The Calm-Down Playlist

Check out these tunes that are designed to relax, calm and bring peace of mind… 
“Makambo,” by Geoffrey Oryema
“By Your Side,” by Sade
“Pachelbel Meets U2,” by Jon Schmidt
“Shadows Fall,” by Michael Hoppé
“Diamonds in the Sun,” by Girish
“Méditation,” from the opera Thaïs, Act II
“High and Dry,” by Radiohead


A while ago, I attended a Silent Meditation & Yoga retreat.  While the meditation and yoga during the retreat were wonderful and very healing, the silence was the most profound part of the experience. 

Meditating - Di Philippi, Holistic Anxiety Therapist, Wellness Counseling MilwaukeeWe have such loud and busy lives that it’s no wonder the “monkey mind” is always going, going, going.  I challenge you to create some periods of silence.  Silence means no input – no phones, computers, books, journals, movies, TV.  Silence the busy-ness of the mind.  Silence means no doing.  No doing the laundry or working out.  A human BEING instead of a human DOING.

Could you find just 15 minutes and sit in complete silence doing nothing but being?  It actually takes the mind much longer than that to silence, but if you find your mind busy in those 15 minutes occupy it with nothing but repeating “I am well, I am happy, I am peaceful.”  Let me know how you do!

Homeopathics for Better Sleep


Homeopathy is a natural system of medicine based on the principle that you can treat ‘like with like’… meaning that a substance which causes symptoms when taken in large doses, can be used in small amounts to treat those same symptoms.  Homeopathic remedies are inexpensive, small pellets dissolved under the tongue.

My friend and colleague Cherri Schleicher, APNP is a holistic nurse practitioner with a homeopathic specialty. She recommends the following homeopathic remedies to improve sleep, and my clients report that they really work!

Homeopathics for Better Sleep

  1. woman-sleeping-in-bedCoffea Cruda: This is a homeopathic derived from the coffee bean. It is very useful for the person who has mind racing and cannot quiet down for the evening. The typical dose is 15C 5 pellets under the tongue before bedtime.
  1. Gelsenium: This is a flowering plant that works very well for anxiety. 30C 5 pellets at supper time or before bed is beneficial.
  1. Ignatia: This homeopathic comes from a plant. It is for the individual who is sensitive and has an excitable nature. They have a mild disposition and are usually quick to perceive. The nervous individual who has difficulty falling asleep. 30C 5 pellet’s at dinner or bedtime is typical.

Reiki for Natural Healing

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a natural healing technique which promotes balance of the body, mind, spirit and emotions, providing stress reduction and relaxation as well as many other healing benefits.
Reiki is a Japanese word roughly translating to “Universal Life Force Energy.” Reiki is a form of energy healing (or energy medicine) developed by Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese Buddhist, in the early 1900’s. It is a simple, natural and safe method of healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. 
Reiki is a holistic therapy – an easy and natural way to help bring yourself back a peaceful state of health and wellness.

How does Reiki work?

Reiki in Japanese

It is based on the idea that there is a “life force energy” flowing through all living things. This vital energy of life is called “ki” or “chi” or “prana” in various Eastern traditions. It is the “ki” that brings life energy to the body’s organs and tissues. When this “ki” is balanced and flowing freely through us, we can experience a happy, healthy state of well-being. However, blockages or imbalance in the body’s energy system can lead to pain or “dis-ease.”

Reiki works on the Chakras to ensure that the flow of energy throughout the body is balanced and free-flowing.

Chakras are a core part of our energy system. Chakra is an ancient Sanskrit word that translates as “wheel” or “disc.” Chakras are not seen in the physical body because they are fields of energy.

What is a Reiki treatment like?

After receiving a Reiki treatment, virtually everyone feels deep relaxation, relief from stress, and a sense of peace and well-being. You typically lay on a massage table, wearing comfortable clothing. With a light touch and a very relaxing process, a Reiki practitioner will lightly place his/her hands on your body, assisting your life force energy to flow in a free and healthy way that supports your highest good. Sessions usually last about 45 minutes. 

