Crystal Maceira – Master Herbalist

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Bowenwork: Great for the Feet

And Just About Anything Else!

Crystal Maceira, CBP, LMT, MH
March – April 2023 • Vol 4, No 3

I have been a Bowenwork practitioner for over six years now. During that time, I have seen some amazing results through this gentle, non-invasive form of bodywork. There are so many applications that would be too numerous to write about them here. Here’s what I tell those that want to know what it can do: “If you have an issue, there is generally a Bowenwork procedure or a set of moves for that.” Babies to seniors and everyone in between can benefit from this effective modality.

Living in Montana gives me the unique opportunity to share this little-known form of bodywork to my clients. When they come in for a massage for the first time, I make sure to let them know of this form of bodywork, so they can have an opportunity to try it. They totally have a choice whether to receive a hands-on, full-body massage or Bowenwork. Most of the time, they choose Bowenwork, because their condition has not resolved with massage—or with any other treatment for that matter.

What do I say that compels them to give it a try? Well, I usually tell them that it resets the body’s “fight-or-flight,” sympathetic nervous system. It gives the body the tools it needs to heal. When the session is complete, they will be very relaxed. And I tell them that Bowenwork is a system of moves along muscles and connective tissues that enhances the body’s innate ability to heal, creating balance and resetting the nervous system out of “stress mode.”

In his booklet, “Understanding the Bowen Technique,” John Wilks describes Bowenwork as a very gentle form of natural healing. In order to appreciate its subtlety and depth, the therapy really needs to be experienced. These booklets are available to inform the client about Bowenwork. (To learn more, read my previous articles in this magazine, archived here.)

Bowenwork is different from a regular massage in that I will apply a few moves, then step away from the client and let the body “receive and process” for a couple of minutes or longer, depending on the procedure being applied. I then will continue with the process of applying a few more moves and let the body respond by stepping away for another couple of minutes, until the procedure or session is complete.

One of the key areas that Bowenwork addresses is the feet. If you or someone you know has foot problems, you will want to know that there is another very effective option to address issues such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, tight and inflexible feet, difficulties with balance, hammer toes, cold feet, heel spurs, and other foot problems. When there is an ankle injury, Bowenwork can usually be done right away if there are no broken bones and no bleeding involved. I have had some great results in helping my clients with various problems with their feet. When there are chronic foot issues, the knees and hips can also be involved. So yes, there is a procedure for that!
Recently, in one of my Introduction to Bowenwork classes, a student who had chronic knee issues was taught the first four moves of the Knee Procedure. She emailed me later that day and raved about how much movement she had. She could feel it all the way into the hips and into the feet. She was walking around swinging her hips having a great time with her daughters. That was in a practice situation, and she still received amazing results.

Over time, I have become more and more passionate about Bowenwork. In Australia, where it originated almost 70 years ago, insurance companies pay for this unique form of bodywork.

I teach the Introduction to Bowenwork class regularly. Mark your calendars! My next class is March 18th. Look for me in Livingston at the Holistic Healing Fair on April 15th. I have another Intro class on April 22nd. On July 13–16, I will teach my first set of students Bowenwork so they can work toward becoming a practitioner themselves!

If you are interested in having a treatment, please contact me. If you would like to learn how to become a Practitioner, then go to, click on “Find a class,” and sign up today. Or contact me and I can help you through the process.

2023-02-27T10:15:10-07:00Natural Therapies/Remedies|

12 Ways to Use Catnip

Besides Driving Your Cat Crazy!

Crystal Maceira, CBP, LMT, MH
January – February 2023 • Vol 4, No 2

Catnip — isn’t that the stuff you put in a sock or something to be entertained while watching cats go nuts playing with it? I got to thinking about this herb after a customer (a doctor) bought several bottles at a time and he sent quite a few customers to us to purchase their own. I’d forgotten just how indispensable this herb was!

This herb has been around for a long time and is considered an old, household remedy. Some of the common names for Catnip are cat mint, catsup and field balm. Therapeutic actions: aromatic, relaxant, diffusive, stimulant, emmenogogue (stimulates blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus), antispasmodic, nervine, sedative, carminative (prevents formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract), anodyne (painkiller), antacid, and a refrigerant. The main nutrients in this herb are calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, and zinc.

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2023-02-01T13:40:30-07:00Natural Therapies/Remedies|

What Is Iridology?

Can It Help Me Gain Control of My Health?

