January - March 2015. Jennifer's  Tai Chi Schedule and Healthy Tips and Ideas to Enhance Your Life.

The Balanced Body
Simple and Natural Solutions for Healthy Living.

A Note from Jennifer

Dear Friends,

I'm excited to share my quarterly newsletter, “The Balanced Body”, again. Many of you let me know that you miss the newsletter and so do I. So after a long hiatus, here is the very first electronic version of the first edition for the year 2015! I hope you enjoy it.

As the new year begins, I would like to reflect and thank you for our time together in 2014. I appreciate all your love, support, and encouragement as I return to offering massage, tai chi, and wellness classes. Although my schedule is still very limited due to my injury, I'm delighted to be able to do what I love. My return is due in large part to your support, patience, and your managed expectations for me to come back at my own pace. Your motivating words to “do my best”, “take a rest if needed”, and “listen to my body” really inspired me. Thank you for that. As I have often explained, teaching all of you is part of my own life's lessons.

I invite you to please visit my brand new website: for up-to-date schedules, extra health tips, and more!

Peace and Love,



Fruits and Veggies May Prevent Early Death

Increased intake of fruits and vegetables may prevent early death, according to a review in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Researchers followed 65,226 participants from the Health Surveys for England aged 35 and older for seven years. Those who consumed seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day saw a 42 percent decreased risk of death from any cause, compared with those consuming the least. Fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with a 25 percent and 31 percent decreased risk of death from cancer and heart disease respectively.
Oyebode O, Gordon-Desagu V, Walker A, Mindell JS. Fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause, cancer and CVD mortality: analysis of Health Survey for England data. J Epidemiol Community Health.Published online March 31, 2014.


“The simplest is the highest.”  Master Jou Tsung Hwa



WINTER:  The Water Element

According to Chinese medicine each season corresponds energetically to a different organ system in our bodies. The Kidney System (both energetically and physiologically) operates at its peak function during the winter season. Kidneys are important for your longevity and supply reserve Qi to all the other organs in your body that are running low on energy. Be mindful of Kidney energy imbalance symptoms such as: low energy and fatigue; urinary issues; lower back pain; knee pain; tinnitus; bone/teeth issues; sexual issues; increased susceptibility to illnesses; and pronounced anxiety, fear, and depression during the winter months.*

In order to create more balance and harmony, it’s vital that we respect the lessons of each season and our interconnectedness with nature. Winter is a time of quiet reflection, a slower pace, and more rest. It is also the best time to strengthen and balance your Kidney energy.

Here are some lifestyle Kidney balancing suggestions:
  • Slow down.
  • Nurture yourself with extra self-care and pampering.
  • Create inner peace and gratitude through positive self-talk.
  • Hold onto your energy and be discerning about your emotional, mental, and physical output.
  • Get extra rest and if possible go to bed earlier and rise after the sun has begun to warm up the earth.
  • Look within and make amends to yourself and others if necessary and then be sure to celebrate and appreciate all of your accomplishments.
  • Meditate to train and calm both your mind and nervous system.
  • Eat soups, stews, root vegetables, garlic, ginger, miso, seaweed, beans, and hot teas to warm the body’s core and provide deep nourishment.
  • Dress warmly and avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Wash hands regularly and avoid touching your face as much as possible to reduce your risk of colds and flu.
Try these simple and healing Kidney balancing exercises:
  • Rub your ears for 3-5 minutes every day. Your ears are connected to the Kidneys. By warming and stimulating them, you will improve your overall health.
  • March in place for 3-5 minutes daily to stimulate your Kidney meridian, which begins on the soles of your feet. Keep your feet flat and heavy and slowly march. Hold onto something sturdy for extra balance or do the exercise seated if necessary.
  • Warm your hands and rub your kidneys each morning upon awakening. You may either sit on the edge of a bed or chair or stand shoulder width apart with soft, slightly bent knees. Rub your Kidney area with either open palms or loose fists until your entire lower back warms up. Visualize a deep dark blue color surrounding your kidney area and smile gratitude towards your Kidneys for the amazing job they do to keep you healthy.
Nourish daily with these self-care techniques while you enjoy the gifts and lessons of the winter season. You will be ready, healthy, and energized for spring!

* Please use common sense. If you are experiencing any and/or all of the Kidney imbalance symptoms, please consult your doctor or health care professional. Be well.

