<![CDATA[WillowBridge-Blog]]> <![CDATA["BUFFALO ZUCCHINI BOATS" - by Brittany Hobson, Salon Stylist & Esthetician]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/BUFFALO-ZUCCHINI-BOATS---by-Brittany-Hobson-Salon-Stylist--Esthetician/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Here's what you'll need:

2 zucchini's
1 pound cooked chicken, diced
2 TBL flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 carrot, shredded
1 rib of celery, chopped
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
1/4 c. blue cheese, crumbled (OPTIONAL)
3 TBL buffalo sauce
3 TBL blue cheese or ranch dressing

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking oil.  Set aside.

Cut each zucchini in half horizontally.  Scoop out center, reserving 1/2 - diced up for filling. 

In a bowl, mix together chicken, flour, salt, pepper, carrot, celery, 1/2 c. shredded cheddar,
blue cheese crumbles (if using), buffalo sauce and dressing.

Place zucchini hollow side up on baking sheet.  Fill boats with filling until heaping.  Sprinkle with
remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until zucchini achieves desired softness.

<![CDATA["A Smile Is The Shortest Distance Between Two People" ~ by Diane Anlauf, Client Services]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/A-Smile-Is-The-Shortest-Distance-Between-Two-People--by-Diane-Anlauf-Client-Services/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

The above quote by Victor Borge is so true ~ a smile IS the shortest distance between two people.  When we take the time to sit back and think about our lives, we might wonder how to be happy and make it better in the future.  It doesn't always have to be a big plan with goals and results.  The easiest way is with a smile. Even if you're feeling a bit down, you can start smiling and you'll begin to feel better.  

It's interesting that we are born with this ability; smiling is not something we have to learn.  It's part of that universal language that everyone knows.  It not only makes others feel comfortable, welcome and happy, it makes you feel that way too. This is one of those contagious things that is actually really good and healing for us.

Smiling is a generous gesture of loving kindness.  Share all your smiles today.  You can be a day maker for others, and yourself! 

<![CDATA[WELLTH (not wealth) by Deb Singh, Client Services]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/WELLTH-not-wealth-by-Deb-Singh-Client-Services/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Like many of you, I love to read.  Just the thought of holding a book makes me happy!  One of my favorite new books is WELLTH (How I Learned To Build A Life, Not A Resume) by Jason Wachob.  If accumulating toys and money is no longer satisfying to you ~ this book is for you.  Make the shift.  Find your wellth.

<![CDATA["HAPPY PEOPLE" by Deb Singh, Client Services]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/HAPPY-PEOPLE-by-Deb-Singh-Client-Services/
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What do happy people do differently?  It's more than looking at a glass as half full...it's being CONTENT and GRATEFUL that the glass is half full, and it's also being hopeful that it can be refilled.  :D  We really DO choose our attitudes.  We choose each day to think positive or negative thoughts.  The world can be viewed as a very cruel place with so many sad and frightening stories on the news, but there are soooooooo many good news stories out there if you look for them.  There are websites dedicated to GOOD NEWS!  Surround yourself with people who are happy and you'll find yourself feeling happier.  Read about good news and the world and your surroundings will look brighter.  And here's some incentive to think happy thoughts:  Studies have shown that happy people live longer!  Let your focus this year be about creating more happiness in your life and you'll be surprised by the end of 2016 how bright the future is!

<![CDATA["Massage Therapy for Pain Management" by Tamara, Massage Therapist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Massage-Therapy-for-Pain-Management-by-Tamara-Massage-Therapist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Massage is very effective at helping to manage pain, anxiety, stress and difficulty sleeping.  Have you ever noticed your shoulders burning or neck feeling fatigued while sitting at your desk?  Do you experience headaches?  Is your back sore?  There are many techniques massage therapists utilize specific to your aches and pains that encourage and assist your body's natural pain defenses: endorphins!  Massage is a natural and effective way to target the root of muscular and soft tissue problems which will help to relieve symptoms ~ and regular massage will help to keep NEW problems from arising.  People who suffer from chronic muscle pain, headaches, arthritis, fibromyalgia have benefited greatly from massage.  Don't mask your pain with pain medications that provide only temporary relief.  Try massage along with physical therapy, chiropractic and acupuncture care.  Remember that you are increasing your ability and longevity to do the things you love - you are investing in your overall future self!

<![CDATA["SLEEP" by Brittany Hobson, Salon Stylist, Massage Therapist & Esthetician]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/SLEEP-by-Brittany-Hobson-Salon-Stylist-Massage-Therapist--Esthetician/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Sleep is an important part of being healthy.  While you sleep your body repairs and resets itself for a healthy and successful next day.  Having ongoing sleep deficiency has been linked to all sorts of terrible health problems such as heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure and stroke.  It's important to get your Z's - so let's look at ways to improve your sleep:

Quit the caffeine at 2 pm.  It takes five to seven hours for half of the caffeine in your system to dissipate after having a cup!

Nice, clean sheets can make you more comfortable.

Avoid blue light - all electronics emit blue light that messes with your body's natural clock.  Avoid all electronics a few hours before bed.  Most importantly: keep the bedroom an electric-free zone.

Pay attention to temperature.  We get our best sleep in a cool room; usually around 65-72 degrees is ideal.  Although keeping your feet warm is a good idea, having cold feet will keep you from falling alseep.  So, cool room-warm feet.

Aromatherapy can help.  Certain essential oils have been shown to help with falling asleep.  Anything with lavender helps.  My personal favorite is Aveda's Stress Fix oil.

Some foods are really good for gearing up for bedtime.  Trying having one of the following: warm milk, bananas, cherry juice, turkey, almonds, honey or herbal (caffeine free) tea.

Get more in touch with nature!  People who experience early morning sunlight on their skin tend to have a better nights sleep.  It helps reset the body's internal clock, similar to how avoiding blue light at night does.  Also doing something like "earthing" or "grounding" can help - which is simply taking off your shoes and socks and putting your feet directly on the ground (weather permitting, of course).  


<![CDATA[LESSONS I'VE LEARNED THROUGH TRAGEDY - by Angie Pearson, Massage Therapis]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/LESSONS-IVE-LEARNED-THROUGH-TRAGEDY---by-Angie-Pearson-Massage-Therapis/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Over the past year I have experienced great tragedy.  I have lost three very important people in my life ~ all unexpectedly.  It's very easy to fall into anger, sadness, grief and confusion.  Life can throw you some pretty hard curve balls.  My heart hurts and my spirit feels broken, however, I have learned a valuable lesson through tragedy.

Life is short; you have to make the most out of each day.  So often we hold onto anger towards one another; so often we mean to do this or that, to call or visit someone, but we never get around to it.  Life gets busy and we get into our routines without reaching out to the ones that are important to us.

I've learned there is no going back.  I've learned we HAVE to make time for those we love.  I've learned to let go of anger and live each day as if it's my last because we just never know; it may be the last time we have to say, "I love you," or "I'm sorry," or "I forgive you." 

Take time for the ones you hold dear.  Find the beauty in each day, hold peace in your heart, breathe in the good and let go of the bad.  Most importantly, make the most of each and every day.

<![CDATA["FEAR" by Nicole Peltz, Salon Stylist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/FEAR-by-Nicole-Peltz-Salon-Stylist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

"Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear." ~ George Adair.

Have you ever wondered what your life would look like, who you would be today, if you never let fear control your life?  To me, there are two types of fear; one helps preserve your life and is extremely important to heed to.  The other suffocates you and keeps you from living life.  The sad part is, the later one, usually gets confused with the former - and we, as humans, end up missing out on truly living.

So let's talk about this.  Ask yourself, "Why don't I do certain things in my life?"  Like:  dancing, speaking in front of people, trying a new food, trying a new hobby, wearing a new outfit, being spontaneous, singing karaoke, the list goes on.  I think if we're honest, the answers to those questions are pretty obvious.  We don't want to be made fun of, or look stupid.  It's a fear of MAN.  But this question can go even deeper.  Why don't you do your best at work?  Maybe because you don't want to look like a 'brown-noser'. Why don't you take the time to care about your health and actually do something about it?  Perhaps because you're afraid that if you care about yourself some strong emotion of past issues may arise.

You see, fear is a tricky thing.  It makes you believe whatever you fear...is...reality.  The TRUTH is that fear is FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL.  If you don't catch fear trying to choke you out, a time will come that you will realize that you're no longer LIVING life.  Even if it's in a small degree - fear robs you of living.  I don't know about you, but I'm DONE with being afraid.  I'm done being afraid of succeeding.  I'm done being afraid of looking stupid, or like a suck -up, or an over achiever, or a letdown, or a bad mom, or a bad wife, or a bad Christian.  I'm done fearing new adventures, or extreme hobbies.  I'm done fearing what people think of me.

I have committed to living a life that is not just fear-less, but FEAR-FREE!  Join me!  Choose to live life with me!  Sometimes what you're most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free!  I want to be set free.  I want you to be set free.  Let's do this! 

<![CDATA["Are You The Kind of Person You Want To Meet?" by Deb Singh, Client Services]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Are-You-The-Kind-of-Person-You-Want-To-Meet-by-Deb-Singh-Client-Services/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Saw the titled quote and had to think about that ~ am I the type of person I would want to meet?  While I have some good qualities, there are also areas where I fail.  But it has made me more determined to remind myself of this quote whenever I am out-and-about.  What a difference a smile can make to someone.  I think about the kinds of people that I DO like to meet:  friendly, honest, fun, spiritual, thoughtful, reliable, optimistic, kind, respectful and passionate.  I think about the businesses I return to and why; it's because they offer something of quality and are friendly.  Being mindful of this quote each and every day will hopefully make me a better person, and, a better employee.  So, ask yourself the question:  are YOU the kind of person you want to meet?

<![CDATA["The Amazing Benefits of Facials" by Jade Holmes, Esthetician]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/The-Amazing-Benefits-of-Facials-by-Jade-Holmes-Esthetician/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

You may love the pampering and relaxation you feel when receiving a facial, but there are a multitude of other benefits your skin is getting during your treatment that offer you health and wellness!  Some facial treatments are designed to deep clean the skin, while others offer moisturizing benefits, and still others help to relieve stress.  Be assured that with each type of facial, you are increasing circulation and increasing oxygen to skin cells which gives your skin that healthy glow and helps to plump up the skin reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles.  You're also relieving stress through this soothing treatment with aromatherapy and oils that encourage peace of mind and contentment.  And while there's no way to stop the aging process, technology shows that regular facials SLOW the skin aging process and offer you more youthful, supple skin.  Don't wait!  Get on a regular skin care regimen that includes facials - you'll be surprised at the results!

<![CDATA[SHRIMP SCAMPI, by Meghan Rudnitski - Client Services]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/SHRIMP-SCAMPI-by-Meghan-Rudnitski---Client-Services/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

8 oz. linguine
2 TBS unsalted butter
1 lb. med. shrimp, peeled, deveined
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 c. white wine
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Zest of 1 lemon
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 c. grated parmesan

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to pkg. directions - drain well.  Melt butter in large skillet over med. heat. Add shrimp, garlic, red pepper flakes.  Cook, stirring occasionally until pink (about 2-3 minutes).  Stir in white wine and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a simmer; remove from heat and stir in pasta, lemon zest and parsley.  Serve immediately, garnished with parmesan, if desired.  SERVES 4. 

<![CDATA[Peace In My Heart And Yours - Diane Anlauf, Client Services]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Peace-In-My-Heart-And-Yours---Diane-Anlauf-Client-Services/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Why are so many of us at war with ourselves?  Perhaps it happened gradually with the way we were raised, words we heard at school when we were younger, TV and commercials that keep you comparing yourself with others.  It was created from a place of fear.

Now is a good time to say “no more.”  No more self deprecating thoughts.  It’s over – declare PEACE!   It’s time to create your life with love.  You can learn from the past, but don’t dwell on it - it’s over.  We are in charge of our own thoughts.  Affirm yourself, give thanks for all that you are, all the lovely things you have and enjoy, and know that more good is to come.  

Be aware of your feelings, because they let you know what you are thinking.  As soon as you realize you’re falling back into old habits, tell yourself what you really want, (not what you don’t want).

Peace is not merely a ceasefire, but acceptance of the love that fills everything.  It’s time, and it’s ok to love yourself!

<![CDATA["CREATING A GREAT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE" by Debbie Singh, Guest Services]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/CREATING-A-GREAT-CUSTOMER-EXPERIENCE-by-Debbie-Singh-Guest-Services/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

When it comes to businesses knowing how to create a great customer experience, WillowBridge gets an A++.  It's often the little details that customers remember ~ even more than the product they purchased or the service they received.  Little details that make customers not only feel good about making the purchase or having the service, but purchasing the product and receiving the service from YOU.  WillowBridge's attentiveness to each client from the moment they are greeted at the door to the personalization of their service provider remembering whether  they like tea, coffee or lemon water - it's the details!  Beyond great service and conversation ~ they genuinely appreciate those who patronize their business ~ especially after their relocation to Isanti.  Most impressive ~ they send hand-written thank you notes to clients! This nearly forgotten art still lives in the hearts of those employed at WillowBridge.  "The sum of the parts is greater than the whole."  Meaningful, memorable, fun experiences influence the way clients perceive us.  Little details are of more value than even WE realized ~ and in some cases, causes clients to pay more because they feel they get more - and they recommend us to everyone they know.  Anyone can do the big things - but it's the little details that influence customer's choices.  Attentiveness and kindness cost nothing.  But they sure do make a valuable difference.

<![CDATA["CRANBERRY GINGER GLUGG" by Wendy Sperl, Salon Stylist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/CRANBERRY-GINGER-GLUGG-by-Wendy-Sperl-Salon-Stylist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

As Christmas and New Years have come and gone, I thought I'd share one of my family's favorite warm holiday beverages.  During these special days we usually have a large pot of this mix simmering on low on the stove.  There is a delicious aroma in the air and a warm mug ready for sipping by the fire, fellowshipping with loved ones and taking in the season.  ENJOY!

CRANBERRY GINGER GLUGG (I prefer organic ingredients)

Fill a large stock pot half full with cranberry juice
Add apple cider to taste (I add one jar)
2-4 cinnamon sticks
Orange peel to taste
Peeled and sliced ginger (I grate for a stronger ginger flavor)

Why not enjoy this recipe on the cold, winter days ahead! 

