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Find Your Zen in the East Bay

Breathe in the good, exhale the bad, all across these places in the Bay

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These days, everything is go, go, go. We forget how good it feels to just stop for a minute, clear our heads and get back to who we really are. Check out for a little while, and check in with yourself. The mental and physical boost not only feels great, it will have positive effects for the people in your life. The more serenity you give, the more serenity you’ll get in return.

Clear Your Mind

Meditation and mindfulness have been proven to help everything from stress to high blood pressure to insomnia. Get started with the Rhode Island Community of Mindfulness, which hosts monthly meditation sessions all over the state, like Mind Tamers on the second and fourth Tuesdays in Barrington. 

Feel Good Vibrations
Reiki is a Japanese healing modality where a practitioner uses light touch to redirect the body’s energy, clearing away negativity and allowing positive vibes back in. It sounds a little out there, but it really has a relaxing and rejuvenating effect. Linda Wheeler Scanlon at Linda Wheeler Massage offers 30 and 60-minute reiki sessions, in addition to other holistic healing practices like amethyst bio-mat sessions. 3848 Main Road, Tiverton. 401-743-1001

Smell the Roses
Essential oils have so many uses, from being natural cleaning products to acting as natural medicinal alternatives. Aromatherapy opens up a whole new world of feeling better, without involving a prescription pad. At Newport Aromatherapy, herbalist Cynthia Marie LaBonte blends essential oils into delicious smelling perfumes that actually boost your wellness. Panacea is a lavender, ylang ylang and rose blend that calms you down, improves hypertension and promotes fuller breathing and a sense of wellbeing. Balance has Egyptian geranium, French lavender and bergamot, which lifts your mood, calms your hormones and soothes your skin. 109 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. 401-846-1101

Find Your Zen Place
The Serlingpa Meditation Center in New Bedford provides a quiet respite from a noisy world. They offer drop in meditation classes that focus on simple breathing meditations and simple approaches to tackling everyday problems. The teachings are rooted in Buddhism but don’t require or exclude any specific kind of spirituality. They offer Tuesday meditations, Wednesday workshops and Sunday meditations for world peace, as well as day-long retreats. 514 Pleasant Street, New Bedford. 508-717-3057 

Fill Your Cup
Remember all of those circles on Michael Phelps during the Olympics this summer? Not the medals – the circles that looked like weird bruises all over his back. That was cupping, an ancient Chinese medicinal technique to increase blood flow in your muscles, which promotes healing and soothes aches. RI Rehabilitation Center offers Five Element Chinese Cupping as part of its massage therapies program. It helps soothe things like lower back pain, but also helps people recover more quickly from tough workouts and minor strains. It’s also a lot better for you than the ibuprofen you were going to pop until that nagging pain went away on its own. 611 Metacom Avenue, Warren. 401-245-9660

Hone Your Reflexes
Foot massage is great. Foot massage that has lasting benefits to your body and spirit is even better. At Sole Reflextion, Master Reflexologist Linda Cornell practices the ancient technique, which involves applying pressure to precise spots on your hands and feet to redirect the body’s energy flow. Reflexology combines pressure point touch, aromatherapy and massage, and has been known to reduce stress, improve sleep, boost circulation and reduce pain. South Dartmouth. 508-636-4779

Channel Positive Vibes
Some people believe that the same properties of energy in physics – that like energy attracts like energy – applies to your state of mind as well. If you focus on the good and put out positive vibes, they’ll come back to you. Follow your bliss to Phoenix Rising, which offers a unique kind of energy healing that blends reiki, intuitive healing, Indian head and African rungu bodywork and other modalities to help you clear away the negative energy and attract more positive vibes around you. 515 Hope Street #403, Bristol. 401-410-0254

Color Your World
The Rogers Free Library in Bristol has a Thursday morning Coloring Group, for adults to zone out of stress and zone into coloring inside the lines… or outside, depending on what feels right at that moment. It’s a kind of meditation to clear your mind and connect with the page, plus you get the added bonus of colored pencils. 525 Hope Street, Bristol. 401-253-6948

Enjoy the Journey
Remember how good it feels to immerse yourself in the ocean in the height of summer? You can have that, even in February. The Water Journey at Newport’s Bodhi Spa is a tiny vacation. The hydrotherapy facility is a series of hot and cold mineral plunge pools and saunas designed to clean out toxins and boost your lymphatic system. Plus, it just feels really wonderful to be so warm and relaxed during such a cold season. 654 Thames Street, Newport. 401-619-4916

Take Salt Off the Table
Salt doesn’t just make your food taste better. Salt Therapy is used throughout Europe for all kinds of medicinal benefits, especially pertaining to the lungs. Think everything from asthma to allergies to snoring, plus reduced stress and anxiety and better sleep. Four Elements Salon and Spa has a Himalayan Salt Cave where they offer salt therapy sessions. Just sit back, relax and breathe in better health. 632 State Road, Westport. 508-672-3111

Shine Bright Like a Diamond
Tiffany Peay
has built her fine jewelry design business on the idea that gems aren’t just gems - they can beautify and heal. In addition to her baubles, she also creates GemWater, which adds the healing properties of crystals to water bottles and wands to boost the vitality of water. Tiffany recently added a Crystal Bed to her store in Tiverton Four Corners, which is a healing modality where you spend 20 minutes (or more) in the positive-energy-filled space clearing your mind and connecting with your highest self. 3851 Main Road, Tiverton. 401-816-0878