Growth & Healing Center: Articles by Denise LaBarre

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In the Growth and Healing Center you’ll find articles and posts about healing.

They also cover, self-care, personal growth & sustainability as well as sensitivity. Additionally; health resources, like turmeric, and specific issues such as fibromyalgia.

Also, you’ll find inspiration to slow down, go within, and ultimately, love yourself. I want you to take good (better?) care of your physical and emotional health. An intimate connection exists between them.

Surf around these pages. Use the category search feature. You can find the subject you’re interested in by using the drop down. If there’s something that you want to read about from the Healing Catalyst perspective, use the contact form and send me an email about it.



The Gift of Being Sensitive

Are you a Highly Sensitive or Highly Perceptive Person? It can be devastating when your family, teachers and friends don’t understand why you feel and react to the world the way you do. How do you describe blue to someone who is color blind?  How do you describe the taste of an egg to someone…


Tears on the Table – Emotional Release Guide, Advice for Professionals

What Do You Do When Your Clients Cry During a Treatment? Emotional Release Guide for Professionals in a Spa or Clinical Setting Tears are a normal human emotional release. Learning how to hold space for emotional release in a spa, healing, or bodywork setting is an important part of your professional development. Doing it well…


Making Friends with the Monsters in Your Emotional Closet

We all have unwanted emotions leftover from past trauma. We shut away those “monsters” and they accumulate in our “emotional closet” until we shed light on them with love and understanding. There are healthier says to deal with them. Here’s how: Making Friends with the Monsters in Your Emotional Closet – or How to deal…


Fibromyalgia – an Emotional Perspective

Fibromyalgia Patients Need to Be Listened To and Listen to Themselves! If you have fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, or love someone who does, you may be frustrated or perplexed by the varied and often conflicting information about these conditions. I have heard fibromyalgia (and chronic fatigue) described as “mysterious,” but if you look deeper…


Breathing Like You Mean It

Do you Breathe Like You Mean it? If you could improve your breathing without changing your schedule at all, would you do it? You can do it any time without interrupting your day or anyone knowing you’re doing it. It doesn’t cost anything. By breathing more, you can gradually clean out your whole system and…


Magnesium – Absolutely Essential Mineral

Why is Magnesium Essential? You’ve heard of essential vitamins – those your body doesn’t manufacture on its own so you have to consume them regularly (daily) in your diet. Well, magnesium is an essential mineral – which means getting adequate amounts of it in the foods you eat daily is essential for your life. I…


Bodywork for our Whole Being

How to Find and Receive Great Bodywork – for Your Whole Being                       We are complex beings. Complete healing must involve body, mind, spirit and the emotion that connects them. Bodywork can help heal on many levels and keep us healthy throughout our lives. Your area…


Gratitude for Everything!

What if today you were just grateful? Gratitude. It’s a concept, a feeling. You know what grateful feels like. Cultivate gratitude by thinking of something you feel grateful for, and then breathe into that feeling to amplify it.  Then do it some more, with another someone or something you’re grateful for. And again. It’s a…

Gratitudel for Everything!
importance ceremony

Healthy Ways to Commemorate Loss

We all need healthy ways to grieve or commemorate loss. Ceremony helps ease grief and helps us move on. Commemorate  kəˈmeməˌrāt/ verb: 1. Recall and show respect for (someone or something) in a ceremony*. 2. Celebrate the gift of having someone or something in our lives while grieving the loss. We all have dates that…


Consciously Eating the Foods you Love

How can you eat consciously when you’re upset, angry, sad, or lonely? Homemade lasagna. A hot fudge sundae with extra fudge. A crisp kale salad straight from the garden. There’s probably a list of foods that make you sigh with pleasure, just thinking about them. It’s great when we can enjoy what sustains us. And…


Got Issues in Your Tissues? Take the QUIZ!!

Finally! a fun and interactive tool to catalyze your exploration into the Issues in Your Tissues.  The Issues Quiz is short – only 20 questions. It will get you thinking about unconscious patterns and habits that might lie at the root of your physical and emotional problems. Choose the option that most fits you.   If the options…


Feeling Overwhelmed?

