The Solution: Sit or Stand

The Solution: Sit or Stand

It's recognized that the solution to share with those who sit for a long time isn't to tell them to stand or get more exercise. In fact, standing too long has more health consequences then sitting too long. People working in sales roles are at the greatest risk. There are numerous health risks for both standing and sitting over prolonged periods of time. Therefore, moderation and altering between both throughout the day is best. The sedentary or hyposenstivite personalities are those who most often do one activity excessively. But they aren't the only people at risk. Ergonomists, psychologists, scientists, and health professionals encourage everyone to engage daily in a variety of movement, tasks, and spaces. These are identified as a 'state of work' and together they broadly empower health and productivity.   How to improve one's ability to change their state of work One study proposed the state of personality influences the state of wellbeing. The study measured 5 states of personality: extraversion, agreeableness, consciousness, neuroticism (prone to...
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18 Diet Resources Empowering Disease and Injury Prevention

18 Diet Resources Empowering Disease and Injury Prevention

Eating habits may often lead to being bloated or feeling depleted of energy. Doctor Norman Boeve has witnessed the strain obesity contributes to a person's skeletal system and overall health. "Everything you put in your mouth works toward either health or disease. Think 'Is this bad for me'?" Doctor Boeve is a retired orthopedic surgeon who now publishes and presents the importance of choosing to perform for the prevention of disease and injury. Below are 18 diet books and websites Boeve recommends.   The best "Starter Book"   How Not to Die (Prematurely) by Michael Gregor Excellent General Book    Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman MD For those seeking information regarding significant heart disease Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn MD Dangers of fructose and added sugars   Fat Chance by Robert Lustig MD A huge epidemiological study, this is research results on the incidence, distribution, and control of disease in the Chinese...
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What to Do To Prevent or Address Pain or Numbness From Work Tasks

What to Do To Prevent or Address Pain or Numbness From Work Tasks

Severe future health issues may occur if there pain or numbness is presently ignored in the hand, arm, leg or foot. Temporary pain remedies may cause transference of the core issue. Listed below are three safe remedies to stop persisting pain. Seek multiple opinions with an interdisciplinary team. A variety of specialized professionals provide alternative perspectives that may be missed with one. The value of a team approach reduces error. A team may include a chiropractor, occupational therapist, ergonomist, physical therapist, doctor, and massage therapist. Seek referrals and weigh out opinions with a trusted source. Personally log daily activities and behaviors over a 3 to 6 weeks.  Record keeping assists to manage budget and time. Awareness of body responses through attention to cause and effect may reduce costly appointments, medications, and products used to treat or reduce pain symptoms. Refrain from impulsive or persuasive purchasing before understanding the core issue. Clarity improves consumerism and reduces waste, money, and time. Confirm what sensations are fueling the pain.  Awareness of potential...
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Performance Behaviors and Strategies For Pain and Stress from Trauma

Performance Behaviors and Strategies For Pain and Stress from Trauma

It is often suggested to avoid discussions about spirituality, yet this behavior offers numerous performance resources. Medical professionals openly ask questions about spiritual behaviors to energize performance outcomes. Pain, stress, and trauma effect mental and physical health.  Jay Mahler is the founder of The California Mental Health and Spirituality Initiative. His purview of spiritual performance is "the experience of 'madness' can include a profound experience of connection and spirituality; oneness with nature; and the meaning and purpose of life," A few of the most common questions that revolve around spiritual behaviors include: "Why me?" "Have I done something wrong to cause this to happen to me?" "Can I still rely on myself?" "What will the future hold for me?" Fear's most common outcomes are withdrawal and ignorance. The University of Cambridge argue spiritual behaviors are "an important role in self-regulation" and proceed to report that shame causes a negative effect on self-motivation. Motivation requires attention...
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Is Your Employer Providing Sick Care or Health Care?

Is Your Employer Providing Sick Care or Health Care?

