For many years I have worked in the Health Care field, and managed a Family.
I have witnessed a myriad of health care concerns, from acute injuries and illnesses to long-term
management of chronic conditions.
What I have learned is Health is an infinitely complex process.
Exploring little pieces at a time
builds a more comprehensive understanding of the whole.
The following articles explore
recurrent themes in my professional life, the things I get to say again and again when clients, students,
friends and family seek advice. I hope you find something useful or amusing.
disclaimer: nothing in the following articles or contained on this website is meant as medical advice.
Before you make any major changes to your diet, activity level, or health maintenance routine, consult your doctor(s).
Qi Gong Spring classes start April 9th Southeast Community College: Intro to Qi Gong, Course Number LLLX-1720-CESA
The First Step to self-healing is to accept responsibility for your own health. This does not mean you
should forgo medical attention from others; there are many effective choices in health care. What it
means is that you are responsible to make informed choices about your health and lifestyle.
You are the person most familiar with your health condition; you're with you all the time.
As the topmost authority on your situation, you get to be Team Captain. Take it seriously. Step Two is to assemble a Team: your Primary Care Physician, Dental office, applicable specialists,
Massage Therapist, Acupuncturist, Optometrist, Physical Therapist, Martial Arts Instructor, Spiritual Advisers, Sponsors, Coaches, Counselors, Case Workers, Caregivers, all those People who support your health. As you evaluate your list of team members, I recommend you include an Advocate. This is the person you would call to take you to the emergency room in case of emergency. Patients at medical
facilities get better care if they have supporters present, observing. This person should know health history, religious and/or cultural preferences, and any current concerns you have. Prepare your
Advocate with any pertinent information in written form, including contact information of your Team
Members and copies of any applicable legal documents like DNR orders, Medical Power of Attorney,
Legal Guardianship, Wills, etc. Ideally your Advocate will have some knowledge of your preferences should you be unable to communicate, but mostly your Advocate will listen to you and see that you are heard when you are under the care of others.
With these two steps you have formally begun your journey of Self-Healing. Where you will take it is
up to you. To maximize your efforts, you can set some Health Goals. We all want to “Be Healthy”; be
more specific: my Grandfather wants to live to 100 years; my sister-in-law ran a marathon; a colleague
reduced her headaches to less than once a month. Discuss your goals with your Health Team. They
will apply their expertise to help you Assess your current condition and develop goals that are specific, incremental, and realistic. Goal-setting is most effective when you work in stages, planning smaller
short-term and intermediate goals that lead toward your long-term and Ultimate Goals. Yes, success is
its own reward, but it's ok to treat yourself too. Celebrate the accomplishment of your goals with a
massage or spa treatment, a day off work, a fun activity, flowers, or your favorite junk food (those not-every-day-but-occasionally-good-for-the-soul foods). All healing is self-healing. Therapies and interventions create an environment in your body to facilitate
healing: cleaning away debris or infection, re-placing the tissues as close to the original design as
possible, optimizing your body's natural healing systems, preventing parasitic invasion. The Healing itself is an action of the body, the re-generation of tissues through the metabolic process.
Illness and Injury are an inevitable part of life. Through the process of Self-Healing you can prepare
for and overcome these challenges, and Be your Best Self.
What is Qi Gong? Rebecca Rose LMT 2013-6-9 Qi Gong (or Chi Kung) is a kind of exercise used to maintain and improve health. By aligning breath, movement, and awareness, practitioners optimize energy flowin the body. Qi (or Chi), means vital energy, life force, or breath. Combined with Gong (or Kung), meaning work, achievement, mastery, Qi Gong describes the cultivation of vital energy through physical and mental effort.
The history of Qi Gong well documented. A neolithic vessel dated around 7000BCE pictures a figure in an essential posture of Qi Gong. Between the 2nd and 5th centuries BCE,a number of authors recorded exercises of both dynamic and meditative forms. Formalized practice is attributed to the legendary Yellow Emperor and his Classic of Internal Medicine. Physical and meditative exercises continued to be incorporated in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and were adopted by martial artists to improve their abilities. Many of these techniques were dynastic family secrets, passed from masters to students for many generations, and rarely documented. Others were common folk remedies known culturally for thousands of years. During the 1950's the term Qi Gong began to include the many forms of exercises developed over previous millennia.
As cultural exchange become more and more common, Qi Gong and other Traditional Chinese Medical techniques began to be studied with the tools and methods of western medicine. They continue to be found effective, and scientists are rediscovering why people have embraced these practices for thousands of years.
