Immune System Boost

Protection
From Foreign Invaders!

We depend on our national military to protect our country from foreign invaders, but do you realize that YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOUR BODY from its foreign invaders?

Your personal military is your immune system.  How successful is it?  Is it supported and well trained by you?  Are you confident that you are well protected?

Your immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend your body against attacks by “foreign” invaders. These are tiny organisms such as bacteria, parasites, and fungi that can cause infections. Your body provides an ideal environment for many of these invaders and it is the immune system’s job to keep them out or, failing that, to seek out and destroy them.

When the immune system hits the wrong target, however, it can unleash a torrent of disorders, including allergic diseases, arthritis, and a form of diabetes. If the immune system is crippled, other kinds of diseases result and an immune system boost is necessary.

The immune system is amazingly complex. It can recognize and remember millions of different enemies, and it can produce secretions (release of fluids) and cells to match up with and wipe out nearly all of them.

The secret to its success is an elaborate and dynamic communications network. Millions and millions of cells, organized into sets and subsets, gather like clouds of bees swarming around a hive and pass information back and forth in response to an infection. Once immune cells receive the alarm, they become activated and begin to produce powerful chemicals. These substances allow the cells to regulate their own growth and behavior, enlist other immune cells, and direct the new recruits to trouble spots.

Sound like a war zone? Don’t wait until war breaks out. Get an immune system boost with a healthy lifestyle of eating well, exercising, and managing stress, and your immune system will support you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Carrie Lowry, Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center

                                                                                                                        

 

Could this be you?

And, the Vision is this…

One day a woman with a chronic physical problem had a vision.  It was of having an alternative health center to go to for pain relief and to gain the knowledge she knew she needed for lifestyle changes. She was ready to not only work on relieving her chronic pain but to get to the root cause of all of her concerns.

She knew she needed a place where she could work on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. She also knew that there needed to be collaborating experts in these fields to give her the support, motivation, andthe self-awareness / education that she so longed for.

“When the time is right, the teacher appears” is a saying in the spiritual world.  She was ready to work at a deep level. Her desire was realized when she found Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center.  Now, she had collaborating experts in the different fields to help her with the psychological root cause, help her to be more relaxed, teach her how to eat healthy, and most of all teach her how to move in an effortless way to relieve her physical pain. 

How exciting to have expert practitioners in their fields give her the support, motivation, self-awareness, and all the education she needed to empower her ”self” so that she can be pain free and successful in all areas of her life.

Could this be you?

Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center is your place for natural health and lifestyle changes!

STAYING ON TRACK WITH EFFORTLESS MEDITATION™

After 35 years of teaching, it is very clear that people experience tremendous value from their meditation practice, and yet who hasn’t thought, I don’t have time to meditate today? It’s easy to lose focus on the things that are important to us when we’re running around responding to the relentless pressure of daily life.

What are some of those things that fall through the cracks when we lose focus?  Meditation, exercise, spending quality time with loved ones (building relationships), hobbies and other soul nourishing interests all get pushed out of the way.

Those attending tune up classes find that they help connect them with the power of meditation.  Most would benefit from a quarterly 1.25 hour tune up class, some could use it more frequently than that.  If you’re having difficulty finding the time to meditate, you definitely would benefit from at least a couple monthly classes.  Tune ups will fine tune your practice and jump start it and your life to a new level.

Our computers, automobiles, and homes all need maintenance to maximize the return on our investment.  Our meditation is the same.  As I was exercising the other day at my gym, I was struck by the number of people participating in a yoga class in the mind body studio.  That is good news, people are taking time to refine their practice in group classes.

Small group Effortless Meditation tune up classes are inspiring for all those who attend.  I invite you to join us.  And if you prefer, private meditation coaching is available.

YOGA FOR BETTER BREATHING & LESS MUSCLE TENSION

I recently became friends with Elise who lives down the street from me. I had known of her for a couple years, but just waved and said “hello”.  Recently we were formally introduced when she was hired at the same school I am now employed. It didn’t take long for us to become fast friends through yoga.

She was aware that I was a yoga teacher, so I mentioned to her where I was teaching  and she very quickly became interested in learning more about it. I knew it would help her manage the stress from working and raising a family, so I invited her to join in on my sessions.  She loved the idea.