<![CDATA["CHRISTMAS MORNING CARAMEL ROLLS" by Jorie Wilkinson, Front Desk]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/CHRISTMAS-MORNING-CARAMEL-ROLLS-by-Jorie-Wilkinson-Front-Desk/
   By Deb              (0) Comments


1 Bag Frozen Cinnamon Rolls in 9x13 greased cake pan (recipe is for 2 pans)

1 c. vanilla ice cream

1 c. brown sugar

5 TBL butter


Let rolls thaw and rise overnight in oven ~ don't cover!

On Christmas morning, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

In saucepan over med. heat, melt butter, ice cream and brown sugar until blended - bring to boil.

Pour over both pans of rolls and bake according to cinnamon roll package directions.  Metal pan

works best.  ENJOY!

<![CDATA["My Holiday...Un-Stressed" by Diane Koepp, Massage Therapist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/My-HolidayUn-Stressed-by-Diane-Koepp-Massage-Therapist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Sometimes it takes a bit of thinking for me not to get caught up in the stress of life, work, family, the holidays, food prep, gifts to buy and chores.  This is what I do to handle the challenges of life:

Breathe deep and take a few minutes to relax.
Take time to study someone's smile until I am smiling too!
Keep life simple, focus on the little things in life and look through the eyes of a child.
Count the things I am thankful for.

My favorite holiday soup to make is CHICKEN WILD RICE:

Fry 1/2 lb. of bacon, cut in small pieces
Saute' a large chopped onion
Saute' 8 oz. portabella mushrooms, sliced
3 cups cooked tender wild rice

2-3 tsp. chicken base (purchased)
Bacon, onions, mushrooms
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 1/2 sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups water
1 pint half and half
Salt, pepper, roasted garlic to taste 

Heat thoroughly (be careful not to scorch)
Double recipe for 10 qt. pot 

<![CDATA[SALMON PATTIES by Analia DeBenetti, Massage Therapist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/SALMON-PATTIES-by-Analia-DeBenetti-Massage-Therapist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments


1 (7.5 oz.) can red salmon - drained
1/4 c. finely diced onion
1/4 finely diced red pepper
1 TBL chopped parsley
1 egg
1/2 c. fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tsp. olive oil

Instructions: Place drained salmon in a bowl and mash with fork.  Mix with onion, red pepper, egg,bread crumbs and parsley.  Shape into four patties - heat oil - cook about 5 minutes or until browned and cooked through - turning only once.


<![CDATA["CH-CH-CH-CHIA!" by Brittany Hobson, Esti, Salon Stylist & Massage Therapist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/CH-CH-CH-CHIA-by-Brittany-Hobson-Esti-Salon-Stylist--Massage-Therapist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

What use to be a gimmicky gift (chia pets) are now the new health food craze!  Chia seeds on their own do not have a strong flavor which makes them so easy to introduce into your diet - and for good reason!
*When chia seeds come into contact with liquid, they expand and gel up - helping you to feel fuller, longer and possibly helping with weight loss
*Balance blood sugar.  Chia seeds have soluble and insoluble fiber which helps steady the absorption of the energy from the food you eat.  Great addition to a diabetics' diet!  
*Don't like fish? Chia seeds are the best plant source for Omega 3's!  No need to worry about the mercury content of your fish - just add chia to your diet for these healthy fats
*Chia seeds are a great source of energy.  Add them to your breakfast to substitute for your coffee and you'll get your energy boost!
*Chia seeds have anti-oxidants which help tame the free radicals in your body that cause premature aging

1 oz. of chia seeds = about 2 tablespoons and contain:
139 calories
4g protein
9g fat
12g carbs
11g fiber

Chia seeds are loaded with protein and packed with calcium, manganese, and phosphorus.  And...they're gluten-free!

Introduce chia seeds SLOWLY to your diet - remember - they have a large fiber content and too much, too quick could cause an upset stomach.

So versatile - you can sprinkle them on salads, cereal, veggies, yogurt, add them to drinks and baked goods. 


<![CDATA["Get What You Want" - by Audi Dolan, Salon Lead and Stylist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Get-What-You-Want---by-Audi-Dolan-Salon-Lead-and-Stylist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

How often do you hear people complain about the circumstances in their life?  Yeah, all the time - and it drives me crazy!  Sure, you can't control the things that happen in your life, but you CAN absolutely control how you react to the things that happen.

You teach people how to treat you by how you react to things.  If you don't stand up for yourself you will get walked all over.  Which, in turn, will cause unhappiness.  You can't expect other people to make you happy - you hold the key to your own happiness.

If you don't like something about your life - CHANGE IT!  Don't like your career, CHANGE IT!  Don't like the people in your life, CHANGE THEM!  Life is too short to be unhappy.

Don't sit back and wait for your life to happen.  Get up and get what you want.  NOW! 

<![CDATA[Brazilian Sugar - Friend or Foe? by Nicole Peltz, Stylist and Sugar Specialist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Brazilian-Sugar---Friend-or-Foe-by-Nicole-Peltz-Stylist-and-Sugar-Specialist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

The warm breeze blowing across your face, the radiant sun warming your skin, the feel of smooth sand between your toes, but all you can think about is, "Man, I really should have shaved 'the girl' before I put on this hot, new swimsuit!!!!  

Worrying about 'your girl' can ruin a good day at the beach.  It can ruin a lot more than that too!

FACT:  Shaving your, ahem, "V" can cause itching, irritation, razor burn, and a variety of other uncool side effects.  
FACT:  Sugaring your special places has little to no negative side effects. 

Now, don't get me wrong...it's painful!  Like, top five most painful things I've ever chosen to do myself.  There is a small risk of bruising - and - if you don't treat her right...a few ingrown hairs.  BUT...the benefits of a Brazilian Sugar far outweigh the risks.  You can achieve the smooth, clean, non-itching, long lasting effects of a Brazilian Sugar in less than one hour - in less than a half-hour if you have got some kahoonas!

The first time is the hardest part.  We establish a foundation.  We do EVERYTHING.  No hair left behind (pun totally intended).  You'll ask yourself why you waited so long to give this a try...and your significant other will too!  Voila!  You're hooked!  

Maintenance (on average) is every 4-6 weeks.  Your only job in between that time is to make sure you're keeping her clean and exfoliated.  Sure, you may cuss, cry, bargain, plead and work through some emotional issues during the process, but that quickly fades when you are left to gaze at your new best friend.  

As far as things go on my end?  All I see is hair...and the need for it to be removed.  Second, I cannot wait for you to experience the awesomeness of the Brazilian Sugar! 

<![CDATA["FREEDOM" by Diane Anlauf - Client Services]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/FREEDOM-by-Diane-Anlauf---Client-Services/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Freedom is a big word right now, as we celebrate Independence Day.  It can mean different things to different people, depending on individual experiences.  I think a lot of people think of it as escaping from a bad situation, but here is another way to look at it:

Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose - and commit yourself to - what is best for you (Paulo Coelho). 

You are the only one who can make the choice to live the life of your dreams.  The old memories seem to like to pop back into our lives, triggering the old behaviors that can take control, but you can be aware and change your thoughts.  Empowered living is constantly remembering your goals, how you want to change and committing to it again.

Realize that our spirituality was created in the likeness of God; we are already free and always will be.  Make wonderful choices! 

<![CDATA["A FIFTY-SOMETHING' DADDY'S GIRL by Debbie Singh, Experience Specialist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/A-FIFTY-SOMETHING-DADDYS-GIRL-by-Debbie-Singh-Experience-Specialist/
   By Deb              (2) Comments


“There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even when they have gone, the light remains.”


For whatever reason, last Father’s Day was difficult.  Naturally, I get melancholy because my Dad passed away in 1999, but it seemed like it was only yesterday he was here…playing with grandkids, fishing, telling jokes and laughing.  Oh, how I wished to hear his laugh again!  Try as I might to think about all the great Dads we still HAVE in our family, I just couldn’t shake the sadness of not having my own father here to celebrate.  And then it happened!  As I was going through a drawer in my hutch, I found it…a letter I’d written to my Dad for Father’s Day in 1991!  He’d put it in a plastic protector with other items he’d saved and placed it in his safe – only to be discovered after he was gone.  Time stopped as I sat down to read it.  I wrote that I wouldn’t be giving him the traditional shirt or fishing gear for Father’s Day, but rather ‘memories’ that had so enriched my life.  I remembered childhood lunches and playdates, high school drama and heartaches.  I remembered him teaching me to ride a bike along with every single neighborhood kid until we’d all made the passage from training wheels to freedom!  I remembered giving him each and every term paper I’d ever written and him being my greatest critic, but also my biggest fan.  I remembered the last time we went fishing when I was still his daughter and not yet someone’s wife.  I remembered the treasured moments of him playing with my daughter, the child of his child.  I remembered his life-changing advice and so much more.  I ended the letter thanking him for being my protector, my mentor, my rock.  I knew without a doubt, I wouldn’t be so happy a wife and mother, had I not been so lovingly fathered.  Yes, I was a daddy’s girl.  I had no fear of the world as long as my father was in it.  Maybe that’s why, some days, like this past Father’s Day, I’m gently reminded that I am making my way through the world without him –and I miss him.  I will have moments where I yearn for the safety of his arms and his words, no matter how old I get.  I will always be his daughter – I will always be HIS girl. 

<![CDATA["LOVE" by Linsey Dybvig, Salon Stylist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/LOVE-by-Linsey-Dybvig-Salon-Stylist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

You are deserving of love.  Give yourself a chance to love and be loved.  It's a wonderful feeling to know someone is always there, through the good times and the hard times.   Don't give up on people.  People who give a lot of love, receive a lot of love!  Love creates love.  It can be great!  Love is a force of nature.  Act lovingly towards yourself and do things that nuture you, make you stronger, and make you proud of who you are and how you live your life.  You have to love yourself first, then others.  Never take anyone for granted.  Learn how to appreciate everyone.  You never know when your life will end, so love often.

<![CDATA["REMEMBER TO SHOP LOCAL" by Deb Singh]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/REMEMBER-TO-SHOP-LOCAL-by-Deb-Singh/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Evidence from numerous surveys show people receive better customer care and service locally, because we know each other!  Local businesses value you; their reputation and repeat business is what helps them survive.  Most people can get to local businesses more easily, which is important for the elderly and those who don't drive.  Local businesses are more generous in their support of local charities, schools and community events, which makes a financial impact on the community.  Local businesses employ local people.  People fall out of the habit of shopping locally and then are surprised by the range of products and services available.  Please be mindful of this.  Remember, if shops disappear, so do salons, banks, grocery stores, restaurants, etc.   

<![CDATA["Nutrition and Great Skin!" by Jade Holmes, Esthetician]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Nutrition-and-Great-Skin-by-Jade-Holmes-Esthetician/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

VITAMIN A:  If your skin has been feeling scaly and dry, then there's a possibility that you might be lacking in Vitamin A.  Good sources of Vitamin A  include eggs, leafy greens, milk, carrots, pumpkins, liver and more!
VITAMIN E:  This vitamin is probably the most well known for healthy skin.  It's an effective antioxidant that fights the free radicals which effect our skin!  Foods that are rich in Vitamin E are olives, sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds, wheat germ and leafy greens.
VITAMIN C:  This vitamin is also an antioxidant which helps fight the battle of aging skin.  Naturally, fruits are a GREAT source for Vitamin C, but also add vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes and brussel sprouts to your diet.
VITAMIN B Complex: These should be added to your diet to achieve healthy skin.  To incorporate all the B vitamins, add these foods to your diet: egg yolks, nuts, raisins, tomatoes, broccoli and carrots.

Nutrition combined with a good skin care routine is vitally important for healthy, glowing skin.  I always stress the three's: Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize!  Schedule a facial every four weeks to keep your skin in balance and to address any issues you might be having.  Everyone should have a Wellness Plan that includes skin care.  Make sure yours does.   If you ever have questions or concerns about your skin, please call and talk to one of our trained estheticians - we're always happy to help you achieve the skin results you want.

<![CDATA["HEALTH AND HAPPINESS LIES WITHIN" by Michelle Ashley, Boutique Buyer]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/HEALTH-AND-HAPPINESS-LIES-WITHIN-by-Michelle-Ashley-Boutique-Buyer/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

We all have a story.  We have walked the same path as others, but arrive at different destinations.  How can one path lead to two different destinations?  The answer lies within our thoughts and how we react to life.  I’m not here to tell you my story.  I’m here to share how changing your thoughts can change EVERYTHING for you!  We ALL hold the key to our own happiness.  Isn’t that awesome?  YOU are in control of your thoughts.  YOU are the filter that lets thoughts in and out of that fantastic mind of yours.  When I first read that statement, I was blown away.  It changed everything for me!  To learn how to regain control of my life was the key to controlling my thoughts, mood, relationships, and everyday interactions in life.  Think about it, listen to your own thoughts and how they can make or break you.  Let’s take ‘receiving news you failed a test’ as an example.  Some of us will react with negative thoughts like, “I am stupid, I will never get through this class, I will never get to college.”  They can’t get past the fact that they failed one test.  They think it’s the end of the world.  They’re stuck.  Positive thinking can get you through the same scenario.  You’ll recognize that you didn’t study.  You’ll take responsibility and be accountable.  You will brush it off and move forward and say, “I’m smarter than this!”  You will take charge of the situation and know you can and will do better.  Start a love language with yourself TODAY!  Start seeing the changes that are made with everyday life.  Say to yourself, “I am love.  I am smart.  I am a great Mom/Dad.  I am healthy.”  THIS thought process can make things change in an instant!  And you must surround yourself with like-minded people.  Take inventory of your day and the everyday interactions you have with family, friends, and co-workers.  After every interaction, step back and take note if this person leaves you feeling better or worse.  Are you drained or uplifted?  Detox yourself from toxic people in your life.  Time is precious!  Control what enters your surroundings!  For one week stop watching negative news or shows – stay off Facebook.  Fill that time with being outside in nature or soothing music or spending time with family and friends.  So much of the time we have our heads and minds in ‘devices’ that distract us from……..LIFE!  We are growing further and further apart socially.  It’s time to put down the devices.  You will find that you are happier and full of energy!  I also recommend approaching your day with silence and positive thoughts.  Stop that voice in your head that judges.  Silent that voice and just listen.  Let certain situations just pass – let it be.  You really don’t have to have an opinion on everything.  Think about the moment where you reacted negatively and your mouth opened up and made a situation worse.  If you don’t let your ego get in the way, you can control your subconscious.  Positive thinking can inspire you – and you WILL experience happiness!  You will feel connected to your purpose and bring energy to your daily life.  It can be hard work and you may find yourself going back to old patterns and habits, but…stop negative thoughts instantly and replace them with words of kindness.  When you create this thought process, you are not judging others or yourself.  You won’t react to other’s behaviors or attitudes.  You will appreciate every moment, become tolerant and loving.  Your ego, which edges out goodness, will not be able to take over.  You will become the young child you once were.  Think about how children smile and find the simple things in life such a joy!  They don’t think negative!  They trust and love and are pure of heart!  We have to start feeding our souls with peaceful feelings.  Words are very powerful.  Words can change the very cells in our bodies.  There is scientific evidence behind this!  Did you know the words, “I love you” harmonize and release a network of pathways within our minds and bodies that affect the molecular structure of water that makes up your body?  Those were the findings of Dr. Nasaru Emoto.  Once your pathways are open, the mind is present and the body’s self-healing capacity can take over!  What good news!  Do not, however, stop taking medications or stop seeing a doctor for whatever ails you.  I’m just asking you to change your inner dialogue.  Great things will happen!  You will reconnect with your inner soul, which is made from pure love.

