I've experienced a lot of health this past year. It's been great. No illness, great energy levels.
Jason and I really do a pretty good job of keeping ourselves healthy through diet and healthy lifestyle habits. But we're not saints, and we experience challenges too.
Returning to Thailand this January, it was distinctly apparent that I was healthier. Sleeping in my same old bed in Hua Hin, breathing the same air, visiting the same beach, I felt so much healthier.
It was a good reminder of how small things can get overlooked when they become chronic. If not overlooked, at least tolerated.
In years past, my energy levels weren't as good, I frequently caught colds, and had a harder time managing my stress. This time around in Thailand, I felt GREAT. At least, at first.
"Living in Thailand" for a few weeks probably evokes images of coconuts lazily sipped beachside....fresh seafood and lots of tropical fruit. Well, the tropical fruit did happen, but so did loads of MSG, questionable quality bottled water, and harsh chemical bug sprays in the air.
After the first two weeks in Thailand, I noticed I wasn't sleeping after eating meals out--most likely due to the MSG. I began feeling sluggish and a bit tired. My earlier pep and vigor were quickly beginning to wane.
I concluded that more important than the MSG, water, and air coming in, were the healthy habits I abandoned in this different environment. I wasn't using my homemade personal care products, I wasn't eating my home-cooked food, and I wasn't employing any of the numerous healthy habits I keep here at home (other than oil pulling--oil pulling travels well).
I've been using only my own shampoo and hair conditioner for over a year now. I've also been dying my hair with henna and indigo. (For those who are surprised by the dying, I've had greys since I was in my early teens and am mostly white now- I dye my hair every three to four weeks). I use no products in my hair anymore, either.
Although this is only one area of many where I try my best to practice what I preach to keep myself healthy, this is the area that rebelled against my "vacation."
Just after I returned from Thailand, my scalp broke out in painful bumps. Red, painful, thickening, and eventually flaking off. My scalp slowly worsened over the first week I was back until I finally gave in and began treatment. After some self-acupuncture and daily herbal head wraps over night, it's almost completely gone. And, of course, I am back to my good habits.
I've never had any problems with my scalp in the past. Having your head painfully flake off is an unsightly and humbling experience. But it is a great example of one of the body's many possible methods for making its displeasure known.
Eczema, acne, headaches, intestinal symptoms-- there are many avenues for inflammation of express itself. And it is so often experienced by people who are making an effort to become healthier. As anyone who has gone down the rabbit hole of food intolerance knows, when you have avoided something your body does not like, it rebels so much more strongly if you slip back into old habits.
So I write this in solidarity with the chemically-sensitive. I never have been so before. But it is my body's way of reminding me that what was being done before (using chemical-laden hair products and toxic hair dyes) is not something I should ever do again.
Keep continuing on your own personal health crusade, and don't get frustrated when symptoms arise. Every small change we make in the right direction has innumerable effects that can't be seen or felt. Sometimes we pay the price for cleaning up our act, but it's worth the cumulative effect, increasing quality of life and maybe even adding years!
Fly forward into a healthy spring with some educational, empowering and inspiring health workshops from Radiant Family this March. Our workshops will be given at the Merging Rivers Zen Center on three Saturdays. See the flier below for more information.
We have tried to keep our workshops low cost in order to share this information with as much of the community as possible, so please share this flier with anyone you think would benefit! We hope to see you there.
I have two categories for my patients. There are those who want to feel better, and want to come in the office, let me do my thing, and then leave until their next appointment. We make progress, but their healing time is limited to their office visits. This is what works best for many people, and that is just fine.
But then there is my other group of patients.
This is the group that wants to feel better, and wants to know every possible thing they could be doing to help themselves feel better faster.
This group is dear to my heart, because this is how I would be as a patient. If I was unwell, I would want to do everything possible on my own to recover. Not that I don't love a good acupuncture treatment, but I'd much rather get well faster and perhaps not have to come back in for more visits. So, contrary to conventional medical business models, I like to focus on what I can do to empower my patients to help themselves get better and perhaps not be my patients anymore.
The field of physical therapy uniquely requires that the practitioners provide tools for recovery to their patients. Having repeatedly given this sort of information to her patients for so many years, Doranne is quite practiced at sharing this information.
Our bodies can be our tools to get around in the world, they can be an impediment, or most likely both. Keeping these tools sharp and well-oiled is essential for a healthy existence. We are bound to strain our physique through poor posture, stress and injury.
Having a useful method to help us prevent and manage aches, pains, and structural imbalance allows us to take charge of our health in a way that is very difficult to do on our own.
I'm so grateful to Doranne for sharing her years of wisdom in the concise version of a handbook.
Doranne has created Your Body Book, which is literally the handbook for taking care of your body. I adore her book, and am pleased that she was willing to answer some of my questions about her work and the resource she has created.
