I have wanted to go to Peru for the last 20 years. So glad I did. Peru is a very friendly płace and has so much to offer.
We saw Lima, Cusko (ancient and beautiful capital), the Rainforests of the Amazon, Machu Picchu and the Andean territory. It was a special week to see part of the Solar Eclipse, the Southern Cross against a night sky, and witnessed Peru getting into the finals of Copa Soccer 2019 when the streets got really loud with celebration and joy.
The food was outstanding with tons of exotic fruits, vegetables and different types of meats. I Learned a lot about Inca history, colonial times, diverse and colorful fauna and flora of diversified geographic regions. It was nice to spend this special time with great friends, and also met some new ones!
Exploring novel areas and having fresh new experiences are beautiful ways to keep us engaged with life so we can stay vibrant, open and curious. So good for the heart and soul ❤️!
Click here or on photo to view all photos I took while visiting Peru.
I was always excited about finding a visual tool, like the video below, that would help explain what is fascia, and how it works and effects our body and its function.
Here are two key points about why we do not better understand more about fascia:
Click here or on photo to view video.
There is also a wonderful TED Talk explaining and visualizing how fascia can restrict movement in different parts of our body.
You can see in the video how shoulder motion can be restricted but the problem originates in the rib cage.
You can also observe how hip restriction can limit walking and makes it painful.
Click here or on photo to view video.
Our fall schedule is now open, with dates filling up fast for September through November. With all of the going back to school activities and fall approaching, please book ahead of time In order to have available your preferred days and times. E-mail us so we can secure that space for you. You can also self-schedule your appointments on-line at www.whl-t.com or (Click here)
Izabela Adamus is an expert Myofascial Release (MFR) practitioner and holistic physical therapist. Read 50+ testimonials!
I was traveling from Poland to the United States back in 2009. It was a long 10 hour direct flight from Krakow to Chicago. Visiting my family and attending my niece's wedding was a great way to spent a few mid-summer weeks. But, I was so tired and exhausted getting home that all I dreamed about was resting and sleeping.
The next day I woke up and I felt that my whole right arm was numb and tingling. Even with my therapist knowledge, my mind went to the worse case scenario
"What if I got stroke? How am I going to work? I use my hands for work all the time?" At that moment all I could feel is fear and stress flooding my body.
When my emotions calmed down and I could logically trace my steps back, I realized that the previous 24 were stressful on my body. I was sleeping on a long flight, without my neck supportive pillow and in a sitting position. Even though I did not feel any neck pain at the time, just arm numbness, awkward neck position can cause muscular tension and nerve impingement.
So, when we travel by train, bus, car, airplane or combination of all the above, preparing our body and planning ahead maybe one of the most important parts of the trip.
We want to enjoy our time, exploring old or new areas and not worry about our pain or popping pain pills.
So here are 8 helpful tips for a more enjoyable vacation time!
1. Before you decide to go and travel, which may require being out of your habits and routines, make sure that you actively stretch and balance your body. Use breathing, attention and awareness in connecting with your body.
2. Hydrate and hydrate your body. The fascia which is well hydrated is less likely to get injured because is it pliable and filled with water vs being rigid and dry.
3. Use supportive devices/ pillows for your back and neck during driving or on an airplane. Having a nice neck supportive neck pillow when you take a nap in a sitting position is crucial.
4. Sleeping and resting during travel times is as important as your connective tissue is healing and rejuvenating during sleeping time. Hotels beds may not always be as comfortable as our own. Use supportive pillows between your legs, which also supports your hips, pelvis and back. I like to use an eye mask during the night. It relaxes the optic nerve and provides for less light so your brain can produce melatonin.
5. Traveling with self- treatment tools can be a life saver. Using a therapy ball for 5-10 min and bringing breath and awareness into the painful, fatigued or tight spot, can make a huge difference releasing tension from the muscles.
6. Taking breaks, stops, small naps with breath and quieting the mind will re-set the body so it will serve you well for the next part of the trip. Many times we do not listen to the wisdom of the body and just push it with our mind as we need to be somewhere. Honor and listen to the body and it will serve you well. Listen for messages from the body. Ask it what it needs? Many times it needs rest, nap, laughter.
7. Keep your mind open, curious, present so you can enjoy every moment and create beautiful memories for yourself and loved ones.
8. Before you travel, schedule a MFR appointment so we can help you to balance your body, opening it up so it has more internal freedom. We will also point out your tight spots that may require self- treatment. Remember tight spots and your painful places many times are in completely different places in you body
ENJOY YOUR SUMMER!! LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL AND SO ARE YOU!! THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL AND BEAUTIFUL LIFE IS TO KNOW THYSELF.
For me It took years of inner work, yoga, meditation, body work, myofascial release, energy healing, quality time spent alone and journaling to get deeper and deeper into my own self. Dealing with chronic pain demands care, self-love and compassion, and a commitment to the hard work of changing what you can and cultivating mindful self-acceptance of what you can’t. The clients I help the most are committed to truly being present in the moment and kindly embrace life.
I am a very fortunate person, now able to fully live my truth, to speak my mind from my heart, to express my feelings, my desires, and my dreams. At first it seems counterintuitive, like putting your oxygen mask on before helping others, but choosing self-love, self-care, and self-nurturing has enabled me to offer my best professional help in supporting my client's healing journeys.
My many years of experience in holistic healing and listening to clients while helping them with their unique healing journeys have taught me these 9 best personal practices:
Why are these 9 things important?
Because our emotional and psychological states of being are intertwined with our biology. Saying YES when you mean NO tenses the body and releases stress hormones. Staying in such emotional and psychological states for a prolonged period of time, being unhappy with one's self and life maintains the body in a state of tension with cortisone and adrenaline floating in the body, which prevents healing from taking place.
If you have been unhappy, tense and dissatisfied with your life and health, it will take some time to create a new state of being. The key to healing is to live from the space of our heart and soul. It’s the source of how things flow to us . . . fulfillment, joy, bigger and deeper love, abundance, fulfillment in relationships and friendships, total health and prosperity. When we are internally relaxed and happy and we make better choices for ourselves, the body is more relaxed and can heal itself. The brain releases happy hormones like dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins, enhancing internal well being.
Authentic life, from the INSIDE – OUT, is the life that’s worth living and is the first building block of your healing journey. I appreciate and am grateful for the thoughts of those clients I have helped along their way.
With winter being here in Chicago, cold temperatures, snow and icy conditions, it may be a worthy idea to practice winter awareness for maximum enjoyment along with fall and injury prevention.
Winter, cold and snow are neither good nor bad. It is part of our four seasons and the rest depends on our perspective, interpretation, awareness and attitude. We don't need to dread winter. We can adjust ourselves to it and find value and enjoyment in cold conditions.
I personally love winter with its short days, long nights, cold and snow. Reading, writing, healthy cooking, staying in, watching movies and sleeping in more, are just few of the things that can add joy in my winter months.
