The lymphatic system is the most recent body system to be discovered. It was first formally described in 1652. This relatively recent discovery does not indicate that this is evolutionarily a new system. Instead it was identified so late because this system is naturally difficult to visualize. Our lymphatic system is comprised of transparent lymph vessels, lymph nodes, lymphatic organs and lymph fluid. Lymph is fluid that has naturally been lost into the tissues via the cardiovascular system and is generally clear. Since the lymph vessels are transparent and the fluid within them is clear, it made it difficult to isolate and name this system. Despite being our newest system, it is an incredibly important to our survival.
I have had countless experiences where I am asked about my profession and when I announce that I am a CranioSacral Therapist, I am met with a bewildered response. Many have not heard of CranioSacral Therapy. It sounds intriguing and exotic. However, what is it? I always start with my CranioSacral elevator speech (short and concise). CranioSacral Therapy is a light touch manual therapy that assesses and helps to release strains and irritations on the nervous system. It is a manual therapy that was developed by Dr. John Upledger and it is based on neuroscience and osteopathic principles. This explanation satisfies many persons’ basic questions. However, CranioSacral Therapy is so much more.
When I reflect on my journey to the present day, the word that comes to mind is trust. I trusted all along the way. I am the resident CranioSacral Therapist at MAAIM but I am so much more. I am a wife, mom, educator, vegetarian, ferocious reader, lover of bad jokes and overall happy human being. I have been with my husband for 25 years and am the mom to two brilliant, precocious, hilarious and kind hearted 4 years olds (yes, twins). Our family’s journey began where my passion for science started.
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For each new year, we often set health-related goals. We want to eat better, exercise more, balance our lives, and try to behave in a kinder way in our world. When we strive for balance, we don’t often think about balancing our physical health and our emotional health. We tend to focus on the physical aspects of our being. However, our emotional health impacts our physical health in ways we don’t often realize.
Chinese medicine recognized thousands of years ago that an important relationship exists between emotions and physical health. The Chinese Canon of Medicine recognized that emotional and psychological factors are important causes of physical illness and can negatively affect the internal organs of the human body. It states that “anger hurts the liver, joy hurts the heart, brooding hurts the spleen and melancholy hurts the lungs.”
2017 brings to us an opportunity to reflect on what we are grateful for and share what has been an important ingredient in our health and wellness regime! We asked each of our staff to share their gratitude and what has made a difference in their lives.
I am grateful for many things: my good health, my family, close friends and colleagues. I am grateful to be an Acupuncturist and enjoy coming to work each day. Most importantly I am grateful to understand the importance of gratitude. Most days, I start my day with quiet time for self reflection, prayer and journaling. This includes writing down what I am grateful for! I find I have a much better day when I do this.
My perspective on health has changed over the years. My body, mind and spirit are the center of my circle with different pieces that all play a part in my wellness. This includes, diet, supplements (probiotic, fish oil, vitamin D as foundations), a healthy diet (eating breakfast each morning and eating for the season = warmth in the winter), exercise, good sleep, acupuncture, massage and chiropractic care as well as working on my outlook on life are all equally as important pieces of my puzzle!
Monica Mae Leibson
I am grateful for the new year. It is a time of intense change and unknown and creates space for a new energy to come to form that is loving and advocates for peace and justice for all. It is a time where our values as human beings are being brought out into the light, and we have the opportunity for reflection and redirection. With this, we can transform our future to align with the vision in our hearts.
With that being said, my favorite health tip is to dig deep into ourselves and bring our purpose into the light. In this time on the planet we are being called to release the things that no longer serve us and be true to our hearts. We must let go of that which society or our childhood deemed were important for us, and find our true purpose and passion in this lifetime. May you enjoy the journey!
I try to practice gratitude every day for many things. If I had to choose only one thing that I am most grateful for, it would be good health! I have had “glimpses” of having a lack of good health—illnesses of my own, watching others with illnesses—and it makes me appreciate my own good health. It might seem obvious but pain or chronic illness severely affects the quality of life, including the ability to experience and enjoy basic daily events. I try to enjoy every day, whether it be filled with running errands or spending time with my family, and being well allows me to do so!
One of my favorite health tips is Elderberry syrup!! I have a huge phobia of getting sick—I never want to be kept down! In addition to regular dietary and lifestyle habits to stay healthy, I take elderberry syrup prophylactically or at the early stages of a cold. It is used to boost the immune system and has anti-bacterial qualities. I’ve come across some recipes to make your own elderberry syrup at home but I have found that buying a pre-made syrup is easy and just as effective!
Karen Siegel Propis
When I consider all that I am grateful for I find it difficult to come up with one specific thing. This past year I experienced the highest of the highs with my son’s wedding and the lowest of the lows with the passing of my mother. Two months later, I started working at Michigan Associates in Acupuncture and integrative Medicine. I’m grateful to have a wonderful husband and kids and to have friends that are real true blues. I’m grateful for the good fortune to be a part of a supportive community and I am grateful to have the opportunity to use my education and training to work in a wonderful clinic.
