“More fun than Sweating and Spinach”
“Medical Science does not know how to quantify the healing effects of joy.” Nelsa Ciaponni, MD
Dusty had a double mastectomy 5 years ago, but the cancer had returned. She had lots of unsuccessful chemo, and her future looked
bleak. Doctors recommended a drug trial, but she knew that it would mean that she would not be able to have quality time with her daughter in the last summer before she left for college.
So Dusty made a radical decision. She stopped the chemo and decided to pack as much good times into that summer as she could. She joined hundreds of other women riding their motorcycles across the county to raise awareness and money for breast cancer. And she soaked up lots of her daughter’s company. When the summer was over, she went in for a medical check up. She was found to be CANCER FREE!
When I read this story in Tamela Rich’s book “Full Throttle,”“ I was thrilled for Dusty, but not surprised. Tamela too reclaimed her life by reconnecting with her own joy. There are many stories like these, but we sometimes think they only happen to someone else or are a fluke.
The quote from Dr. Ciaponni really said it all. What if there is much more to the healing effects of joy than we have been led to believe?
Daily we are bombarded with huge amounts of ever changing information about how to “fix” our bodies, most of which are of the “no gain, no pain” mentality. Ugh – no wonder we don’t follow that advice. We don’t hear very much about changing our emotions in order to change our health.
What happened to body, mind, and spirit? Somehow we have lost being whole humans and are only seen as parts.
Some years ago in England, a group launched a “Happiness Project “ in an effort to help reduce and prevent illness. Participants who enrolled in the project were subjected to thorough scientific tests to measure the results. They found that being happier actually changes your brain for the better in many powerful ways. Wow!
And since my brain can use all the help I can give it, I have nothing to lose and my mind to gain, or gain back, by being happier.
At Harvard, the most poplar course in the whole school is on the psychology of happiness. (And you thought going to Harvard was just about how to be president!). The instructor, Dr.Tal Ben-Sharar, wrote a book called “Happier,” about what he had learned from the class. Now I’m not smart enough to get into Harvard, but I’m smart enough to learn from them, and you are too
What a radical idea …being happier really makes us healthier and it is much more fun that sweating and spinach!
The more I learn about the connection between happiness and health, the more excited I am to find out more. I’m not saying that I know a lot yet, but it makes so much sense to me that I am very excited to share what I have found out. After all, we know a lot about how unhappy emotions can make us feel bad – why not learn more about what we can do easily to have more positive emotions? And besides, being a very bossy woman, I like having more control over my health and my life. Maybe you can relate?
The Health, Hope, & Happiness workshops coming up will provide a place to learn more about this mind/body connection and will be fun at the same time. What’s not to like?
As for my personal journey, I’m realizing that just adding a“Daily Dose of Delight” is becoming as important as taking my vitamins.
It is something to look forward to, and it’s free.
And when someone asks me what I‘m doing, I will just say,
“I’m taking my medication,” and then I will laugh out loud!
Wow! It was a blast to be on “live” TV last week and your good wishes made it even better.
I felt so supported and like you were all there with me
I’ve gotten many emails & calls from folks who were sending good wishes even if they didn’t see it or read the follow up column in the Charlotte Observer on 9/19.
It’s really fun to have a “Fan Club”…even for a few days! Thank you.
Here’s the back story.
Bobby Sisk, news anchor on WBNC, channel 36, called me Tues. morning about 10 to see if I could do the interview. He asked me to be at studio by 3:45 that afternoon with somewhat sane answers to the questions he sent me. I’d been taped for tv before but this was live…no way to edit what you say.Gulp!
Of course, it was an already packed day and I wasn’t sure how I could fit another thing into it but somehow it worked out.This was a powerful motivation to get organized!
It was very interesting to see how the studio really looks and to be “miked up”in the “green” ( its really grey) room. Bobbie Sisk. the anchor, was so helpful and relaxed that he made it very comfortable but I didn’t remember what said till I saw the tape.Seeing yourself on video is always a surprise.More makeup next time.
And then he wrote about our conversation in more depth in his column on job search in Sunday Observer.
And his follow up email to me said: “Thank you- you are great to work with!”. What a classy guy !
I learned a lot in the experience and will be sharing that in regular newsletter soon.