Feeling Overwhelmed? As the pace of life accelerates and this period of planetary shift intensifies, it’s normal to feel overloaded or overwhelmed.  With all the things you do and think in a day, where’s the room to reset and recover. The complexity of tasks you perform with your phone is astounding. And you do so…


Appreciate your Body – An Exercise

Marvel at the Miracle that is You – a body appreciation exercise   Body positivity is in the media these days. But how do you get to a positive attitude about your body if you’re not already there? Here’s a body appreciation exercise to help you wherever you’ve bought into the media messages that you…


Consider the Coffee Enema

Consider the Coffee Enema as a Healing Resource When I watched The Beautiful Truth film last week and was reminded about the benefits of a coffee enema. So I asked my gut if it wanted one and I got a distinct,Yes. In our culture, it’s not polite to talk frankly about our rectum and what…


Caring for Your Fabulous Aging Body

Caring for Your Fabulous Aging Body is Easier with a Loving Attitude toward It Like all beings, you do best in supportive conditions. If you constantly feed your body a diet of negative thoughts – especially about your aging body – it will respond from that diet of negativity.  The better you feel about yourself,…


An Invitation to Your Inner Child to Play!

Come play with me! This is your Invitation to play, laugh, tell jokes, and get silly! Wanna play with me?  Remember when it was that simple to just start playing with a kid you didn’t know?  Life was a new and exciting adventure and you could presume the other kid was ready and available to…


A Valentine’s Day Love Potion – Buttered Coffee

Need a love potion? When I got my first issue of Paleo Magazine in the mail I was instantly and enthusiastically ushered into the world of nuts, treats and grass-fed meats. Who knew I would get a love potion, too? I’ve avoided sugar and wheat for years. It’s always great to find a new food…


9 Steps toward a Sustainable World: Shrinking Your Consumption Footprint

                                               By Denise LaBarre We all want to live in a sustainable world. But how do we take the steps to get there? As I thought about replacing my old gas-engine car with an electric car that I recharge with rooftop photovoltaic energy,[1] I realized there are plenty of ways I can reduce my consumption…


Dancing to the Rhythms of Life

The Rhythms of Life Enrich the Music of Every Day, if We Let Them The rhythms of our thoughts and feelings reflect the rhythms of life. How can they do otherwise? Go large and think about the cosmos, come in and think about lunch. Breathe in, breathe out. If you dance with it, it doesn’t…


For the Love of Otters

I love otters. I’m a natural correspondent and love to write long, responsive letters. But the idea of writing regularly, to you-know-not-who in a blog feels weird to me.   But I’m trying it. In the spirit of self-revelation, I’m sharing something very dear to my heart – my love of river otters and otters…


Grow Your Own Food, Eat Local

Grow Your Own Food, Eat Local You’ve probably seen bumper stickers urging you to Eat Local or Grow Your Own Food. But why bother to do this when shopping at Costco or Safeway is so convenient and seemingly cheaper? Here are some points to consider:   Fresher is better for you – higher nutrition, tastes better…


Healing Catalyst Corner – Get better sleep

Healing Catalyst Corner by Denise LaBarre Get Better Sleep One of the best ways to improve your health is to improve your sleep. You’ve heard this before, but probably could use a reminder. Throughout a busy day, you get physically wound up as you pull energy into your head and then hold it up there…


Holding Space – for Ourselves, Our Kids, and Others

Holding Space for Ourselves and Others Takes Skill When I demonstrate holding space, I hold my arms out as if a child is going to run and jump into them, and I smile. I invite and contain this fun explosion of energy as a gift to both of us. I allow for many possibilities –…


Breathing In, Breathing Out – Dancing to Our Fractal Rhythms

Thought piece on breathing as a Fractal Rhythm The rhythms of my thought reflect the rhythms of life. How can they do otherwise? Go large and think about the cosmos, come in and think about lunch. Breathe in, breathe out. If you dance with it, it doesn’t feel scattered or weird. I’m starting to see…


Holidays Are Better Without Sugar (Who knew?)

