The Five Givens, The Five Elements, and The Five Virtues...or simply How to Cultivate Happiness

Upcoming!

When I started pulling together some ideas for this workshop, my daughter happened to be arriving home from classes. As she walked toward the kitchen, she casually asked me what I was up to. When I replied that I was designing a workshop on happiness, she said (without skipping a beat), "What do you know about that?" I had to admit she had a point. My mind flashed back to visiting my father at work, a college professor at Seattle University who, while at work, always had this engaging, upbeat manner, more like a beer route salesman than the dad I knew at home. Because quick wittedness runs in our family, I shot back, "Happiness isn't really about being happy." Now I was really in trouble, how do I explain that? Fortunately, she said she knew it to be true.

Thank God for the information highway with facts on happiness just a click away. I did not know that, apparently, the new face of happiness is Coke. Not the street drug, the drink. You will see by visiting their website that the main ingredient is happiness. According to the Coke website, modern science defines happiness "as the positive range of emotions that we feel when we are content and full of joy." They go on to explain that happiness is (according to a number of venerated thinkers) not a quest after all but a decision, a choice. We are then invited to not wait another moment, to choose happiness by "opening an ice cold Coca-Cola."

So what's a person to do? My daughter is pointing out an obvious truth, that I am not typically enjoying a positive range of emotions that I feel when content and full of joy. And I don't know too many (none) people that do, and if they do, I wonder what kind of meds they are on. Perhaps all I need is a Coke. I do have another idea, one that does not depend on temperament, fortune, or sugary beverages.

 

On February 28th, we will explore what it means to be happy, in part by identifying some essential sources of our unhappiness. The road map for this comes from the Five element Theory of Chinese Medicine and Dr. David Richo's book, The Five Things We cannot Change and the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them." The purpose of this gathering is to reveal to ourselves what it is that we need to know to help us be, simply put, happier human beings.

 

~John

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Jude

Your Monday Morning Wake-up

Saying good-bye isn't easy. Remembering the good times and funny moments can help. This week, we say farewell to our beloved Sierra Madre friend, Jude.

 

Jude

We are all healers. Whether we hold the door for someone at the store, or soothe a child who has scraped a knee, or serve as a trusted confidante. We offer healing.

This spirit was shared by those who gathered at Mary's Market last night to celebrate the life and passing of our friend, Jude. The great spread laid out by Heather and Jenny plus the heartfelt sharing of friends and family was a clear example of how one life touches many.

My mind drifted to an event that took place some years ago. Out of the blue, Jude said, "I hope that you don't go anywhere because I don't know what I would do without you." We were in the midst of many changes, and that consideration was on the table. Jude affected me in a profound way that day. It was as though she snapped her fingers (she would never really do that!) and said, "Hey! You, yeah you, look at me! You matter." Somehow, this cleared up a lot of clouds and it has remained so.

Another memory that popped up was the many times we discussed the shoes she loved: Converse All Stars, high and low tops. My opinion was that the shoes were too thin, that she would benefit from a more supportive shoe. She would agree and, inevitably, show up with a different pair...of All Stars. A friend of Jude's told me, "You know, I have been helping clean out her place and she must have had twenty pairs of those!"

I'm not surprised at all. Good-bye, Jude, we love you.

John

 

This Week

We will be in Sierra Madre on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Please call us at 626.224.3476 or email us at drtalevich@gmail.com to make an appointment or with any questions or concerns.

 

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Soothing the Savage Beast

The parts of the brain that are most active in times of uncertainty developed over millions of years to ensure our survival. It should be no surprise that many researchers believe our normal state is one of unrest and that being relaxed and peaceful is not "natural." Some of us would welcome this perspective, especially if it is difficult to actually relax.

Safety, food and shelter are our most basic needs and our ability to create community further enables us to secure these needs. In a world that is perceived to be unpredictable, our survival instincts may dominate our nervous system's agenda and keep us in the red zone. Because of this, we must develop a dialogue with the frightened animal that lies deep within us.