There is a jolting difference in cultural motivation on 'sick care' and 'health care'. Sick care is reactionary, providing individuals support with onset of an injury, health or mental conditions. Sick care recipients pay for medical bills instead of luxuries. Their employers pay for loss of production or new hire training. Health care recipients pay for health resources that reduce the onset of uncommunicable diseases, depression, injury. Their employers pay out bonuses and employee rewards due to improved profit. Is your employer providing sick care or health care? Move health care awareness from knowledge to action. Sharing stories on health movement builds the belief its possible. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shared several stories of national communities that acted on health care. It's understood raw data in percentages or dollar signs build belief in health care. RWJF rewarded some communities for the qualitative data. Behavior follows belief. Raw data happens over an extended period time. Seeking the value of outcome impacts purpose. RWJF believe people are the...
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How To Stimulate Meaningful Performance Choices

How To Stimulate Meaningful Performance Choices

Choosing day-to-day activities become a quality of life that is meaningful to you. Occupational Therapists facilitate performance goal setting for achieving a desired quality of life. This includes leisure activities that are meaningful. Whether your leisure activity be cooking, painting, dancing or photography they stimulate meaningful performance. Leisure occupations improve performance through periods of rest to recuperate from taxing work roles. Meaningful choices become therapeutic to daily performance. Below are photos to provide examples of things that are meaningful to me. In the Chinese and Japanese Culture pentagons are symbolic for the 5 elements of life: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. I chose succulents and air plants as my subject because these plants are very resilient to changes of the environment. Sunset over Elliot Bay. Seattle sunsets are beautiful. I remember the exact moment where I had to stop and take this photo because it gave me peace in the moment of chaos. The scene was just that perfect blue monochromatic frame. All I...
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Master Stress-management With A Multi-Dimensional Approach

Master Stress-management With A Multi-Dimensional Approach

  When walking stairs the body needs to balance on one foot in order to lift the other in motion upward or downward. Eventually both feet land on one surface. Learning how to master taking a step is multi-dimensional. It requires physical, intellectual, and emotional performance. Mastering managing stress is multi-dimensional. The following story illustrates two different reactions to stress: One adult recalled that her father was a friendly, loud, active man who loved to play with her in a very active way when she was small, picking her up and tossing her in the air. Unfortunately, this woman was severely gravitationally insecure, so every time he did this she was terrified, and she hated having him come near her as she did not know when she would be tossed about. Her father felt rejected by her response and eventually gave up interacting with her, resulting in a significant emotional distance between them. She recalled one particular day, when in exasperation, her father told her,...
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A Swing In the Workplace Will Improves Beyond Employee Moods

A Swing In the Workplace Will Improves Beyond Employee Moods

Designers are slowly emerging with incredibly functional and stylish swings. A swing is a simple way to improve mood in the workplace. Swinging stimulates two body systems: vestibular and sensory. Each contributes to balance and spatial orientation for overall coordination. They also modulate mood states (Winter, Walmer, Laurens, Straumann, Krueger, 2013). When a swing moves in circles, twists or moves outside of the typical back and forth path it becomes a mechanism to excite. This effective alternative may replace caffeine or ignite motivation. Swinging got lost in interpretation as children's form of play.  If you work near a playground then take a recess to get through work. Jump on a swing before stress heightens emotional tension. Mood states when spinning demonstrated a lack in increased heart rate, confirming an absence of negative emotions (Winter, Walmer, Laurens, Straumann, Krueger, 2013). It also ignites the vestibular system's substantial effect on our mental state. Invest in performance by swinging often. Hang one from the beams in the...
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Reading and Visual Fatigue: A Personal Journey

Reading and Visual Fatigue: A Personal Journey

It took me awhile to figure out why I hated wearing my glasses, why my eyes got so tired as a young girl.  I was born with medial strabismus, a hereditary trait that causes cross-eye.  With modern day surgical techniques I was able to follow family footsteps in correcting ocular alignment. My brother's surgery resulted with an eye infection. Subsequently, he had permanent damage with blindness in one eye for his lifetime. My 'cosmetic' surgery was considered successful, still risky, leaving me with residual visual issues. One is intermittent reading. As a toddler I wore eye glasses or eye patches and followed the nagging of my mother to do eye exercises. These techniques strengthened my ocular muscles.  At one years old I had my first surgical procedure. The second at age sixteen brought self confidence because my eyes finally worked together.  Depth of perception changed and I was less tired when I read chapters on end. Although, double vision occurred with inadequate rest.  Reading in moderation was...
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How to Avoid Missing What Someone Has Said