My favorite health tip for the new year ties into what I am most grateful for in my life. I find the more I focus on the good, the positive in my life, the more content I am.. My recommendations to accomplish this are two fold: practice gratitude and develop reframing skills. Practicing gratitude means focusing on the good and making frequent notes on the blessings in your life. Reframing is taking situations that may seem negative or bad and turning them into learning or growth opportunities. With the reframing lens, you work to understand how you can grow from your experience. Your focus becomes on the learning opportunity rather than focusing on the “woe is me.” When you feel more in balance emotionally, you have the physical energy to take better care of yourself in other ways.
I am most grateful for peace and calm in my family. We have had a hectic and stressful year. We bought and sold our home, my children started preschool, my husband is studying for his MBA and my practice has grown. Life is crazy. We do not have much time at home together. Now that our houses are settled, our children are comfortable in school and my husband and I are hitting our strides in college and work, we have to remind ourselves to breathe. Sit back and breathe. Sit back, breathe…TOGETHER. Enjoy your time together. You never get this second back. Happy holidays! Much love and peace!
My favorite health tip is Sleep! Something so simple, yet often overlooked. In our busy lives and packed agendas, sleep is limited. The national average of sleep is 5 hours. Five hours!! Seven to eight hours are recommended. Therefore, we are often functioning in a sleep debt. Unfortunately, we commonly try to “makeup” sleep. It does not work that way. Our bodies heal, reorganize, create more brain connections during sleep. Stress responses reduce with sleep, such as blood pressure, blood glucose levels and gut balance. As a mother of young twins, I know first hand the importance of sleep. So, for Christmas, I asked Santa for a nap!
I am most grateful for my two adult sons. Seeing them happy in their lives and accomplishing their dreams is all a mother can ask for. For that I am very proud. Things come in waves throughout our lives. Right now my boys have some exciting things to look forward to that make my heart smile. One of my son’s has a new job and is recently engaged. My other son just had a baby girl named Ruby and I am a grandmother! Life is good!
My favorite health tip during the winter month is to keep my immunity boosted and avoid getting sick. I take a Multi Vitamin, extra Vitamin D, fish oil and a probiotic. I also drink Emergen-C daily as an added boost.
This combination has given me great healthy results.
Honestly, I am most grateful for the set-backs that have formed me and have made me stronger. They have given me the gift of being very appreciative of my life, family, friends, my own body and taking care of it”.
That said, My favorite health tip is simple: “Your Dr. can help keep you in good health – but the responsibility ultimately falls on you”
I am most grateful to have my family still alive and well with me. It’s something that I may have taken for granted when I was younger however the older I get I become more thankful and grateful for that blessing. Also I am grateful for my sound mind.
My health tip is To find and explore what creates peace in your life. Our health is more than just physical . There is a psychological part as well. It is healthy to develop peace and serenity in our lives and tap into that when we are feeling overloaded or overwhelmed.
The holiday season came quick this year. After an intense election year, most of us have welcomed the diversion of holiday television commercials, Christmas lights and indulging at holiday and work parties. However, the residual effects of both (the election and the holidays) can play havoc with our physical and emotional health and well-being! While we are having fun and falling into indulgence mode, it is important to set into place tools that will help create a healthy foundation after the holiday’s are over!
Here are a couple tips to get started:
Full Spectrum Lighting. Many people find themselves struggling with the effect of limited natural light. We get up and it is dark and when we get out of work, it is often dark as well.
We may find ourselves feeling fatigued, a bit blue wanting to sleep more than normal. Many people turn to full spectrum lighting to help them get that natural light that is often only replicated by sunlight. [Read more…]
As the cold comes down and leaves a white blanket on the earth, I affirm that life is beautiful.
The trees have shed what no longer serves them and are going bare. Releasing their outward extension of life and going within, getting quiet and still.
With this sweet serene landscape, I become one with the earth.
Letting go of anything external in my life that holds no true value to my spirit.
Letting go of a busy hectic pace that the fall held and feeling the calm rush over.
Sparking a fire within me, to bring warmth to my soul and to everyone on the planet.
Sparking a heart that beats with love and peace for all creatures.
Although life may seem unbalanced and chaotic, I am part of a divine plan.
I am a divine being called to take action and make a difference to reduce the pain and suffering of all people.
And my light increases the light in the world. Person by person. Candle by candle.
In times of darkness, my divinity shines even more brightly.
As the weather cools off and the leaves start to change color, I am reminded of the natural changes we go through in the course of a day, a season, and a year. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is a medicine that illuminates our body as organic parts of nature. Just as there is hot, cold, wind, and rain, our body also shifts internally in the weather. Bringing our body and our lifestyle into accordance with the seasons around us can have a profound impact on our physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Each season has basic health and wellness principles to help keep us in alignment with nature. The organ system that is most closely related to the fall is the paired system of the Lung & Large Intestine. An easy way to remember this correlation is that fall begins cold and flu season. Most upper respiratory issues can be blamed on the lungs while the stomach causes most of your basic stomach flu symptoms. Most people don’t know is how closely the gut is related to the respiratory system. In functional medicine, this is the newest research, but TCM understood this link long ago! When the digestive system tries to break down a mucus producing food or something that causes a histamine reaction, it sends a byproduct of mucus up to the nose, so as to immediately rid itself of toxins. [Read more…]