Every time I run into this motivational quote I love it all over again.
“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I have lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” – Janet Ackerman
Why do I love this quote?
Because it encourages me to live fully. To share good times and good stories; to help as many as I can much as I can; to eat as healthily as I can so I can live wide while feeling well and strong.
I want to leave a wide footprint. In order to do that, I must be healthy and well and fully functional until it’s time to leave this life I love.
And I want to help you leave a wide footprint, too.
Let’s be healthy together.
This guest post is from Janet Matthews, author of “Is Stress Your Silent Killer?” I like the way Janet shares her personal story and its happy ending. Listen as Janet speaks from personal experience about the stress that used to undermine her health and well-being.
Stress is an integral part of our lives. In fact, we can’t live without it. It motivates us to try harder, it motivates us to achieve and it motivates us to feel alive and vital.
However, the other side of the coin is that if it becomes a chronic condition it affects our health and well being and can actually deplete our immune systems resulting in chronic disease that may well cost us our lives.
So, you can see that stress is a two-edged sword. It can make you feel alive and energised on the one hand or it can devastate your life on the other. What do we need to do to ensure that we use stress to our advantage and not to our detriment?
First of all, it is important to be aware of what the stresses are in our lives. We all have those occasions such as an event to organise, be it a party or a wedding, that cause us stress, but on the whole these occasions, though stressful, are positive and pleasant and they are also short lived. The stress is heightened before and during the occasion but afterwards the stress has gone.
However, there are other stresses such as those caused by work, domestic problems, financial worries and so forth that are far from positive and pleasant and are very often long term stresses that put a tremendous strain on our lives.
Without going into too much detail about how stress plays out in our bodies, it is important to understand that chronic stress, defined as stress that is with us day in day out, results in constant high levels of cortisol being pumped into the body and this, in turn, has a very negative effect on our immune systems.
A depleted immune system has a negative effect on our health. The immune system is responsible for keeping inflammation in check and inflammation is responsible for many of our common diseases. Inflammation causes pain, whether it is headaches, arthritis or muscular pain. Inflammation causes havoc.
So, the million dollar question is, “How can we deal effectively with stress to lessen the devastating effects it can have on our bodies?”
Of course, the answer to this question will inevitably be multifaceted. There are numerous techniques that will help you to deal with stress: Meditation techniques to yoga to massage therapy to finding a hobby and so forth. All of these techniques and therapies are an invaluable part of your stress-busting arsenal.
I would like to suggest that there is also a way of reducing your stress in the first place by understanding the way you respond to certain situations and how you handle them.
In my book “Is Stress Your Silent Killer?” I describe my own journey of realisation of how I was actually exacerbating my stress by the way I was dealing with it. In fact, I was making my stress far worse than it needed to be. By examining my behavior, I was able to find more appropriate ways of living my life that have helped me to decrease the amount of stress I have in my life.
I discovered primarily how my ego was sabotaging my life and how my ingrained belief system, that I had amassed throughout my life, was actually not helpful to the way I was dealing with the stresses of my life. Through constant awareness I was able to make the necessary subtle changes to simplify my life and ultimately lessen my stress.
So the question remains: “Is Stress Your Silent Killer?”
Are you sabotaging your life because of your beliefs? And, if so, what are you going to do about it?
I share my personal story in my book. When you read it, see if it speaks to you in any way. My hope for you is that you may be able to dig yourself out of the physical and mental ruts caused by your own stress.
Note from Kathryn: You can order “Is Stress Your Silent Killer” through both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
Here are the links:
There are two great big strong muscles in your head that can actually cause pain in your teeth! It might feel as though your teeth are the problem but surprise! It’s muscles.
The muscles in your temples can cause tooth pain. Here’s the link to an article:
Or it might be the strong strap of muscle that holds your jaws together:
When you feel pain in your teeth–especially if you also have a sensation of tightness, pain or tenderness on the sides of your head–and your dentist says, “Nothing is wrong,” consider muscles. And, these same muscles are responsible for a lot of TMJ pain!
While the roles of muscles are pretty much overlooked by most medical doctors they can be (and are!) responsible for most of our pain. The good news is that muscles can be treated naturally.
Waaaay back when humans first came into being, there were no Froot Loops or Cool Whip. Everything that our ancestors was real.
And their bodies knew what to do with that food. They got the minerals and vitamins and other micro-nutrients they needed as well as the fiber. Their bodies were supported by the food they ate.
But what the heck are we eating now?
Did you know there is a huge industry devoted to making people buy things to eat because the ‘taste’ or ‘smell’ good? And these lovely tastes and smells are made from yummy things like petroleum.
Good for your car but not for you.
Better living through chemistry? Nope.
What are we to do? How can we make our bodies healthy and happy?
- Eat real.
- If your grandmother couldn’t grow it or harvest it, don’t eat it.
- Eat lots of color–fruits & veggies.
- Shop the perimeter of the supermarket where the raw and fresh foods are.
- Only go to inside aisles for canned tomatoes, fish, whole grains and beans.
- Take a good mineral supplement and vitamin supplement from a health food store. Clay is a mineral supplement that you might find in a health food store. I haven’t tried it yet but will. Mix just a little with water.
- Toss sugar, flour, fake fats and diet sweeteners. Really. Toss them. It won’t hurt your pocketbook as much as it will hurt your body to keep them.
- Sea salt has more minerals than table salt.
