Sunday, October 29, 2023

                             Blog #140 You Can Benefit from Hypnosis


One three day weekend in October 2023 I attended the Mid-America Hypnosis Convention, held in the Chicago area.  As always, there was a wealth of classes, presentations, and inductions from which to choose.  Since people are lightly hypnotized or experiencing self-hypnosis in many situations, the subject matter is potentially almost infinite.  I will share information about some of the lectures/classes offered this year.  You might be surprised, and might even wonder, gee, when are we NOT in at least a mild trance state?


There was a class on music and relaxation, using music to help with sleep, stress management, and physical relaxation.  Since volume, rhythm, pace, key, and more affect us consciously and subconsciously, and impact various body systems, endocrine glands, and energy centers, music, when skillfully used, can be extremely beneficial on many levels.  Chimes, chanting, and soft classical music were used in this session.  In the past, I have mentioned Karen Lum, who uses Tibetan Bowls, bells and other musical instruments for relaxation and healing very effectively.  I continue to recommend sessions with her to anyone who might be interested.  Email or call me for her contact information.  You can also find Karen, who is also a Yoga teacher, on the internet. 


A class on effective techniques and inductions to enhance sleep depth and restfulness was quite interesting.  Doing the right induction, along with common-sense life activities, such as consuming only a light dinner, several hours prior to bedtime, avoiding alcohol later on in the day, taking a hot bath, maybe with candlelight and soft music, imagining yourself in a pleasant, relaxing location, inspirational reading, giving thanks for all the day’s blessings (yes, we almost always have some blessings for which we can give thanks), special breathing exercises, and more can help us into a space of sound and restful sleep. 


One hypnotist, who, for decades has specialized in empowering people with cancer or other serious illness, to improve their quality of life and to often live far past the prognoses offered by their oncologists, discussed professionalism, organization, attitude and skill in helping people help themselves.  Up until 2020, this hypnotist worked with several hospitals, giving people sessions of positive hypnosis as well as instruction in self-hypnosis.  Combining support of physical, emotional and mental health was a winning combination for many people.  He also still works in his own world class practice.  I was fortunate to have him as one of my educators when I was first getting educated and certified in hypnosis.  


At the convention, another hypnotist used play and playful attitudes to help people relax, feel more confident, and enhance physical immunity and creative imagination.  Many people have lost the ability to just be playful and have a good time.  Playing with pets, traveling to new places, hiking in the woods, swimming in clear waters, participating in our children’s games, and even imagining playful scenarios can all support us on many levels.  And the more we cultivate joy and happiness, and the more we give them away, the more we will experience those qualities in our own lives.


Yet another hypnotist shared a ritual, which is meaningful to her and has meaning in at least several cultures.  Repetition of phrases, behaviors, artistic endeavors are all ritualistic, as are sacred ceremonies, such as Catholic Mass, Jewish Seder, Islamic Call to Prayer, Buddhist Meditation and Chanting, Native American Vision Quest, and Hindu Yoga practices, to name just a few.  Several of us had the opportunity to share a modern version of the ancient Mayan Cacao Ceremony, involving calming the body and mind with drumming and incense, drinking specially cultivated and blessed cacao, taking time to be meditative and receptive to positive connection with the Universe, and closing by giving thanks.  


There were many other workshops, all excellent.  Maybe I have stirred up some curiosity about hypnosis and self-hypnosis, or at least about that Convention.  I feel blessed to have been educated by excellent teachers for my Hypnosis Certification, and to have had many years’ experience of helping myself and others.  


This blog’s offer:  contact me if you are interested in learning more about hypnosis and self-hypnosis, or if you are ready to use these methods and skills to further improve your life, including in your health.