While I was telling her about the schedule, she asked if she could invite one of her other friends.  I said “of course, the more the merrier”.  She had only done Yoga once before, and it was quite some time ago. They joined my next class and took it real easy at first, but it wasn’t long until they were both loving the challenging poses and the relaxation at the end of each class.  Not only did my friend, Elise, benefit, but her friend was so excited to tell me that after only a few sessions her breathing had improved and her muscles felt less stiff and tense.  She was amazed how great she felt in such a short time.

Now they are both doing all the poses in full length sessions and encouraging each other to practice regularly.  Elise couldn’t wait to tell me after the last session that she is less short of breath going up stairs and on walks with her dog, her tight calves and thighs are much less tense, and that there is improvement in her overall range of motion.

The power of Yoga is truly amazing for moms and even dads!

Laurie Lagerman, CYT, Happy Yoga practitioner and teacher for 13 years.

Living with Uncertainty

As a counselor, I sometimes find that the same issues come up for several people in the same week.  This week the issue has been uncertainty, and it’s only Wednesday.  Well, certainly, we are living in the most uncertain of times, and, as a baby boomer, I know that says something.

When I was a child, the fear was “The Bomb,” and I have vivid memories about the cold war era.  I lived near an Army reserve depot, and there was a flight path right over my yard.  At age seven, my best friend was the boy next door, also age seven, who was an authority on planes, because he and his older brother had built many model airplanes.  So, when the heavy transport planes and bombers would fly overhead, he would look up, shake his head and say with profound seriousness, “I’m not sure it’s one of ours.”  Those few moments were fraught with trepidation, until the plane cleared my house and he reassured me that it was, indeed, one of ours.   It’s easy to laugh now at my gullible little self and the boy who knew how to scare me.

Life is filled with uncertainty, and there’s always something we can find to worry about.  Worry is trying to control something, when we have no say in the matter.  So, how do we accept the fact that the only thing we can count on is change?  How do we ride the wave of not knowing? How do we live with an uncertain future?  Can we change the self-talk that fuels fear?

Almost daily, I see the changes that Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can help make in letting go of the need to control situations and people. EFT can calm a person’s system as they come to terms with uncertainty and change.  In my practice, I have the privilege of watching a mother let go of trying to fix her adult children’s lives, a teen come to terms with anxiety about school, or an abuse survivor begin to feel safe in the world.  I wish EFT would have been around, when those planes flew over my house.

Obsessive EGO-MONKEY-MIND & Meditation Relief

Yesterday, I received a contractor’s invoice for a home service that was totally unsatisfactory. They did not provide much of the service that’s advertised and yet they billed me as if they had.    The “warrior” in me was agitated and wanted justice.   I was determined to right this perceived wrong.

Although my prepaid legal service attorney was very ready to take action on my behalf, I began to feel uncomfortable about his suggested response.  Perhaps I was acting hastily, why was I so obsessed with this?

Eckhart Tolle, NY Times best-selling author of A New Earth and The Power of Now, might say that I was caught up in my ego-mind. The ego-monkey-mind, gets pleasure in running the show, justifying its position vs. others and distracting us from what we really want, e.g. joy and peace of mind.  I had definitely lost my focus and serenity over this issue.

Does such obsessive thinking ever occur in your life? How often?

Certainly, injustices are not fair and ideally can be reversed.  However, a balanced mind and approach to life is my goal.  Is this contractor issue really that important that it should consume so much of my mental energy and focus?

Fortunately, many years ago I learned how to take the steam out of my obsessive ego-monkey-mind thinking with Effortless Meditation™.  Although, as this contractor experience reveals, it’s an on-going process.   Obsessive thoughts still sporadically appear, they grab me; however, their roar and impact is far less today.  In meditation, I effortlessly return to mental stillness, a state of balance and peace.  Through regular daily meditation practice, I’ve experienced a growing internal serenity and freedom that enables me to “let go” of stressors and move on in my life rather than obsessing for long periods over things that I have very little, if any, control!

Injustices, both real and imaginary, are a part of life; however, our responses to them can change for the better.  Today, life is good, very good.  Don’t sweat the small stuff; and you know it’s mostly small stuff!

