You know how it goes when you're sick or injured. In the first place, you're not in your most resourceful state. It's hard to think clearly. You may not understand your situation well. And generally, you're scared - about what this problem means for your future, your quality of life, your ability to work and provide for your family - perhaps even your life itself.
When something's seriously wrong, it's natural - and smart - to look for help. Depending on what the problem is and your available resources, you may start with your family doctor, the emergency room, or even another trusted practitioner like your chiropractor.
Presumably, they'll do the best they're able to help you out. But what happens when their best isn't good enough?
Continue reading "Healthy Living Myth #5 - My health care provider is bad because he/she can't fix my problem" »
Having once done a summer job on a furniture moving crew, I understand the concept of active jobs. If you do something like that for a living, you certainly have a less sedentary lifestyle than your desk-bound contemporaries.
However an active job isn't quite the same thing as a balanced exercise program. A balanced exercise program consists of at least 3 parts.
Continue reading "Healthy Living Myth #4 - I have an active job - it's all the exercise I need" »
This healthy living myth is part myth, part truth. Life's a paradox, remember? Let's start with a story.
A number of years ago, I embarked on a little health kick. Part of the program (not all) was cleaning up my diet. I watched a number of things to see the effect they had on my system, and for a short time my choices were limited. Nonetheless, there were a number of tasty dishes I really enjoyed.
I met a friend for lunch at a restaurant that served really great healthy food. It was wonderful!
Continue reading "Healthy Living Myth #3 - I can't afford the (time, money, energy) it takes to live healthy" »
This myth seems so obviously flawed that a second read of the title should blow its cover. But invariably it won't. People will still be convinced that bad genes cause their chronic disease. Not you, though, if I wager correctly!
Having said that, of course I acknowledge it's true that bad genes can play a part in chronic disease. They can predispose a person to being more vulnerable to a particular chronic disease than the neighbor. Sometimes they are largely responsible.
But even then, things aren't hopeless. Because science has demonstrated that we have some control, at least, over our genes.
Continue reading "Healthy Living Myth #2 - Bad genes cause chronic disease patterns" »
It's in the news today. Trauma and tattoos. You may have seen the story as well - a recent trend in which persons who were involved in a recent large-scale natural disaster are having reminders of that event tattooed on their bodies.
The story says it's therapeutic for the survivors - as a way to make a statement about their involvement in the event, perhaps even putting it behind them. For some, the tattoo no doubt is therapeutic. But for others, I'm not so sure.
Yep, it's another paradox.
Continue reading "Trauma and Tattoos" »
Some of you may remember that back a few years ago (in the dark ages when newsletters were copied on paper and only delivered to one's local area) I wrote a feature article on my bright idea about no-fault health insurance. I was half kidding.
But half not. See, it came to my attention that people occasionally behave as though there was a pill for every problem (see Healthy Living Myth #6). It occurred to me that not only was this ineffective for the person, but it was most probably driving up the cost of health insurance. (Since I pay this directly out of pocket, as do many of you, I'm quite aware of how the cost of health insurance escalates.)
Continue reading "No-Fault Health Insurance - A New Trend?" »
This great question came in first thing this morning - the very first person to pick up her door prize at the WordCures.com housewarming party!
"I love alternative health options - they have changed my life. I have tried many and continue in this quest for optimum health. The choices are so numerous that I often take a scattered path ... perhaps using many more approaches than necessary... How do I choose the best options? How do I know if the options I choose are working?"
It is a great question, and one I've asked myself. I suppose she and I aren't the only ones, either.
Continue reading "There are so many health promoting options - how do I pick?" »
The question is chi: "If it's true that many health problems are caused (or partially caused) by blocked chi, could you explain chi and outline some beneficial ways to unblock chi?"
The answer: sure!
It's quite safe to agree that chi and health are intimately related. When your chi doesn't behave as it should, health is compromised. So while the exact language the reader used isn't the same language that I typically would, it is indeed a very relevant question.
What is chi? This is the Chinese-language term used to refer to what we would commonly call in English "life-force energy." The Japanese call it Ki and in India, it's Prana. You may wonder how it's possible to relate to such a strange-sounding word, but I promise that you know what life-force energy feels like.
Continue reading "How to unblock that chi!" »
This is truly a case of good news being taken a step too far. Of course healthy eating is important. Few people will argue that point. But I’m going to take this moment to speak against placing your major focus on eating healthy foods.
Healthy eating is simply not enough. A recent scientific study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (May 3, 2006) will even back me up. Scientists compared two groups of people – equivalent in nearly every way except for where they live.
One group lived in the United States and the other in the United Kingdom. The Brits were healthier. And even “a standard set of risk factors (smoking, drinking, and obesity) do not fully account” for the health differences the researchers found.
It’s easy enough to understand why people latch on to the healthy eating bandwagon so easily. 3 main reasons:
Continue reading "Healthy Living Myth #1 - Eat Healthy and I'm Golden" »
"I've got the insight, but nothing has changed." It was more of a comment than a question, yet the inquiry is clear enough. "What good does it do me to get a bunch of grand insights about my life if my outside world doesn't change as a result? Am I just wasting my time & energy?"