I hope the information was useful.Several people told me I need to share this kind of info more so I will think about ways to do that.One person suggested a podcast, anther suggested public tv.Hummm….Your suggestions on that would be helpful & apprecaited.
So thank you to all of you & to Bobby for sharing the fun!
“Small steps make grand adventures!”
~ Winnie the Pooh
Today we have the incredible advantage of having the amazing knowledge of traditional “western” medical science and the also amazing knowledge of other wellness traditions to learn from.
Each one has much to offer and to enable us to be more healthy & more productive lives.
Sometimes the “holistic or alternative ” therapies are seem as strange and unproven…but really, many of them have been around for thousands of years & have keep people well long before ” modern medicine.”
So as we open up to a multi-cultural world, we can also open up to a “multi- medical ” world.
So glad you are on this journey with me!
Welcome Guest Writers for Whole Health Series
Over the next few weeks I have the pleasure of bringing you guest columnists who have the best of both wellness worlds. They are great examples of learning and using a “both sides of the brain” approach.
Today’s columnist is Susan Thomasson,who has an extensive background in both traditional medicine as well as complementary therapies.
SUSAN’S SUPER SUGGESTIONS FOR SMALL STEPS
When Jeannie asked me to write for this blog, I didn’t have any idea where to start. My personal and professional interests are all over the map. I do, however, have a passion for sharing the possibilities of integrative medicine (complementary therapies) as an approach to health and wellness. So let’s start there.
Some Girls Buy Shoes…
Do you enjoy learning new techniques, exploring ideas, searching for answers? I have always loved to learn new things…have been back to school a few times over the years, enjoy continuing education classes, and love reading, reading and more reading to figure things out for myself. (Some girls buy shoes—I buy books!) My recent reading has included Dean Ornish’s Love and Survival, Lynn McTaggart’s The Intention Experiment, and Crowley and Lodge’s Younger Next Year. All three are amazing…and lead me more and more in the direction of “we have a lot more control over our health and well-being that we may even begin to imagine!”
What you can control…
What do you want for the New Year? What do you want to have control over or change in this new decade? Have your considered a holistic approach? I use an integrative approach and find that many of these ideas can address many issues. For instance, a monthly massage therapy or Reiki session will help decrease the effects of stress, improve your circulation, decrease tense muscles, relieve pain, and improve sleep. Or a weekly yoga class can help you focus while helping improve flexibility and strength…..Or regular prayer or meditation practices can help you feel calm and less stressed ….Or volunteering at your favorite charitable organization can help you feel connected and whole….Even sitting down to dinner with your family can provide many healthy benefits…and a sense of belonging.
Take some time for you & your health.
The main idea here is just to take time for you. Honor and nurture the wonderful person that you are. Work to take care of your WHOLE being, mind-body-spirit! I’m trying…so you can, too! Happy New Year!
…………………..And enjoy the journey.
Susan is a Board Certified Medical Laboratory Scientist & Instructor at Carolinas College of Health Sciences. In addition, Susan is Director of Continuing Education there and has created an innovative seminar on “Integrative Medicine” to introduce CMC students & the public to that information.(for more info on this seminar, email Susan at the address below). I have been honored to be a part of that for several years. She is also a licensed massage therapist & Reiki master.
• Susan B. Thomasson, M.Ed., MT(ASCP)SH, LMBT
Director, Continuing Education Department
Carolinas College of Health Sciences
WHAT WILL THIS YEAR BE FOR YOU?
You know that every new year you say...
This will be the year I will….
·Get healthy/lose weight ·Find a new job
·Save Money ·Get Organized ·Start my new business
·Have a great relationship
Yet somehow it doesn’t happen.
You don’t need more “self-help” information…you need real-time professional support,and practical ideas + accountability.
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” I didn’t know what to expect …as a guy. it hadn’t done anything like coaching…I should have done it much sooner as it was a big help in getting me motivated.I looked forward to our meetings and will always be grateful for how things have changed for me. My family likes me better now too!” M. G.
“Jeannie has a gentle but powerful way of listening to you and enabling you to get really clear on what you need to do and discerning what keeps you from moving forward. With her help, I have really changed and my life is so much better now”
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YOUR LIFE IS WAITING
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Contact me for more information: 704 342.1144