...Using Traditional Chinese Techniques to Release Your Body's Own Medicine
In the last decade, U.S. government health agencies have agreed that 70% of all disease is preventable and that 60% of adults do not get enough exercise and are therefore, at risk for premature death.
Dr. Roger Jahnke, a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and my teacher, translates Asian traditions of self-care (such as Qigong and Tai Chi) into a four-part program of health promotion for daily practice.
The first component, gentle movement of the body, consists of five rhythmic exercises described and illustrated with clear line drawings. The second, self-applied massage, combines massage of the ears, hands, and feet--each area a microsystem of the body that relates to specific, distant body areas or organs--with general self-massage.
Next are breathing practices using abdominal breathing in specific techniques such as the "Sigh of Relief." These techniques are intended to help you take in more oxygen and get rid of tension. Concluding the program are several methods of deep relaxation and meditation, crucial to calming and focusing the mind. The meditation chapter provides an easy introduction to various meditative techniques and deep relaxation so beneficial to reducing stress.
The reader can experiment and choose among the varied practices to tailor an easy to implement individual regimen.
Dr. Roger Jahnke makes a persuasive argument for using these mind-body healing techniques both to recover from illness and to remain healthier and happier. The Healer Within is used in mind-body training programs in corporations, schools, conferences, social service agencies, and retreat centers worldwide.
I am sharing this beautiful mind-body practice at Healer Within Workshops this winter. Please click here for more information about joining me for one of these three hour trainings.
Best and Blessings to you this new year.
Finding my gift...
A year ago, I wistfully said to my husband...i wish i had the gift that Ruth has...to be able to capture life thru painting and sketches, amazing and colorful SNIPPETS of life - the mundane and the grand.
his response to me?
well, have you ever tried?
well, no...not since my school days, trying to follow what the art teacher created, never quite "matching" his/her sample.
his response caught me off guard, made me think...surely ruth had a gift which she was born with, right? something i was not gifted with, right?
as the final weeks of 2016 passed, this little whisper kept nudging its way into my thoughts. by the end of december, the whisper voiced a thought aloud and surprised me, when out came, i'm going to "be creative everyday in 2017"
maybe with some practice, I could "become" like my friend, ruth.
but everyday? well, sure! i do creative things at work...that would/could "count," i like to cook...that's creative...maybe i could even do coloring pages or sew, a long time skill learned as a child passed down from my mom...maybe even quilt like her!
then, through a qigong friend, marybeth, i heard about sketchbook skool, an online community of sketchers. they created #SBSasketchaday, a community of artists (but i'm not an artist) who follow "prompts" - random words to give the sketchers ideas of what to draw each day. prompts liKE: "wish" "decisions" "sandwich" "scissors" "fall" "second" etc.
and so i began.
and kept going.
led to another
and another and 362 more!
and these daily sketches led to sketching farmers at the Holland farmers market each week, in what i dubbed #hollandfarmersmarketsketchoftheweek
which became such a delightful avenue to befriend our local farmers and vendors who keep us well fed and well nourished!
and then, more sketches shared with friends and family...even across the country...even to friends of friends...of friends...
half way thru the year, my husband said, i'm so surprised you've "stuck" with your commitment to sketching daily.
i'm surprised too.
and then i realized something.
the act of sketching is my zen.
as i pick up the pen, the brush and focus on the paper, the colors...everything else fades to the distance...time, to-do's, pressure, stresses...past and future...
the only thing is now.
the gift i receive is to be centered, grounded, living in the present moment.
this is my gift, surely not the same as ruth's, or yours...
As i began the year, seeking to be able to sketch little snippets of life, create a visual journal for myself, i had no idea of how this would unfold or where it would take me.
the thing is, i now realize, it's not the sketching, or ruth's watercolors or mom's quilts or any of our arts or even how far or fast we can run or how many fish we can catch or basketball games we can win, the thing...the important thing, is to find the thing that brings me...you into this present moment.
the thing that allows past or future, with their regrets, fears, joys, anxiety to fade to the background and to allow this present moment to shine.
be here now.