It’s easy to learn how to do Reiki yourself

Many people learn Reiki just to use on themselves for stress relief and natural healing. Everyone can learn and use Reiki. Reiki classes include an “attunement,” which is the process by which you receives the ability to give Reiki treatments to yourself or others. During the attunement, the Reiki Master will touch the students head, shoulders, and hands and use a special breathing technique. This adjusts the student’s energy pathways and connects the student to the source of Reiki.
reiki-treatment-istock_000009029668xsmallMy Reiki classes also include training in the Chakras, how to give yourself Reiki, and how to give a Reiki treatment to others (pets love it too!). Plus plenty of time for hands-on practice. It is a relaxing day of self-care and learning. 

The Spiritual Aspect of Reiki

The “Universal” aspect of Reiki (as in Universal Life Force Energy) brings a spiritual nature to Reiki. It is not a religion. There is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. 
Reiki encourages a way of living and acting that promotes harmony with others and recognizes the universalities that connect all of us.
It usually blends well with one’s spiritual or religious beliefs. Many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their spirituality rather than simply an intellectual concept of it.

Favorite Quote

laughandbehappy-stencilAll is well, and you will never get it done. Life  is supposed to be fun. No one is taking score of any kind, and if you will stop taking score so much, you will feel a whole lot better — and as you feel a whole lot better, more of the things that you want right now will flow to you. You will never be in a place where all of this things that you are wanting will be satisfied right now, or then you could be complete — and you never can be. This incomplete place that you stand is the best place you could be. You are right on track, right on schedule. Everything is unfolding perfectly. All is really well. Have fun. Have fun. Have fun!

                                — Esther and Jerry Hicks, Abraham-Hicks Publications

Earthing for Stress Relief

When I was in the mountains of Peru on my recent vacation, little did I know that my laying around on the grass or meditating while sitting on huge rocks was actually “Earthing.”

Di Philippi - Earthing in PeruMost people intuitively know that spending time in nature is good for you – it feels good, feels relaxing, helps us calm down. Native American and other indigenous cultures (like the Incans in Peru) have known forever that Mother Earth has healing energies and properties.

Now an emerging field of research called “Earthing Science” is showing how direct contact with the Earth can help with stress and anxiety reduction, sleep problems, and lots of physical health problems.

What is Earthing?

The simplest form of Earthing is to walk outside barefoot, or to sit or lay on the Earth. Conductive surfaces include sand, dirt, gravel, grass and concrete. Wood, vinyl, asphalt and painted concrete are not conductive.

Connecting to the Earth can also be achieved through man-made conductive materials. The goal is to allow electromagnetic connection to the Earth’s surface. Earthing tools for consumer use are rapidly being developed.

Earthing concepts are not new. We know that when working with electronics we need to prevent build-up of static electricity. This is often achieved with grounded electrical outlets, or grounded desk mats, shoes or wristbands. In operating rooms, patients are grounded to protect inner electrical workings of the body from outside electrical interference.

We’re Short on Earthing

Earthing researchers believe that lifestyle changes in that past 100 years (and especially since the 1960’s) have disconnected us from the natural healing and calming benefits of the Earth. Earthing researcher Clint Ober notes that “little more than 100 years ago, 90% of homes still had dirt floors.” Now, our rubber and plastic soled shoes, multi-story buildings, and indoor lifestyles keep us separated from the Earth.

Earthing, Stress and Cortisol

Cortisol is a stress hormone involved with chronic stress, anxiety, sleep problems and other health issues. A pilot study in 2004 showed that test subjects who slept on an Earthing mattress for 8 weeks had improvement in cortisol levels and reported better sleep and less stress.

A study last year suggested that Earthing may help balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Most of us in this busy day and age have an imbalance (“sympathetic dominance”) and most stress management treatments involve improving this balance.

Earthing Research

Earthing research is new and is based on the understanding that all life on the planet functions electrically, and that our optimal functioning is dependent on an electrical connection with the ground.

