SWIHA Blog

Your Brain on Meditation: The Health Benefits of Finding Zen

Posted by Taylor Jablonowski on 10/15/18 2:00 PM

Mindfulness is an ability we all possess. Just like a muscle, the more often that we choose to utilize it, the greater the ability grows. At its most basic definition, living mindfully is making the choice to be fully present in each moment. By bringing awareness to what you’re directly experiencing (sounds, scents, sensations) you can reduce ruminative thinking, improve your memory, and find a greater appreciation for both positive and negative experiences.

Meditation is a tool for becoming more mindful. It is an exploration of our internal landscape, where we unleash our natural curiosities and suspend our judgement. Often times, we’re not even aware of how busy our brains are, so by making the time to “check-in” and observe our thoughts, we can learn to better problem-solve and discover the root cause of our daily stressors and discomforts.

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Topics: Meditation, Mindful, Mindfulness, guided imagery, PTSD, wellness, Holistic Healing

Put Down Your Phone! Do a Digital Detox

Posted by Taylor Jablonowski on 9/17/18 2:00 PM

What has the power to monopolize your time, relationships and even your thoughts? You’re probably holding it in your hand right now.

The science of how an abundance of technology influences us as human beings is still in its infancy, so we actually know very little about the long-term hazards of a screen-to-screen existence. However, we can inuit that constantly monitoring our email and posting Facebook status updates is making us less productive, more disconnected from our real lives, and less satisfied with ourselves.

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Topics: Motivational Monday, Meditation, health, wellness, Mindfulness

Heart to Heart with Dr. Paul Bernitt: Integrative Medicine and the Intelligence of the Body

Posted by Taylor Jablonowski on 9/13/18 2:01 PM

Dr. Paul Bernitt, a Board Certified Doctor of Holistic Health and founding member of Trivita Clinic of Integrative Medicine in Scottsdale, has worked in a wide variety of health care entities including long-term care, OB/GYN, children’s hospitals and family medicine since 1998.

“My life was all about how much I could get done,” he says, “raising my family, being active in my church and trying to ‘get ahead in life’.”

In a turn of fate, Dr. Bernitt fell ill. He was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome and, at age thirty-six, was already experiencing atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries. The traditional allopathic doctors he spoke with told him that he would have to reduce sugars and carbohydrates from his diet, increase his physical activity and that he would need to take medications to help him manage his condition.

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Topics: Mind Body Transformational Psychology, Holistic Nutrition Coach, Holistic wellness, Life Coaching, Great Graduates, wellness, health

Mathina Ross: Healing Touch for Body, Mind, and Spirit

Posted by Zoey Sigmon on 4/28/17 9:23 AM

Mathina Ross has always been a healer and philanthropist at heart. Though her background is not necessarily one you would expect from someone who now has a bustling career offering signature massage experiences, throughout her life she has mastered the art of caring for others. In fact, before attending SWIHA and completing our 1000-hour Massage Therapy Program, Mathina cultivated a profoundly rewarding career in cosmetology, in which she chose to specialize working with children who experienced spectrum disorders toward the end. She shares that the work was fulfilling to her soul, yet left her feeling drained. “I loved the work, [however, I] got ‘burned out.’  Given my specialized status, when I chose to move on, my options were very limited.  Prior to specializing, I had worked in hair, skin and nail care, and had been massaging much of the body, so the transition to massage seemed an appropriate one.

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Topics: holistic, Massage, aromatherapy, Transformation, yoga, Yoga Teacher Training, asana, Namaste, Yogi, Om, Spiritual, healing, transformational, health, wellness, Alternative healing, Self-care

Meet Sharon Rose --The Holistic Lifestyle Coach Offering Lasting Change

Posted by Zoey Sigmon on 4/21/17 1:47 PM

Sharon Rose made the trek out to Arizona following an opportunity in her previous career of hospitality and to experience a much-needed change in scenery. Attending a school like Southwest Institute of Healing Arts was far from her mind. At the time, she had no idea that her recreational and self-preservationist interests in yoga would become such huge components of her life path, and ultimately, the fulfillment of her life purpose.

After four months here in the desert, a sinking feeling began to creep into her soul that something significant was missing. Looking back, she shares, “I became uninspired and mentally checked out. I started practicing yoga at Spirit of Yoga around this time. I realized then that I wanted to pursue yoga full time and decided to look into SWIHA.

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Topics: SWIHA, holistic, Holistic Nutrition, life coach, Life Coaching, Nutrition Coaching, transformational, yoga, asana, Namaste, Yogi, Om, Spiritual, healing, Healthy Eating, Smoothies, organic, wellness, Alternative healing

Cameo Rose--Serving Beautiful Bowls to Beautiful Souls!

Posted by Zoey Sigmon on 4/14/17 1:50 PM

Meet Cameo Rose of Foxy Fruit Açai Bowls & Smoothies! This girl is serving beautiful bowls to beautiful souls and changing lives through her passion for and knowledge of Holistic Nutrition.