Just last weekend, I traveled with a few friends to Starved Rock and we had a blast hiking trails and watching frozen waterfalls. We even spotted a few bald eagles. With the right outdoor conditions, proper and warm clothes, I also enjoy cross-country and downhill skiing, or skating in an outdoor ice rink with music; followed up with hot chocolate, of course!! There is so much beauty and enjoyment in winter . . .
Did you notice that?
Fall prevention and awareness in the winter months is a crucial key in keeping you safe from injury. Many people end up in therapy and rehabilitation after winter injuries, so shining some light of awareness, and not fearing may help us to shift our awareness about winter safety.
Always evaluate the situation in front of you before you proceed.
Ask yourself, is it the right thing for me to do now? Let's say is it walking, shoveling snow, or driving; we don't want to live in fear, but rather have a healthy discernment about the situation. We need to practice wisdom.
Be fully present and aware with your activities. It is the greatest tip for life as well, but let's just focus on winter safety for now.
Many times, being absent minded, preoccupied mentally or emotionally with other things (which are not a present moments), keeps us disconnected from our bodies. We become more prone to injuries that way. On a personal level, I have had a few injuries with falls and ended up with right hip surgery in my twenties because I was not fully present in the moment. Being distracted can lead to injuries. Below are 8 tips for a more empowered way to take full responsibility for our bodies in winter:
Appreciate and enjoy the winter wonderland!
Please review our Testimonials on conditions helped through Myofascial Release
This month I interviewed another one of my clients, Linda, who has benefited from Myofascial Release (MFR).
I have been painting now for a couple of years . . . in a playful mood, I recently created the painting shown in the photo below. I hope you enjoy the spirit of the snow woman blowing kisses to you and yours!
This month I interviewed one of my clients who has made tremendous progress in his life, health and wellness through Myofascial Release (MFR).
1. What was the original problem that brought you to seek Myofascial Release therapy? What was your diagnosis? I was diagnosed with D.I.S.H. Syndrome/Forestier's Disease (calcification and ossification of my neck and spine), with no hope of recovery. It is a rare condition (in its severity) that has taken me through the Loyola Medical system, the Rush Medical community In Chicago and I was turned down for treatment at Mayo Clinic. I very much endorse the traditional medical system and still see doctors at both Loyola and Rush. However, through Myofascial Release, I came to realize that while my diagnosis was rare, and the cause unknown (as I found out there are many other no-cause, no-cure conditions), the cause/diagnosis was not important. Myofascial Release taught me that paying close attention to how my body and mind reacted to my condition was going to lead to the best possible outcome. I had tried traditional medicine and learned through Myofascial Release that healing is a thoughtful process that requires awareness.
2. How much pain did you have before coming to see me? How much pain medications did you take? I experienced consistent pain levels of 6-10, living hour-by-hour trying to extend the time between taking Opioids to make my 5 to 6 pills a day last 24 hours.
3. How was your lifestyle? What could you do or not to do? How did you feel both physically and mentally, emotionally? My life was totally consumed by managing my pain. I would use thermal pool exercises, shiatzus, therapeutic canes, neck braces, heating pads or most any device/activity to try to help manage my severe chronic pain. Nothing worked to ease the pain for more than a few hours until I increased my awareness and focused my efforts on Myofascial Release (MFR), self-myofascial release (SMFR), breathing more fully and meditation.
4. What sort of services or therapies did you receive before you started MFR? What was your outlook for your future? I have seen many physical therapists, chiropractors, rheumatologists and other medical professionals over the past 6 years. My outlook was feeling lost in a maze that had no way out.
5. How long have you been receiving MFR? What was the difference between other forms of therapy? I have been receiving MFR for almost 3 years. Unlike other forms of therapy that I have tried, MFR is the only approach that has helped in managing my no-cause-no-cure condition. It is a full-body, hands-on technique that releases the fascial system. MFR works to reduce tightness while restoring balance and movement. Using MFR you have helped me tap into my own body, improve my awareness and given me a feel for what is truly holding me back from healing.
6. If you do not mind sharing some of your insights? What did you discover was holding you back form healing? The most challenging part of healing is letting go. I still struggle with it. I was taught to fix things, take medications and look outside of myself for causes and cures. What held me back was not completely embracing that healing is largely an inner journey, and not fully recognizing that the body, from its organs to its individual cells, has wisdom. I think it is all complicated by the fact that MFR (and other forms of treatment) can produce autonomous physiological responses that can complicate your interpretation of results from therapy. The insight I can offer is that through awareness and self-acceptance, we can empower ourselves to heal from the inside out.
7. How long did it take for you to start experiencing like something was shifting in your body and how you felt? Myofascial Release started to reduce the overall tension in my body within the first month of treatment. After a year of unwinding that pressure, and also discontinuing a prescription medication that may have contributed to bone ossification, there was a marked difference in pain. I will have been a client of Wholistic Therapeutics for 3 years in December of 2018, and it is within the past year that I feel in good control of the managing discomfort from the recurring tightness associated with D.I.S.H. Syndrome. As I get more skilled and disciplined in awareness and meditation (I am particularly fond of the meditation Deep Meditation for Healing) the shift toward well-being advances. Over time, while I still need to manage my tightness which can cause pain, my pain levels have re-markedly diminished to consistent levels of 1-3 without Opioids. I feel that I am doing extremely well!
8. How much home program (Self MyoFascial Release - SMFR) have you been doing? How much you were committed to feel better in a natural way? I was introduced to Jon Kabat-Zinn's "Mindfulness for Pain Relief" CD 3 years ago this past July and have been under your care since December of 2015. There are many exercises and devices I have embraced, and each has had some benefit in managing my condition when I maintain awareness. Through Myofascial Release I have undergone an "at home" transformation in developing that skill, discovering the power of self-acceptance, the importance of listening to one's own body, and the excitement that comes with taking responsibility for my wellness. My commitment is endless, to embrace life, doing what I need to do at home to seek the highest quality of life within each day as it unfolds. It is my growing skill of awareness that has enabled me to manage the subtlety of touch while using a variety of SMFR tools and exercises, including the recent introduction of vibrating plates which has helped enable deeper breathing by loosening my rib cage. With MFR you learn over time that less is more, while putting your (and the therapists') energy to the best possible use. Using conscious awareness to tap into the natural wisdom of one's body is key. The most important advice I can pass along when you perform SMFR is that truly less is more!
9. How are do feeling those days? How many medications are you taking? How are you feeling physically, emotionally and physically? With the help of MFR, awareness and meditation I am feeling very positive, calm and powerful in dealing with this last phase of healing. My pain has been drastically minimized and I am no longer taking any prescription medications.