How to Avoid Missing What Someone Has Said

Active listening in it's most proper form fatigues the mind as the day moves forward. Performance functions at peak level when not multi-tasking, therefore engaging active listening is with in a posture and intent to hear and understand. Our ear's physiology is fascinating. It holds the smallest bone in the body. Sound separates into vibrations by hair fiber movement. Each ear has a relay station that splits into two pathway's to filter sounds. The paths cross hemispheres to recognize, distinguish, and filter auditory information. Sound localization, pattern recognition, timing, and balance are main processes of the ear. Our shoulders, neck, head, eyes and lips are the asset here. Social listening often includes head movement. Examples include nodding yes or tilting the head in compassion. These movements send messages to your brain that affect the inner ear. If word recognition is a noticeable issue then create the habit of intentionally positioning the body to observe every gesture. Free visual span from moving objects or...
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Live and Learn

Live and Learn

To say, 'live and learn' is all toooo cliche, yet so true! Here's an example of a recent teachable moment plus five steps to reduce being unaware of what life may be teaching you. It began with how often I use my pool. You see, I moved into a new place just over a year ago.  Initially, I envisioned living near the ocean with a roommate to balance out the cost of additional preferences. I ended up with a better option: my own space with a pool. It took me nine months to use it! Now, this is odd because one way I calm myself is by touch, so my quick go-to may be a soft blanket, a hug or a bath.  Daily I gazed past the function of the pool with eyes only of admiration for its beauty. There was no thought to jump in when stressed. That is, until last week. The day after my blissful dip I couldn't help to question this blind...
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Unity in Daily Life

Unity in Daily Life

Unity is a common word these days. Our WholeBeSM toolkit unifies action with triggering Design Sensibility. The universal root + definition of Unity LATIN: unus {one} joined to a state of wholeness in British math, the number one Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "The reason why the world lacks unity and lies broken in heaps is because man is disunited with himself." Unity is not weak. There's no formula. It's not repetitive. Unity in daily life doesn't separate task from emotion. Unity in daily life is an assembly of elements that create balance. There's harmony and composition when unity is present.  Objects, emotion, and behavior form a togetherness that results in a driving force. To apply unity to performance behaviors schedule the Equip Package for our WholeBe Toolkit and coaching. // ...
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Alone Time

Alone Time

While driving down I-90 with the music low, I took in everything new. Then I watched the yellow line patterns and the steady row of trucks chugging along.  It went from feeling fresh to quickly becoming monotonous. I grew eager to just be home. In that moment, I felt for those traveling as part of daily life - whether long trips on the road, maybe flying or just a timely commute. Over the past two years this has been the norm for my fiancé.  Fortunately, he handles this well because he connects quickly with new people and takes time to explore new places. Upon returning home, people often ask about stories from his travels and new experiences. More often than not in relationships in which one travels, other people tend to overlook the person who is holding things down at home.  I realized, with my fiancé being gone for two days now, I had done that myself. I wasn't thinking about the person at...
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REM and Non-REM Sleep Improves Three Performance Behaviors

REM and Non-REM Sleep Improves Three Performance Behaviors

If work performance is a struggle consider sleep hygiene through establishing nighttime and daytime habits. The body is capable of waking up to 10 minutes prior to the desired morning time without an alarm clock. Non-REM sleep is a slow-wave type of sleep and REM is characterized by rapid eye movement, dreaming and more body movement. Sleep deprivation causes the brain to activate sleep rebound or pressure responses. Sleep in a quiet environment with dark drapes and at a temperature set at 69 degrees to support the three actionable performance behaviors below. Intellectual Behavior Estimating time is a skill that improves as we age but sleep also triggers this skill (Aritake and  Higuchi 2012). Both non-REM and REM sleep supports intellectual performance. In addition to time management it supports short and long term memory. Physical Behavior Sufficient REM can nix the need for your alarm clock. Sleep disruption will respond with poor daytime performance (Trinidad and Miguel 2011). Reversely, inadequate daytime physical behaviors will impact as poor sleep hygiene. Emotional...
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How to Overcome Saying Yes When Desiring to Say No