<![CDATA["EAT YOUR HEART OUT!" by Deb Singh, Experience Specialist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/EAT-YOUR-HEART-OUT-by-Deb-Singh-Experience-Specialist/
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According to Women's Health magazine, sweet, rich, and delicious dark chocolate is good for more than curing a broken heart!  If you stick to healthy, dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao, which is cocoa in its roasted, ground form, you will reap the benefits of chocolate!  The latest research backs up the claim that dark chocolate has cardiovascular benefits.  In a 9 year Swedish study of more than 31,000 women, those who ate one or two servings of dark chocolate each week cut their risk for heart failure by as much as a third!  Consuming chocolate has also shown to lessen the effects of stress.  But it doesn't stop there.  Researchers from Oxford University and Norway looked at chocolate's long term effects on the brain by studying the diets of more than 2,000 people over the age of 70 and found that those who consumed flavanoid-rich chocolate scored significantly higher on cognitive tests than those who didn't!  And did you know chocolate can help with a cough?  It's true!  The National Heart and Lung Institute in London found that the chemical responsible for chocolate's feel-good effect may suppress activity in a part of the brain called the vagus nerve with makes us cough!  South America and European cultures have a history that dates back to the 16th century of treating diarrhea with cocoa.  Modern day science has shown they were onto something and scientists at the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute found that cocoa flavonoids bind to a protein that regulates fluid secretions in the small intestine, helping to stop diarrhea.  WHO KNEW?????  So, when you're out shopping for chocolate treats to fill those Easter baskets - don't forget the dark chocolate! 

<![CDATA["WHY WE SHOULD MEDITATE" By Tawnya Matheson, Massage Therapist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/WHY-WE-SHOULD-MEDITATE-By-Tawnya-Matheson-Massage-Therapist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Each day I see the results of stress on my clients.  There's a lot I can do, but there are also simple things people could do each day to gain relief.  I strongly encourage everyone to meditate.  The following excerpt was written by Dr. Herbert Benson, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School:

"You should be meditating every day.  Stress evokes the flight-or-fight response and increases your energy metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure and rate of breathing.  Most importantly, it triggers the secretion of adrenaline and noradrenaline.  But because you're NOT running or fighting, in fact, you're probably sitting at a desk or lying in bed NOT sleeping - your body can't use those hormones appropriately - and that puts you at risk for a number of diseases and conditions like anxiety, depression, insomnia, heart attack, strokes, bowel disorders, etc.  So then you use medications.  By some estimates, at least 60% and as many as 90% of doctor visits are for problems that start with stress.  We have within us a response opposite to the stress response!  It's called the relaxation response, a physiologic, genetic set of changes that can counteract stress.  One way is meditation.  Another is repetitive prayer - yoga or Tai chi also work well.  What they can do is change the genes' activity.  To the extent that any ache or pain is being caused by stress, the relaxation response takes care of it.  Literally millions of people are now evoking it regularly.  The results show that people feel better."  

Please take time for you.  Spend just 10-15 minutes of quiet time each day and be still.  It's the one prescription every person needs.     

<![CDATA["Best Red Sauce EVER Recipe" by Meghan Rudnitski, Client Services]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Best-Red-Sauce-EVER-Recipe-by-Meghan-Rudnitski-Client-Services/
   By Deb              (0) Comments
By far THE best Red sauce recipe!!! My sister, my best friend, is an amazing cook!!! However, I don't share that same talent! With that said, I am sharing her Vodka Sauce recipe. A sauce I feel everyone should try at least once!!! Bon appetite!!



1 medium Spanish onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, diced

½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1½ tsp. dried oregano

1 cup vodka

2 (28-ounce) cans peeled plum tomatoes

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

¾ lb. penne pasta

4 Tbs. fresh oregano

¾ to 1 cup of heavy cream

Grated Parmesan cheese



Preheat oven to 375°


Heat the olive oil in a large proof sauté pan over medium heat, add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent.  Add the red pepper flakes and dried oregano and cook for 1 minute more.  Add the vodka and continue cooking until the mixture is reduced by half.


Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes through a sieve and crush them into the pan with your hands.  Add 2 tsp. salt and a pinch of black pepper.  Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and place it in the oven for 1½ hours.  Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente.  Drain and set aside.  

Place the tomato mixture in a blender and puree in batches until the sauce is a smooth consistency.  Return to the pan.


Reheat the sauce, add 2 Tbs. fresh oregano and enough heavy cream to make the sauce a creamy consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 10 minutes.  Toss the pasta into the sauce and cook for 2 minutes more.  Stir in ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Serve with an additional sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh oregano on each plate.

<![CDATA["Be Positive or Be Quiet" by Jennifer Grzybowski, Massage Therapist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Be-Positive-or-Be-Quiet-by-Jennifer-Grzybowski-Massage-Therapist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

I was listening to a speaker the other day and he talked about how we should either be positive or be quiet.  Can you imagine a world where negative words were never spoken or said with positive emotions following it?  Have you ever gone a day only speaking positive and holding your tongue on the negative thoughts that cross your mind? It's harder than you might think to speak positive all the time.  I believe that although it can be difficult, we should try.  Although we may think something negative in our heads, we should not breathe death into our day by speaking it and building it up; but rather take that which is negative and turn it into something positive.  Does complaining ever do any good or does it put the problem under a magnifying glass and make it worse?  From my own experience, speaking my mind when I'm feeling badly or having a bad day only makes the day go in a negative direction.  We may think it all we like, but when we speak our negative thoughts, they take on their own identity and grow into an issue that can be hard to overcome.  What would happen if we didn't speak it?  I think the negative, self depreciating thoughts would begin to fade and positive thoughts would invade our minds moving our day in a positive direction.  When experiencing a thought that brings us sadness, frustration, or leads us to low self esteem about ourselves, we must "Be Quiet".  Guard your mouth by holding captive your negative thoughts and replace them with words that breathe life into your day!

<![CDATA["Cook Once, Have a New Lunch Every Day of the Week!" by Deb Singh, Experience Specialist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Cook-Once-Have-a-New-Lunch-Every-Day-of-the-Week-by-Deb-Singh-Experience-Specialist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

The hardest part of sticking with healthy and money-saving packed lunches is all the prep.  But healthy and affordable lunches DON'T have to be boring!  By simply making a super-size batch of roasted veggies on Sunday, you can watch them work in new ways all week with fresh and delicious lunch ideas.  So elevate that brown bag lunch to a higher level!

MONDAY - Green Your Consumption

Come Monday we're ready to feast on the type of responsible food we've neglected all weekend.  Bring a big bag of salad greens, toss in a handful of roasted veggies - the oil and salt from the veggies should add amazing flavor to the salad, making dressing obsolete!  But you're welcome to dress the salad up with some nuts and cheese!

TUESDAY - Bowl Us Over

Ready to ease yourself back into carbs?  High-fiber whole grains will keep your belly full and your mind on the grind.  Toss last night's side of brown rice, barley, or quinoa with your vegetables - and nuts, and drizzle with a bit of oil if you choose.

WEDNESDAY - Make it Mexican

Just a spoonful of salsa helps the veggies go down!  Spice up the dreaded 'hump day' with a taco-inspired twist.  Salsa acts as a low-cal high-flavor dressing, while tortilla chips add just enough salt and crunch to keep your spirits high! 

THURSDAY - Flatten the Bottom Line

Time to throw some flatbread into the mix, be it naan, tortilla, or pita.  As your arsenal grows, your lunch becomes more customizable:  Re-create Tuesday's grain bowl as a hippie-style filling, microwave a quick quesadilla or if you have a toaster oven, load up tostada-style and go to town - topping it off with some salsa!

FRIDAY - Mezze It Up!

Friday's an open-catch for all your leftover odds and ends.  Tote along some hummus or sauce to make flatbread pizza (assuming you've got access to cheese and heat!) - otherwise BYO bread to load up a kitchen-sink sandwich!

THERE YOU GO!  It's so easy - just take some time on the weekend to prepare and you won't be searching for lunches or running for a fast food fix.

<![CDATA["Flavorful Vegetarian Split Pea Soup" by Analia Debenetti, Massage Therapist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Flavorful-Vegetarian-Split-Pea-Soup-by-Analia-Debenetti-Massage-Therapist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

This is a great soup for these cold Minnesota days!
6 c. vegetable broth or 6 c. water and 3 bouillon cubes
2 c. dried green split peas, rinsed
1 med. onion chopped
1 c. chopped carrots
2 celery ribs with leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp salt,
1/4 tsp pepper
5 TBL shredded carrots
In a large saucepan, combine the first nine ingredients; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for an hour or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally.  Add salt and pepper; simmer 10 minutes longer, cool slightly.  In small batches, puree soup in a blender and return to the pan.  Heat for 5 minutes, garnish with shredded carrots.  ENJOY!
Serves 7 

<![CDATA["ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS" by Traci Sales, Massage Therapist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/ACHIEVING-YOUR-GOALS-by-Traci-Sales-Massage-Therapist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Achieving your goals


It is the start of a new year. It is a time where we reflect on where we were and where we want to be in the future. We are all excited and set out New Year resolutions and instantly go full speed to accomplishing them. Then most fail not even a month into it. Why does this happen? How do we work and accomplish our goals?


First we need to make sure we are taking time to asses what we really want. Look at ourselves and our lives and make an honest assessment. Where am I at? Then figure out what our objective is. Where do I want to go and why? Then decide how will I get from here to there.


Once you discover what you want to achieve, the next step is to set clear, obtainable and realistic goals. Do some research and figure out healthy achievable goals. You will never lose 50 lbs in a month, but you could lose 3-5 lbs a week.


Next, start small and work your way up. There is a greater risk of giving up if there is too much of a change. You will tend to become frustrated and stressed over just trying to maintain. Instead of saying I’m going to go to the gym 7 days a week, try saying I’m going to go to the gym one day a week, then stick to it. After that becomes normal, then increase to two days. Even with the diet changes, make them small. Instead of saying I’m going to give up all fats, sugars, and carbs; start out with, I’m going to substitute two pops a day for water or I’m going to make sure I start my day out with a healthy breakfast.


Next reward yourself. You are working hard; take the time to acknowledge it. For example, for every two dress sizes lost, go on a shopping day. You could set up a money jar; every time you go to the gym, add a dollar or every day you don’t smoke that pack of cigarettes add the money you would have spent on them. After a month use that money for something you really want, whether it is new clothes or a little vacation.


Finally, don’t give up. There will be times where we slip and don’t achieve our goals, don’t get discouraged. One day will not destroy you, but giving up will. Remember to look at how far you have come verses how far you have left to go. Surround yourself with people who are going to encourage you. Above all stop the negative self-talk.


Remember you can do this!

<![CDATA["A Routine World" by Nicole Peltz - Salon Stylist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/A-Routine-World-by-Nicole-Peltz---Salon-Stylist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Are you a 'service' provider or a 'servant-hood' provider?  Every day we do repetitive things and say repetitive words.  It's very easy to get so engrossed in our everyday service routines that after some time we begin to miss things.  This doesn't even have to be while we are at work, it can just be the things we do each day of life...going to the grocery store, filling our cars with gas, running to the post office...

But, we're missing something very important.  We're missing the fact that we are encountering PEOPLE.  Real people!  People who have joys, excitements, let-downs, depression, and trials that they are going through.  We get so use to providing a service or receiving a service ourselves, that we miss the fact that there is a person behind it all.  We unintentionally treat people like a machine, forgetting the fact there is a person who has emotions and value.

When was the last time you were in the store and actually looked your cashier in the eye and genuinely asked how their day was?  When was the last time you were talking with a guest and actually cared about what was going on in their life, regardless of what they do or what their lifestyle is?

I'm reminded of a client I had recently who lived a lifestyle I personally don't agree with and participated in activities I don't condone.  This is still a person with real emotions and eternal value.  What good would it be for me to treat them poorly and/or disengage from conversation all because I had an issue with their lifestyle?  I've had people treat me this way and it does NOT make you feel loved. 

I challenge you, the next time you step into any form of service, giving or receiving, check yourself.  Are you in your routine and missing the people behind the face?  Try to shake off that 'service' mentality and step into 'servanthood' mentality. 

"Power is meant to be shared with the goal of empowering others.  Hoarded power weakens others and exalts oneself.  Power, when grounded in biblical values, serves others by liberating them.  It acknowledges that people bear the image of God and treats them in a way that will nurture the development of that image.  In doing so, we honor their Creator."  ~ Duane Elmer              

<![CDATA["Are You Well?" By Mallory Storm - Client Services]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Are-You-Well--By-Mallory-Storm---Client-Services/
   By Deb              (0) Comments
Are you well?
One of the perks of working at a wellness center is it has prompted me, like many of my co workers, to focus on my personal wellness. This has started me thinking, what does wellness mean to me? How can I improve upon my overall well-being? Whoa, this seems like a very overwhelming concept! Looking at ones self and trying to improve can be a daunting task.
So let's start small, by simply defining what wellness means to you. For most, the physical aspect is a huge part of this. Are you healthy? Should you be exercising more often? Could you be eating healthier? We all know how these two things alone can have a huge impact on quality of life.