 

In our workshop last week, we shared a practice from Linda Graham's book, "Bouncing Back -Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well Being."

  1. Place either hand over the center of your chest and feel the gentleness of your own touch.
  2. Breathe slowly in and a bit more slowly out, seven or eight times.
  3. Bring up a memory of a pleasant event whether it involved a person, animal, place, or thing.
  4. Enjoy your moment of happiness as you slowly breathe in and out. After 30 to 60 seconds, relax and let go.

This exercise can be done as often as you like, as often as you remember to nurture yourself in the green zone.

Have a great week ~

Dr. John

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The Guard at the Gate

 

Sarah was a nineteen-year-old who had recently dropped out of her second year in college. Fatigue, headaches, indigestion, and severe joint pain had gradually escalated to the point where she could not complete her work. After a few months, most of her symptoms were gone but she was not ready to return to her studies. In a moment of transparency, she said that all of this would have never happened if she and her sister had not stumbled upon a cache of graphic material downloaded by a trusted family member. She thought things had been resolved, but a relapse had occurred, plunging the family back into a state of chaos. Therapy had been essential and helpful.

In due time, Sarah did return to school with an occasional visit to our office. On one visit, she opened the backpack that she always carried and shyly produced an action figure of HeMan. I recognized it because my son and his friends all had one. She explained that this was her protection and that was why she always had her backpack handy.

Sarah gradually moved on and I heard that the family had relocated. Not long after, while at Costco, I saw a large, well-muscled man moving through the aisle accompanied by a large service dog. In that moment, I appreciated what was going on ~ a gift from Sarah.

Have a great week ~

Dr. John

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Phasic Healing ~ What Is That?

Phasic Healing

"Phasic" means "relating to a phase." Read on to learn about phasic healing and its importance in really getting the job done

After two weeks of treatment following an auto accident, Ann had experienced very little improvement.

At some point, I asked her where she had been headed when the accident happened. It was on her morning drive to work, a route she had taken hundreds of times. After a pause, the tone in her voice shifted as she described the escalating series of events that occurred when the police found the gun in her glove compartment. A heated argument with her boyfriend the night before where he had threatened her, had ended by her talking him down. She had taken the gun the next morning and was planning on leaving the relationship. She summed it all up by saying that she "was going through a bad patch in her life."

Improvement followed, and the cloud of concern began to lift, revealing a much lighter, pain-free version of Ann.

What I drew from this was that the context, the circumstances, may contribute to a problem as much as the event itself. To explore, appreciate, and accept the back story allows us to move forward and complete the cycle.

I call this phasic healing; looking at pain and trauma in this light gives us greater hope for recovery, allowing us to change misfortune into good fortune.

~ John

 

Coming Up!

Don't forget our upcoming workshop on Wednesday, January 17th from 6:30~7:30:

Being Affected without Being Infected

Learn how to create more peace of mind in a world of chaos.

Please join us ~ There is no charge for this workshop.

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Bring in the Light

Monday Musings

Happy, happy new year, dear readers! Feels like a lot of change and energy is in the air! Let's approach this fresh time with joyful anticipation and healthy minds and bodies.

 

Bring in the Light

Each New Year, we gather around light at our home.The ritual is simple, yet meaningful. Utilizing my rest-of-the-year fruit bowl, we fill it with salt and a large candle in the center. We light the candle and, seated around the bowl in a darkened room, we take turns lighting little candles from it, speaking our intentions, hopes, dreams, assertions, commitments, you name it. The central candle symbolizes that creative force, the All That Is, name it what you wish ~ the love that powers us all.

We send all of you our deepest wishes for a healthy, bountiful, joy-filled year, and invite you to accompany us as we travel through it together.

~John and Cathlyne

 

Coming Up

We are pleased to offer new monthly workshops at our office this year. Coming up:

Being Affected without Being Infected

Wednesday evening, January 17th

6:30 to 7:30

There is no charge for this evening. Please join us!