How to Overcome Saying Yes When Desiring to Say No

Does your 'no' mean no? Does your 'yes' mean yes? Oh, I've been here.  In fact, I just recovered from this. When in the throws of life, action may readily happen before time allows deep thought about the implications. Rest assured, this is normal and happens to us all. Confusion may set in, but what we choose to do in the midst of it will determine the affect on all of our core aspects. Yet, this spiritual aspect is worth nestling into. Articulate 'no' as a full gestured no and yes as 100 percent yes. In the book Boundaries the authors offer nine questions to consider. Questions to Ask: Can I set limits and still be a loving person? What are legitimate boundaries? What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, money? Why do I feel guilty or...
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24 Alternative Work Postures

24 Alternative Work Postures

A work day with little movement or sitting at the desk will cause musculoskeletal disorders and heart conditions. The misconception is movement has to be extreme in order to reduce the onset of poor health. For example, standing verses sitting or speed-walking verses strolling. Below are posture facts and tips to position your body away from the onset of diseases and disorders. Sitting | After 15 minute maximum change position. Sitting habits may be with a leg crossed over the other, one leg's foot tucked under the opposite buttock, or both feet between our buttocks and our seat. With repetition over an extended period of time these positions will cause joint hypermobility, weakening the hip, knee and ankle ligaments. Hip or knee replacements are due to weakness in the joint. Sit with feet flat on the floor. Raise one leg (like a recliner), knee slightly bent and foot resting on a flat surface. Switch legs. ...
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Selflessness as Free Medicine

Selflessness as Free Medicine

When you get stuck in a rut and are so so stressed out how do you feel? At a pivotal point in my life ten years ago my feelings kicked me into action mode. I believed the stride required being alone but chose environments that supported healthy healing to cope through the stress. Loneliness lengthened my healing process. We are relational beings. Once I learned a method to break down self-judgement and shame I slowly invited others into my life. This action taught selflessness. Lets look at how research supports selflessness as free medicine to mind, body, soul. Giving or sharing is an innate feeling (Brown 2003). Like all other behaviors it requires acting on the feeling over time to become a skill, habit, pattern. Sharing space with others improves the immune system, sleep, and circulation (Cohen et. al 2005). Unselfish kindness and warmth towards all people reduces cellular aging and lengthens life (Hoge et. al 2013). Incorporate the fullness of what...
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Six Creative Ways To Invest In a Joyful Day With A Dreaded Commute On The Horizon

Six Creative Ways To Invest In a Joyful Day With A Dreaded Commute On The Horizon

Once I striped away the spite from a new, yet tedious commute to my weekday routine the challenge was to plan carefully - given traffic, traffic cones and added coffee stops along my route. Yes, some days it is plural. Temporary living conditions includes a culture where long commutes are the norm rather than the exception. I find this unfortunate. Getting my brain relaxed about the commute each day helps sustain energy.  With every sunrise I start anew and there is no cookie cutter answer. Although there are creative ways to invest in a joyful day with a dreaded commute on the horizon. Here are six: NPRs Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me! quizzes contestants on weekly news. Hilarious! Ask Me Another shares Puzzles & word games, including limericks. I heart NPR. Listen to new music and pay attention to the rhythms, words, and instruments involved. The new notepad for ideas or...
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Provoke Approval With Postured Assurance

Provoke Approval With Postured Assurance

Have you lived within a culture that isn't your own? Over the years I've been personally challenged through unfamiliar cultures. A few examples of cultures I need to adapt to includes an indian reservation, farming community, tourist town, and middle-eastern religions. Beyond the smells, language or customs just transitioning from a geographical move is tough! Overcoming adversity presents two choices: be open to it, or deny it. Choosing which path is the power to ultimately steer performance. Forethought is a natural impulse that digs into personal values, morals, and beliefs. That of openness or denial begins the body, mind and spirit path to performing towards positive outcomes. Even choosing an openness to drink from a new water source goes through the natural impulse of forethought. It subjects the digestive system to work through a new source that may or may not be good for the body. In this case, for some, denial may be the path for better health. One powerful...
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Body Mechanics to Better Your Health