Friday, September 29, 2023

                          Blog #139 Autumn is a Time of Forgiveness


Autumn is a time of harvest, major changes, taking stock of what seeds have been sown and what flowers and fruit has grown.  In this season before winter, we may find ourselves growing closer to inhabitants of other worlds (maybe spirits, ancestors, teachers, doctors, muses, and any other types of beings we may accept as possibilities).  We may believe that we reap rewards or punishments for our thoughts, words and behaviors during the preceding year.  Some religions share the philosophy of karma and karmic response, such as some of the Asian religions - Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, for example.  Some western religions espouse a good or bad response from the Universe especially from God, for past behaviors.  This is true of the Christian belief about suffering we deserve but which Christ endured in our place, about burning in hell or ascending to heaven, about the Moslem belief in the Universe returning to us in the afterlife any positive or negative energies we may have put out, and the Jewish belief in prayer and atonement, especially on Yom Kippur, to help us wipe the slate clean from past transgressions, so that hopefully, in the coming year, God will be merciful.  


Using fear as motivation for approved, “good” behavior is not a constructive way to run a life a country or the world, in my opinion.  Thoughts and feelings of self-recrimination, guilt, anger, judgement, hatred, and other negative emotions tend to do more harm to the individual feeling them than to anyone else.  However, having the capacity to step back and observe a bigger picture in life and in the world can help individuals free themselves of fear, anger, rebellion, grief, addiction, envy, and more.  Sometimes reading inspirational literature can be a helpful step to freedom, as can gathering with positive, like-minded people.  Possibly the most powerful way to overcome negativity and to gain a greater, more courageous perspective, is to act in a positive manner. Treat others as if you see their best qualities and look for constructive motivations and actions in individuals and groups, including powerful groups, including nations.  This can be very difficult to do, and I am holding it up as a challenge to myself.  Wish me the best, and maybe try to do this yourself.  


This blog’s offer.  I am offering to you my best wishes for this Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer.  If you have not heard of Peace Pilgrim, consider looking up her website, reading a book about her, and especially reading “Peace Pilgrim her life and work in her own words”.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

                                 Blog #138 Chiropractors Also Adjust Cranial Bones

                    Blog# 138 Chiropractic Also Adjusts Cranial Bones


Cranial (skull) misalignment can affect us in dramatic ways, if we need that kind of adjusting.  Many of us do.  When the frontal bone (in the forehead area) or the turbinates (within the nasal cavity) have moved out of place, some sinuses, especially the frontal sinuses, located in the forehead area, and the maxillary sinuses, located on either side of the nose, near the cheekbones, may become congested, inflamed, and painful.  Other sinuses, which may be impacted by cranial misalignment include the ethmoid, located on either side of the bridge of the nose, and the sphenoid, located deep to the eyes.  Problems, including headaches, sinus infections, excessive nasal congestion or discharge, insomnia, post-nasal drip, eye-watering and redness, and dizziness may occur.  


Bony misalignments in the skull can also interfere with circulation and function in the brain, as well as with optimal functioning of the pineal gland, the pituitary gland, the thalamus, hypothalamus, and even other endocrine glands, such as the thyroid and parathyroid.  When needed, spinal and cranial adjustments can help restore better function to the neurological and endocrine systems.  Sometimes even sleep apnea can be successfully addressed by adjusting the cranial bones and the temporomandibular joints.  Good posture, such as sitting or standing up straight, with head and neck retracted and head centered and aligned with the rest of the body, can sometimes help with sleep issues, and may also help alleviate stress, improve energy level, and even strengthen vision, hearing, and sense of taste and smell.  Tai Qi, Qi Gong and Yoga can all help improve posture, as can Strong Posture exercise.  Touching the tongue to the roof of the mouth, especially during sleep, can help support the local endocrine glands energetically, as can a good cranial adjustment from an Osteopath or Chiropractor, or an Acupuncture treatment.  


