Strega Nona Entertaining: Conjuring Creative Fun

From recipes to rituals, I will kindly divine the perfect celebration for you!

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A Healthy Dose of Self-Care

One of the things that we can always feel grateful for is good health. Without it, we often can't perform the simplest of daily tasks on our to-do list. Because it's such a basic and instinctual need, it's all too easy to take our well-being for granted. With patients exercising a healthy suspicion of certain drugs being over-prescribed by the medical community, it's no surprise that holistic and alternative medicines are being sought out more than ever before. Many therapies and treatments originated in the Far East, such as Qigong, reiki, cupping, and acupuncture.

Needles You Needn't to be Afraid of

Acupuncture can be traced back as far as 6000 BCE, and was first practiced in China substituting long, pointy bones for the needles. The concept behind inserting the needles into the human body to combat anything from stress to pain is intriguing. It all centers around each individual's life force, or "qi," running though the body. When certain areas are in disharmony, your qi cannot easily flow the way it is supposed to. You become blocked and this can lead to chronic discomfort and illness. A set of up to 20 sterilized needles are gently pushed into the skin for up to 30-60 minutes at a time. Acupuncture enthusiasts affirm that it really works for them, and they start to notice the benefits very soon after their first few treatments. Just remember if trying this experience for the first time yourself, it helps to keep your eyes closed and stay in a meditative state—otherwise you can't let the healing work for you and through you!

Rocking Your Chakras

Our seven major chakras also work with the flow of your qi and are realigned to balance through reiki massage. Reiki remains a favorite low to no contact massage that is utilized to harmonize your chakras. The chakras also deal with energy and form a straight line along the spine from your base (root) chakra to your crown charka, at the top of your head. Every major chakra has a corresponding color and placement on the body. The root chakra helps keep you grounded and is associated with the color red. Moving up to your lower belly, we have the orange sacral chakra. This area has to do with feelings and sensuality. The upper abdomen, right about belly button level, is your solar plexus chakra. It's color is yellow and pertains to your confidence. Your heart chakra of course, lies in your chest. It can be seen as either a pink or green aura. The blue throat chakra allows you to speak your truth and use your voice to say what needs to be said. Between your eyes lies the indigo "third eye chakra." It taps into your intuition and inner knowing. At the top of your head this glowing white or violet chakra concerns your spirituality and higher self.

Meet Shia

Shia Ames is a friend and colleague of mine from working together at the local Milwaukee-based co-op, Outpost Natural Foods. She loves scary movies, "including the corny kind," and keeps an open agnostic mind when it comes to her own spirituality. She recently earned her master's at the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine, in Chinese medicine and acupuncture, and is our November "Women Who Howl at the Moon" podcast guest. Although 30-years-young, Shia is an old soul at heart with a keen interest in both science and the supernatural. You can hear all about her story in SoundCloud on episode 14.

Remember as you may be taking care of many others this holiday weekend, to always make some time to nurture yourself and practice some natural self-healing and care whenever possible.




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Colleen DuVall has written articles, plays, short films, and a novel. Most recently, her work has been featured in her new blog, Off The Beaten Path for the Shepherd Express online (, and the Wisconsin Life radio show for WPR. She recently adopted a little grey and white cat named Tessa, after beloved 22-year-old Bootise passed on.


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