Body Mechanics to Better Your Health

Form and function are two basic principles to designing objects. Function may include the dimensions for an intended space or the comfort to sit for long periods of time.  Examples of form include drawer pulls, scissors, or a chair. Each of these examples beg for both a formula perspective: form + function. Buying furniture or interior decorating is like dating. One may think an object is the perfect partner but it may not last.  A chair that fits perfectly with an heirloom desk may cause back discomfort. Relationships are desirable when unity is present. Aging and routine resistance training cause muscles to build and weaken unevenly (Degens and Erkins 2009). Disturbances in the skeletal system may be caused by disproportionate muscle strength.  This may lead to joint, tendon, nerve, and tissue damage. Often this leads to financial and time costs for surgical repair or joint replacements. In essence, our body has its own relational complexities. Yet, it strives for unity form birth to death. Questions to...
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The Wellbeing Tactic of Conserving Energy

The Wellbeing Tactic of Conserving Energy

Last night my brother-in-law asked my opinion on the blueprint for their kitchen. It's naked to the studs with an open map to plan task paths. We moved the location of light switches, refrigerator, dishwasher and talked through the ergonomics of a built-in nook. The emphasis here wasn't only ergonomics but their lifestyle, functionality and how to best conserve body energy . Built-in environments benefit from incorporating the wellbeing tactic of conserving energy.  This strategy reduces the onset of fatigue. Energy Conservation Techniques (ECT) prevent illness and injury. This occupational science study shares successful outcomes for a group who implemented ECT through occupational therapy guidance. Below are four principles the UofM Inpatient Acute Care team endorses: PACE Stop. Rest before you get fatigued.  It is easier to recover your energy by avoiding to work until fatigued.  Practice abdominal breathing during rest breaks.  Inhale through your nose while expanding your belly and exhale through your mouth while relaxing your belly. PLAN Before initiating an activity develop a plan. Include every detail. Include how much...
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How To Quit Smoking

How To Quit Smoking

Smoking isn't healthy but it kept me sane. It was a deadly habit but it helped me thrive professionally, socially and oddly enough, athletically. I loved to smoke and didn't attempt to quit until the day I stopped 'cold turkey'.  The miracle in this was I lost the urge to smoke but I gained a body that was unable to cope with stress. What I did: smoke to cope. Our hormones are what regulates stress. Everyone doesn't have the same hormone secretion so our level of what is stressful can vary. This is significant to how an individual will react within the fight-or-flight response. How to quit smoking is similar to unravelling a ball of yarn from a neatly organized ball. My late teens, twenties then just into my thirties were thrilling because of my best friend, Cig A Rette. Always faithful and satisfying but equally costly and smelly. I didn't care about that because I was after the calm, filling effect nicotine...
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Pilates Workout

Pilates Workout

The pilates workout was developed by Mr. Joseph Pilates. Legend says that he called his method "contrology." Sound familiar? You are correct. It means "control." The instructors are usually hyper aware of body mechanics, body awareness, and very well versed with their musculatures. Although, all the minuscule movements are often very precise and slow moving, it's actually engaging muscles that people often dismiss. Pilates focus on a lot of core work and spinal alignment. With dedication, people who practice Pilates on regular basis can achieve long lean muscles instead of bulky muscles. There's definitely a lot of isotonic movements and/or resistance as much as it is needed. You can do a lot of core work (AKA "powerhouse" with Pilates jargon), strengthening, stretching, and coordination. The "core" is engaged with majority of the exercises. HERE ARE SOME BENEFITS FROM CORE STRENTHENING: -Spinal protection -Improve posture for sitting and standing -Minimize injuries for lifting and other various physical activities -Enhances balance and stability -Improve physical physique (this is secondary) People...
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Creating a Perfect Cup of Coffee