Miranda: What made you decide to write Your Body Book?
Doranne: While working as a physical therapist for more than 30 years, I realized I had been scribbling illegible instructions and drawing child-like stick figures on easily-lost pieces of paper for clients for years. So at the end of each work day, for about a year, I compiled the information and exercises I normally share with my patients, resulting in the creation of Your Body Book Guide to Better Body Motion with Less Pain. This self-help health care book empowers people to take responsibility to successfully manage their health. I am passionate about helping others physically, as well as mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Miranda: How is Your Body Book best used as a tool by any of us with pain, injuries, or structural imbalances? (Aka ALL OF US!)
Doranne: The more you know, the better you can help your body and mind heal with time, by managing pain, improving blood flow, eating right, getting adequate sleep, and minimizing fear, worry, anxiety, and stress. It is easy to become fearful, especially when in pain. Mental and/or emotional stress can lead to physical problems such as causing muscles to tighten and increase pain. Stress and anxiety can decrease sleep, which slows healing and increases pain. Worry, especially about things out of our control, can be overwhelming.
The more you know, the more tools you can use well. Tools to decrease physical pain include: ice packs, heat, including hot showers and baths, pools, pillows for support and positioning, breathing, gentle exercise, and sleep. Give your body and brain plenty of water and good nutrition.
The good news is the body does its best to mend, especially with injuries involving bones, joints, and muscles. Give your body time to heal; generally for every “down” day, it may take two to three days to recover.
Miranda: What is one of the most common questions you get as a physical therapist?
Doranne: One question I am frequently asked, is when to use ice or heat to decrease pain. The bottom line--both ice and heat increase circulation; improved blood flow helps the body heal. Ice is best immediately after an injury, with really sharp pain, muscle spasm, or inflammation (hot, red, swollen). Heat is better with more chronic conditions, low-grade pain, or when the area is more stiff than painful.
Miranda: Any favorite tips or advice you would care to share?
Doranne: Rice socks. I recommend making rice socks by pouring about two pounds of uncooked rice into a long sock. Tie/sew to close. Place in microwave for about two minutes or until comfortably warm. A second rice sock can be kept in the freezer and used as an ice pack.
Thank you so much to Doranne for taking the time to share some of her knowledge with us. So many years of experience is a valuable gift to share, and Your Body Book is such a convenient form!
Doranne currently works as an on-call physical therapist. She is very willing to answer questions via e-mail or phone, and is also available for public speaking and teaching.
Go to www.YourBodyBook.com for more information, including upcoming presentations. Your Body Book is available on Amazon, at the local Grants Pass, Oregon bookstores including Aquarius, The Book Lore, The Herb Shop, and Oregon Books. It is also available locally at Dr. Kahn’s office, and from Kay Nielson, PTA, LMT, in Selma, Oregon.
Thank you for reading. Even though I am trained as a physical therapist, I am passionate about not only helping people physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually; to help them be whole in their soul. With 32 years of hands-on experience, I currently work as an on-call physical therapist. Please don't hesitate to contact me.
P.O. Box 5735 • Grants Pass, OR 97527 • 541-643-9289 cell 541-955-3209 fax • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.yourbodybook.com
Staying healthy has been a challenge over recent months. Starting a business is a full-time affair. Like some kind of inanimate baby, it demands all of our time, our finances, and our loving care.
Jason and I are constantly evolving our commitment to health, each day coming closer to practicing everything we preach. We're still human and slip backward from time to time, but being fully immersed in our passion for health and happy living has led us to learning what habits have made the greatest overall impact on our health.
On to the 8 habits (in no particular order):
A profound shift is upon us in the world.
Science, mind and heart are coming together to unravel the mystery of the healing arts. Now, with enough conclusive research and concrete scientific data, vibration and light are being tied into the very fabric of this spectacular wonder we call the human body. Its remarkable ability to act as a transceiving/receiving device for the facilitation of healing is beyond belief.
This is why Reiki, Qigong and other forms of vibration/light therapy are still regarded by misinformed or uneducated people as psychosomatic, placebo or belief based systems. (Systems or techniques that work only when believed in by the receiving participate.)
In this article I will go over one of the most important and pressing topics ever to be faced in the world today; what causes system-wide pain and how to prevent it.
What inflames the body?
By putting forth this simple question we make claim on a lost birthright...the right to LIVE free of ignorance, opening our eyes to what has been kept from us in almost every possible way.
What is to follow may well change your life forever! In this article I will go over one of the most important and pressing topics ever to be faced in the world today; what causes system-wide pain and how to prevent it.
Even today with all our advances in technology the rare and powerful information in this article still remains unknown to much of the medical world. But why?
First off, let me briefly explain to you what inflammation is.
Inflammation is pain, stiffness, swelling, heat and redness caused by our immune system in response to any one of thousands of factors.