You can check out Earthing research at The Earthing Institute

Better yet, maybe you want to try your own research. ‘Tis the season in Wisconsin for Earthing. You can experiment by connecting with the Earth on a regular basis…then pay attention to how you feel.

5 Minutes In Nature

Outdoor exercise lowers stress, increases self-esteem, and improves mood. A recent study found 5 minutes in nature is enough to have a positive effect, regardless of the type of exercise you choose.


For a bonus, hug a tree while you’re out there and notice how you feel more centered, grounded and calm.

Thank you Mother Nature!

Heart Focus Exercise to Decrease Stress Hormones

This technique is adapted from Dr. Christiane Northrup:

  • greatideaStop right now and notice your emotional state.
  • Name what is bothering you. You might even write it down or say it outloud.
  • Place your hand on your heart to help you focus on your heart area.
  • Shift your attention to a happy, funny, or uplifting event, person, or place in your life that you appreciate. Spend a few moments imagining it.
  • Bring something to mind that allows you to feel unconditional love or appreciation – maybe a child or a pet. Hold that feeling for 15 seconds or more.
  • Notice how changing your thoughts and your perception has changed how you feel. See that you really do have the power to shift out of the downward spiral of negativity you may sometimes get caught in.

Tapping Your Troubles Away With EFT

     Q:  What is the biggest thing that blocks our flow of energy and
          causes all sorts of distressing emotions and dis-ease?

     A:  How emotional issues are held in the body.

How Can EFT Help?

EFT is a natural healing technique: a three-minute process that’s easy to learn and can bring immediate and satisfying emotional release. It helps the body let go of old patterns that have been keeping you stuck in any sort of distress or dis-ease.
Tapping the brow point

Also referred to as “tapping,” EFT helps release release distressing emotions, leaving you with increased calm and confidence.

I use EFT with my clients because it is especially helpful in reducing anxiety, stress, worry and fears of all kinds.

With EFT, you can:

  • Avoid getting stuck in distressing emotional states
  • Increase positive thinking and focus on positive solutions
  • Reduce fatigue and have more energy
  • Get better sleep
  • Have more satisfying relationships
  • Feel better about yourself!

How Does EFT Work?

Tapping the collar bone point

It’s like an emotional version of acupuncture – without needles! By tapping on various energy points on your body you can release negative energy, distressing emotions and thoughts, as well as physical issues.

Just like Reiki and other forms of energy healing, EFT is based on the idea that there is a “life force energy” flowing through all living things. This vital energy of life is called “ki” or “chi” or “prana” in various Eastern traditions.

When this vital life energy is balanced and flowing freely through you, you can achieve a happy, healthy state of well-being. However, blockages or imbalance in your body’s energy system can lead to pain or dis-ease.

EFT works on your Energy Meridians

Energy “Meridians”
Thousands of years ago, the Chinese mapped out the energy pathways of the body into a system of energy “meridians.”These meridians are central to Eastern wellness practices, acupuncture, acupressure, and a wide array of other healing techniques…including EFT.

EFT works by stimulating your energy meridians, allowing emotional and energetic releases.

When our energies are allow to flow freely, the body has amazing abilities to heal itself.

The Critical Connection:

EFT is based on the premise that there is an emotional contributor to all dis-ease and distress.

It just makes sense that if you spend a long time carrying around anger, fears, grief, traumas, blame, guilt, resentments or other emotional pain, the body becomes stressed.

Stress can eventually show up physically in the form of pain and dis-ease. The medical community is increasingly telling us that in order to improve conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux and more (!), that we need to reduce stress.

EFT is a tool to help you get to the root cause of whatever is bothering you. EFT works at 2 levels:

  1. EFT provides immediate relief so you can feel better in minutes
  2. More importantly, EFT also works deeper to help release and heal the root cause of the problem

Learning EFT

There are plenty of resources on the web (including my website where you can learn more about EFT and the basic EFT tapping technique. Even the most “basic recipe” for EFT is helpful! Additionally, I can recommend any of Gary Craig’s books. He’s the creator and founder of EFT. (Check out the selection at Small Stones in Brookfield.) You can also see lots of tapping on YouTube, or come to one of my EFT workshops.