10. What made you never quit? Do you feel the correlation between the way you feel physically, emotionally and mentally? I never quit because I have always embraced change and believe that while pain and discomfort are unavoidable, suffering is optional. Through Myofascial Release, and my own efforts in gaining knowledge, a joy-centered transformation of my being has occurred, setting the stage for further healing.
11. What is your outlook now on your future, health and wellness? Working with Myofascial Release has taught me that self-acceptance, patience and intentional living with positive emotions freeing energy that can be redirected at healing. My outlook on my future, health and wellness is one of an empowered sense of well-being and gratitude for an improved quality of life.
Please review our Testimonials on conditions helped through Myofascial Release
Izabela Adamus | Wholistic Therapeutics | (708) 525-4640 | www.whl-t.com
Many times, people ask me how I started practicing Myofascial Release. As I was recently reminiscing on the 11th anniversary of Wholistic Therapeutics, I was overtaken by appreciation of my own personal and professional journey with Myofascial Release.
At the end of my 20ties, I was working as a Physical Therapist at a local hospital, struggling with a chronic right hip pain that would radiate all the way down to my leg with occasional numbness and tingling. Through my adult life, I was always very active, living a full, athletic and travelling lifestyle, which I greatly enjoyed.
So, when I started experiencing daily pain which limited my activities, I realized that it made me feel old, annoyed, sad and irritated. I felt like I was 90 years old person inside my own body. I did not like it! I was afraid of my own future. I was so young and was so unsure about how my future would look. I believe that whoever lives with chronic pain, can understand that.
At the time, working in a traditional medical setting and consulting with good, orthopedic doctors, I was convinced that surgery was my only option. Even though the severity of my pain was quite diminished, still a year after surgery I was still experiencing a significant amount of regular pain, which I was not willing to accept.
Maybe it was a synchronicity, but at the same time, I started noticing that I was led to start taking John Barnes Myofascial Release seminars for healthcare professionals. I was intrigued, curious, open and willing to try anything to change my regular pain pattern,
From the very start those seminars were different, they encouraged us to look at every human and not to view them only as a physical body, we learn a lot about the mind-body connection and how it plays a significant role in healing chronic pain.
Over time, I was receiving a significant amount of Myofascial Release treatment myself, and I was taking John Barnes classes regularly, as I wanted to learn as much as I could.
Over the period of about 2 years, I was significantly shifting my body, my mind, and my chronic pain was practically gone. I noticed great impact on both my personal and professional life.
In 2004, I made a very clear decision that I wanted to open my own private PT/MFR practice as I wanted to be able to spend quality time with my clients. I saw evidence of how the mind- body connection affects our chronic pain, and life in general, and I wanted to share it with others, so they can heal, not only their body, but their life.
Living with chronic pain is not easy or fun. Healing is a process. Those who are fully committed to take full responsibility for their own body, health and life know that it takes time.
It took me close to two years, between receiving treatment and my own self- treatment program.
But it was totally worth it!!
I am almost 50 years old and I look forward to my future with anticipation and not a fear.
I now enjoy biking, yoga, ski and traveling. I compete in Swing and Hustle dancing and can plan my life ahead without fear of how I am going to feel as I have Myofascial Release to help me along the way.
I am not saying that I do not have any pain at all. As we get older things are not the same, but Myofascial Release has many elements to use to help us along the way.
Learning and understanding the principals of Myofascial Release and the mind- body connection totally changed my personal and professional life. I am forever grateful for it and maybe even for my original pain which took me to places I never knew existed.
It is not a magic pill as we know those things do not exist. We all need to set goals . . .
If you are ready to challenge your chronic pain, work hard enough to avoid surgery (I wish I knew about this work before my surgery), and want to learn more about your own mind-body connection, please do not hesitate to give Myofascial Release a try and take that first step toward your own healing.
It will be totally worth it to you as well.
Please review our Testimonials on conditions helped through Myofascial Release
Izabela Adamus | Wholistic Therapeutics | (708) 525-4640 | www.whl-t.com
It's our 11th anniversary of Wholistic Therpeutics!
As our client you are very important to us and we greatly value your business. We truly hope that you have enjoyed your experiences at Wholistic Therapeutics and will continue to in the future.
As always, if you have any suggestions, comments, or requests about future services, then please let us know.
Hope to see you soon!
Izabela Adamus | Wholistic Therapeutics | (708) 525-4640 | www.whl-t.com
The main tool that we use when we are initially treating chronic pain and symptoms is learning to connect and feel the body as it is in the present moment. Most of the time chronic pain is so loud and overwhelming that all we want to do is get rid of it and not feel pain any more. That is totally understandable. We go to a doctor who gives us a diagnosis, which in most cases is just a description of symptoms, but not the cause of pain.
In order to do it effectively, to get to the root cause of the pain, we need to learn and develop the skill of body scanning. Learning how to feel and become aware of the underlying causes of pain are the important keys to effectively treat it.
Many times chronic and persistent pain is just a symptom of deeper issues and restrictions in our body. Expanding our awareness and sensing the body beyond and underneath the pain is the next step to properly connect with root issues.
We can do it in a standing position, sitting or initially the best approach is in lying down.
Developing the habit of doing it daily will help us to learn a new skill to connect with our body. Initially it may feel uncomfortable or like we are not sure if we are doing it correctly, but if you stick with it, it will become easier and more effective.
So just start first with lying down. Take a few, deep, cleansing breaths into your belly. Ask your mind to become quiet, simply allowing the attention to stay on the body and not engage in thinking or mind chatter.
Slowly start scanning the body from your feet, to your pelvis, into your belly, chest area, and all the way up towards the head. Stay non-judgmental and simply become curious.
Observe, breathe, take your time, notice.
As we are scanning the body, we want to become aware of symptoms, but also, and more importantly, pay attention in 7 areas:
Remember, we are not here to analyze why it is the way it is. All we need to become aware of is the difference, as this is a crucial part of healing.
So, happy body scanning and let us know your progress in establishing a better mind-body connection.
If you want to be guided through the process, Schedule an appointment and we will walk you through an inner awareness session.
I had the opportunity recently to see an old friend and share a nice, Turkish lunch. As we became comfortable and relaxed, we connected with each other, and started sharing our past, including a few not so pleasant life experiences . . . things that were disappointing, hurtful, painful, scary and some you might even call devastating.
As our stories were embraced with undivided attention, empathy, non-judgmental openness, curiosity and care - there was a sense of flow and easiness. As a result, I personally felt lighter in my heart, and in my being, as I realized that I gave my story room to breathe, to be, to flow, I did not hide it inside of my being. I felt SEEN and HEARD. It is a beautiful feeling. I realized that we all have those hard and painful stories and sharing them makes our human experience easier and lighter as we realize that we are not the only ones that have gone through challenging times.
We all want to live happy and healthy lives. Many times, in pursuing that, there can be a tendency to attach to and focus on only the positive aspects of life, and to want more pleasant experiences. Yet, it is healthier not to completely ignore your negative feelings and simply give them air to breathe and release.
