Tag Archive | health

WHAT DID HIPPOCRATES KNOW!

Hippocrates was born c. 460 bc , island of Cos, Greece.  He died c. 375 , Larissa, Thessaly.  He was the most famous ancient Greek physician who lived during Greece’s Classical period and is traditionally regarded as the father of medicin.
Here are some quotes from him.  Given our current knowledge, how would you say he did?

 

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
Make a habit of two things: to help; or at least to do no harm.
Walking is man’s best medicine.
Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.
Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.
It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has.
There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.
Life is short, the art long.
Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.
Everything in excess is opposed to nature.
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I’d say he did quite well.
It’s amazing, how ancient wisdom turns out to be right on!

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WHERE TO BUILD

I used to have a friend who was a “one-liner” kind of guy.

One of his sayins was, “Join where you’re successful.”

I have a new twist on that:
BUILD where you’re successful!
You can apply this to activities, affiliations, relationships, personal habits or just about anything else that comes to mind.

A useful tool for this sorting job will be three basic questions –
1.  What isn’t working?  Lay those things aside.  True, some may be difficult, painful or troubling; most likely relationships.  Think about how best to do this.  In the long run, everyone will benefit.
2.  What is working, at least somewhat, and could work better with some tweeking?  Put these in the “consideration” pile.
3.  What works at least reasonably well?  Focus on these.

 

I learned an important principle that fits here very nicely.  There are things we can build on, such as strengths, dreams, ideas and qualities.  Then, there are things we really can’t build on – weaknesses, anything we don’t want, things that are unhealthy or not right.

Add this idea to your sorting job and you have another question to answer:
Of the things on my “working” list or “consideration” list, which do I value the most?

This becomes your top priority.  You can rank everything else behind that.  Caution:  You might have some things that are equally as important to you.  That’s all right; simply write them down together.

 

Now that you have sorted things a bit, it’s time to build.  That means time, energy, thought, commitment and possibly material resources will go into this most important priority.  This also means that low or no priority items will naturally be laid aside.  It is much easier to say, “No” to things that you are not invested in when you are focused on the things that matter.

Happy building.

SIMPLY BREATHE

I am often intrigued and delighted by the simple things we can do to feel better and live well.  None  of them have anything to do with prescriptions or OTC’s; every last one is immediately available and easy to do.

 

Walking or some other form of moderate exercise is one example.  Numerous studies show that one half hour of moderate physical activity will cure depression and prevent relapse as effectively as antidepressants.

 

Another study I once read indicated that five minutes of moderate exercise lowers the frequency and intensity of migraines.  Similar research found that people with Fibromyalgia experience significant improvement in their quality of sleep and how they feel with five to fifteen minutes of moderate activity.

 

There are all sorts of foods and herbs that have incredible properties of healing and pain relief, too numerous to list here.  I do have a couple of favorites:  Ginger relieves nausea and stomach pain.  It is safe enough to give to infants and nursing mothers.  Garlic is an all-round good antimicrobial.  I know people who eat a raw clove of this power-gem every day as a preventative measure.

 

Now for one of my absolute favorites:

There is a wonderful tool that each of us has at his or her disposal, anywhere, anytime.

 

It will stop an anxiety attack, reduce pain, lower blood pressure help to induce sleep and increase energy.

 

It’s true!  Simply breathing will do all of these and more.
Here’s how it works:
Breathe in through your nose;
Then exhale through your mouth.

Repeat this process, taking slower and deeper breaths each time, until you get the desired results.

 

“Yeah, sure,” you say.

My clients used to have the same reaction, until I guided them through the process and their pain or panic attack went away.

 

So simple and available; absolutely powerful…with no negative side effects.

 

Try it; then come back and share the results with us.

HOW TO WALK

One step at a time;
Keep a steady pace
We’re in it for the long haul;

This is no sprint or race.

 

Look ahead not back
Eyes set on the goal
Of greater things before you;
That lift and feed your soul.

 

This is how to walk
On the path called Life;
With tenacity and hope;
In peace and without strife.
Steady as you go;
Grow along the way,
Until you arrive at last
To the Eternal Day.