Tapping the karate chop point
But EFT is more of an “art” than a science.

To learn the art of applying EFT for yourself, it’s best to work with an EFT practitioner (like me) one-on-one. You’ll not only learn the nuts and bolts of the tapping process (the “science of EFT”), but more importantly you’ll learn how to most powerfully customize EFT to help you resolve your particular issues (the “art of EFT”). After working together for a few sessions, you’ll have what it takes to continue clearing issues on your own.

EFT: Try it on everything!


Chakras Energize You

Did you know that you have your own amazing and wondrous energy system running through your body?

Your energy system is the life force that beats your heart, allows you to grow and evolve, and energizes all the organs and systems in your physical body. Therefore, it is a key component of overall health and wellness.

Wellness is much more than the mere absence of disease. The most inclusive definitions of wellness consider the optimal functioning of all aspects of our whole being: body, mind, spirit, emotions, and energy.

The emerging field of energy medicine addresses this energy level of our beings. Energy medicine is one of five domains of ‘complementary and alternative medicine’ identified by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Examples of energy medicine include Reiki, acupuncture, and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).

While the study of energy medicine is relatively new in our Western culture, it has been practiced for ages in Eastern cultures which have long understood that we all possess a life force energy variously called chi, qi, ki or prana in different traditions. Whatever we call it, this is the energy that fuels our aliveness.

When our energy system is optimally functioning, we can enjoy a greater sense of well-being and wellness.

Your Energy System of Chakras

Chakras are a core part of our energy system. ‘Chakra’ is an ancient Sanskrit word that translates as ‘wheel’ or ‘disc.’ Chakras are not seen in the physical body because they are fields of energy. We have seven main chakras which are believed to be spinning spheres of bioenergetic activity (like electromagnetic energy fields). Chakras are stacked vertically in a column of energy that begins at the base of the spine and moves upward to the crown of the head. Each chakra has a purpose as well as unique characteristics.

1st Chakra: Root The root chakra (red) is found at the base of the spine. It corresponds with the adrenals, kidneys, spinal column, colon, and legs. The root chakra provides grounding, stability, and security. It relates to our physical needs and survival.

2nd Chakra: Sacral The sacral chakra (orange) is located in the lower abdomen area, below the navel. It relates to the sexual/reproductive organs, spleen, bladder, and prostate. It is associated with sexuality, giving/receiving, creativity, and desire.

3rd Chakra: Solar plexus You can find the solar plexus chakra (yellow) in the stomach area, above the navel and, below the chest. It connects with the pancreas, stomach, liver, gall bladder, and nervous system. This is the energy center of our personal power, will, commitment, inner strength, and self-esteem.

4th Chakra: Heart In the center of the chest is the heart chakra (green). It corresponds to the heart, thymus gland, circulatory system, arms/hands, and lungs. The heart chakra relates to love, compassion, forgiveness, balance, and intimacy.

5th Chakra: Throat As you would suspect, the throat chakra (light blue) is located in the throat area, at the neck above the collar bone. It relates to the throat, mouth, thyroid, and hypothalamus. This is our center for creative self-expression and our voice for speaking truth.

6th Chakra: Third eye The third eye chakra (dark blue) is located in the center of the forehead. It corresponds to the brain, pituitary gland, nose, and ears. This is our energy center of insight, inner wisdom, intuition, and higher vision.

7th Chakra: Crown The crown chakra (purple or pure white) is located at the top of the head. It relates to the upper brain, central nervous system, and pineal gland. The crown chakra is associated with spirituality, connection with our highest self, enlightenment, and unity.

Reiki and other energy healing practices assess where the energy system needs attention and correct any energy disturbances to bring the whole system back to its natural, optimal state of wellness. Getting in touch with your energy system supports you on your path to optimal wellness, joy, and happiness.