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Transmuting Compulsion Into Loving Action


These past few weeks have been ones that lift us up out of our typical routine and thrust us into moments of giving and receiving, joy and stress. The holidays bring us into a series of moments that bring up the patterning of the past and also have us pondering our next steps. From the Winter Solstice, to Christmas and Hanukkah, Through the New Moon tomorrow and New Year’s Day itself, we are compelled to consider how we might like to step forward.
And in that contemplation, we are faced with just how much of our thought and behavior is tied up in patterning, how much of our living emerges our of habits that show up before our heart has the chance to respond. This interplay between conscious, loving action and reactionary behavior can, at times, feel like quite a struggle.
It is with that understanding that I am offering Vitality Week-a week of daily herbal elixir recipes that can begin to transmute and re-enliven our relationships with our kitchens, our eating and our energy. We can transmute patterns of caffeine, sugar over-consumption and living on momentum to sourcing our energy in ways that actually build up the integrity of of our bodies and spirits.
We will also come together in community to create a healing ka’kau ceremony. By relating to chocolate as a sacred plant that has the power to heal rather than as a substance of compulsive intake we begin to heal our relationship with food and with our own hearts.
How it works:
Signing up for Vitality week includes a live session On Wednesday, January 11th  when we gather for a Sacred Ka’kau Ceremony from 6-7pm. On that day, you will also receive a week’s worth of re-charging recipes to explore. Each day after the ceremony, you’ll receive an email introducing you to your herbal allies as well as Ayurvedic wisdom for cultivating energy and spirit. For the entire week, from 1/11-1/117, you will receive 10% off of all your retail purchases at the studio.
Vitality Week Includes:
  • 7 days of rejuvenating recipes & instructions, delivered via email
  • Teachings on the medicinal properties of the foods and herbs we’ll be using
  • Ayurvedic wisdom on simple practices for naturally increasing vigor, impetus and connectivity
  • A live gathering where we will explore a Chocolate Ceremony, and will prepare and consume specially prepared chocolate while studying the medicinal properties of this beautiful plant ally.
  • 10% off all apothecary purchases made during Vitality Week
 Sign Up For Vitality Week: 35.00$
Chocolate Ceremony:
Reclaiming Our Medicinal, Sacred Relationship with Ka’kau’
Have you ever considered the magic of plants? When we consider the role that sacred plants and herbs play in their ecosystems as well as in human health and vitality, the only word that fits, is magical.
In our modern times, we struggle so much with addictive behaviors towards food. Interestingly, when we look at the foods that seem to be the most addictive (such as chocolate candy, processed bread and Doritos) we find that in their original form (cacao, wheat and corn), these were plants that were honored as sacred, as they sustained the life and the spiritual intelligence of the people.
I feel strongly that our additive and unconscious food behaviors are actually a calling to reclaim our sacred relationship with our food. I believe that the desire for sweetness, energy and soothing are not inappropriate at all! And actually there are ways to prepare ourselves and our food so that the relationship can be transmuted from demeaning to uplifting and vitalizing.
What if you could eat chocolate with gusto, and not feel guilty? There are ways of preparing raw cacao that are delicious and nourishing. Ka’kau’ is loaded with vitamins and minerals and has been documented in modern scientific study to boost brain activity and also cultivates a measurable quality of connectivity and well-being.
This community gathering will be an evening that weaves educational lecture on the medicinal and nutritional properties of ka’kau’ (raw cacao), its traditional uses, cooking instruction and a ritual to honor both the ka’kau’ herb itself, as well as in honor of healing our relationship with chocolate.

What our clients are saying

“I was diagnosed 2 years ago with a condition called “Myoclonic Dystonia” which basically is a neurological disorder where the body twists and contorts into very painful positions. With my particular type, it means when I would walk, my body would pull hard to one side, while the other side of my body would pull back, like a giant game of “Tug of War”. It can be excruciatingly painful and embarrassing when the Dystonia “flares up”, primarily during stress or just exhaustion. I’d had several Botox treatments trying to relax the rogue muscles, but as my doctor had explained, once they deaden certain muscles, others will take over and do the same thing. It was almost like the Dystonia would jump around to different parts of my body. The last and only possible thing the doctors suggested was a type of brain surgery that was risky and may not even help. Out of desperation I was ready to proceed with the surgery when I’d discovered Ayurveda in an article I’d read and decided to visit Juliet to give Thai Massage and Yoga a try, as a last resort/alternative to the surgery. After only a few sessions I was dumbfounded to find I was walking straight and my body was listening to my brain again for the first time in years. People were astonished to see my progress and how much better I looked/felt after being so miserable. I can even run with my kids and play games again-something I couldn’t do for so long and was missing out on.

Juliet has an incredible understanding of physiology and how to convey what needs to be done in order to heal. I’ve attended an Ayurveda session taught by her, as well as yoga classes, all of which help me to heal my body, have compassion for it and listen to it. I am thankful every day I have found Five Elements Studio and urge anyone utilize any services Juliet has to offer to alleviate and combat stress, help with any issues the body is experiencing, or to just develop a better understanding of Ayurveda and how it can improve their daily lives. I, like many others feel like I have my life back.”