Holidays without Sugar? Not only is it possible, it’s better to cut out sugar during this season of eating.  I gathered with loved-ones, ate plenty, felt fabulous afterward AND lost weight. That sounds like a crazy claim for the latest weight loss product but it’s not. I don’t profit from saying this. It’s just my…


Come Journey with Me – Introduction to my blog

I invite you to come journey with me in my new blogging venture – ARCHIVED I resisted blogging but no more! Even though I’m playful, I hold my writing with deep integrity and wouldn’t want to let anyone down by being inconsistent.  If someone writes me a sincere, well-written letter, I respond, like a ball…


Coconut oil – Who knew?

Consider the many and surprising uses for Coconut Oil A client of mine was excited about how our session had opened and relaxed her hips so much that she was looking forward to going home to make love with her husband. She then grumbled about menopausal changes in hormone levels making the foreplay on-ramp a…


For Sustainability, Attitude is Everything

For Sustainability, Attitude is Everything Sustainability is not a new or radical concept. Throughout human history indigenous humans have realized that we need to respect; and replace what we take and align ourselves with Nature’s built-in ability to maintain balance. Human use shifted dramatically as the industrial revolution gave us new technologies and new machines…

Present Moment Portal

Nature – Your Present Moment Portal

Nature is your Portal into the Present Moment and Your portal into Yourself Wow, talk about reset! Getting out in the wilderness for a few days brought me back to my center. Hiking at altitude with 35 lbs on my back, made business deadlines evaporate and my mental chatter clear. The conditions pulled me into…


Let’s Connect Here, through this Blog

Hi! Thanks for showing up. Let’s connect here – ARCHIVED I want to share with you, inspire you, catalyze healing in you. This is a check-in with you to make sure you know about all the resources I’ve put up for you. At the peak of the blogging craze, I finally jumped in and started…


Living Aloha in Your Body

Living Aloha – In Your Body You can “Live Aloha” anywhere, any time. It’s a quick trip below the neck, back into your body and your heart… At first glance, living aloha means treating others with kindness and respect. It can be simple things like letting the other driver in, returning your shopping cart when…


Dancing with the Cycles of Nature

Dancing to the Rhythm of the Seasons is a way to Reflect and Celebrate your Connection with all of Life It feels delicious to tune into the movement of the new season. Notice bright green buds emerging, babies being born, and the days getting longer.  The rhythm of the seasons is the song the earth…


Meditation – Building the Habit

How to build a Meditation Habit You may realize that a meditation habit is a good idea, but how do you get yourself to do it consistently?   Understand what’s involved and build a practice slowly, one step at a time. To meditate does not mean to fight with a problem. To meditate means to observe.…


Understanding Emotional release in yoga – tips for Yoga Instructors

Understanding emotional release in Yoga class – tips for instructors If you are a yoga instructor or have practiced yoga for any length of time, you have witnessed both tears and laughter as people move and stretch through the postures. The deeper you get into a practice, the greater the chance you have experienced emotional…


Night Waking – What to Do to Go Back to Sleep

Need More or Better Sleep? In the September newsletter, I talked about breathing yourself down from a stressful day and preparing yourself for a great, sound sleep. Now, I want to add pointers for when you wake up and have trouble going back to sleep. You might wake up from a nightmare or awaken with…


On Mother’s Day, I Miss My Mom, but I Haven’t Lost Her

On Mother’s Day – I Feel Grief and Loss, but I Haven’t Lost My Mom This will be my first Mother’s Day since my mom died, last October. I want to share a hug with everyone whose mother has died in the past year, everyone whose mother will die this coming year, and everyone who…


Reconnect with Self, in Nature

It’s easy to Reconnect with Yourself, in Nature A slow walk thought a sun-dappled forest; a rock-skipping trek along a river; watching the planet turn against a backdrop of bright stars. These are delicious ways to reconnect with Nature and tune in to your Self.  There are countless ways to do this, all of them…