- Real butter is real. There are good fats like olive, coconut and avocado.
- Eggs are health food. Soy isn’t.
Our bodies Read the rest of this entry »
Is there a difference between pain management and pain relief?
You often hear about “pain management clinics.” When do you hear about “pain relief clinics?”
Sometimes people have a pain issue which can only be managed; it is not going to go away. Instances might be cancer or a nerve which is entangled in a cyst. There is pain. It won’t be going away. But it can be managed with drugs so the person can feel more comfortable.
But lots of times people have a type of pain which is caused by muscles or other soft tissue and which can be treated successfully. Those people can truly have pain relief.
The problem is that most doctors don’t learn about the roles of soft tissues and muscles when they are in medical school or afterward. And muscles are to blame for a huge proportion of our pain.
And muscles are treatable with pressure, touch or manual manipulations. Massage therapy incorporates all of those.
But can all massage therapists provide pain relief?
But most can Read the rest of this entry »
I just got my hands on a brand new book written by medical doctor Norman J. Marcus. His treatment of back pain is somewhat different than my usual recommendations for therapeutic massage because he uses electrical devices BUT he treats back pain the very same way I recommend: He looks to the muscles!
Muscles are responsible for most of our pain. But most doctors don’t know this. That makes it really hard for you to get a good diagnosis when you have pain.
Please don’t get me wrong–I love doctors and surgeons! I wouldn’t be here writing today if not for their skill and talent and training.
But if your doctor doesn’t understand the true cause of your pain he or she will probably suggest medications or surgery. Maybe physical therapy first. That’s good. But then the physical therapist also has to understand the true cause of your pain and treat you as an individual with a unique body.
Tight muscles and trigger points cause a lot of grief. That’s why I recommend the self-help Trigger Point Books on the right hand side of this page.
That’s why I created programs to help you get rid of the Knots In Your Back and your Carpal Tunnel Pain. And that’s why I promote other good programs that will help you get rid of your pain naturally.
That’s why I write and write, sharing what I know so you can feel better.
Anyway, here’s the link to a review of the good doctor’s book. End Your Back Pain Forever.
Of course, breathing will make your life much easier! We won’t be around long if we can’t breathe. But if you have trouble breathing, there are steps you can take to breathe more easily.
Breathing exercises your lungs.
1. Practice using your lungs. When they are not so inflammed that you can barely breathe, try this: Long, slow, deep breathing. Most of us only use the upper, small, top portion of our lungs to breath. Breathe deeply, all the way into your belly. Let your whole chest and abdomen rise and fall.
2. When you take a nice, slow deep breath, hold it. Count to 6 or 8 on the inhale; hold for a count of 6 or 8; and as you exhale, count again. Over time, see if you can hold your breath for a longer time.
Massage moves your lungs.
When a massage therapist (or partner) massages, presses and squeezes your ribs gently they are also massaging your lungs and all of the muscles that surround your lungs. This massage can take place on both the back and front sides of your chest. It does not involve breast tissue–it works around breast tissue.
Water dilutes thick fluids in your lungs.
When we don’t drink enough water or eat plenty of watery foods, our body fluids thicken. When they thicken in our lungs it makes it harder to breathe.
Tea relaxes your lungs.
I read that there is a substance in tea called aminophylline. This is what I was given by injection when I was a teenager who could not breathe. The alternative doctor (MD) who wrote about tea suggested drinking two strong cups a day–one in the morning and one later in the afternoon. He said to make them strong by using three tea bags each time.
Note: Tea also has caffeine and caffeine is used in many asthma medications.
These steps may help you start breathing more easily.
Okay. So I’m not really a mermaid. But when I’m in the water I feel like one.
There are so many benefits to exercising in water.
- Water acts as resistance to your movements so your muscles become stronger.
- You don’t sweat.
- You are in the sunshine if it’s an outdoor pool so your body can create Vitamin D.
- Water supports you so you actually weigh less; gravity pulls less on you and your body can lengthen.
If you can’t bear to go into the deep end, that’s okay. You can get all the benefits of water exercise by walking or running in the shallow end.
You can do all of the movements in this video in the shallow end, too, except the scissors sideways kick.
Water exercises are easy on your joints, strengthen your muscles and when most of your body is underwater your spine get a break from gravity, too!
Good stress is the kind we have when things are really going pretty well. Life may be hectic, busy and full. Events like weddings, parties and graduation events are being planned. But we are in charge and probably having some fun, too. There is stress but it is good stress. You are in control, like the Read the rest of this entry »
I used to work in a restaurant kitchen. The owner KNEW how she wanted her kitchen run!
She caused big stress for some of the kitchen employees. She didn’t mean it, I’m sure, but she sure could do it.
At least once a month, one of the women who worked in Minnie’s restaurant kitchen went home in tears.
It was Minnie’s kitchen and Minnie knew how it was supposed to run.
It probably didn’t help that Minnie also used to be a drill sergeant in the army. Well, at least, it didn’t help us.
So, one day Minnie was yelling (again.) “You girls is so slow,” or maybe it was, “You girls is so sloppy!” (It was always one of the two.)
And the other kitchen worker had left already, in tears.
And I said (with a big smile), “Minnie, if we work neat, you say: You girls is so slow. And if we work fast, you say: You girls is so sloppy.”
Then we just looked at each other for about a minute, and Minnie started Read the rest of this entry »