Life is like a rainbow, it has many colors. The year has 4 seasons, not only summer. There is day and night, light and darkness.
Embracing and expressing all our experiences, feelings and emotions is vital to live a life that is whole, real and authentic. It brings lightness to our soul and relaxation to our bodies.
As humans we feel a tapestry of emotions as the result of situations that we are in.
Being true and authentic to yourself and your feelings is the highest form of self- care. It takes courage to speak your own truth:
The act of self-care may be to have that difficult conversation with your spouse about the big, pink elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about for decades.
We all want to be seen, heard, validated, and understood. So, let's have courage to open part of our hearts to one another, to share our story, to uncover the corner of our soul.
Is it scary?
You bet it is. It takes us out of our comfort zone. There is fear.
Fear to open-up.
Fear to ask for what we need or want from others.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of being ridiculed.
Fear of judgment.
Being authentic and real may feel quite difficult and not pleasant, and like the least thing you want to do or face. Being authentic is to love oneself unconditionally with all the good, bad and ugly.
But when we do it, we don't need to escape. We don't have to medicate or over-drink or over-eat.
Being authentic is like being your own hero in your life versus being a victim.
It is being at real peace with yourself every day, so you are enough to yourself.
It is so worth it. You are totally WORTHY of being your own hero!
That creates a sense of wholeness within your own being, your own heart.
That is the only real place from which you can give and offer love to another.
Otherwise, we risk operating from a place of emptiness, lack or need.
As a physical and myofascial release therapist, I try to lead by example and relate to my clients as the authentic me. Since healing begins with an honest relationship and understanding of yourself, both physically and mentally, I also teach how to help my clients relate better to their bodies and help themselves. In our hands-on sessions, we may discover places in your body where you are holding yourself back, release tight muscles and fascia related to pain, and suggest ways to manage the return to an authentic state of well-being!
The mind and body cannot be separated.
Since 1991, the Heart-Math Institute has researched heart-brain communication and its relationship to managing stress, increasing internal body harmony and deepening our connection with others and ourselves. Based on their studies, it is safe to say that our heart radiates a much greater electromagnetic field around us versus our brain.
It is there that I recently attended a seminar with a friend of mine that was about self-love and connection to our own heart. Since I practiced that skill for many years now, it was easy for me, but my friend asked very legitimate questions after the class was done; What does it mean to connect to the heart? How do you do that?
So, for the beginners, just sit or lie comfortably, relax your body by breathing gently, allow your mind to be quiet from all the chatter, place your hand or hands on the area of your chest and breathe into your chest, keeping your attention on that area. Give yourself about 5 minutes a day to do just that. In that simple way, you will start connecting with your own heart space. As you do that, allow the sensations, feelings, and emotions to surface naturally. This is the easiest and most gentle way for you to be in touch with your own feelings.
Some of you may know that I lost someone very close and special to me 6 months ago due to sudden death following extended physical illness. Going though the process of grieving and allowing myself to feel all the emotions associated with such a loss is not easy.
There have been days that feeling that pain, loss, grief, and anguish felt like an unbearable ordeal to go through. When it happened, I allowed myself to feel it fully down to the bones. When I felt like I could not take it anymore, I asked Spirit/ God to help me. Peace and deeper serenity came after I allowed all of my pain to simply go through my heart. It is a process, and at some point, it gets easier and easier. You don't want to bottle it all up in your body.
We have such a strong emphasis in our culture that we are supposed to only have good times. It is normal and natural to gravitate towards pleasant experiences, but human life encompasses the wholeness of feelings. No matter if we go through pleasant or painful parts of our lives, feeling it fully and letting it go through our hearts is the healthiest way of living. The bottom line is to fully feel it and let it pass, without clinging to the pleasant times and repressing or resisting the unpleasant times, all without judgment. This is the very best definition of acceptance.
We can't have a rainbow without the rain and the storm. When it comes to our emotions, pain and unpleasant feelings are as part of the wholeness of our human heart as are joy, laughter and fun. Allow yourself to fully feel it without running away from those feelings. Oftentimes in our culture we are trained to mask the pain with drugs, alcohol, and different distractions. I believe that feeling our own hearts is both scary and brave at the same time.
It does take courage to live from the heart space, and to fully love yourself and others. It is OK to be fully you. If you grieve, love the one who grieves. If you are upset, love the one who is upset, YOU. If you are angry, that is OK, love the one who is angry. Just love and accept your own emotions without blaming anyone for causing them.
Own them. Oftentimes we put such a pressure on ourselves, looking back with regret on how we acted or what we felt. Our goal is to always get into a higher level of harmony and balance within ourselves, and, in the process of doing that, rebuild our heart space to again radiate joy and love to others.
Open your heart to yourself and others. Be vulnerable. Feel life. The best way to keep your heart open and enjoy the ecstasy of life is to never close your heart, no matter what life brings you. Bask in the sunshine of unconditional happiness.
What if heaven is not a place where we go, but the state we are in? What if heaven is the way we think and feel in relation to ourselves? A slight change in perception may change our experience in life. We can all define our purpose of living by answering the question Who am I? But, I believe, and many will agree, that our purpose is to be happy and healthy in life, right? Is not the essence of life the journey itself, not the destination?
For me to work with people, serve and heal, first of all, I need to take care of myself. Otherwise, I am not helping anyone. Isn't it true about all of us? Who is responsible for your happiness? Nobody, but you!
I created, and turned into habits, chunks of time that are devoted to cultivating that sense of feeling peaceful, loving, blissful, warm, and at ease with total comfort. Those moments when I find my piece of heaven simply by cultivated quality time with my physical myself, my higher self, God or Higher Intelligence (whatever word resonates with you).
I love my daily routines which I call morning infusions of joy. I set aside 30 min of my time. I prepare my warm water with lemon, nice cup of French press coffee with a favorite Hazelnut creamer. I sit comfortably, being fully present with myself, breathing into the body, keeping it more and more relaxed and soft.
I may take this time to pray, meditate, journal or simply being with myself. Sometimes I put on some music that makes me feel good,or diffuse an essential oil that stimulates my sense of smell in a pleasant way. Or I cover my body in a cozy and warm blanket to give me that sense of love and nurturing.
When I am consistent with my routines, I feel grounded, balanced, centered, and happier, and so I bring that part of me to the world. So, what is your Heaven? What brings you joy and peace? What is your passion? Make it unconditional about you, not people in your life. Perhaps unbelievably, it is not dependent on anyone else.
It is good to be learning baby steps toward unconditional happiness. Although, when it comes down to it, do you want to be happy and live a life of heaven on earth or not? It is a choice of saying to yourself that NOTHING is important enough to diminish your sense of well-being. Stuff happens all the time, some trivial and others, serious, mind challenging events. But is ANY of it worth your personal joy of life? Practice acceptance, which is the art of letting events pass through you, bad ones without resistance, and good ones without clinging.