For others it is less about the physical and more about the emotional.  Are you happy? Do you make enough "me" time to keep you centered? Are you in control of your stress? Having balanced emotions better prepares us to handle all life throws at us.  Hand in hand with emotional is spiritual.

This doesn't necessarily need to be faith in the traditional sense. Is there something in your life that you're truly passionate about? As one of our acupuncturists referred to in an earlier blog, What is your "Spark"? It is so important for us to feel that greater calling, whatever it may be, to keep us excited about life!

Last, but certainly not least, comes environment. Are you happy with your job? How's your social life? Do you have strong relationships with your family? To be content with your surroundings does not mean you need to be at a high paying job, driving an expensive car, etc. It simply means you know what is important to you and achieve success in that area.

Still feeling overwhelmed? Take my approach and set little goals in each of these areas. Once you have mastered that goal, move onto another. It is amazing how quickly these seemingly smalls steps can add up to make a huge difference in your life. The Willowbridge staff is here to help guide you on your journey. Be well!

<![CDATA[MEDITATION 2 - MIRACULOUS RELATIONSHIPS by Diane Anlauf, Client Services]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/MEDITATION-2---MIRACULOUS-RELATIONSHIPS-by-Diane-Anlauf-Client-Services/
   By Deb              (1) Comments

I'd like to expand a little bit on Angie's Blog about meditation that she wrote a few months ago - because I was also intimidated with the idea of meditation.  Then I discovered a free program that Oprah and Deepak Chopra did online, which made it a lot easier for me to get started.  Now I know it's an awesome way to be be more in tune with myself; it's like a form of prayer with God.  You get to decide what meditation means for you, and you'll feel better. 

I want to let you know another online opportunity started with Deepak on August 5th, called "Miraculous Relationships".  You can do these daily for the next 3 weeks, at home whenever you find a time that works for you.  It only takes 15 minutes, he will give a centering thought while you close your eyes and relax, and you'll feel better!  Just go to https://chopracentermeditation.com/ to sign up with your email.  Here's a mind boggling thought: you'll be meditating daily with millions of people world wide!  (If you're reading this after August 26, 2013, you can still go to the website for tips on meditating, future free programs, or you can purchase this one.)

Miracles happen everyday - we just have to pay attention to what is going on around us.  Deepak introduces his first session by saying, "We will share a boundless journey to the heart, where love and spirit are forever conspiring to create miracles in our lives."  Isn't that a beautiful thought!  This will help you find out who you really are, make your relationships more fulfilling, and become more aware of how we all connect in the world. 

<![CDATA[ARE YOUR KIDS GETTING THE HYDRATION THEY NEED? by Debbie Singh]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/ARE-YOUR-KIDS-GETTING-THE-HYDRATION-THEY-NEED--by-Debbie-Singh/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Did you know that 64% of kids go to school dehydrated?  Alarming, but true!  A 2010 study of over 600 children found that about two-thirds of kids are dehydrated when they head off to school!  Making sure your child is drinking enough water is as important as a proper diet, getting enough sleep, and daily exercise.  It's no surprise that by the time your child is thirsty, he or she is already starting to get dehydrated!  A child's body is made up of about 60% water and is the most abundant and essential component in the human body; supporting the body's physical and cognitive functions.  Studies show that children actually need MORE water than adults because they lose more water through their skin.  And with child obesity on the rise, replacing just one 20 ounce sugar-sweetened drink with fresh water can cut 240 calories from your kid's diet each day - that's 87,600 calories a year!  Start the school year off right and help build healthy hydration habits!      

<![CDATA["SUMMER BUCKET LIST" by Deb Singh]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/SUMMER-BUCKET-LIST-by-Deb-Singh/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

It’s hard to see summer passing by so quickly, but there’s still time for lots of family fun time!  Here are some great ideas:  

MAKE A TIME CAPSULE – this is a great way to celebrate family time now…and later!  Your time capsule can be locked away in a
plastic container in your house, in a safe, dry place OR if you plan to bury your time capsule to be unearthed several years from now, you’ll want to use a proper container, such as stainless steel; you will also need ‘gel bags’ which are those little bags found in new shoe boxes or the packets found in vitamins to keep moisture out.  Think of all the fun things you can include in the capsule.  Be sure to write a note to yourself in the future – then mark the date you plan to open it and make sure every family member keeps this date in a safe, but visible place. 

HOME MOVIE NIGHT – Set aside a night where you gather to watch all your old home movies.  Young children love to see
themselves as babies – and adults enjoy seeing younger versions of themselves wearing some interesting clothing choices!  And
oh, those hair styles!?!

VOLUNTEER TOGETHER – this is quality time at its best because you get to spend time together while you make the world a better place.  Choose an activity you will all love.  If your family loves animals, then round up supplies for the local animal shelter and deliver them in person!  Young children might like drawing pictures to mail to the local nursing home residents.  For other fun ideas you can go to this volunteer website:  www.generationon.org

PUT ON A ‘NO-TALENT’ SHOW – tone-deaf singers and klutzy dancers unite!  Include extended family members such as
cousins and grandparents if you’d like.  Choose the date and then create!  Be sure and give an award for originality! 

PITCH A TENT IN THE BACKYARD – camping can be super fun in your own backyard!  S’mores, of course, are a must!  

GO ON A SCAVENGER HUNT – this can be done around the neighborhood or your own home and backyard with objects and clues as simple as:  find something outside that’s wet or something in the kitchen that starts with the letter ‘s’.  Set a time limit and the winner is the one who found the most items and the one who gets to order FIRST when you go for ice cream!

BUILD SOMETHING TOGETHER – If you’re no Bob the Builder then go to: www.builtbykids.com and find a project right for your family!  You’ll find plenty of step-by-step, easy to follow instructions for building something perfect for any age!  

It’s true that you don’t ever get this time back – not this day, this week, this summer.  Your kids and grandkids will never be this
age again, so make the most of the last days of summer and create some truly lasting family memories. 

<![CDATA["HOW DO YOU EXERCISE?" By Aliina Knickerbocker, Client Services]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/HOW-DO-YOU-EXERCISE-By-Aliina-Knickerbocker-Client-Services/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Since we are all about wellness I found it a good topic to talk about. There are many different ways people
choose to make themselves better such as eating right, or exercising. Exercising,
we all try to make time for it even if it’s only for a little bit during our
busy schedules. Exercising can be as simple as going for a walk or as complex
as doing a boot camp. For me though the best and most fun way to exercise is
swimming. A lot of people don’t know this but swimming is the best workout for
you. You burn so many calories and most of the time you don’t even know it and
even sweat a lot but since you’re in the water you can’t even tell. When you
swim you work a whole different set of muscles so the next day after a workout
you will most likely be sore in places you have never experienced pain before,
that is completely normal. The reason that swimming is the best exercise for
you is because of three different things:

  •    Buoyancy:  This water property allows people to do
         exercises that are difficult on land.  90 % of your body is buoyant
         when in the water up to your neck, so you are not hitting the floor as
         hard as you would on land.  No pounding or jarring.
  • Resistance:  There is continual
         resistance to every move you make.  The water offers 12% - 14% more
         resistance than when you exercise on land.  Resistance does not allow
         for sudden body movements.
  • Cooling Effects:  Water
         disperses heat more efficiently, so there is less chance of
         overheating.  The water continuously cools the body.  Exercise
         in the water is cooler and more comfortable than it is on land.

Swimming can be used in many different forms also. Here are some commonly used ways it is
incorporated in people’s lives:

  • Fitness:  
         Getting or keeping in shape.  Remember that you cannot just go in and expect
         great results.  Improving your fitness depends on how much energy you
  • Therapeutic:  
         Helping people recover from accidents and sickness.  Fighting the aging process.
  • Social:  
         Meeting and being with other people.  You can talk to others as you water
         exercise.  Workout facing your partner or side-by-side.  Meet
         new people, too!
  • Stress Release: 
    Gives you a chance to just relax and forget about work,
         problems, and other things.
  • Fun: 
    Enjoying the diversion.  Water exercises in a playful way and don't worry about
         being serious!  Laugh and enjoy it!  Water exercise is fun!

We all have our own ways we choose to work out and swimming is mine. I challenge all of you
to go out and try something new for a work out, maybe it will be swimming and
if so enjoy!

<![CDATA["What Is Your Spark?" by Melody Pekarek, Acupuncturis]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/What-Is-Your-Spark-by-Melody-Pekarek-Acupuncturis/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

"A SPARK is something that gives your life meaning and purpose.  It's an interest, a passion or a gift." ~ Dr. Peter Benson

What is your SPARK?  We all have one.  Some of us know what is is instinctively. Some of us find it through experience.  It is that one thing that lights us up!  It gets us out of bed in the morning.  It makes us feel strong, empowered, and confident!  What is your SPARK?  What motivates you?  Puts a smile on your face?  Revitalizes your senses?  Have you lost track of your SPARK?  Is it buried under frantic schedules, deadlines, obligations?  It's time to bring it to the surface and become re-aquainted with it.  We all need something that defines only us, who we are as individuals.  My SPARK is running!  I adore being outside feeling the wind and sun on my face!  I love that my time running is my time alone, with my thoughts.  I always return home from a run, feeling more confident, energized, and stronger than when I left.  What is your SPARK?  Maybe it's gardening, volunteering, reading the latest bestseller.  Whatever it is, go find it!  Make it as important as that deadline or obligation.  Put it onto your schedule.  Show the world your SPARK!  

<![CDATA["WHO ARE YOU?" by Rochelle Anderson, MA, CLC, Professional Life Coach]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/WHO-ARE-YOU-by-Rochelle-Anderson-MA-CLC-Professional-Life-Coach/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

One of the most powerful and/or harmful entities in our lives is our internal security.  When you look in the mirror, who do you see?  Do you like what you see?  If you don't, I am here to tell you that you have the power to change that.  Our internal security, aka self-esteem, is driven by our self talk.  If you are using "dirty fuel" to course through your mind, you have an engine that struggles and is insufficient; "dirty fuel" is your words, your self talk: "I am never going to succeed", "I am always making mistakes", "My life sucks", "Nobody wants to help me", "I can't get anything right".
If this is what you choose, your words, to run through your mind...you will always struggle in every area of your life.  I don't tend to like the extreme words like, "always" or "never", however, I want to make a very deepening point that YOU are choosing to suffer.

In addition, are you the type of person that blames everyone for your burdens?  Someone who says, "I couldn't help it, it's not my fault", "They (insert name: spouse/boss/friend/co-worker) made me do it", "It's not my problem".  Where do you thnk this comes from?  Blaming others is the lack of courage to take responsibility for your own actions.

Or are you the person that denies your mistakes?  Something doesn't go your way; you can't accept that it was your doing.  Are you someone who says, "It wasn't my fault", "That (insert error) only happened because of......", or "Nobody told me..."

I am here to challenge your inner esteem.  If you find interior weakness, for whatever reason and you do nothing about it...nothing will change.  Nothing in your life will get better; not your home life, your work life, your personal relationships, you...will not get better. 

If you want change, if you want more for your life, ask for help.  Ask a friend, a neighbor, a professional.  You have the power to improve your soul.    

<![CDATA[EXFOLIATE YOUR WAY TO BEAUTIFUL SKIN! by Brittany Hobson, Esthetician]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/EXFOLIATE-YOUR-WAY-TO-BEAUTIFUL-SKIN--by-Brittany-Hobson-Esthetician/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Everyone wants smooth, healthy, glowing skin - no mater what your age - no matter what gender.  FACT:  Skin cells live for 30 days and as they get to the end of their life cycle, skin starts to look dull and fine lines appear more prominent.  So what can you do?  EXFOLIATE!  Help your skin along by removing that dull outer layer - but remember, the skin on our face is like a precious orchid, not a common houseplant!  Choose the exfoliation method best for your skin type.

To mechanically exfoliate:  physically scrubbing the skin with a grainy product and a sponge or loofah.  Always use gentle scrubbing motions so you don't scrape the skin.  Only use products that are meant for the face because the skin here is thinner and more sensitive.  RECOMMENDED PRODUCT OPTIONS AVAILABLE AT WILLOWBRIDGE:  Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating Cleanser, Smoothing Body Polish, Caribbean Therapy Body Scrub Tourmaline Radiant Skin Refiner.  Another great option is to make an appointment for the Botanical Skin Resurfacing Facial with one of our professional estheticians.  During the facial she will educate you on how to maintain your beautiful new skin at home. 

To chemically exfoliate: use a scrub made of salicylic acid, glycolic acid, fruit enzymes or alpha and beta hydroxy acids.  This type of exfoliation is especially good for acne prone skin, causing less inflammation.  This method helps to loosen the 'glue' that holds the dead skin cells together.  RECOMMENDED PRODUCT OPTIONS AVAILABLE AT WILLOWBRIDGE:  Outer Peace Acne Relief Pads, Outer Peace Acne Relief Lotion, Outer Peace Acne Spot Relief, Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant, Enbrightenment Brightening Correction Serum.  For a professional service, make an appointment with one of our estheticians for the Green Science Perfecting Plant Peel as part of your facial.

Everyone should make exfoliation a part of their skin care routine.  More and more men are discovering the benefits of facials and exfoliation and they're experiencing cleaner and closer shaves!  When your skin is healthy, other facial products penetrate more deeply, helping the skin to look more youthful. 

If you need help deciding what method is best for you, give our estheticians a call or come in for a free consultation.  It's never too late to start!  Here's looking at YOU!            

<![CDATA[TRY IT, YOU'LL LIKE IT...THAI MASSAGE! by Analia Debenetti - Massage Therapist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/TRY-IT-YOULL-LIKE-ITTHAI-MASSAGE--by-Analia-Debenetti---Massage-Therapist/
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Thai Massage has a long history of therapeutic healing in Thailand.  It's a unique form of bodywork that was founded by a doctor believed to be a friend to the Buddha.  Most of the ancient medical texts on Thai massage were destroyed in the 18th century, but an attempt to preserve the traditions of this massage remain carved in stone and set into the walls at Wat Po temple in Bangkok.  Wat Po remains a center of Thai massage teaching in Thailand today. 

