Sunday, December 31, 2023

                  Blog# 142 A New Year’s Resolution: Living for a Cleaner World

 

Like many people probably feel, I am conflicted about living a cleaner, responsible life and having individual freedom.  It feels good to recycle materials, but since many countries where the US used to send recyclables no longer accept these materials, I wonder where much of what we recycle goes now – into US landfills? And if the trash goes to undeveloped countries across the globe, we are still one planet and one world, and pollution, especially air and water, but also land, eventually affects us all.  The nuclear reactor damage in Japan several years ago resulted in contamination of fish and seaweed, both of which Japan exports to other countries.  Canadian wildfires affected much of the US, but also other nations, since air currents travel around the globe.  Non-recyclable trash collects in waste dumps, gigantic piles or trash islands in our bodies of water.

 

Most people in developed countries, especially in the U.S. live extravagantly compared with the much of the rest of the world.  In 2002, when I traveled to Paris, I was impressed by a museum exhibit showing how much garbage individuals living in various countries produced.  The US produced more than double that of the second highest country.  France only produced one quarter the garbage that the US produced at the time.  Among the least wasteful nations were undeveloped ones, such as Bangladesh.   Today, the US, which has four percent of the world’s population, produces 12 percent of its trash.  

 

Lifestyles in the more prosperous nations result in more air and water pollution.  Mass agricultural practices deplete the earth of nutrients and contaminate air, water and soil.  War, whether it involves chemicals, biological agents, nuclear weapons, non-nuclear bombs, fires, or destruction of infrastructure, such as pipelines, delivers massive harm to the countries involved, and ultimately, to the planet.  While I am not a fan of 15 minute cities, I can understand why they could be useful and helpful in possibly reducing pollution as long as they were not used as prisons.  These types of cities are already present or developing in the about twenty nations, including the Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Denmark, France, England and the US.  A fifteen minute city is one where you usually no longer need a car, since you can bike or walk to all the businesses and facilities you need, such as schools, churches, grocery stores, doctors, hospitals, hardware stores, movie theaters, restaurants, and so on. 

 

I realize that the problems we face may appear overwhelming, and there is only so much each individual can do, but I figure if I make some changes this year, such as driving, say 50% less than last year, and buying much fewer products in packaging, that will be of some tiny help.  It’s better than doing nothing, in my opinion.  And the mrore people do this, the better the results.  On the level of individual health, it also helps to have water filters and air purifiers at home and to buy organic, wild caught, grass-fed and free-range as much as possible, if you can afford to do so.  Besides individual gardens and homesteads, farmers’ markets are usually the best sources of foods, and buying organic or biodynamic supports responsible farming methods.  With this, I wish you a happy, healthy, safe, prosperous Life for all of 2024 and beyond.  

 

This blog’s offer:  contact me for information regarding recommended air and water purifiers, and  to get a quality Chiropractic, Acupuncture, or maybe a Hypnosis session or Flower Essence therapy to start off the New Year in a strong, positive way.  Peace.

We won’t run out of key ingredients for climate action, but minin

Thursday, November 30, 2023

                               Blog# 141 Magnetism Healing and Peace

 

One of my Acupuncture teachers, a Korean Taoist Grand Master, with whom I was fortunate to have studied for a few years, taught his students several ways to understand polarity and magnetism.  He most favored the following description of humans connected to the earth and each other:  supportive Earth/Universal energy almost always first enters through the sole of the left foot, moves up the leg, into the pelvic area, up the spine, and eventually, depending on activity or intention, moves outward as supportive energy from the base of the neck out through the right hand, or up the neck, to the top of the head, sometimes then moving down the front of the body.  Energy can center in the navel area and also can connect with the Earth through the right foot.  Supportive Earth/Universal energy also can enter through the left hand, move to the heart area and leave through the right hand.  Since magnetic, and indeed, all energy, can be pulled in or pushed away with the mind, mental focus and strong, stable intention are essential when administering an Acupuncture treatment.  The more clear and calm the mind is and the healthier and less blocked the body is, the more effective Acupuncture and other types of hands-on energy therapy will be.  

 

Any type of hands-on modality can qualify as healing energy therapy, if practiced with an unbiased attitude and positive intention.  So, the above magnetic principles also apply for Massage, Chiropractic, Reiki, and even therapeutic exercises, such as Strong Posture instruction.  Disciplines such as Hatha Yoga, which stretches and holds the body in a peaceful manner, gradually allowing Prana to move through the body’s energetic channels, and Qi Gong, which uses the mind to direct Qi constructively in the body and mind, also utilize the principles of polarity and magnetism.  Prana and Qi are names for basically the same thing, energy flow and life force discovered, amplified and refined over many centuries.  