Report from a Life off Sugar – Beating Sugar Addiction

You Can Beat Sugar Addiction, Too It’s been four and a half months since I cut sugar out of my diet and I am not craving sweets all the time. In fact, most desserts that I used to enjoy taste too sugary now. I eat a little dark chocolate as my main sweet/comfort food but…

self care

Self Care Tips & Resources

Healing Resources and practical Self Care Tips for whole body health and emotional well-being The theme in my private practice seems to be Self Care for the New Year.  From clients of all ages, I’ve been hearing the same refrain: “I’m exhausted, out-of-balance. I’ve had enough of always putting everyone and everything ahead of my…


Sibling Dynamics Shape Us, Too

Sibling Dynamics Shape Us, Too We often hear about how much our parents shape us, but the ways our siblings relate to and influence us can be just as profound.  For years, I’d felt guilt, sadness, and a longing to be close to my older sister, but our relationship was shadowed by deep, unresolved dynamics…


Take a Bath!

A Hot Bath – Your Rx for Relaxation and Health A hot bath relaxes your muscles, hydrates your spirit, and if you add epsom salts and/or baking soda, can give your body a great detoxifying boost.  Taking a shower is an efficient way to clean yourself (and can save water) but it’s a fun and…


Tears on the Mat – Emotional Release during Yoga

Tears on the Yoga Mat, Yes!  – for Yoga Students The word yoga comes from the Sandskrit word for ‘connection’ or ‘union.’ A yoga practice connects awareness of the breath with specific poses (asanas), whose energetic effects bring harmony and union to the whole being. That includes body, mind, spirit, and emotions. Because it has…


The Future of Healing Begins Now

The Future of Healing begins Now  – ARCHIVED The future of healing will revolve around gut health, human connection, a conscious turn inward to slow down and listen to the body. It also includes a conscious respect for and partnership with the intelligence of natural processes. This is according to The Future of Healing Teleconference. Friday…


The Future of Healing Continues

The Future of Healing Continues – ARCHIVED Last week I wrote about the Future of Healing Teleconference, a 12-day virtual gathering of many of the stars in alternative medicine, certainly some of the most high-profile.   Each presenter offers a slightly different piece of the healing puzzle wrt nutrition (esp gut health), hormones, supplementation, sexuality, advances…


The Gift of Self-Love this Season

How do you practice self-love when there’s pressure to do and give so much this holiday season? This winter-holiday season, give yourself the best gift of self-love – your time and attention – by slowing down, doing less, and giving yourself permission to enjoy simple pleasures.  You will enjoy yourself more and your loved-ones will…


7 Conscious Eating Tips

7 Conscious Eating Tips Here are some practices to start building now for those times when your emotions get the best of you and your eating spirals out of your conscious control. Read the full article on “Conscious Eating the Foods you Love“. Limiting your portions and keeping scrupulous track of everything you eat is…

Mind-Body Connection

New Year’s Resolution to Move Beyond Fear

New beginnings call for a new vision – my resolution to Move Beyond Fear Happy New Year! It’s a new beginning and new beginnings call for a new vision. My resolution is to move beyond my fear and deliver my message of body-emotional healing to a global audience. I have a passion to empower people…


The Power of Momentum for Healthy Habits

Building Healthy Habits Takes Time I notice a tendency that once I get stuck in my head, I want to crawl even further up there. The day was full and I had a lot to do. I fielded calls, took care of things that came up unexpectedly, and worked on the database. The more I…


The Health Benefits of Gratitude for Your Food

The Health Benefits of Gratitude for Your Food Consider the health benefits of gratitude for your food – not just during the fall holiday but every day.  You can even go so far as to think of gratitude as a nutrient, like a condiment to sprinkle on your food to make it assimilate and taste…


Why I Eat too Fast – Eating to External Cues

Do you eat too fast? If you eat too fast, you probably know it – and the problems associated with it, but how can you change such a deeply held habit? Here’s what I’ve learned. All my life I have gulped my food and eaten fast, as if my life depended on it. That was…