When you learn to feel happy inside yourself, there is a sense if relaxation and ease in the body. This allows the body to start healing and return to equilibrium. Your body has tremendous wisdom inside, and all you need to do it to align with that by being easy and gentle with yourself. The more you cultivate the feelings of peace, compassion, and joy within yourself, the more your body will respond to those elevated feelings.
What is your heaven? It is not outside of you. It is always inside of you. Only you can find it, or even better, only you can create it, cultivate it and anchor it inside as yours.
In trying to relate more personally to the topic of self-love, one of the loves of my life came to mind . . . dance. I continue to dance as an expression of my joy of life, as something enjoyable that I do, without a lot of reflection, but realize, in this moment, that dance has become part of my being. When dancing, it consumes my awareness, as it takes discipline and concentration to perfect moves on the dance floor, and it comes with unavoidable pain, mostly associated with a leg pull, ankle turn or overstretched muscle.
Like dance, self-love takes discipline and concentration, and if you love yourself enough, you learn to perform through pain by letting it go. While the 7 Steps to Self-Love, as outlined in October's BLOG, are important, the transition to practicing self-love as a way of life also requires Acceptance, Awareness and Inner Strength.
So how do we maintain the practice of loving ourselves?
Many of us grew up in a culture and families where a healthy relationship with one-self was not cultivated and many times diminished, not even taken into consideration or even ridiculed. We all have a tendency to think that we have relationships with others. In reality, the most important relationship we will ever have in our life is the relationship with ourselves. Everything in our life, from health, success, and self -esteem, to how other people treat and trust us, starts with what kind of relationship we have with ourselves.
One of the popular phrases that we hear when we leave the company of others is the saying " Take care of yourself"... a nice and kind thought, but what does it really mean?
On a physical level it means to take good care of one's body and provide it with nutritious food, an adequate quantity of sleep, a proper exercise program, hydration etc.
When I ask my clients the simple question "do you love yourself"?, it is often responded to with a surprise or laughter, or as if there is something strange with that statement. Yet, unconditional self-love and acceptance are very crucial ingredients for a better and healthier quality of life.
How can we get there?
Most of us probably heard it before that everything we truly want and look for is already inside of us. That includes your health and well-being. Yes . . . your health and your well-being.
Nice and sweet concept but what does it really mean and how do I connect or attune with it? We often hear that we are giving our energy and our power away. As interesting as it sounds to many of us, it may appear as an enigmatic statement and what does it all really mean?
Everything in our Universe is composed of matter and energy. Matter is everything that we can perceive with our 5 senses (what we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch). So, people, bodies, building, trees, objects, our body, animals, stars, moon, really everything that is visible to our senses.
Energy cannot be perceived, and it exists beyond our 5 senses, but energy can be sensed and felt with our awareness and consciousness. I am sure that most people can walk into the room of others, and sense if the energy in the air is happy, light, or tense and uncomfortable, right?
So, you cannot touch or smell or see your thoughts, feelings or emotions, but you can become fully conscious of them and know that they exist when you pay more attention to them.
So, the key is the ability to Pay Attention! Paying kind attention, on purpose, and in the moment, is a skill . . . like learning how to tie your shoes, or learning how to walk. Initially it is hard and clumsy, but eventually you can learn it, become better at it and master it.
The ability to pay attention is a very important skill because where you put your attention is where your energy goes. This is very important so I repeat it again.
WHERE YOU PUT YOUR ATTENTION IS WHERE YOUR ENERGY GOES
Most of humanity lives entrenched with everything that is external to them. So, the moment we wake up our attention, it is mostly focused towards the outside . . . to people, situations, Facebook, problems, children, friends, work, spouses, partners, in-laws, money, news, , government, the world, even enemies. . . don't forget your enemies :) . . . and our energy goes to the past, regretting, thinking about the past, and fear and anxiety of the future . . . I am sure you get the idea.
All that precious, mental energy that goes away from YOU, every day, day after day . . . it all becomes a program that runs you. That program can largely consist of simple survival, where the hormones of stress like cortisol and adrenaline are released into the body and we seemingly have no choice but go into the familiar reaction of hide, fight or flight, and simply be victims of our chemistry.
So, if we live like this, day by day, we simply give our energy, which is our power away. When we give our energy and power away, we have no energy for us to heal our body or to create our life the way we want. The body, in a natural way, starts to degenerate and becomes ill, as we are lowering our energy within. We are doing it to ourselves.
Pay attention to where your attention goes, bring it back into you and into the present moment. Meditation is an outstanding tool to learn and teach all of us how to stay present and how to keep your energy inside YOU. Then you can have a chance to heal your body and feel better.
It is so worth it.
Most of you on this email list know me, possibly read a few of my BLOGs, and have benefited from my understanding of the mind-body connection during therapy. Those of you who have embraced mindfulness have commonly reduced your pain and rejected suffering.
In June's BLOG I addressed Our-potential-for-self-awareness, and in May I advised to Let-go-of-pain and in April discussed our Quest-for-the-truth. These were important BLOG topics, each with their own merit, but now we stand on the edge of a Paradigm Shift. What used to be an understanding of illness as strictly cause and effect has grown to changing our way of thinking to affecting the cause through an appreciation of the oneness of the body and mind.
As humans, we are very comfortable with the known and familiar. New information that throughout our history, enters the mainstream, is initially resisted, criticized, and condemned until later, when it is fully understood, accepted as the truth, and a new set of rules is established, creating a new view on reality.
Galileo and Copernicus proved that the earth is not the center of the Universe, but is orbiting around Sun, that new information was not trusted and heavily condemned. It took over 200 years until that truth was fully accepted by people and considered a fact. Can you imagine thinking now that the earth is flat? Nobody would think that today . . .
It feels very antiquated to us now, but at some point, in our history, a flat earth was the perceived truth. Both Copernicus and Galileo were ahead of their time. They helped to shift our awareness to a new reality, it was a paradigm shift from a certain view of the Universe to a new, expanded view of how things really are.
Our predominant model of reality of medicine, our physical body, disease, and aging is based on 17th-centery science. Most medical and dental schools are based on the science, that views physical body as a mindless machine that is composed of chemicals, tissues, organs, and systems, genes that are destined for disease and illness and not influenced by the power of thoughts and feelings. Why is that?
Two famous people started shaping our current Western model of reality in the 17th- century. One of them was French mathematician and philosopher Rene Descartes, who invented the mind-body split. He started the belief system that imposed the duality between the concepts of mind and matter. The second one is Sir Isaac Newton, English mathematician and scientist, who not only solidified the concept of the Universe as a machine, but he also produced a set of laws starting that human beings could precisely determine, calculate and predict how the orderly ways in which the physical world, and the physical body would operate.
