Winter Reflections

Integrative Wellness

Winter Reflections

"'Hear! hear!' screamed the jay from a neighboring tree, where I had heard a tittering for some time, 'winter has a concentrated and nutty kernel, if you know where to look for it.'"

- Henry David Thoreau

My hope, as we shift into winter, is that we can all find time for reflection. It seems in the busyness and sometimes mindless habits of our days, we forget to pause. A big snow storm forces us to do this. Take them as a gift if you can. There is much to be said about the benefits of slowing down and reflection- improved learning, greater self awareness, embodied equanimity, enhanced listening and compassion.  Please know that our team at Open Door spends a lot of time reflecting on how we can better serve the community. Much of my days are spent listening to members of the community, my clients, my colleagues and, by doing so, am always trying to refine how our mission is implemented. We are always eager to hear your insights, so I invite you, if you have time, to reflect on what we can do here to bring greater vitality to the Upper Valley. Email me with your thoughts:

To your good health-


Upcoming Special



December Lunch and Learn
Friday, December 7, 12-1pm
Free and open to all

December’s Lunch and Learn will look at a bodywork that nurtures, heals, and soothes. Angelique Priscilla will share about Dr. Upledger’s CranioSacral Therapy, and Aminah Raheem’s Soul Lightening Acupressure. Come learn some basics about these two forms of whole-being manual therapy. Leave with a self help technique for centering and calming.
For questions or to RSVP email Angelique at

December First Friday
Free Qigong and Live Music

A Taste of Qi Gong: What is Qi Gong and How It Is Practiced
Instructors: Landon Hall and Gerry Sandweiss
Friday, December 7, 5:45-6:45pm

Qi Gong teachers Gerri Sandweiss and Landon Hall will be offering a sixty-minute presentation on Qi Gong, which will include practices from two different Qi Gong lineages.
For questions or to RSVP, email Landon at



Musician: Scott Brown
Friday, December 7, 6:30-8:30pm

Come enjoy the music of Scott Brown as you wander WRJ this coining First Friday. Scott plays an eclectic mix of arabic/indian/folk music. His stylings please the ear and relax the listener, with everything else secondary. His songs range from fast-paced flamenco, to slow deliberate folk rhythms. 

Release, Breathe, and Restore
Sunday, December 9, 2-4pm

This workshop will focus relieving and releasing physical, mental, and emotional tension as you are guided through self myofascial release work with balls and blocks, breath work, and restorative yoga. What better way to balance the buzz of the holiday season than through gentle self-care? Refill your tank so you have more to give back!
Erin McCabe is a certified athletic trainer (AT) and professional yoga therapist (PYT) with over 10 years of experience. 
For questions or to register, email Erin at

Winter Solstice Labyrinth Ceremony
Friday, December 21, 6:30pm
Free and open to all

All are welcome for a Community Labyrinth Walk to pause and turn inward on this shortest day of the year.  Join in silence and singing, for stillness and walking, to rest in the warmth of community.  Light a candle to kindle intention or honor the seeds sleeping beneath winter's blanket. Add your light to the path as we collectively journey through the wheel of winter.

A brief opening ceremony will begin at 6:30 then the labyrinth will be open for walking, sitting meditation or creative exploration.  A closing ritual will begin at 7:30 followed by a time for integration.  Come for all or part.  We ask that you observe functional silence for this contemplative event.  Doors will close at 8pm on Friday but the labyrinth will stay assembled for walking again on Saturday.

For more information, email Elisabeth at

Sound Healing Sessions & Sound Bath with Sound Massage
Saturday, January 5

Kirk Jones of Evolvlove Sound Therapy is returning to Open Door on Saturday January 5th, offering 1 on 1 Sound Healing Sessions from 1-6pm and a Sound Bath with Sound Massage from 7-8:30pm.

When sound and vibration are applied to the body, the tones relax the mind, melt away stress and the effects of long term stress, vibrate away pains and the causes of pain, and bring the body into coherent peaceful elevated harmonic wholeness.  Sound is powerful medicine for the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical body.  
Book private sessions with Kirk by emailing and/or calling 510-697-7790.
Book your space for this sound bath at
For questions, email Kirk at

New Year Re-Boot and Cleanse Class
Sundays, January 6 and 13

Learn how to overcome sugar habits, as well as introduce healthy lifestyle and eating habits. This is an excellent way to jump-start your healthy New Year. This program offers a diet of whole foods that will leave you feeling satisfied and not hungry. Join us for a rejuvenating program of nutritional and lifestyle education designed to boost your energy and spirit.
For more information, email Holly at

Aerial Yoga Teacher Training Level I and II
February 15-17

This training is a unique and fun way to expand your experience as a yoga teacher and the perfect way to earn your CEU’s! 