Thai people view illness as an imbalance in the body, mind and spirit.  Monks at the temple treat the Thai people with three elements: herbal medicines, spiritual healing and thai massage.  This form of massage includes applying direct pressure on muscles over most parts of the body with stretching moves to help stimulate the musculoskeletal system, the joints, bones, nerves, ligaments and lymphatic system.  The benefits are profound!  Thai massage helps improve circulation, reduce swelling, relaxes tendons and ligments, improves elasticity and flexibility as well as improves the activity of the nervous system which can help reduce pain.  Internal organs also benefit from this type of massage as clients report improved function of the stomach and intestinal system, and in many cases relieves indigestion. 

If you want to be more flexible - if you need help with stretching out those achy muscles - Thai massage is for you!  

Clients wear loose, comfortable clothing for the session.    

*Thai massage is not recommended for pregnant women, people with skin conditions or for those who have recently finished chemo or radiation treatments.      

<![CDATA[Water Pollution...it's EVERYWHERE! by Ashley Lelwica, Salon Stylist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Water-Pollutionits-EVERYWHERE--by-Ashley-Lelwica-Salon-Stylist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Did you know?


Water pollution is a major hazard in all parts of our Earth. Even countries  that have adequate facilities to filter water struggle with water  pollution. There are over 1 billion people worldwide who lack access to  safe drinking water. Dirty water is actually the world's largest health risk, and continues to  threaten both quality of life and public health, even in the United  States. It is believed that water pollution is the leading cause of many serious  diseases and a total of over 15,000 people even die each day, including  one child every 20 seconds, due to, simply, dirty drinking water.


Why is this?


Each year 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, storm water, and industrial waste are dumped into U.S. water. These wastes contain heavy metals which seep into the water and are fatal to  marine life. Using such water or consuming fish affected by heavy metals can lead to various health problems.


The Mississippi River carries an estimated 1.5 million metric tons of  nitrogen pollution into the Gulf of Mexico each year, creating a “dead  zone” in the Gulf each summer about the size of New Jersey.


14 billion pounds of garbage are dumped into the ocean every year. About 60- 80% of it is plastic, which is recyclable. There is actually a Pacific maelstrom  located between California and Hawaii full of trash, mainly plastic,  that is twice the size of Texas. This “Trash Vortex”, as they call it,  is rapidly increasing, too. Every two to three years the amount of  plastic in this vortex increases 10 times the amount of itself.  It is believed that this plastic litter is responsible for the deaths of  more than 100,000 marine mammals, 1 million sea birds and countless fish each year.


What can we do?


It’s simple: be conscious and conserve what little clean water we do have whenever you can.


Always reduce, reuse and, especially, recycle. Over 75% of the waste we, as  Americans, produce is recyclable, even though we only recycle about 30%  of it! Remember the plastic vortex of trash?!


Use fewer and less harsh cleaning chemicals in the home, and don’t use any  at all on your lawn. Whether you use it in your washing machine,  bathtub, or in your garden in the back yard, it all ends up back into  our public sources of water.


And, of course, support Aveda! Aveda has raised over $26 million for environmental causes since 1999, more than $20  million for clean water projects at home and around the world. This  year, Aveda hopes to raise at least $5,000,000. Stop in at WillowBridge  to contribute; 100% of your proceeds go directly to Audubon of Minnesota to support clean water projects locally.




To learn more, or see where I got my facts, check out Aveda.com and these other websites:













<![CDATA[]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog//
   By Deb              (0) Comments

The Power of Meditation by Angie Pearson,
Massage Therapist

 If you asked me 4 years ago what meditation was, I would
have thought of a monk sitting cross legged with a quiet mind. When in fact
this isn’t completely wrong, it isn’t completely accurate either.  I first tried meditation 4 years ago; I was
working on a degree in Integrative Health and Healing. One of my instructors
challenged us to a guided meditation. I was curious, but thought there was no
way I would be able to quiet my mind and sit still for an hour.  I suffered from anxiety terribly, my mind was always racing. After the class, I had to approach the instructor and thank her.
The opportunity to try meditation instantly changed my life. Not only was I
able to quiet my mind, I was able to feel at peace and diminish the wrath of my
anxiety, if only for a short period of time. Meditation is now a part of my
regular wellness routine and I now have my anxiety under control. It amazes me
that more people don’t take part in a meditation practice. I started asking
some close friends and family what they thought of meditation and I was
surprised to find that most people are mistaken as to what meditation is, that
it is something they cannot do, or something they don’t have time for. This
couldn’t be further from the truth.

 What is Meditation

Meditation is a term that umbrellas many different practices
(much like the term sports).

It is a practice that’s goal is to slow down and eventually
stop the constant activity of our minds, described as the “brain chatter”, or
the “monkey mind”. The intention of meditating is to get to a state of
thoughtless awareness; it is not an act of doing, but rather being aware
without mental activity.

Benefits of

There are many benefits to meditation such as:  decreased muscle tension

Stress reduction, it lowers blood pressure, reduces PMS

It decreases post-op healing time, promotes relaxation, enhances
energy levels, builds internal energy (qi, prana), helps with weight loss,
helps with focus and concentration, improves memory, increases self
actualization, and it is free! There is no special equipment needed and can be
easily fit into your daily routine. The best part of meditation is there are no
negative side effects, so it doesn’t hurt to at least give it a try!

 Types of Meditation

Meditation isn’t easy, it can be very difficult to quiet the
mind, it can take much practice. A good place to start is to find a style of
meditation that fits your life style so you are more apt to stick to it. The
following is a list of some of the most common forms of meditation:

 Guided Meditation:
this type of meditation may be on a recording or guided by a meditation
instructor, you most likely will be asked to sit comfortably or lie down, then listening
to your guide, you will be led through a series of relaxing visualizations.

 Mindfulness Meditation:
probably the most well-known type of meditation, mindfulness is about being
aware of the sounds and activities happening around you. You let your mind be
aware of the sounds, but without becoming too focused on them.

Spiritual Mediation:
this form of meditation is for those who regularly practice prayer. It is based
on communication with God. You may focus on a question or difficulty you are

 Focused Meditation:
the idea of this type of meditation is to focus on a sound, a mantra, an object,
or a thought. In doing so, you quiet your mind of all other stresses that cloud

 Moving Meditation:
If you have difficulty sitting still, like I do, this meditation might work for
you. The idea is to let the body move how it naturally wants to, without
thought behind the movement.

 Mantra Meditation:
Mantras are words that are chanted during meditation. In yoga, the mantra Om is commonly used, the sound delivers a deep vibration
that helps the mind concentrate on the feeling it is experiencing rather than
what is going on around it. 

Regardless of which type of meditation you choose to
practice, the benefits of taking the initiative to meditate are sure to amaze
you. I encourage you all as you are doing your spring cleaning to take into
consideration trying meditation as it may “spring clean” your mind.

<![CDATA[Aveda - "The Beginning...The Vision" by Rhea Bloomquist, Salon Stylist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Aveda---The-BeginningThe-Vision-by-Rhea-Bloomquist-Salon-Stylist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Horst Rechelbacher from Austria was traveling through the U.S. in 1965 doing hairstyling tours and had an automobile accident in Minneapolis.  Following his hospital stay, he took a job at The Golden Door Salon at the Sheraton Ritz to pay off the debt he incurred.  While in Minneapolis, he met his wife, and following the birth of their two children, Horst decided to make Minneapolis his permanent home.  He became very well known throughout the Minneapolis area, but he grew tired of the hustle and bustle of the big city, so he turned to meditation and eastern philosophies.  White listening to Swami Rama speak at the U of M - he decided to follow him to India and stayed for six months to study herbs and other plants to help promote health and longevity.  When he returned to the U.S. he dedicated his time to making salon products using essential oils from the plants that he'd studied.  The first product he made was the clove conditioner, which he made in his kitchen sink!  That was the beginning of Aveda - the year was 1978.  The first salons to carry his products were throughout the Midwest and he was the first to start an exclusive distribution system, which allowed salons to carry ONLY his products.  That is why salons like WillowBridge are called 'concept salons' because we ONLY carry Aveda products.  By 1994 the revenue of Aveda was about $70 million and the sale of products had expanded to 25,000 salons worldwide - 1,600 being concept salons.  Even more amazing is the headquarters and manufacturing of Aveda has been right here in Blaine, Minnesota since 1991!  Horst finally sold the company to Este Lauder in 1997, but continues to be involved with Aveda, focusing more on product development so the company continues to grow.  Why is Aveda so amazing and so different?  Read their vision, mission and belief statements below:

VISION:   Connecting beauty, environment and well-being

MISSION:  Our mission at Aveda is to care for the world we live in, from the products we make to the ways in which we give back to society.  At Aveda, we strive to set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility, not just in the world of beauty, but around the world.

BELIEF:  We believe in treating ourselves, each other, and the planet with care and respect; we believe social responsibility is our responsibility; we believe ecological and profit goals are mutually achievable; we believe our authenticity and experience are our points of difference; we believe in inspiring and educating people to integrate wellness and beauty in their lives; we believe in the power of oneness: from our global image to a focused network; we believe learning never ends; we believe in encouraging innovation and empowered decision-making; we believe our actions, products and services should always embody excellence; we believe personal and organizational balance is the key to sustainable success; we believe true leadership is delivered with passion and by example.    

If you've never tried Aveda products...give them a try!  If you've never visited WillowBridge...please stop by!

<![CDATA[HOW TO GET SICK by Diane Farrell, Acupuncturist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/HOW-TO-GET-SICK-by-Diane-Farrell-Acupuncturist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

If you want to get sick...
don't pay attention to your body.  Eat junk food, drink too much and then feel guilty about it.  Believe that your life is meaningless and of little value; complain to all who will listen, and associate yourself with others who are unhappy and bitter.  Do the things you don't like to do, follow other people's advice, don't trust yourself.  Be resentful, critical, especially towards yourself.  Don't express any feelings openly or honestly.  And for heaven's sake, don't have a sense of humor or make any changes that might bring you joy.

If you want to stay well...
do things that bring you a sense of fulfillment, purpose and joy.  Pay close and loving attention to yourself by nourishing your mind, body and soul.  Release all negative emotions and thoughts and above all, forgive yourself.  Hold positive images in your mind - pictures of what you truly want in your life.  Create fun, loving, honest relationships with people.  Accept yourself and everything in your life as an opportunity for growth and discovery.  Be grateful.     


<![CDATA[HEART HEALTHY VALENTINE'S DAY! by Liz Cheney, Massage Therapist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/HEART-HEALTHY-VALENTINES-DAY--by-Liz-Cheney-Massage-Therapist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Love is in the bitter cold air this February as the most romantic holiday approaches - VALENTINE'S DAY!  This time of year some gals start to playfully complain about those boxes of chocolates and candies that are destroying their New Year's Resolution for a healthier diet.  Well, I did some research, and ladies, I found you a few guilt free LOOPHOLES!  Here are a few treats you can enjoy in the spirit of the 'Love Holiday'!

GOING TO THE THEATER FOR A VALENTINE'S DAY FLICK?  Choose popcorn!  Popcorn delivers polyphenols (antioxidants linked to improving heart health).  Popcorn actually delivers 3 times more polyphenols than kidney beans (highest vegetable source) and 4 times more than cranberries (best fruit source)!

NO NEED TO PASS ON THE CHOCOLATES!  Researchers have found that consuming moderate amounts of Flavanol rich dark chocolate has a blood thinning effect which not only boosts your immune system, but benefits heart health!  It's also known to help lower risks of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.  Plus, it's really, really good!  :)  FYI: milk chocolate has lower amounts of flavanol so it isn't quite as beneficial as the dark chocolate.

CHOOSE A HEART HEALTHY ROMANTIC DINNER BEVERAGE...WINE  Drinking in moderation, wine can help protect the heart by raising good HDL Cholesterol, lower inflammation and thin the blood.  It can also be beneficial for postmenopausal women because it increases estrogen.  If estrogen levels are too low, the risk for heart disease is greater.

So, there you go...you really CAN enjoy your treats this Valentine's Day...just drop a few 'healthy hints' ahead of time!   


<![CDATA[REPAIRING DAMAGED HAIR by Audi Dolan, Stylist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/REPAIRING-DAMAGED-HAIR-by-Audi-Dolan-Stylist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Is your hair suffering from split-ends, sun damage, tangles and broken brittle pieces?  If so, it's time to take control of your hair!  Exposure to flat irons, hair dryers and daily brushing can take its toll on your hair.  Although the repairing process won't happen overnight, if you follow these easy steps, you'll be on the road to recovery.

1.  Remove build-up
The products we use daily can build up and leave our hair looking dull and lifeless.  Getting this build-up off is the first step to healthy hair.  A good clarifying shampoo is a great option for removing product build-up, hard water deposits and minerals.  I recommend using Aveda's Sun Care Cleanser 1-4 times per month.  Another option for stubborn build-up is a malibu treatment which can be done in our salon.

2.  Protect your hair
Some of the biggest causes of hair damage are from the sun, wind and extreme cold - all things Minnesotans endure!  So, if you aren't taking steps to protect your hair, the time to start is now!  Aveda's Protective Veil from our Sun Care line is great for summer.  It offers 16 hours of UV protection.  I personally love our Damage Remedy's Daily Hair Repair.  This leave-in treatment can be used year round, but especially during the dry days of winter.  Using it everyday will give your hair a huge boost of protein and shine! 

3.  Hot oil treatments
Hot oil treatments can infuse your hair with shine while adding tons of softness!  They can be done at home, in between your hair appointments. Apply your favorite hair oil generously to clean towel dried hair.  Some of my favorites are Aveda's Light Elements Smoothing Fluid, Brilliant's Emollient Finishing Gloss and Beautifying Composition oil.  Once the oil is on your hair, cover with a shower cap or plastic wrap and applyt heat using a hot towel fresh from the dryer or your hair dryer.  After heating the oil, allow your hair to cool down to room temperature, then rinse with cool water. 

4.  Get a deep conditioning treatment
A weekly deep conditioning treatment is a must for repairing hair - but not all deep conditioning treatments are the same.  You need to find the one that's right for your hair type.  Aveda has many great treatments to offer.  Anyone from the salon team or from the front desk would be happy to help you determine the right one for you.