A Cure for Cancer

A Cure for Cancer? I just watched The Beautiful Truth. It’s an indie film about Dr. Max Gerson’s amazing cure[1] (yes, cure!) for cancer and other generative diseases. Gerson’s daughter, Charlotte, contracted bone tuberculosis as a child and he developed the treatment to cure her. It worked. Gerson then used it successfully with other patients. His…


Tears on the Table – How to Handle Emotional Release in a Treatment

Tears on the Table – When Your Client Needs to Cry Those of us who are in constant physical contact with clients have come across customers who spontaneously started to cry. The first time it happened, you probably wondered if you did something to set the person off. However, after seeing this time and time…


Home Made and Home Grown

Home grown food nourishes you I used to think high-grade balsamic vinegar imported from Italy was the best there is. Then a friend gave me some superb banana vinegar he made by fermenting Haiku apple bananas. It’s even more flavorful than balsamic, plus has extra nutrients from the live probiotics that haven’t been killed by…


The Search for Happy Fat

The Search for Happy, Healthy Fats Phew, the holidays are officially over and I’m in search of happy fat (clean and healthy). I ate too much of foods that leave me feeling out of balance. With so much else going on, I found it hard to prepare healthy food for myself ahead of time and…


Wisdom 2.0 – Notes from the Conference

Notes from the Wisdom 2.0 Conference in San Francisco – ARCHIVED Wisdom 2.0 is a conference that aims to unite wisdom and technology – i.e. bring mindfulness and conscious awareness to the reach and scope of high tech pursuits. Last year Eckhart Tolle, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Sharon Salzberg led the mindfulness roster along with top…


The Skinny on Structured Water

Structured water? Learning about structured water is part of a larger tapestry of understanding and awareness about health and HOW THINGS WORK. It comes down to structure patterns (geometry), movement, and patterns of movement. This week I’ll talk about structure wrt water, and next week I’ll bring in other pieces I’ve found about the movement…


How to Get Great Bodywork

How to Find and Receive Great Bodywork Massage, Energywork, Intuitive Healing … We are complex beings. Complete healing includes body, mind, spirit and the emotion that connects them. Bodywork can help heal on many levels and keep us healthy throughout our lives. The world is now full of alternative healers who combine various modalities into…


The Social Cost of Eliminating Sugar

The Social Cost of Eliminating Sugar Whenever I thought about eliminating sugar from my diet, I always felt the social cost was too high.  Eating out at restaurants, business lunches, and potlucks, tend to be problematic when you don’t eat like the norm. Social meals tend to be full of heavy carbs and alcohol, plus…


We Are All Born to Love and Be Loved

You Are Born to Love and Be Loved!  You Deserve Love, Support, Understanding and Kindness I just read a great passage in Amy Tan’s The Hundred Secret Senses:[1] “I know that my mother loved me – but not absolutely. When I compared the amount of time she spent with others – even total strangers –…

holiday sandess

Welcome Holiday Sadness

‘Tis the Season – A Case for a Gentler Approach As you Welcome Holiday Sadness, it Transforms Holiday sadness hits can hit anyone during the winter and that’s a good thing. Here’s how to welcome it for a better season. ‘Tis the season to be jolly,” says the famous Christmas carol, written before electric lights…


A Look at Personal Sustainability

Personal Sustainability is important, too Sustainability is a hot topic, and rightly so. However it is not a new and radical concept; sustainability simply means that we are supposed to replace what we take and align ourselves with Nature’s built-in ability to maintain balance. We also need to extend our reflections about sustaining our planetary…

Positive evolution

What Positive Evolution Looks Like

Positive evolution is happening now Social walls are crumbling. Especially when we face change, we want to know what a positive outcome looks like.  Positive evolution includes aging well, embracing diversity, and building sustainable agriculture.  That means we need role models for aging well and good parenting. We need movies and media that show us…