 

Many readers of this blog understand the ideas of polarity and magnetism.  For those who have not actually experienced polarity and magnetism, the following simple exercise may be helpful.  Stand with spine straight, or sit with spine straight and feet on the ground.  Take some relaxed, deep breaths.  Quiet the mind.  Then rub the palms together, first slowly, then rapidly, with a light pressure.  Do this for at least ten to fifteen seconds, up to one minute.  Stop and then hold the palms facing each other, six to twelve inches apart.  Feel the tingle?  As the palms move closer together, most people feel stronger tingling, and at some point, especially when they cup their palms a little, they may feel like they are holding a ball of energy.  Usually, at some point, it may feel like it takes a little more effort to move the palms closer together.  That is the optimal distance for the right and left polarities to create the most powerful effect, both in healing practice and in establishing balance within the individual.  You may even feel a slight, comfortable expansion and contraction within the body.  And when the tongue is touched to the roof of the mouth, that same comfortable expansion/contraction may be perceptible inside the mouth.  

 

This comfortable expansion/contraction could be regarded as balance, and even as a type of inner peace, transient, but present none the less.  You might choose to feel for this centered feeling at various times during the day.  Since part of this feeling includes a quiet mind, this exercise may eventually support feelings of groundedness and peace.  And sometimes, these feelings may encourage the letting go of some attitudes that may have caused problems, such as hostility when people don’t embrace our politics, food choices, religion or artistic preferences.  That may be a tiny step to more harmony and peace within ourselves and with others.  In the current world, even a tiny bit more peace and harmony is important.

 

This blog’s offer:  contact me if you want more information regarding this exercise or if you want to experience how Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Qi Gong and other healing arts can make this Holiday Season more peaceful and healthful for you and those close to you.  

 

 

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

sighting.

And so I came

And stood and watched,

Binoculars at the ready.

Scanning the trees,

Listening,

Searching for a fleeting

glimpse.

But I only heard the wind 

whispering

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

morning

About the night before.

I knew it was too late

But still I stood in the 

Dark field, dark night

Scanning the dark clouded

sky

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 

everyday.

Sometimes the joy is in the 

seeking

And the reward is in small

wonders.

 

***********

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.  

Monday, March 27, 2023

                         Blog# 133 This is Colon Health Month

 

Taking good care of the colon, like taking care of the spine, is an essential way to support body and mind.  Since this month (March) is colon health month, let’s cover several ways to effectively improve health by optimizing the condition of the GI (gastrointestinal) tract.  Although there are virtually endless ways to improve health, and also specifically colon health, I will focus on three main approaches: 1. nutrition and hydration, 2. posture and exercise,  3. stress management.  

NUTRITION

Because many people have not been breast-fed, received numerous courses of anti-biotics, or have eaten primarily processed foods, their colons may not be populated with optimally beneficial probiotics referred (“friendly bacteria”).  Optimally healthy gut bacteria is transferred to a nursing infant when the mother is in good health and has a diet containing many high quality whole foods, such as fresh, organic vegetables, fruit, legumes, and grains. These whole foods also supply prebiotics, that is, fiber and nutrients that the colon’s bacteria feed and thrive on.  Foods that are especially well-known for supplying high quality probiotics include sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, natto, yogurt, kefir, and small quantities of apple cider.  All these foods must be naturally fermented, with live cultures.  Some nutritional supplements also supply high quality probiotics, especially several lactobacillus, and Bifidobacterium strains.  I recommend consuming organic foods and products as much as possible.  Soy, dairy and apples tend to be especially contaminated with pesticides, so these especially should come from organic sources.  Since peoples’ ecosystems differ, it may be necessary to try out various foods and probiotics to establish which is best for you.  Just as there are no one-size-fits-all medications, there are no carbon copy nutritional programs either.

POSTURE AND EXERCISE

Using regular exercise to make sure that muscles contract and relax, that blood and lymph flow properly, and that neurological signals connect brain, spinal cord and the rest of the nervous system will help ensure that the body’s cells are detoxified and renewed.  That includes the cells and organs of the gastrointestinal tract.  Sitting for long periods of time folds the body and interferes with life-giving processes, especially involving the eliminative and reproductive systems.  Additionally, standing and walking bent forward, backward, or to either side will result in sub-optimal body function.  Chiropractic adjusting and Massage therapy can help address many postural issues.  Sometimes specific therapeutic exercises are needed to correct posture.  Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Pilates and strength training can also be helpful.

STRESS MANAGEMENT

There is some overlap with the previous two approaches to health, since optimal nutrition will help a person  become more calm and centered, and as long as a person is not extremely depleted, regular exercise helps lift the spirit and calm the mind and emotions.  Additionally, disciplines such as regular meditation, self-hypnosis, cultivating a positive attitude, self-help with beautiful music, inspirational reading, spending time in Nature, and similar positive measures will help alleviate digestive and eliminative problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, to which stress contributes significantly. 

THE GUT IS THE SECOND BRAIN – this link is this blog’s offering for this month

It is essential to take good care of the entire body, including the gut.  Below is a link that explains this concept simply and clearly.  It is suitable for children and adults.  I hope you enjoy this short video.  You may need to cut and paste it to your browser.  Have an enjoyable and healthy month!