-Errin B., Clinical thai massage client

“I have suffered from migraine headache pain for 20 years. I have seen many Medical Doctors to seek relief and/or a solution. I have undergone every test under the sun from MRI’s, CAT scans, and thermal imaging to name a few. All of these doctors have tried valiantly to help me. The primary, in fact almost exclusive solution, is mass amounts of prescription drugs. These would include many different narcotic painkillers as well as non-narcotics from Imitrex and the like to anti-seizure medications like Depakote and many others. The only relief I received was from the narcotics and that was fleeting with life threatening side effects.

In 2012 a friend referred me to Juliet Trnka at Five Element Studio. Juliet specializes in Clinical Thai Massage Therapy. Upon arriving at the studio for my initial appointment Juliet spent a substantial amount of time learning about my history and what I was suffering from and what I hoped to accomplish. I thought it only fair to inform Juliet upfront of my skepticism of her ability to help me. I did not know anything about Clinical Thai Massage but I had already tried so many different things with so many different doctors as well as traditional table massage therapy with no satisfactory result. In my mind I had no reason to believe this would be any different. However, I was desperate and as a result, I was willing to try anything and she came highly recommended. So she proceeded with the treatment.

The result has been astonishing! For the past year and a half I have been virtually pain free. I believe this is a result of receiving treatment from Juliet on a regular basis for the past few years. I started experiencing some degree of improvement fairly quickly but the major pain relief came after a period of time and a number of treatments. At each session Juliet takes the time to ask about what is currently going on with my body and then developing a treatment plan to help with the issues of the day. One of the things I appreciate the most is Juliet’s knowledge of the body and how she is able to explain where the pain is emanating from and her description of what she plans to do to rectify the issue. While most of the time the focus is on migraine relief, I have also had 3 different surgeries on my shoulders as well as bouts of plantar fasciitis and tendinitis in my elbow. In every case Juliet has been able to help improve my overall health. At over 50 years of age I have never felt better as a result of Clinical Thai Massage and Juliet Trnka. While not every person or issue are the same, I can’t speak highly enough about the positive impact Clinical Thai Massage has had on my life. While I wish I had found Juliet sooner, I am very grateful that I found her when I did. I can’t imagine going back to the life I had before and thankfully I don’t have to.”

-Steve W., clinical thai massage client

“Please know that you are serving me greatly as a guide through what has surely been the most complicated and fragile time in my life thus far, and I am humbled at what you give without expectation.”

– Crystal J., yoga student

“My work with Juliet has not only helped me reduce the pain I experience in my hip (I have advanced osteo arthristis); it has also deepened my relationship with my body. The thai massage work she does with me is highly therapeutic, and the self-care techniques I am learning from her make me feel less powerless about my condition. Overall, our work together is helping me see my hip not just as a problem but also as an opportunity for me to continue learning to live more fully in my body and to my best to care for it lovingly.”

– Michelle L., clinical thai massage client

“When you step into the yoga studio at Five Element you are enveloped in support, acceptance and instruction. No matter your experience level, you are guided through movement that meets you where you are at. You leave refreshed, nourished and exhilarated….like you have really done something good for your health and wellbeing!”

– Gina S., yoga student, thai massage client and ayurveda client

“Five Element is an amazing sanctuary for yoga, Thai massage and Ayurveda. Juliet has a special way of bringing her in-depth knowledge and experience to each session in a way that is neither intimidating nor judgmental but is nourishing, encouraging and empowering. My body, mind and spirit all feel aligned and lifted after a yoga class or Thai massage session. Also, I have been fortunate enough to attend several workshops that Juliet has offered and each has presented information / techniques in a way that has enhanced my practice, my health and my life. I am forever grateful for Juliet’s kindness, compassion, and expertise. Fargo is lucky to have a studio like Five Element!”

– Steph A., yoga student, thai massage client and ayurveda client

“A few years back, I was diagnosed with cervical dystonia which is a painful contraction of the neck muscles. The treatment options for this condition include oral medications, botox injections, surgery, and complementary therapy (which includes relaxation therapy, yoga, massage, and acupuncture).  I was getting botox injections in my neck every three months from a physiatrist (physical medicine doctor) and weekly physical therapy sessions. The results I was getting from this treatment regime did not provide the consistent symptom relief I was expecting.
I tried oral medications, chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, and traditional massage but I was never completely pain free.  It was a vicious cycle as my neck pain would trigger migraines. The quality of my life began to decline as I was slowly giving up ever feeling good or returning to my active lifestyle. I read an article in our local newspaper about Thai Massage and I thought perhaps this would help alleviate my painful neck condition. I scheduled an appointment with Juliet and after the first session I noticed a decline in my level of pain and an increase in the range of motion in my neck.  I have been seeing Juliet on a regular basis for Thai Massage treatments and I am feeling significantly
better.  Juliet is a healer and I am so grateful for her treatments.  I am continuing to get symptom relief from my condition and I feel like I have my life back.  I would highly recommend Thai Massage as a treatment option for cervical dystonia or other similar conditions.”

– Julie C., thai massage client