This dream life wasn’t always her reality, though. To hear Cameo talk about her sheer fervor and zeal for Holistic Nutrition and Urban Farming, you would never believe that just a few years ago before attending SWIHA, Cameo found herself trapped in a cycle of negativity. As she puts it, “I knew something had to give, or else I would feel this way forever.” She decided to dive in and begin researching how to live a more healthful life.

From there, she was exposed to a seemingly infinite fount of information about healthy eating. She talks of this time fondly; as if her life burst open, made colorful in the presence of organic options after living for years in the black and white world of processed foods and unconscious living. “I started falling in love with healthy eating, creating delicious vegetarian recipes, and taking care of my mind, body, and soul for what seemed [to be] the first time in my life.”

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Topics: holistic, Holistic Nutrition, Life Coaching, Nutrition Coaching, Hypnotherapy, Urban Farming, Healthy Eating, Smoothies, organic, transformational, health, wellness, Alternative healing

Coaching to Put the Best Self Forward with A Transformational Action Plan

Posted by Kerry Burki on 1/29/17 10:00 AM

Stephanie Parejamaas decided to have a shift in her career field from Marriage and Family Therapy to Life Coaching. She wanted to create a different space to work with her clients in, based on their goals in creating the life they want. “I wanted to focus on their future looking at what they can do today, in order to truly achieve their goals. When I found the Mind-Body Wellness Practitioner Program at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) I knew it was what I was looking for.” It spoke to her on all levels and she was thrilled to feel the shift in her career. Now she has been providing Life Coaching services through her Live Happy Wellness practice since 2015.

The life coaching tool that Stephanie values most is a powerful follow-up question. “I think a great question can really open up the thought process for a client and allow them to dive into themselves and discover what they may have been overlooking before. This can lead to change or embracing their self-discovery.” 

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Topics: SWIHA, transformational, national life coaching month, healing arts, Mind-body, wellness

Holistic Entrepreneur Guides Her Life Coaching Clients Out of the Past & Into the Present

Posted by Anthony Scarpulla on 1/22/17 10:00 AM

Throughout her late teens and all through her twenties, Leslie Davidson struggled with self-esteem and self-awareness issues. Like a lot of young women, she didn’t have her father in her life when she needed him the most. “That sort of sent me into a place of dishonoring myself with men,” said Leslie. To understand herself better, she studied sociology in college, yet this career path didn’t fulfill her. “I was also looking for spiritual fulfillment and the ability to authentically be myself while providing service to others.”

One fortuitous day, she was talking to a co-worker about life coaching. Her co-worker quickly left the room, and came back in with a course catalog from SWIHA. “I kid you not, as soon as I opened the catalog and saw information all about life coaching… I couldn’t believe it!  All that I could say was ‘thank you God’!”  She enrolled herself in the Holistic Wellness Practitioner program, and recently graduated in June of this year. “I have been coaching since that time and really look forward to my holistic business growing,” exclaimed Leslie.

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Topics: SWIHA, national life coaching month, worthy, holistic entrepreneur, life coach, wellness

Staying Protected With Reiki and Guides

Posted by Kaye Bahr on 12/19/16 10:09 AM

Someone recently asked me what my expectations were for signing up for the Reiki and Guides class that was offered in October of this year.  After a bit of thought, my first response was I didn’t have any expectations.  The reality of the situation was, I took the class because I needed more hours to graduate. When I signed up for the Mind-Body Wellness Program my goal was to graduate on the time table that I had set for myself a year before, and this class would help me do just that.


The Reiki part of the class, I had some familiarity with because I had experienced this energy healing modality from the Reiki 1 class that I had already taken.  When I walked out, I had loved what I had already experienced and was eager to learn more.  The spirit guide’s part of the class held more intrigue for me because of my limited knowledge on the subject.

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Topics: Reiki, Spirit guide, Mind-body, wellness, Archangels, God, Guardian Angels, Elementals

Sugar in the Raw: Facts, Effects, & Reward

Posted by Jenn Bragg on 12/12/16 9:09 AM

During the eight-week holiday season—Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve—we are constantly surrounded by sweet treats and other foods we normally do not eat. However, in the grand scheme of things, two months is minute compared to the rest of the year when many people are not paying attention to what they are consuming on a regular basis.

Sugar is a sneaky crystalline substance that is in nearly everything we eat. Trying to avoid it is like trying to avoid getting hit by a raindrop while running to your car during a rainstorm! Almost all processed, canned, fast, and restaurant foods contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup (fructose). Companies know that adding sugar to their products will make them taste better to our Western-tongues. If you find you get a craving for certain foods from restaurants or grocery stores, it is very possible you have adopted a sugar addiction because your body is craving the sugar within the food.

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Topics: sugar, dopamine, obesity, holistic, Holistic Nutrition, healing, wellness, Mindful, Massage, practitioner

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