Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

Anxious-WomanThe holidays are here and for many of us it is a time of celebration and stress. For example, the holidays bring up memories of my deceased parents who I miss dearly.  They loved the holidays and provided me with my first tastes of Christmas magic. My mother lived a long, full life and passed away suddenly the week before Christmas.

Many share bittersweet experiences and stress at the holidays.  Perhaps your family is still intact, but your relationship with them is less that you would like.  At the holidays, we often nostalgically remember the good times in the past and regret the situation as it is today.  For others, holidays remind us of economic uncertainties.  Job security and unemployment are issues that haunt many.  For those trying to lose weight or battling an addiction, the holidays can present an especially challenging time.  For others, the winter climate in the Northeast can throw us off center.  As the daylight hours shorten, seasonal affective disorder brings on moods of sadness.

A few tips to lighten the holidays

  • First, take stock of the situation. What is in your control and what is not?
  • If you get depressed in the cold cloudy days of winter, you can’t change the weather however you could buy a “light box”. Light therapy can help.
  • If you’re concerned about your weight or addictions ramping up over the holidays, find a support group or friend with whom you can discuss your concerns.
  • Enroll in a cooking class and learn how to make tasty healthy treats vs. high calorie low nutrient fare.
  • As for the family, having realistic expectations of their behavior always helps to keep us grounded during reunions.

Most importantly, practice self-care.  If possible, spend some time outdoors – in the sunlight would be ideal.  Go for walks, exercise, meditate, eat nutrient dense food, and meet with people who bring joy to your life.  Laughter is great medicine anytime of the year. And take a few conscious breaths when you are feeling overwhelmed.  Finally, there is nothing more important for our health than regular periods of rest.  Do not short change sleep in order to do more.

I teach a mental technique that will be help – Effortless Meditation™. Meditation practice will do wonders to ward off stress and lighten your spirits at any time of the year.  It brings balance into your life.

Greg Schweitzer Director, Stress Reduction Resources Meditation teacher, Wellness coach, Speaker

Do You Yearn for Peace?

Anxious-WomanThe world community was shattered again, in a big way, by tragic acts of violence in Europe and around the globe. Fear and sadness abounds and the voice inside us wants to understand.  We yearn for peace. 

Yesterday, I listened to analysts talking about terrorist groups and some of the ways in which they become radicalized. There’s a lot of understanding about the making of a terrorist.  What’s missing is creative solutions to grow peace.

Being the Solution

Did you know that there’s a statement in the UN Charter that says war begins in the mind?

Under chronic pressure and stress, and who isn’t, the fight or flight response rules.  Fuzzy thinking and overwhelm dominate the lives of far too many.  As a coping strategy, we start labeling people familiar to us as US and others as THEM. We divide ourselves.  This divisive thinking is based in the ego’s quest for safety and the desire to be known. It’s the breeding ground of mistrust and hostility.

Without corrective action, we grow in frustration, anger, and resentment. Are we helping the cause of peace when we are holding these emotions and stress inside?  I think not. If you’re not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem. Is this what you want for your life, for your world?

The good news is there is wisdom from ancient cultures that can help us. They’ve told us how to create peace and live a healthy life. The key is to quiet the mind.  A quiet or still mind does not see differences, it just sees what is. It doesn’t judge itself or others.

Us vs. Them thinking drops away when the mind is still, quiet. There is nothing to fear.  Fortunately today, there’s a growing understanding of the need for bringing peace to our turbulent minds.

The other day I was reading about one such initiative, the work of the David Lynch Foundation.  They have funded the teaching of children in at-risk schools the practice of Transcendental Meditation®. The daily meditation periods are referred to as “quiet time.” Over a couple years, the schools implementing the quiet time programs are transformed. Kids excel and the school environment blossoms.  Both parents and administrators are thrilled with the impact of quiet time in the school day.

Make a practice of quieting your mind and you’ll experience your relationships becoming more harmonious. The practice of quieting the mind cultures more tender qualities of the heart. With a quiet mind, we become better listeners, more attentive and receptive. And a quiet mind brings peace to the body, manifesting as better physical health. Bring enough minds to silence and over time, our outer environments transform as is happening in schools, prisons and other environments implementing meditation quiet time programs. There is an antidote for hostility and stress and it’s easy to implement.

