Category: Health

Dreaming of a Healthier Vision for Home Care

Back last year when my niece Dr. Linda Holland first started implementing her dream of a new vision for home care that focused on chiropractic principles, I was one of her most excited team members.

I have always been an advocate of holistic health, first seeing the direct link between health and diet when I joined  the Flatbush Food Coop in Brooklyn and switched my diet.  I watched my health improve steadily and had the opportunity to learn more about alternative medicine as well. 

Now I have the opportunity to help Dr. Holland educate the public in Michigan on how current practices in home care for the elderly can be improved if we apply the same chiropractic principles that she has seen improve the lives of her patients of all ages.  I started by getting certified as a home health aide so I could write more knowledgably about the subject and therefore be more effective as an advocate.

I encourage everyone to learn more about this new approach by visiting the Bridgeview Home Care site and reading the blogs at http://www.bridgeviewhomehealthcare.com/ , especially if you are currently helping elderly parents or other relatives. 

As Summer Ends, a Reminder on the Importance of Vacation

I saw a posting on linkedin recently that focused on “5 Genius Ways to Avoid the Post-vacation Blues,”  (thanks for posting it, Pat Ahaesy).

The article reminded me that some of us need to recover from the stress of a lack of a summertime vacation – much more unhealthy than post-vacation blues!!  I’ve always loved summer, but this is the first year I can remember that I didn’t really take off more than an occasional day designed to focus  entirely on relaxation.  Not nearly enough.

I only made a resolution to change my behavior when bad judgement from fatigue resulted in a leg injury – luckily minor, but painful.  I realized that my body was stressed and craving a break and I had ignored it.  So I am issuing a warning to others to recognize your needs  for a true vacation, even a few days,  to renew your energy and your spirits.

It’s not selfish — your health may depend on  it!  Benefits include a decreased risk of heart disease,  depression, less stress and improved productivity.  And If you are guilty of sometimes skipping vacations in any season,  here’s more information on the health benefits you are missing  – Healthnet.

Staying Calm When the Computer Crashes

A few weeks ago my four year old HP computer, which had never caused me any serious problems, crashed for the second time after Windows 10 had unexpectedly downloaded on me a few weeks earlier.  I was already under a lot of stress with illness in my family and prayed this would be a simple fix as I loaded the equipment  into my car and took it to the computer store .

Repairs, it turned out were not part of my current technical support plan, but the tech on hand felt it could be a simple fix if it was just a windows 10 glitch.  Only problem was that the summer is their busiest time and an estimate of three to four days wait for the results of a diagnostics test was predicted.  I didn’t have a backup other than my iphone so I knew I would be using computers at the library if this went on too long.   Still, despite my disappointment and what seemed like a mountain of work to be done, I didn’t get angry or argumentative.  I just said thanks and was relieved for the optimism on the fix.  I also realized this was a good time to again test my latest meditation –opening to love.  It is one of the heart meditations from the meditation master Pragito Dove  and when life goes suddenly out of control, it helps you to focus on the wisdom of the heart rather than listen to the logical mind, which can drive you to panic.  It also helps to laugh and there are laughter meditations to counter stress, too. Continue reading

From Sports to Nature – Spring Rituals Offer Renewal and Inspiration

Spring is a time of renewal – and whether you look to nature, the arts or sports, it’s a time to get

inspired and re-energized in your personal and professional  life.  If you watched the Masters

Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, it was a reminder that a new generation is always ready to

take the lead.  In this case, Texan Jordan Spieth won his first green jacket at the age of 21, while golf’s

most experienced pros were unable to close his lead.  Tiger Woods, who still holds the title of youngest

winner by a few months (set just after turning 21 back in 1997), put in his best game this year since 2011.  Tiger’s on-going recovery

from serious injuries is raising speculation he might finally regain his old form again to replicate Jack Nicklaus’ long career, which

was capped with a final Masters win at age 46.

