming context within which an individual can achieve self-expression.
I have studied the Five Elements with a number of teachers and through many books, and this book is one of my faves. Dondi Dahlin is the daughter of Donna Eden, renowned energy healer; she grew up with this awareness in her bones!
You can learn a lot about yourself from this delightful book and maybe even discover some things to improve the quality of your life.
Therapeutic Reflexology: A Step-by-Step Guide to Professional Competence – Paula Stone
This is a really good book for people wanting to practice reflexology professionally. In addition to 343 pages of content and 94 pages of useful Appendices, it comes with a DVD demonstrating reflexology techniques and self-care stretches and offers an online companion study guide. There is even separate online access for instructors – a move that clearly demonstrates the author’s intent for her labor of love to serve as a text for teaching organizations.
I am a firm believer that one must learn hands-on applications, such as reflexology, in a live classroom setting, where observation and feedback are available from a highly qualified and experienced practitioner/instructor. It is essential that a teacher both sees and feels a student’s work in order to guide a learner’s path to that of the skilled practitioner. That said, Therapeutic Reflexology serves as a wonderful adjunct to a classroom setting.
Why We Sleep – Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams – Matthew Walker, PhD
This is one of my two favorite non-fiction books from 2017 (the other is How Not To Die). I thought I knew the benefits of sleep until I read this one. Yowza!
Dr. Matthew is a leading sleep scientist, having devoted his entire adult career to the research and clinical practice of what goes on when we close our eyes at night. The content is fascinating and will add to your understanding and appreciation of the brain. Matthew is also a very good writer; I had no difficulty following his scientific findings; in fact, I had to remind myself to close the book each night and go to sleep!
You will come to understand that what the brain is up to when we sleep is as important as its responsibilities during our conscious hours. He explains why we sleep and dream, not just what happens when we sleep. I can’t recommend this book enough, especially to those who struggle with sleep.
Aromahead Institute School of Essential Oil Studies
Quality instruction on the clinical and cosmetic use of essential oils; weekend and full certification programs. Completely virtual. This is the school where I did most of my training in aromatherapy. Excellent instruction and high level of integrity.
This is the company I purchase most of my essential oils from. Why? Because I trust the quality of the oils and the integrity of the owner. AI imports over 50 high quality, organic, wild-crafted or unsprayed essential oils, direct from the distillers. They batch-test all oils and freely publish GC/MS test reports on their gorgeous website. Quick service and loads of formulas.
One of the most important self-care things you can do for your feet is to strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the plantar surface. Those are the muscles that begin and end on the sole of the feet. And the easiest way to do that is to pick up small balls with your toes. That action will cause the entire muscle base on the plantar surface to work, thus strengthening them and your arch.
Keep this bag of balls right by your sofa and every night you are just sitting around, place them on the floor at your feet, and pick each one up with both of your bare feet. Warning: if you have cats, you may have to fight for possession of these ‘toys’!
Although people always want to reach for heat when they ache or have a ‘boo-boo’, many times the more therapeutic approach is cold. Cold penetrates deeper than heat, is an anesthetic (reduces sensation), an analgesic (reduces pain), and relaxes muscles.
This item upgrades frozen paper Dixie cups of water. Professional, re-usable, inexpensive and you don’t freeze your fingers while using. I have one ready to go at my clinic and one in my freezer at home. (It’s the first thing I reach for when I cut a finger in the kitchen – which seems to happen on a regular basis. Sigh…)
Please note that ice massage should not be performed unless you fully understand the benefits and contraindications for cold.
Endangered Species Bug Bites
I call these ‘homeopathic doses of medicine’! My clients receive one at the end of every session (except those who are diabetic). 72% cacao, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free (Was there ever gluten in chocolate?) and kosher-D. Individually-wrapped, ethically traded, sustainably-grown cacao, and 10% of net profits support wildlife preservation efforts. Yum!