Of course, posture and bony misalignment are not the only problems that must be corrected when addressing sinus, brain, endocrine, EENT (eye, ear nose and throat) health and other issues.  Excessive dust, mold, moisture, dryness, infections, toxic sprays or inappropriate medication may be involved.  People may suffer from sensitivities and allergies related to animal dander, pollen, dust, petrochemicals, gluten, cigarette smoking and more.  Insufficient or poor quality sleep may interfere with circulation, immune system function, sensory function, as well as other issues, diminishing vital energy and making a person more prone to allergic responses.  Sometimes, prescription medication may be needed to address chronic infections.  Regular exercise, like walking, Tai Qi, Yoga and Pilates, which supports blood and lymph circulation is important.  Good nutrition is vital.  Organic, biodynamic, or sustainably raised foods are best.  Often, good nutrition will support a healthy microbiome and greatly improve overall health.  When further support is needed, daily consumption of high quality fermented foods, such as live sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, apple cider vinegar, yoghurt and kefir is recommended, and is good for almost everyone.  Sometimes even high quality probiotic supplements are needed to give a healthy microbiome a new start.  Perhaps most importantly, dysfunctional relationships or social isolation can both be destructive to mental, emotional and spiritual health, while a sense of purpose in the world can be supportive and essential.  


This month’s blog:  Contact me for an assessment of your cranial balance and alignment to discover if Chiropractic adjusting or Acupuncture may be helpful to you.  Enjoy the end of Summer, into Autumn, and of course, through the rest of the year.  May we all flourish, be happy and healthy. 




Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Blog #137 Where There's Smoke

                                   Blog #137 Where There’s Smoke…..


High temperatures, often with insufficient rain, can be conducive to increased fire risk.  This time, in 2023, the Canadian wilderness is in flames, making for some hazardous breathing in surrounding regions and large areas south of the fires, including Chicago.  For the last two decades and beyond, Siberian Russia, parts of Australia and India, many areas in Canada, the Western U.S. and Alaska have all been experiencing severe wildfires periodically.  Some of this is due to lightning strikes, some to human causes, such as campfires or arson, some due to electrical accidents, and all can be made worse by increasing heat and decreasing rainfall.  Below is a re-print of Blog #4 – Fire!, first published over ten years ago.  Unfortunately, the problems continue and are even worsening.


                                                            Blog#4 – Fire!


This summer, as I write this fourth blog, wildfires rage in Colorado, California, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Nebraska, Idaho, Alaska and Hawaii (Maui). Global warming is likely responsible for much of the temperature and weather extremes that led to these fires. A hundred years ago, when the world’s ecology was more in balance, fires begun by lightning strikes were ultimately beneficial to the environment despite their short-term harm to vegetation and animals. Fires burn away dense land-covering, re-open large areas of land to sunlight, and allow the re-emergence of grasslands and young trees. Seeds of some flowers and grasses only germinate when exposed to fire’s high temperatures. Today, closely supervised burning of carefully chosen areas is one way to effectively manage wilderness areas.

With the recent decrease of wooded areas and aquifers, and the construction of homes in or near woodlands, fires have posed an increasingly serious problem for humans and animals. Not only do forest fires reduce the total amount of oxygen available; they also increase the amount of dioxins in the air. In cities and suburbs, destructive fires can be caused by burning leaves, neglected cigarettes, or faulty electrical wiring. Clearing sections of trees from wooded areas to provide fire-breaks and treating indoor and outdoor flames with great care can help with prevention. By keeping increasing numbers of plants in our homes and using air filters, we can partially counteract oxygen loss and air pollution due to fires.

I had the opportunity to experience the threat of forest fires at close range on a visit to Montana and Glacier National Park in 2003, a year of record fires in Glacier. As far away as Missoula, where I spent the first few days of my trip, ash filled the air and turned my white car grey overnight. Because I felt extremely fatigued, achy and feverish, and too ill to treat myself, I made an appointment with a local Chiropractor and Acupuncturist. She offered me warm water and powdered Turmeric (an anti-inflammatory and tonic herb) afterward. Her skillful treatment kept me comfortable and energetic for the rest of my visit.

In Chinese five element theory, summer is the season of the element fire. According to this theory, forest fires or global warming could be represented by one or more pathologically strong elements in the body or Nature, such as fire (fever or inflammation) throwing some or all of the other four elements (earth, metal, water, wood) out of balance. Illness or environmental distress can result. A skilled Acupuncturist can use fire, the most powerful of the five elements, as well as the other elements, to help patients heal from illness and stay healthy.