Teacher Training will be taught by  Kelly Kuder 500 E-RYT, 200 E-RYT. 

For questions or to register, email Kelly at

See our Complete Schedule Here!
Winter Weather Class Cancellation Policy

If the weather looks exciting, make sure to check out the announcement bar on the website for any class cancelations.
Holiday Treats
Holly Westling

Often when I meet people initially, they will ask, “So, what is the single most important thing we can change in our diet to help us be healthier.” My response is always, “Reduce or eliminate sugar from your diet.” Inflammation greatly increases the risk of developing chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease and some cancers. The most inflammatory thing we put in our bodies (next to cigarette smoke) is sugar. Often we don’t even know that we are eating sugar because the food item we are eating is not necessarily sweet - such as a pasta sauce, salad dressing or crackers. Sugar is insidious and hides in 74% of all packaged foods we buy. I always encourage careful reading of food labels before buying an item. I recommend avoiding any label that has sugar listed on it -especially if it is one of the first few ingredients. Sugar can be listed in many forms on the label. The most common names are fructose, glucose, cane sugar or beet sugar. Some of the hidden names for sugar are: maltose, dextrose, maltodextrin, sorbitol, and saccharose - just to name a few. Sugar is also highly addictive so often we crave and eat sugar, leading to a drop in blood sugar and further cravings of this fast form of energy - it certainly is a vicious cycle! The best way to overcome a sugar addiction is to eliminate added sugar completely from the diet. This can be very difficult to do without proper support, and one of the reasons I offer our Open Door Cleanse after the holidays (you can email me to register: Avoiding sugar can be particularly challenging over the holiday season, and almost impossible. I recommend enjoying the holidays while being selective of the type of sugar you are eating. Some sugar is more inflammatory than others. For example, a highly processed sugar that has been stripped of any nutritional benefits such as cane sugar or HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) is extremely inflammatory whereas a less processed sweetener such as stevia, coconut sugar or maple syrup can be less inflammatory by providing anti-oxidants and vitamins/minerals . We can slow the absorption of sugar and reduce the impact of sugar on our system, by eating a protein and/ or high fiber food when we eat a sweet. Therefore, choosing a dessert that contains nuts or fruit is healthier than a dessert made with refined flour. I hope everyone has a lovely, safe and minimally inflammatory holiday season...and if you choose to enjoy a holiday treat, make it a good one!
Here is a holiday treat I enjoy:
Chocolate Almond Joy Bars
A Note from Acupuncturist, Cicely Andree Conway
Licensed acupuncturist (in Vermont and Washington), massage therapist and yoga instructor

I came to acupuncture as a teenager suffering from migraine headaches. I was in search of pain relief after pursuing traditional medical approaches for migraines. I remember going to my first acupuncture treatment and lying on the table feeling completely confused and skeptical. Over the course of a few treatments, I began to experience relief. I slowly started to inhabit my body in a different way and from there, I became very curious about what was happening during each acupuncture treatment. 
I started shadowing my then- acupuncturist and reading what I could about alternative health and Chinese medicine. After my undergraduate work, I moved to Seattle, WA in 2006 and began instructing yoga. I taught yoga to Division 1 athletes at the University of Washington, prenatal and postnatal yoga, therapeutic and hatha yoga for all types of bodies and skill levels. I have a passion for teaching students of all levels.
I became a licensed massage therapist in Washington state in 2009 and ran a private bodywork practice for years in Seattle. 
While practicing bodywork and instructing yoga, I began the prerequisite process for graduate school and enthusiastically attained my Master of Acupuncture in 2014 from the Seattle Institute of East Asian Medicine.
My clinical approach is a blend of Chinese medicine, bodywork techniques, movement guidance and stress management/lifestyle support. I believe in a collaborative approach to health. I aim to work with my patients as a team to achieve your goals and attain your maximum state of health and wellness. I have experience treating chronic and acute musculoskeletal conditions, pain, anxiety, depression, digestive issues, pregnancy and postpartum conditions. I often tell people who are new to acupuncture that "there are no weird symptoms." I want patients to feel heard, respected and supported in their health care.
In addition to practicing at Open Door, I am a mother of two young children and a spouse to a superstar husband who is a Western trained MD.
For questions or to schedule an appointment, contact me at:
Through our wellness programs, Open Door offers clients the tools to be self reliant and resilient, and to achieve vibrant health and well-being. We take a fresh approach to healthcare that encourages the use of preventative practices and collaboration between client and provider. We work with clients in private sessions and group classes in our studio. We also bring our services to the workplace and out to the community.
Learn more about our Services>

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"Advice is like the snow. The softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon and the deeper it sinks into the mind.”

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Integrative Wellness

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Miriah Wall