Crystal Maceira, LMT, MH
November-December 2022 • Vol 4, No 1

I have two favorite definitions of Iridology. The first is from Dorland’s Medical Dictionary: Iridology is a diagnostic technique based on the premise that early pathologic changes elsewhere in the body are reflected in the iris before disease becomes clinically apparent. An analysis of a person’s state of health may be made by visual examination of the iris, with the color, density, and position of deposited pigment helping to identify the pathologic process and the organ involved.

The second is from Dr. Ellen Tart Jensen, the person from whom I received my training: Iridology is the study of the color, pigmentations and structure of the iris or colored portion of the eye as they relate genetically through reflex response to the strengths and deficiencies of the body’s systems.

Iridology dates back more than 6000 years. The physician Hippocrates practiced it in ancient Greece, as well as the Chinese and Japanese who have used the whole eye for thousands of years to detect diseases of the body.

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2022-10-31T08:35:33-06:00Iridology, Natural Therapies/Remedies|

Holy Basil

Queen of the Herbs

Crystal Maceira
September – October 2022 • Vol 3, No 123

In this last printed issue, I have chosen to write about a very special adaptogenic herb. I must admit, I had neglected to get to know this herb until just recently. Now it is one of my top-ten favorites! I think it will be yours, too, when you find out just what this herb can do! Everyone knows about Basil. It is such an aromatic herb to cook with. But how many people know about holy basil?

The Hindu people revere this herb and have used it for many aliments in their Ayurvedic medicine. I will tell what it is, the therapeutic actions, nutrients, what it has been used for, some of the research that has been done on it, and its uses, dosages, and drug interactions.

What Is Holy Basil?
Ocimum tenuiflorum or Ocimum sanctum are both aromatic shrubs in the Lamiaceae basil plant family. Holy basil is thought to have originated in north central India and now grows throughout the Eastern world. Also known as tulsi, which means “the incomparable one” in Hindu, the holy basil plant is a perennial that has a light lemon scent and purple-pink flowers. It is also called “Queen of the Herbs.”

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How Your Gallbladder Affects Your Health

More than You Know!

Crystal Maceira
July – August 2022 • Vol 3, No 122

In the last issue, we talked about the liver and the 76 plus herbs we have on hand that can benefit the liver in some way. I only thought it fitting that we discuss its partner—the gallbladder.

The gallbladder is a small organ that is located just below the liver and to the right of the stomach. It is shaped like a pear with its stem pointing up to the liver. The gallbladder is about 5 cm in length and 3 cm in diameter. It has a smooth surface and is covered by a thin layer of mucous membrane. It stores bile which is produced by the liver. The bile helps in the digestion of fats and oils, and it is also responsible for the secretion of bile into the small intestine. The gallbladder can store up to a liter of bile at one time! The bile contains acids, enzymes, cholesterol and bilirubin.

When the gallbladder becomes full of bile, it sends a signal to the brain to tell it that the body has had enough bile. The signal causes the gallbladder to contract and release the contents into the duodenum. The bile flows through the bile ducts to the liver where it is processed before being reabsorbed into the blood stream. Let’s take a closer look at the three most common gallbladder disorders.

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2022-09-14T09:39:46-06:00Natural Therapies/Remedies|

Strengthening Your Liver

What the Liver Does and Herbs that Can Strengthen It

Crystal Maceira
May – June 2022 • Vol 3, No 121

In this issue, we’ll learn about the liver, including symptoms of liver problems, what the liver is, what it does, and herbs that can help strengthen it. You probably already know that your liver is a vitally important organ that performs a wide variety of functions in your body. If you have a liver problem, you will probably experience some of these symptoms:

  • Yellowish skin/eyes (jaundice)
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Spleen enlargement
  • Headache and/or fever
  • Dark urine or stools
  • Swollen ankles
  • Yellowing of the gums
  • Itching
  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Numbness and tingling in the fingers and toes
  • Fatigue

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2022-10-12T13:23:49-06:00Natural Therapies/Remedies|

The Healing Benefits of Green Clay

It Can Absorb Toxins Over 100 Times Its Own Mass!