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We will be in the office on Wednesday and Saturday this week. Give us a call or email to make your appointment.

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Your Monday Morning Wake-Up

The Thomas fire has moved on from the little city of Santa Paula. We are all most fortunate. Blessings to those who have lost so much, may they recover fully.

 

Fire!

My, oh my. What a week in Santa Paula...words fail me...almost.

As we evacuated Monday night and spent the next several hours in a Denny's parking lot, trying to sleep, I was suffused with swirling feelings. What if everything is lost? This special antique, John's art, everything? How do people start over from scratch? Oh my god, all the homeless folks, what is that truly like? Feeling all this, then finding no loving support, no resources at hand? Refugees, the poor, the mentally ill...I hadn't felt this closeness to them. Just the tiniest bit of what they must feel daily.

John slept with our cat in the van, I with Ere in the old Prius, and as we were buffeted by incredible winds, watching the mountains burn and lights flicker, I was mostly filled with gratitude. I knew that, no matter what, we would be okay. Everyone was safe. We loved so many and were loved by many. It would work out.

Coming back to work on Saturday, probably still smelling smoky, we were hugged and kissed and overwhelmed by good wishes.

I need to spend my day (it's Sunday) continuing to wash and clean and bring our possessions back into the house. The air is finally not chokingly smoky. Santa Paula is coming back outside, people are marveling that this has moved on for now.

Thank you all so very much. Your offers of shelter and aid, your sweet wishes for a happy outcome, have reminded us just how wondrous human community is.

Have a lovely week ~

Cathlyne and John

 

 

Creativity and Joy in the Holiday Season

 

Creativity and Joy

For so many of us, this time of year is replete with memories, traditions, joys and sometimes sadness. The emotions run high and, adding to that, the shopping is a form of insanity if we don't look out.

As my family has grown up, I have done fewer of the traditional decorations and observances, opting for a more creative approach. We enjoy the freshness, the seeking of new meanings and deepening of our connections.

I am fully enjoying paper art this year. I remembered how much I loved paper chains as a girl and started making them. They feel almost like a prayer as memories bubble up with each link, each dot of glue.

Moving on to wishing stars, I am filled with the happiness of thinking about all those I like and love. Each tiny star is to be unfolded, a wish inside it. At first, I find it a bit sticky to come up with those wishes but, after a very few minutes, they just start to flow.

Ere and I will be constructing beautiful stars for the windows out of kite paper, a favorite tradition borrowed from the Waldorf school.

Beyond the obvious, I find these pursuits a welcome centering and respite from the planning and frenzied activity. This year is a peaceful one for us, but I have had many, many "Mom Moments" in the past, exhausted and concerned about...well...all of it. I'm slow, but I learn eventually!

Take time. Find something that brings you peace and refreshment this year. Make a daily practice of creating something that brings you joy, that takes some thought and focus beyond any other concerns. Find the true meaning of whatever holiday you observe and enjoy it to the fullest. 'Tis the Season. :)

~Cathlyne

Just for fun, if you like Christmas music (Oh, what a great baritone voice!):

 

My New Favorite Carol

 

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'Tis the Season ~ For Gratitude

 

 

Gratitude Season

It isn't always easy to find gratitude in one's heart. Times can be hard, feelings can be hurt, daily life can be just plain...plain.

I'm thinking about Dr. Rachel Remen who has taught many doctors, and others, about healing on levels deeper than the purely physical. One of our favorite practices of hers is centered on gratitude.

At day's end, take a few minutes to review the day and ask yourself three questions: What touched me today? What surprised me today? What inspired me today? No need to spend hours on this, simply alight on the first answers that come to mind. You might want to keep a journal or, as John and I like to do, ask your partner these questions and share them together.