5.  Get a haircut
Odds are, if you are trying to repair your hair, you probably have some split-ends and brittle breakage happening.  A healthy haircut can make a world of difference.  A cut can also make it much easier to style in the repair process - helping your hair to grow long and strong!  Adding bangs, layers or invisible layers can also help take off more of the damage.        

So...there you have it!  Follow these steps and I promise you'll be showing off your beautiful locks in no time!                        

<![CDATA[INTENTION by Deb Singh]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/INTENTION-by-Deb-Singh/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

The Christmas letter I received this year from my cousin was unique in that she wrote it LAST January -the week after Christmas - and designed it how she wanted her life to go in 2012.  She wrote that her husbands new nighclub was flourishing (check - it was), that her private practice was busier than ever (check - it was), that they would do more traveling (check), that her kids were doing well in school and were healthy, happy and had good friends (check, check, check and check).  She set her intention and it seemed all had come to be.  The only thing she hadn't planned for was the untimely death of her father.  As much as we plan and set our sights towards all that is good and right in the world - life still happens - we still get thrown a curve ball or two.  But it made me think about my hopes and dreams for the New Year and it was an exciting challenge to set my own intentions.  What are you hoping and wishing for?  Maybe we'll all be able to put some well deserved checks along side those wishes when we look back at 2013.   

<![CDATA["THE GIFT" by Nicole Peltz (Salon)]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/THE-GIFT-by-Nicole-Peltz-Salon/
   By Deb              (2) Comments

Have you ever caught yourself, in one of those  disgustingly honest moments, when you're giving a "gift" because you're  really expecting something in return? Not that any of us would openly  admit to that. But come on. Maybe it was even a "thank you" in return.  Ever wonder if the reason we think people expect so much from us, is  because, if we're honest with ourselves, WE expect so much for  ourselves? What if Christmas time wasn't about writing out a list of  wants and having a list of people we HAD to buy for. What if we didn't  even put the "from" on the gifts we gave? Would gift shopping stress you out as much as it does now? Would you spend as much money? Or maybe you would spend more?
Christmas time in America has become something it was not meant to be. Instead of it being a self-LESS time, it's really  become more of a self-ISH time. And as my dear Minnesotans friends know, "ISH" is NOT a good thing.
There are some things that are in motion in our  society that we just cannot change. HOWEVER, there are things that WE,  ourselves, can do differently regardless of what society is doing. Here  are just a few challenges I give to you:

First: Give a  gift to someone, and don't put your name on it, and DO NOT act like you  even know they received a gift. So often, we'll "give in disguise" only  to hint later on that we were the ones who gave. The Bible says in Matt  6:1-4 : "Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men,  to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father  in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with  trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to  be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
But when you give to the needy, do not let your left  hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in  secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward  you." We can think, "I give God, why am I not getting in return." Well  first of all, bad attitude. Second of all, the bible says right here, if you're giving so that people see and offer compensation (yes even a  'thank you'), then you've received your reward. It all goes back to  the ATTITUDE OF YOUR HEART and so often, we crave to be acknowledged by  man. Trust me, acknowledgement from God is far better.

Second: Buy gifts for people, not based on money or lists, but based on what  you think would truly bless them. Maybe it's a Date Night care package.  Maybe it's five pairs of socks. Maybe it's a nice new watch. Who cares  what the item is if it is a gift that honestly comes from your heart and is something that you think will truly BLESS THEM. Because we can NOT  change how people respond to our gifts - try to remember, we need to be  more concerned about our own hearts when it comes to giving - than  changing someone else's heart. So, what will doing this change in us?  That annoying habit of always trying to please other people. It's a  vicious, unsatisfiable grave. When we stop trying to please others, and  just simply LOVE others and desire to bless them, not only is life less  stressful, it's more fulfilling.

So, keep a check on your own heart this season.  Be thankful for whatever gift comes your way. You'll never actually know why another person gave what they gave. So find ways to be thankful for whatever you do or don't receive. Give gifts because you're thankful  for those people and because you want to bless them. You'll find  yourself less stressed and much more in line with what Christmas is all  about: LOVE.

<![CDATA[ARE YOU USING THE RIGHT SKIN CARE PRODUCTS? By Jade Holmes]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/ARE-YOU-USING-THE-RIGHT-SKIN-CARE-PRODUCTS--By-Jade-Holmes/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

There are many skin conditions I see everyday where the practices of our guest have unwittingly been contributing to the development or acceleration of their skin conditions by using inappropriate cleansers and practices.  As a skin treatment professional, I understand that the skin is the first line of defense against all elements - from micoorganisms, atmospheric conditions and pollutants.  What we sometimes forget, and do not fully appreciate, is the importance of the acid mantel - that thin, slightly acidic hydrolipidic film on the surface of the skin that provides the very FIRST line of protection.  For some, a major contributing factor to their skin condition is the use of products that harm this area.  Aveda Skin Care is plant based - all of the harmful preservatives have been removed and you can trust the quality ingredients from an ethical company.  During a facial, a skin analysis is part of your experience and it's a great time for us to discuss products suited best for your skin type.  You will always leave with knowledge of your skin, its needs, and the products most beneficial for you personally. 

<![CDATA["WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT AMERICA?" - Deb Singh]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/WHATS-SO-GREAT-ABOUT-AMERICA---Deb-Singh/
   By Deb              (1) Comments

Ran across this article and thought it appropriate with elections going on - and also Thanksgiving fast approaching.

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Dinesh D'Souza, a writer who lives in Washington D.C. and works at the White House, but was born in Bombay, India.

"We hear a great deal about why they 'hate us' and about why America is so bad.  What the critics often miss is what is so good and great about America.  Millions of immigrants from all over the world seek to come to the United States every year.  Why?  For many, it's to get rich!  Certainly America offers a degree of opportunity - America gives a better life to the ordinary guy more than any other country, including Europe.  But let's be honest: rich people live well EVERYWHERE. 

America's greatness is that it has extended the benefits of affluence, traditionally available to the very few, to a large segment of society.  This is a country where the 'poor' people have televisions and microwaves and where we spend $4.00 on a latte'.  When someone from a Third World country comes to this nation, they discover that everything works; the roads are clean and paper-smooth, there are public toilets and supermarkets to behold; endless aisles of every imaginable product, including 50 different kinds of cereals!  However, the material allure does not capture the deepest source of its appeal.  FREEDOM. 

I consider how my own life in Bombay (now Mumbai) would have been different if I had never come to America.  I didn't have luxuries, but I didn't lack necessities.  Materially my life is better here, but the real difference lies elsewhere.  Had I stayed in India, I would probably live my entire existence within a five-mile radius of where I was born.  I would undoubtedly have married a woman of my identical caste and religious and socioeconomic background.  I would have faced relentless pressure to follow in my father's footsteps and become an engineer and...had a whole set of opinions that would have been predicated for me in advance.  Because I came to America, I became interested in literature and politics and resolved to make a career as a writer - which is something you can DO in America, but cannot easily do in India.  Best of all, I married a woman of my choosing - of English, Scottish, French and German ancestry!  Most amazing, I found myself working in the White House, even though i was not an American citizen!  I cannot imagine another country allowing a non-citizen to work in the inner citadel of its government.  In most of the world, your identity and your fate are largely handed to you.  In America, by contrast, you get to write the script of your own life!  What to be, where to live, what to believe; here, we are the architects of our own fate.  What a wonderful country this is!"

May God bless America!        

<![CDATA[WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT WILLOWBRIDGE? By Diane Anlauf - Client Services]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/WHATS-SO-SPECIAL-ABOUT-WILLOWBRIDGE--By-Diane-Anlauf---Client-Services/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

What's so Special about WillowBridge?

Well. . . really, it's a good question, but not an easy answer because we have so many things to offer!  We are all so fortunate to have a place like this in the Cambridge area, to meet your needs for healthy living!

I would have to say the number one reason WillowBridge is special, is kindness.  We have really good people who work here; who are nice and are motivated to take care of people, meaning YOU!  I would love to write about each one of our employees and how they impact their client's lives, but we just don't have the space here. Come and see for yourself!  From the minute you walk in the door, we want you to feel calmer and welcomed - we have a strong commitment to great customer service.
It all starts from the top, because we have a visionary owner.  Stephanie is a compassionate woman that really cares about people, including customers and employees. She grew up near here, and has always worked hard for what she believes in.  She gave up a good corporate job to follow her dream, and we're all benefiting from it!  Whether it's a physical or emotional journey, (or both) WillowBridge has helped thousands of people improve themselves, feel better, look better, and heal.  She makes sure everything we do is a conscious choice. It has to be natural, good for people, good for the environment, the products we use and sell are created in a natural or sustainable way, we recycle, and we like to give back!
We are also lucky to have affiliate businesses located inside of WillowBridge, all with the same intention of caring for people like you; they are dedicated to helping you improve your health and wellness naturally.  Please see our contacts on the web page for homeopathy, fitness, naturopathy, healing touch, counseling and the Bead Shop.
I've lived in Cambridge over 40 years now, and it's always been about the people.  My ten years in the cities made me appreciate smaller communities more.  As things change and continue to evolve, it's exciting to be part of the future - of bringing a new idea and business to the people, for the people, to this city.  I love living here, because we have the benefit of the small town community feeling, and we're close to the cities.  The best part is that we don't have to drive far to enjoy an amazing massage, facial or Aveda salon service!  (For those of you who don't live here, WillowBridge is a great destination sensation too.)
If you haven't already, please come in and see all the wonderful things we have to offer under one roof, and I think you'll keep coming back!  WillowBridge IS special, and we'd love to share it with you!
<![CDATA[HEALTH IN JEOPARDY - By Diane Lewis-Farrell - Licensed Acupuncturist]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/HEALTH-IN-JEOPARDY---By-Diane-Lewis-Farrell---Licensed-Acupuncturist/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Here is something you can do that is stress freeing and muscle strengthening.  This procedure is an important healing technique.  It's something you do already - and you ENJOY doing it - something that makes your endorphins, those wonderfully sweet feeling chemicals in your body, smile - something that will reduce thoughts that can harm digestion - something that will increase energy and reduce or add weight as needed.  It's called "Chinese Breathing"!  This slow, relaxed method of breathing can help you feel joy and eliminate indigestion by stoking the fires and adding oxygen for digestion of the food essentials!



Oxygen and food fuel the body - this exercise helps warm up the spleen for better digestion and more energy.  The main function of the spleen is to govern the transportation and transformation of food into energy - controlling blood - and dominating the muscles.  The circle of balance doesn't show, which is harmful to the spleen and stomach.  However, our feelings tell us many things about our bodies, offering us behavior choices when we recognize these feelings.  Internalizing feelings harm the spleen by dampening it - slowing digestion and metabolism.  The over amount of self pride harms the spleen with heat, causing a hyper effect.  Check the food list for yin/yang appropriate temperature foods.  For starters, omit raw, cold foods if you are too 'damp' (yin).  Omit greasy, spicy foods if you are too 'hot' (yang).   

A small reminder:  draw a star on the top of your hand to remind yourself to breath deeply before eating.  Never eat food without being conscious of your oxygen, always breathing before eating.

*Massaging your stomach on the left side - around in circles, 50 times after you've eaten works wonders too!



<![CDATA["The 'E' Word" by Nicole Burow and Emily Pearson]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/The-E-Word-by-Nicole-Burow-and-Emily-Pearson/
   By Deb              (0) Comments

Hi!  This is Emily and Nicole with a few of our personal thoughts on exercise...with which many of us have a love/hate relationship!

(Em) Ohhh, the dreaded routine of daily exercise.  It use to be something I would do to lose weight or to maintain the weight I'd already lost; that is still one of the main reasons I exercise, but at some point in my life I noticed it all started changing.  It was usually after a couple days off from the gym I would get really crabby and after a workout...that would go away - hmmmm, imagine that!

(Nic) For me, moving my body equates to really living!  My rational mind knows that 'exercise" is good for me because of factors x, y, and z.  My emotional mind knows that when I don't get enough exercise, my mood changes too.

(Em) As I got older, I realized my stiffness and aches and pains would go away.  Oh yah, and how about that extra energy and that positive attitude that comes with a great work out!  I soon learned that this exercise deal was really about survival for me - it's my anti-depressant, the oil in my joints, and the twinkle in my eye that keep me going to the gym or hitting the pavement.  Years ago, talking with a client that I admired very much and was an avid exerciser (I was not yet) - she said, "You just have to do it!  It has to be like brushing your teeth everyday - it's just something you do!"  So simple and so true - it has stuck in my head.  

(Nic) My body, although created to move, resists waking up early as my mind screams, "TURN OFF THAT ALARM CLOCK!" (as does my roommate, most likely)!  Why do I torture myself?  Sure, the societal and vanity factors of wanting to be strong/fit/athletic play a role in motivating my psyche; however, more important to me as a physical-emotional-spiritual being is that exercise or physical activity quite literally affects every cell in my body.  From improving blood flow and thereby increasing circulation of nutrients to healing injuries, improving cellular respiration and increasing my body's metabolic efficiency, improving bone density and strengthening musculature, improving structural stability.  Exercise helps to regulate my blood sugar, stabilize the chemicals and hormones in my body, digest what I consume and move waste out and calm my central nervous system.  Exercise helps the body systems run smoothly!

(Em) One of my favorite things about WillowBridge is that we have exercise classes on-site (by an affiliate business).  I love the community that it has brought to my life.  My favorite classes are cycling and bootcamp.  I encourage you ALL to try one of the classes! 

(Nic) Our bodies do not work the way they are meant to if we do not keep them moving.  Not all of us are Olympic athletes and not all of us aspire to climb Mt. Everest or run a half-marathon.  A 10-minute walk with your dog or 10 minutes of yoga or simply biking to the post office instead of driving all count!  Every 10 minute bout...counts!

(Both) After a great workout we get to refuel with our favorite nutritious foods from CITY CENTER MARKET.  A couple of our favorite options are peanut butter powder (for our smoothies), organic bananas, apples with Justin's Almond Maple Butter and coconut water.

Cheers to being grateful for the ability to move and fuel our bodies!                     