 

In another sporting rite of spring, there’s also a new generation of thoroughbreds getting ready to test

each other in the Triple Crown.  Just last year it was a west coast horse named California Chrome with

owners from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula who excited the country by winning the Derby and Preakness

decisively before finally getting beaten at the Belmont.   Yet “America’s Horse”  came back to win Horse of the Year

honors and the unofficial title of “America’s Horse”.   This year American Pharoah arrives at Churchill Downs in Kentucky as a

possible favorite, fresh  off an 8 length lead in the $1 million Arkansas Derby.  The Run for the Roses takes place on May 2.

 

While springtime rituals in sports give us the reminder to use this time of year to recharge physically and

mentally, we can look to poets and nature for inspiration as well.  As writer Flora Richards-Gustafson observed,

“Poets like Walt Whitman, Amy Lowell and Robert Burns use lilac blossoms as a seasonal symbol for

ongoing hope and renewal.”  So find your favorite symbol of spring, from seasonal sports to poetry – or

maybe just smell the flowers– and get inspired!

 

 

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CBS Sunday Morning and the Science of Survival

CBS Sunday Morning has been a constant in my life – an occasional weekend treat that always promises great interviews and features. Last weekend a segment on “The Science of Survival” caught my attention and presented some remarkable findings.

It seems that researchers are concluding that there is a formula for resilience in life and that at least half of us already know the secret. The answers seem simple – first, you need to live in a close-knit community or build a support system of family and friends to help you through the inevitable trauma and then you need to develop an unshakeable optimism about life.

The personal profiles in this segment show that even unspeakable tragedy can turn into a blessing with this formula.  A photographer mauled by a shark attack that left her scarred and without the use of one arm was asked to look back.  She concluded that she didn’t regret the  tragedy.  It taught her that you are who you are on the inside and it doesn’t matter how scarred you are on the outside .  “These are life lessons that most people don’t get to learn,” she said.

I recommend watching the segment when you have a moment.  In today’s world, it may seem especially hard to be an optimist.  Maybe the courageous people and the amazing statistics will convince you to try it!   http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162-57608308/the-science-of-survival/

 

The Gift of Adversity – Embracing Life’s Difficulties

There’s a new book out called The Gift of Adversity: The Unexpected Benefits of Life’s Difficulties, Setbacks and Imperfections by Norman E. Rosenthal, MD. I read about it recently, and made a mental note to put it on my must-read list.  But the title and summary on the author’s website came to mind again as I watched the news this week on the 12th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attack.

Dr. Rosenthal is talking about both personal tragedy and national trauma, drawing from his childhood in apartheid-era South Africa, as well as from his long recovery after suffering a violent attack by a stranger, and from his career as a psychiatrist.  He argues that true innovation, emotional resilience, wisdom, and dignity can only come from confronting and understanding the adversity we have experienced. His arguments agree with my own study of meditation, which teaches you to live in the moment and accept both laughter and tears, rather than bury your emotions.

I can’t help but remember how 9-11, that shared American tragedy, changed all of us – and wonder how many have just buried those memories since then.  This year’s 12th anniversary reminded me how alive it still burns in my mind and emotions.  While I experienced the terrorist attack from San Francisco, where I was living with my late husband Tim Robinson, I also felt the pain as a long-time New Yorker.  We watched the TV in horror and became frantic about our friends at work in Manhattan. It was the city where we met and fell in love.

Only a little over two years later I suffered the pain of losing my beloved husband and soul mate following cancer surgery – and returned to New York to heal.   Only after I moved back to my old Brooklyn neighborhood just south of Prospect Park did I really feel the pain of 9-11 totally full force, talking to friends and neighbors who had witnessed the fall of the towers first-hand. The victims were their neighbors, relatives and friends. The tragedy bonded New Yorkers together.  And I learned it was so much harder to forget the terrorist act when I was confronted by the gaping hole in the skyline every time I crossed the bridge.

Yes, I was thankful for that lesson in the healing power of pain, but only if you accept it, learn from it and, yes, never forget. I came back to Michigan last summer, worried about the health of my oldest brother, Gilbert.  He bravely battled AML leukemia for a year before succumbing the last day of July, yet I am so grateful for the last year of celebrations and laughter, and even the tears of a long goodbye.

For more information on the book A Gift of Adversity, visit Dr. Rosenthal’s website at http://www.normanrosenthal.com/blog/book/gift-adversity/