Greg Schweitzer, Effortless Meditation™ Instructor

When Is It My Turn? I’m tired of feeling stressed!

Does this sound like you?  It was me.

“Caught between…. The sandwich generation….. no time……stressed, running through life…. pulled every which way.  I love my husband, my kids, my parents, his Dad, my kid’s friends, my friends.  Am I crazy?  I want the very best for them.  I wonder how we can better communicate.  What do they want? Need? As a wife, mother, co-worker and friend,  I have to be a their leader and a supporter, but I can see us all falling into the same stress traps, and all living with chronic often destructive stress.  I see them stuck in certain behaviors which cause them problems.   How am I stuck? Am I the one on a treadmill which is going in the wrong direction?” 

Then I started working with Betsy Wetzig and her Coordination Pattern Training to fix my chronic knee and back pains.  She told me about her upcoming (it was last January) Self and JOY Renewal Retreat.  The flyer read……Release, Refresh, ReJoy and ReNew! …….. It sounded like my turn!  Break out of the behaviors which are holding you back, making life less fun or even causing chronic stress and pain.  It so sounded like just what I needed, including a mini one and a half day vacation.  Enjoy fun, play, food/cooking, and music as you improve the way you move, enjoy life and interact with others.  And that’s exactly what happened.

From the start, I got a core understanding of my style and how other people were different from me.  I saw how some of my “restricting” habits were learned in my family and culture and how I was handing them on.

By Saturday, as we all entered into a fun competition of salad plate design I saw a new me, using the new creativity and communication skills, I had learned just that morning.  But most of all I learned how to turn stress into something positive.  I experienced how the Coordination Pattern Training exercises opened up both my movement and my mental processes so I could respond to stress in a healthy positive way.

Betsy said that Coordination Pattern Training does not “change the computer, but it does clean up your basic hard drive and get all the programs and apps working smoothly.  It helps you to breakthrough to your best self and your easiest way of functioning.” Release, Refresh, ReJoy and ReNew! …….. It was my turn!

“ JANET”, a doctor’s wife.

How many days a week do I need to exercise? How soon will I see results?

These are the two most common questions I hear during the first training session.   Unfortunately, almost no one likes my initial response…

Ideally you should exercise EVERYDAY!  A little exercise every day, along with a well-balanced diet will help you to lead a healthier, more energetic life.  This doesn’t mean you have to hit the weights or sprint on the treadmill for hours each day.  Find an outdoor activity you enjoy!  Everyday you can do something different.  One day you might choose to go for a walk outside.  If you’re feeling more ambitious, you might even try playing a sport.  Sports can be one of the best forms of exercise, mainly because you don’t have to think of it as an exercise.  You don’t have to worry about how many calories you’re burning an hour, or how many reps and sets you have to perform.  Just have some fun!

As for the next question: How soon will I see the results I am looking for?  Unfortunately there is no great answer for you.  Everyone is different and there are many factors that may affect one’s progress.  Just because one person reaches their goal in a set amount of time, does not mean the same will be true for you.  The best advice I can give is to KEEP WITH IT!  How long has your body taken to adjust to your current lifestyle?  So you can’t expect a change overnight.  This should, and can only be a lifestyle choice.  If you are having trouble getting started, one of the best things you can do is to seek out a certified professional.  They can put you on the right track and make sure you are not doing anything that may be harmful to your health.  After all, that is what is most important: your health!

Ian Finestein, NASM-CPT, Received his Certification from the National Academy of Sports  Medicine.

MY BODY IS STRAIGHT AND FREE!

The brochure says:  Imagine your body feeling relaxed and peaceful yet poised with energy.  Imagine having the ability to move with flexibility while enjoying maximum strength.  Imagine using your body free of pain, stiffness or chronic stress.  Well, I had heard of Structural Integration, the Rolf Method, and how years ago people said how painful it was. Then I decided that I needed to try it – my body was telling me it needed something.  I talked with Andrei Kazlouski about the pain level and he said that when it begins to get uncomfortable he wants to know and then he always lightens up on his touch. Treatments aren’t painful like they used to be years ago.  The technique has changed that way.