Crystal Maceira
Mar – Apr 2022 • Vol 3, No 120

It’s so good to be providing educational information to you! We here at Positive Life Changes, LLC have been very busy the last three months expanding our business by adding over a hundred new tinctures, extracts, and other products. We have brought in some new specialty products like Gold Coin Grass, Butterfly Pea Flower—and introducing here—Montmorillonite Clay (French Green Clay). This beautiful, light-green clay is quarry mined from naturally occurring deposits in France. Sometimes called sea clay, it is untreated and soft in texture. It is, by far, one of the most effective and most often used mineral, skin clays found in the world. Green clay owes its coloration to two very important factors: iron oxide and decomposed plant matter. It is made up of the mineral montmorillonite, as well as dolomite, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, aluminum, silicon, copper, selenium, and cobalt—all alkalizing to the blood and tissues. Also, all of these are foundational in the production of other elements through nuclear or biological transformations.

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2022-09-14T09:39:50-06:00Natural Therapies/Remedies|

Replacing Fear of Covid & Chaos with Hope

Taking Actions that Will Boost Your Health

Crystal Maceira, CBP, LMT, MH
Nov – Dec 2021 • Vol 3, No 118

How can we stop living in fear of Covid-19? How can we mitigate the chaos of these times in our lives? What actions can we take to strengthen our own and our loved ones’ bodies and immune systems? The following answers will be helpful, I believe, both if you have taken the vaccine, and if you haven’t. These solutions will keep you healthy and counteract the effects of both the virus and the vaccine.

False Evidence Appearing Real (F.E.A.R.)

There’s no need to live in fear. Fear and anxiety only produce more illness in the body, as cortisol rises and the immune system’s ability to do its work diminishes. So please, take action and watch how your fears will subside. So, what actions can you take?

There are many solutions available to keep your body healthy and to fight against the viruses going around. Many of these solutions come from a video and book by Dr. Robert O. Young, one of the top research scientists in the world. He advocates the theory that “the human organism is alkaline by design and acidic by function.”

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2022-10-13T11:36:15-06:00Natural Therapies/Remedies|

Iridology: Ciliary Body Marketings

What Does the Outside of the Iris Tell Us?

Crystal Maceira, CBP, LMT, MH
September – October 2021 • Vol 3, No 117

I am so happy to have been able to write about Iridology in the past several issues. By now, you should have a basic understanding of what to look for in the irises. Let’s do a recap. In the Nov/Dec 2017 issue, I explained just what Iridology was and a little bit of the history behind it. Starting exactly a year ago, I have explained the three main iris constitutions, subtypes based on color (that was in two parts), subtypes based on physical integrity, the nutritive zone, and the collarette. This article will be on the Ciliary Body and will complete this series. (Go to my column in to find all of these Iridology articles.)

The Ciliary Body & the Way Iridologists Look at the Iris

The ciliary body is the area of the iris that covers the most area. It is located from outside the collarette (around the pupil after Zones 1 and 2), to the outside edge of the iris. Looking at the Zone Chart, it covers Zones 3 through 7.

First, Iridologists look at the iris markings based on what zone they are in. The second method is to look at where the markings are as if we are placing it on a clock. For example, when we see a marking in the lung area in the right eye, we will mark down on our notes that it is in the 9 o’clock area. The third way we place markings are by iris positions: Frontal or Superior (top), Superior Temporal, Temporal (temple side), Inferior temporal, Ventral or Inferior (bottom), Inferior nasal, Medial (nasal side), Superior nasal.

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Iridology: The Collarette

Also Called the Autonomic Nerve Wreath

Crystal Maceira, CBP, LMT, MH
July – August 2021 • Vol 3, No 116

I hope you have been enjoying the last four or five issues where I have covered many aspects of how Iridologists conduct an iris reading. If you have, then you’re getting a good understanding of the basics of Iridology. (If you’ve missed a few—no worries, just go to the Natural Life News Archives to catch up.) In this issue, we are going to learn some of major ways iridologists look at the collarette in relation to the rest of the body. The collarette surrounds the pupil and is the dividing line between the Nutritive Zone and the Ciliary Zone. The collarette is also called the Autonomic Nerve Wreath, or the wreath for short.

The collarette tells us many things about the colon and the nervous system. If it is light or even white in color, it shows structural contraction, irritability and inflammation. The color of the wreath also suggests different tendencies to the corresponding organs. The iridologist breaks it down into two aspects or sections: Placement and Appearance. When we look at appearance, we break it down again into two sections: Quality and Shape.

First there is placement. Is it too close to the pupil, too far from the pupil, or is it balanced? When the collarette is in balance (approximately 1/3 the distance between the pupil and the outside edge of the iris), it means there typically is not any negative influence on bowel behavior.

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