Staying on Track for Life

Mehmet Oz, M.D., in his talk at the 2013 Integrative Healthcare Symposium held in New York City, declared that health care in America will bankrupt our nation unless we make changes to our lifestyles.  We need to eat better food, move more and decrease stress, he said. 

Many clients say it is difficult for them to stay on track.  The fast pace and pressures of daily life overwhelm them.  Over years, such a life negatively impacts us mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. How to stay on track? 

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, Michael Pollan’s excellent book, gives a candid assessment of the complex web of scientific, economic and industrial forces shaping our unhealthy food choices.  Importantly, he also provides simple methods that will help us all choose better food.  One example, check labels; if it has more than five ingredients, it’s heavily processed and nutritionally suspect.  He discusses Sarah Lee’s “whole grain white bread.”  It has over 40 ingredients, many unrecognizable to anyone other than chemists and food scientists.  Is it really food?  In contrast, his grandmother’s bread had 4 ingredients – flour, water, yeast and salt.

And what about stress?  How do we make wise and healthy choices in the face of pressure to do what is expedient.  

Three important stress relievers are exercise, meditation and sleep.  Stress wears us down while these strengthen us.  Meditation and sleep provide vital rest that restores us for the activity ahead.  Meditation also quiets the mind and enhances awareness. 

Movement and exercise release pent up tension in the body.  At the same time, our body grows stronger so that the challenges of the day are less taxing.

A healthier life is achievable for everyone.  It does require change, developing new habits.   The rewards are well worth it.  What would you pay for extra years of quality life?  It’s all available for a minimal financial investment.  

A good place to start is with meditation.  After 15 minutes of meditation, your mind will be quieter.  You will perceive your needs more clearly, make better choices, and be happier.  Quieting the mind is fundamental for staying on track in life.  Effortless Meditation is part of my personal daily hygiene.

Greg Schweitzer, MBA, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for more than 30 years

 

 

 

The Incredible Value of Play for Adults!


Carol was bored on her daily one-hour walks, so she inventeda game to entertain herself. In the next two blocks she would take exactly 300 steps. Walking as “normally” as possible; first day – needed 25 mini steps, second day – needed 10  giant steps, third day-tried zig-zags and only needed 10 mini steps (zig-zags were fun), and so on.

Little did she know that as she was playing she was also improving her mind; improving the way her brain and body handled space, time, design, and even stress.  So, later she was surprised when she was able to avoid a car which had suddenly swerved into her lane by almost effortlessly maneuvering her car, going off the road safely and well.

Play can be lifesaving which is why the military teaches its officers how to improve their ability to play. Einstein riding on a trolley, pretended (played) to ride a light beam as he was watching the town hall clock which enabled him to get the insight he needed to discover that e = mc sq. Miles Davis played with the notes to find the “real” music.

Play helps us deal with our ordeals, and lighten the stress and loads of our lives. Play opens up and heightens our short-term memory and can even help us use our dreams to solve problems, especially creative problems.

Play can help us to use all our talents and skills better, and even lower pain levels and help us heal faster. Play can bring incredible insights into the way you and others function in daily life.

Many people have discovered that a family that plays together is creating a structure and trust that helps when problems arise. The same trust issues can be developed by play in business, which is why those golf and other outings are important and worth the time and money.

There is a funny paradox:  play can improve us without our knowing it. Useful play is a skill that can be improved. You too can learn how to use play more effectively which is why I have joined with Jungian and play expert, Dr. Mary Alice Long, to create the workshop: “Know Thy Self and Play for Success.”

Join us for four days of playful transformation. For more information see our flyer.  Learn how to play with your problems and stress and turn them into the game pieces of success, as you also improve your
creativity and leadership abilities (including parenting).  Besides, we are going to be playing and we’re going to have fun!

By Betsy Wetzig, Originator of Coordination Pattern™ “Breakthru” Training

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Help with Insomnia:

Vibro-Acoustic Technology & Emotional Freedom Techniques  (EFT)

“I’m sleeping through the night,” she said.  Now, that’s really music to my ears, when a client reports this kind of success.  In this case, especially, because it was after only two sessions.  Sleep is so elusive, and so many factors can influence it. There are no guarantees, but there is hope.

Getting a good night’s sleep can be such a challenge, because there are physical, mental and emotional components that all influence it. The ability to slow our brain waves down is one of these.  When the thinking brain is in constant overdrive, it “forgets” how to slow down, how to access the deep stages of rest.  Brainwave entrainment and vibro-acoustic technology (VAT) can help the body remember.

VAT is the use of very low frequency vibration to soothe and relax your body.  You lie back in an ergonomically balanced recliner with headphones and light goggles.  Everything is plugged into a sound system playing music designed to take you into a deeply relaxed brainwave state.  The sound, light and physical vibration of the chair all work together to take your brain into healing and restful states.  Over time, you begin to remember how to access these states for yourself.