Steps to take now

Peace also begins in the mind, and it starts with each one of us. Here’s several things you can do to create a peaceful world.

  • Spend some time each day quieting your mind. Use meditation, prayer, yoga, painting, just do something to quiet the mind. Try it; you have nothing to lose and much to gain.
  • During your day, look for similarities among people. We are far more similar than different.
  • Reach out and smile. It’s contagious.
  • At the end of each day, list four things that you were grateful for that day.

These may seem like small things but they are big.

Greg Schweitzer 

Director, Stress Reduction Resources

Symptoms of a Damaging Walk

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By Betsy Wetzig

Most people walk incorrectly. (Who taught them how? What bad habits have they picked up?) Little by little their bodies are being injured. The results are our common injuries and pain in the lower back, knees, hip, neck, shoulder, feet and even headaches. Later on it leads to poor balance, shortening and tightening of the spine, weakening and an “old before your time” look and feel. Even if you have no pain now, incorrect walking will lead you to it. AND…Even many “fit” people don’t walk correctly.

Here are some major symptoms of a bad walk. Do you have any of them?

A) Simply stand still and ask someone to check you from the side. Is/are your:
• Head in front of the shoulders or tilted to the side
• Shoulders behind your hip (should be over the middle of the hip)
• Knees hyper-extended or locked
• Shoulders pulled up towards your ears or rounded forward

B) Walk
• Are your ankles, knees or hips tight?
• Is your gait even? (both legs with the same rhythm and movement)

GOOD NEWS…… You can transform your walk into an “Ergonomic Health Machines.” Your bad walking habits can easily be changed with simple exercises which will activate your correct Coordination to:

• PREVENT & REVERSE JOINT PROBLEMS, MUSCLE PAIN, & STIFFNESS
• IMPROVE YOUR COORDINATION, VIGOR, YOUTHFULNESS
• HELP YOU HANDLE STRESS MORE EASILY, BE MORE CONFIDENT
AND SO MUCH MORE!!!

Join Movement Expert Betsy Wetzig’s CORRECT WALKING WORKSHOP

FRIDAY, DEC. 4TH , 7:00-9:30 PM

at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center

Register at 610-398-9652 ($30 or $45/ two, at the door $ 40)

 

Dr. Tom’s Turkey Day Tips

 

Dr. Thomas WachtmannThanksgiving is just a couple days away and for many of us it’s an opportunity to eat twice as much as any other day.  Sure, this one meal isn’t going to make you fat, but don’t let this start a trend of overeating through the holiday season.  After all, who needs those extra pounds and all the stress they put on our bodies.

Here’s a couple of tips from Dr. Tom to get you through Turkey Day without the extra weight:

Have a good healthy breakfast.  Studies show that people who eat breakfast actually eat less throughout the day. Protein is a good choice as it will stay with you throughout the day.

Get moving. Enjoy a workout or walk. Why not burn a few calories before the big meal? And by all means, take a walk after dinner.

Drink lots of water.  It will fill you up and prevent nibbling all those extra chips and dip. Add some lemon or lime for extra flavor.

Portion, portion, portion ~ Enjoy a little bit of everything but keep the portion small.  A serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards. Enjoy a smaller portion and a lot less guilt. And, have some dessert.  You’ve waited all year for pumpkin pie…enjoy!

Savor each bite and chew food slowly and thoroughly.  Taste your food.  Put down your fork and enjoy some conversation. Allow your food to digest (around 20 minutes) allowing your stomach to signal your brain that it’s filling up!

Go easy on the alcohol.

Enjoy that delicious Thanksgiving meal and feel good too!

Wishing you a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Dr. Tom Wachtmann

Need A Hand Chiropractic, Breinigsville, PA

Link Chiropractic Clinic, Fleetwood, PA

 

 

 

Optimize ADD & ADHD Brain Function with LENS

ADHD written on a chalkboard, Learning and having ADHD

ADHD written on a chalkboard, Learning and having ADHD

Nearly one in five high school age boys in the United States and 11 percent of school-age children over- all  have received a medical diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  This is new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These rates reflect a marked rise over the last decade and could fuel growing concern among many doctors that the ADHD diagnosis and its medication are overused in American children.  The Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) is a proven modality with no side effects that can help with these children.