Eye Pillows to Calm Your Senses
A sensory relaxation tool my clients love! A ‘bean-bag-like’ eye pillow, filled with a signature blend of flax, lavender and baking soda that helps to neutralize cell phone energy and inspire a sense of balance and calm. Lavender effectively relieves anxiety and stress, and the unique pillow conforms to the eye area and applies a gentle pressure to the tired eye muscles while relaxing, either in a reflexology session or on your couch at the end of the day. Useful tip: For a cold therapy version, seal in a plastic bag and place in a freezer for several hours.
Contact GILDA for your handmade, one of a kind pillow. (As with any handmade product, please expect a subtle difference in size and weight.)
EYE PILLOW with POUCH
plus S&H $
Although often called an oil, jojoba is actually a liquid wax ester. Chemically, jojoba is very close to the sebum we naturally secrete through our pores to moisturize our skin, and therefore softens like nothing else. While it has a mild, nutty scent, it is vulnerable to the scent of its immediate environment, so that when applied to the skin, you will not perceive the scent of jojoba at all, only your own, or any essential oils you may have added to the ester.
Jojoba is widely recognized for its skin, scalp and hair conditioning properties. HobaCare’s is a high-quality, pesticide-free, first-press, unrefined, expeller pressed liquid from the jojoba seed – nothing else. This is the only liquid I have used in my massage/reflexology practice for years. Added bonus, it doesn’t stain sheets!
Pharmagel Complexe Eye Beauté Treatment Pads
If you have ever attended any of the clinics my Certification students run, you would have been offered these soothing eye pads during your reflexology session. They ease puffiness, stimulate circulation, help reduce inflammation and feel soooo refreshing (I keep them in the fridge so they’re cool.). Clients love and you will too. I love to lie for a few minutes after a long day in front of a computer screen and just chill my eyes. Heaven! An oil-free botanical formula of rosemary, chamomile, sweet clover, coneflower, green tea, cucumber, cornflower, yarrow, nettle, birch leaf and birch sap.
Shea Body Lotions and Butters
I love to buy from Alaffia. Their products are the best and I love their business model. The company operates a fair-trade, sustainable business creating natural products made from shea butter and coconut oil grown in West Africa. All sales of Alaffia products contribute to empowerment projects to help break the cycle of poverty experienced by women in Togo, West Africa. The shea butter has not been ‘de-fumed’ with hexane; it’s the real thing – a light golden color with a nutty fragrance. Fantastic for the skin and hair. I make scented butters to use in my clinical practice as well as for personal use and gifts.
Southern Lights Candles
Candles made on premise by a third-generation candle-maker in Saint Augustine’s historic downtown village. Unique creations such as pillars studded with Florida shells; multi-colored Pyramids; gorgeous Victorian rose-shaped beauties. Candles made from soy, beeswax and paraffin. Southern Lights is the largest online supplier of real (not scented) bayberry candles. And, if you’re ever in Saint Augustine, drop by the store, just “for the smell of it.”
Let’s talk feet here! When you look down do you see bunions and/or contracted toes? Hammertoes, claw toes? Not good. After the ankle joints, the joints of your toes are the most important ones in your feet. They provide balance in addition to propelling you forward when you walk. They need to be straight, strong and flexible with the forefoot spread wide. One of the most important things you can do for the health of your feet (after selecting the right shoes) is to spread those toes! When you do, they start to straighten out.
I highly recommend that you make a very small investment in toe separators and wear them every night when you’re sitting around reading or watching television. Just put them next to your TV remote.
This little package is perfect. You begin with the Toe Separators and graduate to the Toe Stretchers as your toes become less rigid and tight. They’re made of medical-grade gel and can be washed by hand in soapy water.
Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Atomizer, Air Purifier & Humidifier
I have used this unit for years and am totally satisfied with it. It’s quiet, safe, digitally controlled to select the time you want it to run, and reasonably priced.