The point is simple: Through practicing awareness of gratitude, one becomes accustomed over time to catching the moments, the often simple delights that invite gratitude. After each of my several surgeries, I have been caught breathless in the simple joy of going outside, the color of the sky, the way the air smells, the anticipation of going to my own bed, my own home. Food that has flavors! The people I love! No need to wait for life's grueling processes to acknowledge the grace all around us. Gratitude is always available.

It is so easy to live in some mental space other than the moment we happen to be in. Gratitude brings us back, delicious and alive.

 

Happy, happy Thanksgiving ~ May your gratitudes be with you and yours in full measure!

John and Cathlyne

 

 

Why Chiropractic?

Why the World Needs Chiropractic

The world needs chiropractic today because it needs men and women who offer an alternative to drugs and surgery. In the past, the world needed practitioners who were willing to fight and even go to jail for the right to practice conservative approaches to health care. Today's revolution in health care has been carried on the shoulders of those people.

The world needs chiropractic because bodies need to be touched, bones repositioned, and muscles relaxed. The world needs chiropractic because it needs doctors who witness and chart the day to day miracles that simple, non-invasive approaches to health problems can yield. Without this, who would remember such healing is possible? The world needs chiropractic because it needs practitioners who can remind us that lifestyle changes can come first, with conservative interventions second, and drugs or surgery third.

The world needs chiropractic because it is sane. If a patient has been prescribed a course of treatment including pharmaceuticals (with their side effects) or surgery, and the chiropractor recommends a more conservative approach with a positive outcome, that patient has been brought into a whole new experience of self-empowerment. He or she now recognizes that a level of wellness can be maintained though lifestyle choices.

The world needs chiropractic because it needs doctors networking with other health care practitioners who believe that less can be more, that "First, do no harm" is still...first.

Finally, the world needs chiropractic because as long as there are nerves, bones, joints and muscles, there will be a need for people skilled in helping them function optimally. As one of the oldest forms of healing, there has always been the need for such an approach, and there always will be.

Have a healthy week ~ John

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Musing for October 23, 2017

We in America are among the most sleep deprived populations in the world. How does that affect our health, especially our brains? Read on!

 

Sleepless in America

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a third of us are sleep-deprived. We get less than the recommended seven to nine hours, especially those of us working at night or more than forty hours a week. Nearly 41 million Americans are getting less than six hours of sleep nightly, and that's a problem. Sleeplessness is linked to obesity, high blood pressure, depression, memory loss and a weakened immune system.

More recent research has enlightened us on the need for sleep. Dr. Daniel S. Reich at the NIH utilized a method of injecting dye into the dura of the brain. It had always been a mystery, the brain's ability to cleanse itself much as the rest of the body does with the lymph system. It wasn't thought that the lymph system extended into the brain, so how did it work?

The lymph system does, in fact, work in the brain as well. The lymph vessels showed up in his sophisticated dye studies, illuminating a very old riddle.

As we sleep, the brain washes itself. It uses the lymphatic and "glymphatic" systems to do this important work. It is further thought that those plaques and toxic proteins in our brains that contribute to dementia are removed and cleansed during sleep.

 

Trouble Sleeping?

One of the most prevalent factors to sleep difficulties is the constant viewing of tv and use of cell phones and social media. Our brains are awakened and stimulated by both the light and content. Make it a practice to turn off all devices an hour before bed, and keep the bedroom dark and cool.

It is suggested from recent research with mice that sleeping on one's side is the most efficient posture to encourage the lymphatic system's work. We would suggest you make sure you have enough pillows under your head to align the neck and spine, avoiding a crunched shoulder or sense of neck "cricking." Also, a pillow between the knees is most helpful.

Warm herbal teas, meditation or prayer, breathing deeply and in a relaxed fashion, all contribute to happy sleep hours. Setting aside time to plan the next day and put away concerns before bed is a great idea.

With time and consistency, sleep can improve and your brain will thank you.

Have a wonderful week!

~Cathlyne

This Week

We will be in Sierra Madre on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Please call 626.224.3476 or email us at drtalevich@gmail.com to make your appointment.