Sitting a lot, lack of good muscle strength, and scoliosis, had me pretty miserable, so I made an appointment to see what this alternative health modality called Structural Integration was all about. Many injuries and physical bad habits (moving incorrectly) changed the alignment of my body which made it hard for me to walk without pain.  I have learned that pain and strain is my body’s way of telling me it is out of balance. So, it was time for me to do something serious about it!

Andrei is a gentle soul who knows his stuff.  His ability to detect the origin of the tightness within my body causing the physical misalignment was fascinating.  As I laid on the table wearing my gym clothes, he began working on my feet and legs.  He explained that was necessary because if the bottom of the body is not in alignment, the top of the body will not hold the alignment.

It felt different from a massage.  Andrei used a range of techniques to lengthen and reposition the protective and supportive layer that surrounds each muscle and provides a matrix that supports every tissue in the body.  This is called fascia.  The amount of pressure he used varied.  Sometimes it was a slow, deep, stretching movement, and sometimes a constant applied pressure. And it wasn’t painful!

I was involved in the process.  Andrei at different times asked me to make continual small movements or take slow deep breaths while he worked.  This allowed him to access and work with the connective tissue. He worked in an unhurried and deliberate way and encouraged me to give him feedback so that I was always within my comfort level.

Andrea told me that people who experience Structural Integration usually feel a greater awareness of body posture.  This was certainly true for me! After one of my first treatments, I walked into the reception area and the assistant director who was sitting there said, “Wow, look at you!”  I not only felt lighter, but I was walking much straighter and it really was so much easier to move. Not only that, but I had no pain – it was just so easy!

Arthritis Pain – Techniques For Relief

About 6 months ago I had a patient come in complaining of severe neck pain with associated muscle spasm in the right side of her upper back.  It began gradually, without injury and was getting worse.  Her X-Rays revealed very bad arthritic degenerative changes in the vertebrae of her lower neck.  I tried several “regular” hands-on Chiropractic adjustments, but the joints in her neck were so stiff, I wasn’t able to make much of a correction.

Most of the time hands-on adjustments do the trick, but with her they weren’t working. 

As a result, her symptoms continued to get worse.  I then mentioned the success I’d seen with other patients that underwent Non Surgical Spinal Decompression. I explained to her that the X-Rays revealed the discs between her vertebrae were very degenerated, worn out and thin.  This has a tendency to place pressure on the nerve roots where they are given off from the spinal cord.  This in turn causes the pain and muscle spasm that she was experiencing.

I also explained that Non Surgical Spinal Decompression Table is a very effective, yet gentle and non-invasive way of increasing the space between the vertebrae which takes pressure off the nerve roots.  By doing this, the pain goes away.  It also helps to re-hydrate and improve the health of the discs which helps keep the pain from coming back.

The patient agreed to give it a try and after 12 treatments she stated, “This is the best I’ve felt in years.”  It’s been several months since her last Decompression treatment and she still feels great!

She now comes in every 2 weeks for a gentle hands-on Chiropractic wellness adjustment that helps her maintain the gains she made with the Decompression Therapy and greets me with a big smile and a hug every time. 

Helping people in this manner is the greatest part of my profession and is what makes me proud to be a Doctor of Chiropractic!

Effortless Meditation™ and Anxiety, OCD

Sarah needed to stop her endless negative self-talk; it was sucking away her life energy.  She said, “My doctor tells me that I have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in addition to anxiety and panic disorder.”

In the preceding five years, her condition had become so debilitating that she could no longer work full-time.  At one point, she was so troubled that she could barely leave the house.

Fortunately, she was spirited and did not give up easily.  She tried medication, cognitive therapy and was vigilant about diet and exercise.  She also regularly listened to self-help CD’s, occasionally attended yoga classes, surrounded herself with crystals and fidgeted with gemstones everywhere to deal with her anxiety.

Compassionately, Sarah’s physician and a few friends enthusiastically encouraged her to take my Effortless Meditation™ course at Twin Ponds.  She was very skeptical, as she said, “I cannot sit still, so how will I ever be able to meditate?”

Sarah eventually acquiesced, realizing that she had little to lose except the course fee.  Once her physician assured her that the course was worth 10 times what was being charged, she was ready to take the plunge.