5:51

Is the Gut Our Second Brain? 🧠 | Now We Know | BYJU'S

46K views

YouTube9mo

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

                        Blog# 132 Inner Peace Supports Superior Health

 

Worry, fear and anger create tension in the body; our muscles may over-contract, we may develop abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, our blood pressure may spike, we may develop headaches and we may develop respiratory symptoms of a “cold”.  Other health problems may also arise due to mental and emotional imbalance.  At this challenging time for our country and the world, it is important to stay mentally centered and to care for our physical health.  

 

Several approaches to support and improve physical and mental health include 1. optimal nutrition consisting of whole, organically grown, unprocessed foods, sufficient pure water, and vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, as needed.  

2. Regular exercise that includes stretching and balancing, like Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong, muscle strengthening, such as lifting free weights, using exercise machines and band work, and aerobics, such as walking swimming, biking and tennis. Daily weight-bearing exercise is also vital.  3. Sufficient, excellent quality sleep, which depends on a balanced diet, with little or no food consumed close to bedtime, freedom from computer, phone, and other screens at least two hours before bedtime, and relaxing, calming stimuli at night, soon before sleep.  4. Care of the musculoskeletal frame through Chiropractic, Massage, and appropriate exercises, such as strengthening and stretching activities mentioned above.  5. Mental disciplines and supports, such as Meditation, Self-Hypnosis, cultivating a thankful attitude, inspirational reading and more.  6. Finally, helping to balance the electrical (energetic) system through activities such as spending time in natural settings, such as woodlands, prairies, and beaches, cultivating the breath and increasing the lung vital capacity, and grounding or earthing, especially by walking barefoot or lying on the ground.  

 

Peace Pilgrim, one of my personal heroes, experienced excellent health, and did not even have a “cold” once she reached a state of lasting inner peace.  Her inspirational life including activities such as walking coast to coast many times for world peace, giving countless talks and presentations at churches and universities, as well as interviews on local and national radio and television.  She walked until given shelter, fasted until offered food, observed a vegetarian diet for ethical and health reasons, and inspired many people during her decades as “Peace Pilgrim”.  We could benefit from her message and life in this world today.  She began walking in the 1950’s during the repressive McCarthy era, and was especially concerned about preventing the nuclear destruction of our planet’s life forms and cultures.  The link to the Peace Pilgrim website is Peace Pilgrim

There, you can find books, DVD’s, CD’s and more covering her life and works.  Two full length documentary films were made about her, and there are even recordings and films of several of her talks at various venues.  I hope you take the time to enjoy these.  Our world needs this wisdom, especially now.

 

This blog’s offer: contact me if you want support for your health and general well-being.  I offer several services, including Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Nutritional advice, Hypnosis, Self-Hypnosis, Flower Essence Therapy, and Qi Gong instruction. 

 

 

Sunday, January 29, 2023

                           Blog #131 Living a Long Healthy Life

 

Some people would like to live as long as possible, in reasonably good health.  Others would want to be independent as long as possible.  And other people regard work and making a worthwhile contribution in the world as important reasons to continue living.  Many of us don’t even want to live past 100.  But this blog’s information should still be valuable. Below are descriptions of three supercentenarians, who either died recently or are still alive.  They share certain commonalities.  

 

Maria Branya Morera, just prior to her 116th birthday, says that, in addition to good genes and good luck, an important factor in longevity is avoiding toxic people.  Maria also credits “order, tranquility, good connection with family and friends, contact with nature, emotional stability, no worries, no regrets, and lots of positivity” for her long life.  She has lived in a nursing home in Spain for the past 22 years, and keeps in touch with thousands of followers through her twitter account with a little help from her daughter.  She survived Covid-19 without any health issues, although many around her died.

 

Lucile Randon, from France, was the world’s oldest person until she passed away in January of this year (2023).  She joined a sisterhood of Catholic Nuns at age 41, and felt strongly that working as long as you can is an important factor in longevity.  She worked as a teacher or gave assistance to the poor and ailing until she was 108. Lucile enjoyed chocolate and wine, both in moderation, and lived in a nursing home toward the end of her life.  Like Maria Branya Morera, she survived Covid without problems.

 

Shlomo Sulayman, a supercentenarian from Israel, lived a simple life, walking long distances and going to the synagogue daily, and eating three simple, small meals.  Dinner was a salad and egg.  He was a well-known religious scholar, to whom many came for advice, and his mind was sharp until the very end of his life.  He lived independently in his home after his wife died at age 94.  When he was confined to his home at the onset of the pandemic, his health declined rapidly and he died at the age of 117, in October 2020.  

 

The first thing that occurs to me about these three people is that they led simple, consistent, meaningful lives.  They also had ongoing connections with family, friends, and/or community, did things in moderation, and stayed active.  Likely they had good genetics.  

 

I have kept this short and sweet.  Their stories speak for themselves.  I wish you a happy, healthy, fulfilling year ahead.

 

This blog’s offer:  contact me if you want to talk and share about people you know who have lived long lives.  I wish you a happy, healthy 2023.