February 15, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Those are the words Reuben Greg Brewer used when blogging about the recent JAMA study which found that today’s baby boomers are sicker than their parents were at the same age, suffering from chronic illness and disability related to diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and dependence upon prescription medications.
How often I have heard my own mother say (who is now 80 and who just underwent her third joint replacement surgery), “These pills are keeping me alive.”
While the gist of Mr. Brewer’s blog trumpets health-field related investment opportunities for the savvy (Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Teva Pharmaceuticals, CVS Caremark), it really is a sad commentary on the general state of health in these modern times and a confirmation that chronic illness is big business in the Western world.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Research about the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle and stress is not new, by any means.
Why have we as a society bought into the illusion of “the magic pill?”
Why have the majority of people refused to take responsibility for their own health and wellness?
We are finite beings. We have limitations. We wear out.
What changes are you willing to make now, today, to improve your chances of aging well? Although your body is ready, willing and able to restore function and mobility, beware of waiting too long.
A final thought, will you invest in yourself and/or in health-related companies on the stock exhange, each offering a unique ‘golden opportunity’?
January 6, 2013 § 2 Comments
Yes, another year has rolled around and I find myself another decade older this time. For all you youngsters out there, you will eventually understand the reality of the often repeated phrase, “I don’t feel any older, I am the same person I have always been . . .” yet, truth be told, when I look in the mirror, I see the changes in my body and my face—gravity! Some days, my bones can be a little achy too. However, I am still as keenly interested in everything that makes like worth living: loving relationships, passion for learning, enjoyment of my surroundings, meaningful work and activity, and a good measure of health.
Last year at this time, I was preparing for a parathyroidectomy—the surgical removal of a parathyroid gland that had become dysfunctional. The parathyroid glands play such an important role in body chemistry, bone production, and health. I was fortunate to find an excellent surgeon with a crack team, Dr. Michael Yeh, at UCLA. The surgery was successful and I have been experiencing a good recovery. Surgery, like chronic pain or illness, is always taxing to the body and can be very depleting. My main concern was how to support the healing process and to optimize the healing of the surgical incision. As many of my readers know, scar tissue is a topic I am keenly interested in and I am happy to report that the therapies I used post surgery supported the optimal healing of my surgical incision, leaving few internal adhesions.
I’m so grateful to have accumulated so much experience in the holistic field of medicine which has helped me come back stronger than before. At the present time, my personal health recovery regimen includes chiropractic, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and movement and body alignment practices (Alexander Technique, Restorative Exercise, and Pilates). My goal this year is to become even more aware of my body alignment, knowing that the way I move in my body and how each part communicates with the next, will determine my capacity for regeneration and strength and will help me to correct and limit the patterns that underlie chronic degeneration. No matter what our age, isn’t that the best choice to make?
How will you support your self, your body, and your health this coming year?
P. S. I am so enjoying the gift that cumulative life experience brings to all aspects of my life!
December 23, 2012 § Leave a Comment
“Relax”, “relaxing” and “relaxation” are words said often in lessons. But not by me. In fact, if you listen carefully, you will find me avoiding these words like the plague.
Many people, Alexander teachers included, link the Alexander Technique with relaxation. I don’t. As far as I’m concerned, the concept of relaxation is a can of worms. And FM Alexander wasn’t too keen on it, either.
November 23, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Dis-ease is a key precursor to illness.
It is a state of subtle energetic imbalance which may reflect deep-seated experiences of anguish, grief, distress, misfortune, suffering, or trial.
If relief is delayed too long, the energetics associated with these states of being may eventually materialize in the tissues of the body, towards a diagnostically identifiable state of physical disease. Hans Selye described this process as “the general syndrome of sickness” and identified energetic signs which usually preceded the appearance of an illness or disease related to loss of adaptation (one’s physiological capacity for stress regulation).
Diagnosing subtle energetic imbalances is a primary component of Oriental (Asian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese) medical theory and practice. A stand-alone system of health care, it utilizes four basic observations: questioning, listening, smelling, and palpation.
Palpation as a Preventative Tool
In Oriental medicine’s Hara diagnosis, abdominal palpation is used effectively to pick up on subtle energetic imbalances in body systems which have not yet shown up as symptoms of disease, such as a mass or tumor.
The hara is the body’s energetic and physical center, the core of a person’s vitality. All the primary meridians root in the hara so any tenderness on palpation, tightness, indentation, temperature variation, change in skin color or texture or swelling, indicates an imbalance in a particular organ and meridian system which responds rather quickly to treatment at this stage.
This diagnostic tool is highly valued as it can identify subtle changes even if a person’s tongue, pulse or lack of symptoms seem to fall in the ”normal” range.
But there is something more to palpation that is equally as intriguing—the energetic exchange that occurs between practitioner and patient when acupoints are palpated. Research has demonstrated that acupoints along the meridians exhibit distinctive electrical qualities. Palpation of an acupoint prior to inserting a needle affects the qi of the point, helping the practitioner achieve the best results via depth of insertion, angle, direction, and location.
That’s why I love what I do!
Hara Diagnosis: Reflections on the Sea by Kiiko Matsumoto & Stephen Birch