Eben Alexander’s memoir, Proof of Heaven, details his experience while in a coma for 8 days. The interesting twist of his memoir is that he was a neurosurgeon who completely dismissed his patients’ accounts of consciousness and existence beyond the physical world because the concept did not fit within the scientific understanding of brain function and reasoning. And yet, when he contracted bacterial meningitis (a very, very RARE occurrence) and his brain was completely shut down, he experienced an afterlife that supported the experiences of all his patients’ accounts that he had dismissed for years. The revelation that came out of Dr. Alexander’s experience was that human beings are much, much more than science recognizes. Moreover, our minds are not just the mechanical workings of our brain function! Instead, there is an energy/spirit in all people which means that our behavior and life choices include much more spirituality than most of us understand. [Read more…]
I recently had the pleasure of being hospitalized for 8 days. I call this a pleasure because I have never been hospitalized before and it was quite a learning experience (that I hope to never repeat). Also, because my personal experience with Western medicine is relatively limited, my hospital-stay can be likened to a fast-track course in how Western medicine operates. It was fascinating! [Read more…]
Acupuncture is, among many things, a transfer of energy. When we needle a point, we are using the needle to active the acupuncture point’s unique function. Each acupuncture treatment is a combination of points that are used to treat each person’s Chinese medical pathology. However, I have found that the concept of intention is just as important in an acupuncture session as the point prescription. Intention is the idea that when the acupuncturist is inserting needles, they direct their energy into the overall intention of the treatment. [Read more…]
As acupuncturists, we sit with our clients and talk with them about their emotions. Emotions are an important part of the intake process for Traditional Chinese Medicine. Emotions affect our physical health and physical health affects our emotional well-being.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine – most organ systems have an emotion associated with them. When someone is angry or irritable, we think of the Liver and how to work to balance the flow of Liver Qi. Fear is associated with the Kidneys, Grief, the Lungs, Heart – joy, and the emotion associated with the Spleen is worry. Since we so often experience many emotions, one can speculate the effect the emotions have on our health.
I want to make a pitch for making friends with our emotions. So often, we try to push our feelings away. This may be done through drugs and alcohol, food and other addictions, exercise or medications. An informal industry has been developed in order to support us in NOT FEELING. What this ultimately does is add an additional layer to our pain and suffering. We still feel the emotions we don’t want to feel and we self medicate ourselves to get away from the feelings we still feel! Doesn’t make sense! [Read more…]
Happy Thanksgiving! The significance of Thanksgiving is different for everyone. For some, it’s a time to eat and spend time with family and friends. For others, it is simply a day off work and time to relax. No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, it is an opportunity to stand back from our busy life schedules and reflect on gratitude. However, it is unfortunate that we only consider gratitude and thanks-giving for one day out of the entire year! Having daily feelings of gratitude is good for both the body and soul. [Read more…]
The thought of meditation often brings cringes of resistance and images uncomfortably sitting, legs crossed, in a still position for long periods of time. Most people resist the idea of meditation because they cannot imagine themselves slowing down.
We live in a world that is extremely fast-paced. Most of our daily actions and activity support us in moving even faster. Television, computers, cell phones, text messaging, emails and instant messages overload us with information; keeping us connected to the world 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Much of the information is challenging – news of war, earthquakes, crime and scandals become difficult to hear. We hate it, we fear it – yet we are drawn to and often forced to listen. Most of us seek peace and harmony. We often feel this is lacking in our lives. We strive to be happy yet few of us attain this. Individual distress and tensions combine to create stress in society. Meditation can provide the respite one needs. [Read more…]
Acupuncture is one of the best forms of preventative medicine available today. The goal of acupuncture is to maintain balance within the energy channels so that disease will not present itself. Maintaining balance ensures that there is not too much (an excess) of energy in one channel and a lack of (deficiency) of energy in another channel. Chinese herbs are also used for this purpose; to clear out any excess, support any deficiency or treat any resulting pathologies. From an emotional perspective, I have found that when people become stressed or emotionally vulnerable, any preexisting deficiency becomes a more serious problem. For example, the person who has a long history of digestive disorders gets severe digestive problems when they experience a loss in their life. Or a person who has a long history of allergies and frequent colds get a long standing cough that will not go away when life becomes stressful. [Read more…]
Yoga has been well documented to assist with many health challenges. From heart disease, arthritis and osteoporosis, the benefits of a
regular yoga practice have been linked to improved health and well being. According to Susan Winter Ward, author of the
book Yoga for the Young at Heart (Nataraj Publishing, 2002), insists there is nobody for whom yoga is completely off limits. “If you’re
breathing, you can do yoga,” Ward says. “All it takes is some creativity to adapt poses to any level of ability.”
Simple postures (called asanas) can increase flexibility, blood flow, reduces muscular tension, improves
digestion, nerves and respiratory system efficiency, eliminate asthma, diabetes, migraine, lower back pain, high blood pressure and arthritis. Movement
decreases stiffness, rigidity and strengthens our muscles, ligaments and joints. Yoga reduces the need for prescription drugs. People over the age
of 70 take an average of 8 prescription medications daily. Yoga is shown to reduce the needs for prescription drugs. [Read more…]
I love yoga. Every time I leave a yoga class, I feel lighter, more flexible and I become a happier person. (It’s not that I’m a unhappy person but yoga definitely enhances my mood!) I have been practicing for about 7 years and I have watched myself grow physically, emotionally and spiritually through my practice. The more I practice, the more I believe that yoga is an important practice for everyone. (And yes, I mean everyone). I often recommend patients try yoga as a gentle alternative to exercise but it is much more than that. Many people find much more satisfaction and spiritual fulfillment in a yoga class as compared to regular exercise. [Read more…]
Winning Futures is a non-profit that I’ve worked with in the past. They pair mentors with at-risk youth. The time commitment is minimal yet it is very rewarding. Can you imagine giving a child the encouragement and self esteem to let them know that they can truly accomplish their dreams?
Winning Futures Mentor Kimle Mitchell stated, “My time with Winning Futures has been very rewarding, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to mentor with this organization. The structure of the program and the guidance from the staff to support its mentors, made me feel confident that I was truly helping my students improve their lives. This year has truly been a life-changing experience for me, which is why I selected Winning Futures to be supported by the National Cares Mentoring Movement for resources to mentor more students.” [Read more…]