What was to come took Sarah by complete surprise.  After the third 1.5 hour session, the third day of the course, she excitedly declared to me, “I have removed all my gemstones and crystals from my car and I haven’t carried them with me since I learned to meditate.  She was initially hesitant to discuss these changes but after a few months of being free of her obsessive compulsive behaviors, she freely began to share her story with others.
“When it came to obsessive compulsive disorder, practicing Effortless Meditation™ did for me what medicine, diet and exercise, and cognitive therapy couldn’t, and literally within days.”  To her delight, Sarah’s obsessive mental dialogue has lost its power to control her life.

Greg Schweitzer
Effortless Meditation™ instructor

Massage – There is more to a massage than you think!

I’m at work and sit back for a moment when WOW! Suddenly I feel the stress in my body!   My mind goes to having a massage and immediately I feel my body relax a little.

Did you know that just thinking about getting a massage starts the process of relaxation?

I call for an appointment and spend the rest of the day in great anticipation knowing that the evening will be much more enjoyable after the massage and a good night’s sleep will get me back on track for my hectic day planned for tomorrow.

I’m feeling more positive already!

When I walk into massage room 2, my favorite, I feel comforted by the warmth of the room, the dim lights, and the soft music that is playing.  It gives me a feeling of being safe and supported in life.  Isn’t that what being cared for is all about?

As I crawl under the sheets, I feel the warmth of the heated pad under my back and relax in total comfort until the therapist comes into the room.  I’m then asked a few questions so my requirements for the massage are met.  Sometimes it is just the stress release I need, sometimes it is a tight neck and shoulders, and sometimes a low backache.

It is amazing what goes on during and after a massage that we aren’t even aware of.  Things like better circulation, the lymphatic flow in my body is better, and even my immune system gets a boost!  Can you imagine?  Who would think that a massage can even keep you from getting colds and other annoying discomforts of the body!  Actually massages are even beneficial for very serious conditions, but I won’t talk about that now.

My attention goes to where the therapist is working.  I have been told that this intensifies the benefits of a massage 10 times and I immediately feel that area relax. I wonder as I lie there what else is happening in my body.

This is all so amazing to me!  Lying on a table, feeling relaxed and knowing that there is so much more going on than I am aware of.  When the massage is over and I leave room #2, I know my postural alignment is better – I feel it. I know I have more energy − relaxed but vitalized – I feel it.  My body, mind, emotions, and spirit are uplifted!  I know it and feel it.

I am also aware as I’m walking down to the office that I have bed head, creases on my forehead, and feeling really spacey − who cares!  I feel so wonderful! I drink a glass of water to bring me back to earth and know that drinking more water than usual will help eliminate the toxins that have been loosened from my muscles.  Amazing!

This is a great ending for a day.  It is so evident when I walk into my home and greet my family. They are so appreciative!  Me too! The newly relaxed, fully−patient me is home!

More On Massage

Stress Tips from Meg

“Tension is who you think you should to be.  Relaxation is who you are.”

This Chinese proverb really strikes a chord with me.  I think of the times where I’ve found myself really tense.  Usually, I had a preconceived notion of what I was supposed to be doing, or how quickly I needed to accomplish it.  Hmmm… pre-tense.  Pretense is trying to be or present ourselves in a certain way, often a way contrary to what we know or think is true.  It usually involved deception – of self, or someone else.

There is a Jin Shin Jyutsu, the ancient art of harmonizing the life energy in the body, hand position for pretense.   You grab hold of the little finger, which connects to the heart meridian. It can certainly cause a strain on the heart to be under chronic pressure, so this makes sense to me.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a particularly good way to find and release the patterns that cause pretense.   These patterns develop early in life.  Often by the age of 7 we have a pretty good sense of how we are supposed to be in the world.  Of course, life events can then tweak that perception, but our family and school experiences can set the tone for a lifetime.

Who are you supposed to be?  This comes from who your parents said you were supposed to be, or who you thought they wanted you to be.  That last is important.  As children, we hear things and try to make sense of them.  Sometimes, we make connections that are not accurate, e.g. my parent yells at me…I am bad…I am unloveable.  Other aspects can be: Who did you try to be to get attention?  Who did you need to be to free safe?  What did others do to get the same things you wanted?

Giving up the pretense and letting ourselves just be: that’s letting go.  That’s relaxation.

Meg Deak MCAT, LPC