The LENS is a specific kind of Neurofeedback that operates very rapidly and has qualities that make it much easier to use with people who can’t sit still.

Why It Is Easy:

  • The child doesn’t need to “do” anything
  • There is nothing to learn
  • It works well for children who either cannot or will not pay attention to a computer screen for a longer time periods. The typical session with the LENS lasts 3-4 minutes
  • It works much faster than traditional Neurofeedback with the number of sessions ranging from as few as 1 to an overall average number of sessions of 20

The LENS helps with any of the Central Nervous System dysfunctions such as ADD and ADHD, which result in the body’s difficulty regulating itself.  This is a perfect example where the LENS is valuable.

Dr. Len Ochs, the inventor of the LENS, has discovered that one does not need to tell the brain what to do.  He has found that by feeding back the very same brain waves that various areas of the brain are emitting and adding the slightest amount of change, called an offset, the brain:

  • Self-adjusts
  • Self-regulates
  • Harmonizes
  • Minimizes its dysfunction

It does so with an extremely small radio-frequency input that is so tiny (far less than a cell phone and as short as a fraction of a second) as to be unperceivable.

The LENS process is not a treatment for any specific condition or directed toward a specific diagnosis. It is a general process that optimizes brain function. However, as self-regulation occurs, many symptoms that have their basis in central nervous system dysfunction begin to improve.

Benefits:

  • Clarity
  • Energy during the day
  • Relaxation
  • Sleeping at night
  • Sense of humor
  • Motivation to get things done
  • Ease of getting things done
  • Memory
  • Concentration and focus
  • Easier for students to initiate and complete homework tasks and to optimize their potential, abilities and performance in the educational setting
  • Brings about significant improvements in a relatively brief process of therapy in physical and emotional rehabilitation (shown in clinical use)

The Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) has been used since 1998 with enough success to warrant respect from former and current patients, as well as from some of the top scientific institutions in the U.S.

To understand and experience the amazing benefits to the Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS), CALL 610-395-3355 to make an appointment with Maggie Narducci, MS, LBS.

 

 

 

Chiropractic – Your Spine Works Harder Than You Think!

Woman having back pain while sitting at desk in office
Are you working hard?  Your spine is working even harder!

Most of us—80% of Americans—experience back or neck pain at some time in our life.

More than half of sufferers say that sitting in the same position for long periods at a time has the most negative impact on their back health and thousands of workers admit that they spend virtually the whole day in the same position.

Sitting causes up to twice as much pressure on the spine as standing, so your back is always hard at work even when you think it’s resting.

Research suggests that one half of all working Americans have back pain symptoms each year.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Sit up straight: Have your bottom against the seat back and shoulder blades touching the back of the chair. Keep arms relaxed and close to the body and placed on the desk when typing.
  • Drive well: Drivers’ seats should be set slightly backwards, and elbows should be at a comfortable and relaxed angle.
  • Be computer compatible: The top of the screen should be level with your eyebrows and the chair titled slightly forward – knees should be lower than hips and feet flat on the floor.
  • Take regular breaks: Don’t sit for more than 30 minutes without standing to stretch or taking a little walk. Use your feet instead of the internal phone or have meetings standing up.
  • Drink Up: Try drinking water instead of tea or coffee.

Most times we don’t realize how hard we are working our spines – actually abusing our spines!  Our spine and pelvis may be out of alignment, keeping us from sitting straight, and we don’t realize it until we experience PAIN. Since the health of our entire body may depend on being in alignment, it is wise to have regular Chiropractic adjustments to insure that we live a healthy life. Your chiropractor can also advise you on simple daily exercise regimes to combat the stress of sitting.

We take our cars for routine check-ups!  Do you do that for your spine?

We take our cars to the garage if it is running poorly!  Do you see a Chiropractor if your back is working poorly?

Chiropractic Care is available at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center, 628 Twin Ponds Rd., Breinigsville, PA, West Lehigh Valley

Be smart…if you are experiencing pain or if you want to prevent pain,

Call 610-841-3395 today for an appointment.