 

 

 

 

 

What are the chances?

What Are the Chances?

We all know by now that being grateful is very good for you. "Counting your blessings" has been the subject of numerous studies on brain function and well being. I'd like to point out the ultimate gratitude ~ your very existence.

A blog titled "What Are the Chances of Your Coming into Being?" by Dr. Ali Benazir explains in no uncertain terms just what a miracle your existence is. What is the probability of YOU?

Consider the population of San Diego, roughly 2 million people. They come together to play a game of dice, each one using a trillion-sided die (that's a one and twelve zeros!). They throw the dice ~ and every single person comes up with the same number. The definition of "crapshoot" ( a toss-up, anything can happen event) sums up your birth very nicely!

While the practice of finding and affirming the daily gratitudes in our lives is important and deeply beneficial, take a little time to remember the biggest gratitude of all: You.

~ John

Want to have your mind completely blown? Read the blog:

Ali Benazir ~ What are the chances?

S.O.S. ~ Sensory Overload Syndrome

The dramatic world events of the past several months have found many of us glued to the tv, internet, radio and journals each day. With CNN in the background, NPR in the car and frequent visits online to monitor the latest reports, we live in a constant state of vigilance. Once we've obtained information on how we might help (donations, volunteering, etc.) and taken action, we feel a bit better. Yet, for many of us, the disasters become obsessive.

With so much competing for our energy and attention, it is easy to create an overload. This sensory state forces the body to produce higher levels of stress hormones, particularly cortisol. Normal function is sacrificed to fulfill the increased hormonal demand. As our beloved friend and classical homeopath, Dr. Ian Marsh, D.O., once said, "You're writing a check your body can't cover."

~Custody of the Mind

In the science of psychoneuroimmunology, it has been demonstrated that chronic stress can be reduced by practicing relaxation exercises. This doesn't necessarily mean finding the nearest hammock; rather, we can reduce stress by changing what we focus on. Negative thoughts become a tool to remind us to breathe, relax, and return to the present moment. With so many powerful images of disaster, war and human suffering surrounding us, we may find a greater need to ask ourselves what we can do about them. Take an appropriate action. If there is no action to take now, we must be able to set the negative aside and practice good self-stewardship.

These are difficult times; because of this, it is all the more important to take care of ourselves. As with the aperture of a camera, if we leave ourselves open too long, we will become overexposed. Perhaps we can make an agreement with ourselves to monitor the amount of exposure to the media we allow during the day, safeguard our space before bed, and practice being at peace in a world of unrest.

Have a healthy week ~

John

 

Your Monday Morning Wake-Up

Stuck in the habit of constant worry? Happily, there are ways to move on.

 

Ruminations

While working with one of my patients, she brought up her concern with"turning off my mind." Mary stated that it was normal for her to be worried about something most of the time. She said she no doubt worried in her sleep!

From a clinical point of view, we know that unmanaged stress leads to the development of physical problems. Since Mary had severe neck pain, along with the usual treatment modalities, we talked about taming that monkey mind we all know so well.

I recently read an article on mindfulness therapy that mentioned research which combined findings from thirty-nine previous studies involving 1140 patients. Mindfulness therapy was effective for alleviating anxiety in patients recovering from cancer and other serious illnesses. The greatest degree of improvement was demonstrated in those patients suffering from mood disorders, including anxiety.

What is mindfulness therapy? In a nutshell, it is the practice (practice, practice, practice) of bringing the mind back to the present moment. One can use breath, movement, and various mental exercises to dismantle the habits of worry. As an example, when a negative thought comes up, we can remember that it is simply a thought, a feeling, and not a fact. Realizing that feelings need not be our sole source of truth could go a long way in reorganizing stress habits.

Another great practice in our busy world is to ask, "Where are my feet?" Inevitably, if we take a few breaths, we find that initially we were nowhere near those feet; after a moment of mindfulness, we find them just where they ought to be.