About 200 years after Newton, Albert Einstein produced his famous equation E=mc2, demonstrating that energy (which are our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs) and matter (our physical body) are so fundamentally related that they are one and the same. It was over 100 years ago that Einstein's work proved that matter (our body) and energy (our thoughts, feelings, beliefs) are completely interchangeable. Einstein was also ahead of his time, with his work and further research becoming more and more understood, bringing us to the edge of an expanded Paradigm Shift.
The last 20-30 years of research by new bright scientists in the fields of neuroscience, neurophysiology, epigenetics, quantum physics, brain chemistry proves to us that atoms (the very building blocks of our bodies) are mostly empty space; that atoms are energy, and we are built of atoms. Everything that we perceive physical in our life (our body, objects, trees, flowers, animals), is not just solid matter - rather, each is a field of energy or frequency, patterns of information.
This is a very, very exciting time for us to live as we are entering an expanded paradigm of mind-body medicine, where we are NOT just victims of our genes or heredity, when we can learn new ways of thinking, being and feeling to create a new body and reality for ourselves.
We can evolve and be more mindful, teaching our brains new neural responses and realizing the potential of our higher being
Unlike most species in the Animal Kingdom, human beings have the potential for self-awareness. This is so easily forgotten about in the heat of the moment, when anger, for instance, might emotionally override the fact that we as humans have self-awareness as a choice.
Most of us operate on what can be referred to as autopilot, just letting the mind wander into thoughts that require little in the way of conscious guidance. These thoughts are taken from the past or consist of future expectations, but, in an all-consuming way, tend to occupy our current moment. Because of this, often it is not easy to choose mindfulness as we are so accustomed to reacting to the world, to the environment and people or certain situations as an email autoresponder would send the same message to each similar inquiry.
Our behaviors, thoughts, thinking, impulses and feelings are simply downloaded to us through our early conditioning by our caregivers, society, school and various institutions. Many of us, react to everyday situations and triggers in the same conditioned way, as our neurological system is hard wired after years and years of repetitions.
Another aspect that differentiates us from others in the Animal Kingdom is that we store pain, trauma and negative emotions in our body like an emotional memory library. Often, that old pain or trauma, triggered many times, has not much to do with the present situation, and it is hard for us to differentiate what is happening now and what is really being activated in our body from the past. If we repeatedly react in the same way, the brain forms synaptic connections and chemicals in the body. After a while the body and brain acts on your behalf unless YOU choose to stop that same old behavior and chose a better one.
As humans, we have our highly developed frontal lobe of our brain, which is responsible for logic, reasoning, and the ability to choose thoughts, actions, and behaviors, which, in turn, can produce better and healthier outcomes and results. Next time, when the same situation presents itself (and trust me it will, until we learn), and the same old trigger is activated in our body, step back, take a big breath, and ask yourself; What is a better way to respond to this situation? What would be more healthy or mature way of handing this? What would be a response that would be a win-win for everyone involved?
Becoming mindful of every moment, connecting with the breath, slowing down the train of old, conditioned thoughts and beliefs, gives us the power and space to really be in the present moment, to respond in any given situation from the empowered choice. Mindful living needs daily practice and it really takes a commitment to live from a more aware, grounded and empowered state of mind. When we do it consistently, we can hugely enhance the quality, peacefulness and joy in our lives.
We can evolve and be more mindful, teaching our brains new neural responses and realizing the potential of our higher being. We can change our behavior through thoughtful reflection and learn to live better through the power of moment-to-moment awareness.
We all create our own lives as we go along ...and we always have a choice. Astoundingly, recent science proves that there exists a high level of neuroplasticity in the brain, which means we can change the ways in which our brains respond by practicing mindfulness. Not only do we interrupt old ways, but we create new neurological connections through mindful awareness.
"YOU ARE THE CEO OF YOUR LIFE, NOT YOUR PAIN. WHAT YOU
FOCUS ON EXPANDS. LET GO OF PAIN AND START LIVING AGAIN"
The issue of coping with and healing chronic pain can be very tricky, especially if we have been suffering from it for years. Perhaps we went to many different practitioners, hearing conflicting and sometimes scary predictions or opinions of how to deal with or simply accept our own pain.
We may have a strong desire to be pain free, but all of those other feelings flowing through our thoughts about the pain can cancel out the desire to get better. The body is confused. On the one hand, there is a strong desire to get better, but on the other hand lingers all of those thoughts about how that might be accomplished.
I applaud everyone who never gives up on himself or herself, searches for different ways to make pain go away and finds new techniques or practitioners who can help them. I personally believe that all pain can be fully healed, let go of, all without external enhancements.
When we start our Myofascial Release process, it is very important to explain expectations and how therapy will progress. Everyone is different and heals at different rates of speed.
The intent of this Blog is very practical in nature and includes different, important aspects of chronic pain release that have physical, mental and emotional components. We are referring to releasing pain that does not have any underlying medical pathology.
1. As with any Myofascial Release session, initially we want to fully feel and connect with our body, feel and sense the area that is to be treated, fully owning it, sensing it, breathing and feeling underneath it with ease and detachment.
2. Then, follow up on recommended stretches, releases, and breathing. I have noticed that those who do their own home program, are the ones that progress faster and more consistently. At some point, additional exercises will be added that include strength or balance deficits in your body. Remember it is all about balance. It is your own body, take good care of it. Nobody is responsible for it but you.
3. Deep inside, you must believe, strongly believe, that you are going to get better. You need to fully own it and be confident that you can do it. The therapist can guide you, encourage you, inspire you, but the ultimate work is yours. It is your own body. Nobody can really help you or fix you, but you.
4. After a few sessions, you should start noticing the changes that are happening in your body. Initially, they may be small changes, but notice them, appreciate them. The progress happens in small increments and baby steps. It is not going to happen all at once. But as it happens, you may be able to sleep one night better than you did before, notice that, appreciate that, and know that it is possible. It may just take time. It may be in a zig zag way, two steps forward, one step back.
5. Even when you start feeling better, keep listening and tuning into your body. We are so programmed to listen to our minds, that we forget that if we fully connect with our body and have an intimate connection with it, it will send us messages. Just breath and listen. Listen to your own body as to what it wants. It may need a rest, nap or a down time. Many times, we simply do not observe it, as we are too busy taking care of everyone else. Just stop and honor your body.
6. Start training your mind to spend a few minutes every day on visualizing, sensing and feeling how you want to be and NOT on what is. When we live with chronic pain, we all have a tendency to focus on what is, and not on what we want. I do understand that it is hard to direct attention elsewhere when we feel pain, but breaking this constant loop of pain has to start somewhere. See yourself in your minds eyes doing the activity that you love and enjoy, see yourself how you want to be and feel. It may sound like wishful thinking, and many times we feel that we cannot do it UNTIL we feel better, but sometimes you have to create a road map for your mind and body. If we just focus on the PAIN only, it shrinks us and we get the same thing, we just get more pain.