WHEN THE DAYS GET SHORT

If you live in a more northern location, you are noticing that the days are getting short.  Where I live, they’re down to about 9 hours and shrinking.
Not only that, they are cold, sometimes damp and uncomfortable.
The bummer is, these conditions foster depression, illness and increases in pain.
So, here are some really simple things you can do that will help you feel better:

*Take a hot bath, preferably with some nice bath salts or bubble bath.  The hot water helps us feel better all over, even mentally.
*Chicken soup is lovingly called “Jewish penicillin,” and for good reasons:  With all that nice chicken, herbs, spices and vegetables, it is loaded with antimicrobials, vitamins, minerals, protein  and goodness.  Besides, it’s hot and tastes yummy, so eat up.
*Bundle up and go outside, even if it is just for a little while.  Daylight and fresh air have a way of picking us up; movement keeps our immune systems strong and our moods happier.
*If you can’t go outside to get daylight, spend some time under a 100 watt bulb, or my favorite, sit so that you get sunshine through a window.  Light is vital in keeping the depression monster at bay.
*did I mention movement?  I can’t say that too many times.  Put some music on and dance around the house; do some stretches, go to the gym, mall walk…  One half hour of exercise relieves pain, improves mood, builds resistance to illness, lowers blood pressure, helps with blood sugar management and keeps weight gain in check.  Take a friend with you; don’t stop to window shop and you’ll get some nice social time in as well.
*Eat your breakfast; include a protein.  Your body uses protein to make serotonin, which is normally higher in the morning.  It also gives us long-term energy.
*Take your vitamins.  Yes, Mom was right.  Be sure the supplement you take has a nice dose of B complex and Vitamin D:  Good mood food.
*Laugh.  Get together with friends, tell jokes and stories; watch some comedies; whatever gets you to giggling.
*Have some interesting projects:  Books, art, music, woodworking, knitting… You get the idea.
*Remember in just a little over a month, the days will start to lengthen; then, before you know it, spring will be here and things will warm up again.
Happy, cozy winter to you.

VOICE LESSONS

I have been taking voice lessons for almost three years now.  We do a lot of work on posture, breathing, forming open vowel sounds and articulating words.  We also work on dynamics and “the flow” of a line.  I am thinking that some of this can be applied to other areas of life as well.

Breathing is foundational to singing.  It makes the difference between a hard, shallow, often flat sound and music that is full, rich and beautiful.  I once had a choir director tell us, “Think of your body as being like a flute:  It needs air through the whole thing.”  By the way, don’t lockc your knees when singing properly; it can cause you to faint.  I don’t really know why, but some rather big dudes have fallen off the backs of risers because they did that.

Posture is breathing’s conjoined twin:  Slump or round your shoulders and it will be impossible to get a full supply of air; stand tall and you get all you need.

Learning to breathe is revolutionary in terms of health.  Yes, learning.  This basic function is something we take for granted; yet most of us have no idea about how to keep our posture and breathe from our lower abdomen.  It does take practice and awareness.  If you master it, however, mental, physical and spiritual health improve.  An adequate supply of oxygen causes us to relax. It feeds our brain and muscles; it helps to relieve pain, anxiety and other discomforts.

Stretching, moving and practicing good posture is as important, mostly because we move as we were designed to.  Slouching, bending toward computer screens and shuffling our feet all work against us.  Back to breathing:  It is impossible to fill your lungs if you are tense or slumped.  Tall and relaxed is the position that optimizes your lung capacity.

Relationally, learning to speak clearly and well are crucial.  If you want to be heard, open your mouth; pronounce words, especially consonants, and talk in a tone that is inviting.  Use communication for connection.  Who wants to listen to someone yell or whine!  Isn’t it more enjoyable to have a conversation with someone who has a pleasant demeanor and voice?

I am intrigued by the fact that both music and psychology talk about dynamics.  How interesting is that!  In music, it has to do with the volume at which a piece is played or sung.  Some parts might be louder; others softer.  A line might have a crescendo in it to make it flow more expressively; or might decrescendo to finish.
In psychology, dynamics have to do with the balance in a social system.  In a way, that could be described as “volume:”  Who seems to take the most space and be heard more vs the one who seems to disappear or be unheard.  In a healthy system, there is room for every person; each gets heard; all listen.

Just as a song does, life has a flow to it.  There are more active periods, seasons of rest, times to build, plan, regroup, heal, find solitude and be with people.  We do so much better when we respect this process and cooperate with the call of the moment.

What is the symphony of your life like these days?  Are you standing tall, breathing and singing along?  Do you need to tune up a bit?

DECLARATION OF STRENGTH AND HOPE

There will be no rocking chair for me!
I have music to learn and songs to write;
Books to read and places to see.

There will be no footstool for my feet!
There are hikes through unexplored mountains;
Walks around town and friends to meet.

Retirement is not in my plans!
There are still things to be accomplished;
Concepts and ideas to expand.

I refuse to yield to “getting old”!
With all of its preconceived notions;
Expectations of life gone cold.

I live life to its fullest each day!
In gratitude for every blessing;
With endless hope to light the way.