 

 

 

Stress, Allergies, & Meditation

By Greg Schweitzer

Meditation can help bring our lives under control when we are under stress. Under chronic stress and relentless pressure, the fight or flight response is activated. You can see it everywhere. Drive thru a yellow light today and probably 3 cars are following behind.  Look to your right or left, drivers are on cell phones.  Most of us know that studies have proven that multi-tasking while driving at high speeds is fraught with unnecessary risk and danger.  Why do we live this way?  Is our priority to live fast or to live well? We need to heal our brains if we want a better quality of life.  A healthy brain creates a solid foundation for life.  So, how do we create a healthy brain?

The ancient traditions say the way to heal the brain is with:

  • Stillness
  • Daily experience of a quiet mind, if only for minutes

A meditation practice doesn’t have to be connected to a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle, but the restful alertness it produces can reduce stress, anxiety, and develop inner peace.  This restful alertness means that while the body is gaining deep rest and inner peace, the mind experiences quieter and quieter levels of thought. This can lead to a strong immune system that in turn will lower not only the risk of allergy suffering, but many other unwanted conditions.

Daily meditation practice benefits include:

  • Deep healing and rejuvenating zest
  • Release of stress and fatigue, more energy
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Relief from anxiety and depression
  • Improved memory, creativity and focus
  • Relief from headaches and pain
  • Stronger immune system, less illness and better sleep
  • Better moods and increased happiness
  • Mental clarity and peace of mind
  • Enhanced self-esteem and emotional stability

The message of well−being through training to heal the brain and mind with meditation, is resonating with people everywhere.

Join our Effortless Meditation™ class that is offered 4 times each month at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center in Breinigsville, PA.. Call 610-3953355 for more information.

Greg has been teaching Effortless Meditation for more than 30 years.

 

20 Simple Ways to Be More Mindful Right Now

  1. Pause right where you are and take two deep breaths.
  2. Look directly into your loved one’s eyes as you talk.
  3. Eat a snack with your full awareness – no reading, no screens, no conversation.
  4. Gaze out the window and take in the sights.
  5. Step outside and take a few deep breaths of fresh air.
  6. Pause and notice the sounds around you, both near and far.
  7. Move just the slightest bit more slowly and with more awareness.
  8. Imagine a time machine has transported you from 1915 to 2015 — notice what you typically take for granted.
  9. Consider what you appreciate about someone and tell him.
  10. Imagine you live in an underdeveloped country where having your basic human needs met is not a given.
  11. Name five things you are grateful for right now.
  12. If any of these are people, let them know you are grateful for them.
  13. Drop your shoulders.
  14. Sit up straight.
  15. Stretch.
  16. Hug someone and allow him to be the first to let go.
  17. Perform one simple random act of kindness.
  18. While waiting in line, resist checking your phone and look around.
  19. Smile. Make it genuine. What changes in your body, thoughts and mood?
  20. Smile at someone else. Notice the same.

Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued- when they can give and receive without judgment.” ~ Brene Brown

In my last post, I wrote about balance and connection as my guiding words of 2015.  Crafting a flexible plan to bring me closer to my intentions, I divided up the areas of connection into categories where I had been lacking: self, husband, and friends.

Connection with self.

If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. I would add — when Mama’s been meditating, the peace is increased.  Mood is infectious and the benefits of meditation are as well.

As counterintuitive as it may seem, it is vital to start here — with the need to get quiet in order to foster wisdom and clarity.  Call it prayer, meditation, or simply sitting in silence for a few minutes. Without it, awareness of our inner thoughts and experience is much more difficult to assess.

Although I currently meditate daily, I recommitted to 5-30 minutes of practice a day.  This also means offering myself compassion and honoring my need for sleep, rest, fun, and balance.

Shonda Moralis, MSW, LCSW, Psychotherapist

Effortless Meditation™ Lightens Up Spring Heaviness!

It’s Kapha Season

Enjoying the natureNow that we are in the change of season, it’s a good time to take advantage of the wisdom of our ancestors. Ayurveda, the world’s oldest system of natural medicine, gives us insights that can help us deal with change. Effortless Meditation also a powerful practice to accomplish this.