Qi Gong exercises are typically categorized as Dynamic, Static, Meditative, and using External Agents.
Dynamic exercises use fluid movements, often slow, and carefully choreographed. Invoking the movements of animals, water, or silk, dynamic exercises often cultivate grace and strength using natural examples. Static training involves holding a posture for a sustained period of time. Zhan zhuang, or standing meditation, is one example. Meditative practices use breath training, visualization, mantras, and other meditation techniques to move Qi, create awareness, still the mind, and/or achieve spiritual or philosophical goals. External Agents incorporate herbology and diet, massage and manipulation techniques, interaction with other living organisms, and includes Qi Gong Healing by a Practitioner to another person.
Daily routines can incorporate one or many of these expressions, and can be designed to suit the needs of almost anyone. Qi Gong can be practiced standing, sitting, or lying down, making it accessible to people in any state of health. Practice of Qi Gong is an excellent foundation for other types of martial arts, yoga, dance, or training for any sport. It can also be helpful for performance activities like public speaking, acting, singing, or playing musical instruments. Regular practice helps maintain and improve health by smoothing the flow of fluids, breath, and electrical impulses through the body. It enhances Balance, Stamina, Flexibility, and Strength. It develops an awareness of Chi in your body, in others, and in the environment.
Spring classes start April 9th Southeast Community College: Intro to Qi Gong, Course Number LLLX-1720-CESA
Adopt a Plant
by Rebecca Rose LMT A rare Winter day in the Great Plains; above freezing, the trees suck the dense fog right at twig level, hydration needed for coming spring foliage. Little dollops of green here and there promise to brighten up the muddy landscape, soon, soon.... and then covered in snow again. Some say February is “the longest month of the year”, and it sometimes takes a lot of effort to stay positive when the cold becomes tedious. As a (small-scale) gardener, February is when I get hopeful. All the Autumn cleanup that I abandoned for the holidays unfreezes occasionally enough to start getting organized. Some of the raking will discover iris and goldenrod, mints and weeds already greening, grateful for the sun. At some points the soil will thaw enough to cultivate, the south beds first for early herbs and spinach. Seed sprouting is an excellent activity for this season. Sprout to eat sprouts, to prepare for your garden, or to share the magic of germination with a child. Looking forward to these things takes some of the sting out of the cold, mud, and complaining sounds of the other humans. Of course geraniums help too; indoors they share cheerful flowers year 'round. Living with plants has documented benefits. All plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. They also improve air quality by humidifying, trapping dust, and removing harmful gases from the air.
Plants provide a psychological boost, making people feel calmer and more optimistic, improving concentration and memory retention. Plants in a hospital room, or view of a green-space, improves recovery time, but recovery is even faster with “horticulture therapy”, where the patient actually nurtures a plant actively.
One doesn't have to be a gardener to raise a plant, and much of the same satisfaction can be had by caring for a single specimen. Consider your plant a low-maintenance pet (unless you decide on an exotic that requires as much attention as an animal pet).
Just like a pet, it's important to be informed and choose a plant that suits your needs and lifestyle. Many common ornamental houseplants are poisonous; will your plant be accessible to children or pets?
Many culinary herbs are easy to grow indoors or out; do you want to eat your plant? One can even grow fruit trees indoors; do you have the patience to care for a specimen for years before it fruits? Research shows that plants thrive when they are spoken to; need a good listener? Pet stores sell herbs enjoyable and healthy for dogs and cats; a plant for your pet? Flowers? Fragrance? Air Cleaning? Choose a plant that will earn your affection and respect.
The healthier the plant, the better it's able to work for you. Know what your chosen plant will need for sunlight levels, fertilization, soil type and re-potting frequency. Even cacti will need occasional water.
Plants like to be clean just like us, so dust/vacuum foliage as a part of regular cleaning, and give periodic showers in your bath or in the rain.
This Late Winter Cross-Quarter day, halfway between the shortest day of the year and the Spring Equinox, uses rituals that bring to mind underground preparations. Currently practiced, Groundhogs Day asks “will the hibernators be waking?” Outdoors, rain and snow melt allow seeds to plump for the Spring sprout. That's weeks to come for most, months for some, but for now we wait, marshal our resources, stir gently.
Contemplate the plants in your life; appreciate, advocate,
consider a new plant-based relationship.
Some pics from my garden
The health of an individual is tied by many threads to the health of the community. My first
responsibility is to maintain my health, so that I can be useful to my family and