This blog’s tip: mid-June through the end of July is the most powerful time for the element fire. Acupuncture treatments are especially effective during these several weeks. I highly recommend making an appointment during this time, in order to reduce inflammation and to use the strength of the fire element as well as other elements, such as cooling water, in your body and the environment for accelerated healing. 



Monday, June 26, 2023

                                   Blog# 136 Slow and Steady Wins


The words STRENGTH and STABILITY, can finish that thought: Slow and Steady Wins Strength and Stability.  After having conversations with several patients, I decided it would be helpful to remind you about this principle and to explain the how and why.  Specifically, I am referring to exercises geared to rehabilitation after an injury or to prevent a recurrence of an injury.  It is important to do rehabilitative exercises prescribed by an Orthopedist, Chiropractor or Physical Therapist slowly, focusing on having full control of each part of the exercise, otherwise it is possible to worsen an injury by reinforcing a joint’s misalignment.  Plus, slow, focused exercise, correctly done, challenges and ultimately strengthens muscles more than does rapid exercise.  If you are not aware of this, just lift a five pound weight quickly in a biceps curl.  Then, do the same curl slowly.  Since slower-paced exercise challenges muscles and joints more, allowing muscle fibers to fire somewhat more independently, it is important to compensate for the slower pace by decreasing the weight or tension used.  Eventually, when the muscles and joints are stronger and more stable, it may be possible to increase the weight or tension.  Also, it can be helpful to increase the repetitions of an exercise, say, from eight to ten to twelve prior to increasing the weight. 


Steady refers to being mentally focused during an exercise in order to maintain alignment.  It also can refer to continuing exercises day after day, week, after week, month after month.  An excellent way to maintain strength and stability and to reduce the chance of re-injury or even of sustaining a different type of injury is to continue with some stabilizing and rehabilitating exercises, and to not slack off when you are stronger and no longer feel pain.  I will give you an example from my own life.  Decades ago, I suffered a severe knee injury.  For years, I was able to manage this myself without surgery.  However, eventually the knee began locking and I needed to have the torn lateral meniscus repaired.  All was stable for about three years, and then my knee began to wobble and pop whenever I climbed stairs.  Eventually, I began a series of eight daily exercises, which took about 20 minutes.  In eight months, I missed three days.  And at the end of those eight months, the feeling of instability and the popping sound disappeared.  They have never returned, and I continue to do the exercises daily, missing no more than one day a month.  Sometimes it takes ongoing strengthening and stabilizing exercises to get results.  Patience and discipline are important. 


This blog’s offer:  Contact me if you want to learn the eight exercises I continue to do to maintain knee strength and stability.  I will teach you these in an hour for the cost of an office visit.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

                                Blog 135 Nature, Creative Spirit and Health


For over twenty years, I have run and participated a monthly Nature Writing Group, which often meets at the North Park Village Nature Center, in Chicago.  People bring writing – poems, short fiction, memoirs, letters, as well as art work and even music to share at monthly meetings.  We also often take walks through wild natural areas, to appreciate Nature’s year-round beauty and to help replenish our vital energy from the Earth’s almost endless supply.  Creative, inspirational endeavors also support and replenish happiness, vital energy and health.  And living a responsible and respectful life in relation to the Environment helps support and replenish the Earth’s health, as well as our own.


For this blog, I am sharing poems from two of our members.  Thanks to both of them for sharing. Please enjoy.


Aurora         by Linda Vick


I heard the news – a


And so I came

And stood and watched,

Binoculars at the ready.

Scanning the trees,


Searching for a fleeting


But I only heard the wind 


And felt the warmth of sun

and shade.

I breathed the subtle smells 

of earth and living things

And I counted the day a gift

Even though the bird was

never seen.


The bulletin came in the


About the night before.

I knew it was too late

But still I stood in the 

Dark field, dark night

Scanning the dark clouded


Night after night

Wishing, wanting, willing to

see a flash

A glimpse of the fabled

curtain of color.