~ John

 

Here is a link to a simple three-minute breathing exercise: Three Minute Mindful Breathing Break

 

 

 

This Week

This week we will be in Sierra Madre on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Please call 626-224-3476 or email us at drtalevich@gmail.com to make your appointment.

Have a great week!

 

Got Music?

September 18, 2017

Your Monday Morning Wake-up

Love music? Us, too! Did you know it is one of the best healing tools you can utilize? Read on!

 

Music as Medicine

My late father-in-law, Ralph Pyle, had a long career playing French horn in the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Over the years, several orchestra musicians came in to see me for repetitive stress injuries. You can imagine that playing a horn, violin, cello or oboe day in and out, usually for decades, can cause severe demands on the musician. These are compounded by the unwieldy positions many instruments require.

One thing that amazes me is how people in the performing arts can perform at such high levels consistently. Most performances are at night, usually after a rehearsal earlier in the day with, perhaps, teaching in the afternoon. A quick dinner, a concert and about midnight, they come home.

How is it that many musicians play successfully for more than forty years? The answer may be in the music. If you ask an orchestra member what they experience, the upbeat answer is often that it feels like being bathed in a sea of beautiful sound. While it is grueling, there are definite highs!

Science agrees. Numerous studies have been done on subjects as various as stroke recovery, learning enhancement, and heart disease; all point to music's promotion of healing on all measurable levels. Got a cold? Going in for surgery? Try on some Mozart, perhaps a little Berlioz.

I am grateful to the artists and musicians I've met over the years. No only do they offer a unique perspective on life, they demonstrate that creative expression is perhaps the most important medicine of all.

~John

 

Here is a beautiful Berlioz song by the inimitable Dame Janet Baker. Enjoy! ~Cathlyne

 

Janet Baker sings Berlioz "Les Nuits d'eté"

 

 

 

This Week:

 

We will be in the office on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Phone: 626-224-3476

Email: drtalevich@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Your Monday Morning Wake-up

As we say good-bye to a patient, we can offer tools to keep learning and healing in her new life.

Departure

Kate is a long time patient who occasionally checks in for treatment of neck and low back pain. In her mid-sixties, she travels thousands of miles a year on business and has been contemplating a permanent move to Italy.

During our last session, she shared that her beloved corgi had died and a long term relationship had ended. In the Five element Theory, these are themes of loss and grief and are treated in much the same way as any physical issues would be. The associated organs are the lungs and large intestine, so an emphasis is placed on conscious breathing and proper elimination.The neck and low back pain are part of the total package and provide reminders to be aware of thoughts, feelings and breath. This way of thinking about one's body is a departure from the old model of "body as machine" and creates the opportunity to form a lasting dialogue between the conscious and unconscious self.

Perhaps Kate will be back one day but, if not, she has some fresh tools to keep herself in a good place. As is said, "Give me a fish I eat for a day, teach me to fish, I eat for a lifetime."

~John

Have a stellar week!

 

 

 

 

   

Bad News

Sarah is a patient in our office who primarily works with Cathlyne doing physio-synthesis, our postural training. At one point, she injured her left hip and was referred to the radiology lab for x-rays. When the images came back, the news was not good: severe degenerative arthritis. The next week when she came in for her training session, she seemed fine; when asked about the x-rays, I told her that she had some arthritis that had developed over the years. She did not seem surprised, and that was that. It has been over eight years and she has had no further problems.

About the same time, Mary was referred with hip pain following an auto accident. The primary physician informed her that the hip was arthritic and would need to be replaced. I asked if she had ever had the problem prior to the accident, and she said no. Mary was convinced that even though the accident had contributed to her discomfort, the real problem was the arthritic hip and surgery was the solution. She was not interested in pursuing conservative care.