On the emotional side, fear of not getting a good night’s sleep can be the source of considerable anxiety.  Add this to the anxiety or other feelings that may have already caused some sleeplessness in the first place, and sleep can become a stranger.  This is when EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) can be of assistance.

EFT is easy to learn and to apply on your own.  Although it is still considered experimental, there is a great deal of evidence pointing to its efficacy.  Personally, when I have trouble sleeping, I begin to tap and often fall asleep before I even finish the sequence.

Meg Deak, Licensed Professional Counselor, Music Therapist, and Neuroacoustic Sound Practitioner

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.

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!

Better Communication for my Valentine!

Connie’s body was tight and her biggest complaint was that her back hurt when she started attending my  classes and learned exercises that released the tension in her body and her back pain.  But for Connie,  a more important bonus was the “behavioral aspect” of my Pattern Training. It offered a way for her to understand why she and other people behave the way they do.   So, Connie took the gift of this Training to her special “Valentine” and husband, Matt.  Now, they not only use the physical aspects of the Training, but have come to enjoy the Training’s “Breakthru” of improved communication, and a better understanding of themselves, and the dynamics of family life.

Connie told me, “Your knowledge about the mind-movement link is powerful.  I have found that for understanding ourselves and each other (my husband and I), the Training has not only helped us through our struggling times, but has also supported us in appreciating our differences.” Then she said, “Let me give you an example. You taught me that the dominant Pattern of my mind and movement is Swing, which means that I can be spontaneous, quick to process, and playful. My husband uses more Shape Pattern, and thus is more slow, methodical and practical. I have learned to honor his process and push only a little. When we disagree on something, I give him his space to process before we work things out. When we make big decisions, he slows me down which allows me to process more deeply so I can then get in touch with my feelings and be sure about my decision.”

And with a smile she added “I’m glad my husband and I aren’t alike.  We enjoy and appreciate each other the more we understand ourselves and each other. Good communication is so rewarding!  It makes being in a relationship more interesting and fulfilling.”

Then after she thought for a moment she said, “This Coordination Pattern “Breakthru” Training has been effective and helpful knowledge that we have applied not only to our “Valentine” relationship, but now also in the raising of our children.”

Betsy Wetzig, Founding Director of Coordination Pattern “Breakthru” Training and Full Potential Learning

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

Relaxation Skills and Stress Management

Susan was looking for what? Her friend signed her up for a yoga workshop, but it was canceled.  All she knew was that she just wanted to relax, learn a bit and take some time for herself. However, The “Self and Joy” Renewal Retreat” was running at Twin Ponds Center where Betsy Wetzig does her Coordination Pattern Training.  The flyer said, “Enjoy fun, play, food/cooking, music… along with mind-movement understanding.”, so why not give it a try?

On the first night, as the group was making the English Tea, Susan realized that what she really wanted was to break out of the behaviors which were holding her back at work.  This change was going to be so fundamental.  Already, she was getting a core understanding of how she functioned and how other people were different from her.  So when she filled out and discussed Betsy’s handouts on Family Styles and Types, she saw how some of her “restricting” habits were learned in her family and culture while others were just her personal reactions to stress.  A light bulb was going off, “I can change!”

Overnight she glanced through Betsy’s book, Moves to Greatness: Focusing the Four Essential Energies of a Whole and Balanced Leader.  The section on Swing /Collaborator/Leadership weaknesses really hit a cord.

By Saturday, as they made lunch, Susan was already using her new creativity and communication skills, learned just that morning.  Who would have thought her plate of vegetables…. as she is a person who always has to be “Correct and Proper”…. would win the “Most Humorous” award.  Although it was, as Betsy pointed out, still wonderfully placed and orderly.

Later, as the group made and enjoyed the pasta dinner, Susan was fully on board with her new leadership skills.  She had actually experienced how the Coordination Pattern™ Breakthru Training exercises opened up her movement and most surprisingly, her mind; how they allowed her to literally  “Swing”  into her interactive and playful self which had so long been ignored and pushed down. She told Betsy, “I can hardly wait to lead my next team meeting at work.  I used to dread them.  Now I can enjoy and use my team members’ ways of functioning instead of trying to control and organize them into little copies of me…… I’m wondering what George’s reaction will be when I start enjoying his stories and jokes instead of giving him a dirty look to keep him on task.  It makes me laugh just to think of it.”

Susan was so thrilled with what she learned at this workshop that she signed up to attend the weekly classes.  She knew that this Coordination Pattern™ “Breakthru” Training helped  her to breakthrough to  a new,  improved, level of leadership and life.

By Betsy Wetzig,  Originator of Coordination Pattern Breakthru Training and Full Potential Learning

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