Healing the Body and Soul To Slow the Aging Process...

A moving bus is not a sound that heals. A horn blowing from a car is not a sound that heals.  A jackhammer in the middle of the afternoon when you’re trying to write a story for the Santa Monica Mirror is most definitely NOT a sound that heals. But certain sounds do heal, as I found out a few weeks ago. I recently visited Naam Yoga, an international yoga, healing and wellness center – located on 4th between Wilshire and Arizona in Santa Monica. I had heard about a powerful treatment called Harmonyum, a transformational healing modality that in part, uses sound for lasting change. Naam Yoga LA’s Executive Director Jane Mirshak explained that Harmonyum directly sends healing energy to the source of the nervous system, brain and heart. I learned that it is excellent for pain, insomnia, hormone imbalance, stress and anxiety, learning disorders, fertility, heart disease and immune system challenges. It also strengthens and balances the autonomous nervous system by promoting the body’s capacity to heal itself and slow the aging process. Slow the aging process?  Now you’re talkin’!  When can I start? I made an appointment for the following week. The day of the appointment, I toured the facility. It looks a lot smaller from the outside; once you’re inside, it’s another story. First, there’s a large reception area, with a communal table for people to wait for classes or just relax. Then, I followed Jane down a long, narrow industrial-looking hallway, lined with beautiful large pictures depicting peaceful spiritual places around the world. This hallway ran alongside their 3,000 square-foot, sky-lit studio which holds over 300 people. A variety of yoga classes are taught there, as well as those fun Zumba classes. Just at the end of the hallway, there was another peaceful area with several tables and chairs for relaxation and socializing. After taking my shoes off and heading up the stairs, there...

A Little Prick and You’re Good to Go!...

I have a herniated disk towards the end of my spine, what the medical experts call L5. It hurts every day. I’ve been to a surgeon. After much discussion,  I asked him if he were me, would he do surgery?  He answered with a resounding no. That answered my question about surgery as an option. And, I do not want to be injected with cortisone. My grandmother used the stuff, and it literally killed her. I checked out other less invasive options. I’ve been to a chiropractor. It helped a little. I get regular massages. They help, as long as I do it every other week. I lift weights twice a week. This has helped enormously, strengthening the muscles around my back, alleviating a lot of the pain. But sometimes, my back just freezes up. And the only thing that seems to work is acupuncture. It’s an amazing practice. Especially for those over 50. When I did my initial research, some of the many ailments it helps to alleviate include lower back pain (check), weight control (check), stress (check), PMS (check) and many others, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, hip pain, Arthritis pain, irritable bowel syndrome, infertility, and a whole host of other age-related stuff. I’m grateful not to have checked them all! I was referred by a friend to Dr. Miles Reid. Dr. Reid offers something rare in the field; he is an MD and a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (D.A.O.M.). Ok. This is good, I thought. If he sticks me with a needle and it starts to bleed profusely, he’ll know what to do to stop the bleeding. I am such a wimp. My fears immediately went away when he walked through the door. First of all, he was HOT! ...

There’s More Than One “Happy Ending!”...

7:00a on Sunday. I woke up, went downstairs, made some coffee. Took a shower, put on my white bathrobe, read the paper, drank my coffee.  My husband woke up 1/2 hour later, got into his cycling clothes and left for several hours. ‘Bye, honey!’ 8:00a – a handsome man pulls into my driveway, a man I know well. Fernando. I let him in. We go upstairs to the bedroom. He sets up the bed. Time for my 2-hour massage! Since I got injured training for the LA Marathon 2 years ago, Fernando has been a big part of my life, twice a month for 1-1/2 – 2 hours. I over-trained, and was diagnosed with 3 herniated disks, two small ones and one rather large one. !  I now ask myself, “What the hell were you thinking, 52 years old, never running before and running 26 miles?” My running career was over for good. I can’t take steroids, and when I asked the surgeon if he were me, would he opt for surgery? He said no. When a surgeon says no to surgery, you listen. So I devised my own healing regime, with the help of some very knowledgeable folk. I first needed to strengthen my body. I enlisted the help of popular Santa Monica trainer, Fit by Fabian. Next, I began walking 20 minutes a day and doing morning stretches. At the same time, a friend of mine recommended Fernando. He has an office in Culver City, but his specialty is going to people’s homes. I used to consider a massage something frivolous I did when I was on vacation, but now it’s a critical part of my fitness plan. I learned that massage can help with the following, especially for those over 50:...

