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Self Care Ideas for Getting More Rest

Source: Why You Still Probably Need More Rest

Very nice article with some good reminders on how to get more rest. Even though it is written for the Primal Living audience, the basic issues are the same for those with chronic illness. How to get real rest. Try some of the ideas, and see if they can help.

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The Simple Man’s Medicine- Talking to One’s Self

Lauren Gordon-FahnBy Lauren Gordon-Fahn, L.Ac.

The message is out there. Clear, honest communication is the best way to maintain and sustain a healthy relationship with those we love. Presumably, we can only offer others what we have offered ourselves first. So, here is an interesting crossroads between two popular advice offerings. If we open loving dialogue with our intimates, then is it not time to offer the same kindness and healing to ourselves? What am I suggesting? Exploring the power of conversing with our Self!

That is correct. Perhaps talking to our Self is [Read more…]

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Bring the Healing Balance of Nature Indoors in Your Home or Business

Julie Galvan, CMTBy Julie Galvan, CMT

Why do we tend to feel better when spending time in nature? During a visit to Yosemite something happened that brought this question to my mind. After spending a few days there, I suddenly could do something I couldn’t at home – I went for a 4 mile hike. At home I was lucky to get a 4 block, slow walk in without post exertional malaise. There was no malaise after the Yosemite hike. Why would I have such a significant change, just by changing the environment? We checked our house for everything we could think of…no mold, no obvious EMF problems, nothing else we could find that could be impacting my health. So what was it? I was ready to move out of our lovely home when last September I was introduced to Biosyntonie. Here I found a similar change to when I was at Yosemite. Biosyntonie affects my body – and my home – in a way that is unique and profound. Here is my story of my discovery of this, and how it has helped not only me, but my whole family.

Julie Meditating at Yosemite

Julie meditating at Yosemite – photo courtesy of Joe Galvan

[Read more…]

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Zen Meditation: Thicker Brains Fend Off Pain

Zen Meditation: Thicker brains fend off pain. Science Daily

People can reduce their sensitivity to pain by thickening their brain, according to a new study published in a special issue of the American Psychological Association journal, Emotion. Researchers from the Université de Montréal made their discovery by comparing the grey matter thickness of Zen meditators and non-meditators. They found evidence that practicing the centuries-old discipline of Zen can reinforce a central brain region (anterior cingulate) that regulates pain.

Read more….

A Few Local Zen Centers

(other types of Meditation, though not studied, may have similar effects)

Green Gulch Farm (Marin County)

Pacific Zen Institute

San Francisco Zen Center

San Francisco Zen Meditation

Santa Rosa Creek Zen Center

Santa Rosa Zen Group

Sonoma Mountain Zen Center

Related Stories In Science Daily


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Relaxation Help for the Holidays

By Susan Friedl

OK, the winter rains have started with a crash! For people with chronic health conditions, it is hard enough to stay physically active, but add in the cold and wet weather, and what are you going to do? My plan is to share some options with you over the course of the winter months. Some will be things you can do at home, others will be classes you can take to keep you motivated, and to learn correct technique. Share what you have found works for you, or what you want to know more about in the comments.

Today, thinking of the solstice just passed, and the holidays ahead, I am going to share a very simple, restorative yoga sequence. Restorative yoga in general is intended to soothe and balance the body, and to allow deep relaxation, something it is hard for everyone to do. It is even harder for those who are chronically ill, as they aren’t active enough to get the body to let go into rest, instead feeling tired all of the time. [Read more…]

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Stress Reduction Through Qigong Practice

The Health Benefits of Practicing Qigong

By Federico G. Anguiano SEP CQI –  Federico is a qigong and meditation instructor who studied qigong in China, New Zealand and California.

Federico G.-Anguiano trauma therapist image

The practice of Qigong has been amply and widely demonstrated to accrue many health benefits over time for the practitioner.  I use the term qigong here as referring to the following: Qigong is characterized and defined by its essential method: the practice of interiorizing consciousness.

Thus, the practice of qigong involves a special use of consciousness that involves focus, concentration and intention. Qigong is yishou yinian jizhong zhuanyi: focus the mind on one thing through the activation of conscious intention.

This method embraces the following two ideas:

1) Our daily activities are usually oriented toward external objects (things, activities, perceptions) that are not essential for our life process. A qigong practitioner interiorizes daily activities in order to merge and be united with their life process. An example of this is: focusing the mind on the body at all times.

2) We commonly focus our daily activities outward, moving from one thing to another; from the one to the many. A qigong practitioner centralizes their activities of consciousness a single object of focus, returning from multiplicity to oneness. An example of this is: becoming more and more specific in our thinking, making it active only volitionally, not allowing our associations to ‘ramble’ uncontrollably.

Now, how is this related to health?

[Read more…]

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More Ideas for Highly Sensitive Patients

Question: How do you treat patients with highly sensitive bodies, I.E., people who develop impairment due to high or normal dosage of medication?

Treatment must be designed  according to the specific presentations of each person, but what we see most commonly is as follows.

1) Poor adrenal function – Sensitive people tend to have sensitive nervous systems. They tend to react more to their surroundings, have a lower threshold for stress, and therefore are more anxious, stressed  and  prone to insomnia in general. Over time, this takes a toll on their adrenals, which are the glands that deal with daily stress. Often this is present in childhood, and so by adulthood, the adrenal gland function is compromised, resulting in lower energy and little reserve. Gradually stressors require longer recovery time. Because adrenal glands contribute to production of progesterone, estrogen and testosterone, low adrenal function might also create other hormone deficiencies. We can test adrenal function by measuring your cortisol levels. [Read more…]

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Stages of Stress Response

Stages of Stress Response

By Sunjya Schweig, MD

In my integrative family medicine practice I see a wide variety of patients with different health concerns, including more and more patients with severe chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and chronic infections with, for example, Lyme disease or viral infections.  Many of my patients do well on treatments; however, I am increasingly recognizing the importance of dealing with stress and the effects that stress can have on the human organism as a critical part of the treatment for these patients.

I want to describe some background on stress.  In future blog posts I will discuss interventions, both dietary, exercise based, adjusting sleep schedules, and then using active stress reduction techniques such as biofeedback, breathing techniques, qi-gong, etc. [Read more…]