Never Forget the Value of Your Smile

Never Forget the Value of your Smile A smile from you can make someone’s day. Smiling can also make yours better. Imagine waving at a four-year old and she beams back at you, or a coaxing a smile from a baby looking over his mom’s shoulder. It lights you up. When you smile at someone…


Natural Structure and Movement offer solutions for better health

Natural Structure and Movement are key for healing Without our conscious knowledge and without any fanfare, the healing made possible by coordinated structure and movement is everywhere. Breakthroughs in our understanding of molecular natural structure and movement offer solutions to many of our biggest problems. This growing base of understanding sheds light on the basic structure…


What are Your Hips Saying?

Hips speak volumes! They naturally want to express joy, balance, and the movement of Life Our hips are our biggest joints and a critical portal for energy flow throughout the body.  Hips are designed to move in all planes, in all directions and one of the greatest ways they can do this is dancing.  The…


The Sweetness of Sister Love and Forgiveness

Forgive me, my sister – Forgive myself Now that my Inner Kid isn’t sedated with sugar…long-buried emotions are coming up for clearing.  I am feeling sister love and sister loss.  I’m more than three months into my journey off sugar and the emotional underpinnings of my relationship to sugar – and my sister – are…


Your Body is its Best Doctor

Do you consult your own body first? Your Body is its Best Doctor I am coming to see that the best medical advice – whether dietary or long-term medical – probably comes from one’s body, itself.*  Scientific studies and research findings are important to set us in the right direction, generally. But that information is…


“Look Mom, I’m Fat!” as Breathing Tool

Here’s a Playful and Effective Breathing Tool It will Deepen your Breath and Bring You Back into Your Body Do you have tight shoulders? A stiff neck? Do you think too much? Ever catch yourself not breathing? When you are busy: driving, on the phone, at the computer, making meals, and juggling a dozen demands,…


What to Eat? Ask Your Body, Ask Nature

What to Eat? Ask Your Body, Ask Nature We have a huge array of food choices available to us now – some great, some not. It used to be that humans ate what they could, grown or produced locally at that time of year. Now we can get grapes from South America in the winter…


Preparing for Our Final Exam – Death

Talking about Your Own Death can be a Rewarding Experience – Here’s how to get started… Oddly enough, the subject of death is becoming wonderful to me – not exactly fun, but fascinating and intensely worth learning about.  I mean, it’s the exam we all have to take at some point – required from our…


Yoga, from the Inside Out

Why do yoga? We are born experiencing life from the inside out, through the vehicle of our bodies – our “earth suits”, as my friend, Harriet calls them. As babies, we laugh, and love, and breathe freely. But soon we become socialized, and learn to take our emotional and behavioral cues from others and our…

emotional babies

We are all Emotional Babies, Heart Open

You and I are Still Wonderfully Emotional Babies Inside.  It feels good to open your heart and feel! As you watch this video, feel your heart open and reach toward this sincere, open little being as she connects with the sadness in the song her mother sings. (If you’re one of the 36+ million people…


The Man with Sobbing Shoulders – Stories from the Healing Table

The Man with Sobbing Shoulders is the first in my Stories from the Healing Table series. It was first published in my book Issues in Your Tissues: Heal Body and Emotion from the Inside Out. The story what an intuitive approach to unbuckling emotional armor looks like. It also illustrates that we all have unshed tears…


The Healing Power of Turmeric!

Turmeric – anti-inflammatory superpower If you have inflammation, turmeric could become your most delicious, healing friend. The healing power of turmeric is much in the news these days – for good reason because it cooking with it is an easy, healthy way to reduce inflammation and improve your overall health. There are many ways to…


The Wounded Wife – Stories from the Healing Table

The Wounded Wife  – Story from the Healing Table This story follows from last week’s story about Patrick, The Man with Sobbing Shoulders. In this case, Carrie, the Wounded Wife, traced her ongoing conflict with her husband to dynamics with her father. Carrie, a 34-year-old mother of three young children, had arrived for her poolside massage…