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Margo Marver: The Joy of WellnessBy Boyd Martin
"In my practice, I like to share with clients the importance of listening to our bodies and learning to have a more natural approach to healing and well-being. For instance, I explain the importance of eating at regular hours, sitting and eating while chewing our foods and focusing on the nutritious aspect of it. I explain about the body?s internal organs that need to be respected and not have a chaotic way of eating, living and sleeping. When we live harmoniously, our bodies work the same way," declares Margo Marver, and that was what I learned from her.
Initially, I was referred to Ms. Marver by Shay Arave, who had connected with her through aromatherapist, Candice Covington. I was struggling with another upper respiratory condition that was dogging me right after my return from Turkey, touring with a band for several weeks.
No matter how benign the practitioner, I've been plagued from an early age by an irrational fear of "doctors," probably stemming from some inept MDs and an unnecessary surgery when I was 9 years old in small town Kansas. That fear and distrust is why I never have had a "physician," even at the age of 57--and only very rarely spend money to see a naturopath, preferring self-care above all else. But, Shay was raving about Margo, so I went figuring I could get some help with my cold.
Just arriving in Margo's space in N.W. Portland put me at ease, and her whole demeanor and lilting French-accented voice eliminated any residual nerves about getting treatments. We chatted a bit about my "medical history," and then started treatment.
She began with a very gentle and comforting Shiatsu massage, followed by some accurate and expert reflexology. Besides the obvious respiratory system points, she worked a bit more on my displaced hip joint, a condition I've had since the unnecessary and botched surgery mentioned previously.
After several admonishments to stay warm (it was in the 30's outside), wear plenty of clothing, and eat warm veggies and soups, I headed home.
The next day, with the cold much further along than I had expected, I went to Bikram yoga class on a mission to get warm (the class is performed in 105° heat with 50% humidity), and to get my lymph moving. Both objectives were achieved, and the cold was leaving fast. Plus, my twisted hip joint was straighter, and much more flexible thanks to the shiatsu. Yay!
The Hot Ginger Compress
The next step the following week was Margo's famous Ginger Compress Treatment. On Margo's website, she says, "Ginger compresses are a powerful type of treatment. Ginger compresses are an amazing pain reliever and antidote for inflammations. They are reported to have helped clients suffering from kidney or gall bladder stones. Many acute or chronic pains like rheumatism, arthritis, backaches, menstrual and intestinal cramps can be relieved with ginger compresses.
"The treatments can be done on the lower back, intestinal area and upper back behind the lungs for specific lung-related problems. These treatments are warming in the fall and winter seasons. They help increase the blood circulation and body fluid at areas where stagnation exists (pain, swelling, inflammation, or stiffness). They help strengthen the kidneys, reduce swollen organs, relieving numbness and stiffness."
This treatment was one of the most remarkable of Margo's repertoire. I've always been a big fan of ginger, and usually use it during a cold in tea and on food, but this form--as a hot compress--really demonstrates what ginger can do in clearing the body of mucous and toxins.
Margo heated about a gallon of water which she kept on a hot plate in her cozy treatment room. She added the pre-made ginger "soup" and soaked linen towels in the liquid. The towels were then applied to my upper back, chest and abdomen. She reported that I had some mucous congestion in my abdomen because my skin didn't redden from the hot compress. After about 30 minutes I was getting a nice pink tone across my torso and was as relaxed as a noodle.
The amazing part was that 90% of the significant congestion in my lungs and throat simply disappeared--no coughing, no throat clearing. It was as if I had no cold at all. God bless Margo, I thought to myself; then bundled up for the chilly walk to the car on a blustery day.
Dinner at Margo's
Margo had invited Shay to her cooking class, but Shay was going to be out of town, so I went in her stead, very interested in checking out some of Margo's culinary techniques. Margo only allows five people at a time at the classes due to her smallish kitchen, and I ended up being the only guy (male) there. Everyone was very gracious and fun, and enjoyed watching Margo float effortlessly around her domain, turning out some truly tasty macrobiotic-style dishes. Some of them were moderately complicated, but most of the recipes are very simple--and all are scrumptious!
We sat down to the sumptous table, lifted our wineglasses, while Margo's husband, Joel, snapped some photos. We spent the next two hours in each other's company, chatting about the world with the delicious accompaniment of Margo's creations.
For me, Margo Marver represents a style of shamanism, because it's all about walking the talk, helping people, and living life in an effortless and vibrant way on an impeccable foundation of love. Her quick smile and joyous demeanor makes you want to get advice from her, and it's always loving and sensible.
Check out Margo's links below, and get to know one of Portland's healing treasures.
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