We are in Kapha season (think Spring). The foundational elements of Kapha dosha, earth and water, are heavy (e.g. mixing earth and water makes mud). And during the Kapha season, Kapha more easily accumulates.

By nature, Kapha dosha or energy is dense, heavy, steady, and slow. A virtue of Kapha is dependability and strength; however, if Kapha is over-abundant in your life as it tends to get in Kapha season, this can lead to lethargy, dullness, clinging, possessiveness, an unwillingness to let go, even weight gain. To balance the heavy influences of this Kapha season, do the things that will bring lightness to your life.

Some remedies or antidotes for an imbalance of Kapha dosha or energy are:
• Stimulation from regular exercise and movement
• Enjoying a variety of experiences to help balance the Kapha’s tendency to resist change
• Learning to meditate that helps lighten up heaviness

When in excess, the heavy Kapha influence can lead to depression. Regular meditation is a great help. It will bring lightness and joy to the mind. Effortless Meditation™ makes meditation totally “effortless.” It can be done any place you can sit comfortably and close your eyes – even in an airport.

The above principles apply to all of us; however, they are particularly relevant to those who have a Kapha body type which already has an abundance of Kapha influencing their life. In this Kapha season, these folks are especially vulnerable to the heavy influences of Kapha dosha /energy. So, remember to lighten up in order to balance the forces of nature in this “heavy” season.

Greg Schweitzer teaches Effortless Meditation™ at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

Call 610-395-3355 today to learn this particular meditation. It helps people enjoy health and wellness at many levels!

Tai Chi / Qigong Saved Me from Fibromyalgia

By Carrie Lowry

Fibromyalgia for me was a slow starter and gradually got worse. It was clear to me that staying in bed all day should not be an option. Then I saw an article on the benefits of Tai Chi/ Qigong for Fibromyalgia and felt that this could be a good way for me to get back into living. I was middle aged and didn’t want to spend the rest of my life being miserable. I learned that it was important to get my body moving and just moving around the house was not helping at all. This was a real down time for me!
The common symptoms I was experience were:
• Muscle pain
• Extreme fatigue
• Sleep problems
• Bowl problems
• Depression

It took about 3 months before I could be diagnosed. My doctor tested painful tender points during an examination. He asked me about the exact pain I was feeling in certain areas such as over my neck, back, chest, elbows, hips, buttocks, and knees. These areas were small and much more sensitive than other nearby areas. The doctor also checked other points on my body that were not tender points to make sure I didn’t react to these as well.

Getting the diagnosis gave me some emotional relief because then I knew what I was dealing with. I’m big on research, so I got busy learning what I could do for myself. One of the important things I learned was that I needed to move. Yuck, just the thought of it at first made me cringe!

The research showed me that Tai Chi and Qigong are two mind-body practices that originated in ancient china and have been practiced there for thousands of years. People of almost any age or condition can participate.

One of the results of doing Tai Chi and Qigong are heightened feelings of well-being along with a variety of other health benefits such as:

Boost in energy
• Decreased pain and stiffness
• Better sleep
• Better physical and mental health
• Feeling better allows me to be more active – helps with depression

The research at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston reveal that a significant number of patients with fibromyalgia responded well to Tai Chi, experiencing alleviation of joint pain and other symptoms. This study is published in New England Journal of Medicine. I’ve also learned that trials have shown there were better results with Tai Chi / Qigong than reported in trials of drug treatments for fibromyalgia.

I was motivated and really engaged and after about two months started to feel much better. Improvement was gradual, but steady. Seeing the other students in my class, who I now consider friends, has also given me something to look forward to. My experience with Tai Chi / Qigong has been very positive, so I highly recommend it to all those who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Check with your doctor who, I’m sure, will recommend that you do gentle exercises. Tai Chi is perfect for this.

I now understand why Tai Chi / Qigong have lasted for thousands of years in China. It’s greatly helping me and my friends in so many ways.

Join one of Crystal Klein’s 4 weekly classes offered at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center of the Lehigh Valley, located at 628 Twin Ponds Rd., Breinigsville, PA. Call 610-395-3355 for more information.

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