7. Focus and appreciate what is working in your life, what is good, easy and peaceful. Many times, when we have chronic pain, we are so overwhelmed and consumed that we practically forget the whole world. I get it, I know it is hard, but trust me, when you start expanding your awareness beyond your pain and focus on and appreciate what is good, you are mentally taking some energy away from that pain and focusing it on other areas of your life that are working.
8. Appreciate your body. When we have chronic pain, I believe that many times we are really hard on ourselves and our body for letting us down. We may be harsh or critical on our own body that is doing so much for us. Many times I hear people say jokingly "oh just give me a new body"...think about it, if you said it to friend "oh I just need a new friend, not you"...well I am sure that person would not be very nice to you, right? Our body is a magnificent instrument and when we appreciate it and truly take care of it, it will work better with us, not against us.
9. Find little or big things that you enjoy or are passionate about, which are healthy and wholesome. Connect with nature, truly be present when you have a nice cup of tea, take a relaxing bath, open your heart to someone close to you, share your feelings with someone you can trust or write them in your notebook, connect with your higher self, forgive yourself and others.
Letting go of the past is very challenging for all of us. Often, we carry all that past emotional energy and store it in our body, carrying it with us like a heavy suitcase that we truly do not need. If you find your mind going back into the past, redirect it, and focus its attention on your breath and the present moment.
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"MAYBE THE THRILL OF LIFE IS TO DISCOVER IT ALL ON OUR OWN, IN MOMENT-TO-MOMENT AWARENESS"
Wouldn't it be great if when we are born we were given that awesome book or manual with detailed instructions on how to live this life? And all our questions were eloquently answered like why we are here? What does it all mean? What happens when we die? Why do we get sick? How can we be happy and create the life that we truly want?
But maybe it wouldn't...maybe the thrill of life is to discover it all on our own....
Probably just few of us are born in wonderful circumstances where there is a lot of wise, mature and nurturing behavior and examples around us in our early formative lives. As I observe life it seems that the majority of us learn through trials and tribulations, emotional or physical pain, trauma, illness and other unpleasant circumstance of our lives.
I definitely was this type of a curious child, who was asking tons of questions about life, existence, why we are here? Where do we go after we die? Etc. - I wanted to know the truth about life. That thirst for the answers lead me to read many books about philosophy, psychology, how to reach human potential, religion and spirituality, biology, how the mind - body and spirit are connected. I also have taken many seminars and courses on human development, personal growth and spiritual empowerment.
A lot of that searching and curiosity, I believe was coupled with a deep grief, sadness and confusion related to the fact that between the ages of 4 and 15 I lost 5 close, relatively young (48-62 years old) family members to various chronic illnesses.
I was first introduced to Transcendental Meditation back in Physical Therapy school during our first psychology semester many years ago. Right from the beginning it really intrigued and fascinated me. Ever since that time and then in my early 20's, after someone handed me the book "You can heal your life" by Louise Hay, I realized that I am finally tapping my toes into something that I was searching for a long time, but had no idea what it was.
The more I read and enjoyed meditation, the more my appetite grew. I was sensing that I was moving into a much bigger dimension that my five senses could detect or be aware of. I was becoming more excited about discovering another way of being, in reference to myself first, and the world around me.
When I was 24 years old, I lost my Dad to cancer at his young age of 62. That profound sadness again made me want to go even deeper for meaning and purpose.
As I have been meditating over the years, growing and evolving, reading and learning, I realized that this life is a beautiful process of unfolding of our true self. It takes a lot of work and dedication. It is a nice intellectual concept that we hear in our religious classes that we are all children of God. It is nice to hear it, but to fully feel it, which is feeling good most of the time, most of the life - is a completely different thing, especially when it is mirrored by many painful and sad circumstance in our life, over which we may have no control. This is the work of learning and unlearning that true happiness is really an inside job.
It takes work. It mostly takes dedication and self-awareness. Brutal self-honesty. To let go of everything that we learned, accumulated and have been conditioned to, that simply was not the truth about us, or who we really are. It is not always easy to let go of reactivity to the outside world. To sense that everything that is triggering us about others, is really inside of us to uncover and let go.
When we start perceiving mediation, not as a nice tool to quiet our mind, but an elegant and grounded way of living, we really start tapping into true happiness, which is not dependent or contingent on external circumstances or anyone's behavior or action toward us.
When we start living our life with deep, relaxed, grounded and confident self-awareness, we start approaching a new way of life, which is based on freedom and deep inner peace.
If we could simply learn to accept each and every moment of life precisely as it is, without the internal resistance, and give ourselves the permission to be as we are at the given moment... If we could become more present to our own awareness and allow our own emotions, thoughts, and feelings to simply be as they are.... And, with that allowance, over time they lose the grip on us, so we can feel freer inside and shine from our true light and awareness.
The key to everything is really self-awareness. All we can do it take one day at a time, being fully present in it.
About 1 in 3 people have at least mild insomnia. Many poor sleepers have developed poor sleep habits. In the long run, taking sleeping pills isn't effective. To improve sleeping habits and make lasting changes, we need to address the chemistry of the body, mental-emotional aspects, and the environment where we sleep.
When we do not sleep well, we are not going to function optimally or feel our best. Good quality sleep is crucial for the restoration of the physical, mental and emotional parts of us. If a person does not sleep well or long enough, they cannot lose weight, they cannot keep the immune system at its highest level, the connective tissue cannot repair itself, and we are going to have stressful dreams. Chronic sleep deprivation leads to mood changes, depression, low energy level, poor judgment, and being prone to accidents and injuries.
Here are 3 facets of getting a good night's sleep:
Chemistry of the Body
Environment where we sleep
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"Wellness is not a 'medical fix' but a way of living - a lifestyle sensitive and responsive to all the dimensions of body, mind, and spirit, an approach to life we each design to achieve our highest potential for well-being now and forever." - Greg Anderson
If I can remember, I was fascinated with living healthy life-style, cultivating overall balance and thought that preventing any sort of medical problem is way smarter than fixing the existing one. Health and Wellness seem way better to pay attention to vs treating already existing illness or the disease.
However, we are simple not conditioned or trained to think in that way in our western civilization. We are all conditioned that in case any sort of symptoms show up, we just go to the doctor and they will cure or heal us with medications or other medical procedures.
Few of us, would ask why do we have those problems in the first place? We are so conditioned to think that illness and disease is a natural part of life and that is why we have doctors for it. As of course, we need doctors and certain medical procedure and treatment are very necessary, most them could be simple prevented with self- body-awareness, balanced life- style, high quality self- care and simple listening to your own body.
