Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

August 23, 2012

Relax, stretch out and eat right

TAHLEQUAH — Feeling good and unencumbered by stress is an everyday journey each person must achieve in his or her own way. For many, happiness is a state of mind, and they can control stress by removing the triggers that send the blood pressure skyward.

Eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep are on the common blueprint to achieve an overall sense of well-being. But those who can’t always follow this plan may take time away from work, go on a vacation, eat something sweet, or spend money in ways to distract themselves from a source of conflict.

Massage therapy can be a key to turning down the white noise, and tuning into relaxation.

Starr House Therapies owner-operator Cherae Stone helps individuals in their daily quest to feel better through her holistic treatment.

“It’s quicker than a vacation and much, much less expensive,” said Stone. “I do several different types of massage therapy. It’s marvelous for stress, of course, because it takes you out of your environment into a different one that’s designed specially for your comfort.”

The work she’s been trained to do is therapeutic on many levels.

“I’ve worked in a hospital for seven years in a mother-baby unit and a cardiac unit. I’ve worked in long-term care for three years,” said Stone. “So all the medical aspects are taken into consideration when the massage session is designed.”

Stone is a master massage therapist, a certified infant massage instructor, a certified geriatric therapist, a certified Quantum-Touch instructor, a Reiki master, a certified hypnotist, and holds a Doctor of Divinity degree through the American Institute of Holistic Theology.

When meeting new clients, she has them fill out a form to provide a medical history so she can devise a personalized plan of action.

“A lot of people don’t realize how important that is,” said Stone. “I need to know where their areas of difficulty are. I need to know if they’re being treated by a physician for any specific condition, and if they’re on any medication for that, because that will affect the way I do my job. If you’re on a blood thinner, I’m not going to do deep tissue [massage] on you because that’s going to bruise you.”

Experiencing a therapeutic massage will help restore a basic human instinct.

“We don’t touch one another a lot physically in our society. It’s not encouraged, and it is your basic instinct,” she said. “When you see anything in pain, no matter what kind of pain it is – it can be a little bunny rabbit with a broken leg or it could be a child crying. Whatever it is, this is what you instinctively do. [You reach out your arms.] That instantly lets whoever or whatever is in pain know they’re not alone, and being alone in pain is very scary. So that takes out the anxiety aspect. If you can relax, the body’s not trying so hard. It’s not afraid anymore.”

And listening is one of Stone’s most important skills.

“That’s what my divinity degree was all about,” she said. “There was a heavy counseling curriculum because I figured out very quickly that I need to know what not to say so I don’t make it emotionally harder for [the client]. I needed to be able to not judge from any direction.”

Stone considers the mind/body aspects of her clients' discomfort, as well as the obvious physical elements involved.

Stone said she considers the mind/body aspects of her clients’ discomfort, as well as the physical elements involved.

“I haven’t done anything else on the side for 17 years. It’s not a job; it’s a way of being in the world,” she said. “The key is finding a therapist you feel comfortable with. There are a lot of different therapists and everybody has their valid way of approach.”

Stone can be reached at (918) 658-5260.

Oasis Health Foods can be a source of support in dealing with stress and restoring happiness. For example, Solaray’s Mega B-Stress can be taken to recover lost energy, said Manager Ellen Haney.

“It’ll give you energy. It helps with fatigue,” she said. “When you’re stressed, that involves your adrenal [function]. That will cause a lot of fatigue. There are other adrenal products, herbal products. There are adrenal products that are glandular products from animals, like cows. In our store, we offer the herbal glandular products and bovine glandular products. Raw adrenal – that would nourish the adrenal function. B12 is also very good for exhaustion. There are ginseng products called adaptogens that help your body to adapt to the stress.”

Haney said customers are urged to talk with their medical providers when they come into the store seeking supplements for various ailments or conditions.

“I always tell them to check with their pharmacist or doctor,” she said.

Haney noted St. John’s Wort is a supplement that can be used for depression.

“That’s a light mood lifter, and of course, B12 can get you back to feeling better and having a better state of mind,” she said.

Many people find yoga classes can lift the spirits while also toning the body. Classes are often available through local workout facilities or Northeastern State University Continuing Studies. NSU’s class is ongoing and costs $40 per month.

Another option is The Canebrake Restaurant on Lake Fort Gibson, which offers yoga classes every day at various times. Participants say three or four levels of yoga are taught there.

The owners of Canebrake, Sam and Lisa Bracken, also offer a healthy menu, including many vegetarian options, because vegetarian dining – at least on a temporary basis – is a path for many people to feeling better. (Go to thecane brake.com for information.)

FeelGoodTips.com offers some suggestions on how to instantly feel good, or better, and move on with a bad day. Drinking water to avoid dehydration, which can a person feel sluggish and tired, is the leading tip.


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