TFGP is a blog written by Veteran and civilian “Guinea Pigs” who, with no prior experience, sign up to try a nontraditional healing treatment and then report back on it. Use the “Guinea Pig” perspective to decide for yourself what types of healing modalities you want to experience.
Interested in writing a TFGP article? Learn how to be a “Guinea Pig” HERE


Just Relax – Part Three of Three by Mary Taylor Fullerton   Please read Part One and Part Two  to understand where this picks up:   Now lying on my back, the warm-oil massage and acupressure continued: each finger, in between each toe, ears, major muscle groups, all the while re-applying the warm oil and connecting with the lymph system to help flush those unwanted fluids.   Over an hour later, it came time for the warm oil forehead drip or “third-eye.”  I was intrigued, though the set-up brought me back to a very present, even mildly apprehensive state.  Sanghee wheeled the cart over so it rested in line with the massage table.  Per her instruction, I slid up to the very edge of the table so the catch basin was under my head and the gently swinging copper pot over my … Continue reading

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I would receive three treatments: (1) Abhyanga – warm oil therapeutic massage This, she told me, is not like a typical massage (not only deep muscle/tissue), it focuses mostly on the lymphatic system, to help flush toxins and other unwanted fluids our bodies store. (2) Ayurvedic Acupressure therapy Gentle pressure in just the right amount to specific points on my body to help activate energy flow and alleviate tension. Acupressure, I would later research, is an ancient healing art in which a practitioner uses their fingers to gradually press key healing points that stimulate the body in order to activate internal healing and soothing properties. (3) Shirodhara – warm oil drip on forehead (“third-eye”) Continue reading

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Just Relax – Part One of Three by Mary Taylor Fullerton   There is just no easy way to traverse San Francisco.  Pile-on lane closures, the ubiquitous SF rally about something, a gorgeous (read: crowded) day crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, and my ascent into San Rafael from Half Moon Bay was not exactly calming.  After a long, taxing week – and not only in a literal sense as I actually owe taxes this year – I was looking forward to this experience, my first Ayurvedic package treatment. I work in the mental health field, more from a Westernized approach, as a psychotherapist helping individuals who struggle with mental health and addiction. This week, in particular, had been challenging as our team lost a client to suicide; I was in need of a little self-care and relaxation.  One of my … Continue reading

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Reborn – Part Two of Two by Alexis Cox   Please read Part One to understand where this picks up:   We entered from the left side of the opening, dropped to our knees and entered “the womb” in Mother Earth as he called it, moving all the way around the outside of the dome structure on our knees until we got to the far right.  I entered third, right after my friend, so we would be close to the entrance (entering last or first is ideal if you are worried about needing to get out) and we made ourselves comfortable sitting on the blankets which lined the floor.  The lodge filled up with the same bodies that had sat around the fire, one by one people entered from the left crawling around the perimeter until they were not crawling … Continue reading

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Reborn – Part One of Two by Alexis Cox     For years, I have heard of Native American sweat lodges–from friends, movies, the news and even my own mother.  I held them in both a sort of revered fear and a hushed ecstasy.  I wasn’t a hundred percent sure what happened in these lodges of sweat, but I knew that anything from overheating and potentially dying (as recently happened to an unfortunate three participants in Sedona) to a transformative psychedelic experience was a possibility.   Friends have told me they’ve encountered their spirit animals during the experience, which for me always conjures an image from Natural Born Killers, where the old man in the sweat lodge is chanting and the snake appears seemingly as a manifestation of the murderous protagonists. There might have been some peyote involved in that scene … Continue reading

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Ancestral Forgiveness by Nancy McCrumb   Alright, I’m trying to feel feelings without self judgement. I actually had a decent shot at this round of nontraditional treatment since I was so blown away by my last experiment. (If you missed it I did a blog about the Radical Aliveness Program in November). For this adventure in alternative therapy I hitched a ride with the founder of Serve the Warrior, Julia Decker, down south to check out John Newton’s Ancestral Forgiveness Healing. John believes this is the most fundamental step in restoring well-being, for our life and our lineage. His techniques include forgiveness work, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and Breath Work.   We had a great drive and it was a rather nice trip down memory lane for me, as the center hosting John’s seminar was just south of good old … Continue reading

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THE FLYING GUINEA PIG – Radical Aliveness

Nancy Takes a Risk by Nancy McCrumb   I’m not one for feeling feelings in general, let alone with a room full of strangers as an audience, so to say that I was trepidatious walking into the Radical Aliveness group session would be akin to saying MMA is a bit of a contact sport. I try my best to be receptive when approaching anything that will potentially help keep my PTSD on an even and manageable keel, however a childhood where crying was weakness and you got swatted with a newspaper til you quit flinching makes it easier to just write off all alternative therapies as “hippy dippy flower child bullshit” (thanks for that colorful turn of phrase, Dad). So, it was with a somewhat open mind that I went to the community night at Radical Aliveness in Santa Monica … Continue reading

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  A Calm I Rarely Get by Erin Hudson When Julia founded Serve the Warrior and asked me to join her on the journey, I had no idea that I would be experiencing and blogging about healing treatments. We knew that along with orchestrating the Serve the Warrior Retreat we also wanted to spread the experience of nontraditional healing modalities to our Veteran community and beyond. Far be it for us to ask someone to have an open mind about something I’m not willing to check out myself, be the “guinea pig” so to say.   I was scheduled to receive a Harmonyum treatment at Naam Yoga in Santa Monica, California. Before I went to Namm for my treatment I did minimal research. I wanted to be, well surprised I guess. Sometimes when I know too much, I have expectations … Continue reading

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STW’s newest project has launched! Welcome to “The Flying Guinea Pig” Blog. If you are curious about nontraditional healing treatments than this is the place for you. Our civilian and Veteran bloggers have signed up to do more than just write and report…they have agreed to be our guinea pigs! Flying Guinea Pig writers are asked to receive a healing treatment/class/session in an arena that they have no previous experience in. With an open mind, our Guinea Pigs try something new. And it is here, in TFGP, where they share their experiences with you.    

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