In many cases, information regarding a person's condition can be life and death. If the passage of time and appropriate changes in lifestyle can resolve the problem, they should be implemented first. The person delivering the information can influence, to a large extent, what direction the patient goes. As they say, "When you're a hammer, the whole world's a nail."

 

When it comes to living a conscious, connected life, a health challenge can be just the thing to bring us closer to who and what we are. If the intervention is necessary, let it be a part of a deeply considered process and not just an opt out, a short cut. In the long run, "First, do not harm" applies to both the physician and the patient.

~John

Lou

 

Our patients are a rich source of learning for us! Lou's story demonstrates wisdom and healing in a special way.

About thirty-five years ago, I had the good fortune to meet Lou. At that time he was ninety and had hurt his back a couple of months before. Upon examining him and going over the x-rays, I could see why this problem had developed: he had almost no disc at the L5-S1 level. I remember trying to soften the news by empathizing with him and noting that he had probably learned to live with the pain over the years. When he told me he had never had any pain before this incident, I was floored. Additionally, he reported that he had been working on his roof when the pain began!

The other doctors had left him with the impression that he should not expect too much due to his age. While sharing their perspective to some extent, I kept thinking that he had gone this far, why couldn't we return him to his former glory? He was all over this idea, and within a few weeks had returned to his nearly normal status.

During that first couple of weeks, something happened that seemed to turn the tide. Lou shared that he'd been pretty down because two of his brothers had passed away that year, and the low back episode just made him feel more helpless. Once he got that off his chest, he moved on and back into life.

A few months after Lou was released from care, he showed up at the office with a gift. It turned out that Lou was an accomplished woodworker and had made a beautiful replica of the snake oil wagon we had out front of the office and in the 4th of July parade. It sits on my wall as it has for the last 35 years, reminding me of Lou and what he taught me.

This story has been told countless times in situations similar to Lou's and, when taken to heart, has helped others return to their glory days, too.

~ John

Facetime

Face to Face

What happens when we become overwhelmed by the challenges that are occurring in our personal lives, our society and the world that we live in? Do we go numb, disconnect, disappear? This is the nervous system's way of protecting itself and can become the normal default, leading to isolation and, in time, depression.

 

Not surprisingly, having lunch with a trusted friend or reaching out online to someone who shares a positive outlook can rewire our brains to come in from the cold. The act of doing the very thing we are disinclined to do is at the heart of the issue. Understanding that we have gotten ourselves into a rut and can effectively rock ourselves out makes the difference.

 

If the very thought of contacting someone to make a lunch date causes feelings of anxiety and dread, then this avenue of action is for you. One way to approach this is to write down the commitment. For example: "I promise to call Steve this week and ask him to get together for lunch." Simply be mindful of the possible discomfort the action might cause, and do it anyway. This bouquet of feelings is a gift from our deep ancestral brain which equates uncertainty with danger. Unless Steve is a saber tooth tiger, these feelings are artifactual and can be appreciated for what they are. Once we step through the discomfort, we find another gift from our tribal ancestors waiting on the other side: the acknowledgement that we are loved, valued, and that we belong.

 

~ John

 

 

Full Measure

Full Measure

At any given moment within the body, there are millions and millions of reactions-circuits switching on and off.  The system operates on a simple premise:  action/reaction. Consider then, the body's response to something like a car accident; the stimulus (concussive forces passing through the body) requiring an appropriate and complete response.  Neurological studies indicate that areas "switched on" by trauma may stay active for some time after that initial event, and in some cases remain on indefinitely leading to stress-related disorders.  Simply put, there is the ping without the pong on a giant scale.

 

There are many approaches to treating trauma and its effects, but they all depend on one factor:  appreciating the fact that this need exists.  Chiropractic  and other body-centered therapies address the issue, as do meditation, relaxation techniques and systems that are trauma-specific, such as EMDR and EFT to name only a few.  

 

In the course of life we all accumulate a little damage, a little rust.  Appreciating that the body is tirelessly working to come to grips with all of this is to help it regain full measure.

 

~John