<![CDATA[HOW MUSIC EFFECTS MOOD AND EMOTIONS - Meghan Peterson]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/HOW-MUSIC-EFFECTS-MOOD-AND-EMOTIONS---Meghan-Peterson/
   By Deb              (0) Comments
HOW MUSIC EFFECTS MOOD AND EMOTIONS by Meghan Peterson - Client Services
By Deb

Whether you like to listen to Jazz, Pop, Country, Rock or Classical, any type of music can effect your mood.  Music can provoke thoughts of happiness, or even sentimental feelings such as sadness or fear.  Music can bring back memories and lead you to reminisce about past events or memories.  Therapists have been using the effects of music in positive ways for years, helping their patients associate specific music and songs to happiness in their life.  They help them rely on listening to music to boost their mood, in turn helping them suppress feelings of sadness or depression.  Studies have proven that music can reduce stress and anxiety along with other negative human feelings including fear, distress and depression.  Music has the ability to calm and revitalize us in ways nothing else can. 

One of the greatest things about music is that it is universal!  No matter where you live or where you travel to, music is enjoyed by people all over the world!  Even if you are unable to speak the language of a country, you can move, dance and most of all, enjoy the music with them.  We may not always be able to translate or understand the words of a song, but we can always understand the beauty that lies with it. 

Music is also used in exercise as well.  It has been proven to provide a sense of motivation, distracting the mind while increasing the heart rate.  When people become motivated they are more inclined  to workout harder and longer, which provides an array of health and wellness benefits.

Music is often referred to as essential in maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle.  So, next time you turn on your favorite song, ask yourself why is it your favorite?  What memories are provoked by it?  How do you feel after you listen to it?  Try to make music a positive part of your life - it's another great way to BE WELL!

Meghan Peterson
Client Services  

<![CDATA[H2O]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/H2O/
   By Rochelle              (0) Comments


Month is upon us and it’s also a great reminder how fortunate we are to have
clean water available to use and a whole month to show respect to our Earth and
Mother Nature. The Earth provides nourishment for over 7 billion people
every day.  Three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is
covered with water, yet 98 percent is salt water and not fit for consumption. Less
than one percent of all water on Earth is freshwater available for human
consumption. Did you know……The
average American uses 176 gallons of water per day compared to 5 gallons of
water the average African family uses each day. An
estimated 2.4 billion people lack adequate sanitation and 1.1 billion people
are without access to safe water. The average distance that women in developing
countries walk to collect water per day is four miles and the average weight
that women carry on their heads is approximately 44 pounds. The average
American household consumes about 127,400 gallons of water during a year.
Homeowners in Washington, DC, pay about $350 for that amount of water. Buying
that same amount of water from a vendor in Guatemala City would cost more than
$1,700! Saving water is as easy as turning the water off while you’re brushing
your teeth. Only run your dishwasher when it’s full. Use a rain barrel to water
your garden. Protect our water by using fertilizer that is organic and safe for
the Earth. Dispose of waste at appropriate drop off sites. Safely dispose of pharmaceutical.
It’s hard to believe that something so available to us now may not be available
in the future. Protect it now.

Facts found at:



<![CDATA[Prenatal Massage]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Prenatal-Massage/
   By EricaB              (0) Comments

One of my favorite things during my pregnancies was to take
time for myself by going and getting massages. Many women during pregnancy may
be unsure of this, but I promise for most, it will be one of the best things
you can do for yourself as your body goes through the many changes that are
ahead during the 9 months of pregnancy. 
With special prenatal pillows designed just right for the pregnant
female body, you will lay comfortable and be able to relax and drift away into

Prenatal Massage otherwise known as Pregnancy Massage,
Offers a wide range of benefits from emotional, physiological, and
psychological. It enhances the function of muscles and joints, improves
circulation, and can help to relieve mental and physical fatigue.

Some of the key benefits to prenatal massage are as follows:

-Increase blood circulation, which helps to deliver a better
oxygen supply to both baby and mom

-Stabilizes hormone levels

-Relieves stress on weight-bearing joints

-Assists in maintaining in good posture

-Eases the strain on your heart and keeps blood pressure in

-Prepares the mother- to- be for the upcoming delivery

-Offers a natural and drug-free way to relief from the many
muscle aches, upper and low back pain, headaches, leg cramps, varicose veins,
fatigue, acid reflux, neck pain, shortness of breath, carpal tunnel syndrome,
tension and knots, and even constipation…. And this is just naming a few of

Prenatal Massage can be used as often as needed as you make
your way through your 9 months of pregnancy. As a Massage Therapist myself I
often encourage my clients to schedule as often as every two weeks until the
third trimester and then weekly until the big delivery day, and don’t
forget…talk to your Massage Therapist about the benefits of massage for baby
once he or she has finally arrived!

Relax and Enjoy!

Lori McKinney

Massage Therapist


<![CDATA[Laughter]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Laughter/
   By EricaB              (0) Comments

A Dose of Laughter

Laughter is by far the best drug everyone can be prescribed,
it is legal, has positive side effects, and is actually healthy! Be warned
though it may be contagious!

So… Here are a few facts about laughing that might make you
smile (which is good for you too!)

*Laughter strengthens the body’s ability to fight disease.

*Laughter fights stress.

*Laughter can lower blood pressure.

*Laughter increases energy levels.

*Laughter helps us bond with others.

*Laughter is good exercise. (“my face hurts!” “well, its
killin me!!”)

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter” -
E.E. Manning

So, go out and giggle till you snort, chuckle till you
squeek, or laugh till you cry!

Be blessed,

Danica, Stylist 



<![CDATA[Cucumbers]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Cucumbers/
   By EricaB              (0) Comments

Wow! What a little gem the cucumber is. I will look at it differently now!

Did you know...?

Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day.

Just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick me-up that can last for hours.

Remember to take care of the Mind, Body, and Spirit.


Skin Care Specialist


<![CDATA[A Wellness Triple Boost]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/A-Wellness-Triple-Boost/
   By EricaB              (0) Comments

A Wellness Triple Boost!

Say WHAT?! 
This is an opportunity for YOU to meet your local Homeopath, Naturopath, and a Wellness Coach, for seven (7) Thursday evening sessions of education and interaction!  We will each “host” two nights throughout this Spring 2012 Health Seminar and join together as a panel of health experts for the seventh session to answer questions and offer collaborative educational information!

Registration for this event, valued at over $800, is offered for $25 per person! Wow! What a deal!  You can pick up registration forms from Beth or Sheryl at WillowBridge Center (763-552-6161) or from Nicole at Total Wellness Coaching (763-237-3245).  Online registration forms are available at http://www.willowbridgecenter.com/pages/OurAffiliates/.

* * *

Homeopathy treats both chronic and self-limiting health concerns. Occasionally, do you have self limiting concerns like indigestion from eating too many chocolates or thanksgiving dinner, mild attacks of what feels like food poisoning, or that extra glass of wine that makes your head ache?

You know you need to exercise .  .  . and sometimes the minor aches and pains that follow doesn't motivate you to do it again! Those muscles aches respond well to homeopathic remedies. Don't let the fear of 'exercise-induced-pain' keep you from getting fit!

" A Wellness Triple Boost” sessions will give you the remedy solutions you need for these concerns.  Gentle, effective care that you can use on babies, teens, adults and grampas. ~Classical Homeopathy

* * *

            “Eat this and make it a healthy part of your diet!” Advertisements like this can get us to buy into ideas that aren’t completely accurate and food labeling can confuse the truth, making it hard to know what is real and what isn’t.

            The truth, according to scientific testing and clinical studies, will be revealed at “A Wellness Triple Boost”. Find out how to know what’s the best food to eat, steps to improve your choices and where to find it. The most nutritious ways to make food, modify recipes, plan meals, and the importance and purpose of supplementation. ~Natural Health Design

* * *

            "When will I find time to exercise? I want to know why I'm supposed to get 30 minutes-a-day. Do I have to be "in shape" to go to a group fitness class? I'll do it tomorrow." Sound familiar?

            ‘Physical activity’ and ‘exercise’ are different! Our bodies are created to move. How can lack of physical activity (and the addition of simple movement) make a difference in daily life, body system function, state of mind (mood), or even sleep? Learn how to make small changes for significant results – at “A Wellness Triple Boost”. ~Total Wellness Coaching

<![CDATA[Your Essential Oil]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Your-Essential-Oil/
   By EricaB              (0) Comments

The use of essential oils can have a positive influence on your personal health and wellness.

Throughout history we have learned that we can harvest smell and oil from plants to enhance psychological and physical well-being.  Essential oil is a volatile aromatic organic compound derived from any part of a plant through a process of depression or distillation (aveda.com).  Because of the process and the organic compound of the oil and the smell our bodies processes the oil better and faster.   

There are many benefits that you can receive from essential oils.  Examples include:

·         Anti-stress,
·         Anti-anxiety
·         Anti-insomnia
·         Reduce stress hormones
·         Reduce feelings of depression
·         Feeling uplifting
·         Healing burns
·         Energize
·         Decrease blood pressure
·         Anti-fungal
·         Decrease adrenaline
·         Acne
·         Decrease muscle soreness
·         Relieve tension
·         Use to calm and balance one’s self
·         Relieve headaches 

There are many ways to use essential oils:

Place 3-4 drops of essential oil on a tissue, cotton ball, your hand or other. Place the tissue near your nose and inhale.

Stream Inhalation
Boil 2 cups of water. Pour the water into a bowl and add 3-7 drops of oil to the water. Use fewer drops if you are using oil that may cause irritation to your mucous membranes (i.e. cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary, pine, thyme, cajuput, etc.). Place your nose about 12" away from the bowl and inhale. Don't inhale the steam constantly and if you notice any irritation or discomfort, stop immediately.

Room Freshening
Use the steam inhalation method noted above but don't directly inhale into the bowl. Use up to 10 drops of oil. Use fewer drops if you are using oil that may cause sensitization. Other methods are the use of an aromatherapy diffuser or lamp scent ring available through many aromatherapy companies.

General Household Freshening
Add a few drops of oil to your trash can, laundry wash, drain, vacuum bag filter, or on a tissue for placement in your drawers.

Insect Repellent
Many essential oils including citronella, lavender, and peppermint act as a natural repellent against insects. Sprinkle a few drops of essential oil onto tissues or cotton balls and place near your doorways and windows to help repel insects.

Add 5-7 drops essential oil to 1 ounce carrier oil. Add this blend to your running bath water and mix well before getting into the tub.

Other Uses
Essential oils can be used in making homemade lotions, facial toners, shampoos, perfumes, soaps, shower gels, and other natural products.

I hope you find your essential oil.  I love to experiment with them to find the best use for me. I challenge you to research essential oils.  A good website to research is aromaweb.com and aveda.com.

Massage Therapist

<![CDATA[Food Inc.]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Food-Inc/
   By EricaB              (0) Comments

From where does my food derive?

Food Inc.

As a “homework assignment” for my paramour from her boss, she had the opportunity to watch “Food Inc.”  Said movie looks deep into the way your (America’s) food is produced.  Needless to say, this turned a multitude of heads here atWillowBridgeCenter(my wife being a leader of the pack).  I have the great pleasure of working alongside a great number of believers in this informational cinematic adventure, and I see many valid points.  First of all, it is very important to know where your meal was grown and how it got onto your dinner table.  Second, “shop locally” is a very important phrase at our place of business.  I bring up small businesses because of co-ops and other locally owned Mom and Pop stores in the area that offer organic food choices.  Being a small business in today’s society is not terribly easy andWillowBridgeCenteras a whole does its best to support other small businesses.  And third, finally, there are much higher standards to which organic food is held.  Therefore, the producer must go above and beyond what is expected of the corporate companies that produce the vast majority of our meals.

That having been said, as a long time McDonald’s eater, this idea is new and foreign to me.  I think that there are a great number of my fellow Americans who share my sentiments.  And rightfully so-organic foods cost a good amount more than your everyday grocery item.  The taste is another item on my mind.  I have tried my fair share of organic foods and beverages and the flavor is the exact same in my ever so biased opinion-coffee being the sole exception.  I have come across an organic blend from a local store that tickles my fancy.

So I leave it up to you, the reader with his/her own opinion.  Only time shall let us know which is truly a better choice.

Front Desk

<![CDATA[Unique Boutique]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Unique-Boutique/
   By EricaB              (0) Comments

 In honor of February, we are doing a drawing for a make-over; I am offering a little bonus. For every boutique product you buy, you will get an extra chance to enter that special someone who inspires you for the drawing. So for example, if you buy 3 products, you will get 3 chances to win!

The featured company that inspires me this month is Primitives by Kathy. Their Box Signs have everything going for them…the style has a great cross-over quality that satisfies your country or contemporary home.  The sentiments range from fun and quirky to inspirational, and are a great gift for any occasion. A new product that they launched this year is the linen pillows.  The pillows are made from a high quality linen material that is a replica of the good old feed sacks of days gone by. The printing on each design is an ink dye that is absorbed into the fabric, leaving an extremely soft and delicate feel. So come in and check out this great line, they also have great charm necklaces! These products will make great Valentine’s Day gifts.

Also, in honor of love this month, try to make a total stranger’s day with an act of kindness everyday.  If you see someone struggling to carry a bag of groceries, offer to carry it to their car. If you like someone’s outfit, hair, or smile, don’t keep it to yourself; share it with them.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” --Gandhi      

Boutique Buyer

<![CDATA[Thai Sports Massage]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Thai-Sports-Massage/
   By EricaB              (0) Comments

Thai Sports Massage is offered at WillowBridge. Sessions are given by myself, Matt, who has been practicing massage therapy since early 1996.

Learn more about Matt

Thai Sports Massage is a type of bodywork that involves deep stretches and rhythmic pressure. This technique is rooted in traditional Thai Massage and Western Therapeutic sports massage. Perfomed on a mat on the floor, you will want to wear clothing similar to what you wear to work out in.  Each session lasts roughly 90 minutes. Afterwards you will feel relaxed and energized.

Does this sound like the right massage for you!? Call today 763.552.6161



Massage Therapist


<![CDATA[Balance]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Balance/
   By EricaB              (0) Comments

WillowBridge Center is a unique sanctuary with one purpose: Health and Wellness.

We have many options at WillowBridge to help you achieve balance in your life. A path to wellness is well within reach, all you have to do is want it for yourself! Health is an on-going process and the dynamic balance of oneself is constantly changing. Here are a few tools to help you achieve balance in a perpetually diverse health and wellness world.

  • Establish a daily routine~ start with an early morning walk, do something for yourself every day.
  • Nutrition~ eat a well balanced diet.
  • Exercise~ be active for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Breathing Exercises~ a couple times a day take a deep breath using both your belly (diaphragm) and lungs. Exhale while letting your shoulders drop.
  • Meditation~ enjoy a few minutes of quiet every day.