When the clouds cleared I

saw the moon

Circle of light flanked by the

brightest star

A common beauty stunning

in itself

But there was no flash of 

glory light

I had to be content with 

what was there

And find the glory in the 


Sometimes the joy is in the 


And the reward is in small




The Visit     by Jackie Wolk


Every year that you show up 

it’s like one of the most divine of the cool kids coming to hang out with me

The neighbors admire and envy us and 

I feel so special that you want to visit me and only me 

even with the underlying dread of

knowing you’ll be here so briefly

It’s gotten to where I can tell the exact day that you’ll arrive

and the precise point at which you will be your most

glorious and compelling

I don’t just look forward to it

I anticipate the anticipation

of your waxing in the days leading up to it

when I just want to gather you up in my arms

and take your luminescence inside

You look and smell creamy, like soap

Then I could pose

take selfies with you

in the background like a name-drop

(Hey, look at how worthy I am!)

I even grow giddy with the thought of you getting ready to go

It’s so subtle that the first time it happened you were gone practically overnight

I woke to find you gone and gasped

Now I’m aware of the signs:

your head turning away and down

the slow detachment

the wilting crown

all my neighbors know it too

as they pipe up about how beautiful and lucky it was to be around you

the smell of you still adrift in the air

I rest my head on the screen door and stare outside

at your ghosts in my garden

thinking, was it worth it this time?

Is it worth it anytime?

I remember how bleak my other choice would be

before going about my business for another year



This month’s offer: contact me for information about attending a Writing Group meeting, and I’ll give you specifics for that month.  Enjoy this beautiful weather.










Friday, April 28, 2023

                            Blog 134 April Has Earth and Arbor Days


Honoring, caring for, and enjoying Nature supports health, spirit, mind, and inner peace, as well as World Peace.  During this time of stress and change, walking and spending quiet time in a forest preserve, on a beach, in grasslands, deserts, mountains, and other natural settings is a healing activity that helps not only yourself, but those with whom you connect.  Even the city contains Nature, whether it is tree-lined streets, small parks, squirrels, birds, rabbits and other animals, butterflies, moths, earthworms, crickets, and more.  Standing on grass and looking up at the night sky or venturing out into the rain are ways to connect with Nature.  Growing an outdoor garden, or cultivating plants indoors, as well as caring for animals at home are other ways to connect with the natural world.  


Earthing (walking outside barefoot on the grass or on the beach) is a way to increase your physical vitality and center your mind and emotions in vibrant, supportive settings.  Forest Bathing, something people have always done, was developed into an ecotherapy in the 1990’s by Japanese therapists.  This therapy often includes a guide for several people, though it can be done solo.  The forest bather spends quiet time in a wooded area, very mindfully, tuning in to the surrounding beauty, peace, activity and unpredictability.  Some bring a tarp or blanket and lie on the ground for a while, or sit under a tree or by a stream and quietly observe.  Often, slow walking, interspersed with standing, and occasional commentary from a guide, if one is present, is the main activity.  


Other activities in Nature can involve volunteer work, possibly doing some prairieland restoration or cleaning up a river.  Some people restore hiking trails with organizations such as the Sierra Club.  Canoeing, kayaking, boating, biking or mountain climbing are ways to appreciate the natural world.  Even going to a Farmers’ Market and purchasing wholesome, local produce can help you feel close to Nature.  For Arbor Day, people may celebrate by planting trees, cleaning up local parks, and organizing or attending classes about tree identification, planting and pruning.  Earth Day, may be celebrated with activities such as setting up a bird feeder or pollinator garden, picking up trash lying along a roadside, or setting up a clothing swap, to make sure old clothing does not go to waste.  


Treat the Earth with respect – if we don’t treasure and care for the Earth and Nature, how can we care for ourselves?


This blog’s offer.  Contact me if you would like to join our Nature Writing Group, and read next month’s blog, which will include some original Nature writing from group members.  And thanks for the help I got writing this one.  Will be back, able to do all the work with the next blog.