Experiencing New Love, Orgasm and Deep Throat in the Span of an Hour!...

Once every six months, (summer and fall) my friend Sarah and I venture to Barney’s in Beverly Hills to work with the top New York runway makeup artists from Nars Cosmetics. Dalbert, the sweet counter manager in Barney’s calls us and sets it up. It’s always the debut of their Fall or Spring line, and they go all out to promote it. When we walk out of Barney’s we usually have a huge bag of what we bought and almost the same amount of promotional items. Dalbert always takes care of us. We start off in the morning with breakfast or brunch at Barney’s Greengrass, with Sarah having a split of Chandon and me, a Grey Goose Citron Martini – up, very chilled with two olives and a twist of lemon. Last time we were there, it was celebrity heaven (or hell, depending upon how you see it). Joan and Melissa Rivers and her baby;  Raquel Welch,  still looking amazing (I wonder who helps her maintain her youthful beauty?) and other vaguely familiar Hollywood types. I once ran into Billy Crystal and thought I went to high school with him, so I asked him. A little embarrassing, but still pretty fun. Once satiated, we head on down to the first floor and land at the Nars counter, where Dalbert gives us a great big hug and introduced us to his make-up artist associates. We dig in, first starting with a cleanser, followed by a toner, followed by a brightener, followed by a light moisturizer, followed by eye cream, followed by a tinted moisturizer, followed by a Foundation, followed by blush, followed by powder. Whew!  With all that stuff on my face, I started to get a hot flash. But I looked good!  I was...

Face Off!

I’ve discovered it’s more than a hockey term. It’s what I experienced at my last facial, and I lived to tell the tale. I have been getting monthly facials for more than 35 years. The ritual started when I had teenage acne problems. Long after the acne disappeared, the facials continued. One piece of personally proven advice I can give to you (men and women) is to take good care of your skin. I consider my best asset to be my face. People tell me I look closer to 40 than over 50. When I was younger, like 22, I was constantly getting asked for my ID when I went bar-hopping with my friends. I hated it then. Love it now! I am deeply grateful for my teenage acne – it started me on a lifelong path of keeping my skin healthy. Back to my most recent facial. I have been going to my technician, Cathy for more than 10 years. She works magic. And she’s quite inexpensive for the extensive ritual she puts me through. First, she shapes my eyebrows. This time, she had to dye them because she found some WHITE eyebrow hairs. If that wasn’t enough of a sign of getting older, she started plucking away at my chin – I had a long hair (well, long for a chin-hair) growing out of it! “Holy Sht! I am old!” I yelled, in the quiet meditative space. But Cathy smiled and remained calm. I simmered down after she had me do some deep breathing exercises to relieve the angst. She’s so Zen, that Cathy! She then began my facial with a soothing cleansing of my skin. Then she used a steam-machine to open my pores to make the extraction process easier. Easier...

Bush-Whacked, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!...

Welcome to our world! Hot Flash Universe is the go-to source for women over 40 looking for insight into the hottest, most current trends, products and issues. Topics are approached with candor, intellect and a healthy dose of humor. We search for the best Los Angeles has to offer for women of any age to be sexy, smart and savvy. Check out this week’s Hot Flash! THE GOOD It’s summertime, and with the warm sun comes sexier clothes.  One BIG mistake you can make is not shaving your legs, armpits or waxing your bikini line -a  total turn-off for men and women.  It might be OK to let it go in the winter, but absolutely not in the summer! My “go to” gay stylist/friend Colin says, “Women and men should be waxed all year ’round.  It’s very fashionable to be well-groomed.”   And, I personally think it makes you feel sexier and younger! THE BAD But buyer beware.  I have a friend that told me that within 24 hours of getting a bikini wax at a reputable salon, an infection crept in.  Eww! Not sexy. Her doctor diagnosed her with cellulitis, a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection of the skin and the underlying tissue. It took her months to recover physically from the infection, a big price to pay for a supposedly harmless procedure. Scary! THE UGLY Waxing can also pull off tiny pieces of the skin’s outermost layer, creating a portal through which bacteria can enter the body. What’s more, the process creates inflammation, which can trap bacteria beneath the skin. All of this make that area primed for skin infections and ingrown hairs.  Yuk. For those who are willing to take the risk, here’s what you need to look for: Choose a Facility Carefully...