Now for a little background. This question came from someone who's currently working with my stress-buster kit and doing exactly as I suggested. She did her homework, and she did well! We're just not finished yet.
I'm sharing her inquiry mid-stream because it's a great illustration of the process successful people go through as they problem-solve their lives.
Continue reading "Knowing and Doing Are 2 Separate Steps" »
Another great question! "I've been working on physical and emotional stuff of one sort of another for years. What happens to the people who don't face up to the challenge and make an effort to heal their lives?"
It's a great question and for once, I'm almost speechless. The answer seems so simple, but it's really not. First of all, I'd like to agree with the reader. From my perspective, it seems that more people wander around in pain than make an effort to resolve it.
You've got to wonder why, when there are so many health-enhancing options around to be explored.
Continue reading "When people ignore what's wrong" »
Next question: "Hey Elizabeth. I've been watching for signals around me just like you suggested. Well, guess what? Everything's blue. Could my answer be a color? What does blue mean, anyway?"
This reader is, as she said, doing exactly as I'd suggested. She's involved in an inquiry about a particular aspect of her life. And all of a sudden, she's become very aware of the color blue.
Could "blue" be part of the answer?
What should she do next?
Continue reading "There's blue around me everywhere!" »
"How do I change a behavior I don't want?" This is one of the most frequent healthy living questions people ask. It shows up over and over among my wellness coaching participants, usually in connection with a specific change the person wants to make. Like these -
- I want to stop evening snacking.
- I want to get to bed earlier in the evening.
- I want to eat smaller portions when dining with friends.
- I want to choose healthier foods when eating in a restaurant.
- I want to exercise more.
Ready? Here we go with a few tips.
Continue reading "Behavior change tips for your healthy lifestyle" »
When we left off yesterday, we'd introduced two behavior change tips for your healthy lifestyle:
- Find and resolve conflicts with what you say you want.
- Word your desired behavior in terms of what you "do want" rather than what you don't.
Now for two more!
Continue reading "Healthy behavior change tips, part 2" »
Interesting question, isn't it? "What is fun?" I suppose most of us think we should know what fun is, but try to put your finger on it and it turns out to be something like art. At the time of the experience, you know whether you're having a good time or not.
The reader then clarified that she's mostly talking about a situation where friends will suggest an activity, saying something like "come on, it'll be fun" -- and it doesn't turn out to be fun for her. Fun is different for everyone, and our reader wants to understand how to create genuine fun in her life. If you'll pardon the editorial comment, I'll agree this is a powerful goal!
To explore that, we'll look at two pieces that make up the experience of "fun."
Continue reading "What is fun?" »
"I planned to do * Thing A *. Now my circumstances have changed. I'd still like to do it, but I'm not comfortable with overtaxing my finances. What to do?"
Great question! This one involves at least 3 of the 6 Wellness Opportunities we explore in the "Transform Stress Into Power" guide and develop further in the Ultimate Stress-Buster Kit.
What's a person to do?
Continue reading "How to resolve a values conflict" »
Hi. No question today. Just a little reminder, as I'm so fond of offering, to take a break and get outside to enjoy the summer.
In North Dakota where I live, it's state fair time. I'm fortunate enough to live in the community where the fair is hosted each year, so it's fairly easy to get in the spirit. But maybe it's something else where you live - concerts in the park (we have those, too), a trip to the lake with friends, symphony garden tour, kids' ball game, playing tourist at a historic site in your area - whatever you please.
So exactly how is this part of your healthy lifestyle?
Continue reading "Didja get to the fair yet?" »
"We are to exercise to tighten and tone our muscles, but tightened muscles are our enemy - how can we have both?"
Read that again. Isn't it a great question? I think so.
I'd have to agree, it can get confusing. Yet there is a subtle difference between muscles that are tight, taut, or toned. Read on...
Continue reading "Tight, Taut, or Toned - The Scoop on Muscles" »
Wow, this question really says it. "How do I get back the enthusiasm I once had for the project I'm supposed to be working on? In other words, I know I'm not in a productive state. How do I get back to being productive?"
Who among us can't relate to this one? I know I can. It's way too easy to become discouraged or overwhelmed -- especially when it seems we have a lot on our plate or a big challenge looming.
Now I'll tell you a truly inspiring secret. Through the process of formulating this question, the reader told me he figured out the answer himself. :-). Now that's powerful!
Want to hear what he said?
Continue reading "How do I get my enthusiasm back?" »
"When changing old behaviors, how do I handle the physical reactions that come up - butterflies, sweaty palms, wanting to vomit, and so on?" Yep, it's another great reader question.
First of all, it's important to realize that these are very normal, common reactions when a person stretches the boundaries of their comfort zone. It's really not necessary, or even desirable, to make them go away entirely.
"But why, Elizabeth? I just hate those feelings! They're uncomfortable!"
Continue reading "Outside my comfort zone - help!" »
If we were running a "most popular question" contest, I'm sure this one would win: "How can I make it easier to follow through on the healthy choices I know I should be making?"
Several people have asked questions along this line, though they haven't all been worded quite this way.
Today's post suggests several tips for making your healthy choices easier to follow through on.
Continue reading "Tips for easier healthy choices" »