Creating a Perfect Cup of Coffee

It's the process that creates a perfect cup of coffee...the aroma, color, shape, sounds and the movement and the location of where the coffee beans are stored or the drive to the cafe. It's all sensory data that is registered in your brain. RadioLab airs how the brain interprets this by using the metaphor music.  The entire broadcast is worth the hour listen, but if your short on time skip forty-four minutes into RadioLabs play-by-play of creating a cup of coffee within the sensory interpretation. Coffee-lovers are stimulated when they hear the word coffee.  Nutritionally, its a completely different playing field. My focus here isn't on how coffee nourishes but to begin a conversation about the effect of creating a cup (or four) may be equally gratifying without drinking it.  Some may need to cut back on coffee or eliminate it for health reasons. There are ways to maintain what coffee provides without drinking it. If you're a coffee lover how do you splurge...
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Design For Ergonomic Positioning, Pacing, Creativity

Design For Ergonomic Positioning, Pacing, Creativity

A task that we all do, all too often, is email and texting. Before smartphones and laptops occupational therapists were steadily treating carpal tunnel. We still are, yet smaller devices increased rehab needs for Repetitive Strain Injury's or De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis diagnosis. Carol Leynse Harpold offers Ergonomics and Texting Thumbs interventions. Design for ergonomic positioning and pacing with one or more of these creative techniques:   Eclectic Home Office design by San Francisco Architect Nick Noyes Architecture   Pacing: a work setting that provides various spaces to take a break, change body position. Pacing: reduce text time by setting a timer Pacing: If limiting time or taking a break isn't an option consider using a keyboard Position: to accommodate back and neck posture in task with arms rested at a height suitable to view, Aeron provides swift armrest adjusting as posture changes between tasks Technique: cut key input and go with your voice Exercises: OTS With Apps offer good resources...I highly recommend you add a tattoo   (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ...
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3 Ways to Meditate

3 Ways to Meditate

Have you ever tried to sit still and be still? It’s actually pretty challenging to achieve. Aim for an absolute absence of thought, stopping all the noisy “mind chatters” or “inner voices”. Whether it is a bustling day with children running around, an endless to do list, stressful day at school or work, or simply feeling anxious, meditation may be a good tool and skill to stay centered, to feel grounded, or to find balance in life. It doesn't always happen, but people may even transcend their minds or experience enlightenment through the process. For people who are starting out to meditate, it is recommended that you sit in a quiet place, preferably dim, to dull out all the other senses. Tailor sitting or sitting in a lotus position on a meditation cushion, yoga mat or simply sitting on the floor is good enough. Just make sure you are comfortable.  Now close your eyes and totally relax. Here are three ways to meditate: 1. Focus on your...
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Health Significance of the Fall Season

Health Significance of the Fall Season

The fall season begs for the sight of leaves changing color, cool air and sweaters. In warmer climates fall nods to seasonal produce, like pomegranates, brussels sprouts, and pumpkins.  Everywhere, school buses and shorter days hint to a summer gone. The health significance of the fall season lies in transitioning. Change may take form as a battle of self-control. Since transition is adjusting to change like paying heating bills, eating starchy foods, or rising earlier to miss heavy traffic it may bring feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, sadness. Food may be your friend for transitioning to change. Since food is a daily relationship it may be a simple starting point to attend health significance of the fall season. Consider incorporating these three categories of food into your balanced diet.  ALERTING FOODS For those of you that may feel sluggish, energize with crunchy foods (Allen 2012). You know...those afternoons that are difficult to get through because mornings require new adjustments to changes like sunlight, temperature,...
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When It All Becomes Overwhelming and You Start to Shut Down

When It All Becomes Overwhelming and You Start to Shut Down

Sometimes I'm scared of my body.  I'm not always sure what pains I will wake up to or what thoughts will wander into my head or even what colors will come out of my nose.  This past year, I've become more in tune with this while living in the Mojave desert.  Lake Havasu City is a very different climate compared to back east - coming in at about 10-18% humidity according to my hermit crabs' barometer.  This has left me at times dehydrated, congested, raspy, and/or wiped out.  Nonetheless, it has helped me become very aware of any changes internally and how the environment affects me. This is something I'm glad I'm beginning to realize now.  It's important knowing who you are and how you react under the most trying experiences because life is constantly providing moments that... keeps us on our toes. This last week I had a student hit on me during his occupational therapy session.  Initially, I realized that...
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