WillowBridge has many options for you and your family, we are here to walk with you in your personal health and wellness journey.

  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Aveda Salon
  • Facials
  • Homeopathy
  • Naturopathy
  • Fitness
  • Natural Health Consultant
  • Professional Life Coach

Be well in Mind, Body, and Spirit,


Skin Care Specialist



<![CDATA[Nature's Solution for Thinning Hair]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Natures-Solution-for-Thinning-Hair/
   By EricaB              (1) Comments

There are a lot of people in my life that suffer from thinning or fine hair that can be lifeless and hard to manage.   Aveda has finally come up with a product line that can help reduce hair loss by 33%, which helps you keep and maintain the hair you have.  Keep in mind also that this is not only for people who are suffering from hair that is thinning or has always been fine or skinny as we like to call it, but it can also be used if you just feel as though your hair breaks easily and just isn’t at the strength level you would like it to be.  You may have the thickest hair out there, but if it isn’t as strong as you would like this is also a great product line for you!

 The line is called INVATI it is a wonderful line that consists of three different parts starting with the shampoo and conditioner followed up with the scalp revitalizer. The INVATI Exfoliating Shampoo removes build-up that can clog the pores, and will help renew the scalp with wintergreen-derived salicylic acid.  The INVATI Thickening Conditioner helps to restore the strength of the hair and improve the elasticity, reducing breakage, with arginine derived from sugar beets and soy protein.  Finally before you dry your hair you finish the treatment with the INVATI Scalp Revitalizer with turmeric and ginseng, which helps to energize and rehabilitate the scalp around the follicles when massaged in.  INVATI is 97% naturally derived and the main ingredients in the line are turmeric flower, millet, ginseng root, rapeseed powder, babassu, turmeric powder, and milk thistle.

As you can see the turmeric plays a large role in the success of INVATI, but why is it so special?  We tap the power of Ayurveda—the ancient healing art of INDIA—with the organic turmeric that we get from an Indian firm called Nisarga—which means NATURE—in Sanskrit. Ayurvedic specialist Dr. Kusum Upadhyay says, “In Ayurveda turmeric has many uses and benefits…it beautifies the skin and scalp”. In INVATI it helps to give you thicker, fuller looking hair.  Aveda’s partnership with Nisarga is helping them to convert more farmland to organic which is better for the earth, the farmers—all of us.

Although this is a newer product line to Aveda it is one we have a hard time keeping on our shelves.  We have only heard wonderful things back from the people who have been using it they say it takes about a week to see the results from using the line. I have had more than one person tell me that they have seen wonderful results and are having less and less hair loss in the shower or when combing through their hair in the morning.  Usually it takes a while for a new product to catch on, but so far this product line has taken off just as they had hoped it would. 

I love that I finally have a solution for people who have told me that their hair is thinning, fine, or just breaking constantly.  For so long we have been trying to find a solution to that problem for them and I am happy to say that it has finally arrived. 

I can’t wait to show this product to more people and hope that by having more information on INVATI more people will come and see us to get this WONDERFUL product!!!!


-Rhea~ Salon Stylist

“Close your eyes and you will see clearly. Be still and you will hear the truth.”

Horst Rechelbacher (Rejuvenation A wellness guide for women and men)


<![CDATA[Thankful]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Thankful/
   By EricaB              (0) Comments

As I attempt my first blog, my thoughts are going automatically to WillowBridge Center, and why we’re all here to begin with.  I believe everything happens for a reason, and a lot of talented and interesting people with good hearts have come together to make this amazing place happen.  The Cambridge area is lucky to have this place for healthy living here, so close to home to make it easily accessible and affordable.  WillowBridge offers healing, calming inspiration, health opportunities, and/ or pampering, all under one roof.

I love my job because it’s amazing to be able to see how all of our different services can help people. This includes how acupuncture can easily relieve pain or anxiety by opening the meridians that flow throughout the body; how massage can heal by touch to relieve aching muscles; how a facial can rejuvenate skin until it glows; and how a new hairstyle can make people feel better about themselves.  Our affiliates are great too, with homeopathy using elements found in nature to heal people instead of drugs, and naturopathy’s vital force.  The fitness program can change also people’s lives, from yoga classes to calm and heal, to a muscle toning and/or blood pumping exercise program.  Another great thing about WillowBridge is that we are always trying to improve, and I’m currently excited to see how our new life coach can help and motivate our clients.

It’s really all about people, and I’m so thankful to be part of it!  We have a good staff that care about people and the quality of their service.  We appreciate our good clients, and I know more people are finding us every day. Together we are all making a difference - making the world a better place!

Diane A.

<![CDATA[Yoga]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Yoga/
   By EricaB              (2) Comments

I started teaching yoga again last week and I am once again reminded how important it is to me, not just for my personal practice but to help others find what yoga means to them. We are all on a journey to find our best selves and for me yoga brings me closer to what I crave both physically and mentally for my life. It has also reminded me the importance of “living” wellness in all areas of life and taking care of ourselves first so we are better for those around us. Yoga is such a wonderful way to quiet your mind, detoxify your organs and improve circulation. I teach Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9am; I hope to see you soon.




<![CDATA[What is Wellness?]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/What-is-Wellness/
   By EricaB              (0) Comments

When we try to describe Health and Wellness it is difficult to not use the word in the definition.  I can sit here and spit out lofty jargon about being vigorous in mind and body.  But what does that mean?  I truly believe we, ourselves, are the only ones who can define wellness.  My wellness is not “your” wellness.  Your wellness is not “my” wellness.

As we walk, and sometimes run, through our daily lives, I feel it is important to make time to define wellness and solidify what it means to us.  This is a good time; a new year, a fresh start, right?  As a Life Coach, I spend most of my time helping people identify what is important in their lives.  What do you value?  Is it wellness?  What makes you well?  I want to challenge you, in this New Year, the Amazing 2012, to sit down and really ponder what makes you well/healthy/happy.  If you want to chat about it…call me. 

Enjoy this day,

<![CDATA[Broken Habits]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Broken-Habits/
   By EricaB              (0) Comments

Broken New Year’s Resolutions?

Having a hard time keeping the promises you’ve made to yourself?

Don’t give up accomplishing your goals!

Make a list of the 3 reasons you want to change a specific habit.

A great way to help fight thoughts of going back to your old habits is to apply pressure to specific points on the hand.  This will stimulate the body’s endorphins, a natural opiate that reduces pain and irritability.

Start by applying pressure bilaterally (both hands) to the ‘large intestine 4’ point which is located high up into the web between the thumb and pointer finger. Apply pressure for as long as it takes you to talk through:

1.       Think- think out all 3 reasons you want to change that habit. One by one.

2.       Speak- verbalize your 3 reasons. One by one.

3.       Picture- visualize your gains, what will your change look like? Use your imagination.

It is best to apply pressure 3 times a day, especially when having thoughts of going back to your old habits.

Don’t forget your positive self talk. Become your own best friend. Give yourself the ata-boys or ata-girls that you deserve. Every hour, every day is a success that amounts to a happier you.

Diane Lewis Farrell

Licensed Acupuncturist.

<![CDATA[Beautiful, Flawless Skin]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Beautiful-Flawless-Skin/
   By EricaB              (0) Comments

Having beautiful skin and flawless makeup doesn’t just have to do with how it is applied, it also has to do with the products used. It is important to use products that are derived from natural ingredients. Your skin will thank you for using more natural products! Don't get rid of your entire collection of makeup and beauty products just yet. If you’re wearing a product at least once a week or once a month, you should hold on to it. I recommend throwing a product only after a year of not using. Slowly begin replacing your makeup and skin care products for cleaner, more natural products. If you use a product every day, all day, go for a really natural, clean brand. Avoid anything containing synthetic fragrance on the label.

11 Ingredients to Avoid
.Synthetic colors
.Sodium laurel sulfate
.DMDM hydantoin
.Polyethylene glycol(PEG)
.TEA and DEA
.Synthetic fragrance

A product line I recommend, and use daily, is AVEDA. The mission of Aveda is to use products derived from plants. Making their products natural and clean, you are left with just that…..a natural, clean feeling.


<![CDATA[Stress]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Stress/
   By EricaB              (0) Comments

Stress is the body's reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment or response. Stress can be created from both negative and positive situations, for example, the Holidays. The Holiday stress can be created from being weighed down with financial burdens, memories of loved ones that may no longer be with us, or even by just being so busy getting things done.

If not taken seriously, stress (whether it is from positive or negative stressors) can have a very negative reaction to our physical well-being. In the short term stress can cause such symptoms as insomnia, headaches, backaches, tension in muscles, and irritability. If it continues, stress can cause ulcers, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, even hair loss.

Although we cannot totally rid ourselves of stress, there are several ways we can effectively deal with it. It would be nice to just avoid what stresses you, but that is not always possible. A simple response to stress is to change your reactions to stress and find ways to let go of some of your stress.

One way to handle stress is to practice positive self talk. Going into an already stressful situation with negative thoughts only compounds the issue.  However, if you go into the situation seeing the bright side of things you find it wasn’t nearly as bad as you thought.

Another way to handle stress is to take time to let yourself unwind.   Thirty minutes to an hour a day is best. A few good ideas for this would be meditation, take a hot bath, or go for a walk. Some days, no matter how hard you try, you just don’t have time. On those days take short five or ten minute breaks throughout the day. Give yourself time to step away and clear your head.

Finally, the best way to take care of stress is to take care of yourself.  Eat a well balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get massages on a regular basis to help maintain your body’s natural de-stressors. 

Best Wishes,


<![CDATA[Salon Snip-Its]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Salon-Snip-Its/
   By EricaB              (0) Comments

~We are back behind the chair! We are so excited to be back in our new salon. The flood was a blessing in disguise. We were able to update the salon, add another styling chair and purchase massaging pedicure chairs! The salon truly matches our personality. We are so grateful that we were given the opportunity to recreate the salon. We designed everything from the salon layout to the color of the stain on the cabinets. We get the most compliments on our floor! I must say the pedicure room is my favorite! Everyone should come in and experience a pedicure with our new pedicure chairs! Ahhhhh. We missed our clients a great deal while we were closed and we want to thank every one of them for the continued support and loyalty. It means a lot to us.

We are looking forward to 2012. We will be attending lots of great Aveda advanced education classes. WillowBridge Salon has attended and participated in the Aveda Earth Month fundraiser for clean water the last 2 years and will again this year. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to keep updated.


Nicole Simoneau
WillowBridge Salon Manager

“Happiness is a journey, not a destination.”

<![CDATA[Journey]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Journey/
   By EricaB              (0) Comments


Webster dictionary defines ‘journey’ as traveling from one place to another. When I think of a journey, I don’t think of a physical path you travel. I think of a path you follow designed for you to learn, grow, and become a person of strength. I often think of the poem by Robert Frost, The Road Less Traveled to describe the journey life as led me on. WillowBridge has been a journey that is no exception.

Recently I celebrated my one year anniversary of working at WillowBridge, and what a journey it has been! I have learned so much working here. Some of the lessons have been more difficult than others, but the strength of doing what I love, living what I believe, and giving back to others, makes every lesson worth it.

Some of the lessons learned include ones of self awareness, how to pursue happiness, and successful business practices. Here are the top 3 lessons I have learned at WillowBridge, and how you can apply them to your daily living.

1) Self Awareness- defined as the awareness of oneself, including one’s traits, feelings and behaviors. To become self-aware you need constant feedback from those around you. Some of this feedback can be difficult to hear, some of the feedback will be the best compliments you have ever received. Good or bad feedback, you learn something about yourself. You become aware of your strengths and weaknesses, your good qualities and the qualities you can improve on. Where self awareness will lead a person is different for everyone, I hope my self awareness leads me to becoming the best person I can become. Ask for feedback, you may be surprised what you learn.

2) Accountability with Health and Wellness- Accountability, though difficult is rewarding. It can be easy to fall into a rhythm of a reward system for unhealthy activities in your life. For example: “I just ran a mile, I deserve that candy bar”. The people at WillowBridge have taught me the importance of the responsibility I hold for my own health and wellness. Try having a ‘health and wellness’ accountability partner. Check in with each other about diets, and workout schedules you may be surprised what you will accomplish.

3) Relaxation is important- Enough said~ Relaxation is important. For those of us who live a fast paced life, filled with many activities and obligations, it is difficult to take time for yourself. Try taking 15 minutes out of your day for quiet meditation, try a massage or facial. Simply take time for yourself. The results or this simple 15 minutes a day will make a huge difference in your health.

Life is a journey designed for learning, growing, and becoming stronger.

I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

I couldn’t imagine working with a better group of people.

I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.

Best Wishes,

<![CDATA[Transformation]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Transformation/
   By EricaB              (1) Comments

We are so excited to launch our new website and we hope you enjoy the new look and content! As most of you know the past several months have been crazy for all of us here at WillowBridge but we were fortunate enough to have had some time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t the last 2 years and then make some adjustments.  If you haven’t had a chance to check out our new salon come in and see our beautiful new design! We have added another station and new comfy pedicure chairs in our gorgeous nail room. We also sold WBC Yoga & Fitness to Total Wellness Coaching and Julie and her team are taking things to a new level! We are sad to say that the Bead Shop moved to 220 Ashland Street South but they have a great new home and are adding a lot of new items and fun classes. We consolidated some of the boutique items to the lobby area and added more unique gifts. You will see some new faces around and a New Year will bring the launch of some wonderful new services; watch for more information coming soon.

We are going to “blog” twice a week and rotate people at WillowBridge so you will get to know everyone a little better. As the owner of WillowBridge I would just like to say I feel so blessed to have such an amazing team and every day I am overwhelmed with the depth of passion, integrity and kindness they possess.   

We are looking forward to 2012 and want to thank each and every one of you for your loyalty and patience; we wouldn’t be here without you and our wonderful community. We hope to see you soon!

Take care,


<![CDATA[Welcome to the new WillowBridge Blog!]]> http://willowbridgecenter.com/Blog/WillowBridge-Blog/Welcome-to-the-new-WillowBridge-Blog/
   By Front Porch Web              (0) Comments

We're excited to have a new blog to share information with our customers! Check here for the latest news and events going on at WillowBridge Center.