Stop Playing with Your Food

Did you know that Dimethylpolysiloxane is a key ingredient in McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets AND also one of the building blocks of Silly Putty?!

Good Medicine from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." Francis of Assisi


Tai Chi Fusion:
Tai Chi, Qi Gong, & Self Care Classes with Jennifer

Where:  High Point Regional High School Library
299 Pigeon Hill Road, Wantage, NJ
When:  Wednesdays 6 - 7:30 pm
Session 1:  6 Weeks - January 14, 21, 28, February 4, 11, and 18, 2015*
Session 2:  5 Weeks - March 4, 11, 18, 25,  and April 1, 2015 * 
Who:  All levels welcome
Investment:  $15 per class
RSVP: - Be sure to include your name, phone number, and which session(s) you will be attending.

 Please wear comfortable clothes (layers in case you get too warm or cold), bring water to drink, and a towel. Feel free to bring your journal or notebook for notes and inspirations. Handouts will be provided. No previous experience is necessary.
*You will be notified by phone and/or email if class is cancelled due to inclement weather.

Potent Health Elixir: Gratitude

Medical research shows that incorporating gratitude as a daily virtue instead of a temporary state of mind will improve your physical, mental, and spiritual health.

We all know stress is linked to several leading causes of death such as heart disease and cancer. Stress is also the main reason for up to 90 percent of all doctor’s visits! Cultivating an attitude of gratitude will help us better manage our stress and thus reduce stress related illnesses and pain.

Some other significant benefits to exercising daily gratitude include:
  • Create a More Optimistic Attitude
  • Boost Your Immune System
  • Cope More Effectively with Daily Problems
  • Feel Better About Your Life and Your Future
  • Grow a Deeper Appreciation of Yourself and Others
  • Re-frame Your Adversities Into Life Lessons
  • Increase Your Inspiration to Take Better Care of Yourself
  • Improve Your Emotional Resiliency
Here are some simple and powerful tools you can implement to create more gratitude in your life and improve your health:

Journal - Keep a weekly gratitude journal and write down all the things you are grateful for no matter how insignificant they may seem at the time. Don’t forget to refer to your journal any time you are feeling blue to cheer yourself up or if you just want to increase your joy.

Daily Meditation - Every day upon awakening and/or retiring to bed acknowledge 3 -5 things you are grateful for in your personal life AND 3- 5 things you appreciate about your career and/or the community you live in. If you have a day when you're not feeling very grateful, as we all do, don’t forget to remind yourself of the small yet profound things. You actually woke up to breathe in a brand new day in a world full of beautiful mountains; meadows; oceans and beaches; rivers; lakes; animals and birds; trees, plants, and flowers; the moon and stars; and sunrises and sunsets. Enjoy!

Acknowledge Your Life - Write down a list of benefits in your life, reflect on them, and ask yourself if you take them for granted. Refer to this list whenever you experience difficulties that are troubling you or you fall into the "compare and despair" trap.

Positive Self- Talk - “Talk to yourself in a creative, optimistic, and appreciate manner", suggests Sam Quick, PhD, of the University of Kentucky. “This could entail simply reflecting on things for which you're grateful or, if you're facing a challenging situation, seeing how it can ultimately be beneficial. For instance, having to cope with particularly difficult people in your job or neighborhood can improve your patience and understanding.”

Think Outside the Box - Re-frame a situation by considering more positive reasons. Maybe that difficult person you are dealing with is actually a lovely person going through a terrible time in their life such as the loss of a loved one, an illness or  a painful injury. So instead of taking their behavior personally, open your heart and feel compassion for them.

Creating a few moments daily to reflect on what you are grateful for will cumulatively increase your gratitude and positive outlook. This increase of gratitude will crowd out moments of self-pity and resentment over what you feel is lacking or disturbing you.

Practicing gratitude is easy, free, and you have nothing to lose. It's a win-win opportunity that will improve your health and quality of life as well as those around you.

Thank you for reading!

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.” Helen Keller


Customized Therapeutic Massage and Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Meditation Instruction provided in the comfort of your home or office.

Since 1996
Monmouth and Ocean County, NJ
By Appointment Only

Jennifer Steffener,
Licensed Massage Therapist
Certified Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Meditation Instructor

Copyright © 2015 Jennifer Steffener, LMT, All rights reserved.

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