As I observe life, it seems that many of us pay way too much attention to everything outside of ourselves, but our own, precious body and the messages that it sends us. More we stay connected and feel our own breath, instead of listening to a constant mind chatter, more we stay self- discipline, proactive, passionate about life. The more we show up for ourselves, the more we become confident and can trust ourselves.
Investing time in ourselves to observe and witness our mental, emotional and physical messages from our body is the thing that only we can do. Nobody can do it for us. The more we fill ourselves from the inside to what we really want and need, the less we need to fill ourselves from the outside. How often we neglect to give our-self the same love and attention that we give our children, family, loved ones or clients. When you say yes to others, make sure you don't say no to yourself. Many times, setting up some healthy boundaries is crucial and important.
Being empowered meaning pulling the sense of power from the inside. 99% messages that we receive from the media is to look for the validation and acceptance from the outside. More we anchor ourselves on the inside on how we feel and what we need, more we create self- value, more content and powerful we become. The better we feel- mentally and emotionally- the healthier our body is.
One of the easiest way to sway of from our own center is to constantly say yes to everything and everyone in our life. Consider which activities, foods, habits, situations, relationships enhance and nurture us and which ones are depleting and debilitating. Making choices wisely is a sign of how worthy we feel. Let's be grateful for the choices that uplift, inspire and support the greatest vision that we have for our-selves and our health and well - being.
The more we can tune into sensations, the more we can feel intuitively if the choice is enhancing or depleting to us. Confidently, following your own intuition is empowerment and following the voice of truth. Nobody knows your body more than you know it yourself. More we appreciate our body for what it does and what a miracle it is, instead of how it looks, more it starts working with us instead of against us.
Taking 100% responsibilities for all our actions, habits, thoughts and feelings is the first step into empowerment. From here, we can consciously create the body, health, and well - being that we want. The responsibility is ours. Put yourself back on the priority list. Be grateful for all the people who support and challenge you to become the greatest version of yourself.
Tell yourself daily, I love myself so I take a loving care of my body.
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I want to start 2017 sharing the story of my Mom's sudden health collapse early in 2016 and about her amazing recovery.
My Mom was a fully independent and highly self-functioning 78 year old lady who had few of the medical issues typical for a person of her age like high blood pressure, arthritic changes, osteoporosis and pains and aches.
In February of 2016 she started developing hip pain after relatively minor fall from the chair in her bathroom. She was walking and functioning however did complain of that hip pain. After few days, she fell again and my sister took her to the ER, where she was cleared of any fracture (based on X-ray) and sent home with allowance to ambulate to the bathroom only and take it easy for a week. However, after that second fall, she developed very severe pain and could hardly function or sleep. Due to stunning progress in communication technology, I could have full contact with my sister and niece who were so kind, supportive and were her primary care-givers.
As the week was progressing instead of getting better, my Mom was getting worse and worse as far as her pain and function were concern. One important thing I want to share with you here is that medical system in Poland is not even close to the one that we experience here in America and the further development of that story was hugely related to that.
Due to her severe pain, I encouraged my family to take my Mom back to the ER. She was admitted to the hospital and further medical diagnostic tests were positive for pelvic fracture in 5 places and as a follow-up recommendation by one orthopedic doctor, she was put on 6 months of bed rest with no order for any Physical Therapy or mobilization whatsoever. Just the allowance to get up to the bathroom, but no assistance to accomplish that goal from the medical community was provided or offered.
I have worked in the USA as a Physical Therapist for over 22 years, many years before I opened my private practice, I spent on orthopedic floors of the hospitals and based on everything that I have learned here, I knew that if I want my Mom to live and function again I do need to offer help or other solutions to that antiquated plan of care.
Not knowing what will happen, I bought one way ticket to Poland and cleared my schedule. When I arrived to Poland, the picture did not look good at all. My mom was home in a hospital bed, in severe pain, deep depression and pretty much in her own mind ready to die as somehow, she did not see the solution to that situation that she was in. Thank God to my loving sister and niece who have amazing hearts and were always there offering support and help.
My goal was to offer knowledge and experience of how a situation like that would be approached and treated here in the USA. Of course, if the person had a severe car accident and had traumatic body fractures, prolonged immobilization would be appropriate for the bone healing, however most pelvic fractures in a 78 years old people are due to osteoporosis (like in the case of my Mom). Any American orthopedic doctor and any other one who is willing to learn new knowledge would recommend different approach.
Convincing my family and Mom that she needed to start right away with proper exercises in bed, breathing exercises and teaching the body how to move in bed was not easy as the doctor recommendation was so different. I was simply hoping that if my sister and I privately were to visit with the doctor, he would be more open and will allow what is the best for my Mom. Unfortunately, this doctor's ego was immense, and honestly, I do not know what he was hoping to accomplish except deterioration of my Mom's body by putting her on bed rest for 6 months.
Long story short, we found another younger doctor who was a neurologist and his approach was completely different and agreed with how we do things here in America. My Mom really needed a good plan of care that would be consistently followed, designed to rebuilt her body, mind and spirit to return to pre-fall functioning. That was really all it took.
So, since March till December 2016, she has had a private therapist who was coming twice a week after I left Poland, combined with the help of my sister and niece. During all those months, my Mom's therapist and I were in close contact via social media to consult and talk about her progress. She also completed 3 weeks of private rehabilitation and now she is getting closer and closer to be fully independent and strong again. Hard to imagine in this country, but in Poland, if we wanted to wait for the rehabilitation that she could receive based on her insurance, the wait time is on average 2-3 years. Really!
I was so much happier, lighter and relived when I was going back to Poland for Christmas. I knew that my Mom was doing so much better physically, mentally, emotionally and functionally and she strives to be more and more independent now. However, all her progress was due to different knowledge and a better approach that was offered to her. All her services were privately funded.
Insurance and initial doctor wanted her to be on bed rest for 6 months and have rehab in 2-3 years. Well I do not know where my Mom would be with that approach, but I am sure not where she is right now.
To my Mom, my family and obviously to most of the Polish medical system, our American medical approach feels out of the box, new and may feel wrong. To me, the Polish medical system feels antiquated - we treat the same medical diagnosis differently now than back in 1950.
So, having all that said, we can be very grateful for our American medical system. It is not great, but it is way better than in many places in the world.
But even within our American, medical system we still have different approaches how certain diagnosis are treated, especially in Physical Therapy.
I used to work in a traditional Physical Therapy places where, especially chronic pain diagnosis, were treated with modalities and approached that do not bring you the results that you want.
So, to a happier and healthier 2017...it starts with a choice and with a change. Nothing happens magically. Only we can make it happen. So, let's choose wisely, and research what is the best for your own body, mind and spirit, what is healthy, and what will produce the results that you want.
Sending you all Blessings, Love and Light Energy for a Happy and Healthy 2017!!!
Can Wholistic Therapeutics help reduce your pain? Please make an appointment online. Treat yourself or a friend to a gift certificate to feel better in the New Year!
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