Good Bye Resolutions. HELLO AFFIRMATIONS!

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I was inspired by an article by Omatara James from the Art of Dharma about the power of affirmations. As I read it, I exclaimed praise for each and every beautiful expression of love. I found myself shifting my thought about the annual resolutions we make on New Year’s. Resolution comes from the word resolve, which has implications that something needs to be fixed. That’s not the type of energy I want to bring forth into the New Year.

An affirmation is a declaration that something is true. It’s a positive message to the world that you mean business. It’s staying present in the here and now. It’s not about fixing, it’s about being. I like that. So when I read the affirmations listed, I felt at peace.

Adapted from the Omatara James,  Art of Dharma:

1.“(Breathe in for 4.) Thank you. (Breathe out for 5.) No thank you.”         (This is a wonderful affirmation for those moments that seem like an incredible hassle, but will benefit you in the long run.)

2. “My best efforts will be successful.”    ( Keepin’ the faith.)

3.“ Let me accept all the gifts and challenges from the universe together, with gratitude and patience.”            (Letting the world know that I am ready!  I like the contrasting balance between the gift and the challenges.)

4.  “I am surrounded by love and connected to the earth through the infinite inside me.”          (When looking for  a connection and compassion for others.)

5.  “ The universe will provide.”     ( Doesn’t she always? Gives encouragement. A reminder about the bigger picture.)

6. “ Slowly. Surely. Truly.”      (When needing calm or when in a hurry and things don’t seem to be moving fast enough. A reminder to enjoy the journey.)

7.  “No matter what, we are all blessed beings of the universe.”    (When feeling puny. Or when feeling inflated. To avoid judgement and comparison.)

8.  “I am enough. I have enough.”    (When feeling ruled by desire, or looking to the outside to feel full on the inside)

9.  Happiness is happening right now.   (When I need inspiration…or need a reminder that the present is the present.)

– Wishing you all a Happy Healthy New Year. What are your affirmations? –

FAMILY FLU PLAN

The flu, or something that resembled it (we never got him tested), hit our household over holiday break. Wyatt, my 15 year old went down first. As we waited for his ride to the ski resort for a day at the terrain park with his buddies, the extreme fatigue set in.   “I’m so tired that I can’t even lift my arms up.   Do you think I should still go skiing?” Duh. Then came a new experience for him, a big, fat headache.

My buddy was down. He hit the couch and didn’t surface until bed time. I started with the oscillococcinum right away and followed up with this herb/supplement regimen.  

Oscillococcinum * – a homeopathic flu remedy made by Boiron.  Works best at earliest onset of symptoms.  Sometimes it’s difficult to know if you have a cold or the flu.  If fever and body aches are present, take it.                                                                                                                 dosage:  1 vial every 6 hours, for 3 doses.

Lung Essence Tonic/ Resilient Defense combo **– A liquid tincture that is a combination of Chinese herbs.  Great for those prone to upper respiratory complications.   Also for that nagging cough that hangs on even after the rest of the symptoms have dissipated.                  dosage:  3 dropperfuls 3 times a day

Mucus Relief  – homeopathic remedy from Heel, a company that has been around since 1936.   For chest congestion, mucus build up, cough.                                                                                                     dosage:  1 pill 3 times a day

Emergen-C lite in water or seltzer – A powdered blend of vitamins and minerals to help immune system.  Kids like it too – it’s fizzy!        For the little ones, there is Emergen-C Kidz                                                                                         dosage: 1-2 packets a day * (available at Wegmans and many drug stores)

And for the rest of the household, Yin Chiao **!

Other tips: Mint tea helped his sore throat. Avoid heavy foods and dairy which can exacerbate congestion. Really push the clear fluids.

We got through it relatively painlessly in about 2-3 days. And even better, it didn’t morph into anything else, which tends to be common with this years flu.

*available at Wegmans and Walgreens,probably other drug stores as well

**available at balance acupuncture & wellness center

ODE TO YIN QIAO

If I had to choose one herbal formula to have in my herbal medicine cabinet, it would be Yin Chiao (pronounced chow).

Yin Chiao’s main ingredients are honeysuckle and forsythia. Not sounding so foreign now right? In fact, many of you may have these beautiful plants growing in your backyard.  Now don’t go chewing on your plants before you know what you’re looking for.

What is amazing and truly humbling is the long history of this herbal combination and the fact that it’s still so frequently used today. My patients who are teachers swear by it due to their exposure to the walking talking petrie dishes, a.k.a. students, who seem to have no sense of managing their bodily excretions.

So how would I describe it? Incredibly effective. Some patients have even dubbed it THE MIRACLE FORMULA. The one that kept them well and allowed them to make their vacation plans, see them through a wedding, or keep them healthy so they could take care of a household full of sickies.

Here’s the million dollar tip which will keep you from catching that cold. Yin chiao is most effective in the first 12-24 hours when you’re feeling sick. You know at bedtime when you have that sense that you’re feeling a little off? That’s when you need to take it . Don’t wait until the morning – it may be too late. Take a dose and go to bed. You may find that you feel just fine when you wake up.   But don’t fall asleep on the job. Make sure you follow up with the proper dosage for 24 hours after your symptoms are gone.

Best time to take your herbs? Whenever you’re going to remember them. If you remember best with meals, take them before you eat. If they make you feel too full with your meals, take them in between. Just space them out about 4 hours between doses. Compliance is everything.

LISTENING TO YOUR BODY… what is it saying to you?

If there was one piece of advice I would give someone to achieve optimum health, it would be to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.

When I was in my early 20’s, I was deaf to the call. When that infrequent feeling of malaise showed up, it was never clear whether I was really sick or just suffering from the Irish flu. Now, having walked this earth for almost half a century, it’s becoming easier to hear what my body is telling me. For us geezers, it may be wisdom that opens our ears, or just our body screaming louder and more frequently.

We are finely tuned machines that sometimes get mucked up by unhealthy lifestyle choices. As far as illness goes, there is ALWAYS a sign. It can be as subtle as a summer breeze, or as loud as your mother-in–law’s voice. Either way, if you’re open to it, you will hear it. Here are some signs that you might be out of balance.

1. Fatigue

2. Insomnia

3. Digestion Issues

4. Skin outbreaks

5. Change in temperature – feeling hotter or colder than usual

6. Hair loss or change of texture/ luster

7. Frequent illness

8. Mood swings or change

9. Excessive thirst or appetite

10. Aches or pains

11. Allergies

Seems pretty obvious, right? How many times do you wake up tired, or poop out during the day, causing you to indulge in a stimulant like coffee or sugar? Then you forget about it for the rest of the day. Or you eat something and feel bloated, over and over again. You may reach for pepto bismol or tums and again, fuhgedabowdit! And that nagging feeling in your lower back…what’s up with that? A little advil and then…Pow! amnesia. Do you see what I’m getting at? If you start to see a pattern, there may be a problem.

No need to break out the hazmat and call the surgeon – first listen more closely.

Use your natural medicine cabinet to see if you can change the pattern of the imbalance. Enlist the help of your acupuncturist and/or medical practitioner if the symptoms are persisting. And don’t forget to Q-tip your ears and Listen Up!